Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Poem 27

1doves that shift with melodic praise

the snowman given at halloween

the gruff angles at the curb's set

a coin echoes above all as it slips
     down a well
its glimmer met in shade and rust

above us, a rock dove lifts to the
     alley's top
as we walk through the caked mud

we try limericks and talk, but the
streets look slenderly and balk

at each line. the dove flies gently away.

whitewashed houses leaning all together

a glint of sunlight through pews and fodder

and a soft splash upon mossy water.

White House Announces 'Everything Is Great In Iraf'

1. In The Know: White House Announces 'Everything Is Great In Iraf'

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"..." 24

"War is God's way of teaching Americans geography."

—Ambrose Bierce

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Notebook doodles II

When I first came to college I was an art student dipping his fingers in philosophy and a few other classes.

I had a tendency to draw in my notes sometimes (which is still there), and I thought I'd post some of these doodles—maybe as emblems to show my "education" or at least some of my time spent in the classroom—both learning and not.

So I rummaged through my old notebooks, and here they are. (Not all of them, but a few of the good ones.) Enjoy.

HA 555: Art History Since 1945.

"[It's like an argument they have where they're] angrily shaking martini glasses at each other."

ANTH 160: The Varieties of Human Experience.

PHIL 292: The History of Modern Philosophy. Damn I was bored, by the looks of it...

SOC 104: Intro. to Sociology

PHIL 562: Kierkegaard. My only drawing in all my notes (and these aren't even lecture notes):

The full quote is:
With the aid of conclusion, one automatically and mendaciously takes credit for everything (I have heard people, so obtuse that they have nothing between the ears, say that one cannot stop with Socratic ignorance) and like all windbags finally ends up with having done even the impossible. Inwardness has become a matter of knowledge, to exist a waste of time. That is why the most mediocre person who concocts a book these days talks so one would believe he had experienced everything, and simply by paying attention to his intermediate clauses one sees that he is a rogue.

ENGL 312: British Writers to 1800.

ENGL 332: Shakespeare.

HSES 260: Personal and Community Health. My only full page of "notes":

PHIL 672: Philosophy of Law.

ENGL 580: The Rhetoric of Everyday Life.

The button reads: "I am a hardcore Marxist."

GEOG 104: Physical Geography.

The poem from the above reads:
Boredom is
a porous drum,
whose beat is deaf
and also dumb.

i. Notebook doodles I

Friday, June 13, 2008

McCain doesn't know how to use a computer!?

John McCain says he doesn't know how to use a computer. In a video interview with Yahoo's Political team and, McCain admitted he is computer illiterate. When asked if he preferred a Mac or a PC, McCain said "neither."

"I am a illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all the assistance I can get," McCain said. In a computer-dominated world, McCain's professed computer ignorance may raise questions again about his age. At 71, he is seeking to become the oldest person ever elected president of the United States.

1. McCain admits he doesn't know how to use a computer

Also with the age issue, check out:
2. Things younger than John McCain

Some of my favorites include the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (anything involving "food history" and "food historians" is always a favorite), zip codes and area codes, the shopping cart, and The Grapes of Wrath.


And while I'm at it:
3. GOP Insiders Worry About McCain's Chances

I thought this bit analysis was a little different:
In reality there is only one candidate. Barack Obama. In November he will win or he will lose. John McCain is relevant only in so far as he is not Barack Obama. The Senator from Arizona is incapable of energizing his party, brings no new people to the polls, and has a personality that is best kept under wraps.

Obama's also favored internationally:

4. Obama The Preferred Candidate Around The World: Poll

6/15 update:
5. Analysis: Age an issue in the 2008 campaign?

Sunday, June 8, 2008


So I saw this recently. It was in a facebook ad recruiting Republican volunteers for campaign picketing.

...And I'm a bit confused. Ok, so, whoever made it thinks he's an elitist. I saw an another site with the graphic complaining that he was an intellectual snob. But, frankly, whether or not this is the case, why does this matter? Bush is a huge fucking snob. Cheney is an even bigger fucking snob. Remember a while ago when a reporter asked him what he thought about opinion polls showing the majority of Americans don't think the war in Iraq is worth it, and he replied "So?"-- Here's a Tom Toles cartoon to jog your memory:

Our current Republican vice-president is the biggest elitist imaginable. Not the kind that "doesn't care about conservative working Americans," but the kind that doesn't give a fuck what people, in general, think.

Still, the "common man" appeal doesn't make sense. No one wants a president who can take a shot of whiskey like a man (or woman); we want a president who is fit for the job--who can make good judgments, who can get our economy back on track, who can address healthcare reform and improve our educational policies. Not someone who can don a hard hat or some work clothes for a press photo shoot.



The president's job is chiefly an intellectual one, and to deride a candidate for this quality is absolutely ridiculous. To criticize a candidate because he or she does not appreciate the ideas and opinions of the "common man" is another story, however. If Obama was an elitist because he believes that white middle class working Americans had stupid and fanciful views on government and he doesn't respect their opinions, that would be something. But he doesn't. He denounced xenophobia, gun-toting, and racism in his controversial comment, not positive beliefs of theirs:
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Now, this isn't a favorable comment. And I can see it as being condescending and oversimplifying--but I don't see what's so awful here. Tell me that there isn't racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, etc. in many small, midwestern towns (I'm living in one with these things right now). They're there. But it's not everyone there, and it's not entirely due to their economic situation, so it's a oversimplification--but he's still not saying anything inappropriate. (And don't even try to argue that he's an elitist because he doesn't respect the racist and xenophobic ideas of some of these people...)

The point that I'm trying to make is that I, personally, don't give a fuck about what potential candidates do to sympathize with the average middle-class white person. I want our next president to have good ideas, good judgment, and I want him to do his job well. And if Republicans find themselves needing to indict Obama on "snobbish," "elitist" charges rather than on actual issues, we're in bad shape. Who cares whether Obama likes wine more than beer or eats arugula? Get over it. How about we look at healthcare proposals, getting over our Middle Eastern oil addiction, stabilizing the situation in Iraq, strengthening the value of the dollar, and shit that matters if he actually gets elected.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A sketch of a tree in front of Strong Hall from my freshman year. I found it while I was going through all my old notebooks.

Monday, June 2, 2008

"..." 23

"Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large, whereby he becomes something infinitely great—and at the same time, nothing at all."

—SK (J. Climacus)