Let's look at the Latest War Machine mankind has hatched out of its Sci Fi imagination aided by technological advancements: Drones. Those Unmanned Flying Thingy's that the USA has been using to bomb enemies, spy on enemies, and reportedly accidentally kill innocent civilians of the Drone-Prone Places Of War. Why not address this issue? It's Sunday and I want to ensure that you will have an amateur armchair opinion on War to Make Your Day as spiritual and peaceful as possible.
Before I go into my banter, it would be helpful, despite whatever knowledge you think you may already have about the use and history of The Drones, to read an excellent article with specifics I don't need to repeat to write my post. So, if you're up for it, Check This Out.
Now that we're all educated about the odd looking crafts, it's time to consider the future of Drone use in the USA for non-military spying and law enforcement. It's bad enough that Google Map can zoom into your backyard whenever anyone wants to find you BBQ'ing that sweet rabbit that was once your child's BFF, or when you feel like running nude around the pool in an illusion of privacy, but now the fear looms into the American psyche that Blade Runner isn't that far from our reality.
Celebrities/public figures have the Paparazzi chasing them 24/7 with long-lens cameras (just ask William and Kate). Soon, all of us may feel extremely special knowing that the "plane" we see overhead could very well be taking our picture because, well, why not? Big Brother has arrived – a few years late, but gaining strength each day a new technical device is refined and tested on an unaware General Public. Soon all of us will have our "15 Minutes of Fame" without knowing it (unless, of course, one is seen burying a body in the garden).
But back on the International Front with Pakistan at the center of the discussion right now, the Invasive Stench of Drone use elucidates what a country feels like under such deep scrutiny and privacy invasion. America is pissing-off Pakistan with the Drone issue, and are still resentful of our Private-Swoop-In-And-Kill of Osama Bin Laden without telling them. One thing is true: Pakistani's aren't walking around ignorant of their loss of privacy and sense of whatever security they may have left in their tormented country. They are aware. Too aware of the Flying Ghost Crafts. And I don't disagree with them in an overall sense.
Imagine if another country began sending Drones over U.S. air space, dropping bombs on neighbourhoods where suspected Terrorists might be? We would be livid and more insane than we already are. Regardless of the Smoke and Mirrors of the Pakistani government in relation to America, I'm with them when it involves invading their air space unless we have a united, official Green Light from our allies. We sorta do and we kinda don't.
It's a true conundrum. Drones can crash and burn and because they are unmanned, no one dies. Should an enemy aircraft fly by and shoot a few thousand rounds of explosives at them, there will be no human casualties with that scenario either…unless, of course, the Drone falls on a house or playground or something. However, a debate is growing over the use of Drones, as you read in the article, and the stepped-up use of Drones all over the Middle East is making America look like a Bully again.
A Less Bloody War is certainly an efficient goal. Crazed fanatics want to kill us and do so almost every day by purpose or accident. What's the best military choice? Sending more stressed-out, weary soldiers to march on the ground, shooting enemies and constantly dodging hidden IUD's? How many civilians die from On The Ground fighting in comparison to misplaced Drone strikes which kill innocent people caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? Thus far we don't know. The point is: war is war and there will always be collateral damage whether from the air or from the ground.
Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney sent soldiers into war without proper equipment and without the official approval of Congress. In Iraq all countries involved in Fighting The Supposed 'Good Fight' lost a tremendous amount of Troops. It continues to this day in Afghanistan. Drones were used a little bit during the beginning of those wars, but Obama has decided that less deaths of soldiers through the use of Drones is better than direct combat. It makes sense; however, it's opening a door I doubt will ever be shut and will simply grow in time…once again bringing the point back to the use of airborne surveillance in The States.
It's coming, my friends. It may already be here in a subtle way. What, if anything, will we do about it? Lay back and enjoy the hidden attention? Or make our government Tell Us What Is Going On before we have a serious Revolution NOT ignited by a group of Cray-Cray's with tea on their brains.
I have no answers, of course. I believe it's always difficult for presidents and most level-headed Military Leaders to know how to best conduct wars when it's obvious the body count will be atrocious and will also bleed our country dry of surplus funds we need to keep our country strong and stable. Drones appear to be The Answer at the moment. Let's try to keep our ears and eyes open to the future on this issue when War is not involved.
If this post made one bit of sense to you, then I've done my bit for the day. If not, you can laugh at my perspective and zig-zaggity assessments. But before you laugh too hard, look up in the sky and tell me how you feel if you see a strange-looking Non-UFO Air Vehicle overhead barely making a sound. I'm not paranoid about all of this at the moment because the air space above Los Angeles is already filled with every kind of aircraft you can imagine. We're almost used to it by now. After all, it was only a bit over a week ago when the 747 carrying the Endeavor flew over my home, rattling every window in the house. Just as the constant whirling loud helicopters do. And when one lives in a partially Glass House, you become used to rattling's and stray debris shaking the glass. Especially when you live in Charlie Sheen's air space when his cars fall down hills, and children of celebs die unexpectedly in their homes.
