Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Hopeless

Some of you may have noticed, and one of you has complained a couple of times, about the lack of posts here over the past few days. So I just spent dinner trying to explain to my better half how each of last three posts I've started writing has been ruined by one of the little voices that argues with the others up in my head. Sometimes my dark cynical muse up there is actually helpful, shouting out stuff that adds a bit of edge to bland posts before one of the other muses throws a cover over his little cage, stifling him like a parakeet put into the dark. But lately he's been loose, playing hell with things, opening up all kinds of cobweb filled closets; and he's turned the nice neat trajectories of three successive posts into blind alleys.

Write about nature, Linda suggested, write about happy stuff. To which I replied that it doesn't work that way. A good post has to start with an inspiration. It can't just start with an intention to write something. And then I realized that I was holding inspiration in my hand, gesturing with it, as we talked. Ah, Linda, what would I do without her? Such wisdom. Such self sacrifice. There she was eating left over chili and rice so I could enjoy the second to last zep of the year. And the answer was obvious. I would write about marking the passage of time, using the zep as my takeoff point and ranging over all kinds of happy stuff, but with good potential for injecting just a bit of edge.

So. . . I sat down to write this post based on a wholesome straightforward idea, and what happened. I'll tell you what happened; Gordon Liddy came on the TV as a talking head for Rosland Gold. There he was, the old convicted burglar, holding up a little gold bar and advising people to contact this company and buy gold. . . perhaps so some of his old prison burglar buddies can score bigger paydays when they make their rounds. So, naturally, the dark little muse escaped his cage and started running around screaming that I can't waste my time writing happy stuff when fate has presented me with such an example of the degree to which simple common sense has fled the world. Enough of us have lost touch with history that a convicted burglar can be hired as a credible representative to sell gold.

Naturally I resolved not to be distracted. Gordon Liddy, I resolved, would not be permitted to hijack this post as he hijacked the attention of the whole nation by being so clumsy as to be caught burglarizing the Democratic Party campaign headquarters in the Watergate complex.

A delicious zep inspired this post; and the zep would rule it; even though it was maybe just a bit heavy on the onions, and the particular onion was just a bit hot. First cutting onions, except Vidalias or Bermudas, can tend to overpower a zep if you're not careful, and they can stay with you for a while. Ordinary onions are best peeled and then put in the refrigerator for a day or two to take the edge off their acid. But, even though it had left me discretely belching occasionally, the zep would rule this post.

Except then I realized that I had to mention, for you uninformed youngsters out there, that Liddy did an unbelievably dumb thing. He was sent to the Watergate to do a simple little black bag job and that idiot taped the door latch so obviously that it was spotted. Yet here we are, a few decades later, and people are apparently dumb enough to buy gold to keep hidden around their houses based on his recommendation. Idiocy.

Having said that, I resolved to get back to the zep, the last of which each year marks the furthest influence of my summer garden. For no rational human being will make or eat a zep made with a supermarket tomato. The last zep of the year heralds descent into the dark cave of winter. It confirms that the summer's finally gone.

But then the little muse whispered that coconut headed ex-con Gordon Liddy must remind me of that other Gordon, the one who so irked me the other day. That Gordon is Gordon Glantz, whose picture in the Norristown Times Herald reminds me of the bullet shaped little KGB agent figurine nested down in the middle of the nine layer Matryoshka doll that portrays bloated and grasping Soviet Commissars.

Gordon Glantz, for those of you lucky enough to be unfamiliar with his work, is the Times Herald's Managing Editor. As such he writes a weekly column that runs in the Sunday edition, probably because that's the least read edition of the paper and thus the edition in which he can damage its reputation the least. I rarely read the pulp section of the Sunday edition because it doesn't contain a bridge column and the comics are in a separate section. And, instead of a nice logical bridge column, or an opinion column by someone who can actually reason, like Stan Huskey or Lisa Mossie, the pulp section of the Sunday paper contains a Glantz column, which I try to avoid. I don't suffer fools gladly, especially not bigoted fools.

But, as luck would have it, I happened to open this past Sunday's paper, and there was the steaming pile of Glantz's column. I tried to avoid it; but the little dark muse was drawn like a fly to the ordure. And, of course, there was Gordon being Gordon, taking a gratuitous swipe at the Mormons, because he's nothing if not a reflexive parakeet for left wing talking points; and bashing Mormons has been all the rage among the leftist would be American Commissars lately.

What he wrote and published was that "fundamentalist Mormons. . . believe in the sanctity of marriage - between a man and 49 women." That is a clear falsehood, a bloody libel and calumny, untrue for more than a hundred years of every single member in good standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's the kind of catchy libel circulated by folks who have a hidden agenda aimed at inciting group hatred and mob violence of the sort that has terrorized out of favor minorities over the centuries; the kind of mob violence that has been occurring in California against the Mormons lately, because they had the audacity to exercise their free speech rights in the recent election. Furthermore, it's surely known to be untrue by Mr. Glantz, who is presumably a college graduate, even if from a journalism program far richer in political correctness and the inculcation of rationales for totalitarian programs than in actual education.

See how it is. I start out writing out about an innocuous happy subject like the last zep of the year and how it heralds the descent into the little dark age of winter; and the next thing you know the angry little muse gets out of his cage. And I end up giving myself agida by thinking and writing about a religion-baiting strunze like Gordon Glantz.


Anonymous said...

The pulled pork turned out juicy and flavorful when i sandwiched it for dinner last night. One thing that was different from yours... there were quite a few peices of pork fat which stayed around, i thought what the hell and put some of em in the sandwich anyway and they were like butter! It could be that i just bought a cheaper part of the pig than you usually do; or do you trim them off? Or maybe i didn't stew it long enough for them all to disolve (only about 20 minutes).

Sully said...

Sounds delicious.

I cook it in the oven a lot longer than you did, so more of the fat melts; and I've always separated out the unmelted fat as part of pulling the pork into shreds.

Current day pigs are bred to be much, much leaner than the pigs used by your grandmom and great grandmom back in the golden age of porkette, but even back then I never liked having the obvious pieces of fat in a sandwich - and there was a lot of fat in the mix.

Anonymous said...

The important thing to remember about art, is that you can't force it. I had to stop hanging around with other photographers, because they were always telling me what to do. Then when I would go out to shoot, instead of being able to focus on my subject, everyone else's suggestions would be running around in the back of my head.

My best photos are taken when I am able to slip into "the zone". My husband has been around on a few occasions to see this happen, and says that my entire expression changes. I lose track of time and space, and it is as if nothing else exists but me, my camera and the subject.

Prior to going out to shoot, I find that writing/posting clears the cobwebs from my head. I have an easier time getting into the zone which opens up my "eyes" to see things from a perspective that I might ordinarily miss.

You've indicated that you spend a lot of time out on your property. Is it possible that the time you spend outside puts you in the zone, but now you're having some difficulty, because you're not getting out as much because of the cold weather?

Just a guess...

Good luck!


Olive Oil said...


You are an idiot. Why? Because you take Gordon literally, instead of seeing it as satire, in order to mock him. I can take or leave his columns to be honest. He has some good ones, like the one he wrote about his dad, and some goofy ones. But my neighbor says its the only reason she reads the paper. She thinks he is the greatest.