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The GuyCicero.com tagline is personal reflections on politics, society and culture…. What better time to get political in what is shaping up to be a presidential campaign year destined to be among the great ones? Ought to make some use of that poli sci degree.

My track record at predicting who will make a good president is not impressive. As a thirteen-year-old, I was distraught at JFK’s election in 1960. This was the end of life as we knew it, but in a good way, as it turned out, despite the ultimate tragedy of it.

In 1980, I thought, “The country has drunk too much of its own Kool-Aid and elected an actor as president. What can they be thinking?” This was the only year between 1968, when I voted for the wrong guy, and 2008 when I did not vote Republican. My man was John Anderson (This was Hollywood versus the Midwest, in my view.). Of course, as we know now, Reagan made the right economic moves for the times … and was awful good on TV.

This year the only thing for sure is that I won’t vote Republican for the third election in a row, unless someone with an emotional age above 21 is nominated. Then, I probably still wouldn’t vote for them because of my utter disappointment in what it seems to mean to be a Republican these days.

Now, I understand that it’s been a slow news day for the past couple of years. Not. But why is so much time being devoted to coverage of the gang of 17, or however many Republican contenders there are? Well (as the Great Communicator was wont to say), we know the answer to that. Ratings.

Sorry for digressing, but as you see, there is just so much to be put out about this year. The sorry state of American presidential politics. The news media. And so much more. Guy will be busy.

Guy Cicero

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Having reached the age of 68, I seem more and more compelled to think on the past. Mostly, in my time, I have felt like Little Big Man (a book by Thomas Berger and movie with Dustin Hoffman), a witness to great history, but a very minor player. In telling my stories now, and the stories of others related to my stories, there may be meaning for readers in casting new light on events and trends and people that they knew, too. I hope so, but in any case, I am needy of getting them out of my brain and heart, even if they go no farther. If you feel like this, too, please do the same, for self-therapy if for nothing else.

dylan_headline_65

Flash: Folk music star says, “I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm…no more.” Some clapped; some boo’ed; Pete Seeger fumed, but got over it. The rest of us took notice and tried to understand.

It’s embarrassing now to admit that I didn’t really get it. I’d been hanging on every word, exquisite line, image and metaphor in Dylan’s evolving folk music song book since ’62. I’d been to one concert, in Chicago, that was all blue jeans and acoustic: Don’t Think Twice, Masters of War, Only a Pawn in Their Game. While all the other folksters, who I  loved, too, were singing about failed love stories that probably never even happened back in 18th century England, or mythologized criminals from another time and place, Dylan had re-written the American folk genre with his own personal stories and his own takes on current, actual events we’d seen on TV. Not that he was the only one, but only the most creative and prolific one, by many a mile.

Now, enough was enough, apparently. He wasn’t gonna work for Maggie, or her brother, or her pa, whoever they were. Jeez, now what?

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Newport Folk Set Proved He Was the ‘Greatest Poet’ of His Generation | Village Voice.

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It’s the wonder of holding your dad’s hand, walking through that dark tunnel, and seeing a huge open space where men play a little boy’s game.
Billy Crystal, in Ken Burn’s Baseball 

Wrigley Field

tea and sympathy

11/17/2014 — 1 Comment

Tea_and_SympathyThis year’s elections are taking shaping as a battle between Tea Party-ers and progressives. One can only hope this means the end of Republicans and Democrats. Probably not.

But I love the more starkly drawn line between this year’s combatants: Progressives vs. Tea Partyers. Continue Reading…

Star Cub Andy Pafko was a local legend – Daily Herald.

Andy_PafkoBy the time I got my Andy Pafko autograph fielder’s mitt when I was about eight, Pafko had already moved on from the Cubs to the Dodgers and Braves. I never knew he was the center fielder on the ’45 Cubs(the last Cubs team to play in a World Series) AND the left fielder who looked up as Bobby Thompson’s HR sailed over his head at the Polo Grounds to give the Giants the pennant in ’51. He died recently, after living 40+ years as a local hero in the very town where we now live. A lot of things, you just never know. Continue Reading…

The Prodigal Sons – NYTimes.com.

Great commentary brought to you by my man David Brooks, Tim Keller, and the Gospels. A lesson for our time.

51V4VhwLlBL._SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_I haven’t seen The Monuments Men movie yet, but I will. I did just see the feature on CBS Sunday Morning and have been following the various interviews with the movie’s stars on Letterman.

Several years ago, a rich Texan named Robert Edsel got interested and then got really interested in the story of the actual “Monuments Men” from World War II. Continue Reading…

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
― T.H. WhiteThe Once and Future King

learn something today…

Guy Cicero grew up in Cicero, Illinois, U.S. of A. Here’s an article about the town’s history from the public radio website at WBEZ.org:

Cicero, past and present.

Cicero was a good place to be a kid in the 50s and 60s. Great schools and pretty safe neighborhoods helped by the high output street lights installed around the time of Cicero’s centennial in 1957. We were the “Best Town in America.” Our low property taxes derived from “subsidies” from the mob…at least that was the rumor. But its dark side, bigotry and racial violence, and fundamental conservatism, made this guy, at around 13, decide he never wanted to live there as an adult. Good old Cicero. May its history be a constant reminder that good and bad can and do live side-by-side. Embrace the good and be grateful for it.