Monthly Archives: September 2004

The Debate

The debate just ended.
From where I was sitting — in my living room, Senator Kerry spoke clearly, and confidently. President Bush was often less confident, stumbled.

Most importantly, Kerry enunciated clearly how his core beliefs have not changed, as he has been accused. He explained how his different votes and statements have been based on different information, and different situations. He didn’t quote Emerson, and to do so would have been disrespectful, but I will: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of simple minds.”

Consistency is sometimes appropriate and necessary. Emerson spoke against a foolish consistency. When information changes. When the situation changes. It can call for different actions.

There were often disagreements on the facts, and it will be interesting to see the analysts pick apart which one was correct.

I was watching on C-Span, and as the representative from the Commission on Presidential Debates said…after the debate those who support Kerry will say he won, and those who support Bush will say he won. What is important is how the undecideds feel. According to some polls 1/3 of America is undecided — or at least have said the debates will influence their decision. Of course, I am not undecided. And I know my view of the debate is biased.

As a side note: I thought the green, yellow, and red lights were silly. The debate isn’t a game show, nor is it the Emmys. However, I believe the only time the red light flashed was while Bush was speaking. (I may be wrong in that there were a few minutes where I wasn’t watching, but only listening, so I might have missed Kerry going over.)

Morning Update:

Here’s a running commentary of the debate from one of my two favorite comic authors /political commentators, Peter David. Tom Tomorrow, was busy elsewhere. (PAD does actually slip in some negative comments about Kerry.)

The polls this morning generally agree with my assessment — Kerry won the debate.

Where is Bin Laden?

Pentagon officials believe they have been unable to locate Bin Laden because he has found a place to hide out where:

(1) it is easy to get in if you have the money,
(2) no one will recognize or remember you,
(3) no one will realize that you have disappeared,
(4) no one keeps any records of your comings and goings, and
(5) you have no obligations or responsibilities.

Pentagon analysts are still puzzled, however, as to how Bin Laden found out about the Texas Air National Guard in the first place.

(I’ve found examples of this dating back to March online…so it appears I was a little slow in getting this email It appears I need to have a talk with my sources.)

The Return of the Senators

Next year there will only be one Major League Baseball team outside of the continental United States — the Toronto Blue Jays

The Montreal Expos are moving to Washington. D.C.

� What’s left to do: The D.C. Council must approve the stadium funding package. A compensation deal with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos must be finalized and approved by Major League Baseball, which must also approve the move and sell the team.
� The name: The team will be called the Expos until a new owner is named.
� Opening Day: Likely April 4, although the schedule has not been released.
� Stadium: The team will play RFK Stadium for three seasons while the city builds a 41,000 seat ballpark at South Capital and M streets on the Anacostia waterfront.

Curious

I just heard on the radio what would have been the best commercial ever for a porn movie, except it wasn’t for a porn movie. It was for Britney Spears’ new fragrance, ‘curious.’

I have no interest in the fragrance, but if they ever make a movie based on that commercial, let me know! (It doesn’t have to star Britney. It would probably be better if it didn’t.)

Banned Books Week

It’s already Wednesday, so I’m a little slow, but this is Banned Books Week.

Here are the 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2003.

1. Alice series, for sexual content, using offensive language, and being unsuited to age group.
2. Harry Potter series, for its focus on wizardry and magic.
3. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, for using offensive language.
4. “Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture” by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy.
5. “Fallen Angels” by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, sexual content, offensive language, drugs and violence.
6. “Go Ask Alice” by Anonymous, for drugs.
7. “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris, for homosexuality, nudity, sexual content and sex education.
8. “We All Fall Down” by Robert Cormier, for offensive language and sexual content.
9. “King and King” by Linda de Haan, for homosexuality.
10. “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson, for offensive language and occult/satanism.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. The positive message of Banned Books Week: Free People Read Freely is that due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.

