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What a Ninja

[ This entry originated » here. ]

Speaking of a lot happening .. I want to mention, ever so briefly, this article by Egan.

I had opened that page in a separate browser tab, but I got distracted and called away before I had a chance to read it.

Some time later, I clicked on the tab and started to scan the text there.

I normally browse the web with a separate dedicated browser with Javascript disabled .. because so many sites go crazy with Javascript, which can consume system resources for no good reason.

The effect of browsing with Javascript disabled .. is that the text sits well below the page title at the top .. separated by a large (un-sized) version of the photo they use.

After reading a few sentences, I was so impressed that I wondered, "Who is writing this?" .. and I scrolled up to the top of the page.

When I saw that it was Egan, I said (out loud), "You are such a ninja."

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A Lot Can Happen in a Year

[ This entry originated » here. ]

Ariana performs Dangerous Woman live on SNL March 12, 2016But first, I should probably mention that ..

I know today is the 1-year anniversary.

Of my Flirting with Danger entry.

(Dont think I forgot, girly.)

A lot can happen in a year .. both good and bad.

(Or even in a week. You know.)

» Katy Perry

Speaking of the 1-year anniversary, girly .. what do you think of Katy Perry's LGBTQ award speech?

I read this thing about Katy Perry recently, where she is talking about Bon Appétit, and where she said that she was 'more conscious' .. than she had ever been before.

I thought this strange coming from her .. because I always considered her rather conscious already. (Russell, too.)

I also saw where she said, "I used to be the queen of innuendo. I woke up more, educated myself more."

I thought about that later .. tho I dont think that I am going to tell you what I thought.

Notice that here it says (at t=7:00) » "It is possible, although often difficult, for an individual to become aware of the underlying motives driving their beliefs and actions through honest and critical introspection."

Because this has been my experience .. most certainly. Key word » difficult. And while I agree that it is indeed 'possible,' I would add that it is not far from impossible. Not at all.

I bet that she will be happy to hear this news. This, too. I wonder what she thinks of this. (I wonder if she knows Masha.)

» Katy Drops the Mic at SNL Season Finale

Speaking of Katy Perry and her LGBTQ speech .. did you see her performance at the SNL season finale?

Katy Perry Swish Swish SNL season finale May 20, 2017

I was very much impressed. She kicked ass and she knew that she was kicking ass.

When she dropped he mic at the end, I thought, "Yeah, you can drop the mic with a performance like that."

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Rad note » this entry originated from another page. At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have set a link that will return you to the exact spot from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

Oh, Blow .. we wake to President Trump this morning. With Republican majorities in congress, no less.

I bet that you wish you hadnt been pushing Hillary so vigorously now .. pushing her on your readers .. seeing that all those polls showed Bernie matching up much more favorably against the Donald.

Polls show that Bernie would make a better candidate against Donald than Hillary

This is one of the reasons why your positions confused me.

Did you get 'talked to,' Blow? Please tell me that this is not who you are.

I recall that you gave Hillary shit that one time .. and then you said nothing more against her, but rather started bashing Bernie like crazy. Coincidence?

I can't help but wonder what Cornel West thinks of that.

Trump meets with Obama at the White House on Nov 10, 2016

Here is a photo of Obama with the Anti-Obama. I bet that you are downright lamenting that right about now.

I dont know if you know .. but people really hate Hillary. I dont mean that in the figurative sense. I mean that they really hate her guts. With genuine hate. (I know that it might seem hard to believe.)

I know that hate is a strong word, but it is an accurate description of what many republicans feel for Hillary. And hate is a powerful motivator.

Motivation » Why Do People Do the Things They Do?

[ I know a little something about the nature of motivation myself.

I studied the subject because I needed to understand how people are motivated, and I like to be a student of what I do.

For example, I learned that different people are motivated by different things.

It is a common, rookie mistake to project our own motivations onto others. For example, just because Hillary is motivated primarily by money, she assumes that everyone else is, also.

