For as far back as I can remember, (Eisenhower was President) the Jersey Summer Shore has been part of my life. I probably was conceived at the old Buena Vista Hotel in Belmar. When I was ten, my parents rented a bungalow on Seventh Avenue in Belmar for August until I was thirteen. Some of the most powerful memories of youth were about the wide sandy beaches and in amusement palaces of pinball and boardwalks of Asbury and Bradley. The jetty at Shark River became the place where I learned to dream about the world and my place in it; the jetty taking its sacred place in my spiritual journey as evidenced in the novel I wrote. So the flames of passion have been fanned for along time. I love the Jersey shore. A dream surfaces every year about this time; to find that perfect whole summer rental a block from the beach with ten bedrooms and a backyard with a hammock and to swing in the ocean breezes with a full house of family and friends; pure nirvana for me. I haven’t fulfilled that yet so I keep dreaming and looking at pictures of summer Jersey shore rentals much like a wide-eyed kid at Christmas, making his list for Santa; powerful stuff; dreams of the Jersey shore and the smell of its sweet sublime salt air. Ah, but until that summer rental, there’s always day trips with my secret hideouts and places to park.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest energy particle accelerator. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics, advancing humanity’s understanding of the deepest laws of nature.(Located at the French-Swiss border near Geneva, some 575 feet deep) A while back, when they were gearing up, I lost a night’s sleep thinking they were going to create a tiny little black hole right here on the good earth that would grow and wipe out all my hopes of eating at the ‘Heart Attack Grill;’ a hamburger place in Chandler, Arizona that fry potatoes in lard, offers jolt cola, has some four-deck hamburgers that hit 8000 calories and offer free food to anyone over 350 pounds(you have to weigh in first). A young spokesperson (500 pounds) died recently of complications, duh!
What an affront to the obesity epidemic. Somebody’s eating there since they’re opening a branch in Dallas soon. Speaking of obesity; on the diabetes front; by 2020, 52% of Americans will be either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Advice; hop on an exercise bike (lengthen telomeres); peddle for an hour a day and Google ‘magnesium’; a good deal of research available on how the mineral facilitates sugar metabolism. I do both and have no diabetes when I should have it. All four of my grandparents had diabetes and genetically it’s an F2 familial, skipping a generation; four genetic guns aimed at my cerebral temple. Why did I bring up the Collider? My head aches from recent news events. Not enough melatonin to bring normal sleep patterns; hey, sometimes the stuff works. Oh and do lots of fiber a day; promotes longevity. Oh, but most don’t care.
March 10th was the darkest day in American college basketball history. Rutgers University played St. John’s at Madison Square Garden and the forces of evil, Darth something, decided Rutgers must lose if it can be orchestrated; the 3 refs failed to make at least 7 flagrant no-calls near the end of the game and even walked off the court with time still on the clock. Bless Youtube.
I watched in horror and disbelief. Imagination percolates; I profess being a writer of fiction. Borrowing a line from ‘Cool Hand Luke’, “What we got here is a failure to communicate.” No, what we got here are refs and Mr/Ms. Mxplcxhyt fixing a game (if it could be fixed); and it probably was. ‘Fix’ is herein used to connote, despite the ‘odds’ of the game; that the ‘no-calls’ were so numerous/egregious by all 3 refs, that there has to be another reason why Rutgers wasn’t allowed to win. It can’t be human error. Maybe it was an “organized” mistake. ‘They’ know, because they’re smart, that the furor dies down in a few days, everybody forgets and the refs get a payday. If Kenneth Starr could only come back and look deeply into college sports, especially the Big East, so closely nestled near ‘John’s,’ the best veal in the city. If I were a rich man; if only; if I were a smoker, I’d be doing three packs a day now in frustration and disgust at a head of a college basketball entity. Ah cigarettes, the perfect segue. Ah but nobody cares. Ah, and few remember what happened in the gulf. Ah gee. Remembering is a tough profession.
A while back there was a movie about conspiracy theory with an actor who just cut a domestic deal to get out of jail free. Wow, do cigarettes companies conspire. But do countries conspire too? A thought while eating tuna fish with hot peppers, onions and ketchup; maybe countries need tobacco to get rid of excess population legally, conveniently, without war. Five million people a year die (600,000 from 2nd hand smoke) from cigarette smoking while our (I love to use the possessive) cigarette companies take in $60 billion in revenue. What confusion I have; a product (crop) which kills is legal the world over. But America has made smoking more difficult; got to like NYC Mayor Bloomberg, trying to outlaw it on the city streets. Bloomberg is 2nd richest New Yorker coming in at $18 billion. Koch, (not the former mayor) a conservative is worth $20 billion. Movies make it tough on smoking; if you show it, you risk a higher less profitable rating like ‘R’ and ‘PG.’ You can’t pay to have cigarettes in movies anymore.
But cigarette companies like to spend less on advertising (save money) and find creative ways to get their message out there; like Sigourney Weaver lighting up a cigarette in ‘Avatar;’ wonder how many kids (4 million underage smokers) were influenced. America has fared well in war against smoking; still don’t get the rationale of considering it a legal crop. For a few thousand farmers that are left here in America, we let 5 million people a year die. But alas our cigarette companies are pulling up stakes and heading overseas (85% of some tobacco farmer’s crop goes overseas) Krakow, Poland has twice the percentage of smokers as USA. 210 broad measures to curb Polish smoking failed. A billion people smoke world wide; 50 million in USA and 320 million in China (more than our total population). Hey, according to my friend Ebenezer Scrooge, cigarettes are doing a wonderful job at decreasing surface population in a world that doesn’t have enough of anything. Forecast: tobacco is going to be around a long time, through climate change and the singularity. Hey again; in the Woody Allen movie ‘Sleeper,’ it’s depicted that in 500 years, cigarette smoking is finally proven to be good for you (even though it has 599 bad chemicals in every puff) and a third world war (nuclear) was started by the head of the NYC teacher’s union, Albert Shanker, a nice guy who cared about teachers and took them out on strike every few years. Wisconsin needs Al Shanker; maybe Jersey too. Ah, but nobody cares.
