Showing posts from February, 2017

The Nancy Wilson/Dead Kennedys Connection

You probably shouldn't be surprised that your teen-aged son has suddenly become sullen, uncommunicative and deeply embarrassed by the mere fact of your existence.  I mean you likely gave your father the same treatment at that age, right?

Nevertheless you are surprised.  How could this charming, interesting kid--with whom you formerly had deep, thoughtful conversations--be the same person who now views every interaction with you as some form of hostile interrogation?  You only hope that once the sturm und drang of adolescence passes, the two of you will reconnect, that it will be like it was again.  You hope, but you also wonder. Or at least I do because I never did reconnect with my old man.

Occasionally, though, there's a kind of re-connection.  The other morning, for example, I was driving to work with the Ipod jacked into the car and on shuffle.  Then up pops an old Nancy Wilson song.

Did you say I have a lot to learn?
Well, don't think I'm trying not to learn.
Since …

The Thief of Time


Kiss Me, I'm type O

No doubt you've seen those ubiquitous ads in which someone is shocked--shocked I tell you--to discover that they aren't really Italian. Instead they're 34 percent Eastern European and 26 percent British and 10 percent Scandinavian...  What's curious and a little unnerving about these ads is how the people in them appear to believe that some fundamental secret of their identity has been revealed.  Aha! they say.  It all makes sense.  I get me.

For whatever reason we just can't escape thinking that there is some special sauce that separates one group of human beings from another.  People who know full-damn-well that there are only four universal blood types persist in the belief that Irish blood is somehow distinct from Japanese blood.  Today, this same erroneous assumption has been updated and given a spiffy pie-charted gloss thanks to commercially available DNA kits.

In many ways the new fascination with our DNA is simply the latest manifestation of o…