Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Actually it was for breakfast I ordered it, their “baby pizza” with anchovies, and’ve heated a slice this morning, nibbled it with the last sip or two of coffee. Neglected to order “double anchovies” but it’s okay. Or, as Ben, a Nisei coworker, used to say, “not too bad,” his ultimate compliment for his wife’s cooking. 

His parents and his wife’s parents came to the U.S. from Japan, and Ben Yamanaka and family had returned to Japan to live, he an American civil servant GS-12 living near us in Yokohama and working at the U. S. Naval Base in Yokosuka. That was in the mid-1960s.

She did not appreciate his compliment and, concluding the conversation that she’d started, “How’s the chicken casserole?”

Ben: “Not too bad.”

She, irritated yet one more time again: “Dammit, Ben, it wasn’t meant to be.”

Neither of them ever learned. Especially Ben, who should’ve known better.

Communication is the most important thing in a marriage, and while it needs to be kind, ἀγάπη, thoughtful, considerate, it especially needs to be open, honest, uninhibited, both ways, back and forth. No elephants tiptoeing around the room walking on eggshells. Is marriage an idiom? IDK.

They’re either gone now, or getting on up there. Ben would’ve been forty-two then, I was 28. Never too old to learn though, eh? Or, it may be. 

Browsing the NYT headlines this morning, an article using the phrase “gangster Islam to the young and angry” brought to mind a recent Atlantic magazine cover and article “What ISIS Really Wants.” http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

Stunning, but Graeme Wood seems to nail it. Disregard at peril. But we are. Will.

Matching the two articles, in every society, the who-see-themselves-as-the-downtrodden are the violent revolutionaries-in-waiting who ultimately will destroy everything. But we privileged are always too greedy and shortsighted to be bothered thinking about our grandchildren. One of mine is fixing her breakfast at the moment, the other upstairs getting dressed for school. I would like to be able to think their world will be as I thought mine was until 9/11, but that morning changed everything, didn’t it. Anyone who thinks that when all is said and done it wasn’t our fault is a damn fool. Or is incapable of thought. Make that damned.

We don't learn until it's too late.


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