28 October 2005

The First Frosts

When I lived in New York City, on the morning of the first frost, Dave Herman would play Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going.” She sings: “I woke up today and found, frost perched on the ground/It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down.” This was a song that was then unavailable on vinyl, and so I would hear it only when Dave Herman would play it, and he played it almost only on the morn of the year’s first frost. When I would hear the notes of Joni Mitchell’s lone guitar on my radio, I would know that not only was summer over, but that the Fall had passed as well, and that the cold, stark winter was upon me. It was time to take out my heavy, wool coat and my lined dungarees, and to make sure I had at least two pairs of gloves. My body shrunk just a bit for warmth.

For the past fifteen years I have lived in Wisconsin, and besides, WNEW-FM is no longer a viable radio station and Dave Herman is no longer playing music there. But the frost was on the ground this week for the first time, and I thought of Joni and Dave and New York. A longing for what? I wondered! Now, I listen to web radio and the winters here are bitter. But I love them nonetheless. I get no urge for going. I am happy out here in my Walden watching not the river flow but the snow fall. Walden will freeze again only to melt apace in the Spring.

11 October 2005

Twleve Thousand Year Old Bones? Hah!

I read today in The New York Times that
Scientists digging in a remote Indonesian cave have uncovered a jaw bone that they say adds more evidence that a tiny prehistoric Hobbit-like species once existed.
The jaw is from the ninth individual believed to have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. The bones are in a wet cave on the island of Flores in the eastern limb of the Indonesian archipelago, near Australia.

I don’t know about you—but I think that the Bush Administration will soon announce that they not only have found Osama bin Laden, but that they are certain that he is dead and no longer a viable threat to liberty, peace and the pursuit of money. How he got to Australia remains a mystery, but Michael Novak’s secret source will say it was probably facilitated by some nasty liberals who in their refusal to believe in the existence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, made his escape to Australia from somewhere else possible. And there will be talk in the Republican elite that the Clintons are complicit.

The religious right will soon announce that those bones couldn’t be more than three weeks old according to their corrected time line for earth’s history. Twelve thousand years? The earth is only five thousand years old! And besides, Australia wasn’t part of God’s original creation—it appeared only after England invented criminals and needed a place to send them.

The administration will announce that Halliburton has been given a multi-billion dollar contract to build a secret tunnel so that Osama’s remains can be brought to Washington for study. And I anticipate a report from the Bush Administration that Osama’s associates caused Hurricane Katrina to revenge his death.

Terrorist alert: yellow with orange polka dots.