Not a Blog

Time to Vote

October 21, 2020 at 11:35 am
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I descended from my mountain holdfast for a few days this week, to make sure my vote was counted.

Early voting is open in many states.

If you want to vote by mail or with an absentee ballot, there are ways to do that as well.   But you have to ACT.

Or you can go to the polls on election day.   Masked, I hope.   Keeping correct social distance.

However you do it, please VOTE.  Covid makes it unusually challenging this year, but the future of our country, the future of democracy itself, is on the line this time around.

 

Current Mood: determined determined

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly

September 30, 2020 at 4:36 pm
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I have seen every presidential debate ever held.

I began taking an interest in politics when I was still in grade school.    The first presidential election I followed was the race between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960.   I was twelve years old.   It was an historic occasion.

Most of you are probably way younger than me.   JFK died before you were born.   You may not even remember the day he was shot, let alone the election that won him the presidency, or the debates that played such a big part in that contest.   But fortunately you have YouTube.   Take a look.

 

Millenials, Gen Xers, Gen Zs, play a little of this.   The opening statements, at least.   The issues and controversies of 1960 are part of history now, and may not seem hugely relevant to us today (though some of them still are)… but it is the TONE of the debate that I want to draw your attention to.   This is what a presidential debate is supposed to look and sound like.   Two candidates exchanging views and ideas, debating facts, dealing with the issues of the day, all the while treating each other with respect.   It was a DEBATE.   Lincoln and Douglas would have been proud.   Maybe it was not the most exciting television in the world, but it gave us a good view of both candidates, where they agreed, where they differed.

I have seen every subsequent debate as well.   Nixon and Kennedy had three more of these, and I watched.   I was watching when Ford blew his election against Carter with a gaffe about Eastern Europe.   I was watching when Bill Clinton turned the 1992 race in the three-way debate with Bush the Elder and Ross Perot.   I saw Ronald Reagan debate Jimmy Carter, and John Anderson, and Walter Mondale.   I watched Obama against McCain, and Obama against Romney.   I saw all the good moments, and all the bad ones.

I have never seen anything like what I witnessed last night.

It was appalling.   Offensive.   Disgusting.    Donald Trump was bad four years ago in his debates with Hillary Clinton, but last night he set new records for being offensive, obnoxious, and rude.    He ranted, he raved, he shouted, he interrupted again and again and again and AGAIN, refusing to let Joe Biden finish a sentence without breaking in.   He spoke over Biden, he spoke over the moderator, he ignored the questions, he ignored the rules — rules his own campaign had negotiated and agreed to — he told shocking lies, and doubled down when called on them, he engaged in smears and personal attacks, he tried to discredit the result of the vote before most of America has even voted.

This was not the behavior of a president.   This was not the behavior of a presidential candidate.

This was the behavior of a schoolyard bully, an obnoxious child, the tinpot strongman of some third world dictatorship.

Look at the debate from 1960.   Can you imagine either Kennedy or Nixon engaging in behavior like this?   I am certainly no fan of Nixon, and he did some pretty shady things when he got into the White House (Watergate and all).   He said some pretty obnoxious stuff in his private moments as well.   So did LBJ.   So did other presidents, other candidates.  IN PRIVATE.   None of them would ever have behaved like Trump did in public.

It is not a question of Democrat v Republican, or Liberal v Conservative.   Nixon would not have behaved as Trump did.   Ronald Reagan would not have done so.   Nor Eisenhower, nor John McCain, nor Barry Goldwater.

Donald Trump disgraced the presidency last night.   He took a piss all over democracy.

All other issues aside — and there are hugely important issues being decided this year, from race relations to climate change to the pandemic — last night’s “debate” proved one thing beyond any doubt.   Joe Biden is a decent human being, and Donald Trump is not.

 

Current Mood: angry angry

Words For Our Times

September 21, 2020 at 9:12 am
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Current Mood: determined determined

Scary Stuff

September 14, 2020 at 11:19 am
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Just watched a Netflix documentary about social media called THE SOCIAL DILEMMA that terrified me more than any horror movie I have seen in the past twenty years.

I have never been a fan of Twitter or Facebook or any of the other social apps out there.  My Not A Blog remains my main (and really my only) method of interfacing with the internet.   The accounts I have elsewhere largely just echo stuff I have already posted here.   I do think the social media is having terrible effects on our society… on political discourse, on journalism, on the fabric of our democracy itself.   But I do not think I ever realized how bad it was until I saw this doc.

I do hope we can find our way out.   But I am pessimistic.

But then, I am pessimistic about a lot of things these days.

 

Current Mood: scared scared

Words For Our Times

July 23, 2020 at 5:35 pm
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Current Mood: quixotic quixotic

Words For Our Times

July 11, 2020 at 10:02 am
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Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

No One Asked Me, But…

June 25, 2020 at 9:34 am
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Joe Biden is looking for a running mate right now, and he has said he means to nominate a woman.   Great, I say.

The Democratic Party is full of terrific, highly qualified women serving in the Senate, House, and various State Houses, many of whom would make terrific candidates, I think.   But if Joe were to ask me — which he hasn’t, and won’t — I would urge him to choose the governor of New Mexico, the amazing MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM.

Michelle was a congressman before being elected governor, and New Mexico could not have asked for a better representative.   She has been a terrific governor as well, a night and day contrast to her predecessor.   And this past year, with Covid-19, she was really put to the test, along with every other governor in the United States.  Her handling of the crisis has been exemplary.   If only that clown in the White House had done as well…

Michelle is small, but she packs more brains, courage, and determination into that tiny package than half the members of Congress put together.

