Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Year End Wrap Up

I realize it's early for my annual rambling list, but as I've not had the inspiration to write much of anything on this blog for quite some time, I figure I'll at least bring a dry smile to my faithful readers who check back from time to time only to see the same stagnant post unchanged since their last visit. My apologies to you all. If anything ridiculous should happen between now and New Year's Eve I will be sure to ammend this list. For now, here it is....

Top 10 Things We Could Have Done Without

1. BP Gulf Oil Spill
2. Citizens United
3. The "Ground Zero Mosque" protesters
4. Wiki Leaks
5. The TSA Airport Grope Fest
6. Linda McMahon, Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell
7. The KFC Double Down
8. Senator Scott Brown
9. Reverend Terry Jones (no, not the one from Monty Python)
10. Mid-term elections

Top 5 Things I Learned This Year

1. Just becasue you're older doesn't necessarily mean you are wiser.
2. Twitter is stupid.
3. There is no greater sense of accomplishment than growning your own food.
4. Ratatoulle is divine.
5. Most people can't spell or use punctuation correctly as is painfully evident during a cursory perusal of your friends' Facebook statuses.

Music Pics (Not much in the way of new music this year for me. I've been listening to lots of old Police, Paul Simon, the usual jazz and lots of world beat - especially from Latin countries and the Middle East.)

Once Again - John Legend
Los Patricos - The Chieftans with Ry Cooder
Mejor Mariachi del Mundo


Books

1. Maskerade - Terry Pratchett
2. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
5. Raising Chickens for Dummies - Kimberly Willis and Rob Ludlow
6. In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan
7. Eating Animals - Jonathan Safran Foer
8. It's Not News, It's Fark - Drew Curtis
9. Complete Short Novels of John Steinbeck
10. Dramatis Personae - William Butler Yeats
11. Come On In (New Poems) - Charles Bukowski

Monday, November 01, 2010

Sanity Restored

I don’t like crowds. In fact, I have a tendency to panic when a person violates my imaginary three foot perimeter of personal space. Yet I felt compelled to trek to our nation’s capitol at the clarion call of my two media heroes to prove that there are indeed a multitude of Americans who not only hold very clear views of the direction the country needs to take, but also feel that their views can be expressed without the vitriolic hatred spewing from the perpetually inflated vision of the 24/7 cable news and talk radio juggernaut.

Admittedly, when I first heard about the rally I thought it was a joke, but I booked a room and flight just in case, figuring that at the very least, I’d get a nice weekend in DC to do some sightseeing. I guestimated that 25,000 - tops -  would make the journey.  Never could I have imagined the size of the crowd that converged on the Mall on Saturday.

Ativan at the ready, I set out. Tens of thousands lined the streets moving in the same forward direction – a giant mass of politeness and humor. It reminded me of NYC in 2003 when an equally large crowd demonstrated against the impeding Iraq war. However, this convergence was more esoteric. Some questioned if there was any cause at all. Clearly, comedy and common sense were enough of a draw.


The excitement was palpable. Everyone there was making their own individual statement in the collective mass. No one had a clue what the day would bring, who would be speaking – other than Stewart and Colbert – or how “political” the thing would turn out to be. But this gathering wasn’t about politics or choosing a side. It was about unity as Americans. Loving our country and acknowledging just how lucky we really are. If anything, it was a reckoning of the American spirit. Jon Stewart summed it perfectly:
“This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith, or people of activism, or look down our noses at the heartland, or passionate argument, or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear--they are, and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times.”
 Of course, the performances themselves were pure gold. Leave it to Stewart and Colbert to pit Cat Stevens against Ozzy Osbourne dueling over which train to take (Peace or Crazy) – only to have the O'Jays settle the dispute by having everyone get on board the Love Train!

