Monday, March 31, 2008

Positively Viorstian

I woke up late today. I drew a bath but the water was too hot. At breakfast I was out of milk for my coffee. A blizzard had begun by the time I walked to the bus stop. When I got to the stop I realized that I had missed my bus and I had to wait for the next one. I arrived at work only to discover that I forgotten my access badge. I won admittance into the building, trudged the stairs to my desk, and proceeded to lock myself out of my account, because I had neglected to change one of my passwords. When I finally got online, the first email I saw was from my boss, telling me and the rest of our team that everyone should be in the office on a week that I had requested off.

I think I'll move to Australia.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Blind Twin Town Albino Is A Rhymin' Badass

My sixteen-year-old car has a tape deck and an AM/FM stereo. I have never really been into music radio (too much dreck and too many commercials), but I have taken to listening to the Current in spite of myself, and I have to admit it is a great station. Yesterday I heard a song that grabbed me, and I had to learn more about the artist.

I am not the greatest person to come to for new music. Turns out Brother Ali hails from Wisconsin and has been making rhymes for eight years. He lives right here in the Twin Cities, and records on the Minneapolis-based indie label Rhymesayers. I might have to pick up some of his music.

This is a great song.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Check Out The Carbon On This Baby!

Aw yeeaah...

You know, pig shit produces methane. At least that's what Auntie Entity told me. I wonder if they are cooking bacon in the Vulpecula Constellation?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's God Problem

Barack Obama is set to deliver some sort of mea culpa on race today. For my part, I think it's a shame that he has to apologize for someone else. But I suppose all candidates end up doing it for one reason or another. It is a tired song and dance routine, so devoid of substance and meaning that it scarcely seems worth mentioning. Do members of the media think that they are doing their jobs by airing someone else's angry sound bite? To me this kind of "news" is akin to push polling.

When you ignore Jeremiah Wright's admittedly fiery rhetoric for a moment, what you are left with is a preacher. A man of god. A leader of a group of people who share some beliefs. He collects money from his community, pays no taxes on that money, and directs it where he sees fit. So why are these people so crucial to a presidential hopeful's chances? If Obama didn't feel the need to have a spiritual adviser in the first place, this would not be happening to him.

Wright's position of privilege in Obama's campaign is not unique. Many, many "religious" leaders use their resources and their pulpit to speak on temporal matters, on matters of the state, on civic matters, on matters of public policy, and align themselves with candidates who represent their interests. They do not confine themselves to spiritual matters, nor limit themselves to matters of private morality among their own constituents. When they do so, they cease to be merely spiritual figures and become agents in the political sphere. But because they are cloaked in the mantle of religion, they enjoy special financial status in the United States, and yet receive every deference with regard to questions of morality.

Now, religion has played a central role in political struggles throughout history. It would be foolish to argue otherwise. But does it really have to be so anymore? Knowledge and understanding of the natural world have advanced far beyond the capabilities of the Christian Bible to answer modern moral questions. What can the Bible tell us about stem cell research? About genetic engineering? About space exploration? About global warming? I say our political sensibilities need to evolve to a point where we do not lean on such an antiquated crutch as the Judeo-Christian scriptures.

If religious figures want to continue to advise, lobby, and persuade their candidates and their congregations on political matters, and we all know they do, then it is time to abolish the tax exempt status of religious organizations. Then their political designs and ambitions will seem less like the height of hypocrisy. Let them join the fold of other lobbyists and special interests, where they belong.

I am so tired of hearing about the religious views of the candidates and the ugly rantings of their spiritual advisers. When I do see them loudly proclaiming their faith, I am reminded of nothing so much as the Pharisees, whom Jesus himself so frequently and sharply criticized for their false displays of holiness. Please keep your god to yourself! And if they start talking about religion, reporters, turn your microphones elsewhere! Someone somewhere must have something well-reasoned and intelligent to say.

The private religious views of a candidate should remain private. Let us forever put an end to reporting on the religiosity of political figures. It's time to take god off the political table. If a candidate needs to resort to god to explain a position on some issue, he should be ignored, criticized, and lampooned.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Doggie See, Doggie Doo

My dog Hercules has a peculiar habit of defecating on hills. Be it a tiny berm on the boulevard or a little snowbank or a large rise facing a house, he is strangely compelled to stand on an incline while taking a shit. Must be for leverage or something.

At any rate, my other dog Frodo has begun to ape this behavior. Just this morning he went well out of his way to position himself on a hill before pinching one out. The little brown nuggets rolled down the slope as they dropped, just like in the proverb. What can possibly mean?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Musings On A Sex Scandal

On the one hand we have the blatant hypocrisy of a self-styled corruption fighter caught doing what he put others in jail doing. It seems pretty clear he should be called out for such actions. But on the other hand, besides his wife, should anyone really care whether or not Eliot Spitzer paid for a piece of ass on the side?

There is a sordid voyeurism at work when this type of "scandal" emerges. Whenever a sex scandal breaks, the television news becomes laden with titillating images of strippers, peep shows, and out of the woodwork come a phalanx of current and former call girls to explain the shadowy underworld of prostitution. This isn't news, it's lurid entertainment. Not that I am against such diversions, but let's not kid ourselves.

I don't know if I should admire Spitzer's Republican opponents for calling him out on his hypocrisy or to complain about their hypocrisy and antiquated sexual mores. Does anyone remember Larry Craig? He was trying to solicit anonymous gay sex in a public bathroom, for fuck's sake. He made a living as an anti-gay, anti-sex politician. His hypocrisy is no less than Spitzer's. You know what they call him? Senator.

Should Democrats grow a backbone and run Craig out of office? Is it simply cowardice that prevents them from doing so? Or is their lack of action an attempt to stake out a position of sexual tolerance? If so, is that the path to a more enlightened, sex-positive society? Fuck, I don't know.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In Like a Lamb...

Something's coming, something big, something I can't stand
Dark as the ocean, secret and cruel, something I can't command...
March is here, taxes will be due soon. At this moment Obama vs. Clinton is playing out on the grand stage of Texas. I have yet to find a home. Oil prices are soaring, the dollar is plummeting, the markets are twitchy. My brother still doesn't have a job.

It's only the future.