"Sports movies, at least the good ones, aren’t really about sports," writes Stephen Marche in Esquire, on the 25th anniversary of Bull Durham, the baseball movie starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins that came to the big screens in 1988. I couldn’t agree more, especially when it comes to Bull Durham, which is one of my all-time favorite movies.
When I started this blog in 2009, I called it “Life After 60.” Then I realized that life after 60 is not all that interesting. Not as interesting as books, politics, the economic crisis. Now, as of yesterday, I could call the blog “Life After 65.” Boring. Think I’ll stick with “Work In Progress.” Still trying to simplify, still obsessing about political and economic mysteries. Long live Medicare and Social Security!
“Many blue states are moving further left, while red states are heading rightward. In effect, America is splitting apart without going through all the trouble of a civil war.” – Robert Reich, June 8, 2013 (Read Mr. Reich’s three-page essay here.)
If you want more scary reading about the divide between red states and blue states, here’s an essay I wrote earlier this year: “America Divided.” Also see the related articles below. — John Hayden
- Red, blue states more brightly colored than ever (salon.com)
- Red States Get More Extreme — How America Is Splitting Apart Without Bothering With Civil War (alternet.org)
- Is America Entering The Dark Ages? (rationalpolitics.co)
See the “Dwindling Jobs, College Debt” post from yesterday for an extended discussion in the comments below the post. The discussion focuses mostly on debt, especially college debt. In blogging, he comments generated by posts can often be more interesting and informative than the post itself.
Economic and political difficulties — especially issues of justice — are on my mind, as always. Guess I’ve been reading too many scary books about economics and the jobs outlook.
What is the outlook? In developing countries, manufacturing that’s always on the move, stalking the cheapest labor. In Western countries, an abundance of jobs for machines, robots and computers; for human beings, not so much.
Why do I have this sinking feeling that American politicians don’t understand the situation?
Today I wrote a comment on another blog that seems both concise and spot on (I say humbly). And so I’ll quote myself:
“Sustainability of Medicare and Social Security in the U.S. depends in large part on our capacity for intergenerational justice.
People in their teens, 20s and 30s are being fleeced. They’re overcharged for education that turns out to be worthless, leaving them in virtual debtors prison. The future seems to offer few jobs and meager income.
We need to forgive educational debt and create useful work. The free market will not or can not do it. Government will have to find a way.”
Like I say, too many scary books.
– John Hayden
- Robert Kuttner: Needed: A Mass Movement for College Debt Relief (huffingtonpost.com)
- Overdue Student Debtors Must Turn to Gold, Silver Bitcoin as Debt Hedge (prweb.com)
- Debt Collection Expert of Rapid Recovery Solution Says Student Debt Bubble Mirrors the Housing Bubble (prweb.com)
- The young, educated, and massively in debt college generation: Total student debt outstanding approaches $1.1 trillion. 65 percent of all outstanding student debt held by those 39 and younger. (mybudget360.com)
- 5000 years of debt (forexlive.com)
- Massive, open, online disruption (blogs.reuters.com)
Last month the world heard the tragic news
that more than a thousand people working at a clothing factory in Bangladesh,
were killed when the factory they were working in collapsed.
The appetite for cheap clothing in the West is insatiable.
The people making the clothing often pay the true cost of these items.
The scale of this factory in Burma is vast.
And now, back to work at the beach motel. This will be the first extremely busy weekend of the season. Soon maybe, back to regular blogging.
Peter L. Hayden died Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at Montgomery Hospice in Rockville, MD, after a short illness. He was 62.
He grew up in Wheaton Woods, Montgomery County, and graduated from Robert E. Peary High School. He was the son of Bernard J. and Anita Hayden.
As a young man, Pete worked for eight years in Ocean City, MD. Later, he lived in Washington, D.C., and worked at the Mayflower Hotel for nearly 20 years.
In recent years, he lived in Olney, MD, and St. Petersburg, FL. He was an avid reader of newspapers and books, and enjoyed working on challenging projects, such as renovation of a condominium in Washington, and operation of a small restaurant in Florida.
Mr. Hayden is survived by eight siblings, Bernard John Hayden, Keith Hayden, Anna Ryan, Rosemary Diehl, Eileen Criggar, Patrick Hayden, Dorothy Caporaletti, and Thomas Hayden, all of Montgomery County, MD; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
No funeral is planned. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Montgomery Hospice, 1355 Piccard Dr, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850.
The Beatles on the human condition . . . youth . . . aging . . . illness . . . life and death . . . and the song goes on . . .
As of today, “Work In Progress” has 313 posts. Also 333 people following the blog, and 33 following comments. That’s according to WordPress. Not making this up. Does anyone know anything about numerology? Thanks to all my readers and followers. – John
Today, the beach motel opens. Another summer begins, even as the cool spring lingers. I work the evening shift, and I’m happy to have the job.
It’s my 65th summer on Spaceship Earth. I’m fully aware that the seasons are numbered, like the fastballs in a pitcher’s arm. You don’t know how many you have left.
“No matter how long you live, it goes by fast.” My favorite great-grandmother — the only great-grandmother I knew — said that. Most people don’t get to know a great-grandmother.
(Cora Hayden was my great-grandmother’s name. Her maiden name was Cora Cash. She was indeed a grand lady, matriarch of a great family. I was a child and she was a very old woman, so it’s not as if we had any deep conversations. Or any conversations at all, of more than a few words. Adults talked; children listened. Still, my life would have been much smaller except for her.)
I take each season as it comes now. “It’s a long season, and you’ve gotta trust it.” On Opening Day, all things seem possible, no matter the number of seasons. Is it the home runs you remember, or the strikeouts?
Yes, I’m not writing well right now. But some days and nights are like that.
– John Hayden
How did we get so big? When I was a kid there were local shops where I bought school clothes. Even the larger department stores were not in every city. You could tell an area by the uniqueness of its small businesses. Not every town or city looked the same, like it does now.
My mom knew the president at the bank.