That's why and how no one in this town will have a clue what's happening when the inevitable future Blockbuster,"Game of Drones" debuts. (Hint: You heard/read that here first.) Until next time... Have a fabulous (fill-in-the-blank).
The Flogging Whip is disgusted with how upset most of the USA has been this week over Amateur/"Replacement" referees filling in for Professional referees in A BASIC GAME of Football because a (supposed) "Wrong" call was made in an apparently REALLY Important-to-Sports-Fans moment. And we haven't heard the end of it until today, now that the NFL has caved (sorta) to a few demands. Sports are healthy; sports are escapist; sports can be fun. However, the fanaticism and outrage over the Ref Debacle shows where our priorities are, and it's not anything that will solve our national problems or even rally the masses enough to pay attention to what has been done to our country since 2010 when The Tea Party invaded Washington and made it impossible for anything productive to get done. How wonderful that some people still have enough money to pay for their seats in a stadium or to watch sports on TV on Pay-Per-View. Good for them. BUT, I truly wish the country cared more about the amateur politicians ruining our country than a bad call on whether or not a touchdown was made. The expression of near-hysteria over A FRIGGIN' GAME explains why the USA is sleeping through an economic crisis if it doesn't directly affect them - yet. The joke on everyone in Wisconsin this week was when their anti-union governor (Scott Walker) became unglued over the "wrong call" and wished the NFL Labor Dispute be quickly settled so the Real Ref's could Get Back To The Important Work of blowing whistles and waving arms. How perfect it would be to some if Scott Walker could be turned into a football and kicked out of Wisconsin. Now THAT would be the "RIGHT CALL" in my not-so-humble opinion. Minor rant over on one of the dullest news days in ages. Want details? HERE THEY ARE
The Campaign Really Has Begun for Prez of the USA, with both contenders dashing through the Key State ofElectoral Votes (Ohio) today, possibly in rolled-up shirt sleeves with the "Every Man" image in place. Or, in Mitt Romney's case, a bright red-orange jacket-windbreaker so that he can stand out from the dull muted tones in the background consisting of aides, bodyguards and Sneaky 47%'ers who may want to begin Hunting Season early this year...in camouflage en masse.
Talk about setting one's self up as a clear target! But that's how Mitt rolls. He is not equipped to grasp the fundamentals of Campaign Decorum, as well as comprehending that if windows in airplanes were to open during a fire the oxygen would further fan the flames inside. Yep. If you missed the story from the other day, HERE IT IS. And, as per usual, the response to his stupidity is yet another "Oh, he was joking." Oh Mittsky, you're so funny! Let me vote for you so I may laugh at your wit every time you open your mouth.
You're getting bored with all of the Romney attacks and posts, aren't you? Me too. It's a problem, though, as whenever I attempt to temporarily move on to other subjects, he sets himself up over and over again for ridicule. I would have ignored the plane comments had it not been for the fact that even I know better than to open a friggin' window anywhere with flames from a fire right behind me. And this man went to Harvard? Perhaps he was too busy cutting the hair off a suspected gay student and chortling about it with his friends...just as he laughed about it during an interview earlier this year. Another one of his "jokes."
Hey, I have a joke for you, Mittsky (my new fav name for him cuz' he's so cute and everything). My fun with you will be arranging details for your move to Washington DC and will call the Car Elevator people to dismantle your La Jolla, California, "home" elevator and place your cars in storage. Then, when you don't win the election due to Extreme Insensitivity And Your Entitled-Mess, you'll have to re-claim your Driving Machines and park them in a regular garage and driveway just like the 47% – for a little while, of course, because God knows you can't live without those perks. In the interim, you can always ride Ann's Special Horse.
*ducks and slips away – slowly – from this scintillating post*
After yesterday's wonderfully uplifting post, today we'll focus on Happy, Happy, Happy things – such as...uh, hmmm, um… I'll find something, I promise. Just give me a minute. How about how cute little kittens look all bundled-up in someone's caring arms? Or Baby Wild Animals in general rolling around in fields of green looking oh-so-darling until they grow up and kill someone? Whoops. That's not a Happy Thought, is it? I'll try harder.
Wait a minute! This isn't a Happy Blog! This is a Flogging Blog…and, at times, a Personal Complaining Blog. Why should I write about Happy Things? So many blogs are out there telling us how to be happy; how to live a productive, "positive thoughts" life with numerous exercises to do in order to bring that smile to one's frowning face. I have friends with blogs like that. Some write about food which makes me hungry and then I roam around the house looking for something to eat that may be similar to the delicious recipe and gorgeous pictures of their perfectly plated dinner or lunch. So, I think I need to stay on point here with this blog's purpose: Bah Humbug! Flog-Flog-Flog!
