Monday, November 22, 2004

liberal education

Vocab: A liberal application of butter on my bread. Mmmmm. Butter.

Why does, oh I don't know, learning things mean you are trading off for 'marketable' skills? Why can't the media ever pick a young person that is more interesting and intelligent than a piece of hair?

On liberal education -- what it means, do the students get it (apparently not. They answer "the classes are small" and "the professors care."), what's the point, etc. etc. Ok yeah, so I agree that it's quite a broad term that does little to describe its aims. And I'm not sure who determines these aims. But I take it to mean something like an education where one learns to how to think more coherently, to be more able to engage different perspectives and arenas into some sorts of hopefully meaningful or searching judgments and questions. You learn how to learn. And that's probably roundabout and I've disproven myself by being about as intelligent as a piece of hair. But liberal arts sure doesn't mean that you're being "creative" in some typically arty smarty sense of the word.

Actually, I'm getting kind of angry reading this. A student explains:
"But at a certain point," she says, "it becomes less and less about learning and more about resume-building." Why? Well, Maynard replied, people don't want to graduate and end up as a Starbucks barrista. After she gets her degree in literary studies, she wants to pursue a career in branding.

What the fuck is branding? Branding cattle? Determining what's hot and what's not? And fuck, maybe you might learn something from being a barrista than some kiss-ass who isn't interested in the world around them and can't say that they are passionate about what they do. How the hell can you be passionate about branding. I love that Nike swoosh. It keeps me going when I'm down and out and thinking of slitting a wrist.

Rant finis.

Ok. Angrier than I thought. To each his own and all different kinds of people and their money to make world go round and other such platitudes. Sorrryyyyyyy *giggles*

Edit: All about branding

it's only opera!

Coolfer recently had a tid-bit/link from the San Francisco Chronicle to an interview of classical crossover artist, Hayley Westenra. This is interesting because operanews did an interview with her not too long ago. But this interview was way more funny.
It starts like this:

Q: So your official biography comes out this month. Is it, like, three pages long?

A: I know, it does seem a bit crazy. But it's basically my whole childhood story, and how I got where I am. Hopefully, there's more to come.

Q: Can you explain the best part for illiterate people?

A: Well, I haven't read it all yet. That's what I'm going to do on the tour.

Q: You don't need to read it. You lived it.


I read some more stuff by Aidin Vaziri who is SF Chronicle's pop music critic among other things at other places and he makes me laugh and clap my hands at his cheekiness. He also loves u2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

I missed U2 on a flatbed truck travelling down Broadway. I can't decide whether this was a good or bad thing.

which arcade fire member are you?

Cannot stop it. Before I realize I've gone mad, I'll start running a web-ring of Arcade Fire fan sites, making livejournal and AIM icons and quizzes that determine: Which Arcade Fire member are you?

At least that hasn't happened yet. But TTIKTDA has an mp3 of AF covering Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" calling it "Naive Melody" along with a link to some more goodies.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

moma ants

moma.jpg


Went to the newly renovated MOMA when it opened for the little people (cool people, press, and members got a sneak peek earlier in the week) on Saturday with free admission! and rain!! and clean white spaces!!!

There was this one piece there, if I remember correctly, by Rachel Whiteread. I don't remember what it's called. Hopefully not Untitled #8. Maybe Room or Negative Space. Anyways, it was a plaster cast of a room she made, sort of like this big hunking white mass of sand-castlesqueness.

I don't know why I remembered that all of a sudden. I think because the new building is so big and airy that I imagined filling it with white plaster. How romantic.

Now that I've devolved into nonsense as per my usual habit... I'll dance a little Ashlee-jig!

Overall, I thought Taniguchi's design was pretty great. Elegant and simple in a mostly non-boring way. I mean, I don't think you can escape the expanses of white space. But everything flows nicely without being curvy and there are nice corners and peek-a-boo windows into different floors and walkways that seem suspended, evoking futuristic sidewalks in the air.

The place is overwhelming, simply because of how much stuff they have. The floor with the "stars" especially -- y'know, the van gogh, picasso, matisse. They all reside a little uncomfortably close to each other, like neighbors in NJ suburbia.

