Friday, December 30, 2005

Uh, Mom- I'm going over to Steve's for . . . a month.

For some reason I'm loving this story.

I have journalist friends who are working on being imbedded in Iraq. It's hard. There is a lot of paperwork involved. There are weeks, months, sometimes nearly years of preparation. And this 16 year old just . . . *goes* to Iraq.

I have to wonder what he told his parents. "Hey Mom, Dad- I'll be out a while . . ."

But here's the kicker. Unlike Jonah Goldberg, Ben Shapiro or any of those other chickenhawks, at least he was gonna put his money where his mouth is:

Ms. Atiya said her son is studious, works on the school newspaper and is on the debate team. He is a member of a Republican Party club at school who spends his time reading, rather than socializing, his mother said.

“He thinks girls require too much time, and he has more important things to do. He loves history,” Ms. Atiya said.


Who wants to bet the kid has a book deal in the new year?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2005 in review

Alright, folks, only three days left in 2005. It's been a good year for me- I've met many new people, had some good times, finally acheived the big goal of leaving the hometown, and at this point 2006 is looking pretty good. But politically, the year has been an uneven one. Let's have a look at wikipedia to see what we've really been through:

January 4 - Death of the Governor of Baghdad, Ali Al-Haidri, assassinated by gunmen.

Oooh, that whole "peeance and freeance" thing is getting off to a rocky start. If you can call it a start.

January 20 - George W. Bush is inaugurated in Washington, D.C. for his second term as 43rd President of the United States.

Let the games begin! Again!

January 30 - The first free Parliamentary elections in Iraq since 1958 take place.

And this means a lot! To someone. Somewhere. For reasons we're not yet sure of.

February 9 - An ETA car bomb injures 31 people at a conference centre in Madrid.

Proving David Cross correct once again: The war on Terrorism is like a war on Jealousy. And anyone who feels safer now than before 9/11 is a mental infant.

February 10 - North Korea announces that it possesses nuclear weapons as a protection against the hostility it feels from the United States.

And we tell them to BRING IT ON! Yeah! USA! USA!

Wait, we didn't? Huh. Funny, that.

February 14 - A massive suicide bomb blast in central Beirut kills Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri and at least 15 other people. At least 135 other people were also hurt.

Hey, where's *their* peeance and freeance? I guess they just have to get it on their own.

March 1 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules the death penalty unconstitutional for juveniles who committed their crimes under age 18.

And we join the rest of the enlightened world, leaving behind the company of such human rights luminaries as Yemen, Pakistan, the Congo, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Iran. Seriously, WTF? It took us until freaking 2005 to abolish the killing of actual living, breathing children in a country with a vocal lobby to stop the killing of unborn children? Only in America. Which is why I'm going to start looking for a sugar daddy in Belgium.

March 23 - The United States' 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 decision refuses to order the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

And we narrowly escape setting a precedent where freaks like this can make YOUR life or death medical decisions. I wish I felt more relieved about this.

April 2 - Pope John Paul II dies, causing widespread grief in the world.

Well, grief among many, apprehension among many as well.

April 9 - Tens of thousands of demonstrators, many of them supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, marched through Baghdad denouncing the U.S. occupation of Iraq, two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and rallied in the square where his statue was toppled in 2003.

Investors in candy and flowers for the liberators find themselves bankrupt, surprised.

April 19 - Joseph Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave.

Catholics and non-Catholics agree: Yikes.

May 2 - 4th president of Singapore, Wee Kim Wee dies from prostate cancer.

*Must . . . remind . . . self . . . there's . . . nothing . . . funny . . . about . . . prostate . . . cancer . . . or . . . Asian . . . Names . . .*

May 10 - A live hand grenade lands about 100 feet (30 m) from United States President George W. Bush while he is giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but malfunctions and does not detonate.

Apparently he has the power to project his ineptitude onto inanimate objects.

May 13 - The United States Department of Defense issues a list of bases to be closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process (BRAC 2005).

Support the troops! 'Cept when you don't want to!

May 31 - W. Mark Felt is confirmed to be Deep Throat.

Thus renewing the Right Wing/Scooby Doo villian argument that we could have won that Viet Nam war, if it hadn't been for those meddling liberals.

