Monday, January 26, 2004

The culture is sinking into a soggy swamp of commercialism run riot!

Yea, that's right. We're all going brain-dead from the waterfall of Hummers, TVs, DVDs, PCs, Internet Web sites that waste our time or fill our heads with useless trivia. The lowest common denominator has become the highest form of communication and corporate America loves this development. John Brunner's "The Sheep Look Up" is appearing more real than ever despite its wildly depressing vision of the future of life on this planet.

Societies merging create the need for a nexus, a point of power around which the masses swirl in lock-step to the tunes du jour.

Keep your eyes open, read as much as you can - read BOOKS - read magazines, comic books, technical publications, anything you can get your hands on. And DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING! Use your hands to create a picture, a sculpture, a story, a house, a hobby horse, a photograph, something entertaining, thought-provoking or simply useful.

Let no one divert you from a course of a life worth living, and let no one tell you how to think.

That is all.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Colors, colors everywhere. Why do colors frighten some and enthrall others?

Just proposing that the world is a prism through which the light of the universe is splintered into a thousand different colors - flowers, grasses, trees, birds, bees, jaguars and people.

So what's with the fear of different colors? And what's up with the loyalty these gang members place on the colors they wear? Why do people die because of the color of a kerchief? It's such a ponderous waste of time!

However, life goes on and so must I, so I bid you fondieu.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Wild ride through a wind-swept prairie!

Yea, it's a wild ride, this Democratic Party presidential nomination campaign. So many names and faces, so few new ideas or clear directions coming from the contenders. Kudos are due Gov. Dean for injecting life into the dizzy, wobbling Democratic Party. Without Dean the rest of the field would seem like a an exercise in watching paint dry. However, for political experience, D.C. savvy and military expertise, I think the scales tip toward John Kerry - with Gen. Clark as his running mate. That duo, I believe, could give Bush real problems. Both men served HONORABLY (unlike the Bushmeister) in the military. One has years of service in the Congress and, therefore, the insight and wisdom to know what can and cannot be accomplished through the democratic process.

Gephardt's record as a congressional leader is mushy and undistinguished. He caved in too many times when the Gingrich crew shoved its agenda down the throats of the nation, and he's perceived as a special-interest lackey by many - perhaps too many.

Mosely-Braun threw in the towel yesterday and sided with Dean, though I'm not sure that helps Dean.

Kucinich is a non-starter - fiery rhetoric delivered by a soft-spoken nerd.

Forget Al Sharpton - he's simply raising his own stock-value. He cannot, in his wildest dreams, believe he has a snowball's chance in hell of ever obtaining the nomination. And I don't believe his constituency can sway the black vote in the least, (is there really a true 'block' of black voters?), so forget him.

John Edwards is coming on and he looks pretty good (a' la John Kennedy boyishness). Some of his rhetoric is sensible and peppered with well-reasoned ideas. But I'm afraid his southern upbringing may be his albatross, in the sense that he is perceived as too congenial to trade punches in the arena of international politics. It's a rough and tumble game and Edwards appears too "sweet" to wield the power delegated to the president.

Lieberman, well, he's a nice old guy who's got lots of wind but little fire. I just don't see him arousing enough voters to push him over the top of the heap, despite (or perhaps because of) his run with the Gore.

No, I don't believe ANY of the Democratic candidates have stated his/her platform clearly enough to embed it in the psyche of the American electorate. None appears distinctively different from another - although clearly, Dean comes closest to achieving that distinction. But when party loyalists look at the field, they see fog and dimly-formed silhouettes.

No one has expressed the "gleaming" vision or displayed the "righteous" determination required to excite the general electorate, and when it comes to displacing G.W. one of the Democratic candidates must find that elusive "thing" that endears him to the public and lifts him above the petty hue and cry that currently defines the campaign.

Oh, I know that many say Dean has staked out a well-defined position on the issues, or that Kerry has stated his platform in rock-solid fashion, or that Gephardt and even Clark have presented themselves in definitive terms.

