C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cohen Testifies: "Trump Is a Racist, Con Man, Cheat"

Your Head Trucker is pleased to note that our Republic is still a functioning democracy, or else Michael Cohen would never have been allowed to present his damning testimony to Congress today. I of course cannot comment on the truthfulness of any of it, but it certainly sounds true, given all that we have seen and and all that we have heard from the mouth of Cohen's erstwhile boss.




Cohen's pointed rebuke to Trump in his closing remarks was reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart's climactic denunciation of corrupt politicians in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington:




Let us hope and pray that this is the beginning of the end of Trumpocracy.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday Drive: This Magic Moment

One never forgets the first rosy dawn of love - even after fifty years.




Friday, February 22, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dionne Warwick: For the Record

Can you believe that the incomparable Dionne Warwick is 78?  Still classy after all these years.




Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Darkness in Dixie

Click to enlarge.

Long-time readers of this blog will know that your Head Trucker is a Southerner through and through - a modern Southerner, that is, with an education, and respect for the dignity of every human being.  I do not, however, take those sublime words of the Prayer Book to mean that one should indulge every folly or countenance outright wickedness:  rather, I believe they mean that sometimes one should oppose such things with unflinching vigor, wherever they are found.

There is much to love about the South - a green and pleasant land blessed, for the most part, with a warm and sunny climate, lush with trees and verdant fields, and every sort of vegetation.  The camellias were blooming a month ago down here - now the azaleas are shining out, and will very soon be followed by redbuds, dogwood, wisteria, mimosas, magnolias, crepe myrtles, roses, and every other lovely jewel of nature, while our friends in the frozen North are still bundling about in heavy coats and keeping their snow shovels at the ready.  A pity, that.

We also enjoy our somewhat slower pace of life, which affords us time to say hello and please and thank you to complete strangers, and time to savor the pleasures of a well-set table, laden with all the delicacies and delights of Southern cookery, than which there is no finer.  You must admit, we do some things very well indeed:  a region that has given the world fried chicken, barbecue, Coca-Cola, and rock 'n' roll can't be all bad, can it?  The past is prologue, to be sure, but the present is given us to improve upon it.

We Southerners sometimes like to exaggerate our Southerness for effect, if only because it makes the snooty, self-righteous Yankees cringe.  We may have our flaws, it's true - but y'all have yours, too, which you conveniently ignore when you stereotype us all as ignorant hicks, as you do incessantly in public and in private.  Come on now, you know you do.  I've heard you when you thought nobody was listening.  But the truth is, there are backwaters of place and thought in all parts of the country, North and South, city and country, where the light of reason shines but dimly through the miasma of bigotry and backwardness, and no section has a monopoly on righteousness.

But I take it all in sport, and try always to keep in mind that no matter where we happened to be born, luckily or not, we are Americans all, and brothers under the skin - equal heirs to the ringing words of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," with which a certain Southerner astonished the world many long years ago, a promise which still resounds in the hearts of free peoples around the world, and those who yearn to be free.

And the South has grown up and moved on from the days of legal segregation, which was still very much in force in my childhood, as I remember vividly.  Until recent years, I thought we had gotten past all that, learning to live and let live.  But of course the progress of the human race is never in a completely straight, smooth line, but proceeds by fits and starts, now inclining a little this way, then a little that way, and sometimes a step or two backwards before finally advancing upwards.

Your Head Trucker is a great believer in the via media, the middle way, avoiding the unwholesome extremes of the right or the left.  Not only are they perilous, but it is certain that any extreme tendency in one direction will provoke an equal and opposite reaction in the other direction.  In the very recent past, and up to the present moment, we Americans have seen this principle very clearly displayed in politics and society, in ways too obvious to need explanation.

There is also a deeply embedded tendency in our human nature that seeks a scapegoat for every ill - something or better yet someone to blame when things do not go the way we would like - anyone will do, in fact, as long as it is not us!  This lamentable facet of human nature - a leftover from an early stage of child development - can be eradicated by education, empathy, and most of all, a close, unflinching examination of one's own soul.

Perhaps this is why them ol' Greek boys, pretty smart fellas, inscribed as the first principle of wisdom on the temple of Apollo - the god of wisdom - the admonition, "Know Thyself."

The second was, "Moderation in All Things."  How much suffering and sorrow the human race would have avoided down through the centuries if only these two golden maxims had been heeded!

