Monday, October 28, 2002
it was my b-day. i'm 32. everything feels the same. sorry for the petty argument mom. i feel like t.s. eliot. that wasn't what i meant at all. not at all. i guess if it comes down to it, i just want credit for those 32 years of living. i'm not a dipshit. i know you worry about me and my soul and we may not have the same language for things. but you didn't raise a dipshit.
musicmatch radio mx officially kicks ass. $3/month subscription for cd quality music. just about everything. i put in clinic and it spit out 20 artists i might like. finally. the future.
the raiders lost this weekend. still my favorite team. bar none. a bunch of over-the-hill, creaky guys proving everyone wrong. rich gannon has passed for over 300 yards in each of the past 7 games. unbelievable. and jerry rice! jerry rice who started playing football in 1985. sweet mother of mary. he makes emmit look like a hampster. c'mon jerry. c'mon raiders.
i'm gonna shoot for the austin short story contest. nov. 4th deadline.
my friend rob is having his show nov. 7th. falling out of the sky onto your head. fucking stellar. c'mon rob. c'mon art.
my so-called job is probably coming to an end. who knows. we're in vegas this week as part of the telemgm't world. one last ditch effort. if this doesn't float, i'm out on the street end of december. i don't mind working for a startup. but this economy stinks. and being out of work at the end of a year like this. jeez. welcome to the aftermath.
Monday, October 21, 2002
cancelling out the me in him:
me: what kind of day are you going to have today?
him: i don't know.
me: well, you can decide what kind of day. like, it's going to be a good day.
him: but i don't know how i feel.
me: you can decide how you feel. you could say "today, i'm going to have a good day at school."
me: see, your attitude, how you decide to feel, largely determines how you do feel.
him: but dad...
me: so if you say it's going to be a good day...if you say that at the start of the day, then usually you really do have a good day.
him: well, dad let me tell you something.
me: yes son.
him: (frustrated) well, i don't know how i'm going to feel.
Sunday, October 20, 2002
oh, and here's another factoid on carter and the "world community" (don't you love that phrase? we're all in this together. except when we're not.). he almost singlehandedly convinced iraq to attack iran in 1980 over the protests of several nations. which nation didn't protest? which nation actually freaking ARMED saddam and built him a nuclear reactor? guess. c'mon. the united states? nope. great britain? nope. give up? it was france. those goddamn frogs. i fully realize everyone has an attention span of 5 minutes when it comes to world affairs, but i'm sick of these supposedly benign and enlightened individuals getting off the hook while poor shrub takes the beating of his life.
we're probably going to go to the town lake animal center. check out this lunatic.
Saturday, October 19, 2002
more christopher hitchens on the moral and intellectual failure of the left:
But the element of bad faith in the argument is far worse than the feeble-minded hysteria of its logic. In the Balkans, those on the Left and Right who favored intervention could not live with the idea that Europe would permit the extermination of its oldest Muslim minority. At that point, the sensibilities of Islam did not seem to matter to the Ramsey Clarks and Noam Chomskys, who thought and wrote of national-socialist and Orthodox Serbia as if it were mounting a gallant resistance to globalization. (Saddam, of course, took Milosevic's side even though the Serb leader was destroying mosques and murdering Muslims.)
Now, however, the same people are all frenzied about an American-led "attack on the Muslim world." Are the Kurds not Muslims? Is the new Afghan government not Muslim? Will not the next Iraqi government be Muslim also? This meaningless demagogy among the peaceniks can only be explained by a masochistic refusal to admit that our own civil society has any merit, or by a nostalgia for Stalinism that I can sometimes actually taste as well as smell.
i have suddenly and incontrovertibly become addicted to chess. now here is the thing if you download this program. the computer will beat you. don't be afraid. own up to it. b/c at a certain point, after 100 or so games, you will finally force the computer to take longer than 10 seconds to make a decision about a move. and that my friend means you have the bloody thing on the run.
Friday, October 18, 2002
woody is sick of american lies. poor woody. i'm sick of him. so is the norwegian blogger.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
i think we're going to get a dog this christmas. for the boys. any suggestions? not a big dog and not a little yapping puddle of fur. one that can take care of itself in the wild and keep those mother loving squirrels away from my wife's plants. preferably it lives outside. i take that back. it would have to live outside and chew quietly on the squirrels.