There are many factors that go into choosing a vice presidential candidate.   Balancing the ticket, winning this swing state or that one, appeasing various factions of the party, mobilizing the party workers, swaying one ethnic group or another… all valid, I suppose, and to politicos maybe all important.   I am not a politico, however, just a citizen and a voter, and for me there is one factor that outweighs all the others:  would the candidate make a good president if something should happen (Seven save us) to the president.

Based on what I’ve seen of her as congresswoman and governor, I think Michelle Lujan Grisham would make a fantastic president.

Current Mood: determined determined

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Words For Our Times

June 9, 2020 at 11:35 am
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Current Mood: angry angry

Shae and Sibel

June 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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Never judge a book by its cover, or an actor by the character he or she portrays.

Most of you only know Sibel Kekilli for her portrayal of Shae in HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.   In her native Germany, of course, Sibel is recognized for a wide variety of other roles, including a long stint on the popular police procedural TATORT, the German LAW & ORDER.  She is also a two-time winner of the Lola Award (the German Oscar) for Best Actress for her starring roles in WHEN WE LEAVE and HEAD-ON.

Sibel is more than just a gifted actress, however.   She is a kind and gentle and compassionate person as well, one that I am proud to know… and she is a woman of rare courage.  In these dark and highly politicized times, when the safest course for any public figure is silence and smiles, Sibel has never hesitated to speak her mind, giving of her time, her money, and her fame to help others.   Every time she speaks up, she subjects herself to another flood of abuse, slurs, death threats, and the like… but she persists, nonetheless.

Sibel Kekilli is a true hero.

She has worked for years for Terre des Femmes, fighting violence against women all around the world.

Terre des Femmes

Now Sibel has a new venture: working with PAPATYA to rescue girls (from the ages of 13 to 21) threatened with forced child marriages and abductions.  Sibel has recently used her own funds to buy computers for the girls.   She’s also lent her support to an on-line counseling site, SIBEL ( named after her character from HEAD-ON) to offer advice and help to those who need it.

Homepage

She has my admiration and support.  I hope she has yours as well.

 

Current Mood: determined determined

Stuff and Nonsense

May 4, 2019 at 9:24 am
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Just a few jots about various things going on these days, in my life and in the world at large.

Saw the new Avengers movie last night.  ENDGAME is amazing.  Kudos to the writers and director.  I cannot believe they got all those characters into one film, and still managed to do them all justice.   The final battle was epic, exciting, thrilling, full of twists and turns… and strangely beautiful.  But the character scenes earlier in the film really made it for me.   The opening with Hawkeye, the Ant-Man scenes, Tony Stark’s moments communing with his helm… so many more.  There’s plenty of action here, but this is not just A Big Dumb Action movie, of which there are far too many these days.   Stan Lee would have been proud.  Could he ever have dreamed that all those characters he and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and the rest of the Marvel team created in the early 60s would one day come to dominate global culture?  There’s an amazing story for you.

Oh… and yay for the rat.   The unsung hero.   They should make him an honorary Avenger.

On other fronts… my imaginary history book, FIRE & BLOOD, had a good long run on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List, hanging on for more than three months in the top ten before finally sliding off.   But hey, hey, hey, as of this week, I’m back!   My Targaryen history has reappeared at #9 on the hardcover fiction list, up from #12.   You can’t keep a good dragon down.

(You can get autographed copies of FIRE & BLOOD from the bookstore at my Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe.  We also have signed copies of all my other books, as well as novels by many other writers… most recently, Alan Brennert and Marlon James).

The graphic novel of STARPORT, adapted and drawn by the talented Raya Golden from a television pilot I wrote in 1994, is also out, and doing nicely.   Raya did a beautiful job, and there’s a chance that there will be more STARPORT graphic novels coming your way in the future.  ((Based on my world and characters, but no, not written by me, I don’t have the time, so calm on down)).   Who knows?  Maybe even the TV series it was originally meant to be.  And wouldn’t THAT be wonderfully exciting.

Oh, and speaking of television, don’t believe everything you read.   Internet reports are notoriously unreliable.  We have had five different GAME OF THRONES successor shows in development (I mislike the term “spinoffs”) at HBO, and three of them are still moving forward nicely.   The one I am not supposed to call THE LONG NIGHT will be shooting later this year, and two other shows remain in the script stage, but are edging closer.   What are they about?  I cannot say.   But maybe some of you should pick up a copy of FIRE & BLOOD and come up with your own theories.

Purely as a viewer, no connection whatsoever, I am enjoying the hell out of the new HBO drama GENTLEMAN JACK.  Only two episodes in, but it’s very well done.  And of course, VEEP is as funny as ever… much funnier than real politics.

Out in the real world, I was pleased that Joe Biden finally announced his candidacy for president.   There are a lot of good Democrats running, maybe too many, and I’d probably vote for any one of them over the present blot upon the Oval Office.  The main things I want in a nominee, however, are twofold: (1) someone who can beat Trump, and (2) someone who would actually be a good/ great president.   Biden qualifies on both counts.  Also, the speech he gave announcing his run was kickass… and so, so true.  I wish him well.

Lots lots more going on, but I have pages to write.   ’nuff said.

 

 

 

Current Mood: busy busy