My take on news, pop culture, sports, and whatever else interests me.
Wow. Thanks for the Ropy Orbison clip. I'm sure you noticed that one of his session musicians on guitar was none other than The Boss himself--Bruce Springsteen.
When do we get the video of you singing "Midnight Train to Georgia"? :-)
You're correct - Marion Barry aside, the policies of the District are, in general, better than most. Still, as you say "outsiders -come to make trouble"...where? in D.C. - hence my comment. So though they may not be "resident evil", they're still geographically located (in a high concentration) within the borders of the District. I rest my case.
So grateful for you, brother. If you have the desire, we'all would love to see you on a speaking tour! (I'll be your street crew in Madison, WI) You voice is so critical right now. Big love.
""Benevolent father king". That's twisted funny, true-love that. I guess that implies there are some "Very fine people" in his group of acolytes, ha ha. Of course there are so many others who consciously or unconsciously don't see him as a benevolent father king. Instead he is to them the green light allowing so many with racist or selfish ideals to make it OK to crawl out from under their rock and demonstrate their beastial nature. Hillary took a lot of crap for her "deplorables" comment. Really must have struck a nerve!
Oh there is so much in this, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - for whom "Mr." seems too formal and just your first name seems too familiar - on which to comment. I think just a few:
- Age and death as a companion: We are the same age - in fact, exactly 3 weeks apart, which for reasons too difficult to explain when we each started college nowhere near each other, mattered to me. I wish I remembered what I read at the time about you/your experience that made it so personal then. It was tho.' My doctor doesn't quite understand my attitude about age, health/illness, treatment or not, and death - a conversation had just yesterday. Is it simply coming to terms?
- TX: I've sent this to a friend there in hopes they'll subscribe. The decision by the TX Senate was devastating and so like so many of the idiocies being enacted. It pushed my friend more toward retiring and moving from the state. You will make them feel more ok about their decision.
- Harlan Coben and "Shelter": in 1994, when AOL was still new-ish, I was in a writers group/chat. In it was "Bolitar", the name Harlan used. It's fun to remember Harlan before he was, like Leo Rosten's H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, someone with his name in lights.
And I loved the Myron Bolitar series. Through "Shelter", we were able to 'meet' El-Al - such a treat.
(I think I pictured Al more like Elliott Gould and his character in "The Lincoln Lawyer." "Shelter" is remarkable - and brings forth issues that are as important even as they are presented in a thrilling way. I wonder how those who are parents/grands/great-grands/aunts and uncles and teachers or friends of young people are treating it when those closest to them learn they are watching.
Thank you for always writing and posting so much of value.
Unfortunately the US have a history of “putting a group on a list.” The Japanese internment during World War II come to mind. You never heard of Proud Boys on those list. I’m sure someone is saying better safe than sorry. At what cost? Our values?
Your thoughts on mortality have prompted me to recollect the impact you have made with your own life. As a public person you have always seemed to provide an example of charity, kindness and intelligence. Even more than your peerless physical accomplishments, your humanity and humility have shone brighter.
From the time you were a young man speaking out with other great civil rights leaders through your career as an elite athlete and celebrity your balance as a patriot and intellectual has been exemplary.
Currently you use your voice to encourage and enlighten ( the Japanese balloon bombs!) those of us interested in the state of our shared world. The public service announcement you chose to do on a serious health issue (Afib) rather than a paid endorsement for a pharmaceutical company is yet the latest example . Thank you for making the many contributions you have.
And thanks for more great music.
A wise observation on getting older and dying. As I get older, I don't obsess about it, but keep it in the back of my mind, wasting less time on trivial matters, worries, or dead end projects. As John Irving wrote in The World According to Garp, "We're all terminal cases."
Amazed to learn about the Japanese balloon bomb during World War II. Enamored by the education this newsletter provides.
I am not afraid to die and in fact I include death as teacher on most days as part of an ancient spiritual contemplative practice; and after reading about Jann Wenner, there are days when I wish death came around a little sooner than later. Why are we humans so slow, stupid and willfully blind to that which hurts others or at the very least impedes our own natural tendancy towards evolution and growth?
Once again, well-researched and well-written. Thank you, Kareem!
Your reflections from Dylan and aging were very insightful, showing the creative writing that I very much respect in you. And I always love your music thoughts. You have both introduced me to new music and refreshed my memories on “old” music. These are the reasons that I subscribe to your sub stack.
So, I love your positivity and creativity. I am not always a fan of the political negativism. I must admit I try very much at my age (similar to your youthful age) to avoid negativity and conflict. I find my heart is more peaceful in positivity. Hence, I usually scan the political articles. I can simply write off the Rolling Stones founder as an outlying idiot, and leave it at that.
What provoked me now is the article on the “SSSS” on boarding passes. That happened to me, and I had no idea why I was being called on the intercom and asked to go to a pre-boarding area. There I learned from the TSA agent that it was an additional screening process. When I had conversation with him, he said they tried to keep it as random as possible. I remained pleasant, and found the process to be a slight inconvenience. I think Tim for doing his best to make travels safe. So I can’t speak to any travel watch lists. But I can speak to how kindness diffused the situation to where it barely became a hiccup.
I guess my point in these ramblings are there is enough polarization and conflict in the world today. I have found that positivity and kindness can deflect that to the degree that I can control it .
And to complement you on your creative articles that enhance my perspective in those things. I hope you can find a time and place to do more of that. I do thank you for your writings because it always gives me a new perspective.
This gem from Kareem:
"...they reflect his inability to elicit insights and depth from women and Black musicians, perhaps because of his indifference toward them."
That's the analysis no other writer has captured before Kareem. (at least that I have come across)
Washington D.C. would have won the most corrupt state, but it's a district. Kareem, I think you just threw down a gauntlet of sorts - now the other states are going to try harder to top Texas.
Trump is a Putin puppet. Perhaps he's correct and the election WAS stolen - as in Putin planning on "installing" Trump via fraud/hacking as in 2016, and his plan backfiring on an epic level...now let's attack Ukraine as a tantrum...all the while keeping the Trump fires stoked. Imagine that? Is Trump really pissed-off because he was supposed to win a Putin-rigged election...again, but he was thwarted in 2020. Think about it. Trump usually calls out someone else for a behavior/crime that he's either committed or the process of committing.
Back-tracking - Jackie Wilson is one of my all-time favs! I can't get enough. Roy was good too!
Trump's best friends, Putin and Kim, are much sharper than him. They will continue to use him as a weapon to destabilize the U.S. If and when his usefulness is at an end, they will drop him.