Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dry-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed

I wept. I admit it. Leatherneck-toughs like Colin Powell and Condi Rice did too. But it was hardly some grand personal catharsis. Give me a break.

The thought of this hapless pair, needle sharp instruments pressed into service as dull right-wing ear wax pickers, reminds me to give ol' W a few props. Sure ol' W carelessly played chicken with the $10 trillion public debt death train, ensuring an easy win for any quivering mass of protoplasm that the DNC could pile up behind the podium (to our great fortune, the DNC delivered an Obama, rather than a steaming pile). Both the MSM and Repub-pologists proffer this trite and vastly inane analysis of Obama's overwhelming victory.  But, admirably and incomprehensibly, ol' W first gave light to smart wonks in blackface. And, it is this light that shines on Obamadom.

In spite of all the good words of Democratic administrations, it took the second Bush to transcend bare tokenism in the non-HUD political appointment of black folks (mercifully limiting abject ineptitude to his white appointees for the most part).  Geez, from the Clinton administration riding a big, black wave, you get a lilly white cabinet -- save the resume-lite token Ron Brown. And from 41 you get the monumentally under-qualified proto-jurist Clarence "Coke Can" Thomas. I could recruit more articulate and knowledgeable brothers at my barber shop.

Ol' W gives you Condi Rice and Colin Powell,  duly qualified and exuding competence, and hands them real honest-to-goodness meaty cabinet jobs. (Ironically, this competence made them perfect shills for delivering on Bushie's moronic policy excursions). (As an aside, I was lucky enough to have Condi teach me an obscure graduate course in the sunny Western US.  Even in those days, when you couldn't imagine a future outside of teaching or authoring for even the most capable black academician,  I had little doubt that this clear-thinking, Russian-fluent, concert pianist was headed somewhere huge. She is truly one of the most remarkable people I've ever encountered. Colin, like me, is a second-generation Jamaican, so...). The upshot is that Collier's 94-year grandmother, G-d bless her soul, turns on her TV in East Texas, sees black folks competently working in the international sphere and pulls the lever for Obama. A sea change begins.

That the "other white folks" demurrer was never flung along with the other McCain dirt missiles gives this some credence. The "other white folks" demurrer goes like this "we're OK with this, but we're just worried about the other white folks who aren't enlightened as we are." Although OWF has largely lost it's domestic legs (except when some NYC power-Betty steals my cab, blaming the racism of the unwashed immigrant behind the wheel), it still works in the international sphere. But for Condi and Colin, we undoubtedly would have heard the poison strains of how the monkey chanting, Nazi saluting football (ugh, soccer) thugs that populate our EU allies are not quite ready for our enlightened political selection. Instead, we get 200,000 Germans screaming for Obama without a single monkey chant. Samuel Eto'o should be so lucky. 

Thanks, Colin. Thanks, Condi. Thank you, Shrub.

Friday, September 5, 2008

PC's Perfect Storm

An American election devolves into a seamless confluence of political correctness? I'd like to show you a Venn diagram of the vast territory of acceptable political discourse at the intersection of the buffer zones carved out in this election around ageism, sexism and racism, but my monitor's resolution is not fine enough to illustrate that sliver. If you add the culturally unassigned zone (I can't think of the "ism") that protects the Vietnam veterans and the dynamically-defined "war hero," that sliver evaporates.

Poor Joe Biden, middle-aged, white male left out in the cold to fend for himself, without a PC blanket to give him warmth.

In a good-faith effort to have everyone get along in our diverse and potentially volatile society, we've all retreated into little PC shells. Even our last, best hopes against PC hegemony, the rappers and the Republicans, have cleaned up their discourse. Snoop Dogg is busting country tunes n-word free (see infra below) and the GOP, finally, has warmed up to MLK (Geez, did anyone else see the Bubbas cheering wildly for the RNC intro video?).

I do want to Kumbaya with y'all, but, heck, I don't want the war of the "isms" to get in the way of meaningful discourse and inquiry. The non-Fox press (assuming that the Fox drivel-mongers still get credentials with a big "P") are getting pummeled with their own PC stick and can't even gin-up a respectable probing question to any non-Biden candidate. Get real.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Welcome to Wasillia

This is Wasillia, Alaska. Apparently, if you crawl to the top of the heap of ambitious young politicos in this hotbed of democracy, you learn to lead the free world.

