The Washington Post has its own version of a reality series. It’s called On Being, and it is a series of videotaped interviews with ordinary people each of whom has an uncommon and interesting point of view. The series is produced and videotaped by Jennifer Crandall. This week’s interview (they are published on Wednesdays) is with a 5 year old girl named Talia. If children bore you, don’t bother to check it out. But if you delight in the human species, and enjoy seeing one completely without artifice then don’t hesitate to point your cursor and click here! Unfortunately I couldn’t find the means to embed the video in my blog, but I was able to get a screen shot so that you can see what you’re in for if you decide to click your way to the video.
If you decide to go there what you will see is a beautiful specimen of the female of our species, talking, not with her voice alone, but with every fiber of her being, her arms, hands, fingers, her legs and feet. I suspect there is much to be learned if you truly analyze where this effervescent five year old is coming from. But it is just as refreshing to not try and analyze, but instead to just sit back and enjoy the child as you marvel at this miracle of one of the more beautiful examples our species developing the skills of communication right before your eyes and ears.§
Congratulations and Happy Birthday greetings go to first daughter Malia Obama, who turns 11 on this national day of celebration. For a Daily Beast photo essay chronicling her years point your cursor and click here!
What did last weekend’s tv coverage remind you of? If you said the assassination of President John Kennedy, then you’ve got a good memory. Of course, there were no cable channels back then, but the overseers of the three networks had the good sense to realize that the first ever recent assassination of an American president meant a suspension of business as usual, and so we who watched television that black weekend were treated to views of long lines of mourners filing through the Capitol Rotunda to view the casket of our very first slain leader and nothing else.
Of course Michael Jackson’s passing was nowheres near comparable of the slaying of President Kennedy, but in this age of cable news networks it received nearly 24 hours worth of attention, day after day after day. How many of you out there realized that Michael Jackson was in his fifties? I sure didn’t. Michael Jackson seems to have damn near cured that nasty condition called aging.
Obviously Michael Jackson was not a normal human being, for normal human beings do not reach the heights he had reached in the projection of his public persona. He mastered his arts, singing, songwriting, dancing, and created within his idiom like no other has before or since. Like most of us Michael was unhappy with his looks. Unlike most of us he used his unparalleled fortune to change his facial characteristics more to his own liking. Blessed with a monetary success unknown by any of his peers, he sought to fill his dream with tangibles, and so Neverland Ranch.
Jackson had this mile high Peter Pan complex. He saw himself as leading the children of the world into a safe Neverland, and until his legal problems threatened to consume him, he was succeeding beyond even his wildest dreams. And I don’t think it is a bit of an exaggeration to say that among the children of the planet, Michael Jackson was the most beloved human being on the face of this earth. This is not a title to be taken lightly. This is a title that had to be earned.
It has been written that Mahatma Gandhi, leader of India’s freedom movement against the mighty British Empire, and in the process the inventor of the nonviolent resistance movement, was so revered by the people of India that they gratefully allowed him his eccentricities. For instance Gandhi liked to bathe young girls in a nearby spring, and his people indulged him this simple pleasure by offering him their little girls to bathe, and they went even further, sending those very same little girls into his bed at night in order that their blessed savior might be kept warm and so make it through yet another cold night.
Our problem as a civilization is that we think we have all of the answers, whereas in reality we haven’t yet figured out the basic questions to ask, much less who or what to ask them of. And so in our civilized world the most pleasurable physical feelings our children can have without chemicals and drugs is labeled abuse by the adult world. Even if a child discovers these feelings completely on his or her own, when grownups become aware of it they scream that terrible word abuse. Absurd?
Our children’s disconnects happen early these days. Sometimes I wonder if we as parents realize the full implications of what we are actually saying to our children when we tell them, “no no, stop that. To make yourself feel good is very, very bad. And to let anyone else make you feel good is the worst thing of all.” Suddenly what had been moments of pure physical pleasure has been turned into something dreadful. Something shameful!
