WAR!

download.jpgPoking around the internet after watching a rousing Glenn Ford western movie on Criterion, I noticed a plea from a father for advice on a good gaming system to play with his eleven year old son. Gaming system? Does that suggest that some digitally produced artificial world of challenges and decorative gore is preferable to those modes of entertainment that do not need to be plugged in?

What happened to playing cards? Are they only to be used for Texas Hold’em nowadays? Even Solitaire is played on the computer screen making, I suspect, card shuffling a lost art. When I was quite young my grandfather taught me how to play Spades and Casino and we would play in the evening while he waited for the wrestling to start on KTLA. My Aunt kept several dice in a small drawer ready for a quick game of Bunko and my Father drew pips on two sugar cubes so we could play Cootie on the back of an envelope with an old stump of a pencil. Not to mention Tiddlywinks, Parcheesi, and Uncle Wiggley.

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Before Ronald Reagan

download.jpgI see in the news that they have arrested a woman for paying $400,000 to get her non-soccer playing son into UCLA on a soccer scholarship. I guess someone has to pay for those multi-level carparks and all that avocado toast at the CO-OP.

When I was planning for college they offered me $140 a semester and I didn’t even play soccer. How could I refuse? Of course in terms of today’s dollars this seems a paltry sum but back then it was more than enough to sway my decision.

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Who Runs America?

A poem by Allen Ginsberg, Braniff Air, Denver—Dallas, December 3, 1974

Oil brown smog over Denver
Oil red dung colored smoke
level to level across the horizon
  blue tainted sky  above
Oil car smog gasoline
  hazing red Denver's day
    December bare trees
      sticking up from housetop streets
Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over
      radar wheels, black smoke
        drifts wobbly from tailfins

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains
Oil from Texas, Bahrain, Venezuela Mexico
Oil that turns General Motors
    revs up Ford
  lights up General Electric, oil that crackles
thru International Business Machine computers
      charges dynamos for ITT
  sparks Western Electric
      runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires
Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses,
rings in Mobile gas tank cranks, rumbles
        Chrysler engines
shoots thru Texaco pipelines,
    blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from
      Stand of California derricks offshore.