You see how big that is? That's because I'm EXCITED! Today, I just happened to come across this SPECTACULAR item for sale that is REAL and that you really MUST buy for someone on your holiday gift list this season.

Ladies and gentlemen...

Boys and girls...

From Solutionsthatstick.com, I bring you...



(Ahhh...it's been awhile since I've arranged a few of these for you! Verbatim from spam comments here, crap links removed,  just set in poetic form. Please to enjoy!)


How the courtroom
what kind of holds about 400 families
turned out to be packed
which has lawmakers since
across the type of street
having Congress,
prominent attorneys,
major Obama administration officials,
and then those who paid others,
along with waited themselves
over the actual weekend for you to enjoy virtually any seat
using i would say the ouvert gallery.

"We bring faith but we know which this tweak depends on us Cubans," says Mr. Pay¡§¡é,
the entire 2005 nominee available for 
i would say
the Nobel Prize
plus the country's foremost opposition figure.

"Our hope relating to you see, the [pope?¡¥s visit] isn't any kind of political exchange but we want the perfect voice."

Philadelphia prosecutors blasted Bevilacqua, Lynn and furthermore
other church officials to receive hiding scores
pertaining to complaints a streamed based on


Hello guys i'm latest here
and this rooms is nice
so daydream
i can come down with along with you guys


"What didn't surprise us
was that total soft use use
was linked to overweight plus obesity,”
Fowler tells WebMD.

"What was surprising
whenever we looked in the people primary
drinking diet gentle drinks,
their own risk
of the obesity
was actually great. "

This security of this particular diet for anybody else who uses the idea have been on. 


Once again, I aim to bring you information designed to enhance your lives, especially in times of crisis, like the vicious wind-and-water cluster-eff that is currently battering The Side Of The Country With Old Buildings And Seinfeld And Monuments. Millions of you are going to be cooped up in your homes for days, probably without power or fresh water, and you are going to get very bored...and hungry. I've thoughtfully come up with some practical, easy-to-fix recipes for you to use in this scenario, made from items that you likely have in your pantry. Please to enjoy, and if you MUST go out, at least photobomb a news reporter kayaking down your flooded street.

Italian Dinner For One

1 jar Prego spaghetti sauce
packet of stale saltine crackers
garlic powder

Open jar of spaghetti sauce. Drink straight from jar. Sprinkle garlic power on saltines and eat along with sauce. Serve with leftover bottle of red wine from last week that you didn't enjoy at all.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad For Cat Owners

1 pull-top can of albacore tuna, packed in oil
1 12 oz. can garbanzo beans
5 cocktail olives from a jar in the very very back of the fridge

Open can of tuna, drain. Give the tuna oil to cat that is going completely insane. Flake tuna into large bowl. Attempt to open can of garbanzo beans, but realize that you don't own a manual can opener and the power is out. Swear. Use screwdriver to force several holes into top of bean can until you can shake most of them out. Drain; pick out metal flakes, pour beans into bowl with tuna. Retrive olive jar from fridge. Scream when you turn around to put the olives in the bowl with the tuna and the beans and see the cat eating it. Decide to eat it anyway.

Melted Ham & Cheese Sandwich

2 slices hearty bread
3 slices deli ham meat
3 slices Cheddar, Swiss, or Gouda cheese 

Cut mold off of bread slices, then generously slather one side of each piece with mayonnaise. Place ham and cheese slices on bread, and close sandwich. Using a tongs, heat over large emergency candle until bread is toasted and cheese just begins to melt. After eating, panic that the mayonnaise, ham, and cheese is all rancid from being in the fridge without power for three days. Throw up in toilet. Use saved fresh water you stored in bathtub to flush toilet.

Breakfast Cereal Pastiche

1 c. any boxed breakfast cereal
1/2 c. raisins
1/8 c. sliced almonds
1 six-pack beer

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add beer until you don't care anymore about how bad it tastes. Serve promptly.

Peanut Butter Blowout

1 jar peanut butter, smooth or chunky

Open jar of peanut butter. Use spoon to eat from jar until you never want to see or smell peanut butter ever again.


