Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Purists

There is wisdom in the words spoken by President Obama in his remarks last week during a news conference during which he announced the continuation of the Bush era tax cuts. The news conference was striking because of the tone and the focus, as the President had his harshest and most animated criticism aimed in the direction of members of his own party. He was correct in his criticism and I think, for the first time that I can recall, I am solidly in his corner. That is not because he rebuked liberals or because I, as a conservative, took pleasure in the public dressing-down given to the left by their own leader. I support the remarks made for their honesty and the willingness to illuminate what has steadily become an endemic problem in politics:purist politics.


It is far too easy for pundits and elected politicians to espouse positions that promote an ideal political condition, but which have more chance to polarize opposition than to win consensus, even with those within their own political spectrum. as the President said, "People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are..."

Though directed inward at the liberal left, this applies to everyone, the right included. It is true that we need dreamers who have a vision of what could be and even if the ideal is something I do not necessarily agree with, the right to dream is essential to a thriving America of the future. Holding to an ideal, trying to govern with unwavering idealism as a guide, that, as President Obama said, creates an America where "[w]e will never get anything done."

Compromise is essential for progress. It is the requirement of our leaders to find the line where compromise remains beneficial for America as a whole and in this, the Whitehouse walks on top of the line, recognizing the need. Perhaps this first step, having been made, will not be the only step and with more optimism than I dare, perhaps the fringes of both parties with loosen their respective holds on the political process.

A very small dog and a plain pillow...

Have you ever seen a very small dog hump a pillow? Ok, I admit I wrote that for the pure
shock value. I mean, I saw it happen, but I surely could have eased into the revelation if
it were not for the fact that I was attempting to "grab the reader's attention". So, anyway.
Perhaps you are more worldly than I was once upon a time and shock has missed the mark and
you are ready for the rest, or for those who were shocked, you have now had sufficient time
to recover.

Let me, then, ask you this: have you ever seen a very small dog hump a pillow on the back of
a couch on which your former high school principal sat? I suspect that this is a far rarer 
experience only a select few can claim. Lucky to those of us who have experienced such a
situation, right? The uncomfortable sight at least provides for a comical story.

It took me weeks to write of this. The image of that cute little dog, who apparently was in
love  with a rather plain pillow, crept in my head and exploded like something nuclear. It
was one of those events that are difficult to describe. There was laughing. Yes. There was
also an uncomfortable tension, at least in my perception. Once laughing was done, how does
one comment? It was the first visit for me to my former principal's home and though I am far
past my teen years, the man is still not someone I call by his first name. It would seem
odder than watching his dog giving a pillow the love-thump.

Laughter and tension, then some ice cream (really, what else could we do except eat ice
cream?) and then sporadic chuckles and it was time to go. Any conversation would be tainted,
wouldn't it, after seeing a very small dog hump a plain pillow?

I realize this is no story, that I revealed nothing, that the ending is flat and
unsatisfying. There is nothing I can do about improving the matter because as I write, all I
can think of is what the very small dog did to the cat under the kitchen table earlier in
the night. For that, I have no words, shocking or otherwise...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Brooklyn, Brooklyn...

...I'm too frightened of your subways and the sunlight doesn't offer comfort on sidewalks where solo walkers are more likely to be engaged in conversation than groups...

Ahh Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in.
Are you aware the shape I’m in?
My hands they shake, my head it spins.
Ahh Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in.


...but only for a visit... my hands still shake and my head, it still spins...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Precedence

Precedence. And I suppose prioritizing, in terms of time management. I had been ambitious, I see that in hindsight. As I planned a freelancing endeavor not knowing what freelancing even meant, I was planning how to propose, and was equally ignorant of the scope such a decision encompassed. In short, initial planning for next summer’s nuptials took over my mind and thus my time.

I had no set writing schedule to hold onto and no idea what giving a ring meant in terms of scheduling. There are so many things involved in making a wedding a success. Venues have ruled my world.

But in writing, there are always silver linings. The writer who sits in isolation or remains in a static lifestyle, has little to offer in their writing. I believe that, even as I recognize that I am using this particular philosophy as an excuse. Too many excuses are inexcusable, but I will allow myself this one excuse. I plan to get married once and I think that I will get better at setting priorities as I find my way in the freelance world.

I continue to grow and though the candle I carry is weak and throws little illumination, I have hopes of something brighter. Especially with a great family to support me and a wonderful woman who, lucky for me, said ‘yes’ when I fumbled a ring from my pocket.