Friday, July 28, 2006
Hank Fall Down, Go Boom!
Shortly after Hank started using a cane, he got mugged. On his way home from a blues performance (he played at a bar in Philadelphia that gave him free food in return) with two friends, they got threatened by a group of teenagers with knives. One of Hank's friends managed to run away, the other got his arm cut and gave up his wallet. Hank would abide neither of these options. Being a large tall blind man, he wasn't much on running even during the most dire of circumstances and he didn't have any money to buy a new guitar so there was no way that his was going without a fight. "Give up the guitair, Big Whitey," one of the teenagers said, to which Hank replied, "You're robbing the blind, asshole! Do you realize that?" The guys continued to follow for a block before they ran off with the one wallet and nothing from Hank.
Hank wrote everyone a long detailed group e-mail about the incident which he enjoyed greatly in the retelling. He was one of the few people I knew that could write brilliant group e-mails. I believe this is because he was the same Hank to everyone, a rare quality that I can't say I possess. That's not to say that he couldn't write a hell of a terrific personal e-mail, but the one I remember best is the last one titled "Hank Fall Down, Go Boom!" It detailed his fall and soon to be surgery and assured everyone that if he was late in answering messages or sending packages that he wasn't mad at anyone, or more forgetful than usual, just out of commission for a while. Maybe, he wrote, I'll get some good songs or poems out of the deal. What is there to say? I'm trying.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"When was the last time you were so drunk in the holy spirit that people mocked you? They said, He's full of new wine. I have to confess that time for me might be never." Junebug
Junebug is my drinking movie suggestion for the day. I think it's an excellent movie, funny, sad, and brilliantly acted. It's one of the few movies made these days that one can even endure sober.
Benedictions and Maledictions
For John Ricci and his excellent question of chivalry versus sexism:
I think it's very hard these days to determine proper modes of behavior because so much is dependent on context and unlike times and cultures more governed by specific rules, we find ourselves constantly dealing with different norms . Hence the difference between chivalry and sexism is completely determined by audience. My feeling is if one is acting out of kindness, that can never be a bad thing. As for opening doors, why not? Manners provide a way of giving society some structure. I open doors for people all the time -- I feel it's a way of showing respect. And of course, there's the old Dick Cavett joke -- If you're wife leaves you for another woman, do you have to hold the door open for both of them? I'll most certainly revisit this topic! Thanks for the thoughtful question!