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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Y'know, it's maybe kinda wrong & fate-tempting to say it, but I'm gonna miss Jr. & the boys if (hope, hope, hope) they get voted out in November. Kerry, Edwards and the rest of the cleancut freethinkers (yeah, that sounds like sarcasm to me too) aren't gonna be nearly so fun to hammer on. I am willing, however, to make the sacrifice.

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SUCH is the power of movies that the first image "Watergate" brings to mind three decades later is not Richard Nixon so much as the golden duo of Redford and Hoffman riding to the nation's rescue in "All the President's Men." But if our current presidency is now showing symptoms of a precancerous Watergate syndrome - as it is, daily - we have not yet reached that denouement immortalized by Hollywood, in which our scrappy heroes finally bring Nixon to heel in his second term. No, we're back instead in the earlier reels of his first term, before the criminality of the Watergate break-in, when no one had heard of Woodward and Bernstein. Back then an arrogant and secretive White House, furious at the bad press fueled by an unpopular and mismanaged war, was still flying high as it kneecapped with impunity any reporter or news organization that challenged its tightly enforced message of victory at hand.

..."The fundamental right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate and criticize the workings of our government is under attack as never before," wrote William Safire last month. When an alumnus of the Nixon White House says our free press is being attacked as "never before," you listen...


Interesting article in the NY Times about media companies folding over in an attempt to not incur the wrath of Jr. & The Big Chair Players. None of this is new news or surprising news, but it's a good attempt to pull it all together into something easy to see. Essentially, any news source that critizizes the White House finds itself on the wrong end of Justice Dept. & FCC legal guns, and any source that lauds the Reps, or at least trashes the Dems, gets to operate in an utterly unmolested fashion.

Again, it's not anything you don't already know about, if you've been paying the slightest attention, but it's an awfully nice summation.

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ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Fears of a terrorist attack are not sufficient reason for authorities to search people at a protest, a federal appeals court has ruled, saying September 11, 2001, "cannot be the day liberty perished."

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Friday that protesters may not be required to pass through metal detectors when they gather next month for a rally against a U.S. training academy for Latin American soldiers.

Authorities began using the metal detectors at the annual School of the Americas protest after the terrorist attacks, but the court found that practice to be unconstitutional.

"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War of Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over," Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote for the three-member court. "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country."


I am occasionally proud of my country, its laws, and those who work to uphold those laws for the good of the populace and to the detriment to small, ideological forces in the government.

I'd feel better about this, however, if it were the Supreme Court that had said it. Can you say 'appeal'?



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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Good Christing fuck. This whole blogging thing? Yeah, it's gone too far. Far too far.

Here's an exercise in sheer, pointless, masochistic headfucking for you. See that little button up in the right hand corner that says 'Next Blog'? Yeah, go click that. I'll wait. Go click that about twenty times and then come back.

Okay, what did you see? Puerile ramblings? Whiney adolescents? Blogs with names that might have seemed clever sometime in the way, way past before we all started watching Friends and throwing quips and one-liners at each other as part of our daily conversations? Yeah, I'll bet you did, and read a lot of stuff that sounds like the voiceover from an afterschool special. And lotsa bad spelling, right?

What scares me are the number of them that claim to be 'chronicling a normal life' or some similar asinine thing, and then, yeah, go right ahead and do just that. From posts about what they think about their new toothpaste to their lunchtime sandwich to the movie they watched while drifting off to sleep, you get an endless eyeful of the same shit that your own life is already filled with. Really, who's reading this stuff?

Other scary shit:

Blogs filled with links to home refinancing sites, survey sites that'll give you a free iPod/DVD player/PS2/laptop/yacht, cut-rate pharmecutical sites, dating sites, humor sites, shopping sites. Like spam, except you have to go find it for yourself.

Blogs started just so people could have conversations with each other. Like ICQ, MSNmessenger, Yahoo, etc., except that there's no real time communication and you have to keep hitting refresh to see if there's a response to your post. Also, it seems that blogs like this are posted to by people who're in school together, and see each other pretty much every damned day.

Things like this:

Am I just to be a clockwork turquoise?
That symbolizes heaven and that which is of the Spirit?
I certainly hope so.

Ah, the internet. Porn, penis enlargement & bad poetry.

Look, I know that blogs are supposed to be nothing more than online diaries for people drawn to that perverse thing of sharing intimate secrets with anyone who bothers to show up (*cough*cough*), but c'mon, guys. If we're going to be out here, putting our crap up for anyone to see, shouldn't we be putting up stuff that we might actually want people to see? Shouldn't our writing be fresh and interesting and tight? And properly spelled? And inclusive to anyone outside our immediate circle of friends? Fer Chrissakes, don't you guys proof your copy? DON'T YOU FUCKING CARE?

Right, all right. That's it. Never mind me. I'm done. I'll just spend my time with Cory & Warren & Drew and my circle of pals and just forget about finding anything new or interesting under the sun.

Also, all you underage virgin goth girls? Stop trying to sound like you've been getting laid since you were ten years old. It's obviously not true, and it's a little embarrasing for the rest of us to read. You don't go out drinking in graveyards with your little goth friends, you don't have a dangerous boyfriend with his own hearse and tattoo gun, and you've never gotten shut up in a coffin for hours on end. How do we know this? 'Cause you post to your fucking blog three times a day and you've got a list of friends fifty names long. People who spend that much time on the computer don't leave the house, and you have to leave the house go drinking in graveyards, get shut up in coffins and attract boyfriends to have sex with. So either learn to fake it better, or just go actually do something that the rest of us might want to read. Little goth boys, go find the little goth girls, a bottle of absinthe and get on with it.

