The Thursday Curse of the Bleat - weak tea, rote apologies - is due to the demands of Wednesday, such as they are; I spend the day rustling around for column ideas, bang it out in the PM time as is my wont, and come to this, my familiar dais, with a thin script and some muttered assurances tomorrow will be better. Thus it has always been! Except for the times when I wasn’t doing the Friday column because the nightmare editor who parachuted in to upend everyone’s Etch-A-Sketch killed my column. One of those newspaper people who ends up in trade journals but never seems to produce anything that uses words in memorable fashion.

It’s an odd industry. You get people like her in charge of vast amounts of text, and they couldn’t craft an aphorism if you gave them a year’s sabbatical at the Aphorism Academy in Tuscany. You’d get a Moleskin notebook with “life is like a grape” on the first page and 119 empty pages after that.

Well. That passed and she’s gone and I’m still here in the paper. I would have put her in the third novel in the Mill City series, the one set in the dying newspaper in 2009, if there was any aspect to her tenure or personality that was interesting enough to lampoon.

Anyway: column to do. Also, dull mood: the low pedal point of a minimalist Philip Glass piece, waiting for the pretentious embroidery of monotonous crystalline melodies. Also, between writing the above and now, it’s been about an hour, which I spent A) finishing the column, B) writing a proposal for a big, big BIG newspaper profile, C) stepping outside for the occasional consultation with the small cigar, listening to the tumble of water on the Oak Island Water Feature, inaugurated into action on this late date in early June, and D) continuing my perusal of the Blu-Ray Star Trek movie series I got for Christmas. Three is underrated. Four is overrated but still has period charms. Five I haven’t seen in a very long time. As dreadful as I remember. Shatner apparently thought “humor, that’s the core essence of Star Trek. The funny.” The movie is the essential dilution of the concept of incompetence bracketed by studio logos. It takes a rare man to consciously waste David Warner, and Shatner was that man. God love him, but the movie just hurts.

I remember sitting in the theater, and having one of those moments when you turn on the movie. It was the moment the Klingon ship destroyed a Pioneer probe. For a joke. To illustrate that Klingons were bored. You had that sinking feeling: Holy Cow. Shatner doesn’t get any of this.



Whenever I come up with something for this feature it ends up seeming like a backhanded compliment - you know, that’s where you compliment someone then strike them across the face with the back of your hand, so they know you weren’t completely serious. Somewhat serious, yes, or you’d slapped them with your palm.

Sorry, again. Whenever I come up with something for this, it falls into a category best described as “awful enough to set a compelling example to instruct future generations,” or “a small ray of sunshine piercing the adamantine vault of clouds,” or something like that. This . . . well, I am hard-pressed to find anything redeeming. And by that I mean I have been pressing a medium-sized stone into my side for a while, and nothing’s working.

When is a stone a rock? There’s got to be a sliding scale, but it’s rather unclear. A large stone could be a small rock. The idea of an “enormous stone” isn’t right, any more than “a gigantic pebble,” but the tomb of Christ was guarded by a Stone, which was big enough to guard the entrance but small enough to roll over it. Unless the tomb was small.

Sorry. Here’s a picture from Disneyland in 1978.


That’s not the reason I post it, although it’s nifty enough. Here’s the logo that accompanied the press release:



Rather 70s colors. This combination will be coming back very soon whether you like it or not.

Oh: about that picture: a detail.



The guy on the right is actually delighted by . . .




So that's what was good about the 70s. All that. But just for the backhanded hard-pressed stone part: the news story pasted on the back of the photo. (It's from the morgue at work.)

Imagine a news service running something this depressing, this down-in-the-mouth, this overflowing-with-miserablism glumness, and you begin to understand the national mood in the 1970s.


I remember that stuff. This was the common tone of everything. Reember: that's an article about fargin' DISNEYLAND.


More restaurants today; the usual things in the usual places, including a workblog post on a cartoonist remembered by a few who read the paper in the 70s, a man with an amazing line. Stop by! There's always something. And it's Father's Day Week at Lint, the tumblr. Enjoy.




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