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The pavement was so hot it was sticking to my shoes as I milled about aimlessly in the middle of the road with the uncountable masses. No private cars were moving today as the entire city was blocked off and open only to foot traffic and the horse-mounted Security Volunteers.

Occasionally a great fanfare of honking horns and sirens would signal a new limo arriving, pushing swiftly through the crowd accompanied by a trotting phalanx of uniformed party organizers with megaphones and batons. Inside a dimly seen profile of one corporate celebrity or another as they were whisked to the viewing stands.

We all stood and sweated and made weak stabs at small talk with our neighbors, but there were party officials gliding quietly in pairs through the crowd, unseen until they were suddenly beside you, and the conversations petered out quickly before they could take a turn down the wrong path.

Every now and then a shout, raised voices, a brief scuffle nearby and the human herd would shift, compress as it tried to edge away from the enforcers. The talk would pick up for a while as we pondered the possible transgression and the fate of the limp attendee being dragged off. And then we would stand again, and sweat.

In the afternoon a truck moved slowly through the crowd, tossing out cases of water. The water was free, we were informed by megaphone; a gift and an indication of things to come. It was sorely needed, and there was quite a scuffle to get to it. The guy in the back tossed one out near me and turned to his buddy to get another. “Naah, we getting pretty low, gotta spread these out.” I heard the other guy say, and the truck disappeared. I didn’t get any, and nobody around me did either. I sweated.

And then, at some point later in the steamy afternoon after I had lost all sense of time, tiny figures became visible on the stands that had been erected probably at least half a mile from where we all stood. With quickening pulse, we all informed each other that it was about to start. A crackle of static over the banks of speakers and bull-horned security men on horseback demanding silence.

A tiny toy person dressed in a black robe moved across the stage and stood before another diminutive dot. The speakers crackled to life and that familiar voice rang out:

“I, Donald J. Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office  of the President of the United States…”

Chaos

There has been so much analysis of the Trump campaign.  The press agonizes ecstatically over his rise.

Is he really running?  Is he really a racist?  Does he really believe the things he says?  Is he really leading the GOP?

Good people struggle to find some other way to explain it away.  To say yes to all the above is to place a label on this country that runs counter to all we hold dear.

All our childhood hours, learning about the visionaries who shaped this great nation.  The Melting Pot, All Men are Created Equal, One Man One Vote, We are Judged on the Content of our Character.

All gone, abandoned, dropped without a moment’s care in an orgy of self-pity and prejudice and fear.

Here is an interesting read:

http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/11/23/3725051/trump-protester-beaten/

dung-276057_640

Yikes!

I have been away for such a long time.  No i wasn’t sent away by the state, but I might as well have been.

I wanted to write, but for some reason I couldn’t.

I don’t want to just churn out crap.  There is certainly enough of that out there.  I don’t want to write about my last meal, my rotten kids, my latest outrage, my basic, white-guy, middle-class problems.

I want to write about things that are important to me.  Things that are complex, things that are serious, things that need skill and finesse just to explain properly, much less solve.

And whenever I start, I inevitably run out of steam.  I can’t do it.  I don’t have the words, the turn of phrase, the power and the subtlety.

And then I stop.

And then it’s two years down the road.  Mute, frustrated, nothing.

And now I begin to think that THIS is how so much crap gets out there.  The drive to communicate is stronger than the fear of crap.  So people just write.  And this crap flows out in a great brown wave and oddly enough, people read it.  People are touched by it, they learn from it and take it to heart and think about the world in a new and unexpected way.  And crap or not, it has value.

So I too am going to contribute my share of the fertilizer. Why not.

To end on a totally honest note though, SOME of the stuff out there is just Pure-D, irredeemable, crap.  Some folks should stick a sock in it.

A nifty article from Fast Company highlighting some of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (oh just calm down spellchecker) work in his 1996 book on Creativity.

I have always liked Mihaly and it was fun to see this again after having forgotten about it for so long.

It seems to me that it basically boils down to the fact that creative people don’t fit very well into any of the little boxes that we have come up with over the millennia to describe personalities; introvert/extrovert, playful/disciplined, conservative/rebellious, etc.

I guess that’s what “think outside the box” means!

Read it here:

http://www.fastcompany.com/3016689/leadership-now/10-paradoxical-traits-of-creative-people

 

Now here is a nifty little bit of video.

Video from a camera mounted on one of the Solid Rocket Boosters. First it goes up, then it comes all the way back down.

There is also audio, which is sorta neat. Cleaned up and enhanced right here at home in Marin at Skywalker Sound.

If you want to see what happens to the boosters, and get some idea of their size, you can watch this video.

 

Here is an interesting artifact over on Slate:

ManifestFinal.jpg.CROP.original-original

 

The US banned the importation of Slaves in 1807, but they were still being bought and sold internally.  The Deep South needed raw labor in its fields, and many slaves from northern states were “Sold Down the River” to feed the industry.

A simple business document behind which lies a lifetime of anguish and torment.

Read the story here:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2013/09/30/lafayette_manifest_document_shows_domestic_slave_trade.html

 

 

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