Category Archives: Uncategorized

NOTHING TO SEE HERE – MOVE ALONG

birdterror

So a Terrorist attacks in Houston but no wall-to-wall coverage on the news channels because, “Nothing to see here, folks. He’s not a Muslim Terrorist, he’s a Nazi.” …No kidding, a guy dressed up like a Nazi shoots 9 people but it’s okay… “He’s a Nazi.” … And everyone knows Nazi’s aren’t terrorists, right?

Then a kid terrorizes and shoots up a South Carolina School, but no wall-to-wall coverage… “Only three people were wounded. His dad is dead at home but only three hurt here.” … No biggie, the death toll was low. Besides, school shootings are just part of the deal, and they’re not terrorism.

Now, a major train accident in New Jersey. The first cable news take: “Probably not terrorism. Probably, but we’ll ask everyone who comes on the show if it was. “Because what if it is terrorism? That would be scary. If it were terrorism we could blame somebody or bomb somebody or something.” But since it’s only more evidence of our infrastructure crumbling… Well, there’s no one to blame for that.

“Meanwhile should that beauty queen be pilloried because she gained weight? Back after this.”

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

I WON! I WON! I WON!

ya-tittle_display_image

(With respect to Y.A. Tittle)

The latest delusion and distraction is that Donald Trump did not “lose” to Hillary Clinton in Monday night’s debate. Supporters point to scores of online polls where Trump ran up Kim Jong Un-esque majorities in “Who Won the Debate” Clickbait “polls.” Let’s be real. They are not polls. Polls have random samples. Polls, good or bad, are done according to certain scientific and statistical norms. These were not Polls by any stretch of the imagination.

Three actual polls were completed, CNN 62-27 Hillary by 35, and the 51-40 PPP poll that also favored Clinton, this time by 11. Another poll by YouGov gave the Democrat a 29 point win. There were two focus groups conducted (CNN and Fox – by Frank Lutz) both also gave Clinton the overwhelming nod.

If you are a Trump supporter, you have every reason to be upset. Donald was unprepared, unfocused, erratic, and bellicose in the extreme. His performance was an embarrassment. I remember when Romney cleaned Obama’s clock in the first 2012 debate. I’m an Obama supporter so I was upset when that went down, so I get it.

But, when Mitt won I didn’t hear any delusionary reaction from the Democrats. I didn’t see any “The microphone was bad!” “The moderator was mean!” and on and on and on.  Such excuses only further underline the scope of the defeat and suggest an almost pathological denial of reality.

The entire thing illustrates the fact that we all tend to seek comfort in our little bubbles, where everyone agrees with us. That, in the end is dangerous. Karl Rove bragged, “We create our own reality.” Which wouldn’t be bad if he was talking about how we might manifest joy and happiness in our lives., but Rove was talking about denying fact and bending truth to fit the political “reality” that served his ends. As a polity, we need to be able to argue from the same set of facts. Otherwise we cannot even argue. We can only shout.

A Modest Proposal

Buildings

Downtown Omaha in the 21st Century is experiencing an exciting, disturbing, wonderful, odd, exciting, depressing new era that combines the Renaissance with the Dark Ages.

With the still new Holland Arts Center, the Ameritrade baseball stadium, No-Do, the Century Link convention center, and with businesses like HDR wanting to move east to join other corporate giants like Union Pacific, First National, and Zesto’s, the future is bright.

But there is one overreaching, conundrum of a problem – I know “conundrum of a problem” is superfluously redundant, but nevertheless – it’s a huge, overarching, pervasive, permeating – yes, Virginia, I found my tattered old thesaurus on the bookshelf – ubiquitous problem. Parking.

In this case the Holland is the nexus of the question. HDR wants to come downtown and they want to build their new headquarters on the site of the parking garage now used by the Performing Arts Center, right? So the dominoes tumble. HDR eats parking places and needs more to boot. The Holland loses parking places and needs to replace them. Parking.

Easy, you think. There’s lots of open land downtown. For instance, what about that big empty lawn near ConAgra? We could park three thousand cars on that acreage. But hold on, it’s not that simple. It’s a six block trek from there to the Holland, and global warming probably won’t occur fast enough to eliminate the hazards pedestrians face in a Nebraska winter – darn environmentalists. Parking, in this case, is defined as the answer to the question, “Where can we abandon our cars within easy walking distance of a venue?” Yes, “easy walking distance” is the real sticking point. Walking. Easy Walking.

