Archive for July, 2017

I just finished Season 5 of House of Cards.

I wasn’t as taken with 5 as the previous 4.

I like “big reveals,” but I think subterfuge can be abused and that’s not fair to the audience.

With that said, I do think there are two new characters that are particularly intriguing, however:  Jane Davis and Mark Usher.

Now, I don’t like the way they were introduced — here are two major, major political power brokers that the Underwoods had never heard of… that seems unrealistic to me.

However, each are intriguing… and their relationship is intriguing… because, unlike the blatant world of D.C. politics, they seem not to be seeking the spotlight.  Instead, they are operating “in the shadows”… true puppet-masters.

You know what I think?  I think they’re ALIENS.  They are too mysterious.  Too subtle.  Too all-knowing.  They really, truly seem to care not for material wealth, but rather for completely altruistic, humanitarian goals.  Almost as if they know better… as if they are from the future… or from an alien race… or both!

Another ground-breaking series, Star Trek, had to deal with these kinds of story arcs, too.  They invented the “Prime Directive,” essentially:

“A guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets prohibiting the protagonists from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations.  …  This conceptual law applies particularly to civilizations which are below a certain threshold of technological, scientific and cultural development; preventing starship crews from using their superior technology to impose their own values or ideals on them.”  (Source:  Wikipedia)

Sure, Captain Kirk may not have ever stepped over the line with the Prime Directive, but you can damn well be sure, in the name of entertainment, he stepped right up to the line several times.  Just like Jane and Mark have been doing.

Now, I know you may say that Star Trek had to come up with the Prime Directive because, after all, the entire show was all about aliens, i.e., space ships and space outfits, five year mission, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no [man] has gone before, etc., etc.

But — using Kellyanne Conway logic — I think that misses the point, because there now what appears to be ALIENS on House of Cards!

So you’ve heard the proof here first.  I now can’t wait for Season 6… and to hear Jane and Mark say:  “Two to beam up, get us out of here now!

;)

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For the vast majority of my professional career, the proverbial — no, wait, the actual — richest guy in the world (RGITW) has been Bill Gates.

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Bill since the 80’s.  I saw him thoroughly and utterly dominate technology for many decades.  Indeed, he damn near invented the technology industry as we know it today.

Of course, when you know someone, you don’t think of them in crazy, god-like terms.  You think of them as someone fun to drink with… someone that knows a good April Fool prank… someone that even plays a decent game of ping pong.  (BTW, all three of those comments deserves posts by themselves.   ;)

There’s another thing working against Bill in the “crazy, god-like terms” department:  He’s been the RGITW for so long, it’s gotten to be… well… a bit ordinary.

That’s why it surprised me when I felt a little bummed hearing today that Bill is no longer the “RGITW”… he’s only the second RGITW… Jeff Bezo, CEO of Amazon.com, is now the RGITW.

I don’t know Jeff, but he’s built a phenomenal company and is well-deserving of the RGITW title.

Interestingly enough, though, being bumped from the top spot is a pretty great reminder of the absolutely rarefied air Bill has breathed all these decades.

Knowing Bill, he’s not giving it a real second thought… these days he’s far too busy trying to save the planet!

 

For some reason, I feel compelled to share an email thread I’m having with a friend.  It might represent the birth of a new political party… The Moderate Party.

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From: Royal Farros
To: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 110:05 PM
Subject: From Royal Farros… re: WTF…

Hey, Mark! Hope all is great, it’s Royal Farros, it’s been a long time!

I just read about your WTF and the following quote:

          “We can’t just startup and be like, ‘Hi, we’re a new party and we’re going to run all these people for office.’

Years ago I would have agreed with you. But I’m not so sure now. I wouldn’t say I’m a political guy… but I am a responsible citizen, follow issues, and vote. I was a lifelong republican… because when I grew up, for lack of a better way to say it, that was the “business” party… the party that was fiscally responsible.

Hasn’t seemed that way for a few decades, though. In fact, I got sick and tired of extremist hijacking the political agenda… for both parties.

I wish there was a party for me… fiscally conservative and socially liberal. There isn’t, so I “unaffiliated” in 2016.

I was blown away to find out that, as of 2016, the largest political party was neither republican or democrat but — as I’m sure you know — unaffiliated… by a wide (and widening) margin.

So, maybe there’s a party for me… call it the “moderate” party… which is where, I believe, the majority of Americans stand. It just needs to be organized. Maybe you *can* just startup a party?

I may be way off base here, just sharing some non-expert thoughts.

Best–

–Royal.

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From: Mark
To: Royal Farros
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: From Royal Farros… re: WTF…

Thx for the note.

Youre saying dont bother with dem party. Start a new one?

Sent from my iPad

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From: Royal Farros
To: Mark
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 11:33 PM
Subject: Re: From Royal Farros… re: WTF…

Mark–

Always amazing to me when a small, hot, killer start-up gets acquired by a big, lumbering giant. The small company always believes it’s going to somehow change the big company. But that never happens. Inevitably the small company gets chewed up in the machinery.

So, yes, I think:

* It would be easier to start a new party… than to try to deal with the “politics” — and I mean that quite literally — of changing one or both parties.

* Technology has disrupted just about every industry out there… and in 2016, add “politics” to that list. Proof? The Dems with a massive war chest, a massive infrastructure, massive mindshare, and a supposed massive lead… couldn’t beat a blowhard with a Twitter account.

* People — especially young people (yikes! did I just say that?) — are tired of the same old crap… on both sides of the isle. I heard tonight that a big Republican is becoming (or threatening to become) unaffiliated. I suspect a lot of moderate politicians don’t really like aligning themselves with the loonies in their parties. Said even more strongly, there probably are a lot of moderate Democrats and Republicans that share more core values with each other than the extremist in their parties. All of this means that a new moderate party would probably have a fair number of qualified incumbents from both sides of the isle signing up — bringing with them a ready-built voter base.

The iParty. ;)

–Royal.

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My dad was a good Greek, Halalamos Anastasi Faros.

But my grandparents wanted my dad and aunt to have better lives… so they came to America in the 1910’s.

It was a long and difficult journey.  When my dad went through Ellis Island they said, “Welcome to America, you’re now Harry Farros.”

My grandparents wouldn’t allow Greek in the house… my grandmother was adamant:  “We’re Americans now.”

God bless the wisdom — and bravery — of my grandparents and my dad.  Truly no better gift to give a son/grandson.

God bless America.