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busy, busy, busy

Monday, December 15, 2003

"Happiness is in a cow's butt..."

What a weekend!

Friday I took some sick time. I was actually sick. I used my free time to start watching 'Twin Peaks.' If most television shows were like 'Twin Peaks' (and 'The Simpsons') I would watch television. I'm hooked.

Saturday was even more productive. I contributed to the downfall of moral society by picking up the South Park movie and "Rant in E-Minor" by Bill Hicks. If you're a cynical misanthrope who's not easily offended, run--don't walk--to your nearest record store and buy this fucker. If you would like a free sample, check this out. Now go buy the album. I'm serious.

But wait, that's not all! I also enhanced the rock-worthiness of my music collection by getting the recently-reissued albums 'Adventure' and 'Marquee Moon' by Television. If you're looking for some late-1970s art/garage rock that will put all those whitestripesjetstrokes bands to shame, Television is pretty much all you need (along with some MC5 and The Stooges). Truly wonderful music.

"But Jason, what about books? Surely you, of all people, didn't fail to pick some new reading material?" Just one book: 'Spaceland' by Rudy Rucker. Believe it or not, but I have a pretty healthy backlog of books I need to read. I did start 'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson this weekend, so at least I'm working on it.

Then Saddam was captured. Good news, because he is a mass-murdering fuck who needs to be brought to justice, but bad news because it not only all-but-ensures another four years of W (when do we get the "action" figure for this one?), it also guarantees that any other news deemed "bad" will be drowned out. But, yay yippee hallelujah god bless america and all that. The bastard should have hung out with Osama, seeing as how the mightiest military force in the history of mankind can't seem to find him. However, we can locate and destroy children--stick with what you know, I guess.

I still feel pretty terrible, but, you know, I think I have a case of the Mondays.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Site of the day: Mr. Picassohead. Make some art and impress your friends, or do like I did and spend an hour wishing you had half the amount of creativity possessed by a cigarette butt.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

I woke up at 2:30 AM, and it's been all downhill from there, a mostly wasted day. I did help Maggie clean the house, and I did go pick up our new bed, so I guess that's something. I had planned on going to dinner and a movie with Maggie and a friend tonight, but I made the grave error of reading in bed and ended up falling asleep around 4:45 or so; when it came time to go, I opted to stay home and sleep. My punishment: being rudely awakened by sirens and screeching tires around 6:00. Wide awake not even a half hour after everyone left to go out. Lovely.

I have been waiting for December 17, 2003 for the last two years. My enthusiasm remained high until the past few weeks, when early reviews of The Return of the King started to pop up. Though The Two Towers left me somewhat disappointed, my personal threat level for ROTK being just as unfulfilling remained at "Low." However, with the recent reviews it raised a notch to "Guarded." Now, after having just read this new review it has jumped over "Elevated" straight to "High." Please note: there are major spoilers here, so if you haven't read the book (or have) and don't want to ruin the experience, stay away.

I've been playing with a new search engine: Vivisimo. It works pretty well as an all-purpose search, but it's great for doing research. Unfortunately, I don't have any real research to do right now, but for those of you who do it might do you well to check this sucker out (if you haven't already).

Reagan admirers hoping to end FDR's coin reign

The Cult of Ronnie is at it again. It isn't enough that Regan groupies are trying to name landmarks in every county in every US state after the man; now some Congressmen want to place his profile on the dime.

What bullshit.

As for the man who is currently (and rightfully) immortalized on the coin? Well, he was a Liberal. He didn't really do anything to deserve it, anyway:
Himself a victim of polio who used a wheelchair, Roosevelt founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938 in an effort to eradicate the disease. Its fund-raising efforts included annual dances on Jan. 30, Roosevelt's birthday.

The fund-raising efforts — and the organization — became known as “the March of Dimes” after each American was urged to send a dime to help fight polio. In 1938, more than 2.6 million dimes were mailed to the White House.

