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busy, busy, busy

Monday, March 31, 2003

The question on everybody's mind: Just who is Petaluma Al, and what does he have to do with stinger missiles, Afghanistan, LSD, and abandoned missile silos?

This is a war for democracy. This is a war to liberate Iraq. This is a war for the Iraqi people. Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain; pay no attention to what is really happening.

"That fucking gun, I don't want to ever hear that again."
"They do not know what they are doing or why they are doing it."
U.S. Media Applaud Bombing of Iraqi TV
Using "Pro-Troops" to Mean "Pro-War" Is Anti-Journalistic
US admits '8,000 Iraqis captured' claim was false
Arnett fired by NBC after Iraqi TV outburst
No one here believes this is a humanitarian war

I apologise for the uncreative nature of the post today... Everything is just a bit overwhelming, really. Plus, I'm hungry and sleep-deprived.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

"If you too are a sports nut, it is integral to your dating relationship that she enjoy being a sports spectator as well." Trust, honesty, and happiness all come later. I may be kind of slow, but is it too late to request not to be a man? I mean, I'm mostly not--I hate sports, I don't pick up girls in bars, I don't tell dirty jokes, I don't touch my genitals in public, and I don't think midgets are funny. Usually I can live with that, but when I see stuff like this I really want to change teams. The sad thing about this article, besides the fact it was ever conceived and written and published, is that there are probably thousands of "men" doing this exact thing right now, because they read this article! Wait, who am I kidding--guys who would do stuff like that don't have girlfriends, they have blow-up dolls.

Okay, so this body count thing is getting depressing, since it's already increased twice in the two hours I've been at this computer. USA! USA! USA!

"Baghdad is being bombed every day – to what effect?"

Please, take a moment of your time to gaze at the counter to the left and see how many Iraqis "coalition" forces have liberated from Saddam Hussein. Please do it, because it took me two goddamn hours to properly set the thing up on this site. Tables can be a real pain in the ass.

I try not to swear too much on here, even though in the so-called Real World I tend to have a pretty foul mouth. I offer my apologies to those who are offended by smut.

And just so you know, I watched Fellowship again yesterday... and I still have not prevailed over Minesweeper.

"...just because the townsfolk don't like Saddam, it doesn't mean they like the Americans trying to take him out..." That is the problem with our current administration, as well as many before it--it sees everything as being composed of only two polarized alternatives. Capitalism versus Communism, good versus evil, you're either with the US or with the terrorists, and love/hate Saddam Hussein or love/hate the United States, it's all the same and it all displays a very dangerous mindset. Bush and his followers live in a world of criminally delusional fantasy in which there are only two perspectives on any issue, the United States' perspective and the wrong perspective. There is no middle ground, no compromise, no room for other possibilities. The blind fanatacism with which Bush approaches any serious situation eventually gains the "wrong" side a victim-like sympathy, no matter how distasteful and genuinely bad it might be. The black-and-white position Bush takes on everything necessarily means that a multitude of other possibilities will never be considered; for example, the growing reality that while the Iraqi people might want to be rid of Saddam Hussein, they do not want to be liberated by the US. That option is not within the realm of Bush's consideration and it will eventually lead to disaster for the US, Iraq, or both. At this point in time, the worst enemy of the United States is the man not-really-elected to lead it.

There should have been a post here yesterday (Friday), but the university has been having trouble maintaining an internet connection that lasts for more than five minutes at any given time. Though frustrating, it's not surprising; this is the Electronic Campus, after all. Anyhoo, here is the post that should have appeared yesterday:

Friday, March 28, 2003

"Is this democracy? Is this freedom?"

For the first time in a long while I watched Fellowship of the Ring in its entirety yesterday. Although I watch it fairly frequently, I tend to just view the scenes I like the most (the Prologue/Last Alliance bit, Moria and the Balrog). I don't know, call me a dork, but I can watch that film a million timea and not get bored. I get frustrated, though, when I have to watch the theatrical version instead of the extended edition... what can I say, I like to get my Lothlorien on. Watching it also prepared me for what are probably going to be three of my most highly anticipated moments of 2003: The DVD release of The Two Towers, the extended edition release of The Two Towers, and the theatrical release of The Return of the King on December 17. Like I said, I'm a dork.

I've also been obsessed with the Minesweeper game that comes on every Windows computer. I don't know what my problem is, I just cannot rest until I beat the game at the "expert" level. It's pretty sad. Would all of you fine Christians out there please pray that I beat the game very soon so I can get on with the rest of my life? There's a whole world out there I've been negelecting because of this damn game.

Anyway, back to real life...

The quick and easy war to liberate the Iraqi people (AKA "The Cakewalk") is turning out to be quite troublesome for our courageous leaders. The Iraqi military is proving not to be a bunch of pussies and the people we are supposedly liberating really don't seem to care for our presence that much. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate it when I'm right.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003


In lieu of war talk, how about something nice and cute?

Doesn't that make you feel nice?

On the same day the bombs started dropping in Baghdad, the US Senate voted to reject oil drilling in Alaska.

Thank you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I have decided to not be so goddamn negative all the time. I don't mean to be that way, of course; I'm actually a pretty pleasant person to be around most of the time. Happy, happy, happy!

