Friday, October 31, 2008

Same Outcome?

The White House

A friend just sent me the New York Times article comparing the current presidential campaign in the United States with the plot of the TV show "The West Wing."

First, I have to admit that I loved The West Wing. I remember the coming attractions in the summer of 1999 (hard to believe that was nearly ten years ago...ouch!) The cast, the acting, the directing, the plot, I loved it all. Well, at least at first. I think the show did "jump the shark" in 2001 with its rather bizarre fantasy/reality attempt at making sense of the senselessness of 9-11, but apart from this, it was some of the best television of my lifetime; and I HAVE watched a lot of TV.

I remember running into Jimmy Smits one night on a street in Santa Monica. I was looking at one of those cheeky California dress shops that were over the top in design and outrageous in price. Looking into the window I was muttering to myself and turned to my colleague to made some more disparaging remarks about the absurdity of the shop wares and the apparent idiocy of the locals for shopping in such a place when I recognized Smits standing two feet from me. It caused me to stop mid-sentence and do the proverbial double take. Our eyes met and he had clearly heard what I had said. I smiled and nodded. Years of driving a taxi cab in NYC had taught me to not fuss over celebrities. I knew they generally appreciated to be ignored when in this kind of public setting. I nodded at Smits and he nodded back, his arm clenched around a diminutive young woman who probably loved this dress shop. Later I thought of many wonderful and witty things that I could have said at that moment: "Hey, Jimmy, what's two guys from Brooklyn doing in a place like 'dis?" But I held my tongue and walked off.

So, when Jimmy Smits turned up as the quintessential "minority" candidate to run for the presidency to replace President Jed Bartlet, I felt a sense of completeness and pride. After all, Jed Bartlet and I were practically neighbors. The character played my Martin Sheen was supposed to be the distant direct descendant of the real-life Josiah Bartlett, a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. From 1979-1983, I lived in the town of Bartlett, NH and worked in the Josiah Bartlett Elementary School. It only made sense in my fantasy that my old neighbor from NH would be replaced by my old neighbor from Brooklyn.

When Barack Obama appeared on the scene some 20-something months ago, his eyes firmly on the White House, I immediately thought of The West Wing, President Bartlet and Congressman Matt Santos. Honestly, I secretly thought Aaron Sorkin might have been snorting a little too much of the happy stuff when he came up with that plot line. It was too much of a stretch, even for Hollywood.

In the beginning I thought the same about Obama. Twenty month later and four days before the biggest election in my lifetime I wonder if my fantasy will continue.

We will have to stay tuned to see how the plot turns out. But, I must tell you...I am praying for the same outcome.

Please remember to vote on November 4th. The world is counting on you!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feeling Patriotic?

We are getting to that time of year when there is a lot of talk about patiotism and duty. Somebody sent me a link to this YouTube video. It seemed to be appropriate to share.

Please remember to VOTE!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Old Fogie?

A year or so ago I read an article about microblogging on the MSNBC blog site. The writer talked about how "old people" don't understand the concept of microblogging. She states:

I’m betting the majority of all these Twitter-hatin’ cranks are war-torn veterans of Web 1.0. They’ve been through the bubble and bust. They experienced the unbridled excitement of wicked-cool technology with all it promises … and they got burned. Bearing all the cynicism that typifies Generation X, these Twitter-haters sneer at un-jaded Generation Y with anticipatory schadenfreude and jealousy. Yes, jealously. Admit it or not, inability to immediately embrace Twitter means you’re old.

As a direct assault on my ego, I took this as a challenge and have been trying to "like" Twitter...with not much success... since then. I admit, I don't get it. Ultimately the author also states, "Twitter, then, is the latest evidence of the Paris Hiltoning of America." God help us.

The other thing I don't get is Second Life and the whole gaming thing. Yes, I was a "junior exploder" as a youth but born way before the age when little boys were given GameBoys for their first birthday. We got Erector Sets. I apparently missed that critical period of gameboy development or "D&D" indoctrination and never have been able to find any value in having an avatar or a magic sword. 

The latest assault on my ego comes in the form of a political commentary blog which has been tearing up the blogosphere in the last two days. From someone calling themselves Hedgehog and using LiveJournal, they have created what is apparently a comical faux IM transcript between and among the presidential candidates of the 2008 election cycle. It is written in the venacular of gamers and using an IM scripting model. I didn't get this either. I am sure there are people out there who understand "I rift in from Sigil!  I'm a Chaotic Neutral Tiefling Barbarian/Monk/Rogue!" - but not me. 

I'm betting none of the presidential characters mentioned in this piece understand it either. Should we be concerned? 

May the Force be With You.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Thomas Friedman's New Book


I just heard that Thomas Friedman, author of "The World is Flat" has written a new book. It's called "The World is Flat Broke."


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Everyone Loves Sarah?

Everyone loves Sarah?

Week in Review

The debatable: Last night's vice presidential debate caused sparks locally when an intoxicated thief stole a life-sized cardboard cutout of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin from a Bangor Young Republican's debate-watching party at Bleecher's Sports Bar in Bangor, according to a press release from the Bangor Republican City Committee. The thief ran with Palin to a get-away car in the
parking lot and managed to peel away with Alaska's governor despite a scuffle
with a young Republican.

It wasn't me - I swear!