robertsgriffin.com

THOUGHTS

In this section are thoughts on whatever comes to mind, no limit on topics, written for this web site.  When I get the impulse, I’ll write thoughts and add them to what’s already here (I don’t plan on ever deleting any thoughts).  For each thought, there will be a title, length, the month and year I wrote it, a blurb on what it’s about, and a PDF of the  thought. 

To get a sense of who I am and how I see things and what's going on with me, you could read these thoughts in order beginning with "On Foucault,"  the June, 2007 thought. The thoughts are self-contained, however, and you can read them in any order.  

If the PDFs are oversize, adjust them to accommodate your reading preference..

Beginning in 2018, I'm going go put the latest thought at the top rather than at the bottom.

                               

                              •  On the Leopold-Loeb Case, 2 pp., July, 2021.

 

                              These days in retirement, I go wherever my impulses take me.  I don’t try to figure anything out, I just do what I’m told.  This
                              past weekend, it was a book on a murder case from the 1920s, the Leopold-Loeb case, that I had heard about all of my life.  Two
                              rich college students from Chicago murdered a young boy for the excitement of it—or something like that, that’s as much as I
                             knew.   Read the thought here.


                            On What The New York Times Didn’t Consider Fit to Print, 2pp., June, 2021. 

 

                             I submit comments now and again to articles in The New York Times.   Some are accepted, some not.  Here’s a comment that was
                             met with silence—they don’t even let me know why a comment is unacceptable.  Read the thought here.

                            • On the West Memphis Three, 3 pp., June, 2021.                                       


                             After a long lifetime of paying little attention to true crime, suddenly I’m caught up with it.  The latest, the West Memphis
                             Three case.  Read the thought here.

 

                           • On the Flashy Uniform Challenge, 1 p., May, 2021.


                           Here’s a picture of two guys who I think set the upper limit for flashy uniforms.  My challenge to you is to come up with a flashier

                           uniform than these two did.  Bet you can’t.  See the picture here.

                            On Canadian Serial Killers, 4 pp., April, 2021.

 

                            It’s been Canadian serial killer week for me.  All of the cases I’ll refer to here received enormous media attention in Canada,
                            one of them in the early 1990s and the other three around 2010.   I hadn’t known of any of them until the last few days.  Read the
                            thought here.


                           On What’s Wrong with Baseball, 5 pp., April, 2021.

                                    

                           I’m a big fan of New York Post sports columnist Phil Mushnick.  This thought is an email I sent to him in response to his
                           column of April 17th, 2021 entitled “Exploiting Shift is Just Part of Playing True Winning Baseball.”   Read the email here.


                          • On Tim O’Brien (and Me), 4 pp., March, 2021.

     

                          Tim O’Brien (1946-  ) is an American novelist.  I’ve spent the past couple of days with O’Brien in a way, or I suppose better,
                          reacting to him. First, I watched the 2021 documentary on him, “The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien,” which inspired me to
                          read his 2019 book, Dad’s Maybe Book.  Read the complete thought here.

 

                          • On Staying Clear of Straight Men, and Whether Gerard Depardieu Could Be Any Fatter, 2 pp., March, 2021.

                                    

                         “Let the Sunshine In,” released in 2017, is a superbly made film.  Dialogue, cinematography, editing, Juliette Binoche and
                         every other actor, first rate.  Intelligent, classy, worth my time.  That acknowledged, I found it one-note and didactic.  See the
                         complete review here.

 

 

                        On Not Taking What Isn’t Freely Given, 3 pp., February, 2021.

                                        

                         The past couple of months, I have been looking for ways to come at a fundamental issue: how should I be with other people? 
                        
Read the thought here.


                       • On Mae Boren Axton, 3 pp., February, 2021.

 

                        I’ve decided that Mae Boren Axton had nothing to do with writing Elvis’ first big national hit, “Heartbreak Hotel.”  Read the
                        thought here.


                        • On Honing Our Instrument, 2pp., February, 2021.