There, I feel better now…jumping back In The Saddle Of Hate. Well, no, that's incorrect. I don't "hate" anyone that I flog despite the snarks. It's primarily Dislike of those whom I don't like in the political circus, or when someone such as Ann Curry is knocked to the NBC NYC debris-riddled curb. You know, that sort of mess. Which reminds me. A few hours ago I read that Uber Preppie Willie Geist (of MSNBC) will be joining The Today Show to save the program from sinking further into the swamp of Ratings Hell. Hah-hah-hah! Willie? Mr. Smirker? Why don't they just clone Matt Lauer and be done with it?
It's not that Willie isn't smart or well-spoken or professional. He simply looks and often acts like most of the East Coast Media characters during his appearances on Morning Joe. Until then, I kinda liked the guy. Then, something strange happened. He began to smirk. He became (at least in my perspective) aware that he was on the verge of becoming The Next Boy Wonder of NBC/MSNBC – and the over-confidence began to ooze from his New Suits whenever Mika and Joe would turn portions of their show over to him. Oh well. As mentioned in other posts, I'm not a Morning Talk Show person and doubt I'll be watching his debut. But, in the spirit of Flogging, I'm focusing the lashes on him for some weird reason. And no, he doesn't remind me of any former boyfriends. It's not personal.
So, how was the above for a balance between Happy-Happy-Happy and Snarky-Snarky? Is that the best I can do today? Sigh. You betcha. *wink*
Another Monday in September. Has the month gone on and on and on for you as it has for me? The year has rushed by faster than one of those mysterious meteorites flashing through the sky that we call "shooting stars" – yet September is making-up for the pace, attempting to bog me down with another challenge or three hundred in a new compromised emotional and physical state.
Yeah, I'm sure you didn't pop in just to read complaints about another round of personal issues, but that's what you'll receive from me today. My mother is teetering on the edge of a serious health issue, now in a hospital, under "observation" while, concurrently, I've had a setback, albeit minor, from the dastardly fracture my once healthy hip experienced a bit over a year ago. A New Nurse came to my home today to enroll me in yet another Healthcare service where I may receive further Physical Therapy to strengthen what is weak. We do all of this from home as I stopped driving years ago when I was seriously "Legally Blind" and crashed my car in the days leading-up to almost complete blurriness. Since then, although improvement in sight has occurred, driving is not a smart idea right now.
This isn't a "woe is me" post. This is a "Whoa! It's ME and MY MOTHER" post. For part of this year both of us have had physical problems arise around the same time, thus making it difficult for either of us to travel to be with each other as support. I have offered to travel to her part of the state to spend time with her in the hospital, but she needs complete rest and no stimulation, and all I would do is cause her to worry about her own condition even more with an also not-feeling-so-great daughter sitting by her bedside nattering on about things she isn't supposed to be thinking about. So, here I am. In L.A., feeling slightly helpless. On the bright side, my mother is a very Independent Person, and she might heal faster without too many visitors.
Or so "they" say and I've been "told." That's how it went down six years ago when she almost said Goodbye To The Cruel, Cool World with the same heart condition following a surgery for something else. The less Miss Nurse Shauna was around to shove pills and a proper diet on her tray, the quicker she healed following a week of my presence. I'm a very Good Nurse…just a bit too aggressive for a Stubborn Mother Who Thinks She Knows Best. Whereas friends and lovers welcome my services.
And, not to ignore politics completely, Mr. Out-Of-It-Romney, my mother DID go to the ER when she knew something was wrong. The difference is, she has health insurance and they were able to move her into a private room to check on her for the next few days, unlike your idiotic suggestion that the Uninsured should just drop into an ER anywhere and expect all the healthcare they'll need. You sniveling jerk! Who pays for the ER when someone is so poor they can't afford Health Insurance, "let alone" the cost of an ER visit. (READ THIS SHIT)
Listen, Mitts, my one day ER experience last year cost over $15,000. I'm still paying-off my co-payment. You are so effin' dumb and out of touch that I cannot believe you live on the same planet as most of us.
Aside from that brief snark, I believe it's time to end this update and find some music and art which will reflect my feelings so that all areas of My Being (rather than my Not Being) will feel satisfied and expressed.
