Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obama's Speech on Race

I didn't get a chance to actually watch this until this evening, I'd just heard snippets on the news that it was great, or historic, and that made me slightly skeptical. Nonetheless, I've been increasingly a fan of Obama as the campaign has gone on, and I definitely wanted to understand the conversation on this.

I thought to myself, well, here's really something. Because it does not end with any sort of rallying cry, it is not decisive. It's a head turner because it asks us to recognize in the open the racial divides that exist in America. It draws a distinction between race as it has been encountered in politics thus far, and race as a structure and divide that is actually built in to American society.

Obama refuses to disown Reverend Wright as a quack, and instead uses Wright's racially divisive language as a means to pry open and expose these underlying structures of race in America.

Both of the above are delicate maneuvers to make, with a hot button issue. Regardless, he is somehow able to thread the needle, and cause us to think critically about our present conditions and how they can change.

I admire his ability and willingness to make these difficult moves and speak them in public, and would be glad to hear more. Certainly if he is able to bring about change through politics, that would be great, but I am just as interested in his ability as a public figure to make us think twice about the world we live in, and how it can be different.

Nobody Loves Raymond

As per edited sign on the N Train this morning.

If the Treo camera had better resolution, this'd be funnier.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My sister had a fall and her foot swelled up.

5 Jobs I'd be Glad to Have (though have no intention of presently pursuing)

  1. Technology Pundit/Journalist
  2. Tenured Literature professor at a low to mid-level university
  3. Blogger/Podcaster w/ no need for additional source of income (how do people do this?)
  4. A Keynote/Guest Speaker (topic undetermined)
  5. Managing or Technical Director of a non-descript, but income generating, theater

I don't even know if I want to be an architect.

- John Cusack, High Fidelity

Captain Kirk and the Cowboy Hero Coming of Age

- from Star Trek Inspirational Quotes

I was listening to the Make It So
podcast, and was reminded how truly ridiculous a character the original Captain James T. Kirk is. Gallavanting around the galaxy, romancing any number of alien women, dressing in all manner of mid-to-late-20th century garb, and generally, kicking ass and taking names.

Let's zoom ahead a few years to the end of the film series.

How do you reconcile a reckless, dashing hero of a TV character, with a film series that takes place some number of years later. The actor is clearly older, and there is an expectation of some sort of gravitas. In short, what happens when the gallavanting cowboy comes back on the scene, to find himself a middle aged grownup.

He takes a job that he probably shouldn't have, and sees other people doing the job he always loved. He breaks the rules, he meets a son from his wild oat sowing days, and ultimately, he finds himself demoted-- bumped from Admiral down to Captain, the job that Spock described in Star Trek II as his "first, best destiny."

Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard is cut of a much different cloth. His career ups and downs have far less peaks and valleys over the course of his respective film tenure. But despite Stewart's awesomeness, there is something in Kirk's impudence, and his flaw, that is appealing.

Foremost of which, is the notion that you can make the wrong turn, at some point in your career. Even if that turn is advancement, that may well not be you. Like my disagreement with the mug that says you can create who you want to be, Kirk can't escape being Kirk, he can't escape being the space cowboy, and when he resists, he finds himself the lease happy.

Pressfield's The War of Art argues a similar case. You do not choose and create yourself to be whatever you like. Whatever it is you are meant to do, or be, is likely already a part of you and your skill set. It may take some doing to determine what exactly that is, but even from a matter of effort-- why bother creating yourself, when it'd just be so much easier to do what you are most inclined to in the first place.

Like commanding a starship, and having an inability to hear any other voices-- over the sound of how awesome you are.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do you think this is true?

Chinese restaurant on 30th Avenue