glitsch in mail...

I haven't been able to access my acoount for over two weeks.    please be patient.  I 'thought' I had the problem solved, but...  it didn't work.  uhhh, I lurvs me the internets.  Has to do with the password.

Sorry for not answering anything.

There's another context to the post below... Peter

I spoke with him.  He said, 'Oh yeah, she was here today.' 

'No she wasn't she's in Graz.'

(stubborn)  She was, she comes often.

Siiiiiiiigggggghhhhhhh.   (big one)  Seemingly there is someone among his caregivers who he thinks is her, and he was ALWAYS antagonistic toward her in a passive agressive way.  Let me tell you, preciiousses, I learned from the best.

It began when I started at the no-tell 'ho'-tel.  First day I walked there, there were 'women of the NIGHT', and one at the stop light outside looked me up and down and said, 'How about it, baby?'

And I thought, what the hell am I getting INTO, here? 

My first night shift, Peter trained me on what to do and the whole bookkeeping, blah stuff, and there was a pause.  I looked like the green rube from rubnikville back then.  And he said, 'Listen, I wanna get rid of all the rabble, the pimps reckoning up with the prostitutes in the lobby and turn this around to be a really good middle class hotel.  Will you help me?` 

And I said 'yeah, tell me how' and it involved a third person who made a mess of money procuring, and providing rooms.  So I just had to turn anyone away who wasn't kosher.

It took three years, and in all that time, Peter and I were not an item.  But we turned the tide and turned the clientele base around to travelling salespeople. 

And every night he took this sadistical delight in calling her...  always shortly before ten p.m.  and really doing a number on how she was doing business.  And if I objected, it was ' I know what I'm doing.'

Whatever it was...  her spirit is getting back...  he sees her every day.

A Fractued Fairy Tale I Thought I'd Never Tell--- about romeyesque 'business...

Once upon a time, there was a child born, not the eldest, but the first girl.  It was a time when the world was at war, and they were fairly safe in a place called Boheme for most of it.  But her father was a very clever lawyer, and before he had left their real home, well, let's just say he was an opportunist of the worst sort.  Bought up goods of people who had been driven away over third parties and gotten quite wealthy doing it.

After the whole thing was over, she and her family were driven out, and her first memories were of being on the run, and her world falling down.  Chaos, in other words.

Her father got to do time in a prison camp run by anglo saxons.  Where he learned to love Wodehouse., which became her personal favorite.  Daughters love their dads, no matter what.

Her younger sister was taken by a crippling disease, and she was the one to carry her to classes, before wheelchairs became available after the Great Conflict.  In other words, she became 'the caretaker' in the family, the 'dependable' one, the one who made the sacrifices. 

So, time passed, and so forth and so on, and both the daughters became lawyers, but with the eldest girl, nah, that wasn't what she wanted to do....  her world was music, it was her escape.  And her mother encouraged her, and hired the last student of a very famous composer to teach her to make a violin sing.  And she learned to play tennis passably well, till she got tennis arm and had to give it up, because it interfered with her greatest passion...  music.

She married a guy who was of the same political stripe as her father, but...  her heart wasn't where his was, actually.

They lived in Germany for a while, and she had trouble bearing children, and after some medical help, had three.  A boy and two girls.  And then the inevitable happened.

She was called back to her home city to run a hotel that her father had 'inherited'...  or something.

And got right back into being 'the caretaker'.  The sister and brother had partial interest in it, and so, she did what she could to make it run.

It was a run-down, shabby affair when she took it over.  So she thought, 'investment'.  Make it better.

She was fairly scurrile by that time, because, even in the feminist age, she couldn't juggle home, the husband the kids, and a business that usually produces more divorces than any other branch I can think of.

Some people who worked for her thought she treated them like 'hers', serfs.  But they missed the point, she was actually generous, and sometimes was too inquisitive into their lives and well-being, but meant well.  Which didn't always go over well with those in her laser-like view of interest.  And she was so direct...  well there's a saying, 'falling into the house with the door in your hand'...  which means tactless.  and goes beyong putting your foot in your mouf.

If they did have some sort of trouble, she would do her best to help them out of it. 

Which could be trying some people found, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions....

And over thirty years, the children grew up, but hey, a lot of the edumacation was done over the phone, because she put in the time in order to get the money to fulfill their desires and give them a damned good life.

They rebelled of course, the eldest son especially.  And as they were sort of racist...   he went mountain climbing in Peru one season, and came back engaged...  to a very nice lady from there.  Whose compexion wasn't the brightest.  'Inca Princess'---   oh my, how they talked, and when the first children came....  well the husband of this lady had to resign from his fraternity, because of all the denigrating shit he got about it.

We're speaking about a far-off kingdom here, where races just did NOT mix.  Not in her cirles...

And time passed again, it goes by so quickly.  But for her, music was still the center of hre life, her true passion.  Eveinings playing with like-minded passionate people.  There may even have been a romance there, but even the story-teller can't be certain.

But it was time for her to retire, her father had died 'way too early', as we always think, and her mother went a bit ga-ga, but that's the way of the world, she thought, and she took very good care of her. 

So she decided to lease the hotel to a group of four businessmen from Vienna, who tuned out to be sharks.

They set goals to be achieved....  how much MONEY had to be taken in each month, and went after their newly acquired serfs if the goal wasn't achieved.    They had bought into the US mode of business, and they were hell-bent on getting them achieved.... without their doing one single thing to help.

Sound familiar? 

Well, it turned out the real goal was to acquire a first rate place, but for that, they had to show they were successful, and that was why the pressure was on.  And in the end, they did, a 'noble' resort, and they were in.

And their modest no-name place, well they tied it to a franchise, and re-branded it, and it was the step-child.  

