Monday, June 30, 2008

Life



As our host here has apologized for being lax in his posting, I also must apologize for not picking up the slack – life has interfered in many ways over the last few months; too many to count. However, the passing of a high school friend from complications due to her lung cancer has made me reflective and pensive with a need to share.

After surfing the internet aimlessly and reading more about the passing of comedic great George Carlin, I came across the following which speaks to my feelings today and what I feel is wrong with much of the world.

Rest in peace Grace; your family and friends will sorely miss you. R.I.P. George Carlin – your intelligent humor and wit will be missed.

From George Carlin:
“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom…”

If you do not like Carlin’s straightforwardness, I recommend reading Tuesdays with Morrie. Same message, but easier for some people to swallow. Plus, you’ll be reading.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Massage

The Massage

When I wake up in the morning—or lately, when I first ooze from one state of new-baby zombie-ness to another, I usually get my daily dose of MSM (mainstream media) therapy. What can I say: it’s addicting.

After being awake for about a half hour—I usually crawl out of my coffin at 5:30 am, at 6 am I check out Morning Smoe to get my morning dose. Yeah, it’s a sick, twisted co-dependency that I’ve yet to shake. 12-step, you say? Nah. But what I’ve noticed during my Morning Smoe fix is that I get the first few lines—pun intended—of the MSM daily script and I’m sure to hear these talking points reverberate throughout the day.

Take this morning, for example. On the Smoe, Mika had on Silly Willy, Pat Buchanan and Mike “probate court” Barnicle. One of the main topics: the latest match-up polls from Newsweek and other news agencies of McShame vs. Obama. When it came time to discuss the Newsweek poll, a poll showing Obama at 51% and McLame at 36%, one of Mika’s boys made some comment to the effect that Newsweek must’ve conducted its poll at Starbucks on the upper west side of Manhattan. I wonder which goon came up with that one. Sure, it might be true noting that these Newsweek polling numbers are a bit off when compared to the other polls. But really, does THAT matter?

Let’s get back to the script. As can be expected, I heard the same line uttered by Mike Barnicle this evening during his guest-hosting gig on PhlegmBall when he discussed the Newsweek poll. Sticking to the script, Barnicle reiterated that Newsweek must’ve conducted the poll at a Starbucks on the upper west side of Manhattan. Coincidence? Yeah—and I’m a Republican.

The bottom line is: mainstream media talking points exist and thus they constitute a script on a daily basis—just dabble in some MSM addiction yourself, and you shall see. The talking heads generally follow this script to rev up the echo chamber din, to shape perceptions, and to reinforce the notion that for many the media is the…massage.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

FUMBLING OUT OF DORMANCY


FUMBLING OUT OF DORMANCY



After being b-slapped (that’s blog slapped) by the ever-astute IC, I feel compelled to apologize for my absence from 1 % more consciousness.  

ATM (my wife) & I welcomed #3 over a month ago.  We had a lot of preparing and adjusting to do because we are never quite sure we know what we are doing with this parenting thing. Rest assured, though: I was not kidnapped by renegade wingtards for some sort of sick tribute to Rush Limfart, bka Jaba, the tart.

For sure, Mary Margaret, our latest arrival, has kept us and her brother and sister quite busy.  Indeed, we are a party of 5 getting our grooves on.

But I’m returning this week with regular postings. 

Forgive me, IC et al, for I haven’t sinned.  We (my multiple personalities & I) have had to do more laps on the kiddy-track than I had anticipated. 

Onward…

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Over

Weekly Wednesday Presidential Politics - 6/11/07

(IC note: This blog has been dormant far too long. Indeed, I haven't even posted here since February, with my "Explaining Limbaugh" column. Therefore, I've decided to run one of my recent blog posts from Presidential Politics for America. Enjoy.)

It's over. History has been made. Barack Obama is the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.

Yet, with all of the stories that slowly trickled in last week - the seventeen senate superdelegates, Clyburn, Carter, Clinton ready to concede, Clinton letting go staff, Clinton not conceding, Clinton wanting to meet face to face with Obama, Clinton interested in VP, Obama only interested in offering the VP if Clinton declines - it was easy to forget the big picture.

This was an historic event on several levels.

First, the magnitude of this upset is unparalleled in modern primary politics. Hillary Clinton, a lion in the Senate, with a 25-point lead in 2007 for the Democratic nomination, and with her spouse as the most popular member of the party and perhaps the most popular politician in the country, was beaten by a dark-skinned, mixed-race, first-term U.S. Senator with a Muslim sounding name who was just over two years removed from state politics when he declared for the United States presidency. Read that sentence again.

Second, the story everyone is talking about. For the first time in this country's history, a non-white has been nominated for President by a major political party. As an extension, if Obama wins on November 4th, he will be the first person with at least 50% African heritage to be the President of any country in Western Civilization (Europe, North America, South America).

Third, finally, and most important to me, I have to turn to a Hillary Clinton quote from last night. Who would have thought that it would be Hillary Clinton, not Barack Obama, who could put forth the quote of the contest? I have been following this primary for 18 months and in her speech last night, Clinton had my favorite line of the primary. Nothing sums up the ground breaking experience of the 2008 Democratic Primary better than a snippet of her simple prose. I know it's not Shakespeare, Jefferson, Glenn Cheney, or Dylan. I know it's clich├ęd. I know it seems obvious looking back on it. But she said it, and she's absolutely right.

"...we saw millions of Americans registering to vote for the first time, raising money for the first time, knocking on doors, making calls, talking to their friends and neighbors, mothers and fathers lifting their little girls and their little boys on to their shoulders and whispering,

"'See, you can be anything you want to be.'"


The crowd erupted, as it should have. Young minorities and young girls who saw the Democratic Primary come down to a woman and a black man must have been inspired. Our society isn't perfect. We haven't torn down all the barriers. We haven't convinced all the racists and misogynists of their archaic and misguided thoughts, and through aesthetic affirmative action, we've even gone too far in the opposite direction at times...

But those young girls and minorities haven't experienced any of that yet. They're new and innocent and untouched by the evils of prejudice and thoughtless malevolence. The most publicized and talked about news event of their young lives had a black man and white woman vying for the nomination of the Democratic Party. I don't think we can yet accurately predict the far-reaching effect this one political event will have on the next generation, but we can hope that the very best was taken from it.

And as we wave good-bye to the last few pre-19th Amendment seniors, as the generation that grew up in pre-Civil Rights slowly fades away, as the memory of the George Wallace south diminishes, and as my generation of Rodney King, OJ Simpson, and affirmative action begins its exit in a few decades, the generation of watching Clinton-Obama with wide eyes and big dreams will take our place. It was Dr. King's dream and it's becoming a reality.

So yes, the Democratic Primary is over, but it might not be the only thing that is. Over is the time where we walk into an election cycle with full confidence that we will see a white man vying against a white man to lead a country that is half female and steadily growing less white. Over is the time where we discount a candidate's viability because of the way they look. Over is the time where a girl or a black child gives up on their dream to hold the highest office in the land because of what they see when they look in the mirror.

It's over.

So I apologize if you checked into Presidential Politics for America this morning and wanted to see me break down numbers (unnecessary) or finish off my Barack Obama Veepstakes (Friday) or preview Obama-McCain (all summer). I just had to take a minute with a wide-angle lens and appreciate what we've experienced. I urge you to do the same.