Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Sonata

The fog of sleep began to lift with the opening notes. A few moments later he became aware that he was hearing a piano and vaguely remembered passing one the night before in the darkness. Then his eyes opened and he found himself in a room flooded with the low morning sun. He squinted against the light. The walls were white as were the bed linens which were in a state of considerable disarray and now, he noticed with some perverse amusement, in need of laundering. But she was not there.

And the music continued, melancholy and full of yearning.

He rolled over, slid his legs over the edge of the bed and sat up, vigorously rubbing his eyes, face and hair. Reflexively he reached down, picked up and slipped on his underwear making a mental note of how the bright cranberry stood out against the white everything. Then he stood and strode to the door, smiling to himself again in remembrance as he stepped over the clothing strewn here and there.

The next room was just like the one from which he had just come. White, tastefully decorated walls, light wood flooring, and nothing but windows on the East wall through which the sun was now pouring to magnificent effect. Everything white, or nearly so except for the black baby grand piano at which she now sat playing. The door where he was standing was behind her and just out of her field of view so that his watching went unnoticed. He had never seen a naked pianist before and he found the experience to be a bit disorienting. She sat there in her physical perfection with her long dark hair still plainly tousled by the night as if she had woken with a need that only this music could satisfy.

Eventually the tempo slowed and he thought she would finish. He raised his hand and nearly spoke but she continued. It was the most marvelous thing he had ever seen. Here was concentration and control the like of which he had never seen. She began a series of runs up and down the keyboard which he thought must end at any moment but which continued on and on, each different but all connected, sometimes ending with sharp percussion and sometimes a clever interlude. How on earth was it possible for a person with only the normal compliment of fingers to make such sounds?

And then it was over. She sat still for a moment, her head bowed, catching her breath as the vibrations died away. He quietly clapped his hands. Her head snapped around and she feigned a frown and said “oh, did I wake you?” “Wonderfully” he said and suddenly her face exploded in a laughing smile as if she had just told a marvelously funny story. “Did you like it?” She asked, beaming. His mind raced in confusion as he stood there in front of this incredibly beautiful naked woman and was unable to look away from her eyes. In a half second she was in his arms and they were spinning around. She put her lips to his ear and said softly, earnestly “God, I love that Sonata in the morning”, and then the laughter returned and she said “Come. What shall we do today?” to which he replied “after that? I have no idea.”

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The 77% Is A Lie, And They Know It

Some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently came to my attention. For the year 2011 there were 7.4 million men over the age of 16 engaged in the work force and 6.5 million women. Do you see where I'm going with this? Allow me. What this means is that if EVERYONE currently in the workforce (everyone who wants to work) were paid exactly the same amount of money regardless of what work they did, education, construction, healthcare, international espionage, entertainment, blogging.... whatever....EVERYONE is paid exactly the same..... you could honestly say that women in the year 2011 earned only 88% of what their male counterparts were paid. It's absolutely true, but also absolutely meaningless. INDIVIDUAL women would have earned EXACTLY the same amount as the INDIVIDUAL men, but taken as a group it is also possible and accurate to say that they earned less. Now why on earth would anyone want to deceive you???

The moral of the story is that when you hear that some group or other earns less than some other group you need to ask a question: What is being compared here, in what way, and does the way the way the data is being presented support some broader narrative that the presenter may be trying to promote?

But that’s just what an average guy thinks

Friday, October 7, 2016

Colin's Anthem

I have resisted my urges to write a knee jerk response to Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem as I wanted to at least try and have my feelings on the issue well thought out first.

To begin. I only vaguely knew who Colin Kaepernick was to begin with, not watching any NFL to speak of. It seems that what I know now is that he is a second team quarterback of questionable value who may in the foreseeable future be looking for new career options and so all of this may have been a public relations ploy to make his name a household word, much the same as Ted Cruz and his Green Eggs and Ham filibuster. But this is of no matter to me as I don’t really care what an over paid undereducated entertainer thinks. However, there are many many thousands of young people and adults who look to entertainers for social cues. This is unfortunate when our nation has such a rich history and many leaders with stories to tell, but I suppose that it is what it is. But back to Colin.

He has said that he cannot, in good conscience, show or feign respect for the national anthem when there is so much social injustice in the country. One presumes that he is primarily referring to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the lie begun when the drug addled strong arm criminal Michael Brown attacked and tried to disarm and kill a police officer and was himself killed in the process. Of course he was portrayed by media, race hustling elements in our own government and the racist Department of Justice as being nothing more than a carefree impetuous teen ager out for an afternoon walk with a friend when he was accosted and then brutally executed in the middle of the street by a bigoted, racist police officer. He was on his knees with his hands up begging “don’t shoot” when he was shot (execution style). Of course this was the meme until the investigation was complete and it was shown to the satisfaction of all law enforcement agencies involved to have been a lie. But by that time the damage was done and the truth was swept away by the race hustlers. They said that the facts of this particular case didn’t matter as much as the overall “fact” that young black men were being systematically killed by white police officers. Only even this has been shown not to be factual here ( and here ( So there are lies being circulated intentionally, and through ignorance.

And now to the flag and the anthem. The flag of our nation is a powerful symbol. It shows the voluntary association of independent states, our reverence for the purity of and the firm belief in the rightness of the ideals put forward in our founding documents, and the blood that we have spent and that we are willing to spend in the effort to achieve those ideals. During the War Of 1812, a mere twenty years after the ratification of the Constitution, the British were trying to destroy our nation and to re-subjugate the people. When, on September 14, 1814, after a cruel bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key saw the flag still flying over the fortress he was moved to write those words “our flag was still there”. They have beaten us bloody, but our country, and the purity and the righteousness of our ideals remain and we will fight on. That is what the national anthem is. It’s not a statement of, or song about how great, or perfect America is. It’s a reaffirmation that we will continue to work toward achieving our ideals, and that we will not have our ideals taken from us and those of others substituted in their place.

In an average guy's opinion, what Kaepernick has done may have started out as a moment of genuinely felt compassion (even if incompletely informed or thought out) and almost instantaneously turned into something that he couldn't step away from without appearing to be fickle, or a hypocrite. A more cynical view would be that he was simply working the press for name recognition.

Colin Kaepernick and everyone who is blindly following his lead in protest of how they perceive things to be don't understand the symbology of the flag or the national anthem. They should, instead, be leaping to their feet at the first notes of the anthem to proclaim to the world, and to solemnly promise themselves that no matter how difficult the struggle, they will fight on. It's the country that flag represents that gives them the right to do that.

But that’s just what an average guy thinks.