Two Weeks to 40th Reunion: What Would Boehner Say at Such a Time?

Boehner might've been a hard working SOB, but its got to be a relief to leave

Boehner might’ve been a hard working SOB, but its got to be a relief to leave

In two weeks Linton H.S. 40th reunion will be over, and a couple beers killing time in Schenectady (actually, at brothers in Ballston Spa, NY) until an early Tuesday flight, will allow plenty of time for reflection about what comes next. I’m planning on wearing a tuxedo that Saturday, mostly because I haven’t gotten nearly enough wear out of it the last three years, and while  a little trimming of hair for neatness is possible, no sense taking it down too far– there’s juuuust a perfect amount of ‘silver foxes’ at 58.

Everyone will recall how ‘Nam went down the spring we graduated; that’s still a huge historical event, and staying out of that unholy mess comes through clearly every time I see a documentary about it. People generally looked pretty good at the 25th on Thanksgiving weekend in 2000, and it was great to be remembered as ‘one of those journalism people’, because that was clearly a personally important part of life. That was almost a year before The World Changed with 9/11 attacks. At least I can say I’ve finally gotten a book published since then. A script anywhere close to being read? Nope. Kids or wife? Nope. Get hurt in the stock market or real estate=The Great Recession? Ehhh, can’t deny employment situation took a whack. Retail for a while, still haven’t really gotten stuff back on track like I’d want, a problem for lots of people. Ready for retirement? Yikes…!

That’s kind of the deal at this point, what’s actually Next? and even though he’s 65 and doesn’t have a 40th reunion coming up, I wonder what soon to be ex-Speaker of the House John Boehner would tell people if he did. You’d HAVE to want to ask him whuzzup? at some point, especially about both crying at the Pope’s visit and having to put up with the Tea Par…excuse me, Heritage…’scuse me…Republican Party’s refusing to do A SINGLE DAMN THING that might’ve helped this country since 2008 if it meant in ANY way that the Democrats and President Obama *might* get credit for it. Yeah, just putting my opinions on the line, but its legit to ask, right, J.B.? (Bartender, two more over here!)

Okay, John, you were only Speaker since 2011, but with the perspective of constant knife-in-your-back-ness from ‘fellow Republicans’ like Senator Cruz, shutting down the government over whatever they didn’t like– this time around it being the defunding of Planned Parenthood-– does it seem like one heckuva relief to be outta the chair? Third time to the edge, geez, aren’t we starting to look like those 50-odd Italian governments that collapsed over no confidence votes, or Greece, going to the ballot box to see which of two really lousy choices the country wanted?

If you were coming to my reunion J.B., I’d be willing to buy you a shot or two and listen, even if I’d probably say something about that tan we always saw on TV. I bet Danny Smith would grab us, get us out on the dance floor (no sweat, I’ve got my knee brace on) with 8-9 ladies and declare, “Hey, we got ’em surrounded!” Mostly, I can only imagine that while I missed out on some real ugliness that Spring of ’75 in Viet Nam, you saw more fraggings coming your way in Congress than you ever would have believed possible.

If the Pope or Holy Spirit indeed helped move you to that decision last week, take the last train out of Washington, John. When every Republican candidate for President stretched to the max in putting their religious convictions on display during debates to stay on the public radar, just knowing you won’t be around and having to take all that lip/blame when the Grand (a-h)Ole Party crash lands in 10,000 miniature, discordant pieces has to help the relaxing begin.

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Keep Looking, The Good Stuff is Out There to Read-Learn From

While I’m very willing to comment on a know-nothing or left-headed piece by bloggers or writers of any strain, when something really damn good shows up, there’s almost a moral obligation to give it the attaboys! it deserves.

In the last week I’ve come across three pieces in particular, on extremely different topics, and that seems like exactly the reward surfing the web should provide. I’m including the exact locations, but with enthusiasm of the moment, the subjects were:

* How some college courses, rather than stretching the thought processes of students, are *constrained* by the milque toast-namby pamby-political correctness of students who are, it seems, willing to object IN LEGAL ACTION to something that strikes their sensibilities as un-good. Wow! even regarding classics in literature, and the idea a professor needs to give ‘trigger warnings’ about material will just floor you. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

* The second was titled simply ‘What ISIS Really Wants’, and while its a LONG piece, I can almost guarantee you won’t find a better and more complete assessment of information to get you clued in. It gets to the religious bottom line about why the caliphate draws ‘true believers’ from everywhere; doesn’t *rationalize* the brutality, and puts genuine perspective out there about WHY there are so many Muslims in the world that won’t speak against the savagery ISIS so clearly displays. That its brand of belief doesn’t adjust for 21st century sensibilities vs. original Koran about beheadings and slavery is stuff that counts. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

* The last was about how to make the small changes in your daily schedule that allow for increasing your time/productivity as a writer, and I almost wept (okay, hyperbole) at its clarity. That I’d put 90% of Melissa Chu’s‘s ideas into effect about two years ago and DID gain the consistency and oomph! that made a difference meant it was Truth, and I promise, you will want to read http://www.thewritelife.com/find-an-hour-a-day-for-your-freelance-side-hustle/ . When she writes about stealing hours to invest in your freelance gig, I *know* setting the cell phone for 7:05, having coffee in hand by 7:15, and cranking on my editing/blogging with a personal deadline of 10:15 because I had to get a quick shower and something to eat before my shift– that’s the Real Deal.

It’s never been easier to get your thoughts out to the world than with this electronic wonder we work with, although Ben Franklin et al– who wrote and published their production– had a good lock on it. I can re-post this 4-5 different places and touch different audiences, and while I’m expecting there will be more frequent reasons to pooh-pooh less inspired efforts, I’m quite satisfied that The System is kind of working the way it needs to regarding at least a corner of what the world needs to know.

Glenn S.