It has been awhile since I’ve written some of the more introspective parts of my blog. This is usually when my dad calls and says, "So how’s Andy doing?"
The hurricane and ensuing tragedy and farce have really drained me. It really shows the deep divide between two schools of thought:
- That it is our responsibility to care for the poor and vulnerable.
By caring for the poor and vulnerable, we short-change their development and strengths.
I’m always amazed at the people that call themselves Christians that subscribe to the latter point of view. These are people who think that God helps those who help themselves is straight out of the Bible (it isn’t). These are people that seem stuck particularly in the Old Testament where God is a much different literary character than in the New Testament. I think these people find comfort in a vengeful God because it will be just rewards for them and forgives damage to those considered sinful.
And then at the same time I chide myself for thinking: "They are just going to mis-spend with those debit cards." And I don’t like that that was my first reaction.
The slowness of the response, the gutting of crucial services at all levels, the complete mismanagement of the response to a national tragedy is staggering. The red tape and waiting is the usual idiocy you expect from a bureaucracy that is in love with its own procedures. And all of the finger pointing and saying "Well we were waiting for you!" and "We were waiting for you!" is complete idiocy. As Jon Stewart said: "The ones that talk about playing the blame game? They’re usually the ones to blame."
The nation’s leaders vacationing and shopping during a time of intense national crisis is a huge indicator. This administration, which is so concerned with perception management, didn’t have the foresight to realize that perhaps they should at least look concerned and not be enjoying a holiday while the poor stewed in shit and disease. That this isn’t an automatic intuitive decision shows a great deal about priorities. "Shit happens, but never to me."
As we approach the fourth anniversary of You Know What, it further describes a country that has been tranformed – and further reinforced around paths it has been on for decades. Americans love war. We define our national narrative in terms of conflict. Our needs usurp everyone else’s – even the soverignty of other nations. The belief in American Exceptionalism is dangerous and was again peeled back for being the bullshit that it is. We aren’t as fantastic as we’d like to believe. Perhaps patriotism itself is a load of horseshit – isn’t it kind of ridiculous to be proud of where you’re born when you had no say in the decision? America remains a country founded on and driven by ideals – and these ideals mutate with the changing times where free speech morphs into free speech zones and liberty morphs into secret tribunals. I still believe deeply in the ideals the country was based on – America is stellar – on paper.
I always remember Kurt Vonneguts remarks that today’s political leaders are essentially psychopathic personalities:
What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!
The equating of criticism with dissent is one of the scariest trends, I think. Because it always says: wait until it is all over – then we’ll investigate. Stay the course, we’ve turned a corner, we’re in the last throes… there is always a way to stave off criticism. The time for blame is here and now while the situation is urgent. If you are to blame and you’re still in charge then get the fuck out of the way and let the experts in.
As for impeachment, it is one of my soggiest liberal wet dreams to see impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush. I’d love to see him removed from office and have his entire family disgraced and put an end to this dynasty of death and greed. As for war crimes, perhaps the criminal courts can try them all in absentia and convict them for gross mismanagement and violence. And get Clinton while they’re at it too. And Poppy Bush.
I make no guess that if Kerry were in power that things would be that much different. Perhaps it wouldn’t all be as blatant and disgusting as it is with the current Rovian White House.
And so here we are in the cafe writing about this stuff like writing about it really matters anymore. Ron was asking me why people can’t just protest in DC like the protests that led to Marcos’s outing. I think they’d be mowed down my machine guns. It’d be an American Tiannemen. I don’t think that a violent overthrow could ever work in this country – at least not at the federal level.
Right – but how’s Andy? Heh, I haven’t gotten into that yet have I?
I’m fine. Tense but fine. I think Bush’s second term is turning my gray. But that’s okay – just a quicker turnaround into being a shorter version of Anderson Cooper, right?
I had a preview call for my Six Figure Blogging course on Wednesday night and over 775 people signed up for our free preview and packed a 600-caller capacity phone bridge. Orders for the course are rolling in now which starts next Wednesday. Darren and I are hoping to double our orders in the next few days. I’m learning that I’m a good producer for products. I’ve already had one blogging guru IM me to see when we’re goign to collaborate on a course for him. I’m like the P. Diddy of teleclasses.
