Sunday, March 04, 2012


And now, a heartfelt message to leftish people who will go ahead and vote for Obama in November even if he ends up actively supporting a war of some sort with Iran:

Fuck you.  This is all your fault.  People like you are the real problem.  Lesser of two evils?  Fuck you. 

I could elaborate.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Santorum! Santor ever fucking last one of um!

While the smart money appears to still be on Romney in the Republican primaries, the Santorum buildup is hard to ignore.

- I maintain, as ever I have, that there won't be much practical difference between a world governed by a Republican and a world governed by a Democrat.  As evidence, I offer the years since, at least, the election of Ronald Regan.
- Yes there are differences on the margins.

Should Santorum become the nominee, however, there may be one big positive.  It appears likely that Obama would defeat him handily.  This might well serve to put the Talibanical segment of American Christianity back in check for a while.  They need a slapping down from time to time.

However:  he could win.  He is nowhere near as stupid as he appears to be.  Furthermore, as I was just saying to a friend, we can expect around 40% of the voters to vote for any asshole with an R by his name.  What would happen if Israel and Iran were to decide to finally consummate their forbidden love for one another and gas prices ascend to near-European levels?  I suspect the fabled swing voters would collectively lose their shit and go for Santorum (if he were able to make even the slightest case for how he would have Done It Better).

So don't get too smug, Obama supporters. 

But again:  not much will change.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Big Payback

I was recently in a couple of internet conversations which revolved around the seriousness of the "debt crisis".  I felt moved to point out that I don't actually have any particular problem with debt as a concept, whether on a state or on a personal level.  I don't view it as a moral issue at all, and if the current "crisis" (I use the quotation marks for reasons I shall explain below) results in widespread defaults, well then, that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

I grew up in debt.  As far as I know I have never lived in my own home:  my parents always bought, but I don't think they ever paid off a mortgage completely (maybe on one house, but I'm pretty sure they took out a second mortgage on that one).  I have, since moving out, always rented.  Both my parents and I have enjoyed the pleasures of credit cards and I'm deeply in the hole on student loans.  I'm pleased to have had the wonderful experiences these debts afforded me although I resent that some of these experiences cost money at all.  My life would have been very different indeed had I not gone into debt, although perhaps not so different had I grown up in a society which didn't require money for the things I've enjoyed. 

[Aside:  I was once at a salvage store which had a huge load of books for sale.  I decided to buy more than a few dollars worth.  My friend was resisting, as she had no cash.  I noted that I, too, lacked cash, and would be "Discovering" the books.  She said she only used her credit card for emergencies.  I said that, come social breakdown, she would have a shiny, like-new credit card and warm feelings from her bankers.  I would have lots of books.]

I'm in Germany now, and folks 'round here don't rightly cotton to my kinda thinkin'.  Or rather, folks of a certain generation don't.  Germany is becoming a debtor society, too, albeit slowly and carefully.  Debt has gotten a bad name over the last two or three years because many cities played financial games with their own debts (thanks Wall Street wizards!) and lost and because the tabloids enjoy telling everyone that "we" will be picking up the slack for "the Greeks".  The reality is, of course, far more complicated.

I realize that things are becoming unpleasant in Greece and may remain so for some time, and I realize that the pain will likely be distributed amongst workers throughout Europe if the powerful don't get their way (or even if they do), but a part of me is pulling for a default.  Fuck it.  Refuse to pay, Greece!  If bankers lose their jobs, so be it.  They shouldn't have such shitty jobs.

And the ramble ends:  I just so happened to have noticed that there's a book called Debt by a person named David Graeber.  I'm going to put that on my list of things to read.  The blog Crooked Timber is in the middle of doing a seminar on it (this is the link to the first post in the series).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Greece is saved!  (until tomorrow)

US troops in Afghanistan have done some things they shouldn't have done.  (aside from simply being there at all, which I view as their chief error)

Israel and Iran need to get a room. 

The last time I posted on here was during the 2008 US presidental election.  How time flies.

I again find myself with things to say from time to time and so shall revive this.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I'm just a no-name reporter. I wish I had somethin' to say.

It has been so long since I've posted anything here, it seems pretty silly to do what I am now doing. And yet, I do do.

