The Rant 

Well, as I write this it is 11/11/11, there's a full moon, it's Veterans Day, Lindsay Lohan is so far not in jail, and I no longer have to wonder Where in the World is Matt Lauer. I forgot which one of the branches of government Rick Perry forgot when naming the three he wants to eliminate and I'm working on a screenplay about Hillary Clinton named Ascent of a Woman. I'm wondering why everyone involved with Michael Jackson speaks in a high, soft whisper. It's like some kind of cult. It makes them all seem untrustworthy. Like people who never use contractions when they speak.

Have you ever noticed that less-than-educated people on the news are like that? It's always, "I do not know" and "I will not comment." It's like they are trying to sound smart but they aren't. Or, they are not. And when they say "not" they pronounce it "naught," especially in the South.

And speaking of the South, I'm also really, really wondering why someone would try to pass a constitutional amendment deeming that life starts "at cloning." Are they cloning people in Mississippi and no one knows about it? I certainly hope not. Don't get me wrong. I love the state of Mississippi, particularly Clarksdale and the rest of the Delta and the Queen of Hearts Club in Jackson, but for the most part I don't think there are tons of people in Mississippi that need to be duplicated. I bet it got voted down because the proposed amendment also deemed that "life begins at fertilization" and the farmers thought it would screw up their crops.

Anyway, 11/11/11 has made me all nostalgic because it made me think about 7/7/77 and how much I miss the 1970s, clothes and all. That date was exactly one week before my 18th birthday. I had already left the fabulous vistas of Parkway Village and moved to Midtown, despite the fact that I had very recently belonged to the Parkway Village set whose highest collective aspiration was to have a van airbrushed with a pattern of marijuana leaves. I remember sweltering summer nights of doing nothing but lying around listening to Al Green. I remember Reba Russell coming over to our hippie house to record songs I had written, with me on a conga drum, probably wearing overalls, a puka-bead choker, an Indian madras shirt, and Earth shoes. It was the summer of the famed fire department strike and we had a curfew and a blackout and there was a gay bar at Linden and Cleveland named the Front Page and it was like a Fellini movie on most Saturday nights, including the night someone got killed on the dance floor from being hit in the head with a gin bottle.

The Highland Strip was still around and people sold Quaaludes at the Bull Shot. Where Café Society is now there was a bar named the Toast that was open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. There was a health-food store named the Seed on Tucker Street near Huey's, where you could go in barefoot and sit down and eat an alfalfa-sprout sandwich. We used to go down to Blues Alley (maybe one of two clubs in downtown Memphis at the time) and listen to Ma Rainey, Little Laura Dukes, and Prince Gabe & the Millionaires. The other bar was 348 North Main and there was a lot of Otis Redding on the jukebox. It was all a really blurred blast and I miss that.

Now I get up, take blood-pressure medicine, go to work, leave work, go to the grocery store, cook dinner, watch cooking shows and Law & Order reruns, and go to bed. What happened to the days of getting in my multi-colored VW bug with barely any brakes and a hole in the floorboard and going to Miss Kitty's on Cooper and watching Dancing Jimmy skip around the fountain out back?

I guess 11/11/11 is a good thing. I get to see Isaac Hayes' gold-trimmed, fur-lined 1972 Cadillac every day at the Stax Museum, and Wild Bill's is every bit as good as Blues Alley was, so there is still some 1970s ambience to be had. I might be old, fat, bald, and have such an aversion to heights that I couldn't even watch Matt Lauer when he was up on that mountaintop in Switzerland the other day (my embarrassing man crush on Matt just gets worse all the time), but I'm in good enough health that I might still be around for 12/12/12. If I am, I hope President Obama is still President Obama and that Rick Perry is a regular host on Saturday Night Live. I think he's a natural for it. I hope Christmas commercials will be banned by then and there is still no cloning in Mississippi.

Now, if they want to do that up in New York and clone Matt Lauer, I am all for it.

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