June 5 - Switzerland votes to join the Schengen area and to allow same-sex partnerships.

And Switzerland spirals out of control, mass divorces follow, violence erupts in the streets and the Von Trapp family turns gayer than ever!

Oh, wait, they didn't? Huh. Someone tell Rick Santorum.

June 30 - Spain joins Belgium and the Netherlands in permitting same-sex marriage.

Still no mass chaos . . . funny how that works.

July 4 - Violent G8 demonstrations in Gleneagles

from left to right, the superheroes of the G8!:
Idiot Boy, Dudley Doright, Pointy Nose, Good Hair, Finger Puppet, Guido, Vlad the Scariest World Leader Alive, El Jefe and Gerhard the Stout.

July 7 - Four explosions rock the transport network in London, three on the London Underground and one on a bus. Over 50 deaths were reported, and over 200 injured.

Still not safer . . . what are we doing wrong?

July 20 - Canada's Civil Marriage Act, legalizing same-sex marriage, receives Royal Assent.

Now the NEIGHBORS are doing it, too?

July 22 - A Brazilian electrician, Jean Charles de Menezes, is shot dead at a London underground station by police who mistake him for a suicide bomber.

A lesson learned the hard way: Don't be brown when the police are after you!

August 17 - The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts.

More proof that any compromise in Israel is going to be one in which nobody is happy.

August 29 - At least 1,383 are killed, and severe damage is caused along the U.S. Gulf Coast, as Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastal areas. Within hours, levees give way and New Orleans is flooded.

Katrina may have brought the flood, but it was apathy that killed New Orleans.

September 26 - U.S. army reservist Lynndie England is convicted by a military jury on six of seven counts in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal.

Pansy.

September 28 - American politician Tom DeLay is indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy by a Texas grand jury.

And things begin to look up.

September 29 - John G. Roberts, Jr. is confirmed and sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.

. . . and not-so-up.

October 8 - An earthquake in Kashmir kills about 80,000 people.

80,000 people. Holy crap.

October 19 - The Trials of Saddam Hussein begin.

Thus making it all worth it, right?

October 28 - Vice presidential adviser Lewis "Scooter" Libby resigns after being charged with obstruction of justice, perjury and making a false statement in the CIA leak investigation.

Aright! And the side of good is on the scoreboard again.

October 30 - Hurricane Beta hits the coast of Nicaragua. It is the thirteenth hurricane of 2005, breaking the 1969 record of 12 hurricanes.

Yeah, because global warming, like evolution and women's health, is nothing but JUNK SCIENCE.

November 1 - U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats force a closed session of the Senate over the Lewis Libby indictment.

And the dems grow a pair. Good job, guys.

November 8 - French President Jacques Chirac declares a state of emergency on the 12th day of the French civil unrest, see 2005 civil unrest in France.

Well, when you let implicit racism fester, it's gonna do that.

December 1 - South Africa becomes the fifth country in the world where same-sex marriages are recognized.

Even the Southern Hemisphere now.


And what does 2006 bring? Well, it will be the year my sister goes to Malawi to save the world. It will be the year I go to San Francisco. It will, I dearly hope, be the year I save enough for an actual Vespa so I can stop being such a scooter poseur. And most importantly, it will be a year in which the side of rational thinking will have the opportunity to retake seats in Congress and finally get the ball rolling to make this country one worth being proud of again. So yeah, 2005 had its ups and downs. But '06 is where it's at, baby.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another little bit of Alito history

Apparently Alito helped throw out the Black Panthers' lawsuit against the federal government.

And so, I would argue, he's a big part of the reason such cases would have only the slimmest of chances of even making it to the Supreme Court today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Your new argument guide

Stuck with right-wing relatives who won't stop needling you about how we're "winning the war?" Tired of so-called liberals who claim that cutting and running from Iraq is a bad plan?

Here is a handy little tool to help you effectively refute each and every excuse they have for keeping a pro-war mindset.

I found it reading the Atlantic Monthly while trying to endure high-volume nouveau country at the local Grease Monkey.

You're welcome.

