Homophones and other Mistakes

San Esteban Island Chuckwalla

Trying to write everyday is hard work. I guess that’s why its not an every day occurrence. Still, they’re some who daily do there vigil and then share it out their in cyberspace. I count myself a member of this compliment. For all intensive purposes, I write something, even when I don’t have anything to say.

It is a doggy dog world. Supposably anyone is welcome to share ideas online. Undoubtably for some this is true. Irregardless, you other people should be regrettable for you’re regretful judgement, because I write pretty now. I just wanted to appraise you of this. All and all, in this day in age for all intensive purposes, I should of shone less regard for what other people think.

PS – The grammar Nazi that I live with is not pleased. I asked her to proof this post and she was not amused. Maybe it hit too close to hone?

Great Minds Think Alike

Chrysler Building Eagles

Dorothy Parker was born on this day in 1893. She was acclaim, for her New Yorker articles and as a member of the Algonquin Round Table. Following the circle’s breakup, Parker went to Hollywood, to screen write. Her successes there were curtailed when her involvement in leftist politics led to her blacklisting. Dismissive of her own talents, she deplored her reputation as a wisecracker. Still, both her literary output and reputation for sharp wit have endured. I learned of her birthday, because naturally she was trending on Twitter. 

The Algonquin Hotel Plaque

Writing was invented by accountants

Ancient Writing

Ancient Sumerians first invented writing. Originally though, it was used to aid finance. 5,000 year-old accountants developed the first written language called cuneiform. It was more than just a counting system, but was still pretty much a method for keeping and then annotating the books. From this early origin it has grown into an art form. Books such as the Bible and the Quran have touched the divine. Shakespeare and many other writers both great and small have left their thoughts, hopes and dreams in print. Dare I include this little blog in their august company? I say yes. I’m like a legacy. Write On!

We met at the Schlafly farmer’s market with Maplewood counsel woman candidate Sandi and the rest of her informal election committee to plan her Election Day strategy. As an Election Official, Anne will certainly be no piker that day and I will support Sandi by being one of her poll watchers. In addition to Chris her husband, fellow Kaldi riders Mark and Merri were present. Nancy of tandem pairing Stew and Nancy fame was there too. In this year’s first quarter, we have been out of town a third of the time, but Stew and Nancy have been gone way more than that. I feel like such a piker compared to them. 

Anne, accompanied by Joanie, went to see a show in Grand Center for the third night in a row. This time it was a Dance Saint Louis concert at the Grandel. She has become quite the showgirl since our return, but she is still a piker compared to a conversation that she overheard at Ignite! That person had booked ten shows over the next two weeks.

The New Yorker

Quebec City Street at Night

Quebec City Street at Night

When I first retired, I subscribed to the electronic version of the New Yorker, both because I like the magazine and they were offering a great introductory deal, ten-weeks for only five bucks. I’m sure that in the T&C of the subscription agreement, which I didn’t read there was a provision for an automatic $90 yearly subscription. However, I used a credit card that has since expired, so no automatic renewal will occur. I still might renew anyway, because I like the magazine, but it will be my decision not theirs. Anne’s mother likes the New Yorker too. She is old school and she reads the print edition, which arrives on Wednesdays, while the electronic one drops first thing Monday morning. This gave me two days to read ahead of her. In addition to the magazine that is published once a week, daily content is also made available. Sometimes these pieces end up in the magazine, but sometimes they don’t.

I read one such candidate article about the University of Michigan’s football coach, Jim Harbaugh, entitled The Mania of the Maize and Blue. The writer is an Ann Arbor native and lifelong Michigan fan. I asked Anne if she knew the woman, Robin Wright, but she didn’t. The six-year age difference would have precluded them from meeting in school. In her article, she describes how in 1975 she was miraculously able to secure a telephone in Mozambique by singing Hail to the Victors. The local phone company bureaucrat was a Michigan alumni. It was a nice article, but somehow, in her singing of praises, she neglected to mention last year’s Michigan State game. I’m just saying…

Last week’s issue featured a short story from our former next door neighbor, Curtis Sittenfeld, entitled Gender Studies. A few years ago she created a little bit of a ruckus with a NYT Op-Ed. There were angry letters to Post-Dispatch flying, because she referred to Saint Louisans as clannish, which they can be. I thought that the overall tone of the Op-Ed was rather favorable. Still people took exception. In Gender Studies she approaches no closer than Kansas City. It is the story of a one-night stand and was sexually charged enough that I googled her, just to see if she was still married and was able to satisfy myself that she still is. Still, it’s not the kind of story that I’ll be discussing with my mother-in-law anytime soon. I’m just saying…

Molly’s Hammer

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more. – Isaiah 2:4

US Holocaust Museum

US Holocaust Museum

On September 9, 1980, the Berrigan brothers, Daniel and Philip, and six others, the “Plowshares Eight”, began the Plowshares Movement under the premise of beating swords to ploughshares. They trespassed onto the General Electric nuclear missile facility in King of Prussia, PA, where they damaged nuclear warhead nose cones and poured blood onto documents and files, as a protest against United States nuclear weapons policy. One of the other six was Molly Rush, a Pittsburgh housewife. “Molly’s Hammer” tells her story surrounding these events.

Saturday afternoon, Anne and I attended the third and final ‘Ignite!’ reading for this year. “Molly’s Hammer” is a play written by Tammy Ryan and is based upon the book, “The Hammer of Justice”, by Lianne Ellison Norman. The play was read by two actors; Nancy Bell read the part of Molly Rush and Dan McCarthy read the part of her husband, Bill Rush and every other character in the play. The play covers the time leading up to the action in King of Prussia, the event and the subsequent legal proceedings. I found the play to be very moving and it will cause me much personal soul-searching in the future.

Molly is a person driven to do what she believes is right, no matter the cost. McCarthy as Dan and all of her other relatives and friends try to talk her out of doing what she is planning, but she will not be dissuaded. After the action, the Plowshares Eight surrender peaceably and go to jail, awaiting trial, where they remain until just before trial, when they finally accept bond. At trial, Molly is looking at sentences of from thirty to sixty years if convicted. Still standing on principle, Molly refuses to adopt a defense that would offer a greater chance of acquittal. Instead, she chooses to put the military-industrial complex on trial, infuriating the judge (McCarthy) and leading to her conviction. In the end though, Bill, her husband, who has fought her every step of the way, stands with her and likewise turns his back to the judge. After ten years of appeals, while still out on bond, the government capitulates and resentenced the Plowshares Eight to probation and time served.

After the reading there is always a Q&A. Seth Gordon always asks two questions: “What do you remember most about the play?” and “What do you think that the play is about?” In the past, even though he says that there are no wrong answers, I have always seemed to have found one. Now I just sit on my hands now and wait for this part to be over and for the wine and cheese to be served. I would say that the most novel answer that I have ever heard in any of these Q&A sessions was one voiced by a mother for her teenage son, “What my son remembers most about the play is when his Uncle Dan said he was pregnant.” McCarthy was portraying Molly’s daughter at the time.

After the Q&A I got to speak with Ryan, the playwright, and for once I asked an intelligent question, “Why did you write this play?” She is also from Pittsburgh and was approached by the author, Norman, to write the play. She interviewed both Molly and Dan Rush, who are both still together and living in Pittsburgh. They are in their eighties now. Molly is still active in the movement, but has never gone to jail again.