Tuesday, January 16, 2007

so, about that "catastrophic ice storm"....we got rain. NO ice, just rain. I like when they hype something and advise people to stock up on food because there is going to be an "extremely dangerous storm system" and then nothing.

In other news, we went to gay trivia night on Saturday night, hosted by the HRC, PROMO and the Stonewall Democrats, we did terribly, I think that we finished sixth from last, ouch. Better luck next time, maybe they won't ask questions that were decades before our time, our table of under 25-year olds.

Speaking of the Stonewall Dems - I wasn't happy with their representative that came to our table to encourage us to join. In a moment, she berated us, implied we were lazy and admonished us for "not being involved." She was fighting in the 60's, "what did we do to help?" Ok, listen up lady. 1) really not the best way to get people interested in your organization - but a REALLY good way to turn people off. 2) you have no idea how involved we are, you have no idea -- but thank you for perpetuating the myth that young people are not involved, thanks for that. 3) you said it's because we don't know anyone [in iraq/affected], but you couldn't know if we have brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts uncles in the military or in Iraq. So thanks for making patronizing, erroneous assumptions about us. Also, we think you might have been drunk.

Also this weekend. Emily Haines (of Metric) was in Chicago. We had a fantastic trip, despite heavy traffic on Friday afternoon. We arrived in Chicago, had a nice dinner, and then went to the concert. Ms. Haines' solo stuff is very different from Metric's energetic bounce, but not less wonderful. We sat in the second row, and had an amazing view (obviously) - and the acoustics of the theater were perfectly suited to her voice and her keyboard. I did want to kill the people in the back who yelled inane comments like "I love you" and "you're hot" - it just wasn't that kind of concert, boys. And to whoever in the back got into an extended yelling session with Ms Haines, about how she needed to get up and dance "C'mon, Metric" - shut the fuck up. In cause you missed it, Emily Haines was performing, not Metric. Ms Haines' "well since i'm your fucking puppet, i'll just do whatever you want" response was perfect. Not surprisingly, unlike in Philadelphia, she did not come out to greet the audience and sign autographs. If I was her, I wouldn't either. Do check out her album though, Emily Haines "Knives don't have your back."

and i got to see carissa! and her studio is lovely.

Let's see, what else....oh yes, BUSH IS STILL A LIAR.

And let's talk about "24." Easily one of America's favorite shows, and after watching, for the first time last night, I can see why. Action-packed, with elements of MacGyver crossed with all the blood and gore of a Tarantino - it was everything it was talked up to be. And yet, I am troubled by the violence in the name of National Security. It seems to me that shows like this desensitize the American people to torture and the trampling of civil liberties.

From the NYT: "Torture, presented with gusto and almost no moral compunction, is an increasingly popular way of gathering intelligence on "24." If anything, the new season seems even more intent on hammering home the message that torture is necessary in the war against terror, and that despite what some experts claim, torture works." I like this section, but I am not pleased with the somewhat shoddy claim that "despite what some experts claim, torture works." Guess what, it's not "some experts" that think that torture doesn't work, it's most - including the military. Personally, I'm just not comfortable with the show displaying graphic torture and the idea that it is right and necessary. This is where many americans get their ideas about what is right and necessary -and that is truly frightening. More from the NYT:

"For obvious reasons, the series is a favorite of the Bush administration and many Republicans. Last season, Senator John McCain made a cameo appearance (despite his objections to torture), and in June the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group in Washington, held a panel discussion titled, " '24' and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction, or Does It Matter?" The guests included Ms. Rajskub, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security.

That kind of partisan favor is not surprising. Officials in the Clinton administration rubbed elbows with the cast of "The West Wing"; his former press secretary Dee Dee Myers worked as a consultant to the series."

And that in a nutshell is the difference between republican policy and democratic policy. Republicans think that if the throw enough firepower at a problem, if they torture enough people, the can solve it. Democrats know that a country's problems are more nuanced and require a nuanced solution.

(note: despite my qualms about what 24 does to the consciousness of teh American people, i have to admit, it won't prevent me from watching- if only to see how civil liberties continue to fair.)

Meanwhile, the Board of Directors at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists have announced that they are ready to make a change to the Doomsday Clock (should be announced Wednesday). The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clockface which shows how close the human race is to midnight - nuclear war. Currently the clock stands at 7 minutes to midnight. The closest it has been was in 1953 when both the US and USSR tested thermonuclear devices within 9 months of each other. The clock stood at 2 minutes to midnight at that point.

I hate when people spell their easily spell-able last names, but fail to spell, or sound annoyed when i ask them to spell their difficult names. grr.

lighthearted news: Over winter break, this guy reconstructed and reenacted the Battle for Helms Deep with gummy bears and other candies. Enjoy. http://missedmanners.wordpress.com/2007/01/12/what-i-did-over-christmas-vacation/#comment-1470

A source at Hinesight says that Obama may announce as early as Wednesday on Oprah. As evidence is the fact that Oprah lists what each show will be about except weds (is has been speculated that he would announce on oprah), he recently said "I will have something to say soon" and robert novak said that he had it from a 2008 major donor that obama would announce this week. so there you have it, we will see.

oh yeah, and about that escalation of troops? Iraq doesn't want them - http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/15/world/middleeast/15baghdad.html?ei=5094&en=4666f60671e0a842&hp=&ex=1168837200&partner=homepage&pagewanted=print
so much for "we will leave when they ask us" Once again, thank you Mr. Olbermann

Olbermann had another special comment - this one came right after the Bush speech last week - gems include:

"And to Iran and Syria — and, yes, also to the insurgents in Iraq — we must look like a country, run by the equivalent of the drunken pest, who gets battered to the floor of the saloon by one punch, then staggers to his feet, and shouts at the other guy's friends, "ok, which one of you is next?""


"The lives of 21,500 more Americans endangered, to give "breathing space" to a government that just turned the first and perhaps the most sober act of any Democracy — the capitol punishment of an ousted dictator — into a vengeance lynching so barbaric, and so lacking in the solemnities necessary for credible authority, that it might have offended the Ku Klux Klan of the 19th Century."

Once again, thank you Mr. Olbermann. (full transcript here: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/01/11/special-comment-on-the-presidents-address/#more-13477)


Blogger Roko said...

Re your experience with that Stonewall Dems person:

This is why I don't like either side. Both major political parties are full of raging asshats. Don't get me started on the <strike>Watermelons</strike> Greens either. (btw, why does blogger hate the "strike" tag?)

Unrelated to anything in your post, I'm going to be in town April 18th-23rd. I plan on spending a fair bit of time playing with power tools, but I would like grab a drink (or 12) with you and see my nephew.

6:48 AM  

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