Sunday, January 4, 2009

What's New About Country and Western?

Well - it has been a while since I last blogged. Christmas and New Years was hectic like it always is... Meantime there has been time for me to reflect on the world.

Despite the horrible news from Gaza about so many people being maimed and killed, the world is trying hard to be a better place. I think the whole world is fed up with war-mongering and wants to do what it can to stop all the killing. Here is some good news, albeit only relevant for those folk in San Francisco, but anyway...

According to California Fire News, the response time to emergencies has improved enormously in the metro San Francisco area, and, following a new protocol, the 911 Call Center has improved the time it takes to dispatch emergency help to those people who really need it fast. For just about a year now, dispatchers have dispensed with the "further questions" approach before dispatching emergency teams, and, depending on the priority of the symptoms reported over the telephone, there is now no delay in getting people out to the scene of an emergency, whereas before, several questions needed to be asked to determine the priority, therefore taking up valuable time. This new approach has meant that now, instead of emergency workers arriving at a scene late one in four times, they now arrive late one in every five times. Although this doesn't appear to be monumental, try multiplying this figure by a hundred! This then means that whereas before, out of every 400 people's emergencies, 100 were late arrivals, now out of the same figure, 400, only 80 now are late arrivals, and we can expect the figure to keep dropping as the new technologies all take effect. Emergencies are really costly, and we should be very grateful for the support we get here in the USA. California had a record-setting wildfire year in 2008, with over 1.7 Billion dollars spent fighting wildland fires! There were some sad stories. But there were also many stories of heroism and courage too.

The other topic which came to mind was the film industry. Clint Eastwood has produced two new movies after a long time doing other stuff. He is 78 and still raring for more(!) He is going to be doing a story about Nelson Mandela this year. It is interesting that the film, "Gran Torino" is about an old guy who encounters some Asians who move into his neighborhood, and the movie deals with his very unique way of handling this. The old Eastwood of "High Plains Drifter" fame is still there, but, after the event, he has a lot to say about the presence (or lack) of political correctness, and somehow his old-style commonsense wins through in the end. 

This demonstrates the incredible changes we have gone through in just the last few years. Where did all the old cowboy westerns go? Why is all of this so foreign to us now? I think someone should do a remake of classic "western" movies like "Monte Walsh", "High Noon", "High Plains Drifter" or "The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance" dressed up in a modern "western" genre, just as an experiment. I have always believed that these films have a place in our current society too, since the "West" was won at some stage, and, if nothing else, they serve as a piece of history, however politically incorrect they may or may not be.

See you next time around... :) 

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