3.31.2020 – comedy errors

comedy errors
bungling, incompetence – not
amusing mistakes

I hear comedy of errors used so often to describe the current situation in the USA.

I typed comedy of errors into the Google and learned that it is a “Phrase of Comedy – a situation made amusing by bungling and incompetence.”

Lots of comedy lately.

Lots of errors.

Lots of bungling.

Lots of incompetence.

Lots of mistakes.

But amusing?

I see lots of people striving to find the amusing and I appreciate it.

But when it got right down to it, there isn’t that much to be amused at.

Comedy of Errors is also an early play by William Shakespeare.

In the play, Big Bill writes:

Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
Sleeping or waking, mad or well-advised?
Known unto these and to myself disguised?

Sleeping or waking?

Mad or well-advised?

So much confusion.

Not amusing at all.

And if not amusing then what?

Thinking of Big Bill, it comes to mind that this isn’t a comedy at all.

But a tragedy.

Tragedy of errors.

3.30.2020 – obsessive madness

obsessive madness
read, watch everything or avoid
news completely

If you like Pete the Cat (and you should, or is it a Georgia Thing?) you will LOVE First Dog on the Moon.

Don’t miss today’s Obsessively consuming every morsel of information about coronavirus? Or trying to avoid the news completely? (The headline of which inspired today’s haiku).

I am tired of this news cycle and I am beginning to question the global over reaction.

I am suspecting that this pandemic is related to the first global danger in the social media, insta-news era.

I am reminded of an article I read about the ‘British Enclave’ in Hollywood during the 30’s.

The detailed the life and times of the group of actors and actresses from Great Britain that had relocated to California.

The article related how one actor, I want to say C. Aubrey Smith, but maybe Henry Stephenson or maybe someone else altogether.

It was noted about the actor that the only paper he would believe was the Times of London.

And not just the Times but the SUNDAY TIMES.

As the Sunday Times was published only on Sunday and then had to be shipped over from London, the feller was always about two weeks behind.

Something appealing for some reason.

3.29.2020 – No where to run, hide

No where to run, hide
The heartbreak I know will come
No where to run, hide

When I lived up north, I read about hurricanes in the south.

Now that I live in the south, I read about blizzards up north.

Living in the east, I read about earthquakes and drought out west.

Living in the United States, I read about the economic trials in Europe.

Living on Earth, I read about rovers on Mars and exploding stars in other galaxies.

I read about these things, but I never think they are going to happen to me.

Optimist?

Head in the sand?

Head in the clouds?

Won’t face reality?

I don’t know.

I do now, I just don’t think it will happen to me.

How many TV sitcoms can I count where the hapless victim stares at the camera and says, “You read about these things but you never think ….”

Almost any other story line and I can escape the heartbreak.

If I was stuck in a hurricane, I evacuate and go north.

If I was stuck in a blizzard, I could go to Florida.

If I was stuck in a drought, I could go back east.

If I was stuck by Brexit, I could leave Europe and go home.

If I was stuck on Mars, maybe a rescue mission would be organized to save me.

The virus is here.

The virus is there.

The virus is everywhere.

Got no where to run.

Got no where to hide.

Baby!

So much heartbreak already.

So much heartbreak to come.

How is this going to end?

Not sure.

When it does, I am organizing the biggest block party this neighborhood has ever seen.

Speakers are going in the windows.

Volume is getting cranked.

Martha Reeves and the Vandella’s are the first group on the playlist.

Not their song, No Where to Run though.

But another one of their hits.

3.28.2020 – Where do homeless go

Where do homeless go
to stay home? Hoping, praying
for someone to care?

Every day heartaches grow a little stronger

I can’t stand this pain much longer

I walk in shadows, searching for light

Cold and alone, no comfort in sight

Hoping and praying for someone to care

Always moving and goin’ nowhere

I know I’ve got to find

Some kind of peace of mind

Thank you for dear, sweet Motown.

What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
Jimmy Ruffin – released on Motown Records’ Soul label in the summer of 1966.

As I walk this land with broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger

I can’t stand this pain much longer
I walk in shadows searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone to care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere
What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?

I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
But someone look, there’s a growing need
Oh …

This version by Joan Osborne was recorded with the Funk Brothers for the Standing in the Shadows of Motown Documentary on the Funk Brothers – The unnamed musicians with the most grammy’s in record label history.

3.27.2020 – what happened today

what happened today
happened yesterday and will
happen tomorrow

The sameness of everyday.

It is Friday.

The day I wear blue jeans and cowboy boots to work.

The day before the weekend.

The day before I get to sleep in.

At least, it used to be.

I got up.

I got coffee.

I got my morning reading in.

I got to work in our back room.

End of the 2nd week of working at home.

In the book, The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk, the part that takes place in late 1944 comes to mind.

Wouk writes, “The ship’s life remained a static vexatious weariness.”

“August dragged and dragged and expired into September.”

I am stuck.

Don’t get me wrong.

I do appreciate that I do have a job and I am working and getting paid.

But to be stuck.

Stuck without an end in sight.

Stuck in a never ending of newscycle of wash your hands.

