Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Few Notes

I remain unmoved. A prominent tv newsman died Friday, and the airwaves have been devoted to his memory, as if he were someone important. Is that unkind? The entire process seems incestuous, to me. I suppose it's the way firemen or policemen hold parades for their fallen comrades. They devote time and energy to the public mourning of their peers. It must be the same with tv reporters. It's just another job, but one that holds the microphone. So Tim Russert's death is important. As if it were news.

It must be nice, to indulge oneself that way. Someone you know dies so you get to make the whole world pay attention to the matter. Doesn't affect me in the least. I don't watch the news. Years and years ago I came to understand that news must have some element of importance to it, or else it's just gossip. It must somehow influence your life, or else be on such a scale that its sheer human drama makes it noteworthy. By this definition, there's hardly any news at all. Russert's beat was politics, and he moved among the Powers and Principalities, so he was most likely a serious person. No matter. His death should have been a mere notation.

Heart attack. He was only 58. Only ten years older than me. Man he looked bad. A chunk of cholesterol broke loose and dropped him like a bullet. Didn't he know? On and on about how he took meds and exercised to control the problem. I guess he only looked into a mirror to put on makeup. I don't say that to be mean. It's just that he only had to look at himself to see what bad shape he was in. Wasn't that a clue? Sometimes the problem is so obvious that it is nothing less than suicide.

Sensible exercise and sensible diet. How fat do you have to be, to be fat in your face? Faces shouldn't jiggle. So yeah, it's a shame and all that. But the proper care and feeding of a human being isn't a mystery. There comes a point when neglect becomes criminal. In such cases, it's not only the sick man who suffers. Maybe he's lucky enough to have a family that loves him? Now all they have is grief.

I've alluded to the sick man in my current household. My stepfather. Sometimes he's utterly incoherent. Tonight he thought, again, that my mother was having an affair. My mid-seventies mother. The point is, he did all this to himself, the diabetes and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and other things. He treated his body like a garbage can for as long as I've known him. No warning or advice made a difference. Now he's nothing but a burden.

Harsh? Take it as a warning. We can't be perfect, but we can be better. We don't have to do everything, but we can do something.

So I've been working on a project, some renovating, and a few weeks ago I banged my knee, and it got all hysterical and inflamed. All swollen and puffy, and I couldn't even figure out what the problem was, but after a week a bump clued me in. That's a relief. We like to know that there are causes. I haven't rolled for two weeks, and it's nice to have an excuse, but the point is that I feel great. No ache at all. So it's a blessing, of sorts. The point is, we have to listen to our bodies, the way we listen to our boss. The way we should listen to our conscience.

Today I was at the building supply store and met someone I used to roll with. He chatted a bit and asked if I'd be coming back. I said with a wry smile that they wouldn't have me back. His awkward nod suggested that he'd heard some gossip. That set me thinking again, about how everyone would have asked what happened to me. And they'll just have to lie. Oh, he trains somewhere else now. Yes, true, but it is a lie as well. But perhaps we'd be dealing with consciences that are so unsophisticated that they don't even see the lie. I have wished, in my life, that there was a way to simply cut out large chunks of memory. Every amputation has a cost, but necrotic flesh is poisonous.

I am troubled by a surfeit of sexual energy. Usually I have a handle on it. I've always had too many hormones. I suspect it's because I haven't been exercising. I'm a great believer in sublimation. It's necessary. Why did God do this? I'm so tired of tests. I think about how prisons are full of violent men, who are violent because of their hormones -- well, that and bad character. But if you had their hormones you'd most likely be violent too. Impulse control is a function of brain chemistry. As with any vice, any criminal tendency, we may have a physical predisposition to it. It's not an excuse. But it should make us, most of us, thankful for the temptations that we have. They could be worse, and so much more powerful.

I've been thinking about this blog. I started it two and a half years ago as a way to vent, here, rather than vent in the public place that I found myself for several hours a day. That motive is no longer operative. The great undercurrent of those years was the absence of my son, who is now returned to me. I have no reason to vent about any social circumstance that I might find myself in nowadays. All that really remains, to hold me here, is my love of writing.

