Say hello to a post-American world

Source: Say hello to a post-American world

The incredible slight in all of this, that Fareed elucidates, starkly, yet reassuringly, is that the world moves on easily without America, the superpower.  The elevation of our most mediocre, our basest and mundane, to America’s highest realm – with our own permission and utter transparancy, mind you – shows the world our underbelly, which as Marx foretold a long time ago, would ultimately level the true self-absorbed, egoic, disease of Capitalism.

 

Lessons Learned

The epilogue of John Hogan’s trek around Nigeria encourages interest into the politics and history of this largely misunderstood, and often forgotten country by the western world.  His final lesson, “idealism overriding practicality in pursuit of the dream,” as he writes – literally – in his final sentence, certainly explains my life’s trajectory.  I met John around fourteen years ago in Newport, Rhode Island, when he was working as a valet at the same hotel where I worked on the CliffWalk.

John’s engaging personality bespoke a character and humor I had missed from my years in London, where I had worked for an Irish family that owned several pubs.  His journals intrigued me mostly because, I identified with the feeling of being the stranger from another land.

John J Hogan

IMG_20170531_151122To kick off the epilogue to this record of one of the most educational, enjoyable and hopefully pivotal periods of my life, I’ll go back to where I started over four months ago by quoting the late, great Hunter S. Thompson.

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Hilton Head Blog Angel Welcomes You Again to… “Only on the Back Page”!

Visitors gather to celebrate the 4th of July

A lovely Rockwell scene awaits the fireworks display on the 18th fairway of the HarbourTown Golf Links.

This started out here, but since you wound up on MY page, you’re getting the director’s cut version, so buckle up for a bumpy ride!

Which simply means that you are now in the presence of shear, unedited brilliance.  Within these magical, mystical scrolling points, you will be privy to the sometimes, coy copy, maybe shady, doctored images that certain local, Pamphlet of the Isle editors censured, due to my questionable investigative techniques, and/or subversive nature of the content contained herein, using unnamed sources (usually because I forgot to write down their names before they hung up on me), that will take you on a point-by-plot, connect-the-dot investigation of international intrigue starting from all the way down into Hilton Head Blog Angel’s gut instincts, and leading up into the dark, grey, nether regions of her brain-pan (or, as Johnny D refers to, her effing, ‘nut-case’).

For example:

Fireworks boat in HarbouTown

Now, one could argue that this vessel eerily resembles a Russian spy-ship lurking off our southern shores at dusk on our country’s own birthday, while the G19’s distractedly snubbed Trump at break time on the Continent… ORRRR…, it could be an out-of-focus, auto-flash shot of the famous Falcon Fireworks boat crew preparing for the Annual Sea Pines, 4th of July Blitz showcase over the 18th fairway in HarbourTown, last week.  On which of these aforementioned scenarios would you place your bets?

See? This is good stuff my friends, and only the very discerning of you will appreciate how hard I worked keeping it together for your reading pleasure, not unlike British agent, Christopher Steele, with his, y’know, alleged,’ dossier, that Buzzfeed published online a while back.  Do you all understand how hard we independent movers and shakers work to remain both marginalized, AND disenfranchised at the same time? It is not easy going rogue; just ask Sarah Pahlin, who had to learn that you can’t just blather the word, ‘rogue’ interchangeably with, ‘maverick,’ over, and over just because you learned what they both meant a week before press time.  Hunh.  Now, look where she is.

Just kidding (not really. I’ll leave that one up to reader’s discretion).

And, speaking of readers and their discretionary habits, according to my ex-editor at the local daily newspaper, there weren’t enough of them – them, being readers who liked my articles that is, I’m speaking now to, you guys clicking around my fledgling column, Only on Hilton Head, to make it worthwhile for The Island Packet to include my uniquely islander’s insights, on the weekends any longer, and sadly for me, I won’t get to continue interrupting your Sunday mornings with embarrassing, ‘remember back-in-the-day moments’.

Apparently,  my, “numbers weren’t adding up,” according to the Bionic Man, before he fired me.  Darn it.  Now, which of you, Hilton Headers, forgot to turn in your Hilton-Head-Blog-Angel-end-of-term quiz?  Hmm?  See, this is why, forgotten Sea Pines Academy alumni scribes like me, get whisked into dustbins; because islanders forget to click the blue Likey button, or comment, SHARE, or for God’s sake YOU’RE NOT STILL READING THE PRINTED NEWSPAPER DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR, ARE YOU?

