I'm beat, I seriously annoyed my left shoulder by trying to trench three-plus inches of frozen soil to the tune of 150 linear feet, so I'm gonna allow those that bother to respond to all my nonsense to take the lead here today.
Today, I'm all about Ben-Gay and yellow sudsies.
I am cognizant of the fact that Tinseltown has lost some of it's glimmer of late, but I think the slumping sales at the box office can be largely attributed to one thing--piss-poor freakin' movies. When Harry Potter's continuing adventures hit town, the folks are out in droves. Star Wars? Same crowded deal. Lord of the Rings? Get in line, kiddies. And an indie about Jesus Christ set records all over the world after Mel Gibson refused to take no for an answer from all of Hollywood.
Want me to plop down some buckolas and check out your new film? Well, then make it half-decent. Or is that too much to ask these days? If the Wilkes-Barre Penguins played at a .400 clip for five consecutive seasons, they'd be playing to plenty of empty seats, too. And why would I buy a new refrigerator that was rated as being well below sub-par?
Nicole Kidman in Bewitched? Were they serious? Been there and done that long, long before Nicole Kidman was even thought of. She's cute and all, but that just ain't gonna cut it. Batman? Um, I'd rather go down to the Kirby and watch limber foreigners bang on garbage can lids. Starsky & Hutch? We laughed at that gibberish the first time around and it wasn't supposed to be funny back then. David Soul? Yeah, he's a convincing tough guy iffin' you're 5' 2", 107 pounds, and getting sand kicked in your face is a part-time hobby of sorts. Have we seen Dodgeball? I was totally embarrassed for the actors that appeared in it while I suffered through that truncated bilge.
With all of that needless stuff having been said (sorry), I think a theater can and will prosper in downtown Wilkes-Barre. We've got plenty of people from this valley road-trippin' up Scranton way whenever they get a hankering for some popcorn and Junior Mints, and they all rave about that state-of-the-art cineplex. So why wouldn't a state-of-the-art cineplex in downtown Wilkes-Barre wow 'em?
I honestly think that many of us are not capable of imagining the good times coming to Wilkes-Barre. For every person excited about our new theater, there seems to be an equal number saying, no, grumbling that it will never work. And more often than not, many of those same grumblers say we need to build a downtown mall to revitalize our long-flailing downtown. Yet, the urban planners calling the shots paint a much different picture of what a mall would mean to our downtown.
Harry, I understand your concerns, but I hope you're as wrong as you can be on this one. I really, really do. We've been whining about that downtown of ours for so long, it's getting difficult to remember doing anything other than bitching about it. And if that theater does well enough, I could care less about who gets the lion's share of the credit. Give it to Tom Leighton. Give him a high-five and a kiss on the mouth for me. Give the credit to Ed Rendell, Larry Neuman, or even to Tom McGroarty for that matter. I sincerely do not care.
All I know is we're being given a second chance to support our city. Most towns like ours, once they get to freefalling, just dry up and blow away never to be heard from again. We've spent the better part of two decades bemoaning the fact that there wasn't anything to do in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Six very short months from now, we will have something to do in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The question seems to be, will we do it?
I can't dare to speak for anyone else, but Gage and I will be on the Junior Mint Diet soon enough.
My patent is still pending.
I will check it out. But in the meantime, I do have a question for the good Pastor. Ready?
Assuming I'm not going to be tossed into the burning pits someday soon, will I be allowed to blast some Blue Oyster Cult tunage in Heaven?
Does God rock?
Trust me, there ain't no "corporate media approach" to anything going on here. Quite the contrary.
I could do a tit-for-tat rebuttal thing here, but I'm too tired to do so. The thing is, my employer put me in a bad position this morning, meaning that what should have been an easy job turned into a tiring sweatfest. Whatever. Sh*t happens. But you did send along one particular comment that suggests that you don't know me at all, and that we may have more in common than you were led to believe.
Not much is accomplished solely by sitting behind a computer; occassionally, one must act.
If you are suggesting that I have never taken action in a political sense, you are sadly, grossly mistaken. Actually, your quip reminds me of something Tom McGroarty once said about his, um, only internet critic:
Anyone can sit in the basement in their pajamas and type whatever they want.
10-4! Anyone can, but only one person dared to do as much. And that one person would be the one you are apparently lecturing about taking action. Trust me, I've been face-to-face with the worst of his former cronies many, many times over, so don't be talking all tough about scaring the wits out of some senior citizens at the local polling place. And guess what, I didn't torch a single one of them. And don't be whining about any potential legal problems you might be facing because of your own actions. You were the one who decided to jerk-off in a voting booth, while the rest of us could at least recognize and adhere to the rules of protocol and decorum.
You may not be a member of the local green protesters in waiting, but there's no denying that you took a page right out of their idiotic playbook. You systematically choose which laws, and which expected norms of protocol you will abide by on any given day. Normal people don't jerk-off in voting booths, but you did. According to you, I lack "mental stability," but I never once jerked-off in a voting booth. I have never caused any county sheriffs to mobilize. And I have never once been shadowed by a constable over something as completely stupid as jerking-off all alone in a voting booth.
Your youngish friends were impressed? Well, isn't that just special. I remember Jon Grula keeping a flowing tap connected to a keg in his mouth for damn near three minutes. And everyone in attendance that day was mucho, mucho impressed. Ever punch out a car's windshield with one punch? No? Oops, that's right. I forgot. Despite all of your military derring-do and whatnot, your's is an expansive mind totally devoid of any violent thoughts. It's all peace, love and jerking-off in voting booths for those of you who "take action." And no Zippos.
And don't insult my intelligence by even suggesting that the ballot access thingie is news to me. I will not deny that the well-entrenched members of our two-party system do not want anymore competition than they currently have, but when I see mis-guided shenanigans such as yours coming from the only possible alternatives, I'm seeing wanton jerking-off as the only alternative to the jerk-offs. If your actions are an example of what equal ballot access will provide me with, I'm thinking that Howard Dean is starting to sound somewhat sane. Somewhat.
The biggest, most glaring mistake you self-styled revolutionaries of the day make is in assuming that those of us who don't jerk-off in voting booths do not care, or lack enough gonads to make a statement, or a difference. In this respect, your youth is showing.
Dude, those seniors you upset at the local polling place were the very last people you should have gleefully set about annoying. If they didn't care, they wouldn't have been there in the first place. Not everyone with gray hair, or bluish hair is a political enemy in need of being subjugated. I know, I know, everyone over the age of thirty needs to be put out to pasture. Sadly, the 60s rage on.
And if your ill-conceived circus stunt is an example of what we can expect when any nincompoop of note can access the ballot, then I'm here to tell you it's never going to happen. You see, civil discourse needs to be the rule of the day and not civil disobedience.
The absence of such voices would be a symptom of grave illness in our society.
Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.--Sir Winston Churchill
The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.--Hannah Arendt
Dude, I think you need to take a chill pill and consider where all of this jerking-off might lead you to. Truth be told, I have no friggin' clue as to where my trusty Zippo has gotten to these days. And if I were you, I'd consider a much more mainstream approach to all things political before diving into the lunatic fringe pool. Otherwise, I fear you are just jerking-off over and over again.
Sorry, but I speak my deranged mind no matter who says what in direct response to it. Welcome to the mix. If you still want to, we'll hook-up after the holidays for a coffee and some civil discourse.
Enjoy your family.
I gotta tell ya, when I first laid eyes on your e-mail--it saddened me to a great extent. It sounded so damn familiar, I was instantly transported back to a time when I couldn't begin to appreciate what my overwhelmed mother was going through, but I hated with every fiber of my being what I was subjecting myself to. For this struggling young hooligan, a total lack of income very easily translated into a total lack of self-esteem. And while being so young and so completely stupid, there were those times when I absolutely hated my Mom for what had become of the four of us. After the passage of many years, I came to realize that our low-income, hand-me-down existance was not her fault entirely. Sadly, she passed into the next place before I could explain to her that the hurtful things I said to her so long ago were the product of abject frustration, rather than a thoughtless condemnation of her tireless efforts at delivering a somewhat normal life to her three welfare kids. The guilt thing lasts a really long time. Be careful what you say to your loved-ones.
She really was a saint. She really was. It's been 17 years, but it feels like only yesterday when I was squeezing her hand for the very last time. My eldest two kids recoiled in horror to my far less than composed reaction when the doctor told me that we were very quickly approaching the end of my Mom's brief journey through this life.
And I'll never forget when she mustered up just enough strength to whisper to me but a few minutes before she went away. She said, "Look after your sister and take care of your brother." And after she passed, I remember thinking, "What about me?" What about me, Mom? Later that night, I sat on the back porch sobbing away while wifey had her arms wrapped around me, and I just couldn't understand why dear ole' Mom's final breath made no mention of me.
But after reflecting on all of those trying moments for many, many years now, I have come to realize that my Mom--Dorothy Kirwan--knew that I'd be okay in the long run. She knew. She knew I absolutely hated living in the "projects." She knew that I had never once wandered into any store and used a food stamp. I absolutely, steadfastly refused to be seen sporting such a thing with that stigma readily-attached to it. She knew I hated those free medical screenings for welfare kids at General Hospital. And she knew full-well how completely close I came to bleeding to death after ripping a bicep right out of my left arm, and having to wait while the "insured" kids with the broken thumbs and such were quickly tended to in the General's emergency room. She knew I had some seriously scary chips on my both of my shoulders, and she knew I had a fire in my belly. Basically, I think she knew I'd rise above our obvious limitations.
But trust me when I tell you, it is much better to have a loving Dad for 13 short, short years than it is to never know one at all. Your Dad obviously loved you dearly and provided for you while he was still mucking about. Conversely, my long-AWOL Dad is off somewhere doing only God-knows-what at some rocket lab, but he's never bothered to see how I was getting on with things since 1962. In my mind, he really doesn't care what ultimately became of his first-born child. And I find that hard to fathom. I do. And I always did. Being a father myself, I can't even imagine such a lame attempt at fatherhood. There was a time when I desperately, desperately hoped to meet him, but these days, I'd pretty much prefer to do without a detached f>ck of a sperm donor from here on out.
You had thirteen years.
I envy you. I really do.
And as for your Mom, treat her, spoil her, and tell her what you really think about things long before she ends up in the ICU.
For me, being dirt poor was frustrating beyond all comprehensible belief. But admitting as much was a far worse fate bordering upon the ultimate in indignities.”
And it wasn't her fault. I know that now.
I miss her. And I will continue to miss her until that day arrives when Blue Oyster Cult becomes the 'norm wherever it is that we all hope to one day ascend to. And if only for a fleeting nanosecond or two, I'm thinking that we'll be able to visit those that were taken away from us way too early.
Your Dad is waiting out there somewhere. And so is my Mom. And no matter how far we endeavor to travel from our roots, we're all hoping to end up at the same place--right back where we started.