Friday, July 09, 2004


On days when one feels a little off for being wrong, missing appointments, and fucking up reasonably well scheduled plans, one can always turn to world news for reassurance that plenty of others have done worse. Um, hooray?

First, I notice that the World Court has finally issued a formal word or two (a breath of global logic feels good every now and again) on the subject of the new-ish barrier wall (bigger than the one in Berlin, even!) that Israel is erecting between themselves and the Palestinians. I think it's a bit funny that although every historical example of architectural efforts against miscegnation has failed (and in some cases even elevated the image of the structure itself to icon status in representing the triumph of social liberty), people still give it a go. Sure, dude, spend a few tens of millions of dollars on cement and razor wire and start spackling; no one will notice, really, especially when you publicly rationalize that the wall exists to keep suicide bombers from the other side from getting in (never mind that suicide bombings are still increasing from both sides of said fence). Yeah, call for international aid for the wall; again, no one will notice.

But let's not dwell on the unsolvable problem (well, without annihilating religion and historic attitudes) when there's plenty going on small-scale right here. Bush referred to Kerry as an economic pessimist in his own hyperbole-laden euphemisms (which, as David Cross points out, tends to make him sound like an eighth-grader trying to write elaborate fiction). "Bush told the crowd of more than 10,000 that the U.S. economy was 'moving into high gear' but he said Kerry and Edwards were ignoring the good news while insisting that 'the sky is falling.'" Isn't it, you know, safe and wise to approach economic policy as something of a cautious worrier when times aren't so fantastic? Safer, certainly, than the administration-suggested response of kicking back and waiting for the horses to circle the track. See, Bush should switch to metaphor--it's easier to understand and sounds very eleventh grade. Fucking idiot.

Okay, right, I get irritated talking about Bush, so let's think internationally again. Hey, did you hear the news? The incidence of HIV/AIDS in Asia has risen so dramatically in recent years that, you guessed it, they're on the bring of declaring it an epidemic, hooray! Well, at least they're working on it--this article points out that China supports 200 whole doctors to assist the estimated one million AIDS patients, not to mention that the doctors commonly hand out the multiple anti-retroviral drugs to patients without explaining how to take them, almost guaranteeing that the virus itself will develop multiple drug resistances in no time at all! When I mentioned this to a friend of mine, he offered, "Hey, Mr. International Public Health, at least you've got some job security."

This isn't working. My feel-better-through-the-greater-misfortunes-of-others plan is failing. Not to mention I worked until seven, completely forgetting about going to a particular too-far-to-rush-to show.

Ah, well. I guess it's back to the old fashioned remedies (hey, it's good for night vision, too!).


Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Next week will see the Federal Marriage Amendment vote in the Senate.

I must acknowledge that one of the blighting aspects of the otherwise glorious Clinton administration was the passage of that insipid Defense of Marriage Act that served to officially, federally define the sexual arrangements that constitute a state marriage and by extension to whom state benefits of such a union are guaranteed. George W. Bush said it best: "The Act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342 to 67, and the Senate by a vote of 85 to 14. Those congressional votes and the passage of similar defensive marriage laws in 38 states express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage." Yup, this is defensive legislation, that inane sort of reactionary response that serves to answer no questions of ideology nor philosophy of the state, but merely to exclude, to abate change, to shun progress. You know what, read the rest of that press release if you want to feel true confidence in the moral leading ability of our executive administration. By true confidence, I should clarify, I mean bone-shattering shock and horror.

No one seemed to notice the DM Act, I suspect because times were good and the nation was gainfully employed. Now, however, the States have devolved into moronic institutions of ambivalence, disinterest and bureaucratic litigation, so the gloves are off. The FMA is an amendment, a fucking amendment to the Constitution, a document extant to provide documented guarantees of civil liberties.

The FMA is insane. I liken it to voting for an amendment to only extend Social Security benefits to circumsied males: why the fuck does there need to be a constitutional amendment? Isn't that a bit extreme? Even, in the religio-political jargon of the US, a bit heretical? The fact that bishops are urging Senate to vote in favor of anything should tell you something.

People are awfully horrible sometimes, but I can generally accept that vileness is just the appearance that ignorance takes on in sunlight. The Golden Rule is a bitch, though, because my passivity that I normally extend toward the world is here being violated. If I meet you and you tell me that you support a Constitutional restriction of a civic issue that is plaintively defined as a state, not a federal, issue, I will fuck you up (not with my fists, mind you).

If you aren't an asshole and you've at least passed seventh grade civics, do the nation a favor and saunter over to the Human Rights Campaign sign-up sheet to emblazon your name on the list of FMA dissenters. I don't just expect you to, I hope you will.


Seeing images of these two side by side is something of an anathema; Ares and Eros, Loki and Thor, chocolate and vanilla, the definitions of 'smile' and 'frown' writ large and taken to comic extremes. So this had to happen, of course.

For everyone who thinks that Edwards' looks haven't been responsible for any of the respect he's garnered, well, bullshit. Look at him with puffy eyes and an inverted guillotine of a jaw and tell me, honestly tell me that you'd still vote for him. Hell, polls show that over 40% of all voting citizens admit an almost total lack of familiarity with the platform (outside of party affiliation) of the politicians they support, so be honest. In Cheney's case, give him that goofy fucking lil' Abner country smile and puppy dog eyes and he looks not only mildly retarded, but downright cute!

On second thought, the Cheney-dominant Chedwards vaguely resembles a glasses-wearing pre-skinny Huckabee on quaaludes (you can almost hear him happy-moaning, "CAAAAKE! CAAAAKE!"), while the Edwards-dominant chimera looks rather like a politically-active toupéed Sloth from The Goonies with a little Robert Wagner thrown in for etiquette. The Robert Wagner addition makes his mutant the prettier one by default, so I guess I'd still vote for him (if he winked at me during a rally, that is).

Brady made a nice Evil Dead-esque version. Damnit, I should have thought of the chainsaw. Hmmm... more photoshop to be done (shh... we're working).


Tuesday, July 06, 2004


I am astonished at the circularity of securing realistic financial aid through an institution of higher education. My current issue boils down to the following shining examples of antiparallel logic:

A) In order to determine an official university budget (to know how much to ask for) I must complete a Master Promissory Note and a loan questionnaire, while to complete the loan questionnaire I must specify the amount of loan money I will be requesting, whether or not I will be requesting alternative loans, and how many credit hours I'll be enrolling in for every term until I graduate;

B) In order to be academically advised, I need a clear statement of what finances will be available (and when) to pay for the courses.

A co-worker suggests that this is simply the second hurdle in the application process, assuring that the few dorks who make it through and actually get to class with some money in pocket will be so exhausted as to be academically receptive, not to mention pretty well-versed in financial law.

I just want to get to DC before I lose all my steam, man!


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Grad cult 

As long as I'm not required to neuter myself and wear purple all the time, I think I'm okay with this.


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