Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Sundries, 22

1. Twice a year you remember how many clocks you have in your life.

2. We had an exciting Saturday night: We got a decaf Americano at Starbucks; we shopped for a roasting chicken (our son and family are coming over this afternoon); we flopped in bed and watched a little of a not-very-good episode of Midsomer Murders, a series that's been on since Howdy Doody and isn't very good (as I said). But still we watch ... hundreds of episodes, I think. (Who's counting?)

3. I finished reading Brock Clarke's wild new novel, The Happiest People in the World. I'm going to do a full post about this novel later this week, but I always enjoy his work, ever since I read his bestseller An Arsonist's Guide to Writers'  Homes in New England, his 2007 novel. I liked it so much I read everything else he'd published--then arranged for him to spend a day with our students at Western Reserve Academy (April 28, 2008), many of whom had read Arsonist's before his visit. I'll not say more now (what would I write about later?), but later this week ... look out!

4. I did have a little excitement last night before I crept up to bed for Midsomer. I watched (one more time) the 1942 film Moontide, screenplay by John O'Hara. Glad I did, too. I'm getting ready to upload to Kindle Direct a long biographical memoir about chasing O'Hara for a few years, and my memory was in need of a little refreshment. (I'll be blogging about the film a little later on; see earlier post about the 1940 novel Moon Tide that was the source for the film--and, yes, the film makes one word out of the book's title.)

5. Joyce and I have already voted (absentee), and although I don't normally say much about politics on this site (did a blog ever change anyone's mind?), I will say that I remained loyal to the Democrats, even though various individuals in the party can disappoint. But I vote for the party more than the person, as I think most other people do. Here's the rationale: Even a bent Democrat will vote for/advance the cause of the issues I care about. In my lifetime, Dems have fought for Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights, rights of women, voting rights, rights of minorities, union rights, minimum wage, public education, Obamacare, and on and on, The Other Guys have opposed all those things--sometimes fiercely (e.g., Civil Rights, Obamacare, etc.).

I believe that one of the principal purposes of government--a democratic government--is to make the country a more fair place, to help people gain opportunities, to (in the words of the Preamble to our Constitution) "promote the general welfare."

We can all point to instances of people who are corrupt--people who "game the system." Nothing gets the old blood boiling more than a welfare cheat, right? Someone who has the latest iPhone and shouldn't because, you know, they're supposed to be poor! (Of course, that tiny corruption pales in the bright sordid sun of Wall Street corruption and political corruption and business corruption and ... the difference between a soiled penny and a fetid fortune.)

But it's unfair to judge entire categories of people by their most corrupt members. Last time I looked, priests,schoolteachers, cops, politicians, soldiers, lawyers, business owners, doctors, Wall Streeters, etc.--all have folks who have shattered the ethical tenets of their professions--even of humanity itself. But I don't hear many calls to quit supporting churches and schools and courts and the Army and investment firms (well, maybe them!).

No, the questions should be: Is this enterprise, on balance, a good idea? If so, how can we make it better--more effective? How can we reduce corruption but make sure that those who need our help can get it?

Anyway, the current Democratic candidate for governor of Ohio, Ed Fitzgerald, has not been the most upright plant in the moral/marital garden. But he's a Dem. He'll support the issues I've cared deeply about since I've known what an issue is. And so I voted for him. And I hope he wins.

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