Sacred Flag

Used Flag Deposit
Used Flag Deposit in front of VFW in Fairport New York

It seemed everybody was making a big deal about the New Yorker cartoon with the Obamas burning the flag. They could just have easily been disposing of the sacred flag in the proper manner. When Jeff Munson and I were leaving the VFW (beersRcheap) last night we spotted this odd deposit box for flags. We had never seen one before. It looks like someone has defaced a US Mailbox and then written this note on the side reminding people to not put their brand new flags in here.

How did they get away with both of these things? And thirdly, according to “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”. I will have to add this photo to my “Funky Signs” section.

When I was in the country band, “The On-Fours’, we played the Elks Clubs, Moose Lodges, Eagle’s Clubs, American Legions and VFWs in all those southern Indiana towns. The VFWs were the darkest and the smokiest and there was the least amout of dancing in there. I did drum duty in this band for a couple of years. Dave Mahoney took my place when we moved to Rochester.

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Demand Destruction

What a relief. We may be turning the corner and it never felt so good. Economic theory holds that prices can only rise so high before customers are no longer willing to pay for a product, a phenomenon called “demand destruction”.

So the phenomenon has a name and now it needs momentum. Oil is only the beginning. We need demand destruction across the board before we consume ourselves.


Big Footprint

Everybody’s is talking about leaving a smaller footprint these days. Almost everybody, that is. Comparing ourselves to our neighbors is one of the ways that we gauge how big our own footprints are. And I’m quite certain that we are subject of someone’s blog entry on the relative size of our footprints.

I’m thinking about the people on our street with the biggest trash pile each week, the ones with at least three cars in their driveway at all times. Their pick-up truck is made by Cadillac. When someone pulls in their driveway, they honk. Their tv takes up a whole wall. They hire workers to take care of their kids and a guy who we call “the slave” does all of their outdoor projects. They use their leaf blower nonstop. They have added on to their house in all directions, decks off the back, jacuzzi, patios and now the world’s plastic biggest swing set/fort in the front yard.

I don’t know if they left a battery operated toy up in the fort or if the thing is powered but if you walk by after dark you are liable to hear a little voice asking, “Can you come out and play with me? Can you come out and play with me? Can you come out and play with me?”


Just Another Unjust War

Nicholson Baker attended Rochester’s School Without Walls and then the Eastman School of music. His first novel, “The Mezzanine” took place entirely on the up escalator at Midtown Plaza. He used to advertise in The Refrigerator when it was in print. His new book uses writing from the period leading up the US decision to drop the big one in WWII. I read a sensational review of “Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization” in the New York Times Book Review and then Ron Netsky’s interview with Baker in this weeks “City” paper. Compelling reading. I am now compelled to pick up the book. Have to finish Visual Quickpro Guide to PHP 6 and MySQL5 first.

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The Pain Of the Church

Pope on TV at Dr. Cupolo’s office.
Pope on TV at Dr. Cupolo’s office

I had to set the alarm last night to make sure I got up for my dentist appointment and I wasn’t quite awake when I sat down in the waiting room. I could hardly believe what I was seeing on tv. Good thing I had my camera with me.

“I acknowledge the pain of Church in U.S. from sex abuse scandal.” The pain of the Church?

We’re headed out to the Imax theater to see the new Stones movie at 9:40. I will report back.

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The Pope Is A Creep

Pope Paul VI birth control poster
Pope Paul VI birth control poster

Papal infallibility covers a lot pigheadedness and downright criminality but it can’t disguise this Pope’s creepiness.

From today’s paper – “It is a great suffering for the church in the United States and for the church in general and for me personally that this could happen,” Benedict said, adding that he would work to keep pedophiles out of the priesthood.

Good luck. Isn’t this how we fight drug addiction and illegal immigration. And you have to feel a little funny dumping money in the collection basket when the church has already spent over two billion bucks fighting or settling with sexually abused parishioners. The Pope covers up crimes, discriminates against women and gays and claims that Christ is speaking through him.

The first LSD I took was from a guy who lived in my dorm. I had no idea what to expect or how long it would last. I was hanging out with friends and they all went home. I was up all night watching and listening to a Pope Paul VI poster. I think it was this one (above) although this seems more anti-Italian than anti-Pope. I haven’t done any more of that stuff since 1969 but having to look at the Pope and Bush in the same shot is like a bad flashback.

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Shock and Awe

Shock And Awe on Hall Street in Rochester, New York
Shock And Awe on Hall Street in Rochester, New York

I took this photo five years ago today. A headline in our local paper today reads, “Bush Has No Doubts on 5th Anniversary”. I am still shocked and awed.

