March 22, 2007

Tennessee, home state of Justin Timberlake, has removed a resolution to honor him "for his highly successful music career and for his meritorious service to the State of Tennessee" from the list of resolutions to be put before the Senate. Says Sen. Raymond Finney, R-Maryville, of the removal of what I am affectionately terming The Timberlake Resolution, "It's not something I want my name on."

Cited as reasons not to honor Timberlake are the fact that he has songs called "SexyBack" and "Rock Your Body" to his credit and, of course, the pesky NippleGate incident with Janet Jackson from the Superbowl a few years back.

A Brief History of the State of Tennessee:
(a.k.a. Things Senator Raymond Finney Has His Name On by Virtue of Being a Representative of the State Overall)

--> From 1838 to 1839, nearly 17,000 Cherokees were forced to march from Eastern Tennessee to Indian Territory west of Arkansas. This came to be known as the Trail of Tears, as an estimated 4,000 Cherokees died along the way.
--> The American Civil War, to a large extent, was fought in cities and farms of Tennessee — only Virginia had more battles.
--> Further national attention came Tennessee's way during the trial of John T. Scopes, the so-called "Scopes Monkey Trial." Tennessee was ridiculed in the northeast and West Coast press as the "Monkey State," even as a wave of revivals defending religious fundamentalism swept the state.
--> Especially significant for the [WWII] war effort was Tennessee's role in the Manhattan Project, the military's top secret project to build an atomic weapon. Research and production work for the first A-bombs were conducted at the huge scientific/industrial installation at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
--> During the 2000 Presidential Election, Tennessee did not vote for Al Gore, who is a former U.S. Senator from Tennessee. The people instead voted for Republican George W. Bush.

I don't really give a rat's ass whether or not Justin Timberlake is honored by Tennessee. It won't make my life better and it probably won't affect him either. But just so we're clear, a history of forced native population relocation marches and playing a key role in the development of the atomic bomb are fine, but songs called "SexyBack" and "Rock Your Body" are not what Tennessee is all about. Got that?

... now that THAT is out of my system, I can go back to focussing on Gotthammer's hilarious comments about possible Trek character responses to an Alien attack... more later as my imagination takes it and runs with it...

March 20, 2007

I had a moment of zen on the sidewalk yesterday. It's the same corner I cross at nearly every day and it has never been more than simply utilitarian before. But something about that moment yesterday changed everything. I looked up instead of just allowing my eyes to drift aimlessly along street level and I could see the top of every building in sharp relief against the untainted blue of the sky. There was a breeze - not a full force gale like the sort Wellington normally specializes in - that toyed with me, running the back of its hand along my cheek, smoothing stray tendrils of hair from my face, lifting the heat off my skin with a gentle touch. The sidewalk became a metaphor for everything suddenly. I understood the vast depth of the life I was part of and the future I couldn't reach. I understood where I belonged in nature and why my heart ached in certain ways. The breeze sighed along the back of my neck and the top facade of the building opposite and just down had a rose engraved in it. Backlit by the late summer light on a cushion of blue sky, it seemed like an promise. I was part of something immense and something small simultaneously. Zen. I felt like weeping. My heart throbbed.

... then suddenly the breeze turned into a vicious Wellington-issue howler that literally punched me clean off the sidewalk into oncoming traffic.

Life is a complicated thing most days.