No, I'm not closing down FP. But my daily attentions don't seem profitable to me. I'm thinking two or three a week. I've said it before though. We'll see. My fires burn bright, when they burn. That, by way of explanation to anyone who may have noticed my inattention.



Anonymous said...

Came to see if you had weighed in on Russert and I see that you have. Hardly a post I could link to, but entertaining nonetheless. You're pretty tough regarding Tim's weight. I realize everything you say is true, but it's difficult for some to treat their interiors as flawlessly as they might care for a brand new pair of shoes. It's called food addiction, and if I could shake it myself, I'd be marathoning next week. --

I gained lots of respect for Tim Russert when he interviewed Huckabee, and instead of continuing with his hard style way of interviewing, he backed off a bit (enough to surely notice), as Huckabee, who DID have a moral leg to stand on, wasn't going down with Tim's usual in-your-dirty-politician-face stuff. I thought highly of Tim that he didn't make himself look like a fool, but let some heart take over ... both Mike's AND his.

Here's a couple links that maybe you'd enjoy for this reason or that!

Link #1
Link #2


Anonymous said...

yes, some of us notice when you're not around, but know better than to mention it :)

..maybe you could set up a subscription thingy, so we can be notified when there's a new post. That way I won't have to feel like a stalker, checking up on you everyday.

Jack H said...

Your point is well taken, but my greater point may have been missed. It isn't about weight. It's not even about fat. It's about health. There are plenty of really healthy heavy people. Skin fat doesn't matter. Organ fat kills. That's the jiggle I was talking about. It isn't about appearance, but we have to observe the clues we're given. We all have addictions. They are all emotionally based. Nobody NEEDS cocaine. Nobody needs cupcakes. What void are we trying to fill? Well, that's both personal and obvious. But what makes it matter is the example we set to those for whom we're responsible, and the pain we cause them by harming ourselves.

That's why I'm hard on Russert and his suicide. It's not about running marathons. Which I've done. It's about meeting fundamental responsibilities. That Russert threw softballs to a non-serious politician is one thing, which might have earned him some kind thoughts. Why wasn't he kind to himself, in a way that made a difference. Now his son is a half orphan, 30 years too soon. This is not a place for sympathy.

As for Huck, the reason Russert was soft on him is that H could never ever ever ever win. Which is what R wanted. Put the weakest one forward. That is not a good thing.


Jack H said...

As for you, A, I think there's some sort of mechanism for what you suggest, but doesn't it come from your end? I don't mind carrying the world and all its problems on my broad shoulders, but do I have to do everything. Sheesh.


Anonymous said...

ok, I did some of your work for you.
This is what Atlas Shrugs uses. I don't know if its free.

I'm sure we'll all check on you daily if you decide not to feedblitz us. It's just the disappointment of seeing you're not there....kind of like when the Sunday paper is missing from your driveway.

Anonymous said...

oh. I see I can sign up without your participation. Yea.

Jack H said...

Your plaintive mewlings move me so very deeply. I am ever so pleased that you have managed to find a way out of your intractable dilemma. May the Universe continue to rain down such bountiful blessing upon you.

Anonymous said...

jack once again illustrates why humans flee from him. We know NOTHING really moves you deeply, jackie.

Jack H said...

The preceding comment from an anonymous correspondent might better have been placed under the posting, "Bird Flu" -- in which the Author demonstrates the callous nature of his unfeeling heart.


Will C. said...

"All that really remains, to hold me here, is my love of writing."

And just what about us? Who exactly can replace you? VDH? Lileks? Whittle? Sowell? We've got no more WFB, and same for D. James Kennedy. And you are those two melded into one.

Selfish of us?...maybe. But the fact is, you have a gift Jack. You need to continue to share it with the world.

Jack H said...

Oh get along with you.

D. James Kennedy is gone? That is a shame. But as I say, I stopped watching TV. Even good TV.

Seriously though, I appreciate the kind thoughts. Sometimes I get all bundled up in my angst, and forget my blessings. I'd do this for a living, but no one's offering to pay me, and I'm too dysfunctional to make anything happen myself. Who will be my hero? Even so, a few kind words, and I'll continue just to spite myself.