Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Eclipsing of Our Time

The eclipse was all it was supposed to be…. exciting and dark.  Even if it was only 75% here (New York).  The glasses we wore were seriously weird.  I kept thinking I was looking at the moon when I was actually looking at the sun, but through the glasses.  I cant wait for the next one.  It’s only seven years and it’s possible that I might make it.  Almost as exciting as the eclipse were the crowds that gathered.  In New York City it was a cloudy day. But every street corner was peopled with folks in the dark goggles who cheered everytime the the sun tried to sneak past the moon.  It was as if there were a little community of people on every corner all chatting about what was about  to happen.  It was such a relief to have a break from all the noise on the news.

Yesterday David mentioned something about a goober.  Is a goober like a booger I asked?  No, he said.  Well, is a goober what you spit from your mouth as opposed to a booger, which you snort from your nose. Yes, it is a little gross but how did the booger and the goober come to be.  

Supposedly the goober is a peanut.  Have you ever substituted goober for peanut.  Needless to say, it’s southern.  Also southern is the booger which is defined as dried muscus but used in a sentence it has nothing to do with snot.  Here’s the way the dictionary used it; “That shark was a mean-looking booger.”  “Paddle the little booger and send him home.” OK, so then snot is supposedly an synonym for booger but used in a sentence it is “a disrespectful or supercilious person.” 

Anyway, having answered that question we can get on with much more important information.  You think I’m going to talk about Trump but you are incorrect.  As many of you know I listen to books on CD.  Many of the books I enjoy are by Southern authors and take place in the South. There is nothing as colorful a Southern woman dressing down someone who has been offensive and making them feel as though the conversation has been a compliment. Anyway, having been at the receiving end of one of these conversations the ability to manipulate the rhetoric is wondrous, or something close to that.  

So let’s pause for a moment on the disaster that has become the United States Department of State, which didn’t start out so great.  It is a nightmare of a bureaucracy.  Trump does not understand how the government works. As a consequence, he  not filled Senate confirmed diplomatic positions.  He talks about increasing diplomatic responsibility without having diplomats to carry out the work. Confirmations take a long time, so who knows if there will ever be enough people in those positions.  And speaking of troop increases (I think we were),  in case you didn’t notice, all the people making these decisions —- making Trump policy decisions, are old white men.  Is there any reason why anyone, except old white men, should feel good about this? I’ll give that a big fat NO!  It’s like we have jumped back to 1950, where people didn’t know about drinking and smoking when you were pregnant, dangers to the environment if you didn’t have regulations, human rights — all the human rights, and common dignity, the importance of a moral core, and women not belonging at the decision making table.

HERE’S A POLICY QUESTION, don’t you just want to slap the President about the face and and neck.  Let’s be clear, the Presidency is sacred. This person who sits in the Oval office pretending to be the leader of this great nation, is neither a leader or the Commander in Chief, because he wants to be in charge without being personally responsible for what he says or does.  What a disservice to the country and the people. How did we get here? 

Truth be told, I prefer to talk about goobers, boogers, and snot. All of which can be used to describe the present occupant of the Oval office.   We’re just Sayin’…Iris

Monday, August 14, 2017

Billy Jack - the Candidate

Does any of this sound familiar?

Billy Jack is a "half-breed" American Navajo Indian,[2] a Green Beret Vietnam War veteran, and a hapkido master.  Jack defends the hippie-themed Freedom School and students from townspeople who do not understand or like the counterculture students. The school is organized by Jean Roberts (Delores Taylor).  More…

A group of children of various races from the school go to town for ice cream and are refused service and then abused and humiliated by Bernard Posner and his gang. This prompts a violent outburst by Billy. Later, the director of the Freedom School, Jean, is raped and an Indian student is then murdered by Bernard (David Roya), the son of the county's corrupt political boss (Bert Freed). Billy confronts Bernard and sustains a gunshot wound before killing him with a hand strike to the throat, after Bernard was caught in bed with a 13-year-old girl. After a climactic shootout with the police, and pleading from Jean, Billy Jack surrenders to the authorities and is arrested. As he is driven away, a large crowd of supporters raise their fists as a show of defiance and support. The second movie -  “Billy Jacks trial” went on for as long as the campaign.

As it happens, there were two Billy Jack movies on the SonyMovie channel this afternoon. And why were those movies of interest to me?  Well, there are those times when my Presidential politics were more colorful than the usual; candidate establishes credibility, raises money, builds a campaign, and runs for office. But he was not a traditional writer, producer or film maker,  “Billy Jack”, Tom Laughlin, was not a traditional Presidential candidate.  It was never clear how found his way to me.  Maybe he heard about the time we ran Lee Iacocca for President.  Of course, Iacocca was not happy about our campaign. But we raised $50,000 and got terrific press and even better, we were only allowed to build a campaign if the candidate didn’t agree to be involved  And, be assured, he did not agree.

The campaign had no money. They expected me, (me the entire political staff),  not to want any money.  That was not going to happen.  I designed a campaign strategy and made some suggestions.  They were nice, if somewhat delusional, people. He still thought that as Billy Jack, he would be recognizable, and have an automatic following.  He thought his Q rating remained off the charts. They agreed with nothing I thought they should do.

Their expectations of me became very complicated.  As the consultant, the driver, the scheduler and the person most likely to underwrite the campaign financially, there came a point when it was impossible to continue to work for them.  Them being Tom and his assistant, not his wife.
Anyway, David and I took them to the White House, where we still had friends who pretended to know who he was.  And that was the last I heard about him until I read his obit.

“Tom Laughlin, the actor, writer, director and producer who created the “Billy Jack” movie series of the 1970s, a low-budget fusion of counterculture piety and martial-arts violence that struck a chord with audiences and became a prototype for independent filmmaking and distribution, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 82.”

The obit also mentioned that he changed the way Hollywood movie distribution was done. And that he made 80 million dollars on the Billy Jack movies. He was relentless as well as rich.  He could have paid me and an entire staff if he had wanted to do that.  His intention was not to run for President but to get info for his remake of “Mr. Smith goes to Washington”, of which there is a trailer but the movie never got released. And ended on this note “Blah blah blah.” He later became an outspoken environmentalist and antinuclear activist and sought the Democratic nomination for president on several state primary ballots in 1992, 2004 and 2008. I was the campaign staff in 1992.  After I left the “Not really” Billy Jack Presidential campaign, I created chickens for the Clinton campaign — which was a much better, and much more fun to do.  We’re just sayin’….  Iris