Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., (www.intermat.tv)
a television company which executive produces programs and consults
with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc.
is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television
in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the
Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery
Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery
Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted
Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation
Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
April 14, 2008
Looking Back, Looking Forward
Friday night, the sky was sodden, rain fell and the forecast
was unremittingly gloomy; rain, rain and more rain at least
until Monday. So it was that when I woke on Saturday to the
most beautiful day yet of the year, I was more than pleasantly
surprised. My friend Raj was visiting for the weekend and
we took our coffee and sat on the deck, sipped it, chatted
and watched the Claverack Creek flow clearly by.
It was a pleasant breather in a week when almost all the news
was, if not dire, slightly unsettling. G.E., the monolith
of America, has seen its profits shrink so everyone, of course,
is a bit spooked. It seemed as if everyone was surprised!
Why anyone was surprised, surprised me. This has been a dreadful
financial season and it's not surprising that the largest
corporations are being affected. Get your heads out of the
sand. It's tough but it's actually looking like we might weather
and, hopefully, we'll use the pause between storms to make
some needed corrections, balance the load and learn a few
things from all of this.
It's been a week to make me glad I wasn't out there traveling
the air lanes. The FAA was found playing cozy with Southwest
Airlines and being just a little, shall we say, lax in its
enforcement - something that when revealed damaged the good
name of Southwest and caused mistrust of the
institution charged with keeping flying the safest form of
travel. In reaction, the FAA clamped down tight and hundreds,
maybe thousands of American Airline flights were cancelled
while its fleet of MD-80's [a plane I've flown all too often
and have never really liked] was checked for faulty wiring.
Airports were not the place to be.
The Pope is coming to town and we've been given a preview
of all the papal souvenirs being created for his visit: unremittingly
tacky. He will go to Ground Zero [note to self: stay off the
streets; I hate throngs]. An acquaintance, aware of my Catholic
background, asked me if I was
excited about the Papal visit. My absolute incredulity, reflected
in a face that clearly communicated: are you nuts? surprised
her. I explained to her I wasn't wanted in the church of my
origin and that I was actively searching for a faith community
in which I could feel comfortable. She and
several others around us had a spirited conversation about
wanting the same thing and I found that very interesting.
As we braced for a Papal visit, the Olympic Torch was beginning
its long journey to Beijing, a passage that has been and probably
will always be a rather rocky tour. The placards of protest
regarding Chinese suppression in Tibet have been quite creative;
for example, one utilized the Olympic Rings so that they were
part of an illustration of tank advancing on a lone civilian
[shades of Tiananmen Square]. As I find it doubtful [though
I won't say I'm not hopeful] that the Chinese will dial back
their response or enter into a dialogue with Dalai Lama, I
think we're in for watching the Olympic Torch being carried
carefully and mostly within well protected vehicles.
And last but hardly least, General Petraeus and Ambassador
Crocker were in from Baghdad, appearing before Congress. I
listened to some of their testimony, read more of it and could
only think: what a mess. There is no new thinking from the
Bush White House but more of the same; in stating that General
Petraeus had "all the time he needed" our President
was letting all
of us know that he was washing his hands of Iraq and letting
the fate of the war be decided by his successor, who will
find him or herself in a damned tight situation.
It rather makes George W. Bush a contemporary Louis XV, who
famously said, "After me, the deluge," and who's
son, Louis XVI, famously lost his head because no one wanted
to deal with the issues of the day - including a huge war
debt, lack of social services for veterans and military