Running for Your Life: Read, Read, Read

It pays to read. Especially these days.

Try one of my favorite reporter-writers: Matt Taibbi, now in Rolling Stone:

that America gets the karma it deserves.

Brutal but essential.

Read, read, read.

Then Jill Lepore in The New Yorker, Oct. 9:

the lead Talk of the Town cuts to the chase on what it means to be an unreconstituted liberal.

“[Free speech] is a long and strenuous argument, as maddening as the past and as painful as the truth.”

Read, read, read.

In the same New Yorker, Jon Lee Anderson boogies like no one else on the “border wall” with Mexico.

“[NAFTA’s] created 53 million very poor people for whom the only solution is to emigrate to the United States and send remittances home.”

Read, read, read.

The White House treats Puerto Rico’s US citizens in an offhand way? It’s no accident the American president (emperor?) lives in a capital “W” white house.

How “white” has the nation been since its founding?

Consider the story after story after story in the epic tales of the Indian Wars with the over-sentimental title, “The Earth Is Weeping,” by Peter Cozzens (see recent blog post here). Many treaties were signed only to be broken, with the dog whistle command of government (during these years of unrivaled growth in land and economic wealth for white citizens) being:

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

Read, read, read.

Next: Running for Your Life: “Gateway” Drug

Running for Your Life: After the Half

It took me 2:05:36 to finish, if you’re counting, and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t really, and if there is any secret to a long life (40-plus years!) of running, I put it down to that. For most of those years, I haven’t kept track.

Sure, in 2010, I shocked myself with running a marathon – twice as long as what I did on Saturday (Oct. 7) – in 3:33:08, and started to think different. About my time, that is.

I started to train harder and improve, with hopes of doing better. Why not? Beat yesterday, as the kids say! It seemed back then that a faster personal record wasn’t out of the question. That a 3:33 marathon time was good enough to qualify for Boston, which I ran in 2012, despite a near-running threatening hamstring pull in 2011.

Ah, but three injuries later – return of The Neuroma, knee collapse and faceplant – and finally I’m back to where I was when I started running in the mid-1970s. Listening and looking and going inward.

In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on Saturday, a waterside route out and under the head-spinning Verrazano Bridge, I watched a stray cormorant skimming the rippling current, followed the fairy dance of a wayward solo Monarch, tilted as if at windmills, running toward the trees on the horizon, and after, the fishermen casting their lines into the ocean waters, pausing to glance as we pass, puzzle-pusses, etched by the collective insanity of four hundred lightly clad souls huffing and puffing, beet-red in the punishing heat and humidity, so much like Hurricane Sandy weather that I can’t help but think it is on these men’s minds such a horror it would have been here almost five years ago to the day when that superstorm struck.

This then is the clean and well-lighted aftermath of the half. The ego eased with my second wind. When the run is pure, “time” and the pressure of time, of “beating yesterday,” simply vanishes like the morning mist above the Verrazano.

Next: Running for Your Life: Read, Read, Read

Running for Your Life: Shap! We Hardly Knew How Much We Need You!

What is it about Denis Shapovalov?

That, at 18, (he won’t be 19 until April, by the way) he is excelling at arguably the most amazing mass-market solo sport imaginable: Men’s Single Tennis.

That he does it while wearing his goofy teenage identity; What me? A star? Nah, let’s go get some grilled cheese and craft root beer, or maybe a cream soda, and talk about anything but that.

On anyone else that backward sweat cap, with the gappy extension band square in the forehead middle, would look ridiculous and W-A-A-A-Y pretentious. On Shap, it looks just right.

That he’s a Canadian. Can’t you see him asking these bears to leave his property …. ?

That he’s now a regular court catch on the Tennis Channel. If he’s playing, I place the set on mute and watch. And, yeah, all these thoughts that I’ve just put down come into my head as I smile with the vanishing of my worries, if only for as long as he is playing the sport that demands power, touch and intelligence in equal measure … at 18 years old !!

Next: Running for Your Life: After the Half !

Running for Your Life: Chairman Zuck

A lot has been written and speculated about what Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is doing, re: his presidential-like tour, pledging to visit each and every one of the fifty states, and in so doing hang out with regular Americans.

Wow, no way in hell a Kardashian (excepting political hopeful Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps) would do that!

Zuck will in 2020 be old enough to be eligible to serve as American president. (Although, trust me, the current president wouldn’t be above conducting a birther campaign to accuse Z of using a fake ID. CARD HIM! Trump loyalists will be barking.)

No, don’t believe the bunk that Z is priming the populist pump for a 2020 presidential run. When you’re the planet’s Big Brother what in hell do you want with the world’s most undoable job: being the US president?

Next: Running for Your Life: Shap! We Hardly Knew How Much We Need You!

Running for Your Life: Last Week of the Symbolists !

What do you believe if not universal truths as a ritual to divine enlightenment?

Life, it could be argued, isn’t black and white. But during one brief period in a Paris salon just before the turn of the last century, some very talented artists seemed to be doing their darndest to find a painterly pathway to nirvana.

All of which can be seen in one tidy exhibition at Manhattan’s Guggenheim Museum. (Or a single ring of the snail; you go Frank Lloyd Wright!)

What you want to look at is just beyond the entranceway. The “hologram” of angelically dead Orpheus by Belgian artist Jean Delville, with face upon a ripple river, stars reflect, traces on the canvas suggesting ancient wood, giving life to his death.

If this is one of the ways to go, who can quibble?

Then Henri Martin, before this blending of the skills of the Impressionists (Pointillism) to reveal otherworldly beauty and “spirituality” vanished, paints his shimmering “Young Saint.” Like, he had just done so and left the room.

What else? “I Lock My Door Upon Myself” by Fernand Khnopff, a sensibility that shudders in our culture yet, the personification if not the “pornification” of women figures, celebrating beauty not intellect, throwback to the pre-Raphaelites, whose title was derived from the poem, “Who Shall Deliver Me?”, by Christina Rossetti, sister of the pre-Raph painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Then we got a girl with a sheep … and one that strikes me as being done in the spirit of a top editorial meeting at the New York Times in the days after the botch job reporting of the presidential election. “The Disappointed Souls” by Ferdinand Holdler. Influenced as he was by Thanatos, the personification of death in Greek mythology.

Hurry, you’ve only a week to go and see the Symbolists ! before the show closes. You’ll thank me (or maybe not …) J

Next: Running for Your Life: Fall Into Place