She assumes wrongly. ]

This is why Bernie made such a better candidate .. because, even if Hillary did get elected, they would still stonewall her. Because they literally hate her guts.

She is the devil to them, and must be fought at all costs .. lie (lie), cheat, steal. To the death, if necessary.

Something tells me that that Glenn Greenwald would agree. But probably not Maggie.

Well, perhaps I should clarify myself. Bernie made a better candidate if you were interested in a democrat being elected, and in that elected democrat actually getting shit done that would help us-the-people.

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Blow Defends Hillary's Illegitimacy

Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because it grew large enough to warrant its own, separate entry.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact spot from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» I See You, Blow

I see you, Blow. I have seen other things that you've written about Hillary and Bernie. Some of your positions confuse me.

I am not going to criticize any of your positions, because I am so sweet on you. But I am very much feeling Cenk here.

I havent talked to you in like forever. How you been? How're the kids?

I've been flirting with this young, hottie-singer. You might've heard of her. She gets around. We're trying to keep it on the down-low .. so mums the word.

I dont know what it is with these young girls. They are not scared of me .. like the older ones are.

» Come Get You Some of This Type of Blow

In the official video to one of her songs, her friend, Nicki Minaj, reaches down and pets her pussy while rapping, "Come get you some of this type of blow."

Blow, have you ever heard of a girl calling her pussy that before? I certainly havent. And I've heard girls talk about their elixired wares in many splendoured ways.

What do you think of that? What do you think of Nicki petting her pussy and calling it blow?

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[ This entry originated from another page. ]

Girly, there I was, earlier today .. sitting in a coffee shop .. very much minding my own business (you know) .. sipping on a coffee at Starbucks.

I did not know, at the time, that this was a grande that I was sipping. But when I got home and began to write this section, I wondered, "Was I sipping on a grande .. when I read that thing about yesterday's launch of the world's first satellite designed to use pairs of quantumly entangled photons?"

Because I had simply told the girl, "Medium coffee, double-cup, no sleeve." These non-standard sizes at Starbucks are confusing. (I am old school on the sizes » small, medium, and large.)

So I went to the Starbucks web site a few minutes ago and learned that I was indeed drinking a grande. (Probably just another coincidence.)

And I was there kinda early, so they still had one copy of the New York Times remaining, which I bought (for $2.50).

At the very top of page A5, I noticed an interesting article titled » China Launches Satellite in Bid to Lead Quantum Research. (The online version is titled a little differently.)

Seems that yesterday (8/16/2016) China launched the world's first satellite (from the Gobi Desert) designed to use pairs of quantumly entangled » photons (particles of light) .. in an effort to establish totally secure communications.

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Egan Throwsdown with Extreme Prejudice

Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because this section grew large enough to warrant its own, separate entry.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact spot from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» Egan

I've also mentioned how much I admire Egan on this page (Day #23).

The Big Burn | An American Experience of 1910Here is what I wrote about him there »

"..based on the 2014 book by Egan .. a truly gifted writer.

He is one of my favorites at the New York Times."

Egan basically owns the Writing Rights at the NY Times for everything in the Northwest part of our country ..

.. where I lived for a few years .. while stationed aboard a nuclear submarine there.

Oh, it looks like Egan has taken over California, too.

He wrote the book on the Dust Bowl, so he would in a great position to discuss a similar environmental change occurring here in California.

Egan is actually beyond (mere) opinion writing. (Anywhere, even at the NY Times.) Well beyond.

Here is a very nice column that he wrote on Pope Francis (May 15).

Egan is versatile. He seems able to write about anything. (And make it look easy.)

[ I grew up with an Egan. He was best friends with Lance, an All-American with hands like glue who lived across the street. Egan took no shit from anybody.

He was not an asshole, but he had an older brother (Richie) who toughened him up.

» Lance & Egan & the Fabulously Ferocious Fastballs

Remind me to tell you my Egan story, about how I threw him the fattest fast-ball you've ever seen during the last game we ever played in Little League.

