The Unimportant Stuff:
- The Red Sox: Seriously? Lose 3 out of 4 to the Orioles in a playoff chase? Lose 14 out of 18 in September? OMG. I thought that my son would never have to experience the ignominy of being a Red Sox fan like I did when I was a boy. (I can never see the numbers 1, 9, 7 and 8 in any order without thinking about 1978 and the collapse.) Dear Red Sox, he is 8. Please be nice to him. Your failure to make the playoffs will scar him (and, as a side note, I have tickets to ALDS game 1 in Fenway…I don’t want to get a refund for them…I’d like to use them….thanks).
- REM: In so many ways, along with The Beastie Boys, The Violent Femmes and the thrash metal that blared endlessly and painfully out of my college roommate’s speakers (Hi, Danny!), REM was the soundtrack to my college years. And although they have passed from relevance, them breaking up leaves me saddened…not for them, or missing future music that they may make, but rather for the loss of connection to that me who was 18, away from home for the first time, and discovering the world. (“We Built This City” was also big then, but weirdly I have no emotional attachment to Grace Slick and Starship. thank goodness).
The Important Stuff:
- Troy Davis: Like so many, I wasn’t really aware of this story until recently. But I am so angry that the State of Georgia felt like it was OK to execute him. Simply, the state should never have the right to extinguish one of its citizens, regardless of how grievous and heinous their crime. It simply is not within our right or scale to be able to pass judgement of that severity. But moreover, regardless of the legal issues that may or may not have made Supreme Court intervention possible, what about the basic humanity of the governor of Georgia? With multiple witnesses recanting their accounting of the events, it would seem that a stay of execution was merited JUST TO BE SURE. The death penalty is an abomination, and the state of Georgia performed abominable acts on a man who may be innocent. That, on an institutional level, is worse than any act that Troy Davis may have committed. (And I do not mean to diminish the life of the police officer that Troy Davis is accused of killing. His loss is profound.) The state is wrong, the governor is wrong, the President, though his inaction, was wrong. We, as a society, are wrong.
- The President: Obama may not be off-target in his approach, but he has moved into a totally centrist, pragmatic, politically expedient leader so that there is no longer any leadership from the Oval Office. Obama has gone from “Change we can believe in” to “Change that won’t piss anybody off”. His dramatic move to the center saddens me. I know in my business career, I focus on what is possible and doable that gets me closer to my goals rather than on the impossible, so I may have made the same choices as Obama, but my support of Obama is seriously diminished, and I am mad at him for not providing real and substantive change to the political discourse.
- The Two and Half Party System: When the House of Representatives failed to pass a spending bill yesterday it dawned on me that our political system has disintegrated into one of those 43-party systems, each based on a single issue that is the hallmark of a developing nation. These fragmented political arenas guarantee NOTHING can get done:
- DEMOCRATS: Do not take any entitlement away from seniors, children, education and social support systems regardless of cost. There are no compromises.
- REPUBLICANS: Do not raise any tax, on anybody, and take away from those that are supported by social supports because they have no personal accountability. There are no compromises.
- TEA PARTY: No taxes, no spending, grab your guns and MREs because the end times are near and the Deity only saves those who are fiscally and socially conservative. There are no compromises.
I don’t know how to solve these issues, but the inability to understand the other side and work towards a common goal just pisses me off. These people should all be fired. Partisanship is understandable, because we all feel like we are right. But when your desire to be the rightest diminishes our ability to reach any of our shared goals, then you have immediately opted yourself out of the discourse. I know I just slammed Obama for moving to the center, but that is disappointment. My anger at Congress is pure rage. These single issue, lack of big picture, lack of forethought, reactionary political maneuvers make me yearn for a change. All parties are at fault. The Tea Party has been a significantly destabilizing force in the American political scene. And in the long term, that kind of change may be positive (although I cannot find any common ground with them), but in the short-term, the stalemate has broken the country, and I am MAD.