Summer of our Discontent

When we returned from our (fist) trip to Australia on Inauguration day in January, this columnist was eagerly looking forward to summer (in the US) and the prospect that we would be writing about the war crimes trials of George W. Bush (and our disk jockey would be playing Hank Williams’ “Knock the Hell Out of You” song at the end of it) and his cronies , but it looks like there will be no such columns written this summer (or ever?) and most appropriate song would simply be “So Long, It’s been good to know ya.” It seems we will have to come up with a different idea for a summer column. 

Our question about where was the Queen Mary when Pearl Harbor was attacked got answered when we went down to the tourist attraction in Long Beach and talked to the Public Relations department who consulted the ship’s records and informed us that the ship spent from late November to mid December of 1941, in Trincomalee harbor.  It may have been there for some periodic maintenance.  That shot down our theory about that ship getting an order to evacuate from Pearl Harbor late on Saturday, December 6, 1941 and it caused us to learn that Trincomalee is a harbor on the coast of  Shri Lanka (which was then called the island of Ceylon.)  We planned a long and clever column about that excursion.  Without a war crime trial, it seemed that the need for writing that column was also considerably downgraded.  Folks in the US just don’t care that much about wars.

A few weeks ago, a visit to Homeboy Industries had us inspired to write a column all about it and adopt it as our favorite “good cause” and urge folks to donate money to them (after making an enormous donation to their favorite progressive web site fund raising drive) but somehow, despite all our good intentions, it didn’t get written.

Would a column about our disk jockey’s suggestions for assembling all the most appropriate songs for a Bush era soundtrack album be worth the effort?  Well, maybe after the Labor Day weekend, there will be more enthusiasm for the project.

While in Australia, we kept thinking about the fact that we were missing the Sunday Night Classic radio broadcast featuring Jimmy Kay.  We especially thought of that program while standing in the Record store in Fremantle and listening to the entire “At Folsom Prison” album.  It seemed that the further one gets from Folsom Prison, the better the album sounds.  We recently learned that the Sunday Night program went off the air and that a petition to help it get back on the air is available online.

How about a column about James Crowley?  Have you gotten your Crowley for Congress bumper sticker yet?  They don’t make them?  Wait a week.  They will.  How can the Republicans not love a guy who reminds this columnist of Sarah Palin?

When George W. Bush’s paperwork from his air National Guard days turned up missing, it was (to the conservatives leading the chorus of mainstream media) no big deal.  However, they just gotta see Obama’s birth certificate.  We thought about writing a column about the conservatives’ curious application of a double standard regarding old personal presidential documents.  Is this paragraph good enough?

Since we have managed to get a ride on the Goodyear Blimp and a B-17-G, when we got an e-mail recently saying that the Beat Museum (in San Francisco) has resurrected the Beatmobile, we came up with the idea of writing a clever column that would earn us an invitation to do a ride-along story about some of their adventures “on the road.”  We haven’t gotten around to writing that column yet.

Would it be inappropriate to mention here that the (car and truck) International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame is located in Chattanooga Tennessee?

That, in turn, reminded us that we are still trying to figure out how to get either Qantas, VAustralia, or United Airlines to donate a RT ticket to Australia for the next facet of our new columnist’s tradition of celebrating Christmas in the traditional Australia way (in a bathing suit on the beach) this December. 

That caused us to contemplate writing a column suggesting that maybe one of those air lines should run ads in December in (say) Buffalo, Boston, NYC, Chicago, and Minneapolis, featuring attractive lasses giving a live weather reports from both Bondi and Cottesloe beachs each night.  On a cold winter’s night in the northern part of the USA, it would be afternoon the next day on both of those beaches and the weather report alone should convince some folks that a vacation in Australia at that time of year ain’t a bad idea.

Rodney King once said:  “We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out.”  He was never invited to the White House for a beer.

Now, the disk jockey will play the fugs “Summer of Love.”  We gotta go send a news tip suggestion (about Richard Fine’s legal plight in L. A.) to Rolling Stone magazine.  Have a “retroactive amnesty” type week.


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