Trash Talk: Begin with the End in Mind

Golf widow here, once again enjoying a calm sunny Sunday afternoon left to my own devices. The leaves are nearly all fallen and blow away, the migratory birds have taken flight leaving only the hardiest yet to make the seasonal trek. Winter is definitely coming.

Not to go all Stephen Covey on you, but I began this post yesterday with its end in mind.

“When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first, that way in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side.”
Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

Sports in the fall is a seasonal trek, too. We’re nearly done with the boys of summer, deep into football weather, thinking about sharpening our skates and waxing our skis.

Along the way we’ll find end of stories. If we’re lucky and aware, we’ll find the seeds of beginnings.

~ ~ ~

It was quiet last evening as I predicted when Michigan State University’s Spartans met University of Michigan’s Wolverines on U-M’s turf.

As expected, U-M won 29-7 over MSU.

But not expected was the poor sportsmanship after the game, still being investigated by police and the Big 10 conference commissioner. Wolverine’s defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows and another unnamed player were roughed up in a tunnel or hallway after the game when players left the stadium.

There’s video on social media of the fracas. MSU players should not have made any contact with U-M players.

While MSU players should not have lost their cool and should have displayed more sportsmanship, the host team should not have allowed contact between the two teams after the game. The hosts should have allowed the guest team off the field first before heading to their respective locker room.

Let’s hope this is a learning opportunity which reduces the chances of future clashes between teams with intense rivalries – say, ahead of the meeting between number 4 ranked U-M and number 1 ranked Ohio State on Thanksgiving weekend?

~ ~ ~

The boys of summer in their ruin have now been reduced to the Houston Astros and the Philadelphia Phillies, tied up in the World Series at 1-1.

Next game in the series is tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. ET.

I can’t help cracking up about the drama sports journalists drum up over these two teams meeting to fight for the title of World’s Best after nearly half a year and hundreds of games have simply worn all teams down to the two which can execute most competently with greatest consistency.

After the series ends whether five games or more, it will be back to chopping wood, carrying water.

~ ~ ~

Speaking of drama, NFL fans have surely gotten their fill this week of celebrity news about Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady and his divorce from ex-wife and model Gisele Bündchen.

I’m not a fan but I’ve had quite enough, thanks, and inside just hours. My social media feed was inundated with the news Bündchen had filed in the morning and then swamped again when the judge signed the order.

It’s amazing how quickly this was turned around. Sure, they did a lot of the pre-work made easier with the ability to pay for good lawyers, but the couple must have wanted out very badly.

I feel for their kids. They may have access to adequate therapy to help them through this, but it will never fully resolve why their dad bemoaned not being around from August through January for family birthdays and holidays then did a 180-degree turnaround on retirement and went back to work.

What’s really annoying: all this media-whipped hullabaloo about an athlete worth $330 million and his wife who’s worth $400 million, and no one asking what the American public should take away from this situation after it took possession of our media.

Professional football is socially-acceptable violence; it can cause traumatic injuries including paralysis and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which can deeply affect players’ lives. The risk of injury was a major concern for Bündchen who didn’t want Brady to continue the risk to himself when he had little if nothing left to prove to his peers.

We’re watching a Senate race now in which one candidate, Herschel Walker, shows hallmarks of long-term CTE which may have hurt his kindred, legitimate and illegitimate, thanks to his tendency to violence and poor decision making. Georgia voters may inflict this on the public if they don’t re-elect their current senator.

High school football has already begun transitioning from contact to flag in some parts of the country to reduce the risk of injuries to minors. It’s not enough though, when we see college athletes acting out violently as with the Michigan State Spartans. We can call it unsportsmanlike conduct, but the conduct may have roots in CTE these young people have already experienced.

The roots go wider and deeper, though. It’s in our refusal to demand a sea change in football, our continued incentives for reporting stories like Brady’s divorce and Walker’s erratic behavior as a candidate as just celebrity gossip or horse race political reporting.

~ ~ ~

I began writing this post after a close friend’s father passed away yesterday morning.

Their father was a fixture in my school system for nearly all their career. Everybody who grew up here between the 1960s and 1980s knows the family because they either had him or his spouse as teachers and guides, and their kids as classmates.