But I, sadly, disagree. Otherwise, why would the polls, pundits and the public all say they're undecided?

Wake up, folks. It's late in the game and it's time to decide. If the media asks the hard questions and pushes for answers, perhaps we'd have a better grasp of who these people really are ...?

I see the Dems pinning their hopes on Kerry and Clark (if Clark will accept the vp position), and I believe that ticket would have a real chance of deposing the Bushmeister.

Dean? Well, I don't think his ego will allow him to accept anything less than the presidential nomination, but I do see him as a hefty asset to the party if he commits to supporting the party's candidates. Dean's camp has built a well-oiled political machine that could catapault the Democratic nominees into the winner's circle against G.W. And that, after all, is the only true goal, is it not? We've got to dump Bush and place new leadership in the White House, not for partisan reasons but for the sake of the planet, the population and future generations.

That aside, I'm picking the Panthers and the Pats to win today. I just think that Peyton Manning is on top of his game. He's the most surgically perfect quarteback (at least in the last two games) I've ever seen, and I've seen a few good ones! And the Panthers? Well, I think the Eagles will find a way to lose, as they almost did in the game against the Packers. Were it not for Favre's errant, intercepted throw late in the fourth quarter, I think Green Bay would be playing the Panthers today. The Eagles' coaching staff is their worst enemy! The players have heart, talent and determination. But the coaches seem to be long on timidity and short on imagination. But we'll see, eh?

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Wow! The Baltimore Colts looked unbeatable today!

But that was today. I think the sentimental favorite for Super Bowl champion is Green Bay, given the death of Brett Favre's father a few weeks ago and the fact that he, and several key players, are playing hurt - but definitely bringing high-proficiency football to the playoffs. But the Colts were impressive - at least on offense - against the Kansas City Chiefs. The offense played as flawless a game as I've ever witnessed.

Even as I type, the Philadelphia Eagles are self-destructing, giving Green Bay a huge break by illegally touching the football on a kick-off bumble. I used to live in Filthy-delphia (1960s variation) and attended a couple of Eagle games, although I don't recall them as memorable. Seems to me that they've always been a second-rate football franchise, commonly finding a way to lose when the big games come around.

As much as these 'professionals' get paid, one would think that flawless performance would be the norm, not the exception to the rule. But reality is what it is and there just ain't no flawless teams. Hmmm. Sounds very human.

Actually, I'm not really interested in who goes to the Super Bowl since both my favorite teams (Raiders and 49'ers) are long gone. But since I'm broke and my girlfriend is ensconsed in her closet, asleep and recovering from oral surgery, it's entertainment on the cheap, so to speak.

And the beat goes on.

Looks like the Democrats are going to bring the battle for party-top-dog down to the wire. And while the Dean-machine rolls heavily forward today, the attacks from the other seven contenders (it is seven, isn't it?) may eventually undermine his momentum - although I don't think anyone in the field of Democrats will beat him. Dean has definitely out-cowboyed even Bush when it comes to shoot-from-the-hip rhetoric and the ability to arouse powerful emotional responses from the electorate. Whatever the outcome of the Democrat's convention, I only hope that they don't bleed each other so dry that the ultimate contender has little energy left to contend against G.W. - the Bushmeister. As it is, it appears that the platform the Democratic Party will build its attack on Bush will be comprised of both the economy - despite stock market rebound and the rich getting richer (it's jobs, stupid!) - and the war in Iraq. Dean has staked out the position that Bush was wrong to go into Iraq, citing his early and continuous opposition to the plan. The rest of the field, except for Kucinich (loser) must explain their support of the war in terms that placate the liberal constituency, a tough row to hoe! And then, of course, there's the economic issue, always a good backhand shot for Democrats given the propensity for MOST folks to want health care, access to education for their children and the prospect of retiring with an income that allows at least some level of comfort. Bush has put the nation in the pocket of big business, as is the want of the GOP, whereas Dean's message is, Bush's tax cut was a scam that bilks the middle class of its future while heavily favoring the ultra-rich. No surprise there. Only Dean has called for rescinding those tax cuts, although he's softened the message with a proposal to cut payroll taxes - thereby giving the middle class a better break. Here, again, Dean's position is the only 'radical' proposal in the field. The rest of the players seem to represent a laissez-passer stand toward the Bush tax "breaks," particularly Lieberman, who said that Dean's position goes against the party's doctrine of helping the commoner. The line between Dean's message and that of all the other Democratic Party candidates' is acutely demarcated - and that's what sets him apart from, and ahead of the rest of the field at present. But I think that his only hope of beating Bush is to get the FULL support of the party and its traditional power base (labor, minorities, young and middle class) but that will be a tough nut to crack for him because the party is in disarray. It appears leaderless at the moment, though I'm sure a coalescence will occur sooner or later. Even if the party lines up behind Dean, it will be a hard fight to oust Bush from the White House. Why? Damned if I know. I only know that the polls (and the media, to a wide extent) has indicated that Bush is, at present, a synch to win. We will, of course, see as time passes, how things shake out. But I would certainly not mourn a change of presidential venues, as it were.

