Sunday, August 31, 2008

May You Live in Interesting Times

Okay, here it is: my first political blog!  I'm well aware that this event is far more exciting for me than anyone possibly reading this.  As my page subtitle reads, I'm yet another voice in the echoing chasm of the internet.  Is there seriously anyone out there without a strident and ringing opinion?  Of course not, the only people who keep blogs are opinionated and obtuse people - me included obviously.  Well for what it's worth I look forward to posting my crackpot views here beginning today and continuing into infinity, or until something more interesting comes along, or an actual living person asks my views on something.

There is a very well known Chinese curse that  goes, "May you live in interesting times."  I realize that the "interesting" is euphemistic, but I can't think of anything more inspiring than doing just that, and this election season both North and South of the border are shaping up to be just that - very interesting.  I'll leave my thoughts on the Canadian election for another day, and instead hold forth on the goings on below the 49th this evening.  As of today the Democrats have just wrapped up their convention in Denver with Barack Obama having announced Joe Biden as his running mate and accepted his party's nomination as Presidential nominee.  On the other side, the Republicans are about to kick start their Convention in St. Paul with the news that their front runner John McCain has just announced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.  Phew! Interesting times indeed!

Let me just say before I continue any further that I am a bit of a political junkie, but as such I'm more of a watcher, less of a vocal supporter of one side over another.  I really love the sport of it, the game, how one move affects another.  If I were to describe my personal political stance it would be that of someone who is socially liberal, and fiscally conservative.  I don't believe the Government has any business in a nation's bedrooms or their hearts, I think that love is a hard enough commodity to come by in this world of ours without having someone tell you who you can or cannot share your life with as a married person.  I believe that Government doesn't have any business in a nation's churches, of course I also feel the opposite is true and feel that religious entities should stop trying to effect influence in the halls of governance.  I don't think that gender should play any role in determining your pay grade, nor should your ethnicity stop you from reaching your social goals.  On my more conservative side I think that I pay enough taxes and that more of my money in the public coffers won't achieve the fiscal needs of the country as much as the reorganization of the existing funds and their methods of collection.  I don't think that taxing my estate comprised of my net worth upon my death is fair - or legal.  I also think that time sentenced should be time served, if you do bad things you should go to jail, if you do really bad things you should go to jail for a really long time.  I see myself as a pragmatist, as I'm sure most do.  I think with my gut as much as anything else, but at least it's my gut.  Things are right and wrong and all shades of in between.  I think that most people have pretty good moral compasses and are able to determine these subtleties.  I know that people are going to have differences of opinion and that's normal.  Where I start to get a little less than generous is when we start getting into the extremes, where bile and vitriol are part of the "discussion".  Neither sides' extremes do either's middle any favors.  When I state that I'm a watcher, this is what I mean, I see both sides points and actions, process them through my moral and intellectual filter and voila!

So there's the preamble and here is the guts of it - what to make of the race so far.  Let's start on the Democratic side.  First off, this guy is a real breath of fresh air.  He's smart, charismatic, and smacks of change, and not just any change, historic change - real and figurative.  Between he and Clinton and the potential historic firsts for both of them, it was Obama that felt different, that felt as though he wasn't already part of the White House frequent flier club (probably because one of them still had their old drapes from last time).  I like Obama a lot, and I would be very interested to see what he would do as the 44th President of the United States should that become his much vaunted job.  The pragmatist in me does see that he hasn't got a lot of experience, but perhaps that's a blessing.  I would like people to remember that he is a man at the end of the day and not the second coming, but I suspect he would often like to remind people of the same. I think he's a great speaker and a dreamer - I just hope he has a plan to make those dreams come true.  As far as his choice of VP goes, he made a smart choice with Biden, choosing someone who will fill in those gaps in his resume without overshadowing the nominee.

On the Republican side of the see-saw we have a man, who eight years ago was a formidable nominee, a maverick and free speaker who wanted to bring change and a new direction to the GOP.  Unfortunately that was nearly a decade ago and since then he has smoothed much of the rough edges and pandered considerably to groups of individuals who eight years ago he had railed against and others whom he had labeled "dangerous".  All this led to a man who may have his party's nomination, not having the hearts of a large population of his assumed voters. I do admit that I still respect this man, predominantly as a war veteran and hero, but I am disappointed to see a person who eight years ago I thought may level off his party seem so adrift politically, so dependent on focus groups.  Frankly the guy needs to grow a pair back and shoot from the hip again, not tell people what other people have told him they want to hear. His choice of VP is the real reason I wanted to make my first political blog this weekend.  Now I realize that today's posting has approached the size of something a deceased Russian man may have written, but I do want to finish with a quick opining on Gov. Palin.

