Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Club

Did everyone get a look at the picture of President Obama when he was testing out the marshmallow gun at the science fair this past week? I've said before that campaigns (and being president is the campaign that never ends) sooner or later reveal the candidates, warts and all. To me this picture revealed a feeling of "Wow. It is so cool being president. Here I am, a grownup, and nobody can stop me from playing with this kid's marshmallow gun. How cool is that?! Romney would probably just ask the kid how much he'd collected from selling the manufacturing rights. No way am I giving this up to a guy like him."

And, speaking of Romney, was it impressive that Mitt not only carried the Maine GOP caucus vote, but the neocon Red Meat vote that is otherwise called CPAC? You know - where the uber right gather annually to declare war on whoever stands in their way?
I guess winning those contests is better than losing them, but it's tough to pop the bubbly when you realize that the Maine folks had a week to vote and only about 2% of them even bothered. That's right. The state has a quarter million Republicans, but the total vote was under 6,000, of which Mitt's share was just short of 40%. He could have met every one of his voters in one day and slipped them each a Franklin for less than the value of his horses.
And the CPAC landslide? You could vote on line, but only about 3,000 people did, a tiny drop into a teeny bucket. Sure, Romney topped the others, but 40% was still just out of reach. I think New York alone has more millionaires than that, depending on how you count all the pro athletes who actually live somewhere else.

I'm the last one capable of spotting new tech trends, but I have noticed that non-TV networks have put a toe into the making of software, I mean, programming. Yahoo, for instance, has what must be a tiny investment going in a twice a week reality show called "Failure Club". Each show goes about 7-10 minutes. Since you're watching it on a computer, you can pick the time.
The idea isn't all that new. Take a handful of people with unfulfilled lifelong dreams, talk to them on a regular basis, give them a year to make the dream come true and send cameras out to follow their progress. One guy wants to rebuild a motorcycle in honor of his late father. A woman in her 50s wants to take up equestrian jumping. Another wants to establish a business offering handyman services. A young woman wants to establish herself in standup comedy. None of them want to change the world, just their lives.
I find it easy to root for these people, described as "brave New Yorkers". I didn't know there was any other kind. They are all, naturally, riddled with fear, but still they go forward. The camera is unblinking, showing their reactions to both good and bad days. They all have skills that have carried them thus far in life, and can therefore offer help to each other as well. Some have supportive spouses. The would-be equestrian's mother, who looked about 100, surprised me by offering her blessing to the daughter's quest.
It's of course too early to tell whose efforts will pay off, and it's possible that the whole thing could get tiring by the end of the year. The goals seem high enough that none will succeed without a struggle, but that's the whole idea. At any rate, it's kind of refreshing to see people working hard for something that doesn't involve a trophy, a lucrative new contract or a political office. Here's to personal fulfillment and making dreams come true.


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