About forty pelicans sit around in the Santa Cruz harbor. Those are birds that migrate south for the winter. Normally, there are only four or five pelicans in the harbor in January. They are welfare types who manage to make a living without fishing. Those forty are more than a month early according to my observational memory. It’s true that at 3 pm, it’s warmer on the beach than it is in the middle of August. That’s because there is neither wind nor fog right now. If these warm days are an effect of global warming, why don’t advocates name them in the “Benefits” column of their ledger? It make me wonder if they are in bad faith. (Just kidding!)
I take my two year-old grand-daughter to the beach often. She is a pretty, vivacious child with dark hair and skin coloration also on the dark side. I know most grand-parents describe their grand-everything in glowing terms but, in this case, I have the photographic documents to prove it. Besides, she has no more genes in common with me than with a zebra (a long story). So, I don’t have much reason to brag stupidly. This child is sociable. She wanders on the beach making friends with other children. She does it pretty well for someone so young. She is not pushy, she smiles a lot, and she shares her toys readily. Well, I would swear little gangs of little blondes snub my golden-skinned grand-daughter with great regularity. Only blondes do this. I don’t know why. I am still thinking. You have to admit there is something about blondes and that it starts early.
Speaking of the same harbor beach. This country is on the ropes economically. Yet the coffee-shop right on the beach has not altered its short winter hours. People come to the beach after work at 4, 5, even 6, to take in the warm air and to watch the great sunsets. Many are hungry, could use a cup of coffee and a scone or two. They find the doors closed. The coffee shop, a pleasant enough small establishment, apparently has a management that is not flexible enough to grab obvious opportunities. I am puzzled. Staying open a couple extra hours and posting this fact on the door does not seem expensive. The shop normally has only one attendant. Is it that difficult to find someone competent to work two hours? In the meantime, the large bar-restaurant next door is thriving; it always thrives; it thrived before and during the worst of the recession. I am not puzzled, I am perplexed.
Similarly, I am still waiting for someone to knock at my door and to offer to clean my windows. I estimate someone like that could easily take $100 from me in less than five hours. He could leave his phone number with me for further work. There are dozens of old geezers in my area who should be similarly well-disposed judging from their filthy windows. The one-time investment in tools for such work would be around $30, I think. I guess we are not as poor as we think.
I keep saying that news anchors are mostly dingbats. I mean American news anchors. Recently, I have been watching (re-watching) TV5, the French language channel. I don’t know who or what produces its news program but I am pretty sure it’s a direct reflection of French national television. Two nights ago night, the French-speaking news anchor was introducing the son of the Rosenberg, the couple convicted of espionage and executed in 1953. The anchorman explained with a straight face that the Rosenberg had been executed by the Americans “because they were communists.” There was no correction in the next news cycle.
The implications of such ignorance are staggering. The fact is that there were tens of thousands of American communists in the forties and fifties. Either the FBI’s ability to catch them was appallingly low, or there must have been thousands of executions of “communists.” On such lack of judgment, on such cocksure but ignorant naivety is built knee-jerk, petty anti-Americanism among the European quasi-intelligentsia.
In fact, I have a good idea about the collective psychological mechanism that perpetrates this kind of inanity. I will develop it if someone asks me.
In the meantime, I am looking for a good French translation of “dingbat.” It’s tough going. French is not as rich as English in that department.
PS Every country has a quasi-intelligentsia. It’s made up of people who attended college long enough to develop the illusion that they know something. Many underdeveloped countries have thousands of those, with no jobs. They are a major factor of political instability. Often, they turn to cruel extremism as with the Shining Path terrorists in Peru. Pot Pol, the man who invented self-genocide in Cambodia was a joint production of the Third World and of the Sorbonne. The French quasi-intelligentsia does seem especially presumptuous and malevolent both. I dare not continue on the damage caused by a pseudo college education. I have too much to say. I wouldn’t know how to stop.
My radio show is Sundays 11 am to 1 pm on KSCO radio Santa Cruz, 1080 AM (It’s AM.) It’s called “Facts Matter,” of course. It’s also available on the internet but only in real time.