Tuesday List

REASONS THIS CHRISTMAS ROCKED

1. Driving to Longmont on I-25 with the top down in 65 degree weather

2. Spending the weekend with Little Vespa, who leaves to save the African Continent in February

3. Kicking serious ass at the family scrabble game

4. Borders gift cards= ability to catch up on hipster credentials (Pixies, Surfer Rosa; Belle and Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister; Decemberists, Picaresque; Sigur Ros, (); Edith Frost, It's a Game)

5. Waking up Christmas Morning under a pile of purring tuxedo cat in my parents' attic guest room

6. Discovering the Elvis station on my parents' satellite radio selection

7. My mom's mashed potatoes

8. My dad: "Goose is steak that flies."

9. My mom promising to make me a wallet like Samuel L. Jackson's from Pulp Fiction

10. Having more fun than it makes sense to be having. As usual.

Friday, December 23, 2005

The game of seven

Since Rorschach over at No Capital was kind enough to pass this li'l item on, I feel obligated to continue the cycle. Well, that and I am really narcissistic and I like talking about myself. Hah.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die

1. Get published in a real magazine.
2. Travel to the Middle East.
3. Visit the nation's capitol.
4. See the Great Barrier Reef.
5. Kiss someone atop the Eiffel Tower.
6. Accomplish something in the way of activism that I can point to and say, "the world is better now because I did that."
7. Get my sister out of her 20s in one piece.

Seven Things I Cannot Do

1. Sing. In public.
2. Sit through a slasher film (Scream, Scary Movie, etc.)
3. Eat brussels sprouts.
4. Understand staunch anti-immigration bigots.
5. Walk long distances in flat shoes.
6. Stop wanting to learn.
7. Get organized to the point that I'd like to be.

Seven Things That Attract Me to...Blogging

1. My constant need for positive feedback.
2. The almost instinctive need to write about stuff that gets me fired up.
3. I've been on the internet in one way or another since age 12, it just seemed like the thing to do.
4. Being part of an underground of skeptics, malcontents and freak-flag wavers. Vive la revolution!
5. The sheer, mind-bending boredom of downtime at work.
6. The superstars of blogging that keep me sane, informed and happy.
7. The incredible humanity that manages to shine through a system of networks, servers, wires and data.


Seven Things I Say Most Often

1. Whatever.
2. You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.
3. The thing IS . . .
4. I need a drink.
5. There are a lot of stupid people in the world.
6. I love livin in the city!
7. Why?

Seven Books That I Love

1. Alfredo Vea, "La Maravilla."
2. Daniel DaFoe, "Moll Flanders."
3. JD Salinger, "Catcher in the Rye."
4. Collette, "Le Pur et L'impur" (I read this baby en francais, baby!).
5. Camus, "L'Etranger," also in French
6. John Krakauer, "Under the Banner of Heaven" (Quite the eye opener, that).
7. David Sedaris, "Me Talk Pretty One Day".

Seven Movies That I Watch Over and Over Again

1. Amelie.
2. Raising Arizona.
3. Niagara (with Marilyn Monroe in full cinemascopic glory).
4. The Princess Bride.
5. MST3K: "parts, the clonus horror."
6. SLC Punk.
7. Pulp Fiction.

Seven People I Want To Join In Too

1. AAaaaaaaaaaaaalisoon . . .
2. Andrewohwilleke.
3. Dex.
4. teh l4m3.
5. Little Vespa.
6. Underwhelm.
7. Mustang Bobby.

OK, that is all- I'm out till Tuesday.

Holiday kitty blogging





Audrey, in profile

Thursday, December 22, 2005

How would Jesus evolve?

I was tipped off about the renewed ID debate yesterday by a colleague. It seems that if you read any further than the A section in any AP newspaper last week, you would have known that a certain Judge John E. Jones effectively dismissed any legitimacy that the Intelligent Design crowd ever pretended to have.

The ruling is not only significant in its dismantling of ID as "science" by any definition, it shows the entire ID debate for exactly what it is; "a 'ground clearing operation' to allow Christianity to receive serious consideration [in schools]."

