I am too busy, because I am completing my memoirs and because I am refinancing ( a real bitch!), to do proper postings. So, here are pellmell thoughts to stay in your minds and in your hearts during this dry spell. (That goes for my enemies too. I love being in their hearts, festering.)
Yesterday and today, I had hits from India, Mauritania, Ecuador, Yemen, and Estonia among others on this blog. I don’t know many actually read my stuff. I hope all the hits correspond to actual readers although I cannot be sure, obviously. That is the miracle of the Internet. In spite of all the garbage it carries, like a large river, it’s good for development, the development of knowledge, in this case, and of rationality. There is a special spot in my heart for forthright, brave, tiny Estonia. Read up on it.
Once in a while, I even have a spirited discussion on the Internet with people I would not meet in the other life, the life many persist in calling “real.” I am glad I cast a wide net on the Internet.
This week the Cypriots gave the world a lesson. Hardly anyone noticed because our commentators keep spreading boring cliches instead of looking for that which is both unusual and meaningful. Their government tried to make palatable the prospect of taxing bank deposit by promising to do it only to the rich. Ordinary Cypriots did not take the corrupting bait. They still said “No!”
I am like them: I don’t want to tax more the rich, the very rich, the billionaires, the crooks, the mafias, the zebras, the giraffes, anyone! I just want the federal government to shrink radically. I don’t know a single liberal who is aware of this principled position, not one. Listen to them on this blog’s “comments” section. Their heads are full of silly stereotypes about conservatism as a political philosophy. I think they are not evil but lazy.
A couple of days ago, a high-school buddy recognized me through the excerpts of my memoirs on this blog (“I Used to be French: An Immature Autobiography“). Frankly, I had not thought of him for fifty years. His name acted like a key that unlocked a door I had not entered in decades. It’s not that the door was double-locked or anything like this. The door was closed and I had no reason to bother to look for a key. I just ignored it. It contained no treasure in fact, just a few objects of interesting memory. But inside, there was also a ghost, the ghost of me when I was a teenager.
I don’t know if the French have high-school reunions. They might because they imitate eventually everything that America does. If they had reunions and I knew it, I would probably not go. First, I failed there. I would sound stupid saying one hundred times in one evening, “No, I did not get it.” Or I would have stopped going after ten years, when the prospect of scoring with the girls you secretly lusted for as a teenager begins to turn into a nightmare. I have no wish to see my own aging in others’ waistlines. I would think unkindly both of those who looked worse and of those who looked better than I. Does this make sense?
My high-school buddy reminded me of an episode of which I have nearly no memory. He recalled a time when he and two girls and I were waiting for admission to an expensive swimming pool . (That was the same central Paris swimming pool. “Piscine Molitor,” that figures into the great movie “Life of Pi ” and that gave its hero his name.) My classmate must have expressed admiration for the light gray flannel pants I was wearing. (That part must be true; I was already a flea market super-champion then, a superman picker.) He says I gave him the pants. I think he means then and there; I am not sure. I love the story, of course. It depicts me, the young unformed me, as a generous person. Or was it only the love of the grand gesture?
URGENT UPDATE THE NEXT DAY: I did not give him the pants, I sold them to him. It means that I made up in my own mind by myself a story of generosity. That’s awful! Too bad, it was a good story.
I don’t know about you but I really enjoy this kind of adventure that comprises tiny, bearable elements of disorder. The Internet does not replace reading books though. It’s different but equally attractive.
Random pearls of wisdom: I overhear parts of a conversation while treating myself to a rare greasy breakfast at my local diner:
“You have to kill them with silence.”
I stop the waitress who said this to ask,
“Is that what women do to men when they are angry?’ She never skips a beat, “No – she says – that’s unscientific.; women can’t do this, I mean stay silent.”
Smart women like this are dismantling stone by stone the phony monument put up by feminists over thirty years. It’s good that there are women equal to the task because feminists have been partly successful in emasculating American men. (Many of the poor saps actually think showing sensitivity will get them laid!) How can I be sure? I am old enough that young women actually confide in me on the topic.
There is a completely incongruous redwood tree in my front yard about which I bitch periodically. It’s breaking up my portion of the sidewalk. It’s already cost me over $10,000 in sewer repairs. One of these days, in a big wind, it will fall on my house, I fear. It gives us unwanted shade.
I like redwood trees but there are tens of thousands in the forest a mile away. This is not New Jersey or New Mexico; it’s not a rare tree around here. The city of Santa Cruz forbids me from cutting it. (Yes, it’s on my property.) The city has the criminal stupidity to demand a fee before it will even hear my appeal!
Well, several years ago, my wife planted a bush bearing small yellow roses not far from the redwood. There was not foresight, no planning, no knowledge involved, maybe not even a green thumb. For some reason, the rosebush loves it there. It spread to everything. It’s a good climber. Right now, it has climbed about fifty feet up the redwood tree trunk and branches. The redwood looks like it’s in bloom with many yellow flowers. A deep part of me loves this display of joyous anarchy. I wonder if it violates some city ordinance I have not heard of though.