While on a morning run yesterday (long, tiring), I ran by a cluster of candles and dried flowers on the sidewalk of a busy street. Obviously, they’d been left to acknowledge and mourn a person who had died there. Assuming the deceased was a pedestrian or bike rider hit by a car, it was a life gone in an instant.
When word went round this week of Steve Jobs’ passing, it almost felt the same way. He’d been stricken with a disease that normally takes its victims within a year, yet he lived with it for seven. When we all found out he’d been sick, we were told he would live. Somehow, I took this to mean he wouldn’t die, ever, even when he resigned from Apple weeks ago. But of course, no one lives forever, and pancreatic cancer, no matter what kind, will take those afflicted sooner than the rest of us. But still, on Wednesday, when I saw the alert on my iPhone, it felt sudden, and unreal, like he’d been hit while out walking. Mostly, I think it’s because Jobs was not a man finished with his life. For God’s sake, we didn’t get the iPhone or iPad until years after he’d been diagnosed. Any way you look at it, it’s a great loss. The text of his commencement address at Stanford is here. Ten unusual things you didn’t know about the man (perhaps before he resigned in August) is here. To serve his memory best, shouldn’t AT&T figure out better coverage?
The jobs report: in September, the nation added 103,000 new non-farm employees to the payrolls. It’s not zero, but neither is it enough to get anyone very excited. In fact, Harry Reid took the news as an opportunity to promote President Obama’s “American Jobs Act”, which we’re told will put more than 103,000 back to work, by calling for a surtax on millionaires. Congressional Republicans couldn’t shout “class warfare” loud enough or fast enough, but let’s just stop for one damn minute. I think Reid worded it poorly, because it sounds like were angry with rich people for being not only successful but attractive as well. However, millions of Americans, including myself, have no issue with the idea of having them contribute more, and some us even know that, while it won’t make a whole lot of difference to the rich, it’ll make a helluva lot of difference to those who are unemployed. The American Jobs Act genuinely wants to get America back to work but everyone is wary of further stimulus that isn’t paid for. A surtax on the wealthy among us will go a long way in funding the measure. Even the editors at Bloomberg, crying class warfare, know how it all plays out.
Steve Jobs death knocked Sarah Palin off the front page, and almost off the radar for the day last Wednesday, even as she announced she wouldn’t be seeking the presidency in 2012. I’m with Jon Stewart. Even in death, Jobs continued giving. What Palin was doing riding around the country in that bus remains a mystery. The novelty of her foolishness has worn off, and I won’t even miss those train wreck moments, though she didn’t mention retiring from her blind ambition. I guess it’s a wait and see scenario.
Politics in film: have you seen “The Ides of March”? It’s an extremely tight script and very entertaining, with a first rate cast, but takes cynicism to Olympic levels. There isn’t a shred of hope for our political process anywhere in this movie and my sunny optimism was greatly challenged. Are they really all that bad? Yuck – but worth seeing.
Al Davis, the longtime owner and former coach of the Oakland Raiders, died Saturday at the age of 82. While I was never fan of Davis and stopped caring about the Raiders post Fred Biletnikoff, the NFL certainly lost one of its most colorful characters and passionate champions of the game.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed The Dream Act into law on Saturday, proving that we don’t always cut off our noses to spite our face. Certain ideas that become legislation MUST be all about the children, regardless of where they come from, and if illegal immigrants in this state have raised their kids and educated them in our public schools, and they’ve achieved success in spite of the odds against them, they can now attend college in this state. Bravo to us.
We’re already into the championship series in baseball, having said good-bye to the Yanks, the Rays, Arizona, and the Phillies. While Texas and Detroit battle it out in the American League, St. Louis and Milwaukee are fighting for the National League pennant. The World Series starts October 19th.
It’s Columbus Day tomorrow and I’m cooking Italian but can’t decide on an entrée. Any ideas?