In the middle of my course Business Blog Basics with Peter which is a fun class because it is the total basics of blogs and stuff that I’ve taught for years and it gets a fresh perspective as Peter and I collaborate. The course ends next week and will then become a digital download or CD for folks to either take before my Easy Bake Weblogs course or for propsects for Peter’s design work.
I’m really learning the value of collaboration which is a big one for me. I had such bad experiences collaborating in school growing up that I learned early on to be very self-sustaining. But the missing ingredient was collaborators of my caliber. I’m now able to find folks that have an equivalent knowledgebase as I do as well as equal size of network which I think are the keys I was missing before.
Getting great feedback on my teleclass facilitating skills which again goes to show that things you excel at are, to you, no big deal. I was telling Eric I think it is my directing background and being able to juggle multiple points of view and opinions and questions at one time. The highlight of our preview call on Wednesday was when someone flushed a toilet and they weren’t on mute. I was excited to finally have something that inappropriate happen on one of my calls. I didn’t edit it out of the audio because it was too funny and I think gives a playful sensibility that aligns with what blogging is all about.
Things have changed in Boystown. 2 little rugrats run amuck in the coffeeshop while mother giggles at how cute her out of control tots are.
My gym time has been cut short lately. I think all the news coverage is so draining to watch. So horrifying to see third-world conditions within your own borders.
Ron and I found a prominent Asian-American bodybuilder on one of the gay personals sites. I won’t link directly since I w
ant to respect his privacy but most folks can probably guess who I’m talking about. My blog has become a hub for Rob Marciano fans which is kinda funny. He even has a fanclub on Yahoo: Weather Heights. I can’t wait until I have my own Yahoo Group fan club.
I’m not sure if I blogged this already – I know I’d recorded it with my defunct hardware but it was great to be recognized by Patrick and Noah (and Scott) from the Patrick and Noah Show whilst dining with Madge at Stella’s. That’s the second time I’ve been recognized. And then that same day I’m coming out of Jewel and this guy coming in says ‘Hi Andymatic!’
Had a minor podcasting hardware disaster this week. Bought some equipment at Guitar Center only to bring it home and find out that it didn’t run on my Celeron processor and they wouldn’t take it back (since I’d installed some of the software) and so I am no selling it on eBay. But the new equipement came yesterday: a Yamaha MG-10 10 channel mixer, a compressor and equalizer and a USB interface to pipe it into the PC. Not sure where the hell I’m going to but this new stuff – the mixer is like a small table! But I was listening to Madge on Monday morning and I got so angry listening to her that I knew I had to really get serious about the podcasting stuff.
It is funny, when I was involved heavily in theatre and stuff like that I was so wanting to have a global impact on people and now with my courses and blogs I’m doing that in a more far-reaching way than I could have imagined.
Ron and I rented The Wedding Date, one of the blandest faux romantic comedies I’ve seen in a while. Ugh. No laughs. No character development. Not terrible enough to make fun of but not good enough to enjoy. Dermot Mulroney looks OLD. They didn’t light him very well for the movie and Debra Messing’s makeup artist didn’t put the foundation on the scalp where her hair parted to you have this white slice of scalp staring at you during the movie along with a crazy case of dark roots. I just think it is odd when obvious details like this are missed.
Last night we rented Raspberry Reich by Bruce LaBruce. Good God. It was like some strange Poli-Sci Andy Warhol nighthmare where this German chick named Gertrude spouts about capitalism and corn flakes while convincing her male compatriots to get it on and break their heterosexual bonds all while screaming THE REVOLUTION IS MY BOYFRIEND! That is one of those phrases I can count on Ron to later scream and inopportune times in public places. Don’t bother with this movie. I wanted to rent Max Max 3.
Oh and that big news I kept promising so long ago – I guess things are solid enough that I can go ahead and announce it. A book based on my blogging seminar is going to be published next spring by Penguin, one of the largest publishing companies in the world. An editor foundy my blog, read my newsletter and contacted me out of the blue to get my book published. I’ve since gotten an agent and he and the lawyer and the publisher are hammering everything out. The initial flush of excitement has waned as I’ve learned that publishing companies move just as deliberately as any other large corporation. The book is going to be titled Blogwild and should be out this spring. I’m still setting up the site for the book so I’ll announce that when I’ve got it. Anyway, good news!