Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Aphorism Number 88; One of a Series; Collect the Whole Set

Anybody can peel a banana once somebody shows you how.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Aphorism No. 87; One of a Series; Collect the Whole Set

Life is not in chronological order.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Aphorism Number 86; One of a Series; Collect the Whole Set!

Let's not invade any place we can't pronounce.

Me too

I choose, and very actively, to avoid Twitter like the Black Fuckin' Plague.  Like the leper colony of Molokai, or that gnarly one in Cecil B. Demille's Ben Hur.

And, after all, I'm a pretty notoriously bad-ass, a dude, a guy, a tough guy, and probably easily accused of being macho, a knucklehead, a man.

That said:  Me too.

In an editorial context, a woman taking advantage of a terribly fraught moment in my life, acting out of power and privilege, in the classic sense.  And as, in a moment of tremendous challenge, as I struggled to keep a family shattered by suicide together, functional, economically viable, sane, I spoke frankly to another female co-worker, whom I trusted, about the inappropriate behavior.  As it turned out, that was foolish.

How shocking is that?  To me, still gathering my undersanding of what took place, after long years of once and former co-workers coming to me and asking "What the hell happened?   You were on fire!  Everybody knew you were doing state-of-the-art work!  You were killing it — what do you think happened?"

Well, in this moment, I think it's actually a moment to discuss what happened.  I think, as Susan Brownmiller suggested early on, that it's damn near always a case of power.  Sex factors in, of course, and inevitably, and sex is the wild card.  But power is the the factor.  Power is the determining factor.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Arizona — Where The Old West Came To Die

Arizona is where the Old West crawled off to die. Or if not to actually die, at least to establish a cranky early retirement.

Arizona: Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Cattle, and Crazy

Arizona's first state governor wasn't a Pontiac dealer.  Instead, he was a Zoroastrian. It was the Pontiac dealer — the guy who came in after the one-eyed newspaper columnist and then, eventually, the Mexican-born ex-boxer named Castro — it was the Pontiac dealer who officially outlawed Martin Luther King Day. Then there was that early governor who refused to approve the state flag. But the governor who saw UFOs over Phoenix came along way after that, after nearly all of them. Then after attending a French cooking school in Scottsdale while out on appeal for extortion and bank fraud,  he founded one of his own. In Phoenix, needless to say.

A white pyramid looms over the plump fecal-shaped mountains where Phoenix and Scottsdale and Tempe huddle up together, marking the tomb of that first Zoroastrian governor guy. But since nobody remembers him, or knows why there's a white pyramid parked against the red rocks and cactus, or can figure out just what a Zoroastrian is, it serves as a symbol of just exactly how Arizona has always been. Arizona is intentionally weird, oddball squared, a place where bold eccentrics have historically stumbled up to see just how they stacked up against the nutjobs who were currently running the joint.

Some of those nutjobs, of course, were those dang Indians — like, for instance, the Apaches, who were said to be able to run 50 miles a day (and bear in mind that Arizona was hot as hell, even before they paved it). It's hard to understand why the US Cavalry didn't just turn their horses around and go pick on the Hopi, who were pushovers, and a lot slower too. Perhaps this is why even today our license plates say "The Grand Canyon State" rather than "Famous Injun Frybread."

Tombstone, "The Town Too Tough To Die," became "The Town Too Tourist-Dependent To Close Until 8:30 PM," but that was later on. Scottsdale used to be "The West's Most Western Town," but that was before it became a golf course. Phoenix was built right on top of a system of canals that had originally been constructed by the Hohokam Indians, who wisely disappeared, undoubtedly annoyed by the sight of Apaches sprinting back and forth down the canal road. Tucson (pronounced "Tuk-sin") has traditionally been distinguished by its lack of canals, and by the fact that it was never the West's Most anything, save perhaps its saving grace. Still, it features Old Tucson, where all the Western films that weren't filmed in Hollywood were committed,  occurred, or massacred.

Arizona, a place that has been, among other things, part of Old Spain, New Spain, Mexico, New Mexico, Sonora, the official State of Deseret, the Gadsden Purchase, the Compromise of 1850, the glorious Confederacy, the glorious Union, the State of Nevada, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Seven Lost Cities of Cibola, and . . . well, those dang Indians were lousy at writing any names down. Anyway, Arizona has a proud right to an everlasting identity crisis.

Sure, the Clantons and the Earps were genuine trouble, one and all imported from out of state —snowbirds, in Arizona lingo. But during my own lifetime, the Devil's Disciples and Satan's Slaves and the Mongols and the Bandidos and the Hells Angels and the Vagos and all manner of other well-meaning bike-mounted darlings have been among the genuine outlaws. (I used to have a safety-card from one of those charming dance-clubs, until the Secretary-Treasurer took it back, because it was the only one he had left, and there were several cute girls in the bar he needed to impress.)   Arizona is the proud state that first established the law that you couldn't wear your hogleg six-shootin' pistol into the topless bar , a fine example of our state's firm, focused grasp on practical jurisprudence.

But 'twas ever thus. John C. Fremont, Arizona's first territorial governor, spent most of his career exploring California, for which you can hardly blame him. He was told he had to reside in Arizona, or resign. He resigned.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Aphorism Number 85; One of Series; Collect the Whole Set

Life is a pre-existing condition.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Aphorism Number 84; One of a Series; Collect the Whole Set!

In a world where anything can happen, a lot of things occur.