Monday, April 30, 2012
See, I think the “conservative” side of our current political spectrum is not accurately named. “Conservative” as opposed to “progressive” means that that side is interested in conserving the status quo, keeping things the same as they are now. That’s wrong. Today’s conservatives are more accurately labeled “reactionaries“. See, reactionaries want to turn back the clock. Reactionaries want to roll back the tide of progress in human rights, religious freedoms and formal compassionate social policies that have been an unstoppable trend in western society for 300 years.
Paralleled by the gains earned by ethnic minorities, the rights and status of women have undeniable progressed in the last 120 years… Perhaps more than any other group… Consequently, as your advances have been so far reaching, perhaps it’s why the REACTIONARY elements of our political spectrum are willing and wanting to attack. To call what they’re doing as an overreach is an understatement. Even conservative women use birth control. “Welfare moms” were a convenient and easy target for attack in the 90’s, but fundamentally, the Republicans are skating on thin ice by trying to pay for tax cuts to the rich by stripping programs that help the poorest women with reproductive health and food for their children. The REACTIONARIES want to turn back the advances of our society 120 years.
Although this is a really bad strategy on their part in the short term, and so as a progressive, I’m pleased on one level, on the larger level, I’m disturbed at where the boundaries of the debate are being laid.
We can’t propose single-payer healthcare because its too radical, but conservatives can propose turning Medicare into a voucher system and allowing employers to deny coverage for birth control? If American politics were a marketplace and we were haggling over a price of produce, the Republicans are asking to pay 25 cents to buy a dozen avocados. Or they’re asking $100 to sell them. Whichever. Although this is far less of a case than in previous times, politics is about negotiation. Each side comes to a negotiation from a starting point. The Reactionary starting point has gotten to be SO FAR way over to one side, that I worry about where the reconciliation point is going to end up.
Maybe we progressives should start proposing anarcho-syndicalist solutions to our nation’s ills; not because we believe in them, but to set a starting point that matches the anachronism of the reactionaries’ 19th Century positions…
WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!! DESTROY CAPITALISM IN THE NAME OF PROLETARIOT! (Short of that, we might accept universal health coverage).
Now, I talk about the War on Women in the context of a video I made today. An acquaintance of mine, well, maybe after today, I can call her a friend, is an active member of various Occupy and other progressive movements. She called out on her Facebook page for anyone out there whose a videographer and is an owner of a truck or van for help. I happen to be both. I ended up being the videographer for today’s rally Against the War on Women… One of dozens of such rallies that were held nationwide today.
Here's the video. One of few on my YouTube page without me in it.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Then I thought about my own Tour d’Joko films and the one I had just completed that day. Mind you, I’m not comparing as apples to apples something I, an amateur with consumer equipment, make in a couple of hours with an hour-long documentary that took a year to make. That said, there were imitable qualities to his film that I, with a little more patience than I normally have, maybe some better equipment and a firmer commitment to making something TV-worthy could replicate. Take inspiration from, at the very least, and that I have done.
Next month, I’m going to spend a week at Yellowstone National Park. I want to turn that time into the best Tour d’Joko film I have yet made. It will require planning. It will require some kind of mission or narrative beyond just me going on vacation. I need to think on these things. Come up with a story that will hold the viewers’ attention beyond the five-minute limit that most people who watch YouTube videos will tolerate.
Joko goes… what?
In search of bear cubs?
Finding the wolves of Yellowstone?
Discover which kind of ukulele song bison enjoy most?
Like I said, I got some planning to do. In the meantime, please enjoy my latest marching-through-the-woods video, Tour d’Joko, Carkeek Park Edition.
My thanks to Momma Bear for my new fancy walking stick.
Monday, April 16, 2012
I’m an observer and critic of TV commercials. Perhaps it’s because of my combination of a creative spirit with a natural ability to sell stuff that I always thought I could have been a Madison Avenue guy, and therefore am just a frustrated ad man.
Let’s take a look at three ads that caught my eye in the last week.
First, from the weekend, a short term TV ad from Burger King advertising a weekend-only promotion of Chicken Wraps for $1 each. First off, I’ll admit, this ad accomplished it’s primary purpose: if I had not seen this ad late, after dinner, on a Sunday night, I would have run right out to Burger King and bought a Chicken Wrap.. But not for the reasons the admakers might have thought… or… sinisterly, maybe they did.
Do you think I’m talking about the recent controversy involving Mary J Blige as a black woman selling chicken? No…
THE AD CLAIMS THE CHICKEN WRAP CONTAINS SEVEN KINDS OF LETTUCE! Okay..Wait… SEVEN KINDS OF LETTUCE?!?
I didn’t even know there were SEVEN kinds of lettuce!! Lemmethink.. Iceburg, romaine, leaf, red leaf, butter, umm… umm… that’s five… Arugula? Chard? SEVEN KINDS OF FREEKIN LETTUCE?!?! Okay, maybe there are seven different kinds of lettuce, but how could you fit all seven in a single, small, chicken wrap? One leaf of each kind? `
DANGIT!! I HAVE SEARCHED THE INTERNET AND THE AD IS NOT TO BE FOUND… Believe me. I saw it.
Next, from the inappropriate combinations of children and hardcore drug references, this ad for a the Honda Pilot featuring a classic Ozzy Ozbourne song.
Once again, great ad. Very well done. It makes the “crossover” seem cool and long road trips with children seem exciting. Well, the vehicle needs it. The “crossover” is a 21st Century term for what we used to call a Station Wagon.
Here’s my problem. The song “Crazy Train” is all about cocaine addiction. Going after rails… umm.. Yeah… “rails” are lines of coke. That drug does make you crazy. Believe me. I remember. That doesn’t make it a bad song; just not one you should be singing with kids in your freekin station wagon!!!
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Lastly, again, perhaps this has something to do with my past history of substance abuse, but there is a particular line in this “Miller 64” commercial that makes me want to point out one thing… The selling line is “Beer with less regret”
“Less regret” means it still has some regret inherent in the very product!! Why should we be buying something that admits it comes with REGRET?!?
What’s next? Whiskey with less chance of you abusing your spouse? Slightly less liver-destroying vodka?
Sunday, April 01, 2012
What kind of claw?!?
I swear, there really is such a place as the “Hobbit Forest” here in Washington State. It started out with someone placing a garden gnome along a trail at the Federation Forest State Park, and it just kind of grew from there! It’s supposed to be quite impressive. Here’s the link to article where I learned about it in the first place.
BUT WOULD I FIND THE ELUSIVE HOBBITS??!
Watch below in the third and final episode, where I also reach the Flaming Geyser of Emunclaw!!!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the Tour d’Joko! Make every day an adventure!