Sunday, October 26, 2008

There Is a God

There is a God. He has His own section in the Sunday paper, His own television shows ... He's on the radio a lot, too. He's a billionaire, you know.

I saw Him once -- standing in the check-out line at the health food store. He was barefoot ... and kinda dusty. But it was Him, alright. He had on this robe, and He was real quiet. I was just this close to Him; I probably could have touched Him if I'd wanted to. He needed a bath, I think. Just standing there barefoot with His granola -- I couldn't believe it. God ...

I used to see Him in all of those old movies -- you know, the ones where He's standing on some mountaintop in the middle of a thunderstorm, and the wind's blowing His hair all over the place; and then this light comes down out of the sky and shines on Him. And there are all kinds of people standing around, but the light just shines on Him and nobody else. And all the people go, "Oooh ..." and "Aaah ..." and get down on their knees and bow their heads. And it's dark, and raining and thundering, and the wind's blowing, and there's a terrible racket. And God looks up at the sky. And the people look up at Him. And it's all so moving and meaningful.

And then you see a closeup of some woman's face; and she's looking at God, and she's ooohing and aaahing. Then there's a closeup of God's face; and He's still looking at the sky, with the light shining in His eyes and the rain blowing on Him. And He looks like He needs a shave; a bath probably wouldn't hurt Him, either -- but I suppose He has more important things to think about.

I mean, He was just standing there in front of me, like some ordinary Joe. And nobody even seemed to notice Him! But I knew. He wasn't fooling me -- I knew it was Him.

I felt like I should at least ask Him for His autograph or something. But then I figured He probably had some reason for being so quiet -- like maybe he was incognito. So, I let Him go. And He just paid for His granola (imagine that ... God paying for something -- not that He couldn't afford it, I mean, but ...), and He walked right out. I watched Him. He got into His Volkswagen and drove away.

I wondered what kind of granola he bought.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The 2nd Presidential Debate: Time for a Change?

In the second of this election year's three scheduled presidential debates, once again, Obama far outclassed McCain and demonstrated his superior temperament and self-discipline for the office of the President.  McCain looked and acted like the same wiseguy he's reputed to have been in high school and college ... but with a combover.

Nevertheless, I am beginning to get a little weary of all of the campaign rhetoric and the constant repetition of the same talking points.  Come on, you guys!  Let's talk about some real issues and educate America!

Explain what's really behind the financial meltdown we're experiencing globally.  Hint: It ain't just home mortgages.

It's the charlatans who've been allowed to run Wall Street virtually unfettered for years; it's the legislators who've forgotten the meaning of all of the zeroes following the dollar signs in their budgets and spending packages (BTW, why doesn't Washington take a crack at passing a few savings packages for a change?); it's the relatively few corporate chieftains who've come to view their salaries, bonuses, and other perqs as entitlements rather than privileges consistent with their performance; it's those (but not necessarily all) of the Forbes 400 (500, 1000, 10,000?) Richest People in America who praise the opportunities in this country only as long as their opportunities outnumber those of the middle class or less fortunate Americans.  It's all of these things and more.

America has been asleep at the wheel for 30+ years!  The "audacity of hope" was eclipsed long ago by the "reality of apathy."  People got fat, contented, and lazy ... and willingly handed over their futures to carpetbaggers because they didn't want to be responsible for themselves.  Our culture of innovation got its bones picked clean by the vulture of instant gratification -- fast food, faster cars, 24-hour entertainment, money machines, cell phones, BlackBerries, iPods, the Web ... everything bite-sized, right-sized, or super-sized, in millions of colors ... pay by credit or debit card, pay later, make no payments for a full year ... FREE, *NEW and IMPROVED*, NEW color, NEW size, NEW packaging.  But it's all really the same old crap.

You're right, Barack.  We need a change.  A change in leadership, a change in direction, a change in attitude.  And maybe a change in diapers -- we've made quite a mess of this one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The 19th century author and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen." I don't presume to interpret Dr. Holmes, but it seems reasonable to me that even the most brilliant among us would do well occasionally to shut up and let the other person finish a sentence. It's not so much about being civil -- though, that's a refreshing thought in these truculent times -- as it is about expanding and enlightening our collective world view. Fresh perspective seldom comes from breathing your own exhaust.

What strikes me most about the ongoing political campaign is the hubris and absence of self-reflection in the Republican strategy. I know we've heard ad nauseam about "more of the same," "McSame," etc. -- so, this is not news. But what I want to know is why do they think that repackaging/rebranding their decades-old exhaust -- and delivering it in loud and obnoxious, gas-guzzling, environmentally unfriendly, "I-got-mine-now-you-get-yours-or-I'll-run-you-off-the-road" style -- is going to breathe new life into our national dialogue?

In stark contrast, both Barack Obama and Joe Biden are thoughtful, introspective, and inclusive in their world views. They listen before they speak. They do their homework. They think before they act. They exemplify emotional maturity, strength of character, leadership, and a true appreciation of diversity -- as opposed to the often reckless ambition and disregard for others exhibited by both of the Republican candidates and the "RepRovian" machine, as a whole.

IMHO, one of the most powerful and insightful observations to come out of the DNC this past month was from President Clinton's speech: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." Though Bill Clinton is far from perfect -- and far be it from me to judge him or anyone else -- he is acutely intelligent, perhaps one of the most well-read persons on the planet, and an astute statesman. "America the Beautiful" is not "America the Only." We live in a global community. We need to start acting like it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

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