I can’t think of a local high school football game or civic parade I’ve attended here when he wasn’t driving his convertible with his golden retriever for company.

We often ribbed him about the cute blonde in the passenger seat who accompanied him to so many sporting events before reaching over to pet the well-mannered pup.

Over the years when I’ve thought of school sports I’ve thought of him and how he always encouraged the kids in the school system, showing his support by being engaged in the community.

If I recall, Marcy may have run into him at a Michigan Democratic Party event in Michigan we both attended. Even then he talked up what I did for the local party like I was a rock star. But he did that for so many kids in the community even as they became adults with kids of their own.

He was what good sports is about, the positive affect engagement as a group can have on a community. Individuals acting with an end in mind can realize this constructive bonding.

We’re going to miss him and his kind of cheerleading.

This door has closed, an end has been met. It’s up to us to find the open window and the new beginning.

Treat this as an open thread.

95 replies
  1. Badger Robert says:

    We went to the cinematic presentation Tar. Its non inevitable and no one gets off easy. But it does require the theater immersion environment. Very entertaining.

  2. Rayne says:

    One thing I didn’t add to my post: my friend’s father had a ‘normal’ death. He’d been declining over the last several years due to Alzheimer’s and took a sudden turn last week. There was enough advance indication the end was coming that my friend was able to fly home and be with him at the end.

    We’re still in a pandemic, people are still dying, but we’ve reached a point where we don’t have to avoid normal events like weddings and funerals because of COVID. I guess I’m grateful my friend’s family was able to make it this far along so that their patriarch could have a normal death experience.

  3. SunZoomSpark says:

    The tunnel at Michigan Stadium has been in use for football games for over 100 years. An incident like this has never happened before.

    The tunnel is next to the visiting teams sideline and the custom is the visiting team walks down the tunnel and enters their locker room first which is easy for them to do because they are right next to it.
    That allows the home team to subsuquently make their way to their locker room.

    2 weeks ago vs Penn State the PSU players purposely stayed outside their locker room and obstructed the UM players from entering their locker room. Apparently some PSU players threw PBJs at the UM players they were obstructing.

    Stupid? Yes Pitiful? Yes
    More effective than the PSU offense? Yes. They actually hit someone with a pass!of course,James Franklin tried to say it was the tunnel’s fault.

    MSU was something else entirely. While most of the UM players were celebrating with the fans, two players were headed to the locker room. Videos now online show one UM player surround by a group of Spartans who punched and kicked the player. The other video shows the second player being beaten with a football helmet while the Sparty players did nothing.
    Michigan plays PSU/MSU every year. The visitors know what they are suppiaed to do.

    If the players or their coaches want a confrontationthey can cause one. If they don’t want one, they can avoid it.

    It appears that this latest incident is being investigated by Ann Arbor and Lansing Police departments and the player who was using plhis helmet is in serious legal heapordy

    • Rayne says:

      If the players or their coaches want a confrontationthey can cause one. If they don’t want one, they can avoid it.

      This, exactly. Harbaugh was yelling about this situation and yet it’s his goddamned house. His players should all have been up in the stadium until the guest team had completely cleared the tunnel and entered their locker room. Harbaugh and U-M athletics share a big part of the blame.

      Four MSU players have been yanked and I’m sure they will be facing more repercussions. The entire team should be dressed down for not holding their team mates back. But it’s not just MSU at fault.

  4. Ed Walker says:

    I’m really torn about football. I grew up watching Notre Dame both live and on the tv. My dad was an anesthesiologist at a South Bend hospital, where he put many injured players under for surgery. The knee injuries under Joe Kuharich were out of control, as I recall. But that’s not CTE, and it seemed acceptable, just part of the game.

    I’d long ago quit supporting my alma mater financially over its shift to right-wing Catholicism. But the stories of rape out of ND did me in. I won’t name the woman, who committed suicide, and I can’t name the player because that was never disclosed.

    But here’s the thing. I’d been a fan for decades. You just can’t stop caring. My favorite podcast, The Partially Examined Life, a podcast by some guys who set on doing philosophy for a living but then thought better of it, tookup the question in an informal setting: what is it with fandom?