Normally, I would be here as usual whining about our relentless drizzle here in Seattle-ish, but I shall set that aside today in honor of all those people on the East Coast taking shelter from Big Ass Hurricane Sandy. For your listening pleasure, or at least until your power goes out, here's 10 awesome songs selected from my personal iTunes collection with a "stormy" theme. With any luck, you will maybe find some new cool things to listen to while you are cooped up, and will be distracted momentarily from your patio furniture being swept into the Atlantic Ocean forevermore. Also, open a second tab in your browser so you can watch this COOL real time U.S. wind map! Please to enjoy, and stay safe!

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, "Cold Wind"

The Upsidedown, "Silver Wind"

The Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Cast Your Fate To The Wind"

The Pixies, "Stormy Weather"

Reigning Sound, "Stormy Weather"

The Standells, "There's A Storm Comin'"

Carole King, "It Might As Well Rain Until September"

The Detroit Cobras, "It's Raining"

The Dream Syndicate, "Let It Rain"

The Fortunes, "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"

Herman's Hermits, "Don't Go Out Into The Rain (You're Gonna Melt)"

The Kinks, "Rainy Day In June"

Sonny & Cher, "It's Gonna Rain"

Ruth Brown, "It's Raining Teardrops"

Beck, "Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods"

The Woggles, "Flash Flood"

("Katzenjammer" by Goro)

NOVEMBER 7, 2012

Except for a few political junkies/lunatics, I think it's very safe to say that we are all rather desperately tired of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election process by now. We are tired of the spam candidate flyers in our mailboxes that go straight to recycling or the trashcan. We are tired of robocalls. We are tired of fundraiser emails that come into our computers or phones every few minutes round-the-clock, promising that for just three dollars more, we can turn the tide of the election to our candidate's favor. We are tired of hearing about "swing states" and the ridiculousness of "undecided voters." We are dead tired of the sickening TV ads that poke into our brains unasked, promising certain societal collapse if you vote for "that other guy." We are tired of the name-calling and the lying and people stealing or defacing yard signs. But most of all, we are tired and utterly disheartened to keep being faced with the disturbing fact that some of our friends, family, and neighbors are not the people we once thought them to be, because of their political stances. Social media makes it all too apparent for many of us to see very clearly the political preferences of others, and in a race so completely philosophically divided, there seems to be no common ground at all. You are with us, or against us has never been more true for either side.

So hurray for November 6, 2012, when the election will be held, everything will be decided, and it will all be over for another four years.

Except that in this case, nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a fact: no matter who wins, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, fully half the country will believe that the election was rigged, stolen, and corrupted, and therefore invalid.

Half of our citizens won't be saying, "Guess the best man won." They will be furious, devastated, bitter, and hopeless. There will be howls of protest calling for a recount, for investigations into shady balloting, and -- you guessed it -- more emails asking for your money to help in the process.

Does this all seem more like the election process in some Third World country, where accountability is nil, there are a hundred different ways to vote and no standardization, where people are afraid to vote differently than their bosses or face losing their jobs? Where special-interest money is shoveled into the red-hot, smoking political furnace, and comes out in a blast of searing lava that oozes and burns and covers everything and everyone? Where apathy, ignorance, corruption, and hopelessness destroy any chance of a functional democracy? Where there is no chance for a nation to compete at the highest levels in the global economy for the devastating effects of "divide and conquer?"

Houston...and Cleveland and San Jose and Milwaukee and Jacksonville and Providence and Memphis and Eugene and St. Louis and Flagstaff and everywhere else, we have a problem, and it's not going to be over on November 6th. Not by a longshot.

Think about where you might be standing on November 7th, and then think harder about how you move forward on November 8th, and each day after that. We have an agonizingly long way to go to even revisit the idea of being "out of many, one" ever again.



Whatever else you are doing this Thursday...doesn't matta. Whatever day you might land on this page in the Future Of The World...doesn't matta. By taking an hour out of your 24 allotted to watch this fabulous BBC documentary, my fans of rock n' roll, you WIN. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, for those of you unfamiliar, was one of THE architects of rock music, a gospel singer of great power and heart, AND the most badass woman on the electric guitar you could ever imagine. She influenced The Influencers -- Dylan, Berry, Cash, Presley, and more -- and performed for crowds worldwide until her death in 1973. Tharpe is a delight to watch, because you know you are seeing the real deal, and joy just radiates from her.

Enjoy, and buy this excellent Sister Rosetta Tharpe biography as well!

"The Godmother of Rock & Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe," BBC Four, 2011


It's too easy, really.

