Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pay no Attention

You remember the Wizard of Oz, right? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. I'm feeling like world events are operating on something like that level of prestidigitation for the past couple of days.

Only in this case, North Korea is the man behind the curtain. The curtain, of course, is Iran. I don't want to minimize the election events in Iran, but it's sucking up every available bit of news coverage. Meanwhile, there's a North Korean ship loaded with missiles cruising around and being shadowed by an American warship, all on the heels of threats from North Korea to launch missiles in the direction of Hawaii.

This is the point where we all need to keep our eyes on the ball. While Iran's election outcome will undoubtedly have far-reaching world-wide effects, it is not immediate in the same way the North Korean threat is. I think this is genuinely dangerous to our national security and wish the news agencies would be giving it the same time they're devoting to Iran.

Everyone seems to be caught up in the swirl of events with Iran, and the romance of news being "tweeted" out in secrecy. Everyone also seems to be expecting a quick resolution and regime change. That leads me directly to memories of watching tanks roll into Tiananmen Square and the outrage the world felt. Surely, if twitter had existed, everyone would have masked their avatars in some color for solidarity, but here we are, two decades later, and how much has changed in China? Did your outrage stop you from supporting the communist state? I'm betting there are five products within your easy reach which were manufactured there, so be careful how you answer.

What will happen in Iran? We'll see, but I know it won't be decided by people sitting at computers. Iranians are fighting in the streets with sticks and stones, literally. They don't care about your twitter color.

Rain on my Brain

It's been nearly two weeks since we've had a day without sustained rainfall on Philadelphia and it's left me feeling murky in more ways than one. All the gray is depressing, the inability to work in my yard is depressing, and the damp smell permeating everything is depressing. I totally dig that I could go out in the rain and garden, it might even be easier to weed that way, with the ground all moist, but I garden for fun, and being damp and cold doesn't spell fun in my dictionary. Endless indoor activities leave me feeling restless and bitchy. I never thought I'd get enough of watching movies and reading comics, but enough is enough.

If I were a more positive up-speaker, I'd say, "let's make lemonade." Let's get all that house-cleaning done, let's do those indoor maintenance projects, let's file all those old financials. But the rain puts me in a negative mood, which you probably got from the first paragraph, so none of that is gonna happen.

I could do some real work. I have a script that's ready to be rewritten, a couple things to research and plan for a new script, or I could digitize some documentary footage that ain't gonna edit itself, but it's raining and I just want to stay inside. But if I do that, I'll probably want to watch baseball and the Phillies do nothing but lose these days, so that won't help my attitude.

You see my problem? It's what I call a blue funk. It doesn't require medical intervention or a leather couch and sympathetic ear or prescriptions, it just begs for drawn shades, whiskey, and Chet Baker on the stereo.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rules Of Kids

So, some things I know for sure about kids. These are like laws of physics, but infinitely more rigid, and equally painful.

  1. In a closed car, children will scream. Loud.
  2. If there's a mess to be made, your child will find it.
  3. With infinite responses at their disposal, "no" is always the first word out of any kid's mouth.
  4. When you say "evil" and "sly", your kids hear "cool" and "awesome."
  5. Given the choice, a kid will eat a piece of candy the size of their own head.
There's more, of course, but I just got back from a car trip with my kids, which is the equivalent of passing through a black hole and coming out on the other side of the universe. I'm a bit frazzled and short-tempered. There's a rule for that, too.