Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Search of...signs that you want the job just a little too much

The fight for the Florida Republican primary has gotten ugly. Make that deaf, dumb, and ugly. Yeah, yeah, Newt is delusional, is planning not only for his second term as president, but also for additional statehood on the moon, but you gotta give him credit for bravado. He wants to appear bold, forward-thinking, and presidential. I'm not buying, but I admire the chutzpah.

Mitt, in the musical equivalent of arms flailing and crazed desperation, has resorted to a horrifying attempt to capture the coverage and affection garnered by President Obama's recent soulful rendition of an Al Green song. Only this white man can't sing. Oh Mitt, where do I begin to count the ways in which this version of "America the Beautiful" is going to bite you? First of all, don't you have anyone in your corner who is willing to be honest with you and tell you not to do it? A wife or ten, perhaps? But no, they probably told you you have a lovely singing voice. That's where that billionaire lifestyle can seriously lead you astray. Anyway, thanks for trying, but don't quit your day...wait a minute, do you even have a day job? Oh yeah, campaigning for president.

And just because he can't help himself, Donald Trump is waiting in the wings. No, he really doesn't want to be president, but you know, if America can't live without him, he's just the kind of guy who'll sacrifice for his country...not on a battlefield, of course, but just as president so he can be the most powerful man in the world. He's a giver, the Donald is.

All this fodder has been making me think about what job I'd want badly enough to do this tap dance for. I'm reading Chris Matthew's book called Life's a Campaign and it really does come down to people's perception of the degree to which you care about them. This is where the Republican candidates all fall short. They are good at telling you what's great about them and how bad Obama is, but as for listening to a country that's hurting, no can do. They'll be happy to tell you where you've gone astray, but they won't take responsibility for any of it. That's on you. And here's the problem with that: everybody played a part, whether it was private sector Mitt or Speaker Newt. Passing the buck and casting blame aren't signs of leadership. They are signs of cowardice. And true leaders inspire and encourage people to be part of a team and work together.

Is lying and name-calling an inevitablity in today's political landscape? Maybe. But I think the better tactic is empathetic listening. I think that truth is what is inevitable and the jockeying for power is fleeting, at best.

Well, I'm off to polish up my own vocal repertoire. You never know when you might need to publicly break into song.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

In Search of...things that are making me cranky

Yes, it's odd coming off such an uplifting New Year's blog, that I would head right for the cranky. But in my defense, as I nearly got run over by the same Hummer - twice yesterday, it occurred to me that a) As a rule, I don't like people who drive Hummers. And b) They must not come with turn signals since no one uses them.

Hummers aside, I must move on...to politics. Sure, it's been an entertaining week politically. Rick Perry dropped out of the race, so God help the Texans. He's coming home. Then Rick Santorum, the sweater-vest guy, has unexpectedly won Iowa well after it was given to Romney. Kind of anticlimactic, but Rick will take it as a sure sign that - well, I'm really not certain what it's a sure sign of, but anyway, he's looking at least an inch taller on stage now.

A word about Romney, if I could. Okay, so it's no secret that I don't like the guy. Heck, his own party doesn't like him. But if my name were Willard Mitt Romney, I'd go by "Will" and not "Mitt." Here's why: Mitt sounds too much like it should be a form of contraception. Really. I'm just sayin'.

And Newt. Poor Newt can't catch a break from the ladies. Wife #2, the one with MS, not to be confused with Wife #1, whom he left when she had cancer, told Nightline that Newt asked for an open marriage. Is there anyone else besides me out there who can't even picture this guy with one woman, let alone three? I'm waiting for the men to come out with allegations. And frankly, to be fair, I don't really care who he sleeps with. I said that about Bill Clinton as well as Anthony Weiner. It's not my business. Is it morally repugnant? Sure. Do I care? No. However, and this is a big however, if you're standing on a stage, passing judgement about what should and shouldn't be considered a real marriage, then Houston, I think we have a problem. And I don't think this problem will go away until Newt does. So as the South Carolinians vote today, here's hoping that Newt or Ron Paul win, because, let's face it, we could all use some more entertainment in these bleak winter months.

Lastly and on a very serious note, I would like to encourage you, my beloved readers, NOT to let SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress, and PIPA, the Protect IP Act in the Senate, drift off quietly into the night. Companies like Wikipedia and Google are banking on the fact that you won't want to be inconvenienced. But for folks like me, losing our livelihoods more and more every day, this is a matter of life and death, so suck it up and join the side of the fine working people who provide you with your entertainment and ideas.

Most of us who are writers and artists are eking by, depending on a system where our goods and services are compensated. Illegal downloading and duplication is not a victimless crime. It is stealing something that doesn't belong to you without paying for it. And for that, you should go to jail. That is what we do with criminals who rob stores, and just because the item is a song or a movie, doesn't make thievery any less of a crime. So please, contact your senators and congresspeople, and tell them that there needs to be legislation to stop online piracy. Just like the workers in an auto plant, the creators of these products have bills to pay and food to put on the table. It's no joke.

So if you're one of the many who are staying inside today because of snow, please take a moment and contact your representatives. The links are below.



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