"Horses & Bayonets"


This is Marianne’s pal Dena, filling in once more whilst Marianne lays low and recovers from the miserable stomach bug that has sapped her of all will to blogge. That was I last night as well, of course, and yes, I totally just checked to see whether “I” or “me” was the correct pronoun to use at the beginning of this sentence. That’s because I care, goddamnit.

Having dispensed with the niceties, I shall now commence to be cranky. Those who know me well are well aware that I have a long list of pet peeves. It’s a tough balance to strike, because I don’t want to be a party pooper, but I happen to believe that some things matter. In the words of the venerable Judge Judy, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.  And don’t write “you’re” when you mean to write “your,” because I just might pop a gasket. You don’t want that on you’re conscience, do you? The list below is entirely subjective in that some of these errors may not necessarily be all that common or that important, but they simply irk me, Dena. Hence, I kvetch.

  1.  “Uninterested” Versus “Disinterested”: I am launching my list of complaints with this one specifically because it is a perfect example of a common error that is now considered marginally accepted usage simply because “everyone does it.” The fact is that “disinterested” means “unbiased” and “uninterested” means what most people think “disinterested” means, but when I see “real” writers like Luis Alberto Urrea making that mistake (Into the Beautiful North, page 192), I think perhaps I should work on finding the strength to let this one go. Grammar Girl and a few other sticklers of my cranky ilk have begged to differ, though, so for now I shall keep fighting the good fight.
  2.  “You’re” Versus “Your”: I’m not going to spend an undue amount of time on this one, because it’s really very simple. One of these two words is a contraction, meaning it combines two words to make one. That’s what the apostrophe is there for, stupid (See what I did there?). I would love to say your never going to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism if you don’t learn to distinguish between these two words properly, but the way things have been going downhill lately, you’re teachers will be grateful if you don’t write “ur.” Durrrrrr.
  3. Opening a Can of Whoopass Versus Whupping Ass: The distinction between these two spellings is entirely contentious and I have no rational support for my opinion. We were whupping asses many years before the first can of whoopass was opened, so it would seem “a can of “whupass” should be correct. Yet in this case my heart argues against all logic and reason to insist that if it occupies a can, then it must be whoopass.
  4.  “Loose” Versus “Lose”: Oh Christ on a crutch, do I really have to explain the difference between these two words? Because, if I do, I may loose my mind. This is one of those mistakes that often happen because people simply are not paying close attention to what they are writing.  They think it really doesn’t matter whether they use the “correct” word or not, because it’s all good, man. Well, it’s NOT all good, so wake up and smell the coffee before I get any more steamed than I am.
  5. Forgetting Words: We all leave out the occasional word now and then, even expert communicators such as your humble scribe. But lately I seem to be finding missed words everywhere, particularly when the word in question is “not.” I’m not sure what type of psychological ambivalence you all are struggling with these days, but sometimes one word can make all the difference. If you write “I am going to put on a suit of Limburger cheese and parade up and down the town square,” I will take you at your word and show up with a camera and some crackers before I presume to believe you forgot a word so essential to your meaning as that “not.” So just try harder, and I will too. Or else.
  6.  “Then” Versus “Than”: The distinction between these two words used to be simple, but lately I have seen more cases then I can count in which “than” is not allowed to do its proper job. The simplest way to keep track of which word you should use is that if you are making a comparison of any kind, you should use the word that is better than the other one. If you can’t remember which that is, well, then, I just give up.
  7.  “Phase” Versus “Faze”: I think people tend to use “phase” for both meanings simply because they have seen that word many times and just assume the homonym is spelled the same way. Wrong, slackers. I don’t care if you have never seen the word “faze” in your life, just get it right. I don’t even know you, so why do you want to hurt me so?
  8. Possessives Versus Plurals: In general, possessives need apostrophes. Plurals do not, which is why you don’t write things like, “I have twelve goat’s.” If you have trouble remembering this one, just picture the possessives grabbing all the apostrophes. The plurals don’t need the apostrophes, because the twelve goats have already formed a collective. And no, I don’t care at all if that made any sense.
  9. “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” Versus “You’ve Got Another Think Coming”: I grew up understanding proper usage of the latter was to pair one “think” with another, as in, “If you think you are going to spend all the money I gave you to buy Christmas gifts for your grandparents on T. Rex albums, you’ve got another think coming.” Never in a bazillion years did it ever occur to me that anyone would substitute “thing,” in that context, not even Judas Priest. Oh lord, why must we live in a world bankrupt of all meaning?
  10.  “Concerning” Versus “Disturbing,” “Troublesome,” “Distressing,” or Any Number of More Appropriate Choices: I mostly listed these in no particular order, but I saved this one for last because it represents pure evil and is swiftly becoming an epidemic. So enormously does this egregious and extremely lazy misuse of our language disturb me that I recently stopped reading a Vice article online when the first paragraph described the story as “convoluted and concerning.” My thought concerning this degree of sloppy, lazy word use is that I can probably forgive it in casual written conversation, but that I expect someone who presumably has a degree in either English or Journalism to have at least as decent command of these distinctions as I do (I have neither).
 I feel much better having gotten these things off my chest, and perhaps your listening may even have spared my spouse a rant or two. I know I’m not beyond reproach, which is why I am constantly editing myself and agonizing over word choice. I may even care too much about the niceties of written expression, so perhaps it helps to balance things out that some people seem to care so little. Perhaps we are all fated to slide down the slippery slopes of verbal debauchery regardless of my efforts, but if you think I’m going to succumb to sheer senselessness without a fight, you’ve got another think coming. Bitch.


