For some time I had been dithering about what to write about in my first, official after-the-introductory post. I do tend to dither, and I do use that as an excuse for a minor vice of mine, "procrastination". Dithering sounds much more professional, not morally decrepit like procrastination.
And now, God save me, I'm following Publius, at least at the time of this writing.
But I do plan to write about what I know and what I am interested in. That's all an author can really hope to do well.
I have been thinking about the varied connections that bind us all to each other and to the structures of our society. One of these connections, my 30+ years in public education is beginning to wither away and, although I will be continuing part-time, my full career is at an end. Another connection is appearing to develop, a part-time position at our local movie theater as a projectionist.
Movies have always interested me. They certainly are topics of conversation with friends or even complete strangers, whose notice often can be caught with a simple, "So, what did you think of the flick?" And many times fine conversations can begin. Family connections are vitally important, too. So, after a family get-together last Saturday in Nebraska with all my family to celebrate Mom & Dad's 60th wedding anniversary from this past January, I've been busy training to run the theater's 8 projectors.
This is the link to a couple of pictures and a short video of the family ( I'm the one kneeling in the group picture with my parents, brothers and sister, in the yellow shirt ) and another link to the type of work I'm now doing this summer. The video at the top of the site is what I'm doing now.
These are hard times. If those out of work and given up and those who are working part-time at less pay are added to the official unemployment rate, we have an unemployment rate above 15%. I feel I am lucky. Unless the State of Kansas goes completely belly up, I'll have a steady source of income for the rest of my life. My chances for a continuing part-time gig as a teacher, without any benefits, however, look iffy as the state continues to undershoot ( last week by 120 million ) its revenues and more educational cuts seem likely.
The oft-quoted Chinese proverb/curse: "Living in interesting times". I have never suffered an extended length of unemployment; I do not know what that is like, having a family with kids and no reliable steady source of good income. But I do know what it's like to scrape by on next to nothing.
As I wrote, "Lucky".
Back to my headline, "Connections". It seems to me our societal connections are disconnecting. My 2 Kansas senators and my representative are Republican, and are toeing the party line. No vote from them for the stimulus money, but we took it anyway, since we are blessed with a Democratic governor, a blessing indeed compared to the poor folk in Texas, Alaska & South Carolina. Certainly no vote from my CongressCritters for the new Cap and Trade bill that recently passed nor will they likely vote for any meaningful and effective reform of healthcare. As the "Democratic" senator from Nebraska, Ben Nelson, once proclaimed not too long ago, we need to care for the poor insurance companies. Another of our Democratic senators, Joe Lieberman, just a couple of days ago released himself from his campaign's support for a public healthcare option.
Our current President made many personal connections with us his fellow citizens during the campaign last year and before. Some more significant than others, that's how our political leaders gain a following and get their chance at leading the country. I always try to catch Jon Stewart's show, and tonight's version was very apt for my discourse here. At the time of this writing, his July 2 show is not online, but his opening was along the lines of "Pretty speeches are fine, now fix the damn economy!" I'm afraid Obama has cut many of those connections he made with us. The "fierce advocate" for the rights of gays, hasn't been so fierce, yet, but indeed, his Department of Justice could call these fellow citizens of ours "incestuous pedophiles". Transparency in government, but the CIA can't seem to get that report on torture promised many times to be released to the public. Can't let the transcripts of Bush and Cheney concerning Valerie Pflame be released either.
It seems Obama is busy making connections to the previous administration to the detriment of those connections he made to us while on campaign.
I hope for the sake of his presidency and the good of the country that he is not. A good test of that point will be the final result of wrangling over healthcare later this year. Will it be true, that "Change we can believe in!" will become more than a smile and a verbal commitment?
FACTA, NON VERBA