    I don’t know. But I still want the Irish to win. And I check the scores and stats of every game. ?

    • Silly but True says:

      I won’t name the player either, but the player himself started confirming his own involvement in the event since 2014.

      This case also highlights an entire, fundamental problem in the way organizations are allowed the facade of policing, which is rooted in one of the same problems with Penn State, and nearly similar issue of Catholic Church sex abuse scandal for deference that police departments gave the church.

      This matter wasn’t a student life disciplinary issue, as figured so prominently. An alleged crime was committed, and a report to the police were made.

      The problem then is that the “police” in this case was the Notre Dame Police Department which is a campus department within the university. And so, like all college campus PD’s with similar structure, it serves some different masters beyond what a normal police department serves.

      • Rayne says:

        Yes. That. I will tell you I knew of multiple reports of rape and assault at a Big 10 school for which evidence couldn’t be obtained because of triangulation between the university, the campus police, and the local city police which worked to protect the school first and then the sports team for which the accused played.

        The school’s policy was not to furnish information on students because of privacy; the campus police did what the school’s policy told them to do. And the local police just shrugged and said it was a campus problem.

        There has been considerable change with the enforcement of Title XI during the Obama administration, but I can’t help wondering how much violence is still swept under the carpet with this triangulation and the pervasive, “Boys will be boys” attitude in our culture.

  5. Peterr says:

    Gutted to see KC Current lose to the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League championship game last night. The Current are only in their second season, but they have built a strong team and also have a very strong community approach. The drawings of the stadium the Current are building look incredible, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like in person.

  6. wetzel says:

    ‘The Boys of Summer’ will always be 1985, and I was that guy. It’s funny because I’m glad how things worked out, but the song remains the same. It still hurts like how a perfume will make you remember.

    • bmaz says:

      The Boys Of Summer was a 1972 book by the great Roger Kahn recounting his summers growing up with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

  7. Gerontar says:

    I share your concern about pro football and CTE but the seeds maybe sown in high school and college sports where subcussive hits are very common. Multiple sports are involved from soccer, cheerleading (perhaps not really a sport), hockey, skiing, equestrian, etc, etc.

    • Bobby Gladd says:

      One day during practice in 1963 (Somerville high school, New Jersey), I got hit helmet to helmet open field full-on by our big varsity tight end (he would go on to West Point and captain of the Army football team). 59 years later, I still vividly remember that hit. There are no words. I can’t imagine getting hit like that over and over and over again.

  8. Chairborne Nam 71 says:

    Well, I guess that is why some refer to the UofM vs MSU game as smash-mouth football.
    At 7:00 pm, 30-min before kickoff southbound US 23 and eastbound and westbound M-14
    at the top of town were at a standstill. I was coming back into town on 2-lane backroads from Dexter so it was easy (no travel ob freeways).

  9. bbleh says:

    A friend’s son had his arm broken a few weeks ago playing HS football. He insisted on bandaging; he wouldn’t allow them to put him in a cast because it would take him out for the rest of the season. He has been concussed FOUR times playing.

    Toxic masculinity? Oh dear no, what a divisive, even woke (!) thing to say. Sort of like “white privilege.” $#%@&.

    • P J Evans says:

      My brother had a broken leg when he was three (accident). In HS, he wasn’t allowed to play football, because the school was afraid he’d break a bone again.

        • P J Evans says:

          And at that age, it would have been completely healed fairly quickly – it was something like three weeks in a cast, and he wasn’t resting quietly. (The break was on the outside, just above the ankle, so he was still able to walk. But he was awfully quiet, and that’s what got him taken to the doctor.)

  10. RMD says:

    What’s really annoying: all this media-whipped hullabaloo about an athlete worth $330 million and his wife who’s worth $400 million, and no one asking what the American public should take away from this situation after it took possession of our media.