I'm excited about what MOMA will do in terms of exhibitions and how they will use their new space. Get a membership. It's worth it.

The Duke Leadership in the Arts Program I liked so much I did twice is holding its visual art classes @ MOMA itself and exploring the whole of the museum. My two years we had to schlep all around the city -- and that was cool cuz we got a great, varied overview of the NY arts scene -- all the major museums and galleries, Chelsea, Soho, Queens, Brooklyn -- but I'm still mad jealous and might have to crash some of this year's classes during lunch breaks.

[pic from Tien]

More pics chez Youngna. Some of them are hott.

Peruse MOMA's collection here because you don't spend enough time in front of the computer.

Unrelated note: my friend just sent me this link. It was pretty funny.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

it all comes together

Well. I guess I can't stop from talking about Arcade Fire any more than I can help oversleeping and being late for work. Abercrombie might be all racist and stuff but they, too, love the Arcade Fire.

fratty.jpg
Conversant:
"What's the name of that band that's supposed to be wicked good?"
"Shut up Ken. Just act cool."
"I can't hear what you're saying. My hair deflects any words away from my ears."
Thoughtful:
"Did you starch your polo shirt. God that's sad."
"I've been with hotter girls than this chick. I'm so pretty. My polo shirt is pink."
"Shit, my hair is losing its purposeful waviness. When can I get to a bathroom to put some more hair product in?"
"Shit, my hair feels loose. I can hear what this girl is saying. When can I get to a bathroom to put some more hair product in?"
"I'm hungry. I wonder if Ken will want to stop for some fro yo. Or parfaits. Mmm. Parfaits."
"WTF is Arcade Fire. John Mayer is so awesome. My body is a wonderland."


Okay enough of that.

kevchino.com interviews Win Butler. In response to a question about the whole Neighborhoods deal, Win responds: "Read Plato's republic, then it will all be clear." Is he being his smart-alecky self? Hummmm.

bradleysalmanac has a live arcade fire show from boston's TT the bears - mp3s and pics. He is as eloquent as I was. "Best show Ever." Wheeeeee.

Mmm. Parfaits.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

abercombie crap

racist.jpg
Awwww. I remember this picture. Because it was everywhere freshman year of college -- even on the SNL "Weekend Update" segment. And it has this girl I knew in high school yelling, "Raawwr! Should have used bigger cardboard!!!"

There had been all this to-do because Abercrombie had those shirts with things like "Two wongs don't make a right" or something ridiculous like that. Yesterday's Times reports that a national bias case against them has been settled. A&F, who had been putting hired minorities in the back, cleaning or stocking, will now add more minorities to their advertising and get diversity recruiters and monitors to help them understand that there ARE other kinds of colors in the skin-rainbow.

Shite, what are the Duke kids gonna wear?!??!

Wondering what to get that trendy, politically conscious APA friend of yours for the holidays? Why not a Lauren, the Asian-Pacific-Islander Spoken Word Poet Doll??

laptops can't give hugs

lalipunav.jpg Everybody, this is my older sister, Grace. Hahahahaha. Oh my god, I'm so tired and delirious. Tirelious!!! That sounds Shakespearean. Man, Asian people ROCK! Oh please forget this entry ever happened.

This girl is actually not my sister, nor is she "Chinatown Dumplings." She is Valerie Trebeljahr of Lali Puna from Munich. According to Epitonic, she is " a Portuguese-educated German national, of part Asian descent, writing in English, sampling Spanish voices."

Now that I feel dull as rocks, here's a song that they do: 603. Lali Puna has laptops and keyboards and things with twisty things and a drummer and stuff. Electro-poprock? I hate genres. Just listen to the mp3.

They played a show at the Mercury Lounge. Missed the first opener but also saw Styrofoam from Brussels, where they say "prima" and they don't say "you stupid bastards." They also play laptop music, but more mellow. New album out soon in the States called Nothing's Lost and here you can listen to clips. Ben Gibbard and Andrew Kenny, among others, appear on the album.

