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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Proud of Brazil, maybe.

As soon as the Brazilian opening ceremony ended, I rushed to my computer to find out if Brazil's enormously effective pleas to save the environment wasn't a gross display of cynicism. I knew that during the last 40 years close to 20% of the Amazon Rain Forest has been eliminated, Brazil being the largest country and thus the most culpable.

As I searched the net, I was happy to read that since 2009 Brazil has been making an effort to stem the destruction. Proof is in the pudding, as they say, and in the case of this Amazonian pudding, the Brazilian Environmental Agency IBAMA has cancelled the Sao Luiz doTapajos mega-dam project in the heart of the Amazon. Hurrah, good for them! Now, lets work on the other 42 hydro dam projects planned in the Tapajos Basin and the hundreds ear marked across the Amazon Forest. I say this with respect. The ceremony that opened the summer Olympics was not, thank goodness, just for show, and in this regard Brazil and its citizens can be proud.

Another note, and less to be proud of, Brazil should do more than praise the culture that originates out of its slums and do more about doing away with its slums. 

All the politics aside, what's not to like about all the best athletes in the world meeting and competing head to head. Sure, the Big Dogs usually take home most of the medals, but occasionally some of the smaller countries get to stand on the podium and watch their flag being raised.

In my humble opinion, more should be done by the networks to promote more of the less sexy sports, (actually, they are sexy) like Tae Kuan Do, badminton, table tennis, Greco Roman wrestling, archery, fencing, equestrian.

One more shot at the ad biz. Was anybody annoyed by the number of commercials that interfered with a splendid opening ceremony last night. Auto sales vs The Girl from Ipanina?? Are you kidding?

Sorry that Pele did not light the Olympic flag. If Pele was physically unable, couldn't they have done what Atlanta did with Ali, have him standing at the top and receiving the torch for the final touch. I don't get it. There's got to be more to this story.

David Allen Evans wrote a fine poem about pole vaulting:

Pole Vaulter

The approach to the bar
is everything

unless I have counted
my steps     hit my markers
feel up to it      I refuse
to follow through
I am committed to beginnings
or to nothing

planting the pole
at runway's end
jolts me
out of sprinting
I take off     kicking in
and up     my whole weight
trying the frailty
of fiberglass

never forcing myself
trusting it is right
to be taken to the end
of tension    poised for 
the powerful thrust to
fly me behyond expectation

near the peak
I roll my thighs inward
arch my back     clearing
as much of the bar as I can
(knowing the best jump
can be cancelled
by a carelss elbow)

an open my hands 


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