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Saturday, October 02, 2004


OK...several things...

1) I'm taking suggestions for which book to read next. I just finished Welcome to the Monkey House by Vonnegut. I'm reading Confessions of a Barbarian, Edward Abbey's edited journals, and am reading Neihardt's A Cycle of the West to Jenn in the evenings (fun doing Mike Fink's brogue, esp. since Neihardt has done it so well). But I'm looking for a novel, I guess. My rules are practically the obverse of G-Had's; he only reads fiction that is less than 5 years old - the Edward Abbey approach ("Books are like eggs--best when fresh"). Abbie (the girl, not the dead, cantankerous, monkey-wrenching male author - note spelling difference for future reference) and I can hardly stand to read novels that were written in our lifetime. I suppose I would be willing to try something newer than '77, but it better not be anything on Oprah's list. Is it true what I've heard that Anna Karenina is the greatest novel of all-time? If so, why is Oprah reading it?

2) Check out the Space Age Pop link at the bottom of the bands link at the left for an extremely thorough exploration of the people, songs, and sounds of ultra-lounge, space age pop, exotica, etc.

3) Since I now have access to virtually unlimited compositions by virtually unlimited composers, I'm trying to minimize my classical music deficiencies. So I'm also taking suggestions for any particular sonatas, operas, overtures, etc. I'm still convinced that it doesn't get any better than Beethoven.


Friday, October 01, 2004


The reactions of "analysts" have been pretty mixed about the debate last night. Sure, neither one of the candidates really delivered a "knockout" blow, but did we expect that? Did we expect John Kerry to produce the transcripts from Tricky Dick's meeting with the energy industry? Did we expect Bush to pull some Kerry-hating swift boat veterans out of his pocket?

Of course, you can't "win" a debate, in that when it's over, the audience votes on who gets to be the President. But....

Who "won" the debate?

The CNN/Gallup Poll

Kerry: 53
Bush: 37

CBS Poll:

Kerry: 44
Bush: 26
Tie: 30


Kerry: 45
Bush: 36
Tie: 17

An unofficial, unscientific CNN poll I looked at this morning actually gave Kery 71%, and Bush only 21%. I think it's pretty clear what people watching the debate thought.

Moreover, on a simple question of who performed better - who was more "Presidential" - I don't see how there could even be a question. John Kerry looked statesmanlike and Presidential, was calm and well- but plain-spoken, and he took full advantage of the time allotted him to make intelligent, decisive, and worthy comments. Bush, on the other hand, hunched over the lecturn and seemed nervous; he was on the defensive from the start (not unusual for him). He talked incredibly slowly, and stumbled over his words often, even though he rarely said any word with more than 2 syllables, or any sentence containing more than about 6 words, and looked, as one commentator pointed out, as if he was praying for his time to run out faster. In contrast to the image that the Bush campaign has tried to paint of Kerry, he answered questions directly, concisely, and with clarity. Bush answered nearly every question by talking about how Kerry was sending mixed messages to our troops, and how that was no way to win a war. Also, there were all these really long, awkward silences, which might have seemed like digified pauses, except that 1) you could tell his brain was like some neglected old car, trying and trying to start on a cold winter day, and 2) when he did finally speak, what he said was, almost without exception, inane and immature. I felt like Bush thought he was addressing a class of 8th graders.

I wonder whether Bush's "handlers" thought it would be a good idea for him attempt some humor, or if that was his own brilliant, off-the-cuff idea? It seems unwise to try to tell jokes when the audience isn't allowed to laugh. I mean, I was laughing, but only at his discomfort after he discovered that nobody was going to laugh at his attempted humor. Those uncomfortable, pregnant pauses following his 'jokes,' when he was sitting there with that pained expression on his face, in disbelief that nobody was laughing, were hilarious.

Oh. And also, Bush shouldn't laugh in public. Because when he does, and you hear that awful, nerdy laugh, you realize that it's not even as though he's the loud-mouthed, bullying, spoiled brat America generally thinks he is; rather, he was the kid that sat in the back row of your 7th grade Social Studies class eating his boogers and making fart noises.

I might be slightly biased, though.


Thursday, September 30, 2004


Man..That article on the debates was way wrong. Just about everything it was complaining about was untrue. Well, actually, maybe half of the things were untrue.

Since I never really drive much - maybe once or twice a week, there's not much point putting bumper stickers on my car. So I was thinking I would clutter up my blog with them, until the election is over. The nice part is, I won't have that grimy glue mess left over when the election is over, and I won't be like those dorks that still have "Dukakis '88" on their bumpers....

Excuse the clutter...

Except the bumper stickers that are obviously from the Kerry-Edwards website, most come from Irregular Times, where you can purchase them.



For an interesting discussion of tonight's so-called "debate," check out Brooke's blog.