I got my first few days of work under the belt this past week after a 12-day hiatus after Christmas. It felt lousy! I felt lousy! At the moment, things look lousy from my little piece of terra firma, which is not feeling so firma.

C'est la vie.

I'm out.


Sunday, January 04, 2004

I got dem ole mean-woman blues ... Man, women drive me crazy, and i don't mean that as a generalized phrase either. I mean women - plural and all-inclusive - drive me nutz! These beautiful, terrible creatures have the ability to twist one's words to reflect their own mood du jour, leaving me befuddled and begging forgiveness for I don't know what. And they're secretive! Always alluding to "someone" or "something" or, well "never mind." I called Debbi an hour ago to say "Hi babe" and hearing her perky for the first time in weeks I commented on the fact. She said "I had a friend visit me and she made me feel better." Well that's wonderful, I said, who was it? "Why do you have to act like that?" she responded angrily! So there I was, deep in shit without a clue as to how I got there beyond the simple question I'd posed. Now there's an axiom that states some women are conniving and sneaky because it's their ace-in-the-hole when it comes to manipulating a man's emotions. I think I had a demonstration of that this afternoon.

And so it goes. Never mind how things turned out - it's a secret.

So I've got the wild card NFL football game babbling on the tube behind me while I sit here wondering why I don't just blow D off and go out, go see a flick, go party with some strangers at a whorehouse or something salacious like that. But then, of course, I'd feel guilty for having succumbed to my 'lizard' brain instincts rather than adhering to my higher spiritual consciousness (yea, right ...).

My back hurts, my head hurts, and I'm feeling like the sediment of uncompleted tasks and unpaid bills is piling up on top of me faster than a mudslide in California. At the moment, life sucks (or blows, if you prefer). But I'll get over it, I'm sure.

Wow! What about that Mars lander, eh? NASA is guzzling champagne and crowing about the successful landing on the Red Planet's surface, and I'd agree, it's a technological marvel. To hit a target several miles wide from 1 million miles away is quite a feat.

Speaking of feet, I need a shower! Perhaps that will make me feel a little better than I do at the moment. I could care less about who wins this game between Denver and Baltimore. I couldn't care less about who goes to the Super Bowl, although I'll probably be watching the damn thing when it airs.

I'm telling ya, I'm going bonkers! Wish I'd gone to see Lord of the Rings this weekend but I told Debbi I'd wait until she felt well enough to go with me. And though she sounded quite normal - even perky - when I spoke with her earlier, she said no, she wasn't feeling up to sitting through a 3-plus-hour long movie.


Ah well. I don't have to return to work until Thursday, Jan. 8, which means I'll be on the rim instead of in the slot, which is a blessing after such a long sojourn. It's going to take a day or two to 'click' back into the flow on the copy desk when I return and the rim is much easier to handle. So there's that to be grateful for, I suppose. (Sigh*) All in all I'd say I'm having a pretty crummy Sunday thus far. Too bad, huh?