Our way of life seems to have adopted the no-no’s of virtually all of the various peoples who have gone to make up our culture. It is the lazy person’s way to lead our children, it’s so much easier to just say no. And perhaps it is safer too, unless you begin to suspect that these unnatural, inhuman feelings we are thrusting upon our children, these lies we are propagating, are warping them from their natural impulses so far that some of them are taking out their frustration by shooting their fellow students in our schools. In my day children did not bring guns to school, much less unload them on their fellow students. Something is eating on the psyche of our children these days, and we better damn well find out what and do something to stop it.
So Michael Jackson had the need to express his love for the developing males of our species by taking an occasional little boy into his bed. So what? In our so-called civilized world of today, shaped by experts who have little more than a clue, but who pontificate as if they are reading God’s Truths directly off of Moses’ tablets, grown men aren’t supposed to take such an interest in children, and particularly shouldn’t have have physical contact with them. So say our pundits.
But take a cue from John Lennon and imagine for one moment. Imagine the delights which might have come from Michael Jackson’s Mighty Muse had he been left alone to continue his creative journey without the devastating humiliation and financial ruin of being dragged through the courts over his little eccentricities. If he could have just been left unmolested as it were. What a richer, more beautiful world ours might have been if Michael could have been either accepted, or at the very least ignored, and who like the most delicate of the world’s orchids, had been allowed to live and grow in love and peace. We’ll never know of course, but at least in a free country like ours we are free to imagine.§
Welcome to the Senate, Al Franken. Although we were disappointed at the slimness of your margin of victory (as we're sure you were too), and the length of time that it took the courts in Minnesota to confirm your victory, we are immensely happy that you finally won. From what I’ve read Mr. Franken has more than paid his dues, meeting and greeting voters from all parts of the state of Minnesota. And in spite of his history as a comedian and writer for Saturday Night Live, from all indications Mr. Franken is taking his duties as an incoming Senator quite seriously.
The important thing about the win is not that the Democrats got their 60th, filibuster proof vote (although that is indeed a blessing), but that Mr. Franken replaces the late Paul Wellstone, once again giving Minnesota the progressive voice it has had over many years. Thank you, people and courts of Minnesota, for making Bill O’Reilly’s and Rush Limbaugh’s worst nightmares come true. The people of Minnesota have done a service to the country by elevating Al Franken to the position of Senator. We hope that Mr. Franken manages to retain his gift as a satirist to go alongside the seriousness of his new position. Satire is a weapon that has never been used in the Senate before now, but it doesn’t take much in the way of imagination to see what a powerful weapon it could be in the quiver of a really sharp witted archer. It is undoubtedly what has fueled the O’Reilly, Limbaugh nightmares.§
The real question, largely unspoken in the health care debate which is currently going on in the Congress, is a very basic one. Do we as a society owe a responsibility to our fellow citizens to support them by insuring their care when ill? Or are we going to be a true capitalist society, a dog eat dog, every man for himself, a pillar of selfishness type society as championed by Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and other retards from the ice age of Ronald Reagan. Don’t pay a bit of attention to nay-saying Republicans. The only solution to savagely escalating health care costs is to devise a system which will take care of us all. It’s a helluva job, fellas of the Congress, and we don’t envy you one little bit. But we’ll take our hats off to you if and when you succeed. Just don’t water it down by separating the care from the health.§
In our book, the award for the most compelling website of the year goes to Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast. It is where we go each morning after scanning the latest sports and technology news. It leads off our day with the seven most compelling stories, then you can scoot down the left side for the most recent stories and blogs, or travel down the middle list of stories which they call the Daily Cheat sheet. On the right are the video clips of most interest on this day.
Technically, it is an aggregator, as it assimilates news from all over, although it also contains more than its share of material especially written for the site. But as an aggregator it covers the world with a wider swatch than do most of the others. For instance, several black and white nude studies of a twenty year old Madonna are going on sale in London, and the Beast brings them for your perusal here!
