Convoluted Confession

Congratulations to the nationally renowned and Cincinnati’s locally celebrated drug dealer Molly Wellmann, whose outstanding record of serving toxins to junkies (et al) has earned her the recognition of her peers.

One might prudently hope that former Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor doesn’t get word of this elevated acclaim. In light of her confession (also in Friday’s Enquirer) that “without real border security [I am] at risk of becoming… drug-addled,” and in light of her long-standing record of interfering in the lives and businesses of strangers, there is a very real danger that Ms Wellmann’s newly found fame my redound to her disadvantage. (Two points about paraphrasing — Ms Taylor said “we.” This was rude. She seems to arrogate to herself the authority to speak on my behalf, as if I shared her inability to make grown-up decisions in the face of pharmaceutical temptation. Because she said “we”, which is a pronoun that ALWAYS includes the speaker, “I” is an apt substitution.)

While we might take comfort from the fact that Ms Taylor is safely out of office, we should heed newly installed Enforcer Mike DeWine when he claims that “it is appropriate to hold accountable those who dispense… drugs that can kill.” Should Ms Wellmann and I (and every other clerk at every other Quikk Stopp along the Interstate) expect to be jacked up by Maleficent Mike’s legions of eager DAs for our contributions to emphysema, bronchitis, cirrhosis, and despair?


Seventeen Stars

670127 — Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom, Edward White.
860128 — Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick,
Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe.
030201 — Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson,
David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, Ilan Ramon.

Apollo. Challenger. Columbia.
Sixteen Americans and one Israeli.
Thirteen men and four women.
Pilots, engineers, soldiers, mission specialists, payload specialists, surgeons, teachers, explorers, scientists.
Seventeen lives lost to America’s official space program.
As we fix our gaze beyond the horizon and press the frontier we are oft admonished by a merciless fate and an indifferent nature. We can be struck down at a moment’s notice. We can scurry back to our caves and lick our wounds and pray to kinder gods or we can venture back out again. And again. And again and again and again and claim our birthright.

Exploration is a risky business, and life itself is dangerous. Those who would condemn the proponents of manned space exploration will no doubt continue to drive automobiles, fly in airplanes, and purchase electrical appliances for their homes. There is no safe technology, there is only the acceptance of calculated risks — that can prove to be killers — that have also saved and succored so many millions more.

Robots in space have their place, but only boots on the ground can answer the one vital question pertaining to the frontier:
“Can we hold this ground?”

Automotive Misbehavior

I admit that the fantastic and preposterous headline on Sunday’s Enquirer (“Cars keep hitting people.”) is a lot more interesting and entertaining than actual (boring) journalism, but still, it strains one’s credulity.

Where are these mythical mechanisms that start themselves, put themselves into gear, and go out on the road and hit people? Are they owned by the same folks whose magic guns load themselves, cock themselves, and “just go off” and “shoot people”? Are there ever any actual people involved in any of this activity?

* * * * * WARNING * * * * *

If you’ve got no time for arrogant smug Grammar Nazis who think they’re better than you because they speak English, you might want to skip this section.  The emotions get the most raw here because the sense of betrayal is so deep.  Language was supposed to be a way of connecting and directing.  Instead, people spout outrageously contradictory nonsense, or, worse yet, use slang. Slang was created to disguise one’s meaning, so outsiders didn’t know you were talking about sodomy or heroin or some other proscribed pastime. 

Language includes.  Slang excludes.  Language reveals.  Slang conceals.

Like Andrew Jackson, I think it reflects poorly on an intellect if one can think of only a single way to spell a word.  Nevertheless, if you’re a brilliant engineer or administrator with gravy on your tie, people will not be focusing on your brilliance.

Insufficient Eyes

I have only two eyes.
If I were to keep (fix, sustain, do not remove) my eyes (note plural usage, meaning both of them) on the prize, there would be no eye left for anything else, including keeping it on the ball.
“Why did you run into that player?”
“I didn’t see him.”
“Why didn’t you watch where you were running?”
“You told us to keep our eyes on the ball. I was watching the ball.”
Coach didn’t like that answer. I think this may have been the same psycho-terrorist who insisted that I “Don’t try! Just do it!” But of course he would never explain how ANYTHING is EVER done without trying.
It could be that I missed his larger lesson;
it may have had something to do with running laps.

Adventures in Bad Lyrics, volume eight: Leaving No Trace of Doubt

So, by “bad lyrics”, I mean (in addition to my own work) poorly or sloppily executed, as in (sometimes unnecessarily) forced rhymes (“…she twist and turn that thang…like a puppet on a strang…”) or extending a single syllable over several beats (“Eight Six Seven Five Three Oh Nigh Eee Ayn!”).

Also bad as in wicked, cruel, or evil.

I love The Beatles but I am a little creeped out by Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (“…came down upon his head…”), and even more disturbed by Run for Your Life (“I’d rather see you dead little girl…?” Please Paul, help John with his lyrics.)

Pop lyrics tell us that we are slaves to our impulses ( “The girl can‘t help it!”) and that free lunches are real. “Somebody hit the lights, so we can rock it day and night” leaves out too many steps. What I hear is, “Somebody [else forego consumption, and accumulate the capital reserves, to finance research and development, and build the infrastructure, to generate and distribute power, so some spoiled child can] hit the lights!

They also tell us that women love to be dismissed, diminished, and denigrated. If it’s not true how could a popular song boast such beautiful sentiments as, “Hey, [insignificant object], let me [take care of the technical stuff. Due to my mother issues], I’m [difficult to deal with.]” Or, if you prefer the original Klingon: “Hey little thing let me light your candle. ‘Cause o’ Mama, I’m hard to handle.” …171114

If I DON’T like girls who are faster, or stronger, or smarter, or braver than me, then I MIGHT not like her, I MIGHT not like her.

Nice of her to settle the issue. In fact, it’s just plain decent of her to confess her deficiencies so clearly. Since “might” equals “might not” she’s telling the world that if I satisfy the first condition (not liking girls who are faster, stronger, &c), I still might like her (because “might not” equals “might”), so therefore I am faster, stronger, smarter, and braver than she is.

Okeh… but so what? Actually I‘m a little miffed that she would think so little of my ego as to suspect that I’d have any problem with competent women in the first place, and a little sad that she thinks so little of her own ego that she has to clarion her weaknesses to the world.

Adventures in Bad Lyricsis sponsored by The Confederate Mint (purveyors of metallic securities in gold, silver, copper, and lead).  For sample sheets of Metallic Certificates (total face value One Tenth Silver Dollar) send One Silver Dime plus a self-addressed stamped envelope; or Three United States Legal Tender Federal Reserve “Dollars” in scrip, check, or money order, to Greigh Area Associates, c/o Gene Greigh //  843 Carson Drive;  Lebanon, Ohio;  45036