Well, well, well. As suggested in Tuesday's post, now it's time for the Window Washers to descend on the Shauna Z abode for hours, and guess who gets to supervise them? That's right! Me! Although this time I can remain in my Woman Cave, the focus will be on how many window streaks I can find to keep the washers busier than they anticipated. Just kidding. Micro-managing isn't my forte. However, that's my job today. And, after reading most of the news, there is nothing new I can add to the general discourse on politics or celebs. We know Lindsay Low-Hand couldn't allow Amanda Byne to upstage her on the Driving-While-Crazy so she had to let NYC feel as unsafe as LA has been feeling for years when Linds was tearing up the already torn-up LA streets. Arrested in NYC for bumping into another pedestrian put her in jail for another nano-second, but she's back to the races. Ho hum. Paris Hilton's unflattering, homophobic comment about gay men aside, who really listens to what she says? Chances are she said it to become "relevant" again while her faded unearned "star" has been eclipsed by others. So - yawn. (LINK if you haven't heard about it.) And Mitts? Well, the guy wants to be a Latino now that he is losing badly in the polls. He even wore dark makeup when he presented himself to a room full of Latino/a's. Now that's desperate…and unattractive as it was a botched "tan." Mebe John Boehner and Mittsky share the same makeup "artist"? Mr. Orange and Mr. Brown need some help with their images beyond fixing The Sads within their party right about now.
Why is "everyone" so shocked to hear Mitt Romney's comments about the "47%" of the U.S. he doesn't give two twits in a twat about? I'm not. That's who he is, people! Who thought he was anything more than A Suit Stuffed With Money? Who thought he was a pleasant sort when it is widely known that most of the Old and New GOPer's don't like him; never have, and by how he's ruining his own campaign, certainly not now!
The Un-likability Factor within his own party was very clear and direct during the three million debates the hoard of GOP Prez Wanna-Beez conducted until the last gasp, finally giving-up, conceding that Romney was going to be Their Man. Aside from how he has treated his comrades over the years (which may have caused the personal distance), most of them must have suspected or known how messy it could become if Romney did indeed have monies stashed away in the Swiss Alps and the Cayman Islands, not to ignore the baggage of his own Healthcare plan. However, I doubt that most of his party-behind-the-scenes-naysayers expected him to publically show a callous attitude toward anyone and anything he doesn't like.
Really. Did the "Insiders" know how socially and diplomatically inept he would be on The World Stage? Yikes! Is that another reason they didn't want him to win the nomination? It's as if they sent an Aging Talking Ken Doll out on the town with a corrupted speaker and pre-recorded sentence chip. Instead of being a smooth-tongued gentleman toward the Aging Barbies, Talking Ken Doll has been looping out raspy sentences akin to smarmy pick-up lines and insults."Hey, you there in that cheap off-the-rack dress, fix your teeth and call your father to buy some decent clothes for you!" "Sweetie, thanks for the invitation to drop by your place, but your neighbourhood doesn't sound safe or pretty." "So sorry you don't feel well, Babes, but hey, do I look like a doctor? What do you want from me anyway?"
Someone better remove that Talking Chain STAT. According to various Op Eds, nationally syndicated Conservative Journalists and Pundits, it may be too late. But not according to Romney's "camp" who are putting on a "Oh, it's no big deal" face, expecting the current flurry of anti-Romney freak-outs from both sides of that constantly mentioned "aisle" to subside within a few days. Wow! I just love how politicians and their aides fall back on Mass Amnesia to attempt to gloss over serious problems.
Yeah, it's true. We do move on to what the latest tempest in politics, celebrity, general world affairs and events is/are rather fast these days. But certain comments and sentiments remain embedded in the public's mind regardless of the constant influx of 24/7 information. Not every person can be led like sheep. More than expected, perhaps, have excellent memories if they have been insulted as an individual, part of a group, or a citizen of another country. Rude remarks remain like a stubborn red wine stain on aged white linen. (Yes, I made/wrote that analogy and I'm sticking with it.)
Well GOPer's. You have A Real Tool on your hands – again. George W. could barely spit out a coherent sentence, while Romney just spits in most people's faces.
Busy day at Casa Shauna Z. Stumbling over painters who have taken over parts of the house, I have been relegated to a space where creativity fails me. So, today I'm "off" in more ways than one. Gonna spend as much time smelling the fumes as possible and then slip away and hide with my cat for the remainder of the intrusive ordeal! But, there are lots of great articles and other treasures in the archives for your immense curiosity to keep you occupied until my next untimely return. Who knows? Window cleaners might be next...and that means half of the house from floor to ceiling. Never a dull moment with reconstruction, renovation, maintenance...especially in spurts. See you soon! Image via: http://www.diylife.com
OMG. OMG! The sky is falling! Duchess Kate's boobies are quite the story of late, eh? Who will publish this, who will not publish that… Fully nude photos for sale? Royal outrage and lawsuits on the verge of flying all over the world to magazine editors and publishers who choose to ignore Prince William's fury. Only he is allowed to see The Royal Titties, and that's that! Good grief! Well, at least we all know for sure that Kate and William still like each other after all of these years.
