vendredi, août 03, 2007

Sticks and stones

Looking at the continued self-destruction of the Bush Presidency, there's a lot of cautious excitement among Democrats as they await the contest of 2008.

How much worse can life get for Senate Republicans? A number of them can't seem to decide who they dislike more-their Democrat colleagues or their Republican chief.

The fact that Alaska Republican Ted Stevens is under the magnifying glass for possible misdeeds (and his sister Senator, Lisa Murkowski, may not emerge unscathed) is giving new hope to Democrats seeking a majority that can actually get something accomplished.

Isn't this the time for visionary leadership? Wouldn't it be helpful, if not purely pragmatic, for candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to put their differences aside when they are supposedly working on behalf of the people who sent them to the halls of Congress?

An article I read today suggests that Clinton, in particular, is finding this almost impossible. Perhaps she feels betrayed by Obama's decision to run. Possibly she believed herself to be a mentor to the younger Senator. Could she be concerned that she's going to lose not only some African-American women, but other potential supporters who are looking for someone with a little more overt enthusiasm and authenticity?

Part of the issue is that, like many of us in management positions, both candidates are probably surrounded by those who tell them what they want to hear-not what they need to hear. Meanwhile, the public wonders why our leaders can't behave like adults-and gets more and more fed up with politicians of both parties.

It's wrong to put all the blame for the tiff on Clinton's shoulders-Obama is a very ambitious man. Not to mention a darned smart politician. But it would be helpful to Clinton, who has what is perhaps an unfair rap for being exceptionally cold, to stop walking around Obama in the Halls of Congress-and to walk towards him, with her hand out.

mercredi, août 01, 2007

Pet people play

I don't know if other servers have this option, because I am one of those neanderthal women (hear me lumber) who still uses AOL as their primary browser, and has an AOL email address. It may be getting time to change that.

Not only do I have an AOL address, but I've never felt the same about it since some guy told me it was very sexually suggestive-in an unintentional way. If I'm going to be suggestive, fellows, you are going to know about it.

I'm not about games. I try to be as direct as possible, and I like people to be direct with me. It wasn't until about seven months ago that I discovered, from a potential date, that one could block people on the AOL "buddy list." Then I found that a few guys would block me most of the time (they blocked most everyone) and unblock me when they wanted to talk to me.

Little Ms. Purer than the Virgin Snow hated this-in fact, I still do. It so smacks of gamesmanship. Then came the day when I blocked a guy who signed on to chat with me around 11:00 on nights when all I wanted was to sit blankly in front of my computer and read in relative privacy.

My suspicion is that this AOL feature is used by some folks I know to remind me they are still around. And I find the temptation to play around with it a distraction and, frankly, an annoyance.

But I wonder...what is a game, and what is a healthy relational strategy? What is adaptive and what is just silly? What is the tipping point in this new relational technology? Any answers.. or even more questions are welcome.

mardi, juillet 31, 2007

Rather unintentionally, I posted a profile on Facebook this afternoon. Actually, I'm glad I did. I'm rather over the hill for Facebook, but it almost immediately got me back in touch with some folks with whom I'd lost touch-a British seminarian I'd supervised when she was over here doing an internship (she's now a mom and a priest), my ex's son who lives in Argentina and owns a vineyard, a Match friend, several other friends, and His Grace, Archbishop Cranmer. It's phenomenal how well he keeps up with the Times (not to mention the politics of the Conservative Party).

These folks are now listed as "friends" on my Facebook profile.

That got me thinking-what is a friend? In my mom's day, it was a person you might nave met in grade school or perhaps college-or maybe a first job before one got married. Possibly it was a neighbor. For people my age, it could be, and is, my college roomate, a neighbor or someone I met at work or in church.

But having friends one meets solely through electronic media (or in a purely spiritual way, in Arcbishops Cranmer's case) both widens and constricts the possibilities of a deep friendship. I'm interested to see what I will learn from my Facebook "friends" old (very old) and new...