Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Of Sound in Mounds and Walking Evil

I've been doing this over a decade now so I should maybe explain the Mound of Sound business and my tenuous connection with evil.

In a previous life I indulged in journalism of sorts. I began in private radio in the early 70s.  Ottawa, for Canada that was "big time." I wasn't a bad reporter but it also helped to be able to cultivate a "Gordon Goodvoice" delivery. Yeah, I pulled that off really well.

That voice training and my dulcet natural pipes stood me in good stead when I later forayed into litigation. That's where "mound" came from. There wasn't a corner of the courtroom where anybody still conscious couldn't hear me. And sometimes that can make quite a difference.  If I could deliver 100% of my argument in readily absorbable "press" prose to a decision maker and the other fellow got less of his argument across in a form that was difficult to digest, my client had a clear advantage. (Court reporters used to love it because it was, to them, almost effortless to transcribe)

But that wasn't the name that stuck. That was "Leo." It took me almost a year to catch on. Often, while I was working my way to my office, I would hear the law students chortle and mutter "Leo." Never figured that had anything to do with me. Later I was to learn it had everything to do with me. Like prairie dogs chirping at spotting a falcon overhead, the students warned each other of my presence by chirping "Leo."

Leo, it turns out, was an acronym for L-arge E-vil O-ne. I could never quite fault them for that. At 6'2" plus I did tend to intimidate, especially with that studio-honed baritone. One of those kids told me it had become like one of those stories only told at campfires. I think there was some affection there but, shit, I couldn't swear to it.

I was lucky to come from two amazingly staunch families that were as steeped in values as they were Canadian politics. We have a long, rich and faithful military tradition although I cannot claim we didn't sit out the Boer War. I take that back, we probably did give that a pass.

I'm not explaining all this to somehow bond with you. It's not to brag. I have this phobic thing about praise so the last thing I want is adulation. It's just that my crew did invest in this country - too much to let it be subsumed by terminal stage neoliberalism.

It's just that I'm having a really tough time with everything that's underway now. Trump is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. I'm as guilty as anyone. Yes, Trump is a threat, possibly an existential threat but pure science shows that he's the least of these threats.

Trump can be neutralized. He can be removed for fitness (25th amendment) or for "high crimes and misdemeanors" (on which he's astonishingly culpable).

Or Trump can be "normalized." America could become the Land of Trump. America and the world could succumb to something insanely horrible. Unless we stop it. It's a struggle that we either win or accept something really lousy for our future.

I found this tonight and it made me feel just a bit better.


Owen Gray said...

I took a lot of my father's advice, Mound. He seemed to get wiser as I got older. But he never advised me to take it easy. I suspect that -- were he alive -- he's say this is not a time to be complacent.

Anonymous said...

Maybe just for what you posted today (and in fact because of what you daily post on your blog, all very wise and heartfelt) I am going to gratefully imagine that upside down red maple leaf up in the right corner of your blog as being right side up... and for very good reason.

Ongoing appreciation and thanks for all you do here Mound.


John B. said...

I don't take it as bragging. Where one comes from goes a long way to explaining the where and why of where one's coming from now. I know that in my youth I spent too much time listening around my granddad and other vets of WWI and other younger guys still on the job who'd slugged their way through the 20s and 30s. They still speak to me.

Anonymous said...

Anyong...I don't think it is bragging either. I know what my English grandfather went through begining with the Boer War, the gassed in First and killed in the Second at Ford Aerodrom in England. I became a Canadian when Newfoundland was suckered into becoming a part of Canada. I'm very thankful.

The Mound of Sound said...

Wow, that was refreshing! I drifted over to my computer this morning to scan the news sites and I promptly left. There would be no Trump in my life today. No outrages, no worries. He could do his worst and I would let it pass for the day. I read books. The relief was welcome but it also reminded me of what an abomination Washington has so rapidly become.

This orange jackass, with his grade 5 vocabulary, is such an enormous distraction. All the problems of the world are that much further from meaningful action while our energies are drained away by this deviant.

Let's get on with the business at hand.