Carmen DeCecco in B&W

Seriously? You were reading me while sitting on the john in your slippers, yukking it up, Sunday mornings?  That doesn’t count as ‘Liking’ me at the Packet.  that’s merely ‘anecdotal evidence’ (I know it sounds evidentiary of something else, but that’s what they told me.)

Don’t you understand? They can’t count your smiles, and chuckles, when rationalizing firing a feel-good, columnist, whose fluff-piece gets cornered into the back pages next to ‘Pets of the Week’ (seriously, that’s where I was Sunday morning, July 9, in the Lowcountry Life section of The Island Packet, 6C, right next to a labrador named River, at Rogue Rescue & Sanctuary,) if you’re just reading a printed paper you bought at the 7/11..’sniff‘…I’m fine, thanks for asking,… just need a moment…

Anyhooo, and be. That. As. It. May.  My hope is to resume blogging again more regularly, in case you’re wondering, or maybe you don’t care… whatever.  I’m in a snit. (sigh)

Transitioning to BlogAngel ArtWorks

You may enjoy the following photos I took during last week’s stellar fireworks display at the 18th fairway in HarbourTown – none of which made it to the newspaper’s online website because, apparently, I suck.  But, the lovely Berrigan family was nice enough to invite me to join them, so a good evening was had by all.  And if you stick around, you’ll see some more of my fun artwork from that night…

4th of July Fireworks HarbourTown, 2017

Now, here’s one of those lucky shots. Eric Horan, and Tom Kemeny, will both be proud (I hope), I was able to pull this one off by total accident. And I didn’t have to use any of the dials on my Photos software settings at all, since I really don’t know how to use them, at all, really.

All I know is that, having made no plans last week for the 4th of July, 2017, I mosied down the 17th fairway from Bob and Susan’s house (that’s on the 11th tee, for those of you new to this blog), and it was another banner evening of Americana red, white, and blue, like the big Boeing fly-by on Easter Sunday a couple months ago, during the RBC Heritage Golf Classic presented by Boeing.

 

 

Fireworks above the 18th at HarbourTown

All right now, question for Eric Horan: Is this a flock of seagulls, captured flying across a blue, sunny sky? Or, did I have my digital wheel-thingy set at the portrait/night-time no-flash, slow-shutter setting when the first couple of fireworks popped off like right inside my eardrum?

And again I infuriate myself; by showing up with bells and whistles I don’t know how to use properly.  Like, I used to always show up places with a tri-pod that didn’t want to attach itself to the exceptionally priced – yet, aptly named – Rebel T3i EOS, but instead, would lollygag its neck around, and around, while I attempted to click the camera securely into place on the neck of said, Mr. Tripod, who’s neck would tip-tap about, like a fancy little two-stepper, as I kept trying to click the… REBEL..T3i.into.place while the fashion show would be moving ahead without my stylistic videography no matter what…! Noooo….

telescope and tripod on card table

Currently, Sir LollyGagagalot (back center, in black, wearing the turtle necklace) stands guard in Blog Angel’s Carolina Room, with other semi-retired Sentinels, like Colonel’s Big & Little Red, the beginner telescopes, waiting patiently to teach Mrs. Blog Angel how to read the universe.

So now, Sir Lollygagalot, does not accompany me so often, rather he remains in time-out in the Carolina room, thinking about how he has frustrated his kind, and patient, scrivener maiden.

And no, I do not mind standing still when I need to shoot video, and my upper arm starts to burn holy Moses, because that’s why we do fifteen-twenty minute planks nowadays, right?  And isn’t that what the corner of a bar is for anyway? A place for Captain Can’t-do Canon to rest and record activity without moving, while Princess Blog Angel sips a Perrier with lime?  (Just nod and keep your eyes moving along.) Any device that argues with my ego for more than sixteen hours, receives an appropriate insulting name, and is relegated to the corner of my Carolina room, until… whenever my mood changes.  Just ask the two Colonels Big & Little Red, and Zeus Buddha, the non-zense stone waterfall that corroded my double AA batteries.

So, yes, I have gotten used to those looks from IT professionals and other such trained engineers who groan when people like me walk into their shops with a couple of new words in their vocabulary, but that’s about it.

Fireworks reworked.

Yes, these were fireworks over the 18th at HarbourTown on July 4th, 2017! I worked very hard on this piece, so I’ll thank you all for NOT laughing.

