Sunday, January 31, 2010

Short Takes

Late on a lazy Sunday afternoon!
by Charlie Leck

Late on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve come up with a few good short takes that you may find interesting. I had a good day today. There was plenty of quiet time to read my hard copy edition of the Sunday New York Times. I gathered plenty of print ink on my finger-tips to prove it. We have a snow-white counter in our kitchen. It doesn’t get along well with my favorite newspapers. I also got to take in Sherlock Holmes (the movie) and found it clever and bearable (if not a bit too loud and slappy at times). I think it’s worth seeing. Just remember, this is not your father’s Sherlock Holmes! If you don't like loud noises and lots of mayhem, don't go to this one.

Muddled Selling of the President
Richard Stevenson, in the New York Times wrote a sterling article about President Obama and his political packaging. As a tease, here are the first two paragraphs.

WASHINGTON — On this much, President Obama’s friends and foes could agree: He eludes simple labels.

Yes, he’s a liberal, except when he’s not. He’s antiwar, except for the one he’s escalating. He’s for bailouts, but wants to rein in the banks. He’s concentrating ever-more power in the West Wing, except when he’s being overly deferential to Congress. He’s cool, except when he’s fighting-hot.

In a world that presents so many fast-moving and intractable problems, nuance, flexibility, pragmatism — even a full range of human emotions — are no doubt good things. But as Mr. Obama wrapped up his State of the Union address on Wednesday night with an appeal to transcend partisan gamesmanship, he was plaintively testing a broader proposition: Is it possible to embrace complexity in a political and media culture that demands simple themes and promotes conflict?
A Friend and His Friendships
Sunday morning brought a clever email from a friend who lives out in the country, with his dogs, Buddy and Puppy, at an altitude of about 5,000 feet, just a few miles from where the Rockies start to get serious. Perhaps the high altitude had addled his brain just a touch.

Buddy is the Smartest Dog Ever

It's easy to tell... first, by the way he sits...and stares up into your eyes... silently saying... I'm here and I'm game... bring it on... and when you smile at him as you must... his tail wags and wags...

he understands come, sit, stay, down and up just like a normal dog... but he also understands the way I feel and what hurts and when there's something good to look at out the car window...

and he likes it when I say something funny... he doesn't laugh, but he smiles...

and when I eat, he patiently sits and waits for me to finish (almost finish) and give him first ups on the plate... and doesn't complain when I take it back to give his brother a chance to lick the almost clean plate... he knows about sharing...

and when we walk, he always walks on Puppy's right... protecting him from on-coming cars and trucks...even though there aren't too many of them out here.

but in the end, it [is] his eyes... they tell the whole story... what he's thinking and what he's feeling...

if i were a dog i know I'd be more like Puppy...I'd eat, [flatulate], sleep a lot and spend the best part of the day [grooming] myself...

the world needs more dogs like Buddy...

later, f
MacBeth to Open Soon at our incredible Guthrie Theatre
Our local rag of a paper carried a story this morning about preparations for the opening of MacBeth. We've got tickets to see it in the middle of the coming month. Michael Dowling, the theater’s artistic director, is staging and directing the play. He’s mighty fine and so I’m up for seeing the play again – perhaps for the 12th time or so. [Unfortunately, the paper doesn’t seem to have included the story in its on-line version!]

Obama is whacked on the hand because of the economic crash; but just how did the banks escape blame?
We mustn’t forget that it was the American financial system – with the banks at the heart of it – that brought our economy tumbling down around us last year. The “crash” left us in our weakest financial condition since about 75 years ago. We can still feel the shaking and trembling under our feet. Far too many people are still out of work and there is no promise of a rapid correction. Obama wasn’t even in office when this crash commenced; yet he is now taking a substantial part of the blame for our stalled economy. That blame is ill placed. We need to look back a few administrations to put the blame on a congressional de-regulation of the American banking industry. Everyone agrees that we need a reorganization of the banking industry and new, tougher regulations to stop the banks from taking too many risks. This kind of thing should be right up the Republicans’ alley, but they are being awfully slow to take leadership in such reform.

That’s enough for one Sunday afternoon. My partner is home from her week long ski trip to Alta (Utah). I’ve shared a photo (above) of her and her sister. Below you may peek at A Man and his Friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment