Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Public Service Announcement

Should the continued existance of the world somehow come to depend on my partaking of some form of marriage rites, y'all will be saying hello to the new unilateral leader of the universe. Please place your donations to the Emergency Yarn and Cat Food Fund directly ino my bank account. No, that paltry seven billion will not do it, Mr. Trump. You're talking about my participation in an institution I do not believe in, in exchange for the continued existance of you and your incredibly bad hair. The entire world will be expected to ante up. And you, you, you, you, and you? You all have three choices: go boom, go away, or stop that.

This PSA has been brought to you by tiresome illness and a game of "what if" in which I was asked whether I would get married if the fate of the world depended on it. Like every honest hero, I said that depends on what I get out of it.

Good Night and Good Luck

Day four, still sick.

I adore Edward R. Murrow, and I absolutely can't wait to see this movie. During a time when questioning authority in private could cause your neighbors to ring the (highly corrupt) FBI, Murrow bitch slapped Joe McCarthy on national TV, inviting folks to look past their paranoia to the insanity of pre-emptively impinging on ye old bill of rights, especially rights to free speech and association.

My elation is deflated somewhat by those who complain that the release of the film is "pointed." It is pointed only in that Hollywood occasionally takes its head out of its ass long enough to realize, in a self-serving way, that they do not want to once again face the Blacklist. They've come a long way from the late nineties, when Elia Kazan was awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar for a career that included destroying the livelyhood of many of his colleagues.

It is not cheeky or pointed to release this movie during a time in which "terrorism" has replace "communism" as our verbal panic button. I view it instead as atonement. Those in tinseltown were so very giddy at working under a "liberal" administration for the first time since the alleged end of the Cold War that they celebrated by attempting to forget that the blacklist had ever happened. They deified Kazan, poo-pooed those who frowned at the decision, and partied as if Clinton was god's gift to freedom of expression.

With all of this good feeling, those who make movies easily became more enmeshed with those who make money and those who make government. And then a bunch of assholes flew planes into national landmarks. Suddenly Hollywood liberalism was once again poorly received. Entertainers who dared to repeat what inquiries found -- that there was ample warning about 9/11, that the current administration literally did not know intelligence when it saw it -- were publicly mocked, their endorsements threatened. It's enough to make anyone develop a sense of history.

And lest you think it's all smoothed over now, rumors last week had Kanye West losing a Pepsi endorsement over his post-Katrina claims that a certain leader of the free world doesn't care about black people. (NB The claim is not without merit; that same intelligence report that was ignored prior to 9/11 contained a warning about potential disaster due to levee breach in NOLA. This strangely led to a decrease in funding for programs to shore up levees. I'm not saying they tossed that security report out completely, I'm just saying I'd like to see what the White House uses for toilet paper.) The rumor didn't pan out, but one has to wonder how much was rumor and how much was reversal due to fear of public opinion -- it's a lot harder to yank endorsements and hide your reasons these days.

So the entertainment industry is newly reacquainted with the prospect of censorship in the name of "national security," and we get a movie about the Murrow-McCarthy smackdown. The timing's only pointed if you fail to consider that it's coming out at a time when it will affect no elections or legislation and generally have minimal direct effect, except on public opinion, which is fickle at best. I'm more inclined to wish they'd released it in 2003, then head to the theater and enjoy.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Highly useful words that have no English equivalent. The word in the subject line means "a dealer in stolen cats."

Where the hell have I been? Preparing for class, teaching class, volunteering at fest, getting drunk after fest, enjoying my knitting group (finished a sweater for my favorite nearly-two-year-old's second birthday, started my first pair of socks), and most recently, staying up all night in order to revisit everything I had eaten yesterday (fun, huh?).

So. I'm going back to bed before I start to spew again. Hopefully I'll be well enough to start preparing for class again tomorrow. Lather, rinse, repeat.

EDIT: How on earth did I forget the part where my computer screen went black if I opened it more than a couple of inches? The folks at Apple Store managed to get it open a bit further, then told me I'd have to wait to have it completely fixed on account of their repair center being closed -- it's in Houston. My laptop is now a desktop, propped up so that I can see the screen that's opened at about a 60 degree angle and attached to my external keyboard -- indefinitely, since I need to use it to keep my course records.

