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Thursday, September 30, 2004

the hope of billions

That's all John F. Kerry needs to tell himself he is tonight and he'll be just fine. That and to remember the sage words of Eminem: "You only get one shot, do *not* miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime...No more games, I'ma change what you call rage, tear this mothafuckin roof off like 2 dogs caged I was playin in the beginnin, but the mood all changed, I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage But I kept rhymin and stepwritin the next cypher, Best believe somebody's payin the pied piper"

I know this offer is coming late but I will buy *hundreds* of bottles of Heinz ketchup if Kerry says that onstage tonight.

I'm listening to the Clash's "Straight to Hell" right now, one of the best songs ever about Vietnam, and it's naturally making me think of these two guys. A lot of people say that this campaign has been about Vietnam, but it should be about Iraq. But that's dumb because people should realize that Iraq is Vietnam II: The Baghdad Ultimatum I think it's absolutely relevant that one guy spilled his blood in the Mekong and the other one, who smirked his way through a boozing, coke snorting frat boy haze, but never missed a chance to salute Old Glory in the morning, questions, through his sneering toadies, whether or not he shed a sufficient amount of that blood, even as they polish off the old lower income kid/anonymous dark skinned foreigner meat grinder. One of the great advantages of being born in the twentieth century is access to so much information about what war is. How it's always horrific, and almost always pointless. The thing about access is you still have to be open to learning about it. Sometimes it's easier to close your eyes and ears. George W. Bush, whom I've argued many times is not either a stupid man, nor an evil one, simply closed his eyes and ears many, many years ago. Kerry never had a choice, 'cause once you see what he's seen, you don't forget it. But whatever, he's a flip flopper.

Jon Stewart was interviewed in the Chicago Sun Times today and he said that the mudslinging rhetoric is so nasty this year that even Aaron Burr would want to tell them to chill out. I've said many times that a good Aaron Burr joke is the height of comedy. Actually I've never said that before, but it's true.

Monday, September 20, 2004

shadowy men on a shadowy planet

My first non-Latin obsessed weekend in ages was actually not as cool as my last Latin obssessed weekend, which is to say last weekend. But it was an average weekend and that was good, and I saw Garden State, which is a good movie. My friend Rob and I were hanging out in Kaffein, downtown Evanston's hip dispensary of caffeine products (the spelling is alternative you see) and wonderful, wonderful milkshakes, and we were having a very scintillating conversation about what a jackhole George Lucas is for not releasing the original cuts of the Star Wars trilogy on DVD along with his precious Special Editions when a young jock type came up to us and asked if he could sit with us. Bewildered, we acquiesced. Apparently he was from some downstate Illinois corn town and he had come up to see the Northwestern football game. Apparently he had nothing else to do for the rest of that night. His main interest appeared to be football, and I was able to extemporise about the only thing I know about Northwestern football (that it once had a coach named Gary Barnett and his son went to high school with us) At any rate, I was relieved that he didn't immediately start talking about Jesus. Rob and I weren't comfortable returning to Star Wars however. I realize that knowing virtually nothing about football is a major social deficit in dealing with a certain breed of American male. I know plenty of people who are renaissance men, quite capable of talking about both football and the jackholishness of George Lucas with ease, but sadly I'm not one of them. He was a nice kid, but ultimately the gulf between us was rather enormous.

I was pissed off by a newspaper story the other day about how previously Democratic female voters are voting for Bush because they are now worried about terrorism. "Security moms" they're called. I hate to seem misogynist or anything, but Jesus! Beware, gentle reader, the mindless she-beast who will sacrifice all reason and decency in a misguided attempt to protect her cubs. That *is* a little misogynist. Ah well, it's stream of consciousness. The notion that Bush is going to be "tough on terrorism" because he invades countries that are marginally (to be generous) connected to terrorism, and Kerry's going to dive under his desk and sob like a little girl at the first sign of trouble is hilarious right-wing caricature that tens of millions of people actually believe. Because they are really, really *really* dumb. The best quote of this article was "There are September 10th people and there are September 11th people and I'm a September 11th person." It's really amazing that I still have long, beautiful hair after the many attempts I've made over the years to tear it from my scalp. Is there a third category of "Person who has a passing acquaintance with thousands of years of human history and not just my own lifetime plus vague TV images of World War II and JFK, who was thus aware of the existence of terrorism as well as numerous other things produced by countries other than America, long prior to September 10, 2001?" Because that's me.