But their plans were much bigger, turned out.  Being good business sharks who smelled blood in the water, and having a very savvy lawyer among them...  they bided their time, till our heroine was getting ON in years.  And the contract was:  they kept up mainenance, but big investmenst were hers to make.

Now she and the family got a monthly stipend as part of whatever profits it was 'they wanted to devulge'. Which weren't always above-board.

So it came to the point where there were some very heavy investments to be made, and she had to decide...  put herself in hock till she's 86 or sell out, and the price being offered wasn't all too extroadinary, because, hey, so many investments to be made... 

This is called being between a rock and a hard place.

In the end, she caved and sold.

On the one hand it was a relief.  On the other, she felt a bit taken to the laundry.  But she'd already had a stroke, there was no way to keep up with it.  And she lost the use of her arm and shoulder, and couldn't play violin anymore, which was like breathing air for her.  So she just let it go, paid off her debts and gave the rest in equal parts to her children.

But there is a half-way happy ending to this fairy tale:  she still had a voice, so she joined a choir, and sang and sang, because god or whoever didn't take that away from her.

Some of you may know what this fairy tale is about.  Some of you have even met the lady.  She is actually a kind person.  She called me and rattled on for an hour the other day.  Mainly concerned whether I'm ok.  I spent thirty years five feet away from the woman, and one thing I learned was listen...  out of the seemingly disconnected verbal flooding river, you find the stream and what really is going on.  But we do have a mutual respect for one another, and I never held my tongue when something was awry.  Nor did she, and she never said a word about Peter, not one mean thing evah.  For the mistress of tactlessness, that's saying something.

She did take me aback asking 'when did your father die?'  There ARE subtler ways of asking...   'and ummmm...  your father?'   for instance. 

And I said, 'wellll  ....   not yet....'

She was ecstatic, 'how WONDERFUL...  oh, Herr B.  be happy, you got great genes!'

Listen, no one could ever follow her line of thinking, I broke up laughing.

But the actual PÒINT of this ist how the 'gang of four' got their hands on a property, gutted it to get what they REALLY wanted, and sheesh...  ended up buying it  for a pittance in their range of what anything is worth, and will treat it like the step-child and gut it till it doesn't bring any more revenue, and declare it dead. 

And THAT is what Mitt Romney does.  You think jobs were created?  Of COURSE they weren't.  They pared a crew of 13 to 7.  It's how it works for them. 

Anyone buying that line of thinking is a fool.

In Memorium for people I never knew... the Israelis 40 years ago

I caught something on MSNBC last nite.  Israel asked London for a moment of silence to commemorate the killing of their wrestling team in Munich in 1972. At the opening.  London said no.

 It IS the forty year anniversary of that would have .been a memorial service, one that gets world-wide attention.  Better to consider another venue, maybe, because they surely deserve that.

And I should know, because I can still see them in my head, oh they deserve to be remembered.  They carried this infectuous joy with them all the time, I SAW them daily out in the village, and they really stood out.

Everyone else marched around and socialised in their own team groups, but not them, oh no, they had the virus...  here is the whole world, and we're curious, and friendly, and interested.  There wasn't a day I wouldn't see them and admire them...  for being what it was 'supposed' to be about. 

So they were burly guys, wrestlers, sure.  But they exhibited a real joy in being there, and the tremendous opportunity of meeting 'da world' in one very small.... if seemingly gigantic place.  To us, at the time.

I would so loved to have met one of them personally, but was too shy.  They were Olympians.  In every sense of the word.  And I admired them for being THAT outgoing, sort of cuddly teddy bears.  (Wrestlers don't have slight physiqes.)

I will never forget the morning it went wrong.  And a colleague named Peter K woke me up and said, 'It's over, you can pack and get ready to go home'  And I said, 'what in the WURRLD are you TALKING about?'

And he told me.  And it all happened about three hundred meters from where we had been working, I had the night shift.  And don't think I slept more than three hours a night those nine weeks.

Well, I knew where it was, and hauled ass down there to see what was going on.  And that guy with the white mask was on the balcony, I was 100 feet away...  but the press, oh lordy, they really got me riled.  Overhearing inside specualation that someone inside the village---us---let them in, dirty commie students... 

Which led to a thousand sun hatred for them for decades...   except  twenty years later, whaddaya know, some drunk 'miurkins' helped the fuckers over the fence.  Way to go.

They were oblivious, and btw...  they were from 'Havid' and 'Yale' and were in groups and we were bugs.  High school multiplied to the nth degree. 

Up on the turf, everything seemed normal, but below were lots of inroads and venues and I nearly got shot trying to get my mail.  Two lines of soldiers at the entrance, and being naive, I thouth, 'good, we're safe'.  And used to have a fast walk, so I got barked at like out of a horror nazi movie...  'Stop!  Not so much haste!  Whaddaya want?', and boy his finger was itching on the trigger. I skidded into the muzzle, stopped, and said, 'I'm getting my mail'.  'Go to the other door.'  'We're not allowed there.'  'Today you are.'

There was an army down there.

Everything, everything was fully up in the air.  Other than that we had to work in the carfeteria that night...  So I was getting ready for my 11 pm shift, where we'd eat first, and begin at midnight, and all of a sudden the sound system went off and told us to stay inside.  My friend Eamonn had just arrived to accompany me to the caf.  'And I signalled him to be very quiet.  And put out the lights.  We were on the sixth floor.

And we took off our white smocks, and slinked out onto the balcony.  It faced the BMW building.  Below, two helicopters had landed on the strip below leading to the underground part of the village.  And then it happened. 