If you don't get Harper's Weekly Review in your email every Tuesday, you really should consider signing up. It's the shizznit.

The release date for the next Radiohead album has been announced. Now I won't be able to sleep until June 6, and only partly because I'll be wondering why they chose to title it Hail to the Thief. It seems too straightforward, really.

Get your support-of-the-war on with these patriotic T-shirts. Hurry, they're foing FAST, because everyone wants to show their support for the war! Killing does really kick ass, you know. The image below is a sample of one of the designs you can choose; I find it highly ironic, though not in a positive way... What can I say, war is peace, right?

Monday, March 24, 2003

There's an entertaining interview with Steven Malkmus over at pitchforkmedia. After reading it, I think I'd rather talk to him in person, as at times he tends to speak like his lyrics. What a guy.

I'm not happy about this or anything--far from it--but it looks like America's foot is starting to plant itself firmly in its mouth. The military is finding out that the US cannot fight the war completely on its own terms, and a huge group of Apache helicopters flees what one officer basically called unfair tactics used by the Iraqis. Although Americans are becoming more aware that war is indeed bad, the amount of pro-America and pro-war bravado is sickening. These people need to look past the stars on the flag and realize that this is not a war of liberation, not a war of self-defense, and not a war for freedom, democracy, and peace. It is a war to usher in a "new world order" of economic and geopolitical power concentrated in the hands of a few Americans, guised as a fight for freedom, liberation, and security to lure the support of the rest of America, who will not likely see any benefits. These men are sending Americans into a foreign land to kill its people and possibly be killed themselves. For what? Wake up, America.

I don't know why I'm surprised, though, in a country where education is reduced to bargain shopping for easy A's.

The US government is bemoaning the public display of "coalition" prisoners of war by Iraq, a grave violation of the Geneva Convention, while it is doing the same thing by allowing "embedded" correspondents to film Iraqi POWs for worldwide broadcast (not to mention the frequest displays of our POWs on American networks). I won't even mention that this whole war is in violation of international law. I seem to remember a few years ago when a former president was in trouble and all those who wanted him out of office (coincindentally the same people who support this war) kept appealing to the "Rule of Law" to highlight the virtue of their position.

And this can't be a sign of good things to come.

The cost of war, in which the FBI gets the same of amount of cash as the post-war humanitarian aid and the item that ties for second highest in cost is aid to Isreal. Freedom, liberation, democracy, oh my.

While I was looking at the news today I got distracted and found there is more going on besides this silly war. |#1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|#7|#8|

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Few people can say things as well as Mac Tonnies, and his views on the current "international situation" are not to be missed. He has penned by far the best description of the pro-war movement: "American binary thought at its ignorant best." Glory. If only I could state my ideas in such a concise manner, especially on the whole troop-support issue.

So, this war is not being waged by unilateral action but by a "coalition of the willing," one that is even larger than the first Gulf War. I've seen the list of supporting states, and there are quite a few, but the coalition hardly compares to what we saw in GW#1. First, here's a run down of who's involved and in what capacity (I had to do a little research to find this out, mostly on BBC, Guardian, and various other news sites):

* = Countries committing combat forces or frontline assistance to coalition.
** = Countries committing troops/materiel for defense of Turkey (NATO obligations).
*** = Countries committing specialized (non-combat) troops in the middle east for support in the event of chem/bio attack.
Britain *
Netherlands **
Czech Republic ***
Slovakia ***
Hungary ***
Italy **
Australia *
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Kuwait *
Marshall Islands
Solomon Islands
South Korea
Germany has pledged to assist only in the event of a chemical/biological/nuclear attack

Of the coalition, only three other states will be participating in combat, and two of those (Australia, Kuwait) will have a barely noticable presence. A few countries are committing personnel and equipment only because of NATO obligations, and none of it will be used in Iraq--it is only for the defense of Turkey. A few more are sending chem/bio weapons specialists who will be used to examine sites of Iraqi missile strikes and in the event of an actual attack. The rest have given only verbal support, and it is obvious why--they are almost every one financially dependent on the United States. For them to refuse would be to lose their welfare benefits, so to speak. In the end, it is not so much a coalition of the willing as it is a coalition of the not-willing-to-lose-their-financial-aid. While Bush can add their names to a list and tell the people he has overwhelming support, most of them are just that--names with nothing to back them up.

When you look at GW#1, roughly the same number of states committed actual material support, and a large number participated in combat operations. Once you add the support-in-name-only members, the coalition easily exceeds twice the size of the current one. So, while this war cannot technically be called unilateral, since a few other states are participating in combat and support roles, essentially that's what it is, unless you think Rwanda, Eritrea, and Iceland are going to join in on the ass-whooping. Unfortunately the American people have a stern resistance to finding facts on their own, and so believe Bush when he says he has massive worldwide support.

And the fact that Afghanistan is included in the coalition is transparently ridiculous, since at the moment it is a police state governed by the US military. Some of the others (Solomon Islands, etc.) are merely US military bases with maybe a small tourist-supporting population. In the end, the support of many of these states and non-states means nothing, even if it did really mean something. Why didn't they just throw Chad and Nepal in there too?

