"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Huckster

This is pretty funny, but the really interesting thing is that this pretty much is Huckabee's message, and so far he is able to sell it:

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On The Run

I've been ramblin' now for two weeks, sleeping on couches, futons and borrowed beds. I've done a lot of this over the past three years. I remember when we first got set to roll out on Vagabender, little Wiley asked us, "can I go on the run with you?" I think he meant "on the road," but it was more endearing that way. It's a good phrase.

All this ramblin' has had its ups and downs. I find myself wishing fairly often that I had a more built-up life, the kind of think you get when you invest serious time and energy into some locale. On the other hand, it's also good to be confident living by your wits.

For instance, today I left the office at around 10pm, rolling back on a borrowed fixed-hear bike to my partner Zack's place, but nobody was home. Luckily I know a bar around the corner that serves good food and has a back patio with a separate door where I could stash the bike (didn't have a lock). So I headed over, did that, and enjoyed a Tecate and a damn-fine burrito, picking up some wifi and getting another todo knocked off while I waited for someone to return so I could get into their place.

It's not a great feat of survival or anything, but afterwards I was kind of pleased that all this came naturally to me, that I didn't stress out about being stuck with a bike and nowhere to go at 10pm in the Mission, just flowed with it. These instincts are useful, I think. Adaptive. Proactive. So much of life is about attitude. It's a blessing to enjoy challenges.

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Spectatorship vs Participation (Romancing the Lookey-Loos)

Here's a great and lengthy quote from Air Guitar, an essay entitled Romancing the Lookey-Loos which starts off with a moment of Waylon Jennings on tour, and goes on to explore the difference between spectators and participants in Art.

It's quite a brilliant essay, and which I think it cuts to the quick of what my shit is all about in both art and in politics:

[Spectators] were non-participants, people who did not live the life -- people with no real passion for what was going on on. They were just looking. They paid their dollar at the door, but they contributed nothing to the occasion -- afforded no confirmation or denial that you could work with or around or against.

With spectators, as Waylon put it, it's a one-way deal, and in the whole idea was not to be one of them... Even so, [growing up] it wasn't something we discussed of even though about, since the possibility of any of us spectating or being spectated was fairly remote. It is, however, something worth thinking about today, since, with the professionalization of the art world, and the dissolution of the underground cultures that once fed into it, the distinction between spectators and participants is dissolving as well.

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The Circle Game

I'm feeling it. Well, actually, I'm totally fucking exhausted to the point of being goofball jittery, but sitting here on a borrowed bed after spending a week dancing along the edge of what I can really do as a person, I'm all strung out, a little hung over, but sizzlingly alive. It's hard to articulate. Words fail, but General Tso's Tofu provides.

Earlier this week I visited with Bill, my Pa, my step-father, father of my sister, who was around the house from when I was about three until I left home and did me a world of good in-between. He and my mom had a really interesting relationship, one which reached a romantic coda when I was a teenager (and was ergo semi-oblivious to this, or perhaps just too self-absorbed to care) but they stayed together as a logical family unit until my sister left for college.

He's married now to a wonderful artist named Patti -- hence the domain name -- who's lives most of her life out in DC, and who he (and my mom) have been friends with since they were wild and young. Yeah. Life is strange that way. I remember meeting Patti when I was a kid in Iowa when we were out there one summer on the farm, her and her then-husband Skip -- who was part of the wild and young thing too -- come out to visit and break the news that Skip had cancer. Skip died. We all went to his funeral in DC. They played The Circle Game.

Patti is dying now too. Same cause. All things considered I was impressed by how well she's holding up, and Bill's doing a stellar job of taking care of her, but it's clear where things are going and it was bittersweet seeing her; made me feel sick to my stomach to say goodbye.

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Site was down a bunch yesterday.

Here's why.

Nice to have transparency from a hosting provider.

Unrelatedly, here's this music that seemed to be following me in the distance at Burning Man, and which I tracked down because I'm working in a client's office this Saturday, and one of the clients themselves had it play on his radio stream.

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Tubes on a Plane

Looks like I'll miss out on JetBlue's in-air internet service rollout by a couple of days:

bq.. Starting next week and over the next few months, several American airlines will test Internet service on their planes.

On Tuesday, JetBlue Airways will begin offering a free e-mail and instant messaging service on one aircraft, while American Airlines, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines plan to offer a broader Web experience in the coming months, probably priced at about $10 a flight.

p. In a certain dream of techno-utopian fantasy, I can see the appeal of blasting off around the world -- business class, natch -- and never skipping a beat in terms of social participation. We'd be masters of the universe, each and every one.