Meanwhile, in another world and another land, the latest actress to menace Los Angeles streets in a flurry of hit-and-runs, DUI's, driving despite a suspended drivers license, with papped shots of a substance being smoked in a car, Amanda Byne, has managed to lose her car to the LAPD and receive the ire of another Hot Mess, Lindsay Low-Hand, who wonders aloud to her Tweeter Followers why Amanda isn't in jail like Linds had to be – for a second here and there - during her own Days Of Destruction While Driving. Hah-hah-hah! Oh, she's such a "Kettle," isn't she?
And then there is the issue of what's going on with this Muslim debacle that still has legs and too many people stirring the embers into large flames? Joe Scarborough of MSNBC has thrown his mouth into the mess, spouting off this morning on his Morning Joe program that "Muslims and Arabs" hate Americans partially because of their religion. Uh oh. Thanks, Joe. And while I'm at it, thanks to Newsweek for playing with another controversial cover, this time with angry, almost frothing-at-the-mouth Muslims. That image really helps calm the masses, doesn't it? I'd say Tina Brown went too far this time. As editor, she is behaving as recklessly as Mittens did last week when he thrust himself into the Libyan nightmare only to knock down Obama. Brown may have a different agenda, but it's almost as infuriating.
Yep. It's going to be an interesting week on the World Front as well as more focus on Kate Middleton's front. I guess it's time to sit back and watch the tears go by.
It has been a tough week for Mitt Romney. No wonder he's taken a few days off from campaigning. Bashed by his own party and pundits against his unrelenting "gaffe's" and odd behaviour by rushing to slam Obama when the Libyan crisis was still unfolding. Add to that, 'Le Scandal Tax Return' issue is not over for Mitts regardless of his Dodgeball Tactics over the months.
It appears rather unseemly when he himself is still playing "Catch Me If You Can" on any of his returns of less than the past two years (although he asked all potential VP picks to provide ten years' worth of theirs!). Oh, to see what HIS ten years' of returns would look like! THAT's why he isn't providing anything substantial, as we all know he would not have a chance in a billion to win the election if people knew just how little he has paid in taxes (we assume this is the reason for his unwillingness to disclose more info by the not-so-subtle hints Ann Romney has given about why they will not release additional returns), as well as how much he is worth – without, of course, listing his Swiss and Cayman Accounts.
Nevertheless, despite his Money Secrets and Policy Secrets and Un-Statesman-like Demeanor and comments, I don't believe anyone should be dancing on his Political Grave just yet. His campaign may be in a form of chaos at the moment (READ THIS), BUT we have The Debates coming-up before the election. All Mitts has to do is dodge answering direct questions with unclear and indirect answers in an authoritative voice and not offend the moderators and his stock can go up – again. The current stigma attached to fervent Romney supporters will be lifted and those who weren't blocked by the GOP's devious Voter ID fraud that is still in play in several states, will vote that wooden creature into office.
Today Obama's poll numbers are looking healthy in most areas. The thing is, Romney's not THAT far behind in certain areas the polls cover. When the next chapter unfolds, the current lead Obama has could just as easily slip. So, although I usually agree with Nancy Pelosi, the following (THIS) is a careless comment and attitude to chirp about. Nice to hear, though. Would be happy news were it already a reality that Romney had lost the election. Let's not follow in Romney's footsteps with Jumping-The-Gun.
My mildly wizened experience as an Observer Of The New GOP tells me that unless the Democrats take a continually strident position with the Voter ID scam, and ways to work around the Enormous Financial Edge Romney has in his corner with those money-spilling-out-of-the-coffers Super Pac's, there is very little the GOP will not do to be In Full Power. Another spit at The Constitution in spirit, if not quite reality – yet. Therefore, as a Pragmatic Man as I believe Obama to be, I hope he is sharpening his #2 pencil once more to deliver to the American public during Debate Season the man who has more large sticks than Sarah Palin has ever seen in her sad, misguided life of being a Perfect Bobblehead. (READ HERE FOR REFERENCE)
Now, wasn't that an exciting post for your Sunday afternoon/evening/middle-of-the-night? I hope so, it's as if I'm trying to be that guy Revere who rode his horse around New England to tell everyone that "the British are coming" – something like that. Just ask Sarah. She always knows the wrong answer.
Gawd, I haven't missed her at all. Git back to shootin' Moose and pretending you are still relevant, girl. Right now the Tea Party Wingnuts have been choppin' your trees, Little Lady. You are yesterday's newz when the likes of Paul Lyin' Ryan and Michele Bachmann start opening their vocal instruments of Tiny Minds.
