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When politics becomes a distraction & blogging an effort

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:03 pm - April 27, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,LA Stories,Movies/Film & TV,Random Thoughts

One thing which makes a movie or story great is that its themes and episodes can help us describe situations in our lives, understand the actions of others or help elucidate the human condition. While many people fault The Godfather: Part III for being inferior to the first two flicks in the franchise, it does have its moments, particularly the scene where Al Pacino‘s Michael Corleone bemoans his inability to leave his mob past behind him:

I sometimes feel the same way about politics. When I moved to LA, I intended to keep out of politics, tired of how friends and acquaintances would steer our conversations to politics upon learning that this literature-loving, Beowulf– and Tolkien-quoting, well-read film buff happened to be a gay Republican.

And this week, I would rather have focused on other things, notably my fascination with the quality and success of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and developing a curriculum to teach mythology while looking for places to teach it.  Not to mention, debating whether I should write this fantasy epic that has been stirring in my subconscious for about eight years, how to go about naming the characters and researching its background.

Yesterday, while at the gym, I was delighted to find myself on a cardio machine next to someone else reading a volume from Martin’s opus.  He was reading the first book, Game of Thrones, on his iPad while I was beginning the third volume, Storm of Swords, in a mass-market paperback.  When I mentioned that I had blogged about the books, he asked the name of my  blog.  Even though he had heard of this site and had a background in left-of-center politics, he was content to keep the conversation focused on fantasy fiction with occasional considerations of literature (in general) and our own reading habits.

I treasure such conversations.

All that said, in a week when I would rather focus on my literary past-times, there are many items in the news worthy of consideration, particularly for a gay conservative blogger. There has been a massacre of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Hamas and Fatah appear to have reached a pact.  “Stuxnet” appears to “have completely paralyzed Iran’s Bushehr Plant.”  Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour announced he was withdrawing “from the race for the Republican presidential nomination — after hiring a top-notch New Hampshire campaign manager and planning to fly around the country next week.” Serious pundits call into questions the president’s assertions about taxation the budget. An apparently astroturfed crowd attempts to intimidate a Republican Congressman holding a townhall; he responds in a civil manner. And HRC and other gay groups attempt to deprive their adversaries in a court case of legal representation.

All that said, blogging has not been as fun these past few days as it often can be.  But, that is, I guess, the nature of this business.  Once you start blogging about something and gain a following, you must needs keep up the flow of words when issues within your blog’s bailiwick come to the fore.  When politics on week this this becomes a distraction, reminds us that there is more to life than our ideological affiliation.  So, let us hope that we all encounter people like the man I met yesterday at the gym who don’t believe an individual’s identification as a gay Republican — or other other such ostensible oxymorons — means that his interest focus in life is political.



  1. G3 was better with the original opening. Where can you see that, you ask? When you get the movies as a complete set, it is on the disc of extras (deleted scenes and the like). It is a longer version of the scene where Michael and the Archbishop work out their financial deal. Putting it at the beginning would have made clear from the beginning that everything Michael and the Archbishop do together revolves around their financial deal, and also would have made a stronger riff on the famous G1 opening.

    In general, I think G3 is underrated; as you say, it has some great moments. It suffers from sloppy storytelling i.e. poor screenplay construction.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 27, 2011 @ 6:55 pm - April 27, 2011

  2. ILC, I agree that G3 is underrated. I think the primary problem is that Sophia Coppola is miscast. Wonder if the movie would have been better if Winona Ryder had stayed with the picture as Coppola’s dad apparently had wanted.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 27, 2011 @ 8:57 pm - April 27, 2011

  3. Dan: Yeah, that too.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 27, 2011 @ 9:49 pm - April 27, 2011

  4. Dan, get working on that fantasy epic. With your knowledge of myth, legend, and history, I expect a stellar book (series?). Get a move on, bud!

    Comment by Brendan in Philly — April 27, 2011 @ 10:50 pm - April 27, 2011

  5. I detect a faint wistfulness, possibly presaging a move away from blogging? Your sane voice must be heard, fun or not.

    Comment by mrj — April 27, 2011 @ 10:57 pm - April 27, 2011

  6. #5 I wondered the same. Don’t know who would be left to run GP as Bruce seems to stay pretty busy with work.

    Comment by TGC — April 28, 2011 @ 4:56 am - April 28, 2011

  7. Heck, with Dan’s encyclopedic knowlege he needs to work on RPGs 🙂 I’m pretty sure the gang in Washington state would enjoy his insight, or see if Dr. Dario Nardi is working on anything new. 🙂

    Comment by The_Livewire — April 28, 2011 @ 8:21 am - April 28, 2011

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