Harvard, Day One

Some people say doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. I say they’re wrong. Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a slightly different result is the definition of craft. But I will admit, in order to be a master craftsman, or leader of the so-called “free world,” you have to be a little nutty.

There’s no shame in getting your ass handed to you. The shame is in not taking the meaningful lesson from your failures. And giving-up. Instead of getting-up to give it another shot.

This is why there are 3-presidential debates instead of 1.

There’s not going to be much of a difference between the 1st and 2nd debate. You cannot fundamentally change your disposition in 2-weeks, no matter how much you lock yourself down, no matter how much you pretend someone has the debate-prep magic potion, no matter how much the so-called “free press” tries to use irrelevant polls to twist reality into a close race based on wooing the highly coveted demographic of Mythical Undecided Voters.

The fundamentals are the same.

Fundamentally, Obama isn’t afraid to attach the word “Care” to the end of his name. Fundamentally, Romney is terrified. By the way, this isn’t a metaphor. This is a fact.

Let’s take a look at their vice presidents, for fun. And as a litmus test for character.

Paul Ryan is the patron saint of billionaires. He doesn’t have the wherewithall to separate church and state. He wants to toss seniors off Social Security, despite the millions its lifted out of poverty. He wants to toss seniors into The Stock Market, despite what happened in 2008. He hates women. No, really, he hates women. Paul Ryan is extreme. The only difference between Paul Ryan and Osama bin Laden is Osama bin Laden was brown, and refused to shave.

Joe Biden is a working class hero. He’s about as white collar as the caps on his teeth. Joe fought to end the war in Iraq. He’s fighting to end the war in Afghanistan. Before the wars began, he fought against funding these wars with tax cuts. After signing into law The Affordable Care Act, overcome with joy, Joe turned into a potty mouth. After changing the Democratic Platform’s Position on Gay Marriage to include Marriage Equality, overcome with joy, Joe broke administration protocol, and broke the news. Joe is extreme. The only difference between Joe Biden and Kermit The Frog is Kermit The Frog is green, and schtups a pig.

I can’t tell you how to get to Sesame Street. But I can tell you what it’s like on Harvard Square. This week, I’m staying at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. I’m here for school. I’m here for classes. I can’t wait!

I got into a mediation program at The Harvard Negotiation Project. Truthfully, anyone could get in. The prerequisites are unrelenting ambition, unrelenting masochism and a tickle in your tummy telling you to spend all the money you saved-up for vacation on something other than a Club Med All-Inclusive.

This morning, before breakfast, as I was checking into my “preferred hotel,” the Dali Lama was walking out of the lobby, accompanied by an extensive police escort and the secret service with their signature cropped hair, black suits, flag pin lapels, twisty ear-pieces and M16A2’s. “So much for non-violent resistance,” I thought to myself as loud as I could.

The Dali Lama stopped. He walked out from a sea of semi-automatic weapons for no other reason than to approach me so he could shake my hand. I said, “I really just want to smile at you.” He laughed. 

Now that’s what I call schmoozing. Minute-1 on Harvard Square, and I’m already getting schooled!

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7 Responses to Harvard, Day One

  1. Vince says:

    Who came in day two, Bill Murray?

    He once caddied for the Dali Lama. The Dali is a long hitter. After the round, the Dali wanted to stiff him. So Bill says, “hey Dali, how bout a little something for the effort.”

    The Dali says, “there won’t be a tip.” But tells him on Bills death bed, he will have total consciousness.

    So Bill has that going for him.

  2. Peraza says:

    There was a window. Just having that light come in, seeing the light move across the cell, seeing what time of day it was — Without those windows, I wouldn’t have had the sound of ravens, the rare breezes, or the drops of rain that I let wash over my face some nights. My world would have been utterly restricted to my concrete box, to watching the miniature ocean waves I made by sloshing water back and forth in a bottle; to marveling at ants; to calculating the mean, median, and mode of the tick marks on the wall; to talking to myself without realizing it. For hours, days, I fixated on the patch of sunlight cast against my wall through those barred and grated windows. When, after five weeks, my knees buckled and I fell to the ground utterly broken, sobbing and rocking to the beat of my heart, it was the patch of sunlight that brought me back. Its slow creeping against the wall reminded me that the world did in fact turn and that time was something other than the stagnant pool my life was draining into.

    Here, there are no windows.

  3. vince says:

    You reported on day one, with the Dali lama. Nice.

    Where are days 2, 3 and 4?

  4. Peraza says:

    Here is a song I wrote. What do you think?

    When a girl begins to be a problem
    Pretty soon the girl must go
    When they’re gone you find at last
    you love them
    Pretty soon you want to know
    Little girl I’ve come to say
    And this time I just have to say
    I love you
    If she turns you down and rejected
    Try again the best you can
    Call to see her when you’re least
    Tell her now she’ll understand

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