                         

                        A young man wrote me asking about the late William Pierce’s daily habits—I wrote a book on Pierce two decades ago--and I
                        mentioned that Pierce munched on small chewy candies from a big bowl throughout his very long workday, I presume for the sugar
                        high it gave him.  The young man immediately got back to me asking, I believe seriously, whether I thought the
                        candy-munching was a good practice, and I answered him.  As I looked over the few sentences I had jotted down to send this     

                       young   man, it struck me they  summarize what I think each if us needs to get in place in order to up our chances of living well,
                       so decided to share what I wrote with you here.  See the reply  here
.


                        On the Working Poor, 2 pp., December, 2020.

                                      

                              The past couple weeks, I watched three films that, tied together, I found artistically superb, personally moving, and very
                          thought-provoking.  Read the thought here.

                        • On the Sensei and William Saroyan, 2 pp., November, 2020.

                                     

                         Trump’s lost and I’m sitting here on this leather couch letting my mind go where it will and aikido classes I took years ago pops
                         into my head.  Read the thought here,

 

                        On How to Deal with People Like Me, 5 pp., November, 2020.         

 

                       My grade school and high school friend Ed, as I’ll call him, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, now a retired dentist, has an e-mailing list
                       of people, which includes me, he regularly send things to that strike him as worth sharing.  Read the thought here.

 

                       On Making Sense of the Here and Now, 3 pp., November, 2020.

                                     

                       The 2020 World Series has just ended.  The manager of the losing team, the Tampa Bay Rays, took his star pitcher Blake Snell out
                       of the deciding game--prematurely, so it was asserted--in the fifth inning.  Read the thought here.


                      • On Being a Life Example to Others, 2pp., October, 2020.

 

                      At this writing, Amy Coney Barrett has completed two days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of her

                      confirmation as a justice on the Supreme Court.  Watching the televised proceedings, I was taken by Amy’s manner.  Read the
                      thought here.


                     • On Robert Firestone, 2 p., October, 2020.

 

                      I’m bigger on self-help literature than most people.  There’s the idea prevalent that reading science fiction or true crime is cool, but
                      giving time and effort to reading about what’s holding you back from living as well as possible is decidedly uncool.  That’s not how
                      I see it.   For example, consider the writings of psychologist Robert Firestone.  Read the thought here.

 

                     On What Some Songs Add Up To, 6 pp. September, 2020.

                             

                     Last night, I watched a YouTube of singer Bobby Hatfield, who was half of a duo called The Righteous Brothers, performing
                     the song “Unchained Melody” on the Andy Williams television show on NBC back in 1965.  Read the thought here.


                       On Advice to a Young Teacher, 3 pp., September, 2020.

 

                     A former student of mine when I taught teacher education courses in the university is now in her late twenties and a high school
                     English teacher in the midwestern part of the United States.  She stays in touch with me by email.  This thought is a portion of my
                     most recent reply to her.   Read it here.

  

                     On Joanna Hogg, 2 pp.,  August, 2020.

                                        

                     Joanna Hogg is a British film director and screenwriter, and from the three films I’ve seen of hers—she’s made a total of four—she
                     is truly brilliant.   Read the complete review here.


                      On a Rejection Hook, 6 pp., July, 2020.                                 

                         

                      As long as I can remember, I have been attempting to make sense of, and personally deal with, what I have come to call a
                      “rejection hook” that keeps me from living as well as I would like to.  Read the thought here.


                   • On Krzysztof Kieślowski, 3 pp., June, 2020.

 

                        Krzysztof Kieślowski (1941-1996) was a Polish film director and screenwriter, and in my view, a truly great artist. 
                     Read the thought here.

                     On the Casey Anthony Murder Case, 3 pp., May, 2020.

                                       

                   I had a good experience with a couple of true-crime books by attorneys for the prosecution and defense in the Casey Anthony murder
                   trial in 2011.  Read the complete thought here.


                   •  On Saying Goodbye to Michael Jordan, 5 pp., May, 2020.

 

                  I’m sitting on my leather couch watching a sports documentary called “Jordan Rides the Bus,” and about twelve minutes into it,
                  it washes over me, “What the hell am I watching this silliness for?”   Read the complete thought here.


                  On My Box Seat, 3 pp., May, 2020.

 

                    I find my dreams to be lessons on what is currently going on with me.  I’ll analyze last night’s dream and the meaning I gave it as
                    a way of suggesting that you do the same kind of thing with your dreams.   Read the analysis here.