Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I'm Back and an Ode to Howard Zinn

Well, who am I kidding, the last time I wrote an Ode, it was still acceptable to turn in handwritten English papers. But I really am back -- I've gone around and around about whether or not I could, should, want to (and so on to infinity) continue blogging. I tried to figure out why I couldn't get it together and maintain this blog -- is it my 7-day-work-weeks-while-raising-a-young-family for the past year or the fact that I'm starting graduate school in 6 weeks (could I be any dumber?) or is it something else entirely?

And it turns out, it's something else entirely. It's primarily because after all this time away and so many readers lost, it's like I'm talking to myself here.

Wait. I feel a Zen koan coming on....

No, I kid. I'm not that deep. It's just that talking to myself in public makes me feel a little bit crazy, that's all.

So for an anti-climactic first post back what I really want to say is I sadly moved JD Salinger to my list of dead people with whom I'd most like to lunch. And as brilliant as he was, where are the other writers out there who would like to punch him for having told everyone he was going to write the great American novel before he did it? Not that I'm bitter, I'm just saying. Who does that and then actually does that?

Apropos of nothing (or maybe because the title of this post promises something I can't deliver) my favorite ode of all time is Pablo Neruda's Ode to Tomatoes. And my favorite Historian is Howard Zinn. He didn't do anything of great social import the way, say, Michael Jackson or Octomom did -- so there's no media frenzy surrounding his passing. But the NYT did run a nice OpEd on him here. And I'll leave you with a quote that sums up his life work - from his memoir:

The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Finally, if you're a Facebook user, my coffee shop has just made its debut and is desperately seeking fans.

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