Monday, September 01, 2003
"All these worlds are yours...."
Oh wait. That's not right. But dig the crazy 2010 references!
Okay, this is where it was going to say "I've moved," and all that good stuff.
And, in fact, there is a new web site somewhere with a new URL and new blogging software all installed. Okay, the templates were still in development. And HTML/CSS visual design is not my strong suit. Visual design never was, from my first spirit-duplicated "Daily Planet" to the high-school magazine I edited to the college paper (called "thursday" when it came out on Thursday, and "monday" when it came out on Monday -- with a beautiful Cooper Bold Italic logo) I worked my way up through the ranks of, if a quasi-alternative university "community" paper could be said to have ranks. See, I do have pseudo-journalistic cred; i.e., like many other bloggers, I worked on a school newspaper way back when. And even some once-upon-a-time leftist cred: Remember the "process discussions"?
But, to be honest, I'm currently long on somewhat more important things to do and short on ways to increase the number of hours in the day. The school year has started in full regalia.
So the relocation is suspended, and blogging is going on an extended hiatus.
I'll likely rework the new site into some kind of mackandtim.com or .net kind of thing and use the stupendous amounts of disk space for photos, maybe audio. If I can ever figure out all this newfangled music production stuff.
This has been an enormous blast. Two folks who I think are wonderful, but very distinct, examples of what human-sized blogging can be all about are Dragonleg, with his Shattered Buddha blog and Mark Lane with his Flablog.
The permalinks over there show the rest of the first few tiers of my daily blog reads, and I think it's not hard to make a good case that some, even as I enjoy their writings, need to move up a few pegs from the agit-prop Trotskyite "for us or against us" attitudes that latch onto labelling a good dissection of stupid arguments as "Fisking" and calling the hateful or stupid -- or those just plain disagreed with -- as "Idiotarian." I'd like to think that that kind of thinking doesn't really have much currency in the world we live in where actual life-and-death decisions are made, at least as far as I can tell.
But, the blogging world, like much human socialization, has its cliques. Like most human cliques most are horribly embarrassing when looked at with any degree of detachment. Especially the clique that is made up of all the ones who couldn't get into The Clique in high school or college or at work or wherever.
I find that being on good terms with as many people as possible has a lot of advantages, and being part of any clique works against that. In the long run, I'll take the solo route if I can.
That doesn't mean I don't enjoy being part of a gang of gay ex-Memphians who blog and who have several other attributes in common. I like that a lot, but it's not like we're going to take over the world. Or even fantasize about it. Let's put it like this: I think that those that I'm thinking of would at least be aware that they were fantasizing when they were.
I think 9/11 is still very very important to be aware of. I think that to the degree we try to pretend like enough time has elapsed that its impact isn't relevant at this time is not, in many senses, wise. I believe, unfortunately, that radical Islam would not stop even if it controlled Mecca and Medina and Jerusalem -- power corrupts, etc. -- and that many of those who believe that way will continue to threaten free peoples -- or North Americans and Europeans and substantial numbers of Asians and most Latin Americans these days and increasing numbers of Africans, and the Israelis, if you think we're just all controlled by the big corporations and that representative democracy is a sham.
Threaten with death. Threaten with destruction. Threaten with subjugation.
While our individual, national, and global pasts may have brought us to this point, with plenty of wrong, hateful, and stupid moves on everyone's parts since time immemorial, nothing in that past justifies the actions of radical Islam. Those who believe that way base what they are doing on their traditions and their book, just as radical Christians in the USA continue to attempt to justify wrongful attitudes towards some on the bases of their traditions and their book. Luckily we live in a part of the world where those radical Christians are restricted to some degree by other traditions and other texts, like, say, the US Constitution. But there's only a short step from vouchers to madrassas, so it could happen here if we're negligent.
Would/will those radical Christians try the same murderous tactics that the radical Islamicists do? Hopefully we never get to find out. But the radical Islamacists continue. Today, tomorrow, next week.