Andrew Kenny, from American Analog Set supported Styrofoam for the show. Is 'supported' the right word? I can't think straight. Along with that soothing-like-aloe-voice, the way he dances, or "moves," reminds me of somebody I knew from my doo-shbop college acappella days, who went by his middle name cuz his name was actually Jon Smith -- he also had these cute "moves" - ie dancing with no hips.

I'm so concert-ed out. Totally vegging out tomorrow.

movable blog-o-vision

asobiseksu.gif


Went with YP to Movable Hype on Tuesday night, giving up my usual snarky dosage of Gilmore Girls and Scrubs. Twas a fun night. Met some of the nice Gothamist folks, including Bluejake. It was kind of surreal though, kind of like a house party where everybody pretty much knows each other and you're just one of those people who went because somebody was like, "Yo, I hear there's this cool party at 216 Delaware" and then you go and find that you sort of know everybody because you've been reading their blogs ever since peanut butter and jelly.

Now that I've made no sense whatsoever, I'll move on. Meeting the face behind the words is always kind of interesting. There was just such a preponderance of bloggers that I felt like I was wearing those drunk-vision goggles but they were blog-o-vision goggles. I have to say, just a little weird. "Hi! I know you! But not really!" Creepy in a way. Fandom in another way.

What with the kind of event it was, there was a surprising number of people who didn't want their picture taken. Okay maybe just one girl. YP was doing her picture-thang and this girl was all like, "Don't take my picture bitch." but not as rude as that. And everybody around us was like, you do know that there are currently 38 digital cameras for every one human tonight, don't you ... bitch? And then there was a breakdance fight. Actually, there were a couple camera-offs between Youngna and Bluejake. Frightening indeed.

Anyhoo, brooklynvegan has a linkstastic entry of attendees if you're in that kind of blue clicking mood. I read about 60% of the blogs linked there but thanks to stunning interpersonal skills met very few of them and don't know what they look like. I did spot/recognize catherine's pita, recently of the ipod cozy fame, b/c she posts pictures of herself sometimes. See? This is creepy.

Well, noncreepy was some nice people we met. Tien was one of them.

Oh yeah, the music. Pretty good! We missed the first whoever, thanks to chinatown dumplings. Awwwww, that sounds like a racist term of endearment. Dennis Cahlo of the Sons of Sound (soon to change names) has a wonderful crazy voice, this mix of Bono, Ted Leo, and Jay Clifford of Jump, Little Children (great falsetto). Snowden from Atlanta was arite.

Asobi Seksu was pretty great. Much tighter, wilder, and affecting than when I last heard them in the winter, probably due to touring and the like. Though that makes me sad because their CD really pales in comparison.

Whew. I'm all linked out. How do you people do it?!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

you tooo

Listen to new U2 album at NME:

How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

[link via LHB]

failure

Ever since I moved into Brooklyn in October, I promised myself that I would get up early and read the paper and get some stuff done. Have a morning "routine" as they quaintly call it.

Never been done. Not once.

And almost every night I go to sleep, thinking sincerely that tomorrow will be the day. The day that I don't shut off my two alarms. The day that I don't try to blame anything on carbon monoxide. And yet...

I've decided that this sort of attitude is contributing to a general negative feeling. Because even before my day has really started, I have already failed. But the funny thing is, I can't NOT plan to wake up early, even though this means sure failure. It's sort of a silly situation. In other words, I'm hopeless.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Ode to Craigslist

Look. Craigslist is great. I'm not denying that. Without it, we would not be able to sell not-as-hot tickets for exorbitantly priced hot tickets. We would not be able to laugh at the rants and raves and wonder about the fate of humanity at the missed connections. We would not be able to have one more site to check job postings for that kinda okay paying job that doesn't make you want to kill yourself everyday.

But seriously, NYT Real Estate section. Face the fact that you're catering to an audience that can afford things in your nonintrusive tiffany and gucci ads and make engagement announcements with smiles that yearn to last. So don't pretend you can pull off the Dining section's useful and interesting $25 and under kind of concept by including a yippee craigslist success story even if it is about ex-mormons.