This was the biggest surprise of the election by far, and I mean by far - even more than discovering how hot Dennis Kucinich's wife was! No-one saw this coming. Obama's camp certainly didn't know how to react. Outwardly the trend seems to be dismissal, but I have to question to extent some Democrats have gone in dismissing someone so apparently dismissible. Paul Begala went off on both Palin and McCain on He wrote that in announcing Palin as his running mate McCain had only further proven his lack of fitness for the highest office in the country.  He railed on about it.  I couldn't help but feeling that if Ms. Palin was so utterly unfit for the job, Mr. Begala should have been ecstatic about her appointment - let them crash and burn! His argument as a liberal to what one could assume was a liberal audience given that it was a liberal opinion piece seemed almost too vehement.  Now I'm not saying that I think this was a conservative master stroke, because frankly I don't even know what I think just yet, I'm simply putting forth that she does tick a few boxes for McCain. She doesn't have much experience, but neither does Obama, and while he certainly has more than she, Palin is a Governor which has traditionally been a plus for voters electing Presidents (admittedly not Vice Presidents).  She is a woman like Clinton. No, she does not have Hillary's record or experience, and she'll lose female voters over her opposition to abortion, but people forget that conservative voters are also made up of conservative women as much as men.  There were plenty of female voters in the middle states who voiced a displeasure about Mrs. Clinton many years ago when Bill was running for the nomination due to her lack of conservatism. Finally she has a very conservative record and may heal some wounds of the neocons.  I really have no idea what will happen in the next two months and certainly not on election day.  At this point, I have to call it for Obama as he currently has the stronger ticket in my opinion.  He has the hearts of so many, the beliefs of so many. He also has that very enticing hope.  As they say, "May you live in interesting times."  I can't think of anything more interesting than these times. 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm a Somebody!

My blog finally showed up on a Google search today!  I know that pretty much everything in every possible permutation shows up in a Google search, but neither of my blogs had in three days - hence my concern.  Imagine not showing up in a Google search that is supposed to locate any tiny thing that exists on the web - it's like not actually existing! For three days I lived in a sort of ether purgatory, able to see myself but being told I didn't exist. The funny thing is that if I search my specific and full name on Google I get some 38,000 hits, the vast majority of them actually me. That didn't mean a thing to me these last few days, all I cared about was finding my blogs online using Google, because I figured if I could find them then so could others and that meant someone might actually read this thing. Well there I am.  To quote Steve Martin upon finding his name in the phonebook in "The Jerk": "I'm a somebody!"

Today was a pretty good day.  My wife is pregnant again so we all went to her Doctor's appointment and learned that everything is doing well and is on track - yay! I had an audition, then we came home and ordered pizza (cheat day). When I went to pick up said pizza, I found myself in a verbal altercation with a real poseur on a motorbike.  This suburban "motorcycle enthusiast" jawed off at me and we each exchanged some choice words with the other from the comfort of our respective vehicles.  It ended with each of us driving off and me yelling back with an expletive infused parting shot.  I gotta tell you, I felt good that I stood my ground, but the language just sounded so ugly and harsh to me as I looked back and saw my daughter's empty car seat. I felt guilty for projecting those curses across the parking lot despite its near empty state.  I realized that while I feel poorly for having engaged the dimwit at the lowest level, I'm glad that it happened for the pause it gave me. Cursing is not an easy thing for me to stop doing as it flows from me so naturally and eloquently, but today I resolved to stop for my children's sake. I won't be as interesting or as much fun at dinner parties any more but the swearing has to stop or before long I'll find myself answering to a very displeased Kindergarten teacher.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

This is Becoming a Habit

This is the third day in a row that I've sat down to chisel words into my little spot on the web. Can't really say that this will be a particularly deep or long post given the late hour and my tired state of being.  I was up at 5:30 in the morning today so as to be on set on time. After 4 1/2 hours of sleep I dragged myself from bed and into the shower after a hearty, bleary-eyed bowl of granola. Whilst there I took the opportunity to wash myself and shave.  Always a good idea to run a razor blade over one's face while in a state of semi-consciousness - and starkers. There's also something adventurous about trying to dress yourself in the dark, especially as you try to be totally silent so your wife and daughter can keep sleeping - mocking you in their cozy slumbers.  I half expected to leave the house looking like I had been clothed by a drunken, blind, and surly chimp. Thankfully however I was soon on my way to work wearing a natty ensemble comprised mostly of denim and attitude (but mostly denim).

I arrived at work on time, and before long was through hair and makeup and whisked up to set sporting a tight little suit and a pair of black eyes courtesy of the makeup department - do not piss those people off. We were shooting the last day of a disaster-themed movie whose plot I am not at liberty to divulge, suffice it to say that stuff happens, then other stuff, and eventually the last stuff happens too. I was working on this show with a fabulous director whom I've known for years and am fortunate enough to work with fairly regularly, so the shoots are always fun and loose no matter what is happening around us. Today I was to be dressed in a haz-mat suit consisting of a set of paper coveralls and an antique looking gas-mask.  The suit I didn't mind so much but the mask . . . well that was something else entirely!  To describe it is to say it looked like something you'd see in a German fetish film - if you happen to watch those things unlike me who has only had their plots and thematic elements vividly described to him as well as the props inherent.  So as I was made to understand, this rubber mask with tiny eyeholes that smelled of fear for the most part was exactly like something you'd see somewhere in the most caustic and naughty corners of the internet.  It was extremely claustrophobic in that disturbing "rebreather", so I was very relieved that I didn't have to spend more time in it.  Of course that relief quickly subsided, because after completing that scene, the movie ended for me as today was the last shoot day.  It's always sad when a show comes to an end, not just because a job is finished but because you know you'll have to wait a while to work with those same people again. 

On a completely separate note (yes I can shift themes like this, after all no-one's reading this yet) I was thinking today about perhaps setting up a Facebook page.  Yes me, the most Facebook hating guy out there - actually I can't back that up, I'm sure there is a Government Official somewhere in Beijing that may hate Facebook more.  I was just thinking that if I set it up with no actual information or photos it would be an incredibly boring page, but at least I could network with work people, and on the bright side my stark page may appeal to the Amish.  I'm feeling more tech communicative the past few days since I set up this blog, today I even set up Messenger on my Blackberry - cracker jack! I'm absolutely positive this enthusiastic embrace of the electronic world will fade as surely as my enthusiasm for cleaning the litter box, but until then I drivel on! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two Blogs in Two Days

Wow, I went from no blogs to two blogs in two days!  The truth is that this blog exists because I started thinking that the URL for my other blog, "thecoxblogmusingsofasuburbanite" was far too long, which of course it is!  So I created this blog, with the intention of copying over the posts from the other site and starting over with the more straight forward and self explanatory "richardcoxsblog".  However, now that I look at them, I think maybe I'll keep them both and find different uses for each of them - besides, Google can't find this one either which was the other reason for starting another blog.  Maybe this one could be the main blog, full of my day to day thoughts, and the musing blog could be where I try to be funny, but it just ends up looking like I'm trying too hard and then it gets awkward for everyone because the readers start to feel sorry for me, but I can sense their pity and then I start to get angry because I'm like "Who do they think they are to pity me, I should pity them!"  Well, I think we can all see where that's going . . .

The real problem is that I was worried that I wouldn't have enough to fill a blog as my life's not that exciting (at least not the parts that I'm willing to share with voyeuristic total strangers gawking at my intimate posts in various states of undress) but how am I going to keep up with two blogs?  I'd say the quality will be the first thing to go.  Then the passion for what I'm doing will dry up relative to the inevitable awesomeness of the new fall lineup.  Hmm, I've got to say that I'm surprised that Blogger's spell check didn't flag "awesomeness".  It just doesn't feel like a real-life genuine word, in fact that's the whole reason that I used it.  Of course just because a computer says a word is real or not real doesn't make it so - Microsoft Word will be the death of the proper British (and Canadian) spellings of words.

I will just have to soldier on with these two similar and yet totally different blogs (one's a little bit Country, the other's a little bit less Country, I mean it will listen to it but it won't go out of its way for it, not like the first one).  I would like both to be humorous, insightful, and of course massive internet smash successes.  I would also like at least one person to read them and pretend to like them.  I would also like a pony.