My favorite rant against antiwar protesters (which I have most recently heard from my father) clearly sums up America as it really is and not as it should be. It comes in varied forms, but they all sound like this:

You people are out there protesting against the people who have fought and died to give you the right to protest, so you should support this war or stay at home and keep your mouths shut--or better yet, go live someplace else.

So... Because soldiers have fought and died for this country, thereby ensuring we could continue to enjoy the right to dissent and demonstrate opposition to our government, we should therefore NOT protest and oppose the government when we feel it is not acting in the best interests of the United States... Because we can dissent, we shouldn't. How's that for doublespeak? I love Americans.

Never mind the fact that of all the wars the US has involved itself in over the past century, only one of those "defended our freedoms" in any sort of way, and even that is arguable. Spanish-American War, World War I, Russian Civil War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War I, Kosovo, Somalia, any place in the Carribean or South America... what freedoms did the soldiers who fought in those places protect? How would any lives back home have been at risk if we had not gotten involved in those conflicts? I'm not going to go on about what those conflicts were really about, but I will say they were not about upholding our freedoms here at home. Even if they were, why should we not speak out against unjust war?

Anyway, enough about the fucking war. I'm through with it, at least here. From now on, only fun stuff.

Fun thing number one: Lord of the Rings movie shots. This site tells the story using the novel's text and still scenes from the films. Somewhere on here are also the scripts from the films, though I haven't been able to find them yet. For some Lord of the Rings humor that will have you laughing up your pancreas, try this bad captions site. It tends to disappear every now and then, so don't be surpised if it's not there.

Friday, March 21, 2003

I find it both amusing and disturbing that the media is becoming obviously agitated that, even though there's a war happening, not much is really going on for them to report. Sure, they may have "embedded" correspondents right in the middle of the action, but that's part of their problem--they're there, but the action is not. How else do you explain CNN broadcasting a live image of the rear of a tank standing still in the Iraqi desert for over an hour? And then, for an hour before that, of the tanks moving through the desert? Or the endless footage of the sky over Baghdad? They so want something to happen, they want to see action, and, let's be honest, they want the "Shock and Awe" campaign. The networks have been so focused on this massive bombardment that was to take place in the early stages of the war that they've built it up to almost Superbowl proportions. The correspondents are absolutely giddy for it to begin and, frankly, most of them seem rather perturbed that nothing catastrophic has happened thus far.

The news networks are rapidly losing their audiences. The novelty of war has already worn off for most Americans and, while they may still support their troops, they're also tuning in to Jerry Springer and The Price is Right, both of which aired on major networks just a short while ago. No doubt those major networks were getting tired of waiting for the promised "campaign to end all campigns" (one that would surely have viewers glued to their sets) by showing soldiers sleeping, soldiers eating, soldiers standing around, soldiers packing, soldiers riding in vehicles, soldiers stopped in the desert, the sky above Baghdad, the sky above Kuwait City, anything and everything except what the people really want to see--absolute destruction. Face it, death sells, but oddly enough the military isn't selling it quite yet.

I don't know what's more shocking, that the ABC affiliate in Kansas City is showing Springer reruns, or that the mightiest, most unstoppable military the world has ever seen is showing quite a bit of unprecedented restraint. Of course, I'll be more shocked if they keep it up. It won't last for long. The news will get their shock and awe.

The following passage is an email I received today, and I think it pretty well sums up my stance on the whole "support our troops" issue. It's a bit on the long side, but well worth your time. Enjoy:
If war comes even despite the historic, tenacious, and comprehensive opposition now raging across the planet, the U.S. government will proclaim triumphantly that everyone who isn't a traitor needs to rally around Washington to "support our troops." Opponents of the war could opt for many possible replies.

We could point out that our troops in Iraq are barely in danger at all because they are assaulting a tenth-rate opponent that has no
serious means to defend Iraq much less to attack the world's sole superpower.

We could point out that while perhaps a few hundred U.S. troops will die in this war, way over 50,000 U.S. citizens will die in the next 12 months due to workplace accidents and death by industry-caused diseases and automobile accidents (not to mention the impact of pollution and unsafe products). We could then query why this massive yearly blight on our population, roughly 15 times as devastating as 9/11, doesn't provoke a war on corporations' profit-seeking violations of their employees' and consumers' health and safety.

Or we could point out that the lives of American troops are no more worthy of compassionate support than the lives of Iraqis, and that we didn't kill Hussein a million times over with our decade-long sanctions but we instead killed a million Iraqis once each-with
Hussein getting stronger as each new corpse was added to the carnage.

And of course we could explain how unleashing a campaign to "shock and awe" a country is unjust and immoral, how it is an archetype example of the terrorism we say we are against.

But for myself, I think that perhaps a different approach might work better, and so if war does come, I intend to reply to the demand to support our troops by saying that yes, I too "support our troops."

I will reply that I support our troops not having to kill people in Iraq. I support our troops not being ordered to assault defenseless
populations, towns, farms, and the infrastructural sinews of life that sustain a whole country's citizenry.

I support our troops not having to carry out orders from Commander in Chief George Bush and then having to live the rest of their lives wondering why they obeyed such a barbaric buffoon rather than resisting his illegitimate, immoral authority.

