Sunday, March 2, 2008

Is That Chip on Your Shoulder a Political Agenda or a Race Card?

Some people just need to have something to complain about. I wish they would stop, because my head hurts from spinning around so much in utter awe at the pettiness of it all. The Washington Post had a story that proves my point.

Apparently, there is a minor stink on the internet, because of the fact that Saturday Night Live is using the white-Asian comedian, Fred Armisen, to play Barack Obama in its sketches. Hey, he does a great impersonation and he’s funny. No one complained when he played Prince. And, no one complained when Darrell Hammond played Rev. Jesse Jackson for years. The hypocrisy can only be attributed to the political agendas of the complainers. Politics just seems to bring out the best in people ;) If you saw the show earlier tonight, you certainly wouldn’t think they were Obama bashing. Hillary Clinton definitely got the less favorable role in the opening skit. My impression was that SNL put on an equal opportunity show when it came to mocking the two candidates.

I don’t recall anyone complaining when Eddie Murphy played the old Jewish guy in the Barber Shop scenes. He was just damn funny! So to all of the complainers, I say, “Find something important to complain about, like the service at the drive through or why commercials are 10 times louder that the shows on TV.

My Zimbio

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tonight's Debate - Finally Some Foreign Policy?

I've been waiting for this to happen for weeks. So far it's been all social issues and political rhetoric. Clinton and Obama talk about heath care, education and the middle class. McCain and Huckabee talk about the war on terror, who is more conservative and occasionally border control. Ugggh. A fine collection of calculated, safe pandering to the voters. The reality, at this point in the process, is that the candidates all sound like the teacher in a Charlie Brown TV special, wa, wa, wah, wah. Most people already have there opinions fixed in their minds.

So what have I been waiting for? Do any of the candidates have any grasp of foreign policy? Musharraf's loss in Pakistan elections. Castro passing a token torch to his brother. Kosovo declared independence and now there is a riotous backlash in Serbia. In previous election years, the Russians or China would have used this as a prime opportunity to invade some small country, conduct questionable weapons test, or implement a new "crackdown". Especially if the U.S. was already up to its necks in another war. A lame duck president and a bunch of candidates afraid to take a stance in unfamiliar territory usually have many questionable foreign leaders licking their chops at the opportunities. Perhaps they are waiting until the race is down to two, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il see how far they can push the envelope at some point.

Either way, I would really like to see the moderator put the "screws" to Clinton and Obama with some serious foreign policy quesitons. In any case, we may still get catch phrases like "create an open dialogue" and "consult with our allies." Solutions that are a bit late when it's already hit the fan.

My Zimbio

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Ultimate Polical Ad

(30 second ad. candidate comes on the screen)

I'm (candidate says name) and I approve this message...

(for 23 seconds we see a Still Shot of the candidate accmopanied by total silence)

(candidate comes back on the screen)

I'm (candidate says name) and I stand by this message.

My Zimbio

Art with Nails

This is very inspiring! I wonder what da Vinci would have done if there had been a hardware store down the street. Click on an image to view the full size version.

My Zimbio

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Race for the Least Annoying Candidate

Well, it's started. The presidential candidates have come to Wisconsin and it's amazing how fast The Race for the Least Annoying Candidate has hit full stride. The he said/she and he said/he holier than though local TV news interviews, the political ads, and the constant changing of the “message” to always be focused on the opponents strongest support issues is, at best, tiresome. Only on this topic, would I ever be able to , or even consider to, slide down the speech writer’s drool into the literary abyss and paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. T, "I pity the fool that is actually swayed by this dog and pony show of smoke and mirrors.” Whatever, since I am stating the obvious, I will shut up, lest I start annoying the reader. Oh, that the candidates would be so wise.
Ponder that.

My Zimbio

Monday, February 11, 2008

Art Predicting Life

I had to laugh at one of the headlines in the news today, "Artificial Sweeteners Could Make You Gain Weight". I had to laugh. A study by scientists at Purdue University on laboratory rats showed that those eating food sweetened with artificial sweeteners ate more calories than their counterparts whose food was sweetened with normal sugar (read the story).

Now when I think about some the great writers that were very adept in predicting the future in their stories and essays, a couple of my favorite authors come to mind - Aurthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein. But, when I read the headline above it reminded me of some lines from one of my favorite movies, Woody Allen's 1973 classic, Sleeper. If you have not, well, that's your loss. Anyway, the basic premise of the movie is that Woody Allen's character, Miles Monroe, was frozen in liquid nitrogen in 1973 after a ulcer operation goes bad and he is revived in 2173 to find a very absurd society.

