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 “Museum Hours,” 2 pp.  April,2022.

 

                                 “Museum Hours” is a 2012 film by Jem Cohen.  I streamed it back in 2014 and was so taken with it I bought the DVD, which
                                  I’ve watched several times since and it has always been a rewarding experience.  This time, I particularly picked up on how, 
                                 or so I believe, the film was created.  Read the thought here.


                                 On the Death of Virginia Maier, 1p., March, 2022.

 

                                   Vivian Maier (1926–2009) was an American street photographer.  She worked for forty years as a nanny while pursuing
                                   her photography, which she didn’t share.  Her work was discovered and highly lauded after her death.  Read the thought here.

 

                                 On the Bingo Incident, 2 pp., January, 2022.

 

                                  I don’t know if bingo is still played these years.  What I’m recounting here happened back in the 1940s

 

 

                              On “The Comfort of Strangers,” 2 pp., December, 2021.

                           

                               They really had it going with the 1990 film, “The Comfort of Strangers," but didn’t complete the job.  Read the film
                               review here.


                               On “To Tell the Truth,” 3 pp., December, 2021.

 

                               The past couple of weeks, a game show from sixty years ago has been part of my life.  Episodes are online and I watch them just  
                              about daily.  The show, “To Tell the Truth,” which was on CBS as I remember in prime time.  Read the thought here.

                            •  On Therapy, 7 pp., November, 2021.

 

                              This is about talk therapy.  You go once week, or maybe more often, and tell someone about your problems. 
                             
Read the thought here.


                           •  On Why I Didn’t Watch the World Series This Year, 3pp., November, 2021.

 

                           After a long lifetime of watching the World Series on television, this year (2021) it never crossed my mind.  I asked myself why.
                          
I came up with an answer.   Here it is.


                               On Three Empowering Personal Qualities, 2 pp., October, 2021.

 

                            I’ve concluded that there are three personal qualities—or attributes, or characteristics—that particularly contribute to living
                            well.  Read about the three here.


                               On Doctors, 5pp, October, 2021,

                                        

                                 Medical doctors do a lot of good in the world.   I do have some reservations about them, however, particularly around their 
                               treatment of personal problems, and I’ll go into that here. 

                            On Roy Rogers Riding Tonight, 6 pp, October, 2021.

 

                         I don’t know how much people these days know about Roy Rogers, but he was big when I was growing up in the ‘40s and ‘50s,    

                         a singing cowboy in movies, and then he had a half-hour TV show.  This thought is about him . . . and me.  Read it here.

      

                        

                          • On Ross Macdonald, 2 pp., September, 2021.
 

                           I’d read here, there, and everywhere about what a world class writer Ross Macdonald (1915-1983) was.  I had never read anything
                           by Macdonald and picked The Chill, published in 1964, which is ranked high on the “Macdonald’s best” lists. 
                           Read the thought here.

                  


                              •  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.