Thursday, April 28, 2011

"galloping disbelief"

Weird coincidence time. I had some floors to scrub today so I popped a CD of Jean Shepherd into the computer. If you aren't familiar with Shep, he was a radio host and raconteur from the 1950-1980s. The classic movie A Christmas Story is based on his work.

Well, many of his radio shows are available on CD now and I picked one at random - September 21, 1965 - and he began by complaining about a trend he saw in modern America: "galloping disbelief."

Why is it, he asked, that we assume all politicians are lying all the time? Sure, nobody tells the truth all the time, but the assumption that everything is a lie is weird.

A week before Shep had travelled to Peru and when he came back and started talking about it some people wrote to him (and this was postage stamp time, not email) to say that he was making the whole thing up. Why would he do such a thing? Why would they think he would?

The coincidence is that I happened to be listening to this the day after Obama released his birth certificate. And some people who claimed he was lying about being born in the USA continue to insist that the state of Hawaii is part of the vast conspiracy. I don't know if Shep would laugh or cry.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spa: The Canadian Experience

Well, this is MY favorite government publication of the week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just another day in Bellingham, WA 5

Last night I was taking a friend to an excellent concert by Cindy Kallet and Grey Larson at the Roeder Home and she complained about the weather.  "Raining again?  Boring!"

I laughed.  "You want exciting weather?  Maybe tomorrow it'll hail.  Or snow!"

The photo above shows the view out my door.  April 14th.  My wife said "time to reboot the calendar."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shakespeare Searched

I don't know why this amuses me so, but check out Shakespeare Searched. It is a search engine that only looks through the complete works of Bill the Bard. Very neat.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Swearin' soldiers

There's a good piece in the New Yorker about Robin Williams and he talks about his five tours entertaining the soldiers in Baghdad.  One of the things he enjoyed is that he can work as blue as he wants there; the soldiers don't mind naughty language.

Reminds me of a very old story.  My father was an educator and his beloved mentor was Colonel H. Edmund Bullis.  Among many other things, Bullis served under General George Patton during World War II.  When the movie Patton came out my father was shocked by the profanity.  He asked Bullis if it were true to life.  "Oh no," said the Colonel.  "Patton was much worse."