I told myself that I was going to do a better job this Spring of working my way down the To Do list. Advancing middle age had seen a noticeable increase in slacking and excuse mongering the last couple years. I do not remember whether it was Dorothy Parker or Anita Loos who said of the death of Calvin Coolidge, "How can they tell?"
I made that commitment in March. In April the glaciers returned. I'm not afraid of the cold, but there are certain things you just can't do when it's below freezing, and many of them occur out of doors. So it all got jammed up, and then we decided to throw a party this weekend on the grounds that no one ever sees the garden early in the season, when we think it's at its best. When I walked in the vet's yesterday first thing I told the tech was, "If I smell like something, it's mulch," though it probably was more than that. Plus you could write your name in the pollen on the hood of my truck.
I had to go back on a strict diet. "That diet makes you cranky," my Poor Wife told me. That's when I should have looked up that Coolidge quote. I spent some time with Mom Sunday. The good news was she appeared happy. The
The news isn't helping. The Times sure didn't help by kicking David Brooks off the Sunday Op-Ed page in favor of someone named Maureen Dowd, who until two weeks ago, I take it, was writing for the Style section. She seems to reduce all politics, national, international, or local, to an impromptu hairstyle competition. I read as far as I could for two weeks running, and the thing I was reminded of was how the citizens of Moscow, every last ambulatory one of 'em, came out to construct tank barriers and blockade streets as the Panzers approached. I've been trying to imagine how long it would have been before they used their shovels to beat her to death. The incredible live summer re-run of the Alberto Gonzales Show prompted Howard "Why" Fineman to remark on George W. Bush's "loyalty". Such a pity we didn't have those two around in the Sixties. We'd be better off today had Vietnam come down to an argument over Westmoreland's military bearing, or whether olive drab was his color.
Republicans are no help, not that you'd expect them to be. The Ghost Dance religion has spread to their presidential candidates. (It hit McCain first, at least three years ago. I've been kicking myself for not seeing it earlier. McCain's no prophet; the hollow center of the modern "conservative" movement isn't exactly as surprising as dark matter. But he's been its bellwether for the whole "conservative" decade, from his Willie Horton moment in South Carolina to his delayed Stockholm Syndrome embrace of his role as a Bottom, first with Bush, later Falwell. McCain appears to have been smart enough [if just] to have recognized that the Republican Party, then the Supreme Court, had selected a souless, less intelligent version of himself. Then he saw the buffalo disappear, settlements razed, his people dead or demoralized, and he said to himself, "Let's Dance!") Jonah writes another column designed to prove one can type without ever learning to read. The President delivers a speech at Jamestown that would have made a Texas school book selection committee blush. We finally find a War Tsar. (Sigh.) You like Tsars so much, why don't you move to Russia?
Then Falwell dies. I hope he wasn't just trying to cheer me up.