You know, history will be made this election because, no matter who wins, there will be a respectable roundballer in the halls of power. Booyaka.

Monday, August 18, 2008

All Together Now...

This is the best. Thirty-odd aggregate years of parenting actualized in an instant. Diapers, dad-I-hate-yous and summer camp deposits all seem small. I can't remember the terror of last week or worry about the next.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ronaldo and Me

Ronaldo and Me, originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

I've never done this before, because I'm rarely a sports fan in the sense that relates to the glorification of an individual. But, I'm so appreciative of Ronaldo's (yes, I think he no longer requires a first name to distinguish him from the Brazilian international) season in the Premiership. As much as I despise Man U, his headed goal in the Champions League final was a beautiful sports spectacle - control, power, grace, timing, intelligence. I can't wait to see him in a Los Blancos kit.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

History is Funny That Way...

From the poster, Democrat, on MSNBC:

You have two choices for president:

The first one has one of the longest lines of political experience in history. He is exceedingly popular in congress. He was a soldier who volunteered to defend the United States in the Navy.

The second one has no real political experience outside of Illinois. He is tall and lanky with big ears. He even lost a few of his first attempts at gaining political office. He is an excellent speechwriter and orator. He is a good attorney and has a successful law practice.

So which one would you choose?

This is a trick question because both were already Presidents of the United States. The first one is the 15th President of the United States, James Buchannan. He is the President who mired us in the Civil War by declaring the action illegal but doing nothing when the south decided to seceed from the Union. He is largely considered by historians as being the worst President in American history.

He was followed by the other man who became the 16th President of the United States: Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln is credited with the end of slavery, the end of the Civil War, and unification of the nation. He became president at a dark time when our country was deeply divided over very polarizing issues. He had no experience in Washington prior to his Presidency. He is widely considered by historians as one of the best Presidents in American History.

Which one would you prefer as your President now? We have an almost identical choice before us today between Senator Obama and Senator McCain.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The single meanest thing you can do...

It's over for the poor kid. What kind of indignities is he made to suffer by virtue of his small size and sunny disposition? I don't know how he will ever live this down...will his Mom whip this out to discourage his dates?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pole Jumping and More Earthly Pleasures...

Like the love child of a Malibu wedding and a BellSouth field staff training camp, the Yahoo! Entertainment offsite embodied the best of both (I presume, since I've experienced neither) rubber chicken and pole climbing antics. I'm sooooo down with this -- my college years testify as to the high value of transcending momentary terror for a whole afternoon of free beer and picnic sports. I hobbled away smiling from this awesomely great day, having learned that messing with the Forza Azzurri in futbol and bocce is vastly more dangerous than a little pole work.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

El Son te llamó...

I really did swear I was going to make a series of substantive posts before I resorted to the indulgent satisfaction of idolizing my own little family, but the lure of new gadgets and willing subjects were way to strong. So, here is the latest installment of the growing hundreds of indulgent images, with credit to my new nifty little flash camcorder and YouTube.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Johnny Cash Doggy Dog

I can't imagine my reaction if, in the early days of West Coast stylee, someone had told me:

"You will work for a large company that makes products that you can't hold in your hand. This company will tape performances of LA gangsta rappers in furtherance of the sale of luxury automobiles designed for soccer moms. Snoop Dog will offer props to the legendary country artist Johnny Cash and then bust his own twangy country rhyme replete with slide guitar. A black man named Obama will run against the wife of a philandering ex-President for the highest office in the land"

I am living in the future -- and it is sicker than I ever could have imagined. Sheitz, my iPhone rocks the Star Trek communicator hands down. As if you needed proof, here's our Live Sets taping of Snoop's down-home chicken and waffles country jam:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Don't Mess Wid Mah Monkey!

Last Weeks of Feb 2008, originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

I'm sure that buying a fuzzy electric monkey for an infant could lead to foster care.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spa Life

Friday, February 22, 2008

Under the Wire, 18 February 2007 - 6 February 2008: Golden Pig

"Babies born in the "year of the golden pig" are believed to have good fortune and will lead a comfortable and wealthy life. [...]

People who believe in the year of the golden pig say the special year comes every 600 years. They came to this conclusion through calculations, using a combination of the Chinese zodiac and the yin and yang theory."