Finding a roommate or an apartment through craigslist is just like trying to find meaning in your everyday existence before your first cup of coffee. And then afterwards. And then when you cry yourself to sleep at night. It's like the outcome of the 2004 elections. You begin, very quickly, to lose faith in your fellow human beings. They lie. They cheat. They expend no energy whatsoever at spelling words you learn in the first grade correctly or proofreading or calling you back. They are all nuts.

It's something you have to go through yes. And I'm happy with the result of my craigslist forays. I have learned a lot. But c'mon, NYT. Fill that space with a pretty picture or something. A coupon for vodka. Or talk about oatmeal.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

i can't stop

regine.jpg


YOUNGNA is cool and in caps. Does she live in microphones to take pics as close-up as these? She photo-chronicles the Arcade Fire/Cornell crazy goodness. Check out her other photo-chronicling.

So cute!!
olsen.jpg


quarter life crisis

The Guardian interviews Zach Braff whilst whispering "Spokesman for a generation." Yes, he keeps in touch with his fans and audience through that new-fangled blogging thing because, as he says:
"With this blog, I thought I'm just going to talk to my audience like I would with a friend. And it's been great for that. Here's what's going on in my life, here's what I'm doing, here's what really fucked me up when I was 25, here's what it's like when I wash my car."

Word. At least you are interesting and entertaining. Unlike me.

Commercial break:
Are you in your mid-twenties? Are you bursting in tears after losing at Literary Trivial Pursuit even with your English degree? Welcome to your Quarter Life Crisis!

While I feel like this is a very real sort of stage of life these days, the melodramatic, peanut-buttery bits sound rather ridiculous. "Are you dead inside???"!! Ah the humans are so funny. Let's refer back to my friend Zach (quote below) who was interviewed at QLC.com. Yes, there's an acronym. And a site.

Hey, so when are my "golden years" supposed to happen??!?!?! I'm waiting!!!!!! Wasn't high school or college or ever. They don't exist, do they? I'll put my faith in edible material goods. Now golden grahams. They exist.

ZB: I think people who are prone to go through a quarterlife crisis are prone to be dealing with these same issues their whole lives. I feel like life goes in waves. The way I describe it is it's like being long overdue for the next chapter of your life to open up, I think everyone can relate to that, life is a series of beginnings and changes, and then there's times in your life where you're like "I am so due for an epiphany, I am so due for something new to happen to me, a new girl, a new job, an epiphany, somebody please send me an epiphany." ....
"Somebody please send me an epiphany." ?? Has he been reading my diary from the past five years? Creepy. OK, my site is quickly turning into a I heart Zach Braff and I heart Arcade Fire site. TeeHee. Girlish giggles dissolving into sobs asking Isn't there any meaning in my life?!?!? What's it all forrrrrrrrr?
Me and my english minor would probably suck at Literary Trivial Pursuit. I mean "I" [sidelong glance].

paul paul interpol

hatpaul.jpg
Saw Interpol @ Hammerstein on Friday. Hail Social, whom I didn't care for, and Calla opened. Calla sounded much more upbeat and loud like Growrrrr! than last time I heard them. Also new members. Aurelio still pretty boy.

Interpol was pretty good but meh, especially after the concert the day before. Lights were pretty cool but backlit the band so much that you could hardly ever see their faces or what the actual color of their clothes were. As usual, Carlos D. cut the sharpest profile and walked around. Dan Kessler still looks like Noah Wyle plays earnestly. Sam looks older but he's cool. I like him. The keyboardist was lost in the smoke machine. And Paul looked hott in a fedora and thanked the audience after every few songs. His voice still can veer into pained sheep. All in all, a solid and cucumber-cool show, as per usual. It was nice hearing the oldies because they actually deviated ever-so-slightly from sounding just like the album.

I don't think I'd pay to see them again in a place bigger than Bowery or Irving. This girl near me kept screaming this very weird scream. It would begin with this splutter of consonants. Like instead of the normal girlie "eeeeee!" or sounds so high-pitched you just have to wonder, it was more like "wblnooooooooooooowwww!" Curious.

[Pic from johnwyles of Texas show.]

