I listen to radio news reports and watch TV just like all of you. I do read a few blogs that pop up on my News Feed but I’m careful to read stories only from credible (or supposedly credible) news sites. I try to stay away from people who are just bloggers with no particular credentials to back up their news reporting. Citizen journalism leaves much to be desired. I am a communications major and I guess my master’s degree does give me some room to write a blog but I feel I should stay within the boundaries of my area of expertise.
Over time we all gain a wider degree of expertise. I worked with Dr. Covey back in the day helping to develop new course materials and products to help teach his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Teaching that material in seminars and college classes gave me the feeling that I had a right to an opinion in relation to the material. Same goes for what I learned about business practices. I studied Dr. Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline as well as the crazy ideas put forward by Tom Peters among other business experts. These folks had done their homework. I didn’t always agree with their theories but I respected them and took their research seriously.
Apple Computer contracted with the Los Angel’s marketing and advertising firm Chiat\Day to create the now famous Macintosh rollout for Super bowl XVII. Why 1984 wasn’t going to be like 1984. Chiat\Day also created the Think different advertising slogan that Apple used from 1997 to 2002. I really liked that campaign. I was an Apple developer at the time and I’m here to tell you, you had to think differently to conceive and write a program for the Mac. Today the tools we have for application development are phenomenal but in the beginning you had to create ALL the code for the GUI and Steve Jobs gave us a notebook of practices and procedures that we hadto follow if we wanted to release our software. That notebook was at least five inches thick. Wow. No more command line or event driven code. Now it was learning how to be in a wait state listening to things like a mouse as well as a keyboard. Scroll bars, drop down menus, widgets, well you get the picture. We programmers sure had to Think different!
I still like the idea. We should all Think different. Our differences are what allows us to see things from alternate perspectives and create solutions to problems never thought of when gentrified thinking is used. I mean, I love musical theatre, movie soundtracks, along with artists like Ruelle, Ursine Vulpine, Sigur Ros, Herb Alpert, Roger Miller, The Beatles and my favorite, The Who. In fact, Chris Isaac’s song Wicked Gamesas performed by Ursine Vulpine launched my current book that stands at over 108,000 words at the moment. I use a messy playlist as I write. Most days noise helps. Some days not so much.
I Think different. I believe in the 2ndamendment. I think guns don’t kill; people do. People kill with bombs, cars, knives or whatever is at hand when the spirit of death moves them. I believe in freedom of speech. Even when we don’t want to hear what’s being said. I like limited government but have no problem with same sex marriage. Our Constitution is a wonderful document that is inspired. I believe in God and your right not to. I don’t think government should provide for all our needs. I think we need to work hard for ourselves and our families. I think we as a society must help those in need and ask our government to provide a safety net as a last resort. I think government needs to fix the pot holes in the roads, replace ancient water and sewer lines and rebuild our crumbling bridges. I think we need secure borders but I’m open to the methods used to do that. I also think our government must fix the broken immigration system not just sit there arguing with Trump about a border wall. I don’t much like Trump but at least he’s doing something. Congress excels at spending our tax dollars convening useless hearings and avoiding the hard work of dealing with the major issues we face today.
I think the climate is changing but I also think we don’t have nearly enough data to make insane statements like we are all going to be dead in twelve years. Well, I might be but that’s just because I’m getting old. I worry for the future my kids and grandkids will inherit from me. I think we have cleaned up our messes here in the USA. I remember Love Canal and the need for the government to establish the superfund to help clean up these messes unscrupulous companies left all over the country. I think our cars run clean and use fuel with great economy. I think we can do better. I think we need to get companies like Facebook and Google under control. I remember the days when the phone company ran the world. Smart regulation brought that to an end and now it’s Facebook and Google who need to face reasonable regulation so our lives are secure and our country safe. There was a time when the FCC regulated broadcasting and publication companies’ ability to influence elections but they don’t regulate the internet. Opinion pages are fine but corrupt journalism is unacceptable. Remember, I’m a communications major.
Art is where we express opinions. We explore our humanity. Art must be honest or it’s useless. Journalism must be honest as well. Unlike art, journalism can influence public opinion in a wider way and push our government to shape policies that impact our lives. I think banning these supposed assault rifles is nothing more than bravado. It’s a hey mom look at me, I did somethingmove. I think comprehensive background checks will be more beneficial in the end. Like I said, if a person wants to kill, they’ll find a way. Humans are resourceful.
I think there needs to be more support for the arts. So many voices are not being heard because they can’t break through the noise created by the popular culture. I mean Star Wars is much more important than a photojournalist’s story about the opioid epidemic that’s burning up the world. I love Captain Marvel but folks, she’s not real and we don’t need to be saved from the Kree. We need to save the lives of those dying in Venezuela. Art tells stories and yes, some of it is purely for entertainment and I think that’s not all bad but we can’t ignore the real issues in the world that most artists and journalists are attempting to show us.
Enough for now. If you want to glimpse into my thinking look at my YouTube account. You’ll see my kids singing, ufo videos, J-pop stars, Sailor Moon, some of my movie & book promos, science lessons, magic tricks, some amazing music and even why Loki had to die in the last Avenger movie. I love to learn and I love to think. I ask you all to think for yourselves. Learn all you can. Come along with me and maybe we can find new solutions to old problems and really do something to change the world. I’m just saying. It could happen.