Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eggs and Baskets

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Depends. I had a shoulder operation in the second semester of my Sophomore year in High School. I had to lay out of a considerable portion of that semester. So I took comprehensive exams at the end of the school year. I did ok. One of my teachers advised 'putting all my eggs in one basket'. Interesting how sayings/wive's tales are two sided coins. Or how pinning all your hopes on one person/scenario can fail.

I remember calling a guy in show business who was a mentor for me. He was well established and was a source of great advice re steps to take and how to craft my career. I called unthinkingly during the Democratic Convention in 2004. His wife answered. She seemed anxious and asked if I could call later. Sure I said. She explained that John Kerry was about to address the Convention. Her tone was not just anxious. It was awestruck. It was as though the Messiah was appearing. I rang off and left her to her idol.

These people were not stupid. Her husband was one of the most successful people in Hollywood. As said, he helped me greatly and kept me focussed when there was much against me. I never talked about that call with him nor his wife ever. But I was struck how easily some people think one person is the 'cat's meow'. How they are willing to follow in the name, say of security or 'social justice'.

It's that time of year. Elections are coming up. Good time to decide who's who and what's what. It's nasty here in Indianapolis. Bart Peterson is arguably the most corrupt mayor we have had. I will talk about this shortly in another thread. Stultifying comes to mind that people are pushing for his reelection.

There are those with business interests, political gain etc who back such people. It's bad business and exploitation they back. I don't care about them in a sense. OTOH exposure is good for them. Stopping them is good for them. I care much more for folks like my friend's wife, like the people looking for a quick fix, even when time and again this has failed, even with the same person. Reminds me of those '5 year plans' in Russia and China.

Of course, I don't pretend to think we can change a lot of these sheeple. Some are forever lost in Oz or Never-neverland. But, we CAN convince SOME to think for themselves and dig for truth. Then perhaps they can do likewise.

There are very few sure things in this world, especially in politics, for whom we should give our all. Save some eggs for later. Check out whoever seems right for the job at hand. When they are right, when they fit more or less, support them. Just keep some eggs for a future omelette. Maybe you can become a leader yourself. At least lead yourself.

The Magnificent Seven

Great movie! Steve McQueen! James Coburn, Charles Bronson and the others in one of the best Westerns ever! Adventure at its best.

By now, those who read my musings kmow I'm quite the moviephile. I love them for many reasons. Sheer fun, entertainment are important. But I don't mind a message in the ravioli.

A small village in Mexico is being exploited by bandits. They come and steal food and whatever spoils they can find. The people live in terror, fear. Some of the ones who want to fight go to the town elder. He advises they go north of the border and find guns. If they want to be rid of the bandits, they must fight. Common sense, huh?

They meet Chris, played by Yul Brynner. He advises them to hire gunfighters. They agree and Chris goes about recruiting as many as he can find. He meets Vin played by Steve McQueen. They transport the body of a murdered Indian to the town graveyard. Everyone else in town was too scared because they were intimidated by a bunch of bigots who don't want a 'redskin' buried with whites. Chris and Vin make short work of getting the body to Boot Hill and discourage the bigots by facing them down. They are willing to fight to allow the burial. Once they succeed, of course everyone else is willing to help!

From that point they assemble the other men. Each is a gunfighter. They don't hesitate to kill when necessary. Yet they seem to have heart as well. I'll save a deeper insight into each for a movie review sometime. For now, suffice it to say they have their own reasons for going to this village. It's not the pay. There is little money involved. Needing to lie low, possible treasure and a 'busman's holiday' are foremost purpose. It turns to something more later.

When they arrive they immediately start training the villagers how to fight. There was some thought that they would do the fighting, solve the problem. The people quickly learn that they themselves must do their part if they want to be free. They are taught to shoot and to build defense works. They organize. Can anyone say militia? The Seven lead the way of course.

When the bandits led by Calveras arrive, it is the Seven who directly engage them at first. The villagers learn and gain courage by their example. They join in the fight to free themselves. They become self confident. Though there are ups and downs and seeming defeat, the Seven persevere, as do the villagers. Can we do less?

The Seven test themselves and their befriended villagers. Once Vin quips that their progress is like the man who jumped off a ten story building. He was heard to say as he descended, 'So far so good.....' Another time, he says there was a guy who took off his clothes and jumped in a bed of cactus. He was asked why. He replied that it seemed like a good idea at the time...... The Seven had been surrounded some of the villagers suborned and it looked like it was over for them. Not hardly! They fought and four of the Seven died, along with several villagers. That is the ultimate 'something more'.

So let it be with us. May we inspire others to fight on all levels. May we meet the test, though we may not be saints. We may have many reasons, like our ancestors, let alone the Seven. As long as we do. As long as we are a part of it.

War of the Worlds

Anyone with kids has probably comforted them when they have had nightmares. It's ok. Daddy's here. Don't be afraid. Fear can be a strong motivator. It can stop us in our tracks, make us back up, or we can move forward.

Remember the War of the Worlds? Based on H. G. Wells sf story of Martian invasion, it was a radio drama performed October 30, 1938. Apparently, some people thought we were actually being invaded by Martians. There was, to some degree, panic. How intense is conjecture. Some people fell for a radio play, not even a hoax. There is of course a conspiracy theory that it was a psychological warfare experiment. Whatever it was, the result was some panic and disorientation among some people.

People are more easily controlled when afraid. That is, if one allows fear to paralyze. Holding a child and murmuring, 'don't be afraid' means one of two things to me. We either want a child to be safe and not worry. We want a child to forget what scares them. Or, we want that child to face fear. To remember what frightens, to confront it and let it go. That is safety to me and my children.

When a situation arises, look it in the eye. Don't be afraid. When something in the back of the mind gnaws at emotion, stare it down. Be ready to fight. Move forward. Fight fear with awareness! Don't be afraid! (More on this soon)