Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THURSDAY--Another Edition of....

A flip of the fedora to Jimmy Cannon

     (early but only topical for this week—honest opinions for the less than honest holidays)

1)        I thought we would spend some time on holiday thoughts this time around---given the time of year—along with some miscellany.

2)        It seems that the glow of the season gets tarnished as you get older.  From a time of awe it evolves into a time of practicing diplomacy and tolerance.   Sort of like childhood dreams and adult reality.

3)        As one gets older one can more readily empathize with Ebenezer.  Dickens knew his people.

4)        I have the feeling, many times, that Karl Marx had it right when he talked about “...the opiate of the masses” but for the wrong reasons and moments.

 5)        Do you recall when, as a child (if you are of that age), the stores and the windows were a delight and you could go in to a toy department (say, Macy’s) and play with the toys?  Now, they are carried in specialty stores and all pre-packaged and you get to see them on the TV ads. 

6)        There was a time when the family got together for Thanksgiving dinner and then had conversation (OK some  sit and watch TV/Football) and now there is a whole segment that finds a real familial feeling in getting up at
      3 AM to go maniacal shopping in keeping with the spirit of familial gathering. 

7)   Since materialism seems to have overwhelmed us in the holiday period and it is all about retail sales why not just call it what it is and forget about the “tradition”---commercialism. Which those who do not fall for the cliches (i.e. the rich and smart).  I know---it is hurtful to the naive who truly believe the Pilgrim story and that people like The Donald and those of his ilk are moved and touched and become one of the masses for these days.  The celebrants (unlike those in the Christian Mass who feel a part of the body of Christ) eat turkey while those mentioned usually have jetted off to a sea side resort (they own) and dine in a fine restaurant.

8)  I truly had tears in my eyes when I heard the NPR report that ended the most touching piece they did a while back on the USS Kirk---the thanks and the meeting of the recipients of the caring of the Kirk’s crew and the crew after all these years and the awarding of an honorary crew membership to the sadly deceased infant they cared for---and was appreciated by the Vietnamese family that the Kirk rescued.

9) Peter Ustinov had it right.  When people said to him---Have A Nice Day---he said---I Have Other Plans.  Frankly, the holidays bring that out in me---the damned music ad nauseum in stores, the ubiquitous “happy Thanksgiving/Christmas”---they say it but do not care---and neither do I.  Just say—“thanks”.

10) One final thought---I am not a hypocrite.  Join me on Sunday 11/28 on Traditions when we commemorate Thanksgiving in a non-hypocritical way---along with a great guest---SI KAHN.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Some of the few readers of this most insightful blog---in my ever not very humble opinion---may recall how impressed I was with the bio of David Susskind.  Another impressive person is Harry S Truman who you can see on in an interview with Susskind.  Truly impressive and think about this---do you think that there is a talk show host today capable of such and interview and that any recent ex Pres.  would sit for something like this?   A true treat of what things were like.   True---times have changed and the Pres. has to be in an auto that is labeled THE BEAST---and given the tragic events of 1963 rightfully so.   Time have changed but the openness and the honesty of someone like HST still has to be surpassed.  Ex Presidents today make fortunes from speeches and memoirs---and who knows what else.  HST famous comment after his presidency---" is not for sale" and he never did make a nickel off his tenure.

Sure---I said random thoughts---here are some really random ones we can fill in at a later date if anyone likes:

1)  Facebook.   Why do people feel they have to post their most personal thoughts there?   Sadly, some of them truly have not other life and for that reason it does serve a purpose.  I only hope that those posting people do not believe these are "friends".  Friendship implies more than some electronic companion to fulfill your emptiness.
2)Thanksgiving.  The holiday is almost upon us and it is the one and only holiday that can be celebrated by all religious sects, ethnicities, and Americans who enjoy it for its familial camaradarie.   Though, admittedly, Louden Wainwright III has a different take on that..   It does lead to the problem of a festive occasion and has to allow for the foibles of some attendees which can lead to tension provoking problems.  As a child it seems or seemed as a more festive occasion as most holidays did.  When you mature and age you do find the problematical things in these "festive" occasions---and, yet, the preparers of the festivities are to be applauded for their wonderful completetion or the occasion.
3) Chirstmas/Channukah.:  Almost upon us and seem to start earlier each year---as a child it was a magical time.  In aging and maturity, given our new methods of communication see the above comments---basically the same story.  

I do believe that all of you folks that fit into our small phone booth deserve a symbolic picture: