Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sir Willem De Kay

Yay! Somebody notices me! Now I truly is somebody!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Reunion with my blog

OK, I tried to write a very heavy and profound blog entry yesterday, striking all the somber tones one does when re-entering the bloggosphere after a long furlough. And today, I was going to edit the draft version, perhaps to put a slightly brighter tone to the morose opening phrases.

Then I read it.

And then I said, "NAH!"

IT was shite. Pure drivel. So if you were kind enough to read even this far, which would make you very kind indeed, I won't bore you with that maudy tripe.

More to the point ... am I back?


The tough part about sitting down to write when you are out of work is that you feel guilty doing it because you are out of work. Aren't you supposed to be doing something more productive, like going to on-line university and learning to play the mandolin in subway stations for a touch of the ol' filthy lucre?

It is 'reinvention of the employable self' time in all media outlets --- perhaps because even the media monsters may be out of a job soon as well --- and we are all being advised to give up on the old engineering grind or the market trading yoke, and become organic farmers or hair stylists. I think that if you filled out one of those on-line questionnaires evaluating what you should do now that the sky has fallen and taken your office building with it, the web response would advise you to take a 180° turn, and in the immortal words of The Firesign Theater Company; "... cut off the soles of your shoes, move into a tree and learn how to play the flute."

Sage advise, that. I would particularly enjoy it, because throughout my adult working life (even when I was president of a small company), whenever I would hobnob with CIOs, Venture Capital Angels or other wheeler-dealers and be asked to commiserate with them over their labor related peccadilloes, I would take great glee in annoying them by saying stuff like, "Hey, don't ask me. I'm a commie."

Not that I was a commie, mind you. I just had reasonable relationships with union guys throughout my industry because I knew I needed them for anything to actually work. Not that only union workers could crew on as stagehands, lighting grips and riggers, camera operators, etc.; but that from city to city, I could only depend on union locals to provide qualified and trained personnel to get a lot done in a very short time.

And so, wouldn't it occur to a lot of people now that perhaps unions could be of some assistance in bringing the work force back on line? Since they have training systems for workers already in place, which corporations provide only at the most minimal levels AND with a gun to the CEO's head?

Ooooo! Scaary! Unions in offices! Boogah!

OK, the commie rant is now over. My more conservative pals can put away the long knives for the next cocktail party.

BUT, it does feel good to RANT! So maybe I'll do this once a day again, just like I used to. To feel like I am actually doing SOMETHING. While waiting to do something.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Golf and Republicans

In the post below, I indicated my chagrin at the current GOP by saying, "L'il Mz Bootz: Yeah, verily, they (the GOP) doth piss me off to boot (yuck-yuck). But if weren't for them, we wouldn't have golf!"

Slyboots comments: "I thought that was the Scots. Are they considered Republicans? In the US sense?"

It was obvious that I had slighted the Scots, and since I would not EVER want a Scott pissed at me (I read Trainspotting and few other of Irvine Welch's books), I thought it advisable I rephrase my definitions of Golf, and its relationship to the Grand Ol' Party gang.

The Scots only created Golf to make better use of all that land between the crags and the sheep herds (other than worrying the sheep). White folks in general perfected the process by creating exclusive dominions on which to play the sport, finishing off the process in the States by putting black jockeys with lanterns on all the greens for evening play. These were real black jockeys, who had to stand there in 12 hour shifts.

Post slavery, this tradition was emulated by Republicans who, though they could no longer use real black jockeys, decided to create metal ones just for their driveways and front lawns. (Many Democrats were also involved in this chicanery, but at least they smart enough to paint their metal jockeys pink)

Not to be out done by former Southern aristocrats, current Republican activists further enhanced the illusion of exclusivity by inviting all the licensed contractors they knew to play in fund raiser tournaments for GOP candidates, who signed on for this self-deception whole-heartedly.

That’s probably one reason why Joe the Plumber is broke.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Pup! Say It Ain't So!

Don't you just love all the mea culpas that conservative pundits --- as opposed to what Chris Buckley calls the "Right Wing Sanhedrin" --- are issuing now that McCain has so thoroughly drifted from his initial stance as a conservative libertarian?

I just caught that blog piece by Chris Buckley (son of the late, great William F.) where he indicated his support for Obama rather than McCain. Ironical, ain't it? In his blog piece he of course acknowledges his past support for McCain, even against the rabid dogs of the Right. But he is not alone. David Brooks of the NY Times is in the same boat.