Okay, technically it is a swing, but I just really like to say "baby in a bucket." This picture has been sitting on a counter in my basement for weeks now, waiting to fulfill some divine purpose unbeknownst to me. That said purpose would be to provide me with some tidbit to post here on very short notice to fill in for the ailing Marianne, well, obviously I had no clue. But hey, baby in a bucket.

 That smiling cherub in a bucket has grown up to be a smiling pre-adolescent who shoots rubber bands and deftly explains Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle to her clueless mother, the Breaking Bad fan. I don't really understand how it happened, but here we are. Every time I look at that baby picture now, I remember this bit from an interview with Rufus Wainwright shortly before he became a father:

"One time I was hanging out with Leonard Cohen and his daughter," Wainwright told Tim Adams. "She was talking about this child she had known as a baby who she hadn't seen for a few years and how he was now grownup, and she said to her dad: 'You know, it's pretty amazing watching how the baby became a person.' Leonard looked at her and replied very drily, as only he could: 'You know, it's pretty much the only amazing thing there is.'"

No kidding. I guess I'm going to have to get a much bigger bucket.

Today she got a real letter from Marianne's mom in the mail, a rare event. When I asked her what was in it, she said it was basically a thank-you note for a thank-you card she had sent Marianne's mom. I explained to her that Marianne's mom is from the same generation as my mom, and that they always have to have the last word in thank-yous. I said it was very nice of her and that we should try and send a card to Marianne's mom for the holidays, but that I'll be damned if I will send a thank you for a thank you for a thank you, because the madness has to stop somewhere. Then we laughed hard, and she hugged me. I think I'm probably pretty lucky, bucket or no bucket.


In 1972, I was a pudgy, nerdy, cat-eye-glasses wearing 5th Grader, devoted to voracious book reading and everything rock n' roll. My family had moved from a small town in Wisconsin to a minuscule town in Wisconsin -- something I was deeply unhappy about -- and my dad was often away on business to the UK, sometimes for months. My mom had to go back to work, and I was often alone. It was a tough time.

My homeroom teacher that year was a dashing, intelligent, no-nonsense man who had a reputation for being a tough grader and a liberal user of pointed sarcasm. I was both terrified and completely enthralled by him. Sarcasm and dust-dry humor were the gold standards in our house, so I could relate to this part of his style completely, while trying to avoid being the target of his barbs by being ready to answer any questions when called upon in class, instantly.

He was also an unabashed political liberal, something I had seen little of personally, as I came from a staunchly Republican home. 1972 was a presidential election year, so especially in the days leading up to the vote that's what everyone was talking about, and my teacher often engaged our little class of 10-to-12-year-olds on the issues of the day. He was adament that we read the paper, watch the news on TV, talk to all kinds of people, discuss things openly, and then decide what we thought from all the information we gathered -- not necessarily what our friends or family believed, but what made sense to each one of us, aligning that information and synthesizing it with our developing values. He made it clear that he didn't expect anyone to believe what he believed. Just falling in line with what anyone said, adult or not, was sheep behavior, he lectured us; be ready to explain why you think what you think, back up your opinions, stand up for your beliefs, on your own.

