tell your friend Veronica

do you know how many Jewish friends i have?

so many.

i have so many its funny. my first super close jewish friend was Alan Grand.

all the kids at school teased him, they called him Jew Lock for some reason. dumb nickname.

i just called him Alan.

we hung out a lot throwing a rubber ball at stairs. we made up a whole game around it. before electricity thats what you had to do for fun.

three doors down from him was another Jewish kid our age named Nelson.

the two families couldnt have been more different, so when kids at school were all, omg Jews are this or Jews are that id say do you know Alan? theyd say yeah, id say do you know Nelson, theyd say yeah. id say what do they have in common?

and they couldnt come up with anything.

and i said they live on the same block. and they get ridiculed by imbeciles like you. now go get lost before i throw a rubber ball at you.

then alan and i would smash lego cars against walls to see which car was tougher.

ah simpler times.

Chappy Chanuka people!

the futures uncertain and the end is always near

i left the STP show at the austin music hall early cuz thats what you do when 2000 bands are playing over 4 days.

because of that i missed their encore when Robby Kreiger of the Doors joined the band on stage for the classic tune with all the famous lines

my favorite being, well i woke up this morning and got myself a beer.

its funny that there was all this Doors stuff going on because as i left the show and described how shocked i was at how good Scott Weiland was, i often compared him to Jim Morrison, in the sense that he was wild, unpredictable, and ridiculously handsome.

but then i saw this video this morning and i was all, meh.

“sorry folks, the park’s closed.

the moose out front should have told ya.”

because of my perfect age, the last date i had in high school was at the movies to see “Sixteen Candles”. i was 17.

then when i got to LA i had one of my first dates at the movies and we went to see The Breakfast Club. later id see Ferris Bueller and it made me a little less homesick for my sweet home of (suburban) Chicago.

back in those days there werent a lot of films made in or about the midwest and for that reason alone all mid westerners adore john hughes and mourn his early and sudden death. but i can understand why his popularity was world-wide.

bro knew how to write about teens without condescension, he understood how to portray the days styles without being too trendy (conveniently ignoring Ducky at this point), and clearly had an ear for new wave music that would stand the test of time.

working in a newsroom is a weird and wonderful experience. but it gets real sad when you learn that someone so tied to your youth has gone. it was definitely not the email i wanted to read. but when my boss asked me to write up a post for the Comments Blog, i obeyed, gladly, especially when she asked me to include a bit of a personal note in there.

this week seems to be the week of death

and today, besides being the anniversary of some serious major change, is also the 69th anniversary of one of the greatest speeches ever about impending death. an example of true class.

senator jesse helms was in many peoples minds a racist, a homophobe, and one of the biggest public embarrassments of the united states.

it’s hard not to understand those criticism when you read that he once said things like this about minorities, “I’ve been portrayed as a caveman by some. That’s not true. I’m a conservative progressive, and that means I think all men are equal, be they slants, beaners or niggers”; and this about AIDS, “There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy.”

at times it almost seemed like he was proud to be so backwards, a trait that some old men still seem quite comfortable in being.

larry harmon, best known in his long-running role as Bozo, couldn’t have been a more different man. most of his life was dedicated to making children happy, entertained, and loved. i grew up in chicagoland at a time when the waiting list for kids to view the hour-long Bozo program was so long that parents often put in their requests when they first became aware of their pregnancy and hoped that WGN would grant them tickets before their child was too old to enjoy the show.

the Bozo show on wgn was an hour long, live program, that ran Monday thru Friday for decades. it was center to the childhoods of millions in the midwest, and, in my opinion, one reason why the Cubs are so popular today. for decades the staple lineup of WGN programming was Garfield Goose at 7am, Ray Rayner at 8am, Bozo at noon, and the Cubs at 1:20pm. it was a genius way to get kids hooked on WGN, and thus the Cubs, in a time before cable or remote controls. you tuned in for the kids programming, you stayed for Bozo, which led beautifully to the hapless cubbies.

people have two paths they can choose in life: provide hope, love, and possibilities in a life that is in constant change; or be a backwards fuck whose grave invites endless urination and ridicule.

im not saying one needs to be a clown in life, but one should certainly think twice if theyre universally considered a bozo without the benefit of a tv show.