Lawn Signs

clinton-kaine-yard-sign-in-yardI’m going to share with you my one real crime.

And I got away with it completely. There has never been an arrest or a warrant on this one. So the big secret is about to come out. Are you ready?

I once stole political lawn signs from neighbor yards!

Yes, I am a thief. Here is what I would say to a judge:

But your honor, I was young! Only 18! And it was a joke. A practical joke, honest! You’ve done bad jokes in the past, right? Well, that is what this is! Just a simple laugh.

See, I had this friend in high school who had very strong opinions about the election that year (she was one of those souls that has a strong opinion about everything).  She wouldn’t stop talking about it. It drove me crazy! If I wanted to get her goat about it, I would point out that she would not be able to vote, she was only 17. But I would be able to. It actually was my first time voting and I was pretty excited about it.

This was the first election of Bill Clinton, going up against President George Bush and Ross Perot.

The friend detested those who were considering voting for the President. While I was looking forward to voting for Clinton (even though my first choice was Paul Tsongas), that ballot felt like my first step into adulthood. I vote… then graduate from high school… and then enter college. A real American grownup.

Anyway, so one day I had heard enough about her opinion about the election; and after school thanks to a free hour, I went out and collected about half a dozen lawn signs from the yards of strangers. I stuck them all around her mom’s front yard.

That was my one crime and I was never caught.

Judge, can I plead the fifth? I already talked and admitted it? Damn…

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My Remaining Years and the Birthday of Doom

I have always hated birthdays and I think part of the problem is I have always put too much pressuring on meeting difficult milestones.

I blame myself, but I also blame great writers for this. See, I have always put a lot on what others have done by my age and the older I get (and more great writers die off with each year I pass. I mean, come on! I’m almost a few years off from when Jane Austen snuffed it), the more this is getting difficult to do. Many of the greats have already hit their classic by this point. Me? I’m still struggling to get people to find my writing (and thank you for reading).

Looking back over my website this year it seems aging is a big theme for me. Maybe part of this is related to the fact I lost my grandfather at the beginning of the year. He was the last of my grandparents and with him an entire generation of my family disappeared. Yet, to be honest, I have written about aging before then. One of the first things I wrote for Green Spot Blue was a piece about being older than Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Yes, being older than Indy is a big deal for members of my generation. If you don’t understand what I mean, I can’t help you. (You can read that piece here.) I’m approaching Last Crusade now… after that there is a long draught until the flying fridge and the crystal skulls.

Before this becomes some kind of a great pity party for me, let me add here that I am very happy in my reality. My wife and I have created a wonderful life together and our kids are amazing. I know it’s almost corny to say one’s kids are their greatest achievement but… Okay… my kids are my greatest achievement. Continue reading

Reposting Political Article

I’ve been dying to write about politics this entire year, but since I just started this site really this year, I wanted to avoid the controversial stuff. This early article, where I compared the election to a story and why that is important in our American worldview (actually, even though some of this is dated I still believe much of it), is one of the few times when I had no choice and gave in. And, to be honest, I still stand by a lot of what I say in this post and believe the result will still be in Obama’s favor.

Here are other things I have considered:

• I wanted to write about truth and how it really, really bothers me that people could justify changing the truth for the sake of the result and how others can go along with that untruth fully knowing that it is a lie. Without truth, what do we have?
• I even started work on a comedic piece about why I think conventions are usually structured like a bad high school award night. (It’s why I was inspired to reblog this post for those curious.)
• I even had to fight myself from at one point comparing Romney—and the fact he has run away from his past and old beliefs (pro-health care mandate, pro-choice, supporting gay rights, believing in global warming, etc.) to achieve his goal—to a Greek tragedy. Think about it: when you abandon everything you have done in the past and changed all of your beliefs for the sake of a victory, who are you in the end since you are no longer yourself…. See classic Greek tragedy. God, it could be one heck of a play! You would just need someone next to him telling him that he is making a mistake (probably the narrator of the play, maybe the character can be one of his sons?) and he would have to abandon that person… and after he loses that one person comes back to remind him that it is gone, and no one (including himself) knows who he is anymore.

Who knows? Before November they might appear on the site. For the time being, they are on my list of possible future topics.

The Musings & Artful Blunders of Scott D. Southard

As children we are raised to think of our history as a story.

I’m not sure when this way of teaching American history began, but it was definitely prevalent throughout my education. Textbooks would present events, not as simple linear moments but as stories with beginnings, middles, and endings; each with their own book or chapter.

Consider, for example, how we look at the Civil War: The Civil War has a beginning with the election of Lincoln and Fort Sumter; a middle with Gettysburg; and an ending with Lincoln’s assassination. Everything else that occurs is seen in the context of that storyline. You can do this same trick with other wars and major events and you will see how it has affected your view on history as well. We all do it, we were taught to do this; we probably just didn’t realize it at the time that is what…

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If the election is a story…

As children we are raised to think of our history as a story.

I’m not sure when this way of teaching American history began, but it was definitely prevalent throughout my education. Textbooks would present events, not as simple linear moments but as stories with beginnings, middles, and endings; each with their own book or chapter.

Consider, for example, how we look at the Civil War: The Civil War has a beginning with the election of Lincoln and Fort Sumter; a middle with Gettysburg; and an ending with Lincoln’s assassination. Everything else that occurs is seen in the context of that storyline. You can do this same trick with other wars and major events and you will see how it has affected your view on history as well. We all do it, we were taught to do this; we probably just didn’t realize it at the time that is what was going on. Continue reading