"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Things Fall Apart

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconier
Things fall apart, the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Win or lose, there's going to be a brief window for political types to some formin', stormin' and normin' before they have to start performing again in the great dance of 2008.

On my side of things, there are lots of fights waiting to break out, some of which flare up already.

There's a huge brewing battle in the incoming wave -- not my people, but the 30 and 40-somethings -- over slices of the pie, positions of influence, credit and blame. I also think there's a reckoning coming with the men from the women, who have not been that well represented lately.

There's also an internet fight waiting to happen between the younger, smaller, more hungry and open companies (like mine, but also a lot of others) and the existing biggies of online campaigns, none of whom are really exemplary. That should be fun.

Over on the other side, with the prospect of power slipping away, it would appear that there's blood in the water. I don't have much insight, but since I know our fight is going to be real and hard and brutal for a bit, I certainly hope they clobber one-another too, and maybe even bust up some of their hellish coalitions for a while.

Will be intersting to watch and be a part of. I'm not really directly engaged in this national election -- although local issues are piquing my interest. In truth I'll probably get more engaged afterwards, when the course-charting for '08 begins.

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See ya Sunday

I'm off into the the hills today/tonight. Will be good to get away from technology for a while before the rains make this an improbably proposition.

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Waave, Twuw Waave

Frank and Laura

That's what it's all about, friends.

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Michael J Fox Ad

This is brutal:

It's heart-wrenching, but he also nails the pronounciation of "Missouri." That's training, baby. That is motherfucking training. Hats off, Michael.

This is personal too. My g-moms has the Parkensens, though thanks to good medication she usually does a little better than Mr. Fox looks here.

Michael does the nice-guy thing, so I'll fill in the bad cop.

Seriously, fuck Jim Talent. Fuck him with a spiky sandpaper dildo, and deny him even that brokeback spit-lube. He's a corrupt, sold-out hack who probably doesn't even personally give a shit about Stem Cells, but he knows what his fundimentalist freak base wants to hear. I've had it with these faux-pious anti-science bastards shitting all over our country.

It's time to take it back.

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Riverbend / Billmon / War Guilt

Billmon has a soul-searching post up, provoked by the first post in months from Iraqi blogger Riverbend which is in itself a vital read. His post reflects on our moral responsibility for the depth of the carnage in Iraq, which is what I want to talk about for a second:

I opposed the invasion -- and the regime that launched it -- but I didn't do everything I could have done. Very few did. We may have put our words and our wallets on the line, but not our bodies. Not when it might have made a difference. In the end, we were all good little Germans.

I also opposed the invasion, but I want to point out the logical and moral trap that comes from "you can always do more." It's true. You can always do more, but you can't always win.

Let's take Billmon's point that we didn't "lay our bodies on the line" seriously. Let's assume that the 2.5M or so people who protested here in the US were all ready to throw down. Would lying down in traffic have stopped the war? Would a mass hunger strike? Would violent resistance?

I'm pessimistic about all those options. The only way to imagine Bush not being able to launch that war would be to re-imagine the last 12 years of political history, starting with how the aftermath of the first Persian Gulf war went down, and the lessons learned there. The truth is I have no doubt that at zero-hour, or even in the Summer of 2002, mass resistence from 2.5 million Americans wouldn't have stopped the war. In fact, it may have deeply worsened the situation.

At that time, it could have led to mass arrests, and those arrests would likely have been applauded by enough people. Political leaders would have been pressed to denounce the resistance. It would have made the vaguely fascist overtones of 2006 America look like the summer of love.

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Project Runway Rerun Plus Todo List

Got to the season finale for Project Runway on the re-run tonight. It's been a household institution all summer. I like that neck-tatted Jeffery won. He wasn't my favorite early on, but as he got to be less prickly I liked him more.

Michael was who we were all rooting for, but his stuff just wasn't executed at the same level as everyone elses.

I also liked how they opened up everyone's lives a bit more. That Jeffery was a junkie isn't surprising, but it's a real thing. Oolie is from East Germany? Cramazing! I'm sure she'll do great in the future. You could see that everyone wanted to make money w/her.

And speaking of money, how much do you think Laura's apartment costs? What does her strange Einstein-looking hubby do? I'm sure the answers are out there; maybe someday I'll look.

Anyway, this show is I think one of the best-executed of all the reality programs. It seamlessly weaves trashy drama with personal career development and big-name product placement, and it's effective because it doesn't pretend to be what it's not, or hide what it is.