Ridiculous. Why do we stand for this? What's the point of a debate if there are no rebuttals allowed? How does that constitute a debate? How does that differ from simultaneous stump speeches? I think that it should be held in a giant stadium somewhere, so everybody who wanted to could get in, and make their opinions known, loudly. After that, the candidates could square off in an American Gladiators-type contest.

America![shakes head]


Wednesday, September 29, 2004


For those of you who are depressed after watching Outfoxed last night, I offer some words from Edward Abbey's journals, written in June of 1953 in Taos, New Mexico:

"What loyalty I still have for "America" takes this form:

I love the land - its great rivers, plains, mountains and the ineffable desert; I love my friends, my kin, my unknown allies - I will stand by them to the end.

But for the cities, for our schools and churches and industries, for the government, for the meaningless documents embalmed of the past, for the mass of hucksters and enterprisers - no love. Fuck them. No loyalty. I will not defend them."

Not sure those are very inspiring words..but maybe there's nothing new under the sun?



I haven't listened to much Green Day since Insoniac came out. Not that I started to hate them like all the 'cool kids' did. Just haven't been into it, plus they seemed to have gradually dulled like a well-used knife from their first album to their third. But I've been listening to American Idiot today. 2 things strike me:

1) I think Green Day woke up. Maybe the 4-year break helped. It's interesting music again. It demands that you tap your foot.

2) I think it's interesting to look at their style and content in the first album, when there wasn't all that much to be punk about, except the fact that it sucks to be a dysfunctional outcast teenager. But it seems to me now that the time is ripe for punk music in the vein of The Clash. And this album kind of reflects that. Good job.



I have found my new favorite abstract artist. In my opinion, this 4-year old girl is far surpassing the birdshit splatters Jackson Pollock painted in his 30's and 40's. (go to Photo Gallery, then click on the painting names on the left to see the amazing works of young Marla Olmstead)

I especially like that even though her paintings are going for tens of thousands of dollars, they still have little-kiddish names like Dinosaur, Alligator, and Aquarium.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Here is the transcript from the O'Reilly/Glick interview...for those interested..


So, for those of you who are into politics, and, I guess, video games, (I swear I am not making this up, to borrow Dave Barry's catchphrase) you can re-enact the events that took place on John Kerry's Swiftboat in this game. Key quote: "We hope people who experience the mission will come away with a deeper appreciation of Kerry's service and the service of all Swift Boat Veterans in Vietnam."

I wonder when they'll make a video game simulating Bush's "service" during the Vietnam war...Oh wait...here it is!.


When people profess a preference for one of the big breweries' beers as their favorite beer - any of the big American beers - Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Pabst, etc., I always think that it must be based on some aesthetic preference for the colors and designs on the beer can or something. Because I'll be go to hell if I can distinguish any difference in quality between them. Sure, maybe Coors Light is more watery than Miller Lite, but Miller Lite is more sour. It's all the same, folks...metal-flavored fermented cornwater...just go with whatever's on sale.



So in addition to not having any MC Honky, Negativland (other than 1 or 2 tracks on compilations (Knitter on the Roof)), or Love Cup, Rhapsody also does not have any Sweatpant Boners.

That ranks right up there with Slobberbone as the coolest band name I've heard in awhile.

I have, however, been exploring some of the Superdrag albums I never quite felt confident enough to buy - especially Head Trip in Every Key. OK, I'm an unconditional Superdrag fan now.


Monday, September 27, 2004




Um. When I heard this story on NPR this morning, I thought I must still be partially asleep and that my brain had just made part of it up.

Key Quote: "This war is not about Iraqis and Americans, [or] oil. This is a spiritual war, and the people who don't understand that...they need to just dig into their bible and read about it. It's predicted, it's predestined."

I especially like the part where this guy goes on to explain how Bush is the best person to lead us in this "spiritual" war, since he is a "devouted [sic] Christian."

And there's the news from America, folks. Oh, what? You missed the part where Christianity (Good) became our national religion, and where we decided, as a democratic nation, to launch a crusade against Islam (Evil)? It's all in the Bible. The Gospel According to Dubya. Not familiar with that part?

I wonder how prevalent this viewpoint is - that this is a spiritual war, of good vs. evil..? I mean, to be fair, I know plenty of Christians who are rational, intelligent, decent people. Depending on your definition of 'Christian,' I might consider myself one. And I can't think of anyone I know that would go along with this. But I'm starting to get a little worried about all this religious fervor America seems to be in since we got this born-again, shit-fer-brains president (I won't even give him the dignity of capitalizing 'President').

And don't even bring up 'The War on TerrorismĀ©,' because I think it's been well-established that Iraq has nothing to do with that.

OK...Perhaps we should re-evaluate our feelings as a nation about which religion is the one tending toward creepy, self-righteous fundamentalism. Because you know what..? It ain't just Islam, people.

Adapting Edward Abbey: When I hear the word religion, I reach for my flak jacket.

Seriously, Christians, you're starting to creep the hell out of me.


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