Steven Weber

Our Hollywood corespondent, Steven Weber, writes in a message for the new year. Since we’re on vacation and most of us are out of town, updating will be erratic, so we’re doubly grateful for Steven chiming in. For the record, we get at least 10 readers a day, not the 7-8 he references. Merry Christmas to all, thanks for reading and a why the hell are you reading this or any blog on Christmas day? Go find something better to do like hang with your family (or watch 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS) and come back tomorrow. 

And now, Steven Weber:

I want to thank you for letting me contribute to First
Fridays. It’s been interesting, fun and provocative despite the
lightweight content of my posts. I prefer that approach to actually
risking pissing off folks who could potentially buy me drinks.
But before I wish you all a happy new year, I would like to
spout some shallow platitudes.

In the year leading up to the next presidential election,
there is reason for me to believe that, unlike other elections where
impassioned geeks on both sides state that it will be the most
important this country has ever had, this election will be—ahem—
the most important one the country’s ever had. Because more than ever
it seems to me (a Brit Humian qualifier if there ever was one. And
man, is it freeing!) as far as leadership is concerned, the messenger
has become the message, the style has become the substance. If any of
FF’s good readers can’t see through the Huckabees, the Romneys, the
Giulianis, the Hillarys (that last one was a lobbed softball if there
ever was one) and fail equally to take, say, a Ron Paul or a Dennis
Kucinich seriously, then there is a real impediment to seeing the
most important promise a democracy offers its citizens fulfilled. And
at a time when the message is homogenized, weakened and reduced to
evoking basic knee jerk responses from a cowed and distracted
electorate rather than thoughtful responses from an informed and
trusted one, I’m afraid I see terrible problems now and in the future
and with little hope for abatement. When profit trumps liberty, when
consuming material goods has become as essential to Americans’ lives
as breathing, then the spirit in which this country was founded is in
peril and the downhill slide is ever more speedy and inexorable. I
don’t think America was ever meant to become a massive strip mall run
by a handful of commercial interests catering almost exclusively to
the well-off. Religion has a place but was never meant to take
precedence over reason. A monopolized media was meant to be deterred
as the enemy of the essential, unfiltered dispensing of truth. Thrift
and responsibility was prized in government, as well as faith in its
charitable instincts over its warring ones. Ingenuousness was
expected in its elected officials rather than the knowing wink and
the accepted exchange of money. And the only thing to be truly feared
was ignorance.

To me, moderation is the key to our nation’s survival; not the
eradication of diverse points of view but rather their inclusion; to
banish extremism and mediocrity to the fringes of society where they
belong rather than letting them influence policy too strongly,
infecting the mainstream and breeding a mob mentality; to give
citizens true participation in government by making sure that the
voting process is free from manipulation and corruption; to cherish
quietude over the constant din of advertisements, rushing to buy up
every available piece of psychological and emotional real estate, and
thereby making every human experience a potential commercial
transaction. History shows humanity’s proudest periods of
enlightenment to be sadly infrequent; the depths we have fallen to
making up the majority of the telling of the human tale and
invariably occurring when people are exploited as disposable rabble
by a powerful few, plunging the entire species back into its basest
tribal beginnings.

All that said, one of the things that has lifted me from my
liberal-wussie-actor bullshit melancholy was the good humor and
positivity I experienced in the blog exchange on FF. It was, despite
the sensational approach you take on a range of topics (I assume to
whip your readership into a Pat Buchannanesque rake and hoe toting
angry mob) you betrayed the hyperbole usually associated with such
right-wing drivel (hah!) by being, well, really cool. And that alone
indicates a productive, beneficial and prosperous future worthy of
the promise of America, rather than the one foisted upon us by greed
obsessed capitalisto-fascists in Conservative clothing. We know who
they are. They just think we don’t give a shit. But we do, right?

And so to all seven or eight of you who read this, happy new
year. And let’s get ’em in ’08!


4 Responses to “”

  1. 1 Jennifer
    December 25, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Steven, I wish we could cut through all the bullshit but that’s what politics is. It’s just a matter of whose bullshit you believe more. Third party options are always looming but not since Perot have we had someone viable and he was crazy.
    Happy New Year and I look forward to reading more from you.

  2. 2 Sgt. Schwartz
    December 25, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    I would say that you seem pretty cool for a pinko, but that would go against the spirit of the season and this post. Just kidding. About the pinko part, that is.

    I don’t really see the connection between Kucinich and Paul other than neither stands a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the nomination or as a 3rd party guy. Huckabee scares the shit out of me, I don’t know if Romney knows what he stands for so I can’t support him, I do like Rudy and don’t even get me started on Hillary.

    I would like to see a Rudy – Obama race because I like Rudy and don’t think Obama would be a terrible as Hillary. Sure, that’s not a ringing endorcement but coming from me that says a lot for a Democrat.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all First Fridayers, please keep up the good work. Steven, I include you as a First Fridayer.

  3. 3 Sam I Is
    December 27, 2007 at 2:36 am

    Steven – Thank you for posting here. Every time I start to lose faith that both sides will ever be able to communicate and all hope is lost I see something like this. The fact that the ff gang would invite you to post and that you would accept gives me hope that people who differ can get along. Maybe it’s just the politicians that are getting in the way of people getting along.
    I look forward with great interest to see what the new year brings from both your and the other people that post here. Even though I think you are crazy you also seem very cool.

  4. 4 Phil A Buster
    January 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Steven – What is your take on the results in Iowa and how do you think they will impact New Hampshire on Tuesday?

    Also wanted to thank you for your kind comments about First Friday. We look forward to the day when you can join us at one of our events!

    Happy New Year!

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