Wednesday, December 19, 2012

...but wouldn't it be nice? -OR- Tremulous Dreams

In 1988, at the age of 34, I was a relatively new father of two amazing babies; born 22 months apart. A daughter first, then a son. My pub crawling days were behind me (mostly). My family moved into our first (and only) home. Head down, nose to the grindstone, babies need new shoes! In the blink of an eye, my daughter was being dropped off for her first day of pre-school. Another blink and it was my son.
Blink, blink...They're both college graduates today, working in education.

I think about those blinks a lot. Part blur; part vivid memory. Amazing kids. Normal kids. Smart kids. The journey began as the typical two-working parents and daycare platform. It evolved. But wait! We didn't have kids for someone else to raise and nurture. We wanted a full-time stay-at-home parent, June & Ward Cleaver life. We agreed. We weighed our options. We went for it with a twist. Rather than June waiting for Ward to arrive home from work, it was the other way around.

It was a tough transition financially. Sacrifices were made, but we made it work.
I found flexible work. Temporary work. Part-time gigs. Then ramped up to full-time in the summer months when my teacher/wife could be home for the kids. Far from perfection and outside of the norm, but as I said, we made it work. Everybody. The whole family. Understood.

Anyway, I'm telling you this as foundation for one of those clarifying, for me, vivid memories. My daughter was on a play date and my son went down for his afternoon nap. I flipped on the TV as the opening credits for a movie on HBO were rolling. "Amazing Grace & Chuck". William Peterson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gregory Peck...
Sounds interesting. If you missed this movie? No surprise. It was hokum, got bad reviews, although both Siskel and Ebert liked it.

The premise is that a little league pitcher (the best in his league) becomes an activist after being given a tour of a nuclear missile base. He decides to give up little league as long as these weapons exist. His boycott gets media coverage. A basketball star of the Boston Celtics, reads about the kid and decides to go see him.
He decides the kid shouldn't be alone, so he quits too and joins Chuck's cause. Now it's huge news.

Chuck's boycott grows and spreads, affecting sports around the globe. Then an evil rich guy orders a hit on the basketball star, blows up a private jet, so Chuck quits talking, so do his friends and that spreads globally too until kids everywhere aren't talking.

Hey, I told you it was hokum. But good hokum. Inspiring...

The President (Gregory Peck) gets involved. He... aww forget it. I checked and the movie is available on Netflix. Watch it for yourself. I think it's worth your time and holds up well despite the geo-political changes. Yeah, it's pure unbridled fantasy... but... "wouldn't it be nice?"

What triggered this memory? Doh! Our politics? The cascading tragedies? Our floundering, flailing logjams? Well yes, but it was the President's remarks at the Sandy Hook vigil/memorial when he said he would use "whatever powers his office has"... that made me remember Gregory Peck as POTUS calling the evil rich guy in the middle of the night (and thanks to the intertubes I was able to easily find the dialog):

President: Call him, now.
Aide: Is this Mr. Alexander Jeffries?
One moment, please, for the President of the United States.
President: Mr. Jeffries, we've never met.
Do you recognize my voice?
Jeffries: Yes, sir.
President: Good.
As of tomorrow morning, you will divest yourself of all financial holdings of companies public and private.
This will include your immediate resignation of all directorships and offices, as well as the sale of all stocks held by you at the market price as of tomorrow's opening.

Is all of this clear so far?
Jeffries: Yes, sir.
President: Stay very clean, Mr. Jeffries.
The FBI, the IRS and every agency under my authority will be on your tail for the rest of your life, you son-of-a-bitch!
Good night.

When I envision Wayne La Pierre, Fred Phelps, Rupert Murdoch, Pam Geller, Orly Taitz, Sean Hannity, Roger Ailes, Dick Armey, Karl Rove, Newticles, Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers getting this 2 am phone call, I get goosebumps.

...but wouldn't it be nice?


Suzan said...

Yeah, baby! I'm with you.

So nice it seems like something that could happen (as it's firmly grounded in the reality that needs to be rectified.)

And yet . . .

I'd say 80% of the American voters know that there are no politicians with the integrity to do so.

Happy Holidays.

Love ya,


amber ladeira said...

So at the last possible second, the "elect" may have realized that the voters actually put people into office, not the contributors, as significant as they are. We've backed away from the cliff, but Congress is STILL scarcely heroic.

Happy New Year, and keep watching the idiots in office. The movie sounds good. Best Wishes, A.

zachary klein said...

Good post. Thanks.