“Ennui” (boredom) is a word seldom used in conversation, “roil” (annoy) is another. Two other favorites are “epitome” (classic example) and “copacetic” (okay). Unless you’re paying close attention, the first two give pause because of spelling and pronunciation. The latter pair might sound professorial and maybe a bit affected. It ain’t every day yadda-yadda describes something as the epitome of or a wish that everything is copacetic. No question, it’s easier to simply say everything is okay.
But doesn’t it sound kinda groovy (once in a while) to say: I was in the midst of ennui when an email roiled my copacetic mindset; it was the epitome of reader gall! Is that not better than to simply say it p—ed me off?!
Which sets the tone for this week’s treatise. Let’s see if a random look at a few recent events and personages might roil your comfort level.
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Whoever his political advisors are (if any), CR2S hopes someone will convince Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka that a graceful withdrawal from the L.A. County sheriff’s race is the wise and prudent way to go. What’s to be gained by taking an embarrassing shellacking at the polls in November? Chutzpah in the face of overwhelming odds? Bravado overshadowing common sense? Appears more like an act of belligerence and arrogance. Or maybe a misplaced sense of gambatte. CR2S readily confesses having a selfish Niseitrait: I burst with pride and wallow in the glory of JA successes but cringe when they fail.
The ongoing Chinese economic steamroller reminds me of the Japanese tsunami that roared into our forty-eight some thirty years ago. I mean to tell you, they went on a buying binge that knew no limits or borders. Even hallowed Pebble Beach wound up with more than a Jappo greens keeper. As a sensitive Bill Hosokawa Nisei, CR2S was kinda embarrassed by the wild spending spree. So now it’s China’s turn. I mean, goodness gracious me, besides everything else, they’ve turned Alibaba into a financial windfall! The Asian behemoth, which is putting Amazon and eBay to shame, is now the epitome of Wall Street success. When it grabbed headlines recently with its record-shattering IPO, I thought about a long-ago book, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” Is it okay to refer to the Chinese as very clever people?
What roils my innards is the universal drive to make money, obscene piles of it. Being well below the 1%ers, CR2S’s attitude is understandable and honest. I admire the likes of Warren Buffet and Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates, who are determined to give away their gazillions. Meanwhile athletes, entertainers and moguls gobble up impressive properties, glittering jewelry and trophy spouses. I guess maybe a home theater and bowling alley might be plausible amenities. Even a Gulfstream and personal hairdresser. Naw, fergetaboutit!
A hedge fund manager makes 200 mil a year, another nets 400? Tell me, how much bacon and strawberries can one eat? Although the FBI might disagree, CR2S was never a Pinko wahoo in college. Now I’m just a simple soul, comfortable with a column in which to rant and vent every week.
I realize some readers get their kicks when CR2S confesses sins and other shortcomings. I call it openness and humility while they prefer dumb. The latest: Out of fifty shades of grey, I lost the hd in my HD television set (or should that read “on my”?). I realize there aren’t that many Time Warner Cable subscribers around to feel sorry for me, despite what Guggenheim and Less-than-Magic Johnson had hoped for. Anyway, this misfortune meant all of my 400 numbered channels disappeared, kaput.
It meant reverting back to the channel numbers I have long forgotten. Meaning I have to relocate Comedy Central, MLB, SportsNetLA, ESPN, every cable channel. Most of all my treasured music station, which I still haven’t found. I have called to complain but I refuse to wait (and wait and wait) for a live voice. While surfing to find where Pac 12 Football was, I stumbled upon a program called “Naked Dating.” [Naw, it wasn’t the cause of my current ennui. Nor is it the epitome of voyeurism, honest.]
Don’t want to get into a weekly funereal habit, but attended another service Saturday. [Whenever I wear my blacks, sure enuf, there in the coat pocket is a program from the last funeral.] When the deceased is well into his nineties, the remembrances are many and warm. And you know, CR2S prefers smiles over tears, more than paeans from grandchildren, if truth be told. Roy N. was born in Montana, can you imagine? The whole nine yards of a tough early life followed, railroad, farm labor and prejudice. He was a football star at U of Washington, and in a stunning turnabout, won a pigskin scholarship for Washington State! You don’t see instant replays like that.
A bear of a man, he always urged me to walk for exercise and longevity. A grunt was always my response. Not being disrespectful, he was hard of hearing. Any verbal answers would always prompt a quizzical “Whadyasay?” Just a few days after his 98th birthday, Roy went to the bathroom and then to bed. He didn’t wake up. Nice things happen to nice people.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.