Monthly Archives October 2014

These Are the Best of Times

Can we just stop complaining now? Even more important, perhaps: How ‘bout we cut out the fear, the foreboding, the heavy mantle of doom?

Hear me, folks: Never, ever, in the entire history of humankind, have so many had it so good. And whatever the ebbs and flows of your temporary situation or mine, or the tremendous individual suffering that undeniably continues around the world as I type these words, things on a global scale are getting better all the time—as they have been for the last 50,000 years, give or take.

“CONFUSED, CONFLICTED, TIRED NATION” read the recent newspaper headline. O.K, so those ISIS fanatics are awful, pure evil, subhuman in their explicit cruelty.

Ebola will get worse before it gets better (and it will get better; we can be quite confident we’ll die from something else).

And the economy isn’t exactly humming along (only a 4% growth rate!) and the Repubs and Demos are at each...

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“Let’s Go Giiiiiants!” Sports As Modern Religion?

The whole lot of us, marching down the switchbacks leading from the stadium to street level below, are packed body to body, moving slowly but feeling giddy for all we had just witnessed and felt an intimate part of.

Just minutes before, the San Francisco Giants had beaten the St. Louis Cardinals in their first home game of the National League Championship Series, a heart-stopping 10-inning affair that came to an abrupt end when one of our homeboys laid down a bunt that was followed by the pitcher making a wild throw to first base, allowing the runner who was advancing from second base to race home and end the game. Just like that!

Giants win, 5-4,  setting off a near-deafening, delirious roar among the 42,500 fans. And now, we are making our way back to the world outside, and there are chants erupting as we traverse the cavernous walkways: “Let’s go Giiiiiants, let’s go Giiiiiiiiiiiiants.”


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“The House Is on Fire”: Belief vs. Data in the Climate Change Debate

A few months ago, blog reader, longtime friend and PhD scientist/oceanographer Walt McKeown asked me why I hadn’t written anything on climate change, given the clear threat it presents to everything we value in life and, indeed, to life itself on many parts of our globe. I answered that I didn’t feel I had much to add to a topic that has been exhaustively covered by others who have serious credentials in the matter.

So it is with some irony that I note recent comments by Senator Marco Rubio and others of similar bent who acknowledge they have no credentials or training in the matter either. Nevertheless, they freely dispense their opinions and “beliefs” on it, and then, to add injury to insult, actually have and use their legislative power to bend policy to suit those “beliefs.”

On one side of the debate about whether human activity is the chief cause of climate change stand educated, trained, ex...

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Walking the Graveyard: A Poem

I have taken to walking the graveyard,
An oak-tree’d resting place
Under whose towering limbs
A treasure of autumn leaves and acorns fall.

Strangely soothing, this gliding above the dead,
Pausing to note a name, an age, doing the math,
Adding or subtracting my own advancing years in
A fruitless assessment of my place in line.

Fall’s fierce abiding beauty comes at a price,
Golden everywhere sans the dark abyss where it points,
Each October a plaintive call to arms and attention,
Open arms of a love, that is, and attention to time, precious time.

Under every stone, a story of one who breathed, perspired,
Dreamed, questioned, loved, risked—and suffered, of course—
As I suffer now running hard up the hill from the potter’s fields,
Toward the stone monuments of nobles who lie there just as dead.

Breathless, I walk again, blood coursing, eyes horizoned,
Seeking a still point around which everyday life ...

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