Acting Up

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

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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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Isn't that cute.

Everybody else has this labeled "McCain Thinks Venezuela Is In The Middle East." Which is more distressing? He didn't catch himself screwing the pooch again (at least within the time frame of this clip), or that the boobleheads applauding him didn't seem to notice?

PS - Booblehead is my new moniker for those swallowing the neocon pill...

A Real Representative -- Thank You Mr. Jay Inslee!

I called Jay Inslee's office on Monday, and talked to a live staffer! Voice mail for Murray, and Cantwell's voice mail was whacked. The man I talked to mentioned other people had told him Cantwell's voice mail was broken. I've railed on her a number of times for supporting Bush fear tactics and corporations too often, so that didn't make me think she is suddenly interested in non-millionaires.

Inslee (like my experiences with Murray in the past) was a refreshing difference. I wasn't rushed and was able to cogently state my concerns, that we not rush through a bill for a huge bailout, which removes any motive for exercising responsibility for the corporations who made the mess. As I griped earlier, I really don't want to support the republican fantasy of depleting government funds for their rich buddies at the expense of social security and any hope of meaningful health care reform.

Apparently a lot of other people voiced the same concern, and the Honorable Mr. Inslee listened to us instead of dubya's latest calls of "Wolf!"

Now, I wish I'd made the obvious suggestion. Give them 70 billion with a preponderance of strings, and make sure it is invested wisely and that the corporals of industry are forced to ask for more every damn time it is needed, instead of passively waiting around for their slice of our pie.

Why should we be rushed? The neo-con government and their corporate partners have never rushed to help us (Katrina, bridges, and other infratructure), and I'd challenge the notion they've ever done anything with the primary aim of helping their constituents/customers. I do not believe this is very urgent, and certainly not as dire as the chicken-hawks declare. At least make them sweat while they wait for their corporate welfare checks. Maybe it will make them less sanguine about the republican culture of entitlement.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Republican Bailout Package

Don't Throw Me In That Briar Patch

The Savings and Loan bailout because of republican's Laissez-faire approach to high finance ruled out any meaningful social programs for a generation as we paid down their Reagan-Bush debt. Now we are again bailing out the upper caste as a result of the republican's Laissez-faire approach to high finance. Along with Iraq. Now we'll be paying down the Cheney-Bush debt for the next generation.

Our wealth gets diverted to the ultra-rich for their tinkle down on the masses fantasy world. Once the debt they created is paid down and the democrats want to do something for you and I, the conservatives screech like the worst brat in the K-Mart toy section about tax and spend democrats until the voters, like an embarrassed weak-willed parent, give in and give them whatever they want to stop the whining.

This time they drove up the tax burden so far that paying back the money borrowed from social security will be nigh impossible. How many people know that if our politicians hadn't looted social security in the first place there would not be any impending crisis? I suspect the republican goal of destroying social security will be enabled this week. "Health care?", you ask. They say, "Fuck you, Daddy needs a bailout kiddies. So, quit your belly-aching and get a job if you want luxuries."

Next on the conservative... Privatizing water.

At least one person states what seems obvious:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's Worse Than You Think

More and more I'm thinking there is no need for a bailout. The one bank which actually failed, WaMu, appears to have had it's doors closed by banking regulators. That's an oversimplification, but demonstrates my non-nuanced view.

What is important and absolutely straightforward is that it was gobbled up by Chase. What would a bailout do for such institutions? Provide extra incentive for the surviving predators, thus reducing competition while greatly increasing their power over our leaders. If there is a bailout, it must have a stipulation the institution cannot not then be absorbed by a bigger one without repaying the taxpayers with interest -- the same level as applied to credit cards for the poor. I don't see the risk as being any different.

Local WaMu employees are getting axed, Chase is now even bigger and more influential and will drive government policy even more than in the past. We need to be regulating these big boys out of business. If we are to survive, if our government is ever going to govern corporations instead of the reverse we need to go back to trust busting. Now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Three is Crowding Me

Last thing yesterday evening I found out Richard Grant, one of my best grade school friends died recently of brain cancer. Then first thing this morning I found out about Paul Newman. I of course never knew Mara or Paul personally but had short connections. Mara through a co-worker, and Paul through my uncle. They raced professionally at the same time and same circuits. Now, Uncle Spence was a son of a bitch, known as one of the most talented and gifted drivers out there, but one of the dirtiest too. Paul Newman and Dick Smothers were known for being class acts and surprisingly good drivers. Ironic on several levels -- I'll remember Paul more fondly because of my uncle.

