Showing posts from June 21, 2009

There are bad times just around the corner

This afternoon I was at "A Marvelous Party" - a celebration of Noel Coward at the Florida Studio Theatre.

Coward's wit came through in his old chestnuts "Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs. Worthington", "Mad Dogs and Englishman"; and "A Marvelous Party".

I was especially taken with "There are Bad Times Just Around The Corner", which apart from some topical references to Reds and Pinks, seemed very apposite to what I recently saw of today's Britain.

Verse 1 They're out of sorts in Sunderland
And terribly cross in Kent,
They're dull in Hull
And the Isle of Mull Is seething with discontent,
They're nervous in Northumberland
And Devon is down the drain,
They're filled with wrath On the firth of Forth
And sullen on Salisbury Plain,
In Dublin they're depressed, lads, Maybe because they're Celts
For Drake is going West, lads,
And so is everyone else. Hurray-hurray-hurray! Misery's here to stay.

Refrain There a…
I write as a member of the “post Michael Jackson” generation. I never quite “got him”, though it was clear that he was a splendid entertainer.

I think that he was also a tragic figure. He seemed to live like a 13 year old boy who had “come into money”

Perhaps he believed his own propaganda. Perhaps he was manipulated by his handlers.

Nonetheless this old fart was shocked to read that “Google” and other sites were overwhelmed with hits when Jackson died. God help the people of Darfur!

May the God of mercy and justice be with Michael Jackson, and with the 1 billion humans who are underfed.

May human beings of mercy and justice do something about the 1 billion humans who are underfed.


My cat Adelaide and I have frequent conversations. They arise because she wants to go outside, yet one more time.

Adelaide says “Meow”. I say “No”. And so it goes, for many minutes.

I completely understand the conversation. Adelaide understands not a word.

But I am the one w…

Sex, lies and power

The list goes on, the names quickly come to mind — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., Sen. David Vitter, R-La., former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., one-time Democratic presidential hopefuls John Edwards and Gary Hart, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, current New York Gov. David Paterson, former President William Clinton.

It’s neither a Democratic list nor a Republican list. It’s a list of men who abused their authority by the use of power.

Many leaders are susceptible to this temptation.
There are businessmen who verbally abuse their employees.
There are Priests and Ministers who believe in themselves more than they believe in God.
There are Bishops who are tyrants.
There are husbands who are brutes.
And, of course, there are the political and national leaders.

Long before our time, many Kings were also sexual predators. Because they were Kings they “got away with it”.

The Biblical King David “got what he wanted” with …

Scandal. Abuse of Power. The Pope. Canon Ed. Rodman. Lord Acton.

Given the expenses scandals in the British parliament; the fiscal scandals in these United States (Madoff et al); the various sexual scandals of leaders both sides of the Atlantic etc, etc, I have been thinking about the corrupting nature of power.

Here are some quotations on the matter:
Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.~ Edward Abbey

Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.~ John Adams

It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.~ David Brin

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.~ Lord Acton 10 January183419 June1902),

It’s the Lord Acton quotation which is best known.

Lord Acton was a Roman Catholic Peer in the United Kingdom. He was a Liberal (in the sense of the old fashioned Briti…

"Bloom where you are planted?" Not a chance

If there are some things which are universal in human experience, one of them must be to complain about the weather.

Here in the southern USA we have been socked into unusually high temperatures and humidity for this time of year. In Sarasota, FL the thermometer has rarely shown lower than 75 F at night, and has been in the high 90’s F during the day. It’s all been a bit much. (It’s 85 F even as I write, at 9:33 p.m.)

Meanwhile, up in Massachusetts and other northern States it has been wet, wet, wet, with “summer” temperatures in the 60’s F.

We’d like some of their cooler air and rain. They’d like some of our higher temperatures.

(Who ever said “bloom where you are planted” had no sense of the weather!)

Complaining does not change matters, but it does give opportunity for conversations, even with strangers. And air conditioning in homes and cars makes all the difference.

Penne still demands her “poop or pee” walks about five times each day, so I have sweated with the best, even at 6:00…

Pope Gregory the Great (an Anthem sung at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, Fl today)