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A metaphor in need of an editor

From today’s New York Times, a book review written by Dwight Garner of “Prodigals” by Greg Jackson:

There’s also the crunch of writers like Ian McEwan and Martin Amis in Mr. Jackson’s prose. Best of all there’s that sense — only the excellent ones give it to you — that whatever topic the author turns his mental LED lights toward will be powerfully illuminated.

A Darwinian future

Assuming Darwin was right, you have to figure in a thousand years our species will be born with hinged ear lobes with pods attached to a mini electrical  umbilical cord with a stereo plug at the end. No longer will humanity be burdened with having to look for the “L” or the “R.”

Thumbs will be sharper, slimmer and double-jointed for ease of texting. The human larynx will be much smaller as the need for speech will be reduced by increased texting, e-mail and standard gestures. This will, in turn, reduce singers to whispers. This will be a problem solved only by enlarged ears that also accommodate tiny electronic hearing aids for the middle ear, the demand for which was much accelerated by technological advances in sound amplifiers that routinely produce rock and roll and hip hop volumes at around 500 decibels, much to the delight of dope-fiend teenagers.

The adaptability of the species will be such that humans will have the power to turn off hearing aids during the political seasons. Moreover, human brains will similarly grow stupid and idiotic during the election cycle and manage to recoup IQ levels somewhat later when they repent for dumb choices. Scientists will trace the beginning of this particular adaptation back to the American presidential election of 2016.

On Cruz control

I think I should be silent about Ted Cruz and his Cheatin’ Heart. Just think of Hank and how he was as honest as the day is long. You heard that honesty in his voice. Other voices project deceit.


Here is a new-to-me player, Larry Pattis, playing “Waltzing Matilda.” It from an album titled “What Tomorrow Brings.” The is not in everybody’s repertoire.




‘Let’s went’

From time to time I like to remember “The Cisco Kid.” It was on 1950s TV. I adopted a favorite sentence often uttered by Pancho as imagesplayed by Leo Carrillo: “Let’s went.” They also had this thing at the end of every episode when Pancho would say: “Oh, Cisco!” Then Cisco would say: “Oh Pancho!” Then they would both laugh as though they shared a really nasty/dirty little secret. Wish I knew what it was, and that it was at the very least risqué.

I am now rather irritated by the fact I just discovered that Duncan Renaldo, who played Cisco, was born in Romania, in Oancea, a small town on the border with Moldova. His name was Renault Renaldo Duncan and would  have more appropriately cast in a Dracula movie. Or a French flick with Renault driving his Renault.

A Romanian playing a Mexican is just wrong, really, really wrong — like Donald J. Trump playing a presidential candidate.

At least Carillo was the real McCoy, a California native and great conservationist — a state park is named in his honor. I have heard he had family in Tucson, but was never able to confirm it. Incidentally, “Cisco” is short for “Francisco.” And “Pancho” is a nickname for “Francisco.” That makes much too Frank for me, even if “Cisco” is about the city. In which case, it should have been the “Frisco Kid.” In which case, it sounds a little too close to the “Frisky Kid.” In which case, the censors likely would have been involved.

Here is a Cisco Kid movie poster from 1949:Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 7.45.56 PM


urlDon’t think we’ll see another movie of its like, certainly not the title.

url-1The ingenue in the movie was played by Armida, a Mexican actress from the 30s and 40s. She did not land many roles. She was not born in Romania, but in Aguascalientes, Sonora. Her name was Armida Vendrell, and her father ran a movie house in Douglas.

A theological question

If it is true, as the Bible tells us, that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven and if there is no such thing as limbo, does it not logically follow that Donald J. Trump’s destiny in the hereafter is as an eternally burning resident of Hell? If it does, then why would Americans of any faith vote for a Hell-bound Republican whom the Pope has declared un-Christian?

B-dee, b-dee, b-dee, That’s All Folks!

The best solution for the Scalia vacancy is for Obama to nominate Daffy Duck to replace him (Bugs is far too liberal). That way the Supreme Court of the United States would better fit the Republican United States Senate as well as the gaggle of Republican presidential aspirants, and we would be more accurately known as the United States of Looney Tunes.

After shoveling 8 cubic feet of steer manure and needing about 5 more, I feel like I should be on the New Hampshire ballot. I’m dubious that everything will be coming up roses after tomorrow.

It is odd that everyone seems to hate Raphael Theodore Cruz and yet he wins elections. It would be interesting if he were elected: He would lead the charge to end ObamaCare, Medicare, Social Security, federal aid to education, the Veteran’s Administration, the income tax, the EPA the federal reserve and most likely any federal program not designed to kill people. He is the Living Undo Button. (I have been reading Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money.” It should be mandatory reading for every voter. Things don’t necessarily Go Better with Koch.)





All things in moderation and severity

The New York Times today published a Page One story about Kenny Stabler, the great quarterback of the Oakland Raiders who died last year. It was disclosed this week that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease provoked by repeated blows to the head. Stabler died of colon cancer, but the results of an autopsy were just released.

The story quoted a doctor who described Stabler’s affliction thusly:

“He had moderately severe disease …Pretty classic. It may be surprising since he was a quarterback, but certainly the lesions were widespread, and they were quite severe, affecting many regions of the brain.”

I do not know which planet this doctor was from, but it is not possible on this Earth to have a malady that is “moderately severe.” We are not part of a galaxy that mixes moderation with severity. In this universe, the terms are mutually exclusive. One could even say they were contradictory.

Perhaps the explanation is this is simply medical parlance, and there are terms such as “benignly severe” or even “severely moderate” that have meaning for physicians. If so, God help us.

The Rillito runs

I cannot remember when the Rillito has flowed so long. It seems like a week. I would never have guessed that snow melt could have lasted so long. Moreover, it runs clear. This year seems to destined to be very different, confusingly so. My roses, before I pruned them, seemed particularly disoriented. One or two delivered blooms. A blooming rose in January. That El Niño is special.


On Monday, John Bel Edwards took the oath of office as governor of Louisiana. On Tuesday, Gov. Edwards expanded his state’s Medicaid coverage to include what the NYT said would amount to “hundreds of thousands of people.”

In signing the order, Edwards said:

“We are consistently ranked one of the poorest and unhealthiest states, and this cycle will not be broken as long as anyone in Louisiana has to choose between their health and their financial security.”

“This will not only afford them peace of mind, but also to help prevent them from slipping further into poverty and give them a fighting chance for a better life.”

It is astonishing that a politician would actually state publicly that government might help people.

It is a wonder when that politician fulfills a campaign promise on his second day in office.

Edwards is a Democrat, the only living example of the species in the South.