Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare’

Letter From New York 03 05 2016 From Churchill to Yemen…

March 6, 2016

Winston Churchill used to say he was chased by the “black dog,” depression.  It chased him his whole life and he ran, mostly successfully, from it his whole life. Sometimes, when the “black dog” felt particularly close, Winston would sometimes go off to Morocco and paint, drink and think and probably write.  He wrote more than Dickens and Shakespeare combined.

He may well have been a manic-depressive.  During the war he was followed around by his personal physician, Lord Moran, who prescribed upper and downers to manage the moods of the great man.

He was black dogged by depression and I was thinking about that last night as I rode home on the train, black dogged myself.  I had gone down to the city yesterday, had a full day of appointments and when I stepped on the train last night I was exhausted and felt the old black dog nipping at my heels.

When I got home, I went to bed almost immediately and fell asleep early watching an episode of “Doc Martin,” about an English doctor only marginally more cranky than I was last night.

When the morning broke, I was my usual sunny self and, while sipping tea, worked on next week’s lectures.  The day was spent on that and the Saturday chores.  Young Nick was here and we did things that needed to be done, mounting a light fixture, cleaning, sorting, rearranging, bringing in wood and dealing with the trash.  The things we do on Saturday.

Going down to the Dot, I welcomed Alana back from three weeks in Costa Rica and then, after an omelet and a Bloody Mary, came home to write my letter, which often is one of the most pleasurable times in the day. 

Turning on the floodlights so the creek is illuminated, I sorted through the last couple of days.

The rise of Trump has been a constant cause for conversation though as I returned home, I discovered Ted Cruz had won the Kansas caucuses and he is at least as frightening to me as Trump.  Both of them seem to me to be wack-a-doodles from some other dimension.  This earns me no points with my conservative friends but it’s true; it’s how I feel.

Caitlin Jenner wants to be Ted Cruz’s “trans ambassador.”  I am not sure he’s interested in having one.

Popular comedian Louis CK has implored his fans not to vote for Trump, likening him to Hitler.  Trump, not necessarily looking to support Louis CK’s view of him, announced he would increase the use of torture if he were President.

“Downtown Abbey” ends tomorrow night.  I have already seen the last episode as I subscribed to the feed through iTunes.  Let’s tip a hat to Alistair Bruce, who was in charge of making sure it was historically accurate.  He did a magnificent job.

A fire is burning in the stove; I’ve rearranged some lights in the house.  I like the effect as I sit here at the dining room table, the creek lit in front of me, jazz playing and my thoughts running.

Four nuns and twelve others were killed in Yemen during an attack.  Gunmen entered the building, handcuffed the victims and then shot them.  It’s not yet clear who carried out the attack.  The Pope has decried it; the nuns were members of the order founded by Mother Theresa.

Boko Haram, the scourge of Nigeria, is suffering from a food crisis.  With all the people who have fled them, no is left to grow crops or herd animals and they are beginning to starve.  Hungry and desperate, they are ruthlessly raiding which, I suspect, will only increase the cycle they have created.

And in my cycle, I am going to sign off for tonight.  I need to be up in the morning, work on my lectures and then to church.  I signed up to do coffee hour on Easter Sunday, not quite realizing that it was a major, major thing and I am now expected to come up with something quite spectacular.  Cookbooks are out.  Recipes are being reconnoitered. 

I have a meeting about this tomorrow at 12:30.  I think I may have over stretched and I will rise to the challenge.

Letter From New York 10 23 15 From looking Presidential to Hurricane Patricia

October 23, 2015

Shakespeare. Relish. Benghazi. Hillary Clinton. Rep. Jim Jordan. Trey Gowdy. Fox News. Jeb Bush. Donald Trump. Ben Carson. Iowa. Politics. Paul Ryan. Tea Party Republicans. Obamacare. Assault with a carrot. AIDS. Turing Pharmaceuticals. Imprimis Pharmaceuticals. China rate cut. Pakistan bombing. Kurd hostages. Nigerian mosque killings. Hurricane Patricia. The Red Dot. Lionel White.

Outside it is a brilliant, perfect fall day, demanding a warm jacket but not necessarily needing to be zipped, a clear blue sky filled with sunlight that ricochets off the golden leaves. Turning a corner this morning near a pond, my breath was taken away by beauty; sun glinting off water and multi-colored leaves, all ablaze.

My friend Lionel is up from Baltimore, tending to his house across the street from mine. We had lunch together at Relish before doing errands after having lazy coffee moments this morning while he helped get my printer back online.

I have been having a time with my electronics this past week. Ah well, everything now seems back in working shape. As Shakespeare said: alls well that ends well.

Not perhaps ending well for the Republicans, probably much to their chagrin, was the eleven-hour grilling of Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. Today’s reports have been mostly favorable to the former Secretary of State and not very kind to the Republicans on the Committee.

It never looks very good when angry white men spend eleven hours yelling at a woman, and one who maintains composure when they do not. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio looked particularly bad, followed close behind by the Chairman, Trey Gowdy. One source said all that happened was that for eleven hours Hillary Clinton managed to look presidential while the Republicans didn’t even look Congressional.

And even Fox News had to acknowledge she did a pretty good job, which must mean she must have been spectacular.

In other political news, Jeb Bush is cutting his campaign spending and concentrating on early voting states. In Iowa, Ben Carson is leading Donald Trump, partly because he is evangelical and Trump is not.

With two more Republican groups signaling their support, Paul Ryan has agreed to run to serve as the next Speaker of the House but that doesn’t mean he is making Tea Party Republicans happy. He isn’t meeting their demands. One of which, according to The NY Times, translates, once stripped of arcane language, to: shut down the government.

Ah, Washington! That’s the place where Congress just voted to gut Obamacare, a move that will likely stall in the Senate.

A 14-year-old Virginia schoolgirl is facing assault and battery charges for throwing and hitting in the forehead her teacher, with a carrot. It is the center of much back and forth on the Internet.

AIDS is a devastating disease. Many of us lost friends and relatives to it in the 1980’s and 90’s. Then came drugs that did not cure but did extend lives and allowed people to live productive lives. It has become a disease that is not curable but is treatable.

Turing Pharmaceuticals sells one of those drugs, Daraprim. Recently, it jacked the price from less than $14.00 a pill to $750.00 a pill. A San Diego firm is going to offer an alternative to Daraprim for $1.00 a pill. You go, Imprimis!

The stock market soared today as China unexpectedly cut interest rates again, the sixth time in less than a year. The European Central Bank is thinking about another cut and The Fed probably won’t raise interest rates until early 2016.

Lest we forget, fighting continues all over the Mideast. An American soldier died in a raid to rescue Kurdish hostages in Iraq. Syria is still fighting. 22 Shiites died in Pakistan in a bombing while over in Nigeria, 42 were killed at mosques by suicide bombers.

The biggest hurricane ever, Hurricane Patricia, is about to hit western Mexico, right around the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. Tens of thousands are being evacuated. Its effects will be felt all the way into Texas, where flooding is expected.

The sun is setting and I am shortly off to The Red Dot for dinner with Lionel, where we expect to meet some friends. There is a pink tinge to the sky so that harbors well for tomorrow’s weather. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight…”