Posts Tagged ‘New England Patriots’

Letter From New York 04 25 2016 From beheadings to Deflategate…

April 25, 2016

I’m not sure where the term “dog tired” came from but that’s what I am today, “dog tired.”  When I woke it was a grey, chill day, unremittingly grey.  At class I was struggling to get my rambunctious students to pay attention while I was helping them fill in the background of what they needed to know about media history.   

Most of them are graduating in three weeks and there are only four more classes for them and you can sense them stampeding toward the doors. 

Leaving them, I went down to Relish, the little cafe by the train station and had an egg white omelet, reading a mystery by Louise Penny while eating.  Coming home, I did a conference call and then prepped for some interviews I am doing for our community radio station tomorrow.

The American Dance Institute has purchased a rundown lumberyard in Catskill and is converting it to performance spaces and living quarters for artists while they’re in residence.  It’s an exciting project…

I am talking to Chris Bolan, their Community Relations Manager, tomorrow about the project.

So right now, I am listening to jazz, sipping a much needed martini and working on  figuring out kitchen organization.  I have more stuff than space.  What goes?  What stays and where does what stays, go?

One of the reasons I felt tired or maybe a bit depressed was that as I was walking toward my class, the phone pinged and the BBC reported a leading gay activist in Bangladesh had been hacked to death, not too long after a liberal blogger had been similarly dispensed.  I felt sad, angry, helpless, wanting to do something to change the tide of hate sweeping the world and not knowing at all what to do about it.

The afternoon brought news that a Canadian in the Philippines has been killed by an Islamist militant group.  His name was John Ridsdel, described as brilliant and compassionate; he was a 68 year old tourist from Calgary, Canada.  Beheaded, of course, in keeping with tradition.

On the American political scene, Cruz and Kasich made a pact to stop Trump by Kasich withdrawing from Indiana in favor of Cruz and Cruz withdrawing from Oregon in favor of Kasich.  After great fanfare this morning, it seems to have fallen apart by the afternoon.

It was not a good day for the New England Patriot’s Tom Brady as the courts upheld his suspension from the first four games of the season.  Deflategate has not gone away; its repercussions are still being felt and Brady’s legacy is at stake.  He could still appeal but his chances aren’t good.  The NFL may well have won.

Hard for me to figure this out as I am not a football fan; never a big fan, I was totally lost to the sport when the concussion revelations began to happen.

It is a mellow night at the cottage.  It is 7:30 and the sun has not yet gone away.  There are buds on the trees and the rhododendron are starting their bloom.  The jazz has energized me and I am happy now.  Somehow, in writing this, I have shed this day.  And I am grateful.

Thank you.

Letter From New York 01 29 15 Recent events and good friends…

January 29, 2015

As I make the return journey from the city, I am riding alongside a steel grey Hudson River on a day that is equally grey. The world feels a gloomy place and there are reports of more deep cold and snow arriving. Looking out the window, it almost seems I am viewing a black and white film.

Here in New York, much of the news is focused on the fall of Sheldon Silver, the soon to be ex-Speaker of the State Assembly. His fall from grace is being chronicled by news outlets both on the left and right; it has been a stunning collapse in the fortunes of a man who has ruled the State Assembly with an iron fist for more than two decades. Accused of graft, he is being forced from his position and his maneuverings to exercise power in the background have been thwarted by newly elected legislators and forces from the suburbs around the city.

When first accused there were supporting voices. In the last week, they have fallen silent. His law firm has fired him. Fellow legislators and old friends are distancing themselves. He is in a very lonely spot.

The New England Patriots have more than one problem as they roll toward Super Bowl Sunday. There is the shadow cast on them by Deflategate; according to one report I read today, the majority of Americans think they did it. The NFL continues to investigate. But now they are facing the challenge that Tom Brady, legendary quarterback for the Pats, has a cold. He promises to be a hundred percent by the time of the game but he was sniffling and coughing all through a press conference.

Deflategate is serious to many. I find it both humorous and a little sad if somehow not surprising. People have been cheating since the beginning of time.

And since the beginning of time, opposing sides in a war have taken hostages. Today’s drama is once again focused in the Mideast. ISIS promised to release a Japanese hostage and not to kill a Jordanian pilot who is also a hostage in exchange for a woman sentenced to death in Jordan for being part of a suicide bombing that took place several years ago in Amman. As the sun sets, it appears negotiations have failed. ISIS has failed to prove the pilot is still alive and Jordan won’t move forward without that knowledge.

In the category of still trying to comprehend are two things. One is that the Koch brothers, two of the richest men on the planet, with their allies, plan to spend nearly a billion dollars to influence the 2016 elections. That is as much as either the Republicans or the Democrats will spend. Since the Kochs favor a conservative agenda, it effectively means doubling the resources available to the Republicans. It’s mind-boggling.

The other thing I am assimilating is the size of Apple’s quarterly earnings in the 4th quarter of 2014. It was the biggest quarterly profit in history, for any company, anywhere. $18 billion. There were a lot of iPhones sold, something like 74 million, which was far more than anyone was expecting.

Today I had a call with two old friends. We all worked in the cable business in the 80’s and 90’s and had not spoken in awhile so we set up a conference call. Medora and Bruce each have a daughter and they attended the same schools in California, though at different times. They had a lot to share about that and it was interesting to listen to. Bruce mentioned an article he had read this morning in the NY Times about the “Uberization” of work. We’ll only work when we’re needed, summoned perhaps by an app. It’s a novel thought and a bit frightening.

But mostly it was good to share some time with old friends and have a good old “chin wag” as my Australian friend Gour would say.

Whether you are living in America or a refugee camp in Turkey one of the things which supports us is the community of people around us. They help us stand when we think we will fall.