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 All We Can Do, 2 pp., November, 2019.

                                      

             “Vanya on 42nd Street” is a 1994 film directed by French director Louis Malle.  The film is a rehearsal-type performance of the classic           
             Russian play “Uncle Vonya” before a small invited audience in an abandoned theater in New York City.  The last lines of the play are spoken
             to Uncle Vanya by his niece Sonya.   Read the complete thought here.

    

             • On Babe Ruth’s Legs, 8 pp., November, 2019.

            
              Here are three pictures of the Yankee baseball star Babe Ruth. 
Would you say that he had spindly legs?  Long, thin, frail? 
             
Make a call: spindly, not spindly.   Read the complete thought here.


             • On How Life Ends Up, 2 pp., October, 2019.

                                     

            I spent the past week updating an article I wrote ten years ago with the intention of submitting it to an online magazine.   When I looked
            it over when I was done, I decided it was old news and dropped the idea.  The one thing that wasn’t old news in what I had put together was
            an introductory note about why I was doing the update.  Read the complete thought here.

            

             On Jimmy Rayl, 3 pp., September, 2019.

 

            I recently thought about an incident involving a former Indiana basketball player by the name of Jimmy Rayl, both as he was then and
            as he is now (or was,he just died)   Read the thought here. 

              
             

            • On Sandy Duncan’s Ears, 3 pp., September, 2019.

 

             Sandy Duncan is old now, 73, but at one time she was really big in the entertainment field.   Read the thought here. 

 


            • On Dying, 5 pp., August, 2019.

                                   

             I read a book that helped me clarify the difference between death and dying.   Read the thought here.

           
             • On Being Really Old, 4 pp., August, 2019.

                                   

             I read a book and saw a film on old age I’d like you to know about.  Read the thought here.

 

            • On “Detour,” Et al., 8 pp., July, 2019.

                                 

            Three days ago, I streamed the 1945 film “Detour.”  The most thought-provoking film I’ve seen in my memory.  Read the full thought here.

         
          •
On the Death of James Whale Revisited, 10 pp., June, 2019.

 

         Out of nowhere it seemed, this week I felt a strong desire to see the 1998 film “Gods and Monsters,” which I had seen
         before, eleven years ago.  Read the complete thought here.

 

         •  On Arthur Godfrey and Haleloke, 6 pp., May, 2019.

 

         When I was twelve or so, I watched Arthur Godfrey and Haleloke on television.  Read the complete thought here.


       •  On Growing Up Well, 3 pp., April, 2019.

 

         Dear Dee— A big part of growing up is finding out what you are good at and like to do.     Read the email portion here.

 

     •  On Getting Our Needs Met, 6 pp., April, 2019.

                                     

    This week, I’ve been perusing a book about the French-born intellectual René Girard (1923-2015).   Reading the book has
    prompted me to recall a book I read a year ago, What Day is Today?  The Story of My Life in the Minor Leagues, and to reflect
    on how we go about satisfying our needs.  Read the thought here.


     On Mindfulness. 2pp., March, 2019.

        

      I don’t know if it’s the biggest choice we make in our lives, but a crucially important choice is to be happy.  Read the complete thought here.

      

      • On a Role Model for Dee, 5 pp., March, 2019.

       My daughter Dee is fourteen now, a freshman in high school.   Like every parent, I think about who in Dee’s world she can look up
       to and emulate.  It was reassuring this past week to find just such a person:  the singer Miley Cyrus.   Read the thought here.

      
        • On Kurt Vonnegut, 4pp,,  March, 2019.

        About a week ago, I looked through the biography and autobiography section of my local library’s e-book collection, and a book of letters
        by the writer Kurt Vonnegut caught my eye.  Read the complete thought here,

 

       • On Jean Arthur, 4pp., February, 2019.

       This week, I read a biography of the old-time movie actress (she did some stage work after her movie career ended) Jean Arthur (1900-1990)
        that has stuck with me.   Read the thought here.

 

     • On “Lyle Mitchell,” 6pp., February, 2019

 

     I was taken with “Escape at Dannemora,” a seven-part series on SHOWTIME which aired in November and December of 2018 and I binge
     watched in January, 2019.  “Escape at Dannemora” is based on the breakout from a prison in up-state New York by two life-sentence murderers.    

    They were abetted in their escape, as well as sexually serviced, by a prison employee, Joyce “Tilly” Mitchell.  The focus here is on the
     relationship between Tilly and her husband Lyle.   Read the thought here.

 

    • On Getting Better at Golf (and Other Things Too), 4 pp., January, 2019.

                                      

     My fourteen-year-old daughter Dee, as I call her in public expressions, lives in another state with her mother.  Dee is very involved with golf
    and shoots in the mid-70s and hopes to play on her high school team and in college.  During the 2018 Christmas break from school, she and
    her mother traveled to Arizona to compete in a junior golf tournament.   Dee wrote me a long email just after she returned from the Arizona
    trip.   She reported that she didn’t do well in the tournament.  A visit to the Grand Canyon (including the rental Mercedes to get there)
    was a great time.  With a bit of editing, this was my emailed reply to Dee’s message.  Read the email here.


     
• On the Interminable Ending of Basketball Games, 4 pp., December, 2018.

       

       I’m a regular reader of Phil Mushnick’s sports columns in The New York Post online.  I find him a breath of fresh air amid all the cheerleading and inanity
        that passes for sports commentary in our time.  Read the thought here.


       • On “First Reformed,” 5 pp., December, 2018.

 

         I’ve written favorably about screenwriter and director Paul Schrader on this site (see the thought “On Paul Schrader,” October, 2014).  
        
I’ve changed my mind.   Read the complete thought here.

                   

         • On “Just a Sigh,” 3pp., November, 2018.


                              

         I suppose to the world, the 2014 French-and-English language film “Just a Sigh” is three-and-a-half, perhaps four, stars out of five. 
        
But to me personally, its five stars.   I can’t get enough of it.  Read the review here.

 

 
            On Dreams as Life Lessons, 4 pp., October, 2018.

 

          I keep a notebook and pen on the bed stand and record my dreams.  If I don’t write them down, very often I don’t recall their particulars.   I seek   
         to remember dreams because I find them personally educative, informative, directive.   Read the complete thought here.



• On Dealing with Reviews, 3 pp., September, 2018.

                                    

After viewing a film, I often check the internet to see what professional critics have to say about it, as well as
look over viewers’ comments.   Read the complete thought here.