    They serve as aspirations, informing as they distract.
    Exemplars. Not coincidentally, Tom approves of tfg and the “next man up” the floridian aspriant he shares texts with.
    AND Tom has the “reich” type of political friends.
    The nudge: “keep your head down” “Just do your job.” Be like them….and for gawd’s sake “don’t look up”

    “What did you dream?
    “That’s alright we told you what to dream”

  11. KP says:

    rock chalk jayhawks had the bye week, but oh my K-State rattled Okie State’s cage 48-0, with a backup QB having great game type stats at half, as did a banged-up Deuce running the ball! So, Kansas not having many people, I do have in-laws and friends that went to KSU, I pulled out a maroon sweater to wear … figured it could pass a purple if one looked a bit cross-eyed. Sad to see Nebraska drop another game. When I lived up in Lincoln they were winning and winning, and Coach Osborne finished a career with 3 natl championships in 4 years, and an upset kept ’em from four in a row. I liked Frank Solich, knew his wife from the dog run there, nice people, he got a raw deal, ‘only’ averaging 9+ wins a season, and losing the one natl champ game they got to with Solich … guy went to Ohio U and turned the program around. Anyway, we’re waiting for B-ball to start, they filled Naismith for Midnight Madness first pre-season practice (again). otherwise, I’m more D2 ball, and a track guy anyway LOL

  12. Alan Charbonneau says:

    “The risk of injury was a major concern for Bündchen who didn’t want Brady to continue the risk to himself when he had little if nothing left to prove to his peers.”

    That reminds me of Bobby Chacon. His wife begged him to stop boxing, but he wouldn’t. She committed suicide and he died in an assisted care facility due to pugilistic dementia. Chacon and Brady loved their jobs more than their wives. That’s sad.

    • bmaz says:

      Who exactly did she think she was marrying? “I never expected that the greatest QB of all time might keep playing QB while he is still good at it.”

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Yeah, except he is not still good at it. There is something to be said for going out on top. Like after you win the Super Bowl.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, his stat line for the season is 65.9 completion rate for 2,267 yards with 9 TDs only 1 interception and a QB rating of 93.4. That is really not that bad; most QBs would kill for that. The team as a whole is playing poorly. He is certainly not embarrassing himself.

          • Marinela says:

            So he is as good as the team is. Except we glorify the QBs as if they are succeeding on their own not as a team.

      • Rayne says:

        She married a guy who complained he missed family events during the season and then committed to retiring after the Super Bowl win.

        Chances are good he’s not been good at keeping his word given her remarks about his changing his mind about things, and she’d simply had enough of it.

        As if models don’t understand what it means to exit their career at the peak of their game, or be forced out for health reasons.

        • bmaz says:

          What a load of crap, she knew who she was marrying and married to. If she just could not take her husband being who he always was fine. But I don’t have any sympathy for her either. In fact, I’d argue “she” did more to fracture the family than he did.

            • bmaz says:

              What occurred has NOTHING to do with “family law”. The actual law portion of it went very smooth and was resolved by a filed mutual stipulation. What is has to do with is interpersonal dynamics. She knew who she was marrying. She knew he planned to play until he was 45. And so he is. She is the one who abandoned ship. And now she is spending her days in “spiritual healing centers”? Give it a rest Giselle.

              • Rayne says:

                We have no idea what those two individuals said to each other in the privacy of their own home, only they’ve said in public including his complaints he was tired of missing family events. Apparently ya’ boy is a performance artist as well as a quarterback.

                We also don’t know how much information about injuries is suppressed by the team and the NFL.

                And if a woman worth $400 million in her own right wants to spend her fucking days chasing spiritual healing that’s her prerogative — and likely code for dealing with a broken heart and depression.

                • bmaz says:

                  So is a man who made every bit of his intention known forever. People that think Giselle is a “victim” here are idiots.

                • Alan Charbonneau says:

                  “We have no idea what those two individuals said to each other in the privacy of their own home…”

                  Yes. Furthermore, we can’t rely on what celebs say in public whenever there is controversy, whether it’s Tiger running into a hydrant, a high-profile divorce, an arrest, etc. They issue statements written by a PR firm that do not sound remotely like they typically do.

              • ExpatR&RDino-sour says:

                I don’t think anyone here can actually know who jumped ship. He did say he would retire, didn’t he, and publicly? I watched The Man in the Arena and it was a lot about family when not on his huge achievements on the field. His parents and siblings were hugely supportive throughout his life. Maybe… just maybe, he just doesn’t know how to do the supporting.

