WiR 3.22.08: What You Should Care About

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wir_rockyivA great many things have happened this week in the world of politics, sports, entertainment, and inclement weather. Typically, I think a "week in review" type piece tries to sum up and analyze the biggest events, the most captivating headlines of the previous week. This is done in order to draw the largest audience. To talk about the things that matter the most to most people. But why should we do that? We don't care about what most people care about. We care about what people SHOULD care about and that's why we're here. We're here to clue you in to things that are actually important. So I'll warn you up front. For the moment, I've lost interest in the continuing saga of the "Spitzer Girl" or any other sex scandals in the greater Metro New York area. I said what I needed to say about March Madness years ago and not much has changed since then except that I hear you can watch the games live on the internet now. Too bad this invention didn't exist when I was in high school and when I cared about college basketball or basketball at all for that matter.

wir_jadamsThis week marked the 5th Year Anniversary of our aggressions in Iraq. What's funny about that? Nothing. But since we're on the topic of nation building, did anyone watch parts 1 and 2 of John Adams last Sunday? Really? Why not? Do you hate America or something? I've read the book, so I know what happens. I must say that the first two installments were certifiably riveting and an excellent adaptation of David MacCullough's book. Moreover it skillfully demonstrated John Adams ascendancy to prominence and how he was directly responsibly for many of the pivotal actions that were instrumental in the foundation this country. ##SPOILER ALERT## I can't wait to see the next episodes where John Adams goes on to become our first Vice President and our Second President. He will also die on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our country. July 4th 1826. This is also the same day Thomas Jefferson died. Crazy, right?

The other thing that mattered most this week, at least for Americans, more than the naked pictures of Audrina Partridge, which I enjoyed, more than the deaths of three influential and important British Artists; Arthur C. Clarke, Anthony Minghella, and Paul Scofield, and more than Anderson Cooper's skin cancer was Barack Obama's "More Perfect Union" speech about race in America. wir_barackThe speech was powerful, honest, biting, touching, and most importantly it was needed. Shit man, it was better than Rocky's speech at the end of Rocky IV and that's saying a lot. Seriously though, I'm not trying to diminish Obama's words. Quite the contrary. I dare you not to cry like a 14-year-old girl who just got her cell phone taken away after watching Rocky's Speech. Though his struggle against cultural disharmony was geared towards the Cold War, but it was the same powerful and honest message of hope, "If I can change and you can change, then everybody can change!" Obama is saying the same thing, but before we can solve the rest of the of our problems we need to solve the problem of race. Why? Because race is the elephant in the room in this country. My god, it's the prehistoric Woolly Mammoth in the room and it needs to be discussed and it needs to be sorted out. It needs to be discussed together, openly. Not with members of your own race where one has the courage to speak their mind. We need to stop firing people or disowning those who say things that have the possibility of offending. We need to offend each other because we need to know what we think of one another, honestly. Obama said as much and a lot more. Being of "mixed race" he is in a privileged position. Like Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in "X-Men" he is a shape shifter and can adapt to almost any racial make-up that surrounds him. More than this though, he spoke with courage. He did not tip-toe around the issue. He took it head on outlining the historical roots of the problem and how the blame and inequity continues and how we're all at fault. ALL OF US. What was most inspiring to me, above all else, was that there was not a single shred of political maneuvering in this speech. He was not pandering to any base. His words respected the intelligence of the American people. Jon Stewart said more eloquently, "and so at 11 o'clock am on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race as though they were adults." This is something that Clinton and McCain cannot do and cannot speak about with honesty. They lack a realistic understanding of any of the issues that matter to this country. Their actions are influenced mainly by political gains and losses. They are running to win. Obama is running to make a difference. The time to end Baby Boomer hegemony is now!

Obama made this speech in Philadelphia across the street form Independence Hall where John Adams and his crew got this whole thing started. If you had watched John Adams last Sunday night then you'd know that the founding father's had an opportunity to confront race directly at our foundation, but realistically, the timing wasn't right. Our country wouldn't exist at all if they had taken the issue on at that moment. Yet, the time is right now. Damn, don't you wish you'd watched John Adams so you'd be as fired up about America as I am?

Have a good week.

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