Stuck in an ever shrinking world of staying at home, mandatory curfews and quarantines.

Who has had the flu.

Who has the flu,

Who will get the flu.

Yeah yeah yeah, I know and I know and I get it.

Stuck in a static vexatious weariness.

Such perfect words.

3.26.2020 – not wins or losses

not wins or losses
or how you played the game
still sports without sport

For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name,
He marks-not that you won or lost-
But how you played the game.

From perhaps Grantland Rice’s most famous poem, “Alumnus Football,” which he wrote for a gathering of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association in 1908.

I get up and have coffee and still start my day with the Detroit Free Press sports page.

I have been doing this at least high school days when the Free Press was delivered every morning to our house in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The pages were filled by the writings of Joe Falls and George Puscas, Jim Hawkins, Drew Sharp and later Mitch Albom.

I read about great Michigan wins and awful to contemplate, Michigan losses.

The Tigers won and lost championships.

The Red Wings climbed out of the depths of sloth to the peaks of glory and back down again.

The Detroit Pistons ELECTRIFIED the newsprint before my eyes.

People like Bo Schembechlor, Woody Hayes, Sparky Anderson, Joe Dumars, Al Bubba Baker and David Hill filled the the columns of type.

Dexter Bussey, Billy Sims and Barry Sanders run across the pages.

I wanted to know WHO won.

I needed to know WHO lost.

I had to know the score.

I admired how they played the games.

Then the games stopped.

Then the scores stopped.

Then nobody won.

Somehow we all seem to lose.

Yet.

And yet.

The sports pages are still filled.

I still turn to the sports page first.

Never thought you could have sports without sport but there you are.

As Mr. Rice also wrote:
You’ll find the road is long and rough, with soft spots far apart,
Where only those can make the grade who have the Uphill Heart.

3.25.2020 – true of all evils,

true of all evils,
true of plague, It helps people
rise above themselves

In 1947, Albert Camus wrote in his book, “The Plague” that, “What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well. It helps men to rise above themselves.”

According to Wikipedia, “The Plague represents how the world deals with the philosophical notion of the Absurd.

In philosophy, “the Absurd” refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life, and the human inability to find any in a purposeless, meaningless or chaotic and irrational universe. The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.

In the Otto Preminger movie about a murder trail in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Anatomy of a Murder, Prosecutor Mitchell objects saying, “This testimony is incompetent, hearsay…irrelevant, immaterial, inconclusive…”

This brings defense attorney Paul Biegler to say, “That’s too much for me.”

If the absurd absurd is about the human inability to find any in a purposeless, meaningless or chaotic and irrational universe …

Well, that’s too much for me.

But hard to find a better word to describe life today other than absurd.

Maybe.

Just maybe, we can rise above ourselves.

3.24.2020 – You’ll say to yourself

You’ll say to yourself
scared of life, more of dying
life at any price

Sitting this morning drinking coffee, listen to my neighborhood come awake.

The loudest noise was birdsong.

Brown Thrashers, Cardinals, maybe red wing blackbirds.

Then the garbageman.

It was early for the garbageman but I had read that that job was a little easier as traffic was so sparse in the mornings.

I listened to the noise of the garbageman and I said to myself, “The Garbageman cometh.”

Which made me say out loud, “The Iceman cometh.”

My next thought was of the NBA great George Gervin who was nicknamed, “The Iceman”.

Whenever his team, the San Antonio Spurs, played on TV, the announcers would say, “The Iceman Cometh.”

As I sat this morning with all this going through my head, I realized I had no idea what the “The Iceman Cometh” was.

In the back of my mind I was pretty sure it was a play.

It was up in my memory down the same hallway with “Death of Salesman” so maybe it was by Arthur Miller.

I did the google and found out it’s a Eugene O’Neil play.

The play, “The Iceman Cometh” is something I have never read.

I scanned the wikipedia article on Iceman Cometh.

I read some of the lines of the play.

I took the lines of today’s Haiku from one of lines.

Words from yesterday still have messages for today.

Mr. O’Neil is someone I have never read.

Maybe it is time I did.

3.23.2020 – says keep warm, well fed

says keep warm, well fed
but does nothing about their needs
words, but no action

If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? James 2:16 (NIV)

In the King James English, the message is more clear.

Notwithstanding ye give them NOT those things which are needful to the body.

Ye Give Them NOT.

What is the deal with our representatives in Congress in both the House and the Senate.

I know it the argument can easily become simplistic as both sides want to do ‘The Right Thing’ but cannot agree on what the right thing is.

I guess you can take someone to Congress back you can’t make them think.

I am reminded of a joke about a guy who went fishing.

He would like a stick of dyamite and toss it into the lake and net up dead fish after the explosion.

Along came a Game Warden who told the guy couldn’t fish like that.

The guy lights a stick of dynamite, hands to the Game Warden and says, “You want to talk or do you want to fish?”

How do we get the message across to Congress.

The kind words are great.

The words without action will not pay the rent or buy groceries.

In 1932, when Franklin Roosevelt was elected President, Will Rogers said, “The whole country is with him, just so he does something. If he burned down the Capitol, we would all cheer and say, well, we at least got a fire started anyhow.”