Since my last post, quite a number of things have changed in my life. With one exception, the changes have been very nice.

The exception is a big one: the Police concert was rescheduled to June of 2008 due to Sting's useless excuse for a throat. What's the point of all that yoga shit if you can't turn up for a reunion tour? Gee whiz.

That is old news, though.

I'm writing now to go on record against Hillary Clinton.

People who have read my other nonfamily blogs will already know that I'm no fan, but I wanted to lay it out clearly before Stupor Tuesday makes my objections meaningless (either because she'll be all out or all in after tomorrow).

I was also prompted to post this anti-Hillary statement because I've read some of the hubub from pro-Hillary types (discussed and/or exemplified at Firedoglake and Pandagon, among other places).

I can narrow my anti-Hillary sentiment to three broad areas.

1. I think her husband was an awful president, and to the extent that she would govern like he did (and she reminds anyone who will listen of how glorious the good ole days were), then I dislike her. I will be so bold as to say that the differences between his 8 years and Dubyah's 7 have been largely stylistic. Dubyah's economy is largely Clinton's (give or take some tax cuts), as is the War on Terra (Clinton would have used even fewer troops, but perhaps more bombs), general foreign policy (Clinton was more of a persuader, but had the same goals and friends), and trade policy. Sure, Clinton signed Kyoto. Did he try to push it through the Senate? I could go on and on.

2. The Clintons are probably the most effective players in modern American political theater. I can't otherwise imagine how they have been able to survive the often bizarre attacks they've endured. Similarly, they have an almost uncanny ability to inspire passionate support (shocking from non-rich people: I understand the rich peoples' love). What have they ever actually accomplished, though? If neither of them had ever acted, what Good and Big thing would no longer be but now is? The Family Medical Leave Act? Something in Arkansas somewhere? So. I hate them because so many rightwingers and so many liberals seem to think that Hillary and Bill are the Real Thing.

3. Even if I liked them (I will admit to being impressed in some ways, but that's not the same thing), I would be uncomfortable with the dynastic implications of Hillary winning. It has been said elsewhere, but it can't be said enough: 8 years of Hillary, 8 years of Dubyah, 8 years of Bill, 12 years of Dubyahdaddy (yeah, I said 12.). That's not really cool, somehow. And recall that Dubyahdaddy was involved in the Ford and Nixon administrations, too.

Notice that I've not addressed any of the things Hillary says she wants to do if elected. You'll be correct in supposing that I don't expect anything markedly different from what we've had since 1980.

That leaves Obama for the Democrats. Perhaps I'll write something about him another time, but for now I'll say that he strikes me, so far, as the least objectionable major party contender since at least Bill Bradley (I don't include my beloved Kuch in this category). Furthermore, his personal style and background alone would probably shake things up nicely, even if he turns out to be another DLC type. We shall see.

As for my thoughts on McCain, I wrote almost precisely four years ago that I don't go for the hero schtick, and if you look closely I think you'll find that he's pretty consistently not on your side (I'm assuming you are not a rightwinger) when it comes down to voting.

That is all.

Except for this:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


On Friday I hope to buy tickets to see the Police in concert.

I am the man that I am because of the Police.

I learned to appreciate musicianship from them. They were the first band I really listened closely to, and they are brilliant musicians.

They taught me things like odd time signatures, and things having to do with keys and rhythms and syncopations and octaves and chords and all sorts of other stuff that I still don't fully understand. I am not a musician, but I learned all sorts of things about what is possible from listening to the Police.

I learned about Carl Jung through the Police. On the same album I was encouraged to question the concept of a just god, the inevitability of human progress, and my relationship to my mother. Synchronicity also gave me food for thought regarding obsession and murder.

The Police made me a leftie. How can you say that you're not responsible? they asked. One world is enough, they said.

Self pity in the face of loneliness: I felt it, and they gave voice.

Transcendent joy produced by love (or infatuation): is there anything better than Every Little Thing She Does is Magic?

Sinister, unhealthy love? Oh yeah. They covered that. Listen to I Burn for You.

