I had gotten about six hundred words into a “normal” column when, to my chagrin, I realized that I’d already written pretty much the same thing a few months ago. I attribute this to the fact that I have a major-league head cold, and when I have one of those, my cognitive and creative processes (apparently my memory as well) seem to slow. That, of course, is a civilized way of saying that I’m currently sneezing and blowing my brains into a handkerchief.
So, given my currently limited capabilities, I thought I’d try to amuse you, and myself, with some random musings on various topics.
- Does anyone seriously believe that Donald Trump is questioning Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president because he’s worried on behalf of Cruz? Isn’t this what’s known as “concern trolling”?
- If you live in New England, you’ll be gloomily aware that we are, as I write, undergoing that ghastly meteorological phenomenon known to the weather soothsayers as “wintry mix.” Rain. Snow. Sleet. Rain. Snow. Sleet. Rain. Then the temperature drops and the whole mess freezes into cement. I would—as I complained in an email earlier today to our gracious host—rather have all snow. It’s much easier to clean up after. I’m not asking for a re-run of January 2015, when the greater Boston area got buried under 101 inches of snow over the course of three weeks. But “wintry mix”—which sounds like it should be something you serve with drinks at a cold weather cocktail party—is the pits.
- Biographies of celebrities, particularly those in the entertainment biz, are usually awful: badly written, for one thing. But I read one recently that I really enjoyed. That was Girls Like Us, a literary triptych about Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon, by Sheila Weller. If you have any interest at all in the history of rock, soft rock, and folk-rock music, and more specifically in three of the great women practitioners of the genres, you’ll enjoy this. Weller can write.
- I also enjoyed Jay Parini’s Empire of Self, a biography of Gore Vidal. It provides some analysis of Vidal’s writings, which Fred Kaplan’s 1999 Gore Vidal didn’t, though Kaplan provides a more detailed look at Vidal’s life. Vidal apparently hated the Kaplan book, which was written while he was still alive. Memo to all prospective biographers: Wait till your subject has kicked the bucket before you begin your opus.
- Back to politics. It seems—are you ready for this—that Donald Trump is claiming credit for the release of the Iranian hostages. Yes. You read that right. Apparently it was his blustering that terrorized the Iranians into submission. Good thing D-Day took place on June 6, 1944. Otherwise he’d be taking bows for having masterminded the seminal event of the twentieth century. And I think some of his fans would believe him.
- Well, according to the latest weather prognostication, it’s going to snow here tomorrow and Monday. Just snow. No rain. No sleet. Best of all, I don’t have to shovel it.
And with that, I think I’ll sign off for the time being. Gotta go blow my nose. Have a good MLK Day.