I don't think they should not be allowed to achieve their aims. I think that free individuals should be allowed to worship as they choose, but that aggresive religions -- like collectivist or totalitarian or facist political movements -- must be restricted, preferrably by custom but, if necessary, by law.
I regret that stopping them requires, at times, the use of physical violence. Or killing. I respect those who thoughtfully disagree with using so much or any force, but I prefer not to live in the first phases of several hundred years of a very dark age. Or that such an age come to be while we are alive to stop it.
N.B.: "Radical Islam" does not equal "Arab." Saying "the Arabs this, the Arabs that" is just as stupid as "the Jews this, the Jews that." It doesn't fit. At least take the effort to pin things down to the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, the Egyptian government, etc. There is groupthink, but as long as there are individuals, attributing groupthink to attribute groups is, in fact, not accurate. Formal organizations with formal processes is one thing, but "the Jews," "the Arabs," "the Gays," etc. just doesn't cut it for me.
Individuals matter. Individuals are all that matter, in the long run. Groups are just accidents of attributes that belong to individuals. Sorry if that is disrespectful to your individual traditions.
So don't forget 9/11. Don't forget that there really is a "they" out there that wants to kill "you." Just for being born where you were. Just for being who you are, whether that's American, gay, Jewish, or a female human who enjoys having sex. Much less all of the above.
Okay, please forgive the rant, and please forgive this entirely too-sloppy exit.
It's been fun not-working for you. Thanks to the regular few readers and to all those who made it this far. Blogging may resume at some future time, but don't hold your breaths.
Thursday, August 28, 2003
Keir Dullea Says...
"Did I say 'wonderful'? Uh, well, something is going to happen. Supposedly. With some luck."
Martin Luther King, Jr.: "I Have a Dream..."
Forty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his noted speech. Read it here (from the site of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee).
Thanks to Dragonleg for the reminder.
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Keir Dullea Says...
"Something wonderful is going to happen."
Like, maybe by the end of this coming weekend.
No breath holding.
Friday, August 22, 2003
The Shamalar Revolution
In this delicious post, Agenda Bender gets onto one of the reasons any form of non-traditional me Tarzan you Jane you go fix supper coupling is a threat to the status quo. The nugget: the flowing sounds of Shalamar.
It's in this last verse that [A Night to Remember]s overflowing heart brings the Los Angeles River to floodtide. We're so happy let's drink to the exes!Just remember, kids: If Mullah Omar knew you so much as liked this music, much less were expressing love that way, he'd shoot you without blinking his good eye.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
Was It SoBigF?
Headline currently at Drudge: "WEST FILE VIRUS CLAIMS ANIMALS AT DENVER ZOO... DEVELOPING...".
Press to Israel: Bend Over and Take It
Okay, I'm not so naive as to pretend that the Middle East conflict doesn't have long roots, nor will I pretend that both the Israelis and Palestinians don't have some if not many legitimate greivances with each other, with much of the rest of the world, etc. (If you ask me, the Palestinians, if they would stop and think for a moment, ought to have some pretty big beefs with many of the governments in the Arab world, for example.)
So there was a cease fire.
So someone -- and it doesn't seem any stretch of the imagination that that someone was connected to one of the Palestinian parties in the cease fire -- blew up a bus and killed, what?, 20 something people.
So the Israelis went after a Hamas leader, killing several other people in the process.
It would seem to this one sitting in the safety of his office halfway around the world that an appropriate headline might be: "Cease Fire Breaks Down After Suicide Attack." Instead, the headlines from wire service and newspaper and television web sites almost all seem to be along the lines of "Hamas Declares End to Cease Fire After Israeli Attacks." As if the attacks happened completely context free.
It wouldn't surprise me if this had something to do with journalism-school approaches -- "Always use the most proximate event as the cause" -- along the same lines as similar non-intuitive to this non-journalist journalism practices -- "Always use the largest unit of measurement to describe epoch durations: If it happened yesterday the 31st, then say 'Last month'."