I met Richard as Ricky and as we approached junior high he became Rick, and was Richard in his Obit. We were best friends for years, with the occasional half a day here and there as mortal enemies. I had two other friends like that, so he was a very big part of my early life. Funny, in addition to all the memories of childhood joys and games I remember a mole he had on his face. His right cheek back towards the temple or was it the jaw or cheek bone? It impressed me, and made me a little jealous because it had a couple big blond hairs. I mean, how cool is that? I've tried to track him and his sister down a time or two over the last few years to see if they are on any social networks. It's fun to touch base with people you knew years ago, but this is not my preferred way of catching up. I hope his family and friends are doing well. I remember him as a charming, good, and fun person.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Teach Me

I received an E-mail from a co-worker telling me Mara had passed away after a year long fight with cancer. I was trying to figure out who she was as I didn't remember working with her, or on Mara's Team. Then I followed the link and remembered. She was six years old.

Richard knew of her through his local kindergarten, and he had participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I made a modest donation and remembered looking at the web site at that time. I sincerely wished her well, but didn't follow her progress as things did not look hopeful. I didn't have the heart at the time.

Even so I'm shedding tears now, while realizing that being a soft touch is better than not being able to shed a tear. I wish could have done more, and yet know there was nothing I could have done. It looks like there was a lot of support there, and while I pray nothing like that will happen to people I know, it reminds me tragedy doesn't often RSVP. I believe I would be one of those people giving support. If nothing more than playing and reading with them. I've found children enjoy those interchanges as much as I do.

I don't understand what it means to be at the end of life, and I expect I'm at least half way there with time rushing past the windows of my soul. It breaks our hearts when we see someone so young facing that which we avoid dwelling on as long as we can.

The few times I've interacted with or seen children in an end of life situation I've seen more acceptance and peace than I can imagine having myself. We have a whole medical industry based on emptying estates of the very old for a few extra weeks in misery -- something I was a little surprised my stepmom, a geriatric nurse, seemed to heartily sympathise with me on. We grown-ups refuse to accept that which cannot be changed and grasp onto no-quality life rather than celebrating the good we've experienced. Perhaps we have much, much more to learn from young children in that situation than we have to teach them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Edsel for President?

McCain had a huge media advantage, as they had for years accepted his maverick persona and showed no inclination to slow down their cultish worship of the man. Until he attacked them. First for daring to cover Obama, then for covering only his most egregious lies.

It seems that McCain's patina is something below the popularity level of 1960 Edsel.

It's starting to look like my pessimistic feeling that McCain would be elected through judicious use of smears, fear mongering, and passive-aggressive keyword racism of the right may not come to pass. If that is so, will selecting Palin or suspending his campaign be viewed as his moment of jumping the shark? Or is he trying to win by jumping a whole bunch of sharks at one time?

I wonder how much pain it causes him to put strings on the bailout for the Wall Street Wealthy. Thoughts?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Conspiracy Fallacy

I was suckered from the google news page to an article about the financial meltdown and bailout. It was an article titled Plausible Deniability, and I didn't notice it was from the most egregious purveyor of misinformation in modern history. At the end of the first paragraph foxnews says:
If you believe the Times or the Obama campaign, everything but government regulation is to blame for the crisis.
They actually put that in print. So according to the fox reality, "If you believe the Times or the Kennedy Widow, everything but JFK himself is to blame for the assassination of the 35th president." That's right, and you heard it here first. At fox they believe Jack Kennedy shot himself dead with a remotely positioned high powered rifle.

Oh, the icing on the cake. They blame Clinton for the financial meltdown. It was no surprise, as I read several pieces speculating on how long it would take them to blame Clinton for the latest of their boy king's disasters. I bet there were a lot of betting pools on that. Congratulations if you won.

