CAMPAIGN 2012

August 6, 2008 | Filed Under big ideas, funny haha, mysterious, politics, time travel | 3 Comments 

obama / quetzalcoatl - 2012

realized yesterday that 2012 is not only the end of the world/mayan calendar - but it will also be an election year… presumably for Obama’s 2nd term.  Holden and I thought of a great idea for a running mate!

I actually ordered a few of these bumper stickers from makestickers.com. I’ll have some extras if anyone wants one…



The Most Dangerous Catch

June 6, 2007 | Filed Under funny haha, god bless the internet, politics | Leave a Comment 

I’ve been getting a kick out of Michael Scherer’s coverage on Salon.com of the GOP debates - he does a run-down of the important bits “so you don’t have to watch yourself.” I have been watching them though, and he does a pretty good job of summarizing the main points while throwing in some pretty funny observations and the odd jab at Wolf Blitzer:

22 minutes. The microphones are squelching. Rigid Blitzer says, “If you are hearing some sounds out there, it’s lightning.” Lightning, of course, doesn’t make sounds. Thunder makes sound. But lightning can cause electronics to belch noise. Blitzer, who appears to be built partly from electronics, is an authority.

… 67 minutes. Blitzer announces a break so chairs can be set up onstage. CNN cuts to Anderson Cooper and Larry King. Blah, blah. The Discovery Channel is showing a rerun of “Deadliest Catch.” It’s a good one. “Busted buoys, broken pots, and a blown engine have put the Northwestern more than a week behind schedule,” reads the teaser.

Here’s the link to article about last night’s debate, and here’s the one on the second debate; (I don’t think he wrote one for the first, and I’m pretty sure this “format” is reserved for Republican debates only.)



Christmas Components

November 29, 2006 | Filed Under big ideas, god bless the internet, good lord, politics | Leave a Comment 

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” — Garrison Keillor“If they could, secularists would cancel Christmas as a holiday. That’s how much they fear the exposition of the philosophy of Jesus.” — Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly and Garrison Keillor certainly and obviously hail from opposite sides of the tracks - but believe it or not, they actually share a tiny little piece of common ground. Sort of. Garrison, of course, is the voice of reason and wisdom to Bill’s raving lunatic, but apparently they both want to keep Christmas in the world.There are differences to their approaches, not surprisingly. Bill’s solution to end the “War on Christmas” would be to force all non-christians to willingly defer rule to christianity and christian symbolism in public, without any “equal time” for other faiths, essentially because “we were here first,” and any entity proposing a compromise that might omit the word Christ must be economically boycotted. O’Reilly sees any adaptation motivated by a sense of political correctness as a religious persecution against Christians, and the fundies love him for it.So what about those of us libs who also happen to really like Christmas? This is where Garrison Keillor chimes in today on Salon:

“Whether or not you believe that the Creator of the Universe came to earth in the body of a child, the day itself is an enormous gift.

There are people who feel “excluded” by Christian symbolism and are offended by the manger and the angels and the Child, but there have always been humorless, legalistic people. Complaint is an American art form, and in our time it has been raised to an operatic level. To which one can only say: Get a life. When you go to France, you don’t expect a stack of buckwheat pancakes for breakfast or Le Monde to print box scores. You’re in France. Now you’re in America. It’s a Christian culture. Work with it.”

His argument, (also against the over-compensation of the p.c.-minded), is more about recognizing the fact that the religious component of Christmas is actually a pretty small fragment of the already long-since secularized “Christmas season”. He says there’s plenty of room for non-christians to enjoy Christmas, and that the trappings of the season, with all the food, nostalgia, and carols do not require an adherence to any particular faith to be enjoyed.Basically, his much more rational point of view is that, in our current society, it’s true that Christianity was here first. Pretty early on, however, the Christmas holiday extravaganza got firmly established in the secular world and was commercialized in a million films, songs, and store promotions. There’s all this great food, pretty lights, and kids love Santa Claus. It’s a very American, capitalistic, and in the past 100 years, a hugely secular thing. I think what he’s saying here is that if you’re not Christian, or even if you’re not religious at all, you can still eat the cookies and watch the rudolph special, and even still feel some goodwill towards men or something.None of us, Garrison included, would ever want to live in the near-theocratic society that Bill-O’s followers dream of. I don’t think Garrison is suggesting that Christianity get any special treatment at Christmastime, or that any other religious holiday should be silenced, just that the reality is, there’s a whole Christmas culture that a lot of people feel sentimental about and are really fond of, and he doesn’t want it to disappear into a politically homogenized fog.Politics aside, the majority of Garrison’s piece is really about elucidating what’s beautiful and wonderful about Christmas in the first place; why it’s something that so many people care about at all. I particularly love how he first observes the season through the eyes of a little girl and then later, as an adult full of the pain of life - and the moment during Silent Night on Christmas Eve when all your Christmases meld into one.If nothing else, at least we know Garrison Keillor can beat Bill O’Reilly at poetics.

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Another Christmas-related item: The Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas box set is out now. Last year, I blogged about three of these five E.P.s, as they weren’t available to buy, but you could find them online. (Now the links go to this page.) I listened to them a lot and they’re really great. I guess the story is that he does a Christmas E.P. with his friends every year as a tradition. I think the ones that were online were the first three years, ’cause the way Pitchfork writes about the more recent ones sounds like something I haven’t heard yet. I would ask for this set for Christmas, but that doesn’t really make sense… I want to be listening to this in the car on the way home, you know? Guess it’s going on my grocery list. 

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Finally, while doing all this Christmas themed googling today, I came across this:Not very secular, especially for characters that most people consider pretty secular, but I bet Garrison Keillor still likes it. And that Vince Guaraldi music is really something. Might be going on my grocery list also. 



Demon-Republicans

November 5, 2006 | Filed Under art, funny haha, god bless the internet, politics | Leave a Comment 

“I’m just not sure it’s in our best interests to have a government led by demons!”



Dick Fucking Cheney

October 3, 2006 | Filed Under funny haha, god bless the internet, politics | Leave a Comment 

This is beautiful -

(audio and mouths are from Scarface, case you wondered. and here’s who made it. (and a QT link for better quality))



Steven Colbert Wins the Day

April 30, 2006 | Filed Under funny haha, god bless the internet, politics | 1 Comment 

Colbert was somehow granted an opportunity to speak (for about 20 minutes!) at the White House Press Corps Dinner… and absolutely rocked the mic. The President was not only in attendance, but was seated about 10 feet away from him, and Colbert didn’t back down. The man’s got balls of steel, y’all. Practically everything he said was simultaneously brutal and hilarious. The audience was seriously nervous - but still laughing. It was awesome. I followed a link Boing-Boing to watch the entire video… you’ve got to see it.And hey, if it gets you in the mood for this sort of thing, why not rewatch Jon Stewart’s inspired appearance on Crossfire?



New Orleans Now

December 2, 2005 | Filed Under fantastic weekend, get outta here, good lord, photo, politics, seen | Leave a Comment 

Dsc00904Since I’ve been in Baton Rouge for over a week now, I figured it would be inexcusable for me to not visit New Orleans at least once. So the other day, I joined my cousin Lance, his wife Erin, and our Aunt Andree on a trip through the city. Lance is a firefighter, and was involved in the rescue efforts after the hurricane, so he was a perfect guide to show us around. He knew a lot about what happened where, and what has been and is being done to recover. We all took a lot of pictures, and I’ll be updating my flickr page with theirs when I get them. So far, you can at least check out my photos.One thing that struck me was the sensation that some areas were not as bad as I thought, even to the point of seeming completely normal, and then other areas were absolutely as bad as you can imagine. Dsc00859The change was often a matter of turning a corner or crossing a block. For example, the French Quarter, fortunately, is on pretty high ground, so those old, dilapidated restaurants, bars, and shops that have been built upon older buildings that were built upon even older buildings are all still standing and functional. The electricity there was restored pretty quickly, and there are street vendors, tourists, and jazz musicians on the corners. The only noticeable change in the Quarter is that it’s less crowded and there were a lot of hurricane katrina t-shirts for sale.The next thing you know, you’re practically in a third world country. As soon as you get out of the Quarter, there’s no electricity, so all the intersections have temporary stop signs set up. There are gigantic piles of trash and rubble lining the streets. Dishwashers, refrigerators, & washers and dryers are lined up, outside, broken. One fridge had a graffiti message spraypainted on the door: “Do Not Open!” There were literally hundreds of abandoned cars, suvs, and trucks. Doors and trunks were wide open and windows were broken. Most of them were covered with a grayish white film leftover from the floodwater.Dsc00873As we drove through the neighborhoods, we kept noticing the brown stain on garages, trees, and sides of houses where the waterline had been. Lance was especially aware of the fact that we were driving in places that were underwater a month and a half ago; he had seen the same neighborhoods from 6 to 10 feet higher in his boat, and he said everything seemed different from the “normal” angle.Dsc00911There are signs everywhere you look, many handmade, for practically any kind of service that people in this situation would need. One said: “Computer flooded? We can retrieve your files.” Another was for restoration of damaged photographs. Lots were advertising “home-gutting” and “de-molding”. It was surreal to know that this is basically the only economy in New Orleans right now.With the exception of the Quarter, just about all the “standard” businesses are closed, but we did find some nice suprises. Lance and Erin’s favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian joint was up and running, so we had a great lunch, and there were some entrepreneurial-minded folks who had bare bones tent shops: like the barber cutting hair in a closed Shell station parking lot. Those people are mainly catering to FEMA and Red Cross employees, though. Other than relief workers, there are not many people around; it really feels like a ghost town, especially in the neighborhoods, where block after block is basically uninhabitable.Now that the water is gone, there’s a sense that the urgency and the emergency is over. But it’s painfully obvious when you walk or drive around that the job of making New Orleans liveable, much less a nice place to be, is going to take a long, long, long-ass time. here’s the link to the flickr jive.Dsc00914