Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

My Photo
Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Our Lot in Real Life

So dubya is going to veto the defense bill, after he got everything he wanted and more from his ever obeisant democrats. Why? To protect ultra-rich Iraqis from any penalties for their war crimes. We already know that money/greed trumps all in our WaliMarton land. We didn't know until now that foreign rich war criminals also trump justice and compassion for crippled and tortured US soldiers.

We certainly do have a biblical president. I remember the first thing that caused me to question the bible, as an eight year old reading it through. Lot worried about the comfort of strangers and offered his virgin daughters to the mob to keep them from upsetting his guests. Even as a child unaware of all he was offering the mob it seemed terrible. This has never been explained to me in a way that is at all moral or ethical, not then or in the following 42 years. In the same spirit, in order to keep from inconveniencing his rich foreign peers, our pres is not only denying justice to their victims who were/are in the service of the US military. According to dubya's own rhetoric he is undercutting the war on terror and refusing to support the troops with his veto.

It is easy to blame the democrats for failing to do more than whimper as dubya repeatedly mounts them to show his alpha dog status. What about the republicans who video tape the rapine? They know the American public favors time lines on Iraq. They know the president holds himself above the law and will issue signing statements if they overrode a veto. So why do they needlessly defy the will of the American public? Voyeurism. It's the only reason I can think of. If the cameras were placed appropriately would we see Lieberman and the other republicans touching themselves and panting as they watch dubya again establish he is the alpha dog? It makes me incredulous, in the same way I was as a child when a chihuahua our german shepherd hated and could effortlessly rip in two, let the little scummy beast make her into double-backed beast.

It underlines the total lack of principles in the white house. It underlines the subservience of the democrats. Will the democrats take advantage of this and push for meaningful legislation, or again comfort and embrace the turgid turd?

I feel like the pundit at the beginning of V for Vendetta. I really like calling dubya the turgid turd.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Back for a Quickie

Well, I had a great vacation, and yesterday was the first white xmas I've seen since I was in the navy, and I'm not sure I was ever home for one during my service years from 84-94. So, that was a nice surprise. A nice way to wind down from the vacation. Part of the reason I picked the two weeks before xmas was so others at work with kids on break could take this week off. Thanks to the re-org I suspect I made it much easier for a very good friend, as we are now the only ones with database dev expertise in our group. Even if not, I'll take the good feeling.

Now for the quickie. I sometimes think nobody gets it. Everyone always gripes about how cohesive the gop is. What a load of bollocks. Let's change the semantics to make it closer to the truth. Rather than the meaningless boast about cohesiveness and consistency, remember what it really means. The republicans march in lock step. Democrats attract the more liberal thinkers, meaning they actually have people that think their own thoughts, making it harder to order them to think desired thoughts. There is a lot of money being spent by the gop, big business/media, and sold out democrats to pontificate about the need for the democrats to follow the gop model. It's working, and I've seen us moving closer to a one party system throughout my life.

I believe you should be suspicious every time a democrat supports the war, supports big business interests, curtailing liberties (including gun control), etc. The kind of money being made by the elite cannot happen with an electorate consisting of rugged individualists. Do you ever wonder like me why there is such a huge amount of hype claiming we are a nation of rugged individuals who must agree with everything really rich people covet if we are to survive? I sometimes feel people capable of independent thought are 3-d ghosts stuck in a 2-d pit of despair. I don't know what it means or what to do about it either. That is the point.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I finished a full length play this morning, which I started last week. I've finished several one acts, but none of the full length ones I've started. I had an enjoyable ritual going, which included letter writing. I think all my regular readers I know outside of cyberspace got one. I just dropped them in the mail. That's been fun too. Kind of boring letters, more along the line of travelogues. But they are hand written.

The script is a vampire story. A genre I'm new to. It's well used, and watching a number of shows, movies, even plays, I learned one thing. It's very fluid, so I can change the stereotypical things for my ends. I'm finding the process I'll use for this is much like my acting process. Wrote the story. For those who write as I do, I set up the characters and initial environment, had a couple ideas I worked to weave in and felt like I was going along for the ride. Next is script analysis, which I'm going to approach like preparing for a role. I know there are inconsistencies. I know I need to make the characters voices more distinct. The first write served like a first read. An introduction to the world of the play.