In all honesty, I believe the ID debate is much like the "War on Christmas" non-issue. It's just another way for folks like O'Reilly to get the vocal minority in a tizzy about a percieved violation of their right to practice their particular brand of Christianity. But this victory in Dover, PA, shows that these kinds of issues rarely have legs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

This can go next to my Peabody

Just found out via sitemeter that I was recently honored by Life or Something Like It as the blogosphere's "Best Film Critic in Pointy Shoes."

Thank you, thank you. Without you all, this would not have been possible.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Big Brother is listening

Disturbing stuff, these Patriot Act apologists.

But even more disturbing: a statement I heard on NPR this morning.

Not even sure who said it, I was dabbing concealer under my eyes at the time, which, as you know, takes some degree of concentration to avoid looking like the Corpse Bride.

But at some point, I heard some one say, "The president's powers are ostensibly unhindered as long as the War on Terror is in progress."

Huh.

So basically, the president can do whatever the hell he wants, to whomever he wants, as long as the War on Terror is going on.

That's gotta make you feel good.

A little Christmas present from the Prez. A camera in every house, a tap on every phone. God Bless us, every one.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Merry Jesusmas

OK, it happens every year. Bill O'Reilly and his little cabal of "so what if we are contemptible, immoral assholes, we stand up for Christian Values!" twits chime in for the War On Christmas Chorus.

They seem to think that the fact that the Gap says "Happy Holidays" in its commercials rather than "Jesusy Christmas and a very Christy Jesus to you, good sir!" is a sign that Christianity is under attack by secular humanists in $70 khakis.

But here's the thing- ever since these fuckwits decided that there was a war on Christmas, every "Merry Christmas" that I hear or see has a sourly defensive, passive aggressive ring to it. Like it's suddenly such a conspicuously victimy thing to say. Like they're really saying, "I'm a Christian, so I'm gonna say Merry Christmas and you just have to fucking deal with it, whether you believe like I do or not, heathen!" It has ceased to be a friendly greeting and has instead taken on the personality of "God Bless." You know, when one of those angry pro-school-prayer types gets all in a huff about if only prayer were still allowed in schools, those skanky little teen moms would have kept their legs crossed, and oh, yeah, God Bless!

The new Christian Right has taken their benevolent greetings and turned them all into a challenge. Merry Christmas is now tantamount to "My God is going to smite you down, mufuggah!" God Bless is now "Ain't it just so sad you and all your politically correct friends will be spending eternity doing the backstroke in a lake of fire?" And they've turned around the secular greetings like "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings" to mean "We denounce your religion and it's only for lack of lions that you are still allowed to practice your faith in this godless, homo-luving Sodom we call the US of A."

It would be a lot funnier if not for the sheer irony of it. Here are Christians, people that belong to a faith that around 80 percent of America identifies with in some way. Here is the vast majority, somehow managing to construct a reality in which they are a persecuted minority. And they do it every year.

Anyway. Very light blogging this week, seeing as how I have to prep for the ABWA event Wednesday and try to get two week's worth of daily newspaper stuff done in five days. But at any rate, happy winter holiday greetings . . . you poor condemned secular humanists, you.

Only in America, I guess.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday kitty




In the window, in greener times.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cozy

My entire apartment smells like chicken soup. I cooked up a big crock pot full of homemade chicken stock for matzoh ball soup last night and now my apartment has the comforting aroma of a cozy little Yenta's flat on the Lower East Side.

Today the mountains were stunning on my drive to work- powdered with snow and a big fat moon sitting right atop the Indian Peaks.

There are days when it's just hard to get all cynical about stuff. This is one of them.

I'll try to cook up some frustration about the Iraqi election tomorrow. Right now, life is pretty good, even if I am at work and even if I am afraid of Alito. When life hands you neocons, make matzoh ball soup. It won't change the world, but it will at least help you get through the week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Moroni beats your A-team.

Oh.

Oh, this is too cool.

Book of Mormon action figures. For the person on your list who has everything.

