Republicans, Democrats, Both sider-ism, name calling, politics and you

Yesterday we were talking to our assistant in his office and we were asking him about a recent trip to Amsterdam to attend a dance music conference called ADE. He was talking about how House music, a Chicago-based phenomenon, is considered almost sacred by people all over the world, except America and especially not by Chicago.

Sure, we have an underground-ish level of fandom. My brother-in-law produces a Sunday night House music night called Queen, that’s well attended but Chicago, as a whole, doesn’t don T-shirts or Jerseys of love for House. It’s something that, despite a bit of popularity, is a bit esoteric.

When I was in college studying abroad, I was shocked that I was so unaware of American culture. I’ve written about it before. I remember telling people, we have no culture. In my mind, our culture was centered around sports and religion, but to me at the time: that was not culture. In France, they had food, wine, art, music, and things that seemed to mean something.  Continue reading “Republicans, Democrats, Both sider-ism, name calling, politics and you”

A mindful moment of movement zen

Need a break from the cacophony of bullshit over the airwaves? Too many threats of diseases issued in by overinflated caravans of illegals? Depressed from another shooting of innocent people followed by apathy toward your fellow human beings and no one owning up to the issues? Tired of watching your retirement plummet because the economy is in shambles?

Here’s a zenful moment of a train moving through beautiful landscapes.

It’s like a breath of fresh.

This is a euphemism for something: Dog exits car and beelines straight for a pile of leaves

Oh to be a dog.

This is me every time someone brings up, “Trump makes a good president.” Or “Give him a chance. What he says makes a lot of sense.” Or, “He’s being taken out of context. It’s the MSM’s fault no one likes him …”

You can’t talk to those people so might as well head for a big pile of leaves, roll around and enjoy life.


Phew! Suspect arrested in bomb scare

Someone has been arrested in this 12-bomb scare. Thank goodness. This thing was getting out of hand. I only hope that it’s the right guy and that there aren’t more people involved!

What my head is consuming

Just like my food diet, my media diet ebbs and flows from mental junk food to healthy and everything in between. The below list is just a swath of things I’ve consumed over the past two months or more.

French Classes. I take French classes at my local Alliance Francaise, and it’s one of the single best things I do for myself. We talk about art, religion, science, dreams, aspirations, artificial intelligence, world events and ideas. It exposes me to a variety of ideas and a variety of standpoints, all en Francais! (A+)

The Midnight Line, by Lee Child. Page turner and all around fun story exposing the difficulties of opioid addiction and the military. (A-)

Origin, by Dan Brown. Enjoyed this page turner. Dan Brown has a way of keeping me interested and jumping into the next chapter even though my eyes are heavy. The atheist in the book wasn’t too annoying. I was hoping for more symbology. But a fun book. (A).

Where Good Ideas Come From, by Steven Johnson. Good ideas come from hard work and perseverance. Surprise! /s. The best thing I took from this book was that there is an Adjacent Possible, a doorway just to the left or right of a good idea that propels it into a GREAT idea. These ideas don’t happen easy or often. Enjoyed it, though. (B+)

True Detective, Season 2, HBO. Not a bad way to spend time. But I wasn’t in love with the series. Collin Farrell’s “southern accent” made me think of Sling Blade once or twice an episode. Vince Vaughn struggled with being a badass. Sometimes you just had to go with the flow. (B).

Jack Ryan (Amazon) Truly one of the worst shows ever. Started okay. But seven or eight episodes in, Tina and I turned it off. It was that bad. (F-)

Magic for Humans (Netflix). Fun show. Great for being dumbstruck to great magic. It constantly makes you wonder if there are camera tricks involved. It constantly pulls at your belief-o-meter. (A).

Lawrence of Arabia. One of my favorite movies of all time. Seriously. All must watch and adore. (A+).

Ready Player One. Not a bad way to be entertained. Great homage scene to The Shining. I didn’t hate the movie. But I didn’t love it. (B+).

Ocean’s 8. Yawn Town USA. I didn’t get into it. Not the characters, the story. Kinda fell asleep. C.

I feel Pretty with Amy Schumer. Dumb movie, but not the worst one in the world. The concept is great: average girl suddenly thinks she’s a 10 and acts like it. Funny parts. Entertaining. B-

Ozark, on Netflix. Simply the best show I’ve seen this year. Amazing writing. Great acting. Amazing twists. (A++)

The French Art of Not Giving a Shit by Fabrice Midal. Don’t be surprised if you get a copy of this from me for Christmas.  It’s a great peek into who I think I am and how I’m trying to go about life. It’s not a self help book. It’s a reminder to breathe. It’s a reminder to be yourself. It’s a reminder to not lock into one idea or faith or mindset or politic, because it’s excruciatingly painful for the people who love you. It reminds me of why I love the artistic, open minded fellowship that is around me. And why some people hurt us because they’re locked into bad ideas. (A).


Jews vs Arabs

While in France back in college, I was often seen as Arabic. I lived in a small area in the south which was well populated with northern Africans.

But I wasn’t Arabic. In fact, I was working on walking away from the Christian faith of my past. So much of what I learned in France was that culture is diverse, and it largely influences one’s beliefs. Born in America, likely Christian. Afghanistan, likely Muslim. Etc. Easy.

People are accused of poor stereotypes no matter what, because people born to certain parents, closed-minded parents, teach their kids to not accept difference and diversity.

I got lucky. But I was on a road to nationalism and bigotry if I didn’t walk away from where I came. Phew.

Take a look at this video. It’s worth a look.