"My family already has two pigs, including my father, and I want to add one more pig," said a pregnant 28-year-old Beijing secretary who identified herself only as Ms. Lian.

"I guess three pigs will also bring luck to us," she explained. "Also, I believe people who are born in the Year of the Pig are honest, because my father is such a person."

Oink, oink, little man.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't Be Eyeballin' Me....

2nd Week of Feb 2008, originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

He refuses to look at all his developmental toys and mobiles. But, geez, if his own hand starts moving (presumably of its own accord) -- oh, it's a party. Beats me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So, What Happens After He Finds His Feet?

Older Every Day..., originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

I loaded the kid up with Lamaze-approved equipment scientifically designed to help him "find" his limbs. I'm really not sure what he intends once he finds them. A little salsa dancing? Galaxy open try-outs? A little stroll to pick up some Pinkberry's? Ha.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

More Baby Tricks

More Baby Tricks, originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Adriano Fires Up the Formula

IMG_0048.JPG, originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

This kid makes me feel like a three star chef...he's simply ecstatic about anything [ugh, formula] that I whip up for him.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Siblings Union

Adriano Day 1, originally uploaded by defmonk2007.

They've all bonded in a way that makes the WGA look like simpering blue-hairs. If they join in revolt....I'm screwed.

BabyWatch: Welcome Adriano

Very few events deliver on anticipation. Tahiti was one of them, a place every bit as beautiful as the pictures. Adriano is another. As long and cumbersome as this journey has been, he really is great. We're probably programmed to feel that way, but, geez, I am feeling it good.

The other reason is that the end of this process (birth and pregnancy) is the start of another. So, the high anticipation of seeing the face that you've imagined for months is replaced by the anticipation of the potential of this kid. It's hard to feel let down in that cycle. Sure, I'm all Lion King and shietz, but that's what it is.

So, we're headed home today. Last night the IUOS (that is, the International Union of Siblings) made a desperate midnight pitch to add the appellation "Marley" to the kid's name. In a clever move, they argued that (i) this name is a rough concactenation of the names Margaux and Allie (coincidentally, the leaders of the IUOS) and (ii) it should appeal directly to my proud Jamaican hertiage. As in most arguments, number two is the killer.  I'm going to make an impassioned plea this morning to fill in the empty middle name field with this one. 

Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

BabyWatch: Zero Hour

I'm packing and blogging at the same time. We're off to the hospital to let the baby loose.  In true Neumann fashion, he's decided to be scheduled. None of this waiting for contractions stuff. So, hopefully, by midday tomorrow I'll be holding my son in my arms. I couldn't be happier.

Friday, January 18, 2008

BabyWatch: T minus 6 days

This kid is going to be named Adriano. Look, this name is way out front in the polling, Brooke C made a special call just to say how much she loved it and his namesake (the great Brazilian striker) scored two goals in his first game after rehab. Talk about alignment of the planets.

Anyway, this project is in neutral. The kid is way too smart to come out. It's like he knows we're at war in Iraq (and bristling at Iran), that the sub-prime mortgage market collapse promises our future enslavement to Asian sovereignty funds and that these Santa Monica mornings have been cold as hell.

Heck, I may call my own Mom to see if I can get a redo.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Experiential Disintermediation: All Reality, All the Time

Lacking an engaging hobby, I spend far too much time driving the nuances of normal events to conclusions in extremis. You can't share a strong drink anywhere in Los Angeles without a good bellyache over the WGA strike, so I've had lots of opportunity to nuture my proto-hobby.

My two-beer conclusion is that "it'll all be fine." Chasing with two neat Glenfiddichs leads me to conclude that the WGA strike is really the first step in experiential disintermediation.

Maybe in the absence of experiential interpreters (OK, writers), technology can lift us to a place where unfiltered first-person experience replaces replaces regurgitated written stories...

Maybe the surge of reality programming isn't just the dumbing-down of our culture, but a technology driven sea-change accelerated by the willful absence of the WGA writers...

Why should we be seperated from experiences? I mean, does some snotty Ivy-grad-cousin-of-a-producer really see something in the world that I cannot? With a web camera at every vantage point feeding an infinite number of channels, could I click up a comedy or a drama every hour? Can YouTube make me laugh or cry?

