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Alex Baer

Endings

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Yes:  Lauren Bacall.

A landmark, watershed moment of loss, finality.

End of an era much adored.

End of a storybook, starry-eyed romantic pair.

End of a warm, playful, and sly sort of style, grace, wit, charm.

End of a role model and path-maker for women, for people.

Too many ends.

Too many irrevocable lines drawn in the sand.

*  *  *  *  *

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 August 2014 12:48 Read more...

Sticking to the Facts Would Be a Miracle

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I've been wondering about People again, so that already means I'm in way over my head.

A number of areas keep getting jumbled all together for me, which puts me in pretty good stead with my fellow beings, I guess.

It's likely -- I hope -- that comments and posts on various website pages are not accurate reflections of the intelligence level of my countrymen and countrywomen and countrybeings, and all the counterpartbeings in cities.

There are always a number of uneasy, queasy word-wars in progress on any Comments page. Like opinions, as you've no doubt heard from colloquial references to bodily apertures and orifices, we all have at least one.

The subject matter runs the gamut, from those who believe gamut is the lowest note of the medieval scale, to those who think it is a reference to the entire modern scale of musical notes, and then even on to the nonmusical among us who believe a gamut is the full breadth of human emotional range -- and beyond, to the spooky outsiders and transcendentalists who see a gamut as the entire range of anything, of everything.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 21:54 Read more...

Freedom's Just Another Word

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Situation Report:  I steamed my eyelids open again with real coffee, a nice treat for a weekday.  This idle, schedule-less time is a gift from my era.  It is a gift from the same chunk of time that decided a long while ago that I was not only economically redundant, but execrably so, and so, I was added to the Shoals of the Doomed & Adrift -- and then expertly excreted from the highly-lauded realm of competitive, cutthroat capitalism and into the murky lagoons and mired holding ponds of Excess Capacity.

In economics, as in most other areas of America life since, oh, 1960, it's best to fog and cloud the real issues, and all-too-human effects, with cold, distancing euphemisms.  So, the Shoals of the Shredded & Damned are magically converted -- presto! -- to Excess Capacity.  Language is very much like statistics:  What is revealed is routine; what is concealed is essential.

Add to this phenomenon of distancing, by language, to things we'd rather not face, one more thing:  The purposeful, political maiming of language to accomplish the demands of propaganda.  It's why Frank Luntz has Luntzified the language for right-wing think tanks, policy groups, and political hacks, converting the neutral and descriptive inheritance tax and estate tax into the now-infamous, and heinous, barbarian death tax.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 June 2014 21:50 Read more...

Another Day on Planet X

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Here I am again:  I woke up again this morning.  And, once again, I ran through all my available choices.  Once more, I found no basic improvement in the human condition -- nothing astonishing had happened while I slept, no new options had evolved or hatched or arrived in flying saucers, or tunneled up from the deeps.  No thoroughly new way of existing had been birthed, fizzing and crackling into existence from a wormhole's termination point on the surface of the planet nearest my thoroughly beat-up and timeworn footwear.

No, here I was able to again discover life at its simplest:  There was the staying-in-the-rack option, or there was the up-and-at-'em angle.  While there were no new lifeform alternatives presented overnight -- none that I could detect, at any rate -- at least both of the standard choices were still available.  I wake up slow and groggy these days, but I glommed onto that much, sure enough.

Foolishly, I once more pressed the rise-and-shine selection into service.  Personally, I blame my bladder for routinely holding me hostage to this narrowest possible range of wake-up choices.  Once more, my body was holding me hostage to its demands -- and it would not be the last time in the day, or in this life, that it would cruelly limit my preferences.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 20:21 Read more...

We Could End Up Miles from Here

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The days unfold strangely for anyone puttering around gamely, if lamely, in life.  As an amateur human being a long way from pro status, it's possible to stroll among the headlines and footnotes, around the millstones and milestones, taking informal readings on this and that.

Even on a good day, with a stiff, sane breeze blowing across the news websites of the land, it's impossible to gauge the gradations of cultural degradation, to get accurate readings of any kind.  It's a gut-feeling sort of enterprise. There are no calibrated anything-ometers to slap into play.  There are no national and regional numbers pouring in to Tracking Central.  There are no land mine or shock wave or blast zone maps.

There are no compression gradients to be drawn.  No depressive ingredients to be withdrawn.  Everything unfolds like a mushroom cloud, new ones going off all day long.  Sometimes, they are far away and in slow motion.  Other times, the flash is sight-searing, and the blast is a sight meant for no eyes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 19:06 Read more...

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