Running for Your Life: CURLING 2018

I am a fan of curling.

In the milieu in which I work and play in New York City, I am in the definite minority. In fact, for the most part I feel I’m in a field (or rink) of one.

Call it an accident of birth. I haven’t curled since the 1970s and 1980s after moving to from Canada to New York City in 1988 where curling is more likely to be ridiculed as sport punch line than an object of curious interest.

So, imagine my delight that, as a business journalist in Gotham, where all eyes are turned to the financial cable networks that one of them – CNBC – broadcasts after the markets close the Olympic Curling game of the day.

Whoa! Draws to the button, to the four-foot, setting up guards. Is the ice keen? She needs to throw takeout weight, not Second Avenue weight … (The weight that we dubbed the hardest you could throw on a curling rink in Owen Sound, so much so that if your shot didn’t hit the target rock, it would leave the ice surface and crash through the wall and go barreling out on to Second Avenue.)

So bring it on! Oh, and if you have any curling questions (save your jokes for social media, where they belong), feel free to comment below !

Next: Running for Your Life: Physics? Really?

Running for Your Life: The Culture Column

SCENE: Canada 1985

NAFTA talks bog down on definitions: Canada insists on calling an area of dispute, “Culture,” while the US insists on the term, “Entertainment.”

SCENE: Brooklyn 2018

Season 2, Episode 6 of the Scandinavian TV series, “The Bridge”

On a run today (Feb. 13) I come to the realization that the crime show we are watching is so compelling because “The Bridge,” although a concrete reality, the actual bridge between Copenhagen, Demark, and Malmo, Sweden, it is also the bridge within. The most defined characters are simply not as they appear, and that if you dare, the journey into the darkness (as well as the light) of the human heart is a most rewarding and fulfilling experience (not to mention menacing and scary).

I submit the European “Bridge” is in the spirit of that 1985 NAFTA-talks era “culture,” a standard that makes for more thrilling art than simple “entertainment.”

The US is capable of such multi-layered art – “Breaking Bad” being the most recent example.

As always, Oscar Wilde best hits the mark. During his famous lecture tour of the US in 1882, he said he believed that the only hope for American art and culture would be if women took over (as read in the incisively observed book, “Making Oscar Wilde” by Michele Mendelssohn, an Oxford Press book due out in July):

“The inequalities between American men and women startled (Oscar). In modern life, a clear division of labor was emerging: women were becoming the tastemakers, men the moneymakers. ‘It is only the women in America who have any leisure at all,’ Wilde observed. Enterprising and creative women were pouncing into the foreground of American cultural life. Meanwhile, men were receding into a hinterland of bank balances and Broadway stores. He believed they cared too much about steam engines, hot-water apparatuses and telephones, and not enough about art, leisure and culture. All work and no play made American Jack a very dull boy indeed.”

Next: Running for Your Life: CURLING 2018

Running for Your Life: Never a Workout

Here’s a crazy thought.

Go to the gym, but don’t call it “a workout.”

I mean most folks “work” five days a week, and a majority of them not with passion but a sense of resignation, so why in a sane world would they apply a “work” word to something like going to the gym as part of a daily routine?

Enough “work” already. (That is, if you’re not like me and find that work is not a four-letter word; I do feel blessed that I love my work, both in the office and at home.)

Hmm, I wonder. Perhaps there’s some correlation to all this. Truth is, I’ve been running every other day for 40-plus years, and either stretching, Tai Chi or calisthenics the other day for about 15 years, and never have I referred to all this time as a “workout.”

Rather, I go for a run. Which my wife, M, knows is essential for me to both physically test myself and to sink into meditation, rethink a writing project, get the shape of my next blog post.

As a longtime writer and editor, I know there is power in words. A “workout” doesn’t sound like fun. Rather a stern obligation.

For goodness sakes, take some pressure off. It’s not work. It may even be fun. And when was the last time you heard someone say they had a “fun workout?”

Next: Running for Your Life: CURLING 2018!

Running for Your Life: Resistance Obsession

Correct me if I’m wrong but ..

By virtue of an election that was not deemed illegal or even improper by the standards of international oversight protocols, we Americans chose one major presidential candidate over another one.

The next thing you know millions po’ed by the result dictated by the law of the land, the Electoral College, adopted the stance, “Not My President,” and yielding to the false notion that after the free and fair election (The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!) those NMP folks now likened themselves as cool kids a la Vichy France resistance fighters with the moral chops to delegitimize the democratic process.

Meanwhile, HRC (remember her?) retreats to read proof pages of a “I shoulda, coulda” memoir while also gripping and grinning her way to cameo TV spots in LaLa Land. Grammys … and yes, the Oscars …

Next, the election winner attacks the resistance as illegitimate because, well, he won the Electoral College, 304-227. Given the small margin of victory in many swing states, the race was closer than that seems. 

Super Bowl LII was close too. But the Patriots didn’t join the resistance, claim they are the rightful choice, and snipe at the Eagles from on high.

And … one can wager that we won’t have to put up seeing Tom Brady (or his clueless wife) in public again until at least next season. 

Don't get me wrong. Be politically active, march for what you believe it. But when it comes to the current state of the presidential order, don't call it the resistance.

Next: Running for Your Life: Never a Workout

Running for Your Life: Remaking of the Presidency, Talking Points

 Rule of law as it pertains to a reproach of presidential power herein subscribes to mob truth: i.e., there is no legitimate position that would threaten the mob boss. And, yes, the central rule of mob truth is there is always one supreme boss who demands loyalty above all else.

·        The press as it operates in its quaint, constitutional role as the checker and balancer of non-democratic rule is outdated and to be dismissed as such.

·        Corollary to above point: Social media now acts as press. The presidency, in its voices on social media, heralds news as disrupter of responsible journalism, which no longer holds sway, is an artifact of the pre-personal technology era.

·        Tech disrupters like Jeff Bezos of Amazon blur political lines (no universal health care, but health care for benighted employees),  co-opts a crucial part of what’s left of responsible journalism by going out and buying the Washington Post company.

·        Democrats, who choose to make common cause with the tech disrupters, mark an earlier state in the postmodern presidency. Call it the tech-big government-deep state complex.

·        The current president does that one better: he takes up his own giant space on Twitter as presidential disrupter to promote mob rule; one fact is right, all others evil and corrupt.

·        Control philosophy rooted in the thinking and Leviathan practices of one Roy Cohn, one-time mentor to the current president.  

Next: Running for Your Life: Resistance Obsession