a reader’s progress

October 28, 2003: “The dismal direction of American history…”

One recent visit with Cuba's kindergarten teacher, Karen Derusha, reawakened both my fear and my loathing of the dismal direction of American history as represented and presumably directed by, as Robert Stone opined in a recent conversation, a bunch of "truimphalist babbits." The stench of disingenuous posturing, as exhibited by George Bush's claims to aspiring …

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October 1, 2003: “Mildly attending to the shenanigans of the so-called major candidates”

I'm the innocent bystander Somehow I got stuck Between the rock and the hard place And I'm down on my luck… -from "Lawyers, Guns and Money" by Warren Zevon It's been years since I have been able to muster up much enthusiasm for any political candidate in this country. This did not result in what …

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‘The deaths of Cuban musical legends Compay Segundo and Celia Cruz…” -July 24, 2003

The deaths of Cuban musical legends Compay Segundo and Celia Cruz are vivid reminders of the large space taken up in my life by Cuba and its culture. Cruz's death was accompanied with the kind of notice Catholics usually reserve for deceased popes. In a truly odd twist The Washington Post noted her passing on …

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“The life-extending capacities of the convertible automobile…” -July 14, 2003

I do believe that a rainy day is a good day to extoll the life-extending capacities of the convertible automobile. And because I have already opined at length on the incapacity of millions of American automobile drivers in the preface to my automatically written (but as yet unpublished) memoir, Who's Listening?, I can now freely …

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“My bad feelings about the younger Bush and his band of triumphalist Babbits…” -June 24, 2003

As I was buying a gallon of milk for $1.99 at the Mobil gas station convenience store, I thought back to the days when George Bush's father was campaigning to keep his sinecure. He was apparently embarrassed by some pesky reporter who had inquired about what the price of milk was —this also might have …

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