Monday, May 22, 2006

OK, If English is the Official Language, Let's Make Our Leaders Speak ENGLISH --

No time this morning for much of a post -- off to Morrisville for a lecture tonight. If you live in driving distance, come on over -- it's free, and it's at 6:30 at the Morristown Centennial Library, P.O. Box 727, Morrisville, Vt 05661-0727
(802) 888-3853.

See some of you there?

That said, I'll report briefly that the Saturday Marlboro Elementary School cartooning workshops went well, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the drawing exercises. We all had great fun, and a few of the participants were drawing at a very high level -- so accomplished, in fact, that the afternoon session unexpectedly worked wonders with an exercise I invented for my CCS students, and that was a revelation.

We'll be doing another, if all goes well, in mid-August -- details to be posted here -- and these are highly-affordable workshops: $30 or less for a two hour+ cartooning workshop with yours truly, all funds going to MES's 8th grade class trip funds (I am donating my time and effort).

I was pretty fried come Sunday, so no energy for blogging or computer work, period.

Part of my computer woes escalated when Yahoo! mail unexpectedly 'upgraded' services on Friday and -- made my email inoperable on my office iMac computer. Shit -- this is a real problem.

More on this later in the week. Suffice to say don't email me unless you have to, as email just got pushed to a back seat duty until time/money/upgrade of equipment changes that to a front burner.

Marge and I stole away Sunday afternoon to catch a matinee of The DaVinci Code and hell, we had a fine time with it. I don't know what the critics are blathering about -- it's not up there with Ron Howard's best (Apollo 13), but to this non-reader of the Dan Brown bestseller it was lucid, entertaining, engaging, and a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon movie with my sweetie-pie.

In terms of its curious subgenre, as a thriller, it was far more engaging and believable than conspiracy (or semi-occult conspiracy) opuses like The Ninth Gate, The Odessa File, The Osterman Weekend, etc., and as solid as Three Days of the Condor, Marathon Man, etc. and others of its ilk.

As I write this, I'm listening to a couple of radio critics crabbing about the film -- boring, too long, etc. Bullshit. It wasn't tedious, it was perfectly cast and coherent stem to stern, and only cheated (as these films do) a couple of times.

So, there ya go. And as for the controversy -- hoo-hah. It's great publicity, if nothing else!

Saturday night Marge and I had a great evening with two other couples we rarely get to see socially. We ended up talking from 6 PM to midnight over a marvelous dinner the hosts had prepared, and the upshot of the evening was, "What can we do to make some difference in the upcoming election?"

That question has plagued many of us as we move into another election season.

I have a simple suggestion, one I am going to build on with this blog:

OK, the President and key GOP officials are pushing ENGLISH as the primary language of the good ol' U.S. of A.

Let's make ENGLISH stick for our politicians.

The last two elections were "won" (I use that term loosely) based in large part on the distortion and appropriation of English into an Orwellian perversion of the language (as in, the perversion of English Orwell the author predicted in his classic dystopian novel) -- and we've all allowed this to lead our national conversations, such as they are, on matters of life and death that impact upon each and every one of us.

Let's apply TRUE ENGLISH to all forms of political speech.

For instance, this morning I've heard repeated news pieces on how the Conservative Right is outraged at President Bush's ineffectual "stand" on immigration.

Let's be blunt:

Anyone who isn't finding our current President "far right" or "conservative" enough isn't truly a conservative.

That's (in plain English) extremism; radicalism; fanaticism.

Let's begin by defining the word CONSERVATIVE, and making it stick.

Body Count for the ongoing Iraq War:

Current estimates place the civilian dead at 38,000 Iraqis dead minimum -- maximum of 42,000 Iraqis dead.

More later this week -- I'll be out of the loop for the next day or two, so see you here Thursday, more than likely.