Sunday, May 22, 2016

Who Was That Guy?

Donald Trump reminds me of some New York Mets fans that I encountered in 1986 at the AstroDome. The Mets were playing the Astros in the playoffs that year. It was a sellout crowd, all Astros fans, except for five drunk guys from Queens who were sitting in front of me. These guys were loud, vulgar and shameless.

But what really impressed about these nasty Mets fans from Queens was their courage, because we were in Houston, Texas, in the presence of over 50,000 screaming Texan baseball fans. Five against 50,000 -- the Mets fans screamed like donkeys anyway..

So you think you don't want anything to do with guys like this, but what if it was 1942 and you were in Casablanca sitting with Rick at his cafe and the Nazis swagger in. Then you want the nasty Mets fans to be there, to be on our side.

The Mets beat Boston in the World Series that year. I still hate them.

Rick, as you all know, came from Brooklyn. He had a borderline contempt for Queens folk.
Secretary. I had a good meeting with Anita, the outgoing secretary of the Santa Barbara Kiwanis Club. We worked our way through the procedures. She explained them one by one. Then I repeated the explanation back to her to indicate that I understood. By this process we worked through all the steps, and that took one hour. She said she was impressed that I had learned so quickly, but I reminded her that we would have to do this all over again.....that repetition was necessary.
She expects to become President of the club, but she cannot serve well unless a competent person takes over as secretary, and that would be me. It seems that we work well together.

Somerset Maugham. Somerset Maugham was an intelligent and entertaining author. I am on page 209 of his great work Of Human Bondage. Philip, the main character, has come to Paris as a young man to live his life and study art. He falls under the sway of Cronshaw, an old drunken poet, who gives him this bit of advice --
Philip asks, "Have you ever done anything you regret?"
"How can I regret when what I did was inevitable," asked Cronshaw in return.
"But that is fatalism."
"The illusion which man has that his will is free is so deeply rooted that I am ready to accept it. I act as though I were a free agent. But when an action is performed it is clear that all the forces of the universe from all eternity conspired to cause it, and nothing I could do could have prevented it. If it was good I can claim no merit; if it was bad I can accept no censure."
"My brain reels," said Philip.
"Have some whiskey," returned Cronshaw.
Reading this I realized that Cronshow, the drunken poet, got this nugget from Baruch Spinoza, the Jewish-Dutch philosopher -- that much is obvious. Spinoza believed that God did no favors, that prayer was useless, but to understand God and Nature through the use of reason led to clarity and happiness.
Anyway, the book is plot-driven and far from philosophical except in the truth of this -- that a young man away from home, living his life, studying art in Paris, will seriously ponder deep questions that hardly concern the rest of us.
Hollywood Dumps Trump. It's not like I know a lot of people in the business, but it would not surprise anyone that they all dump on Trump. This cinematic mogul -- you could look her up on if I gave you her name -- said:
"God, I can't stand Donald Trump....It doesn't matter what magazine I pick up, what paper I read, or what station I switch to, he's always staring at me, yammering on and on about something or someone. I have read everything he says and everything that's written about him, and still, I have never felt this much disdain for a candidate before. It hurts my head and my heart and it's only May."
The Internet was the solution to a problem we did not have.
The most important domestic problem is student loan debt. It should be forgiven and restructured. We should do this for our young people.
The least important domestic issue is bathroom access. Let's kick that can down the road and talk about it after we get a new President in 2017.
If Donald Trump wins I am going to Mexico. Everybody else is going to Canada and I don't run with that crowd.
Mrs. Clinton says she is not good at politics. I agree. So why is she running for President? I mean, it is a job that requires political talent, which she does not have, as she admits.
Yet I remain a Clinton voter by default.
Thank you.

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