I pitched for 3 years during Little League and nobody ever hit a home run off me. Ever. But this was the last game of the year, of our Little League careers, and nothing would change no matter who won.

Egan batted second in their line-up. Lance batted third. I had struck out Egan before.

Lance was one home run away from being the home run king that year. Because he was tied with Wojo, who was twice his size.

And before the game he was working me to throw him a fatty so that he could claim the title of Home Run King solo that year (giving him 6 to Wojo's 5), his last year of Little League.

To which I agreed, when he said, "Come on, I'll give you 50 cents."

Egan was standing there with Lance and wanted in on the same deal.

Update - I have moved this section to its own, separate entry .. due to severe subject drift. (Blame it on the chemo.) See here » Lance & Egan & the Fabulously Ferocious Fastballs.

Egan also wrote a book on the Dust Bowl titled » The Worst Hard Time, which goodreads ranks #16 ..out of more than 1,000 books on American History.

(Where the Pulitzer Prize winning book John Adams by David McCullough is ranked #1.)

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Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate entry.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact spot from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» David Brooks

I talk about David Brooks on this page .. and several others. I probably mention Brooks more than any other opinion writer at the Times ..

.. which surprises me, because he is the Times' token conservative, and had a privileged education.

David Brooks with gray hairTho I suspect that his divorce last year (.. after being married for as long as Mandela spent in prison) ..

.. is the thing that shook him from his conservative comfort zone ..

.. and reorientated his views on life just enough that I found many of his opinions thought-provoking.

(Hey, we could all use a little broadening of our perspectives every now-n-then.)

David has a new book out (April, 2015), titled » The Road to Character .. listed as a '#1 Best Seller" in the category of » Philosophy of Ethics and Morality.

What is your purpose? I like what Ecclesiastes says about the meaning of life » all is vanity. A concept so potent that it evoked a title from Hemingway.

In March, I wrote a short piece about my oncologists titled » Life-Saving Skill Sets & the Sense of Meaning They Confer.

Way to go, David. Good for you! [ Dude, I checked Amazon and it says that your book is ranked #8 in sales. (Of ALL books.) Can that be true? Number 8? That would make you a true stud. ]

You can peruse all of David's books » here.

I also noticed that your most recent article, titled » Love and Merit .. is currently the "Most Emailed" feature at the Times.

Developing Character » Child of Privilege vs the Adversity of Injustice

Tho a part of me wants to ask .. what could a child-of-privilege such as yourself possibly know about the challenges to character faced by most Americans today?

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Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate page, which lets me focus on and reference more easily the concepts under discussion here.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact place from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

Charles Blow | Thoughtful gaze » Blow

In addition to today's entry, I also mention Blow (again) on that very same page where I mention Brooks ..

.. in the May, 2014 archive (in a section titled » Spanking vs Whipping .. of a 4-year old boy) ..

.. a month during which there wasnt much I didnt mention.

Blow is black, and he writes about topics related to blacks.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of shit for him to write about.

He could write a different article every day and still not address all the bullshit being visited upon black men in our country.

Does being black give Blow more credibility to discuss topics that concern the black man? I certainly think so.

» Violence in Baltimore

29 April » Ooh, Blow .. this is good » Violence in Baltimore. Nice title. Short is power. Says a lot with few words. (Not like me.)

[ Speaking of writing well .. look » Zinsser died. At 92. Good for him.

I poured thru his book many years ago. Loved the practical advice and insights. Could see the value right away.

Could feel myself becoming-one-with the mindset he espouses. I would put its value as a writing-improvement book near the top of those I've read. The title says it very nicely.

Omit Needless Words says William StrunkZinsser must have hung out with Strunk.

The #1 thing I got from Zinsser was » Dont be afraid to use the word » "I".

Before Zinsser I was reluctant to use 'I'.

I no longer have that problem .. as you can see.

The one whose writing labors in third-person limbo, I have found, is the one whose writing seems unnaturally distance.

"Fuck that noise," I say. "Here's what I think."