Or maybe there really is an ensemble bias in the press tilting in favor of the Palestinians.
The origins of that putative bias? I don't know. Could be a prediliction for quasi-socialism. The perception that Israel is a bully state. A snivelling toady attitude toward wanna-be (or real) dictators like Arafat. It's a mystery to me why it might exist, given that Israel, for all its faults, is a democratic nation whereas the Palestinian Authority is still essentially a Leninist-based one-party (one socialist-style party propped up for years by the Soviet Union and still unable to make it on its own without massive influxes of USA and European money) pseudo-government that will not, for whatever reasons (scared, confused, in cahoots) put down the terrorists that must, eventually, submit to legitimate governmental authority.
Think about that for a moment: There could be, maybe even in our lifetimes, a legitimate government in the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Would any legitimate government allow a bunch of armed thugs, many of whom are religious whackos, to dictate to the government what its domestic or foreign policies ought to be? No way.
Remember: The reasonable, sensible, language-as-a-way-of-modelling-the-universe proximate cause of the end of the cease fire was the suicide bombing, not the Israeli retaliation. The organizations within the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority that support such actions have lost any credible reasons they might ever have had to exist. The USA and Israeli governments should do anything and everything they can to help factions within that territory to dominate and destroy the terrorists and the supposedly-legitimate groups they are "arms" of.
I'm sorry, but I don't think there's any more room for negotiation with murderers.
Maybe not "Ugh!"
Ken Layne has additional/alternative details on yesterday's item (referenced below) about Phish bassist Mike Gordon, a boathouse, photos, and the nine-year-old daughter of a Hell's Angel's leader. Among those additional/alternative details: Segway rides, not just for the little girl, no boathouse to be behind, and no sneaking around.
Here's hoping it was all just a big misunderstanding. I probably shouldn't have linked to Layne's piece in the first place -- and what the hell was up with the purported serious-media story he linked to being on Orlando's Channel 6's ("local news here") web site when it happened at Jones Beach? -- but I have to admit that there's something creepy about Mike Gordon that I've never been able to clearly identify.
Still, I'm sorry for participating in whatever circus this was.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Phish bassist Mike Gordon is in trouble. Something about being behind the boathouse. To take "art photos." Of a nine-year-old girl. Whose father is a Hell's Angels leader on Long Island. Who he met at a Dead show.
Story here (via Ken Layne).
If it weren't for the fact that the father's "associates" may have roughed up Gordon already, this would have that episode of Law and Order where the parents let the comedian molest the little boy for muchos dineros written all over it. And it still might. Everyone except the cops seems to be tight-lipped about what happened.
Creeped out yet? If not, there's always this (via Dave Barry).
Of course, as creepy as both those stories, nether really comes close to that of the murderous bastards who hope to take over the world and killed about 40 people who were getting on with their lives yesterday. Thousands likely died around the world at the hands of less-organized murderers, but without coherence, without the cover of "my religion's better than yours," without trying to end what many of us think of as a life of freedom.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
The Latest "Insta-Crisis"
Now that the phoney doctor/Republican generated Medical Malpractice Crisis in Florida has been temporarily settled, it's time for the Prison Overcrowding Crisis.
Flablogger Mark Lane has several pieces (starting here, then scroll up) on the latest shenanigans from JEB! and his cronies. (Does the word "shenanigans" make anyone else think of Stubby Kaye? Shenanigans was sort of like Video Village for kids.)
Lane has been on roll lately, with coverage and commentary over numerous topics, including lousy attempts at humor on the part of newspaper editorialists. I hate to break it to him, though, but hardly anyone reads those 19th century legacy/vanity publishing artifacts, possibly excepting around election time, and then with a large grain of salt.
The Salad King Speaks
Here, in today's New York Times (registration required).
The Salad King owns
Dressings and salsa and popcorn
HUD was no acronym
FOX is his target
In the copycat court
Or behind the wheel
He is the salad king
He can sue anything