Mar. 1st, 2007 05:50 pm
luciab: (Default)
It's been a pleasant day. No migraine, and I got the Mac to the Genius Bar for analysis. That turned out to be almost fun. It turns out that there wasn't really anything wrong with the computer, just... well, okay, see, I am bad to drip stuff onto my keyboard, especially with a little help from my furry friends, so I bought one of those plastic cover things that protects it while still allowing you to type through it. Yeah, it's called an iSkin. Sometimes they carry the i-Thing too far. Anyway, it turns out that the front edge of the skin.... (oh, no, don't tell me it would be called the foreskin....) got caught on the edge of the keyboard and was holding down a key when I tried to turn it on. That's all it was. While I was there, another woman was waiting for her iPod appointment.

While we were waiting for my Mac to boot and he was doing various things to it (he helped with other random annoyances-- sweet!) he was asking her questions. Have you purchased the music on it, or is it from CDs and stuff? Suitably vague question. Heh. Some of it's bought, some of it's from CDs and LimeWire, she said. He looked mildly alarmed. Oh, no, I wasn't trying to be the police, but it'll work different... and was trying to explain. Meanwhile, I was cracking up; the girl laughed too and then said, Why? Is it illegal or something? Ummmmm.... hello?? I don't keep up with the news the way I should, at least not the serious stuff, but I keep up with the IMPORTANT stuff, like that the music industry gets pretty pissy about file sharing. She looked surprised and said They won't come after me, will they? I used to buy all my music till my sister told me about LimeWire, and we were off on a discussion of file sharing and downloading music and why the industry is opposed. Suddenly the tech turns my computer around to face her and points to my LimeWire icon and says See, she knows what she's talking about, too. Busted! And then I had to explain, Well, my daughter told me about it.... and we were all just buds, hanging out and having a good time. Heh. He toed the company line pretty well, I thought, but was amusing and not pissy about it.

This afternoon I went to see The Good Shepherd. I wouldn't have gone except it had Matt Damon in it.... do we see a trend here? (He kept his shirt on in this one-- drat the luck.) I wasn't as wild about this as I was about The Departed. Of course, The Departed walked off with four or five Oscars, and The Good Shepherd was clearly not that good. It was pretty gripping, though. I was really aware of how little violence it contained. I think the look of the movie was really well done. There was one image in particular that will be with me for a good while, I expect. It wasn't till I got home that I started thinking of things that didn't seem to add up, in terms of plot. I'm not complaining, though-- it was well worth the $1.50 I paid to see it, and really, even worth what I paid for the popcorn. Does praise get any better than that?

I also had a sort of epiphany, when I realized how little time there was between WWII and the Bay of Pigs and the whole '60's upheaval. The movie had absolutely nothing to do with the '60's per se, except that the Bay of Pigs was in '61. When I saw that date onscreen, it did make me think of everything else that happened in the '60's. I think it must be that I've gotten old enough to realize what a short time 20 years really is, in terms of history. Hell, it's now been 40 years since the '60's. When soldiers came home from WWII, and for 10 or 15 years after, the US seemed like an ordered place-- there were clear expectations of how life was supposed to be, and how people were supposed to act. Then that all suddenly changed, and young people, and black people, and women, were all demanding to be treated differently, and standing up for their rights, and everything just went crazy. I have no idea why this struck me so strongly today, but damn, it sure did.

As soon as I get over being agog over the sweep of history, I have an assignment to work on. It's only three pages, though, so it's a piece of cake.
luciab: (Default)
Sorry for the long entry but I don't know how to put in the cut thing.

A couple of articles from the NY Times caught my eye and raised my spirits yesterday morning. (Another day-late entry)

First, the Ford Motor Co says that rising gas prices have contributed to their falling sales. I’m delighted to hear that (a) consumers are smart enough to not buy cars that guzzle gas when gas costs are rising (duh!) (b) they are not doing this in sufficient quantities that someone noticed and (c) that this “news” made the front page of the NY Times.