And for the same reason, I support the Pope and the Dalai Lama going to Iraq in the place of our troops, as human shields and also to aid those Iraqis who have already suffered under our sanctions and bombs as well as under the violence of Hussein who was, of course, previously the recipient of U.S. military aid and even U.S. guidance in his horrible undertakings.

In fact, I support all rabbis and priests and other moral leaders going to Iraq as human shields - and all past Noble Peace Prize
winners-and all past winners of any big peace or humanitarian prize at all, anywhere-and heads of state, for that matter.

I support our troops not dying in Iraq figuratively or literally, physically or psychologically. I support our troops coming home with
their hearts not broken, retaining humanity and compassion essential to feeling true solidarity with those who confront tyrannical
behavior abroad, or right here in the U.S. with its 30 million tyrannized poor.

I support our troops coming home with their minds ravenous to comprehend what is wrong with war for empire, what is wrong with war to obliterate international law, what is wrong with war to control oil and use it as a bludgeon against allies and enemies alike, what is wrong with war for profit, what is wrong with war to intimidate whole nations and continents, what is wrong with war to subordinate a planet and even to test and trumpet the tools of war.

What must it do to one's mind and soul to engage as a soldier in a war in which the enemy is defenseless, in which the motives of one's leaders are vile, and in which one's own say over the events is nil?

I support our troops refusing to kill on behalf of politicians and profiteers. I support our troops rebelling against orders, not obeying them. I support our troops rejecting reasons of state. And I support our troops coming home to where their real battle is.

We must battle to reinvest our society with aspirations for justice and equality and with respect for diversity, solidarity, and

We must battle to eliminate the scourge of private ownership that makes a few people as rich as whole populations and that leaves many people less rich than the pets of profiteers.

We must battle to totally eradicate the racism and sexism that denigrate whole sectors of the population, to free sexuality and
culture, to free creativity, and to sustain the environment.

Bush tells us to bomb Iraq on grounds Iraq may have bombs. He tells us to bomb Iraq on grounds Iraq curtails freedoms. He tells us to bomb Iraq on grounds Iraq may be abetting terrorism.

What then should we do about a country that has by far the most bombs in the world and that uses them most widely-and that brags about it shamelessly?

What should we do about a country that is currently curtailing freedoms abroad and moving to do so at home with a dangerously
escalating vigor-and that brags about it shamelessly?

And what should we do about a country that is producing terrorism most aggressively - both terrorism directed at others and also
terrorism which will be unleashed against us in reply-and that brags about it shamelessly.

What should we do about the U.S.? We should curtail its belligerency, change its regime, and fundamentally revolutionize its centers of wealth and power.

Support our troops, bring them home.
Support our troops, provide them housing.
Support our troops, provide them health care.
Support our troops, provide them socially valuable jobs.
Turn military bases into industrial centers for the production of low cost housing, schools, hospitals, daycare centers, rail lines, inner
city parks, and other social and public goods that can enrich rather than snuff out life.

Support our troops and one day they will join the fight for unlimited justice for all.

Support our troops.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

The World's Third Attempt at Suicide has begun. Glory.

What a way to start, too, with a "decapitation strike." Although this whole affair sickens me even more than I had imagined it would, I must admit I was more than a little saddened to see Saddam Hussein show up on television afterwards. Maybe I assume too much of our own glorious leaders, but I was hoping that if Hussein and the Iraqi leadership had been "eliminated" that our 300,000+ troops would have been an occupying force accepting Iraqi surrenders left and right rather than an attacking force destroying everything in sight. I suppose there's still a chance our valiant soldiers will meet armies deserting en masse. Somehow I doubt it, though.

Let's just hope we don't find out the hard way if Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. I have my doubts about our luck in that arena, too.

I suppose now is the time that I, along with my antiwar comrades, should give up protesting the war and side along with our government, swell with partiotism and pride in this country, and support our troops. Forgive me for not doing so. While I worry immensely about our soldiers, and want more than anything for them to come home (if I were a religious man I suppose I'd be praying for them), I still refuse to support them. To support the troops would be to support their actions, which, as volunteers, they make consciously and willingly. I despise all violence, especially when it is carried out in my name for far-from-noble reasons. I do want to say, however, that I harbor no ill feeling towards the soldiers; they are willing to risk their lives to defend their principles and, while those principles stand in direct contrast to my own, I have to respect them for that. I deplore the establishment and its overseers who want to waste the lives of these people to further their own corrupt and twisted desires. This war will have many victims, and the responsibility lies solely with the politicians and "statesmen" who's lust for power will be indicated by the number of headstones and bodybags.

If that's not American, I don't know what is.


Wednesday, March 19, 2003

I don't think it is wrong to assume George Bush and his loyal followers have had this war planned for a long time, and even expected this exact situation, in which virtually nothing is arranged in their favor. Take the case of the International Criminal Court, for example. The Bush administration has opposed the concept of the international court since the first day he entered office. Unless the member states agreed to exempt the US from the court's jurisdiction, he swore the US would have nothing to do with it and would not recognize its rulings. Well, the court recently opened for business and the US was nowhere to be seen. Good for Bush, bad for the world.

