Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Not Miss Saigon...and I'm thankful for it.

I just finished a documentary on PBA (or PBS for some of you folks)... and a surprisingly good one at that. The film is narrated by the child of a an ex-South Vietnamese military officer who fled the country ( with family in-tow ) in 1975 and settled in Louisville, Ky. is very good...and I would suggest it to anyone. A few more in-depth thoughts:

1. The story: The story told here is one of thousands. There were so many families displaced by that war...and that relocated...that it has a historical addition to the personal. A military officer...his socialite wife...their children...all moved here with nothing, and made a life...a comfortable life...but something was missing...they left their homeland.... their homeland...their family....their world. Which leads me to...

2. True immigrants: Most who know me...know...that I lived in Asia for a time. Subsequently, I have an affinity for that culture (specifically, Chinese...but many Asian cultures share common traits...)...and some ask, " why?" . There are things that I say...a love for culture, family, nation...that resonate with me. If you watch this might understand. Do me a, do yourself a favour, and watch this film...

3. Political: I'm not going to diatribe ...though I'm tempted...but there was a moment that was poignant for me...politically. You see...the couples' eldest daughter was left behind in the chaos of leaving there country. As one might imagine, this becomes a big part of the story. At one point, when speaking about this (and let me say...Asian people are not very verbose or emotive about these things ), the mom says, about leaving her daughter behind , " if the Americans hadn't abandoned us, I wouldn't have had to do the thing that I did.".
The point is this: This is relevant to today's struggle in Iraq. There are those who say we must leave...immediately. These are the same people that want to repeat the mistakes of 1975. Folks...there are consequences...both Geo-political...and personal. . Think about it.

my computer screen is dying...which keeps me from proof-reading or spell-checking...apologies.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day.

We have no idea what it takes from those who serve our country to keep us safe and free. Yet, we can take a moment of recognition and appreciation to show that we are aware. To the men and women that have given their lives...both past and present....thank you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

In my's been a few weeks since I committed words to pixel here, so I figured I would give a few brief musings. Though...brief is the key word. Work is kicking my arse this week...and tomorrow is a full day:

1. Radiohead. What a freakin concert. The playlist was heavy on Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief...which is o.k....but, I was really hoping for more of The Bendz and O.K. Computer...but still...definitely top 3 best shows I've ever seen. Truly, as complicated as the music is amazing...that they can reproduce it live with such quality. Simply...musical greatness.

2. Female Drama. Now...I'm not going into detail. Let's just say there is plenty of it in my life right now...and it is ridiculous. All you fellas out there...I know...what I'm talking about.

3. Music. What I've been listening to most: Al Green, Whitesnake, Sugarland, Les Miserables, Roberta Flack, The Cure...and lots of Sinatra.

4. A Liberal Challenge. I was thinking the other day...and I challenge any of our Liberal friends to answer there a policy initiative or political idea for fixing problems...that the current Democrats have that doesn't include raising taxes? I ask this sincerely. Meaning...surely they have some part of their agenda that doesn't include taxing U.S. citizens.

5. Movies. I'm extremely stoked about the Indiana Jones movie coming out (I think it is the most underrated trilogy)....and I can't wait to take my see his face...the way he watches the screen with anticipation...the way my brothers and I did when we were kids. Also, I saw Wicker Park again the other day. I might have written about it before...but let me is still that good....which is amazing... because the cast is shite. Be warned is dark...with an ounce of redemption.

6. Bring out the brooms. My Hotlanta Braves will sweep the hated Mets tonight...just you wait and see...

7. Reading. I have been consumed...or should I say re-consumed... by the works of Herodotus. For those that know me well, it is common knowledge that I discovered the 'father of history' about 11 years ago, and still love reading his incredible...and mostly unbelievable stories. This said, my good friend Vox Meridies, and his lovely bride, bought me a very nice bound version of The Histories for my birhday. If you are looking for a good story to read...check out books 1, 3, and 5. I can't get enough.

8. Finally...Family Reunion. family is coming to town this weekend for an inaugural Memorial Day tradition...or, so it seems. Now...I love my family...but some of them are crazy. No...I mean really"is she alright?"...type crazy. Anyway...most of it will be fantastic...but there will be, my point is this...even though things might not be perfect...take a breath...look around...appreciate the good in your life...thank God...and enjoy it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Good Times, more good times, and really good times.

1. Good Times. I'm talking about that iconic t.v. show from the 70's. One of my favorite shows in syndication, it had been a while since I'd seen it...but freaking good. I was watching an episode the other night...the one about Michael being bused to a "white" school...and lo and behold...within 5 minutes Jesus, corporal punishment, and the need for a good education were all referenced...and in a positive light. Now, juxtapose that with some of the more popular themes emanating from...say BET/106 and Park/ and The Wire (for example)... materialism, sexualism, and "keepin it real"...what has happened? What went wrong? I ask...not rhetorically, but genuinely. The Waltons with MTV...and you get the same thing....maybe, more so. So, I ask again...Are we that far gone? My guess is that James and Florida Evans wouldn't look at our culture and call it progress.

2. More good times. As most know here, while in Grad school, one can't read(for pleasure) or play sports(or do much of anything... save binge drinking) as much as one would like to. This said, having left school, and now that I am gainfully employed, my appetite for such things has returned. My point is this...recently, I've read, and played more golf, than I have in years. And you know what...I am better for it. Specifically, I played golf with a good friend the other day (who is finishing law school...congrats m3), and it was a very much needed catharsis, of sorts. So...go out...rediscover, and take the time to enjoy, the things that enrich your life. We only get one chance. Which leads me to...

3. Really good times. This week...a few very good friends...testudineous, vox meridies, and that 70's guy...will all descend on my fair city to see one of the greatest bands ever...Radiohead. My expectation is that we will recall, share, and make new memories. And just for the record...I hope they play at least 3 songs from The Bendz...the greatest album of the 90's.

I highly recommend...

“Quiet is the new Loud” by Kings of Convenience – Picture a Norwegian Simon and Garfunkel only heavily influenced by Stan Getz. I wouldn’t compare these guys to Simon and Garfunkel because I wouldn’t compare most people to Simon and Garfunkel, but that description best paints the picture. The title “Quiet is the new Loud” is spot on as there is not a loud moment on this album. If you need adrenaline and something to pump you up, this is not your group, but if you like simple production that’s mellow and emotive…Buy this album. Also recommended by KOC, “Riot on an Empty Street”.

“Those the Brokes” by The Magic Numbers – Their first album was good. This one is great. Two sets of siblings. They’ve got a very unique way of blending their influences and are one of the truly unique bands out there. I love, love, love this album. It has moments both poppy and soulful and neither seems forced or out of place.

BUY THIS ALBUM!!!! (edit)

“Trials of Van Occupanther” by Midlake - Go buy this album. They sound like a modern band sounding like a 70’s band that doesn’t try to sound like a 70’s band. I can’t analyze too much of it because I haven’t had it for long…All I know is that this is one of my new favorite bands.

“Rabbit Fur Coat” by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins – I caught Ms. Lewis’ primary group, Rilo Kiley, at a Coldplay show which they opened. I was impressed so I bought their album current to the time named “More Adventurous”. It was good. There are about four or five songs on there that I really like; whereas, the rest seemed like a misfire of an attempt at imbedding humanistic doctrine in not-so-catchy pop songs. However, I was very excited when I heard that Ms. Lewis had released a side-project bent more toward her “down home” side that subtly undertones Rilo Kiley’s stuff…Still though, as excited as I was, I was very wary of pumping the whole “I’ll question God loud enough so I don’t have to hear His answers” schtick into my ears that I was sure would be on anything she did so it took me almost two years to get myself to buy it…I am surprised. What I found is a brutally honest work by a woman who seems more desirous to reflect her life in song rather than just poke fun at all the “dumb Christians” out there, and I can certainly appreciate that. I could be wrong, but so far that’s my take, and I’m loving this album. It’s truly a post-modern folk masterpiece.