Ends and Means

It's hard for me to say whether or not the President ever really thought- or continues to think- that there is any real possibility for lasting peace and democracy in Iraq. I have mentioned before that I waver between imagining him to be either a complete idiot, dazzled by his own power and blind to all criticism, or a sneaky little bastard who is wise to all the nasty machinations in D.C. and beyond. But whichever he is, the possibility does exist that the decision to invade Iraq was, indeed, based on the idea that establishing a democratic state there would be a very strategic move. From an economic, geopolitical and military standpoint (that is, from the perspective of any garden-variety Neocon), a Western-style democracy in Iraq would be a good thing for America. Not only would such a state be more amenable to sharing oil reserves and allowing a permanent military presence, but it would make further inroads for Western free-market capitalism and culture in an area that obstinately refuses to play by the rules made by America the Superpower.

Further, there are few who can really deny that removing Saddam from power was a good goal to have. Probably not the best use of our time and effort, not really our job, and not one to be executed in the idiotic way that we did it, but the removal of this asshole was not a bad goal at any rate. A start. A jumping off point for establishing the aforementioned free and democratic state.

But like everything else, this administration took a strategically good idea and tried to achieve it in the wrongest, most ham-fisted way that it could.

This administration went into Iraq with absolutely no strategy outside of the notion that America Always Wins and expected that notion to carry the day. There were no long-term plans, no expectations of consequences. Just an idea: a democratic Iraq (and, of course, the tasty oil reserves and military bases that the supposedly grateful Iraqis would let us have). The Bush administration went into Iraq with all the foresight of the Underpants Gnomes.

A free and democratic Iraq would have been nice. And in all honesty, we probably had all the resources needed to establish such a thing. But in their seemingly bottomless hubris, this administration refused to tap those resources (or at least, to tap them in a pragmatic way, Mr. Rumsfeld), refused to listen to those who understood such things and effectively destroyed all possibility of ever actually seeing that goal to fruition.

Yes, a free and democratic Iraq would have been nice. But so would a Sudan free of genocide. Or a France free of racism and anti-Semitism. Or a China that fully respected human rights. Or an Africa that has enough to eat and doesn't lose all of its adults to HIV/AIDS. Any one of these things would be a great goal. But you can't just assume that your firepower and track record will result in the acheivement of any goal. Especially when the leader of the current mission has an absolutely perfect record of taking golden opportunities and promptly mucking them up beyond all repair.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday List: "Was This Helpful?" edition

SELECT COMMENTS IN AMAZON REVIEWS OF THE BIBLE

1. "Right, I am beginning to get annoyed, this is my fourth review of the bible on amazon, the other three have all been removed, presumably because someone complained about them."

2. "And the holy bible is awesome! Have you read it?! It is freakin' awesome, and that's all there is to say!"

3. "I can't believe you bible haters! Don't you recognize awesomeness holiness in a book when you read it?!?!?!?"

4. "Only fools talk bad about God's word. You don't understand it because you hate it. Get over your anger of religion if you want to be religious. If not you better hope you are right about HELL, because that is where you are going. God Bless."

5. "Some idiots say that the Bible is a fairy tale, and even one moron's review said that Christans should be 'ashamed'.However, the reviewer never said why: STUPED! Sinners go to Hell!"

6. "This book is decent, but I think that the author is expecting us to believe a bit much."

7. "The Holy Bible Rocks!"

8. "He does do a good job of flooding the earth and killing most everyone which is kind of cool, but again, kind of mean."

9. "I thought the whole "He's Dead!!!" , "No He's not!!" ending was a bit weak and the "Deus ex machina" thing really had been done before..."

10. "The King James version is a bit heavier than your typical bible, making it more useful to smite foes with."

ed. note: I had originally begun a list where I picked out phrases from a Free Republic forum on Christmas. I was thinking hey, comedy gold! But what I found was that you get those freepers talking about Christmastime and it's like hanging out with a barfly on Christmas Eve in some smoky, two-bit tavern in the Quad Cities or something. These are seriously depressed, angry people this time of year. No wonder they feed their anger with the "war on Christmas" as soon as the turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving are all wrapped up. The anger at the above-linked discussion is just staggering . ..

Monday, December 12, 2005

Truly an effed up song

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I really can't stay

I have to go now, really, gonna go out the door, get the car running, scrape the ice off . ..

Baby it's cold outside

Uh, yeah, I know.

I've got to go away

And I need to hit the grocery store, I'm all out of tylenol and bread . . .

