10.11.2013

Five Thoughts on Human Sacrifice, Duke Ellington, and My Wife's Sense of Humor

1. My wife's new nickname for me is "Tubby." She implies that it is a compliment: "It means that you're pleasantly un-starved."

My personal preference would be something more like "Striker" or "Anaconda 76." 

2. "Is that Gandhi?" My daughter asked, pointing to a photograph of Vladimir Lenin.

- "Is THAT Gandhi?" My son asked, pointing to a painting of Napoleon Bonaparte.

"No." I said, laughing. "No."

3. "What do you think you might want to do someday?"
I asked my daughter.

"Be a pilot,"
she replied without hesitation.
"I think it would be fun."

- "Rad,"
I said.
"We'll have to start watching Top Gun every week. That's probably the best way to learn piloting stuff."


4. Columbus Day is coming up, so naturally it seemed like a good time to discuss the Maya, Inca, and Aztec civilizations. The latter were of particular interest, especially in trying to discuss certain aspects in moral terms.

"Were they bad?" My son asked.

His sister leaped in. "Yes, they killed people."

"Whoa," I said. "It's complicated...they were extremely intelligent, but they also believed that the sun would stop unless they, umm, gave human sacrifices. Which is not good. But they weren't...bad, although it was definitely a bad thing they were doing."

My daughter continued to explain in terms her brother could follow. "Well they threw people's heads down the stairs so I think that's bad. Don't you?"

"Well yes, that's bad...but it doesn't mean THEY were bad. They invented things like - "

"They are bad." My son said with finality.

"We will continue this conversation, but the things they did were not really worse than what Christopher Columbus and his men did. How about we come back to this conversation in ten years?" 

"They were bad."

"You guys are very frustrating sometimes."

5. Duke Ellington and Count Basie put out a wonderful album entitled "The Count Meets the Duke." It is a swingin,' hoppin,' mad frenzy of dancing, dueling instruments that is a fine and exuberant entrance to Fall. 

Pick it up. Spin it. It rocks so hard. 

Good Friday, all.

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