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Conservative Streak

Our 4D Advertising meeting with clients from Newman, California ended abruptly when Peggi had to leave to meet her mom at the doctors’ office. Her mom had fallen a few days ago and she was in pain. So the clients started taking about where they were going for dinner and Jay Cohen’s new place was in the running. I seconded that choice and they headed out the door. I sat down to do an entry in my blog.

The phone rang and it was some nut from the NRA so I started typing here. The guy wanted me to take a quick survey but first he wanted to play a one minute message from Wayne LaPierre. Wayne warned that we would be shown images of the presidential candidates in hunting gear claiming to support gun owner’s rights but said he would not trust any of them. He wants us to stand up for our gun rights before the next president gets elected. Wayne turned the phone over to his “assistant” and I tried to mildly provoke him. “Does McCain want to take away our guns” I asked. “Well, I know where you are coming from Mr. Dodd but I am not as worried about McCain as I am Obama and Hillary. They have an absolutely terrible record on gun control. They want to shut down your gun shows.”

“Let me ask you a question, Mr. Dodd. Do you believe the government can tell you that you can’t own a gun in your own home?” “Yes, I do believe they can tell me that.” “Well that is exactly what they are doing. There is a case before the Supreme Court right now that will decide whether you can own a gun in your home in DC. This case is before the Supreme Court and how much do you think you’re going to see about it in the media? Can I ask you help us out and join at at a reduced price of $100 for five years. It is normally $175 Mr. Dodd and I’ll also include a free gift of a rosewood handle multitool.” “What is that?” I asked. He explained that it was a leather man like pair of plyers and he assured me it was a quality piece. “Plus you’ll receive a complimentary subscription to “America’s First Freedom”. I asked what that was all about and he said, “Just like the name sounds”. He was right.

He sensed my reluctance to join and upped the ante. “How about $35 for one year? My son just turned ten and for his birthday I bought him a 22 and an NRA membership.” Can you help us out Mr. Dodd. Obama is going to take away our guns. Not to mention that he is soft on crime. Obama and Ted Kennedy wanted to outlaw ammo for hunting guns. Can you believe that? Like all politicians, they want power and they believe if we don’t have access to guns they will have more power. It’s just like Hitler and people voted for him. He was democratically elected.”

I think of myself as a liberal but I have a real conservative streak when it comes to guns.

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Bleeding Heart

Peggi had a dream about Hillary last night. They were at a Kmart and Hillary was speaking to a small crowd. Peggi was feeling really sorry for her and hugged her. Hillary asked Peggi if she had voted for her. Peggi hesitated and then said, “Yes”, even though she hadn’t.

Hillary Clinton in Rochester New York
Hillary Clinton in Rochester New York

I took this shot of Hillary when she was campaigning for her first senate race.

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Willful Ignorance

Bob Marcotte’s weekly local history column in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle was perfectly timed for Christmas. He recapped the story of an Episcopal minister who caused a nationwide stir by challenging Christ’s birth to a virgin mother as well as his highly touted resurrection. This quote from Rev. Algernon Crapsey’s speech one hundred years ago was reproduced by nearly every paper in the US with editorial comment.

“In the light of scientific research, the founder of Christianity no longer stands apart from the common destiny of man in life and death, but he is in all things physical like as we are, born as we are born, dying as we die, and both in life and death in the keeping of that same Divine Power, that Heavenly fatherhood, which delivers us from the womb and carries us down to the grave. When we come to know Jesus in his historical relations, we see that miracle is not a help, it is a hindrance, to an intelligent comprehension of his person, His character and his mission. We are not alarmed, we are relieved when scientific history proves to us that the fact of his miraculous birth was unknown to himself, unknown to his mother, and unknown to the whole Christian community of the first generation.”

As dead as print is, we still get “Print” magazine and in the February 2008 issue there is article on the AiG Museum (Answers In Genesis) in Kentucky. The place is designed to look like a history museum/theme park and “Print” critiqued the wacky displays of early man (no more than 6000 years like it says in the book) frolicking with dinosaurs (even though their time spans were separated by millions of years) and the typography choices for their “educational” signage. The author waited a half hour in line with busloads of people from Florida to pay the $20 admission.

Ignorance is bliss and a lot of people are following their bliss. I read that 56% of Americans don’t believe in evolution and that figure is up 10% in the last 10 years. That figure makes me doubt evolution.