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KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on January 19, 2012.]
Those who know me from other newspapers have heard some of this, but for my first KONK Life column, let’s start with a brief review…
My “internet handle” has been Reactor for about 20 years. The roots of that nickname come from: 1) my relentless work ethic; and 2) my strong social media reflex impulse. The connection to a not-so-well-known album by musical sage Neil Young (whom I venerate) also comes into play.
Around the time I became a full-time Keys resident I expanded the handle to Key West Reactor. So if you see that attached to a Facebook or blog comment or in a forum somewhere, it’s almost certainly me. (Unless it’s something that really pisses you off, in which case it was probably hijacked….)
And now I’ve modified the handle a bit for THIS newspaper, for obvious reasons. ‘Nuf said about that.
There’s a common expression “all politics are local”, and to that I tend to agree. Another common sentiment is “never discuss politics or religion with friends”, and again I agree. So in this column, my friend, I’ll try to leave out the politics while sticking with the “local”. Many issues and topics involving our little town ARE political, though, so I apologize in advance for any inadvertent stepping-on of toes if it happens to yours. But rest assured I will not foist fully political columns onto you, my friend.
Now with all that introductory rambling out of the way, I find that my remaining space is too small for a full central topic this time. So please allow me to improvise….
Not long ago we lost the wise old sage Andy Rooney, at age 92. (I actually think he was more a cranky old fart than a wise sage, but I’m trying to be diplomatic. ) For the rest of this column I will attempt to channel Andy’s spirit, and see if I can have him ask and answer a few questions – mostly of a local nature….
Don’t you hate it when you’re walking with your mate on a Key West sidewalk that can barely handle three abreast, and the couple coming toward you makes no effort at all to compromise? BOTH couples should adjust to single-file as they approach each other, to make for smooth passing. They can even still hold hands during the few seconds that would take. But maybe it’s because I’m short, often other couples seem to stick side-by-side, expecting US to scurry out of their way. Interesting how they tend to not accept their role in it when I (seeing their attitude) only move HALF way over while they don’t move at all. But they do sometimes end up nursing an arm bruise when THEY whack ME in my ready-for-impact shoulder as they squeeze past. (Yeah, I can be a jerk – when faced with other jerks.)
Don’t you hate it when someone claims people who “grew up here should be able to …____”? Fill in the blank with something along the lines of:
“…build anything they want on their property”,
“…get an extra discount on Tropic Cinema tickets”,
“…poach lobster using casitas”,
“…park big boats in the street”.
I’ve heard, or seen in “the Voice”, all of these recently. I love how some here have deep roots — but that doesn’t translate into special privileges or patronage. Just be thankful you or your family hasn’t been forced to move away at some point.
Don’t you hate it when someone criticizes the wonderful music of Yusuf Islam – who most of us remember as Cat Stevens – merely because he now practices a faith that they don’t like? The man has written some of the greatest songs of all time, sings them like an angel, and doesn’t have an evil bone in his body. Give it a rest, Mr. Pharisee…
Don’t you hate it when you look around the theater as you leave a movie at the Tropic or the Regal and see PILES of garbage left behind? Is this a statement of defiance? (“I paid a lot for that popcorn; I should be able to dispose of it anywhere I please!”) Is it shoddy upbringing? (“We always tossed our trash on the floor at my house!”) Please don’t be a pig, it takes only seconds to carry it to the can.
Don’t you hate it when some dork starts lecturing you on what’s annoying?
Ouch, it’s hard channeling Andy, better let his cranky ghost rest in peace. See you next time with something a bit less rank…
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