Two busses pulled up to the helicopters and stopped, and there were flood lights, I think.   We cringed down a bit.  And the bus doors opened, and the terrorists brought the team out it two groups, tied like cattle.  And they were so rough with them, it was horrible.  They shoved them into the helicopters, and they took off for the airport.  I was shaking with disbelief and anger like I've never felt before.  And looked at Eamonn and said, 'I don't think this is gonna end well....'

And we got the all clear to go to work.

Well, the best anyone had was a transistor radio, and the machines in my area were so interfering, we only got it in bursts and splashes of news.  By morning, we knew they were lost.

There was talk of ending the games.  Oh, man, that brought out the worst in people who everyone was looking up to...  the less said the better.  This is about the victims.

I repressed it at the time, over time.  But those faces have never left me, the pure joy, the light in their eyes, so warm all you wanted to do was meet them and be in their circle. 

Unfortunately, it never happened.  But they were good people, and deserve remembering, so if London won't, I am proud to say, 'yes, I remember them, vividly, fondly and with horror over what happened to them.  I remember them always laughing so heartily, such joy.  Which makes it more tragic.

When I went there, it was to meet the worrrrrllld, and I did., and so did they.  And no matter what anyone says, that was the mother of huge, horrible terrorist attacks.

I fail to see how anyone would not want to set up some sort of remembrance ceremony even after forty years.  Gawwd, betcha they'll still be doing 9/11 remembrances in 2050, wiht the name reading and the whole shebang?  Am sure.

Munich was a warning.  There is new evil in the world.  And crap on whoever gets in the cross-fire.

Why can't they do something for those very decent men?

So yeah...   I WILL remember all my days.  I was so traumatized by it all, I refused to ever watch a documentary about it. 

But I remember their faces, their laughter, their smiles.  Many people lost much that day, and the world its' innocence.  RIP, guys, wherever you are.

And my take?  Avery Brundage saying the Games must go on?  NO.  I know they think it must have been 'stubborn courageous'.  It was a time for mourning.  Except many didn't feel that way.

I look at the brouhaha over Columbine, and Aurora now...  did we learn anything other than to mourn?

It's just a question.  Why shouldn't they deserve 'a moment', even after so long? 

It's about humanity lost.

To get back to the theme kids in movie theaters...

Something cme back to me.  I worked in one for a decade.  This callous attitude isn't really new.  I remembered a day...   on a weekend, one of the ones we dreaded...  kiddie matinees.  It could have been 'The Wizard of Oz', or something similar, don't remember what.  Two showings back to back, one thousand unruly little imps per view, one thousand boxes of fresh popcorn popped beforehand, the usual.. 

And there was this one weekend, and a little boy who sort of grabbed my attention, while at the concession stand.  Who ordered five dollar's worth of crap.  Back then, that was a fortune.  If I remember correctly, he was about seven or eight years old...  and kept coming back.

It wasn't hard to preict...  he rushed out heading for the wc...  and threw up all over the rug.  And my staff were so squeamish...   well, I was the one to get out the stuff to clean it all up. 

But it got 'better'.  The kid remained behind long after both showings had ended.  Waiting for his parents who were NOT arriving.  We finally got a hold of them on the phone.  They'd 'forgotten' they'd taken him there.  It was already seven in the evening.  And they finally picked him up. 

Yeah, give the kid a tenner, make him sick because he doesn't know what boundaries are, and just forget him. 

If there were one person in the world I wish I had done physical damage to, it was that kid's father.

So yeah, it's been going on a long time, but at that time, it was an anomaly.

Just sayin'


Since the olympics begin this week...  let's take a look back in time.  I wrote this many years after the event.  Was struggling to come to terms, and it isn't great, but it was the best I could do.   You be the judge.  I hate that a lot of it is still relevant.  And damn starry eyed idealists who can't play dirty enough to make it work.


In the narrow corridor

Between Forum and Chapel

The atheletes are milling about.

It's an open Bazaar

Where the West meets the East.

(or is it perhaps

a miniature Big Apple??)

The reporters write for the evening news,

That here is a love feast

Where humanity is spoken

But to me it is Babel:

And behind their smiles

I see thirty-two tooth salutes of contempt..

They trade national tokens

When their training is over

And the August sun is on the wane.

And everyone's crying 'Change!

Some of their stick-pins are, of course

More in demand---

Depending on reknown and supply-

(For who wants a Poland

When one can acquire

A token of Russia---

or Japan, by and by?)

The Olympic ideal does not exclude

the desire for personal prestige and fame.

And so here the capitalist ethic reigns,

And everyone's crying 'Change!'

Most stay in their groups;

They're like gaggles of geese

And they casually size up their opponents.

The Belgians won't speak with the Germans,

And the French look down with noblesse oblige

On the rest of this city's components.

And the Indians are wary of the Pakistanis.

The Nigerians hate the Rhodesians....

Still, they are anxious to trade

So they swallow

Their pride and political allegiance.

The friendliest are from the smallest countries;

From barely visible dots on the atlas.

They compete with the best and have no face to lose.

And their names tie the tongue, are exceedingly strange...

And EVERYONE'S crying 'Change!'

And we watch them, amused....

We foreign 'guest workers'

Try not to compete, but try

To understand what we're all about,

To conquer the predjudices

Our leaders have taught us

And try to discover their lies.

(We find sinister reasons for political deeds.

Can most of them be really due

To something so mundane as greed?)

We grow national guilts for the actions of others,

Attempt to solve problems,

And the grounds our talks cover

Range from politics to jokes,

to religion and pollution.....

And we can only agree that our world is insane.

And everyone's crying 'Change'

CHANGE cry disillusioned Americans

as George Meany offers millions to dump George McGovern.

Change! cry the Irish

who are weary of blood-shed, still demand to be self-governed.

