Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Kimmel’

Letter From Claverack 05/04/2017 The time is nigh…

May 4, 2017

Well, the time is nigh.  Today Republicans voted, successfully, on “Repeal and Replace,” hoping to end the Affordable Care Act with their own American Health Care Act.  “Obamacare,” long despised by Republicans, may be gone and they will have had their way and many of them will be holding their breath that it does not go badly wrong because if it does, the piper will need to be paid.

We will find out if, as President Trump says, pre-existing conditions will be covered or as Democrats are saying, they will not.  If they are covered, it does seem coverage will be much more expensive.

Not a fan of Jimmy Kimmel, I was profoundly moved by his discussion of his newborn son’s heart surgery.  If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch it.  It is from the heart. [Yes, pun intended.]  Please look here.

As I ponder this, I am, not surprisingly, listening to jazz, being all hygge at the cottage, sitting in my favorite corner on the couch, starting preparations for a Friday night dinner party.  Have I mentioned I tend to look at the Food Section of the New York Times before I read the news?  First thing, comfort and coffee, and then I hit the hard stuff.

Yesterday marked the month anniversary of my once a week radio program.  My first guest was Jeff Cole, CEO of the Center for the Digital Future at the Annenberg School of Communications, part of USC.  We talked futures.  How we are changing and being changed by technology.

His great concern, and I share it, is how we will, as individuals and society, adapt to the coming advent of AI, artificial intelligence, which is already shaping our lives.  Last night, as I was heading to bed, I paused and asked Alexa to set two alarms for me and they went off flawlessly, a soft chirping sound in the dark which could be eliminated by a command:  Alexa!  Snooze! And she snoozes.

I am experimenting with Siri, changing her responses from American English to British English.  All fun and games until we get to the moment when the machines decide we are superfluous.  Think the Terminator movies or the Hyperion novels which, to me, are more likely than the Terminator scenario. [In some respects, particularly Book One.]

Since I was very young, I’ve been a space enthusiast. Stephen Hawking, the phenomenon of a physicist, has warned us we have about a hundred years to get off the planet.

We could do it if we put all our energies to it but I don’t think jihadists are going to put down their guns to get us into space.

Outside, there are soft sounds and the trees are blooming.  In the morning when I wake, I thank God that I get to look out at the creek and am here, in Claverack, a place that centers my soul as no other place ever has.  When I look out, I am sometimes nostalgic for the time fifteen years ago when the geese formed a flotilla on my waters.  They are mostly gone now.

It sometimes reminds me of an episode of “Star Trek: Next Generation” in which Jean Luc’s brain is infused with the memories of a dead civilization and one of the signs of their passing was the drying up of a creek.  Occasionally, I stand on the deck and think: if the creek is gone, so are we.

However, today the creek still flows.

Generally, I am not fond of George Will, the conservative writer.  Today, I read an article of his that encapsulates my ongoing sense of unreality.  Read it here.

Encased in the safety of the cottage, I am doing my best to live in hope because we must live in hope. Hope is what has driven the race forward; it is what has brought millions of immigrants to our shore, who have shaped the country in which we live.  My great-grandparents, on my father’s side, were among them as were my grandparents on my mother’s side.  They came to the United States, buoyed by a sense of chance, of opportunity.

It’s hard for me to think that could change.

 

 

 

Letter From Claverack 09 23 2016 And what Springsteen said…

September 24, 2016

It has been days since I have written a letter.  Partially it is because I have been socially busy when I am usually not.   Lionel and Pierre are here.  Yesterday his sister and brother-in-law and their son Harry arrived from Australia.  Tomorrow they are leaving for a cruise in the Caribbean.  While they’re gone, I will be caretaker for Marcel for most of the time, a task I will both enjoy and of which I am afraid.  In less than a month, Marcel will be 16 years old.  He is a little old man who soldiers on with bravado.

Fall has officially arrived and leaves are beginning to flutter down upon the cottage.  Every few minutes an acorn falls on the roof.  While still warmish in the days, it cools significantly at night.  A cold front is arriving, the weatherman says.

It has been a hectic day, starting early with documents to review, followed by a string of conference calls and then more documents to review.  When I went online to post something for my class, I discovered that Blackboard is offline, as it is every Friday at this time, for maintenance. It will have to wait until morning.

Social busyness was the cover for my not wanting to write, to not think about the world.  I read the New York Times Briefing every day and have found discouragement in its contents.

More people have been shot.  A white female officer in Tulsa has been charged with manslaughter in the case there.  In Charlotte, North Carolina, the town that prided itself as being the epitome of the “New South,” is still parsing the death of a black man there while protests have grown violent, leaving one more dead.

At times, frankly, it makes me want to crawl into bed with a chill bottle of vodka and a straw.  More and more people are telling me they are tuning out the acrid political scene of this year.  They have determined which way they are going to vote and have no need to be brutalized anymore.

The first of the debates are upon us and I may steel myself to watch it.  I just don’t know how long I will last.

Two of the most deeply disliked individuals in America are running for President.  There is no joy in Mudville.

Palmer Luckey is one of the founders of Oculus, the VR hardware company scooped up by Facebook a bit ago.  He is funding an anti-Clinton, pro-Trump group and a small group of developers are now dropping their support for Oculus because of his politics.  It’s far from a boycott but is unusual and probably unprecedented in the gaming world.

Once nominated for President, candidates get Secret Service protection.  The Secret Service reimburses campaigns for the agents’ travel.  In Trump’s case, it goes to TAG Air, a company he owns.  It has received $1.6 million so far.  I get it…  Sort of… Kind of…

Looking for things to distract me from drownings of refugees, our sordid political landscape, I turned tonight to Entertainment News, which is what feeds the American mind most of the time.

“Magnificent Seven” reigns at the box office, headlined by Denzel Washington.

The more than decade long spectacle that has been “Brangelina” is coming to an end as Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.  It was a good show, classier than most, most of the time.

The Emmys have come and gone.  All reports [I didn’t watch] was that it was a good show.  Jimmy Kimmel was highly praised for his hosting but the back slapping industry love fest plummeted 22% from last year in ratings.

And Jim Parsons, of “Big Bang Theory” is now TV’s highest paid actor, with $25,000,000 coming in for the next, and possibly last, season of the show.

Oh, and Bruce Springsteen called Trump a “moron.”