Monday, November 22, 2004

Thought and its role in my life

Thought. What is it? How does one explain the "voice" that processes impressions, sensations and perceptions and derives sometimes simple, sometimes complex scenarios within one's head by which one takes action.

Thought is a process for me, one by which I examine issues, problems, questions, almost anything I can conceive, with an inner eye that's colored by my subjective experiences -- both past and present -- and by the circumstances under which I labor in the moment.

At present I am not thinking, I'm simply acting out a stream of ideas on the keyboard, the "rifle" that fires my "thoughts" onto this electronic page.

NO big deal, really. Until one is confronted with knowledge or information that exceeds one's bounds - one's context library, as it were.

I just finished watching a screener (advance copy) of the new film "Primer," and I must admit that I was challenged by its plot lines, its characters and its concepts. And while I found the film "entertaining," I also found myself rewinding the tape to certain scenes that baffled me when I tried to fit them into the overall jigsaw puzzle of the story.

Is it Abe or is it Aaron who's telling the tale? And what actually happened up in that attic?

Maybe you can tell me? I recommend that everyone sees this film, if only to see what can be done with very little money and a rich imagination.

Alas, I entered the Blog writers contest (if you're unaware of it, it's a one-month race to write a short story, one that can lead to book deals for authors and prizes for participants. But my work schedule had me so exhausted (same old excuse, right???) that I couldn't get it together to approach the project with any discipline. Subsequently, I made one entry (so far) and faded. But I love the idea and I hope to have an opportunity to try again at a later date.

I haven't given up on this story that I began. Perhaps I'll press ahead with the story to see where it takes me, but I'm quite sure I won't meet the deadline (end of November), so that's that.

Politics have begun to fall lower on my daily scale of "to do - consider - solve, etc," so far, in fact that I've not given it a thought for a whole day now. I know that Powell is thrilled to hear that Sharon (Israel) promised to give the Palestinians a fair opportunity to hold an election to replace Arafat. I know that more Marines died today in Iraq. And I know that Allawi, Iraq's ad hoc leader has announced that an election will take place at the end of January 2005, a short postponement. The Bush administration will be too embarrassed if that election does not take place, so they're willing to risk lives to get it done. But that's de riguer for Bush and his team. Lives for democracy, that's the way it is, was, and always will be, I suppose.

Still, it's depressing!

No, I'm more focused on my relationship with my girlfriend and my colleagues at work. Those two agendas seem to screaming for attention, especially with the holidays rapidly approaching.

Ugh! The holidays would be so much less stressful if they weren't all about spending lots of cash on gifts that, for the most part, are expected and, therefore, not much appreciated when it's all said and done.

Sigh. C'est la vie.

So Happy Thanksgiving; Happy Christmas; and Happy New Year, in case I forget or - God forbid - die in the interim.

Let's hope that the Bush crew doesn't put us all into a worldwide conflict in the next four years. And, keep on keepin' on.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Another curve ball whiffed by the DemocratsAll the pundits I listened to during the past week said that the surprising polestar upon which the election turned was "moral values." Moral values?

OK. If they say so it must be true, but I wonder how many people could explain exactly what they meant when they told the pollsters that they decided to vote for Bush based on moral values? I suspect many of them would say it's an indefinable thing that they recognize when they see it, but cannot put into words. And those erudite enough to form a complete sentence might have said they didn't want to return to a White House run by a lascivious president - never mind that Clinton had one of the most successful presidencies in history if one looks only at his government record and not his personal failings.

But oh well. That's America. We're a young, rebellious, slightly intoxicated nation (intoxicated on our seeming limitless military power) that's still feeling its way toward that more perfect union, so I hope we can be forgiven for not taking the long view on most things, and responding with emotion rather than contemplative reason. We're not that far from the time when our nation's forefathers burned people for witchcraft, a heinous crime that stands as a black spot on our collective consciousness.

And Rush Limbaugh aside, (Rush has no collective consciousness - in fact, Rush has little consciousness at all, far as I can tell) we do all share this experiment called Democracy and the wheel, as the song goes, is always turning.

So do not despair my Democratic brothers and sisters; and do not feel too superior my Republican brothers and sisters; none of us did a very good job this election year and we know it (I believe). But we'll learn, eventually, to ask questions and require more than sound-bite answers or blatant obfuscation that has a pleasing ring to it.

And life, in all its glory, ugliness, horror and beauty, will go on.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Well, it's finally here! Time to elect a president!

I'm glad I voted last week because I have a feeling the lines are going to be especially long tomorrow - election Tuesday. I'm sure we'll be in for a long night at the newspaper as the polls report and the night wears onward, and I hope that we have a CLEAR winner so the nation isn't thrown into a cauldron of boiling lawsuits and judicial fiasco as it was in 2000.

Supreme Court's idiocy aside, I feel that we're going to get a change come Wednesday morning. I believe that Sen. Kerry will be named the next president of the United States! Of course, if Bush gets the Evangelicals to go to the polls and pulls the shenanigans the GOP pulled in Florida in 2000, than we could definitely be in for a nightmarish legal brouhaha.

Everything aside, go vote if you're eligible. Whomever you decide is best equipped to lead our nation, it's important that you participate for both candidates! So please, go vote.

Well, that's my spiel for now. I'm preparing, psychologically, for tomorrow night's workload (always tedious during a national election) and trying to stay upbeat about our political system, though I'm somewhat disheartened by the current trend that's been in play for four years now.

But that's another story. Hope you had a Happy Halloween 2004. It's gone, and now we have Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to (hooray, ugh!).