{Blogging's great, I don't have to conclude, summarize or even make a great deal of sense}

Monday, January 14, 2008

BabyWatch: T minus 10 days

Adriano pulled way out ahead in the Baby Naming Derby, with David in a close second. I suspect that some of my colleagues may be stuffing the ballot box (Ashley S.)

For those of you who have a continuing interest in the progress of things...there is none. After last week's fireworks, the whole thing has gone quiet. This kid is just not going to cooperate and emerge at a time that is convenient for me. Geez.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

BabyWatch: T minus 14 days

After a promising weekend contraction fiesta, our still unamed male progeny continues to resist his Mom's creative effort to give birth to him. She powerwalked for an hour and nothing. Not even a little cramp (even though I was cramping all over).

The name derby continues, with the following submissions:

Tristan - too uppity, too Teutonic.

Emiliano - Latin flair, but not that catchy

Cheech - If he didn't blunt so much, I might give this further consideration.

Adriano - I could sneak in this sports name, because it has the Latin thing going, but the world class striker of the same name in now in rehab in Sao Paulo. Ooops.

Some derivation of Al - low flava in this name, but I could give ups to my suegro and my gran compadre at the same time.

All submissions will be considered.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Look, Mom, music on my page....

Thanks to the geniuses at Yahoo! Music (with some hrefs borrowed from Mr. Rogers), I now have enabled music on my humble little blog....


Cambiando Lonches

Desperate Measures

Yes, there is a "Maternity Salad". Well-educated, aware people buy it with the hope that it will send them into labor. And, they drive all the way to Studio City to get it.

Why wouldn't a clever restauranter capture the unbridled consumptive desires of parents-to-be and the desperation late-term moms who just want the little alien to pop out? Heck, any given weekend you can find the sidewalks of Santa Monica jammed with $1000 strollers dangling $800 diaper bags. This pregnancy thing makes your brain weak.

So in the 38 week of pregnancy, I'd even try salad to give my poor love the merest chance of relief from this ill-designed process. (Why didn't Apple design human reproduction? You'd get a tidy little pod delivered to your door that happily morphs into an Ivy League grad).

For you doubters, here it is:

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Next Generation iPod

What if physical community ever married digital media?

The Price of Shame....

Yes, I was squarely aligned to get that most precious prop in the blogosphere....a direct link from the esteeemed The shame caught me like this:

"I wanted to link to you somewhere but Defmonk is some rental properties. :)ian

Hey, everyone needs a side gig! Thanks for the props. Totally unnecessary, but greatly appreciated. I really thank you for putting in the effort to create another useful person. It's not easy to do. I hope guys had a great holiday! MLW

Ha! My pleasure!Yeah we're having a great time. You?Just posted my "best of 2007" list: ian "

Like I needed a more forceful reminder that, after more than 15 years of 'net-pimping, my own presence comprised only a hastily assembled FrontPage version-caveman site I threw together to rent some properties I owned (when I rolled like that). I pay for some superzilla hosting package on DomainDirect and that's the best that I've done in three years. Damn.

So, I'm taking the plunge. I'm Blogger-blogging (as if I don't work for Yahoo! and like Google needs another unique).

It's time.

A Tribute to Fistfulayen.....

Love it.

A couple of things occurred to me.

Proprietary media is a leper colony, around which we’ve built a high fence. Ugh, nobody’s rushing in. The only technologists that want any part of it are the insane and the accolytes. So, we get tremendous innovation around, say, maps not music. Maps?

I am mystified that the geniuses that created html ignored the natural progression of things (text => image => audio => audiovisual => immersive) and left the MediaWeb high and dry. Maybe they knew…

You want the collective genius on a problem? Like you say, create an open standard. Funny how all the best minds these days are working in non-proprietary enviroments. (An aside: I’m always fascinated by industries, like visual or fashion design, that rely more on authenticity, innovation and speed-to-market than proprietary rights — are we there yet?).

IMHO, content owners need to seduce the big, juicy core of innovative technologists (the ones between the raving lunatics and the drooling fanatics). The MediaWeb is half of it, but the other half is the Content Dial Tone.

See, you’ll get your MediaWeb because it is an irresistable idea and seamlessly logical. But, can you imagine if all content is hung out there on APIs with embedded business terms? YouTube go home. The collective genius pulling down content streams to power the MediaWeb? Ouch. Go ahead, content owners, turn the dials on the stream rates to filter out the dreck (the low-rent business models). Still works.