Technology bites.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Avast, mateys! Today be Talk Like A Pirate day! I be known in some parts as the Dread Pirate CJ, and it's best ye be knowing that my reputation be fierce. I'll be making t'walk the plank any of ye scalawags who refuse t'celebrate this fine holiday, savvy?

T'help you celebrate, here be fine pirate music by the lovely Nina Simone. Make quick with your piracy, I warn ye, my generous mood is likely to disappear as soon as me grog runs out.


Thursday, September 15, 2005



Shoot Me Now

I'm supposed to have a REAL class this week, complete with lecture, and here I am sinvelling every three minutes over something inconsequential. All because I fell asleep last night and missed a dose of my meds. Damn fool brain.

In other frustrating news, it's not November yet. (Link leads to gigantic video file, so best not to click on dial-up. Also, thanks Bill!)

Monday, September 12, 2005


Jon has just associated Harry Potter with sociology. This included the phrase "Muggle social science."

*fangirls Jon*

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Holy Carp!

I'm sorry, y'all. I didn't mean to skip out on the blog, I just got busy with school stuff. And Fest. And more school stuff. I'll be nutty for a couple more weeks yet before things settle into place.

Hey Jon? Wanna help me make a website for my class? I need to figure out blog stuff. And embedding RSS stuff. And... stuff.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina, Bush, and Some Non-Disaster Stuff

A list of links to disaster relief agencies that are either secular, or religious with policies against prosetylization. Because nothing sucks so much as having to listen to someone shove their god down your throat in order to, you know, get food.

Two links from before I left. Critical of presidential response to Katrina, but more than a little dated now.

In response to "they shouldn't live there anyway" arguments, a map of the US showing where folks should live in order to avoid potentially deadly natural disasters.

In fact, you should all really be reading the stuff over at Making Light. They're chock full o'news and commentary, and their initial info links post was linked by news sites as a clearinghouse for useful links.

Sell the ranch? I doubt even that would make his concern seem genuine. It's hilarious, but a waste of time. Still, a bunch of links to things that have been glossed over in mainstream attempts to focus on "looting."

Here's my deal on the looters: who fucking cares? They only became a problem once police stopped rescue efforts so that they could protect goods rather than people. Then folks started shooting back, because yeah, when they treat you like the enemy you damn well better grab a gun, or your ass is dead. There are reports (unconfurmed to me; anyone else heard anything?) of engineers being shot on the way to fix the levies. It's shoot first, ask questions later, and the looters weren't shooting first. Unless, of course, the looters are police.

The stores are insured, the people are hungry, and once they get out of this mess they don't even have anything to sell in order to get money to start fresh. They have no TV to turn on and find out if they can expect help, so as far as they know, the cops are shooting on sight and they're on their own. It didn't help that food drops didn't start until four days after the fact. What I'm saying is, if I were down there and could get to a store, you're damn right I'd take food and water. If I had no earthly posessions left and thought I'd been left for dead, I'd grab anything shiny that wasn't nailed down. So let's get the fuck over it and show folks that they're going to have help.

In other news,the Iraq war keeps oil from terrorists, Bush says. Ah. That justifies it. Kill people to make certain terrorists who were primarily active in OTHER COUNTRIES don't get the oil. Well done.

Also, why not kill two rightsbirds with one stone? John Roberst as chief Justice. A lifetime fucking appointment, just so Bush doesn't have to go through two fucking confirmation hearings. Coat hangers at the ready, ladies, and the rest of you can kiss your right to privacy the fuck goodbye. This is one scary mother fucker.

Finally, a bit of fun. I spent the weekend up in Grand Marais, a tiny city on Superior's North Shore. My mother will likely move up there in a couple of years, and seemed to be interested in single-handedly ensuring that the economy is thriving once she gets there, as she bought more stuff than I've ever seen her buy in one weekend (mom hates shopping). Much fun (and exercise) was had, and much hilarity ensued during our evening ritual of watching CNN and making fun of the coverage of Katrina. The moost memorable moment of the weekend sadly took place in front of the TV. My mother just about died when Celine Dion was on Larry King's ridiculous telethon thingy and went into hysterics, leading off with, "I opened my television and THOSE PEOPLE ARE ALL STILL THERE!" We laughed for five minutes, then wondered how big her TV has to be to house that many people, and laughed some more.

Here's a fun link for the road, as I'm heading off to see The Brothers Grimm with E&M. All Jim MacDonald needs to know in life he learned from British folksongs and legends. Hilarious.