CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Drowning In a Stream of Consciousness

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Let’s talk (oh, oh.) No, really, with a (lemon) twist. You see, I’ve been told in no uncertain terms of being much too harsh, dismissive and unappreciative of reader correspondence. All kinds, be it snail- or e-mail. (Doesn’t anyone leave mash notes under windshield wipers anymore?)

I recently received a lengthy, five-page hand-written missive. Now I can’t find it. I remember it was from a lady in Gardena. The general scope, as I recall, was deft reasoning that the mysterious “O” in my life had to be my dear departed wife, Margaret. She also mentioned not being a Rafu Shimpo reader, interesting considering her recall of my travails.

Also included was a touching poem I was saving for reprint. It spoke of faith and belief. Apropos any time and circumstance. But all for naught because I can’t even find my mind these days. So let’s just pretend you’ve been entertained and regaled by a missing message while I continue my exasperating search within the confines of a mere two rooms.

Am trying hard to find an appropriate segue to yet another humble mea culpa. To wit, CR2S’s recent creative doldrums. I’m sure it’s a strain of “O” fever-flu; a phantom disorder. Can you believe it’s been just over a year since I wrote the first account of the phenomenon? Almost 40 percent of the past year’s writings have concerned the stealthy visitor. Is it any wonder I’m having a problem re-establishing a normal weekly routine?

An influencing factor during my apprentice writing was James. Like in Jesse, Dean, Harry, Baldwin or Jones. But naw, none of those guys. There was also Henry James, a junior. He of “Three things in life are important” fame: “The first is to be kind, the second is to be kind, the third is to be kind.” Now, how can you not be impressed by a writer who puts it so simply? Here’s another from HJ: “Life is a predicament which precedes life.” That might not make you want to eat mochi without shoyu, but it does have cachet, no?

But wouldn’t you know, a James named William had the greatest impact on whatever style CR2S has. He is considered the originator of what is termed “stream of consciousness,” a narrative technique that gives the impression of a mind at work; jumping from one observation or reflection, on and on without worrying about continuity, clarification, doodily squat.

So what say I give you a sampling of the SofC approach, giving you an excuse to run to your computer or pull out a mobile device to tap out a reaction:

How about the GOP’s new love affair with the omnipotent Latino voter? They can’t really believe it possible? Do they? An old, white Alaskan politico then talks about “the wetbacks”who worked on his parents’ farm and he’s castigated. In the ’70s, President Gerald Ford called Vickie Carr his “favorite Mexican dish.” And everyone smiled.

Dodgers and Angels. Wanna bet one of them doesn’t make the playoffs? And is it just me, or are the blue Dodger road uniforms ugly and ill-fitting?

The Dow Jones and S&P 500 are both at record levels, topping ’07 highs. If that means investors are now ahead of the curve, how do you factor in the loss in between six years?

It was Shirley Luster who became June Christy. Nat “King” Cole started out as Nathanial Adams Coles. Bing Crosby got his name from Bingville Bugle, a popular comic strip character. “Fats” Waller’s given name was Thomas and Louis Armstrong had five wives. (I’m pretty sure Artie Shaw had more.) And there was such a thing as a valve trombone.

Went to see how the CR2S collection of “O” columns were used to augment JA Nat’l Museum’s presentation of the supernatural. Alas, it had concluded its run. My shot at respectable recognition apparently was very brief and disappeared. Wherever museum has-beens go to die.

Reader HK concurs with my idea of loading the unemployed onto a bus and transporting them to the nearest farm that needs harvesting. LF was appreciative of the ironic connection between two care-givers. AS and DO hate the titillation surrounding the identification of CR2S’s newfound “friend.”

The story of Kevin Tsujihara, the newly appointed head of Warner Brothers, is humongous and unbelievable. They don’t come much bigger, that’s for sure. I hear the Sansei comes from chicken-raising parents. Like any inquisitive JA, I’m just as interested in their history. Like from which camp?

And then there’s Leslie Ito, newly named head of JACCC. She’s a granddaughter of Timothy and Marion Manaka, and Thomas Ito of Pasadena. He, like Timber, a Li’l Tokio insuranceman; who found Chinatown’s Man Jen Low a favorite watering hole; that’s where Dickie Jung not only knew your name, he had your favorite drink poured before you sat down; and a waiter named “Hitler” served your dinner upstairs. On weekends Mashie Bessho, whose doctor brother lived in Newport Beach, could be found playing his sax or clarinet and Mama Sarah would sing. [That graph, dear reader, is a perfect example of “stream of consciousness.”]

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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