Everybody Loves Saturday Night (that’s a song)

REPOSTED FROM VOX 8/12

If you don’t work on the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is Saturday – Saturday night is total catch-up time. Were the kids trying to find us (we don’t answer the phone.) Can we get a dinner made for friends w/a new baby and still get to sleep before 1 am? (probably not) How many emails arrived dealing with work, clients, appointments and other responsibilities? (lots) So it’s close to midnight, the roast chicken and brownies are in the oven, and I’m sooo tired. I just have to wait until the stuff is cooked and cooled down enough to in the fridge and then I can go to bed…

Nothing profund tonight. I’m going back to the kitchen.

INSIDIOUS

REPOSTED FROM VOX 8/10:

I quit smoking in 1992 – right after the elections, just like I promised. Of course it was the 6th or 7th time I’d promised but I actually did it. Put the money away in a jar just like they told me to at Smoke Enders and, since my kids had made me quit, gave each of them a year’s worth when they graduated from college. One on the road with the Grateful Dead; the other went to NYC, where we lived when he was little. They deserved it, living with all that smoke for all the years it too me to quit, throwing whole packs of smokes out our apartment window and generally being real pills until I finally kicked the habit.

Why am I talking about this 14 years later? Because today I really wanted to smoke a cigarette. Amazing. Of course I won’t and it will pass but it’s a shock to remember the desire after all this time. Probably all the terrorism nonsense. Peter Jennings said he started again after 9/11, I remember. But I’m just generally appalled at the power of this drug. It may not capture me again but it’s a powerhouse.

SCARY DAY – THEY DON’T CALL IT TERRORISM FOR NOTHING

REPOSTED FROM VOX 8/10:
Lately we always wake up early — lots of hassles in our life right now — and so the TV was on from about 5. Once we turned it on and saw what was happening, of course there was no way to turn it off. This is a very scary time. I’ve been in Heathrow a zillion times so it was scarier; it’s always worse when you can envision yourself in the place where the trouble’s happening.

It all was compounded by the fact that our older son had just returned from London. Since he’s on planes all the time I’ve stopped letting myself think about it but this is different – far too tangible for me. I know I’m suggestible and don’t bring nearly enough skepticism to the situation but it is too creepy. Besides, we all know that when we feel no prospect for control things feel worse.

I remember how both kids reacted to 9/11 — living on the opposite coast from us and so far away. One of the sad things about that horror and what followed is that it has caused so much pain to the generations who followed my own. Even the Oliver Stone film promos remind us (paraphrasing) “every generation is impacted by something, THIS was ours.” (THIS being 9/11 of course) It’s all just so hard to accept – not so much for me but for my kids and all the other younger people who started out in the tech revolution with so much promise for their futures then watched as those in power seemed to walk into a wall and have no idea how to recover. We all like to leave our kids in better shape than we were. My (Depression-era/WW II) parents did that for us — I’m pretty sure we haven’t passed it on.

Oh – and about security:

I’m also trying to figure out how I would do without

a] My Big Giant Purse

b] My laptop

c] My wheelie

d] At least 3 books and 4 magazines

e] A bottle of water

And where I would put

a] My car key with the keyless entry button (forbidden)

b] My copy of my husband’s car key with the keyless entry button (also forbidden)

c My iPod

d] My Treo

e] Another book

f] Cheese from the Red Carpet Room

How are the rest of us feeling? Am I just a wuss?

DEMOCRACY AND THE DAILY SHOW

REPOSTED FROM VOX 8/09
We seem to have a DAILY SHOW thread going — not just here but across the web. My favorite is a piece on ALTERNET by the great writer and wonderful editor Jessica Clark, “Comedy, Like Reality, Has a Liberal Bias.” It debunks some of the complaints about current political satire — reminding us that there’s a basis in reality to much of the brilliant satire served up every night on Comedy Central. Beyond that, she reminds that — well read the piece. It’s worth the time and not very long anyway

To really understand the appeal of the program, however, go beyond the Bush-bashing to this.

The Daily Show

REPOSTED FROM VOX 8/08
OK so it’s almost midnight and Jon Stewart is going on about BP Oil, Condi Rice and Congress. There are those who think that Stewart is destroying youthful patriotism. Hardly.

To me, his satire is the only thing between many young people and total alienation. First of all, you have to know what it IS in order to laugh at it. Secondly, most polls show Americans who never heard of Comedy Central are as angry at Congress as the most tatooed, pierced or just plain pissed off kid.

Now there’s a commercial airing about Oliver Stone’s WORLD TRADE CENTER. I really want to see it but I’m afraid to go. Anyone else feel the same? Don’t know if I can got through this again — even for great cinema.

Military Americans and the Rest of Us

REPOSTED FROM VOX – 8/08:
The National Military Families Association is an old client of mine and today I’m meeting their former CEO for lunch. She and I had hoped to use her site and some of the “women’s” content sites to begin to bridge the chasm between military and non-military families. Who if not the women would be capable of that? I had just read Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, a wonderful book about West Point and leadership so was particularly interested in removing the stereotypes and isolation suffered by the military in my formative, actively anti-war youth.

We were unable to interest most of the women’s sites into doing anything without payment though; it was quite sad. When I think of 9/11 and of the Iraq War – and remember how my parents used to talk about the “GIs” and their position in the world during World War II, it’s particularly unfortunate that we now have a “military class” that is separate from the rest of us in so many ways – and whose parents and children were also likely to be military — so much so that we’re worlds apart.

Today Oliver Stone told the Washington Post that he thought combat experience “softens you, if anything. It makes you more aware of human frailty and vulnerability. It doesn’t make you a coward, but it does teach you. ” Yet, as he noted in this interview, none of our current political leaders has any combat experience at all.

I know we need to end this division, but I have two sons and what seems sensible in the abstract is horrifying in the concrete. I have many friends whose kids have gone to live in Israel, for example, and they seem to accept the fact of their sons’ military obligation with equinimity but I don’t know if I could. And I”m not sure if it’s the scars of Vietnam and even more recent futile endeavors or rank selfishness on my part….

More later.

1.0 – Redux

REPOSTING FROM VOX

I’ve been promising to do this for a long time; this is the first post and a bit unnerving. I’m thinking lots of things at once. That I read today that 2/3rds of DC residents on welfare read only at the 5th grade level at best. Earlier I’d read that six in 10 adults in DC can’t read beyond a 4th grade level. What are we DOING???

At the same time, reports tell us sexy music might make kids have more sex (surprised, anyone?),and that fact gets geometrically more attention that this reading and education crisis. I don’t understand why no one cares — we are losing our international leadership position because those emerging from our schools don’t measure up to our economic competitors. Never mind the politicization of science and the exodus of scientific researchers to more enlightened countries.

OK so I sound cranky. And I didn’t really begin this blog to talk about the state of American education – even though it does obsess me. But it’s just so sad! I grew up in a milltown and went to a “culturally deprived” high school. We had all kinds of enrichment, we had plenty of AP classes and amazing teachers. As far as I can tell lots of that has stopped. This country can provide excellent education, it just isn’t doing so. I went to Russia in 1991 to produce a tv show and the advanced kids there were reading Jane Austen in THE TENTH GRADE!! IN ENGLISH!!! Holy cow.