Watch “Ragged And Dirty by WILLIAM BROWN (1942) Delta Blues Guitar Legend” on YouTube

I’m going to opine just a little about the Delta Blues. The Delta Blues masters were authentic geniuses, arguably the best example of original American genius. Every time I listen to these masters, I think about what American culture has descended to.

Pop music is more or less intended as the background music for our lives. Don’t think too much, just listen. But we can’t just listen to Delta Blues on auto-pilot. The guitar chords cut to the soul.

The Cats.

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I was once a Cat Person. I had two. Even when I was single once, I had a cat. When I married the second time, my wife had a cat. This has been my first sustained cat experience since that marriage tanked. I’ve dropped by a house to feed my sister’s or stepmother’s cat, but cats in the house are different. I like it. I like figuring out what a “meow” means. I like it when the kitty jumps on me out of the blue, from out of nowhere.

I’ve had dogs and I’ve had cats. The two creatures are equally unique and wonderful.

And Now, Visitors

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I don’t know if I can get pictures, but RK, my daughter-in-law dropped their cats off, while she and #1 son move to their new house. Their new house is an old house, in the Church Hill neighborhood.

The cats are Izzy, Louis (pronounced Loo Ee) and Bella. Izzy is an old, skinny and deaf male. Louis is a long haired male, Bella is a very shy female. I immediately took a liking to the cats. It’s nice to have them around. They meow a lot, getting used to new surroundings. I can understand why people have a lot of cats. They are great companions.

More later.

Intimacy

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I have a hunger for intimacy. I see sex, the carnal act of love-making, genital stimulation, orgasms, as a declaration, an expression of intimacy, the two becoming one.

I won’t comment on what I can’t relate to, specifically same sex attraction. But the hunger for sexual fulfillment unsatisfied is intimacy denied. Without love-making, husbands and wives are merely going through the motions. I must also state that sex without mutually felt desire is also a travesty of love. I had a marriage where the mutuality of desire ended. I had descended into a carnality that even I felt repelled by. And so sexual love died, before the legal marriage ultimately ended. It was a time of regret tinged with horror, as I reflect on it, nearly 24 years after that marriage ended.

So here I exist in a sexless marriage again, longing for union and intimacy, sustained only by a love on another level. It is a love, profound in its depth, yet ultimately unsatisfying. It is a mute marriage, bereft of the cries of pleasure and ecstasy. Taking one’s lover to ecstasy is a great gift of marriage. Hiding our passions is the great betrayal of our lover. We speak of “letting go” when we surrender to orgasm. I doubt that “letting go” is what sustains us. Rather it is the “drawing in”, through all the sweaty passions that nurture us.

Father’s Day

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Today is a big day for me, what with me being a father and all. I’m at the stage of life where no ties, tobacco pipes, fishing lures, golf balls, or single malt Scotch whisky are wanted, needed, or desired. In my earlier post, Cast Iron Pleasures, I extolled the praises of my wife’s gift.

Today was a day of resting. #1 Son is in the final stages of moving to Church Hill, an historic Richmond neighborhood. So a visit would have been a strain. #2 Son wanted to take me to a cool restaurant, Indian Fields Tavern, located in a converted farmhouse on Rte 5, Charles City County. This is the back road to Williamsburg, that bicyclists and motorcyclists use for the excursion. It is a cool place. I was gratified to know that #2 son enjoys this restaurant and this rather quaint road as much as I do.

It is tempting to fill the post with a long digression on the historic significance of #1 son’s new residence and #2 son’s discovery of an area important in both the Colonial era and the American Civil War, but I will save that.

What’s on my mind is how my wife’s job on the late shift at Target (a good place to work, btw) turns my sleep schedule all askew. Today I missed Mass. I just was too tired, even to go to the late afternoon Mass. So I did a bit of contemplation at home.

I had worked out (swimming) five days in a row, so I needed a day’s rest. All in all, this Father’s Day was good.

Cast Iron Pleasure

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I received a cast iron pan for Father’s Day from MrsCorC?. Cast. Iron. I took the tags off, got out the lard, worked it into the cooking surface, popped it into the oven at 350° F (177° C) for an hour. It came out seasoned, good to go.

Today I made a frittata. It has been my third preparation of a frittata since I discovered a recipe for this simple, tasty, and well nigh idiot-proof dish. The prior efforts came out well, but the cast iron pan made a marked difference. The ingredients just cooked better.