I've written and edited, written some more then editing everything again, and so on in the past. Except for short etudes, I've not written a whole piece before the editing. I'm feeling like I've given myself more control, while making the original write a lot of fun. Analyzing the whole thing and deciding on adjustments lets me work in aspects later in the play if I choose, whereas in the incremental model that very same aspect would be gone or working it in would be too late in the process. Changes can flow in both directions instead of just downstream. There are aspects of two of the characters which popped up in the last act, and they'll now be worked into the whole piece. Doing it incrementally I'd have never been able to do that.

I had leisure and got on a roll. At nearly fifty pages, I sent the first two acts to my friend K. She is a fan of the genre. Her delight in the Buffy series got me interested in the genre. Hence the rentals I mentioned a while back. I figured if she liked the piece at all I was on the right track. After all a genre fan should be a pretty good acid test. She read it in less than a day, getting caught up in the characters and story, wading through the as yet obtuse sections. She sent a follow up e-mail asking me to send her the rest as she was "completely enthralled." That helped me drive through to a conclusion. Certainly stronger praise than I'd even considered getting. Thinking on it, a nice xmas gift. I think I would have not finished, or more likely gotten very lazy or frustrated and not written something I could do more than throw out later. Now I think I have something satisfying which I can work with.

Now for a quick political observation. The conservative child at Princeton admitted at least a day ago he faked the attacks. Faux news is still running the headline Little Outrage Over Student Beating at Princeton University. It was national news and fox was upset it was not viewed as a hate crime. Why did they think it was news? Oh, they knew, it's just Rupert the Hutt roiling his rabble.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Turn Your Back for a Minute...

I'm on vacation, and can't believe I'm mostly through the first week already. I've been sleeping long. I wasn't quite over the secondaries from my cold, and my sinuses are just starting to get back to normal, along with my gut. I'm sleeping in an old converted school bus, with a small wood stove. I hang out at the house then make my way to the bus at bed time. The last two mornings I've worked on the laptop, writing until the battery dies. Only a couple hours, though I may buy a new one soon.

I've gotten a little tightly wrapped, and the break from working on shows helped and this vacation is now. Usually I'm getting ready to head back to the world about now, but I'm just getting into a writing routine. Kind of nice. Also, I'm leisurely beginning the analysis of Troilus and Cressida which is fun. I'm really looking forward to working on a show with all my homework started well in advance.

They had a re-org of my group this week, which I believe was announced today. I was part of database development, which was just dissolved with the assets moving into the other dev groups. It proved inefficient in the past, so I'm not sure why the change now. Other than typical upper management masturbation, jerking around the little folks to get the power rush and make it look like you're doing something valuable. The neocon belief that being an arbitrary jerk shows you have courage and vision. Neither is true, but what does it matter?

This arbitrary attack on our careers is being done by the same fellow who ordered us to work weekends and evenings during the peak of Summer without ever once showing his face after hours or showing any gratitude. I'd forgotten about this user of others until now. I will have my resume updated by the time I get back. I'm not planning on leaving immediately, but figure with the current market it is a good time to check the water.

This move will break the career enhancement opportunities we had, and I honestly don't see where anyone will gain. I suspect there will be more than necessary attrition, because initial rumors of the re-org were denied as false, and lying to someone who was already seriously testing the waters is not a good move. Heck, I wasn't even interested in testing the waters. I now am being active. The reorg takes us backk to a model that was proven to be inefficient and actually counter-productive. It effectively takes away our voice for improving system quality. Like the handful of lawmakers who voted against making w a war cowboy president. Being right didn't matter.

The writing will be a salve and somehow reminds me there is a possible upside. I may have the opportunity to work with other programming languages, and I may not. Can't do anything until I get back. I know we are getting royally screwed by management. Whether I can get something positive out of it remains to be seen. Thank god for theatre. In the past I've obsessed about things like this, picturing many awful things, and very few of any possibilities. I can let go of the issue, and also spot the upsides. Somehow, it feels like it is freeing the creative juices a bit.