It’s in the blog title. Oil: but not a lot to say. I did notice that rising oil prices has precipitated fears of the recovery faltering, so all of a sudden, mysteriously the price of a barrel drops 3%. When news broke that Saudi Arabian police fired shots to break up a recent protest, prices soared $3 per barrel in just 12 minutes, erasing most of what had been a 3.6 % decline. The whole thing reminds me of a scene from ‘Sound of Music;’ the marionettes, lonely goatherd and manipulation. Ah gee; a lot of oil in them there hills out west. Have a nice day. Life is like a box of chocolate; you never know or do you, what you get. But I just laid some good cryptic cynical stuff on yawl. But nobody cares.
I was too young to understand Senator Joe McCarthy, the communist hysteria and blacklisted artists in the 1950’s whose lives were ruined because they didn’t or did talk. ‘The Front’ is a 1976 movie dealing with those issues; check it out; good stuff; you walk away uplifted at the end. Tell Danny LaGattuta, “Calvin sent you.” I just ran into the downstairs bathroom and threw cold water on my face.
Deja-vu is all my over my life. Back to Belmar, New Jersey; there’s a safe secure jetty for meditation. Deja-vu and my friend Ruth from Seattle make me feel I was around the Jersey shore a few hundred years before McCarthy. Cold water droplets are sliding under my chin line and I’m letting two in particular, engage in a race of reality. Rep. Peter King recently concluded a House Homeland Security Committee hearing that investigated the radicalization of Muslims in America; the New York Republican said he hoped it put to rest the “mindless hysteria” that preceded it. Was this hearing necessary? We’re all just Americans. Joe McCarthy; are you hiding in my cold water faucet? The water droplets disappeared at my throat. Is Peter McCarthy back again? Did we recently put our Japanese-American citizens in internment camps? Wisconsin passed a state senate bill taking away collective bargaining without the democrats present? Oh. Oh. Joe McCarthy was a senator from Wisconsin. Wait. I’ll be right back; more water. Rush Limbaugh earns $ 58 million a year; Glen Beck, $33 million (Fox is getting rid of him); Sean Hannity, $22 million; Don Imus, $11 million( and he got fired from NBC a few years ago for saying racist things about the Rutgers Women’s basketball team) and I write a free, spirited blog that manages to throw in techniques on extending your life. Oh well. Nobody cares.
On Monday night March 7th, my son and I went to the American Museum of Natural History Hayden Planetarium to listen to the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate on “The Theory of Everything, Still Searching?” Six physicists/astro-physicists participated in debate whether the entire universe can be explained with a single unifying theory (string theory); good bonding for a parent/child to do together. Walking on Columbus Avenue, I remembered promising my Facebook friends I’d do a beer and a banana on the way to the debate and I did; wish there were better documented uses for banana peels. A question remains unanswered, unrequited, un-asked; the line was too long and I felt like a lay person Kentucky tobacco farmer but here goes (anybody out there?). Recent radiation findings seem to suggest the universe was recycled so does Hugh Everett’s 1951 Princeton PhD dissertation on parallel worlds being proven mathematically have any bearing on that? I marveled how fast we caught a cab heading downtown and how ‘cool’ all of the astrophysicists really were; a brave new world. Can’t wait to go back and learn about cars riding in the air one day and beef being grown in a lab dish.
Lists time. The best restaurants in America (and I’ve never been to any. You see I’ve got this theory; Lettuce is lettuce) #1. French Laundry, Yountville, California. #2 Per Se, NYC. #3. Le Bernadin, NYC. #4. Daniel, NYC #5. Alinea, Chicago. #7 Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Calif. # 13. Peter Luger, Brooklyn, N.Y. #14 Katz’s Deli, NYC (huh?) Now to America’s Least toxic cities (remembering Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York)(North Jersey are the worst)(air quality, water quality, superfund) McAllen, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Raleigh, North Carolina; Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas. (all southern/ western cities; I recall flying into Newark Airport some years ago, looking at grey, brown, tired and old, reconciling Columbus landed near Jersey(sort of) not Las Vegas so Jersey has a leg up on toxic logic because it’s been settled longer. Am I a Jersey settler?)
So that’s all folks; another blog, another day. I do need to express how physically sick I was watching the end of Rutgers-St.John’s basketball game in March; been watching and playing basketball since two years after the McCarthy hearings; a long time ago. What happened at that game was more than tragic; seven NON calls by the refs; flagrant and egregious but it wasn’t human error by 3 separate refs but somebody poised to lose if Rutgers won; How sad; commentators and reporters all over America are silent about the ‘f’ word. Things happen. Remember Madoff? Remember McCarthy. Remember the Alamo. Remember Pearl Harbor. Things happen; never think they can’t. Remember that we probably already forget what happened at Madison Square Garden in March. The refs will go back to being refs. Thing is, nobody cares and somebody knows that and counts on it.