“In sending a dime … and in dancing that others may walk, we the people are striking a powerful blow in defense of American freedom and human decency,” Roosevelt said in 1940. “For the answer to class hatred, race hatred, religious hatred, is not repression, criticism or opposition. The answer is the free expression of the love of our fellow men, which is the real thing we celebrate on January 30, 1940.”

According to Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Roosevelt's granddaughter, the president liked the idea of the dime as the centerpiece for the campaign because, he told his friends, “It may be hard times, but everybody can afford a dime.”

Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945. To honor his work, his portrait first appeared on the dime on Jan. 30, 1946.

“The story to tell isn't about polio,” said Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who is on the Board of Trustees of the March of Dimes. “It's about the American people's spirit of helping one another and the confidence we have in our ability to find an answer for things. That's a story that should not be old hat, and it would be a shame to lose it.”
As for Reagan:
That may be so, Souder [Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, who introduced the bill] said, but Reagan has his own unique relationship with the dime.

Souder wrote in a letter to colleagues explaining the bill that “it is particularly fitting to honor” Reagan on the dime “because, as has been pointed out, President Reagan was wounded under the left arm by a bullet that had ricocheted and flattened to the size of a dime.”

Souder also contends that the Reagan dime would be a financial windfall for the government because, like the state quarter program, it would generate interest in collecting the new dimes.
Let's break this down, shall we?

-- FDR is on the dime because he spearheaded a very successful campaign in which he convinced millions of people struggling through the Great Depression to send dimes to help children with polio.
-- The bullet that struck Reagan during his assasination attempt ended up shaped like a dime. People will also want to collect the Reagan dimes.

Not an entirely convincing argument, to say the least. Maybe if he had been shot with an actual dime, we might have something to go on; and unless the dimes are to be limited in any way (which would cause them to increase in value), why would anyone want to collect them? Why can't these people just be honest: they want to remove any notion of this country's history of liberalism. Don't believe me? How's the constitution doing these days?

Monday, December 01, 2003

This is my third attempt at blogging today.

My first post was actually quite good, and could have possibly changed the world. I regret now making the decision to "save" the post and come back to it later, as it was apparently blown away by some virtual windstorm. I can't even begin to re-create it because I was in a particularly odd mood when I wrote it, and a second attempt would be mediocre at best.

My second post was simply a lament over losing my first post. I just happened to hit the "post" button at precisely the same time my internet connection blinked out for two seconds, thereby causing me to lose yet another blog entry. Coincidence or conspiracy? I'll let you decide.

If you wanted to go to prison, but not for a very long time, which of these two crimes would ideally fulfill your desires?
1) Killing another human being with a handgun, then taking the dead person's gun and shooting them eighteen times even though they are already dead, or
2) Attemping to grow psilocybin mushrooms in the privacy of your own home.
I'm sure you can already see where I'm going with this one, so there's no need to elaborate further.

I'm currently reading Catch-22. That has to be one of the best fucking books ever written.

So apparently Iraq was never, ever a bona fide nuclear (pronounced noo-kyu-ler) threat. Fancy that? And here we were thinking all those Iraqis were just lying so we wouldn't drop in and turn them into corpses. Oops. Bush, Inc., does have some good news just in time for election season: Some prisoners from the Guantamano Concentration Camp are going to be released! Okay, so they're just being transferred, and, okay, no one knows who they are, where they are going, and exactly why they were there in the first place, but hey--they still get to leave. That should cheer people up, at least until they find out that some homicides in a "coalition" prison in Afghanistan are not being investigated. Damn that Amnesty International and their anti-American meddling! Fortunately, once Americans get over that bit of bad news, they can finally sit at ease now that the new Mel Gibson film, in which he portrays Jesus during the final few hours before being shuffled loose this mortal coil, has been proclaimed entirely un-anti-Semitic by this nation's leading semi-anti-Semite. I wonder what Reverend Billy would think of this upcoming film?