According to the United Nations charter, any state that makes war on any other state without approval of the Security Council and/or not out of self-defense is in violation of international law. Even a moderate reading of the specifics regarding the issue holds that a war with Iraq, at this point, would be illegal. Those responsible for prosecuting such a war could likely be charged, tried, and convicted as war criminals. If Bush had upheld the premise of the ICC, he either would have worked much harder to gain support for a war, or he would be giving up right now. No ultimatum. Given the protest over the court and the reasons cited for the non-participation of the US, it seems to me that Bush has had this situation with Iraq in mind since before he took office. Of course, it won't prevent him from being charged with war crimes; he just won't feel bound to do anything about it. Just like Henry Kissenger.

What frightens me is that most Americans really will not give a damn if they have an indicted war criminal in the White House. They sure don't seem to care about the several men serving high posts in the adminstration, appointed by Bush, who have been indicted and convicted under US criminal law.

The world has gone absolutely mad. One has to wonder if we have passed the point of no return to basic sanity when MSNBC has an on-screen clock counting down the 48 hours Saddam Hussein has to bow out. I am now afraid to turn on the TV because I might see Bush, Cheney, and the whole gang wearing aluminum foil helmets to prevent the evildoers from reading their minds. John Ashcroft already thinks he's Jesus, and Bush obviously thinks he's some sort of modern-day Napoleon (though, oddly enough, he more closely resembles Louis Napoleon).

I used to not think these people were insane. I thought they were smug. Now I think they're smug lunatics. I mean, John Ashcroft thinks calico cats are the sign of Satan while he calmly chips away at our civil liberties, for Christ's sake. And then there's Antonin Scalia, who has banned the press from covering a ceremony where he's receiving an award for--get this--supporting free speech. What's really crazy is that we are just as nuts as our "madman" enemy, and he's so crazy he's just plain dumb.

This is pretty funny. It's nice to see Iraq's media is so much similar to ours. Perhaps it's their version of FOX News?

Where do warmongers get the idea that anti-war protesters don't care about the Iraqi people? I hear it all the time: "They're protesting against Bush when they should be protesting against Hussein!" Well, maybe I'm different, but I have been protesting against Iraq for a long time. Lots of people have been and are doing it now. The thing is, the protests aren't really visible--there's no need for them to be. What would Hussein care if 100,000 non-Iraqi people demonstrated against him in New York City, or London, or Tokyo? They are nothing to him, irrelevant. The protests come in the form of pressure from groups like Amnesty International (through letter-writing campaigns, which do work) and from Western governments (through our representatives), who in turn receive pressure from many of the same people who are out in the streets demonstrating against the US government now. Why are the demonstrations so one-sided against our own government, when we could easily be shouting down Iraq and its leaders? Because, in theory, our government is supposed to listen to us. It has an obligation to do so; Iraq doesn't even listen to its own citizens, it doesn't care about the "will of the people" and the "consent of the governed." We're not ignoring the problem in Iraq--we're just trying to urge a different approach. Unfortunately, and obviously, our goverment is more similar to Iraq's than it would like to think.

And along the same line of thought, here's a pretty ridiculous editorial by William Bennett. My favorite part?

"Those who protest against the U.S. just now are legatees of those who protested against the U.S. in the 1980s, when we fought the focus of evil then, the Soviet Union. But ask a former Soviet, or East Berliner, if he is better off now than he was, say, 15 years ago. Ask a Nicaraguan. Ask a Bosnian Muslim. U.S. resolve can be thanked for all that, even as those who protested our defense and military postures marched in favor of appeasement."

True, a former resident of East Germany is probably much better off now than before, but I really doubt most people in the Former Soviet Union are very happy. They may have "freedom," but they don't have anything they had before the end of the USSR. Now, don't get me wrong, things were awful for people then, but as bad as they were, they still had some sense of security that they would be provided for, as false as it might have been. Now, they have nothing. Eventually things will get better there, but even then I don't think the US and UK can rightfully bask in the warm glow of responsibility for that. It was the people themselves who caused the collapse of the USSR.

As for the people of Nicaragua, I'm sure they're very happy; they might even be as happy as the people of Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador, Columbia, Kuwait, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, Somalia, Mexico, Haiti...

Well, it's finally almost here, the new hit reality show of the season. I'm almost sick of hearing about it, since it's been plugged for so long. Apparently even the President is really getting into it. That's cool. I'm really looking forward to it, since I missed the first version of it back in '91. Does anyone know--is this a sequel, or more of a spin-off? Either way, it's bound to be sweet. I've got the tape in the VCR and my popcorn and soda is all ready to go! Awesome! I love TV!

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

One has to wonder about the integrity and honesty of United States politicians and government officials who are publically against war with Iraq (be it any war or just unilateral action) yet still maintain their posts and, in effect, provide de facto support of Bush's policies. My doubts regarding the character of such individuals are further deepened by the very recent actions by members of Tony Blair's government. If you don't support something, then don't; cause trouble, raise hell, resign in protest. Standing behind a poduim and expressing contrary views just isn't going cut it at this point.

