Monday, February 19, 2007

Presidents Day

My father is talking to me while I am writing this post. My mother just asked me how I type so fast. Typing was a required course in high school and I have Mrs. Dowd to thank for making me such a speedy typist. I still remember the first lesson: f f f space f f f space.

Today is Presidents' Day in the USA. Presidents' Day never meant anything to me growing up except YIPPEE! NO SCHOOL! But ever since I read Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States I feel like I should be wearing a black armband on Presidents' Day. I didn't actually finish Zinn's book; I was already in such a cold sweat by the end of the Civil War, I just couldn't continue. I mean, Andrew Jackson, the man on our most ubiquitous bill, the twenty, was a genocidal maniac! For a spell after reading the chapter on Jackson, I started writing "murderer," "assassin," and, yes, "genocidal maniac" below his picture whenever I had a twenty in my possession. This is a federal offense, I believe, so I will now state for the record that I didn't actually write anything on any dollar bill of any denomination ever. Or maybe I did. You decide.

I recommend everything and anything Zinn has written. He is a soulful writer. Handsome, too. Not that that matters, although I have been known to read more John Irving than I might have had Irving not been such a studly ex-wrestler. There are so many books to read, you can't fault a girl for trying to narrow her choices!

On an Italian note, there are TV stations here that do not have the rights to broadcast certain soccer games, so they show the commentators watching the soccer games instead. That's right, the men with headsets sitting next to each other in a booth, watching the action, commenting away. Kind of But don't let my sneering attitude put you off: there is something very satisfying about watching these guys jump out of their seats, screaming GOAL!, waving their hands about. When they lift their butts just a bit at a time in anticipation of a goal and then collapse back down with their heads in their hands, this is good television. Very exciting.


Doug said...

Right on: Zinn is excellent. Here's a list of clips from GooTube (now that Google Video owns YouTube).

Definitely check out You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, which is no longer available for free online. :(

Doug said...

Actually, I found Train here
-- free, but low-rez. A .wmv file; plays in my RealPlayer, but you may need to use Windows Media Player.