Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Yellow Herman Melville

Captain Ahab relentlessly pursued the great white whale to his own demise in Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick. The movie shows Gregory Peck wrapped in harpoon cable riding the great whale into the briny deep. As a single digit handicapper and decent golfer, I have chased that great white Yellow Course whale par year after year, bogey after bogey, double-bogey after double bogey, never shooting a par on this par 5 monster, this malevolence incarnate. ............... .................. I have chased the great white whale on the Yellow Course at Brooks National Golf Club in Okoboji, Iowa, for fifteen years now during our annual long weekend golf outing the weekend before Memorial Day weekend, the great white whale being a 580 yard par five hole on the Yellow Course, hole #4. A massively long hole, this leviathan stretches as far as the eye can see to an event horizon about 300 yards out before dropping to a marshy creek that devours thousands of unwary second or third shot golf balls every season. Into a breeze, I hit a 260 yard drive with my Adams Slotline Super S driver with 9.5 degrees of loft to a point where I could clearly see all the dangers ahead. A pushed shot would surely find the hazard, a mishit would surely dribble into the front edge of the marsh, an area which gobbled up one of my partners............... ................... Year after year, I have learned the weaknesses and strengths of this Yellow Course denizen of the deep. A drive to the left will roll down the hill into the long grass, and a mishit drive will cause a second shot lay up short of the hazard marsh most likely resulting in a bogey or even worse. A mishit second or third shot will disappear into the muck and mire and never be seen again as in Ahab's final plunge................. ................... I gathered my wits, my strength, my harpoon (an Adams Slot-line 19 degree 3 metal) and flung myself into the shot and hit a 200 yard true and straight lance into the side of the leviathan, some 120 yards still to go, no doubt provoking such a reaction from the slumbering giant that my second buddy hit his shot into the same marshy creek, my third buddy having mishit a drive, dropping a penalty shot, and hitting a nondescript third.................. ........................ I was now lashed to the back of the beast, roiling and churning, and hanging on for dear life, my trusty #9 TaylorMade Rocketballz iron in my hand sizing up and staring into the giant eye of the beast's heart, the elevated green ahead. I gather up my courage and with that beast's eye in mine, I take a mighty swing and propel that club head to the ball and clear the front side bunker and land some 30 feet short of the hole, but on the green. I can count on one hand the times I have been on that green in three (nay, not one hand but three fingers)!................. ................ The beast recoils again and the muscular mass of the great Yellow beast lurches from side to side and waves of cold sea water come over the sides of the boat as I make my way to the green (I stepped in a puddle). I mark my ball and realize my fifteen year battle with the Yellow beast is nearly won. Like Ahab, I have chased this devil of the deep and am on the verge of victory. A two putt par and I will have vanquished my foe, I will have killed the leviathan of my nightmares, the Great Yellow Beast, which by now has devoured all three of my playing partners. But I must exact my revenge.................... ........... I swing my Titleist Bullseye putter its penultimate stroke and overshoot my mark by six feet. My fifteen years of failure flash before my eyes, the numerous times this monster has snatched my rightful victory from me. I see Gregory Peck lashed to that whale once again diving for one last time into the dark deep chasm. But I gather my psyche, my soul, my strength, line up the putt and stroke a true and straight lance into the heart of the beast claiming victory, vanquishing my demon, slaying my nemesis, making the putt, and parring the hole. My quest is complete. My heart is pure. My soul is at rest. ................. ................ Of course, I still had five more hole to play, but it was anti-climactic, for I had slain the dragon, I had killed the great white whale. I was one over on the next five and shot a 73, my best 18 score ever there. And I had parred #4 on the Yellow Course at Brooks National Golf Club.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Oklahomans don't even like Methodists......

