Different Floors of the House

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Down the River...Again

Ok, Mr. Underhill, this is gonna get political. So, if you don't like that, turn around now, go bury your head in the sand and pretend the shadow of Mordor isn't creeping in on your Shire.

So today I got an e-mail from James Carville...you know, the barking dog of the Clintonistas. I guess now that Karl Rove is outta town, this guy wants to flash his rosey-cheeked, Botox injected face all over the place:

Anyway, he came knockin on my electronic door begging for a handout...in the middle of a recession...depression...whatever it is we are in. I love Democrats, here's his limp-noodle pitch (my preciousssss):

"You've got to hand it to the Republicans: they may have wrecked our economy, trampled on our Constitution, and trashed our country's reputation -- but they're always good for a chuckle.

Take Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who recently declared himself "a middle-class guy," despite pulling down $10 million a year and never missing an opportunity to defend his fellow fat cats -- kind of like a cottonmouth calling itself a kitten. O'Reilly must get his "middle-class" sensibilities from hanging around out-of-touch Republicans like Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who last week filed a purely ideological lawsuit to block his own state from accepting $700 million in federal stimulus funds that would prevent ruinous cuts in public education.

Republican governors like Sanford are selling their states down the river to suck up to the likes of O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. And now the GOP is gunning to win enough governorships to hijack the congressional redistricting process that will follow the 2010 census -- to derail President Obama's agenda for change and spread Sanford's brand of so-called "compassionate conservatism" across our entire country.

To jam a stick in their spokes, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) needs your immediate help to meet its $50,000 May fundraising goal. And if you contribute by midnight tomorrow, your gift will be matched by a leading DGA supporter -- doubling the impact of your support."

I'm not even going to respond to the absurdity of me giving money to any party that signs off billions of dollars on a whim, I'll let the esteemed MEP from across the way tell our yippity-yip Mr. Carville how much his barking sucks:

Notice the key phrases:

"...You cannot carry on forever squeezing the productive bit of the economy in order to fund an unprecedented engorgement of the unproductive bit." --Daniel Hannan

"You cannot spend your way out of recession, or borrow your way out of debt." --Daniel Hannan

As for Mr. Carville's "down the river" comment. Let me just say this. If you haven't read Puddinhead Wilson, by our nation's greatest author to-date, please do. Puddinhead Wilson is a story of two brothers switched at birth, one is white, one is black. Don't ask me how that works, go read the book. The irony of Twain's story here is that the "white" brother gets "sold down the river" into slavery in the end and the "black" brother is emancipated/exonerated. We find ourselves laughing at the fact that Tom, the mean, white brother, a guy who sold his own mother into slavery, is being sold down the river in the end. Until we release that we've just celebrated the enslavement of a person...irony...then we kinda bow our heads and wonder if our hypocrisy will ever end.

Carville rips O'Reilly for defending his fellow fat cats--and then uses this opportunity to defend and support HIS fat cat friends in power...Hypocrite.

Carville expects us to believe that Republicans are responsible for a trashed economy when we all know that every minute of every day after the tech bubble, after 9-11, after Enron, after WorldComm, after continued increase in governments on EVERY level over the last twenty-five years this depression was a possibility...maybe even an inevitability. Hypocrite.

Carville knows the stimulous package is not stimulating--cannot stimulate. Is Chrysler going to file? Is G.M.? Where is Time Warner? What's happening to newspapers all across America? Where do we realize that shoving money at the private sector's problems is simply a failed policy? Aren't the Democrats the party of Europhiliacs? Shouldn't we then be listening to the French and British parlimentarians on this one? Give back that stimulus money! We don't want your fake dollar, based on fake interest, based on fake consumer confidence! WE HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN YOU, YOU HYPOCRITE.

Mr. Carville wants us to send him our money? I'll send him a song instead. Here's my contribution to the Church of Barrack, because the Church of Barrack is the Church of the Suicidal.