Saturday, November 13, 2004

better than rum

arcadebowery.jpg


Alright -- I promise this will be my last arcade fire rave in awhile. Hype pipe mipe. And it's not like I'm going to add anything informative or insightful like I do every single entry. Just some more gushing that is hopefully not so repulsive as to make you not want to check them out. Not like frozen yogurt. I've heard many people rave about the goodness of frozen yogurt. And it repulsed me and in spite of it, I checked the frozen yogurt scene out. Thank god I didn't go as far as bleach my hair or get clothes from Abercrombie and a small purse that curiously can fit little else except all my billz and lip gloss -- cuz it is not so good. If you like the consistency, get some real ice cream, wait for it to melt a little and squish it around. Et voila! Give me haagen daaz and gelato and calories anyday she said, while fretting in the back of her mind about her chubby bunniness.

So, the bowery concert on the 11th, oh that's veterans day, was one of the tippiest toppiest concerts ever. Dirty on Purpose opened and they are one of my fav. local bands (nyc ain't no canada these days) They rocked out more and were tighter than I had seen them last in the spring. I love how the mellow laid-back vocals contrast with the fierceness of their instrumental sound. They still remind me of Explosions but with more poppiness and vocals and a more concentrated, rather than sweeping, sound. I hate how I can't write about music without sounding ridiculous or unhelpfully undescriptive. The drummer reminded me of Karen O. for some strange strange strange reason. I think it was cuz when he was drumming, he would raise his arm real high. Where's the resemblance? Nowhere -- I'm crazy.

DOP - to forget video from the show
2 mp3s here

The second opener, The Hidden Cameras who I've heard was actually supposed to headline before Arcade Fire became the next chai tea latte, was quite entertaining. These kids from Toronto know how to have fun! Yay for fun! Known for the go-go dancers that they like to bring along (they were in ski-masks for our show wheeee!) and their poppiness, they seem like the anti-NY-snooty-hipster band. Smile goddammit! They are another sort of collective, built around the main dude Joel Gibb, and they play like any cool collective these days, an assortment of different instruments. They switch around and decorate the stage. Fun times.

Here is a nice article on them that goes through their music, side projects, plus the history of the band and its association with the church, gay culture, and the Carl Orff method. Now, is there any fun band out there based on the Suzuki school of strings? I think not.

Here's a picture of the Hidden Cameras' cellist, Mike Olsen:
cello.jpg


He also appears on the Arcade Fire album and played a couple of songs with them. My really deep and meaningful reasons for falling in love with him? 1. I liked his hat 2. I love cellos 3. I liked his red shirt which said, "Go home and practice." 4. He was very cute while playing. 5. He was good at it too! As a former cellist, I know these things. 6. And I got this little damper on my heart when the female go-go/semi-stripping/ski-masked was all up in his face while dancing and when he was all bonding musically with Arcade Fire's violinist Sara Neufeld.

When I was at the merch table, Win Butler rushed over worriedly cuz his jacket was onstage and he couldn't get it. I just kinda stared at him with a loopy smile on my face and worried about his wardrobe change as well.

He got the jacket just fine. It had bones drawn on the back.

The Davids Bowie and Byrne were in the audience. This, I missed.

And the Arcade Fire. Better than rum! They make me intensely cathartically (word?) happy. This is extremely difficult to do. So there.

Central Village ran into Win loading the U-Haul, who said they'll prolly be back around February. So keep your eyes peeled.

I'm expecting some cool pics of the Hidden Cameras and Arcade Fire from YP, who went up to Cornell this weekend to check 'em out.

[Pics from Brooklyn Vegan]

Thursday, November 11, 2004

still best drug ever

back from arcade fire concert at bowery.

BEST.

CONCERT.

EVER.

I want to bottle this feeling and not sell it for millions of dollars on the internet, but keep it all to myself like my thoughts.

K, I'm going to sleep while it's way past my bedtime and I'm the happiest I've been since I was like 5 years old eating chocolate ice cream. How long will it last? Dun Dun Dun. So transient and fleeting cuz life is but a dream.

