Selfish, Personal Post: If You Were to Start Tomorrow, What e-mail service would you use?

After a day of waiting on hold with my new internet server (I “bundled” for considerable savings but also because our local cable provider had been swallowed in a buy-out),  the last techie informed me that it was surprising I still got any e-mails – not that they were disappearing from my inbox and from deleted, etc.  (And pretty soon I wouldn’t get any.)   Suddenlink addresses, apparently, were being sent to some black hole.  Meanwhile, Optimum does not provide that service.

I guess I need to move on.  Opinions are generally well supported (and not in short supply) among Chicagoboyz; what has your experience taught you?  I’d love anecdotes  but statements like – XX is wonderful or terrible will also help.   After all, who is more savvy than a Chicagoboy?  On the other hand, I’m incompetent and totally rely on the Greek Squad so simplicity and safety are my biggest concerns.

What is the Purpose of a Senator

Dr. Oz is a bit weird, and I’m bothered by his apparent mixed loyalties.  Still, I’m pulling for him.   I assume a good heart surgeon learns, processes, acts.  And apparently he did very well.   Secondly, I only watched one of his shows but he listened closely to his guest (with a certain modesty, as in his response to Oprah).  I like patents – we need people who  analyze, define, and solve problems.  We are less sure of what he will be than we are of more conventional candidates.  Still, a life time of work done well make it less of a gamble.

Then there’s Fetterman – with remarkably few accomplishments, he would fight crime and increase energy with flailing, contradictory slogans.  His party praised his “performances”.  But senators reason, and it is the reasoning before the vote, the give and take with opponents, that defines a Senator’s value.   A Senator is, after all,  joining one of the great, if not the greatest, of deliberative bodies.  Some, we hear in their ads, still see that role.  But is that even a majority?  And how much do the parties differ?

His party wanted to own his vote.  Their job is to elect sufficient pawns to give a majority.  Then, they give up the power of their vote to the leaders who give up theirs to the swamp, leading to a populace more and more restless and less and less able to fight free of the octopus.  And so it matters little that Fetterman can not deliberate.  In his stabs at making an argument for his candidacy, he says he’ll be the 51st vote.  Of course.   Not as a representative of Pennsylvanians.  That vote and not that voice is what made him worth millions.   And so he is elected by the party, not the people.

We can’t possibly know what Oz will be like as senator; however, we all know what Fetterman will be.

And is his role as cipher all that different from Biden’s?  Or even the without-the-excuse of a stroke or senility, Kamala Harris?  How much applies to other members of Congress, some even more visibly impaired (Diane Feinstein, for instance).

When juries nullify and comedians comment

We sought something to entertain my enlarged family; Tim suggested Norm McDonald’s last  monologue, “Nothing Special,” done the night before surgery.  Then, a group of comedians reminisced with stories of his eccentricity and gentleness from their days in standup and casino venues.

We watched SNL in its first years, when my daughters were infants; their generation had been, I think, more McDonald fans (we stopped watching as years went by.)  I had only heard after his death of the O.J. jokes that got him fired.  But my son-in-law remembered the shock, before the “woke” and “me too”  shame environment, when funny lines weren’t enough against political favorites.  Humor juxtaposes what we claim and what we do sometimes, it is often about the elephant in the room, the emperor’s illusory clothes.  The humor of SNL, is of skits and stand-ups, often topical; its “bite” may be sharp but we laugh because it is, in some sense, true.

Did the Sussman trial have its jokes?  It has no gore, no glamour, but a joke or two is helpful in sustaining truth and our sanity. It is a release valve so a society doesn’t blow up, it can pull a crazy back to reality, give a moment of wry self awareness much more easily accompanied by a laugh than a tirade.

The jurors felt the case shouldn’t have seen a courtroom, lying to the FBI is not, after all, a big deal.  (Not surprising in terms of how the FBI has conducted itself of late nor considering how seldom we do face and tell truths, but given the number of people who have been locked up for that act, it seems a bit brazen for a jury to take that stance.) I’d like some jokes about the obvious context, the blurted out mention of Hillary’s blessing on the whole sleazy project.  Jokes rest in our minds, they remind us.

A Stylish Diversion

David Foster’s discussion of the numerous analogies – some helpful, some not – that have been spun from the Titanic disaster reminded me of an essay’s  rather lovely job of spinning out for two pages a simple analogy.  The verbal play within it does bring home a point.   By Pico Iyer, it was one of those two-page essays in Time, when people read it.  (Clint’s uncle still subscribes to it – I didn’t know anyone did – but bed ridden and in his eighties, he uses it mainly to rail against modernity – or what passes for it in Time.)  Anyway, here’s “In Praise of the Humble Comma” – a short read but I’ll tempt you with the opening:

The gods, they say, give breath, and they take it away. But the same could be said — could it not? — of the humble comma. Add it to the present clause, and, of a sudden, the mind is, quite literally, given pause to think; take it out if you wish or forget it and the mind is deprived of a resting place. Yet still the comma gets no respect. It seems just a slip of a thing, a pedant’s tick, a blip on the edge of our consciousness, a kind of printer’s smudge almost. Small, we claim, is beautiful (especially in the age of the microchip). Yet what is so often used, and so rarely recalled, as the comma — unless it be breath itself?