The Police managed to sound tough without being macho. There is no misogyny in their music that I can discern (the song mentioned below involves Satan). There is respect, fear, and love of women in their music, though.

The Police had a song announcing suicide, and another preparing me for the dangers of becoming a Humbert. Masturbation: Be My Girl, Sally. Rape: A Kind of Loving.

I feel certain that the Police made me smarter, more sensitive, more aware, more thoughtful, more open, and more enthusiastic about life than I would otherwise have been. Other bands helped them, and I may still have turned out alright if they had never existed, but today, almost 25 years since their last album, I still turn to them when I'm happy and when I'm sad and when I'm angry about injustice. And when I want to hear music.

Their songs were dark and funny and clever and happy and bitter and angry and sophisticated. And they could rock. And they could be quiet. And they made me think about Everything.

I was a working class boy from Bessmer, Alabama. The Police made me a citizen of the world.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


The assiduous reader of this or either of my other two blogs will have noted that I have spent more or less no time discussing the role of pets in my life. The simple explanation behind this lack of ____ blogging is that I have had no pets since I began blogging. However.

I once had a cat.

Scott and Dawn and I lived together, back inna day. In 1992 the three of us went to get a kitty from the Hattiesburg "pound". The kitty we got we named Miles Davis on the way home because she was a "crazy cat" (she seemed to enjoy crawling under the pedals of Scott's Honda Prelude, as I recall).

Miles was very small when we got her. She fell asleep in my hand, once (and I have a small hand for a man of my size). She also fell asleep in a baseball cap.

Living, as we did, on the second floor of a house, we were little concerned about Miles escaping. She had free access to the roof via our windows. One day a bird got trapped in the sun room. I put Miles in the room with the bird. Nature took over. I feel guilty to this day.

Miles once brought a bird in from the roof as a gift. I eschewed it.

One night I was sitting in my room and heard Scott shout and scream from his room. It seems that Miles had taken an interest in Scott's electrical outlet. Scott lost his computer work. He learned to Save.

One night I was laying in my bed and Miles took an interest in my feet. I found the sensation oddly erotic. I have since told Birgit about it, and she harasses me for being a cat fetishist. In reality I am a foot fetishist, if anything. More likely I just dug it.

One night Scott and Dawn were out of the house. It was just Miles and I. I was in my bed. I heard Miles yelp and run up the stairs. She ran into my room and sat next to my bed, panting. I went downstairs to check, but noticed nothing amiss. Our house was rumored to be haunted.

Dawn moved out of our first house and was replaced by Bob. Bob had a cat called Puddin'. Puddin' was the most loathsome cat you can imagine (big, mangy, stinky, greyish, mean, old, etc). Puddin' harassed Miles. I once put Puddin' out by kicking it out the door. I forgot that I was wearing steel-toed shoes. I shouldn't have kicked him anyway, but my actions were in defense of Miles.

In the spring of 1993 we had a snowstorm in the South. Matt Hull and I drove from Hattiesburg to Bessemer. At one point we were stuck in the snow on the Interstate. I mooted the possibility of killing and eating Miles (who was with me). This was struck down.

I left and came back. I moved back in with Scott and Dawn. Scott and I went away one time and left Dawn in charge. We returned to find that Miles had grown picky. We asked what she had been fed. Tuna was the answer.

I like to think that I taught Miles to fight. I used to harass her. It made her tough. It gave her the strength to face Shelley's bird.

In general, however, my approach to catting is summed up here:

Data: May I ask a personal favor?
Worf: Yes?
Data: Will you take care of Spot for me?
Worf: Your animal?
Data: I am concerned that if I have another waking dream, I may injure him.
Worf: Of course. Spot, come here.
Data: Unlike a canine, Spot will not respond to verbal commands.
[Data picks up Spot and hands him to Worf, who is not quite sure how to handle the cat.]

Data: Goodbye, Spot. He will need to be fed once a day. He prefers feline supplement one-twenty-five.
Worf: I understand.
Data: And he will require water. And you must also provide him with a sand box. And you must talk to him. Tell him he is a pretty cat, and a good cat, and—
Worf: I will FEED him.
Data: Perhaps that will be enough.

It was not enough. I left Miles. She was a pretty cat, and a good cat.