Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts on turning 30

Today is my birthday, faithful readers, and this year I turned 30. A few songs on the radio seemed appropriate -- John Lennon singing "I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round," and Toby Keith observing, "I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was."
Some people see three decades as the confirmation of adulthood. Sixties-era protesters wouldn't trust anyone over 30, and twenty-first-century twentysomethings angst over leaving behind the Never-Never Land of their youth. There are even books of wisdom from people who've already passed the triple-decade milestone, stuffed with advice for those observing their 30th birthday.
My advice? Remember that there are plenty of reasons for 30-year-olds, including this one, to feel both old and young. After all, I'm still not old enough to be president. And as for any adulthood angst? Thanks to my Bar Mitzvah in 1991, I joined the ranks of adulthood long ago. Summing up my feelings on this day, I'll go with another country song I heard on the radio, this one from Jo Dee Messina: "I guess I'm doin' alright."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hillary's Imaginary Independence

Hillary Cartoon
Originally uploaded by rbtenorio

So now the media wonders whether Sen. Hillary Clinton -- who is President-elect Barack Obama's pick for Secretary of State -- will get to keep her independence in the Obama Administration. But as a senator and former presidential candidate, is Clinton really that independent? Read more in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Barack betrays liberals, vindicates Bush

Homeland Security Cartoon
Originally uploaded by rbtenorio

President-elect Barack Obama is considering who to head up the Department of Homeland Security. (Sources say he's favoring Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.) But Satan wonders whether a true liberal president would ask a more basic question: Should I even continue a program associated with George W. Bush? Find out more in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dubya fans can't get even a quantum of solace

On Saturday, my muse and I saw two movies -- "W" and "Quantum of Solace" -- at the Somerville Theater. While only one was a portrayal of Bush, and while only one was truly fictional, both contained lessons in how we see the Bush Administration.
First, the protagonist of each film wants revenge. Josh Brolin's Bush seeks revenge on Saddam Hussein after the Iraqi leader's alleged involvement in an assassination plot against Dubya's dad, ex-president George H.W. Bush. (The Huffington Post disputes whether such a plot existed.) Daniel Craig's 007, meanwhile, pursues revenge for the death of his lover, Vesper Lynd.
Just as common as the revenge element are conspiracy theories. Which is more believable -- Richard Dreyfuss' Dick Cheney arguing that an occupation of Iraq would help the US rule the oil market and preserve American global hegemony? (Um, no comment.) Or Bond villain Dominic Greene sparking distrust of environmental groups through his portrayal of an eco-do-gooder with bad motives? (He wants to manipulate the Bolivian water supply.)
Revenge and conspiracies abound in both films, and maybe it's no mistake that they each contain characters who go by one initial -- Judi Dench's M and, of course, the president. What this also reveals, though, is how disturbing the presidency has become when the cartoonish elements of a cloack-and-dagger flick permeate it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, and Big Oil

Oil Cartoon
Originally uploaded by rbtenorio

President-elect Barack Obama is already talking about his environmentally-friendly energy ideas, which might adversely affect the oil industry (but also help greener industries). Mephistopheles yearns for the oil-friendlier ideas of another politician, one Sarah Palin, in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bush 'Strategery' on Obama

Bush Cartoon
Originally uploaded by rbtenorio

On Monday, President Bush welcomed his successor, Barack Obama, to the White House. Bush explained the details of the presidency to Obama. But wouldn't it have been a nice parting ploy if Dubya somehow sabotaged his presentation? Satan envisions such a scenario in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama to create a "Hope Tax"?

Taxes Cartoon
Originally uploaded by rbtenorio

President-elect Barack Obama is busy putting together his economic team. What will be his first major economic step? Mephistopheles thinks our 44th president will soon institute a "Hope Tax" in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama: How he won, and what's next

On Tuesday night, Boston felt like Times Square on New Year's Eve. People celebrated the end of one era and the beginning of another, only this time it was the end of the George W. Bush years and the ascension of Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th US president.
The crowd at an election-eve party at the Fairmount Copley Plaza erupted when televised reports announced Obama's victory. People jumped up and down, cheered, and chanted. Later, they gathered on the steps of the Boston Public Library, high-fiving and playing musical instruments. Car horns honked on the surrounding streets, and it felt heartening to hear Boston drivers slam down on their steering wheels in joy instead of the usual anger.
Obama will enter office with several advantages: public support reflected in once-red states turning blue (like Ohio), a gift for communication, a reputation for diplomacy and bipartisanship. Yet he also has question marks -- he has only served two years as a US senator, and this inexperience has made him seem naive when discussing foreign policy.
Let us hope, however, that he will fulfill his promise as our 44th president, and that he will eventually turn doubts over his inexperience into praise for his achievements.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God endorses Obama

God Cartoon
Originally uploaded by rbtenorio

It's Election Day, and a process that started going into motion two years ago is approaching its end. For this historic occasion, I've brought together two experienced pundits -- namely, God and Satan -- to talk about the final stages of the campaign and, of course, which candidate they prefer. Find out more in the latest episode of "The Devil Made Me Blog It"!