Category Archives: Thoughts
Today marks 30 years since “The Empire Strikes Back” was first released in theaters. I am a HUGE fan of Star Wars – just ask anyone who knows me. The thing is – I don’t actually remember going to see the original “Star Wars” in theaters. I know that I did, but I don’t remember it. I do remember going to see “Empire Strikes Back” – almost like it was yesterday.
We now officially on Twitter. You can follow everything that goes on here at The Word Zombie (and more) at – @thewordzombie. There is a link in the “About” tab above, or you can just click on the Twitter icon at the top of the page. See you there!
I’m about halfway through “Atlas Shrugged”. I am a fast reader, so it’s a rare thing for me to be able to spend a week or two absorbed in a book. It brings a certain clarity of thought to the process. I find that the things I see, the things I am learning as I read; these things are resonating more in the world around me. I find moments in the story that are often uncomfortable parallels to the challenges we, as a nation, are facing today. One passage in particular has stuck with me this week, as I wonder were we are heading as a country:
Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.
With Greece so much in the news, and real fears about the stability of the Euro, perhaps even the world economy – you have to ask, is this where we are heading? Have we “progressed” as a nation to the point where the producers are valued only for what they can contribute to keep the welfare engines running? If those engines are dialed back, will we see the kind of entitlement riots we have seen in Greece? Have we forgotten that our grandparents taught us not to spend money that we don’t have? Have the back room deals and influence peddling we saw during the Health Care debate become the new norm – a process now dedicated not to serving the will of the people, but to circumventing it?
I want to believe that the answer to those questions is – no; I fear that that the answer will be – yes. Either way, I know that how we, as a people, choose to let those questions be answered will be the fulcrum on which our children’s futures will turn. I hope that we choose wisely.
I love my iPod – I really do. It’s a miracle of technology that allows me to have all the music I want, wherever I want, and listen to it whenever I want. But, sometimes, like our lives these days, it can be too much. There are just too many choices. Too much information – not enough time. I miss the mix tape. It was a simpler, and yet somehow more intricate proposition. You chose the songs, or perhaps, the songs chose you. Either way, they were collected together, put down on tape, and then experienced. A mix tape told a story. It was a commitment – even if you didn’t realize what it was a commitment to.
As we drove home, I was lost in thought. I barely noticed the streetlights and cars that we passed. It was full dark, the kids were watching a DVD in the back of the van, and something was playing on the radio – I’m not sure what. My mind was too busy chasing itself round in circles, replaying the night’s events over and over – asking myself – did my children really understand what we had just done? Did they wonder, as I had earlier – was it really okay to burn the American flag?
When was the last time you really listened to what was going on around you? As I was leaving the office yesterday, I noticed, for what seemed like the first time, that we have music playing in our elevators. I was a bit surprised that this came as a revelation to me. After all, I love music – even play a little on occasion – and I had completely missed the sounds around me. Why was that?
Welcome to my new blog, I’m glad that you are here. Why am I writing this blog, you ask? The simple answer is – I’m not sure. I want to work on my writing skills, and this is a good way to practice and get feedback. I want to find out what I think about things. The best way to collect your thoughts is to express them. I want to share my love of reading with you. The world of ideas that books can open up to you is invaluable. Lastly, I want to believe that I have something interesting to say. You – Constant Reader – will be the judge of that.
What are we going to talk about, you ask? Well – we’re going to talk about the books that I am reading, and what I think about them. We will also be talking some about the music I’m listening to. (I don’t discover new music as much as I used to, but sometimes even rediscovering a great album from your youth can be just as rewarding.) We’ll also probably talk a bit about politics and pop culture – two of my favorite pastimes.
I hope you’ll let me know if you like what I have to say. I also hope that you’ll let me know if you don’t like what I have to say. That is, until you begin to crush my hopes and dreams – I have to draw the line there.
So, welcome to the journey. It should be a grand experiment and I hope that you have fun along the way. More importantly, I hope we both learn something. I’m pretty sure that I can come up with something to talk about every day. The real question is – can I find anyone who wants to listen?