Sunday Thought Brunch

(Today's menu comes fresh from Morningwood Farms, my imaginary farm in Farm Town.  Sadly, I can't grow coffee, which is essential, so I'm having to outsource that, but everything else comes from my farm.)

  • Freshly squeezed orange juice: R.I.P. Walter Cronkite.  I remember watching Walter Cronkite when I was a kid, and I always liked him.  When Dan Rather replaced him, my loyalty to the evening network news was forever untethered.  Cronkite was smart, hard-working, and fair.  He was scrupulous, even removing himself from campaign coverage when his presence sometimes overshadowed the candidates' presence.  Can you imagine a TV "journalist" doing that today? Nor can I.  The greatest tribute I've found to Uncle Walter was that Swedish and Dutch both have as their word for anchorman a variation of his name: Cronkeiter or Kronkeiter.  What better tribute is there than having your name turned into a regular noun?
  • Strawberries and cream: The seminal moment in Walter Cronkite's career has to be his announcement that John F Kennedy had died in Dallas.  I wasn't alive then, but I can only imagine that when Walter took off his heavy black-framed glasses, choked back a sob, and wiped his eyes, the country absolutely fell apart grieving.  The great thing was, he didn't opinionize then.  He was only reporting the facts.  The facts were horrific, and he was upset.  For a few seconds he paused, then collected himself, and soldiered on.  This was a guy who waded ashore at D-Day, just to cover the story.  He was the one you'd want to tell you something horrible, just because he gave that vibe that it would ultimately be okay.
  • Giganto Omelettes with your choice of pork product and cheese, and a mandatory side of bacon:  Easily the most mind-blowing, horrifying national crisis I can remember was 9/11.  I was horrified as I sat and watched CNN's coverage.  I couldn't turn away–literally, because my radio station was simulcasting CNN, and if I changed channel, we'd lose the feed.  I was scared, of course, and confused, and the talking heads were all rattled and hyperverbose.  Then, around 10pm, Garrick Utley came on.  Here was an old-school newsman, somebody I knew wouldn't let things fall apart on his watch.  He explained things, and I felt a little better.  I still went home, drank a fifth of bourbon, and wrote a really bad e-mail screed, but just having this guy I knew and trusted made a huge difference to me.
  • Fresh cornbread or a selection of signature breads:  Not only do I lack linear thought in my blogposts, I kind of wander around when I'm perusing the Interwebs.  I watched some Walter Cronkite clips, and ended up watching two different JFK documentaries.  The thought hit me: Americans HATE Occam's Razor.  The simplified version of Occam's Razor is, "The simplest explanation that accounts for all the evidence is usually the best." The Warren Report was Occam's Razor.  Most Americans don't want Occam's Razor, but all of Occam's shaving kit, plus everything else in his carry-on bag.  For some reason, nobody wants to believe that one loon shot and killed the president, even though we can see video of John Hinckley nearly taking-out Ronald Reagan 18 years later.  It's no small irony that Uncle Walter interrupted "As the World Turns" to report JFK's death, since some of the proffered theories make soap opera plots look straightforward.
  • Hash brown potato casserole, with cheese, diced ham, and onions:  (Okay, I brought in some imaginary onions too, since I don't technically grow them on my imaginary farm)  I'm not saying that Oswald shot JFK while acting 100% on his own, either.  I don't know for sure.  Nobody does.  I believe he shot JFK.  Why? He was a loon, complete with a rifle and opportunity.  Did he act alone? I don't know that either.  "JFK" is one of my favorite films, even though it's at least 50% complete fiction.  Damn, it's awesome fiction to watch, though.  It's Occam's Razor, though: the simplest theory is the best: Oswald was a loon, who had a perfect place from which to shoot.  He bought a gun.  He used it.  Done.  It's a pity, too, because Donald Sutherland was freakin' awesome as X, the character who was only an amalgamation of various people, with a generous dollop of pure fiction. 
  • Fresh coconut cream, banana cream, or lemon meringue pie, or strawberry shortcake:    I've been watching "Dead Like Me" on hulu.com this week, and it got me wondering why I like this show so much.  I think it's because I like to the idea of living in "the real world," but also working in another world.  I felt like that when I was still in radio.  I won't bore you with ratings or anything, but I did consistently well in my target audience, even winning a handful of times.  Even though I could see data showing how many people listened, I could walk through the grocery store or 7-Eleven and nobody knew who I was.  It was sweet, sort of like being a ghost. 
  • Choice of Morningwood Lemonade or a Bloody Mary, made with home-made, triple-distilled vodka, and fresh lemons and tomatoes, respectively:  Yeah, that came crashing down one night.  I'd gone out for a long drive, just to escape the city.  I stopped at a gas station maybe 60 miles from here, and was making small-talk with the proprietor.  He said my voice sounded familiar.  "You sound like that Tom guy on the jazz station." I smiled politely and agreed it was me.  He was all excited, so much so that he gave me my Diet Mountain Dew free.  It freaked me out a little, but that was okay.  It was a gorgeous night, and I had a free cold refreshing beverage.  Life could be much worse, even if I wasn't as invisible as I'd thought.
  • Coffee from Dunkin Donuts:  It's hard to be invisible anymore.  I have friends here in real life, and I'm glad to have them.  Over the past nearly two years I've been Voxing, I realize that we can affect people all over the world, regardless of our location.  When terrorists bombed parts of Mumbai last fall, I read about it online, but I empathized with it through reading my Indian friends' blogs.  When Australia had rampant wildfires, it was one thing to see the story on a news site, but it struck home more when a friend posted snapshots of the smoke.  Sometimes, I'll try and remember how I first met a Gunderson Bee or Brown Suga or Lauri(e), and I find I can't.  But I remember their stories, the snippets of their lives, triumphs, tragedies, and–happily–the occasional kitty picture or fart joke.  It's a very different world than the one Walter Cronkite first covered.  We're simultaneously more anonymous and more exposed.  We're given more data, but I wonder if we really have any more facts.  Despite having learned some interesting life lessons along the way, I think I'm essentially still as clueless as I was when Uncle Walter signed-off in 1981.  The difference is that through this strange, miraculous technology, I'm able to share my cluelessness with people all over the planet.  And that's the way it is. 