Is fox finally jumping the shark? Probably not. They haven't run out of people they can fool into living in fear or willful ignorance. What should really worry us all is that this is not the rantings of the neighborhood lunatic, but mass consumed drivel that we cannot write off as inconsequential.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


So, this has been my life the last month, and probably the next month. Being a software developer I get Dilbert, however I usually don't feel like I'm living it in such an exact manner.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Turn About is Not Fair?
Precedents Don't Count for People Who Matter

I believe hacking someone's E-mail is wrong. Period. That's because I respect the constitution and believe in privacy and a host of other things for which the neocons degrade us moderates and progressives.

I really am crying a thimble full of crocodile tears for Palin. She represents the far right which believe privacy and other personal safeties are quaint and have no weight compared to what they perceive as their common good. Our current leaders don't even believe these safeties merit dialog before abrogating 200+ year precedents.

So, the hackers who have bought and sold our government will get away with far more egregious and widespread hacking of citizens (e.g. retroactive immunity for blatant FISA violations), while those who hacked a single hack politician for the common good will face the full force of our unequal justice system.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Star Musing

Every once in a while the stars align and you can perceive and actually believe your art is growing and improving. For a moment anyway.

This Summer I was in As You Like It on the basis of an earlier audition for MacBeth with the same company. For another director in the same company I auditionedn for a show this Fall, but was invited to a callback and subsequently cast for a different show early next year. I had an audition on Saturday, and I was not cast but the director wrote me a very complimentary Email, asking if she could call on me later. So, even without being cast they turned out to be three very successful auditions. I'm also precast for a "pirate" show, and looking forward to that. It is for the same folks who put on Noah Way Out, which was tremendously enjoyed by cast and audience. In fact it is the same writer, and he's writing the part with me in mind.

Sunday night I went to an Open House at Freehold, mostly to see their new digs and meet the instructors for the classes I signed up for (Solo Performance and Voice Over). I chatted with George, telling him I'd like a little guidance as I'd been asked to consider conducting a mask workshop for the theatre group that put on Noah Way Out. George was excited, asking me to call so we could get together and talk about it. I was prepared to explain that I'd talked up how helpful I thought mask work was, and that was why I was asked, but George didn't really give me the chance for my self-effacing explanation. His immediate enthusiasm was an indirect compliment which later reminded me of a number of little successes, including those I mentioned above.

It is so much easier to berate myself. Why is that? Is it the disproportionate guilt over the little feeling of happy smugness when I feel good about where I'm going? Or because I know how much better I could do if I had the time? Some combination I'm sure. I am hungry to learn more skills and hone the ones I have, so I have a bigger toolbox to select from for the next show.

I've found that having more things to try, allows me to make better decisions when preparing with the time constraints of a full time day job. Some shows doing more animal work feels like the ticket, others more Meisner type imagery, some want more classical treatment, or more text analysis. I suspect even with the time to do everything I'd still focus more on the items that feel like they'd be more effective for the project at hand. There is no rule, just a feeling of what I want to work on based on the piece and my mood, and what I feel can make the most difference at that moment. More than a little intuition. Notice, I didn't jump to the conclusion that it is consistently good intuition. ; )

I'm looking forward to the classes. Even when work is too busy to let me work on a show (which to be fair is not often), I can still be productive and find ways get outside my comfort zone.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

One Way

Are the hate mongers like Rush and BillO feeling deep disappointment the robber barons holding their leashes aren't letting them practice character assassination on palin and daughter? You know if it was a democrat the opening salvo would have been a rumor that Levi was actually her brother, secretly adopted out to avoid some scandal. Or are the gop junkyard dogs so well trained they don't even think of attacking mouthpieces for their rich masters? I believe the answer to my rhetorical question is yes? I would love to look at one of them when the question is posed. It would be same look you'd get after asking dubya to derive the quadratic equation. No guys, counting on your fingers won't help.

Per the rove playbook of going after the opponents strengths I guess the republicans have a lot of avenues of attack when it comes to Obama. When we look to attack the strengths of McCain and Palin, well we gotta' find other things to attack. So far it seems Palin is most admired for 'her' lipstick joke. Come on folks, what a tired old joke. Is that the best they can do to highlight her cleverness, charm, and humor? It was funny the first time I heard it in the 8th grade. By high school it was older than nehru jackets.