Baby it's cold outside

Heard you the first time . . .

This evening has been
Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice


Um, I'll call you.

I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice
My mother will start to worry


Yeah, because of what happened last time, when I woke up in Tijuana with a quarter taped to my hand and my kindeys missing.

Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor
Listen to the fireplace roar


And my dad is really touchy about stuff since the whole illegitimate Filipino baby thing.

So really I'd better scurry
Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well Maybe just a half a drink more
Put some music on while I pour


Ah, fuck it, let's get stinko.

The neighbors might think
Baby, it's bad out there
Say, what's in this drink


WHOA, WHOA whoa. What's in this drink? Wait a second . . .

No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how
Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell


Hey, I gotta get to a hospital!! Now! Blacking out!

I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir
Mind if I move a little closer
At least I'm gonna say that I tried


I tried?! I'm trapped! Trapped like a rat!

What's the sense in hurting my pride
I really can't stay
Baby don't hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside


His pride?! Girl, kick him in the nads and get outta there, now!

There's more, of course, but I heard this the other day on the radio and couldn't help but think of it in the frame of the postmodern world.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Happy Secular Winter Holiday Season



From Gavin over at Sadly, No!

I'll hang this by my virtual fireplace with care.

And now, onto the music . . .

A few new discoveries this week:

1. Edith Frost, "It's a Game." A sweet, sad little song. I like Edith- she's like Aimee Mann with a nice balance of sweetness and angst.

2. Ashton Allen, "Center of the Universe." I love the honky tonk piano sound and the trumpet at the end.

3. Hudson Bell, "The Falls" I'm in kind of a folksy mode right now, and this guy kicks out a great electric folk sound with Beta Bandy vocals.

4. Cowboy Curse, "Heroin Hair." This Denver band just finished their first "big" album, and I'm looking forward to it. I dig their 50s rock sound mixed with crazy lyrics and great harmonies.

5. Fisher Mystic, "Curtains." Another Denver band. Stoney, instrumentally-focused rock good for a lazy day inside.

6. The Absolute Zeros, "Scrape." This would be the song in the big makeout scene in an indie flick featuring Scarlett Johanssen and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

7. The Sleepers, "Honey." Fun surfy rock with female vocals. I dig it.

8. Bright Channel, "Final Stretch" A little something harder- screechy but smooth indy rock. The best kind.

9. Moccasin, "Emerald Shadow." Good guitars in this one. Very 60s-70s.

10. Monofog, "Zombie Love Song." A Fort Collins rock band- you gotta love a band from an ag school town.

Other updates before I break for the weekend:

1. The new column came out today, a loosely reworked version of the "Fuck This War" post. Got a call this a.m. from a woman who wants me to use it as a topic and give a talk at her women's business networking group's next meeting. This involves free food. I'm so there. Now I can put "guest speaker" on my resume, right?

2. Traffic court tonite. Wish me luck talking down my ticket . . .

Until next time . . .

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's easy if you try



I was conceived sometime in the two or three months following John Lennon's death, so effectively, I have never shared the planet with him. And this time of year, I always feel a deep sadness about that fact.

I hadn't thought much about John Lennon lately until I saw the mosaic pictured above, in Central Park, when I spent a day wandering the city and waiting for my sister and friend to arrive. It was a beautiful, quiet March Sunday, and they had fenced off the park so people could run, bike and even ride horses in the empty roadways. The city was just beginning to wake up from Winter. Leaves were just budding out, green was returning to the grass, and the Gates were juxtaposed against the bare but promising trees. And I surprised myself when I discovered the "Imagine" monument. Located a short distance from the Dakota apartment that John and Yoko shared, it spoke to me of a time I never knew, a hopeful time that was shot down with him before I was even born.

I was listening this morning to Pacifica Radio, and a Lennon biographer brought up a striking and painful point. Think for a moment about who gets assassinated in America. We do not execute our warmongers, our hate-filled bigots, our ideologues.

We kill the peacemakers. We kill the revolutionaries. We kill those who wish for a freer, a more equal and a quieter world. In America, we kill the dreamers.

