We continue to be surprised by how favorably the Trump style is received by American voters…and we really shouldn’t be. Gradually (much like frogs in a kettle on the fire) but persistently, behavior that was once anathema; “it’s all about me” is now applauded. 2016 is not your fathers Oldsmobile.
Once soldiers did not boast or exploit their valor for cash. Once athletes tried to “act as tho you’ve been there before” when crossing the goal line. THAT was respected as class. No more. A tv spot tonite shows a teenage woman taking her shot at the basket and (before it even lands) immediately turning to celebrate and draw focus to herself. That’s how we roll today. That’s what we reward.
So when Trump’s every other sentence uses “Tremendous!”, when hyperbole is no longer laughable but encouraged, little wonder that this bombastic media creation resonates with the genpop.
I liken Trump to Budweiser beer. Brand recognition, flashy advertising, constantly in your face…and fundamentally a mediocre, bland substitute for this ancient libation. Anyone who genuinely appreciates the art of brewing scoffs at such an uninformed choice. They know how many better beers exist…and we drink THEM. But there are a lot of people around us, lacking in taste – for a good beer or for an acceptable leader of our country. They eagerly respond to red baseball caps with jingoistic slogans and boastful promises.
“The king of beers”. Are you shitting me? I don’t vote for a leader with whom I want to have a beer. And even if I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t order a Budweiser.
There are relatively few photographs taken of me during my tour of duty. Pretty much every one will feature the crimson/violet bandanna around my neck. It was a gift from my soldiers after my first nite with my team and after my first night of combat. It signified that I had proven myself to them, that they trusted me, that I was one of them. I wore it every day.
It now sits in a shadow box above my computer in my study. It remains knotted…stained with ancient blood and severed below that knot by the scalpels of the extraction team medics. On that final mission, my carotid artery spurting, I tied it tight as I could. If it’s possible to tie a tourniquet around your throat, then that is what I did. And perhaps something that desperate was the difference between my death…and writing this post.
Such a resonant memento. I look at it every day…and I count my blessings. I hope you each count your own.
After a hearty breakfast buffet, shared with James and my wrangler, Stefani, I took a walk for exercise and provisions. Along the way, someone called out my name. I turned to discover Diene from Holland and a friend, who accompanied me to the grocery store. Underwhelmed by their single malt selection, I chose an old standby, rum. The cashier was very friendly, spoke of another store even further away but I was content. She assured me that I now had my “Bong” (receipt) and could return the rum if I wished to. After we stopped laughing, I decided not to comment on the two meanings of bong
A wonderfully stimulating q&a with convention guests who asked the questions that allowed me to share about many realities….work experiences, relationships, combat, creativity. Afterwards, spent I was led by Stefani to the stage door exit….and I stopped as she reached for the door. An overwhelming feeling of certainty about what lay behind. She opened the door…and I stepped into “my vision”, having known exactly what lay before me. I was rubbing both arms, the hairs standing on end, the hall exactly as I’d envisioned it. The strongest experience of déjà vu I’ve had in many years. I dreamt all this some time ago. And as always, curiously comforting.
Opening ceremonies…and I was SO used up Gathered myself to speak a few words of welcome, left much unsaid…tho lots occurred to me afterwards. This is somewhat a younger mans game…yet I will rest and rally on the morrow. We’ll visit Beethovens birthplace and other Bonn sites at 10, then return for autographs at 1. Took photo with two redheads – I do favor redheads then realized, no you’re not tired , they’re actually identical twins. Goodness!
No photos till I return, just unable to download camera. Takei and Shatner were hilarious and boisterously received. This is all waaay too much fun to be legal. Let’s see if a guitar or two turn up tomorrow…
Tonite I’m invited to a farewell dinner at a castle from the 13th century …built by the Knights Templar. I’m told the food will be superb. I’ve already gained five pounds…probably due to that five pound note I discovered in my passport case.
If I’m out and about, there WILL be drama I received a gift from my brother in arms, Hugh Tiny Hogg. (I’m struggling to photograph it, but will!) At the Cologne Airport after passing thru security I was pulled aside. “Is there a Zippo in your knapsack?” Yes…I’d left my own home, for this very consideration. “Please remove it. We have a problem.” It lights…well yeah, Tiny had filled it. I quickly suss the situation. “Look, the case and engraving is dear to me. I can remove the guts.” They are SO nice. (I have numerous Zippo guts back home) “You must reenter security after removing the interior parts.” OK…I exit, begin again, with screwdriver and tweezers, remove the cotton wadding and the wick and the flint and then return to a MUCH LONGER FUCKING line This time when I pass thru the scanner, they get physical, lots of touching and rubbing and damn it, it’s not a woman so it’s not so much fun. I emerge, redress, and go to my gate.
