Monday, October 5, 2009

What kind of Change we talking about?

Here, with just a few choice modifiers left out of the dictionary term, is a fairly good description of where all this Change is headed:

A political ideologically based on centralized government, government control of business, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights.

Sound familiar? I don't know if you can say examples can be pulled from the headlines, given how in bed the press is with our current political leadership. I don't watch the news- haven't been able to for a good fifteen years without becoming enraged or depressed instantaneously- but I know what's reported and, more importantly, how it's reported. But let's review, shall we?

Has the Obama administration and our liberal congress been pursuing the growth of the power of centralized government (which is here to take care of us, a very loose interpretation of "provide for the common good")?

Has Obama administration and our liberal congress taken control of any businesses lately? Hints. Overtly: financial, auto, and health care; covertly, using increased regulations in the name of protecting ...innocents from, um, greedy people. Uh, class warfare.

Has the Obama administration repressed cristicism? Nah. The media has done that by looking the other way. Then again, there was that whole "email suspicious people in" thing. Oh, and playing the race card.

Do people look on Obama in a cultish fashion? Kindergartners aren't singing hymns to him. Well, not every day. I mean, there's no prayer in the schools, but that's probably because he's not officially been named a deity. Yet.

Does Obama exalt the state over individual rights? There is nothing but the state to take care of the individuals. It's what the state does! Lord knows you can't take care of yourself. Well, you can for now, but you won't be allowed to soon enough.

Anyway, I'm sure you know this, but the word of the day is Fascism. And here's the whole definition. I took out the part in green.

From wiktionary:

A political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on centralized government, government control of business, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights. Originally only applied (usually capitalized) to Benito Mussolini's Italy.

Some time with Jack

Jack, it turns out, does more than shoot droids (or hold his daddy's guitars).

In the last couple of weeks he's matured at an amazing rate. His speech is very articulate (going from "No! Me have cereal" to "No! I will have Rice Chex"). He's playing more complex and imaginitave games with Henry and Sam. And he's spending a lot of time in the upstairs playroom, sitting on the floor, floating in a sea of legos.

I sat down with him yesterday for a good half-hour (until the hard floor hurt my bum and ankles too much). He wasn't playing with the monster-sized Duplo blocks, mind you, he was playing with the "Indiana Jones shirts" and "Stormtrooper pants" of the little lego people, moving them around on various scooters and ships and, well, shooting doids. I fumbled around for a while trying to build my own ships and get into the battle, but it wasn't very interesting to Jack. I was reduced to a lackey finding specific shirts, pants, helments, and arms for him.

Then I picked up a base and started to build a classic lego brick wall. Overlaying bricks, putting in the occasional wall. "Do you like my wall, Jack?" big deal. Shoots some droids. I keep building "Want to help me build my house, Jack?" Nah. Needs another helmet. I keep building. "Want to come over to my house, Jack?"


Jack came over, walked his Indiana-Stormtrooper up and down the walls, looked out the windows, went down the slide on the front, had dinner. He even took a nap (with both blaster-guns pointing straight up) to wake up and shoot droids. He's got an imagination.

Later that night, as I headed off to bed so I could wake at 3:30 for business travel, I came across Jack back in the play room. "Jack, want to go to bed?" Sure. He brought his Indiana-Stormtrooper, we got his jammies on, brushed teeth, crawled into bed, and he was out in a few minutes.

I was a good dad yesterday.

Spotlight: Album Reviews 04- Maria McKee, You Gotta Sin to be Saved

Shame on me.

Early this morning, from 4:15am to 5:00am as my car floated down I295 in Maine from Augusta to Portland on my way to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (that's MHT, y'all) for a 7:30am flight, I did something I should have done sixteen years ago. I listened to Maria Mckee's "You Gotta Sin to be Saved" for the first time.

It started off with soul, as only Maria can deliver, and drifted into blues, country, more soul, and more emotion. Here and again a song would start weak and I'd think "here's the filler." but without fail I'd be singing along by the end of the song. Ooh, and the guitar solos were, at times, to borrow from William Miller in Almost Famous, "incin... incidi...incendiary!"

When I find an artist I really love, like, say, Aimee Mann or Mark Knopfler, and I discover they have a pretty extensive catalog, I like to savor each album individually for a period of months before adding the next one. This I had done with Maria. Her eponymous first solo album has been with me from mixed tapes (yeah, remember those?) to mixed cds to playlists. Somewhere in the early 200os I picked up "Life is Sweet" and was so frightened by it that I only listened to it once. But as I got a Zunepass, all you can eat downloads for the price of a CD each month, I found more maria releases and have enjoyed "Peddlin' Dreams" and "Late December" over the last few years.

"You Gotta Sin to be Saved"'s turn came up last month when some YouTubing led me to watching some live Lone Justice videos from back in the day,* which led to some Zune searching which led to reading some reviews which led to me realizing that I'd completely missed it. Down it came onto the Zune.

If I had not procrastinated so long, this would have been one of those albums that's always in heavy rotation; that always gets played.

I wasted sixteen years. Please, don't you make the same mistake and let sixteen good years go to waste.

*Maria made her debut with Lone Justice in the mid to late eighties. Find the live video of "I Found Love" and you'll be a fan. That or you have no soul. Or Maria's got so much she must have borrowed some from you...

Here, I found it for you.