Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Bigger They Are . . .

Yesterday while I was negotiating a somewhat steep downward slope along the desert path midway through my four-mile daily fitness walk I inadvertently stepped into a scattering of loose pebbles, lost my footing, and fell backward, landing after a midair twist on my right side. Luckily I had instinctively thrown my right arm in that direction to regain my balance, and so my forearm took the major shock of the fall. All I suffered was a skinned elbow, a sore right arm, and a terribly bruised 71 year old ego.

Trying to remember exactly how long it had been since I had last fallen down, I was able to recall in memory that exact instant; it was back in December of 1981 when I slipped on the ice-covered sidewalk at VTI (Valparaiso Technical Institute) when I was a student at that school.

Several other nearby pedestrians witnessed the sight of me being launched into the air and then landing flat on my back. Aside from embarrassment, there were no notable injuries at that time either.

Guess I should be more careful.


My final trip (of three) in the last two weeks to the Motor Vehicle department was a success. Now I am a legal resident of the state of Arizona. I have in my wallet an official Arizona State non-driver (photo ID) Identification Card. And I am legally registered to vote in Tucson.

Now I can show my papers to any law enforcement officer who might suddenly feel inclined to ask to see them.

"Whew! What a relief."


Every so often I stumble across some bit of ancient lore that gives me hope for the continuance of human kind.

Here is a portion of a letter from H.L. Mencken to Upton Sinclair

So long as there are men in the world, 99 percent of them will be idiots, and so long as 99 percent of them are idiots they will thirst for religion, and so long as they thirst for religion it will remain a weapon over them. I see no way out. If you blow up one specific faith, they will embrace another. And if, by any magic, you purge them of pious credulity altogether, they will simply swallow worse nonsense in some other department.

This fact constantly forces itself upon me when I read the usual anti-clerical literature say in Socialist tracts or in such papers as the Truth-Seeker. What always emerges is this: that the stupid man, even after he has been convinced that Jonah did not actually swallow the whale, still remains a dunder-head. Today he is on his knees; tomorrow, emancipated, he snorts with the Boisheviki. Turn to Italy. Anti-clericalism is the fashion--but the country swarms with quacks. The mob-man must believe something, and it must be something indubitably not true. The one thing he can't get down is a fact.

For these reasons, it seems to me a waste of time to attack the dominies.

I used to do it for the fun of it, but never seriously. In truth, I can never take religion seriously enough to get in a sweat about it. It simply doesn’t interest me. All I ask is to be let alone. If, as seems likely, the present mania for passing Christian legislation goes to such lengths that life in the United States becomes insupportable, I shall move out. But meanwhile what goes on in churches intrigues me no more than what goes on in lodge-rooms of the Knights of Pythias. I know no one who is religious, and hence am not privately bothered. I often read religious books, but only as a relaxation."


It is almost a maxim that a writer should write to his audience. Fair enough, although writers inadvertently do so anyway, sometimes unintentionally. And thereby further limit their audience.

For example: A writer waxing nostalgic used the line, "the smell of morning bacon" to stimulate the reader's fond memories of early morning pleasures within the warmth of typical Christian family life. But what image might the smell of morning bacon invoke in the mind of a member of a Muslim family? Perhaps the rancid stench of burning pig meat?

A modern writer has much to consider in a multicultural world.

A pigeon, with its lofty sight;
can see things humans can't.

But sometimes a farsighted world view,
blinds the watcher to danger underfoot.


My Word For The Day

an advocate; intercessor; pleader;
(in Christianity, The Holy Spirit)


At Kevin I. Slaughter's blog, (high up on the right side) is this disclaimer:

I don't spellcheck often.
If that bothers you, go away.

In fact, if you're looking for any excuse, go away.
These are my personal thoughts, interests, projects, etc.
Please do assume that anything on this blog may potentially by NSFW.

That struck me as being fair warning.


"Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar."
--Mickey Spillane


  1. If Mickey Spillane wanted to be remembered as a peanut vendor, then he succeeded.

  2. I remember Mickey Spillane well, but not for peanut vending...for 'I The Jury' and for Mike Hammer. And according to Wikipedia, Spillane was responsible for seven of the top 15 all-time best-selling fiction titles in the U.S.

    You know what they say about not being able to eat just one peanut.