"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Made it, Ma

Beastie Boys - BeastieBoys.com - Official Beastie Boys Web Site

That's our link there, yeah. Pretty effin' cool.

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Ego Translations

I just watched Gone in 60 Seconds on TV, mainly as a means of sedating myself. Tube is just like any drug, a thing you do to tune your experience, and some times it's a good one for calming you down or numbing you out. Sometimes that's a pretty healthy thing to do. Anyway, it wasn't really all that bad a film. Some of the characters were great. Robert Duvall looks like he's having fun doing his rusty old man schtick. Angelina Jolie is a genetic freak. Nicholis Cage, while much more convincing as a human being, makes an ok action anti-hero.

As typically happens, dipping my head into the stream of popular culture produces new trains of thought, getting me going on ambition, drive, stride, purpose, etc. It's been a rollercoaster these past six months, many personal highs and lows. Sometimes it feels like I'm bullet-proof with holy ghost power, other times I wonder where it all went wrong. I seem to maintain a pretty high opinion of myself, though. I do tend to think that I'm special, but the kind of personal clarity I can recall at other points in time is lacking.

I haven't felt at home in a long ass time. That's one of my recurring life-things, feeling like an outsider. Lately when my mind wanders that way I end up sinking into past brushes with coupledom. I search back for moments of peace and the first few things I remember are other people's beds, which then leads me to ponder why I didn't really ever treat any of the good women I've know all that right. Why I never made an effort to hang on.

It's a lonely Koenig lately, occasional hookups notwithstanding. There's a kind of visceral hunger that comes along with this state. It's like when you've been drinking for a while, and you're getting thirsty from dehydration, and you keep hooking down cold beers, good "drinkin' beer" like Pabst or High Life or Tecate, with an almost animal intensity. The ritual act of symbolic quenching just throws more fuel on the fire, most likely until you hit the wall and loose consciousness. I tend to resist judging any of this; in the midst of fever there are glorious moments of clarity and pure reeling sensation; insights and kicks and maybe even adventure.

So I find myself inconsistantly lusting around, eyeing pretty things but not really reaching out to touch. The surges are strong, but fitful, and my personal self is such that there's very little connection, follow through or ownership. It's kind of like being a teenager in that I'm reluctant to lay claim to my desire, a procrastinating lust, but without the thrilling electricity and danger that comes with innoncence. My forebrain knows pretty well by now that with a little focus I can proabably get whatever I want. The problem, really, is wanting something enough to focus, to reach, to expend energy without guaranteed return. That's a trick I haven't mustered in quite a little while.

Bringing it all back home, like always the story of women is the story of my life. I'm hungry, restless, but the path is dark and the way forward unclear. I've been forced to think beyond this election that's been my obsession for so long and I realize I don't have much of a game plan for myself. I don't want to continue my current lifestyle, but I don't have anything better lined up either, and that's a problem. I need to spend some time on personal development, some time of recreation and simply being a social being again. I want to write books and see the world. I want to do so many things; a sea of possibilities, as my man Mark says; but first I've got to renew my sense of who and why I am.

So it's about role indentification and rekindling the passion. I'll do it. I'll find that inner reserve of hope or faith or trust or whatever it is that's kept me going times when I've been down -- and I've been down much worse than this; this here's just confusion and fatigue -- it's just that I'm tired and frustrated and I don't have any good methods for any of this. It's all a crapshoot until I strike a good new vein of energy.

Like the song says, they say the darkest hour is right before the dawn. Buck up and bear down; the way will emerge in time.

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Past Hawkishness is Now Cause for Regret

This is an important trend; one that's hopefully going to grow. Both Matt Ygelsias and Ezra of Pandagon have this weekend explained (regrefully) how they got to be pro-war.

Both follow a similar path. The prior experience of bearing witness to Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. The buying into the fraiming of the war as a binary choice (what do we do about Iraq? war or nothing). The general willingness to trust the President. Most interestingly, both cite the exposure to crappy radical leftism:

I'm quite ashamed that, during the whole of the run-up, I never thought to notice that the President's rationales and statements were less credible and more infantile than those of the white-bearded peaceniks denouncing him on street corners. I just figured he couldn't possibly be this stupid, his advisors can't possibly believe his rhetoric -- I was still naive enough to believe in the majesty of the office and, even if the inhabitant was not of my choosing, I couldn't imagine him completely incompetent and corrupt (sometimes, the fact that I only started paying attention to politics around 9/11 really shows). I was, unfortunately, quite wrong.

...as my roommate at the time Jeff Theodore pointed out to me the other day, we were both bouncing around Harvard hearing all sorts of factually or logically deficient anti-war arguments. As this was the immediate context of our lives, it tended to harden our views in the opposite direction -- "look at all these silly anti-war people!"