Happy Sunday from Morningwood Farms.

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32 Responses to “Sunday Thought Brunch”

  1. nice sign off.. he would be proud

  2. The difference is that through this strange, miraculous technology, I'm
    able to share my cluelessness with people all over the planet.Keep sharing, Tom. There's a lot more clueless ones out here on Vox. Maybe we should have a group.

  3. Mmmm, thanks for the sunday brunch, Tom.I never saw Walter Cronkite until now – or at least I don't remember having seen him… we didn't have foreign tv channels back in the 70's and 80's… we barely do now…

  4. I thought it was interesting that Walter Cronkite was already a reporter at age 19. Now a days, if you want to be a reporter, you better go out and spend at least $30,000 on an education before you think about applying for an internship, let alone a job. In the clips I saw (because I am too young to have actually seen him in action), he looked like he knew what he was doing. I'm sure he's very pleased that I just complimented him like that. Haha. It would be nice if TV journalism could go back to the way it was in his day — facts and things that actually matter.What I really want to know is… is the House of Representatives going to have a moment of silence for him — for someone who actually had a hand in how news was covered and who was there for the important moments of his day?I think it's only fair.

  5. I've also been amazed at how our virtual interconnectedness makes me see the news differently. Tornadoes in Kansas and I wonder if Redzilla is safe. Hurricanes in Florida and I hope you're warm and dry. Bombings in India and Subhangi's on my mind. Though it makes me worry a little more, I'm glad for those connections that make the news more real, instead of a sensationalistic new frill with a special theme song and title logo on the new style news.

  6. I see you've managed to solve the voxing-brunch-from-work issue, but … isn't one am a little early for brunch?
    I grow onions. I'll send you some. Great thought-filled brunch.

  7. "What I really want to know is… is the House of Representatives going to have a moment of silence for him — for someone who actually had a hand in how news was covered and who was there for the important moments of his day?" Touché!

  8. Lovely – Morningwood Farms is a sweet place you've created. I really like it. Did you hear about Twitter deciding not to close down for maintenance so as not to disrupt the Iranian's protests? It is amazing how much we depend on each other and our connections. Nicely said.

  9. It would be nice if TV journalism could go back to the way it was in his day — facts and things that actually matter.It would indeed. When he took over the CBS Evening News, he insisted on being managing editor as well as anchor, just so he could insure it would be a news program and not an entertainment program. I wonder if CNN is still doing wall-to-wall Michael Jackson coverage. Great comment about the House, too. I bet they do it. I hope so.

  10. It's funny you mention this, because when there was an explosion in Toronto last year, I immediately thought of you. (and the boxcar kitties, of course) I agree that there's a little bit more worry, but I take it as a positive. It shrinks the distance between people, and it's taught me volumes about other cultures. (I mean, who knew Canadians had vast warehouses filled with bacon? 😉 ) (arbed told me that one, btw. You didn't reveal any state secrets to me.)

  11. The bacon is our weapon of mass destruction — we're going to inflict high cholesterol on rogue nations.

  12. isn't one am a little early for brunch?It was Sunday Brunch time in your homeland, hon. I was just trying to serve brunch on a globally aware schedule. ;-)Oh, yeah, plus it was sufficiently slow at work that I could sneak in a course between crises. I hope the hedgehogs are kind to your onions.

  13. Touché!Amen.

  14. For as much as I'm not a Twitter fan, I thought that was great of them. One example of our interconnectedness is that I'd never heard of a chimney swift until I met you. Now, I have nightmares about them, but still… 😉 Thanks for the comment.

  15. You're not going to report Arbed to the Mounties, are you? I'm sure it was an innocent comment, probably tongue in cheek, and that she didn't mean to commit treason, revealing to my dozen readers the existence of defense bacon silos.

  16. No problem. You can see how well our Bacon Offensive, aka Operation Maple-Smoked, is doing around the world already.

  17. I have noticed more politeness among your targets. Right about now, though, I think you should launch an Operation Maple-Smoked attack on my apartment. A nice BLT would be tasty.

  18. I like cluelessness. It is my oxygen.

  19. From what I remember of 1970's American television, you didn't miss much, Drude. 😉

  20. I never knew Walter Cronkite but I can tell that his passing was a huge loss.We're simultaneously more anonymous and more exposed. So true.BTW, it's interesting about Donald Sutherland being the character "X" in JFK, because if I remember correctly, his son Kiefer played a very similar character in the film Phone Booth.

  21. I always enjoy these posts, Tom. This one is no exception. I miss talkin' to you! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

  22. Yeah, but you hear about a sexsual predator in Kansas City and suddenly everyone is thinking of me…
    I have an alibi!!! I Swear!!!
    Awesome thoughts Tom…

  23. *Happy and bittersweet sigh* You talk real good, tom. :P) <—–see how my tongue is in my cheek?But, stheriously, you say so well what I can only feel. THanks for doing that! Good stuff! 😀

  24. I wanted to write jokes for Johnny Carson, but he retired. So I have to do something for comic relief. LOL

  25. OHH! You were KIDDING?? 😉 *hangs up phone with KBI*Johnny was the best. I love that after he retired, he still wrote jokes for Letterman's monologue. Classy guy.

  26. Thanks Lauri. Your words mean a lot to me, but I'm still going to visit Laurimoo Farms and tinkle on your chickens. 😛

  27. Hey, Bob Berdella is dead man. I don't want to fill his shoes. Or his flower beds….

  28. Johnny was THE best! I still miss him!

  29. Isn't that a song that Tiny Tim used to sing? *Tinkle on the chickens, in the moonlight…"

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