More on concert later. DOP was awesome too and there were inexplicable ski-masked go-go dancers and I have fallen in love with the cellist from the hidden cameras.

Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

i'd like to thank the internet

arcadefiremonta.jpg


gothamist interviews Win Butler from Arcade Fire. I'm seeing them on Thursday. EEEEEEEEEEEE kind of excitement like whoa.

[photos from stereogum via gothamist]

caf�hez vous

espresso.jpg

NYT's William Grimes on home espresso machines. MmmMMmmMm. Espresso. But I'm suspicious of these pod thingies. And you really can't beat real crema. Anyways, coffee and pod are 2 words that don't really go together just like burger and oatmeal. You just have to ask why. The owner of one of my favorite caf�in the city, Tarallucci e Vino, on 1st and 10th, helps tests these thingies out. And Mr. Grimes, I'm concerned about the exorbitant $4 you are paying for espresso. Also, your name sort of sounds like Mr. Grieves and now I have the Pixies in my head.

Best espresso/coffee (and biscotti!) ever? La Columbe in Philly, where you can also observe the Philadelphian garden variety of hipster.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

word-of-blog

I heart KEXP. They're like the cooler older sibling who shares their cooler music with little dorky me.

Right now I'm listening to an archived show and it's playing an acoustic version of YYY's "Maps" that sounds oh-so not Karen O. Like campfire or living room Maps. It's kinda nice. So intimate, those acoustic things. Like your favorite socks.

Anyways, check out Magnet. If you like Elliot Smith, you might like this. He does a cover of Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" with Gemma Hayes that's quite lovely. You can hear that and some other songs at Magnet's MySpace home.

Bon appetit.

drama plans b/c nothing is going on in own life

Sometimes I enjoy the cold. With crisp and/or soft snow. Christmas lights. Hot chocolate. Ice skating. When everybody is complaining about it because I feel contrary like that girl, Mary. But right now? No. It's like getting frozen yogurt, excuse me fro-yo, thrown into your face in front of the Queen and then she looks at you piercingly with her icy, imperious stare. It's making what little heart I have all small and stubborn and chapped with no hope of lip (heart?) balm because it's not in ANY of my pockets!

Here are some plays I want to see before they vanish from NY. Maybe I will write about them if I do... Such. Excitement. !

Reckless with Mary Louise Parker

Comfort Women after I read this and b/c I want to learn about my peoples and you don't exactly run across this stuff every day like you do with stupid people.

and

Sakharam Binder after I read this. I'm all for "frank examination of human behavior."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

fox vs nyt

Friedman's editorial today says things better than I do.
"We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is."

Two Nations Under God
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Well, as Grandma used to say, at least I still have my health. ...

I often begin writing columns by interviewing myself. I did that yesterday, asking myself this: Why didn't I feel totally depressed after George H. W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis, or even when George W. Bush defeated Al Gore? Why did I wake up feeling deeply troubled yesterday?

Answer: whatever differences I felt with the elder Bush were over what was the right policy. There was much he ultimately did that I ended up admiring. And when George W. Bush was elected four years ago on a platform of compassionate conservatism, after running from the middle, I assumed the same would be true with him. (Wrong.) But what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do - they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.

Is it a country that does not intrude into people's sexual preferences and the marriage unions they want to make? Is it a country that allows a woman to have control over her body? Is it a country where the line between church and state bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be inviolate? Is it a country where religion doesn't trump science? And, most important, is it a country whose president mobilizes its deep moral energies to unite us - instead of dividing us from one another and from the world?

At one level this election was about nothing. None of the real problems facing the nation were really discussed. But at another level, without warning, it actually became about everything. Partly that happened because so many Supreme Court seats are at stake, and partly because Mr. Bush's base is pushing so hard to legislate social issues and extend the boundaries of religion that it felt as if we were rewriting the Constitution, not electing a president. I felt as if I registered to vote, but when I showed up the Constitutional Convention broke out.

The election results reaffirmed that. Despite an utterly incompetent war performance in Iraq and a stagnant economy, Mr. Bush held onto the same basic core of states that he won four years ago - as if nothing had happened. It seemed as if people were not voting on his performance. It seemed as if they were voting for what team they were on.