Monday, March 17, 2003

My home is very much an isolated enclave. In it, I am literally cut off from the rest of civilization; once I step in the door, I have no idea of what is going on in the world around me. There is no cable television (and no one who lives there knows how to set up an aerial antenna), there is no internet service, and no one there subscribes to a newspaper. Yes, we do have radios, but the reception is sketchy at best. Normally this situation poses only a minor inconvenience, as it is just a short trip to the university library and computer lab. However, as I explained in my last post, the computer labs are closed until tomorrow because of spring break. Like I've said in the past regarding slightly similar conditions, "A war could have started and I wouldn't have known about it."

This time, of course, I wasn't being sarcastic.

I am right now at my parents' house in Lee's Summit, MO. They have both cable and internet access. I am now on my way to becoming fully updated and informed on the events of the past few days. I almost feel a small child on christmas morning. Except, of course, it is not christmas. Things are not good. Thigs are quite bad. Now I know about them in excrutiating detail.

I should have stayed in Maryville.

Friday, March 14, 2003

My regular posting schedule will be slightly interrupted by my school's spring break, which starts promptly at 5:00 today. I'm sure at some schools it wouldn't be a problem, but since I don't have internet access at home just yet I have to work within the confines of the library's ridiculous schedule. Hopefully this won't throw you off your daily routine.

That whole "quote of the day" thing really went nowhere, didn't it?

I have some half-formulated thoughts floating around in my head and I'm debating whether I should start talking about them now, or wait until they make at least some sort of sense. I'm torn, really. My guess is that either way, it will all be rather senseless and trite. I think I'll wait. Perhaps by letting things marinate over a weekend I will have something simply stunning for you on Monday. Right.

So why aren't American pop stars speaking out against the war? While the article hints at the reason, I will give you the real, honest answer. It looks a lot like this >$$$<.

This was so not worth your time today.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

For some reason, I've been thinking a lot about nuclear war. To be more precise, I've been pondering the long-term effects of such an event on the continued development of the human race. Now, I'm well aware of all the worst-case scenarios, such as the total extinction of human life, or even all life, on the planet; for this excercise, however, I am assuming that some portion of the human race manages to survive the initial holocaust and adapt to the poisoned planet left in the aftermath. I'm not really worried about how humans would adapt and survive in such an environment. Consider this one of those "for the sake of the argument" moments.

So, who would be left? That's what I find fascinating. I guess the right question is, who would be wiped out? Obviously the states who possess nuclear arsenals. The USA (probably Canada and some of Mexico along with it), Europe, Russia, China and east Asia, and some parts of Southwest Asia. That's a lot of death and destruction and a rather large power vacuum for the survivors to fill, survivors who will be largely concentrated in South (Latin) America, Africa, and some parts of Asia. It will definitely be a very long time before any sort of global civilization can arise from the mess of a nuclear war, but when it does happen, I find it vaguely satisfying that those who started the war will be wiped out and those peoples they most despised will be there to take over. In the place of the generally light-skinned inheritors of "western civilization" will be the much-maligned and neglected "dark races."

I wonder if our white, white, white masters of war will be considering that as they're about to push the button, that their attempt to destroy their enemies will really destroy their own civilization, and that someday in the distant future the remnants of their once proud people will be merely something the cat drags in. I don't know, maybe there is justice in this world after all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Right now is not a good time to be living, and the future doesn't look very appealing, either. Every single day seems to plunge the world further into a collective, global insanity that builds upon itself faster than any individual can comprehend. It is almost impossible to keep up with new events and developments as they happen and, at the same time, understand them and determine what part they play in the grand scheme of things. Of course, such an accomplishment would ultimately prove futile; suppose an individual, or even a group, does achieve an honest understanding of the Big Picture? So what? If the current global situation has taught us anything it is that the opinions and actions of the people of the world do not matter and will never matter to those in power over them, especially in so-called democratic states.

Eventually people will start to realize there is no democracy anywhere (nor has there ever been, really), despite what our leaders and media tell us. I think that realization is slowly, very slowly, creeping into the consciousness of the average citizen. The doubts are likely pushed aside and ignored at first, and will remain that way for a long while, but they are there. People are starting to doubt their government, distrust their leaders, and question the policies carried out in their name. The trick, of course, is to turn those feelings into actions. Although I am optimistic that the feelings are spreading and intensifying, even among those who "don't think/care about stuff like that," few will act in the end. The insanity will continue, the future will get darker, and in the end there will be nothing left to think about.

I, however, plan to go down fighting.

The lastest examples of the plunge towards global insanity: |#1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Holy cow you guys, I have enough news links today to choke a camel. Hopefully no camels are looking at this, because I really wouldn't want to be held responsible for something like that. So, caveat emptor and all that, at least if you're a camel.

For the first item of the day, all I have to say is JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!! So, this is part of the military's "psychological operations"? Yeah, mushroom clouds and loud explosions are scary, but usually underneath the smoke and thunder of something like that are many dead bodies. I guess that's one way to defeat them "psychologically."

I'm no expert, but I do have a more-than-superficial understanding of modern military operations. If our government really wants to effect a regime change in Iraq, and occupy it in order to "democratize" the state, simply laying siege to Baghdad is not going to get the job done. Unless, of course, our valiant men and women in uniform are going to stand around outside the city while planes bomb every living organism within. Really, it would make regime change and democratization easier if there was no one left to remove or democratize.

