Or the reservation, take your pick.
In brief, I worked Friday and Saturday. Friday, I got a little bogged down with having to arrange for the husband’s birthday stuff at the last minute (not my fault, but you have to roll with these things), which meant that I crammed a lot of work into a small amount of time (about three hours). Still, we managed to have a lovely Friday’s Cocktail, a Blackberry Gin Smash (Hendrick’s, sage, blackberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup with a splash of club soda)
as well as Texas barbecue, which made the husband everlastingly happy.
Saturday…I wasn’t quite with it. But I really, really needed to finish a specific chapter, so I really, really made myself sit there until I had. Then I allowed myself to play (read: watch a movie with the husband).
But then I had a dream and woke up with a jolt this morning around six (I always wake up at about six, no matter what). I forced myself to stay in bed for an extra half hour, thinking about what I was thinking about–which was adding something to the narrative to make the chapter I’d just done be more in line with the narrative, to make sense.
This is when you’re truly starting to go off the reservation or off the rails, whichever metaphor you prefer: when you add something that will fundamentally change part of the narrative and is something you did not foresee. I couldn’t have outlined this, I don’t think; I’m not sure it would’ve occurred to me and Monday morning quarterbacking now is useless anyway.
But, instead of dashing off to write it, I dashed off my thoughts and decided to let it marinate a bit, see where it was going, see if I want to even do this. I have a writer friend who swears by the answers he finds after a nap, but I am always a little leery. What feels right in a dream or when you just wake up is often not so great when you write it all down. (But isn’t that the case with so much?)
WRITING OUT LOUD
Stay Dead (started 5/05; Days 1-4, false start)
Day 1: 1000
Day 2: 1200
Day 3: 1800
Day 4: 1350
Day 5: 1000
Day 6: 2000
Day 7-10: ~4500
Day 11-12: ~5000
Day 13: 1600
Day 14: 2300
Day 15-17: 4450
Blog Post: 1400
What I’m Watching:
House of Cards with the husband. Also saw Deadpool, which was only fitfully entertaining and basically a waste. (This is the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play? OTOH, I am not a Marvel movie fan, so I’m no judge. But I most certainly will not be seeking any other Marvel movies. They’re just…boring and silly.)
Also saw the trailer for the new Star Trek. On the one hand, I’m, like, dude, again? You’re destroying the Enterprise AGAIN? Haven’t I already seen that, like, several times?
But, OTOH, if you can look past the Marvel-cartoonish new uniforms, the film looks…well, it looks better than the last one that I only saw in bits and pieces (and still regret the minutes I’ll never get back). So…maybe.
That last joke, though? You could see it coming a mile away. In fact, is it me, or is the dialogue really hackneyed? (“Our captain will not rest until he finds us.” Or something along those lines. Not a fan of Zoe Seldana. I also hear that Quinto may be calling it quits after this because he’s afraid of being type-cast. Oh, dude, stop worrying; you’re not that good an actor. This is, in fact, what Roddenberry essentially said when Nimoy was whining about how come he didn’t get more command-type stuff to do. I think Roddenberry said something like your character is nothing without Kirk, but Kirk can do just fine without you. And I’m, like, whoa. This is all in the latest issue of Smithsonian, if you’re so inclined.)
What I’m Reading:
Well, after a friend said something on Facebook yesterday, I went and read several articles about the history of polling. I’ll reproduce my Facebook post here:
“Yesterday, a friend said something interesting–about how Clinton’s the most hated Democratic nominee in history–and I thought, *Really? In HISTORY? All 240 years of American political history? REALLY?* Because take a good look at American history, and you see that there have been PLENTY of examples of candidates people really, really hated going all the way back to the mud-slinging fest that was Adams vs. Jefferson.
Now, me, personally? I don’t pay attention to polls. I listen to what people say and what they do and I pay attention to their history. The only reason I’m even going down this road is to make a distinction between two very different kinds of history, which I wouldn’t have considered if my friend hadn’t made that statement that I somehow didn’t quite believe.
See, I have a hard time with the whole “history” thing because that neglects–or rather conflates–both the history of American elections and that of the INDUSTRY of polling, which are two very different yet now interconnected beasts. As we all know or should know, polls are only as good as their sample size, demographics, the questions asked, things like that.
Read a bit about the evolution of polls, and you realize that the modern-day poll came about during the Depression and specifically because industry and corporate advertisers needed a way to connect with consumers. So they promoted the idea of “scientific” polls because they were losing money. They needed to know what people wanted and how they felt so they could cater to those interests *and* steer products to those folks *and* shift opinion. (If you want this spelled out in an entertaining way, just settle down for a few hours with this season’s HOUSE OF CARDS. It’s all about influencing the electorate by tracking people’s interests and then strategically targeting campaigns.)
So, if you are only talking about modern-day *polling* history, then my friend is correct. According to polling data from the major players (and they are all industries, folks), Clinton is the most disliked Democratic nominee in *polling* history. When they repeat this information, some news organizations use the adjective; some don’t. [For the record, Trump’s the most hated Republican nominee in polling history, but that’s beside the point.]
But, if you do care and take a look at polling done by, say, Citigroup of its industrial clients, they want Clinton because they think Clinton will be better for business in the long run. More general polls about the election would suggest that people can stomach Clinton a touch better than they can Trump, but that gap is narrow and maybe only as good as the day the results were reported because there have been no theatrical extravaganzas . . . ulp, sorry . . . *conventions*; the Dem nomination process is ongoing; and as my friend correctly pointed out, there have been no debates between the two presumptive nominees.
All I’m saying in the end, I guess, is that you need to be careful what you take as fact. Polling history is not the history of the American electorate even if the first poll of recording history in the U.S. done during an election was a local straw poll in 1824 that found that people preferred Jackson. (Since Jackson went on to win the popular vote and the election, folks thought . . . saaay . . . ) Polls and politics are industries that feed off one another, and we all know that if people hear the same thing repeated often enough–regardless of its merits or factual basis–they will incorporate that idea as being somehow true.
Memory is mutable. So are opinions. Polls were invented to see what people thought and how they feel. Polls are also products. Polls were and are used by industry to then target people to either pander to what they want or get them to change their mind.
I think it’s important to remember that.
The history of politics, modern-day polling, and corporations are intertwined, and the polling industry is big business that has just as much of a vested interest in generating and then telling you what your neighbors think (and by extension, what you ought to) in an effort to make you continue to buy–and buy into–their trusted brand.
What I’m Listening to:
Nothing. I’m tired of political rants and bad news. I would turn on some Renaissance music, but instead I’m listening to birds.