Smith's Report, no. 180
Published: 2011-03-01

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FROM LADY GAGA TO SAIGON AND BACK AGAIN

By Bradley Smith for YouTube

These are the notes for my You-Tube video uploaded onto the Internet on 08 February. Today I'm reminded of a Jackie Gleason sketch I saw only last night on the television from 1957. And I know—glamour photos are not usually associated with serious revisionist work. However. . . .

Last night on the television I came across a clip of Lady Gaga doing something on a stage in a costume where she was pretty much naked. I've noted once before that I used to think Lady Gaga was a transvestite, it was all the odd stories about her, but that I had found I was mistaken. Last night I was particularly struck by the quality of her thighs. Beautiful. Anyhow, she had stopped her performance now and was telling her audience to reach for the stars, that only a few years ago she was sitting in audiences like the present one watching the star perform on stage. Now, she meant to say, look where she is.

My brain, being the way it is, thought about "fragments." What was that? I recalled that I had recently used the expression "fragments" to refer to the gas chamber story being a fragment of WWII history. Now I saw that each person watching Lady Gaga was one fragment of her audience. In that moment I was one of those fragments. Then the brain left the bed room here and I saw myself in the cafeteria at the VA Hospital in La Jolla, north of San Diego, where I was this past Monday. I was sitting alone at a table with a coffee and a little yogurt.

The room was filled with dozens of old, sick, half-sick guys eating breakfast. We were living out our normal, fragmented lives. I thought about how my own fragmented life is focused on work, on money, on health. One day one fragment dominates the life, the next a different one. That morning it was all money. I was worried about the money. Again. Very worried.

That morning I would do some blood work, keep an appointment with my oncologist who is tracking the cancer, and after that there was the surgeon who would cut the port out of my chest. It would have been normal for the brain to be focused on the health fragment of the life, but no, it was focused on the money. The anxiety about the money. I didn't have enough to do the work right. To take care of the family, the grandkids...

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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Smith's Report, no. 180
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Published: 2011-03-01
First posted on CODOH: June 2, 2012, 7 p.m.
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