Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Digging the new Flaming Lips record, thanks to Brian at work for letting me borrow it. I have a deep admiration for anyone who has gotten to the point where they can do whatever the fuck they want and eke out a living doing that. But I sit here not knowing what kind of sacrifices are made other than knowing what they do is extremely difficult for the average group of people to pull off. And I don't mean that just in talking about the execution of their art and taking the show on the road, itself a very impressive feat - having witnessed a sliver of it in person at sxsw 2000 and also in reading a recent SPIN article about the new record, but in the "spaces between," the stuff that's not as noteworthy in the art world. Need I go on? I assume anyone reading can catch my drift about feeling adrift. The good news is we're in the middle of the lake, not near a rocky shore. And there's plenty of joy in that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Dancing with Daddy" is back. Starting this week, Livie has gotten back into this before bath time routine, now dancing on her own two feet instead of in the Bjorn like the early days. There was a time, when she was very little, where I would put her in the Bjorn and we'd dance to all sorts of fun obscurities. A favorite record became this one, an early record with the great Brazilian guitarist, Bola Sete. I'd hold onto little maracas, shakers and the like, eventually teaching her how to use them etc.

The following is a clip a little further along, as she was getting bigger:

From Livie Mini Movies


And then two things happened. She outgrew the Bjorn and there was a time when the dancing before bedtime got her too fired up to fall asleep. Back in those days we were at the in-law unit with limited, and open-plan space, so for a while every mouse fart on our side of the room would wake her up. So dancing with Daddy as we knew it ceased to exist.

This week, we brought it back. I am not sure what the catalyst was, but for the past couple of days, it's one of the first things she asks for when I walk through the door in the evening. Needless to say, I am thrilled that we can share this time and explore music together again. Oh, of course mommy joins in, too. Although right now she's almost 6 mos pregnant with our second daughter, so this dancing time give her a break. Video of dancing with daddy, part deux is forthcoming.

Friday, October 09, 2009

So, when I heard the news about Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize this morning, I'm sure my reaction was the same as everyone else's except for the committee in charge of awarding the peace prize: I was stunned. And for that brief split second, everyone on earth who follows the course of world events was united in that sentiment, probably. No one would have expected it.

Was it a bit premature? That was my next reaction. Probably. Obama's brief statement a little later in the morning acknowledged THAT. And I quote:

"To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize, men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace."

But he goes on to say:

"But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women and all Americans want to build, a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents.

And I know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century."

That about sums it up.

The expected hissy fits and coniptions were soon to follow from the predictable conservative pundits but, interestingly, except for a few of the usual suspects, by and large, the elected officials on the pachyderm side of the aisle have been silent. So far.

I am enjoying the ride in a sense, of watching those whose sense of entitlement and ego have blinded them to the fact that the world is moving on, and away from the conservative anti-government backlash of the past 30 years. This, of course, was a sequel. The original movie was more potent. You know, the one that talked about a return to normalcy, getting government out of our lives, etc. and all of those pesky progressive "regulations" getting in the way of the "business of america..." which was, of course, according to ol' Silent Cal, "business," as in, a vacuum. Surely a collective social contract which lead to the structures put in place for businesses of the type at the time to operate and come up with new ideas to sell had nothing to do with prosperity. And business was booming. There was certainly a lot of speculative behavior. And then, of course, the bubble burst and people with a more enlightened view, those who wholly understood what a "social contract" actually means, came in to try and clean the mess of the great depression.

Although it took a war to end it completely, you know the rest of the story. The post war years lead to the expansion of the middle class, the interstate highway system, GI bill and all the rest.

As an aside, I find it amusing that many conservatives hearken back to the 1950s as the good old days. Ike was President, after all. But, as I've mentioned before in here, the top tax rate was 91% (closer to 50% after writeoffs, loopholes and the like). I'd say that was still pretty progressive.

And then came Reagan. And the sequel. And only now it seems we've sort of come to our senses. Health Care is about to pass. And the Nobel was awarded primarily as a rebuke of the cowboy diplomacy of more recent years as anything else.

So let the wingnuts spew their venom. Fuck 'em! They're irrelevant. Well...when hate speech is so prevalent, this also means there are more John Wilkes Booths than usual, but I'll try and pretend I didn't say that out loud. Congrats Mr. Prez. As you've said, this award is a down payment for saner things to come. And what is a down payment but a statement of hope?