Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Don't Be Afraid

I have spent the last several days talking to my African-American friends. We simply cannot get our heads around the fact that the first African-American candidate is lining up to win a 1964 LBJ landslide. Our 400 year experience simply does not allow us to comprehend this moment.

My 87 year-old father told me Sunday, that he does not care what the polls say. He will not believe it until he sees it. The truth is most African-Americans feel that tinge in their spine that it will all collapse in the next several days. In the movie Blade Runner, at the end an artificial human decides to save rather than kill the Harrison Ford character. As he reaches to pull the terrified Harrison Ford from a ledge, he says “To be a slave is to always be afraid.” To be black in America is to be always afraid.

Don’t. Not this time. This is our moment. Show up on Election Day and vote in numbers that will become legend. But most important, enjoy the next several days. This will never happen again in history. From among the slaves a leader has risen to lead the world.

This is our moment in sun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Turn Out The Lights

Okay I am not going to beat up on John McCain. Besides the intellectual right are having their piece of him right now and its just not good to get in the middle of family disputes.

I watched the rerun of last nights debate with the sound turned down. It is the visuals that are hurting McCain. Obama leaps from the screen. He is focused and calmed. And he is a beautiful man. Never underestimate the value of being pleasing to the eye in politics

McCain on the other hand just looks angry. His left jaw is swollen, he is pale and he is just old. In the movie Knocked Up, there is a hilarious scene where the manager of the rope line tells a pretty, hot 30-something, that she cannot come into the club. She then curses him out. He quietly pulls her to the side and whispers " its not that u ain't hot, in fact I would love to tap that booty, but you just old.

In every man's life there is a season and McCain's season to be President has long passed. It is sad that McCain did not realize that before this election. Now we are forced to watch the "empty embarrassment" of a dying campaign in the last days of one of the most important Presidential races in history

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McNasty and McFilty

I had a lot of respect for John McCain. He always seemed to have a quiet dignity about him. Despite Biden’s “he’s no maverick”, McCain would often display political courage that was rare in the senate. I have watched with disappointment, as over the last 6 months, as McCain has transformed into McNasty. It was apparent that he had lost it when he picked McFilty as his running mate.

Last night’s debate performance was final devolution into angry bitter old man. You would have to believe that someone who has been through so many political wars would know that it is over and would not throw a 30 year reputation under the bus. McCain would not have, but McNasty did.

Then there’s McFilty. Her racist tinged rants of “palling around with terrorist” and he is not one of us is beneath any national figure in the closing days of a Presidential race. But McFilthy is no national figure, she is a small person, from small town. The words rolled off her lips easily as if they have been there before.

Do you know who has turned into a national embarrassment, who has sunk to levels of race baiting and divisive politics that has not been seen since the sixties in the south? Not Obama but “THAT ONE”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Spirit Walked Among Us

Sprits move among us that teach us how to be born, how to live and how to die. Paul Newman was such a spirit. I have often written that Art by its nature is subversive. No Artist in the history of film has been more subversive than Paul Newman. A man of indescribable beauty, intellect, wicked sense of humor, and maybe the sexiest man ever born. Newman belongs in the same category as Brando.

The world changes because one man stands up and says I am different and my right against that of the group is just as important. It was Newman’s portrayal of such characters that makes his career so rich. In the opening scene of Cool Hand Luke, when Luke stands on a Memphis street drunk breaking off the top of parking meters, it is a simple act of rebellion.

In Hombre, Newman's performance is understate and seething with anger at the impact of racism on the Apaches that has raised him. No other film from that era removed the lie of the noble white man taming the west. When Newman s character moves to kill the Reservation Manager for stealing , The bureaucrat with the air of certainty tells Newman character: “Something you don t understand about white people is that we stick together. “

He helped changed acting, he marched with civil rights, took on the Vietnam War, gave sick children a place to go and be children and and settled down with one of the most extraordinary women of her generation. Not a bad life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

V.P Debate

Sarah Palin is not a bimbo as Bill Mahr called her. She is bright, pretty and got that something called charisma. I have actually felt sorry for her over the last week. However, the problem with Palin is that she rose to the top of Alaska politics because it is a small state and she was able to move up on her natural ability. But what is apparent is that she lacks curiosity. She has never engaged in any sustained rigorous intellectual growth. She does not read. And most important for a President she has not given much thought to America and its place in the world.

She did not embarrass herself tonight. But in a time when the financial markets are in a meltdown, we are in a war in two countries, Iran and North Korea is seeking nuclear weapons, she is ill prepared to be President. Go to the senate and come back in eight years.

Joe Biden would have made a great President. I feel better tonight that he will be at Obama’s side.