Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Dr. Katz sat down on the stairs beside me and put his hand on my shoulder.

"Don't cry, Momo. It's natural for old people to die. You've got your whole life ahead of you."

Was the bastard trying to scare me, or what? I've always noticed that when old people say "you're young, you've got your whole life ahead of you," they smile all over, like it tickled them to think what you're in for.

I stood up. Sure, I had my whole life ahead of me, but I wasn't going to cry myself sick on that account.
-Romain Gary, The Life Before Us

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fun stuff


My brain froze up at the last minute. Also, trying to spell former Russian republics on a time limit is not a winning proposition.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A brief explication

"Why do you dislike Clinton so much?" you ask. "After all, her positions aren't all that different from Obama's, and you seem to tolerate HIM." That's a valid question, imaginary interlocutor. Let me try to answer it. Leave aside the fact that she would endorses McCain over Obama. Leave aside the fact that she's making ads for him. Sure, it's quite apparent that she would rather destroy the entire party than see Obama win, but hey! This would be enough to earn my animosity anyway, but it's more than just dirty politics.

Actually, all that is important, because it shows how utterly unprincipled she and her advisers--people who would be in her cabinet if she won the presidency-- are. Remember this?

"Superdelegates are not second-class delegates," says Joel Ferguson, who will be a superdelegate if Michigan is seated. "The real second-class delegates are the delegates that are picked in red-state caucuses that are never going to vote Democratic."

Hear that, red-staters? Don't vote for Hillary. She doesn't want your support. Who cares what you think? And that's really what it comes down to. Look, I know damn well that Barack Obama is not the messiah. He's not going to magically fix everything. And he's well to the right of me politically. But I do believe, naively or not, that he has a chance to fundamentally change the political dynamics of this country. He isn't just writing off red states, that's for sure. If Clinton were to win in the general--a big fucking if--it would be more of this same old tired, strategic, 50%+1. She would have no coattail effect; she sure as hell wouldn't help red states turn that little bit more purple--why should she, when her campaign explicitly rejects their support? She doesn't care about the rest of the party; all Clinton cares about is Clinton. Should she be elected, nothing will change. The country will remain as bitterly polarized as ever in the exact same way, and there won't be a thing in the world to stop another W getting elected in four or eight years.

I expect to be disappointed by Barack Obama. I'm not that naive. I'm fully prepared for him to do things that piss me off. But I do believe that it won't just be politics as usual; that we really will experience some of that over-evoked quality known as "change." Maybe I'm wrong; maybe it'll all turn out to have been a grand illusion, and it'll end up being the same old thing. But I know that will be the case with Clinton, so it's not much of a choice.

And you know, I say I'll never vote for her now, but if it comes down to it (heaven forfend), yeah, I may chicken out. I know damn well that, in spite of everything, she wouldn't be as bad as McCain. But I'll tell you this: I have never been faced with the prospect of voting for someone I viscerally loathe as much as I do Clinton. I've never voted for anyone I viscerally loathed, period. If I end up voting for her, win or lose, I know that I'll end up feeling really, really bad about my vote. I know fulfilling one's civic responsibility isn't always fun, but is it really supposed to nauseate you? Is that what we've come down to? Regardless of what I'd do, I'd have a hard time condemning anyone who just decided to sit the election out. 'Cause this whole thing is just bullshit.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Just so we're clear...

If it comes down to it, I ain't voting for Hillary in November. Sorry kids, but to quote Olaf glad and big, there is some shit I will not eat. I might be willing to take a purple crayon and scrawl obscenities on the ballot, though. That would pretty well send the message I want to send.

Monday, March 03, 2008

New Chick Tract.

OH BOY. The art's ugly as sin and It's pretty crazy in general, but also kind of instructive. You might note that--as far as I can remember--this is the only tract in which nobody involved seems to be thinking about Jesus at all--all there is is the awkward segue into the usual proselytizing at the end. But instead, we get ALLEGORY! OH BOY. Too bad it had to be such incredibly LAME allegory, but whaddaya want?

It breaks down pretty fast. It may have come pre-broken, actually. Firstly, if the son is Jesus, he's a pretty peripheral Jesus: oh boy; he's driving you to the hospital. You could've taken a cab, and you would have gotten there faster, too, what with not having the crash and all. It's a pretty big stretch to say that he died for the patient. Secondly, if the seedy-looking janitor's meant to be Satan, he once again does a pretty poor job of it. Who's going to throw his life away based on the vague implications of a guy who looks like an evil hobo? Sure, Chick's demons always seem like they'd be pretty ineffectual, but this forges new trails of half-assedness. Finally, I'm kind of hung up on this "euphoria" business. I suppose this was considered necessary because otherwise, there's NO way he'd refuse the medicine and also because it represents the human pride of jerks like me and you (most likely) who refuse to be converted, but really--does this tract wish to say that salvation is contingent on having first behaved in this manner? I kinda doubt it.

The real question that comes out of this, though, kind of gets to the heart of the matter: does ChickCo genuinely believe that "I should accept Jesus so I don't go to hell" is as similarly self-evident a proposition as "I should take this medicine so I don't die of ebola?" Really? 'Cause in that case, they would seem to believe that the great majority of people in the world are either insane or too stupid to dress themselves, and they might as well just close up shop, since converting such people is clearly a lost cause.

Also, I'm pretty sure ebola doesn't come from spider bites. But that's the least of the problems here.