june thirty: not much longer now

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    i suck, civil rights, and some other stuff

    Lots of people have written in the past few weeks, but Ive been terrible about writing back. If youre one of those people, Im sorry Im especially sorry if youre one of my friends who sent something, like a gift for the baby.

    To Chelsea, who sent the lovely blanket for the baby, Im sorry.

    To Mr. Smallwood, who sent the jar of maple syrup from New Hampshire, Im sorry.

    I owe you both nice letters. And its eating at me like a cancer.

    Speaking of New Hampshire, I just got a note from a reader named Frank. (I havent written back to him yet either.) In his note, he includes the following sentence about Bint, the name JD Salinger and his then girlfriend, Joyce Maynard, were considering for their daughter. (If youll recall, this came up a few weeks ago when another MM.com reader was in Cornish, NH, standing outside Salingers home. Someone suggested that we have him go up and write Bint in the dust on the author’s window, just as Joyce apparently did when she left him decades earlier.) So, anyway, heres what Frank wrote:

    BTW- my 12 year old daughter wants to change her name to ‘Bint’ after she read the J.D. Salinger posts a few weeks ago.

    Someone else, as I recall, wrote in to say that Bint was a derogatory term in Britain, something like “slag” I think. I should probably write back to Frank and tell him, before his daughter starts filing out the paperwork.

    Linettes on the phone now, talking with someone about which CDs we should take with us into the hospital when the big day comes. I just heard her say, the soundtrack to Rushmore. I don’t suppose I have much say. (I do like that record though.)

    I havent told Linette about this yet, but Ive been picking special music for inside my car when shes with me. Im trying, in my little way, to influence the baby while its still in the uterus. Lately, Ive been rotating Pet Sounds, the First Ramones album, Televisions Marquee Moon, some Leonard Cohen, some Velvet Underground, and the live Ziggy Stardust album. I feel as though I need to do something to combat the influence of all the cooking shows Linettes been watching on Food TV.

    OK, I know this doesnt really fit in, but I did want to at least mention that this week, so far, has been a good one for our Supreme Court. It looks like theyre finally taking a stand against some of the Bush/Ashcroft nonsense. The ACLU has a good little update entitled, “A State of War is Not a Blank Check for the President When it Comes to the Rights of the Nation’s Citizens,” Justices Say. Ashcroft, as one might expect, responded by telling everyone to remain afraid through the summer and into fall. He also apparently said something about the Supreme Court giving more rights to the terrorists I need to read that last story more carefully, but I do think that Ashcroft said terrorists, and not suspected terrorists or alleged terrorists. If that’s the case, it’s fucking scarey.

    Oh, I forgot to say it above, but it concerns me that this reader of mine, Frank, has his 12 year old daughter read MM.com. I wonder if maybe shes home-schooled. Is it possible that there are people out there making their kids sit through a period of Mark Maynard every day?

    Right now, Linettes telling her friend on the phone, whoever it is, that I love the smell of manure. It happens to be true, but I dont like that shes telling secrets about me I feel like I should tell you something about her. Hmmmm. OK, heres something. She cried in Target a few nights ago when I told her that she couldnt get the pink tank top that said Mrs. Timberlake.

    So, where were we?

    Oh, there was other good news on the civil liberties front today. Howard Stern just announced this morning that his radio show is getting on the air in nine new markets, including four where he had been heard up until a few months ago when Clear Channel Communications dumped his show, calling it obscene, and readying the ground for the FCCs attack against him. The best part is, Stern will now be back on in Orlando, reaching out to more Florida swing voters. In a state where every vote counts, I’m happy to see that Stern’s a factor again.

    Speaking of radio, I just got a note that my band was just played on WFMU, right after Led Zepplin. Dyer Maker into Butt Science. How cool is that?

    OK, Ive used my hour. Good night my invisible friends.

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      killer ride

      I had a dream last night about a ride that people were getting on. It was like a roller coaster in that there were individual cars linked together, but there wasnt any track, at least not that I could see. There were just the cars, linked together, falling from space at a high rate of speed. I couldnt see the beginning or the end, just the three linked cars hurtling toward the earth, spinning around and getting tangled. The person showing me the ride, trying to convince me to get on, was telling me about the operator of the ride. He was apparently the only person theyd been able to find who could somehow manage to bring the cars back to earth without casualties. If I remember correctly, hed been the CEO of a Fortune 500 company before taking over the controls. Linette, if I remember right, was in line ahead of me. I had one foot in line, but I was hesitant. I could see that people had lived through the ordeal, and it occurred to me that they were probably stronger for having experienced the ride, but I still wasnt sure that I was ready for the risk It didnt occur to me until I was standing in front of the mirror this morning, tying my tie, that all of this was about the baby… Im dense.

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      now, let’s play, “what was that christian up to anyway?”

      We have a new game today, courtesy of my friend Dave in Seattle. He just sent in this photo and I cant make sense of it, so Ive decided to open it up for debate. If you have an idea as to what was going on in this picture, please leave a comment. The person with the best answer will win a drawing I just did of my nasty, rotting foot while on hold with the credit card company. Heres Daves note. I’m going back to obsessing on my foot now.

      I was down in California yesterday and shot this picture out the car window on Ventura highway south of Santa Barbara. The truck has two crucifixes in the back with rollers and shoulder pads. I thought the “Got Jesus” sticker was a nice touch. It was as if they were asking if you’d seen him ‘cuz they had some business to settle with him.

      I just can’t imagine what the hell they are doing with these things. It reminded me of a guy I knew in high school that came to school dressed up as Jesus for Halloween one year, complete with a full size cross. I’m guessing that these were not intended as a gag costume though.

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      fahrenheit 9-11

      Quite a few people have written in and asked whether Id seen the movie and, if so, what I thought of it. I wasnt going to say anything about it, as I think its probably all been said on-line already, but heres my short review: Ive never liked a film so much that would, under normal circumstances, piss me off so much.

      This is propaganda. But its propaganda that I happen to agree with, so I guess that makes it a bit more palatable.

      I was talking about the film with someone a few days ago and he was of the opinion that the end in this particular case justified the means. Sure, he said, things are taken out of context and twisted so as to make Bush look worse than the facts might suggest on their own, but Americans are a stupid lot and they might need a shove to see the reality of the situation, which is that we were lied to and led into a war of choice by an administration who cared more about Iraq than the pursuit of bin Laden and those responsible for 9.11.

      And thats all I have to say about it.

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