"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

2007: The Year Of Hating On Faboys

Fanboyism is a menace. It must be resisted.

I'm particularly interested in quashing political fanboyism (such as members of the press seem to have for John McCain), especially during the primary season.

UPDATE: in light of Wes's slogan, perhaps I should adjust my tactics, and just choke 'em out.

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A Case For Democrobot

A while back, I got the url democrobot.com, based on a conversation with Jon Berger and Eric Klotz about how there aught to be a digg.com for political news. At the time it was sort of trendy, and not especially needed (this was in early 2006 IIRC).

I think the time for such a site may be drawing near. The relationship between the established blogosphere, the newsmedia, and the major Democratic political campaigns is becoming increasingly symbiotic. Many major bloggers walk the line well, but quite a few don't. Trust is on the decline as people play favorites without acknowledging their biases, and/or take professional gigs with no disclaimer.

Add that to a campaign season which seems to have a very strong top tier, and you have a very different scene than 2003-04, when the internet fueled disruptive insurgent candidacies. At this point, online communications are a fully-integrated integrated part of the political establishment, and that includes much of the widely-read blogosphere. This isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but it's not like before.

However, at the same time, there are a large number of new/upstart citizen journalism projects which will produce a large volume of (relatively) independent campaign journalism. There's also a much greater chance that staffers will post anonymously about the inner workings of some campaign operations in more obscure fora. There will also be a glut of low-quality audio and video content to sift through. This is all new.

The sifting is what's needed. That's where democrobot might have a purpose. If you added in Zack's old "PPipes" idea of aggregating progressive/Democratic mailing-list messages, you'd have something that would be pretty interesting, and pretty useful too.

I clearly don't have a lot of bandwidth to take on additional projects, but it might not be all that much work to get up and running. We'll see.

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Go Take Acid And See The Brian Jonestown Massacre Immediately

So, I saw this somewhat amusing documentary called Dig!, about the Dandy Warhols (old Portland band, made it big w/European ringtones) and The Brian Jonestown Massacre (junkies from California). It's an interesting time capsule of 1990s Americana, which we watched back on Vagabender in Tuscon. We're making fun of it in this audio dispatch with the "You're out of the band!" and "I can play 400 instruments!" lines.

In it, main ego-man from BJM comes off like a borderline messianic kook, which is by other accounts more or less accurate.

The thing you don't really get from the documentary is how fucking good his music is. Clearly overblown sense of self? Yes. Also a sonic genius. Since I don't have to deal with the personality, I enjoy the product.

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Public Life

Just pulling something out of my last post which I found real interesting upon re-reading, the phrase public life.

If there's one real huge difference between living here in Humboldt County versus New York City, it's how small the public sphere seems to be. I'm sure this will be a contrast anywhere else I live, but there's a way in which the spatial restrictions and density of the city adds a decidedly public character to much of life.

Most of your time, on average, is spent outside your home. You socialize in public places and because of the genial nature of eyes on the street and because no one drives anywhere, you can get drunk in public with little fear for life or limb.

Here it's very different. Life is more private for more people -- you can spend six months at Westhaven and never really go out, still be happy -- and for that do head out, the band of experience that really passes for "public" is somewhat narrower.

This creates an interesting situation for me. While I'm hardly a gadfly or a social-climber, I do enjoy the kind of energy and interactions that come from having a public profile. I'm also very much a newbie, and finding the right scene in which to see and be seen is on my TODO list for sure.

Anyway, more gozo later. Just thought it was an interesting and revealing turn of phrase.

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Sin's A Good Man's Brother

I admit it; I'm a little stressed.

There's a lot going on right now. The revolution is headed into uncharted waters. My life is taking unexpected turns into unknown territory. Business is booming. It's also cold as hell out here, and we're running out of wood.

There's a lot going on.

Politically the season is officially on. I've been doing some work with a couple of old cohorts on Future Majority. It's principally the creation of Mike Connery and Alex Urevick, who I know through MFA, and through hanging out while I lived Brooklyn, etc. We're pretty close, and I've started helping get the site really cooking as a project for Chapter Three.

This is going to be an interesting cycle. The way I see it there are three strong challengers from the Democratic field, and any one of them (Clinton, Edwards or Obama) could win, and there are plenty of lesser-known possibilities who could come up and surprise everyone. The question is who do we want to send?

My sense is that the real action this year is issue based, rather than candidate based activism. This lets us tie in with Speaker Pelosi's Congress, and to push the potential candidates into creating stronger and more powerful campaigns.

It's a lot of work. There's a lot going on.

Personally I've made some steady progress. Since I am my own ride into town, I've made it to the gym for two weeks straight. This is a good thing.

However, I've yet to effectively branch out into public life here, although I am getting a feel for town. Walked around and checked a few places out on Friday. It was early (I was killing time waiting for Mark to finish his Lifeguard shift) so nothing much was happening, but it did feel good to be my own presence in the world.

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This is a smart move; electable is the word that comes to mind.

She should be getting it out on YouTube.

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My Pickup Truck Is Named Moammar

So as you know I got a pickup. I got insurance. I gotta get it once-overed again by a local mechanic and go to the DMV, but basically I'm in business.

Here's the proof:

Thus far the effects have been that I've gone to the gym five times in a row, gotten groceries thrice, and cooked dinner twice -- all way up over last years numbers. Whether or not this will help me stimulate a localized social/romantic life remains a question of my initiative and will, but it feels immanently possible.

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SOTU Notes

So I did my part and watched the State of the Union last night. Reading the coverage I find myself once again out of step.

  • I thought that on the whole Bush's speech was nice, although he's clearly getting worn down and sort of cranky. Get the president a juice box and someone get Condi to take a nap.
  • Substantively it was pretty stupid, both politically and policy-wise. Although that's been covered elsewhere, in brief by embracing themes like Health Care and Immigration Reform, Bush is alienating some substantial subset of his remaining support. He also proposed things -- like subsidized opt-in insurance -- that are terrifically ineffective.
  • Did no one else see him grab Speaker Pelosi's tit at the end???
  • While I liked how he started off on calling out CEO pay, and I like that everyone seems to think it was a tenacious response, Jim Webb's ditty felt stiff and boring to me, like a high school teacher giving a lecture. I like his reasoning and tough, brass-tacks bearing, but I prefer it seasoned with some passion.

Anyway, I'm pleased that Bush had to thematically go our way on Health Care, Energy and the like. That matters. When it comes to making programs happen, the President actually can't do anything. As easy as it is to forget this after the last six years, the President actually doesn't make the laws, at least not according to the Constitution.

This means his stupid proposals are just that -- empty talk -- but the subject of that empty talk bodes well for people like me who savor the notion of energy independence, universal health care, universal net access, and an economy that embraces the notion of service rather than servitude.

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Home Tattoo Photos



Mine has taken nicely (clarity: that's Mark's). You can see my semi-circle towards the end of the above slideshow.

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Form Up!


This is the best metaphor for how we roll: Voltron. Each individual spaceship/robot tiger is a formidable beast, but when we pull together we become a super ass-kicking machine.

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