Tonight, I fried a plantain and made salmon cakes. Everything was sublimely crispy. I am in the trial and error stage of plantain cooking. I think I am supposed to do more with the plantain than peel, slice and fry, but it tastes pretty good this way. The salmon cakes cooked very evenly. This was a solitary pleasures supper. MrsCorC? is not a fish cakes person, viewing them as “low rent”. At $7 a can for red sockeye salmon, I consider them a luxury. She was at work, so my “bachelor” meal encountered no reproach.

This evening meal followed my evening workout. I swam another 2500 meters. The longer swim is already giving a boost to my weight loss efforts. Yes, Fans, I gained back some of the weight I lost. Now it is going away.

Things come and go.

“The thing that has been, it is that which shall be. And that which is done,is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Sitting Here Resting My Bones

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It is one of these days where the iconic Otis Redding song Dock Of The Bay comes to mind. I’m feeling at loose ends, wasting time. I am a little tired, hungry, lonely and angry at the perpetual discord in our midst.

Loneliness has been addressed as Mrs CorC? has just returned. Hunger is up for resolution for we are going out to eat. Tired? I need to get up and move! That will come.

Anger? That is my choice. I can’t change the world. I can change my attitude and where I choose to place my focus.

Later This Evening

We went to dinner. I had a simple bowl of penne pasta with marinara sauce. We went home and about thirty minutes later, I went to the Y for my swim.

In between dinner and the Y, I found myself getting disturbed about something, new and improved ID’s which will be mandatory for boarding domestic airline flights. Oh well. Another reason not to fly.

I swam farther today than yesterday by about 450 meters, a total of 2500 meters. Oddly enough, the extra distance made a cold shower very comfortable and refreshing.

Now that I am home, I am watching a scene in South Beach in Miami Beach. The presence of a palm tree is the only exotic aspect of this camera view. Except for the palm trees, this could be anywhere. It reminds me of the street flanking the Inner Harbour in Baltimore, concrete street lights, pedestrians, and cars. Nothing special. Repeat. Nothing Special.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that the uniformity and mundane banality of America belies the hype presented constantly about just how “great” everything is. If you think this is a political rant, it ain’t. There is nothing that distinguishes this stark drudgery as anything more than a slice of Dull.

See what I mean.

The Nihilism Of Our Present Age

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Journalism has become little more than a head game. For both sides. One media commentator has just called the National Anthem “problematic” , thus changing the trajectory of the seemingly perpetual protest over the transgressions, real or imagined, of the ruling class to the words of Francis Scott Key’s poem itself. It’s the second verse, don’t you see? What? You don’t know it? You don’t care one whit about it? It doesn’t define you as an American? The idea is to give self-hatred a deeper cut, rubbing salt in the wounds.

Believe it or not, we still have a free exchange of ideas, and unrestricted breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry in this country. However, we often get the impression that one school of thought dominates the scholarship. The dominant paradigm in academic thought for about 100 years has been some permutation or another on the Class Struggle, e.g. workers vs capitalists,”have-nots” vs “haves”, Slaves vs Masters, oppressed vs oppressors.. The historiography of the American Civil War is a case in point. Any analysis that suggests abolition and/or perpetuation of slavery as merely one reason for the war is suspect. Dogma by the Marxist historians, admitted (as in the case of WEB Dubois) or de facto, has been promulgated. Dogma slides easily into myth. The search for truth is not the same as proclaiming a new popular mythology. Symbols of the old mythology thus become problematic; those attached to the old symbols are obviously not with the New Mythology, (insert Truth for Mythology).

What does this have to do with Nihilism? Nihilism is the devaluation and obliteration of all ideals, no matter how noble, such that nothing but a baseness of human motive and aspiration is left.

We come to live for gratification of appetite, sexual, sensual, gustatory. We have, as a culture, come to value feelings, particularly pleasurable ones, as the end of human pursuits. The adrenalin rush is the greatest aspiration in our culture. We seek it from sex, roller coasters, computer games, and tragically, war itself.

Saint Paul addressed this in one sentence, in describing the prevalent Roman culture of the First Century.

“Their God is the belly.”- Phillipians 3:19

The noble aspirations that distinguish the American character are largely devalued. I am speaking not merely of values expressed by Jefferson, Lincoln, Douglass, Anthony or King, but even more basic values, like fathers and mothers committed to the survival and integrity of their families. This isn’t only economic well-being, but the preservation of values that keep families and, by extension, societies, together. A father, in living the value that violence is wrong, makes a stronger point to his children than all the rhetoric of politicians on gun control. But where are fathers today? Where are families, for that matter?

So, in a world where there are no values, how can we even presume to Make America Great Again? The Trump revolution, you see, is bigger than its obviously flawed champion. Americans need to aspire to more. And that more, extends beyond the goals of both leftist nihilists and capitalist materialists.