Tidal waves, apparently caused by aliens residing under the Pacific Ocean, have wiped out Los Angeles, Tokyo, and other cities. Millions have died. The aliens acted as they did because Clint Eastwood spoke at the GOP convention.
Probably not true. I've not heard about any aliens recently and as far as I can tell from peering into the Internet's maw, no one died because of the Eastwood speech. Lots of people are having fun with it, though.
I'm a Clint Eastwood fan so his comments disappoint me. Mostly they disappoint me because they're rooted in so much erroneous information and false assumptions. That doesn't mean I won't continue watching Eastwood movies. They're part of my popular culture, part of my intellectual make-up, neither good nor bad, just another piece of my mindscape.
So it goes with all of these stars and musicians and their pronouncements and endorsements. Little of them affect me any longer. I get indignant once in a while from the Detroit Madman's ravings. I cheered the Dixie Chicks' comments and stance, laugh at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, nod at George R.R. Martin's statements, and tut-tutted over Cat Stevens' long ago statements. Now, though, I'm mostly bemused. More than anything, they demonstrate that all these people are humans and citizens, looking for answers and suggesting solutions and insights, much as I often do. They just happen to be more famous and talented than I am. Sometimes they're better looking and more intelligent, too.
I dislike it when any of them preach, condemn and advance agendas of intolerance, prejudice and discrimination. Those are things that will drive me to boycott them, as will calls for murder and calling. I also dislike it when they reiterate facts long dispelled. Bloggers and newspapers have already dissected Eastwood's speech and highlighted the misinformation. It seems like we're taking too much glee in all of this any more. We play tit for tat politics, making accusations about who and said what and when they said it. Meanwhile, our problems grow worse because of inattention.
When I drove along Interstate 5 the past few days I traveled miles of highway and bridges, passing dams, cities and manufacturing plants, restaurants, museums, stores and sports arenas and stadiums. I witnessed huge ships pulling into dock and loaded trains and trucks passing by. All of these things happened because people saw a problem and tried to find an answer. Perhap I'm simplistic in my views, but I'm weary of the current national dialogue, so much like playground whining and juvenile games of telephone.
If you want to play blame games, feel free to do so, but some of us want to move on and solve our problems. As we used to say in the military, lead or follow, but stay the fuck out of the way.
I don't have time for you any longer.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com