Change! cry Rhodesia's majority blacks,

while their whites promenade and acknowledge no guilt.

Change! cry the Greeks

who have lost their Democracy,

and blame the American military bloc.

Change! cry the people of the Middle East

While the world sits in judgement

To the ticking of a nuclear clock.

Change! cry the people trapped in the suburbs,

in anonymous houses, sleazily built.

Change! cry defenders of the Earth's environment,

while in factory accidents, their neighbors are killed.

Change! cry the starving and the world's minorities,

who live on hate, while others grow fat.

Change! cry the young, as they champ at the bit,

while the Establishment sees they're held back.

Change! cry the conservatives who want power and control,

and tremble at thought of a reverse in the order of things.

Change! cry the liberals who shout out for justice

So all have a chance to grasp the brass ring.

Yes!, they shout, Change!

On the day of departure

the action is frenzied,

and the shouting reaches fever pitch,

trading sneakers and track suits,

And their laughter and smiles

no longer seem stretched,

are real, and their owners fit.

Competition is over,

and now they are grinning,

no longer concerned

with who will be winning.

Koreans wear Russian warm-up pants;

Belgians wear French warm-up jackets.

We smile and fight down the urge to gloat,

For we long know what they're finding out,

Have the experience and memories to back it.

The September wind blows yesterday's news

Through the passage-way. Then it rains.

And the athletes take refuge in the Chapel's pews

To a dying last echo of 'Change'

Change! For the world is shrinking fast,

On yourself you can no longer rely.

Change! And drop tribal habits at last....

Or like the dinasaurs.... We WILL die...

Bad news day...

Woke up to the horrific reports out of colorado.   Nothing like that surprises me any more.  But I do have a question:  WHAT THE FUCK were babies, six year olds, twelve year olds doing at a midnight screening of fucking Batman? 

Now I KNOW I'm old...  really fucking old.  When I was a kid, I was allowed to see a matinee...  which was actually early afternoons, not mornings, as the name would suggest.  If I earnced the money for it running errands for the elderly in the neighborhood.  But going in the evening?  Holy Sacrilege, Batman!  Unthinkable.  When I was 14, bedtime was 9:30 pm, and there was no way around it.  Except my brother, who was 3 years younger, got the same priveleges when I got them, which I found unfair...

I broke the rule of being home in time for supper, by which we meant evening meal only once.  Attended a double feature, and the first one was very long, but hey, I paid my money, and wanted to see the second.  It was Town Without Pity.  And there was a big clock in there, and I had half an eye on it, but the film was engrossing.  About a rape of a German girl in an occupied town in Germany.  Just about everyone had left after 'The Devil at 4 O'clock', which was cool...  but this was sort of mind blowing.  And you know how kids think:  'just five more minutes, what's gonna happen next?'
And of course I overdid it...  and before I knew what was what, The Ven was in the aisle and practically dragged me out of there.  It was suppertime.  They were so sour...  no movie priveleges for two weeks, which killed me...  I thought.

Especially when I paused over the meat loaf and veggies and mashed potatoes to remark, 'well, now I know what rape is '  I was always good at conversation stoppers. 

I had crazy ideas...  I wanted to see Peter Paul and Mary sing and there was no WAY, no way I was allowed to do that, even tho I had saved the money.  Ditto the 'Trapp Family Singers.  Children had to be in bed by 8 p.m. at that time.  And despite protests of not being tired, we did sleep.

So how and when did that change so drastically?  A family takes an infant and a 4 yr old to a midnight showing of Batman?  Because they couldn't afford a baby sitter, or don't trust anyone with their progeny?  Anne Curry found the lamest excuse I ever saw...  'It was family time, and the children were asleep.'  Reallah...  If I'm not mistaken, there's a lot of noise in that film.  In dolby.  Way to go.

And under 18, I wouldn't have been able to do that and be in a cinema...  unless I was working there. 

Something is very wrong with the whole picture...  and if a family can't afford both a baby sitter and the tickets, they shouldn't have been there. 

As above, I am sooo  old, and find some things hard to understand, esp. when all reports you see on Today, or Dateline are exaggerated concerns about protecting children.  Well that didn't work out so well, did it?

But I see it here as well in a lot of ways.  People allow kids to stay up way too long, and when I see them getting breakfast in the supermarket in the mornings, they look sleep deprived and like so many little zombies.

Dark rings under the eyes, etc.

I pity the poor people in that theater...  their lives will never be the same, and it will take many years for them to process it.  Wanna bet they won't ever wanna see a batman film again?

I still can't watch anything pertaining to Munich, and it's been forty years.

Locally, to add to the bad news, we're about to have a 'thirty year event', some say the event of a century. 

We've had severe weather.  Two weeks of extreme heat, comparable to what was in the US.  Where you just 'swim away in your own sweat'.  And thunderstorms of ferocity, with hail.  Not directly in Graz, mostly upstate.  So there were lots of landslides, blocking roads, in two cases trapping people in their cars, and it was dramatic...  Mostly you get avalanches in the west of the country in the winter, but yesterday it went to a new level...   and a huge fifteen foot high landslide pretty much decimated the center of a little town upstate.  I haven't seen the pictures yet, but over 50 houses got totalled, and people got trapped, and access was cut off.

Whatever, I live near the river Mur, which runs from Salzburg into Slovenia.  And tonight sometime, it's gonna go over the banks two blocks from where I live.  sheet.  I've always had a thing about living one flight up from ground level....

Up north, the river is already at the 15 foot level...   and it's still raining.  I really should have invested in a canoe.

But the radio ist playing it down...  no danger to the citizenry.  Really?  If I get my feet wet tomorrow, the radio is gonna get SUCH an e-mail from me... 

But at least I don't have to worry about people running around with guns looting and killing people.

Just sayin'. 

And I still say, children have no business being in a movie theater at midnight.  That's for crazy adults who make a cult series into a life style.

OMFG forty years!!!

And the next spectacular olympics will begin.   How edifying.  I don't know how to say this, but...  big deal.


I was a starry-eyed kid when I got what had to be THE dream job of a lifetime working in the olympic village.  And it turned out to be the nightmare of my life.  I felt incredibly honoured.  And formed freindships that lasted for decades.  But there were downsides, and the fact is...    it was so fucking political, and we were caught up in the issues of the day, which....  surprise!...  still exist and never got resolved.  How's that for 'progress'?

No, am not going to go into a golden hazed view back to a summer that began so incredibly well, and ended in tragedy that I witnessed, and still can't really get over.  I only wrote one piece much later in the Munich section of this blog that captured how we were feeling:  'Change'.  And whaddaya know, not much did.

Oh yeah, apartheid got abolished...   decades later.  And a couple of other things.

But mostly?  Not so much, boyo.

And all of a sudden, there's this thing in US politics about....  Romney 'saving' the olympics.  Which I know little about.  But I know one thing:  when 'Murka decides or 'gets' to host the olympics...   look out.  You got a propaganda machine that was waaaay beyond anything that was actually fair or balanced, or came anywhere near 'sportsmanship'. 

And gawwd help you if you were Germany in the 70's and decided to host them, because, y'know they had that disastrous hosting of the games in the 30's, and Hitler presiding, and it was their chance to get over that.  'Which became the main problem in the end.

From the get-go, back then, the US press, (speak Newsweek and Time magazines), were rabid.  Most articles began with 'Munich, which is only several miles from Dachau...'  And they were  'we want 'friendly games, we have to get past this.'  Well, that ended well, didn't it?  Because they went so lax, the security went way down.

Just as example, I ran across people from home and could borrow them my id pass to get into the village although they looked nothing like me, and could still get in, and they would stay overnight.  It was that lax, for the reasons above.  Everyone did that.

We didn't have an inkling of how dangerous that was.

Thanks to the press, the Germans were friggin' terrified to have tight security.  Because, y'know, how would it look? 

And it became a terrible tragedy.

Since then, the games became far more 'secure', and am sure Mr. Romney turned his home base into a nice looking high security prison.

It would be an interesting thing to look into, but journalists there are mostly just journamalists.

And, ya know...  USA!  (rinse wash and repeat till ya feel good  and take a lesson:  no athlete does it for his or her country, they do it for themselves. And no one as a people has a vicarious win.  It was the accomplishment of an idividual.   With a promise of big money meanwhile.  The rest is pure bullshit. 1972 may have been a simpler time, and the money sucked, but there was that too.)

´The entire topic has become toxic to me of late.  I felt that something, this golden dream of nations coming together and people taliking with common goals got sullied and died that year, and I mourn it.  It won' t come back and if you think 'Murkins were in on it, wow, you are so wrong.  Stayed in their cliques...  from Yale and Havid, and looked down their nose at everyone else.  Disgusting.  How are you supposed to learn about anything if you don't talk to the great unwashed?

Stephen Colbert has been really weird all year...  creating a super-pac, but it was a ruse to get people to realise what that means.  And he named horse dressage as the summer olympics game to watch.  Because, as fake rethug....  well Romney has a horse competing in that category, and his wife has ms, and it is therapeutic for her.  Who do you know has the money to have a thoroughbred horse for his wife as therapy and it qualifies for the olympics in dressage? 

Rachel Maddow did a number on a recent slot on her show all about how out of touch he is, and a fundraiser in the Hamptons.  Colbert nailed it.

Because, y'know, he's Mr. Olympics.  Shifty-eyed, stuttering animatronic that he is.

I think I can throw up now...

What is WRONG with these people? Da Ven just vented.

I'm not going to qualify this with anything....  Could just as easily have labelled it 'Talk of the Town'.  But really, how callous do you have to get in this day and age?  And heroes?  We were just talin' about em below?  Well, my take on things isn't so askew as I thought.  Since when do you get sued for saving a life?   It has to be the heat...

This should be good fodder for your blog . maybe you read about the life guard

at the beach who went in and saved a guy from drowning, and got fired because
the guy he saved was out of bounds
 He was past the sign that said in this section your on your own, so the life gaurd was supposed to let the guy drown because he was not in his jurisdiction,
the people who hired him said there would be a liabilty . After the news broke he was offered his job back but had to stay in his area,  The hero refused to go back , serveral other guards walked off the job , at the time, how about that for  bullshit. 

wring me out and hang me up to dry before I go mouldy...

Which means it's friggin' hot.  And for nine...  NINE! days runnin'...  my cubicle of an appartment...   well I guess the thermomerter froze at thirty, because that bugger hasn't moved a milimiter from 30, 31 degrees because it LIKES it there.  The inhabitant does not.  And every day, sure as shit, we get warnings toward evening:  'Hey, bad thunderstorms comin' your way, batten down the hatches'.   About ten minutes before the actually hit.  Oh, they are lovely, they are.  Thunderstorms are dangerous here, btw.  They bring hail.  Up north of here, they came down the size of golf balls the other day.  We got little pebbles.  Outside it got to 37, 38, records were broken and the ditz brains on the radio were just chirping away, what a terrific summer, and go swimming and drown, or be glad you're not in Italy.  Jeebus.  One day they will get such a crank call from me.  For them, everyone is always on holiday or an extended weekend.  So how come they work?

