May, 2010

R.I.P. Richard (Dick) Terpstra

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Richard Terpstra died Saturday night, he was Luke’s oldest brother.  Rita, Richard’s wife, left a message on the machine, Luke and I discovered it upon our return from Idaho yesterday, where we were attending Paula and Phil’s wedding. 

I met Dick once or twice.  He was the happiest guy you’d ever want to meet and boy was he in love with his wife, Rita.  They were soul mates.  Dick was skinny and he smoked unfiltered cigarettes and always wore a baseball cap.  He wore his flannel shirts tucked into his slim-waisted jeans.  And that laugh of his, it came from his heart, from his humor gene, from deep inside him.  His laugh was honest, that’s what it was. 

So rest in peace, Dick.  Life was good to you and you were good to it — let life be good to Rita from here on out. 

The Death of Curiosity in Political Debate

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Or, People Stash their Opinions in a Lock Box

Or, People are not Interested in Other People’s Ideas

Or, Doesn’t Anyone Listen Anymore

A BLOG entry completed. . .  with a hat tip to David Brooks of the New York Times. . .

Op-Ed Columnist

What It Takes

Mr. Brooks - you have discovered in your editorial the demise of the “question authority” phase in our higher educational system.  It has been followed by the “suck up” phase which looks to be settling in for a good long time.  I’m five years older than Ms. Kagan, Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court.  And within that five years there is a great divide between myself and Ms. Kagan’s ilk.  I graduated high school in 1973, college in 1978.  I first attended an elite private men’s college in Virginia, Hampden-Sydney.  I failed my mandatory Bible class because I had the audacity to question the Bible and I failed my English composition class because I refused to write entirely in complete sentences.  While that added an extra year to my date of graduation (along with my debut in Hollywood) I sure had fun and so did my fellow students in those classes.  In both Bible and Composition, my professors told me that I failed not because I was stupid but because I did not follow the rules.  I was proud of that then and I am proud of it today.  What your column makes clear is that we have rolled into this new century with leaders who are much more aligned with play it safe and placate, or they preach as if their God was the only God in existence.  I am a liberal, capital L, but I have lost respect for liberals and conservatives because of a lack of courage in their thinking, a lack of audacity in their thoughts.  Big Daddy had it right in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” when he talked about mendacity.  To forsake honesty and curiosity, to listen only to your precise views replayed to you through the voices of sycophants is to trade in your brain for a much lesser organ, a tone deaf one at that - a brain that has no meaning anymore because its synapses have stopped dancing to the rigors of intellectual curiosity.  If you are on that path you deserve what you get.  Just stick another pacifier in your mouth and call it a life. 

On a different note, I enjoyed the tape of Win McMurry, the sportscaster on the Golf Channel, when she was reporting why Tiger Woods withdrew from the Player’s Championship. She blamed it on his “bulging dick. . .”  I guess there are a few curious people left on television, just keep that dial tuned to the Golf Channel and get your cage rattled.  I love golf.