But the magical part of all that is that even though so many of our most forward-thinking people are cut down by those who would ferociously defend the status quo, there are still people who dare to let people like John Lennon inspire their lives. In America, they kill the dreamers. But they have yet to kill the dream.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Come on Sugar Daddy bring me home

Ho boy.

The first wish list? Ignore it. Fughedaboutit.

Here's what I really want under my tree this year:

Denver/Boulder Winter Concert Guide

It's cold out. Like, crazy cold. The SAAB onboard computer was reading -3 this morning. It's like, fucking insanity cold.

So let's focus on the wonderful, warming thoughts of rock shows for now:

Dec. 9: Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, with Hellen Stellar, at the HiDive.
Munly is a unique Denver band, with some strings thrown in for good measure and a song about Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies. For some slightly disorienting but good alt-country, this wouldn't be a bad night at the 'Dive.

Dec. 15: Absolute Zeros, The Moths, Januar at the Walnut Room.
I really dig The Moths, and the Zeros are a recent discovery. The Moths deliver a heavy, solid kind of electronic folk rock and the Zeros are reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian. For a night of warm, sleepy beats, soft alt-folk and an unlimited supply of cute hipster chicks (Dex, are you listening?) it will be worth braving the cold.

Dec. 30: Rose Hill Drive, performing Led Zeppelin 1 at the Boulder Theater, Boulder
This should be interesting. I'm going with Mama Vespa and the whole family. Rose Hill Drive is a local rock band, pretty standard biker bar fare, but I am looking very much forward to their version of "Dazed and Confused."

Jan. 19: Pictureplane and Yamahama at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
This could be worth the trip to Boulder. Pictureplane is a unique presence on the Colorado scene and a genuinely nice guy.

Jan. 27: Born in the Flood with Moccasin, Larimer Lounge.
Any self-respecting music person in the greater Denver Metro area who hasn't seen Born in the Flood yet needs to just go to this.

Feb. 23: Sigur Rós, Paramount Theatre.
A sexy band, an awesome venue, in the dead of winter. Could be a good cure for anyone suffering from wintertime depression.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday List: Too Busy to Make My Own Edition

From McSweeney's:

Movies That
Won't Be Shown
on the Lifetime
Network.
BY SHYRA LATIOLAIS

- - - -

Mother, May I Marry a Nice Doctor You Really Like?

The Ideal Husband (Not Meant Ironically)

A Child Accounted For and in No Danger

The Amicable Divorce and Custody Agreement

A Pleasant Family Christmas

The Man Who Was as Nice as He Initially Appeared to Be

My Daughter's Internet Pen Pal Who Is Another Preteen Girl

The Successful Surgery That Improved the Quality of the Patient's Life

The Number of Children We Planned For, All Healthy

Monday, December 05, 2005

caption time



"And for my third wish, I want Harry Reid to get off my freakin' case."

"Mr. President, I'm just a ballerina. I'm not your fairy godmother."

Ugh.

We actually got a voice mail at the paper today with this direct quote:

"If they would stay out of our country we would have jobs for Americans and if the greedy businesses would hire and pay Americans for the jobs these illegal immigrants do, we would have no problems."


If only life were as simple as people like her think it is. If only we could just deport every last wetback, we would have no problems! If only those gays would just go back into the closets from whence they came, everything would be just dandy! If only we could ban pit bulls, nobody would ever be killed by a vicious dog again!

Oh, to live entirely free from the concept of Gray Area. What a lovely and pure understanding of the world. How simple.

Next thing you know, cosmetic surgeons will be able to remove the parts of your brain that make you worry about things that are uncertain or troubling. Preemptive Botox.

Fuckin-A.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A short post on abortion

There was a heated debate on Atrios yesterday among the commentariat, concerning whether or not this administration and its Supreme Court nominees will reverse Roe V. Wade.

I am of the opinion that they will not reverse it. While it is easy to get into a dystopian thought process that ends with women as birthing vessels, I don't think that the "Handmaid's Tale" is a vision of the future that people like Alito and Roberts hold dear. Sure, they are not fans of abortion, but I do not believe that they have feverish fantasies of reversing Roe or Griswold and returning to a Stepfordized past.

But.

But I will admit, they are doing everything they can to make abortion difficult, if not outright illegal.