                Kids need dads. I realise more and more how much they need a dad as I age because mine left my mom with 4 kids in the 50s. Yeah, we survived because that’s what moms had to do in those times, but I know not having a dad around had a big effect on me and my siblings by not being there. Ever. I don’t have any memory of him. I didn’t even start realising it until I had kids of my own much, much later.

                I greatly admire Tom Brady for what he’s done on football fields… close to super human. Maybe not so much off the field. But, hey, what do I know?

              • Peterr says:

                The speed with which all the docs were prepared and signed off on by the judge suggests to me that they had been damn close to filing for divorce in the past but for one reason or another, they never pulled the trigger on it until now. Yes, it was filed by mutual stipulation, which again says to me that they’d had discussions about what a divorce would look like before they filed these docs.

                If so, my guess is that Tom made some promises to change his behavior back then (such as setting a definite retirement date, but likely much more than that) and then he went back on those promises when he unretired.

  13. Frank M78 says:

    I updated my user name to meet the 8 character requirement.
    Has anyone viewed the new movie “All Quiet on the Western Front”? I will go to see a movie on the big screen if it is considered a quality film. I am not sure about this one however due to what will likely be graphic content.

    [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

      • Peterr says:

        The German film industry nominated it as their entry for the Best International Film Academy Award, which says a lot, given the subject matter in general and the esteem with which German’s treat the novel on which it is based.

        I haven’t seen the film, but have read the novel, and yes, it will not be a light happy film.

    • Tom-1812 says:

      I’ve seen the film on the big screen which made the viewing experience all the more harrowing in a few battle scenes. The movie departs from the novel by including a subplot about the negotiations between the Allies and Germany leading up to the November 11th Armistice. The idea seems to be to add an element of suspense to the movie: will the Armistice be signed in time to save Paul and his comrades from death in the trenches? But I would have preferred if the story had remained focused on the experiences of the troops in the German frontline rather than adjourning occasionally to show discussions between senior officers and diplomats at the high command. But it is a great film.

      When I was a kid, Remembrance Day meant honouring the greying old men of the Great War–including my grandfather–who were still around in their thousands to attend ceremonies on November 11th. World War Two was somehow too close in time for its veterans to merit formal remembering: those men were all around you in everyday life.

      Now a movie such as this recent first German version of “All Quiet on the Western Front” has to include some final title cards informing people about the nature of the ’14-’18 war, the stalemate of the trenches, and the high casualties suffered on both sides, apparently on the grounds that this may no longer be general knowledge for the audience.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I wonder if that’s Hollywood suits, projecting their own ignorance, or a real lack of general knowledge. Do they assume that students today think Trumbo’s, Johnny Got His Gun, is a western, or a virtual reality game?

        • Tom-1812 says:

          You could be right. My first reaction was that including this brief historical framing at the end of the film was just another example of how even the most momentous of events eventually subside and disappear into the mists of time and have to be explained to subsequent generations. But then I thought of the enduring appeal of the Tudors, the Regency period, and the American Civil War, so I’m not so sure.

          One of the Netflix trailers I’ve seen included a clip of a British military historian saying that there was concern in the UK that the passing of the last veterans and the centenary of the ending of the war in 2018 might mean the Great War would now be consigned to dusty old history books. The director of the film is a German, Edward Berger, so he may have wanted to remind his younger countrymen of their role in and responsibility for the two world wars of the last century.

          • Rayne says:

            I’m surprised no one has yet commented on the relevance of the film to the generation most likely to be conscripted if the Russo-Ukraine war were to spread.

            The new movie “All Quiet on the Western Front” may have started production in 2020 with release this year, but the topic at its heart has always been relevant to Europe and more so now when it’s all too easy to find photos and videos of conscripts lying dead in trenches in eastern Ukraine.

            • Peterr says:

              The German film jury that voted to send it as Germany’s nominee for Best International Film at the Oscars said this (Google Translate):

              Edward Berger clearly explains how the vain, unworldly decision-makers in arrogant vanity send the young soldiers into battle and sacrifice them without any conscience. The first German film adaptation of the almost hundred-year-old novel by Erich Maria Remarque is of frightening topicality and sends a strong signal against war.

          • TREPping says:

            I watched the film last night. Visually, it is stunning. As a remake of the novel, it misses the mark. Not only are the diplomatic scenes added and contrived, the scene with the belligerent general blaming the social democrats and others for Germany surrendering and depriving soldiers of the glorious destiny is also a crock. What this is tying to do is lay ground work for the Stab-in-the-Back myth that came out after the war. It was not part of the book. Overall, it is underwhelming. Apologies for the mini-rant. I cannot intelligently comment on most of the topics on the site. German history, I know something about.

      • posaune says:

        My grandfather remembered the bells tolling to mark the end of WW1, when he was 8yo. He was in bed with the Spanish flu. His sister was sharing the bed and she died the next day. He grieved her loss for his whole life.

      • Elvishasleftthebuilding says:

        I saw the film noted on the local art cinema – I figured they were just showing the original film. My online streaming of stuff is either sports or the Criterion Channel, which specializes in foreign films and old Hollywood films. I haven’t seen the original on there yet.

        I started watching John Cassavetes’ Husbands the other night but lost patience with it after about an hour, even though I love watching Peter Falk (might have to go back and re watch “Wings of Desire” where Peter Falk plays an angel in Berlin.

  14. Charles Tuttle says:

    Aloha Y’all…
    Long time and all, but, what has happened to all the old Qb stud muffins…? The GOAT has lost two in a row to 1-5 teams and Aaron Rodgers looked like a deer lost in the headlights tonite…! I’m delighted to see DangeRuss finally found some life in his arm and legs for my beloved Donkies, but it is certainly trying times…!

  15. pablointhegazebo says:

    Am I the only one here who saw what Ross Chastain pulled off in the last half of the last lap in the NASCAR race in Martinsville yesterday? It looked like a video game as he passed five cars in the last turn up against the wall. The previous 500 laps were not that interesting.

    • tmooretxk says:

      The ability to watch an entire NASCAR race is an impressive feat, due entirely to outlandishly overblown production efforts, not to racing talent or engineering superiority. A stupid sport carried to the ultimate extremes. Rant over.

  16. Jenny says:

    Happy Halloween! Thank you Rayne for the open thread.

    This weekend I read the book “Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion” written by Gabrielle Blair. Yep, a whole new perspective about how men need to be responsible for their actions regarding unwanted pregnancy. Informative, funny and direct. One of her goals is to get the book into the hands of ALL the Supreme Court Justices.

    Measuring the Impact of Ejaculate Responsibly

    • bidrec says:

      In the early ’70’s I worked in a foundry with outmates from the county jail. Many of them were there for failure to pay child support. At that time in Pennsylvania pre-DNA testing paternity was the mother’s word.

  17. klynn says:

    Well, I awoke this AM to a news endorsement I thought I would never see in Central Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch endorsed Democrat, Tim Ryan.

    Unfortunately, I do not have a working link to the piece but it was brutal and stated Ryan’s working policies and efforts to avoid divisive platforms drove their decision.

  18. Opiwannn says:

    Another aspect contributing to the not-between-the-sidelines violence in football in general is the changing rhetoric of the coaches, parents, and players over the years. I played through high school, and the amount of war analogies used to describe everything even remotely associated with football (from the game itself being a “war” between the teams, to “warrior mentality” on and off the field, to coaches as “generals” with their “battle plans” and various and sundry other bullshit) was eye-roll-worthy even then (I’m 44). To hear my kids’ friends describe it, things have definitely evolved even further since then . When you’re “going to war” with the other team, and characterizing their players as “the enemy” all the time with their starting skill players on your “hit list”, etc., well, you reap what you sow.

    • Rayne says:

      I suspect the militarization of K-12 sports is just a manifestation of society’s militarization post-9/11. Adults of your cohort became first time parents right around 1998-2004, raising children who have since grown to adulthood themselves in a world where police wearing Kevlar driving JLTV MRAPs on the street were normal occurrences, where body scans and surveillance cameras are likewise normal.

