12 July 2010

How to make my parents laugh

This past weekend David and I stayed with Dad and Audrey while we attended the Contemporary American Theater Festival in nearby Shepherdstown.*

As Dad and I were sitting around catching up, he told me a bit about the skin graft that he had to deal with a wound on his leg. Typical of Dad's sense of humor he told me that he told the nurses that they were ruining his once perfect body, since the graft would leave scars on both the wound site and the donation site.

"Huh." I replied. "So I know this means that we can't show you any more. Can we still breed you?"

And we were greatly amused by each other and proved - again - that while I look just like my Mom, I am still related to my father.

* Highlight for this festival?  Discovering I was sitting next to David Remedios, the sound designer for two of the shows.  And then watching him not even flinch, let alone turn around and kill, the patron who spent the first five minutes of the show we were watching (not one he designed, but even so) slowly and loudly open something wrapped in cellophane.

I am my father's daughter

"I often don't know what I think until I've heard what I have to say."

from a This I Believe essay that Daddy wrote this year.  

05 July 2010

This might not be as easy as I thought

Listing to Power Breakfast on NPR in the morning means that at least once a day I mutter "self-serving jerks" about our elected officials. Probably not what Elizabeth Wynne Johnson has in mind as she broadcasts this daily snippet of what the powerful and corrupted are doing, but that's what I'm always left with.

I have voted in every election in which I was eligible and I don't really want to stop now, but the major parties and their corporate owners don't offer anything better politically than Burger King offer nutritionally, so I don't really want to play with them any more.

It has occurred to me that there is at least one party out there that a) seems to agree with some of things that I find important, and b) has neither the money nor the power to annoy me nearly as much as the behemoths do. Heck, I don't think I've ever heard them even mentioned on "Power Breakfast," which may be a good sign.

So I've decided to start voting for the Green Party. I have voted for their candidates before, but I've decided to make them my default. It's similar to Brett's "vote against the incumbent" policy, possibly, in that it includes a certain "please go away" message to people who have learned that their real job is to get re-elected.  Besides, I've long thought that a viable third (and even fourth) party would be our best chance of maintaining a genuine representative democracy.

However, there is a small difficulty. I went to the website for Maryland's Green Party yesterday in order check out the candidates for 2010 and beyond and I got this message:


If you would like to run for office as a member of the Green Party, please call 443-449-4159.

That's right: the the independent restaurant of politics seem currently to have no candidates.  Or no menu to continue the metaphor.  I hope they have some candidates very soon because I really don't need or want another Double Down.

King: What means this most unmannerly irruption?
Is this your gratitude for boons conferred?

Scaphio: Boons? Bah! A fico for such boons, say we!
These boons have brought Utopia to a standstill!
Our pride and boast--the Army and the Navy--
Have both been reconstructed and remodeled
Upon so irresistible a basis
That all the neighboring nations have disarmed--
And War's impossible! Your County Councillor
Has passed such drastic Sanitary laws
That all doctors dwindle, starve, and die!
The laws, remodeled by Sir Bailey Barre,
Have quite extinguished crime and litigation:
The lawyers starve, and all the jails are let
As model lodgings for the working-classes!
In short--Utopia, swamped by dull Prosperity,
Demands that these detested Flowers of Progress
Be sent about their business, and affairs
Restored to their original complexion!

King: (to Zara) My daughter, this is a very unpleasant state of things. What is to be done?

Zara: I don't know--I don't understand it. We must have omitted something.

King: Omitted something? Yes, that's all very well, but--- (Sir Bailey Barre whispers to Zara.)

Zara: (suddenly) Of course! Now I remember! Why, I had forgotten the most essential element of all!

King: And that is?---

Zara: Government by Party! Introduce that great and glorious element--at once the bulwark and foundation of England's greatness--and all will be well! No political measures will endure, because one Party will assuredly undo all that the other Party has done; and while grouse is to be shot, and foxes worried to death, the legislative action of the country will be at a standstill. Then there will be sickness in plenty, endless lawsuits, crowded jails, interminable confusion in the Army and Navy, and, in short, general and unexampled prosperity!

W. S. Gilbert, "Utopia, Limited"