This was not an election. This was station identification. I'd bet anything that if the election ballots hadn't had the names Bush and Kerry on them but simply asked instead, "Do you watch Fox TV or read The New York Times?" the Electoral College would have broken the exact same way.

My problem with the Christian fundamentalists supporting Mr. Bush is not their spiritual energy or the fact that I am of a different faith. It is the way in which he and they have used that religious energy to promote divisions and intolerance at home and abroad. I respect that moral energy, but wish that Democrats could find a way to tap it for different ends.

"The Democrats have ceded to Republicans a monopoly on the moral and spiritual sources of American politics," noted the Harvard University political theorist Michael J. Sandel. "They will not recover as a party until they again have candidates who can speak to those moral and spiritual yearnings - but turn them to progressive purposes in domestic policy and foreign affairs."

I've always had a simple motto when it comes to politics: Never put yourself in a position where your party wins only if your country fails. This column will absolutely not be rooting for George Bush to fail so Democrats can make a comeback. If the Democrats make a comeback, it must not be by default, because the country has lapsed into a total mess, but because they have nominated a candidate who can win with a positive message that connects with America's heartland.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of talk that Mr. Bush has a mandate for his far right policies. Yes, he does have a mandate, but he also has a date - a date with history. If Mr. Bush can salvage the war in Iraq, forge a solution for dealing with our entitlements crisis - which can be done only with a bipartisan approach and a more sane fiscal policy - upgrade America's competitiveness, prevent Iran from going nuclear and produce a solution for our energy crunch, history will say that he used his mandate to lead to great effect. If he pushes for still more tax cuts and fails to solve our real problems, his date with history will be a very unpleasant one - no matter what mandate he has.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

just more rambling

haikus just aren't really my style

Both looked into a glass pane, thinking it was a window to affirmation of
the fairest in the land, but instead saw a mirror devoid of any magic but
one reflecting what was merely right in front of it, feeding a kind of
blindness. And in those two neighboring bubbles of self-enclosure, we don't
realize that on each side of that mirror are people saying the same exact
things about whomever they consider the other and not themselves. And now
that the glass has been broken to pieces, one side despairingly poses the
the Alice-in-Wonderland question of well, Who exactly is America? while the other is allowed to remain in a cloud, smug as the Chesire Cat and right now there's no way of getting through that damn looking glass and remain unscathed.

finding meaning

Fuzzy math session: People seemed to have a lot of trouble with the "Vote or Die" slogan. 7 searches for "What does 'vote or die' mean?" [?!!?!! implied] landed here. And considering I have like 4 readers. That makes that like 148%!

Where's the magic 'morning-after' pill when you need one? Oh, I ain't makin' babies. YOU know that! I mean, I wake up this next morning and find myself at the beginning of, oh those horrible words, four more years. Pop a pill and find myself in .... a different reality! a reality of my own creation! I'll take the side effects of nausea, headaches, and vomiting. Because I'm messily suffering those things as I'm typing anyways.

At least NJ wasn't as stupid as projected to be (F*** you Monmouth County!!!!!). *remember this statement. handy example for what i say below... somewhere below...

It's blinding being in the northeast (or on a college campus �a Duke). Blinding isn't the right word I'm looking for because it conjures up the image of somebody stabbing me in the eye with a freshly sharpened #2 pencil. Maybe blinders... you know, those things that they put on horses so that they can't see things on the side and don't get freaked out and rear with a majestic yet rebellious ne..i..gh...ummm....

So yeah. Blinders. Preaching to the choir. Surrounded by like-minded people, you begin to think that oh man, the WHOLE WORLD is with me!!!!! OK, granted, literally the whole world might be on your liberal side (is that jekyll or hyde? I can't ever remember. Just avoid the musical..), or at least those zany Europeans who will start eating Americans with their superior cheeses and fine merlot... The whole notion that so many people are angry at Bush that we can't possibly lose now!!!! That idea was not just invigorating, it was validating. And what we all like is that one hug from Momma, that one bit of validation, while we don't realize that she's just a boozing loser who doesn't care for anything but her dead dreams and next case of gin....(Not my mommy of course!)