As I wait to board, a woman approaches me…sorta, kinda familiar. Yes, she was at Fedcon (it’s so often the eyes that I notice and remember, rather than hair styles or physicality) and she shares that her partner struggles with PTSD. Not from war but from a prior trauma. PTSD can be generated from sexual trauma, criminal assaults, accidents, many different causes. She told me she’d been very moved by my statements about the importance of treatment and the difficulty so many contend with. I thanked her and wished her partner success in coping and therapy. I invited her to take a selfie of us – she’s on Google+ rather than FB but promises to send me a copy.
At the Zurich airport, I notice a TagHeuer exhibit with VIRTUAL REALITY and I quickly agree to try it. It is STUNNING, I giggle with delight and have to pause to keep from getting nauseous as my race car plummets and careens around a roller coaster type track. I LOVE it! Next I pass the Lindt chocolate display, a guy involved in creating the intricate process of the candies. I want some! But I have large Euro notes and she can only give me Swiss francs for change. I have Sees chocolate at home and really don’t need more useless foreign currency, so I smile and turn to leave. She reaches down and offers me a single, indescribably delicious toffee piece. I thank her and walk away, happily dissolving the singular specific flavors of such fine chocolate!
I bring home a bottle of Bunnahabhain single malt (look it up) and can’t wait to try it…but tomorrow. I’m a little diffused at the moment. As I continue to post tonite, don’t seek coherence, cause that is a bridge just too damn far
Heading back to bed. I’m still on Euro time.
Man…I’m tired but can’t sleep. Too early for drinking…but I think I know what might work. The photos fans selected were interesting. Ross in dress blues, Voyager’s Adm Bullock, the Xindi primate (Depak)…and Dr. Steven Kiley from MILLENNIUM! Even Ethan Phillips was a fan of that show.
Some fans created their own montages rather than buy from the vendors and came up with some pretty interesting composites; from Black Dynamite, Voyager and Babylon 5. I had to laugh at one from Voyager, four different images, same expression! Remember that was my first job in six months after Bells palsy. Buster Keaton had nothing on my own Stoneface.
My last day here, I return home in the morning. It’s been exhaustingly wonderful. I did film my panel yesterday…afterwards I embraced a friend of 20 years for the first time…and enjoyed a splendid schnitzel dinner with Susi, her husband and family. I’m told that HBO now hosts a worldwide chat online following each episode of GOT. Boys and girls, we invented that shit 20 years ago! SPACE aired during the rise in popularity of the Internet …and after each broadcast, fans all over the world got on IRC to interact and discuss it. They were particularly excited whenever one of us in the cast joined in. I learned how to function online and get around, actually bought my first computer so I could access all these “emails” I’d heard ad been sent to me. AOL gave each of us a free account….and I have remained faithful.
Yesterday I’d mentioned synchronicity. I enter my room to discover my maid tidying up. I chat with her, ask where she’s from., she says Griechenland. I hear Greenland and mention my desire to visit Iceland, not so far away. She corrects me and I get it. Greece. I begin to speak to her in Greek, mentioning long ago my father was a Fulbright professor, teaching English at Anatolia College in Salonica. She tells me she was born and grew up in Salonica. My youngest brother, Carl was born in Salonica. I muster up all the bad words I can remember from my childhood – those memories always last longest. We speak now in Greek and German as Friday (her name ) continues to tidy.
The wonder is as much that we share this connection as that we discover it…essentially because I engage people I encounter. Such coincidence is so common in my life, it seems more rule than exception.
Jung posits that the more we notice synchronicity, the more it occurs. I describe this as God winking at me.
The water system in Germany contains no chemicals for purification. Not only is the tap water delicious but my hotel shower glass enclosure dries perfectly spotless. I am envious. Flint residents might want to learn how they do it…or consider immigrating.
This should be regarded as a podcast – audio only – because the video is unacceptable. Not my friends fault but I neglected to tell her that hi def required the camera to be very stable. So it goes. This is my second panel at FEDCON and engages S:AAB, acting and PTSD.