Just a tiny warrior battling the dragon of ignorance and modern
day lunacy ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ummm ... About that $700 Billion ... What If?

Could I have just a tad? Just a wee scotch? A little something, you know ... for the effort? Some of it was my tax money, right? So maybe a tiny throwback to old Ma and Pa middle America would be ... ummm ... fair? I promise to use it wisely. I will do my part to stimulate the economy - maybe paint the bathroom, plant a shrub or two, pay the electric bill, eat.

'Cuz here's the thing ... I don't know where the $700 billion came from and I don't understand where it's gonna go. Seriously, where was the $700 billion before last week? It's not like the $20 bill you found in the pocket of your winter coat. Or the torn $5 wedged between your carseat and the console. Where in the heck does $700 billion come from? Did George Bush spy a little glint in the grass when he was hitting a few dingers on the White House lawn? After a few minutes of investigatory diggin' he yodeled out to Laura, "Holy crap, I found this Mason jar buried in the Rose Garden and it has like 700 billion dollars in it! Bonus!"

I don't think so.

In the end the money comes out my pocket and yours and your mom's and your 2 month old baby's future pocket because this is the price of greed, and somebody has to pay the bill ... or in this case the $700 billion. It hurts today and it will hurt for many tomorrows...

...which brings me back to my original thought. What if, just what if, the $700 billion was given instead as grants to fund people with good ideas, like innovations in manufacturing or inspiration in the arts, or programs that promoted self-sufficiency, or schools that taught economic literacy, or neighborhoods that planted community gardens. What if that $700 billion was the stuff of a trillion micro-loans, for ordinary people to dream, to grow, to create, and to do great things? And what if those micro-loans helped wonderful ideas to flourish, and what if we could share those wonderful ideas with the world? And what if those with power realized that the biggest investment that any nation can make is in its people. Just ... what if?

Friday, October 3, 2008

"The Fall Will Probably Kill Ya!"

Ice blue eyes squeezed shut. Head thrown back against the rock. Tan and tawny Adam's apple raised to the sky in an expression of unabashed glee. "Whaddaya crazy? Can't swim? The fall will probably kill ya!" Paul Newman - in the cliff jump scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ...

Evocative and monumental, this scene, this moment never fails to thrill me. I've seen it a hundred times in re-runs on t.v., repeats on YouTube, but it's fresh each time. I am transported back to the moment when I stole downstairs for some illicit, late night t.v. time. I was twelve. My parents were asleep. It was about 3:00 a.m. and Butch and Sundance lit up the flickering screen of the old t.v. At twelve, love is a tangible thing - a crush of emotions that is palpable in every fibre. But at twelve, sex is still a mystery. Sure, I knew about the mechanics. I had listened to the lesson with a lot of curiosity and a little disgust. Why anyone would bother remained the obvious question in my young mind.

Until Butch.

Head thrown back, tawny neck open to the sky and I wanted to ... kiss that neck ... sniff that skin ... feel that pulsing laugh under my hand. Something changed in that moment. I felt a flutter in my lower belly sending a shiver of near-fear through me. In that moment, around 3:00 a.m., on an early morning in 1977, I knew. Butch was the trigger.

Butch was right. The fall will probably kill ya. The descent is swift and the plunge is cold, but if you survive, the water's fine. Those icy-blues were part of my awakening, those tiny, halting steps made from childhood to womanhood. Sweeter than my first real kiss, Butch stays with me forever - forever on the brink, forever at the edge, forever pushing risk in the face of insurmountable danger.

Thanks, Paul Newman. For...ahem ... everything.