IN MY OPINION
JUST PASSING THROUGH
19 February 2007
We have arrived back home from Santa Barbara and I will be here long enough to do a load of wash, perhaps write a feature article (or not--it may have to be finished in San Rafael), perhaps pick up the dogs in the morning, tho Walt may graciously perform that chore for me, and head back to San Rafael, to be there by lunchtime, as my mother's stepdaughter has to go home early. Whew.
It was a pretty quiet day, all things considered. We all slept past 7 (everybody but me way past 7), had breakfast at the house and eventually all ended up at Joe's house. Joe and Alice Nan were working, I was posting my 2/18 journal entry; Walt left us all there and went to visit his mother.
Then we had nothing to do but get out of town, drive to Burbank, drop off the PT Cruiser, go through security, and wait for our plane to leave.
We stopped at a restaurant in the airport for "dinner" and then I smuggled half of it with me through security, certain that on the heels of the infamous toothpaste incident, I would find myself arrested for trying to sneak in a turkey wrap, but no, the x-ray machines didn't find it...or didn't care.
The flight home was uneventful and my iPod worked just fine, so even though I have been warned that the moon is in retrograde and technological glitches can be expected to continue for another 3 weeks, at the moment, all is right in my world.
Despite having brought enough electronic gadgets to qualify as a CompUSA auxiliary, this actually was more of a reading trip. I picked up a Dean Koontz book that I found in my office--I haven't a clue where it came from-- and stuck it in my bag. Since the iPod failed on the plane, I ended up getting hooked on that book on the flight down and I think I finished it the next morning.
Then I dove into "Cross," by James Patterson, which Marta had given me for Christmas. Well, it's a given that James Patterson is a page-turner and before I knew it, I could see that I would soon finish and still had two more days to go.
Fortunately Alice Nan lives near a Borders.
I shopped at the "3 for 2" table and picked up three books, one of which was "Running with Scissors," which I finished this morning. What a weird book! As memoirs go, I think this is probably the weirdest you'll ever read. I can't think that the recent movie that was made can even begin to do justice to it.
When I finished that one, I started "Those Who Save Us," a novel by Jenna Blum. (I deliberately did NOT buy James Patterson, John Grisham or Robin Cook when I went shopping, figuring I should read something else for a change).
I'm already more than halfway through Blum's book. We read an awful lot, both documentaries and fiction, about the things that happened in the ghettos and in the concentration camps during Hitler's rise to power. We frequently say "why didn't the Germans stop him?"
Blum tells the story of some of those "good Germans" and the conditions they found themselves in, the propaganda that was force fed them, and the kinds of things that they did to survive. It's really a very good story, and a look at the other side, which we don't often get.
In speaking of the good Germans and how they allowed Hitler to come to power, I watched Tony Snow on Meet the Press this morning and, more than his words, I had two really strong impressions: First how he was so incredibly smooth and professional and that Scott McClellan was like a kid fresh out of college doing his first job in comparison.
But second, I marveled at the power of words to shape the message you are trying to get across. I don't know if I'm going to be able to describe exactly what I mean, because the moment went by so quickly, but it was in comparing something Clinton had done in Iraq to what GW had done in Iraq. Snow's use of words was so subtle, but it instantly minimized Clinton's strength and underscored GW's. I wish I could remember the two words now.
I also noticed that he never says "George Bush," but always "George W. Bush," so there is no possibility of people in later generations confusing him with his father.
And basically, I think the guy could sell refrigerators to Eskimos. Heck, he almost had ME believing it and I don't believe most of what comes out of the White House any more. He's a very smooth operator!
And, as I said, watching Snow's interview and then reading this book about the good Germans living in Germany as the Jews were being carted off to concentration camps makes you realize how it could happen, how they had no control, how their minds could be manipulated.
Just like.... well, just like the people who reelected George W. Bush.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2517