You would not believe this if you were a Californian. But it’s September 12, 2015. It is incredibly hot and humid outside. And — get this — it’s raining. Not a hard rain, but it’s definitely raining what is called a “monsoonal shower.” I just cannot believe it.
Two days ago, I got back from a speech in Dallas to a group of extremely successful entrepreneurs, male and female. They had amazingly large businesses that they had founded more or less out of nowhere. They were as impressive as can be.
Plus, I stayed at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, a fabulous hotel where they take extremely good care of me. They were right there with room service and the room service was great. I think I need room service at home.
The flight home was eye opening. Usually big wifey goes with me but she was not feeling at all well, so there was an empty seat next to me. There sat a neurosurgeon, a real one, not like some I could mention. He told me about a science called “epigenetics.” This involves noting that the environment of humans can affect their RNA-DNA strands.
That is, if they grow up in the jungle, they have different DNA from people who grew up in Poland. Scarcity. Fear. Need to fight. All of these play a big role in how a human’s DNA/RNA is shaped between birth and death.
But then here came the wild card. Plus, he added, these mutations are then inherited. That means traits acquired in a young lifetime can then be passed on to one’s progeny.
This, as I told him, was Lysenkian genetics, named for Trofim Lysenko, Stalin’s favorite scientist. He believed explicitly in the inheritability of acquired characteristics. The good doctor next to me had never heard of Lysenko, but he was cautious nonetheless.
“Does this prove what some have been saying forever, that different races are basically different, that some have better abilities at running and jumping and others have greater ability at abstract thought?”
A cloud passed over his face. “I cannot answer that,” he said. “If I gave you an honest answer it could ruin my career and my life. These things are very delicate.”
Still, that was an answer of sorts. I found it earth shaking.
Anyway, I got home to my ill wife and now it’s been a few days and I feel quite ill myself. Quite.
Speaking of Anglicisms, I watched the beginning of Scandal, the fine English movie about John Profumo and Christine Keeler — who remembers it. Wow, it is a great movie.
But it made me think about a few things. First, it was set in the late’50s and early ’60s in the UK. There was a lot of sexual repression and a duo of available girls like Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies could — by making themselves available — get close to even the biggest Conservative Party big shots like Jack Profumo. Minister for War. (By the way, he is portrayed as the cheapest of the cheap.) In these days of licentiousness, sex is available everywhere to anyone who prefers the company of humans to that of German short-haired pointers. So I think it could not happen now. Still, the portrait of Britain, postwar, Harold Macmillan Britain, Harold Macmillan, who fought in the trenches of France, is indelibly frightening. A real class system open only upon birth is hideous.
I guess a smart reader might say we all live in such a system. At birth are parceled out who your parents are, how smart you are, how hard you are willing to work.… I was not born a nobleman and am not in any sense noble. But in America the Beautiful, my inheritance was brains and the willingness to work hard — and an incredibly successful father. So, I would say birthright is still a big part of the story everywhere. But it is not the same to be born with the ability to practice law, and economics, and speak in an amusing way, as the ability to own 60,000 acres in England. Of course, my wife was born noble in every way.
That reminds me, yesterday my wife and I went to see our wonderful Dr. Skinner in Santa Monica. He is my doctor and also my friend Jane’s doctor. My wife has been so fatigued lately it’s just terrifying. So we brought her in and they drew lots of blood, and then Dr. Skinner’s aide-de-camp, Lance Hunter, took X-rays of our chests.
Mine showed pneumonia, which it always does. The big question is why I am not dead yet. Maybe I am dead and am living in paradise with my dogs and my wife and my swimming pool. My lungs look like an aerial shot of the Battle of the Marne.
Alex’s lungs are perfectly clear. Innocent. Angelic. Even her X-rays are the X-rays of a saint. A genuine, living, breathing saint. A goddess. Let her who is without sin among you cast the first stone — only Alex never casts any stones.
How I wound up with a genuine goddess, an actual divinity, as my wife, is an endless mystery to me.
Anyway, as I was watching Scandal, Alex came to my TV watching site, and told me she was feeling anxious. I sat with her in the dark, on a rocking chair, and told her we were in God’s hands no matter what. And that we had always been taken care of by God. And that as long as we had each other, we would be fine. And, above all else, “What happens to us is not terribly important.”
Every soldier, sailor, Marine, Air Force person, every law enforcement person, every fire fighter, every inner city teacher, preacher, is more important than we are. We are in God’s hands. He decreed every single thing that has happened to us and will happen to us. If we are really and truly surrendered to that reality, we can be at peace.
My wife actually fell asleep as I was talking to her.
By the way, we are probably going to be moving to smaller digs soon. It is too hard to keep up this immense house financially and health wise.
The big problem is what to do about our SEVEN HORRIBLE CATS. I would like to give them away. My wife loves them. I HATE THEM. Well, maybe they will all run away from home. Or go to Syria and join up with Islamic State.
Anyway, I awakened to s headline story in the LA Times about the immense academic score differences among races. Blacks at the bottom. Asians at the top. Whites. Then Hispanics. I wonder how it would be if they correlated it with Jewishness…
Why is that difference so big and why does it grow, rather than shrink? It must be institutionalized racism. What else could it be? The microaggression runs so deep it’s invisible.
Now, I am thinking about Trump. A simple thought. He is a rich version of Archie Bunker. After seven years of an America-hating Farrakhan impersonator, voters might be ready for Archie Bunker. When Norman Lear created him, he created Trump. By the way, aren’t they both from Queens?
Finally — because my lungs are killing me — a few thoughts about a woman named Pat K. She introduced me to the plan of having a large sporting breed in the home. A Weimaraner named Mary. Then came four plus decades of Weimaraners and German short hairs. Those dogs are gifts from God. It is that simple. They are gifts from God. My latest, Julie, is my archangel, my very best friend. I love her beyond words. Beautiful. Calm. Loving. Always warm and forgiving. I just love her. Pat has not spoken to me for forty years or so. I assume she hates me. But I will always love her for putting big dogs in my life.
And as for my wife — she is not human. She is DIVINE. A genuine goddess with pure lungs.
Now, back to sleep.
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