I am also someone who – when mistakenly taking pictures in the night light setting, with the shutter stop at the wrong speed, jamming up, and the focus going in and out, and finally the darn thing pops a flash, with the resulting photo containing comet-like zig-zags – will allow people to think that I did it ON PURPOSE, as an effort of artistic expression, because I am known to appreciate, and dabble in, the creative arts, myself.

To wit;

HarbourTown Lighthouse 4th of July, 2017

True or False: Snazzy light rods w/ nuanced time aperture? Or, HarbourTown Lighthouse at dusk using wrong shutter feature?

Just ask my mother about the shadow boxes I make for her, or ask Johnny D, about my creative dvd’s, and singing-grams. 

So, I leave you all with one more bit of art work, which happened to be the first inspiration, when Tom Berrigan & Co. caught me staring up at the night sky last week, through Captain Canon Rebel T3i, just before the crowd went wild on the 18th fairway watching a Russian spyship shoot off some fireworks in honor of our 4th of July in HarbourTown.

I call this one, Moon over America the Free!  And no, this was not photo-shopped in any way.  It was a gimme, my retirement present on America’s birthday.

Moon over the 17th Fairway of HarbourTown

Nearing a full moon over the 17th fairway on the way to the 18th tee. A perfect orb looking down on American families gearing up for our nation’s annual candelabra to light up the night’s sky.

And as always, thank you for reading all the way down to this point.

My Response to the New York Times’ Google Article: What They left Out. A Lot!

Source: My Response to the New York Times’ Google Article: What They left Out. A Lot!

And to my dear friend, Morna McDermott, thanks for keeping them honest, because at the end of the day, this is what democracy looks like:

Morna the protestor

Morna McDermott, Activist, Educator, Author, Sister

Graduation

Source: Graduation Again, I have to share John Hogan’s journal from Nigeria.  Including exciting video of graduation traditions at Wits University, ever reminding us of how precious access to education is, and how fortunate we are as Americans to ever be in a position to take it for granted.  Thanks again, John!

John Hogan

Thanks to Island Elves, No More ‘Dumb’ Easter Bunnies on Heritage Sunday

Easter Pail Deliveries in Sea Pines

Easter Elves, Elissa Ealey, Christien Turner, and Sharon McDonnell prepare Easter pails for morning deliveries in Sea Pines.

A great secret about being on Hilton Head at special times of the year is that island families and visitors are protected by elves that live underground.  Through the years, they have observed the island’s growth from their quiet little nooks, sneaking out at dusk and in the wee hours to assist us in areas of our evolution where we need help – but didn’t always know it – and at certain times of the year, like Easter, they hire assistants to help with overflow.  Right now the assistants work for Sea Pines Resort, and are taking calls for Easter Bunny pails, at $40/each, and a wagon ride, at 843-842-1979. They are under the careful supervision of head Easter elf, Jen Westerfeld, and yes, reservations are necessary.

Sea Pines Easter Bunny

The Sea Pines Easter Bunny delivers on time, and also offers a wagon ride.

Easter elves became necessary due to a story about a family whose parents would like to remain nameless.  But whom nevertheless, had set a rather demanding precedent for their darling children, known as Carmen and Preston of Baynard Cove environs, whereby the Easter Bunny always left full, and overflowing baskets of chocolate eggs, goodies, and pastel-colored sundries next to the fireplace Easter’s Eve, giving much incentive for the little angels to snap awake early for church in the am each year.

But woe, one season back in the 1970’s, the sacred Sunday fell on the same day as the sacred Heritage Golf Tournament Final Sunday round (just like this year, of our Lord, 2017).  Which also meant that sometimes, the rituals accompanying the hallowed Saturday Eves, also conflicted with one another, resulting in opposing early, Bunny tee-times, and church bells.

To wit; due to the aforementioned conflicting rituals the night before, the Easter Bunny did not make it to the fireplace of Casa Hawkins one Easter/Heritage Sunday morning, back in the day.  You can imagine, upon bounding out to the fireplace in bunny pajama finery at sunrise finding no Easter baskets, the children were none-too-pleased.

As later family relations have retold this tale, the wise Queen-Mum, and her visiting sister, snuck out the back porch on the 11th tee in their dressing gowns with baskets, candy, and painted eggs (whilst the CBS cameramen were setting up on the 15th for the final day wondering to each other, what will the Hilton Head residents think of next, as they remembered that the year before, two streakers ran across the 17th fairway on live tv).  Unconcerned at what the cameramen might be thinking, the sisters quickly arranged the baskets nicely at the front door of the Hawkins’ residence.

Pleased with their work, the lovely debutantes, tiptoed back around into the house, as though this was all normal, Easter-Sunday-morning-Hilton-Head-goings-on, and said, “Well, what’s wrong Preston?  Why are you frowning this lovely dawn?”

And Carmen, who was older, and a little wisenheimer at this point in life said, “He’s mad because the Easter Bunny didn’t come this year.”

To which, the Queen’s sister said, “Well, has he checked out the front door?  Maybe the Easter Bunny couldn’t get down the fireplace last night.” (We were also new to the Sea Pines neighborhood, so certain child-ish beliefs of a general theme were getting spun to us in odd variations as we matured).

Frowning, Preston marched his little padded hoofies to the front door, swung it open, where, SURPRISE!  There were TWO Easter baskets filled with chocolate eggs, colored cellophane wrappers, with price tags, pine straw sticking out, and Spanish moss dripping off the sides.  Preston stood looking down for a few minutes, and finally said, “Dumb, Easter Bunny.”

[Just a heads-up; if you weren’t living here before 1980, the rest of this might be really boring.]

Which brings me to my earlier point about the elves that have been watching island humanoids (they call us, ‘Fumbling Island Ogres’ in case you were wondering), to see what kinds of antics we might be up to, in the course of a weekly episode.

For more examples (besides just the ‘Laughingstock Hawkins Clan of Baynard Cove,’), at one time in Hilton Head’s development, early Island Ogres thought it might be nifty to erect green stop signs (so unique, even Horace Sutton mentioned it in the Chicago Tribune in 1969) and to have directional signage hanging from boat oars, to keep things recreational-looking, and resort-ish for vacationers.

Seriously.  Old-timers like Bart Whiteman, Clan Berrigan, Steve Plowden, and all of Charles Perry’s kids will back me up on this.

Bart Whiteman

Bartman, Island Realtor extraordinaire, remembers all.

As everyone now knows, landscaped rotary circles were the answer to stoplights; adorned with trees and foliage, hiding the other side of the road, so newcomers to the island would not know if the road ended, or went around to the other side, or dead-ended, or what the heck?  Why doesn’t this Godforsaken place have streetlights?

Elves noticed immediately (of course, amidst much glee and knee-slapping), that Fumbling Ogres could not discern color from text when it came to disassociating the shade of green, from the word, ‘Stop’.  Nor, could they retreat quickly enough from making a right turn, where the sign that said HarbourTown, with a white, painted left arrow, was hanging from a brown oar with the paddle-end pointed towards the right.  This was especially funny, if it was the posted instructional sign on the rotary circle, and the paddle happened to be hanging leftward.

One can only imagine the resulting noise-pollution issues; horn honking, and finger-gesturing; lots of foreign-language shouting, which resembled much too closely, the cities from whence the Visiting Fumbling Ogres came.

So, after much more belly-laughing, the elves set about quietly adjusting mistakes for the Fumbling Island Ogres, who had to keep marching forward in this experiment known as the Shambala Hilton Head Island.

Sadly, no longer could the elves enjoy the escapades of Fumbling Ogres imbibing too much of the vine, falling from tavern into the bay, as weekend entertainment.

So, within a few short years, the green stop signs turned back to red, bike paths became more clearly marked with lots of little red stop signs, magnets appeared on refrigerators that told visitors not to feed alligators, and to turn off beach-oriented lights so the loggerhead turtle hatchlings could find their way to the ocean.  Then, signs appeared on beach pathways reminding everyone to pick up after their pets, and later signs that came with plastic bags to pick up after their pets (because the elves watched Fumbling Ogres ignore the first sign, so they had to actually build a roll of plastic bags into the sign – phew – Fumbling Ogres needed lots of help).

And yes, now you can call for the Easter Bunny, so that a little kid doesn’t have to stand at the front door, shaking his head saying, “Dumb Easter Bunny” late Sunday morning.


For a Bunny pail delivery call, 843-842-1979, or go to https://www.seapines.com/events/Easter-Pail-Deliveries/April-2017 within Sea Pines Resort only.  The Easter Bunny will bring a pail filled with beach toys and Easter candy, plus an elf will come along to assist.  The cost is $40./pail.  If you would like a pail reserved for your child and you are not staying in side Sea Pines, you can still order an Easter Pail, with 24 hours notice, and pick it up at the Sea Pines Fitness Center on Lighthouse Rd.