And while you are in their gallery check out these offerings, Julie Heffernan’s Earthly Delights, and most importantly, Images That Changed the World, which begins with a Civil War image of dead bodies at the Battle at Antietam, 1862, and takes us through images of the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Vietnam War, and ending with a picture of Neda, the victim of the Iranian uprising of just weeks ago. All three of these portfolios are must see, particularly those Images that Changed the World. A incredibly moving experience. Congratulations to Ms Brown and the entire staff for creating what has truly become the Beast of the Web.§
This photograph of Venus Williams in action at Wimbledon, was taken by Kirsty Wigglesworth for the Associated Press and appeared on the N.Y. Time’s website on Thursday, has to be one of the most impressive photographs of an athlete in action that we’ve ever seen. The muscle tone in the arm, the pursing of the lips, the eyes focussed on the incoming ball, the magnificence of her concentration, in our opinion makes this photograph a unique experience and an unforgettable expression of the human condition.
There’s a new search engine in town. Or online we should say. Well, it’s not new, actually, more like “warmed over,” or perhaps we should say retooled. It is from the Gigantic Microsoft Envy Machine, and it is named Bing.
The other day I was wondering what would come up if I Binged my blog, Little Eddy. And so I did. On Bing a reference to my Blog #81 was nine items from the top, but there there was no link to take you to my actual blog #81, only a reference to it in regards to a Wikipedia page which somehow mentioned it. Well hell, what would you expect out of Bing? Microsoft lights up the entire web with its Google envy, and Little Eddy’s Blog is hosted by Google’s blogspot service. So much for Microsoft and Bing in a search for the Little Eddy blog.
We would quite naturally expect to do better searching for Little Eddy on Google. And of course we scored. On our Google search even though the page was cluttered with near misses like, In her youth, Little Edie was a clothes model, primarily in department . . . or team player Posting and Toasting Blog about the Eddy Curry, or a MySpace profile for a 32 year old Little Eddie with pictures, videos, personal blog, interests, etc., but thankfully items numbers one and two on the page Google called up did refer to the Little Eddy blog which we write. Item number one referred to what I consider one of my more creative blogs, #81, entitled Obama’s Impervious Cool. Clicking on it brings up the blog itself, which begins with a rewrite of John Lennon’s Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life,” the words adapted to an Obama’s news conference. The blog goes on to give a brief history of newspapers first covering up presidential deficiencies (newspapers and newsreels never showed Franklin Roosevelt in his wheel chair, or being lifted for a talk. Then how all of that went down the tubes with Gary Hart’s presidential campaign, where he playfully dared some tabloid news media guys to get anything incriminating on him, and they came up with pictures of Hart fooling around with a woman not his wife. From that point on the press knew no bounds, and politicians had best be on their good behavior.
The second item on the search page brought up Blog #91, which is headed, Of Politics, “Potency Pills” and Planned Obsolescence and which opens with a reproduction of the cover of The Beatles’ final studio album, Abbey Road, which captures the Fab Four crossing the street in front of the famous recording studio. Moving away from Politics we tapped our satirical muse for a parody on one of the potency pills designed for old men with erectile deficiency, and finally on this blog we lament the fact that modern manufacturing seems to have added planned obsolescence into the dna of their products.
Thank you Google, for bringing two of our better blogs to the attention of searchers for Little Eddy, and for putting us at the top of the page. Now if some greater power induces more people to search for Little Eddy then perhaps our fondest dreams will be realized. Of course, our invariable favorite is the last blog we have written, the one that lies just below the one you’re presently reading, and the one which is guaranteed to soon be replaced by the one you’re reading now. Such is the fleeting life of a favorite blog.§
And so the curtain falls on yet another edition of the Little Eddy Blog. We hope you have gotten something out of it, a laugh, a smile, a flash of understanding at a point of view probably markedly different from your own. The religion we practice is that of the humanist, our focus is the human condition, its beauty and its promise. We try to unearth topics of interest each week, and through the miracle of the blog, everything we have written is accessible by way of the blue index to the right of the blog.
We hope you got enough out of your stay today to meander this way again sometime next week. We post on Saturday mornings, usually around 8 am Central Daylight time, and our blog stays up during the week. Meantime, thanks again for spending time with us this week. We hope to see you next week. Bye now.