Sunday, October 13, 2002
by way of contrast, i offer up teddy roosevelt's nobel peace prize acceptance speech:
No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong. No nation deserves to exist if it permits itself to lose the stern and virile virtues; and this without regard to whether the loss is due to the growth of a heartless and all-absorbing commercialism, to prolonged indulgence in luxury and soft, effortless ease, or to the deification of a warped and twisted sentimentality.
more on carter and his failed notions of peace:
Jimmy Carter's post-presidential career has been characterized by a seemingly irresistible impulse to continue the presidency that American voters ended in 1980. Nowhere is this tendency more evident than in Carter's free-lance diplomatic efforts, which have been governed by an anti-democratic attitude: When faced with a conflict between democracy and peace, choose peace.
i've found, not surprisingly, that i disagree with most of the people i work with and most of my friends here in austin about the looming war with iraq. invariably i get pegged as the right wing nut in a roomful of naderites. it seems that the right thing to have done last election was vote for nader. that way your absolved of all guilt - both democrat and republican, seeing that both the house and senate seemed to overwhelmingly agree with bush's plan. i guess if i wanted to i could stomach being a libertarian. i'd ensure myself a smug and righteous place at parties. don't look at me, i voted for harry brown. so being legitimately curious at times about what constitutes the lefty perspective on a war with iraq, i tend to ask a lot of people what they think. it seems like the arguments against war fall into these categories:
ad hominem attack: war with iraq is wrong b/c bush is an idiot. and he's corrupt and has oil interests in the region. this is the most typical maneuver. you sidestep the argument and attack the person making it. classic, classic stuff, but i'm not sure that they realize the fallacy to begin with. most people make ad hominem arguments. most times it even gets down to being nasty about people who support bush. are you an idiot too?
history isn't on our side: we're too stupid to do this right. all of our past attempts at correcting ills around the world have either met with outright failure or we've turned little monsters into big monsters. look at vietnam. and latin america. or africa. attempts to deal with the world at large should be done through the u.n. b/c the u.n. is smarter than we are about the subtleties of statecraft. i'm giving this one some teeth b/c most people can't seem to quite make it have any bite. my response to this would be something along the lines of 'for every vietnam there's a japan or germany' and 'the u.n. hasn't resolved 1 conflict in it's entire history'
it's all our fault: this is familiar among extreme lefties and artist-types who've felt oppressed their entire life. we are the evil empire. we supplied the cash to iraq and the weapons. we pissed off al-qaeda by putting our troops in kuwait. we side with israel and foment discord throughout the entire region. i really don't have much of a response to this. i'm usually just stunned that people would continue to live in a land this comprehensively evil. why not get a visa to egypt if you think that they're morally superior in every way? i usually want to ask, what could we do differently? or what wouldn't piss off the arab world? pure isolationism?
we need multi-lateral support: not just to be successful and safe, but also to be morrally correct, you need all your buds to agree with you when you go around the block to kick some bully's ass. why don't they agree with us? there must be something wrong with our plan if france hasn't bought off on it yet. to which i reply: vietnam had multi-lateral support and that was a disaster. also, if we can do it and we're right, then who cares what france thinks? of course this is usually a relativist that you're talking to, so they'll say that there is no "right" per se and collective responsibility is always best.
war is morally wrong: i've only found 1 or 2 people that actually argue this. true peaceniks are rare no matter what the foaming critics say. there is always a better way to resolve conflict than to send hundreds of thousands of young men and women off to their deaths. some people do effectively express their squeamishness about people dying while still somehow managing to support a u.n. sponsored peacekeeping effort (where people die). i have zero response to this. welcome to planet mars?
there's no proof: we need proof that saddam has nuclear capability before we go in and destroy his nuclear capability. nobody seems willing to offer up any conditions for this proof. do they need photographs? should there be some statement from iraq? the weapons inspectors are presumably going to be let back in, but what if they come out and say that iraq prevented them from seeing everything they needed to see (which is likely considering that's all iraq has ever done)? i don't really know what constitutes proof in these folks mind. i guess they're the same ones that think o.j. really was innocent? also, the obvious fault-line in this argument is the fact that we would need a "preventive" strike to prevent something terrible from happening. will something terrible happen? i would argue, yes, if we don't do anything.
at any rate, most people mush all these things together and blurt out things about the environment and enron while their at it. it's hard to keep up with all these arguments at once. i usually try to pin them down on one, but they'll move to another. quite a few of these arguments conflict. some presume that we would act if the following conditions are met. others assume that any action on our part is flawed. by the time you've got down to these brass tacks, though, they've drunk too much beer or sipped too much coffee and somebody says something like "hell, man, let's stop arguing about stupid politics." then they'll ask if i'm going to see the new michael moore flick. which, of course, i want to see, just as much for it's willful, almost blissful ignorance as for it's humor. i guess that's while we're all still friends. i can laugh at them. they can call me a right-wing nut. i like people with thick skin.
