Category Archives: The Odd Pot

Tip of the branch

MY GRANDPARENTS, all four of them, were born two centuries back, the late 1800s. Jeez, I must be old.

I came upon a genealogy website (geni.com) recently, so I searched for my father, and there he was with links to his parents and other kinfolk. There are even photos of the headstones of my grandfather and father.

I didn’t know my father has a headstone.

serveimageI then switched to my mother’s side, and there are my maternal grandparents with names of their parents and siblings, names I did not know.

The website knows more about my relatives than I do. For instance, my maternal grandmother’s mother — that would be my great-grandmother — was Georgianne Zillytholan Virginia Courtoy. There are no typos in that.

We are Southerners, obviously.

My mother’s name was Virginia, so now I know where that came from, her own grandmother.

Family trees have limbs, and I’m hanging out on the tip of ours. There is only one fruit that hangs out farther, my daughter, my only child. She’s the last apple.

My mother was an only child. My father had just one sister, a lesbian who never reproduced. I have only one sister too, a lesbian who never reproduced — what’s going on here? My daughter is in her early 50s and has no children.

We’ve reached the end of the limb. This is probably a good thing, considering how nuts and conflictive we are.

But it was fun seeing my limb of the family tree. Perhaps the best part was learning that my great-grandmother was named Georgianne Zillytholan Virginia Courtoy.

I wonder what she was like. I’ll never know.

New and improved

typewriter

LOTS OF related websites are connected here. There are links in the right-side column. History has shown me that few folks pay them any mind in spite of their often being more fascinating than what you see here in the middle space.

I’ve not been happy with one of those related pages for quite some time. Newspaper Days. Recently, a nice woman clicked “like” on it, and that brought the page to my attention.

Still didn’t like it, so I zapped it.

In its place is a new and improved version of my Newspaper Days. More info, more photos, better written. Think of it as a Prius instead of a Ford Fairlane.

For folks who’ve been passing by the Moon for more than a short spell, you already know that I am a retired newspaperman. Not a journalist, a newspaperman. Having never taken a journalism course in my life, how could I be a journalist? I did work for newspapers for 30 years, however. Newspaperman.

I never had delusions of grandeur.

When I got into that now-discredited occupation, having studied journalism frequently was not a requirement. Being fairly sober and being able to stand up straight and construct a reasonably coherent sentence often was enough.

And being male. Getting hired in newsrooms if you weren’t a guy was pretty much impossible with one exception: society pages. Lots of ladies in the Society Department.

It’s called Lifestyle now. Or simply Style.

In Newspaper Days, I follow my checkered career from New Orleans to San Juan, back to New Orleans and then to Houston, Texas, where I spent the entire second half of my newspapering life. It was a good gig, so I stayed 15 years.

The best was San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was the briefest even though I worked there on two separate occasions in the early to mid-1970s for a bit under two years total.

This is a photo of where I lived the second stay:

new-image.jpg
My penthouse was just off to the left, one or two buildings. Sweet, huh?

You can see the news business was good to me. The pay was okay too. I did not get rich, but I did retire debt-free to Mexico when I was just 55 years old. Wife-free too.

Take a look at the longer version, which gets into booze, suicides, mangy bars, mangy dogs, Cuban coffee, the effects of political correctness, the effects of Watergate. And there are my mugshots on all my press passes save one. Cute!

The great escape

Steve McQueen made a “Great Escape” over a border. Me too!

WHEN I LEFT America in January 2000, I thought I was merely moving to another country to start a new adventure.

While that was true, what I did not realize at the time was that I, just like Steve McQueen in the photo above, was making my own Great Escape. But I wasn’t escaping from the Nazis. I was escaping from the United States.

When I hightailed it, things were fairly normal above the Rio Bravo. Bill Clinton was president. The economy was running well, and people were getting along pretty good.

There was no Black Lives Matter. There were no Antifa thugs running riot in the streets. There were no geriatric socialist presidential candidates. Conservative speakers were not tarred and feathered on university campuses.

There were no Safe Spaces, and public restrooms were either “Gentlemen” or “Ladies” or sometimes “Setters” and “Pointers.” Humor had not been banned.

Still standing were the World Trade Center in New York, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. And nobody outside Illinois had heard of Barack Hussein Obama.

Farther afield, there were no Mohammedan mobs being invited into European nations, nor to the United States either. Gays were not suing Mom & Pop bakeries over wedding cakes.

You got your porno on DVDs through the mail. It took some cash and effort. Nowadays it requires neither.

There was no Twitter, Facebook or iPhones.

Television dramas and sit-coms were not expected to kowtow to thought police. I read recently that the wildly popular sit-com Friends could not be made today, and it’s true.