The candidates that year were Republican incumbent Richard Nixon and Democratic Senator George McGovern. I was well-familiar with politics already; I read the Milwaukee Journal every morning and watched the CBS Evening News every night, along with my parents, and had done so nearly all my short life. I had grown up seeing the Vietnam War, student protests, assassinations, and the Generation Gap on full display. I had heard my parents speak with such anger and disgust that anyone would protest the war or not support the President 100%; treasonous, they said, filthy Communists, all. With all of this swirling around me, it was easy to become overwhelmed and confused. So what did I think? What did I believe was right? Who should be the next President of the United States in 1972?

Despite my parents' championing him, I secretly never liked Nixon, although I was initially too little to understand why. Perhaps there is something to a child's intuition, I don't know, but I didn't trust the guy. He didn't seem sincere to me, and to a kid, playing by the rules and being fair is everything. When someone messes with the rules, the game is unraveling, and facts are adding up, I pay attention.

1972 George McGovern Presidential Election Ad

Everything George McGovern was saying resonated with me. He seemed to care far more about people, and especially younger people, than did Nixon. Wasn't that the job of the president, to take care of all the people in America, to stop sending them off to die in a war that seemed so useless, bloody, and long, to see that everyone here had some measure of dignity in their lives? To tell the truth to us, and to protect us from those who didn't? I believed that McGovern was a sincere person and that Nixon was not, and that facts were backing that up. On my own, quietly, I became a McGovern supporter.

Excerpts from his 1972 Democratic National Convention speech:
...Let the opposition collect their $10 million in secret money from the privileged few and let us find one million ordinary Americans who will contribute $25 each to this campaign, a Million Member Club with members who will not expect special favors for themselves but a better land for us all.

In the literature and music of our children we are told, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.  And for America, the time has come at last.

This is the time for truth, not falsehood. In a Democratic nation, no one likes to say that his inspiration came from secret arrangements by closed doors, but in the sense that is how my candidacy began.  I am here as your candidate tonight in large part because during four administrations of both parties, a terrible war has been chartered behind closed doors.

I want those doors opened and I want that war closed. And I make these pledges above all others: the doors of government will be opened, and that war will be closed.

Truth is a habit of integrity, not a strategy of politics, and if we nurture the habit of truth in this campaign, we will continue to be truthful once we are in the White House.

Let us say to Americans, as Woodrow Wilson said in his first campaign of 1912, “Let me inside the government and I will tell you what is going on there.”

Wilson believed, and I believe, that the destiny of America is always safer in the hands of the people then in the conference rooms of any elite.

So let us give our – let us give your country the chance to elect a Government that will seek and speak the truth, for this is the time for the truth in the life of this country.

And this is also a time, not for death, but for life. In 1968 many Americans thought they were voting to bring our sons home from Vietnam in peace, and since then 20,000 of our sons have come home in coffins.

I have no secret plan for peace.  I have a public plan. And as one whose heart has ached for the past ten years over the agony of Vietnam, I will halt a senseless bombing of Indochina on Inaugural Day.

There will be no more Asian children running ablaze from bombed-out schools. There will be no more talk of bombing the dikes or the cities of the North.

And within 90 days of my inauguration, every American soldier and every American prisoner will be out of the jungle and out of their cells and then home in America where they belong.

And then let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad.

This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. America must be restored to a proper role in the world. But we can do that only through the recovery of confidence in ourselves....

...I believe that the greatest contribution America can now make to our fellow mortals is to heal our own great but very deeply troubled land. We must respond -- we must respond to that ancient command: “Physician, heal thyself.”

Now, it is necessary in an age of nuclear power and hostile forces that we’ll be militarily strong.  America must never become a second-rate nation. As one who has tasted the bitter fruits of our weakness before Pearl Harbor in 1941, I give you my pledge that if I become the President of the United States, America will keep its defenses alert and fully sufficient to meet any danger.

We will do that not only for ourselves, but for those who deserve and need the shield of our strength -- our old allies in Europe and elsewhere, including the people of Israel who will always have our help to hold their Promised Land.

Yet I believe that every man and woman in this Convention Hall knows that for 30 years we have been so absorbed with fear and danger from abroad that we have permitted our own house to fall into disarray.

We must now show that peace and prosperity can exist side by side. Indeed, each now depends on the existence of the other. National strength includes the credibility of our system in the eyes of our own people as well as the credibility of our deterrent in the eyes of others abroad.

National security includes schools for our children as well as silos for our missiles.