Part of my DC meditation is trying to hone in on the distinctions between the old world and the new one, between a world based around corporations that are modeled after the WWII-era Pentagon, and a post-postmodern world modeled on networks. There was maybe something in-between these two -- there in the 80s and 90s -- some intermediary stage marked by first-wave globalization, a world modeled on TV commercials maybe.

Ok. Now I'm rambling. Back to work!

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Much To Say

A sort of non-update-update.

I have a bunch of thoughts pinging around that I want to wrestle down, but I was out last night late, mainlining The Fear -- cigar bar; giant foxnews flatscreens; all-asian female staff -- and toiling away in my cubicle today until past 8pm. Running low on juice.

Anyway, here are some topics:

  • I got a good response to my post about teh moneyz, which is nice. I have another post (working title: meditations on the 99th percentile) that's been brewing for weeks that's similar in theme but more broader in scope.
  • General observations on DC: nice to be back in a diverse community; nice to be around architecture; weird as always to experience the culture around politics.
  • Some turgid thoughts and life and death and my slumbering libido; variations on my ongoing of self-love theme.

So at some point here there will be a creative explosion. Not tonight though. I just ate about 3 pounds of Whole Foods takeout and took a much needed hot shower. Bed time for democracy.

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Trouble on Every Corner / I Want You by My Side

There's trouble on every corner
I need a place to hide
the bad things follow us down
I want you by my side

Do we ever really know why
why the bad things come our way?
Do we ever really know
this is where we're headed
this is were we're going?

So, this is a lot darker than I actually feel. It's good music though, and the "do we ever really know" question seems prescient.

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Off to DC and Other Misc Itinerary Stuff

After a couple of wild days in the Bay, I'm about to head to the airport for to spend a week in Washington DC, after which I'll come back for a few more days in the office, then back to Westhaven in time for a little Christmas party shindig, then up to Oregon to see the fam and friends, and then flying to St. Louis for New Years with Laura and Frank (and their fetus). I'm hoping to spend a little time in Portland around that flight too, see if I can't make a few connections I missed on my last trip, etc.

Pretty tired from burning the candle at both ends -- trying to finish a project so in the office all weekend, partying for Mission Bikes, raging around the East Bay with the Girth and LGD, chopping up beers with a machete and other feats of immaturity -- and not really looking forward to the red-eye flight. But my mexican doctor got me some sleep drugs, so hopefully that will work out, and I'm trying to be positive about all things. Attitude is everything. Self-love.

I'm really looking forward to staying with my man Sololakidan (and visiting my competitive arch-nemesis) in DC. The on-site w/the clients will hopefully be just the boost in productivity we need, and I'll even be able to squeeze in some visiting time w/Pa and Patti. It should be a good week.

With a little luck and a few more long days, we'll have the year closed out at work, and I can take some more time off, regroup, and get ready for the next level.

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On Becoming A Class-Traitor

As the end of the year approaches and various spreadsheets are compiled, I am increasingly forced to face the uncomfortable reality that unless something changes I will soon cease to be legitimately bohemian in economic terms. Affluence awaits. While I'm sure this is the sort of thing that parents love, and people less fortunate hate to hear me bitch about, it actually does provoke a significant amount of anxiety for me. Hence the blogging.

Clearly, I don't buy into conventional American moires about what's polite to discuss, and I frequently carry on about religion, politics, sex, drugs, and all sorts of other topics that people tend to avoid in polite company. However, aside from the details of my own romantic life, money is probably the thing I'm most trepidatious talking about. Seems like a good way to give offense and/or invite ridicule. Nevertheless, it's on my mind and I feel like getting it out in the open, so here goes.

If I Had Money I'd Buy A New BMX
I grew up, for a number of reasons, with a certain amount of classism, although I wasn't too conscious of this until I went to NYU. There was always some vague resentment towards "rich kids" and a general anti-capitalist attitude (some of which still persists), but it wasn't until I got up-close to the children of idle wealth that I realized how much it set me off.

Part of this is justifiably utilitarian -- waste is bad and a lot of people are unreasonably extravagant -- but there's a difference between inequality/decadence and being financially successful (c.f. Warren Buffet). I've come to see Classism as no different at heart than any other -ism: a prejudice; something to be overcome.

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