Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've joined your political party - where's the beer?

  - Bluto Blutarski (John Belushi), from Animal House

The novel in which I am one of the main characters is set in the 1980's and 1990's*. That's one of the fun things about being a character - I am "frozen" in my 30's, so to speak. I never age (unless, of course, my author, Sienna, wants me to). But, that's not the point here.

I was taught long ago as a child that it's the people that decide our government and make our government what it is, for better or worse.  Of course, when I was a kid, Howdy Doody was an immensely popular TV show, and working computers where you could talk to someone in an entirely different continent were the stuff of science fiction movies and books.

Nowadays, I have learned quite a bit living in Sienna's head and watching the comings and goings of everyday 21st century life.  Even politics has changed - and sadly, in my opinion, it's for the worse.  Just like everything else in Sienna's life, politics has become big business.  Once the province of everyday people, politics has become somewhat of a more corporate endeavor these days.  Every major (and many minor) "grass roots" organization is backed either by a large corporation or by some huge foundation (are you listening, Mr. Corporate-Billionaire-Rival-who-tried-to-waste-me-last-summer? HEL-LOOO!!!!  What groups are YOU backing these days?  Please say it's the imported beer and spirits lobby - we need more Amstel and Cuervo, not to mention a few good Effen martinis!) 

Now I hear there's even a group of people who refer to themselves as "tea partiers" (I have another name for them which starts with "tea", but I can't say it here).  They had a large rally right across the street from where Sienna works one day and they were very obnoxious.  They gave all kinds of speeches about how people need to get back to the "good old days" of how government was ran.   If that means allowing corporate America to run the country, then they've already got their wish - why are they whining??!!  Oh - something about letting the health insurance companies run healthcare?  Don't they do that already???

Anyway, these are my opinions - you may have differing ones, and I respect that.  Hey - I've got an idea - why doesn't that guy who runs the Twitter feed S#!t My Dad Says run for president?  He'd probably win if all his 1 million + followers voted for him!  And he'd probably shut up those tea bag - er, I mean tea partiers and send them packing.  Maybe.  And then Sienna could get back to work.

*All characters, plots, storylines and indicata associated with Being Dilly copyright (c) 2009, 2010 by Sienna Berton. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What's YOUR idea of fun?

"Let's have some fun"
 - Marc Antony (James Purefoy) to his troops, from HBO's Rome

Ask anyone what their idea of "fun" is, and you'll get as many answers as there are kinds of people.  Some people think it's fun to play sports, while others think their jobs are fun.  Some believe that such "mundane" things as playng bridge or watching a movie are fun, while still others engage in such risky activities as scuba diving, stunt plane flying and streeet luge, just for fun.  There are even people who do volunteer work at places like hospitals, soup kitchens and homeless shelters for the sheer enjoyment of it - in other words, because it's fun.

And then there's MY idea of fun.*  Put simply, I love helping others.  I love the reaction of people I am helping when a task is completed successfully and that person can go on with their life knowing that whatever major obstacle that was blocking their pursuits is no longer there; that they have been given a "second chance" to fulfill whatever obligation or goal they may have, or simply to live their life without worry, or fear, or pain.  I don't help others to try and attain media glory or because I want to make money off of it or because I have a guilty conscience to appease - I do it, put simply, because I enjoy it.  In other words, that's how I have my fun.  Oh - it's also therapeutical for me too - it takes away the stress I have to endure when I am at work. (yes I DO have a day job!!)

Being an "urban legend" has been nothing but beneficial to me - it mostly means anonimity but it also  allows me to pick and choose those situations I wish to become involved in and people I would want to help.  But how do I pick and choose the "tasks" that I perform and the people I help as a result of those "tasks"?  Well, there are several methods I use - friends, opportunity, even stories I or my friend Greg hear about in the news media.   I have helped people from all walks of life throughout my existence - from newly arrived immigrants to working class families, all the way up to a socialite in The Hamptons that needed a little help from me once.  Most of the time, I work alone, however sometimes I ask (and get) help from my friends.

So that's it - the crux of what I am all about.  I became what I am as a result of one very important lesson my best friend Greg Washburn learned as a child back in the 1950's - Helping others makes you feel better about yourself and the world you live in.  And who taught Greg that very important life lesson?  A very knowledgeable - and wildly popular - 27 inch marionette, and his equally caring human friend.

* All characters, plots, storylines and indicata associated with Being Dilly copyright (c) 2009, 2010 by Sienna Berton. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dave? Dave's not here. Wait - he IS here!

