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Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed Friday night, November 9, 2018. Posted Thursday morning, November 15. French President Emmanuel Macron welcoming Donald Trump to France, November 9, 2018. Photo by Tom Brenner courtesy of the New York Times. French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that Europeans cannot be protected without a "true, European army", as he marks the centenary of the World War One Armistice. On a visit to the former Western Front in Verdun, he said Russia had shown it could be a threat and Europe had to be able "to defend itself better alone" ---BBC, November 6, 2018. “President... Continue reading
Posted 14 hours ago at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Saturday, October 6, 2018. Posted Wednesday morning, November 14. From the Department of Ideas in Search of a Post, inspired by late night reading of “Young Benjamin Franklin” by Nick Bunker: Again. The reason for pointing out the country has been through worse isn’t to say “If we survived that, we can survive this.” It’s to point out that luck played a large part in our survival and to drive it into our collective heads that Americans have done stupid and unspeakable things that should have led to our failure to survive as a nation. We... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday night, November 13, 2018. Fifty years ago, Saul Bellow was looking into the future and reading my mind after my last check-up for satirical effect, the bastard... Dr. Emmerich, stooped but energetic, examined him, sounded his chest and his back, flashed the light in his eyes, took his blood, felt his prostate gland, wired him for the electrocardiograph. “Well, you are a healthy man---not twenty-one, but strong.” Herzog heard this with satisfaction, of course, but still he was faintly unhappy about it. He had been hoping for some definite sickness which would send him to a hospital for... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday morning, November 12, 2018. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren speaking at the Capital with Vermont’s Bernie Sanders looking over her shoulder. Reuters photo by Yuri Gripas via the Guardian. It’s a sure bet that on microfilm in libraries across America there are major newspaper op-eds and national magazine think pieces from 1974 and ‘75 predicting that the race for Democratic presidential nomination will be between front runners Ted Kennedy, Scoop Jackson, and dark horse Mo Udall with Ed Muskie dithering on the sidelines, waiting to see if circumstances play out so that it’s safe for him to make another... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Twitter feed, Saturday evening, November 10, 2018. Posted Sunday morning, Veteran’s Day, November 11. U.S. Marines at Belleau Wood battlefront, 1918. Courtesy the National Archives via the American Battle Monuments Commission. President Trump flew 3,800 miles to this French capital city for ceremonies to honor the military sacrifice in World War I, hoping to take part in the kind of powerful ode to the bravery of the armed forces that he was unable to hold in Washington. But on his first full day here, it rained on his substitute parade weekend. Early Saturday, the White House announced... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, November 10, 2018. “Trotting for a Great Stake”: Chromolithograph by Currier & Ives, 1890, courtesy of the Springfield Museums. So, I’m back to reading “The Big Fella”, Jane Leavy’s new biography of Babe Ruth. Like I said, the reason I stopped almost right when I started and thought I was putting it aside for a while wasn’t the book itself. It’s that it wasn’t telling me anything new about the Babe. Leavy was telling the story well---in a way that sounded new because good writing sounds new and good storytelling is new or news at the same... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday night, November 8, 2018. Went back to Jane Leavy’s “The Big Fella”. You knew I would, didn’t you? If the twenties were a monument to modern man’s creative capacity for mischief, as E.B. White wrote, Ruth was the chief mischief maker. In a city of rule breakers---everyone who bent an elbow in 1927 was breaking the law of the land---he was rule breaker in chief. He never embodies the traditional public virtues that defined ancient celebrity, and he didn’t have to. Instead, he gave the public glimpses of a bad boy having the time of hs life. Hadn’t... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Undated entry mined from an old notebook. Posted Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. Jessie Mueller in the Broadway production of the musical “Waitress”, which is basically the story of someone doing the best she can to improve her situation in life while not letting her hopes dwindle, someone just like most of us and like the real-life waitress in this post. Photo by Joan Marcus, courtesy of the “Waitress” website. People are so sad and fragile… Waitress: I had an interview for a part-time job in Manlius. It was between me and someone else. They told me not to worry... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Updated Thursday morning, November 8, 2018. New posts below, but before scrolling down, please read... Mrs M has her sugar cookie addiction under control at last. But there's a new monkey on her back. Chai lattes! Here she is getting a fix at Barnes & Noble last week. I owe you all an update on Mrs M and I'll post one soon, probably tomorrow morning. But in the meantime, the important news is that she's finally started outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy. This is good news. The less than good news is that the facility is an hour away... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Sunday, October 28, 2018. Tuesday evening, November 6. This was on the back of the SUV we parked next to at the convenience mart this afternoon (Sunday. October 28) Owner probably just hasn't had a chance to remove it out of shame and guilt. Robert Bowers used an AR-15 knock-off to murder eleven people at Tree of Life synagogue yesterday and I'm sure the owner''s sick at the thought of having any association with him even at this great distance in physical and mental space and however tenuous and coincidental. Maybe he’s in the process. You... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Wednesday, October 31. Posted Sunday morning, November 4. Baltimore’s St Mary’s Industrial School for Boys baseball team in 1914. You probably recognize the big kid in the catcher’s gear standing in the center of the back row. Photo courtesy of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation via Preservation Maryland. Well, that was disappointing. Last night I started a new book. Like I needed another book to read. But I wanted something that wasn’t about politics. So I excavated one about baseball from one of the several two-foot columns of books I’ve been building. This one. “The Big... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Sunday, October 28, 2018. Posted Saturday afternoon, November 3. Is this America when it was great before? Last weekend, we were up in the Mannion native stomping grounds, visiting Mom Mannion in her new digs, and before leaving for home we stopped in at a McDonald’s for a quick lunch. The TV was on. The TV is always on. Everywhere you go. God forbid we ever go a minute without an advertisement before our eyes. We might look at a tree or a bird or another human being or something equally without monetary benefit to the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebook, Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Posted Friday morning, November 2. Slightly revised to include Trump’s tweet, Saturday morning, November 3. “Watching the Dodgers/Red Sox final innings. It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, Rich Hill of Dodgers, and brings in nervous reliever(s) who get shellacked. 4 run lead gone. Managers do it all the time, big mistake!”---Tweet from Donald Trump, 11:36, Saturday night, October 27, 2018, near the end of Game 4 of the World Series. [Editor’s note: This is the second post in a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, Monday, October 29, 2018. Posted Thursday morning, November 1. Revised a bit Saturday morning, November 3. Los Angeles Dodgers manager taking starting pitcher Rich Hill out of the game in the seventh inning of Game 4 of the World Series, with the Dodgers up 4-0 over the Boston Red Sox and Hill working on a one-hit shutout, and this is what Donald Trump or someone tweeting for him thought the President of the United States should be tweeting about the night of the mass murder at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. AP Photo by David J.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday night, October 31, 2018 HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Face designed by Mrs M. Carved by Ken Mannion. Shrieks, screams, boos, evil laughter, and hugs, love, and Hershey kisses (We’re keeping all the Reese’s for ourselves), from all the Mannions… Lance, Mrs M, Ken, and Oliver! Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday night, October 30, 2018. Vote early, vote often: Big Bill Thompson, described as “permanently on the take”, casts his vote on one of the election days during his third go-round as Mayor of Chicago in the late 1920s. File photo via the Chicago Tribune. [Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a series. Links to the previous posts are below.] Big Bill Thompson campaigned for mayor in 1927 by running against his opponent’s economic record. William Dever, the incumbent mayor, Thompson said, had been bad for business. This was true...if your business was a speakeasy, rum running,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the Facebook feed, Saturday night, October 27, 2018. Posted Sunday evening, October 28. Sitting at the kitchen table last night, doing a little work and watching the Series on the laptop and thinking... Thirty years ago, some version of me, would have been sitting at his kitchen table, watching the game on a little portable TV. And a thirty-years-before-that version of the thirty-years-ago version of me would have listening to the game on a transistor radio. The technology evolves, but the situation is eternal. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, October 28, 2018. Last night after the game, which went a mercifully short regulation 9 innings---I want the Red Sox to win, by the way, but they’re doing it too fast---I went looking for something to read in the ten two-foot high stacks of books I’ve been building, in the mood for anything that wasn’t political. I chose something medical. “Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery” a collection of essays by Henry Marsh, a British neurosurgeon, now retired, who’s one of those great doctor-writers like Oliver Sacks. I got as far as this…... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, October 27, 2018. Pop Mannion would have loved this photo. I’m assuming you watched last night’s game---Yeah, all 7 hours and 20 minutes of it---know what an effort Buehler put in, and recognize the guy with the white hair applauding him as he walks off the field, leaving the game in the seventh with the Dodgers ahead 1-0 at that point, having struck out 7, walked none, and given up 2 hits and no runs. Heckuva an outing and it earned a hekluva a response from the Dodger fans, that white haired guy in particular…. Betts became... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, October 6, 2018. Posted Saturday morning, October 27. They’ve got a good feeling about this: Chewie (Joonas Suatano) and Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) together again for the first time in “Solo: A Star Wars Story” pieced together more than it was directed by Ron Howard. I thought “Solo” was fun. Fun enough. More fun than I expected, at any rate. I’d have enjoyed it more if it had been in color. Seriously. For at least the first two-thirds of the movie, all the incessant fights and chases take place in the dark or against backgrounds of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Early Friday morning, October 26, 2018. Six a.m. Sun not yet up. Usually on mornings like this, when I wake before dawn filled with anxiety, loneliness, and dread, I try to drive the darkness from my soul by reading poetry. This morning, though, I’m finding comfort in a different sort of reading material. Pop Mannion wasn’t much of a handyman. Home repair was one of the few things he wasn’t good at. Mostly I think it was because he didn’t put his mind to it. He didn’t see the point. To him that’s what repairmen and eldest sons were for.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, October 25, 2018. Election day 1924 in the Chicago suburb of Cicero, Al Capone’s territorial headquarters, was somewhat fractious. “Cicero Chief of Police Albert W. Valecka, left, with one of dozens of people injured by roving bands of "sluggers," who intimidated, beat up and even kidnapped voters, election workers and campaign workers on election day in Cicero in 1924.” Via the Chicago Tribune. Things were a little less rough in Chicago’s mayoral election in 1927. A little. What was it Marx said about history repeating itself? First as tragedy, then as farce? My take has always been... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday afternoon, October 24, 2108. The People celebrate the repeal of the 18th Amendment. Photo via SF Weekly. [Editor’s note: This is the second post in a series. Click on the link to jump back to post one: “We low-brows got to stick together!”] Sometimes enforcing virtue can be more corrupting than letting vice flourish. When people want something or need something the government is denying them in order to improve their souls, they will find a way to get it for themselves even if it means breaking the law. That’s the lesson of Prohibition. The people of Chicago... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2018 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday afternoon, October 23, 2018. Revised Wednesday morning, October 24, and again Thursday morning, October 25. Han Solo and the surrogate daughter and son he reluctantly adopts on the fly, Rey and Finn, with Uncle Chewie in “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”. [Editor’s note: Our feature for Mannion Family Movie Night this past weekend was “The Last Jedi”. I had a few thoughts…] This is going to come as a surprise to many of you, but the Star Wars trilogies are iterations of myths of fathers and sons. You missed that, didn’t you? Obviously, the father and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2018 at Lance Mannion
Joel, So she's alluding to herself? Shows you what I know. I'm going to read that story tonight. Thanks for calling it to my attention.