Day 325. Star Light …

When you were a kid did you always make a wish before you blew out the candles on your birthday cake?  Maybe I should re-phrase that?  Do you remember your wisheschildhood?  Oh, come on, don’t pout.  I’m only joking.  My own feels like it was a million years ago.

Do you remember what you wished for?

Did you wish for a baby sister or brother?  Or for the sibling you already had to magically disappear?  Did you wish for a particular toy you wanted really badly, but your parents said you couldn’t have?  Or a shiny, new bike?  Or a pair of figure skates?  Or for your mother to let you eat chocolate cake and french fries for breakfast?

And what about when you got older?

Were your wishes more grown-up versions of your childhood requests?  A baby of your own?  A shiny, new Continue reading

Day 29. Musical Interludes

Last Friday, Neil Fein posted about Simon and Garfunkel on his WordPress blog, Magnificent Nose.  The next thing I knew, I was re-living my younger days; and, in particular, remembering how much I loved their Number 1 Billboard hit, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (and still do, for that matter).  Anytime I hear it, I am automatically transported back to those days.  It was the seventies.  When Nixon was forced to resign.  When we saw the end of the Vietnam war.  And when disco music reached its peak.

This little musical jaunt down memory lane reminded me of a man I’d been involved with, but not back then.  Fast forward a bit.  He was a director, and heavily involved in the music industry.  He always used to say, “The memories are in the music”.  And he was right.  They are.  Our time together went on for years and years; and music was as much a part of our relationship as we were.  I’ll spare you the details, but there is a memory of one evening I’ll share:

It was winter, and the snow was falling pretty steadily.  We were downstairs, in the family room.  No one could see in, so we had the blinds open.  It was quite late at night, and it was dark.  And as much as I am not a winter enthusiast, it was a very beautiful sight.  The pure, white snow on the ground was glittering and it was also completely unmarked — no dog or cat tracks or signs of human footsteps.  The snow weighing down the branches of the big, old pine trees looked like scoops of marshmallow fondant, that had just been dropped there, spoonful after spoonful.  And, of course, there was the falling snow itself, drifting slowly down to the ground.  Picture postcard perfect.

We had just finished a long, leisurely dinner, that we’d eaten in front of the fireplace.  ‘The man’ made the most magnificent fires I’ve ever seen and, because he Continue reading

Day 23. We’re Adrift

In the immortal words of Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On?”  When did we lose our way?  When did lying, cheating, plagiarizing and brazenly breaking the law  become the new normal?  The new standard by which we live.

It turns out that the man the whole world believed was one of our greatest athletes, used illicit performance enhancing drugs.  Year after year after year, Lance Armstrong cheated and lied his way to victory.   A famous, and revered, football coach watched, in silence, as young boys were being sexually molested right under his nose.  Time after time after time, Joe Paterno knowingly allowed the most heinous of crimes to be committed, so Penn State would continue to attract budding football stars; and big donations.  Rupert Murdoch, the founder, Chairman and CEO of the world’s second-largest media conglomerate saw nothing wrong with hacking the phones of celebrities, royalty and private citizens.  For the kind of attention-grabbing headlines that sell newspapers — regardless of whether or not they were true, and regardless of the damage it caused his victims.

Jonah Lehrer, a brilliant, successful 31-year old author fabricated Bob Dylan quotes for his latest book, “Imagine:  How Creativity Works”.  And if that’s not bad enough, his publisher is apparently thinking of re-publishing a corrected version of it.  Why?  Well, of course, I know why.  But the answer disgusts me.  Because they’ll probably sell more books and make more money than they otherwise would have — even if the original version had sold exceptionally well.  Because now it’s controversial.  It’s achieved a whole new level of fame.  It’s no longer a book.  It’s a conversation piece.

But what’s really troublesome is, if that book comes out again then we are turning our backs on the fact that the author made stuff up.  And maybe, just maybe, he made other stuff up, as well.  But he got fired from his magazine-writing jobs, so who cares.  He was publicly humiliated, so who cares.  For a minute, but never mind.  Now let’s all make some money.

And what about the CNN host and Time Magazine columnist, Fareed Zakaria, who plagiarized Jill Lepore’s essay in the New Yorker?  So boo-hoo, he got suspended for a month!  And then he got to go back to all his high-paying jobs.  And his face was red for a couple of days.  Come on.  I know he didn’t murder anyone, but the Continue reading