Thursday, June 23, 2016


by Ray Jason          

           One of the great joys of my sea gypsy life is the wonderful sense of camaraderie that exists amongst the ocean sailing community.  Because we have voluntarily embraced dangers that land-dwellers vigorously avoid, we have a deep sense of kinship.  And when we gather together in foreign ports, we are extremely helpful to each other because we are essentially a wandering, water-winged tribe.  This is a far cry from the isolation and suffocation of the modern suburbs.
            A common fixture of our little sub-culture is something called “The Morning Net.”  It is a radio broadcast in which the sailors can share valuable information.  If you need to borrow a torque wrench or check on the surf report or sell an item that you no longer need, the Net will assist you.  And if there is a genuine emergency such as a snake bite, the sailors’ radios will light up with help from our many Sea Samaritans.
            About a week ago, the Morning Net also bequeathed me the subject for this essay.  I noticed that cruisers were requesting help from the various tradesmen scattered amongst our fleet.  People were seeking a diesel mechanic and a refrigeration specialist and a welder and fiberglass worker and an electrician.  But more importantly, I noticed that nobody was seeking help from a hedge fund manager or a “political scientist” or an expert in gender studies.  (Actually, the cruising community has gender issues fairly well figured out.  The common joke is that the husbands may be the Captains, but the wives are the ADMIRALS!)  

Thursday, June 9, 2016


by Ray Jason

It probably seems odd for me to post an essay on this topic in June instead of in February when the game takes place.  However, the ideas in this piece just came to me in such a spontaneous gush, that it seemed like they wanted to get out into the world.  So here is another example of my “fictional philosophy.”


            During the third quarter of the Super Bowl, the legendary quarterback suffered a helmet to helmet injury that looked extremely severe.  The TV replays confirmed this; and everyone wondered whether he would be able to return to the game after the doctors examined him.  But the medical team determined that what looked like a possible major concussion was only minor.  So he was soon allowed to go back onto the field.  What happened next immediately became legendary.  And what happened after that became a societal earthquake.
            When the reporters searched for a way to describe the QB’s performance during the rest of the game, the word that kept appearing was “otherworldly.”  His passes and decisions and scrambles were so perfect that it seemed like his head injury had suddenly bequeathed him almost superhero powers of strength and vision.  He threw five touchdown passes in the second half and ran for another score while evading eight different tacklers.  His team won easily.
            Whereas most of the world goes on to other things after the Super Bowl ends, the QB’s brilliance had been so astonishing that hundreds of  millions of viewers stayed near their televisions so that they could watch the post-game press conference.  It far exceeded their expectations.