South Africa still doesn't get it. W had better start sending that cash to Africa pronto, though a lot of good it will obviously do.

This war is not about oil. This war is not about economic imperialism. This war is not about global hegemony. This war is about peace, democracy, and freedom.

Here's some really silly stuff:

Snorkeling for freedom?

Does this mean there will be no Great White tour in Morocco? Oh wait...

If only I had the strength, courage, and will to carry on of these fine people.

George H.W. Bush: A hero to repressive dictatorships all over the world.

It looks like I forgot to make a post yesterday; looks can be deceiving, though, because I didn't forget, I just didn't feel like it.

I'm going to start a new 'feature' here: it's going to be called "Quote of the Day." I'm guessing it won't need too much explanation.

"The darkest secret of this country, I'm afraid, is that too many of its citizens imagine that they belong to a much higher civilization somewhere else. That higher civilization doesn't have to be another country. It can be the past instead--the United States as it was before it was spoiled by immigrants and the enfranchisement of the blacks.

This state of mind allows too many of us to lie and cheat and steal from the rest of us, to sell us junk and addictive poisons and corrupting entertainments. What are the rest us, after all, but sub-human aboriginies?"

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Bluebeard, 1987.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Hey: Happiness of the Katakuris. It's one of the darkest and most absurd films I've ever seen. See this film. This is not a request, it is a demand. Have I ever let you down before?

In the news (I don't feel like writing much today. I had too much fun last night.):

Quite an accomplishment for Texas. You know what? Fuck Texas.

Little ol' Missouri get some attention overseas. Shockingly, the writer did not mention Jesse James or Harry Truman.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world...

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Will we survive the next 1,000 years?

Get your war on.

I added some new links to your left. Rejoice.

The fact that the US is about to pound the shit out of Iraq for not being "honest" about possessing weapons of mass destruction while pursuing diplomatic negotiations regarding North Korea, who has admitted to both possessing and wanting to use nuclear weapons, is an indirect proof that our government really doesn't fear that Iraq has WMD. If Iraq had them, and we knew it, would we really be camping out at its front door waiting for the order to break it down? I think not.

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH. The values of a new, unthinking, unquestioning generation, available directly from your friendly Department of Homeland Security.

Peace out. I get to eat "international food" in a little over two hours, made by authentic "international students." I imagine it will be an experience I may never forget. I hope they have some curry dishes. Amen.

Friday, March 07, 2003

I don't have much time today to ponder and babble, so you'll have to settle for news.

The United States military violating international law? Surely not.

A follow-up to a link I posted yesterday.

Why stop there? Why not go all the way?

And now, for one of the funniest things ever: George and Tony.

Admit it, we've all been in the same situation. "It seemed appropriate."

Thursday, March 06, 2003


So many evil-doers, so little time. Who is this bin Laden person again?

We no longer have cable TV. While it was nice to have, I'm really not missing it at all; I can now get back into my book-a-day reading habit. I actually feel a little smarter now that it's not on anymore. I do miss watching all the evangelical Christian shows, though, they are a hoot-and-a-half.

It's almost funny what the US media chooses to ignore (or at least bury): |#1|#2|#3|#4|

BJ has apparently figured out how to blog. This should be interesting, in about the same way a train wreck is interesting.

Speaking of train wrecks, the Book of Mormon is no less interesting. Most of the time it reads exactly like the Bible, but then there are places where it starts to sound like a Kilgore Trout story. I'm waiting for the section about the "special Mormon underwear," but I am sure after years of wondering it will prove to be fairly anti-climactic (quite unlike eating Cosmic Blasters for the first time--yee-haw!).

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

For some reason I started reading three different books this morning (on top of Neuromancer, which I started last week). Two of them are Vonnegut novels (Bluebeard & Jailbird); the other is The Book of Mormon. As far as the Mormon thing goes, I want to see what all the fuss is about. So far, most of it reads just like a Vonnegut novel, only without the humor and intelligence. The names are good though.

I know I don't have all sides to the story here, but what the fuck?

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

*Ahem* Some lovely Great White-related humor.

I wish I'd found this one earlier >>>$<<<

Today is not one of the nicest days I've seen in a while, atmospherically speaking. It is a bitter cold that is simultaneously damp (from the freezing rain and big, fat snow) and achingly dry (from the strong winds). The streets are either frozen or covered with brown, thick slush and countless layers of sand and salt. Nope, not a pleasant day, especially when you decide to walk across town to return a movie. While I had some decent ideas floating around in my head earlier today, they have yet to thaw and, therefore, will not be appearing before you today.

Although I tend to avoid resorting to emotional antics when discussing the imminent war with Iraq, I do enjoy reading them from time to time. Although this one starts out pretty wishy-washy, it ends on quite a powerful note.

The whole backlash towards Hollywood activists is still going on, and is still completely ridiculous. I would have slightly more respect for their position if they were opposed to all activism in Hollywood, but I never hear the same criticism poured upon Martin Sheen aimed at people like, oh, I don't know, Charleton Heston; I would certainly say that Heston has a wee-bit more influence on government policy than any other superstar.

