Monday 3 September 2018

Unhinged, by Manigault Newman Omarosa

Recently, a friend of mine handed me a book and suggested I might read it. I don't know whether I took him aback or not, but I confessed that I had never heard of the author. Clearly, the author, herself, assumed that I knew I great deal about her and, indeed, that everybody should.

I also confess that I may have resented being asked to spend time exploring the chaos going on inside the United States White House. I prefer to wait until the historians sort it all out.

I found the author's discussion of her own life, however, to be very intriguing. She was born into a tenement in Youngstown, Ohio, a rusting old steel town, which had seen better days. When she was three years old, while spending time with an aunt, the home caught fire and her cousin was burned to death. When she was seven, her father was murdered. When she was a teenager, her gangster brother was the subject of drive-by shootings wherein everybody else in the house was dodging bullets. She decided it was a good idea to get out of there. [Incidentally, her brother was, also, eventually murdered.]

"Getting out of there." nvolved becoming Miss USA [a pageant owned by Donald Trump] and going to prestigious Howard University.. Somehow, that took her to the White House where she worked for Pres. Bill Clinton. If it is that easy to get away from a poverty-stricken neighbourhood, it is amazing that other people don't do it.. Clearly, Omarosa, as she brands herself, possessed a great deal of determination and ability to make it to the top.

After working for the Clintons, she apparently became a national figure through her appearances on the television production of The Apprentice. I guess that is where I should have been more in touch with pop-culture so that I could have grasped her fame. My ignorance reminds me off the moment when I had been told that Princess Diana had died. My first response, of which I am now ashamed, was "so what".

Following her stint on the very popular TV show, which show made Donald Trump famous as somebody that was good at publicly firing people without showing any compassion, she trained to become a pastor. That seems extremely odd. We are never given any explanation as to why.

She doesn't seem to have done any serious pastoring. Rather, she went to work on Hillary Clinton's election campaign in 2015. The problem is that, after all this dedication, she was not offered an important position on Hillary's campaign team. Donald Trump, on the other hand, was anxious to have her, especially since she was a woman and had black skin.(We all know that skin colour is very important in American politics.)

The rest is history. She went to work in the White House and then, displeasing Trump, was fired. Of course, that meant that she should now write a book.

I am not sure what the moral of all this is, except to say that she seems to be a rather intriguing person

Wednesday 29 August 2018

The octogenarian returns

I got a notice from somewhere that it will, as of tomorrow, be a full year since I wrote anything on my blog. I think I got a little bit of writers block after trying to turn myself into a journalist and finding, after publication, that I got a few facts wrong. I will try to amend that from here on in and speak to you about whatever is on my mind.

I am now eighty-one years old. The last year has been very eventful for me. I have been in very good health and, as a result, have enjoyed a great deal of good leisure time visiting with friends and family and reading. I have read a lot of really good books. Two that stand out, this summer, are "Thank You for Being Late" by Thomas L Friedman and "Growing Pains – The Future of Democracy [and Work] by Gwynne Dyer. Neither book is very well titled but, between them, they have helped me come to grips with so much of what is happening so quickly in the world today. We need to understand the rapid growth of scientific knowledge, particularly in in the field of engineering and the fact that politics and administration are hopelessly behind. Perhaps, someday, I will go into these issues in some depth.

In the meantime, let me tell you that I'm spending a lot of my time trying to stay healthy by going to the very invigorating McWheelers gym at McMaster University and a very therapeutic pool at St. Joseph's Villa.

Now that I've gotten this far, I hope I'm back in the habit and, while I haven't said very much today, you will indulge me that fact and let me get back on track.