Speaking of Zinsser .. Blow, do you agree with him that » writing is a craft?

Or with Dylan Thomas and Ray Bradbury who both call it an art.

You know what I think.

Tho certainly, there is a craftsman's element to writing.

I feel this craftsman element come thru when I read a lot of stuff by Egan. That's one of the reasons why I like him. The way he crafts his columns.

What do you think about Suzanne, who says that » the artistry is in the "stitching up"?

The voice in my head wants me to write that there is artistry in abstraction and in creativity. But I am not really sure that I know what that means.

Intuitively I feel that artistry is found in » deviating from the expected norm .. at just the right time .. and in just the right way .. to cast a negative image of the thing you are describing ..

.. thereby allowing the reader to paint the dimensions and colors of the positive image for themselves.

I wonder how Zinsser would have felt about the idea of the gifted writer. ]

Baltimore teen chillin' on the curb in front of a phalanx of police in riot gearI also like the photo that accompanies your piece.

Of the boy sitting there on the curb in front of the phalanx of officers outfitted in riot gear. Nice contrast.

I have been there myself, sitting on the curb with the police standing around me, just like this lad. (But without the riot gear.)

If you get enough restraining orders, you're bound to meet the men in blue. "Sir, do you mind if I go thru your wallet to look for some i-d?"

You totally kicked ass, Charles.

You seem to be in your element here, your place of power. Your center.

I read it earlier, but caught myself thinking about it later in the day.

Isnt that the goal of every writer? .. to have something you write cause a reader to ponder it later.

I wonder what the trick is for that. Do you know? That would be a nice addition to any writer's toolbox.

[ I remember doing the same thing after reading an article by Nicholas Kristof. Do you hang out with these other writers? Or do yo all live in your own worlds, isolated from the others? ]

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Rad note » this entry originated from another page. It was moved here because the subject drifted far enough to warrant its own, separate page, which lets me focus on and reference more easily the concepts under discussion here.

At the end of this entry (that you're reading now) I have included a link that will return you to the exact place from where this entry originated. Here ya go ...

» Writing About the Times' Opinion Writers (In One Place)

Speaking of redeeming destinations ..

NY Times Business Card.. I have had, for some time now, an urge to write a piece on the opinion writers there at the NY Times.

I mean, I have read them all. Many times.

They are all different, so I cant really number them 1, 2, 3, 4... (Tho I could, if pressed.)

Opinion writing at the NY Times .. you have to be well-hung, so to speak, to get a gig like that. You know what I mean.

From the perspective of expressing creatively thoughtful opinions .. as a writer .. what better avenue, what better vehicle, what better gig .. than the NY Times?

Sure there are other great writing gigs. I hear, for example, that the best writers work at The New Yorker. But these are not strictly opinions. (John Cassidy is my favorite at the New Yorker.)

And I've always admired the work of Vanity Fair and a number of others. And sites like the Guardian can offer a foreign perspective.

For news & info the Dog's favorites are The Nation and Salon and the Atlantic.

A handful of folks at the coffee shop were fond of Democracy Now!. They talked about Amy Goodman like she were their mother. Their wise, compassionate and caring mother.

And speaking of mothers .. we can't forget the nice folks over at Mother Jones.

My point is that .. you might consider an opinion gig writing at the Times the ultimate ego-stroker.

Think about it .. opinions. If there is one thing that everybody has .. it's an opinion. Am I right? You know I am.

The opinion writer is basically giving the reader a piece of his mind. "This is what-the-fuck I think about thus-n-so."

Now normally, you would pay people money .. for them NOT to give you a piece of their mind. Admit it.

Now I do this myself, sometimes, and give readers a piece of my mind. But because I am not a stud at the NY Times, I must include » WHY .. I feel the way I do. Why I have this particular opinion. Why I am not full of shit.

So what makes these dudes at the NY Times so special that they get to write their opinions for the NY Times?

Well, that is another story. Maybe. But I would enjoy it. Comparing and contrasting. Strengths and weaknesses of the Times' opinion writers.

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