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Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Shape of Things To Come

Happened to be a shop while, by chance, Obama's Nobel Prize acceptance speech was on the radio. Understandably criticized, it was generally compared to George Orwell's 1984. It made me think about a song that borrows from Orwell, Tracy Chapman's Why?, which you can (I hope) hear here.
Love is hate
War is peace
No is yes
And we're all free

But somebody's gonna have to answer
The time is coming soon
When the blind remove their blinders
And the speechless speak the truth

So what should upon my wandering eyes should appear but ABC-TV's schedule for Tuesday night, Dec 15: A Charlie Brown Christmas. From 8 to 9 pm - 1 hour. When they last broadcast it, LAST Tuesday, as noted here, squeezed into a half hour slot:

Gone was Sally’s materialistic letter to Santa, which finally sends Charlie screaming from the room when she says she will settle for 10s and 20s.

Gone was Schroeder’s miraculous multiple renditions of “Jingle Bells” from a toy piano, including the one that sounds distinctly like a church organ.

Gone was Linus using his blanket as an improvised slingshot to knock a can off the fence no one else can hit, complete with ricochet sound effect.

Gone were the kids catching snowflakes on their tongues and commenting on their flavor.

Gone even was poor Shermy’s only line. He thought he had it bad because he was always tasked to play a shepherd. He had no idea.

And why were all these classic scenes cut? To plug more ads into the show, of course. To sell burgers and greeting cards — and to relentlessly plug the insipid-looking new Disney “soon to be a classic” show immediately following.

So did ABC relent to some sort of pressure? Inquiring minds want to know. But THIS seems to be the viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas to watch - or record, even if it's filled with even MORE ads. And - it is hoped - an apology.
Still catching up, after two sick days this week. One of the truths I've long known is that when you're sick or injured, but don't act particularly sick or injured, people forget. I experienced that Wednesday, and I admit it: it made me rather cranky.
My wife and daughter both had a snow day, but they seemed to think it was MY snow day too; no, I'm home because ...ever look at a computer screen and see it as doubled, only slightly out of sync? That's what was happening to me. Yet the daughter wanted to play a game while the wife took a nap - a nap; *I* needed a nap. And when the wife announced that since we had this found opportunity, we could (oh, boy!) work on the household budget. No, no, no, it's YOUR found time; it's my SICK time. I almost escaped to the local library except I didn't want to infect strangers.

It's odd, but I hate taking off sick time. And I have LOTS of it. At the beginning of December, I had 145 days. If I use three in December, I still get 1.5, so I'll still have 143.5 days left. And it's not as though I get paid it out when I retire, or can apply the time to my health benefits; when I leave, I lose them. The only way I'll use them is if I have a catastrophic illness or injury. But it takes so little to fall behind at work - 180 e-mails and 14 phone messages to look at on Thursday.
Two children's birthday parties this weekend - goody.
I was looking at my face in the mirror recently and noticed that my cheeks are slightly darker than the rest of my face, as though the pigmentation after its loss in the vitiligo had returned. More recently, a small circle near my left temple and a larger circle around my right has also gotten darker. I find it odd that I really don't know what I look like from month to month of late.
When I was growing up, there were two songs, with similar titles, which appealed to me. One was The Yardbirds' Shapes of Things, which got up to #11 in the US pop charts in the spring of 1966. The other is Shape of Things to Come by Max Frost & The Troopers, which reached #22 in the fall of 1968. Seems to be my message du jour.


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