|Out of Commission on The Couch, a self portrait, charcoal, 2012|
I kept thinking about Unknown's attempted insult about Tom Jefferson, not only the key guy drafting the Declaration of Independence but also a key guy in founding the Democratic - Republican party in opposition to Hamilton's Federalist party in the First Party System. Then my casual Google/wiki search quickly got me to something I'd never heard of before : the Era of Good Feelings: " a period in the political history of the United States that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans."
The close minded, partisan bickering that has been going on is outrageous. Us against us. Like a little civil war where snipes are used instead of bullets. Needless to say, lying on the couch reading about Tom, the admirable side of the man, as well as the abominable side, renewed my interest in this period in our history. How lovely it would be if we could do what President Monroe wanted to do (amalgamation): eliminate parties altogether from national politics and put the welfare of the country above secular political ideology?
This morning, with my absentee ballot (bad knee, over seventy gets you one), laying along side this computer on the breakfast room table, got me thinking about another rabble rousing monologue performed by Peter Finch in the 1976 movie Network with William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch and Robert Duval. Finch's delivery in this scene won him the Best Actor Award. It made me laugh remembering all the times in my life I wanted to shout out the window, I'm mad as hell and won't take it anymore, but also of these times and the behavior of our politicians who promise everything and anything to go to Washington DC to be a big wig, throw nasty unrelenting punches at one another while the politically biased press cheers their candidate's politics, from their ring side seats.
Will we ever get the straight, unbiased scoop? Not yet. Our new global society with its global marketplace is very complicated to say the least. The least we can do is try to be as informed as possible and recognize technology has shrunk the planet to the size of a pea. The Kingston Trio's observations voiced in They're Rioting in Africa, written in 1959, the year Fidel took over Cuba and Khrushchev was barred from going to Disneyland, has lost its humor for there is no room for these types of feelings.
Now we're not mad at any country--well maybe a couple-- but unemployed, we're mostly mad at corporations and banks and Wall Street and those high finance kinds who never stopped getting bonuses-- and then at our politicians and broadcasting companies (now that it's election time). We're mad at outsourcing, but we forget the important thing about that is where the money ends up. We're mad at ourselves for not coming up with the iPhone before Apple did, but we're glad the money ended up back here in our market accounts. This is a walloping huge topic that could go on and on, but I have pens that flow, a laundry room and garage that's a go, three bathroom presentations to make presentable, and a portrait of a cat I'd like to do. I'm not mad as hell, I'm actually happily quite busy so I'm off the couch headed for the office then the studio.
PETER FINCH'S ACADEMY AWARD WINNING MONOLOGUE IN NETWORK, 1976: