Attending a mini-rally with Reverend...

Jesse Jackson was good for the soul, even if I'm not traditionally moved by populist emotional appeals. People chanting in a crowd, no matter the message, always creeps me out. But this was helpful because after all the reading I've done, and all the polling that's taken place and been ignored, and all the reporting that has been spewed out of that God Damned Television, I really do feel that Kerry will win. If the "likely voter" polls now show an absolute dead even tie, then the massive new voter registrations and minority (read: Black) votes will almost assuredly tip the balance. Republicans tend to get a consistent degree of support from their registered voters, and if this one election were any less crucial I'd say that they'd probably win, although with an unacceptably thin margin again.

But I have the feeling that people are really starting to wake up en mass, and are considering just what another four years of Dubya would cost this country. It still shouldn't be this close, but it is. This time, however, it will be close in our favour.

5 days to go.


We are slowly working...

towards an understanding of the consequences of electing Dubya in 2004. My own family is very well split, but there are a few normally staunch conservatives that are beginning to balk at giving our current White House another four years to run willy-nilly around the world and blow stuff up in the grand delusion that it somehow makes us safer. I really really hope it's not too late, although it appears that the registration rolls in PA favour the Dems by a steady margin, and one thing you can be sure of in this election is that when people register under a party they're going to vote for that party come Nov. 2.

Sweet Merciful Jeebus, less than one week to go.


I watched Jon lay down the law...

to Msrs. Carlson and Begala on the taped and now world-widely distributed edition of Crossfire that Mr. Stewart appeared on. My impressions are thus:

1. He said many things that needed to be said, such as "You're a part of their strategies." "You have a responsibility to the discourse in America." And "The lead-in to my show is about puppets making crank calls. What is wrong with you?"

2. Debate does not involve shouting loud enough to drown out the opposing voices. When Mr. Begala claimed that Crossfire was a "debate show" he ignored this key distinction, and the two gentlemen proceeded to illustrate this by repeatedly interrupting Jon and shouting their points and questions at him.

3. Much of the news that fills up "the cycle" in this era of 24-hour power networks isn't really news at all, but fluffy incidents of little import that are blown into proportions enormous. It's fairly disgusting, and as a trained Journalist it was always one of the turn-off of the profession for me. And it is a powerful and damning statement indeed that some of the best journalism practised in America these days is done by professional comedians.

Sad, yet true. What does it change for Crossfire? Not a whole hell of a lot, except that perhaps a pang of conscience shall visit the minds of those responsible for journalism's downfall, and the citisenry who allow it to happen.


I had to explain...

to the nice man in the coffee shop why my bumper sticker "Bush-Orwell '04: War Is Peace" was an ironic message, and not meant to imply literaly that a state of war means tha there is peace in the world. He was receptive, and open to discussion, so there is hope, but I worry sometimes that I'm being too clever for my own - and Our Republic's - good.

I met the clever girl that had been putting up contrarian Homecoming Queen posters next to the mass-copied photos of semi-attractive guys and gals, messages like "This Toaster For Homecoming Queen: Brought to you by Bread." They've been torn down, but to me that says that at least people see them, for the smaller message at the bottom says "Wake up and vote for something important."

Please Jeebus, bring that date ever closer. 15 days to go.


I Wonder Why...

this particular image from the large collection at Exploding Dog.com is so singularly fascinating to me. On the other hand, I know exactly why, but part of me continually questions. It is a simple, direct, beautiful condemnation of everything this !President has done in the "War On Terror." We all knew that the right thing to do was avoid a costly war waged for a dubious purpose. We now know that we were not only right, but prescient. We knew that Iraq was not a threat to America. We knew that war would not solve our problems, but worsen them. We knew the costs would be devistating, not in lives or money but in spirit, the one thing that America has had from it's first days as a peice of parchment in 18th century Philadelphia to the days following 9/11, when we were all Americans. I wept when a German mourner held a sign up in front of a camera that said "Freiden," because we knew for certain that at that point that we had real hope for a better future for people across the globe.

And now what do we have but contempt? 18 days to go.


How do you trust...

a cafe full of strangers when you have to poo and your laptop is still hooked up to everything and your food and coffee is only halfway eaten? Generally, I do one of two things: Pack it up early. It takes a few seconds to get Pallas disentngled from the local power outlet, but all told it's pretty painless. Most of the time I rely on her size to keep her anchored, the theory being that someone would have to be real real dumb to try and run off with a 17' screened laptop once everyone else in the establishment has seen me bring it in.

And lo, I'm proven right again!

Any suggestions for getting rid of an all-pervasive static electricity field in one's apartment? Every article of clothing I own adheres. AND, as though there were a God and he had set himself to thwarting me in all Earthly endeavours, someone moved into the apartment above mine and almost immediately began playing loud rap music into my kitchen. The change was instant and remarkable. I moved away from the University to move away from the noise and pig-habits of my neighbours, above and below and next of doors. Initially, things went swimmingly, and I treasured the silence that seemed to pervade my new home. I also took comfort in the assurances of my landlord that intra-building disturbances would be met with the most severe disapproval. I shall call them today and discover specifically what actions may be taken, but the issue for me is larger. It is the fact that simple courtesy, the understanding that the actions we take in this universe have instant and real consequences in the lives for other people, has disappeared with the introduction of powerful stereos. It is impossible to walk any street in the cities of America without hearing at least one good string of "Fuckin' bitches and hoes" repeated as refrain to some mindless Casio keyboard bass line. This is an insult to many things, personal dignity and simple privacy foremost among them. And unfortunately, I'm sufficiently offended to fight against it, particularly when such refrains make their way into my private life whether I want them or not. It's Just Wrong.


