Daughter texts me at 1 telling me she has to be downtown at the library for an art exhibit. Okay; can do. While I was downtown at work I took a brisk stroll over to the site to see what was there. I am not a fan of the library, even though it’s a Pelli building. It’s split by a tall narrow atrium that makes me feel like I’m in a Death Star trash compactor.

En route I realized I never finished the Construction series from last year; I just left you all hanging, wondering well? Well?

Here’s the Opus residential tower now. This took them about 14 months.

It's the irregular balcony placement that keeps it from being just another glass block. It's certainly preferable to what stood on the site before, which was A) nothing, and before that B) the boring and boxy Sheraton-Ritz. (I'd link, but the site is under a bit of construction.)

Did I mention her work was in the exhibit? It was a high school exhibition, and her teacher had chosen her and a handful of others to contribute. Daughter was surprised this work was chosen, since she had dashed it off and didn’t think too much of it, although she liked the shirt.

Did I mention her work was in the exhibit? It was a high school exhibition, and her teacher had chosen her and a handful of others to contribute. Daughter was surprised this work was chosen, since she had dashed it off and didn’t think too much of it, although she liked the shirt.

Around 6 we drove downtown, talking about this “Food Desert” unit she had in class, how they’d been taught that the family farm had disappeared.

That’s amusing because I just wrote a check for the property taxes on the family farm.


I said I just wrote

I KNOW, but what? I explained that the land my great-grandfather settled was still in the family, the farm was run by my cousin, and my mom had willed land to her kids. I rented the land to my cousin, and I paid the ridiculous, sky-high taxes. She was surprised to find that there were not only family farms, but she was in a sense a part of one. This led to a discussion of industrial farming, and I brought up the Cargill Meat Solutions story I related yesterday.

Seems as if that should mean something, but nah. So we look at the art, and she points out that her teacher had asked for one of those explainers, and she was the only one who had such a text.

You're really good at this art-explainer BS, I said.

Aren't I?

I wouldn't have used incite

Yeah well everyone's a critic

I was very proud. Then we drove to Panera and had a conversation about advertising and cling peaches. She was in such a wonderful mood she even wanted to go to Target with me.

An ordinary day, and possibly my favorite for the year. Just because.



On and on the story goes.

Diner 2018 E07.




Nothing more exciting than picking through the errors in a week-old tweet, I always say

Actually, I don’t. I don’t know anyone who says a certain thing over and over. Even when Yosemite Sam used that line, it wasn’t familiar, and I’d seen every cartoon he did. That was back when Looney Tunes came on in the morning, and I enjoyed it with a toaster pastry on which I spread a glistening line of delicious icing.

I was a grown, married man working as a national correspondent for a news service in Washington DC.

Let me explain, please. The entire day was nothing but news. The moment I stepped out of the house I was listening to news; I walked three miles to the office, where I would read newspapers and read the news wires. When it was done I would go home and watch the evening news. To keep myself sane I started every day by watching Looney Tunes, which came on at 7:30 AM. They cycled through the cartoons, early to late, and when they got to the later period ones I sighed and went to the news.

Something something something, I alls say, Sam Said. You had to take his word for it. But why would you always say something? It would be annoying; it would probably be appropriate one time out of ten, and then you’d be all pleased and happy, and everyone else would be rolling their eyes. Okay this time it’s relevant.

If I use the phrase now, it’s because I don’t always say it. I screen grab interesting tweets but toss most. Still, this seemed illustrative.


That’s a grabber, eh?

Well, here's the lede.

It was Christmastime in Washington, and Ben Carson couldn’t stop talking about the apocalypse.

There you have it: religion and the end times: these guys are nuts. Carson in particular, amirite? Weird dude. Well, I think Carson has a fascinating bio, and has said odd things, but do you know doctors? Doctors are odd people. For better and worse. If Dr. C had spent Christmas Eve with some cultists talking about how DJT was straight out of Revelations, where Men of the Orange Land would ride a hundred-hoofed beast to slay the Handmaid of Babylon, I would still want to know whether they were serious or just goofing on Revelations.

What, then, was the writer of the WaPo piece talking about?

