Nose to the Grindstone

I still have a few years left to live, and I fully intend to become a ballet dancer, a jet fighter pilot, an astronaut, and an opera singer while I still breathe. It’s going to take some real efforts at time management for me to fulfill my remaining potential. No more wasting time on social media. Nose to the grindstone.

Will I be good at any of these occupations? I suppose the only one that really matters is fighter pilot. Others could be killed if I over-estimate my abilities. If I prove to be a mediocre astronaut, I will disappoint Mission Control, but drifting off into the endless void will not cause others to suffer. As a clumsy ballet and opera performer, I can bore an audience, but such an outcome would hardly be newsworthy.

You’re Just Like a Sick Celebrity!

Are you aware of which celebrities have had the same disease from which you are now suffering? To learn how they handled it might prove instructive, if not inspirational. Sure, unlike you they might have been able to afford the best medical treatment, but even super doctoring is no guarantee against a virulent pathogen. If they survived it, you can do. Maybe.

In fact, maybe you’re already on the same lifestyle page. They worry about negative publicity, while you fret away nary a second on possible bad press. So if you’re not having the life sucked out of you by a virus or bacteria, you can probably breathe easy about the rest of your problems. You’re a winner today!

Some Things Don’t Change Much

(Original Caption) A state trooper gets his lumps and is stretched prostrate on the ground between skirmish lines of pro and anti Robesonites at the grounds of the Old Hollow Brook Golf where the Negro baritone Paul Robeson, held his Sunday concert despite protests of veterans groups. The veterans gathered in numbers to parade in protest and 1,200 police were on hand to guard against rioting. Minor outbreaks, such as this one which saw the trooper felled by a rock, occurred all up and down the battle lines as the afternoon wore on.
State troopers beat a man leaving a concert by Paul Robeson at the Old Hollow Brook Golf Club; troopers and police, who were supposed to protect concertgoers from anti-Robeson protesters, joined them in harassing them instead.
State troopers beat a man leaving a concert by Paul Robeson at the Old Hollow Brook Golf Club; troopers and police, who were supposed to protect concertgoers from anti-Robeson protesters, joined them in harassing them instead.

Worse Than You Imagine, Closer Than You Think

Nobody said it would be easy. The world around us is hardly foolproof. Scoundrels and knaves abound. To pretend otherwise is to invite disaster.

The ones who desire power above all else are the ones you should not trust, but it takes effort and diligence to root them out. They are, above all else, as sneaky and they are persistent. They’re not playing games here. For them, staying in power is serious business. Their only business.

We can pretend not to care, to float above the fray, but the fray will find a way to drag us down. We will be devoured, and the part they find inedible they will spit out. After all, we were simply in their way. What else could we expect them to do?

Here and Now

When you look at everything as a gift, as grace, then envy and remorse disappear. If you consider it your duty to simply enjoy this day as much as possible, then you become child-like. You are less inclined to confront other people, to give instructions, to find fault, to blame.  You find it easy to cultivate patience, because the whole notion of waiting becomes absurd.  Who are you to decide which moment is more important than another? Why not find a way to enjoy where you are and what’s happening around you, right now? Any other response is at best arrogance, and at worst, insanity


Those who are already in power like to pretend to be revolutionaries. They say things like “A Storm is Coming,” but they’re pretty sure that nothing is poised to disturb the status quo, and if there were any storm on the way, they would do everything in their power to minimize damage to their status.

Real revolutionaries keep a low profile, hoping that the element of surprise will work in their favor. Having little to lose, they are ready to risk everything when the time to strike arrives.

Squares like to dabble in the arts. It makes them seem less square. When I lived in San Francisco, there were faux bohemian “art galleries” on Fisherman’s wharf, where a vacationing investment banker from Missouri could buy an oil painting of a San Francisco street scene, complete with globs of paint to show that the painting was modern and hip. What they didn’t tell the investment banker was that the painting was produced in a factory in Dafen, China, on an assembly line. Want a rainy Belle Epoque Parisian street scene? They’re cranking them out over there even as we speak.