CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Lin a Bind & Other Linsults

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO
Originally printed in The Rafu Shimpo on Feb. 29, 2012.

Let’s talk. Naw, let’s be more with it and walk at the same time. Good for the constitution, both 1776 and BM. You know the drill by now: you listen while I write.

As far as the walking exercise goes, all I ask is don’t go striding out like you’re in some sort of training regimen to make the London Olympics or some such nonsense. Like the (wo)man says, take your time to smell the roses and all that romantic stuff.

If this isn’t exactly the introduction you might have expected this week, especially after I made such a to-do about discovering a 40-year-old past writing history, excusame.  [Explanation will be forthcoming.]  Meanwhile, CR2S on this unusual leap year day will take a stab at miscellaneous items of discussion; a situation that comes about whenever in need of a jolt of inspiration or nowadays, more Linspiration. [Jeremy Lin, what a story! It’s not a matter of hoping it never ends.  All we quiet Americans can do is hope it becomes routine excellence.]

Fact: More than aware thousands of Rafu Shimpo subscribers have been “Horse’s Mouth” followers for years. There was a comment from one of his adherents last week wondering why George Yoshinaga isn’t mentioned in CR2S while Wimp Hiroto is occasionally referenced in “Mouth.”“Doesn’t he read your columns?” was a pointed question. Well, Mr. Anonymous, allow me to respond: I follow Horse’s musings like everyone else. His ability to fill cavernous space regularly is an impressive accomplishment. It would be like you, Mr. A., being captivating and interesting speaking before a huge audience—twice a week! As far as my not mentioning his name in my once-a-week offerings, I seldom mention any names at all. And for good reason: I mainly talk about myself. While George covers Las Vegas, Hawaii, sports, humor and attends public functions, CR2S writes about death and dying, personal medical reports, DMV, sentimental sojourns and am a hedonist. Pretty difficult slipping Horse’s name into any ongoing conversation about back surgery, double ulcers, groin pain and Sarah Palin. If you’re bent on stirring up a feud, you’re a chit out of luck, fella. Take a number and increase your intake of fish oil. [Those who have no idea of what I speak, please excuse the outburst.]

Part of journalistic training is to be leery of everything in writing, even your own.  Sounds kind of obtuse (word of the week instead of “stupid”) but makes sense if you think about it. That’s why there has always been the demand for double verification—two-source substantiation required to make anything factual.  In this day and age of free-wheeling bloggers and email fantasies, you must be extra cautious. No longer is the “if it’s in the newspaper, it must to true” axiom acceptable.

CR2S was reminded of this while considering whether to use something I read in the Los Angeles Times. I do a lot of reading these days in lieu of watching television, counting sheep and making whoopee. Nothing deep or provocative lately, just magazines and newspapers mostly. Last week on Sunday’s Page H5 in Bob Weber’s Comics for Kids panel (yeah, I look at everything) was a Cat Facts box that read: “All cats are born with blue eyes.” I ask, can that really be true? I was a simple dog guy. Maybe I should ask George Yoshinaga, my pal, who is a feline owner. [Another CR2 Nowhere: De Vinci slept like a cat. He only took naps.]

Now take a gander at a “60 Minutes”/Vanity Fair poll: 2 percent of Americans believe former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s first name is Mittens. It just happens his middle name is Mitt but his given first name is Willard. And it’ll be “Who” if the Republican primaries continue on their current course.)

Although I take pride in being on the cutting edge, boo boos are something you must live with. That’s why there are errors in baseball, turnovers in football and basketball. Writing a column is kind of like a sport, so likewise you strive to keep the gaffes at a minimum. A foot fault in tennis and a gutter ball in bowling, they are sometimes unavoidable.  CR2S apparently made all those at once last week. While celebrating the discovery of the old newspapers, I playfully (obtusely) wrote: “Sis, Boom, Bah! / Marji-Lee / Related to Jeremy? / Rah, Rah, Rah,” a sophomoric ode to Marjorie Lee, library coordinator and archivist at UCLA Asian American Studies Center, who had prompted me to make the successful discovery of the lost files. My way of thanking (and recognizing) her for the motivation to make one final search of a basement garage. I have never met Ms. Lee and she is not familiar with CR2S “humor.”

To make a troublesome possibility doubly painful, I haven’t heard from Ms. Lee since I sent her a copy of the column. Now, it’s possible she didn’t get the email or a page was inadvertently dropped in transmission. Or she read it and was dismayed. Or appalled. Or (L)insulted. Maybe she’s not even Taiwanese. Or Chinese. If the situation calls for a humble apology, I so do. I am truly (L)inconsolable even while being unable to resist the (L)infelicity at this most (L)inopportune moment. Gomen-nasai. Marjorie Lee-san. {Still want the papers?}

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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