Anyhow, I wandered off again….
Point is a homey little ditty for all Democrats and Dem-Leaning Independents: Don't count your chickens until they're hatched. Keep sitting on those eggs, warm them up, and when the time is right, step up and let the little chickies stretch their wings.
I shudder, shudder, I tell you, to think how a Romney presidency would handle any crisis where the mere lift of a Red Phone could start the Beginning Of The End. Although I become frustrated with Prez Obama for being too "cool" and "collected", I only want to see his irey fire when it involves standing-up for himself and explaining in plain English why things have stalled in the past two years in clearer terms than he has thus far, but certainly not when it involves going to war. He already has shown a mild itchy finger with his admiration and use of Drones. Beyond that, I believe he is extremely level-headed, and on the international front, I trust most of his actions and instincts.
With a Mental Peon such as Mitt Romney, a man devoid of diplomatic skills beyond any one person I have ever seen in politics, his tendency to, as the Prez said last evening during an interview, "shoot first and aim later" is scary stuff, my friends. His sense of timing makes no sense at all. Yesterday's Mindless Babble Attack against Obama was a disaster. His "Jump The Gun" rush to tell the world what he thinks about Obama even before victim's families knew there had been a deadly protest in Libya, was foolish and utterly crass - yet another example of his ability to offend almost everyone, including many in his own Party. What a terrible idea to vote such an unstable, waffling, barely human kind of person into the Highest Office In The Land. Diplomacy goes a very long way. Thus far, all we've seen and heard is Mitt In Mouth Dis-Ease. (Read THISif you missed yesterday's drama.)
The scenario of a World Leader who is so indelicate in speech, obtuse, ham-handed, is worse than when an inarticulate, Saudi-Prince hand-holding Oil Puppet ran the country into the ground. A Romney presidency has the strong potential to run the entire earth into nuclear-laden white ash.
One morning he could wake to learn that North Korea was conducting another "missile" test and, in a grouchy mood and voice, I can hear him dismissively ordering his aides to call the Pentagon and tell them to "…bomb those idiots" and then wandering through his section of the Presidential Suite to have one of Ann's Irish Grandmother's infamous "cakes" while pondering who he should fire that day.
The Flogging Whip is eager to send more than one or two lashes in NBC's direction. If NBC exec's are wondering why their ratings (in general) have been sliding over the months, one reason beyond the well-publicized Burn Treatment of Ann Curry and a general impression of Matt Lauer as a prick of the lowest order, one need not look further than what The Today Show didn't do yesterday: follow a ritual shown (and done) all over the world and on almost every TV network; in the White House; in the privacy of one's home - which is to allow A Moment Of Silence to respectfully acknowledge 9/11. Instead, NBC decided that Kris Jenner/Kar-Kash-In's breasts were far more important to discuss and allowed the cameras to keep on rolling as Kris nattered on about her body. That's the priority these days over at The Today Show, it seems. Women and breasts. More women. Empty chatter. Giggling co-hosts who just roll with laughter at every non-sensible, banal remark that oozes from Lauer's slippery tongue. Can you imagine a producer making such a choice? Drop The Moment Of Silence and pander to empty heads who would rather hear Mama Kris explain why she belongs in everyone's face now that her darling daughter Kim has gone into a sort of Quiet PR Lockdown (compared to the past) ever since Kim and her new BFF Kanye West decided to shop until they drop together and always color-coordinate their photo-op clothing. I haven't been an early morning network TV watcher, although I keep up on what all three morning shows are doing in ratings and how the on-air hosts are handling stories. I am still on board with part of NBC as I am and have been an avid MSNBC viewer and would rather spend my mornings with them. If I want to learn a new recipe, or what's new in fashion, I'll just switch to The Food Network or what's happening on Bravo or elsewhere. I realize Morning TV isn't to be all serious and completely somber, yet the fluff that is falling out of The Today Show from what I've seen in clips and read in various articles, places me in line with those who would rather see Lester Holt in the morning any day than Matt The Frat-Brat. Perhaps Lester could inspire the network to get back to its once-credible roots. I don't think Matt's The Big Man In Town anymore, do you?
When there is an anniversary of a potent moment on The World Stage – pro or con – we are always asked, "Where were you, and what were you doing?" With respect to the 9/11 survivors, witnesses, and victims, my story is one of modest simplicity, albeit with a very small connection to "that day." I'll write my story rather than wring my hands over what happened; why; could it have been averted, and so on. Hands have been wrung-out over the years. Hearts are still broken. Some families of the victims are okay. Others are not. Our country has healed – to a certain extent. But the shock remains embedded within those who were paying attention that infamous day.
