Archive for July, 2011


July 27, 2011

I don’t pass this along because I think it should have any special importance to anybody, but because I brought it up a few days ago. Sweetheart, Judy’s pet cockatiel of 22 years, died this afternoon. As she’s been doing for several weeks, Judy took Sweetheart to her office, and Sweetheart died there in her traveling cage. She was a trooper to the end. In one way, it was Sweetheart that brought Judy and me together. When she got Sweetheart, Judy had never owned a bird before, so she subscribed to a bird magazine to learn more about them. Before I wrote Wild Parrots, I had an article published in that magazine. Judy read it, and it interested her as a subject for a film. But at the time I wrote the article I thought I was about to move. I said so, so she didn’t bother to look me up. A few years later, when someone suggested that Judy do a film about me, she already knew what I was up to.

Sweetheart’s decline was gradual and without any major complications. She went peacefully. The house does feel different. There’s one less mind in the room now.

More on the GOP

July 25, 2011

Other than its depth, there is nothing new about my contempt for the Republican Party, which has been increasing every year since 1969—my contempt, that is. My family was so staunchly Democrat—Roosevelt/Kennedy-style Democrats—that they didn’t dare tell my grandmother that Nixon had been elected. She was in the hospital dying and they were afraid that the news would kill her. Nixon was probably the only thing my father and I ever agreed on. It has reached the point now—reached it awhile ago actually—that no Republican can ever represent me for anything. This is not hyperbole. The Republicans want a victory that they must never have. I mean, a victory where their so-called “values,” which are, objectively speaking, vile, hold complete sway. This country is, in effect, in a civil war; it’s just that we haven’t started using guns.

I feel like a man without a country.

A Party to Evil

July 22, 2011

The Republican Party is not the party of individual freedom. It is the party of ego, the party of Mammon. I think it has gone insane—become evil. And you can’t compromise with evil because it can never be satisfied. Those who will tell me that what I’m actually describing is the Democratic Party are wrong. The Democrats are compromised, but they haven’t become out and out evil as the Republicans have become.

Issues of Life and Death

July 21, 2011

There’s been plenty I’ve wanted to write about lately, but life events have prevented me from getting to any new posts. As always, there is my work on the book, and we had out-of-town guests for awhile as well. The latest obstacle is a sad one. Sweetheart, Judy’s pet cockatiel of 22 years, is dying, and dealing with her illness has been taking up nearly all our time. She has an enormous malignant tumor on her leg. We’ve been to a vet, and she’s on medication.  But she is having to endure pain. Occasionally she trembles. I always see the same thing: Animals don’t complain like we human beings do—we who think we are so superior. They endure with innate dignity whatever life brings them. I hope that when my time comes I can face it as nobly as that gentle little bird.

Progress Report #65

July 13, 2011

I’m finding it more difficult that I thought to cut stuff out. I’m doing it, but it’s tough. I’m having thoughts of expanding the length of the final draft from my original idea of 325 pages to around, say, 400 pages. There’s still a lot of work to do in the construction of the outline, so my ideas will keep changing as I go through it. Certain ideas keep returning, each time with greater clarity. But they don’t stick around. They’re like waves coming in and then retreating. The general trend seems to be that of a rising tide.

Speaking of which…I’ve decided that in between the end of this work period (construction of the outline and the completion of the second draft) and the next work period (writing the final draft), I need to take a substantial break. A month or two. My mind is tired, and I want to come into the last draft fresh. I expect to finish the current period of work around the end of this year or the earliest part of the next. Then I’m thinking I should spend a week or so in Hawaii. Probably in February. I have enough airline miles to get a ticket. I want to relax, not have to talk with anybody, and swim. I’ve never been there, so I’ve been reading about the place. But I can’t figure out where I should go. Does anybody have any specific suggestions?

An Appropriate Word

July 11, 2011

I’ve been far too busy with my work on the book to post anything here lately. I do want to make one comment, however. There’s a tremendous amount of name calling that goes on in this country, and sometimes a name will stick and the object of scorn has to carry it around for years. “Tax and spend liberals” is one I can think of at the top of my head. Lately, I’ve been seeing a word being directed at the Republicans that I like because I think it’s accurate: Nihilist. I hope it sticks.