The Last of the Just

By every indication of her Facebook profile, a person who I loved very much in college and who was one of the most decent and principled people I have ever known is these days doing well for herself. She is still utterly beautiful. And I am also pleased to see that her parents are still healthy, together, and apparently very happy.

I will only mention briefly that while I was seeing this person, her mother was doing some local press and talks, discussing her experience having been a child in Europe at a certain time, having had a twin sister at that time, having felt compelled to hid with her sister under her mother’s dress as they assigned people from off the train, and she, having been so “fortunate” to have been a twin, she would spend her time through the Holocaust being studied by a mad doctor whose name you might know and might if you know it well associate it with dreadful evil, and that if you knew the stories, if you had heard her tell them as I have, you would understand the unlimited depth of the evil of the infamous Josef Mengele.

When I was in school, they would teach Holocaust every coupla years. Blah blah blah, the Jews and pictures of emaciated people and that breathtaking number, six million, 12 million, they thought they were finally going to get showers but instead they got Zyklon B. But hear someone’s Mom who you know tell the story, how when her sister succumbed and she fought back and how Mengele took to her phalanges with a hammer, hear that and know that person survived it and created a family that produced someone as astonishing and wonderful as the person I knew back in the day, and you can no longer experience the Holocaust as a brief read in your world history text from ninth grade. I read Last of the Just, I read Night, I was lectured to by Saul Friedman, I have heard Robert Clary tell his story. I still cannot comprehend this era as someone who lived through it, but I have heard the story from people who did. It is a story that reaches the core of this planet. And it is relevant and right under your nose.

And it is ridiculous that I have to write about Marjorie Taylor Greene. She is an ignorant psychopath with redneck in her pocket. There is no empathy under her hair or anywhere within her. None. Yet, he is a member of the United States Congress. This person went in front of a camera and equated House rules that continue to require masking with a Nazi policy forcing the Juden to wear a little gold star.

Oh, yes she did.

“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said of Pelosi, D-Calif. “You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany, and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

This is a person who is in Congress.

This country is so fucked.

I’m Not The Only One

As I got in my car earlier today, another car pulled in and was blasting a song out the window. That’s a weird song to be playing in such a celebratory way, I thought. “Right Time of the Night” by Jennifer Warnes? I wondered if that guy was listening to it, too.

I cranked up my trusty Chevy Malibu and, sure enough: My radio was also playing proclaiming it the right time of the night for making love. Channel 7 on Sirius/XM. Every Saturday. American Top 40 with the now disembodied voice of Casey Kasem. So there are at least two of us in Rochester.

Where I was at the time was quite novel for these times. This was my first visit to a wreaka stow since the Trump Virus hit. Since I’m fully vaccinated, I thought, let’s go. I left with only two CDs, The Interrupters’ Say It Out Loud, which sounds like the best parts of any Rancid record with a kickass chick lead singer (it is produced by Tim Armstrong), and Ska Au Go Go by Neville Staple, which may just be a weird remix set. I didn’t intend to go on a ska spree, but there you go.

Oh, and I found Q. It turns out he’s a dancing man.

My Back Hurts

Sometimes there’s a special place where my back hurts. It’s on the left side just below the shoulder blade in there somewhere. And it hurts like a hard pinch. And so as I write this, I’m leaning on a cold compress and that’s nice and all. But I don’t know if it’s how I’m sleeping or if it’s how I’m sitting when I work (I alternate between a sitting and standing desk here in the home office) or if it’s just a tumor. But leaning up on a cold compress sure is nice. Also Tylenol helps. So does booze.

I am currently listening to the album When God Was Great by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Imagine, if you will, an album made by these longtime music professionals in the ska/ska-core genre making an album now. It is sublime, and I highly recommend it. Ska is alive and well, kids, and TMMBT is still working. It’s not about fried mozzarella. It’s about heart, music, and love. Ska has my adoration forever.

Prince could unwind Bryant Gumbel into a quivering, giggling, incoherent puddle. Imagine if you’d gotten to meet him.

When It’s Christmas In Japan In July

I went back into lockdown Nov. 15, 2020. It had been a nice respite, starting in June, letting myself ease the restrictions, going to visit my local folks, even having dinner with ’em, which means *inside*. But then I started looking at the numbers here in Monroe County, and they were off the charts compared to when I first eased up for the summer. Also, I bleev I had to work on that Thursday anyway.

This, with other family’s inability to travel to upstate New York, just slaughtered our Thanksgiving in 2020. For the first time in maybe my whole life, Thanksgiving was canceled, yet another cherished thing stolen from us by the incompetence and uncaring disdain that marked the previous preznit.

My Dear Old Dad was undeterred, resolute that we would have a Thanksgiving. Thus it was that yesterday evening, my family gathered around a glass patio table on the deck outside and ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, canned cranberries, and all the gravy one could want. And thus it is that today I will be heading back over to put some of those ingredients between two slices of bread slathered with mayonnaise, solely in the interest of course in helping to dispose of the leftovers.

Unlike justice, Thanksgiving deferred is not Thanksgiving denied. Families can preserve the traditions, no matter how much a global public health catastrophe can try to run them through a stand mixer. And I am thankful above all that nobody at our May-Thanksgiving table fell to COVID. We are all vaccinadoed and ready to boogie. That is something to be thankful for.