      We need to demob our society badly along with deprogramming half of it away from fascism.

      • Opiwannn says:

        I agree with everything you responded with, but had to laugh at the “1998-2004” part, because while my eldest was born in 2004, my ex and I were nearly the only people of our age who were having children at that time in our area. The number of parents at the daycare pickups/dropoffs who were nearly double our age was eye-opening for us. I still can’t fathom being 50 and having a toddler romping about, unless maybe it’s my grandchild!

        Context: we lived in the NE Baltimore suburbs outside the Beltway at the time, so professional couples who delayed children for career reasons were generally the rule instead of the exception.

  19. nedu says:

    [Drafted this yesterday as a reply to a comment under Ed Walker’s article. Then held off on actually hitting “post comment” –twice– for reasons. Reasons. Today my editor still has this draft staring back at me, accusingly. Finally posting it to trash, ’cause what else can I do?]


    Long time ago, couple decades ago: Dark, low clouds hang close overhead–reflect a bright little fire. Me, cooking spaghetti, with my old camp cookset on a wire grill. Kathy Peltier visiting us. Others doing most of the talking. I’m not saying too much. Looking for the damn flashlight. I’m getting static over how long I’m taking to cook up spaghetti sauce. Everyone’s hungry.

    So jump forward to now, today, this evening, tonight, just what would I say to Kathy Peltier now, if we happened to visit again? Eat together. Chat. Perhaps I’d say, ‘Oh, I was on the net the other day, read something, but couldn’t even try, wouldn’t have been understood — couldn’t write nothing.’ Maybe that’s what I’d have to tell her now?

    Guess it’s been a long time. Bright little cookfire glow up on lowering clouds. Fog here and there. Thicker as night gets later.


    Here I must mention Brady v Maryland (1963)… Bagley (1985)… then later, too late, Kyles v Whitley (1995).

    There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him…

    (8th Cir. 1986; emphasis in original.)

    … Clinton. Bush. Obama. Trump. Biden.

  20. punaise says:


    Will Nov. 8 yield Boo-hoo, or Booya!

    I once had high hopes for holding the Senate, now it’s a complete toss-up. The House is a goner. Statewide elections favor democracy deniers. We teeter on the edge.

    And yet…

    • Bay State Librul says:

      And yet Dylan’s newly released book was dedicated to the crew at Dunkin’ Donuts
      I m hoping he produces a 16 minute ballad on the coming 2023 Civil War.
      Arrest Trump now before it’s too late

    • bmaz says:

      “They got the guns, but we got the numbers” /s/ Right Rev. Jim Morrison

      Thing is though, the numbers have to go out and vote. Dems do not as single mindedly as Republicans. Will Rogers was right when he said “I am not a member of an organized political party, I am a Democrat”.

      • punaise says:

        Based on polling trends (I know, the right / media are flooding the zone to tilt the averages), Nov. 8 can’t arrive too soon. There are glimmers of hope in early voting numbers. But as Josh Marshall says:

        My general rule of thumb is that when you start analyzing or unskewing polls that you don’t want to be true, you know you’re in trouble. It’s a good rule of thumb. That’s why … I’ve tried to be transparent about my foreboding. But the concentration of GOP polls — often almost to the exclusion of legitimate media polls — is close to unprecedented here as far as I can remember.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think the article understates the problem. The Chief Twit, Elon’s new handle – proving there are no limits to the obtuse – is as addicted to rule by twtr as Trump.

      He’s spread rumors about wanting to sack 75% of the workforce, then denied them, a propaganda strategy he could have borrowed from the KUBARK manual. Apart from thinking fear is a good way to run a tech company, a common if counterproductive tactic, Elon might have done it because he has no clue what to do with the company, let alone how make it profitable, and because its management and his stupidity forced him to go through with a deal he hadn’t thought through. Not an unusual problem for Elon, either. He once thought he could fix Tesla quality and production issues by firing his top automotive engineers.

  21. Bay State Librul says:

    You think Noah Syndergaard had something to do with the rain last night?
    The now disgraced Bill Cosby has the best skit alive — about Noah talking to God while wielding his hammer.

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