Awwww. Look at how out of control my metaphors are!! It's not as cute as my roommate's cat who is washing his ears with his paws and his spit. Awwwww.

But as much as I agree with you, my friends, who think that a civil war doesn't sound all too bad a prospect (c'mon, we got them surrounded! strategically it's perfect!) or who are packing bags full of frustration and anger to move to Canada or aforementioned fondue-countries, I want to understand.

There are no large majorities here. Generalizing -- that oh so easy, all-purpose bathroom cleaner -- just doesn't clear anything up here. The dirts all deep in the cracks. (Sorry. Out of control, really.) Pro-Bushies are rejoicing by finding people who look like Michael Moore and roasting human Smoores at their campfires, singing joyous strains of Kumbayah (also not a good musical)... Pro-Kerryites are all ravingly furious, angry as all hell, becoming alcoholics so as to be continuously drunk for those touted four more years, and ready to roast pro-bushies over their campfire (even the vegans!), dancing around to U2.
So basically, everybody is ready to turn to cannibalism to deal with our joy and frustrations.
I understand the emotions that the liberals are feeling and the rants they are spouting. And no, I don't, can't really understand the Bush camp (abortion bad, death penalty good? what? explain!!!!) (how do you not make decisions based on your faith-- ie what you believe?? explain... but uh... keep the Bible out of it. No Janet -- youuuu explain!!!) I mean, I chalk their whole attitude to the religious right, and that may very well be true (42% or some other alarming percentage of Americans are born again Christians? I may be off -- don't remember where I read this.) But what I'm most frustrated about is this divide. This inability to talk to each other without getting stark raving mad, and saying the SAME EXACT things about each other. Each side points their index finger at the other saying "man - you so crazy stupid" and then give the middle finger as some sort of 'can't beat the middle finger' pseudo-violent gesture.
I'm not getting to the point. The thing is, we all tend to react to those who are 'the other side' by asking indignantly: how can you not see things the way I do?? Efforts to understand fizzle and we might agree to disagree and sit a respectful distance from each other at the lunch table, but in the end: Different=stupid.
I think it's almost impossible to sincerely cross the line from, Man you're a crazy motherfucker and so stupid because you must think exactly like me to be considered human or will burn in hell for all eternity -- to: Man you're a crazy motherfucker, but you have a right to be one and I'll have to deal with my boozing mother by myself.
So even despite my earnest (earnest-ness was out like in the 1700s) desire to understand everybody a little better, I just want to be more comfortable in thinking that most Americans are not dim-witted, non-listening idiots. That's the kind of faith that I want to have and keep and affirm.
So how does this elitism thing work again??
If anybody can send me links to people who voted for Bush and actually make arguments, please please do....
Blogs for Bush
Meanwhile, these two are like eating food your non-drunk of a mother makes. Comfort food.
Guardian
Slate
My mother does not drink. Really - really. She could probably use one though.

the simple life

Paris Hilton explains all.

Simplicity: "Why you keep losing to this idiot" from Slate

Paris Hilton still alive , despite participating in inexplicable VOTE OR DIE campaign. (via TMN)

And now to drown sorrows away .. take one down pass it around... countdownnnn

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

eeeee pt 2

kerry.jpg

Report from polls at old high school 6:20 AM: Things going smoothly. White-haired ladies at the table very nice. However, no cookies. Not very crazy but steady stream of people, representative of non-WASPy community. Like a skin-rainbow! Not as nice an image as I had hoped. Anyways, fingers crossed. Will need huge coffee(s) to get through day! And will try hardest to avoid Bridget-Jones-Diary-speak in future (fragment-rock!) Wheeeee!

Monday, November 01, 2004

eeeeee


Click for www.electoral-vote.com


After you bite your nails, bite other people's nails... while at the voting booth. Then, use those stubbily nailed fingers and brains to some good. Finally, treat yourself to leftover Halloween candy. Bags of it.

Eeeeeeeee. Nerve-racking.