Second, John Bolton’s nomination as ambassador to the UN “appear[s] to be in some peril.” Woo hoo! My hope begins to flicker again. Just the tiniest bit, you understand, carefully protected under a thick lantern globe of cynicism. But at least there is a bit of hope if the elected representatives aren’t swallowing every bit of crap that Georgie boy sends their way, and without even asking for ketchup to flavor it with. Wait, though, I guess I shouldn’t jump up and down for joy until the deed is done—or undone, as the case may be. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. And lord only knows who he’d come up with next. It’s just so nice to see even a teensy bit of backbone in the folks who are supposed to represent all of us.

Nia and I have been having an ongoing conversation about the intelligence, or lack thereof, of the Great American Public. I say that whatever they are told often enough, they believe. My prime example of this is the Swift Boat campaign. Let’s look at the logic here. On one side of the balance sheet we have Kerry, a veteran who served in Viet Nam, with several medals for valor. The men who were with him at the time of the incidents in question said that he saved their lives. On the other side of the balance sheet is Bush, who didn’t serve in Viet Nam at all. There is some evidence that he may not have served the full term of his stateside National Guard duty. (I’m doing my damnedest to be fair here, and believe me, it ain’t easy.) The men who disputed the events that resulted in Kerry’s medals were nowhere near the incidents that occurred. What did the public believe? The Bush ads that repeated over and over and over the same stories with absolutely no evidence to back them up. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I was not a supporter of the Viet Nam war, then or now. However, to see the military types support a draft evader over a decorated hero was mind-boggling, not to mention decidedly amusing. It felt kind of twisted for me to be rooting for the decorated hero.) And against all the evidence from the Pentagon and the men who were actually THERE, the public fell for the propaganda of people who weren’t there, and ridiculed Kerry as a faker. Huh?

Nia counters by saying that Dubya’s plan for Social Security isn’t the shoo-in he hoped for, though she admits that it’s different when the question has a direct effect on one’s wallet. I reply, we’re only in the warm up rounds, baby.

I’ve only just now started reading political stuff again since the election- my blood pressure and my heart wouldn’t take it before. I’ve also been more interested the last couple of weeks because of the anniversary of FDR’s death. I watched the History Channel special on Sunday and Monday nights, and it was an eye opener in many respects for me. From what I’d heard about him, I’d always taken him as a hero, and never questioned enough to know of faults. I had read that he probably knew about the bombing of Pearl Harbor before it actually occurred, but also read that it was the only way to get us into the war, since popular sentiment at the time was very isolationist and no one knew about the death camps. This 4-hour special really filled out my view of him. I knew, for example, how horribly the Japanese-Americans were treated during the war, but hadn’t connected it with the obvious fact that he was president at the time. (Duh.) The writing of the show was interesting, too; every time they pointed out something like that, or that he didn’t push for an anti-lynching law, they noted that Eleanor was urging him to take the more moral stance.

So. I watched the FDR show, and read this column. And then, god help me, I started reading this article on current judicial thinking and I was aghast. What are these people thinking? They are obviously of a class that doesn’t have to worry about working for a living, nor do they care about anyone who does. I was equally appalled at the implications for the future of the country if it is ravaged by companies unfettered by any restraint on how they destroy wetlands and old growth forests, or dispose of hazardous wastes. I couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t care about what kind of country their kids and grandkids would be living in, till I remembered that James Watt says he believes the End is near enough it doesn’t make any difference. I guess if that’s the case, then why should we care about the 40 hour work week or minimum wage?

In some weird part of my brain, I must think that each of us gets the destiny we plan for ourselves. IE, James Watt’s end may be so near that it won’t make any difference to him but by god, I plan for my kids and grandkids to live long enough that it will make a difference to us.

This has been an altogether interesting week for me. Generally I'm not a big-picture sort of gal. I see what's right around me and have a really hard time seeing the connection between things that happen over a span of time. This week events have pretty much slapped me upside the head, though, and even I can't miss making the comparison between then and now.

So, now do you see why I was so heartened to read those two stories this morning? Perhaps there is the tiniest ray of hope. Maybe.


luciab: (Default)
Susan Arthur

February 2011



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