There are other good instances really probing confessionals here (John & Belle Have a Blog) and here (Lawyers, Guns and Money)

This is really interesting stuff to me, and validates what I've been attempting to do with my past year's work. The complete collapse of high-quality liberal and progressive agenda-setting is one of the many specters haunting this election, and American politics in general. How long has it been since we've heard a coherant, comprehensive, logical, well-thought-out, ethically-edged, and positive (pro, rather than anti) message for anyone with any visibility? I was doing my own thing, but it wasn't until Howard Dean stepped up (go find that Sacramento speech that started it all... oh man, what might have been) that I heard anyone make a strong positive case against the war.

There's a chance we can solve this, that our generation -- the secondary population wave that's spawned from the baby boom -- can create a new liberal consensus for the 21st century and remedy the underlying problem that got us into Iraq. It's really up to us: god knows the Radical/Reactionary Liberal Establishment isn't going to get the job done. The Democratic party mainline is completely devoid of spirit. Generation X is too cynical and bitter to build consensus.

It's us or nobody, and my sneaking suspicion is that if we do it it's going to be an international thing.

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Sadly, yes

The reality is that behind it all I'm easy; as such when nothing materializes, I'm the more likely to go sleep it off. Big boxing match, bonfire on the beach. Big long bike ride home. Fun, but not a lot learned.

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One of the Things

One of the things I'm working my way around to is endorsing John Kerry. It's important for me to do personally. Though the work I've been doing for the better part of six months has been more or less to his advantage, I've yet to formulate an explicit argument as to why I feel like he aught to be president.

So I'm working on that, outlandish style. It involves meditation, scotch, zen-like focus, listening to my iPod recording of events from the DNC, and reviewing my earmarked copy of John Dewy's The Public and it's Problems.

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The Slant is On

An organization called Media Tenor did a quantitative analysis of the party conventions, confirming with science what many of us were already saying with intuition1. The coverage was clearly slanted. No More Mister Nice Blog has the details.

1 By intuition, of course, I mean noticing the fact that Ed Gelespie, chairman of the Republican party, was given a prime slot to offer his, uhhh, "commentary" on the Democrats proceedings.

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Global Guerrillas

Global Guerrillas

Here's a blog by a very smart guy who's honestly trying to figure out what's actually going on with the emerging global struggle with decentralized extra-national terrorist organizations. This is the kind of analysis you can bet the White House doesn't want you to pay any attention to, because it reveals their strategies for both attack and defence for the horrifically costly dumb shows that they are.

It's also scary as fuck. Not in the fearmongering way, but in the "holy shit, we are so fucked" kind of way. Fourth-generation warfare, it's asserted, is won in the moral sphere. The implications of that are most distressing.

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MfA Gear

Thanks to our strong-standing comrades at Ropeadope records, my little organization now has an online unstore with all our gear ready to be fedexed to you in return for your donation. It's like the PBS tote-bag concept, but cooler.

For anyone who's wanted to pick up one of our much-coveted "Voters Make Better Lovers" t-shirt, this is your big chance.

If you want to be super-cool, you'll help us get the word out on this thing too. Handy url alias: www.musicforamerica.org/unstore

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Four More Years, Bitch!

As shouts of "Four More Years" subsided, Niederer, standing in the middle of a crowd of some 700, continued to shout about the killing of her son. Secret Service and local police escorted her out of the event, handcuffed her and placed her in the back of a police van.

It's starting to get deeply deeply sad. I'm reminded of a sentiment I expressed quite a lot before I discovered Dean, that it was literally a painful thing to read the news; hurtful to even be informed.

Where's the hope?

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Confessions. The truth always feels better.

It's a new category, an attempt to get back to the roots with this old website. Things are starting to move again, and I've got to get right with my ethos if I'm going to have a rat's ass chance at being happy with the future.

This website started out as an exercise in truth-telling. It was immediately a failure, as I failed to publish the rather personally-significant details of my love life. I've generally been cadgy about posting about girls, partly because I don't believe it's really my truth to tell, and partly because I'm shy, and partly because I'm don't want to appear over-eager, over-critical, or over-concerned to others.

Lately my own love life hasn't been much to shout about. This page has been static for quite a while. I've been uber busy, true, but I've also let a lot of things slide. I've been more compromising than I aught to.

The position I find myself in at the moment evades my attempts at lyrical description. I am a bundle of abortive and often disconected desires; fickle, not because I am flighty or distracted, but because my impulses are checked, tethered, and most distressingly unowned.

I'm being vague. Details will emerge over time, as I decipher the way of knitting these things together so they make the overall meaning. I'm all for telling dirty stories, but I'd like to do more than that.

Confession is a form I'm very interested in creatively. Have been for a while. Time for some praxis on that.

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