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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