Sunday, July 08, 2012

I bought a touristy Paddington Bear tee at Paddington station since I was caught the train to Charlbury there. I am resigned to claiming [panda]beardom instead of trying to keep off weight. Oh and I forgot to pack tees... packing for 3 different climate/weather conditions is trying.

I am in the Cotswolds - very nice and hushed here what with Rebekah Brooks somewhere near by if she isn't in prison yet. And Belinda thought she saw Samantha Cameron (it's her hubby's constituency and they have a home here too somewhere) at the Queen Mother Trophy game we went to today. The sun came out nicely. How manicured and carefully tended England is. It only makes me sad for my country.

Anyway, the Cirencester Park Polo Club may actually send their team next year for the CCC. Yes, I think the CC Tournament need a Cup. Maybe wooden like the Queen Mother trophy. What English cheek. Must be the brothers' doing when they decided to award this for their gran.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

LONDON July 6: Lovely time with Judith and Kat over 6 different English pies at Fuller's. And stilton and port to finish up. I like English food and I don't care what anyone says. And of course their beer. I had London Pride, fittingly. Mick Jagger is on in the background. He sounds a little different in London somehow, singing about Knightsbridge and all. Which is round the corner from here I think.

Kat thinks she might take it on when she leaves the BBC. I think it should be her story then. After all it was her ancestors, just one generation removed, who killed and got killed by mine as described in the idea I have. I told her it has to be a lighthearted look at some really blood thirsty behavior - shoot in London in November, prep in Jan (and then take the team with Judith, Belinda and Jeremy in the Spring. Judith says there's a Michael somewhere there who she has not met who is reputedly the family genealogist. And not to forget David and that Billy Bunter-ish cousin.

Judith and I talk about other things. She is a sixties person, and I like her. I think we share the same worldview and quite down to earth despite two interesting and famous lineages. Then Kat and I turn to each other. I say, I have been thinking...So have I, she says, with a knowing look.

We may be on to something.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I was very new in the country, very new at The Asia Society, when Loni gave me an eloquent hour long talk on the phone (our first of many conversations) on Asian Americans and the civil rights movement. And what she expected me to do in my new position. It was a lesson I never forgot.

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
THOUGHTS ON HOME VIDEOS as i like to say, the undocumented life is not worth examining...  

1) every document requires a method or technology of transmission - voice, paper, vcrs, computer etc.  

2) nowadays these technologies change much more rapidly and are controlled by a few companies.  

3) today's documentation technologies are not universal or flexible. one can see a photo album made by his father but his son will not be able to watch dvd he has made. and so on.  

4) today, besides loss of memory, plain simple loss or lack of closet space, we have to deal with obsolescence, often inbuilt by companies.  

5) i have lots of digital tapes i have not put on discs or on a hard drive. discs have even shorter life spans i am told. and hard drives tend to fill up.  

6) i now shoot on flip. i shoot less and am more disciplined i find. plus i edit right away instead of storing footage. more watchable by the hapless folks i victimize with my films. drawback: can't do very long takes or films. not a drawback for my audience i imagine.  

7) i store on the web for easy and portable retrieval. assuming one always has hispeed access. i use youtube. being limited to 10 min has plusses and minusses as above. i used to store longer pieces on google video but that's not around anymore. one could also make them private and not public there. i use facebook too.  

8) with google video, i am thinking whatever format i upload with, i can download using whichever google has updated its video format with. free upgrade so to speak.  

all fine as long as google is around. but one needs to keep those photo albums too.  

i dont know what happens after google and facebook die.  

maybe the stars go out.  

one by one.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Francis Fukuyama's “the end of history” is so deliciously counter-intuitive, it deserves some sort of award for advertising and copy-writing for whoever came up with it, whether Fukuyama himself or his editor, book designer or marketer.

If it means "the disappearance of any enduring, existential threat to liberal democracy and free-market capitalism" (since I have not read the book) it sounds like it is at the other end of the spectrum from Mao's response to Kissinger when the latter asked what he thought of the French Revolution: "It is too early to tell."

While I am not enough of a seer, or lack the intellectual strength, or hubris as you will, to play academic "what-if" parlor games, one thought did strike me when I was visiting China in 2003 at the height of Dubya-Rove rule in the US. And that is that China had the model for Rove's then dream for a permanent Republican Party majority for all eternity, was it?

The Chinese model is One Political Party and Unbridled Capitalist Economy with Kickbacks to Said Political Party. I don't know if it falls within the Fukuyaman human-society-in-amber-for-all-perpetuity model but it was working well, and there was little of Liberal Democracy that I noticed there. And the party was "Communist". Ah, irony.

It brings to mind Ralph Nader explaining to his father he was working to establish a Third Party, and the old codger shot back that he would be happy to see a Second. Ah, Dads.

Friday, November 06, 2009

baseball is like modern dance - an arena of men running around in tights.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Dems posted losses this week and the results are fascinating. Not so much on the Republican side which is basically how to get enough zombies off their couches to vote for the Rich. But fascinating for what is means for the Democrats and for the US in general.

To me, one aspect is that the results once again indicate the destruction of and the inability of the Dems to resurrect the alliance of youth, middle-to-low-incomes, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, labor, greens and immigrants that is the natural base of the Democrats.

In choosing between Obama and Hillary, the Dems chose a reassuring billboard ad over a bulkier, balkier resume. This effectively replaced the traditional alliance with a Weberian charismatic leadership model that is traditionally associated with less developed countries, but with an American flavor of messianic religiosity. Therefore Larry Sabato makes a good point when he asks if the 08 victory came with the turnout of Obamacrats who cared little about the Democrat party. Their cult is an American one, worshipping at the altar of Youth, Laptops and the Cool.

In America, for better or for worse, Obama has become the new black.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

This right-wing assault on Obama's heathcare has got to be stopped.

Astroturf can only be countered by grassroots action.

Too bad Obama can’t go to his supporters who got him elected because he’s betrayed their idealism enough times already.

So Obama should and ask Bill, Hil and Howard to go to the Obamans and set up the meetings and a cyber campaign. Al would be good too. It would be a good political education for them.

Brush aside Rahm - this issue is too important.