I'm writing a vampire thingy right now. I now, kind of a pop culture thing. I've some allegories I want to work into it. I'm not really impressed with it, but I'm writing and that's over half the battle. I think another fifteen pages or so and I'll be able to get back and focus on one of my other projects. More later.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Run Away

I'm heading out of town tomorrow morning. About 5am, so I may not remember actually leaving town. I think as long as I hit the road by 5:30 I'm okay, but the extra time puts me on the front of the boat at Anacortes so I have a good chance of hitting Customs in the first wave getting off the boat.

I'm taking off two weeks. I'm hoping to spend a lot of the time writing. I've several scripts and a story I want to spend some time on. We'll see how that works. In any case I'm looking forward to it. I'm enjoying work but feeling a little burnt out. The long break followed by the holiday weeks will be a blessing whether I get any writing done or not. I've a couple off-beat vampire ideas, one a spoof homage, the other darker and more cutting and allegorical.

I plan to do some meditating as well. Where do I want to go? Various interpersonal relationships where they are evolving or going. As always I'm dealing with the deep feeling of betrayal I feel towards our government and the democrats craven lack of guts to try doing anything meaningful or risky.

Accountability is irritating me at the moment. I've mentioned how the CS department
at UW shut me down when looking into graduate programs because they looked on military experience and references with disfavor. I talked to them both in 1995 and 1996, while looking at the display of Reagan and Bush pictures (in the biddle of Bill Clinton's years).

My state senator heard about this through an aide at my Kiwanis club and followed up until the moment the CS department lied and said they'd never done any such thing, at which point he dropped it. He is now the gop party chair for the state, so his credentials of unquestioned loyalty to corporations and other conservative groups over people is in no danger. Same thing when I was being threatened by the power company, which desperately wanted to cut down my trees. I'm appreciative that his office followed up both incidents, disappointed that the idea of challenging or even doubting the denials (of liars) was not given an electron's worth of thought.

It seems that any business or official organization can lie with impunity. Their victims on the other hand, are always assumed to be whining liars. Go figure. A lot, I suppose, is image.

Microsoft is a good example right now. Like w they are further victimizing their victims in a bizarre effort to exonerate themselves.

My experience working in Microsft IT is pretty neutral. My direct managers were almost always great, while the upper management was either crooked or icompetent. An elite few were both. I suspect most people who've heard me talk about my time at Microsoft remember the good or the bad, but generally not both. I often find myself thinking one or the other too. When I'm thinking about people like Bob who I adored working for I don't generally think of the large group I was in that laid off three people, who also happened to be the only people over fifty or the ITG (Infrastructure Technology Group) director who reported to Bill and awarded an eight figure contract to a company for which he was a majority stockholder, which failed.

To restate, my experience was pretty balanced, as are my rememberances as a whole. Some days I remember the incompetence, corruption, or disregard for customers. Others I remember the great bosses, products, and atmosphere.

I'm going to suppose this is generally how we think and react to things. Any one incident will most likely have a positive or a negative slant, but over all it is pretty even. Of course there are Oscar the Grouches and Pollyannas, and they balance each other out as well. How is it then, that corporate type entities which prove themselves to be predatory over and over and over seem to always get the benefit of the doubt?

Is there anyone out there? The republican party as a whole worships the dollar to the point they are downright spiritual about the need to remove all oversight and social responsibility for the rich, then tax and spy on every aspect of the lives of us peons. People of integrity (and I suspect our state AG may be one) are wonderful exceptions.

Democrats on the other hand aren't willing to take a possibly unpopular stand, so they embrace the lowest common denominator too. Democrats don't institionalize graft as does the GOP, so there is the illusion of a higher moral path. The problem is we have still to pray for and rely on the rare individual with integrity. I believe the lack of blatant pandering in the democratic party makes them slightly less corrupt, while the lack of any moral courage on their part makes me unwilling to argue strongly on their behalf. Clinton, the front runner is a poll sitting joke. She doesn't pretend to stand for anything unless redundant polls show it to be very popular. She is no more dedicated to the positive aspects of her party than dick or w is to their's. She appears ready to say anything, true or false, to garner power. I don't see a really big distinction between her and w, and I crave for something very different. Not another tool of the military industrial complex Ike warned us about. That is why I don't support Ms Clinton. She appears to be in politics to get what she can out of it, and I want someone who is in politics to make a difference for the better.