Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Bon chance, et adieu
In the wake of an historic election, I would like to congratulate America for a choice which may well mean the survival of all that we know.
It will mean hard, unceasing work and a strong test of your national character, but the potential rewards are galactic in scope.
Some may wonder how it was that I developed such a keen interest in America, and its politics.
At the risk of becoming unentertainingly autobiographical, allow me to fill in a few gaps.
My grandfather was American by birth, and there were family members who lived there. Consequently, unlike many Canadian children of my era, there wasn't a whole lot of anti-American table talk reinforced by the national inferiority complex.
America was a mystical land to me, where power and wealth resided and the 'big people' in my family visited frequently and pleasantly. I dreamed of perhaps living there someday.
I was 9 years old in the summer of Watergate. Per my latchkey child ways, I loved watching garbage daytime television...Soaps, game shows, whatever.
Not very discriminating, I know, but in the days of pre-cable TV you took what was offered.
Unfortunately for this idyll, the specter of preemption arose for my escapist fare, and the substitution was some boring courtroom-type thing where adults droned on and on over audiotapes filled with 'hanky panky'.
At first, I was dismayed...No Secret Storm, or The Price Is Right, or Bugs Bunny?
Oh, the humanity. But because there were only three channels in town, I watched...A young mind cast into a cauldron of high intrigue. And I became fascinated by the opened curtain on the corridors of power.
As a teenager and young adult, this interest in the tinkertoys of governance continued to grow. A voracious reader, I consumed Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter Thompson when I was 14, among other tomes on the political sciences...This certainly filled in some knowledge gaps in both my appreciation of American politics as well as the burgeoning drug culture of the times, a useful reference for what was to come.
As a traveling musician in the 80's and 90's, I spent a good deal of time in America, and in fact lived in L.A. for a time...One of the happier idylls in my hejira.
In fact,I almost remained in the U.S. as a permanent fixture - Not that I was disloyal to Canada per se, but in the entertainment field, then as now, you didn't really make it unless you made it in the States.
Opportunities were abundant, but a lifestyle (as opposed to a deathstyle) change was in order, and being a new father in a tempestuous relationship required that I find another trade to ply, one which would allow me to be a presence in my spouses and childrens lives, as opposed to a disembodied voice on a telephone calling from thousands of miles away or an epigrammatic postcard.
Sadly, this change was not for the better, and I began the 21st century with divorce, living in a shoebox with whatever personal goods I could salvage from a relationship torn asunder.
The classic quote: "I don't like men. I like to f*ck them, but I don't like them".
Thanks for not telling me that 10 years previously, wherever you ended up.
My instruments collected dust, and I filled the days with menial labor, another burned-out never-was who missed their shot at the brass hole. Then a friend, knowing my affinity for technology, gave me an old computer with which I could access the developing Internet.
Eleven years before, I would scoff at my roommates busily tap-tapping away on keyboards about the weather and people they hated - Now, alone in a coffin of my own choosing, I became one of those people, but instead of blathering on about rain or that asshole in the next cube over, it was current events and politics that captured my mind and clacking fingers...For example, the new American president who had obtained the post by lawyerly, as opposed to popular means, and his retinue of shady characters from the Reagan/Nixon eras. This passed the time while I attempted to heal the wounds on my psyche.
It took 9/11/01 to get me to play again. I was so shocked and distraught by that day, concerned for my long-distant friends living in the shadow of the Twin Towers and the senseless carnage provided by an unblinking eye under silent skies, that all I could do was cry out from my soul in the only way that ever made any sense to me.
After that...well, we all know what happened after that - The sort of malfeasant opportunism that anyone with a sense of history and political imperatives could have predicted, cloaked in cynically jingo-jangling chauvinism.
Predictable? Yes. Avoidable? No. Destiny rarely is.
It might surprise some of my readers to know that I do not make my living with computers in the graphic arts, or in any other form. I'm highly trained in many disciplines with no market potential, I suppose. When I first started working with Photoshop, there were few who mined this particular vein of expression, and now there are many more choosing to express themselves in this way.
'May your paths be strewn with thornless roses'
The concept behind this blog from its inception was to provide opinionated yet hopefully entertaining content, but unlike pundits receiving lucre for their gaseous exchanges a certain purity should be maintained - Aspiring merely to be a single opinion among many, with which one was free to disagree or agree as was their wont, and I have always been amazed and gratified that so many people have looked upon my works with a favorable eye.
To each one of you, I give my deepest thanks and hopes for a better tomorrow, not only in your personal lives but in the lives of all the peoples of the world. May it be so.
And now, I think it is time to move on.
Financial issues (the bane of many of you, I am sure) dictate that my attentions be focused elsewhere, perhaps permanently.
If I am fortunate enough to return in some fashion, I will...but if fate should dictate otherwise, then this blog will stand for whatever period as my meager testament to a thimbleful of time shared.