Now you might not think of Woody Allen as one of the great prognasticators of our time, but when I read today's headline, it was the 2173 diet that got me thinking. Here's a piece of the dialogue from the movie.

Dr. Melik: (listing items Miles had requested for breakfast) "... wheat germ, organic honey, and... Tiger's Milk."
Dr. Aragon: "Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties."
Dr. Melik: "You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?"
Dr. Aragon: "Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true."
Dr. Melik: "Incredible!"

dialogue source Wikipedia

So going on the theory that things - good or bad - tend to come in threes, first Dr. Atkins dies and now, sweeteners are fattening. So what comes next? Perhaps they will find that in clinical studies with primates, a vegetarian diet, especially one made up of broccoli and cauliflower, causes clogging of the arteries. Or, maybe they will find that adding large amounts of butter to the diets of elephants, causes a significant reversal in memory loss. Incredible!

So I'll have six eggs, sunny side up, with rye toast, bacon, hash browns and a side of pancakes. And, for desert I'll have creme brulee and piece - no make it two pieces - of baklava. Pass the syrup and butter, will ya?

My Zimbio

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Art With a Single Sheet of Paper

Do you feel there is an artist inside of you just bursting to get out, but you don't know where to start? Why not start with a piece of paper?

The pictures below were entries in a contest - date unknown - at the Hirshhorn Museum and Scupture Garden, the Smithsonian's museum of international modern and contemporary art in Washington, D.C.

Each artist was allowed to use only one sheet of paper per piece of artwork.

Note: The images below came to me in an e-mail. I did a fairly exhaustive search on the internet for anyone claiming a copyright on these images. I found these images posted on other Blogs, but nobody claimed ownership. For this Blog, these images are intended only to entertain and, perhaps, inspire.

My Zimbio

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Lyrics #1

I must admit that when I started writing this Post about 24 hours ago, it was purely to vent. But, as I am on a spiritual journey of remebering, I am trying to get better at taking the path less travelled. Damn that unconditional love concept! :)

At the time I was ready to vent, one of my favorite lines from a song kept running through my head:
He's tellin' her the world is full of freaks and geeks and simples...

Do you know it? If not, then it's a sad day in Mudville. No peeking below either. You'll just have to wait. As my mood mellowed, I did get the lyrics to the whole song (which I already knew) off of the internet just for old time sake.

All writers know - or should know - the their words are rarely interpereted exactly as they were intended. And as it turned out, quite ironically, my interpretation of the words to the song in question basically hit that nail on the head for the topic I would liked to have vented on. Specifically, I'm referring to all of the "Richards with ears" that are in charge - be it the boss, the head of the company, heads of state, the waiter at the resaurant, the taxi driver picking the route, or the guy behind the glass at the drive through (and we know what they do to you there).

So without further ado, let us raise the curtain and move on. Drum role please. Tah-dah!

Martha's Madman - Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Martha has a madman

Standing hidden in the shadows

He's got a long curved Turkish dagger

With a bejewelled handle

He's tellin' her the world is full of freaks and geeks and simples and he's

Hiding like a leprechaun under stones and in the ripples

In the pool of time she thought she knew it - but someone threw a stone into it

Which breaks up the surface and it's making her nervous and it's true

What can she do --- yes it's true

What can she do ---

Martha yes I guess you'll have to wait around - another thousand years

So who is the madman? To me it's not a who, but a what. It's power, the absolute power that corrupts absolutely, the power that follows no rules but it's own, the teflon that no wrong doing can stick to, the underhanded tactics, the ability to side step the system or any process, the retrubution, the scapegoating and the behind closed door coniving and crafting of stories. The tactics are deceptive (the alluring, but deadly dagger) - draw you in, all of the bases are covered, make you feel safe and then throw you to the lions. The madman is telling you that everyone else is a fool, so you might as well play the game for the winning team. You see the truth through all of the coniving and try to make a difference (cast the stone, ruffle some feathers), but then you are afraid for yourself. The madman might come after you - what is a truth and what is part of a plan. At that point, you know you are helpless to stop the evil machine (what can she do). The eternity that you wait for, when the consequences eventually catch with the madman will seem like a 1000 years.

Now that is one hell of an uplifting story. None the less, a great song.

So, instead of a vent you get a small Literary review. How's that for turning a negative into a positive?

My Zimbio