Dirty stinking...

rotten filthy useless ORGANS! Damn. Whining Now changes nothing about Then, but it can help to ventilate the spleen. Thanks to this disease, over the past few years the doctors seem to have made a habit of taking pictures of the inside of my body. This is fascinating and disturbing at the same time, allowing the suffering patient to observe the cause of their suffering while being powerless to do naught but watch.

I had a similar dream this morning as I lay recovering from said photo-op, in which I witnessed the aftermath of a car crash and was powerless to help anyone but the victim's dog. It was a little grey shaggy thing with a leash, and there was definitely the strong sense that I was useless in any other capacity than to hold on to it should the victim survive. I'm sensing a common thread here.

Watch the debates. Anyone who truly cannot make up their mind, who honestly believes that there is little difference between the two candidates, is merely suffering ignorance. I'm not kidding. At this point, there should be no questions left in the mind of the concerned citizen.


Another Sunny Day...

Well, that's the name of the song, anyway, and it actually is rather nice today, at least outside this window. This idea has been percolating for some time now, but I've yet to confirm it with any other iChat users: iChat's unique (read:immediate) presentation of your buddy list and the away messages listed therein makes it much easier to think that just saying Hi is a good idea. It also makes reading said away messages something of a hobby, witness this sample:
"Arbeit erledigend... und jen saugt Kugeln."
"Don't eat your soul to fill your belly. I think that's how the quote goes, anyway..."
"This window is named for me. It is also named for you. We share in it."
"my life is so exciting I might die! i hear the ice cream man!"
"i'm so afraid of waking... please don't shake me... i must be dreaming."

I also still get a kick out of downloading crap on the campus wireless at speeds exceeding 120 kbps. Why is that? One could link it to the kind of thrill that gearheads get from slamming new headers on their V8 gas-eater and feeling those extra thirty horses push their stomach into the seat. Except for us the thrill is more intellectual, at least, one hopes that no one in Nerd Land experiences a different physical sensation when bandwidth is maximised.

I came up with an idea for a webcomic. Nerdslayer would be a consummate Nerd himself, utilising all form of wireless devices in his quest to set free the infinite mountains of information in the world. But he is the sworn enemy of the Common Nerd or Helpless Geek, those who give his kind a poor name and reputation by laughing loudly over their previous D&D exploits in the Land of the Night Elves, wearing long unkempt ponytails and shirts three sizes too large for their frame (disregarding those whose frame is substantial enough to require the largest size of garment), and the placing of Japanese techno-pop in any form of public music system. Mind you, similar uncouth behaviour in others is just as perverse and detested, but we must pick our battles.

Using a special reinforced and alltogether sharper-edged 17" PowerBook and an arsenal of discarded AOL CDs and hockey-puck iMac mice, Nerdslayer would hop from campus to campus and office block to office block kicking nerd ass and forcing them into more socially adept behaviour through concussion, amnesia, and tailored relocation/resizing of garments. He would discourage the use of pointless electronic devices and inappropriate use of common ones, mainly cell phones.

You might ask yourself, if you care (which is more than doubtful), if some event precipitated this idea to form itself? The answer is yes, and no. Yes, because there was a minor incident in one of my classes regarding one of our token "I think I'll use my cheap-assed laptop to take notes in class because it's still more sophisticated than you mongrel lead-eaters" that, while too boring to get into, caused me to remember all the little moments I had felt the above frustrations, particularly at my place of work, the University's instructor media services office.

Also, The Ministry of Truth is apparently open for business, capitalism being an odd sort of anethemic enterprise to involve itself in. The bumper sticker with "Bush-Orwell '04: War is Truth" now adornes Pallas's backside, and the response around the campus has been either curious or positive or both.


Substance? Nay...

But there was a strange lack of, let's call it idiocy in the debate last night. One can almost use the word "debate" to describe it and not raise the hackles of a dead William Webster. It is as close to a truly substantive discussion betwixt the candidates as we're likely to get, and I can be happy with that if Kerry continues to whallop Bush.

Wallop. H or no h? Either way, the word is appropriate, for a whalloping is what Bush got (and gave himself). He became particularly upset, and I thought this was brilliant on Kerry's part, when his father's record was compared to his. Is it not evident that everything Dubya has done in his life, from the spurned guard service to flailing at Yale and Harvard Business to killing businesses of his own to his entire political existence, has been a failed effort to emulate his father? And now they even have Iraq wars to compare. Analysis can do nothing but harm Bush, and the only way it harms Kerry now is if it is done without context.

A friend of mine (who remains a friend, despite being at odds politically) can only speak of Kerry's positions without context, the whole "he was for it before he was against it" thing. What's funny is, those statements are true, and their veracity is not challeneged. Rather it is their complexity which is somehow worthy of scorn, and if that is how we measure our leaders then by all means give me polysyllabic conceptual iterations. The leader of the Free World should be smart.