Saturday, October 30, 2004

one down...

So I did it, I finally convocated. The ceremony was pretty good, albeit long, and Alumni Hall was warm in those robes. It was cool to see some (4) people from highschool graduating at the same time. I also saw GiNO walking on campus twice, and hopefully he'll post the photo he took to his blog. It feels weird to be done...I didn't think it would, since all my classes have been done for several months. It made me miss school. Hopefully this will motivate me to get my act together with grad school applications.

On another note, there's a neat article about the debate "back bulge" debacle from the presidential debates at salon.com. I didn't link it, because it's a pay site...you can try to get on like I did by watching an ad for a minute before getting full access to the site. But anyways, a NASA image analyst has staked his career on his claim that Bush wore a wire to the debates. I don't doubt it for a second.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Public Service Announcement for friends at bars

I've come to the conclusion that I have a problem, which I've known I have, but I'm only publicly admitting to now: I have a tendency to bolt from bars if left alone for a significant amount of time. I don't really know why - well that's not right, I do...but it never seems rational after the fact. I don't know the root Freudian cause, but I get really self conscious and generally anxious if I'm alone in a bar. I don't know if it's that I don't want to be that guy in a bar alone. Large loud social situations have never been a favorite place for me, and perhaps combined with the juxtaposition of being in the midst of a whole bunch of people having fun, yet being alone there gets me uncomfortable. I've done it maybe three times this year, and it's not like people intend to walk off, it can even be for like a 10 minute smoke break, and I up and take off...often confusing/pissing off friends.
So, to any of you reading this (and I don't think anyone reading this has witnessed it, but maybe) I don't mean anything by it. It's something I need to work on.

Monday, October 25, 2004

More than meets the eye...the Ashlee Simpson SNL slip-up

On Saturday Night Live, Ashlee Simpson screwed up during her second performance, and was quite clear there was an audio track playing she lip synched to. In a fair world, this would be a career ending moment. If I were a fan, I might be a little angry or disappointed, but that would be misdirected emotion. It is part of a growing trend of the acceptance of overproduced and undertalented performers being pushed in the recording industry's chase for dollars. Is anyone really surprised that she lip-syncs? Surely I'm not the only one who suspects Britney does the same? I think it's borderline fraud to have these 'artists' representing themselves as live performers, charging clueless tweens weeks of allowance for concert tickets and CDs. Why don't they just be honest and call their shows music accompanied dance numbers...
I feel bad for the artists with much more talent, but who didn't have the right look, or the right sister. Ultimately though, we only have ourselves as consumers to blame...for feeding an industry that sells lies to fans, and turns around and sues 12 year olds for being big enough fans to download their songs.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

I just watched the movie for the 2nd time, and it makes me so angry and more than a little sad that many projections are predicting a victory for Bush in the coming election, despite all the horrible lies the world is told everyday. I know talking politics is a bit of a touchy topic for some people, and many people have a deeply personal attachment to their political views, but I think that is all the more reason for making it public discourse.
During the movie, Moore at one point says "America is a great country, at which point someone else watching with me said "Do you really think he loves America?" That got me thinking...of course he does, but the prevailing view today especially in the US seems to be that to question political decisions or be opposed to the direction being taken is seen as un-American. I'd argue that the very people who are willing to stand up and have their voices of opposition heard are the true lovers of their country, and American history is laden with true patriots who were willing to do so.
If Bush wins the election, reason will have lost out to weakness and fear. The US is in trouble regardless of who wins the election, but maybe something can be salvaged if the right choice is made. Iraq will not be won (if any war can) by the standards the US public attaches to the concept of victory, and the threat of terrorism has been exponentially increased. The likely reason there have been no new attacks on US soil is that Iraq is a far more convenient theatre for enemies of the US, having failed to secure borders, and angering much of the region with indiscriminate killings of civilians, torture, and failed promises. If the US forces return home, the threat will come home too. They cannot stay at current troop levels, having already implemented stop loss programs, and using large numbers of reserve troops. The idea of the draft has been raised during the presidential campaign, and although it has been denied as an option by the Republicans, I would be uncomfortable in my age demographic living in the US, especially with the Bush track record on lies. The next four years will be interesting times... and I hope history gets it right and places Bush as the beginning of the death of American empire.


Here's a nice little summary of some of Bush's follies, courtesy of 'The Nation'.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Surprise! I've moved!

Welcome to my new blog location...xanga wasn't working out. It was nice that I was listed when I searched Google with my real name, but it didn't do much good because people have to have a xanga account to read stuff there. There are other reasons for moving too. Looking at random sites on xanga I found a disproportionate number of posters that would write like this: "NIKKI...im so sorrie i cudnt go to oakton hc wif yu todayy." Now, I understand the sorry state of educational institutions today thanks to neo-conservate public spending...but give me a break. If I ever type a line like that, I hope my laptop blows up and maims me badly enough to prevent it from happening again.

It's a scary world...my roommate who's teaching in a highschool for his teacher's college degree brought home some marking the other day, and one of his students misspelt 'teeth'. The way things are going, that kid is going to be the next leader of the free world.

I had a realization the other day that I'm going to be the crankiest old man ever, for proof, read the above. I'm 23 now...

So update your bookmarks and follow the development of an old coot. Chart it on graph paper if you're a nerd like that.