HUMOR

With a unifying symbol Americans can rally around

Robert E. Lee and Traveler — photo courtesy of James Demers on Pixabay

As promised during the election campaign, President Joe Biden got to work quickly on the national unity portfolio since assuming office. In an announcement designed to de-escalate simmering tensions left over from the divisive federal election, the president called for healing.

Americans fear the nation is at risk of dissolution after the storming of the Capitol building. Amid questions about how the lack of security could have enabled such an attack, it has been learned that all the guards on duty had a nicotine fit at exactly the same time, resulting in a simultaneous smoke break that left the Capitol building vulnerable. …


SATIRE

This should dispel any misunderstanding

courtesy Darya Tryfanava on Unsplash

In light of the controversy around the first lady’s academic history, I’d like to take this opportunity to clear up any misconceptions about my history of higher learning.

My matriculation timeline begins with writing admission tests for Northeastern and Northwestern universities. While I did not score high enough for admission to these institutions, the process of writing these tests uncovered a previously undiscovered condition that would influence the direction of my academic career.

I was eventually accepted into North Southern University albeit with an accommodation for topographical disorientation. After several engaging interviews during Rush Week, I accepted a pledge to Beta Sci Fi fraternity. Between near fatal drinking contests, we dressed up in Stars Wars costumes and played dorm pranks. …


BOOK REVIEW

a chronicle of the New England Patriots era

photo by Stuart Grant

The Dynasty by Jeff Benedict, Avid Reader Press, New York, N.Y., September 2020

Before I begin, I have a disclosure to make. I hate the New England Patriots. I hate their successful run in this era and I hated them going back to the Steve Grogan/Tony Eason days. I hate their reign of superiority over the teams I love (Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders (yes, I know where they play now, I wasn’t born yesterday) and Seattle Seahawks).

I always saw them as smarmy and self righteous. They acted as if they knew something you didn’t like an Ivy League poser who’s never wiped his own behind. They trot out trick plays as if to say “We’re Ivy League smart and you’re not”. …


OBITUARIES

HOF linebacker passed away December 21, 2020

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The pro football world received a shock before Christmas with the tragic news of the passing of Pro Football Hall of Fame member Kevin Greene. His death was reported on December 21 without citing a cause but his family later confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack. He was 58 years of age and is survived by wife Tara, son Gavin and daughter Gabrielle.

Greene was the NFL’s third all time leader in sacks with 160 behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White. He had a fifteen year career as a player and nine year career as linebackers coach. Drafted out of Auburn University in 1985 by the Los Angeles Rams with the 113th overall pick, Greene was also a dominant player with the Steelers, Panthers and 49ers. He led the league in sacks in 1994 and 1996 and achieved career bests with 16.5 …


After woeful losses against Chicago and New Orleans, it’s time to ask

Photo courtesy of Eternal Seconds on Unsplash

The listless Christmas day performance by the Vikings against the New Orleans Saints was hard to watch. While it was nice to see a great player like Saints RB Alvin Kamara have a record tying six touchdown day, the ease with which he waltzed into the end zone was embarrassing. Admittedly, the Vikings would have needed many other contingencies to transpire to remain alive for post season contention. In a year when a sub .500 …


FAKE NEWS

To lift the economy in 2021 and beyond

Picture courtesy Sangga Rima Roman Selia on Unsplash

The Bureau of Economic Analysis is predicting a post Covid baby boom to lift the economy in 2021 and beyond. Analysts point to the notion that, with couples being confined indoors, the opportunity to procreate would present itself. However, nothing is ever simple in human affairs.

Couples report that with other family members also indoors, opportunities for love making have been curtailed thereby stunting what might have been ample opportunity. The uncertainty around the post Covid economy has made families cautious about job and economic prospects. …


HOME ENTERTAINMENT

from your public library account

photo courtesy of Fran Jacquier on Unsplash

The video streaming service Netflix is now a household word, as ubiquitous a brand name as Kleenex. Amazon and Hulu are gaining in users too. When you get right down to it, there isn’t one big media company that isn’t in the streaming game. New players and genres are being added all the time. The pandemic has only reinforced this trend to the point where the very survival of the cinema is now in doubt. Oddly, the nearly extinct drive-in is suddenly making a comeback.

If you are a library member in your jurisdiction, you have probably discovered the many alternative forms of literature, entertainment and media that are being made available to card holders like DVDs, e-books, databases, news clips, reference libraries, video games, and online publications from behind a paywall. …


tradition and novelty

photo courtesy of Julián Gentilezza on Unsplash

I’m showing my age here but I’ve come to the conclusion that blogging isn’t writing in the traditional sense. Most of the material on Medium doesn’t follow the basic tenets of essay writing. In fact, if not for Grammarly and other online tools, most postings would be flunked if submitted for academic review. Employers will tell you there has been a generational decline in writing skills. I don’t think it’s an accidental correlation with the rise of technology over paper and pen.

This is not all bad. In fact, it may be a very democratizing development given the number of bloggers for whom English is not their first language. There are Medium bloggers posting in English as non-native writers producing high-value content who have my undying admiration. …


I can no longer remain silent

photo courtesy of Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The rituals of our daily lives are internalized habitually and unquestioningly. When a long standing relationship of trust is undone, a microaggression is acknowledged causing indignation and anger to grow. If this transgression goes beyond the single occasion and affects many, the impacted must band together and stand up to forces mightier than themselves. Expressed in a unified voice, collective action carries torrential power.

The time for silent acquiescence is over. The boiling frog of incremental degradation of our tastes and freedoms is at hand. The line in the sand has been drawn. …


A sports fan’s paradise

Tom Brady in Buffalo — photo by author

As my thoughts drift to joys I took for granted before the pandemic, none resonates more vividly than memories of great sports road trips.

I moved to Central Canada in the mid eighties after growing up in northern British Columbia. People I share that with ask “Aren’t you doing it backwards?” British Columbia is among the most beautiful places on earth as its license plate motto attests. My stock replies to that are “You can’t eat scenery” and “Life isn’t lived in a postcard”.

As a teenager, I didn’t appreciate the scenery. As I grew up in it, I assumed it was normal and unexceptional. Only on trips home later in life did I come to appreciate how special it was. Truth is, unlike the rest of my family, I’m a city person and BC only had Vancouver — a major city I had already seen. You could cross the border to Seattle but otherwise you were on a plane if a major city was your destination. …

About

Stuart Grant

disparate parts coalescing toward a greater meaning in the pursuit of a fully realized life

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