Thursday, September 23, 2004

Media Awareness is Good. Right?

How do you explain editing to a three-year-old? My son was quite concerned that after spending a hour at a fundraiser for our local hospital, being video taped and photographed, the news story that followed didn't have him in it.

"But Daddy, I wasn't on TV".

"Well, sometimes they can't put everything on."

"But they took my picture."

"I know but sometimes they just don't have time to show all the pictures they take."

"But you get to be on TV."

"Yes, but that's part of my job."

At which point we discovered the evening paper; which had a big photo of him, inside the front page. He was happy, TV was forgotten and all was good.

I find it frightening that at three-years, he's becoming a publicity hound, or as my co-workers refer to me - a media whore. Oh well, when both your parents are extroverted and have very public careers, that type of thing is bound to rub off I suppose.
For Christmas (yes that's come up already), he wants a camera. Why? "To take pictures." Of what? "Me, Daddy."

Monday, September 20, 2004


I've started reading The Da Vinci Code. It's very well written and I've deliberately stayed away from the hype surrounding the book. I don't want to know what it's about. I don't want to know how it ends. I don't want you telling me about the nuances and symbolism.

A while ago, Dave Barry wrote a column satirizing The Da Vinci code. It was basically aimed at the way Dan Brown tries to leave you waiting breathlessly at the end of every chapter. When I read the column, I though "It can't be that bad". Guess what. It's that bad.

I like suspense. I like not knowing what's around the next bend (literally and figuratively). But, this is ridiculous. Every time you get to the last page of the chapter, you're treated to a "Who Shot JR?" moment. It gets old pretty quick.

That said, the research Brown did putting this epic together is astounding. Conservative Christians must be clamoring for his head. Maybe he'll have to go into hiding with Rushdie.

In any case. I've read 19 chapters (about 1/4) into it and I think I've got it figured out. I think I know what they're looking for and the significance of all the major players. Now I'm reading the book just to see if I'm right. If you know what you're looking for the plot (and the twist that has to be coming) is fairly telegraphed.

If you're interested in this type of subject matter. I'd recommend a read (slog?) through The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. If I'm right about what I think The Da Vinci Code is leading up to, then this book will serve as an excellent backgrounder.

I'm off to race through 19 more chapters. But first... what was that? The most important part is just over ... *breathe* there.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I'm Only a Bystander

There are currently 8 million Americans without adequate health care. There is a growing disparity between rich and poor in the USA. There are drilling rigs and road-builders getting ready to roll into the Alaskan Wilderness in search of oil. There are thousands of inner-city (mostly black) youths gunned down yearly. There are soldiers dying in Iraq so that you can have more gas for your SUV. There are three other countries with nuclear arms that we need to worry about. There is one country (and former empire) that cannot account for all their nuclear warheads. There are drugs flowing almost unrestricted through American schools. There are innocent people sitting on death row - who will die. There are women whose health will be at risk because they cannot access a legal abortion. There are same-sex couples whose basic human-rights are being suppressed. There is now zero restriction on buying an automatic weapon. There are film-makers and columnists who want to over-simplify the issues and the candidates. There are media outlets not giving you the entire story and not asking the "hard" questions.

So, as a bystander who lives next door, in that big country called Canada... could you please make this election about something other than when a frat-boy may or may not have done his military service? Could you please stop bleating over how injured one has to be to obtain a purple heart? Could you make this election about something other than ketchup?

Could you please make this election about making life better for everybody in your country, not just the upper 1%? Could you please make this about making the world a safer place, not for just Americans but for everybody on the planet? Could you please make this election about keeping our green places green? Could you please make this election about real freedom for the people of the world?

We'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

14 Hours

O.K. I had a thought. Or at least I had a thought. That is to say, I had a point for this post - at some point. It was witty and entertaining, possibly political but really, who can say. My wife and talked about it the car on the ride home yesterday.

The long ride home.

The very long ride home.

The 14 hours in a minivan with an - albeit well behaved - inquisitive 3-year-old and his infant sister long ride home.

I remember very little except having a conversation with my wife (interrupted by many excited cries of "look at the train Dad" and requests to pull over so the boy could "see the owls" - it was daylight, there were no owls save the ones in somebody's imagination) and thinking "I should blog this".

I won't because I forgot. I love mental exhaustion. Makes going back to work extra special.