But anyway, today, there were lots of female readers of the Tribune who wrote in to tell those other women what idiots they are so that's good. If only Lysistrata were here...

Friday, September 17, 2004

not so much frustrating as sad

And Johnny Ramone is dead. The world's precious Ramone resources are now at a critical shortage.

a moment of tribute

My frustrations and I have been through a lot together, starting from infancy I suppose. They've changed obviously, as I've changed. We've kicked a lot of walls and we've screamed a lot of obscenities together. They've been in full play today since I realized that the next level job up from mine, for which I have been preparing for 2 and 1/4 years is going to go to someone else, whoever that may be, because I didn't know they were even soliciting applications for it yet, and the deadline was a week ago. I'd like to say that I've been to consumed with my Latin quest to notice the little things, but the truth is, I hardly ever notice the little things because I am inattentive and dumb. Like I said, lot of obscenities, lot of walls.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

life of quiet desperation

It's a sad, well, pathetic thing, when you fail to rise to meet your ambitions, as I certainly have of late. As most of this website's 3 person readership was aware, I have for months been engaged in a long, bloody battle with a monstrous beast known as a correspondence course in Latin 104. I have been a vague shadow of my former self because of the absurd amount of work I've had to do. It has consumed virtually every free night I've had for well just about ever, and left me exhausted and bereft of vitality, congeniality and hope, but fortunately not my gift for hyperbole. Why am I doing this deeply irrational thing? So I can earn a bachelor's degree, eight years after entering college. I was always a bit slow. The ambitions I speak of are many but certainly maintaining a cool, regularly updated weblog is one of them. Finally however, the end is in sight, I've finished the bulk of the work I had to do and there's just a bit of mopping up to be done. I was supposed to translate a chunk of Vergil's Aeneid, which is you know, a good book, despite the fact that I don't understand the language it was written in. A lot of people know the story of Aeneas, the wandering hero of Troy who had a fleeting love affair with Queen Dido, and then was kind of a big jerk to her, ditching her because the gods told him to. Happens to the best of us. Anyway, Dido gets really upset about this and kills yourself. This would be a sad story if Dido's decision to kill herself, actual killing of herself, and subsequent journey to the underworld didn't take *pages* and *pages* and *pages* of a dead language that I had to plod through incompetently translating for hours and hours. Just off yourself Dido! It was getting to the point where I was going to offer to travel back in time four thousand years and give her the knife to do the job with. I can't really complain about Vergil writing long stories. Cause I do too. But I'm smart enough not to write them in Latin. Who does that?

One of the cool events I planned to write about here but never did was going to the Chicago Comicon and meeting one of my heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and getting to talk to him. Anyway, he's in the middle of directing a movie right now and someone asked him to do the "Dance of Joy" a reference to something he did on one of his TV shows. He answered that he would do the "Dance of Utter Exhaustion" instead, which he actually did, he danced around the stage and then fell down. Like the rest of his presentation it was utterly beautiful. I mention it because it is a dance I want to do right now. I asked him a question about whether he would ever write a full length musical (which he had done for Buffy) he said it was he did. And the question got play on all the nerd websites. Because I am a nerd, I am proud of this. Joss reminds me so much of myself. Is that an egomaniacal thing to say? Yes, but Joss is an egomaniac too, so that supports my point rather than detracts from it.

Speaking of the favorite writers of nerds, my friend/enemy Reina Hardy got published on Neil Gaiman's journal. Christ what have I ever done with my life? Not only does she write (marginally) better plays than my own, she gets on Neil Gaiman's freaking webpage! The woman must be stopped. But I will do my part to help her go instead. If you are a Chicago area 10 to 17 year old girl who likes to act (my key demographic) please sign up for the Viola Project. I've seen their work. They do good work. It's safe to say that were I a Chicago area 10 to 17 year old girl who likes to act (and that's not as much of a stretch as some things are) it's what I would want to be doing with my time I can say with some confidence.

I don't want to be at work right now. Oh God, it's only 12:40. I want to be asleep...Someone end this hell...

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