Saturday, January 30, 2010

Oh come on, guys! Maybe you need a refresher course: it's all ballbearings nowadays!

Ahh, a chilly Saturday with Fletch on the tube.  Things could be worse.

Following this masterpiece up is hard work, but Discovery Health comes to the rescue with an update on the Mermaid Girl/Last Six Months.  What a channel!  Speaking of which, what was on tap in prime time this past week?  Why Paralyzed and Pregnant, of course.  Clearly must-see-TV.  And our television overlord - Oprah - is going to shut this network down?  For shame, Ms. Winfrey!   Somehow I doubt the divine Ms. W's Oprah Network will feature such riveting fare.

But I have more on my mind than a continuing obsession with Discovery Health.  What else could I possibly obsess on with Weeds and Mad Men on hiatus, you may ask?  I was really looking forward to catching Mary-Louise Parker in Howl, but that flick's release date mysteriously slipped from January to December.

Which leaves me ... where?

On the personal front, I'm doing the eHarmony thing but still no "commercial-worthy" true love tales to be had.  I thought for just a short while that I had happened upon a soul mate but after a number of weeks and a number of dates, things fizzled.  Such is life.  I'll keep you posted.  ... well, maybe.  Probably not.  And if so, only vaguely, without dish, dirt, names or details. 

On the professional front, I'm still exploring my options.  I formed an L.L.C. - Technology Artisans.  I spent a grand total of about 30 seconds pondering over the name, which probably wasn't wise but I gotta be true to my "spontaneous" nature.  I hadn't even thought about it until I started filling out the online incorporation form and then - well, my session was about to expire so I needed something and this came to mind.  For many years, I had planned to call my first company SML, Inc. after a Schlitz Malt Liquor promotional Christmas poster featuring a comely woman dressed in a Santa's Hottie Helper outfit.  A bunch of us were renting a large, falling-apart-at-the-seams "animal house" many years ago and we had this poster hanging with pride in the living room (they were giving them away at a local beer distributor).  We used to laugh and say that it would become our corporate logo and SML, Inc. would be the organization's name.  A few of us talked about this for years after the poster lost its luster and found a home in the trash.  But in the end, I relented.

Why Technology Artisans?  To quote Bluto from Animal House, "Why not?" Anyway, I formed the company mainly so that I could negotiate corporation-to-corporation consulting agreements, if I even end up going that route.  On that front, I have a multitude of consulting opportunities on the horizon right now and determining which of them I want to pursue is the challenge.  But that's kind of dry shit for a blog and I've already rattled on far too long on the subject ...

Well, what's in the news???

J.D. Salinger died, but there have been more than enough gushing tributes piled on elsewhere concerning the reclusive writer.  Like most young people of a certain age, I read The Catcher in the Rye and identified with its protagonist, Holden Caulfield.  So did everyone from Bill Clinton to Mark David Chapman.  I have nothing interesting to add.  It's not like ol' J.D. was all that prolific, and Rye isn't particularly close to the top of my list of favorite books.  That said, a lot of the works enshrined into my particular literary hall of fame are by writers who in turn were strongly influenced by Salinger.  So he's a favorite by proxy. Again, a quick googling of Salinger will lead you the way to numerous platitudes and eulogies far more eloquent than I could manage.

Politics was as hot a topic as it's ever been this week.  It started with the continuing coronation of Scottie "Centerfold" Brown while the donkeys continued to stumble over their own ineptitude, quaking with fear over the elephant party's new "super minority."  The highlight of the week, though, was surely The State of the Union, featuring a big "fuck you" tossed to Sammy "Davis, 'cause I see only one side of evil" Alito and the Supremes.  Of course there were plenty of "fuck you"s to go around in the speech, as John Stewart pointed out. Obama tossed them out like candy at a parade, and popped more than a few into his own mouth to boot.  It might have been the best one I've heard in my 30 some years of paying attention to this annual applause-athon, if not exactly the most inspirational.

The politico week-that-was came to a close with an "Obama versus the mighty Elephantiasis of Congress" steel cage match debate.  Sort of like the final fight scene in Kill Bill, Vol 1, with the Prez channeling Black Mamba and the Repubs standing in for the Crazy 88.   From all accounts, it ended in similar fashion (perhaps not so convincingly and, alas, with a bit less finality).  BTW, no racial inference should be made of the Black Mamba reference (replace it with Beatrix Kiddo or The Bride, if you'd like).  The Prez is, after all, "post racial." Chris Matthews, that speed-freak, rat-a-tat-tat, speak-before-I-think, stream-of-consciousness MSNBC mouthpiece originally coined "post-racial" as it applies to Obama.  Chris is great.  We have similar political sensibilities but the guy is certifiable, a living/breathing cartoon. Analyzing the State of the Union, he exclaimed "I forgot the president was black for an hour."  As John Stewart so aptly put it, "Chris Matthews is one scotch away from becoming Ron Burgundy."

We're not, by the way, in a "post racial" era.  Many on the right - even some in the "mainstream" right - are clearly still bummed out that a black man was elected President.  These folks throw out terms like "arrogant" and "narrow-minded" to describe Obama in a manner so blatantly consumed in a subtext of racism that they might as well have been calling him an "uppity boy" who surely still doesn't know his place.  He's not arrogant, he's President.  And I think - I hope - he's starting to get comfortable in knowing his place: the leader of the free world.  In my opinion, the failures of Obama over his first year in office have largely occurred because he wasn't quite at ease with this (or at least didn't appear so, which is just as bad).  The State of the Union speech sort of showed - at least to me - that this might be changing.  Good.  But that's the very thing sticking in their craw. The thing that the "arrogant" and "flippant" code words betray.

Okay, time to get off my high horse.

Not bad for an "off-season" week in politics; however, like everything else, better captured elsewhere. The Daily Show perhaps best of all, where Stewart has become just a bit less biased these days and is aiming his razor wit at both wings of the American political clown college that is our government political leadership.

So, is there anything left?  Boy, I've written a lot of dreck here in order to say I've got nothing to say.  Which is par for the course: I've got terminal diarrhea of the keyboard (to counter balance those parts of me that are somewhat less regular in their movement).

On that note, I'll sign off with my sincerest apologies to anyone who's made it this far ...