If the news media won’t stand up for itself, how can it stand up for us?

There has been much hand-wringing and soul-searching by the U.S. news media over the past several days over the failure to predict the triumph of Donald Trump in the presidential election. This self-flagellation would better serve America and western democracy if instead it targets its failure to excoriate Mr. Trump for singling out for attack the journalists covering his rallies.

Since the election, we have witnessed a sinister spike in racist and anti-Semitic graffiti across the U.S.   We should not be surprised as the Trump campaign rallies exposed clear manifestations of these ugly prejudices, malevolent manifestations that should have been easily recognizable to the news media as during the rallies, the media, itself, was the target.  And with a frightening passivity, it seemed to accept this hate as the normal course of the news business.

The James Joyce Ramble: When a writer runs

1461597399117Fresh off my January 5k race in Key West, haunt of the great American writer Ernest Hemingway, I began searching for another race that was connected with a great writer. It didn’t take me long to discover this past weekend’s 33rd James Joyce Ramble 10k in Dedham, Massachusetts.  The Ramble has often been associated with promotion of human rights and a free press.   This year, the race focused on the plight of the five Hong Kong booksellers who suddenly disappeared from their homes only to remerge as “guests of the People’s Republic of China.”  Now, I had two reasons to run.20160424_084114

Delicious Villainy: Donald Pleasance remembered

Donald Pleasance“My father was Italian; he provided the wine. My mother was English; she provided the breeding.”   These delicious lines were murmured by that wonderful British actor Donald Pleasance (1919-1995) in “Any Old Port in a Storm”, a 1973 episode of the Colombo television series.

Moments later, Pleasance’s character (California wine grower Adrian Carsini) bashes in the head of his wastrel brother Rick (actor Gary Conway), leaving viewers to speculate from which side of the family this bit of violence arose. Pleasance (Carsini) then leaves the body in his study while he polishes off a bottle of rare Bordeaux with a group of fellow wine enthusiasts.

Running in the footsteps of Hemingway

It seems that everyone and his or her brother or sister has written an article or book about walking in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, in Key West.

Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, in Key West.

So I decided to kick it up a notch. Literally.

What Donald Trump could have said: A real Brooklyn speech

The bombastic Donald Trump deserves to be roundly criticized for using the Yiddish* epithet ‘schlang’ in referring to Hillary Clinton.  Criticized not for its vulgarity but because its use betrays Mr. Trump’s lack of knowledge of the Yiddish language, so rich in phrases that it begs to be used on the campaign trail.  If he had been brought up in Brooklyn instead of Queens, New York and had gone to Midwood or Abraham Lincoln High School instead of a reform school for rich brats, perhaps he might have been more colorful.Trump Fuehrer 2

I can’t believe it’s December: A weekend run on the shore

View from the Frosty 5K turnaround point.

View from the Frosty 5K turnaround point.

 

It is hard to believe that it is December here on the Connecticut shoreline. No Arctic Express snow; no Nor’easters off the Atlantic; just bright, bold sun, clear and calm skies and temperatures in the mid-50’s.

In other words, perfect running weather.

And that is just what I did, opting to drive over to Guilford and jogging from the Guilford Green down to the harbor and back over the course mapped out for the Frosty 5-K race set for New Year’s Day.

Abreuve nos sillons

La peur écrasait la ville. Une peur crue, presque cruelle. Elle repoussait vers les rues sombres et fraîches, les avenues, les places ombragées et les terrasses des cafés. C’était l’heure où l’on baladait pour prendre les petits plaisirs: un ballon de rouge, une tasse de café.   C’était aussi dans Paris une heure des murmures obscures qui fleuvaient noir et profond comme le grand fleuve; une heure où les prières mutes ascendaient vers le ciel avec la lumière de dix milles petites bougies et une oraison solennel et metallique claquait contre les murs décoraient avecs raies du sang, une oraison qui bavardait comme les mitraillettes des hiers et des demains.–Stan Trybulski, 16 November, 2015

Stan Trybulski's photo.

An autumn run in the New England woods

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic… 
So began Henry Wordsworth Longfellow’s epic poem Evangeline. 
The Druids of old

The Druids of old

When in 1846 and 1847, Longfellow wrote his saga of tragic love set ninety years earlier during the forced expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia, much of New England was heavily forested and familiar to the Maine born and bred poet.

Jack’s Back: A review of Green Hell by Ken Bruen

Kid, I never fuck around with murder.—Jack Taylor.Green Hell

The other morning I returned home from a four-mile run to find a copy of Ken Bruen’s Green Hell in my battered mailbox. I knew I would be spending the afternoon turning the pages of multiple-award winning Irish noir master Bruen’s eleventh and latest twisted tale of Galway bad boy Jack Taylor.

I immediately turned my car around and drove down the hill to the wine and beer store and picked up a sixer of Guinness extra stout. It would be a good start. If you’re going read Bruen, is there any better way than on the piss?

Hemingway Code Heroes, the real and the fictional: John McCain and Jim Prideaux

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.-Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.

The only good thing that has come out of Donald Trump’s scurrilous attack on Senator John McCain’s Vietnam War experience was to bring that experience back into the public eye.

And that is a very good thing.

The badly injured John McCain as a POW in a Hanoi hospital

The badly injured John McCain as a POW in a Hanoi hospital