“Did you know,” the secretary of housing and urban development asked his acting chief of staff, Deana Bass, at a Capitol Hill holiday party, “that if North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon into our exosphere, it could take out our entire electrical grid?”

Okay. Well, context would help; did he blurt this out after someone said “I am loving these canapés,” or were they talking about proposals to harden the grid?

Bass shook her head.

This does not speak well of Deana Bass, but let that go.

“What’s that movie where there’s complete lawlessness and anarchy for one night a year?” Carson said, calmly resting his right hand over his left. “ ‘The Purge’! It will be like ‘The Purge’ all the time.”

Carson is an acclaimed neurosurgeon who oversees a large government agency for which he has no particular qualifications and in this way represents the grand theme of the Trump administration. He, like the president, came to power by promising that an outsider would have the “common sense” it takes to cure what ails us.

We are meant to be horrified by this, I gather, but I’m not. First of all, there’s no Christian / Apocalypse connection here, and I’m not buying the implication. Second, while the subject of an EMP is outside the HUD mandate, you can easily imagine a flattering piece written about someone who inhabited the proper political parameters.

The small battlefield of pediatric neurosurgery may seem far removed from war in space, but Dr. Benjamin Carson has not confined his concerns like his predecessors at HUD. In conversation at a recent gathering, he reminded guests that the nation’s electrical grid was vulnerable to a form of disruption scientists call an “Electro-Magnetic Pulse” - and that the consequences of defeating the administration’s bill to harden vital infrastructure would be foolhardy.

“What’s that movie where there’s complete lawlessness and anarchy for one night a year?” said Dr. Carson, a noted movie buff.  ‘The Purge’! It will be like ‘The Purge’ all the time.”

The pop-culture reference may have escaped the older DC habitués in attendance, but the Pentagon wouldn’t have to check IMDB to know what Carson meant. Several studies have looked at the effect an EMP would have on the nation, and the outcomes are uniformly dire. Carson pressed the point to other guests throughout the night, and observers note that his activist role in raising consciousness shows the administration’s willingness to redefine the role of the Cabinet - and find intersectional appeals to shore up the nation’s security.

Could you imagine them saying that? Maybe about a white guy.




We're currently having a small amout of fun with Batman.

This’ll bring you up to speed.

Let's unhang the cliff, then:


I don’t remember them having breathing tubes on them, let alone a metal-cutting torch, but I suppose Batman’s always prepared for that sort of thing.

Back to the Bat House, where Barry Brown, the strange radio guy who seems to know everything, is reporting the death of Batman and Robin in the warehouse. Obviously he’s getting inside info from the Wizard, so they drop over to his house and arrest him.

No, of course not. But at least Commissioner Gordon says that Barry Brown is Suspect #1. So who shows up in the office?

Barry Brown! Who doesn’t see anything suspicious in this Bruce Wayne guy and his youthful ward hanging around the police office. And since he’s Suspect #1, the Commissioner doesn’t say anything when a policeman walks in with a secret message:

The Wizard: not a detail-kind-of-guy.

Well, we see the scientist use his electric chair to give him use of his legs - a device, by the way, that would make him millions of dollars if he sold it, but no, he has to use his Legs for Evil. It doesn't look fun.


He goes to his lab and stops trains by remote control.

All the sci-fi serials of the day were obsessed with remote control.

Meanwhile, in the iron-clad secret identity front: Batman discovers that Vicky Vale is following him.

Oh, by the way: Spot the Robin.

Well, this one is a desert / hills ep, so it’s out to the hideout. There’s always a hideout in the hills. Some graceful skulking here:

As it happens, the crooks are outside the cabin. And so:


The reason the crooks are outside, of course, is because we haven’t had a bomb cliffhanger in a while.

Note Batman’s careful “I am observing and ready to spring into action” posture here.

He’s about the worst Batman ever. I have a soft spot for this serial, but he's just such a dork sometimes.


Well, we've made it past Tuesday. Let's all celebrate the middle of the week with a sense of satisfaction and redoubled initiative! Or not. Your call. Below, some actors you might not have heard about from the dim forgotten era that seems oddly more familiar to me the older I get. See you around.



blog comments powered by Disqus