TMB – 11/4/14

On November 4, 2014, in Past Morning Briefs, by David

CE577A7FHere comes another American election, and yet again we are under-informed, overly-polled, heavily hyped and not really in any position to make better decisions than we have before, in spite of what we know every time we vote.

I wish the Supreme Court hadn’t opened the floodgates of Dark Money and unrestrained Corporate and High Wealth Influence on our elections. I wish instead of making it harder to vote, especially in Southern and Conservative states where they are trying to shut out both very young and very old voters we would make it mandatory to vote and enforce a fine on those of voting age who don’t.

I wish our supposedly evolved democracy would start making more evolved decisions. And because I know better than to hold my breath, I’m going to keep making the best of what we’ve got, and spread the word the best I can whenever I can. Because life is beautiful and I do appreciate having opinions, dollars, and my Election Day ballot to vote with.

Didn’t do a full Burning Man redux this year although I had a lot on my mind when I returned. Decided to wait until some of the emotions had evened out before putting down a couple of thoughts, and now that they have, I will. I still believe that Burning Man is one of the greatest events on earth. It is a bastion of learning and a microcosm for our culture, not to mention that it’s fascinating and fun.

In retrospect, Burning Man 2014 is notable for challenges to two of the guiding principles that were breached the most in my nine-year experience. The Leave No Trace and Non-Commoditization principles both fell under siege this year on the playa, and without some serious guidance from the Burning Man Organization, may be pillars that could collapse completely in the long-term. Interestingly, both issues seemed fused together in the aftermath, as “Pay-to-Play” camps, which on approach appeared to be a fundamentally out of line issue generating great concern, perpetrated some of the worst leave behind waste carnage I can recall.

Not totally surprising that these symmetrical issues left a mark. Eg. — Unchecked Industrialization’s cozy relationship with Global Warming. As the Veterans’ Committee issues a big, fat I Told You So.

But not to dwell on the destruction of The Burning Man culture a la the decimation of our finitely resourced planet. Among my many lessons this year were not to let hype or things being askew spark over-reaction. As well as not to empower one nasty character to monopolize my energy with so many lovely spirits about. Plus a renewed Focus on the Now. Hippy-Dippy enough for you yet? I could go on.

But instead, I will rattle off a seemingly un-related list of interconnectedness to purge the accumulated contents of my mind-vault:

Did anyone notice the parallels between the worldwide pandemic map at the end of “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and the global tracking maps when the Ebola outbreak hit the international stage? I did, but it’s still not OK to panic.

How likely is it that the pandemonium from Ferguson, MO pushes law enforcement and municipalities around the U.S. to mount more cameras in public spaces so that we really know what happens in moments like those. Perhaps those in authority (properly or improperly) will recognize a level of accountability when their actions reach extremes.

Further, can we rely on the integrity of public footage? Might there also be a trade-off on privacy once cameras become more ubiquitous? Who can we count on to parse these issues in our government? The Libertarian Fringe will have a field day.

Not that I take much stock in the actual numbers, but wondering why President Obama’s approval rating (or disapproval rating) is hovering in the George W. Bush range, and far worse than conservative arseholes like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. I mean, it’s not like W. kicked back prior to the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, then wrongfully got us into a pointless war in the Middle East that exploded our Debt by somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 trillion, then cheerfully presided over the worst economic calamity in three generations.

Things are much, much, much, much better now, and at the very least, credit is due Barack Obama for pitching us out of history’s sand trap. Could it be such polls are skewed, or is this because of his color of skin? I suspect it’s the latter, and it makes me sad. Another not-so-subliminal symptom of the horrendous state of U.S. body-politick. Whatever the reason, or non-reason, the guy’s done pretty well under difficult conditions not of his making. Is he about to be dealt another rotten hand by the Senate? Wish this country would learn. Best of luck to you, Sir.

Pleased and impressed by the recently accelerating advancement of homosexual rights and hoping that this marks a trend toward faster and more peaceful evolution on the world’s most important issues in years to come.

Are we sufficiently bored yet of the banal behavior and intensely vacant content perpetrated by the world’s pantheon of pop stars?

IN A WORLD where Miley Cyrus has become a shining beacon…

I’m watching the movie “About Time” on HBO now and it’s surprisingly good and I’m imagining how much better things would have gone if they could only go back and re-do its marketing campaign.

Really looking forward to checking out the movie “Interstellar” very soon. Also Bird-Man, Nightcrawler and, yes, Gone Girl. Got a Halloween Jones for “Seven” and will dig that one out at the next possible juncture.

Did anyone see The Zero Theorem? Terry Gilliam film opened and closed barely making a blip.




Did you know you can find out exactly what Bill Murray whispered to Scarlett Johansson at the end of “Lost In Translation,” but it’s better if you don’t know.

Did anyone watch the HBO mini-series Olive Kitteridge? A powerful drama with excellent acting, and yet, wow, what a bummer. Would love to hear your thoughts. I found it to be a challenging ride, to say the least.


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