Che (still) lives.

Today’s Only in Ann Arbor moment: Coming back from walking Kate to school, I passed an older kid with the same destination. Fourth grade, I’d guess, maybe fifth. Wearing…

…a Che Guevara T-shirt.

I thought about this for quite a while. Even if this kid’s parents put off parenthood until the last minute, the way I did, no way are they old enough to both have a kid this age and care enough to dress him in a Che Guevara T-shirt. Which would seem to indicate that perhaps Che is making a comeback in some other cultural arena, like hip-hop. Or video gaming — help Che escape the jungles of …I can’t remember where he died. (Googling…45 seconds later…Bolivia!) Help Che escape counterrevolutionary Bolivian army regulars! Viva la revolution!

But I digress.

I keep missing these waves. When I read that pimping was quote back unquote, I admit to a certain bafflement. Is pimping something we want to come back? Is crack dealing…what? Like bell bottoms? Will that be back some day? I need a cup of coffee; this crap makes me tired.

Today I took advantage of a 90-minute hole in the day to do some solitary wandering around the campus shopping district. I stopped in a store to check out the half-off Patagonia sportswear and stumbled upon a rack of track-suit separates called Juicy Couture. I read in some magazine earlier this year that Juicy Couture is the hot J-Lo/Christina Aguilera just-hanging-out, getting-your-picture-taken-in-an-unguarded-pose, must-have track suit of this particular moment. It was half off, but the original price was scratched out, so I have no idea what they’re charging for this stuff — it could be a million bucks for all I know. My point is this: I could examine it at length and try to absorb its specialness in a detatched, intellectual fashion. Hey, I was within spitting distance of a great institution of learning; it seemed the time to do so.

And, God as my witness, it looked exactly like any other terrycloth track suit you’d buy at some less fashionable venue. Cut? Standard, maybe a little close to the body, but essentially, it was a hooded sweatshirt in dusty pink. (This one, I think. A mere $80.) The hit of Rodeo Drive. I give up.

There was a separate hang tag explaining how to protect the silver J that dangles from the zipper pull during washing. That, I think, was the point. Also, that this jacket was marked Large and probably wouldn’t fit over one of my shoulders, much less both of them.

On to more existential topics. I made time for the VH-1 Warren Zevon special and, of course, continued my long-running tradition of buying new WZ albums the day they come out, picking up "The Wind" at Barnes & Noble. Neither made me cry. The special was better than I expected, the album about average for late-career WZ, which is to say: Very good, but not as good as "Life’ll Kill Ya," which was a stone mofo of an album. And what did it get him? The usual. Some respectful press from the usual suspects. If there was a video, I never saw it on VH-1. Glad they’re showing up now that the show’s almost over, which WZ himself commented on, more politely, in the course of the show. "Hemingway was right," he said. I’ll say.

Oh, well. It can’t hurt, and a little extra cash in the estate for little Maximus and Augustus (WZ’s newborn grandsons) to go to college can’t hurt.

Bloggage: As much as I’m willing to work as an unpaid whore for HBO series, there’s one that I’ve never been able to handle. "Oz," of course, the prison drama. The stories seemed as convoluted and bizarre as any soap opera, and every episode seemed to end with someone getting shanked or sodomized. (Don’t speak to me of authenticity and verisimilitude. I know men get shanked and raped in prison, OK? One reason I’m a law-abiding citizen is so I don’t have to think about these things.) But I’ve seen enough to not be surprised by the horrible end suffered by former priest John Geoghan, the man said to have sexually assaulted dozens of children throughout his cursed career as a professional man of God. Richard Cohen had a good column today on whether we, now, share some responsibility for what happened to him:

Whatever the case, we — that’s you and I — are approximately doing what some of the Catholic hierarchy did about child molestation by priests: shrugging and looking away. We all know what’s happening in prisons, and most of us just don’t give a damn. …It’s difficult, maybe impossible, to gin up much sympathy for Geoghan. But whatever he was — compulsively sick or cheerfully evil — he was a man, a person like you and me. He was our ward, sentenced to prison, not to die. Through inattention, parsimony, a casual disregard for people we don’t quite consider people, we failed him, just as the Catholic Church failed the children he abused.

Depressing, but worth reading.

Also, as someone who sometimes, guiltily, ignores certain news stories out of a sense of general exhaustion, I appreciated "What I Skipped This Summer," the NY Observer’s roundup of same. My favorite was the first, Frank Rich’s — "The latest space shuttle, the Columbia, disaster. I decided: ‘This is an important story, I know. It’s sad. But in the end, they’ll eventually find whether the foam did it or whatever, and I’ll tune in then.’ Even now, when that’s happening, I’m only reluctantly tuning in. I mentioned this to a friend of mine—actually, someone else who works at The Times—and she said, ‘Absolutely, I skipped that one, too. I get the paper in the morning and think, "God, that’s five less pages I have to read.’" — but they’re all good.

Enjoy. Back tomorrow.

Posted at 1:29 pm in Uncategorized |

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