I’m back. I guess I could hype and say “I’mmmm baaaaack!”. But no, I left quietly and without fanfare and will return the same way. So why did I stop blogging in the first place?
After a while, it seemed so useless… rant after rant without anything changing. Not that I expected to change the world… and I do know that I did reach people. In fact, I’ve had almost 13,000 comments. Unfortunately most of those were after I stopped blogging and in the technical world, those comments are called ‘spam’. Ouch. Yep, I have been spammed.
When the floodgates of spam opened, that just sapped my remaining energy. Imagine trying to delete over 700 spam a week, trying to separate trash from real comments. It was overwhelming.
But enough of that. Over the period of rest, I decided to re-formulate this blog and it will be a process of evolution. I will still blog serious stuff, but the blogs will be shorter and likely more frequent. Also, I will be adding a segment on art, which is the primary focus of my being. But I will still put it out there. No PC crap. Tough talking yo. A spade, no matter what you call it, is still a spade. I’m back.
What have I missed? A whole lot. It was all I could do not to get back behind the keys. One of those burning issues is of course the economy… and I will start there.
The republicans have formed their point of attack at first, around jobs and the state of the economy. But as they reasonably suspected, the recovery was on the way and that when the economy improved, they would have no chance of beating Obama in 2012. So they decided to focus on both job recovery and the national debt, knowing that one or the other can bring down the Obama administration.
The problem about this focus is that they are sabotaging the United States of America. Job recovery is not compatible with reducing the national debt. Like having a triple whopper and a diet coke but expecting to lose weight. To improve the economy, any administration has to increase programs that create jobs. This necessarily means that government will have to have a larger budget and in the case of any administration over the last 50 years, necessarily borrow to meet payroll demands amongst other things. This will increase debt.
On the other hand, a focus on the debt means reducing government, by cutting government-backed projects and employment. Cutting employment feeds unemployment.
The intention is to force Obama to fight on 2 different incompatible fronts… and to some extent they have succeeded. This country has a crumbling infrastructure that will get weaker and more expensive to fix the longer they are not attended to. The republicans have cut that.
They have also forced job cuts in key sectors including education, social services, emergency services and the police… all in the name of cutting the deficit. So they personally are making more unemployed while blaming Obama for the high unemployment. Education will continue its downhill plunge and they intend to blame Obama for that. If crime rises, well, that’s on Obama too.
In any sensible country, such a tactic would backfire day one. But this is America my friends, … where most voters are incapable of common sense and hypocrisy is acceptable.
Many must have seen or heard about congressman Anthony Weiner and online affairs with numerous women. Move over Tiger Woods.
What’s wrong with these guys? Obviously products of power and living in a sexually repressed nation. Most places, we’d just have a mistress or solicit a ‘ho every now and again. But politicians and religious moguls just feel that they have to put their ‘thing’ digitally as well… even after knowing about the fall of a colleague just weeks before because of online sexual egotism. Dumbs and dumbers.
Listen, technology is great but like fire and water, the digital age should not be allowed to master us. Anything you put online, can come back to haunt you. Digital footprints are harder to erase that real ones.
One of the things Weiner did was sex on facebook, though I’m not sure you can call that sex. But that brings me to the insidiousness of facebook. Shortly, facebook is introducing a feature where people’s faces will be tagged even if the person who posted the images, don’t want the images tagged. It will be done automatically.
“Great,” you say, “Saves me time”. Well let me just let you think about the implication of that for a while.
Facebook is a dangerous master. It is changing society but not for the better. It is making many people less sociable, more homogenous, more narcissistic, lazy thinkers, and ass-kissers. It appears to me that facebook is creating little ‘pseudo-societies’ where the self-absorbed can populate it only with people who daisy chain each other. Daisy chain? Look up the sexual reference.
True case in point. I was recently ‘unfriended’ by Hilaire (no need to know more), a lawyer I know who seems to be addicted to fb. He is always on it (have no idea when he gets to do any lawyering… but that’s his employers business).
Recently, on one of my infrequent ventures into this lalaland, I happened to post some rebuttals to things Hilaire said, me thinking of course foolishly, that this would be an exercise of rational discourse. More fool me. As someone more savvy explained, “There is a reason why there is a ‘like’ but no ‘dislike’ button”. Ooooh.
As imprudent as Hilaire’s post was, there were enough people to rain praises on him for his ‘unique’ insight… notwithstanding that his online criticism of someone was already old news. “Nothing new here folks, keep on moving”.
But I’m not part of anyone’s mutual admiration society and stated my disagreement. Wham! It was like I was carrying a “Ban automatic weapons” placard at a gun convention. The beatdown came, even though all I was trying to do was to stay within the salient points. Nice try son, but it doesn’t work that way. Some people don’t let facts and logic get in the way.
When I replied to someone whose idea of expressing her intellectual self-importance was to try to amateur psycho-anal-yse me (bad mistake), well I was ‘unfriended’. Boohoo.
So, if you decide to go on fb, be careful, be very careful. It’s seductive, deceptive, and addictive. But through fb, your personal information becomes a part of a worldwide database including marketers, the FBI, security agencies and employers. My expert tells me that potential employees have their facebook accounts scanned before they are employed. So what you put up today, can get you employed or fired.
By the way, while writing this piece, I checked my fb account. The first thing up was a page informing me to “Keep my account safe” while telling me that my protection was low. Then it asked me to give them my phone number. Like right, I’m reeeeally gonna give you another piece of personal information. Thank you but no thank you very much.
For many years now Art has been my saving grace, the thing I do to keep my sanity. My entry into art began back in 1984 when I joined my university’s photo club. But I never intended to become an artist… it was too high a calling for me.
But as my work progressed, more people impressed on me that I was an artist. I won this, I won that but it was but a past-time, something to not only keep me occupied but sane.
When I was freaking out because of significant pressures of life, it was art that I turned to, and it began becoming a part of me. This led to an increase in art, and a slide away from ‘working for the man’. More accomplishments followed with the most important being my one-man show ‘Beyond the Ordinary’ in 1999. The plaudits grew but I still couldn’t fully reconcile myself as an artist.
It was only when distinguished artists as Karl ‘Jerry’ Craig, Cecil Cooper, Donnette Zacca, Christopher Gonzalez and others affirmed my work and accepted me into their fraternity, that I believed. Trust me, not everyone who says that they are an artist is, and being an artist is not easy. Personally and professionally, it is a long arduous journey, filled with pain, rejection, self-doubt and failure. But those only make us stronger.
As an artist I believe I’m here to serve. Not like the politician who yearns for power, or the priest who yearns for control. Most artists serve as either our consciences, or as bringers of calm, reflection and beauty. This is my passion.
But as I said, I wanted to keep this short. More anon.