Yes, I'm being a piss-poor sport about stoically going through a heat wave, it's not like we haven't had them before.  My problem is that all my windows face south and there aren't any on the other side to cross venitlate, and cool my four walls down. 

But today was special, because, for the second time in six weeks, we had a notice that they were gonna turn off the electricity for several HOURS.  And I thought, 'hokay, I'm living in rural russia or someplace worse.'  So I stayed up all night and created a fourth new character in my game.  A gay beschi...   sorcerer.  So-called because their armour looks like they've been on circuit parties in Miami and Fire Island.  But they're cool, and fight well.

And come early morning, it was time to check what happened yesterday on the Ven's soap, Days of our Lives, which isn't much of anything...   I'm waiting for Melanie to finally break out of the basement she's being held captive in...    And General Hospital, which is my poison of taste at the moment.  I had never known it was about two mob families, and that is sort of The Godfather on a never-ending loop.  Currently there is a psycopathic lady in it who causes me the only merriment I get in an otherwise dull day.  Whoever plays her is a joy to watch.

And rounded it off with some msnbc news shows, which is actually the topic here, not the heat, not the weather, not my sour grapes attitude.  Since it is the Fourth of July weekend, I guess, for those in the US. 

There seems to be an increasing, and to me, very valid concern, that...  having a vounteer military isn't exactly a 'perfect' thing.  It means that only one per cent of Americans serve.  (Something Bush and his cronies love, am sure...)...  What it means in the long run is that military families end up being a different sort of 'elite', except they are treated badly.  But the topic is suddenly being brought up with surprising frequency.  There IS this disconnect, 'oh yeah, you go and fight for us, you're fucking heros and heroines, but hey, we got our lives to live, thanks for your service.'  It is never said that way, but that is the attitude.

And just before the power went off, there was a clip of admiral Mullen ruminating about it, and what he was saying was, it's a problem.  And I never thought I would say it, but he's right.

In the Viet Nam era, there wasn't one family I knew who wasn't affected, hardly a family I knew who hadn't lost someone they loved in that dreadful, stupid war. 

Iraq?  Iran?  They've been fighting so long, most people don't even know why.

And then they get spit out of the armed forces and treated shabbily at best, or regarded as loose cannons.  Which is a shame.

Y'know, when I was a kid, there was the war in viet nam.  I didn't know ONE family who wasn't touched by it, or had losses in their families, tragedies, and they treated those vets worse than any war vets I can think of. 

But everyone was involved, everyone  had a side, everyone was personally concerrned with those who were conscripted.

I do have an inkling, and repeat, inkling, about what the military is like.  I was in the Civil Air Patrol and did a two week sort-of basic training on an air force base.  And at the height of the controversy about DADT, I described that to a cousin.  There wasn't a second in any day to think for yourself.  It was react, react, react, drill, polish, and gawwd help you if you didn't have your neighbor's back.  By the end, you were a cog in teh machine, a unit, and having a moment for yourself?  Oh, that was non-existant.  And I know, not all of service is basic training, but it can sure form you into what they want.  So self is nothing...   watching out for your others is everything, being safe.  DADT was stupid.

And what was a culture of its' own became a subculture.   In my opinion.

I wouldn't DARE speak to anyone in the service the way some people do...   and that shit-ass, 'thank you for your service' makes me want to puke every time I hear it.  It sure doesn't stop Joe Walsh from going after Tammy Duckworth and villifying her for 'talking about her service all the time', the friggin' bottom feeder.  Service is only good if you keep your mouf shut?  Do tell.

Or denigrating Kerry's service in the most horrendous ways...  it was appalling.

Whatever, there was an interesting clip of Admiral Mullen on yesterday's news.  His concern about the increasing divide between those who serve, and the great unwashed populace.  And he didn't say it, but I think there is an idea that everyone of a certain young age should serve their country.  Many countries have that rule, and Austria does.  You either serve in the military, of if you are a conscientious objector, you serve in social services, ambulance duty, or helping in hospitals, for instance.

You basically give up about a year of your life for the well-being of your country. 

And as it happened, I would have done the military time when I got my papers.  Except...  they dawdled so long, I was already too old, so it never happened.  But I would have.  Everyone I know has, it' a rite of passage that got stolen from me. 

Actually, it#s sort of morbid to think about..   you're thirty-six, you're too old to serve your adopted country.  I never felt good about that.

I think that sooner or later, things will go in that direction in the US.  And I wouldn't even think it a bad thing.  It should be about instilling the feeling of a common bond, a community, a nation. 

And no, am not going ga-ga or conservative.  But some things seem just to be...   the right thing to do.

So this weekend, GAG on the 'thank you for your service' shit.  Wouldn't it be a perfect world if you could ask  'Is there anything we can do for you?'

Oh yeah, that's sappy, soooo...   chalk it up to the heat, chalk it up to my hours of being electronically dead and sour grapes, chalk it up to whatever.  But in my perfect world...   that wouldn't be a bad thing to do.

Hope my relatives will be in Portsmouth this weekend.  Beautiful town.

And that is about as much sense as you'll get from my fried brain tonite.

edumachation issues

I've been sort of a recluse lately, but the one tie I have to the outside worls is to my tobacconist.  Who is about ten years younger than me.  AAnd nd she's a nice lady, loves to cook, I can go ON about recipes, and be the best sort of male fishwife you could think of when I go in in the morning, and get my daily 'fix'.    Ahhh...  sniggarettes.  Half the food I wanna eat I'm suddenly allergic to, but hey...  sniggarettes are gonna kill me, but so far, no signs.  Might dodge the bullet there... 

Now I've gone all old geehzer about kids in the supermarket in the mornings at seven, and how parents don't make their kids their school lunch any more...  which in times of austerity would be cheaper in the long run, and the little imps buy LOTS of sugar, which is gonna do them so much good, and make them so hyperactive, their parents will reconsider if it was worth having them in the first place.

