Thursday, October 27, 2016

The speech I would like to hear from Donald Trump

Wow. What color is the sky on that planet?

The speech, of course, is from the movie The Great Dictator, delivered by auteur Charlie Chaplin. It's a great speech, for sure.

I recently commented on the Chaplin original that was posted on the Facebook. I suggested that the sentiments expressed were among those that we could all agree with. BUT . . . these days those words, liberty; tyranny; decency; democracy; help; freedom; greed; hatred; mankind; victims; progress; unnatural men; all of these words have very different meanings to different people.

We Americans have taken two sides opposite each other across a brightly colored line. One man's tyranny is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama; the other man's tyranny is Paul Ryan, and Rudolph Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich (Newt! I still can't get over that name!), and Chris Christie (or has he retired from the field?).  Within our representative government, neither side can even talk to one another. They no longer speak the same language. One side, the Democrats, does at least still give lip service to our constitutional values of cooperation and compromise. The other side, the Republicans, looks to the constitution and finds only the authority to stonewall opposition and destroy our rights and our democratic institutions. Why, the Republicans are now actively talking about destroying the Supreme Court. Who needs it! The Constitution created it, but the Cato Institute says that we can destroy it if we want to! Who are you gonna believe!?!!

Both sides, ultimately, are working for the large corporations and the super-rich, so this whole weird drama is a distraction while the lives of almost everybody go to hell in a big fucking hurry. No one at all works for the bottom 99% of us. And yeah, it might even get worse, because while most of us are losing ground in bits and pieces the entire earth could be preparing a sudden, catastrophic environmental collapse. Science, which many people don't even believe in anymore, might just kill most of us on its own motion within the next hundred years or so. Won't that be fun!

Not to worry, though. That top one percent will end up safe in orbit or something, with some robots and a few slaves to tend to their every need. Slave! Blow me! Robot! Whip me up some coc au vin! And a martini! Extra dirty! The ne plus ultra of life on earth. Who needs culture anyway?

But go ahead on, people. Vote for Donald Trump. Hell, vote for that fool Gary Johnson. Or Jill Stein. Go ahead! Protest with your vote! "They're all corrupt," I can hear many of you say, "I'm voting for Trump! At least he'll shake things up!" Or even better, "I'm voting for Trump," say some, "because at least with him in office the collapse of the entire system will come more quickly." Yes, my friends, anarchy has suddenly become popular with people who very recently had a much better grasp of reality. What kind of logic is that? Brexit logic, I call it. Please recall how fast the regret set in when the cousins voted to Brexit.

The world hasn't quite gotten to hell just yet, but from where we stand now, Joe DiMaggio could throw a baseball into hell without any trouble at all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Uncommon Family Names

Some of us have family names that you just don’t see very often. And then there are some of us who have family names that you would never see at all unless you were looking. I have one of the later.

My name is Ceely. It’s not a common name however it is spelled, and spelled my way it becomes very, very rare. In fact, there are only three hundred and twelve (312) of us in the world right now.

Cool Website Alert!!!   All information in this post is from this site. It’s interesting and enjoyable, and it’s easy to use. I have to go back and look up Smith, or Jones. It would also be fun to look for names that seemed common but weren’t, or vice versa.

The site also gives you a ranking of your name on the list of most common names. So, I’m thinking that Smith would be about number ten, or in the top twenty anyway. Ceely comes in at number 659,592.

There’s also a breakdown by country showing where the people with your last name live. I was somewhat surprised to discover that there are one hundred and fifty eight (158) in America. It has never seemed like that many to me. I became a lawyer in 1991, and I looked up lawyers named Ceely in the big directory. There was only one; she worked and lived in Florida. I brought the total to two.

The chart showed one Ceely living in Thailand. That would probably be me, although maybe I should check. Maybe try Facebook, “ceely Thailand.” That might work.

Further Amazement

My first wife had an unusual family name as well, Supp*. I ran Supp* through the name search and sure enough, only a total of four hundred and sixty eight (468) in the world, with two hundred and thirty one (231) in America.

So, I wondered, how many Ceelys have ever married Supp*s? That would push the coincidence way up into the stratosphere. We have two sons, and I’d have to guess that the number of people currently living on the earth whose parents consist of one Ceely and one Supp* must be very low. Would “under ten” even begin to cover it? Maybe our sons are the only ones.


(And thanks, Ed, for the link to 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Who ~ Summertime Blues

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you cover a great song.

No disparagement to Eddie Cochran, none intended or even possible. Eddie's original version was state-of-the-art back in the day. Eddie could really play, and he could really sing, and he performed great songs. The Who were of an age when the general level had risen in every way, and in every way that took place on the stage, live, they were the best.

Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues (1959) - BETTER QUALITY

The sound is not great, to say the least, but this video at least shows Eddie Cochran performing the song live. He was the real deal.

Died young, and it's a shame.

A New Kind Of Hanging Out

I copied this out of an article that was shared on Facebook: 20th Century Photos of People Holding Record Albums or something. This one spoke to me.

This was almost certainly taken in Vietnam in the late 1960s. I was in the service myself at the time, the U.S. Navy. Nothing fancy, just a deck-ape driving a pickup truck. These fellows look like they know each other pretty well, and they get along. Just knocking back a few Pabst's and Bud's, and listening to a little Brother Jack McDuff. This was pretty new stuff for the times. I don't have any pictures of myself, but I was in this situation many times.

I can tell you, a lot of black guys were surprised to find white guys that had interests in common with them and wanted to hang out. And a lot of white guys were surprised to find out that it was so easy to hang out with the black guys. A lot had changed after WWII, and it took some catching up with. It all seemed very natural to me, and these guys seem to have taken to it like ducks take to water. We might have been the first generation that could manage it so easily. Some of us, maybe many of us, but not all of us. I took some flack from the more reactionary white fellows, and guess who stood up for me? That's right. I remember everything, and I still appreciate it.

It's been a few steps forward and a couple of steps back since the 1960s, and I don't know if it's really any better now as far as race relations goes. Maybe a little bit better. I hope so. It's not so hard, you know. We all put our pants on one leg at a time (read: we all have jobs; families; friends; interests; bills to pay; troubles; successes). As Rodney King said so eloquently, "why can't we just get along?"