The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back from Vacation

Back from Thanksgiving vacation with a ton of work on my new PDA , the Dana by AlphaSmart.  It’s basically a Palm device with a full-sized keyboard.  Made of the same kind of high-impact plastic used to form NFL helmets, it runs 24 hours on a single charge, and seems just about perfect for writers.  Slip it into your backpack and go!  More later as I continue to learn about it, but right now I’ve been recovering from the trip, lazing about on my couch and typing with my fingers in my lap.  Cool.
Wow!  Yet another shooting of an unarmed black man.  A 23-year old named Sean Bell was the center of a fifty-bullet hail of gunfire.  I don’t know if the cops were white, but I’m sure that will come out over time.  Just another example of the pattern we’ve talked about—itchy trigger fingers de-inhibited by centuries of programming that says black males are dangerous, and worth less than whites.  Please note that I believe that if the cultural factors were reversed, black cops would be gunning down white suspects with the same frequency.  Something must be done, but aside from raising consciousness, I have no direct ideas.
Listening to Dennis Miller on Fox Saturday was fascinating. He used to be a pretty neutral comedian—attacking whoever happened to be in power, like a good court jester should.  Then 9/11 happened, and like much of America, he flipped hard to the Right.  Fair enough—but he also stopped being very funny, and ultimately lost his HBO gig.  I was interested in hearing what he’d have to say to the Democrats after their victory (and yes, I do think that it was their victory, rather than what many pundits are saying: the Democrats didn’t win, the Republicans lost.  Pish.  One could as easily say that about any election.)

I wasn’t disappointed, and was actually proud of his consistency.  He simply said that, more than anything else, more than EVERYTHING else, that the Dems must keep their eye on the bouncing ball called Islamo-Fascism.  Fair enough, Dennis.  I share your hope: there are genuine, no-b.s. concerns there.  I hope you like what you see.  What’s more, I hope one day soon you’ll be funny again.  I’ve missed you.

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