Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grateful Dead Return...

The Grateful Dead are back...sort of. The surviving members of the group (Bobby, Phil, Mickey, and Billy) are going to give performing together another shot at an upcoming benefit for Barack Obama on October 13 in State College, PA. Keeping college students involved in the process is critical to Obama's chances in the fall. Warren Haynes will join the band, too, as will Jeff Chimenti from Ratdog. The Allman Brothers Band will also perform at the gig. Sounds like a blockbuster night, though this version of the Grateful Dead has yet to find anywhere near the chemistry of the original group. Apparently, if it goes well, they might consider a spring tour. In my opinion, they should have tapped Mark Karan instead, but that's probably too close to Ratdog for everyone else's tastes. Oh well.

The Return of Dexter, Mad Men Continues

Mad Men has certainly lived up to my expectations, thus far this year. It's darker, for sure, but since we already know the characters, the show has been able to open up the storylines and reveal more of the subtleties in their lives. The writing has remained consistently strong, and everything from the music to the cinematography has been terrific.

Also of note, Dexter will return on September 28 for its third season on Showtime. Jimmy Smits is going to join the cast, too. I can't wait.

Of Elephants and Donkeys...

Say what you will about The Republican Party, but you have to admit that they usually throw a good convention. Providing further indication that this year they are floundering, the recently concluded convention in Minneapolis landed with a solid thud. There wasn't much said that was substantive, and the whole thing felt hollow. They didn't even seem to make an attempt to fill the hall with minorities like they did in 2004. Nope, this time, the convention hall was filled with just a bunch of crotchety Caucasians, providing a true indication of what interests the Republican party serves.

Overshadowing everything, of course, was the nomination of Sarah Palin to be John McCain's Vice President. (Note: for informational purposes, I linked to the Wikipedia page on her, but keep in mind, in an election year, it may be very inaccurate depending upon who last edited the page). Prior to the announcement, I had wondered if McCain might choose a woman. The concept itself is sound, and it is long overdue. McCain's best chance at winning this thing is to bring some of those bitter Clinton supporters onto his side.

This, of course, is not an easy task. Eight years ago, McCain would have had a better chance of doing it. Despite his very conservative voting record, he still had a lot of respect from people who typically vote for Democrats. Since then, he seems to have lost his mind. He no longer is a maverick who on occasion would take a bold stand against the powers that be. Now he just votes right along with a President who (from Iraq to the economy) seems determined to run the country into the ground.

He had a chance, here, to reclaim at least some of it. The angry Clinton supporters left the door open for him. Instead of walking through it, his choice of Sarah Palin seems to have slammed it shut. I just don't understand this choice at all. Aside from the fact that Palin is a woman, she shares little with Clinton. She supports abstinence education, drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and more tax cuts for the wealthy. Palin doesn't want universal health care and she's is against a woman's right to choose. It makes no sense. McCain may have bolstered his appeal to the religious right, but who exactly were they going to vote for anyway? Would they really choose to not vote and passively elect Barack Obama instead of voting for John McCain?

To be continued...