Was It Something I Wrote?

Raise your hand if you remember Jim Bouton.  According to Wickipedia:

James Alan “Jim” Bouton (English pronunciation: /ˈbaʊtn/; born March 8, 1939) is an American former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is also the author of the controversial baseball book Ball Four, which was a combination diary of his 1969 season and memoir of his years with the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, and Houston Astros.

Anyhow, after a whole bunch of baseball guys got really upset behind Ball Four, Bouton wrote another book, one called I’m Glad You Didn’t Take It Personally.  For reasons that don’t really matter here or anywhere else, I always thought the second book was called, Was It Something I Said?  This was undoubtedly the result of projection on my part.  For those of  you with better things to do than know about “projection,” let’s just say projection is me not liking something about myself soooo much that, rather than believe I really believe it, I believe YOU believe it and say you are wrong.  In fact  you are more than wrong.  You are so messed up that–when the truth is finally told–what  you claim to be true about me is actually true about  you, but you are sooo unable to handle the truth that you try to pin it on me. I, of course, filled with infinite wisdom and extraordinary courage, know that you are flawed and love you anyway...maybe.

Does this sound like it’s actually leading somewhere. Yeah, well it is. 

I just checked the stats on this blog.  As it turns out almost 200 folks (197 to be exact) have taken a look at what I wrote last week. One!  One and only one made a comment.  I need feedback!  To repeat:

I need feedback.

I mean, I write serious stuff and humorous stuff and, here I really try, things to get people thinking or participating or just plain pissed, but hardly anybody drops a Comment.  Now the reason you get an email from me whenever I post a new bit of stuff is because we’ve met, I’ve heard you say whatever it is  you were saying, and I know you’ve got a brain.  I know  you’ve got something to say, even if it’s just,

“Stop writing to me.  I don’t need this (stuff) anymore.  I’m too busy worrying about the economy and planning my next vacation.”

So, okay, so I can accept that.  21 years of social work with addicts, almost 13 years of marriage, 10 years of zen and a month of Shaking Meditation (be sure I’ll write about that in the future!) have taught me acceptance.  Okay, I’ve got it: you’re all sharp but quiet.  Well, maybe you know some loudmouths.  Maybe you know some folks who just can’t help expressing “Oh  yeah’s” or “me too’s” or “You gotta be kiddin’s” or even an occasional “Hey, that’s just like the time I…” or even a “What about if…?”

If  you do know or even if you suspect you know somebody like that, please send them the link to this blog.  As I may have mentioned

I need feedback!

Hell, I’ll even take suggestions.

As for the link, it’s  https://goldberg.wordpress.com

And in the words of the actors who played the brothers who made the wine coolers,

Thanks for your support.

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm  Comments (7)  

The Tip of the Iceberg

Like it or not–and I do not like it–there are some things that must be worried about.  Living in New York City and loving it as I do, I find myself–after a decade and a year of not doing so–finally obligated to worry about The Terrorists.  It’s  not that The Daily News and TV and (I suppose, though I really don’t read it) the NY Times haven’t tried to  spawn and nurture my concern for the safety of us all, but, frankly, it hadn’t worked until I saw this:

Frankly I can deal with the AirTrain threat.  I expect AirTrain to be a target of  The Terrorists, because The Terrorists do not ride AirTrains.  The Terrorists take taxis driven by fellow conspirators listening to music you’d not want to hear but wouldn’t ask the driver to shut off if you were his passenger and wanted to make  your plane in time to go through two hours of security because of The Terrorists.  If you’re gonna ride the AirTrain, you’ve got to be willing to take your chances, and I am willing.

For me it’s the “other targets wide open for attack” that draws me into the camp of those chanting, “Kill The Terrorists and Burn Their Babies.”  It also helps that I saw an extraordinary documentary on the dead and brilliantly angry comedian, Bill Hicks, but that’s a whole other thing.  Meanwhile you should check him out on YouTube.

Just what are those other targets and which of them would matter that much to me?  What matters so much that it would make me want to act just like those I don’t want acting in the first place? What would turn me into The Terrorists’ Terrorist?

My first thought–given there are no Meditation Terrorists or even Social Work Terrorists–is Bicycle Terrorists.  I don’t mean those officers of the local government who are now expecting people pedaling bicycles to obey laws written to govern the actions of those who drive cars, busses and trucks.  Those guys, those guys…  This weekend past an unmarked police car, six marked police cars and one police van all responded when it was alleged that a helmet-wearing bicyclist riding up Amsterdam Avenue violated a red light at the corner of  West 76th Street.  She was yelling and screaming enough to get me to a window.  It looked like they had her pinned up against the unmarked car with it’s lights flashing and her bicycle around to the other side of the unmarked car and a good sized crowd all gathered around wondering, “Is this really the best use of my tax dollars?”  I was way up on the 8th floor, so I couldn’t see if she had a gun or a knife…or…a bomb!

BICYCLE TERRORISTS, Oh My God (and I don’t usually say that or even like people who do!)!  And here I certainly don’t mean people intent on murder, mayhem and evil who ride around on bicycles looking for opportunities to wreak those things on the rest of us.  People who ride around on bikes are inevitably wonderful people, much like myself and my friends Luis and Judy and Dave and Denise and even Dmitiri although I haven’t seen him in quite a while and, with a name like Dmitri, I might not be so glowing in my mention of him if it was back during the Cold War.

I mean those deft of finger and devoid of  heart who would run an ignition wire from a bicycle lock firmly securing my faithful Ross to a disobeyed No Parking or Standing sign, along that bicycle’s blue and paint-chipped frame, wind it around a front wheel spoke and up a wheel fork and stem into the tattered handlebar bag jerry-rigged to the handlebars of that bicycle–my bicycle–with a bungee cord which some people call a sandoze because the automatic clamping device that held the bike bag to the handlebars broke that night I was on my way to computer-tutor a senior and stopped to get Japanese food for dinner, that same tattered bike bag in which they had secreted a bomb which no doubt cost far more than my old, second-hand Ross (did I mention it’s blue?) bicycle, so that, through the innocent and honest effort on my part to unlock my bicycle and continue on my various rounds, both the bike and I would surely be blown to a remarkable if never-counted number of bloody and exasperatingly small, unidentifiable before the advent of DNA pieces.  (Here’s where I’m indebted to Arlo D. Guthrie.)

Now acknowledging that such nogoodniks no doubt do exist, I’ve developed the habit of first looking into my tattered  handlebar bag for bombs before beginning the unlocking process.  And you can bet your freedom, when I see something I say something!  Like when I see those itinerant guys on the street peddling baskets of stuff they want you to buy, but you can’t see what’s underneath the stuff they want you to buy…

’cause sometimes maybe…

If You Don’t See Something,

Ya Still Gotta Say Something.

Take it from me, your friend

Richard S. Goldberg

Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm  Comments (1)