On September 11, 2001, I awoke feeling an intense heaviness in my Entire Being. I could barely get out of bed. Unusual. Completely listless. But I had to shake off the lethargy, wake up, and move toward getting to my fun job at a gay men's magazine. Once able to almost function, I lurched off the bed and into the confines of my environment only to discover there was a plumbing problem in the abode. The General Abode. Not one specific room. I had to wake up, but I felt so heavy in spirit. I recall thinking I might be "coming down" with something. But, a problem was in need of fixing, so I called the manager of my quaint little apartment to request a plumber. He groaned and said he would send someone over "right away" and hung up. I gather I had awakened him.
Knowing I would be late for work, I called into the office. Expecting someone else to answer the phone, I was stunned when our publisher answered. Stunned because he and two others from the magazine were to be on a flight to New York for a series of key meetings I had arranged with companies that, until then, had not been open to advertising with a popular gay men's magazine. Doors were opening at last and everyone was looking forward to finally breaking through the "Not now" mantras of the past.
Our publisher was hysterical. He said, "We are at war! We're being bombed! Stay home! Turn on the TV!"
Whoa! With the TV now on, I, as with millions around the world, watched the disaster of the Twin Towers' collapse unfold. The dark, billowing dust clouds were rolling down Manhattan streets as reporters ran for their lives while trying to express with each step what they were going through. Mind-boggling to watch a tornado of smoke and ashes chasing after hoards of people in the middle of New York City. It was a Horror Movie where one yells at the screen/characters, "Get out of there! No, don't turn back! Run!!!"
Surreal. Unimaginable. Mesmerizing. Sickening. And then came the news of the attack on the Pentagon. And then the crash in a Pennsylvania field of a plane that was also headed for Washington DC to take out either The White House or The Capital Building. Unbelievable the news was from minute-to-minute. I didn't move from the TV except to let the plumber in who looked shell-shocked but ready to do his job.
Not everyone realized the extent of the damage or the significance of what was happening - at that time. A close friend had spent the summer/early fall, in The City. He was walking through Central Park on his way home on the West Side when I called to make sure he was okay. He sounded as if he were in another land, another city. He waxed eloquent on how clear and beautiful the sky was that day. How the weather was "so perfect." How life was glorious. How happy he felt to be there. I coughed. "But…but…can't you see the smoke? Do you realize what's going on?" He said he saw "some smoke" in the distance and had heard "something" about planes hitting the towers....
By now it was at least three hours from the mayhem. Surely he couldn't be walking through NYC without noticing SOMETHING, SOMEWHERE? I growled,"The Twin Towers have collapsed. People were jumping out of the windows! How can you be so out of it when you're RIGHT THERE? Aren't you running into people who are telling you what's happening?" I wanted to strangle him for his Ignorance Is Bliss stance despite my (and another friend's attempt) to get through to his usually astute, brilliant mind, yet NOT NOW BRILLIANT, and certainly not astute, moment of Denial during his jaunty stroll. It's fine to see The Good in life, but to ignore an Act Of War on the U.S. - well, he's lucky so many of us love the guy.
At least I knew he was okay, although Living His Bliss a bit too blissfully for my taste at the moment. I simply ended the call with a warning for him to get to his temporary home ASAP and to stay off the streets. A worried friend who had dropped-by earlier, decided to stay while we watched the continuing news coverage throughout the afternoon and evening until we were too tired and horrified to see another repeat of the planes hitting the towers which ran in a loop on most channels.
The next day I returned to the office where very little work was done by all, many of us continuing to try to reach our NYC friends and business contacts we were unable to locate the previous day. Everyone was alive, but a few had lost friends. My work cohorts showed everyone in the office their ticket(s) to NY for 9/11. Although they had been planning to go in the Other Direction from whence the planes departed, all of them hold those tickets to this day as a firm reminder of how close they came to becoming a minor part of the 9/11 story had they been on an earlier flight, alighting from their plane only to find themselves shortly thereafter in the middle of Manhattan on their way to buildings near the Twin Towers.
Today we remember that day. And to all who lost their lives, once more we bid a heartfelt RIP. To The Responders who have yet to receive proper health care for the diseases their exposure to immense toxicity has wrought, may you find help at long last. If insurance companies, et al, continue to question your health conditions from 9/11, then perhaps it's time for those of us who have even a small amount of influence via our blogs, to stand up on your behalf.
For those who haven't a clue regarding to what I am referring, READ THIS
It's a new week! A week that begins without political conventions or The Olympics or A New Hurricane Threat. Now we can finally indulge ourselves in people and things who/that/which impact our everyday lives in soul-lifting, inspired ways and leave all of that back-biting, self-aggrandizing ego-fest of political stars behind us while they press the flesh for the next two months running around the country to win-over The Undecided's.
