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Tuesday, December 15, 2009


woody woodpecker was here
Don't quite know. Those words came to the front of my mind when I came onto this space to start writing. Don't quite know. Don't quite know what? That's easy. Everything. But that's all the time. Why this moment in time and not another moment in time? And I wasn't thinking that r&b song, don't know much about algebra, don't know much about the French I took. Not that. However, it applies. But I do know that I love you. That was back in the time of underground music (classic rock) they didn't play on the radio. On the radio they played Motown and other r&b. Commercial radio was freaked out by what was happening with the San Francisco sound and then from England. It was too wild and free. Too experimental. Had too small a percentage of listeners. The real deal was the advertisers. The people that listened to it didn't have any money. They were the bottom of the list of consumers. College students. Before the credit card banks discovered them as a source for billions of dollars in fees and interest.

What a crazy old world we live in. That's getting closer to don't-quite-know. At 5 I let the radio be, didn't turn on the news. Didn't want to hear about the problem of Arabs, and the problem of government, the problem of bombs. Once a week or less is about enough. I'm glad to say it's mostly less. Usually I hear the NPR news when I'm driving, but more and more turn it off. I'd rather listen to the Catfish's quiet motor. Yesterday in town when I was driving Billings's loaner, I saw in Sparta the exact likeness of the Catfish. I noticed the grille coming my way, then saw the taillight in the side mirror. The same. Except the paint looks better. Must have been kept in a garage. It looked good.

Don't quite know about anything any more. I find momentary conversations with older people, like at the grocery store where two people who don't know each other speak a few sentences and go on, are repeatedly about how bewildering things are any more. It's not because I direct the other person's thought. I am wondering if there comes a time in one's life, living in a culture of ongoing change, that a certain time comes when the older people cannot understand kids any more. Generation gaps in multiples. There comes a time, when I have cds and a cd player, I'm not converting to the next new thing. I've got enough music and movies to entertain myself mightily. What's happening now in pop music is of marginal interest. That somebody can yell louder than another interrupting Town Hall Meetings only tells me they hate democracy. It's nothing to talk about. Or think about.

Obnoxious people make headlines. Like the parents who made up the scheme of the kid in the attic and the silver balloon. To get on television. Now they can say they've been on national tv. Many years ago I saw a tag on the front of a white Cadillac convertible that said, "I've had national attention." It could only be network tv. I didn't want to know. An awful lot of our events on the news were created for the news. The news, thus, created them. National news is a web you never want to fly into. What Tiger Woods needs to do is divorce his Nordic blond, and marry Oprah. A marriage like Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson. A corporate merger.

I heard one guy saying on radio, and I couldn't tell if it was irony or he was for real, but remembered Americans don't do irony, it's too complex a perception for tv, "I don't care what he does in his own driveway, but when he enters the public road is where I'm concerned." There is something to that, but his vehemence struck me a little too In Charge. The judge with the hawk's eye. Tiger, our first athlete billionaire. It's looking like the press is gearing up to dethrone him for being so aloof to them over the years. It's totally his problem. Not mine. Sorry Tyg.

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

This is what Tiger already knows---

Television made you.

Television can destroy you.

Without the media

You have no value.

What a thing to have in my mind. A news fantasy. The fantasy that we believe we know something about Tiger Woods' private life, and what it says is he's (duh) just like us. Only being found out that he's just like us can be fatal to his career as a celebrity. If he's just like us---in the first place, he's not white so his starting place is all the way at the back of the line of just like us. The place they can get him is in the sponsorships. Do we really want this boy in the tabloids representing our product? Don't quite know. The stardom game always has new ones waiting and conspiring in line for one of the old ones to fall. Are you gonna miss me when I'm gone. Don't quite know.

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