Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Lot Has Happened Since I Have Been Away


Due to health issues, I haven't blogged since June of last year. Things are only now starting to look up again. I am still not back to where I was but I am able to blog again. Much has happened while I have been away. So, in the immortal words of Ed Sullivan, "And away we go."
First and foremost, we had a real rip-roaring election which was a cross between the West Wing and WWE Wrestling. No kidding, we never knew what to expect. As I watched the flow of insults from my hospital bed, it killed me not to be able to blog about what was going on. I expect politicians to lie to some degree, the political lie is a time honored tradition. What caught me was how bad Trump was at it.

Seriously, Trump would be shown a clip of himself saying something, look right at the camera, and say, "I never said that." I don't mind politicians being a bit dishonest, but I would like them to be smart about it.

Somehow, this guy won the election and millions of jaws dropped. Now we're stuck with a president who has gutted the E.P.A., and whose idea of foreign policy is "I double-dog dare ya." He knows North Korea has nukes that can reach the west coast of the U.S. and he keeps poking them with a stick. I LIVE ON THE WEST COAST! STOP IT ALREADY!!

Let's ignore his policies for a moment, he can't do the job. He has not filled all the White House jobs, and the jobs he has filled he's filled mostly with unqualified people. His Chief of Staff, Bannon, is an ultra right wing pundit who has never worked in the political arena before. On top of that, his Secretary of Education does not believe in public education.

I am a very tolerant guy. Even when George W. Bush was in office I told people, "Even if you dislike the man, you have to respect the office." I can't do that with Trump, he's making a joke out of the office and he's going to get people killed, but by that time he'll have taken away their health care anyway. He literally makes Bush look like a genius.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

School Buses And Lemons

Americans gasped Sunday as they watched reports, from CNN and other sources, of an American-born man, who gunned down 49 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, after pledging himself to ISIS.
Lemon & School Bus
Subject: Lemon | Date: 02/13/2005 | Photographer: André Karwath |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
Subject: School Bus | Date: 12/07/2013 | Photographer: Echtner |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This blog is being posted four days after the fact, simply because I've had trouble writing the thing.  I had a whole thing planned regarding the fact that school buses and lemons are different colors, yet they're both same color as well.

One's a very bright sunny color, while the other offers a darker richer hue, but they have equal claim to the label "yellow."

I was going to use it as an analogy for Americans by pointing out we're all different from one another, but we're all Americans.  We may be liberal, conservative, gay, lesbian, bi, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, atheist, other, or any combination thereof, but we're all Americans.

I was going to point out that hundreds of Orlando's citizens dropped what they were doing and lined up for blocks to donate blood.  Based on their compassion, I was going to make the observation that there are more good people than bad people in the world.  I'd planned to finish by stating that we're all brothers & sisters under one flag.

I couldn't write the piece though.  Try as I might, I can't put any kind of a hopeful spin on the slaughter of innocent people.  WE'RE KILLING EACH OTHER FOR BEING DIFFERENT!!!

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Enemy Of My Enemy Isn't Necessarily My Friend

A few weeks ago I wrote about a series of Donald Trump quotes in order to define my opinion of the candidate.  This isn't that.  Today I'm much more disturbed by recent trend which has arisen in response to Trump's campaign.

 Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall
Subject: Mr Donald Trump New Hampshire Town Hall | Date: 08/19/2015 | Photographer: Michael Vadon |This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
This Thursday, protesters, outside a Donald Trump rally in San Jose, attacked the candidate’s supporters. Perpetrators jumped on cars, pelted Trump supporters with eggs and water balloons, and snatched signs.

If this had been an isolated incident I'd shrug it off as the reaction of a few immature hot heads.  However, over the last several weeks, similar riots have occurred across the country.

Bottles were thrown in San Diego.

Protesters in Kansas City had to be pepper sprayed to stop them from blocking traffic.

31 people were charged with disturbing the peace, and one was charged with third-degree assault in St. Louis.

2 police officers were injured by protesters in Chicago.

Hundreds of demonstrators were seen stomping on cars and hurling rocks at motorists in Los Angeles.

I'm not saying I like Donald Trump's ideas; I don't.  I think his policy stances are foolish to the point of being dangerous.  That being said, nobody has the right to commit acts of violence and damage property because they don't like somebody's ideas.

Say what you will about the candidate, he's speaking to the public to gain favor for his ideas.  The things he's saying are rude and stupid, but he gets to say them.  The second his opposition resorts to violence to silence him, they forfeit the moral high ground.  The minute we allow fists to determine who can speak, we join the league of ordinary nations*.

* = Aaron Sorkin "Posse Comitatus" (The West Wing season 3, episode 21)

Friday, May 20, 2016

TV, It Is A Changin'

Last week I commented on Facebook that I think Marvel does better movies, but DC does better live action TV. I backed my assertion by saying, I love the DC shows; Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, IZombie, and Gotham; but the last 2 Superman movies blew chunks. On the flipside, Marvel's Avengers & X-Men movies are great, but I struggle through Agents Of Shield.

Photo Courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.

A friend of mine, Kyle, responded by pointing out that Netflix’s DareDevil is one of the best comic book dramatizations being produced today. While I had no trouble agreeing with his statement, I hadn’t thought of web based productions as being “TV” shows before. In my mind, TV shows were shows people watch on a TV set. Apparently, I had been a victim of old fashioned thinking.

Certainly there are reasons to think of online content as belonging to the realm of TV. When the sitcom Community was cancelled by NBC, Sony struck a deal with Yahoo to stream a sixth season online. Additionally, Netflix’s House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black have each beat broadcast shows to win several Emmy Awards.

While the definition of a TV show has evolved to refer to episodic material which can be viewed on a number of devices, in my mind there is fundamental difference between online fare and traditional broadcasts.

The day after a traditional broadcast, viewers can gather around the proverbial water cooler and say, “Did you see that last night? Man, Kunta Kinte stuck to his guns.” However, web content is released a season at a time. This allows people to view material at their own pace, but it eliminates that next day chat and sense of community.

Everything changes and evolves, thus is the nature of the universe. I just hope that as the nature of TV progresses, we don’t sacrifice the aspects which bring people together.