The cast was all white. They poked fun at ethnic groups. The show’s crimes against PC were relentless, but nobody cared back then. We just laughed and laughed.

Seinfeld too would be verboten.

But the laughter has faded away. You must avoid saying certain true things, or you run a real risk of losing your job and/or friends and your social standing.

Everything went to the devil after I moved south. I’ve witnessed it exclusively via the internet, not in person.

Man, oh, man, I got out of there in the nick of time.

PC TV

(Warning: the following post is not advisable for Mennonites, evangelical Christians or 8-year-old children.)

AFTER A HARD day of work, we customarily spend evenings quietly at home sprawled in recliners before the Samsung Smart TV, eating salads and watching something on Netflix.

We are often appalled at what we see.

It is no secret that American universities have become indoctrination centers for raging leftists, that movies coming out of Hollywood relentlessly push political correctness, but television is another matter because any 8-year-old can turn it on and stand slack-jawed before the screen.

What he sees is a combination of lies and deviancies.

* * * *

First, the lies!

Most current series give the impression that many, if not the majority, of romantic relationships and marriages are interracial. This, of course, is arrant nonsense.

Most couples, the world over, are the same race. The exceptions are a minuscule minority. This fact, however, conflicts with the left’s idolizing of diversity and multiculturalism.

So a large percentage of television dramas is a form of reeducation camp that any 8-year-old child can flip on at will while mama’s in the kitchen washing  the dishes.

We just started the second season of Secrets and Lies, a pretty good ABC series starring the normally scenery-chewing Juliette Lewis as a deadpan police detective.

The story line revolves around a rich family where the father is white and his adult kids are black. In the first show, mother is mentioned but not seen just yet. She’ll have to be black for this family to even be genetically feasible.

This is not rare. The script gymnastics the television industry puts itself through to “diversify” families is laughable. Multiracial and multicultural families on television far exceed their numbers in the real world. It is inaccurate and silly.

It is political.

* * * *

Now, the deviancy!

According to the television industry, homosexuals are everywhere. Every family either has gay members or knows numerous gay couples. Yeah, sure.

Modern Family is a great example. A gay couple belongs to the family, a gay couple who’ve adopted an Asian child (hitting the multicultural drum). There’s also an Old White Man married to a young, hot Latina.* Modern Family pours it on.

It’s another ABC show.

Not even the president of the United States is immune. In the series House of Cards the president occasionally gets it on with a guy. It’s a good series, but does the president really have to be a switch-hitter? An unnecessary script element.

Blatant indoctrination, Ho Chi Minh-style.

What percentage of humanity is actually gay? Hard to say. A Washington Post story cites a poll that indicates it’s about 1.6 percent. Gallup, on the other hand, tells you it’s about 3.8 percent. I’ve never seen a number higher than that.

Taking these figures as two extremes, that means the number of people who are neither gay nor lesbian range between 98.4 percent to 96.2 percent. Dang near everyone.

This is, in political terms, a landslide for straights, something you’d never know from watching television dramas where gays are as common as the lovable aunt and the cute pooch.

And they’re always kissing. They kiss far more than the straight couples. Kiss, kiss, kiss!

Not surprisingly, most Americans now think homosexuals are considerably more numerous than they are.

This is propaganda in action.

Gallup reports too that the U.S. public believes gays make up almost a quarter of the population! The television industry/reeducation camps are stunningly effective.

Again, this is all political.

Let us continue with the gay theme. First, I chose the word deviancy over perversion intentionally. Perversion is a value judgment. Deviancy simply means outside the norm.

One may or may not consider homosexuality a perversion. However, its being outside the norm is indisputable.

I don’t give a hoot if someone is gay. And I do not believe it’s a choice any more than my being straight is a choice.

We are what we are.

Back to the television industry. It is not content to simply insist that gays are everywhere. Increasingly, it wants to show us precisely what gays do in the privacy of their homes.

It’s way overboard.

* * * *

Barebacking and strap-ons!

Just recently we were watching a fun series called Penny Dreadful starring, among others, the stunning and yummy Eva Green.

Then one evening, there it was, anal, homosexual sex in a graphic manner that once was reserved for sticky-floored movie houses frequented by men in brown overcoats.

It was totally gratuitous, deviant sex that, once again, is available to any 8-year-old who turns on the television.

Are the people who make this out of their minds? No, they simply want you to get on board with this diversity thing.

It is political.

Let us move on now. A couple of weeks ago, we began a new series, but never got further than the first show. We were stopped dead in our proverbial tracks by lesbian love!

Two lovely lesbians going at it (one black, one white!) with vigor on the bed. They finish and the topmost disconnects and tosses an oily, strap-on penis to the floor. Ker-plop!