Oh, and the reason he posted this was that he wanted to endorse Obama, mostly because he couldn't take it anymore. If you don't want to dirty your screen with right wing wanky web ads, I will quote you the significant part of his comment for me:

"A year ago, when everyone, including the man I’m about to endorse, was caterwauling to get out of Iraq on the next available flight, John McCain, practically alone, said no, no—bad move. Surge. It seemed a suicidal position to take, an act of political bravery of the kind you don’t see a whole lot of anymore.

But that was—sigh—then. John McCain has changed. He said, famously, apropos the Republican debacle post-1994, “We came to Washington to change it, and Washington changed us.” This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget “by the end of my first term.” Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"

What indeed? And sadly this is the position McCain's tactics have put most conservative thinkers (note ejaculators) are going through now. They finally got the candidate they really wanted, but after his going through the looking glass, he came out someone they could not recognize. And this is the essential truth: the heart of Republicanism has been ripped out of the GOP by reactionaries and the intellectual grandkinders of Reaganism. Reagan managed to convey conservatism without rancour, or spleen in most cases. And though John McCain was never a lambykins on any issue, he was always respectful and attentive to his opposites across the aisle, and would often be the first to work with them to right some wrong that was obvious. Not that he was my cup of tea, but at least he resembled the kind of Republicans I grew up with, and could respect.

Frankly, I think this shit would even make Nixon spin like a top. And he used to work for McCarthy.

Right now, the GOP is about as far from the 'party of Lincoln' as it has ever been. Are Nelson and Happy Rockefeller freakin' out in GOP Heaven? What do guys like Kissinger really feel? As a little kid, I helped out with local GOP campaigns back in Jersey, mostly because I knew Republicans who were good and decent people, who listened to us when we started to rant about Viet Nam.

These were the guys Eisenhower was talking to when he said "... we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

An alert and knowledgeable citizenry ... that's something the current thought-schtuping goose-steppers at the GOP are desperately trying to eliminate. And why they are losing their intellectual support so rapidly.

Perhaps losing the White House in 2008 will be the best thing that can happen for Republicans in a long time. The rational can get control of the party back, or at least help return the GOP to the dignity it once had. I'd like to think that some day, there might be a Republican candidate that even I could support for the office, simply because there should always be an alternative to extremisim. And I would like to think that the party of my father exists for some reason other than what it is demonstrating itself to be right now. Considering who we are really going to be up against politically, economically and strategically in the near future, it might be important to keep this in mind:

Like Spock said, quoting that old, old Vulcan proverb: "Only Nixon could go to China."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sadly, Chris Buckley's tenure (though brief) has ended at the National Review with his offer of resignation to the Editor. Apparently, even the libertarian son of the FOUNDER of the National Review is not allowed to stray from the Grand Ol' Party Line. Oh well, he writes great books, so he's better off. Stinks of fascism, don't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kiddie Terror

Today I perused the London Times web site, and was greeted by one of the sickest stories I have read on the Al Qaeda Gang to date. See this link:

How sick is that? I guess Osama Bin checkin' out the little peeps around the tent? Do they get 52 virgin infants when they get to Heaven? Or is that Hell?

Maybe I'm getting this all wrong, but isn't the West the Minion of Satan? Or are they hurting so bad they changed teams?

I also hear that Bin Laden is coaching Little League.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Undecided? ... Schmuck.

At what point in US history did we all decide that the 'undecided' voter is more important than any other consideration in the analysis of either candidates viability or legitimacy?

What is an undecided voter at this point in the election? There may be two types, though they don't follow party lines.

First, obviously, there is the twit. He/She/It can't make up their minds because they have no minds to make up. They are only marginally aware of economic issues or national security concerns, and most certainly have no formed opinions of any sort, other than a predilection for either daytime TV (preferably from a cable network of obscure fame, ex.: "347- The Animal Prostitutes Channel"); or ESPN Radio.

Second, the "Contrarian"; and there ain't a worse social disease out there. This person considers their opinions to be equated with gold bullion or sacred texts. They are critically concerned with these issues:

A) Themselves

B) Their Investments.

C) Their determination NEVER to approve of any government, spiritual or intellectual authority.

D) Their goal of never committing their personal time to anything outside their immediate interests.

E) Their eternal quest to NEVER pay any price, tax or compliment to a higher (they read that as 'lower') agency.

Visible indicators of the Contrarian? Pursed lips, like they just sucked on a lemon, when asked to make a decision ... on anything. Slacks or skirts often torn from their eternal perch on fence tops. Smirks whenever other breathing entities express passion, compassion, concern, anger or happiness in regards to ... again, anything. Exaggerated sighing and sense of self-worth.

As I had said above, this disease is not limited to those of any particular ethnicity, religion or level of income. Commonly referred to in medical and psychology texts in the Latin as Contrarianus Maximus, the malady was originally confined to France (with the exception of Provence and the Languedoc region), but soon migrated across the world to all nations.

And though there have been many concerted efforts to find a cure through medical research, fundraising and the "Walk Against Conceit" campaigns by the yogurt companies; still there is no progress. We are stuck with them, and the Monster-that-be-the-MEE-DEE-YA informs us that if the 'undecideds' aren't placated, primped, patted and pleased then All the Demons of Hell shall be loosed upon our over-opinionated selves.

Feck that. Feck THEM. If you haven't got an actual opinion yet on the issue of who's to be the next POTUS, then you are either a Twit or a Twat (as our Jolly English cousins like to say, not the nasty thang you be thinking). And if your are a twit, well ... you get a pass. Can't be helped.

But if your are a twat, beware! Your days are numbered. America and the rest of the world not only want change, they want ACTION. When the masters of the Universe gather at Haavard B School not to congratulate each other, but to figure out how THEY can contribute to Society's Infrastructure through "Social Investment", then the hour of doom for Contrarians is at hand.

In November, there will be a decision made, it will most likely be for Obama, and I am very sorry to tell you Contrarians that the rest of the nation --- nay, the world! --- expects you to get off the pot.

Or just go shit yourselves.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Books NO Movies

EDITOR'S COMMENT: Please note that the last paragraph of this post is nonsensical, as it has no bearing on reality. Bwana Jr commented was, " What Fecking Children of God movie?" I stand corrected: the movie I meant to say was "Children of Men". Duh.

I saw this great post from Willem De Mexico's blog, and had to agree with his premise that, " ... I understand that, as a reader, I'd love to see a book I enjoyed thrown out to the non-reading world - but, rarely, does it work."

Guillaume, I must agree with you. MY fav example of the inability to transcribe cool shite to film would be Neil Stephenson, especially his Baroque Cycle, once described to me as 'Harry Potter for Global Market freaks'. Well, I'm quoting a economics wanker there, so take it with a grain of salt.

Then there is the category of novels that should become films, and somehow do not. For instance, Madame de la Beantown and myself only read a few writers in a shared manner. I learned this lesson after she gave me a copy of The Notebook. I was forever cautious thereafter.

As this is definitely something that should NOT have become a movie, or any other piles of Sparks shite, I narrowed the list of 'shared reads' to protect myself. We settled on some really great stuff, and as for the middlin'/entertainin'/fav-rave-for-the-shitter, we settled first on Robert B. Parker (like eating a whole box of Oreos), and Mary Doria Russell , whose book The Sparrow and its sequel Children of God, proved quite fascinating to us both.

I bring her up because of a short correspondence I had with her and Barbara Hall, her (then) co-screenwriter. Hall was the producer of a CBS TV Series, "Joan of Arcadia". I don't really recall how I got into this thing, but I did. I just remember sending an email out of curiosity, and then getting slammed.

One line of discussion covered who exactly should play the lead character, a Puerto Riccan Jesuit ---

--- no, that is not an ethnic joke. I don't want to belabor this thang, so if you are really interested in all this sparrow story line, check this link) ---

---At one point, they moaned about the lack of any LA interest, even though the book sold a bizillion copies, etc. While discussing the casting idea, I mentioned that if you wanted a deep-yet-o-so-sensitive- guy, who could play Latin with gravitas and humor, and would put up with being raped by aliens, I suggested there was only one dude for the job; Johnny Depp. This caused a period of silence to ensue, ending with a message of joyous tumult ... Antonio Banderas was so interested he dropped some dough in their laps for development.

There was an extended disconnect with them after this (health problems for Mary, production problems for Barbara), that I lost contact. Mme. de la Beantown asked me some time later what was up, and I checked. Turns out BRAD PITT bought the rights to both books to combine them into a single film, and last I heard it was scheduled to release (?) in 2010.

What was all that shite for? I guess too many good novels become too many bad movies. Here's a thought... does anyone out there think the Children of God the movie was a good or bad version of the book?