But this past year...   I've been sorta surprised.  If I go in there at nine, or ten, or eleven, there are STILL kids hanging out in the supermarket, and I kept wondering, 'did they change the school hours?  What gives?' 

They're playing hookey!

And it became such a national problem, the parliament it it's vast 'wisdom', decided to implement a new law.  But let's take a closer look at this.  Most of the kids are from immigrant families.   Unless I've gone senile, it seems that the schools are failing these kids in very basic ways.  So it would be obvious, how to change that?  And there are programms in place which try.

However....   the new law has markers in place.  First beginning with a certain number of days missed, the parents get called in for a talk.  Social services are brought in.  If the little renitents still skip school, warnings are placed, and if the little buggers still won't go...   the parents get fined over four hundred euros, and most of those are the ones who can hardly afford it.


And there is the discipline problem, and some guy on the way right was for a good old-fashioned slap in the face.  Which caused the left to call for the guy's resignation.  It was fun.

The school year here ends friday, so it's been a burner of a debate, and 'the people on the street', have been hotly debating it all.

So...  to put this in perspective, kids nowadays are savvier, fresher, think they know alllll  about the world and can be insufferable little plagues.  And if a teacher is unable to gain their respect, he or she is in for a miserable time.  And since little kids are sadistic by nature, they go for the jugular.  It's how they are.

So I've been privy to conversations in the morning about topic A.

'Listen, my kids have really gone over the line sometimes, and I gave them a healthy slap in the face.'

Me:  'errm, I took care of small kids, but I never had to raise a hand or threaten.  I did get hit by my grandma, but I knew I was in the wrong and deserved it because I went too far.  But just to hit a kid for no reason?  Don't buy it.  It begins with the parents, and if they don't have the time, they shouldn't have had them.  Or expect teachers to do what is basically THEIR job.  I've heard of kindergarten teachers having to teach kids to tie thier shoes, because they don't know how.  That shouldabeen  the parents.'  (shocked reaction)

And I know, I go all over the place.

Sometimes it pays to be older, you remember things.  And yesterday I said, 'Well, where I grew up, if the kids played hookey, they ended up in juvenile prisons.'  And boy did my tobacconists' eyes light up like two christmas trees over THAT.  Wooo---hoo and boy howdy.  Except she had the wrong idea...  she thought they got into some sort of juvie prison and had classes, and drilled in edumacation.

Mighta worked, come to think of it.  Except the reality was, they became incorrigible felons.  And got buggered, and no one gave a shit about them, so they came out way the worse for wear, and dumber than a giraffe wearing a bonnet.

And then, the first lightning bolt hit twelve hours before the worst thunderstorm we've had in years.

'My mother always says it.  What Hitler did to the Jews was wrong.  But god damn it, he created oder, he gave people jobs, and everyone had to do what is RIGHT.'.

This from the lady who is so progressive, and with whom I can laugh heartily?  I was fucking spitless.

And I went quiet, which is when I'm most deadly:  'NOTHING he did was right, and I understand the historical context.  What is WRONG is that parents don't have any fucking time to really take care of the kids they spawn.  And you have to begin at the beginning, verdammt noch mal.'

Well, it ended in a deadlock, as most things tend to do. 

But it was polite.  Maybe a point was made from my side, there was much more to it.  Don't know.

But I hate the term 'gesunde watschen'.  Which means a 'healthy slap in the face'.  Nothing healthy about it.  I witnessed one once, my friend G.  Was at his family's for dinner, and he got fresh with his mother, who was a basically lovely lady.  And she shot one off at him so hard, it was totally embarrassing.  but he really was asking for it.

Just as an aside, she really waa a lovely lady.  All the more shock when she one day said 'Hitler had the right idea.  They should gas the gays.'  I never went back. 

I know that must have hurt her, and she died not long after, but, I wasn't up for confrontation in those days, and her husband was a state police officer, could have been expelled.  I felt sorry for her.

At the moment, would like to put on crosby stills and nash, and listen to 'teach your children well'...  or the incomprable Sondheim from Into the Woods...  Children Will Listen.

So that's the 'concern' of  the man-woman on the street.  What friggin KILLS me is that that bastard ADI keeps fucking up the conversation.  It's like a zombie you can't kill, hey.  And saddens me. So much for edumacation.

Just an addendum about the airline fight described below

So...  the national airline gets swallowed up by the smaller 'daughter' company, ok?  Both have unions, and the 'daughter' one is weaker.  The plutocrats decide....  the speakers for the union will be from the smaller company, and not the vastly bigger one.   Now, those from the smaller one don't want to be caught in the middle of this cat-fight, those from the national one feel they've just got a k.o.  ....  annd....  the assholes in charge sit back and grin. 

Am I mistaken here, or wasn't that what Scott Walker of friggin' Nebraska meant about driving wedges? 


Happy 4th.... not that you really notice, just a day for beach.

Í have taken a long hiatus from writing.  Partly or mostly because of health issues, which had me very preoccupied.  But as in most happy end stories, it wasn't life threatening, as I'd first thought.  It was stupid, and painful, and made me the world's worst grouch.

And it wasn't the painful part that made me so.  I just STOPPED...  and thought, 'whaddaya doin here?'  Getting your gall out for things you really can't do much about?  Now, at the beginning, the health care debate made me catch fire in a way I'd never cared so much about before.  And I was more than willing to put myself way out there and tell truth to lies.  And didn't care who knew it.  Who else would have experienced both models, the european and the US ones, and make any sort of sense about it?