Ok, enough talking about TV. I'll write about Lost whever I watch that too. Flipping away from consumption to production, my todo list is ever growing:

  • Post about Vagabond Opera show: gypsy good times, del-arte kids, sarah's secret door and how it makes you feel like an arcata insider, petas and moonshine, dancing a stomp.
  • Post three or four think-pieces on my work blog.
  • Start creating election-time video. I want to do Ross Perot, but me; mainly talking to millenials about millenials and getting that whole revolutionary spirit going again.
  • Working on my new theme for the site, documenting the Rebel Unicorn.

That's the short list too.

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Corporatizing the Culture: Economic Metrics

Just a note for something I've been meaning to post for a while.

There's lots of news items now about how the Dow is cracking 12,000 and it's a record high, which is true. Many in left blogostan point out that means we're now just coming out of a six year slump (or in the case of the Nasdaq, still trying to claw our way back) which is also true.

Something I've heard very few people remark about is how stock indexes are totally shitty as a lone indicator of how "good" the economy is doing. Basically, it's the corporate equivalent to counting up the value of all your baseball cards.

Why isn't this a terribly good metric? Well, for one, it's a fantasy yardstick, entirely based on perceeved value. For two, it's relation to real wealth (how good folks are doing) only connects at the top end of the income spectrum. High stock values mean good ROI for your investment portfoloio. Oh, you don't have a portfolio? Funny, neither do I.

Which isn't to say that the DOW is meaningless, but as compared to, say, average wages, aggreagate totals of things produced, bought, sold, and mean/median household income, it's not terrifically indicative on how the economy is for American citizens.

This is one of the reasons I'm confused that Democrats don't hit back on the Bush/GOP line that "the economy is thriving." Stocks are up, yeah, but what the fuck does that really mean in terms of the kitchen table economy? Increasingly, not very much.

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Vagabond Opera show was fffantastic. I now crave a friday-night booking at the 330 club so we can really do it up right. More on that later. For now, I give you a link. It's about politics, but I'm linking because it's a great piece of Gonzo Jounrnalism from a fellow traveller:

Matt Stoller rides "The Debate Train to Crazy-Town".

Truly, he must have been visited -- just for a minute -- by the ghost of HST, spiritual godfather to all bloggers.

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Moyers on Net Neutrality Tonight

If you're into or curious about Net Neutrality, Watch Bill Moyers tonight. His show will include a live (east coast) debate between Lying Telco Shill Mike McCurry and Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press.

McCurry was truly scurrelous the one time I saw him in a debate, back in May at the Personal Democracy Forum. Like, maddening. By the end I was heckling from the crowd. I don't know how Ben Scott is, but I've been pretty disappointed that none of the reps on our side can seem to make a convincing argument that doesn't get lost in legal or technical mumbo jumbo.

It's fucking simple: do you want the future of the internet in the US to be up to individual people, or up to huge, monopolistic, slothful corporations?

Sadly, this is an issue with very little public profile, so it will likely be decided internally by congress, which gives the edge to the corporations and their sweet sweet campaign contributions.

Anyway, the show's at 10, but I won't watch it. Just get my blood pressure up, and anyway I'll be at the Vagabond Opera show down at Humbrews.

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The Soreness

Made a return trip to the gym yesterday evening, after nearly a month of being lax and slacky. This was following a day of working at the the coffeeshop in town, so without any bike ride to warm up with I started on the recumbant cycle for 10 mins, then moved through a pretty standard weight circult (chest, arms, shoulders, chest, back, arms) in about 45 minutes, and finished with another 15 minutes on the stand-up cycle.

I generally don't use the stand-up because in my experience they're kind of uncomfortable relative to the recumbant, but the Community Pool isn't the highest-quality gym in the world and their recumbant doesn't let you make the ride harder. The practical outcome is that in order to get much of a workout you have to push 100+ rpms for a while. On the other hand, the stand-up cycle has a great set of longhorn bars, which let you stretch out forward while you proj, which is sort of what my body wants to do after the weights: a sort of cyclists child's pose to close it out. Worked good.

About midway through I felt like I was going to die, likely a result of stirring up my lymph system, which has been fighting a cold since my weekend in NYC. This happens when I don't ride for a while too: I get a pounding sensation in my face centered around the sinuses after the first big uphill, and then it fades. Next time I ride, assuming that's within the week, it's much less sharp, or gone alltogether.

So today we have the soreness, and tomorrow we'll go back.

Tomorrow we'll also see the Vagabond Opera, which my oldest friend Robin is in. Should be good times down at humbrews.

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