And on that note, I'm off to make dinner for my girl, who should be home any time now. And you know what? I'm not going to tell you a damned thing about it.

Cheers.

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Billy Gibson's blogging again:

Why?

Because the United States currently has, as Jack Womack so succintly puts it, a president who makes Richard Nixon look like Abraham Lincoln.

And because, as the Spanish philospher Unamuno said, "At times, to be silent is to lie."

Today's post is an awfully interesting look at the DoD and this latest MOST IMPORTANT WAR AMERICA WILL EVER FIGHT.

Make with the clickey.

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HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) -- Wal-Mart opened a store in Hawaii on Wednesday with hundreds of eager shoppers rushing past a handful of protesters who accuse the giant retailer of desecrating ancient gravesites.

Customers lined up hours ahead and then poured into the discount store after a traditional Hawaiian blessing and the untying of a lei at the main doors.

Native Hawaiian groups had tried to stop the opening until 44 remains of Hawaiians unearthed during construction could be reburied at the Wal-Mart site.

"Wal-Mart's pitch is that it's slashing prices for you. In this instance, it's slashing graves," said Moses Haia, a Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. lawyer who has filed a suit against the store.


Not, really, in any way surprising. Just haven't published a Wal-Mart hate story in a while, and I was kinda missing it.

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Monday, October 11, 2004

This is screaming around the web today, but here it is again, just in case this page is the only reason you hit the web:

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of the largest chain of television stations in the nation, plans to air a documentary that accuses Sen. John Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War, a newspaper reported Monday.
The reported plan prompted the Democratic National Committee to file a complaint against Sinclair with the Federal Election Commission.
Sinclair has ordered all 62 of its stations to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" without commercials in prime-time next week, the Washington Post reported, just two weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

Sinclair's television group, which includes affiliates of all the major networks, reaches nearly a quarter of all U.S. television households, according to the company's Web site. A dozen of Sinclair's stations are in the critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Ah, fuck me. It's just getting tedious, isn't it? It's weird. This may be the first election I can think of that I felt as though issues involved actually involved me and mine and theirs, and the least sincere election I can recall. Really and truly, this whole fucking thing about nothing but spin, appearance & a rapid and succesful refutation of the myriad weirdass accusations that've been made.

So, yeah, the Reps are gonna show a nasty movie in primetime and have been getting Ralph Nader on the ballot all over the place, and the Dems have Fahrenheit 9/11 hitting Blockbuster, and this weird little nugget floating around the web:

CHANHASSEN, Minnesota (AP) -- Campaign aides to President Bush on Saturday laughed off rampant Internet speculation about whether the president was wired to get help from advisers during his first debate with Sen. John Kerry.


"It's not true. It's ridiculous," Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

A still photo from television footage of Bush as he debated Kerry on September 30 in Coral Gables, Florida, appears to show a small, boxy shape between the president's shoulder blades.


Both stories, if you'll notice, are from CNN, the latter from the 'Inside Politics' section and the former from CNNMoney. I guess the question, to me anyway, is what side is CNN on? Both of these stories tend to sympathize with the Dems view, the first by being alarmist about a media mogul using a national network to campaign for the Republicans; the second by giving real media attention to what is, really, an internet rumor (for the record, Salon.com, The Washington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times, The LA Times and Yahoo News all have stories or references to the the flap, although most of those stories refer back to the initial Salon.com article).

Y'know, I don't actually care anymore. I've spent an hour hunting down links and stories, trying to figure out how to build a case about whether or not CNN slants to the liberal, and I'm sick of giving a shit. Really, what does it matter? CNN wants you to think the Dems are strong, FOXNews wants you to think the Reps are unstoppable, the NY Times wants you to think that they're both wrong but that Jr. is more wrong than anybody else, they all want you to read them or watch them or click on them so that they can throw commercials in your face and charge their advertisers more.

Aren't you tired of being nothing more than a walletful of potential dollars for the media and corporations? Here's a fun trick; spend a week, just one week, not buying anything from a national chain. Your groceries, gas, clothes, haircuts, cd's, books, comics, bike, whatever. Skip McDonald's and go to the joint on the corner where the owner works in the kitchen and they'll charge you $6.50 for a burger that's worth it. Throw a brick through the front window of your local Barnes & Noble and head to that tiny store downtown where there's hand-written notes all over telling you what's great about a particular book. Seriously, just give it a try. Bet you won't be able to. At some point you'll walk into a CVS or a Best Buy or Target or, God help you, a Wal-Mart, and pass your dollars across the big rubber belt and, if you're a good and faithful visitor, you'll suddenly remember this rant and have a little 'Ah, Fuck' moment and a small piece of your soul, which was on the edge of shriveling up and dying, will spring back bouyant and joyful and all sorts of other kinda Kenny G adjectives and, hey, you'll save a little piece of yourself from eternal damnation.

And that would be all well and good if I didn't just this second realize that I've got an order from Old Navy coming in via Fedex tomorrow.

Ah, Fuck.


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