Saturday, May 31, 2008

He's Got A Point

A friend gave me Black Swan Green for my birthday. I just started it and it's good so far. Early in the book, Jason, the story's twelve-year-old narrator, dismisses the plot of Superman II with a keen observation:
Clark Kent gives gives up his powers just to have sexual intercourse with Lois Lane in a glittery bed. Who'd make such a stupid swap? If you could fly? Deflect nuclear missiles into space? Turn back time by spinning the planet in reverse? Sexual intercourse can't be that good.
Hard to argue with that.

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's Really Hard To Believe, But We'd Better Do Something About It Now

There are vast swirling masses of plastic waste in the Pacific Ocean. How vast? Big enough to cover the whole of the continental United States. Twice. Holy shit.

Yesterday I was at the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center playing miniature golf. At the second hole, Water Hazard (incidentally created by an architect of my acquaintance), my brother told me about this "island of garbage" four thousand miles across floating in the Pacific Ocean. I could not believe him. I refused to believe him. But while it turns out that the term "soup" is more accurate than "island," this mass's existence and size are horrifying realities.

A call to action for myself and everyone: reduce your plastic waste. Now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

As If We Need Something Else To Make Air Travel Suck Even Harder

American Airlines is going to start charging for all checked baggage. Industry experts predict that all of the other major carriers will implement similar changes. Ugh. People already tend to carry on far too much shit, which slows security lines, boarding, and deplaning, and generally makes what is always an uncomfortable ride even more painful. This change will exacerbate all of these problems as people clamor to avoid checking luggage to save the surcharge. Dumbasses.

Friday, May 16, 2008

COINTELPRO - Republican Party Remix

Damn those vegan potlucks! They are heinous breeding grounds for terrorists and subversives. Seriously, though. Vegan potlucks? The FBI thinks they are gonna find illegal activities at vegan potlucks?!? Maybe tasteless activities (that lentil loaf looks suspicious). I should concede that smoking certain herbs is still illegal. But c'mon.

Apparently the same thing happened in NYC in '04:
During the lead-up the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division infiltrated and spied on protest groups across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. The program’s scope extended to explicitly nonviolent groups, including street theater troupes and church organizations.
Our homeland security tax dollars at work.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


People are basically good and want to help.

True happiness is found within.

There are a lot of problems in the world, but it is worth saving.

One must overcome one's own anger and frustration.

I'm good enough.

I'm smart enough.

Gosh darn it, people like me.

Hey, that reminds me. Stuart is running for senate. We could do a lot worse. Hell, we already did.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Oil on Canvas

On Wednesday I snapped this picture with my camera phone to document the progress I've made on my first oil painting ever. I'm pleased with it so far, even if it is a little primitive compared to some of the amazing work my classmates are doing. I chose an N. C. Wyeth painting as my subject, because he has a strong, dynamic, yet simple style. I love his work. And who doesn't love knights and dragons?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Enough Already

My ideal Democratic Party presidential candidate would be Dennis Kucinich, though it was never likely he would garner the votes and attention to make a serious run. So early on I supported John Edwards for president. Unfortunately both of these men were eliminated long ago, even before the Minnesota caucus took place last February. So I happily, if not whole-heartedly, threw my support behind Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton and her supporters may be right: it is possible that white working-class voters will never vote for a black candidate, and that she has a better chance to defeat McCain in November. But that does not make her the best choice. The not-so-subtle implication of her continued candidacy is, "you might like Obama better, but the only democrat who can beat McCain is me." It's the "lesser of two evils" argument. What makes it absurd is that it is being espoused by a candidate who is behind in delegates, behind in the popular vote, and behind in fund-raising. Isn't this sort of posture reserved for the actual nominee, in shoring up support for the general election?

The trouble with this logic is that Barack Obama already represents a compromise for me: he's more centrist and conventional than suits me, and he is far less experienced than a presidential candidate should be. But the Clinton campaign is asking me to compromise further, and support an aggressively and calculatedly centrist candidate, who is saddled with baggage from her long-term designs to ascend to the White House, and who supported a then ill-advised, now colossally disastrous, 'preemptive strike' on Iraq. And she is about to lose, by the ordinary process of vote counting, her chance of securing her own party's nomination. So why should I support her? It just doesn't make any goddamn sense.

I am very fatigued by the already over-long campaign. If the democrats don't get it sorted out now, McCain might be able to capitalize on the their party's inability to settle this matter. Hillary, do the right thing. Please.