That's right, I want you to make it hurt!

And when the Republicans come around asking for a hand-out, they'll get the same damned song.

Oh, and if you're confused about all the Tolkien references above, check this out, You gotta wait till the end, just skip what you saw already, I couldn't use this to begin with because MSNBC cut out some of his most poignant points. I love this guy:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shakespeare vs. Seuss

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

So, time fastly flies, this really is true. And to stress that point, I'd like to point out that the first sentence is written in iambic pentameter. Now I'm Shakespeare and you have no choice but to read the rest of this.

I have a one year-old daughter. Actually, she's twenty months, which makes her nearly two years old. Tempus fugit. She's not quite old enough to wheel the red wagon around the back yard and fill it up with flowers, like my older daughter did when she was young, but I know that soon she will, and I know that soon I'll be looking back on that memory just as I look back on the memory of my oldest daughter dragging that squeaking wagon around, spilling flowers all about. The good thing about having a young child in my life is that I get to watch Sesame Street and Barney and Reading Rainbow again...yeah a 'good' thing. Well, the Reading Rainbow we never really have to watch, she's not interested in it really, it's kind of on in the background providing a beat while we do other things around the house or in the back yard. But she can stare at Barney for thirty minutes, that big, dopey...purple...thing. But Reading Rainbow is just good for the short little ditties. It's been nine years since my older daughter watched these kind of shows.
Flies, I say.

Now I find myself mixing memories. Memories from my older daughter, Sara, on mornings with dad and those I am having with Bella, my baby. It's almost like I have had two lives and the bifurcated memories from each come together in some flowering mass. I call it "The Lazarus Effect". I have to wonder if his (the resurrected ones) memories of his prior life haunted him, like mine haunt me...echoes of a former self. Then we get to wonder about anything that is "born again". Like, my purple sage in the garden. A few months ago it was a wilting, pitiful...brown...thing. You should see it now, now it's something Zane Grey would be proud of, in all its majesty. I don't really understand the cycle of rebirth thing. To me it is both tragedy and romance.

"O Proserpina,/For the flow'rs now that, frighted, thou let'st fall /From Dis's wagon!" (The Winter's Tale, 4.4.116-18)

Well, I don't let the flowers fall. They just do. But they come back. As time flies, they come back as something new, something...grander. A mixture of the old and the new. A little of the old life is always left behind, somewhere in the gray mists of winter--or trampled by Dis's wagon--but some remains and becomes a shadowy core in the rising, majestic life of the new radiating flower.

I hate Barney. I really do. Life is really sad when you find yourself looking forward to Antique Road Show. People my mother's age watch that show. I should not be looking forward to it. Such is the effect of the purple beast on me. Speaking of antiques, today on Reading Rainbow they took a break from cultural awareness for five minutes and read some Dr. Seuss. Now, Seuss, there's someone I can get into. Simple genius. Simple genius is something great, so invaluable, yet so overlooked. Like, say, a can opener...or hell, a can. Simple genius never really invents things, they just use the goodness of old wisdom to make new things...mmm...gooder.

I guess we could say the popularity of Dr. Seuss had recessed into its own shady winter. But maybe that's only due to my not having a small child around...until now. But really, I've been seeing him all over the place lately. If the cult of Seuss was dead, he certainly seems to be experiencing some sort of rebirth.

Shakespeare never seems to die. People (like myself) who really know nothing about him are constantly using lines from Shakespeare to prove a point. He is, afterall, the second most written about person in history behind Christ--the ultimate in resurrection icons. The grandness of Shakespeare never goes away because we don't quite get it. Maybe the simple genius of Shakespeare is what gets lost. Maybe it's hidden in someones attic and one day they'll pull it out like some long, lost, obscure Hudson River School painting on Antique Road show. That would be cool. Well, actually, guess what? I was going through some old books, looking for some Seuss to read to my daughter and just happened to find this:

