Nouns and verbs

June 27, 2009 at 8:23 am | Posted in News, Politics | Leave a comment
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Yesterday saw the passing of the “American Clean Energy and Security Act,” a bill that the Wall Street Journal calls out as historic for its sweeping changes in environmental regulation.

I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, and I’m not familiar enough with the content of the bill to fairly judge its merits. What I will judge, however, are the political reactions.


Mr. Obama and other top Democrats insisted the measure will spur job-creating investments in “green” technologies, while lessening U.S. reliance on foreign oil.

Ok. That sounds optimistic, promising. I can get on board with that.

How about the Republican response:

[Republicans] contended the measure amounted to a job-killing tax on consumers and businesses. “The Waxman-Markey bill promises to destroy our standard of living,” said Rep. Frank Lucas (R., Okla.).

Um. Ok. That’s a bit…extreme.

I gather that you don’t like the bill, and that’s fine, but, really? A job killing tax on consumers and businesses that will destroy our standard of living?

Can we have no gradients in the language of our disagreement? Are our politicians really at a point where the choices are that they can either love something, or accuse it of destroying America?

Tell me, Congressman Lucas, will the bill also kill puppies and unicorns?

Anywhere but here

June 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Life, Music | Leave a comment
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It is late on a Friday evening, and here I sit in my office doing homework for a particularly dubious cost accounting class.

I sit, also, upon a bit of a metaphysical precipice.

There is a song playing in the background in my little gray room, reverberating off the stark walls amidst the outside patter of rain and the inside roar of the cleaning crew, and it goes like this:

Have you seen me lately?

I was out on the radio, starting to change, somewhere out in America

It’s raining

Could you tell me, one thing you remember about me?

Just one thing you remember about me?

I remember me

All the little things that make up a memory

She said, she loved to watch me sleep

And she said, it’s the breathing, it’s the breathing in and out and in,

Have you seen me lately?

I can name at least three significant events of my life during which this song has been playing, quite randomly. This song, rather maudlin, always plays for me at times just like this.

I’m not quite sure what that means.

The song remains the same

June 23, 2009 at 8:43 am | Posted in Life, Music | 1 Comment
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These have been gray days here in New England, a seemingly never-ending onslaught of rain, clouds, and temperate temperatures not entirely befitting the month of June.

It weakens the soul, it does.

I have chosen, amidst the bleakness, to focus on something I encountered a few weeks ago when I need encouragement. At the beginning of the month, I found myself, rather last minute, attending a Dave Matthews concert here in Hartford on a Friday night. It was rainy and muddy and crowded, brimming with an uneasy energy that you encounter at these outdoor shows that mark the beginning of the summer season.

And it was absolutely teeming with youth.Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King

The setlist began, old standards intertwined with songs from their latest CD, and I noticed something rather remarkable. While yes, the ants marched on as always and everybody sang along, these folks, these kids, were also singing along with all of the new songs.

Songs from the album that had come out three days ago.

My heart soared.

I remember these days. These days when a new album coming out was a big deal, an actual event in your life, and you and everyone you knew were consumed with getting it, playing it, and memorizing the lyrics to it. It played at the parties you went to, it rang out from small radios behind the counters of summer jobs, and the beat up cars of college compatriots blared it from their open windows as they drove by you on the street.

Before These Crowded StreetsI, obviously, not only recall these days, but do so with great fondness. For me, the album wasn’t about a Groogrux King but rather the precedence of Crowded Streets, but I suspect that the experience largely remains the same.

And this, for some reason, fills me with great happiness and hope. For in a time of unquestionable turmoil, crushing economic conditions, and immense uncertainty, young people are still memorizing the words of an album within three days of its release, if only to be able to stand in a field on a Friday night and sing it out loud with their friends.

It really does lift you up.

Timing is Everything

June 15, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Posted in Life | 1 Comment
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Until 24 hours ago, I would not have believed that a product like this, the world’s first “anti-stab kitchen knife,” was needed.


I would have been wrong.

To the four people that read this blog and get this joke – I say we gift a set of these.

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