The city is proposing to buy three historic buildings to make room for Parking/Walking. They will purchase and demolish the Christian Specht Building – amazing ironwork front and all – the Alvine, and the Happy Hollow Coffee edifice with all its decorative brickwork. They will pay the owners a total of ten million dollars. Then they will build a big high-rise parking garage in their place. Lovely, problem solved. Cars parked and a short walk insured. Will we really miss the iron and brickwork charm of those old white elephants? My guess? Yes. Yes we will.

So, not withstanding the fact that this all may be a fait accompli by the time this column is published let me make a modest proposal. Hold off on buying the buildings and instead, take the ten million dollars and fund free limo rides for everyone who attends an event at the Holland. According to my calculations, taking into account the annual attendance – 86,000, figuring two people per stretch Hummer – that much moolah should cover the cost for a year, maybe a year and a half. Every patron gets door-to-door service.

Meanwhile, start construction of HDR HQ and add fifty floors of parking above the office space. That would provide an additional 2800 slots in the tower. The historic buildings survive, plus Omaha gets a crazy seventy-floor addition to its skyline. Another plus, tourists will flock to town for the thrill of the seemingly endless, dizzying, circling drive to the top of the parking spire, only to discover there is only one spot left… for sub-compacts only. After taking in the view of where Jobber‘s Canyon used to be, the twisting, bobsled run drive down will be even more fun.

The only other option is a huge cavern excavated by Swiss tunneling machines… I’ll keep buying Powerball tickets. If I hit a big one, the cave is on me.

Time to Gather Together

It’s a writer’s second favorite day. The books will be there (for sale, of course), my Sharpie will be fresh full of that wonderful black perfume (to sign your book with, my dear), wine will be decanted (yes, I do believe in vino veritas), music will be played (a very special guest), and lots of friends will gather. Hope to see you at this book lovers reunion.

BTW: NO tickets required:  Just bring yourself.

Date: September 8, 2015

Time: 7 – 9pm

At: The OM Healing Arts Center, 1216 Howard Street in The Old MarketWESSELMANNTales of the Master FINAL Cover 8-8-15_Page_1

TALES OF THE MASTER

MasterPurple2

“Tales of the Master: The Book of Stone”

Cole Seatstone has lost everything – his child, his wife, and his faith. His very life is hanging by a thread. – a thread he himself is determined to cut. Can fate in the person of a young boy, and the words and wisdom of an ancient book intervene? In a world full of tragedy, miracles still happen – stories still have power- truth still speaks. These are the “Tales of the Master.”

Coming in September:  Pre-Order Soon

The Expected Personal Plug

Douglas Vincent Wesselmann (aka Otis Twelve) won a Debut Dagger from the British CWA for his novel “Imp: Being the Lost Notebooks of Rufus Wilmot Griswold in the Matter of the Death of Edgar Allan Poe.” His first novel, concerning a sociopath who manipulates a psychopath to kill a pedophile, “On the Albino Farm,” won the 2005 London Book Fair Competition. Pulitzer Prize winner, Richard Russo named his short story “Life Among the Bean Bugs” runner up for the North American Journal’s Kurt Vonnegut Prize, and his tale, “The Goodness of Trees,” received a $10K Templeton Prize that allowed Mr. Wesselmann to purchase an antique blacklight, a songbird kiln and pay off his oncologist’s gambling debts. His fiction has been published by The North American Review, Crimespree, The Reader, and in anthologies such as the cult classic, “Expletive Deleted” (Bleak House) – including Otis’ triple XXX homage to O’Henry, entitled “Fluff” – and “The Purpose Reader” (Cosimo). His new novel Tales of the Master: The Book of Stone (Grief Illustrated Press) will be released this spring. Of late he has fallen in with bad company – poets, and does occasional readings with such reprobates when ever asked. Despite rumors to the contrary, Wesselmann lives in the middle of North America, though he is considering moving to one of the edges.Otis 2015 Door_Crop