Top Ten Challenged Authors 1990 to Present

1. Alvin Schwartz
2. Judy Blume
3. Robert Cormier
4. J.K. Rowling
5. Michael Willhoite
6. Katherine Paterson
7. Stephen King
8. Maya Angelou
9. R.L. Stine
10. John Steinbeck

Water on Parched Soil

“As there is always more misery at the lower end than humanity at the top, everything was given away before it was received, like water on parched soil. ” — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Sept 28: To Boldly Split an Infinitive Day

The movement for this day is young. Two and a half hours. But I support the concept wholeheartedly.

As much of a grammar snob as I am, I actually had not heard about the origins of the rule. (Supposedly, since in Latin it is impossible to split an infinitive, since infinitives are formed by adding a suffix, 18th century grammarians decided speakers of English shouldn’t split their infinitives. Though they didn’t create a suffix for us to add instead, which would have made more sense if they thought we should model our language after Latin)

But I have no problem using a preposition to end a sentence with. And I see no reason I shouldn’t be allowed to creatively split infinitives either. As a poet, I feel the English language should be flexible enough to suit my needs. I shouldn’t have to be flexible enough to suit it. Call me selfish or lazy.

September 28 is also appropriate. The link above doesn’t say this, and its possible the founder didn’t realize this, but September 28, 1987 was the date, 17 years ago, the first episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation appeared on television. They were politically correct enough to fix the sexist nature of the 1960’s motto. “To boldly go where no man has gone before” was changed to “to boldly go where no one has gone before.” But they kept the split infinitive, because, damn it, it sounds better. And who really needs a better reason than that?

Note:
The Wikipedia article on Star Trek said it premiered on Aug 28. Wikipedia being what it is, I corrected that. StarTrek.com’s page, I would assume, has the correct date. It is certainly possible Wiki was right, and Paramount’s official site was wrong. In which case I will correct this post.

Hey, I’m cool

music
Good. You know your music. You should be able to
work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and
Barry

Do You Know Your Music (Sorry MTV Generation I Doubt You Can Handle This One)
brought to you by Quizilla

If you don’t get this as your result…you **really** don’t know your music, or you’re too young. The questions are slanted towards the 60s and 70s. I didn’t listen to music as a kid, and was born in ’69 anyway, so I *shouldn’t* have done well. But then again, I hang out with a lot of cool people, so maybe it’s rubbed off on me.

I guessed on more than half. Of course, I may have guessed correctly. That’s the wonderful thing about multiple choice.

Saw this on Christy’s‘s blog and the Welfare Queen’s

Hey, I’m cool

music
Good. You know your music. You should be able to
work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and
Barry

Do You Know Your Music (Sorry MTV Generation I Doubt You Can Handle This One)
brought to you by Quizilla

If you don’t get this as your result…you **really** don’t know your music, or you’re too young. The questions are slanted towards the 60s and 70s. I didn’t listen to music as a kid, and was born in ’69 anyway, so I *shouldn’t* have done well. But then again, I hang out with a lot of cool people, so maybe it’s rubbed off on me.

I guessed on more than half. Of course, I may have guessed correctly. That’s the wonderful thing about multiple choice.

Saw this on Christy’s‘s blog and the Welfare Queen’s

Degrees

Christy has blown my deep dark secret

I’m connected to more famous people than “Kevin Bacon”.

I think she finally realized this because of a “Goozle” I recently submitted to Nobody. If you are able to solve the Goozle, you will discover where that connection lies.

I might not go as far as comparing myself to KB…and most connections would have to go through parents, uncles, siblings, or in some instances a cousin of mine currently trying hard to get noticed in Hollywood. But I have met several members of congress. And rode in the backseat of a car with the son of a brother of a former (assassinated) President.

Most of these instances, of course, had nothing to do with me. However, one of the members of Congress does have a daughter. And that daughter was on a reality show recently with a former college roommate of mine. I blogged about that.

And I do have a grade school friend who has played in bands such as REM, Uncle Tupelo, and Billy Bragg. (In each case he appears on like one album as a guest violinist, so its not like he could get me tickets, though I haven’t communicated with him for a few years, so who knows, maybe he could) I may have mentioned this once.

And I have two high school friends who have written tv scripts for such people as Reba McEntire, and Ben Savage.

But me…me personally…i’m no one special. But I do have Gmail. And I have invitations.