Saturday, October 12, 2002
more strong arguments against the idiotarian resistance movement:
You need to go back to school and study some history, Congressbubba; we were the aggressor in our Revolution, in the our Civil War, in the Spanish-American War, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and even in World War II where we attacked Germany even though they didn't attack us first. You can look it up. And our action to enforce the International Consensus embodied in the sixteen UN Resolutions Iraq has already violated isn't chopped liver, dear one.
carter?! carter?! for human rights? what a fucking joke. let's take a stroll down memory lane shall we?
carter on...(murderous dictators)
tito [yugoslav tyrant who preceded milosovic]: "a man who believes in human rights"
ceausescu [singlehandedly destroyed romania and killed hundreds of thousands of people]: "our goals are the same"
cedras: "i'm sorry for what our country has done to your country [haiti]"
kim il sung: "i don't see that they [north korea] are an outlaw nation. i find their leader to be vigorous and intelligent."
carter was a phony, inept president. not only did he do nothing to stop any of these men from killing their own people with abandon, he facilitated their behavior. he's been a phony, inept ex-president. he's done less than nothing to further human rights in my opinion. and every time he opens his mouth he criticizes some sitting president. you didn't find reagan or bush sr. doing that. the nobel prize has become a joke. like the oscars. for people who like to congratulate themselves.
Friday, October 11, 2002
could TiVo go the way of the DoDo? say it ain't so.
big bad love. go rent it. it's based on the life of a writer named larry brown. i'm sure it's not for everyone. it's for you though.
Sunday, October 06, 2002
some things i noticed today:
i read the entire book of ecclesiastes during the sermon at church this morning. they had a visiting minister from a sister church in cuba. she said even though they speak spanish in heaven, she'd be kind enough to deliver the sermon in english. big laughs. i still couldn't understand her. man, ecclesiastes isn't exactly the most upbeat book in the bible is it?
if you sit outside of a convenience store long enough someone will eventually come up and ask you, "what time is it?"
william's teacher is a black lady named patricia. very sweet with a true, big heart. miss patricia. at any rate, william now substitutes "be" for "is." "it be hot in here." "that be cool." i'm not making this up. he also says "that not cool." i think it's safe to say he made that one up.
the japanese were right about america. i remember one time this kid had just come back from america. he was one of my students. i asked him what he thought of america. he said "fat people and old cars." i went to the mall today looking for shoes and i'll be damned if he didn't sum it up.
i have a big mole on the back of my neck. moles are popping up all over the place. what the hell is a mole anyway?
for in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. ecclessiastes again. see what i mean?
"yeah, well sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand."
Saturday, October 05, 2002
i was thinking about how you need me to be the calming influence in your life. the strong one. like your dad. how i need to step up to the plate and become the man i've been holding at bay. resentful all these years of never having had it, i dole it out in small, selfish measures and then bitch about everything that goes wrong. and what are we, if not all boys raised by women? the men always off somewhere else. in the distance. setting up franchises like palahniuk says. i look around at most guys i know and i think they're boys. eager to go back to sucking on the tit. alternately wanting the beautiful whore and their mommy. even the old graying guys i know just seem like henpecked house pets. i was thinking about how we need to cherish these small moments with our kids because they'll never come back around. or maybe they will, but it'll be like a dream. all that hallmark card shit that seems so silly and trite and yet true despite my best attempts at mocking it. i told you earlier today, when you seemed like you were about to lose it for having thomas screaming in your ear, i told you to try to have fun with him. try to think that you can't recover these moments. and that he loves you more than anything. i think i sort of realized in that moment, that this is a small part of my mission; my purpose here on earth. it's to take on that shitstorm of hassles and banality and malaise and to wrap it into a bundle and kick it into the corner. to say, fuck it. it ain't no big deal. i run from that mission most days. there's so much wrong and confusion. a big tower of babel waiting to crash right on our heads. i scramble around it and point out the wrong in it. but it's there. and i'm here. tomorrow's another day. the dollars won't cover our graves in the end and the struggles of life are meant for us. it has to be that we're given some small hope of seeing through all this. that the shining ray doesn't come from some better politician or priest. that's it's not politics or the economy or how groovy your life feels. that it doesn't come from miraculously winning the lottery or finding undreamt of success. it comes from making a small decision in the morning and a little prayer for the spirit we've lost. don't give up. stay loose. thank rob for that last one. take the punches with a wink and a grin. i keep telling myself these things. maybe one day they'll come true.
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
sorry beck. that new cd of yours just doesn't cut it. yes, it's lush and over-produced in that post-grunge way. but i just don't get it. rolling stone gave you 5 stars and said it's a deeply personal album. personal? it's about as personal as the everly brothers, beck. and the first song is a rip of a rip of a graham parsons song. i get that's where you're coming from. that california-country-channeled-through-l.a. sound. but still. there's about a dozen kids out there doing it better and if they put out that shit, their c.d.s would be in the bargain bin w/in a week. again, my apologies for speaking out of turn. i realize you shit genius for most people my age. and you have produced genius work. so who am i to speak right? but 5 stars? and all this hype? leave me out this time. i'll catch you when you're not mocking r&b or sawing the sawdust of some past giants.
ah, it's a hell of a life, but it's somebody's life. up and down the street all day.