Monday, July 31, 2006

Same as it ever was?

Actually, it's worse.

Read it and Weep ...

(What's So Funny 'Bout)Peace, Love And Understanding
Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
And as I walked on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes
So where are the strong
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.
'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony.
'Cause each time I feel it slippin' away, just makes me wanna cry.
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Back in the Day ...

I was updating my resume when I fell into remembering the pioneering digital skunkworks in TriBeCa where I walked through the door to the Internet, before the information highway was a going concern, back in the day.

The office was across the street from a bookstore/cafe that sold dark coffee all day, fresh bagels in the morning, and turkey-apple-brie sandwiches on chewy sourdough bread for lunch.

Back then, nobody knew from content strategists and content providers, and the place was filled with writers and editors. I was one. There was a great mix of geeks and creatives, plus the inevitable visionaries.

10 years later, I still remember walking past the landmarked lobby's murals of the ever improving future, when everything seemed as new to me then as it must have to the artists who worked on the optimistic declaration facing the elevator doors: ''Telephone wires and radio unite to make neighbors of nations."

And when you get to where you're going, well, there you are.

Photo Credit: Google Satellite, TriBeCa

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Give Peace a Chance

There was a time when I thought that the subtleties of diplomacy could only be disentangled by the hushed yet authoritative voices discussing the Paris Peace Accords on the radio.

But that was a long time ago.

Now, it seems both simpler and more complex.

War does not bring peace. War brings war.

Peace brings peace.

And while I believe, as the Israelis say, that there is no negotiating with people who want to drive you into the sea, I also think Israel could have better responded to the latest Hezbollah attacks by reaching out to the world instead of immediately going with the boom, boom, boom.

What if Israel IM'ed the world and said this: Look. Those people fired rockets at us. Again. It's the latest step in a longrunning, bitter fight. There are wrongs and grievances on all sides. We know that. We just want the killing to end. We want peace. What do you think we should do? What would you do? Will you help? Now?

What could it hurt?

Best case scenario: The world responds with loud, strong support for the violence to end on all sides, and peace brings peace.

Worst case: There's always the boom, boom, boom.

I also have a two-part reconstruction program for the Middle East that is part secret weapon, part psyops, and part economics.

The secret weapon/psyops part is really pretty easy. Just carpet the area with high end wireless laptops loaded with unlimited free access and PayPal accounts stocked with, oh, $500 USD cash. Presto! Now the unemployed young men who turn out by the thousands to protest their many real grievances and blame, well, the Jews, will turn their attention to what really matters: downloading porn, making MySpace pages, shopping online, and finding out what's up with Britney and K-Fed.

The economics part is a continuation of the secret weapon/psyops program: Do everything possible to help those unemployed young men spend their time making money and shopping instead. The women too, for that matter. Get them out of the house. While it's true that you never see the women at the protests, they should have better lives too.

The sooner they all can emulate the frivolous West, the sooner peace will come.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Presidential Dignity, Poise ...

The grownups here seem to be tolerating the current president as one would a defective pet.

Oh, well.

Maybe next time we'll have a president who deserves to be in office, in terms of, you know: experience, knowledge, skills, actually winning the election instead of stealing it, and having 51 percent of a clue.

Photo Credit for this July, 2006 summit shot: Reuters and watertiger.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Garden Does Look Great ...

... but I do wish that Mr. Seabiscuit had left the wild plants that grew up from the winter's spilled birdseed.

Why do people feel compelled to pull out the weeds?

Why are some plants more cherished than others?

I thought the weeds looked just fine.

And if we're buying birdseed to attract the birds to eat the spiders, why not let the seeds grow into plants that will produce more birdseed?

So I was greatly pleased to discover a sunflower growing after the weeding was done.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Been An Interesting Few Days in the News ...

... and here are three completely unrelated items:

Item 1. Barbaro, the mighty racehorse, goes from stable to critical condition, and I am more affected by the news than the latest body count from Iraq.

Why is this? I know it's not just me, and I have a theory: It's all about the specifity of the individual case vs. the incomprehensibleness of multiple and ongoing miseries: war, famine, genocide, global warming/climate crisis, etc.

Similarly, I react with the opposite of emotion -- annoyance, really -- when sappy movies turn on the string section and the horns.

And, to this day, Astro Boy makes me cry.

> More on Barbaro

> More on Astro Boy

Postscript: Is horse racing really just cruelty to animals? I tend to think so. Discuss.

Item 2. The Republicans are officially a menace to this country: "With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule."

That took way longer than it should have, but there you have it.

> Source

Item 3. The ambassador and his wife have both a lawsuit and a website, and they will donate all proceeds beyond costs to benefit government whistleblowers. Righteous, righteous, righteous.

> The website for the lawsuit

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Yes, They Really Are This Crazy

If anyone has any doubts about what the rightwing, so-called Christians are all about -- well, yes, they really are this crazy:

"I decree the spirit of conviction on this intersection," Mr. Williams boomed from a podium decorated with red, white and blue bunting.
"This statue proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis."

> Full Story

My God Can Kick Your God's Ass

Religion and politics is just such an ungood combination.

Right now, living in the habitat of mega-churches, and working among the people who attend them, it has become more than just an abstract annoyance.

Thus, these statements, and a link:

1. The louder people yell about Jesus, the less they actually act like him.

2. The finger pointing, raving lunatic, so-called Christians can be summed up in a phrase: "Jesus died so I can tell you what to do"

3. If Jesus came back now, he'd never stop throwing up.

For further advice, or if you are seeking a spiritual advisor, please see: