In the extremely remote case that anyone reading this was born in this century and doesn’t know, TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) was a block of family friendly programming on Friday evenings on the ABC television network.
Having grown up in a family of 4 kids born in the 80’s and early 90’s, this was pretty much mandatory viewing. All the shows depicted families of various types dealing with the situations that all families do. I think the block ran until the early 2000s. But I stopped watching around 1995 for very specific reasons I will get to in a moment.
In the 90’s there was a lot of talk about “Repairarions” which basically meant financial Compensation to black Americans due to the atrocity of slavery. The idea had some legitimacy after reparations were paid to WWII era Japanese internment camp victims in 1988.
The idea of black reparations spawned a lot of jokes that Cadillac and KFC would merge into the worlds biggest corporation over night. And the idea kind of fell off the national conscience.
So if there was a glaring omission in my WWCS post about teachers, it was these 3: Mr. Lesko, Mr. Michels, and Mr. Fazzari.
There were some subtle oversights from middle school that I realized upon reflection , the biggest of which was Mr. Poole (god rest his soul), senorita Sarah the 6th grade Spanish teacher who was only there for one year, and the ever popular campus minister Mr. Glatt.
But the 1st Triumvirate were not just teachers, they were my basketball coaches and thus, occupy a completely different sphere of influence in my life. (My apologies to Todd Kimble, who would be Cicero to Caesar, Pompeii and Crassus.)
In a 2 party system the political process is really supposed to be arbitration by the general electorate.
In baseball arbitration is when the team presents a contract proposal and the player represents a contract proposal. The arbiter will choose the proposal that seems most appropriate and reasonable. So each side is trying to make an argument that is fair and reasonable.
The whole presidential election process from the primary and caucuses through the party conventions is supposed to be to produce a platform and candidate that is reasonable and fair appealing to the general population to vote on. (To me in this context the logic of the electoral college makes more sense).
However it is crystal clear that producing a fair and reasonable platform and agenda is no longer the political process or objective.
So that means the role of the electorate is no longer to arbitrate. The general voting populace is no longer held in the esteemed position of arbiter. They are being treated like pawns, being forcibly stripped of their dignity as arbiters and made to choose sides in a mock ideological war.
So here’s a radical position. The electorate should strike. The arbiters should reject both proposals as unreasonable and refuse to issue a ruling. Force both sides to re-evaluate and produce better proposals for the country.
Of course if the general electorate refuses to vote that leaves only the radicals and they have as much control in the electorate’s absence as they do with their support. It’s impossible to get all voters to abstain, and so the total boycott idea is impractical and I can’t seriously advocate a “Don’t vote” campaign.
But the idea highlights the fact that the general population has little recourse to influence national politics on the party level, and in fact partisan politics are influencing how people live their lives at a cultural level.
I question whether that is consistent with the spirit of the law as given in our constitution and the vision of our founding father for the governance of this nation.
All of the coronavirus population control and totalitarian state paranoia is absolutely legit, but it’s missing the point.
The point, the whole point of government, is to take over and make those important calls to take care of its citizenry in these crucial situations so that we don’t have mass hysteria and chaos.
That is why government exists.
And the beauty of being in a democracy is that we get to elect the leaders that will make those decisions. So when you vote you should be thinking ....
“Whom do I most trust to have the discipline and compassion necessary to make these important decisions, that have to weigh the needs of all citizens and multiple interests in crucial moments for this country?”
Is that what you think of when you are filling out your ballot?
This is one of the most profound influences on my life. It encompasses many many different people. I thought the effort to write a post long enough to include everyone I wanted would be way too long to expect anyone to read. So I decided to try and just record a video addressing each person quickly off the top of my head. The result is a video so long I had to split it in two. I cover the school system at large in the first, and my graduating class specifically in the 2nd.
40 Greatest Influences of the last 40 years #30 Bert and Ernie Sing-a-long (and the rest of Jim Henson's Empire)
Whether is was the endless dayly episodes of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Muppet Babies on sturday mornings at 7:30am, John Denver and the Muppet Christmas album ("budum bum bum") Fraggle Rock, or even Master Yoda in the Empire Strikes back, the influence Jim Henson exerted on me in my formative years is undeniable.
Sunday May 31st, 1980, a day that will live in Infamy. This video explains why. Its by the Smithsonian Institute. Its nice and scientific. Educational. Fascinating. Nerdy.
It's like reading a text book.
But wait..... you might ask "you weren't even born until 1981, how could some thing that happened before you were even born be a greatest influence of the last 40 years?"
In the original 30 for 30 I did this as Teddy Riley and Dr. Dre in a tie for #23 on the count down. I still think that Teddy Riley as the poster boy of New Jack Swing and Dr Dre as an emblem for the hip hop of the early 90’s appropriately encapsulates the music that has influenced me. However at this time I want to also acknowledge the heritage of that music back to Motown, funk, classic R and B music etc, as my appreciation for the genres has expanded with age, and, lets be honest, the early 90’s sound was a fad. It has some classic staying power, but it’s all very “dated” and definitely not timeless, where as I would argue much of the black musical heritage that came before it is timeless. And an old skool old soul like me appreciates classic and timeless and tends to ignore and discredit the new and trendy. But not when I was 10 years old.
So as much as I would like to share my many thoughts on the artist’s intentions, motivations and execution of each of my many many favorite songs, I know nobody cares. So I will just link to YouTube videos of my favorite artists and songs from the period and genre. (Your welcome!)
But first I will hazard a brief comment on the elephant in the room, and in current American society......
About the time my baby brother was born my family moved into anew house. In this house I was finally old enough to play outside by myself. The problem was I wasn’t really I to sport or running around outside. I was mostly interested in playing with my He-man toys and Construx. I would remain a bit of a homebody until I broke my leg as shown in the post on #35. But the exception to that rule was Brody Quiggle.
Brody was my neighbor. We had adjoining back yards that we could run back and forth in. I don’t quite know how we met. I kind of think our parents might have done a play date. But You take two 5 year old boys and put them together and they are likely going to be friends. And that is what we were
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