Latest Fox News conspiracy theory elaborated by Lynn Cheney, whose husband, Dick, has so far avoided trial for war crimes: Hilary Clinton paved the way for Monica Lewinsky to open up to Vanity Fair about Bill's affair as a way of generating sympathy for Hilary for the 2016 presidential election. These people live in a strange and labyrinthine mental state. *********** **************** With a focus on trashing Hilary Clinton, Republicans in Congress are considering whether to impeach Bill Clinton again. They've voted 50 time to repeal Obamacare and now they are investigating Benghazi for the 4th time. *********************** Republican: Obamacare is what's wrong with this country. Democrat: Well, Obamacare is working pretty well from all reports. What do you say to that? Republican: Benghazi. ************ **************I'd very much like to say that the new Benghazi House Select Committee investigating everything that has already been investigated and is dominated by Republicans will be nothing more than a cheap political hack job. The trouble with that is that it will cost tens of millions of dollars. Benghazi - the gift that never quite gives anything over and over and over again....... ***************** ********** It's a safe bet that Republicans will overreach, and that the public will see this political theater for what it is, political theater. ****************** ********* The Supreme Court issued a ruling that prayer at government functions is okay further eroding the separation between church and state. I've often why Republicans, who think government ruins everything it touches, are so anxious to insert government into religion. It's weird. But Oklahoma Satanists welcomed the Supreme Court recent decision regarding prayer at government meetings. "The more religion is introduced into the public sphere, the stronger are our arguments for inclusion. It won't be long before we have a huge statue of Satan on the state capitol grounds," a spokesperson for Satan, whose uncanny resemblance to Pat Robertson was remarkable. "Who'd have thought Oklahoma was such fertile ground for Satan although we were encouraged that Oklahoma is finding ways to introduce more pain and suffering to its execution program." A spokesperson for Governor Fallin said, "There has been a huge misunderstanding. We don't believe in religious freedom for everyone here in Oklahoma. We believe in religious freedom for our brand of conservative Christians only. I mean, come on, we don't even like Methodists here." ****** ********************* Here's a line from an English paper on Shakespeare and the origin of the work: "William Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, Macbeth, and all his other plays unless they were written by another person with the same name."******************* ********** ps. Saturday, May 10, I'll be at my church for the book/plant/art sale with 25 of my paintings at Spring Sale prices. Stop by if you can. 36th and Harney. North door.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Death Penalty, Cliven Bundy - Somalian Warlord, and Tarnished Sterling

The Luckiest Death Row Inmate Scheduled to be Executed the other Night Award goes to the guy who was number two in the lineup of executions in Oklahoma the other night. After the first execution went horribly wrong, the Governor ordered a 14 day stay of execution on the second one. Apparently Oklahoma was experimenting with a new drug cocktail for its executions, and after some 45 minutes in which the inmate was reported to be gasping, groaning, writhing, and talking, he died of a heart attack. The award for the Unluckiest Fellow goes to the first guy. I also saw a report yesterday that 1 in 25 death row inmates are likely innocent. **************** Another disturbing thing about the horribly botched execution in Oklahoma the other night is that a sizable percentage of Americans really don't care whether the condemned prisoner was in pain or not and would be willing to randomly pump death row inmates' veins with battery acid, mayonnaise, chlorine bleach, Roundup weed killer, superglue, Coca-Cola, liquid drain cleaner, fingernail polish, or a hundred other substances. Horrible pain and suffering would simply be an added bonus. *************** It seems that, on balance, Democrats would rather people have health insurance than assault weapons; Republicans would rather people have assault weapons than health insurance. ******************* Cliven Bundy's reign as most ridiculous racist of the year came to a quick end when Donald Sterling's anti-black comments became public. Banned for Life from the NBA, he will be forced to sell his LA Clippers basketball team pocketing an estimated $600 - $750 million from the deal. Some punishment. Political hack Matt Drudge thought he could score a cheap political point by labeling Racist-of-the-Week Donald Sterling a Democrat. But, he isn't. He's a registered Republican. There may be some holdover racists in the Democratic party, but the vast majority of them have crossed over to the Republican Party over the last 4 or 5 decades since LBJ's civil rights and voting rights legislation and Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater developed their southern strategy. That's nothing for Republicans to brag about.************* Cliven Bundy did continue to make some news this week, though, as it turns out he has a private militia now conducting roadblocks and identify verification of travelers in the area. He is sounding more and more like some Somalian warlord. And his remarks that he was very much like Rosa Parks seemed particularly tone deaf and absurd. **************** In their effort to reach out to minorities and lessen the damage caused by idiotic racist remarks by Cliven Bundy, Donald Sterling, and others, Republicans will recommend replacing the word "slavery" with "guaranteed jobs program" in all their talking points. The Republican National Committee also recommended pointing out the free transportation to America, as well as free room and board upon arrival.