And still, in the dark regions of the earth, and worse yet, in the dark corners of the mind, do fear and ignorance, in their perpetual infernal coupling, breed hatred, violence, and misery, a poisonous brew that can even conjure up ghastly shades from the nether regions of the past.

My readers will have no doubt already heard of the egregious outpourings of one sick, sad, twisted old man, the 80-year-old editor of a newspaper in tiny (pop. 2,000) Linden, Alabama, near Demopolis, about a hundred miles west of Montgomery.  This sorry specimen of benighted humanity, who obviously has outlived his purpose for being on this earth, in a fit of venomous spite, utter ignorance of history, and contempt for all morality, has actually called in print for the revival of lynching and murder that left such a dark stain on the pages of Southern history.

I will not give him the dignity of even mentioning his name here.  I say only that as a Southerner born and bred - the scion of a long line of Southerners stretching back to the early days of this country - I condemn him and his filthy words absolutely.  There is no place in the South, or in America, for that kind of hatred and incitement to violence - and in my view, there should be no defense for it under the principles of free speech or freedom of the press.  Liberty is not license.

I don't know anyone who would countenance his vile thoughts, and I do not for a moment believe that my parents, grandparents, or any other of my kin, if they were still living, would do so, either.  Decent people never have.  And never should.

That revoltingly ignorant hick should retire forthwith from publishing, and his paper close its doors.  I can only hope an outraged citizenry, even in the depths of Alabama, will see to that, by legal and peaceful means.


Update, 7:30 p.m.:   It seems most Linden residents have already stopped reading the local rag, according to this New York Times story.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Drive: Sleep Walk

Sixty years ago in 1959, this dreamy melody was a number-one hit for Brooklyn brothers Santo and Johnny Farina:




Friday, February 15, 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hold the Roses

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain:

Hold the Roses

Introduction

Captain Chris Redfield decides celebrating Valentine’s Day in the traditional way is not for him. His second-in-command on the battlefield, and his partner at home, Lieutenant Piers Nivans, comes up with an alternative celebration; but Alpha Team have other ideas for their two commanding officers.

You and I (Nivanfield) by the talented tuzkiyoushi, at deviantart. My thanks.

Chris Redfield’s house, the 'Old Cave', as his partner Piers Nivans called it, was now sold. And their new home, given the military codename the 'Deuce of Hearts', had the builders in. Barely three months after having left, they found themselves back in Chris's suite on the top floor of the Officers’ Mess.

It had quickly become obvious to both of them that it would be impossible to do all the work on the Deuce of Hearts on their own, much as they had wanted to. So with their renovation plans drawn up and approved, they had reluctantly turned the work over to a local construction company in Williamsport. Chris had simply said, "Make it so" to the project manager as he showed the man the detailed plans. He left it to Piers to make the detailed caveats.

"I shall be watching, closely." the young Lieutenant had said in the cold, clipped voice he usually reserved for his training classes. "I'm a trained sniper." The man laughed, nervously.

"Of course Mr Nivans, as you wish."

There was a lot of Piers in the internal changes. As he and Chris had agreed, their new home would be 'old' outside and 'new' within. And naturally, they both wanted the work to be completed as soon as possible.

Chris smiled at the man. "Don't worry about Piers. He's a bit OCD, as well as being our best shot. Ha! What he means is stick to the plan, it's always the best advice." Chris grinned amiably as he patted the project manager on the back with a large paw. The poor man staggered under the blows. And he could have sworn he heard the Lieutenant growl . . . .

"That went well." said Piers cheerfully after they'd left the builder's office.

"Yeh, bad cop, bad cop, never fails." Chris chuckled.

"Hmm, I thought you were meant to be the good cop?"

"Ha! You don't know how hard I patted him."

Continued below the jump . . .


Friday, February 8, 2019

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Bygones: The Bed-In-A-Car

Nash Motors Company was a spunky little contender in the automaking field from 1916 until it merged with Hudson to form American Motors in 1954.  In 1936, Nash introduced the "bed car," a convenience for tourists and campers, which was a thing for a while.

Cover of 1937 Nash brochure

Nash's top-of-the-line Ambassador Eight, 1937

Specs for all Nash models, 1937

Popular Science article, May 1936

It's that new Nash, 1939

Newspaper ad, March 1941

Worldwide map of Nash dealerships, 1937

Wait, what did you say?  "Big enough to sleep two six-footers."  Hmm.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday Drive: Azul

A poignant flamenco piece by acclaimed Canadian guitarist Jesse Cook:




Friday, February 1, 2019

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