The philosopher

Chadwick thought baseball would get the nation outside,
Help those who play it develop manly pride,
Playing a game for boys that would challenge them to be men,
Learning to control that temper which rises again and again.

When you use your power and test your skill,
Things don’t always go your way.
You often want to kill.
Henry C was saying that along with passion their must be good will.
Whether you win or lose you must be king of your spiritual hill.

Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Saturday, February 10

Dear Jim,

My taxes are all done. I mailed them yesterday. I still do not do them online. I don’t trust android, and my PC is rebuilt. It was changed from Windows 7 to XP Pro then back to Windows 7, so I don’t know what might be in the computer looking for social security numbers to steal.

When my tablet finally wears out or my PC crashes, I will get a new PC to send my taxes electronically. It’s easier to type, then see what I entered on the screen, than to strain my eyes on a paper copy trying to read handwritten numbers. I’ve even thought of getting an accountant or hiring a tax preparing company so I don’t have to read the directions and strain my eyes.

Sis I has glaucoma. Dad got it a few years ago, but look how old he is. Our great uncle got it in his seventies. My eyes are beginning to get dry. I will go to the eye doctor in March or April. I will ask if I should be tested for glaucoma twice a year.

Oh our health! I really feel old. More people call me sir everyday. I wish I had dad’s body.

Last Sunday was the Super Bowl. I didn’t listen to it. I didn’t know the Eagles won until Wednesday. Sis II told me while she was driving home from dad’s. She said the announcers said that it was one of the best. But even so, I don’t want to read about it, look at photos of it, or watch the highlights. It’s too much hype.

I wonder if anyone is studying Super Bowl statistics and national trends to predict how long pro football and the Super Bowl will be as popular as they are. I think some year there will be a sudden drop in viewers.

The Super Bowl may be attracting more women and foreigners than thirty years ago, but today’s young people don’t follow football like we did. With concussions and x rays of the brain, fewer kids will play organized football. Ten years ago I think it was, before concussions were worried about, John Madden said high school football isn’t as popular as it used to be, so the NFL better do something to keep kids playing it.

I would love to see pro football go away. Don’t replace it with anything. Just have a peaceful Indian Summer, Fall, and early Winter. The stadiums could be turned into parks or housing or something.

Even though I think football is over-emphasized, it bothers me the smugness with which young people dismiss not just pro sports, but the game. It seems strange not to see boys and young men playing tackle football anymore.

Don’t young guys want to use their bodies? Don’t they like to get dirty, especially after the rain? Don’t they want to let off steam, pretend they are great, cuss up a storm? Don’t they want to swagger and be hot stuff when they win? Don’t they want to fantasize every Saturday afternoon, look down the field and up to the sky and dream?

These young guys I’m talking to you about are offended when I bring up football: “Did you see the game yesterday?” One guy said, “I could’t care less.” Another guy said, ”You mean the game with the dumb ball?” But none of them said ”No. Was it good?” or “No. But my cousin was really good in high school. He got a scholarship to an Ivy League school.”

There is a new consciousness in young people. They think they are morally superior for rejecting football, just like the hippies thought they were morally superior for rejecting the military.

But the young people who think football is bullshit think rectal intercourse and organ removals are on the cutting edge of morality and progressivism. Football is violent, but cruising and sex change operations are good ways for boys to express their manhood.

That’s really what I’m talking about. With football you don’t just express your manhood, you try to prove it. Don’t give up. Don’t complain about the ref. Don’t give cheap shots. Suck it up. Shake hands after the game. Be humble when you win. Don’t be bitter if you lose.

Cruising is an easy way to express your maleness, “the insatiable male lust” feminists never criticized gay guys for. The morally superior people of today who criticize the risk-taking of football players, placed plaques in parks for dead guys who died from countless indulgences in rectal intercorse.

The violence of football is better than the perversion of the bath house.

How heretical Jim!



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Friday, January 19

Dear Jim,

The pope’s in Peru. I turned on Radio Católica expecting to hear the regular programs, but instead there was coverage of his trip.

Today’s event was the right-to-life march. You should have heard how loud the marchers were. It sounded like a party. The announcers said that there was a very large amount of young people.

It’s nice to hear people celebrating rather than complaining. I wish I had something to celebrate. I am glad that these young people oppose abortion. One of the reasons Europe and America have degenerated is because of all the abortions women have had and still demand.

It’s amazing that I’ve never heard any boomers say how badly we screwed up, and how badly we screwed up the country and the West because of our successful demand for cheap legal abortions.

I remember the time you told me you were sitting in the cafeteria at S. F. State. A table of women were talking about their abortions. You were shocked how nonchalantly they talked about them. You were surprised that more than one woman at the table had more than one abortion. They had no sense of guilt or shame.

It’s funny that the Progressives and people who are not Christian demand that The Church apologize for it’s sins against Jews and other groups, that the United States apologize to blacks, Indians and Mexicans, that white people apologize to Indians, Mexicans and blacks; but nobody is saying that European governments, and the American government, should apologize for passing laws that allowed so many babies to be killed, and that the citizens of Europe and the United States should apologize for all the babies they flushed down the toilet and all the hosrseshit relationships that created the abortions.

Last Monday was MLK Day. I turned on the radio twice. I listened for a half an hour each time. Each time he wasn’t the focus.

I listened because I knew I should get out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed each show. I learned a lot.

But I get tired of black people never mentioning how badly they have screwed up themselves and the country. I get tired of white Progressives who are offended when I say I think 52 years is plenty of time to get it together.

I told dad the pope was in Peru. He already knew it. I said, ”Wasn’t one of the popes in San Francisco?” He said that he was at the cathedral when the pope said Mass there.

The poor pope. I wonder how many body guards he has. What if somebody killed him?

But I want to talk more about race. The other night when I got home from work I was exhausted. I couldn’t read or study, so I turned on YouTube. I typed Sacramento, then I think I typed something else. A boring list came up. Then I saw Sacramento Rappers.

I like rap. Sacramento was, and maybe still is, a famous rap city. So I clicked it.

There were several rappers listed but I kept scrolling. I saw some descriptions of videos saying that ”This is the video of the such-and-such gang.”

I clicked one from two years ago. There were at least 50 Mexican gang guys on the stage at Southside Park. They were milling around, each guy singing the song that a professional rapper was singing for the video. I could hear the singer but not the guys on the stage standing with Aztec murals behind them.

It was incredible. They were so pissed off. So filled with hate. The camera went from one small group of guys to another, focusing on one guy as he pulled up his shirt to show his tattoos, on another guy as he made angry faces at the same time he was making gang signs with his hands and fingers, on another guy as he pulled a pistol out of his pants. Every once in a while a couple of guys were taking a swig of liquor. And they were all singing.

It’s terrifying that there are so many pissed off young men with guns. Progressives laugh when somebody like me talks about proving one’s manhood, but these pissed off young guys show that there is a need to prove one’s manhood.

The argument usually is that white people are responsible for all the brown and black gangs. If only there were not these horrible white racists making all these black and brown guys join gangs to kill each other.

I think it’s a gender issue. There is nothing for young men to do. Black and brown guys join gangs. White guys camp under the freeway.

Nobody is doing anything to get these guys working so that whatever fears they have will not take such a violent terrifying turn. It’s a woman’s world, but everybody blames the young men for being pissed off and afraid.

It’s the playoffs. Last Sunday there were two incredible games.

I think about football all the time. My hero is Merlin Olsen. He played all 15 years of his career with the Rams.

I remembered when he retired. There was an article in the LAT one Sunday about him. It said that the guys he played against said that Olsen never cheated.

Isn’t that something!

It’s a bad time to be male bro. Those gang guys hate me and I hate them, but they don’t know we’re both pieces of shit.

I hope it’s freezing in New England on Sunday.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Friday, November 3

Dear Jim,

Today is mom´s death day. Like her death was a relief to her from living in a place she hated, today is an end for me of the family strife I am reminded of every October.

Poor mom. I think a lot about her. I broke her and dad´s heart. The sadness in her face will never leave me. Dad was disgusted with me, but there was no pain etched in his face and he never spoke to hurt me.

They had been so proud of me, then became so heartbroken. What happened to our son? How come he did not say anything? We thought everything was going well.

I would have loved to say something, but nobody would have understood. They would have mentioned a thousand horrible options. I would have said what I really need is … and they would have said but the reality is … so that´s why I never said anything.

What I needed were nice offices to work in and nice libraries to read in. I needed good lights in offices to make me feel good. I always felt sick and fought for my sanity in offices with bad lights.

I wonder what jail is like. There is no healthy light to come home to.

When I stopped gardening I wanted to work with people. That meant working in an office. After all my rebellion, I wanted to embrace the world, come out of my shell, get loose. But the fluorescent lights scared me. They made me really tense and I had to fight to stay sane. I was ready to blossom, to glory, to bring my manliness and pride into the world, but the lights defeated me.

You hated them too. That´s one of the reasons you hated your job. I think of how much better you would have sounded when you called on Saturday night if your office had a nice ambiance, if there was a great interplay of light. You wouldn´t have had a monotone.

After I started my current job, I was reviewed. My boss said I talked in a monotone. I was very aware that I did. But I could not help it. I hated the place even though it had a fair amount of windows.

It was nice to be able to see outside. It kept me from cracking. But what I needed was relaxing light and a great sense of light play so it would be exciting to look around.

It was dreadful. I sounded dreadful. I sounded like you on your Saturday calls.

The lights aren´t as bad now as in the 70´s, but they are still horrible. There isn´t the buzz and flicker that there was. The shadows in the office aren´t as dreary as they were. But the lights still overstimulate me. They are like a drug – a fight or flight drug.

I can´t leave the job. I don´t fight so much as succumb to the over stimulation. An architect told me a fluorescent light is ¨like a lightening bolt going into your brain.¨

That´s a great way to look at it. It´s how I feel – zapped.

There is another way to look at it. You know the controversy around football players and concussions? I always feel punchy at the end of my shift. A lot of times my temples hurt during work and at home because of the stress from work. I feel like I have been hit in the head too many times like a football player.

I´ve been saying for years, ¨My brain´s shot.¨ A lot of times it is difficult for me to speak because I am battling the stress from the lights.

I used to argue with a friend about the lights. I said companies are too cheap to put in good lights. I said companies don´t want their employees to feel good. He said companies aren´t trying to make their staff feel bad, the companies just do not want to spend money for good lights. He said it is not a conspiracy by business to make staff feel shitty.

I remember when I worked at a coffee shop. The lights were soothing in the public area, but in the staff area there were fluorescent lights.

I´ve been in government buildings where the lobby and the public auditorium next to it have wonderful soothing light. I could work there all day and never feel stressed, but upstairs where the offices are, the light is horrible like any office.

One time I worked in a restaurant. The fluorescent tube burned out in the kitchen. The boss brought in a lamp from home while he shopped for a new tube. I felt great.

I laughed. I smiled.

When he returned with the new tube, he left without taking his lamp. So we turned off the tube and turned on the lamp. When he got back he was furious. He yanked out the cord and turned on the overhead light. He refused my request to leave the fluorescent light off and the incandescent light on. What a fucking asshole. I´m glad he went out of business.

It´s been a great day. I´ve been sitting outside under the clouds for three hours, but it doesn´t look like it´s going to rain.

It rained the day of mom´s funeral, then it stopped when we went to the graveyard to bury mom on top of you. You loved graveyards, especially the one´s in Europe. I used to love them, but now that time is moving on, I´m not fascinated in one anymore.

Something happened at mom´s funeral. When Sis I spoke about mom at the service, she said that when mom was in boarding school in Berkeley, she used to look across the bay and cry with homesickness. I never knew that. Did you?

I wish I had known. I might have been less rude to mom when I was young, and I would have been nicer to her as I got older. You used to tell me to be nicer to mom.

That´s all for now.



Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko

Wednesday, October 11

Happy Mom´s Birthday Jim,

I haven´t called dad yet. I want to sing Happy Birthday to You with him, but my mouth hurts from dental surgery on Monday.

I guess you know about the fires in Sonoma County? I did not find out about them until dad told me yesterday afternoon.

He went for a ride with the owner of the rest home to look at the damage. He was surprised at the destruction, but he didn´t tell me 1500 buildings had been destroyed.

Sis I and our cousin are in danger of losing their houses. They can´t sleep because they worry about being evacuated.

Sonoma County. God´s country. It´s not supposed to happen there. The wind picked up again last night and today is smoky.

Sis I has a great piece of property. All her hopes and memories. All our memories. How abandoned the people who lost their homes, businesses, and jobs must feel sleeping in a gym with hundreds of other people. ¨What am I doing here with all these bastards?¨

Dad said yesterday that we never know what the next day might bring. People were watching burning pieces of whatever fly over their houses. Our nephew hosed down his house before they evacuated it, but it turned out to be a false alarm. He bought the house last year.

In one area eight blocks were burned. People said it looked like a war zone. One radio
announcer´s voice trembled as she reported.

I remember the Labor Day weekend after graduating from high school. We went to Clear Lake to get plastered.

On night we watched the glow of a forest fire on the other side of the hill. It was pretty.
I´m surprised they didn´t evacuate us.

But it isn´t pretty in the day. I´ve seen two daytime fires. They terrified me.

Last night I was listening to Public Radio. I always listen to Public Radio when I am sick or real weak.

They interviewed an 87 year old American who lived in Moscow in the 1950s. He attended college there and ended up working for our government or a U. S. business there.

He talked about Kruchev. We all know that Kruchev criticized Stalin. But I didn´t know that his statements brought a loosening of the Russian police state. The cops didn´t arrest anyone who criticized Stalin and Kruchev.

There was great hope in Russia and eastern Europe, but it did not last. Kruchev invaded Hungary during its´ rebellion. He turned out to be just like Stalin.

I remember when Sis I was in high school. She was reading a paperback about the Hungarian Revolution. She came crying into the room where dad and I were. She showed dad the book and cried to him, ¨Why didn´t we help them!¨

It´s been forty-nine years since you were in Poland and Czechoslovakia. I remember the charred and mud-splattered piece of the Russian flag you brought home from Prague. It hung on the wall in my bedroom until after you died.

I remember the story you told about the Polish family you stayed with.
The kid told his dad, ¨If you don´t let me go out tonight, I will tell the authorities you have that thing in the garage you are not supposed to have.¨

That was the adventure of your life. You wanted to experience a real culture, the great Catholic and Western tradition you loved profoundly. You wanted to free yourself from the horribly anal life here in America. You slept in the snow in Poland so you could make up for the suffering you did not have to undergo in Vietnam. You wanted to prove your manhood to yourself.

You almost didn´t make it.

´67 and ´68 were the most challenging years of your life.

You went to Europe just as it was rejecting Catholicism and its´ pride in being Western.
It´s too bad you didn´t get to meet John Paul and Benedict when they were in their forties. You would have loved to hear how much they knew about The Church and European history. You would have loved to feel how much they loved The Church.

You have suffered a lot bro. I want to acknowledge it.

I love you,


Copyright © 2021 by David Vaszko