The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday


Trade Winds
By John Masefield


In the harbor, in the island, in the Spanish Seas,
Are the tiny white houses and the orange trees,
And day-long, night-long, the cool and pleasant breeze
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

There is the red wine, the nutty Spanish ale,
The shuffle of the dancers, the old salt's tale,
The squeaking fiddle, and the soughing in the sail
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

And o' nights there's fire-flies and the yellow moon,
And in the ghostly palm-trees the sleepy tune
Of the quiet voice calling me, the long low croon
Of the steady Trade Winds blowing.

--------

I had a list of things I wanted to get done Tuesday, but then miriya_b called and asked if I wanted to have lunch, so we went to Benjarong and I had awesome panang curry. Then I had a very weird incident. I figured I would pick up younger son, so I parked around the corner from his school, and there were some gorgeous trees so I pulled out my camera and took a couple of photos. There was a car down the street under some trees to which I really paid no attention except to wish that I knew how to Photoshop it out. Well, apparently it was a police car, because about a minute later it shot out and pulled up behind me, and the officer asked me what I was photographing and why. I told him it was the trees -- I showed him the photos on my camera. He asked me why I was taking photos with his car in them. I told him that I honestly hadn't even registered that it was a police car; I'd been paying more attention to good angles to minimize the car because I only wanted the colorful trees.

One could clearly see on my camera monitor that in the photos, the car was the size of a dot. I should have left well enough alone, but I was remembering that Muslim family that had their camcorder confiscated for filming their kids on the beach near the Bay Bridge in case they were terrorists looking for ways to blow up the bridge, and I asked the officer if it was a security matter. He said it was a matter of officer safety -- I could have been photographing his license plate. He let me keep the camera, but I am sure he ran my license plates and probably my entire legal/credit history, so if I disappear unexpectedly and you hear that I'm in Guantanamo, that's the story of why!


Here is my photo including the police car. Please don't enlarge it to try to see his license plate. For that matter, please don't enlarge it to try to see the street sign, because I blurred them both out.


The trees outside my son's Hebrew school.


There was a holiday boutique inside whose last day was today. I stopped in to look at the ridiculously expensive monogrammed trinkets and stuff. Then I went outside and saw these balloons caught in nearby trees and smiled.


This is the sky over the Hebrew school parking lot when I left at around 10 to 5.


And another shot of the trees, because the color here is magnificent.


One lap, two cats!


Rosie has always been the queen of apaulled's lap but since Daisy has lived here, she has demanded equal time.
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Younger son is playing an Irish violin piece in school that reminds me of one from Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and we both got in the mood to watch it, so after dinner we put it on. It's been months -- the last time I saw it was when we were in England last spring -- and the entire family sat and watched, because that is one of the best movies of all time and never fails to leave me with a huge smile on my face. That's more than I can say about Boston Legal, again, though I liked it better than last week's...I thought it was going to be the anti-pop science episode, with both psychological MRIs and that Harvard studies about how having fat friends is a great social danger coming under fire, but it turns out that David Kelley apparently believes that fat people are a menace to thin people and should be avoided if not locked up.

Naturally, as soon as Alan decided that he could get serious about Lorraine, Lorraine announced that she was seeing someone else exclusively, giving Alan yet another woman to add to his list of women who betrayed him, and meanwhile he once again treats a woman abusively with the claim that he knows she secretly enjoys it, like he did with Marlene, and again they have the woman seeming to swoon rather than slapping him with a lawsuit of her own even though she's the lawyer for the woman suing Denny for firing her because she was fat. The entire case is a giant case of ugh, with Alan and Denny's bonding taking on overtly misogynistic overtones instead of their usual anxiety and confusion, ending with Alan trying to get out of having a fat judge for his fat girl case, assuming she's going to be prejudiced against him just because he wallows in the same stereotypes as Denny does even though neither of them is remotely trim or athletic by the standards of modern media culture, and ultimately giving Alan a place to pontificate about the dangers of obesity. The obese judge rolls her eyes and recites along with him the health statistics as he cites the Harvard study claiming that having fat friends triples one's likelihood of becoming obese and suggests that maybe employers have duty to weed out heifers...that's really the kind of language he uses. For some unknown, not articulated reason, the judge dismisses the case and Denny wins, because why bother actually to tell us the thought processes of an obese professional?

With Jerry we pick up where he left off last week, having had two successful dates with Lee and petrified that he'll be expected to kiss her on a third. Jerry has never kissed an actual person. (I thought he kissed that prostitute with whom he practiced getting close, but maybe prostitutes, like fat women, don't count as actual people.) Sweet, sensitive Lorraine "helps" Jerry by kissing Alan in front of him until Jerry passes out, so she and Alan can have one more fuck before she breaks the news about her exclusive relationship. Jerry panics and breaks up with Lee in his pencil-in-mouth persona, thus causing her to run off with his clock radio, because Aspergers is a really HILARIOUS form of dysfunctionality if you're, say, Denny Crane. In the end he apologizes and she kisses him and they agree to work their way up to hugging. Elsewhere in the firm, speaking of fat women who DO count as actual people despite not technically being women, Clarence gets videotaped as Clarice being abusive to a clergyman and wants to sue YouTube for his humiliation when the tape is made public. Carl agrees to represent him. He doesn't manage to persuade Judge Jibber-Jabber to rule that YouTube can be held responsible for Clarence's embarrassment but he does manage to convince the judge, who is wearing a helmet as projection from an injury, to enjoin Carl from posting a video of him in said helmet. "The best advice for all of us to remember is, when you're out in public, assume the cameras are watching," says Carl, like the audience needs this spelled out.

In the one case of the week worth serious attention, a policeman convinces Whitney and Katie to defend him against a murder charge that the prosecution claims was racially motivated. He shot a teenager holding a soda can, which he believed at the time was a gun, and an MRI indicates that he fears black men more than white men, which the judge (Gloria) is willing to allow as evidence in court. The police had a report of an armed suspect who met the description of the victim; the partner of Geoffrey Bass, the man on trial, is black and reported that Bass may have fired a bit recklessly, though he denies that his partner is a racist. Whitney mentions shooter bias tests that indicate that not just white people but black people are more likely to shoot black men; Bass notes that he works in a gang neighborhood where, statistically, most of the crimes are committed by black men and he has been shot three times by black men committing crimes. The victim's mother stands up and screams that he murdered her baby, but Whitney successfully argues that the DA has not contradicted the facts that the victim fit the description of the suspect and raised a metal object...all he has against Bass is a brain scan, and if we can't distinguish between thoughts and deeds, we give ourselves over to the government and the thought police currently violating our privacy. Bass is found not guilty.

The balcony scene starts out okay, with Denny and Alan both noting that they assumed from their judge's appearance that she would rule against them, speaking approvingly as if a judge making a ruling without wanting statements or evidence is a good thing whether one wins or loses. Then they banter about how Alan and Denny have both gotten heavier since they've been friends and argue about who's the bad influence, culminating in Denny worry about how Alan is holding up post-Lorraine and suggesting a sleepover, with subsequent argument about whether they should have popcorn with a movie. I would like this show to address directly the question of the point where male bonding over issues with women crosses the line to private misogyny and institutional sexism, because lately it's been way too close for comfort. perkypaduan, if you want to call off lunch with me because merely breathing my air may make you fat, I will completely understand, though my obese cat may not be so forgiving.
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