Having been spent over fifteen years in our system with my very ill significant other gave me the right to speak out.  And know whereof I speak.

Did it do any good?  Doubt it.  Did it make me feel better?  Yes, oh, yes.

If I reached one person...  it was a good thing to do.  And I fully stand by it.  The so-called debate was infuriating, and so long...   well, other topics were obviously needed as fillers.  But it was my main bugaboo.  For any conservative running across this...  it was the truth.

So Happy Fourth of July, you get health care.  maybe.  What is being shovelled under the rug is that the poorest will NOT.  Because, y'know, no one ever talks about 'em.  But it IS a wonderful beginning, and I wasn't sure that the assholes who ruled that corportations have speech weren't gong to strike it down in its' enirety. 

Yay.   Nice catch, them trying to be respectable again.  And heartless as ever, but ok, you take what you can get.

Because I haven't been posting doesn't mean I tuned out.  I do watch cable news via internet.  And that was another concern, going with the choir and being all johnny one note on issues.  I've never followed mainstream opinions of any side.

Things here have been 'interesting'.  There was a several month long fight between the national airline, and their 'daughter' firm.  And they were waaay in debt, so...   they got swallowed up by the german national airline, who had swallowed up the swuss national airline some years ago, and, well, they were gonna have to cut costs.  The german mother firm was very clear about what our whores had to do.

So they went after the unions, and in and uprecedented act, declared the contracts our national airline people had null and void, and they would have to agree to taking on the contract the 'daughter' airline had.  Because, y'know, it's austerity, and everybody has to make a sacrifice.

In this case, the sacrifice was a 25% cut in salary...  and the elimination of severance pay.  Now severance pay is sort of like a 401 K plan...  the longer you work, the more you get, and if you retire, it is a sort of  financial cushion which helps you while you are doing the rigamarole of getting officially retired.  Which for pilots is especially a lot of money.  Whoosh, gone.

Well, it was harsh as harsh can be.  And the unions are strong here.  So for months, they laid out new proposals, hell, they were willing to sacrifice, and make comprimises....  but oh no, the fucking german mothership would have made Romney proud.  Ruthless, is what it was.

If everyone had walked, the airline would have been kaputt, and no one wanted that.  And it involved ten thousand people and their livelihoods.  So when it came down to the wire...  ten percent walked, and the others caved, and swallowed a bitter pill.

And y'know...  when I see all the stuff about Nebraska, and Ohio, and all that's happened there?  I can hardly be surprised. 

That is what oligarchs DO.

As to the morning news on radio...  I get laughing fits, although it isn't funny.  A seemingly endless series of corruption scandals, involving lobbyists who cost the taxpayers money through putting through deals, and involving huuuuge (for austria) commissions, and there's this one guy who still is referred to as a count, altho carrying that sort of title isn't actually legal, but everyone knows he is....  and this 'person' has received a mess of money in 'commisions'.  As he was/is married to a former health commissioner, there was a fun thing about him providing us all with face masks during the avian flu scare, which btw amounted to nothing...  but of course he denies it...  they went to the czechs, the idjits, and he made a killing, and his wife is threatening libel suits all over the place.  He really is delightful, the press love him.  He goes into a hearing, and takes our version of the 5th repeatedly for hours?  And comes out and says, 'We had a nice conversation'.  Reallah....

And as all this happenend while the conservatives were in power, they are very damaged, soooo...  they made up a 'transparancy' law about donating, and lobbyists, and it is so transparent...  well, suffice it to say it's just farce.

The count is fascinating.  We've had colorful figures among us, but this guy is amazing.  my last fractured fairy tale was about him, actually.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this blog.  During the health care fight, my goal was set, and it was important to me.  So I haven't really decided yet. 

(This he says sitting in a thunderstorm and it's hailing, and with the winders open, because....  gawwddam...  for over a week it was 38 degrees heat..... which is wilt and die... and my apt thermometer has been stuck at 30.  A breath of fresh air to an asthmatic is a wonderful thing.  At least the hailstones aren't golf-ball sized like north of here.....  And the electric is on...  most of the lines are under ground, ya might wanna consider it for the next milennium.

Have a nice weekend, and enjoy the new thing you've gotten, even if it fully hasn't kicked in yet.  I promise you'll like it.  Just ask anyone in Massachussetts.

Poster Boy for how not to be a son just in time for father's day

There is a pundit who nicknamed a dubious journalist 'joke line'  Which is his name separated, not an anagram. 

He is a 'terrific' son.  And one of the most vile journamilists evah, which is why he gets printed in Time.

But I was bored out of my non-existant tits, and watched the indescribable Morning Joe...  which consists of 'elites' tee-hee ing and braying, and barely stomachable, unless you haven't eaten yet.

They were the last to eliminate the bloviatings of the disgusting Pat Buchanan.

There is so much wrong with the interview, it revived me from my lethargy.   And you gotta KNOW that fuck-shit spent big bucks, but wow!  he got this corporate group (who cut hsi costs), and yeah, they died, happens to everyone... 

What I found revolting was the 'attitoode'.  Sanctimonious git. 

Then again, I hate him from the time he fucked over clinton in a novel and issued it anonymously.  Spineless garbage.

Just a note.  peter's still alive, and I've never been consulted about his eventual death.

There is more to come tomorrow.  But this really stuck in my craw.,0,0,0"> name="movie" value="" />" width="420" height="245" FlashVars="launch=47628155&width=420&height=245" allowscriptaccess="always" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage=""> style="font-size:11px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #999; margin-top: 5px; background: transparent; text-align: center; width: 420px;">Visit for breaking'>">breaking news," style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">world news, and" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #999 !important; font-weight:normal !important; height: 13px; color:#5799DB !important;">news about the economy