Camera lingers on firm, rubber penis.

This isn’t pay-for-view. It’s regular, commercial television.

I don’t care if people do this stuff. Power to them. But do it at home. If you want to film, do so and sell it to adults. Bring back the dingy theaters. Don’t make it available to 8-year-olds.

But, it’s political, and you know which side is doing it.

It ain’t my side. We have standards.

* * * *

* This sounds sort of familiar. Not sure why,

All shrugged out

I MET AYN Rand, briefly, at a talk she gave in 1963. It was in a smallish meeting room in a second-floor walk-up in San Francisco. I was 19 years old.

I do not recall the circumstances of being there. I had not read Rand and only knew she was famous, and the talk was free. She was there with her sidekick Nathaniel Brandon.

Flash forward more than half a century. About a month ago, I decided to read Atlas Shrugged, her magnum opus. I skipped the warm-up novel, The Fountainhead, which is somewhat less wordy, and went directly to the 1,188-page Shrug.

One of my few conscious objectives on retiring 17 years ago was to read more books. I have always been a reader, but I decided to do even more. Before retiring, I had generally avoided extremely long books for no better reason than shiftlessness.

Plus, it interfered with my drinking.

Since moving over the Rio Bravo, however, and sobering up, I turned to some really lengthy works. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, etc.

All great books and, brother, are they long.

Tolstoy, I like. Dostoyevsky, not so much. I bogged down in Crime and Punishment. I made even less progress with One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I tried to read long before moving to Mexico. Maybe I should try again, but doubt I will.

Back to Ayn Rand. She’s famous, so I thought I should read her main work. I bought it on Kindle for under $5.

And I dove right in.

A wag described Rand’s works as twice as long as phone books and half as interesting. Shrug was interesting enough to hold my attention but just barely. A couple of times I decided to abandon the effort, but I soldiered on … and on … and on …

Until this week. I made it 67 percent of the way through. Kindle tells you that. I can go no further, pooped out.

Rand’s take on things is not complicated. She calls it Objectivism. You owe nobody anything, and nobody owes you anything. There is nothing metaphysical, no afterlife, no way to know anything except by reason. Your main interest should be yourself.

* * * *

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

* * * *

It was surprising to see her curse notions (in 1957) that today are known as political correctness. For instance, the requirement to embrace the “correct” opinions and even, to a degree, the proper personal pronouns.

Rand and I do, however, share quite a few values of the libertarian stripe —  an aversion to taxes, a love of capitalism, minimal government and a dislike of obligatory altruism, something that should be a personal choice.

But I also believe in an afterlife. Rand did not.

Rand and I are polar opposites of Pocahontas Warren, Red Bernie, Crooked Hillary, Screaming Dean, Weepy Barry and all the other heroes of today’s Democrat Party, the party of income redistribution and pink “pussy hats.”

But if you’re ever tempted to read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, I suggest you go instead to CliffsNotes.

Vanishing future

Route of young men.

I’LL TURN 73 toward the end of summer. This aging thing is quite interesting. I don’t recommend it, but it’s interesting.

Forget that malarkey about age being just a number. That’s arrant nonsense. The difference between a child of 10, a middle-ager of 45 and a coot of 73 is just a number?

Dream on, brother.

When you’re in your 60s, you realize you’re no kid or anywhere near it. But turning 70 is quite an eye-opener.

More and more I notice this phenomenon: “Future” vanishes. That long, straight macadam that disappears into the distance as if you’re motoring toward a faraway mountain chain, the Highway of Future. Well, you’re not driving it anymore, Bub.

Instead, you’re on Present Lane.

When you’re younger, “future” is simply something that’s out there, and it’s way out there, so far out there that you don’t really dwell on it. It’s just there, and you know it.

In your bones.

This mostly subconscious notion of an endless future affects lots of things — attitudes, lifestyle, decisions, plans.

Passing 70 years delivers an immediacy to life that you’d never known before. It’s very interesting. I do not recommend it, but there ain’t nothing you can do about it.

Not one blessed thing.

Route of old men.

Just say no

I OFFER this as a public service.

Alas, most folks who read The Unseen Moon, I imagine, are far from being adults with young children.

I read a news story not long ago, an interview with an Army drill sergeant. He said that most recruits today had clearly never had anyone tell them “no” and mean it.

Most of these kids are in universities now, not the Army.

The doggie dance

ELEANOR POWELL was Glenn Ford’s first wife, the mother of his only child. Fred Astaire said she was the best dancer in Hollywood, and that included him too.

This is worth watching. She even turns into a gymnast toward the finale. Four minutes of your time well-spent.

The clip is from the 1941 movie Lady Be Good, and Powell was 29 years old. Glenn Ford was a fool to let her get away.