Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Where are the Women?

Has anyone else noticed, looking at the pictures of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis demonstrating in the streets, that they are all young men? This is a country that is quite affluent and well-educated (although twelve years of sanctions have undermined the overall standard of living that existed previously). Where are all the women? I wonder what their point of view is?

Friday, April 11, 2003

Save the Children Enters Iraq
I have contributed to Save the Children for 18 years. They do a wonderful job of assessing and addressing the needs of communities. Most important, they have very low overhead and use the dollars where they count. Please take a look at their website, and see how you can help the people of Iraq.


Congratulations! 3/26/03 (To the Iraqi People on the occasion of their "liberation"

Mark Fiore's Flash-animated political cartoons are a treat. This is a great one.

Reagan Redux

Eleanor Clift writing about the proposed Bush tax cut. I must have missed the Oval Office speech when Bush called upon the elderly, the poor and the sick to make the sacrifices necessary to pay for the war, because they’re the ones who will bear the brunt of the budget crunch. The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization

I've been re-reading Thomas L. Friedman's important book (well, actually, listening to Tom Friedman read from his important book on a long car trip that I took this week), and I'm receiving the ideas somewhat differently in the current world situation. Forcibly taking down the regime that controlled Iraq without a plan for dealing with the consequences of dissolving that system (no matter what Donald Rumsfled claims) has left us pinned down in a dense grove of olive trees. We're struggling to gain control of the situation without a sense of how our choices resonate in a deeply interconnected, globalized world where superempowered individuals can challenge our status. The days of the superpower are clearly waning. We can impose our might on a situation to a point. But the Super Markets (the bourses worldwide that now wield more power than governments) will ultimately decide whether we have been successful, and we are fueling the wrath of superempowered individuals who will easily be able to attract the loyalty of people who feel dehumanized by our myopic crusade. There is a whiff of greed about this whole undertaking, and we're not going to get away with it.

The First Sip of Spring

Spring turns up in muddy boots
Suck…suck…suck at my ankles.
Born of a steady, velvet rain,
every breath tastes of rebirth.

Dwarf irises spiky and erect
Freckled with purple tears and
Golden mouths dripping life dust
Clearly unaware of how tiny they are.
So proud.

Lyra plunges into the creek, retrieving
mouthfuls of icy water as it rolls
down the mountain. The last vestiges
of winter snow still sparkling,
but now in motion.

Why are the only evident colors
on a yellow-bellied sapsucker
his black and white checked waistcoat
and the dashing red crown on his head?
Shouldn’t I see yellow?

Friday, April 04, 2003

Aging in the Creative World

I had a conversation with a young executive at the production company where I am currently working that got me thinking about popular culture, and what it means to be "current." I'm nearly 50 years old, which is a risky place to be in a business where the overwhelming perception is that youth = creativity. I don't believe that for a second. Knowing what is "of the moment" is simply a function of doing your homework like crazy and making certain that you know the tastes of the audience that you are programming for. Experience matters, particularly experience at the head of a production, so that you can afford to hire young, brilliant, undisciplined, wildly inexperienced talent to crank out fresh ideas all day long! Those "out of the box" hires are only feasible when there is a steady hand of enlightened experience at the head. So far, so good for me in this respect. I do my homework, and consistently find myself introducing new music, new websites, explaining video games, explaining what a BLOG is and how to make one, to people who are much younger (and who are being paid handsomely to be much hipper) than myself. The ironic thing is that I'm able to be very current because of the career choices that I have made....gradually stepping out of 24-7 executive positions, and seeking a balance in my life. I feel that I've found a comfortable equilibrium between challenging, meaningful work, family involvement, and contemplative, spiritual time for myself. And you know what? That balance means I have the time to know what's going on. To have heard the latest music. To have dug deep enough into that I know why kids are spending more time there than they are in front of the television. I made a choice, several years ago, to step off of the executive treadmill. I am earning less than I used to, although I've certainly maintained a comfortable lifestyle. My quality of life is infinitely better, and I'm much better equipped to do my job. Ironic, or what? Shhhhhhh! It's a secret.