04 July, 2006

My Independence

Happy Fourth of....

Since this is a national holiday celebrating our freedom(s), I am taking the liberty (timely word, eh?) to write a bit more of a political blog today. Therefore, if you feel you do not wish to have me on a sopabox waving my flag, please skp this blog and come back again another time.

The freedom to stay at home today watching movies on Turner Classic Movies ("Pride of the Yankees to "Yankee Doodle Dandy") is a real treat for me. And to beat the crowds, I took myself to the movie theatre yesterday to see the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

This is a powerful film that I cannot recommend highly enough. Of course, you need to be willing to be conscious and ready to hear the facts that Al Gore has to present. The film was informative, disturbing and important. As I watched Mr. Gore comfortably and engagingly presenting some difficult material, I was struck by the fact that he is right where he needs to be in being the spokesman for educating us about the dangers of global warming. Any of the judgments the pundits made about his flatness as a political candidate is gone. This man is passionate and has a lot to say. For a brief moment or two, I bemoaned the fact that he did win for President. Then the still small voice within me mentioned that Al Gore is exactly where he needs to be doing just what this country needs him to do. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for him to come so close to winning the Presidency (damn, those chads) and watch it elude him. However, he has more than made up for that fact. He will probably do more for the country from this teacher/speaker position than if he had been elected.

My minimal activist actions pale in comparison of what needs to be done by all of us. It also really increased my desire for a Hybrid car. I know I am doing well in my recycling efforts (after people see this film, they will be less likely to tease me about bringing in my extra Starbucks cup holders; or why I often plow through grabage cans when I see plastic bottles tossed in the regular trash). Here's one for you: I keep a plastic plant watering can in my sink. For example, when I wash my dishes and rinse out a glass I pour that rinse water into the watering jug and then use that water to either fill up a dirty cup instead of running clean water in it; or use it for watering the (few) plants I have. I love my neighborhood for many reasons, one of which is that I can walk to many places and not have to use my car.

Please go and see this film. Take a friend. We have a moral imperative to what we can and then, pay heed and take some of your own earth-saving actions too.

Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post wrote a recent piece on the fact that now society has even gone so far as to devalue the premier obscenity.. The word that has long been the most taboo and thus the most emphatic obscene word--"the F-bomb" is now proliferating all facets of our language and culture. It is used so frequently and so casually, that even many of our respected leaders (both Cheney and President Bush and John Kerry) have used that word in public interviews. I am aghast. Not that they have used the words (although I am not keen on a public official using it in public) I am in agreement with Mr. Achenbach that this explosive expletive is now becoming commonplace and thereby, losing its lustre and significance. Let's all stop using this emphatic word unless the occasion realllllly calls for it; and even then, use it with discretion and panache. Mr. Achenbach closed his essay with "For the good of human communication we must come together, as a people, to protest this word, and ensure that, years from now, it remains obscene."

And in celebration of this holiday and our Founding Fathers who ensured my right of free speech and ultimately, this amazing venue of expression, the Internet, I want to say that I am very excited and happy that the July issue of the Adams Avenue Herald was delivered today and my essay was accepted and published!!! Yeehaw! I am in print--the old-fashioned newsprint. What a thrill. I love the idea of being able to write (hence, the appeal of this blog, too) and have people read it. And the editor has invited me to write more pieces. An independent columnist. Maybe even something within my blog or my column will make a difference by being a convenient Truth that touches a chord within the reader.

As I hear the fireworks whistling in the night air, I am truly grateful for my life and for freedom to share it with you.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...