December 02, 2012
Funeral for a friend
I can't say that I intellectually subscribe to the creed of animism, the idea that various things in our world have spirits. But I kind of act and feel like I do. For that reason, I am feeling a little sad at the passing from my hands of a car I've driven for around 15 years, a worthy grey Saturn sedan that I christened the Pequod, in honor of the whaling ship in Moby-Dick. My Pequod, however, had a much better run than Melville's.
I could probably have kept in on the road a bit longer, aside from the fact that it overheated when idling, had an exhaust leak that probably wasn't all that good to breathe, and had a window that would roll up or down. Oh yeah, and the brakes were shot too. Still, I feel attached to the fine old thing. I would like to think that the spirits of good cars go to a nice place like that to which good dogs ought to go when they pass and that we can all be reunited sometime in the Elysian Fields.
And, lest anyone bash the workmanship of American union members, let me point out that the Pequod had almost 322,000 miles on it, which is far enough to get to the moon and almost halfway back. Taking its place will be a 2011 American union-made car, a red Chevy Cruze, made in the neighboring state of Ohio, otherwise known as The Land of White Castle Hamburgers.
I need to think of a good name for the car. Candidates include Bucephalus, the name of Alexander the Great's favorite horse; Rocinate, the worthy steed of Don Quixote, or The Red Special, in honor of the train used by Socialist Eugene Debs in his 1908 run for president. (If Trotsky had taken the trouble to name his armored train that might have been another possibility). The car that preceded the Pequod was named Traveler, in honor of Robert E. Lee's horse, which in fact was a native of what is now West Virginia. I'm open to other suggestions if anyone has any.
COMMON SENSE about prisons can be found across the political spectrum these days. Here's an op-ed by yours truly about the growing conservative movement to address prison overcrowding.
MORE ON THAT here.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? Here's an interesting Gazette story on what might have been the real motive for the firing of WV school superintendent Jorea Marple.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED