Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, John Adams

It's the time of year to wish a "Happy Birthday" to our Second President. I hope you won't mind, Mr. President, if I mention you're a hale and hearty 275!!! And you're not forgotten. Gov. Jesse Ventura mentioned you in his chat the other week.

I often wonder what John Adams would think of our country today. What would he make of our current political climate? What would he make of the current world situation? What would he think of our economy?

It's impossible to know, of course, but an interesting exercise nonetheless. By asking ourselves what he and other Founding Fathers - and Mothers - would do, it challenges us to look for solutions. They faced incredible challenges. What can we learn from them to apply to our present day?

One thing I think we might learn from is their pragmatism. Not perfect, certainly, but they were able to compromise and get some big steps taken. Admittedly, there were more problems later (i. e., the Civil War), but at least they ignited the fire. Today, we have such name calling (I get so sick of seeing Liberal used as a smear term) and polarization , it's hard to get ANYTHING positive accomplished. The ads are so negative (although not a totally new concept, I think now it's worse than ever) I wonder if there are ANY decent candidates around!

So if there is something I wish we'd learn from Mr. Adams and Co., it would be to really come together and work for the good of the country and "We, the People".

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Visitor

This week, in conjunction with some activities at college, I had the opportunity to view the film, The Visitor. It was quite a good film - well, up until the ending anyway. If you haven't seen this movie, there's a synopsis here The acting was excellent, especially Richard Jenkins as our protagonist Walter. And if nothing else, was a definite reminder I really need to write to Lois! So if you're reading this Ms. A., here's a shout out and a note that I definitely haven't forgotten you and WILL write.

Probably my first reaction to the film was that anyone who agreed with the Arizona immigration law needed to see this film. That was further reinforced by an article I read at the Common Dreams site (see my links section). Here's a link to the specific article. In the film the issue of center conditions is more muted, but it should be of concern to us. No matter one's opinion on illegal or undocumented persons, they are human beings and should be treated humanely. It would also be good to see a better system of due process for them. Then there's the matter of what happens to those who are deported. At the very least, they probably aren't returning to some cushy lifestyle. And moreover, real dangers may await them. These things should concern us and the film definitely gets one to ponder the issues.

Still, I really didn't like the ending of the film. Boo, hiss!!! I don't feel that a good ending would have robbed the film of its thought-provoking nature. If we could feel relief that Tarek be allowed to stay, would that mean we couldn't feel for those who in real life are facing a similar crisis? How about this, director McCarthy - give us a sequel! Have Walter get a new lawyer for Tarek or get the Congressperson involved. Or have him go to Syria and bring back Tarek and Mouna. After all, this is FICTION, so why leave us with a downer? The way I see it, a bit of hope might just do us some good.