Bugs, Tunes, Poems and “Big Dog” Robots


I haven’t the time and space to blog here effectively my admiration, fascination and appreciation of insect life. Not all my reasons are what you might think. I have, for example, the Korean cicada (or one of them-don’t know the species) for kicking me up to the next level from dumbass blind consumer of electronic products like Sony DV minicams and accumulator of piles of tapes without ever editing or even reviewing them, to someone who actually strings a few scenes together, using the dumbass blind consumer edition software Bill Gates supplied, into that marvel of post-millennial media, the YouTube movie. Best of all, maybe, I like thinking of bugs like Richard Dawkins, as survival machines invented by DNA to ensure it’s own longevity when certain mutant strains of self-destructive life forms such as human beings have ground themselves into dirt, some type of life will be there to redistribute the DNA.

Thanks also to the WordPress dashboard, I occasionally stumble into a blog that speaks to me so directly that I simply must comment on, and link to it, before I stumble off to catch the 7:00 bus into Seoul for the daily round. Today’s blogmate is apparently a lady entomologist and university professor in Minnesota. She writes about bugs and rants about other things in a voice sufficiently authentic to get the nod here, even if she was less amusing than she is when inveighing against the Hummer (speaking of dumbass consumers) and the mentality of those who own one or more.

It was especially refreshing to come across it this morning, as it followed closely the email announcement of a detail that I missed on television.  Once a month or so, I endure a small pang of regret for having deposited our last TV set in the space for abandoned consumer goods out at the margin of the apartment parking lot between the smelly biodegradables and the unrecyclable industrial-age dreck. Today I discovered that I missed the Fox interview of Rev. Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping, and his commentary on the closing of beaucoup Starbucks outlets.

Roy Bentley also sent me a link to a John Prine vid (speaking of aging heroes) worth a dozen anti-Bush blogrants. Roy also added his own reading of a recent poem in response to the tune, and his is one of the most real and authentic poetic voices I’ve come across lately who wasn’t already considered an old friend.

And finally, a voice from the dead, well, an email from the dead, actually. A message with the address of Gary Bybee, Union Pacific engineer and fellow traveler of many years who went ahead of that other great railroader Utah Phillips I blogged about awhile back. Gary was the kind of person whose curiosity might be triggered by anything different or thought-provoking, and when he took to talking about something after studying it awhile, it could be one of the most hilarious “did he really say that?” rants one could imagine. I like to think it really was Gary who sent me the link to this. It reminded me of the early springtime weekend four couples spent around a fire in the melting snows on the slopes of Scout Mountain, off the Cherry Springs Road. Gary had a WWII vintage ambulance, 4-wheel-drive, with big heavy chains for all four wheels, and one bigassed cable winch atop the front bumper.

Defying everyone’s skepticism, he chained up the ambulance and snaked the cable up to a 24-inch fir about fifty yards up a 30-degree incline and, through a good 12 inches of mud, proceeded to crawl the truck all the way to the top, where we spread a picnic that included ancient Native American spiritual sacraments of a sort not native to Southern Idaho, and there at the end of two deep muddy ruts that undoubtedly are still visible 35 years later, we paid tribute to this life on earth. When the beer-selling guy pops up on the TV and in that crazed “buy this or die” huckster’s voice raves “It doesn’t get any better than this!” I think about such times (not really-I threw out the TV) and shake my head at what shallowness marks our times. Present company excepted, of course.

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One response to “Bugs, Tunes, Poems and “Big Dog” Robots

  1. Hey! Thanks for the nod!
    (and I’m from Michigan–just visiting Minnesota this week 🙂 )

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