I am taking a rest break from blogging for an indefinite period, including a complete break from posting. I hope to check in on your posts from time to time, but if I don’t comment, it won’t be because I’ve lost interest in what you have to say. Thank you for your interest in what I’ve had to say, and I will look forward to ‘next time.’
The third Sunday in September, which by all (ac)counts is today, is WIFE APPRECIATION DAY. First and foremost, it’s a day for all us husbands to give thanks….thanks that we don’t live in olden times of guys like King Solomon, who had hundreds of wives for whose favors he had to pay dearly to prove his appreciation, not only this day, but on wedding anniversaries, birthdays, and romantic holidays like the ancient equivalents of Sweetest Day, Valentine’s Day, and, of course, Groundhog Day. My wallet (which I affectionately call Wally) is having a nervous breakdown just thinking about that empty feeling….and praying he doesn’t wake up tomorrow morning reliving this day.
Fortunately, we live in more civilized times where monogamy is the rule and just one wife is the ruler. Wally can rest assured that I see all such days as over-commercialized evil plots furthered by vile capitalists interested only in separating Wally and me from our hard-earned jack* (surnamed Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant and Franklin) — and my would-be better half had better see it that way, because I control the Jack in my Wally, and I will not be moved by shape-up-or-ship-out demands….
*jack, n. Money. Orig. a sporting term, common 1920s. –Dictionary of American Slang
Whoa! Let us not be too hasty — you know I was only kidding, don’t you, Honey Buns? Lay that pistol down, babe….
As a matter of fact, Snooky Wooky Ookums, I do have something for you on WIFE APPRECIATION DAY: something to bring back memories of those halcyon days when lovers can’t get enough of each other (as The Donald continues to feel about The Donald):
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Sorry, Wally. Sorry, Jack. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
Lately I’ve been (and remain) a bit under the weather, so rather than strain my brain trying to write something original, this post will quote from three book reviews which have something pertinent to say about the likes of our favorite President, either directly or by extension (book titles in caps):
KILL IT TO SAVE IT by Corey Dolgon
“Dolgon’s astute look at the conservative turn in US politics … offers a fascinating look at the phenomenon that made Donald J. Trump the preferred choice of many voters. The long-term fallout of this turn has many of us thinking far less critically than we should be–exactly as intended–and how and why we’ve learned to tolerate the intolerable.” –Eleanor J. Bader (reviewer)
UNDER THE COVER OF CHAOS by Lawrence Grossberg
“In damning detail, Grossberg here lays bare the deep roots of Trumpism. Rather than a break from some imagined pure, nuanced conservatism, Grossberg shows Trump’s manic nonsense is actually a continuation, the result of a long struggle between the new right and the reactionary right. Everyone should read this book if they want to understand the rise of authoritarianism in the United States.” –Henry Giroux (reviewer)
THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE by Milton Mayer
An account of the rise of fascism in Germany from 1933-45. As such, “A timely reminder of how otherwise unremarkable and in many ways reasonable people can be seduced by demagogues and populists.” –Richard J. Evans (reviewer)
Upon further review, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
One must never miss an opportunity of quoting things by others which are always more interesting than those one thinks up oneself. –Marcel Proust
The idea for this post was born of the mating of the above quote (which came from a book I’m reading about Marcel Proust) with a play on words from the title of this old song:
The next step was to come up with nine quotes based on the above premise. Almost by default, I chose quotes about quotes. I hope the result isn’t born stillborn — if so, de fault is yours (or mine, if you want to be petty about it). Let’s begin and see how it works out:
Those who never quote, in return are never quoted. –Isaac D’Israeli
Pretty things that are well said — it’s nice to have them in your head. –Robert Frost
I have made it a rule that whenever I say something stupid, I immediately attribute it to Dr. Johnson, Marcus Aurelius or Dorothy Parker. –George Mikes
Asked to describe his most recent play, a playwright (who Dorothy Parker felt had been copying her) said, “It’s hard to say — except that it’s a play against all isms.” She replied, “Except plagiarism.”
I always have a quotation for everything — it saves original thinking. –Dorothy L. Sayers
To be amused at what you read — that is the great spring of quotation. –Charles Edward Montague
While reading writers of great formulatory power — Henry James, Santayana, Proust — I find I can scarcely get through a page without having to stop to record some lapidary sentence. Reading Henry James, for example, I have muttered to myself, “C’mon, Henry, turn down the brilliance a notch, so I can get some reading done.” –Joseph Epstein
If you want to be quoted, say something you shouldn’t say. –Evan Esar
I really didn’t say everything I said. –Yogi Berra
So that makes me a quoter of nine, unless one counts the opening Marcel Proust quote, which doesn’t count as ten unless you’re keeping count, in which case, count it instead as a bonus which would only count if you don’t count Yogi, who said he didn’t say what he said if he didn’t say it (but don’t quote me on that).
Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today;
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…
–Wm. Hughes Mearns
I was reminded of the above (from the 1899 poem ANTIGONISH) by this opening paragraph of a column by Susan Page in USA TODAY:
“At the [9/1/18] memorial service he had carefully planned, John McCain managed to deliver a final and defiant rebuke to the man who wasn’t there, whose name was never uttered.” In that spirit, I too will honor John McCain by not mentioning the name of the man who wasn’t there. We all (who follow the news) know the name of the man who wasn’t there, and we all know why he wasn’t there.
Susan Page goes on to quote the following words spoken so eloquently at the service by Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Arizona Senator:
“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.”
The little man who wasn’t there once said that John McCain was no hero. The little man who wasn’t there isn’t fit to say ANYONE is no hero, because a narcissistic, bullying, amoral coward has no standing to judge the worth of anything, much less heroism.
“Oh, how I wish he’d go away”….but it will take more than wishes. It will take our votes. Nothing less than a resounding vote against political enablers of the President will convince Republicans that it’s in their self-interest to ‘flip.’ And make no mistake — to them, political self-interest (and living to fight another day) is everything.
Wait — don’t scat! Stay where you are and let scat come to you — scat singing, that is — and who better to lay the scat on you than two of the best: Mel Tormé, whose birthday (9/13/25) we celebrate this month, and the First Lady of Scat, Ella Fitzgerald:
Man, if that didn’t knock your socks off, you’d better put your shoes on and scat back to Squaresville, because you’re just not with it! To say scat singing is little more than vocal jazz improvisation with nonsense words is like saying The Donald is just improvising when he lets loose with nonsense tweets (to use a reverse perverse metaphor).
So, who was the cat who ‘invented’ scat? There seems to be no definitive answer, but some say it began 2/26/26 when Louis Armstrong supposedly forgot the words to this song and began improvising a little more than halfway through the recording:
Let’s wrap it up with this recent scat-iteration (which, I kid you not, ends with tweets):
And now you can scat! Come back any time.
To see or not to see, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to look past
The slings and arrows of outrageous tweets
And excuse the lies and insults of our imperial Don,
So long as such doth advance our noble cause
And lead us back to the glory of righteous times,
Devoutly to be wish’d. Ay, there’s the rub:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’opressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the unworthy spurns,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus devil-deals doth make cowards of us all
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
Lie paraded, bare and exposed for all but us to see.
*with appreciation, but no apologies, to Shakespeare