10.01.2004

a little hate goes a long way

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my girlfriend broke up with me recently and moved out. I was pretty sad, but I was ok. Then, a few days ago, I found out that she had slept with some guy back in April and hadn't told me about it, and, apparently, wasn't going to.
That added a nice big dose of hate to my emotional stew (as a consequence, I broke a bunch of her shit that she left at my apartment and made her get the rest out immediately). But, I also felt a lot worse. Without this revelation, I could have looked back on the relationship later in life with nostalgia, some sadness, but basically good feelings. Now, I fear that I'll look back on it solely with loathing, convinced that I wasted a very important part of my life on someone who really wasn't very cool.
On the other hand, maybe the hate will help me get over it faster. Knowing that the sight of her will make me nauseous might help me put to bed any lingering desires to get back together, and it will convince me that it really was her problem, not some defect in me, that pushed her away.
Happy to spill my beans of the carpet of the internet.

Who Won The "Debate"?

So what do you think about last night's debate between our two presidential candidates? We watched on CSPAN which used a split screen to show both candidates continuously. Watching Bush during Kerry's answers and statements was priceless!

9.29.2004

Cartoon funny

Everyone should check this out as soon as possible. Homestarrunner.com has some ridiculously enjoyable stuff, especially that which features Strong Bad and his email. Props must go to Carl, the baddest mo-fo I know in the NYC, for bringing these wonders to my attention.

Acting is hard

I've been auditioning for plays the past few weeks in an attempt to get some acting experience. So far what I've found is that my ability to observe subtlety is stronger than my ability to execute it. And although I don't believe that a critic must be as masterful at the art they critique as the artist, the dwarfing effect of sucking at something you criticize so much is refreshing in a weird way.

9.28.2004

Agnes Nutter would be proud...

Which sign of the appocalypse is this?
(Hat tip: Neil Gaiman)

9.26.2004

Ideology isn't (necessarily) a bad word.

Regarding Andrew's sentiment on Barak Obama; I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately those of us who kind of dig a strong Democracy will have to wait on that one. The reality seems to be that the established (or is it entrenched?) members of the Democratic Party have selected a man for the presidential election (with our help of course) who cannot help but define himself negatively (i.e., he tells us he is sooo not Bush). Perhaps my armchair, pajama-style survey of presidential politics is too narrow. [I filter my news through a medley of links from what appears on the right, you tell me.] Maybe, my impression is too simply based on the sheer number of sentiments I've heard from those who find reason enough to support Mr. Kerry. I hear variants of "Bush is so overwhelmingly poor that I have little choice [but to vote against him]." Nonetheless, I can't shake the impression that Kerry has yet to craft a coherent, believable message grounded in a positive ideology.

Mr. Obama has (I think wisely) already begun crafting an active, positive position in this arena, by defining the war on terror. Sure it’s only a start, but a worthy and straightforward one on a complex, divisive issue. If Democrats are to compete with Republicans in the political marketplace of ideas it will be by creating a position, however flawed, that represents a vision for the future.

If I were to guess, I'd say it will come from reflection (after losing this Presidency) and be preceded by something like this...

"What a tragedy for the left-the worldwide left, this left of ours which, in failing to play much of a role in the antifascism of our own era, is right now committing a gigantic historic error. Not for the first time, my friend! And yet, if the left all over the world took up this particular struggle as its own, the whole nature of events in Iraq and throughout the region could be influenced
in a very useful way, and Bush's many blunders could be rectified, and the struggle could be advanced.

"My friend's eyes widened, maybe in astonishment, maybe in pity. He said, "And so, the United Nations and international law mean nothing to you, not a thing? You think it's all right for America to go do whatever it wants, and ignore the rest of the world?"

I answered, "The United Nations and international law are fine by me, and more than fine. I am their supporter. Or, rather, would like to support them. It would be better to fight an antifascist war with more than a begrudging UN approval. It would be better to fight with the approving sanction of international law-better in a million ways. Better politically, therefore militarily. Better for the precedents that would be set. Better for the purpose of expressing the liberal principles at stake.

If I had my druthers, that is how we would have gone about fighting the war. But my druthers don't count for much. We have had to choose between supporting the war, or opposing it-supporting the war in the name of antifascism, or opposing it in the name of some kind of concept of international law. Antifascism without international law; or international law without
antifascism. A miserable choice-but one does have to choose, unfortunately."

My friend said, "I'm for the UN and international law, and I think you've become a traitor to the left. A neocon!"

I said, "I'm for overthrowing tyrants, and since when did overthrowing fascism become treason to the left?"

"But isn't George Bush himself a fascist, more or less? I mean-admit it!"

My own eyes widened. "You haven't the foggiest idea what fascism is," I said. "I always figured that a keen awareness of extreme oppression was the deepest trait of a left-wing heart. Mass graves, three hundred thousand missing Iraqis, a population crushed by thirty-five years of Baathist boots stomping on their faces-that is what fascism means! And you think that a few corrupt insider contracts with Bush's cronies at Halliburton and a bit of retrograde Bible-thumping and Bush's ridiculous tax cuts and his bonanzas for the super-rich are indistinguishable from that?-indistinguishable from fascism? From a politics of slaughter? Leftism is supposed to be a reality principle. Leftism is supposed to embody an ability to take in the big picture. The traitor to the left is you, my friend . . ."

But this already happened. This was from "A Friendly Drink in a Time of War," and was written by Paul Berman. Paul Berman is an angry liberal. Read the rest of it here.

In pieces from him and those like him, you'll likely see a serious critique of the "left" from the "left" but also a positive vision. Similarly, it may likely be too late to have much effect on this election, and while that in and of itself is (in the long run) perhaps a good thing, it seems time to start vetting these kinds of ideas, however flawed, and start getting their party's ideas up to snuff.

Shock or denial?

After a hiatus of a year and a half, I have rejoined the ranks of the romantically unattached. By all rights, I should be a blubbering ball of despair and self-pity, but some miraculous force has kept me from feeling too bad about my breakup. This might mean that I have unwillingly and subconsciously adopted the modern religion of the "healthy personality," where any real emotional connection to another human being is derided as "co-dependency," or it could mean that I'm in shock and denial, or it could mean that I'm relieved because somewhere deep down, I know that my relationship sucked.

In other news, I saw Terri Gross speak in Oxford, Ohio today as part of her book tour. She didn't look like I thought she would. It didn't do much for me, although I like her radio show.

Dump Kerry. Nominate This Guy...

Why would it be so hard for Kerry to say something like this:

U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama suggested Friday that the United States one day might have to launch surgical missile strikes into Iran and Pakistan to keep extremists from getting control of nuclear bombs. . . .

Obama said that violent Islamic extremists are a vastly different brand of foe than was the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they must be treated differently.

"With the Soviet Union, you did get the sense that they were operating on a model that we could comprehend in terms of, they don't want to be blown up, we don't want to be blown up, so you do game theory and calculate ways to contain," Obama said. "I think there are certain elements within the Islamic world right now that don't make those same calculations.