January 3rd, 2007

krazy koati

Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock

I wasn't planning to catch any of Gerald Ford's funeral, particularly, but an odd bit of it did overlap the beginning of what should have been The Price is Right. Former President George HW Bush was on and talking at warp speed, as if he were afraid someone were going to catch him if he paused for a breath, and in about a minute he got going on about Ford's integrity and honesty and how in the nation's moment of need after the murder of a president we got the Warren Commission and conspiracy theorists might go on about their plans but you could believe it because it had Gerald Ford's word on it and his word was good and there's a comparison to draw about how at the critical moments history seems to have a way of bringing in exactly the right people for example how Lincoln saved the Union at its time of greatest crisis and just like that Ford by his pardoning of Nixon saved us from a world in which Presidents who do untold violence to legal and constitutional government are held to answer for their crimes in court and personally Ford taught him the important lesson that it's important to be able to laugh at yourself which he learned by Chevy Chase giving people the impression he stumbled multiple times in his early televised appearances and got a reputation for being clumsy and Ford's lesson helped Bush decide when Dana Carvey started making fun of him that getting angry was something he was not gonna do it.

I exaggerate a tiny bit, but it was a peculiar and high-speed eulogy. Maybe he was trying to finish up what he had to say before he might break up (from what I gather all ex-presidents become outstanding friends, and I certainly understand why), or they may have just been running late and needed to get to Henry Kissinger talking about the redemption of mankind.

Trivia: Edward Gibbon, historian, wrote at least six drafts of his autobiography. Source: Flesh in the Age of Reason, Roy Porter.

Currently Reading: Know-It-All, A J Jacobs. The premise is he decided to read the whole Encyclopaedia Britannica, mostly out of fear he was getting dumber as he aged and reading something that broad would get him up to speed on very many subjects, and the book is various trivia pieces he digs up while doing it and how much he gets mocked by everyone he knows for trying to do it. One of the problems he suffers in this is how hard it is to resist correcting people on unimportant little issues, a habit most people welcome in the same way they welcome unsolicited aid in chewing. I've had a few stretches where I felt compelled to correct people, but my natural shyness soon overwhelmed me and I went back to being pleasant to be around. But considering I've put out over a thousand trivia pieces there you probably know I still feel the urge. I can say is my intention is to share the feeling that the world overflows with interesting things I didn't know before. I hope that comes across.