If It’s a Wonderful Life, Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

EVEN THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION DOESN’T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT ONE

My four-year-old daughter has seen air crashes, school shootings and tsunami waves on television and she is worried. Sophie is afraid to play in the backyard alone because a big wind might suddenly kick up and sweep her away.

“Why do big storms come?” she asks.

“The earth needs the winds to scatter the seeds and the rain to make them grow.”

“Why do airplanes fall?” asks Sophie.

“Every once in a very great while airplane mechanics get careless.”

“Will a monster ever try to get me?” asks Sophie.

“Don’t worry because your father will protect you.”

“Daddy,” she responds, “do you have a big gun?”

I tell Sophie I think having guns is dangerous.

“Then how will you kill the evil monster?” she implores.

I tell her I will fight the monster and push him down.

“I’ll be in my closet,” Sophie informs me, “and you can whisper when it’s safe to come out.”

Sophie is silent for a few moments.

“Daddy?”

“What my sweet?”

“I want to know why bees sting, storms come, and planes crash to the ground?”

“Are you saying you want to know why bad things happen to good people?”

“Yes Daddy. Yes!”

“Oh honey,” I say. “Nobody in the world knows the answer to that one.”

Sophie blinks twice, yawns, and falls asleep in my arms.

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Wit Style Power Grace: Irvine Barclay Theatre 25th Anniversary Exhibition

A visual arts project I’ve curated is opening on March 15 and runs through January 15, 2016.

I invite you to come and see The 25th Anniversary Exhibition for the Irvine Barclay Theater entitled “Wit Style Power Grace.” Spanning 140 feet, beautiful images and well-chosen words and objects capture the spirit and historic program contributions that the Irvine Barclay Theatre has made to the people of Orange County during its twenty-five years.

The Exhibition is located at the John Wayne Airport in the Pre-security pedestrian walkway between Riley Terminals B and C. Convenient parking is located at Terminal C for $2 per hour.

CURATOR: Henry James Korn
GRAPHICS: Hayden Design

 

Poster for Wit Style Power Grace - Irvine Barclay Theater 25th Anniversary Exhibition, John Wayne Airport 2015

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Amerika is Drowning in a Bloody Crimson Tide

More than forty years on, Krazy questions regarding the formation of Ronald Reagan’s character, particularly in relation to sadistic social policies and imperial ambitions, remain unanswered. A close reading of Reagan’s smarmy autobiography, Where’s the Rest of Me, published in 1965 yields numerous lurid details suggesting sports violence experienced in childhood may have shaped his sociopathic tendencies. In a particularly striking passage in his memoir, Reagan remembers sitting on an elderly Auntie’s creepy horsehair sofa surrounded by an eerie and sour scented collection of moldy books, desiccated flowers and stuffed birds. Then Reagan wrote “the morbid spell cast by my dream world of relics, stuffed animals and books was smashed in the teeth” by what the late President characterized as “the rough reality of football.” A highly peculiar-sounding explication follows i.e. “Out in the fields I disliked beating snakes to death because they seemed to suffer but I got a wild exhilaration out of jumping feet first into a football pile-up.” Next, Reagan celebrates mayhem and lawlessness meted out in equal parts to friend and foe. “There was no field; no lines, no goal,” exults Reagan in his memoir, “simply grass, the ball and a mob of excited youngsters. We chose up sides, backed off to the limits of the field and one of us kicked off. Then screaming and waving our arms, we descended on the unlucky kid who caught the football.” When Reagan confides he “worshipped the wild charge downfield and the final melee,” he adopts apocalyptic language suggesting that this future Amerikan President used sports to incubate an aggressive religiosity that still embodies the neo conservative world-view in the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Ronald Reagan in Knute Rockne All-American (1940)
Ronald Reagan in Knute Rockne All-American (1940)
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Author, Arts Curator, and dark analyst of contemporary culture

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