Heraclitus, Thomas Jefferson, and the Worst Rectal Disaster on Record

Heraclitus of Ephesus allegedly uttered something to the effect that “Opposition brings concord.”

The man was a crank so, naturally, he believed strife was necessary.

He wasn’t entirely accurate, however: opposition does not always bring concord. It’s soothing when it happens, but there are occasions when confrontation produces lasting discord, and some of these incidents are to be savored.

I, too, am a crank, so I savor.

I’m in bed. I finish reading Pre-Socratic fragments, I turn off the light, but I do not sleep. I take a trip on the Memory Express in search of delicious discord, and I end up at two confrontations: one with God, the other with Thomas Jefferson.

Each serves as a lesson in how to muster discord with opposition, and create enemies — one with Catholics, the other with presidents, and librarians. Continue reading

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Hospital Hatred, and the Healing Power of Chiles

My friend, Ronnie, is checking into a hospital tomorrow. I hate hospitals.

Anticipating a visit to a hospital, I’m like the abused dog summoned to the brutal master’s house, a pitiful beast of mixed breed standing just outside the door, quivering, fearing what waits once he ventures past the threshold. Some day soon, television ads will be made featuring a B list singer/songwriter who, eyes moist with tears, pleads for donations to support elderly hospital haters. Continue reading

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Alts, Branzino, and The Casino’s Dead Air: Fury in The Land of Enchantment.

During a trip to Denver six months ago, Kathy and I bought the last new vehicle I will drive on a regular basis. I measure time in terms of operas enjoyed, and cars owned; this is my final gauge.

We went to the city to attend a concert by the reunited Dixie Chicks. It’s not that we’re avid fans, (though there are musical and political reasons to warrant appreciation), but two members — Emily and Marti — are the daughters of close friends. We wanted another chance to watch Emily and Marti perform, and to get together with them and their parents. So, we bought an SUV. Continue reading

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Grandma, Keds, and Russian Breasts

My strategy is sound, my goals well defined, but my focus is suddenly lacking: I’m unhinged, and it’s the Russian’s fault.

I’m playing blackjack at the Tropicana — end of the trail for quarter slot aficionados, shrine for cane-steadied pilgrims with new hips and portable oxygen concentrators, longing for a taste of lost youth, and a hint of the old, Mob Vegas. The eroded palace plays its role, but there’s no Mob to be found here. Perhaps the remains of bent-nosed thugs lie buried beneath the pool, but nothing surfaces as cash-strapped Angelinos dog paddle to the swim-up bar to guzzle another thin margarita. Continue reading

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