Wednesday, June 16, 2004

So what is "Kineska" anyhow?

Subject: Soapbox
"Kineska" is a made-up word. If you Google for it, you'll find this site, and 5 trillion hits for Chinese food in the former Yugoslav republics.

When I made the switch from computer engineering to film school back in the late '80s, like any full-of-himself film student, I needed to come up with an unique, original production company name. No, I wasn't looking to make it sound Japanese; I actually had my sights on going to Eastern Europe at the time. Specifically Czechoslovakia, home of Jan Svankmajer, and where all the cool dark animation and film seemed to be coming from. "Kine" or "Kino" tends to mean "cinema" in various languages (I don't remember if I ever found out if it did in Czech), and the "ska" was kind of a eastern-bloc sounding suffix. I hadn't quite discovered Ska music at the time, so it was a coincidence that I wound up with a lot of that in my CD collection not long after that.

About me, when you Google my name, you'll find a one-time college hockey player from somewhere in the midwest, a supposedly-well-known champion dog-show personality who died a couple of years ago, and the name of a character in one episode of Babylon 5. Oh, and once upon a time I was part of the Draft Wesley Clark movement.

You see, politically, I'm a staunchly independent centrist. Not that wishy-washy non-committal swing-voter centrist, but a believer in a real principled center.

Joe Lieberman and John McCain are not part of this "center". Those who stick their fingers in the air to see which way the polls are blowing are not part of this "center".

Wes Clark was _exactly_ that center. And the funny thing was, on pure "issues", he was mostly "left" to everyone but Kucinich. The difference was that he was able to articulate those issues in true, principled form. In a way that evoked just why those principles spring directly from the founding of this country, from the Enlightenment that allowed Jefferson, Adams et al to even conceive of a nation like this. That's my center.

Anyway, with witnessing just how poorly the media handled the whole thing (because they needed to paint everyone by their broad-brushed labels and put them in neat little pundit-friendly boxes), which led to the eventual death spiral of the campaign, I've been pretty much burned out with politics. This site's title pretty much sums up November for me (though I can care less about his arguments right now), with the caveat that I will probably vote for Nader one last time (the 3rd time) if New York isn't going to be close. Not that I'm interested in Green Party issues or any fringe stuff, just that Nader has a consistent and simple and principled message that's worth shaking the system up for. And this system needs shaking up right now, seeing as the choices we've had these last couple of go 'rounds has been pretty pathetic, and there's no hope for a real independent voice to gain any traction against the entrenched machinery that the party system has tied up.

Enough politics; I will rarely discuss them again, as I'm back to preferring the realm of movies, books, and music.

Anyway, one last thing, about the photo in the banner: that's one of my shots of a bust behind the Highland Bowl in Rochester. I have a series of black and white photos of statuary that I took in grad school. All the statues are photographed without their base, as if they were the actual people standing there: looking, thinking, mourning, contemplating. A lot of somber & solitary poses these statues have (most of them were in the Mt. Hope Cemetery). This one struck me because of it's sort of "looking forward" determinism, the look of "it's been rough here and now, but things will continue onward, for better or worse".

Actually, it's kind of a blank expression, like most statues, and I projected a lot on to it from within myself. All the better!

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