It was also wonderful to see my favorite, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, performing with Mavis Staples of the world-famous Staples Singers. And did I mention Tony Bennett? What a treat! Others included Sam Waterston of Law and Order reading a “poem” written by Colbert, John Legend and the Roots as the house band, Kid Rock with Sheryl Crow, the Myth Busters guys doing experiments on the crowd, and of course the cast of the Daily Show. All of the comedic banter was spot on. It was a hodge-podge of entertainment – all of it world class.

Sunday morning Bill and I set out for the Metro to get our plane back to Connecticut. It was a beautiful day. We decided to hit the Five Guys Burgers and Fries for breakfast, because as we painfully learned the day before, it’s nearly impossible to get a decent breakfast – or any for that matter – in DC on weekends, and this would likely be our only opportunity to get a fresh cup of coffee before our boarding call.  Walking past an assortment of homeless people bundled up in their comforter cocoons strewn about the Metro entrance -  apparently even the bums sleep in on Sundays in this city - we went inside. I'm no fan of greasy fast food, and the Five Guys is the acme of unhealthy gut-busting "food." A true testament to mindless American excess. Yet as I was finishing the last dregs of my coffee the song, “Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow” started playing rather loudly – as all music in that restaurant does – and I couldn’t help but note what a fitting end to our trip to DC. We do have problems in this country with no easy solutions, but we’ll figure them out. Because we're Americans. It's what we do. I believe my sanity has been restored.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Quote of the week....

"As you well know, my jurisdiction is exclusively civil. The allegations against WWE seem to be criminal in nature." - spoken by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal as he politely handed Linda McMahon her ass during last night's debate.

Friday, October 01, 2010

An Open Letter to Richard Blumenthal



Photo Jessica Hill A/P

Dear Dick,

First, let me say that no one under 70 refers to them self as Dick. Throughout your illustrious career as the Attorney General of Connecticut you’ve always been called by your proper name, Richard. What gives? If you were trying to take yourself down several notches in hipness, then bravo, mission accomplished. But this letter isn’t about your recent choice of nickname, rather it is a plea for you to start your fucking campaign already!

Your opponent, the wrestling queen Linda McMahon, has done nothing but trash you in the media for over a year. She was trashing you before you even announced your bid for the Senate. True, there are many Republicans who have pledged to vote for you.  However, that really isn’t an excuse to phone it in campaign wise.

Every time I see a “Linda” lawn sign, or receive yet another of her asinine mailers or view one of the 50-a-freaking-day television commercials I get a little sick inside. It is a constant reminder of your lack of presence in this election. Where is Richard Blumenthal? I know you will kill her in the debate. That’s a given. But debates don’t win elections (see any Bush/Gore or Bush/Kerry debate for reference if you can stomach to watch). The voting population is pretty dim and apparently easily swayed by the constant gnat in their face that is the Linda McMahon money force. Get in there with a fly swatter!

You have a record that can prove you are the right person for this job. In case anyone was wondering, click here to see some pretty impressive accomplishments as Attorney General. Put that message out there. Take the biggest ones, like Broadwater, Consumer Protection, Education – and RUN WITH THEM!

Did you know that McMahon even bought the search engines? When you type in “Richard Blumenthal accomplishments” into Google or Ask.com do you know the first thing that comes up? Linda2010.com! Jesus H. Christ, can you get your people on this one at least? You’d be amazed at how lazy and gullible people are when it comes to the Internet. They click on the first reference that pops up.

Your race with McMahon should be a cake walk. Not only does she promote misogyny and steroid use  but she has no problem promoting necrophilia as  “fun” family entertainment! Furthermore, she has no clue what the minimum wage is, nor does she care!

She’s nothing more than an opportunist whose only goal is to influence federal tax laws in favor of the filthy rich in this country. Period. She’s the modern day equivalent of Lovie Howell. Don't make the same mistake Martha Coakley made in Massachusetts. Now they have a Republican centerfold as their Senator!

In case you need some ammo, view this gem from the WWE and then reflect on how utterly tacky and demeaning it will be to see Connecticut become the Florida of the north!