Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
They are dropping like flies. It's hard to keep track. It's getting harder and harder just to keep up. Just as you're grieving another loss, somebody else dies. Timing is everything people! A phenomenon we've previously covered in the case of Michael Jackson/Farrah Fawcett. (See previous post- Dearly Departed) You'd think the famous would know better. Then in short order Walter Cronkite, Ed McMahon, Don Hewitt (60 Minutes) Robert Novak (Technically, he is the undead), Ted Kennedy!, Larry Gelbart (Comedy writer- the movie Tootsie among other things.) Jody Powell (Carter Administration) all died recently. When you bunch them up like this someone's going to get lost in the mix. Normally you would like to space these things out a little more, give us, as a nation, more time to properly mourn their death, tape the specials and in some cases, arrange the parade. (Walter Cronkite and Ted Kennedy get a parade, Don Hewitt doesn't, Ed McMahon get's a sandwich named after him, and Robert Novak, (A cadaverous, ill-tempered man at best) get's a particularly invasive medical procedure named after him, heretofore known as the "Full Novak." Rectal probe? No, it's a "Full Novak.") Now it's just out of control, Jim Carroll (Basketball Diaries, Jim Carroll Band, one of my all time favorites.) Henry Gibson (Laugh In, the movie Nashville), Patrick Swayze, Mary Travers!, it's getting to the point where you have to start picking and choosing your top celebrity deaths. When Heath Ledger died, it was all about Heath and that's the way it should be. We got to give ourselves completely to his passing, and, luckily he had some movies coming out. That really helped, that way he wasn't completely dead yet. Plus, he deservedly, won a posthumous Oscar. That's better than a parade.
Timing is everything. When Princess Diana died, Mother Teresa had the supreme misfortune to die only 6 days later. Who got the short end of that stick? At the time it was all Princess Diana all the time, which I was fine with. It was horrible and tragic, and nobody should have to die like that. But Mother Teresa got totally lost in the shuffle, at the time you would hear people say, "Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Mother Teresa died!" That's not right. She deserved a whole lot better than to be a footnote in history after a lifetime of service. Did Elton John sing at her Funeral? The Pope didn't even show. That's cold. Mother Teresa got the Full Novak.
Monday, September 7, 2009
I don't blame the the chickens for what happened. Anymore. It's taken years, but thanks to the benefit of hindsight, sobriety and eating a lot of chicken, (a lot of chicken), I can see now that it wasn't personal. They were just doing what chickens do. Which in this particular case happened to be, attacking a poor defenseless child from behind, in a systematic and unprovoked act of pure chicken rage. Or maybe it was just for sport, which makes it even worse. It was like Altamont and the chickens were the Hells Angels. It was Lord of the Flies with chickens. It was Dances with Chickens and I was the buffalo... Actually a better analogy would be the riot at Attica (Prison) in 1971. It would've been right around the same time and also in New York State. I was at Green Chimneys School at the time. Which was a boarding school for children with behavioral problems. I was there from the summer of 1966 to 1973, when I graduated. It was a farm, and the animals were used to help with teaching responsibility and helping children with their emotional growth. Have you ever seen a guy on Death Row with a kitten? He couldn't be sweeter, it was like that, but with kids and chickens. The prisoners were rioting over prison conditions, what the hell were the chickens bitching about? They were taken care of, it wasn't a factory farm, we weren't eating them. Besides, we were basically in the same boat. I was a child and I was sent away from home, we were all doing time. Of course, the students weren't kept in cages, but the place was surrounded by an electric fence. So it was pretty shortsighted for the chickens to blame me for their predicament. Of course this is all in retrospect, at the time I was real pissed at the chickens. My unfocused childhood rage suddenly had a focus. I didn't take it out on the chickens, I had been there long enough and was brought up right, to already know that hurting poor defenseless animals was horrible and wrong and I had no desire to do that. I started to act out in other ways though, my smoking and drinking escalated, I was shoplifting more, and my attitude and outlook on life just got worse. It wasn't great to begin with, (If you get sent away from home at the age of eight with behavioral problems, an attitude adjustment is in order).
It took over 30 years, sadly, close to 40, but I no longer blame the chickens for that broken relationship, that lost parking spot or changes in the weather (I told you it was an unfocused rage.) I eventually stopped drinking, drugging and stealing. It is no longer me against the rest of the world, and today I can eat chicken for all the right reasons. They taste good.