Monday, October 29, 2007

I awake and look around me

Certain things exist outside of time and space. They merely transect our plane of reality, rather than being strictly of it. I am thinking, of course, of Porter Wagoner's hair. That sturdy golden pompadour glowed like a beacon from our television when I was young. His sparkling jacket made the black-and-white image bloom and smear while he sang “I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand.” Now we've lost him forever. The only bright spot: a truly great yard sale. I'd go up there myself if I thought I could get into a 38 Extra Long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This space intentionally left blank

You're lucky to be reading this. I almost didn't write any rant at all this week. I've been feeling sort of blank - dislocated, both geographically and temporally. Everything just seems so unreal. I read where the highest court in the land decided that citizens can be required to produce identification at any time, and I said to myself, “This can't be the United States of America.” A guy named Piyush Jindal was elected Governor, and I said to myself, “This can't be Louisiana.” Then I saw the Cleveland Indians playing baseball, and I said to myself, “This can't be October.”

Monday, October 15, 2007

Where the flying fishes play

Until very recently, everything I knew about Myanmar came from an Errol Flynn movie called “Objective: Burma!” And from those shaving cream poems they used to have along the highway. But somebody was saying that the Burmese economy is totally dependent on trade with China, which is where they're having the 2008 Olympics. Hey, I'm no geopolitical expert. But maybe if Olympic sponsors like Budweiser, McDonald's, and Kodak heard the word “boycott” from scads of people, the government in Beijing would feel some pressure. To paraphrase Nikita Khrushchev; the American dollar is China's testicle. Let's give it a little squeeze.

Monday, October 8, 2007

You take Tyrone; I prefer Woody.

So now Senator Craig isn't going to resign in disgrace after all. Why should he? Anybody who's ever flown Northwest knows how tough it can be to make a connection in Minneapolis. But this isn't about him. It's about hep, happenin', progressive Minneapolis, a city that sees itself as a Midwestern oasis of culture. They have the Guthrie. They have a bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore. And they have plainclothes cops cruising public restrooms to entrap queers. Minneapolis is that kid at a punk show with a clip-on earring and a fake tattoo: lilywhite, uptight, and deeply uncool.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Some of my best friends are Urban.

You ever notice how neighborhoods get recolonized? Arty types act as scouts, sniffing out cheap rents. Behind them come the entrepreneurs and developers who market the bohemian milieu. Prices go up, and the scouts go back to the wilderness like ol' Daniel Boone. But how do certain parts of town become wilderness in the first place? My local paper, in an article about a new “nighttime arts district,” mentioned how “...the usual suspects – suburban flight, changing demographic patterns, growing fear of crime – led to decades of decline...” Whoa. Check out those three suspects again. Yup. They're all euphemisms for racism.