It includes the health of our families as much as the size of our bombs, the safety of our streets, and the condition of our cities, and not just the engines of war.

If we some day choke on the pollution of our own air, there will be little consolation in leaving behind a dying continent ringed with steel.

So while protecting ourselves abroad, let us form a more perfect union here at home. And this is the time for that task.

We must also make this a time of justice and jobs for all our people. For more than three and half years we have tolerated stagnation and a rising level of joblessness, with more than five million of our best workers unemployed at this very moment. Surely, this is the most false and wasteful economics of all...

...Whatever it takes, this country is going back to work. America cannot exist with most of our people working and paying taxes to support too many others mired in a demeaning and hopeless welfare mess.

Therefore, we intend to begin by putting millions back to work and after that is done, we will assure to those unable to work an income fully adequate to a decent life.

Now beyond this, a program to put America back to work demands that work be properly rewarded.  That means the end of a system of economic controls in which labor is depressed, but prices and corporate profit run sky-high.

It means a system of national health insurance so that a worker can afford decent health care for himself and his family.

It means real enforcement of the laws so that the drug racketeers are put behind bars and our streets are once again safe for our families.

And above all, above all, honest work must be rewarded by a fair and just tax system.

The tax system today does not reward hard work: it’s penalizes it. Inherited or invested wealth frequently multiplies itself while paying no taxes at all. But wages on the assembly line or in farming the land, these hard – earned dollars are taxed to the very last penny.

There is a depletion allowance for oil wells, but no depletion for the farmer who feeds us, or the worker who serves as all.

The administration tells us that we should not discuss tax reform and the election year. They would prefer to keep all discussion of the tax laws in closed rooms where the administration, its powerful friends, and their paid lobbyists, can turn every effort at reform into a new loophole for the rich and powerful.

But an election year is the people’s year to speak, and this year, the people are going to ensure that the tax system is changed so that work is rewarded and so that those who derive the highest benefits will pay their fair share rather than slipping through the loopholes at the expense of the rest of us.

So let us stand for justice and jobs and against special privilege.

And this is the time to stand for those things that are close to the American spirit. We are not content with things as they are. We reject the view of those who say, “America -- love it or leave it. “ We reply, ”Let us change it so we may love it the more.”

And this is the time.  It is the time for this land to become again a witness to the world for what is just and noble in human affairs. It is time to live more with faith and less with fear, with an abiding confidence that can sweep away the strongest barriers between us and teach us that we are truly brothers and sisters...

...From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America

From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America.

From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of  the neglected sick -- come home, America.

Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward.

Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this “is your land, this land is my land -- from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters -- this land was made for you and me.”
How very, very, very apropos to 2012, yes?

November 7, 1972, the voters went to the polls. McGovern lost to Nixon, in one of the most crushing election defeats witnessed.

November 8, 1972, I went to school, devastated and shamed that "my candidate" not only hadn't been elected, but had been so thoroughly trounced. What on earth had happened?? I couldn't understand it at all. Nixon was a fake! Didn't that matter to anyone at all?

As I sat at my desk, I watched as my teacher came into the classroom and sat at his desk. He looked bleary-eyed and sad, and I suspect I did as well. I was fully expecting him to go into a huge rant, but he didn't, and was uncharacteristically somber and quiet the rest of the day.

Later on at afternoon recess, I wasn't much in the mood to play, so I just leaned against the cold, rough yellow-brick wall of my school by the doors, waiting to hear that we could go back inside again. My teacher, bundled in a maroon parka on playground monitor duty, came and stood next to me. He said nothing. I said nothing. We just watched the kids running around, poufs of tiny white clouds coming from their mouths as they yelled out calls for football plays or sing-song chants.

The recess bell clanged, startling me because it was so loud. I turned to go inside, and I felt my teacher pat the top of my head. I looked up at him, and he gave me a small, crooked, sad little grin, something like,"sorry kid, maybe next time." I smiled back, sort of shocked but touched that someone saw and cared how I felt.

The real legacy of the 1972 election sorted out pretty quickly, with Nixon resigning from office two years later in a scandal our nation has never really recovered from. For me, I will remember it for George McGovern's plain-spoken and passionate commitment to ideals that are ones that I still hold dear, forty years later, and the inestimable value and bravery in thinking for yourself, and caring for all.

George McGovern died today, October 21, 2012, aged 90.