Enjoy a British point of view on the "under God" controversy. Personally, I think this issue is misfocused--the entire pledge of allegiance should be thown out. It's just another coercive method used to create patriotic automatons. I always envied the kids in elementary school who stayed seated while all the rest of us unwitting, unquestioning tools rose to recite the pledge. The whole thing needs to go.

While I think there is a small chance that a war with Iraq will not occur, I am resigned to the feeling that there is no way our government is going to back down. Look: How often does the administration change its mind on what exactly needs to happen to prevent war? Every time one of Bush's demands is met, he changes his story--He absolutely had to have inspections, but once they started he deemed them irrelevant; at first the issue was solely about weapons of mass destruction, but when none were found he decided that all weapons had to go; Iraq started destroying proscibed missles, but Bush says it's a diversion and doesn't change anything. Yes, Saddam Hussein is a bastard, and Iraq is a bad place, but it is painfully clear that our (p)resident is hell-bent on war and, although his position is weakening with each passing day, this son of a bitch is taking us into war.

The only thing that aggrivates me more than idiots complaining about actor-activists is the hysteria about the Dreaded Liberal Media Bias. Want a couple, selected, unscientific examples of that insane, horrific, liberal media bias? |#1|#2| If that doesn't convince you (and, really, it shouldn't), try out Eric Alterman's What Liberal Media? website.

Apparently my mind did thaw out. Yippee for me.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Our favorite little porn freak in missing in action today. Perhaps he was finally apprehended? Who knows, maybe he decided to stay at home today and jack-off the old fashioned way?

If you're ever at Wal-Mart (hopefully you never are, but, you know, things happen), be sure to seek out a brand of cookies known as COSMIC BLASTERS. They are quite wonderful--imagine eating Oreos with Pop-Rocks embedded in the creamy middle. They are best eaten when non-sober. Eat them.

A calamity of global proportions is rapidly approaching. Millions are likely to end up jobless, homeless, and starving. Economies will be destroyed, people will suffer, and the world will never be quite the same. While the fate of several developing states hangs in the balance, many in the West seem indifferent, assuming they know anything at all about the impending disaster. Though there is a small but rapidly growing movement to halt the crisis, there are also powerful and influential forces at work seeking to take advantage of the situation. If nothing is done to avert the catastrophe, which is unfolding even as we speak, the consequences will likely far exceed what we can imagine. If the problem is allowed to progress, humanity will be forever changed. Who would have ever thought bananas could pose such a problem to the human race?

Here's some more information about banana extinction in case you're interested:

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations

Some Canadian coverage of the problem

Uganda is having some problems, as reported by All Africa

Some more coverage from Africa here and here

Enjoy those banana splits while you can, kiddos.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Sometimes I am really glad I read what other people are saying before I write my posts. For example, this morning, as I was channel-surfing through the various Sunday morning talking-head freakfests, I decided to write about all those Patriotic Americans(tm) who wear their little flag lapel pins and call the anti-war crowd unpatriotic. Well, Bill Moyers beat me to it. This kind of thing happens to me so often I don't know whether to be ashamed of myself as an unoriginal thinker or proud that my mind works in the same manner as Bill Moyers or Howard Zinn.

Here's an interesting little tidbit: Apparently the United States, bastion of democracy, freedom, and truth, is up to some pretty shady business when it comes to gathering support for the upcoming turkey-shoot in Iraq. Honestly though, why the hell is anyone surprised at this revelation? Seems pretty standard to me. Also, isn't spying cool?

Just so you know, the young man I wrote about yesterday is here with me again today. Is he looking at more porn? Of course. He makes frequent trips to the restroom, too, which really disturbs me. I don't know why I'm keeping you updated on this...

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Is it just me, or do I mostly use this space to complain about myself?

What I love about Howard Zinn is that he often writes exactly what I'm thinking about. It's better that he does it instead of me, because a) people know who he is and will listen to him, and b) I'm a horrible writer and a mediocre intellectual, so if I did try to put my thoughts into words I would end up only slightly more intelligible (and interesting) than Avril Lavigne.

I am in the public computer lab in the library at my university. In front of me is a young man with about four or five porn sites open. Now, I don't have anything against pornography; if people want to do it or look at it, whatever. However, it's incredibly sad to see the same guy at the same computer every day looking at the same stuff all of the time. I almost want to start a charity drive to raise enough funds to get him his own computer for personal home use. Almost as much as that, I want to let him know that what he's doing (viewing pornography in public) is either a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on what one is viewing (though I'm far from an expert, I'm going to guess he's looking at some felony-worthy material). The funny thing is, he thinks no one can see what he's doing; every time someone walks close by, he pops up the university homepage. Pretty smart. He's not doing as good of a job covering up the fact that he has a huge erection, and the fact that he frequently "scratches" his crotch is more than a little suspicious as well. I have no real point to this little story; it is merely an observation. I'm sure it sucks to be a virgin in this day and age, but some people could try to be a little less obvious about it. Maybe I'm old, but I don't think having a little fun at the "Street Booty Zone" is really worth some time in prison.