Green Eggs and Ham by Wm. Shakespeare
I liketh them not Sam I am
A pox upon green eggs and ham!
Thou wouldst like them in a hamlet?
Nay, t'would not in a hamlet
Mayhap pref'rest them with a shrew?
Nay less compny'd by witless shrew.
Alas! On boat I would attest it!
Nay, a boat would bid a tempest.
Thou may taste them in Verona?
Not Verona, not Bologna!
Verily, if thou dost try them
Thou mayest bechanced to like them.
Sam, if behind me thou wilt get,
I may feign try them even yet.
Try them, do try them, thou wilt see
thou wilt mind them such as me!
Sam o Sam! What glor'ious fortune favor'd me!
The succulence of't fills with glee!
As fortold, they have pleaseth'd thee?
Thou hast tasted, now can see!
Tell me where is fancy egg!
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Oh! Let heav'ns rend asunder
And bolts of rabid thunder
Smite the foolish dotardly man
That liketh not green eggs and ham!

Sweet! Now we're rich! Call the Antique Road Show! Alright maybe not. I obviously just made that crude little poem up. But what is this really that we've found? It's just simple genius. That what Seuss was. You see, Shakespeare's iambic pentameter and Seuss's octameter are intersectory, Seuss knew that, more importantly, he did that. Two lives, two forms: one old, one new, mixed together, like my many memories coming together in some harmonic convergence backed by a universal beat. It's a simple beat, but one that lasts forever through rebirth. So let time fly, let the flowers fall, let the wagon roll.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The New York Mets--My Fondest Memory

Well, I feel a little naked going into this with little to no experience. But I figure it's only proper that my first post should be about the Mets, since they are a huge passion of mine and easily accesible. Sure, sure, I'll write about politics, philosophy, God and family as well, but this is a safe place to start. Dontcha think?

Here I present to you one of the happiest solitary moments of my existence. Being a huge Mets fan from way back (I'm told I hollered out "Let's go Mets" and the ripe ol' age of three). As I remember this game dragged on and on. I was at my in-laws house and they were kind of standing around waiting for the game to end (they are Cubs fans and had little interest in this game). The game was rainy and long. Eventually the whole family went out to eat dinner in the dining room, leaving me to my Mets in solitude. Not five minutes after the family had left the room, Robin Ventura (#4 in the picture above) wins the game with a Grand Slam, but since he was jumped on by his teammates on the way to 2nd base, he was credited with an RBI single only. Who cares? They won. I'll never forget the feeling of my heart fluttering into my gut. I was so strapped for air I could barely yell "Grand Slam!".

Here's the video. So good.

I saw game 6 of the World Series in 1986, and as that was exciting as well, I remember the events at the end were confusing to me, with the ball through Buckner's legs and all that dancing on home plate (Ray Knight...bahlee dat) so the sense of elation was stifled. So this, this truly Amazin' feat will always be my #1 moment in baseball memories. Of course, I would be remiss if I were to suggest that this is Robin Ventura's "shining moment" and I know my brother Jay would find it necessary to instantaneously remind me of exactly what that moment was...so I'll beat him to the punch, so to speak:

Robin: "Ouch!"
Nolan: "That's right sonny, you're getting pummeled by grandpa Ryan!"
Robin: "Owwie!"
Nolan: "Oh, stop whining, this is just my uppercut, wait till you see my left hook!"
Robin: "Is that Old Spice I smell?"
Nolan: "That's right, kid, goes on smooth, lasts all day, just like this ass whoopin'"

Of course, we can laugh at that. If Robbie were a Met then, he would smacked that Geritol poppin', John Wayne wannabe into the dust. Mets are tough, seriously. Mets fans are even tougher. And since this is a time for firsts, and to make me feel a bit better about feeling so naked on my virgin voyage into the blogosphere, I thought I'd link to a first of a (ahem) different variety. Viewer Beware!


Thanks for coming along for the ride!

CT Lostaglia