Now we can sigh and rejoice in the news that actor Ryan Reynolds and his love of one year, actress Blake Lively, joined together in Holy Matrimony on Sunday in a homey-like South Carolina setting with all the fixin's and relatives and NO ADVANCE PR! Those little Non-Famewhore Devils! Getting away with a seriously private wedding with not even a Blind Item hinting at the secret event it was so very secret, indeed! <Romney has changed his position on "Obamacare" at least three times in the past 48 hours. Just a little political update assisting Convention Withdrawal … >
Meanwhile, Kristen Stewart walked the Red Carpet in Canada over the weekend for her film On The Road without dressing in something that belongs to her ex-lurve, "scorned" Robert Pattinson who is so devastated by their breakup from her infidelity that he can't stop smiling for the cameras. Kristen actually wore a dress with her usual non-expression and did her job and that was that. Now she's back to wearing Rob's hat again. Violin strings can't do this entire Tweenies' sob-fest justice. <Obama's happy today because he's making headway in the polls via the infamous Post-Convention "Bump" – >
Oh, and The World Gasped over the weekend when Posh Beckham (aka Victoria Beckham) finally Smiled In Public! Yes. During Fashion Week in NYC. "They" loved her line. I hope she wasn't too embarrassed to show all of us that she is, after all, not an automaton. <Romney's now in Ohio to plead for support – >
Oh well. It may take some time to slip off the political saddle… I think I'll give it a rest for now.
In answer to the headline, I choose "Neither." However, what happened to Mr. Orator last evening at the DNC? Did he get a case of The Vagues again? Did he feel that Michelle, Bill, and Good Ole' Joe Biden had laid out the various details of who he is; what he has accomplished, and how dedicated he is to his job, that all he had to do was show up on the stage and recite The Same Old Same Old non-specific, "we're all in this together" and "hard work" will settle the economic and cultural divisiveness mess the U.S. is in, in a speech we have heard a thousand times?
Yawn. It's not that Barack Obama is a flat speaker. And he certainly had several very hard-to-top speakers before him over the week. He is good with inspirational messages. He can rise to any occasion and lift the sagging spirits of the Great Unwashed when he wants to express a vision of Hope. Now, with much of his promised hope dashed for nearly four years and counting – most not of his own making – the magic he once conveyed has to be difficult to summon now that Washington enemies have slapped him in the face with the coldest, roughest-textured washcloths one can find.
He spoke of many good things about America last evening. His intentions were sincere. He simply phoned-it-in, ignoring what could have been a DNC-based final vindication of his administration, by personally citing what has been done and specifically what he will do. Yes, he did Go Specific with regard to Social Security, Medicare... I don't wish to turn away from his talk of the future with regard to new energy solutions, either. I also would not have wanted him to lower himself to hate-ridden speech against his foes.
I just wanted him to get in there for a moment or two and take a few robust swings at Congress. As in, firmly chastising Congress and order it/them to cease the separatism in the name of the country. Or tell people to vote the Crazies Out Of Office who stomped into Washington with nothing but Hate toward the president in the 2010 elections. But, he didn't quite do that. Not really. If he did I may have already tuned-out. I want to hear some fire, there, Mr. Prez. As in, Call Out Your Enemies louder! Stop being so damn "Cool." Collected. Civilized. (The reported reason for his Quasi-Meh speech is explained HERE - )
From my perspective of sensing a bit of a chill in the heated air of the Convention Hall when certain issues were mentioned during his speech (meaning - less applause and what-not), he could have gained a few points had he faced part of His Base and explained why he has made some of the non-environmentally-friendly decisions that have turned once-loyal supporters into less enthusiastic voters.
No, he can't/won't totally explain away some of the promises he had to make in his own Political Pact With The Money Devils, but a nod toward admitting he has to do what he has to do, as with all politicians, can be accomplished. Owning-up to unpopular decisions might help him regain support for other concerns he feels are higher priorities.
Yeah, sure, you may be thinking. As if any politician will admit to the truth of their Money Men/Women. I know. I'm expecting too much. But then, even without such transparency, I know the man could have done better. I will applaud Obama for discussing The Troops. For being firm and stating that he "is The President." Not all of last night's pageantry was empty. He did fill The Chair unlike last week's pathetic example of the other party's attempt at Flinty Whimsy.
The debates between Obama and Romney should prove to be quite the Political Theatre when, from this vantage point on this date, both nominees have a knack for using a lot of words in their speeches of late that say almost nothing at all. Finally, under Debate Pressure, the Mr. Vagues will have to duel it out with numbers and accusations neither have dared to broach in their campaigns. Now, that's going to be interesting. So now, on with the debates. I actually can't wait. Note: Revised and edited at least 20 x since publication. Ouch! Image via: http://www.abcactionnews.com