"There are over 5,000 men in this city who know that being a policeman is an endless, glamourless, thankless job that's gotta be done.  I know it too - and I'm damn glad to be one of them!"
- Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday, Dragnet (1968)

Dave Stalling is another of the characters of Being Dilly* that lives inside Sienna's head.  He is a captain and head detective of a New York City Police Department precinct.  When we first met, he was basically 'on the take' from a crooked politician.  He was protecting thugs that the politician was using to try and drive tenants out of an apartment building so that it could be purchased by one of the poltician's friends and converted into luxury condos.  But, through some 'gentle prodding' from me (and a thirst for revenge after the politician slandered him and cut him off), Dave turned state's evidence against the politician and helped greatly to end that building's reign of terror.  We've been friends ever since.

Now Dave enjoys living here in the crannies and crevaces of Sienna's brain almost as much as I do.  When we see what's happening in the world through Sienna's eyes, Dave is amazed that there are trained police officers and security guards in almost every building downtown and in almost every government department.  Today we even saw that the County Assessor has his own police unit!  That's weird.

Dave's take on all of this (Guest Blogger: Dave Stalling)

Sienna thinks that the reason there are more police and security people out there is because we as a people have grown to be more paranoid and mistrusting of others.  Dally tends to agree but what does he really know?  He just runs around and helps people as much as he can - he doesn't care if the perpetrator is arrested (he usually lets me worry about that), it's the person he's helping that gets his full and complete attention. 

I personally believe that the reason for this is that today people and building owners are more cautious, especially in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks and various workplace and government building shootings that have occurred in the past several years.  People need to know that they will be secure everywhere - at home, on the job, even at a ball game.  You never know who you will be standing next to, sitting next to, or even who's in front of you.  Any of these people might turn violent for any one of a hundred different reasons.  It's my job to protect the public and apprehend the criminals that cause chaos and crime in our streets and buildings. 

I'm not even in this job to receive thanks or appreciation from the people in my precinct - if it happens, I am grateful.  But, if I see a young family walking down a street, or a group of buddies enjoying themselves at a cookout, or just a lady chatting with her friends on the phone without worry - to me, that's the best gratitude there is.

* All characters, plots, storylines and indicata associated with Being Dilly copyright (c) 2009, 2010 by Sienna Berton.  All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Peaceful Co-Existence

"My name is Dillon Dally.  My friends call me Dilly.  My enemies - well, they have other names for me."

And so it starts.  Oh - sorry, forgot to introduce myself.  My name is Dillon Dally.  I'm actually a character in a novel that my friend Sienna has been working on for the past 3 years.  Like all the other characters in her novel, I live inside Sienna's head.  I guess that is a good thing - not only does she let me and my buddies (and enemies too) run loose on the pages of her MS Word program every once in a while, but I also get to see and hear about things that go on in and around Sienna's life.  It was really nice of her to create this blog for me so that I can at least share my feelings with her - and maybe - with the world.  Provided, of course, she (or anyone else) even reads this blog.

Which brings me to the topic of peaceful co-existence.  It's really surprising, even to me, that there is such a thing in existence today, given that half the world is at war with the other half.  In a (comparatively) small space such as Sienna's head, I share quarters with the other two lead characters, named Dave and The Guru (no, that's just a nickname - I'll explain more about him in another entry), plus hundreds of her thoughts which zoom right past us each day.  Some get caught in the 'sticky paper' that is her imagination, while others just fly by.  Anyway, for the longest time I thought that it was just the three of us that had to live out a peaceful co-existence - until I found out that the practice is also done in places outside of Sienna's head.  For one thing, people that drive cars for the most part live a peaceful co-existence on the roads (except, of course, for the speeders.  Other than an actual emergency, there is no reason I know of that anyone should speed - they probably do it because they're running late to get home to watch the new episode of Chuck or something like that.  That's why DVR recorders and TiVO were invented, people!) 

Speaking of which, shock of shocks, how about True Blood and The Vampire Diaries peacefully co-existing on TV - and both are doing well to boot!  Sienna told me that's a normal thing - she remembers when she was in high school how both Dallas and Dynasty peacefully co-existed and also did well.  It almost makes me wish that my rival was able to stick around and...oh, never mind!  You'll hear more about my rival in future entries too.

Perhaps the leaders of the world - and even the leaders in our own government - could learn a lesson from the co-existence of True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.  If two very similar, yet somewhat different, programs can co-exist and thrive within Planet Television, then perhaps we, as people, can make that same effort to co-exist and be successful within Planet Earth?  Just a thought.