Friday, November 21, 2008

too perfect

i don't think you could script a more apt metaphor for palin's ineptness and complete vacuity.



via TPM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

not a doctor

the irony that adrian grenier is not only a bad actor, but that he now plays one on tv, should not be lost on anyone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

looking downwind and forward

now that the election is over, and the celebrations in DC have died down, it's time to take stock of other things besides the sea change in our executive branch. and maybe look forward a bit to the composition of an obama administration, and the scope and breadth of the policy initiatives he'll pursue.

looking down the ticket, results are encouraging but there are some sore spots. the dems picked up seats in the senate and the house. in the senate, the dems will fall short of a filibuster-proof 60 seats, but not by much, likely by 2 or 3 seats.

however, rep. don young looks poised to hold onto his seat in Alaska, despite being behind in most pre-election polls. who knows how long young will last past the election, however, as he is the subject of several corruption investigations. and it looks like wingnut du jour michele bachmann is holding onto her seat in MN.

as if alaska couldn't get weirder, senator ted stevens looks to also be retaining his seat, despite his recent conviction on seven felony counts. the race at this point, however, is too close to call. not sure what will happen if stevens wins, but his pending appeal may bear on that outcome; it's unlikely that he'll be allowed to stay in the senate if the conviction sticks, and possibly he might be forced to leave earlier than achieving a final resolution in his case. alaska would have a special election within 90 days after he leaves office.

norm coleman holds a small lead over al franken; by minnesota law it has to go for a recount and franken isn't backing down on it. smith-merkley in oregon is one that's hanging right now as well.

there is some mixed news on ballot initiatives. california's proposition 2, requiring humane treatment of laying hens and sows (among others), passed resoundingly. however, voters also approved prop 8, banning same-sex marriages. california also defeated some sane drug policy changes. but overall things there are a little odd, as always. rundown of initiatives, and results. restrictive abortion initiatives in colorado and south dakota failed, and washington became only the second state to legalize assisted suicide. "The marijuana reform movement won two prized victories, with Massachusetts voters decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug and Michigan joining 12 other states in allowing use of pot for medical purposes." and a ward connerly-backed ban on affirmative action in Nebraska passed. rundown here.

ej dionne thinks that the obama election signals the end of wedge politics and the culture wars. the results of the vote on prop 8 and in other areas indicates otherwise, i believe. prop 8 succeeded in large part because it was supported by african-american voters who were drawn to the polls by obama's candidacy. but ej does make some other good points, so there are several grains of truth in his argument.

the politico's harris and vandehei on 5 changes in national politics ushered in by the Obama victory. and marc ambinder runs down some key factors in obama's victory.

it's encouraging that the world community paid a lot of attention to the election and that obama's victory has rekindled hope that america will live up to it's professed ideals on the world stage.

speculation and rumors swirl concerning Obama's cabinet and the ramifications for his future agenda. obama certainly is going to want to start working early, given the financial crisis and the other issues facing the country. not sure that larry summers, currently reported as a top candidate for treasury secretary, is really a good pick though. we shall see how it all shakes out in the coming days and weeks.

on the regulatory front, the fcc should be commended for approving the use of white spaces to expand broadband internet access. the post piece particularly though was terribly written, presenting the issue in a very unflattering light and emphasizing the complaints of preachers, dolly parton, etc., in opposing the change in regulations. i'm not sure how this change isn't an unequivocal win for consumers and the citizenry. the fcc also approved two mergers (verizon and alltel being the one of most import), which i'm not so crazy about, but i think it's a small price to pay for the advantages of white spaces.

it's quite a whirlwind of democracy. despite some setbacks, overall things probably couldn't have turned out any better.

the window is closing, the end is in sight

our long national nightmare that has been the bush presidency has a definitive endpoint of January 20th, 2009. the clean break with the past that this country has so desperately needed will come to pass.

let us hope that obama can continue to be an inspiration to many long after this election is over. if his actions as president can match his words as a candidate, we may finally make some progress as a country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

trials and tribulations

we need to have election day as a national holiday. it took two hours for me to vote today. i'm sure we would decrease wait times and increase participation if we gave people the day off. in other countries voting is mandatory, and while i don't think that should be applied here, i think we need to make it as easy as possible for people to vote.

fixing the news media, the political discourse, and encouraging active knowledge gathering by citizens is another issue; i've found, even after an almost two year long campaign, that people are still staggeringly ignorant about the positions of the two candidates.

related to my post on thursday, i did have to complete a provisional ballot in DC. my name, despite the BOEE's assertion, was not on the voter rolls. i guess i'll find out in a week if my vote counted.

oh, and on top of all that, i flubbed getting a cute girl's number whom i met in the line to vote. a poor showing all around, except for, you know, that whole exercise in democracy thing.

just read

i didn't vote for obama today

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the behemoth strikes again?

a little unnerving to find that the online voter registration database in DC didn't have me registered, and even more so that when i called and they entered my address as additional information, i popped up. why would that matter?

this provided an odd parallel to the FBI fingerprinting process that i had just completed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

tweet! gaffe!



mccain takes the cake, by far.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

trying to play the same old game on a different field

corporations and interest groups are extremely vigorous in their attempts to maintain the dominant paradigm and existing system. case in point is the NAB's opposition to freeing up for productive use the "white spaces" that exist between over-the-air broadcast television stations. it seems quite foreign to these actors to embrace change and become a dynamic, innovative entity. maintaining entrenched modes of operating is attractive i guess when you are making lots of money.

timothy karr breaks it all down at the huffington post.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

nail on the head?

rick redfern is learning much about the new media landscape

Monday, October 13, 2008

at a loss, sort of

for reasons not worth mentioning, i end up looking at a lot of master's theses and PhD dissertations. invariably a number of them have odd, rambling dedications that divulge far too much information. often the amount of dedication text is inversely related to the quality of the actual research.

this statement, from a 2005 PhD dissertation from Capella University, was by far the strangest:

Finally, I would like to publicly thank God for the experience of New Year's Eve 1993 when the free will of a gang, through their initiation activities, left me with a bullet in my chest and the opportunity to "Be still, and know that I am God."
I'm not sure what one, as the reader, is supposed to garner from this intensely personal disclosure, but I can certainly say that it created quite an interesting back story for the resulting reading.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

a small illustration of the stupidity and inanity of Complex

let's ignore the fact that they are highlighting track bikes in their Style Guide A-Z (we don't need more idiotic style outlets heaping on this bandwagon), or that it's a picture of a guy on the BQE holding onto the spoiler of a Lotus. but you'd figure that if you were trying to highlight a trend, that you'd actually be aware of what are the main components (as it were) of that trend. as will be obvious to even the most casual bike rider, this bike is certainly not a track bike.



if you weren't aware of the fact that Complex simply co-opts and highlights style trends of which they are often completely clueless, then here's simply one example.

Friday, September 26, 2008

piratz!

yes, they do exist, and this year has been a particularly bad one. mostly they operate off the somali coast in the gulf of aden, which borders the red and arabian seas, with yemen and somalia to the north and south, respectively. almost all cargo going to europe from asia must pass through the gulf, since it is the passageway to the red sea and the suez canal.

in this instance, they seem to have gotten their hands on some serious weaponry. might be beyond their capacity to use all the tanks, but there is an as yet undermined amount of light weaponry onboard, which can't be good for the situation in somalia, as it's already in crisis.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

silence is golden

but the chatter will be missed, nonetheless.

Monday, September 15, 2008

one of many?

when this all started, i intended to have a series of posts about my neighborhood (see for example the title and URL), several of which are still mulling around in draft form here in blogger. i published a couple about columbia height, but not many.

well today i got sucked into reading a bunch of random posts about my locale via the Prince of Petworth, which is the kind of website i avoid for various reasons (time suck, triviality).

but i had been wondering about some restaurant goings-on the other day, and i found my answers, sort of. and i found out we're getting another crappy chain, this time a restaurant.

i can't really get into all of my sentiments about DC, columbia heights, gentrification, etc., but i will say that so much about this process is baffling. not so much how it happens, but how seemingly clueless people are about it. the ramifications are always glossed over or unacknowledged. but that seems to mirror so many things in our contemporary society.

but then again, the comments here left me with the feeling, as is often the case, that people are pretty clueless in general. so maybe this isn't the exception that proves the rule, just another example of the rules in action. at least part of it, in retrospect, is the audience of the blog, gentrifiers all and proud of it it seems.

oh, and PS, seems there was a big shooting three blocks from my house last month. who knew?

before we begin

i actually watched some of SNL saturday for the first time in ages. and apparently i missed the only funny part:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

almost at a loss for words...almost

this video on the daily show perfectly encapsulates the hypocrisy of the modern republican party and the pundits who populate the "liberal media."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

craigslist best of

stay away from it. hilarious but a huge time suck. if you've got the time, have at it.

highlights:
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/nyc/804253499.html
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/780311954.html
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/det/794605266.html

last.fm back in effect

when streaming tracks (scrobbling in their parlance) to last.fm, i always used only the scrobbling feature (via an iTunes plug-in), and never downloaded the actual last.fm application. this was pretty much only because I was an early adopter, and had started the whole scrobbling thing before their was an actual application for your desktop.

eventually, last.fm stopped issuing updates or support for the scrobbling plug-in. this move makes sense by last.fm, from a business perspective, since presumably the value of their service is enhanced by people having and using the physical application. they were bought (twice?) recently by an established conglomerate, and with a lot of companies struggling with how to monetize these web 2.0 assets (i.e. facebook, myspace, etc.), i guess this move wasn't unexpected.

at some point earlier this year an update to iTunes rendered the plug-in inoperable. and although i downloaded the last.fm application, for a variety of reasons i never installed it, and last.fm sort of faded from my usage. today i installed it, and am "scrobbling" again.

the OCD portion of me will end up listening again to those artists that over the last 6 months i played heavily, to make my last.fm "accurate." why i'm willing to do this but don't care that last.fm doesn't reflect my cd/vinyl listening (which is mostly what i do at home), i don't know, but i'm fine with it. it remains to be seen whether i'll pursue ipod functionality. i used to have that, but it was a huge pain. we shall see...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

whither?

i have no idea what this image is of, really, but i thought it was beautiful. via mudd up, via viva el colectivo?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

totes awesome totes


let the link love begin. get your obama fix from true souljah jazzy b. totally totes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

oh, the insanity!


this is so f-ing cool, and completely nuts. three cheers for american ingenuity and stupidity.

Friday, June 27, 2008

vice redux

i have talked in a previous post about my occasional disdain for vice magazine. although i still really enjoy many of their foreign articles and obviously dos and don'ts, among other stuff. but this marketing tie in with the release of the charlie bartlett DVD on VBS TV was just tiresome, lame, and totally a sell-out move. i expect more from a magazine with such an anti-establishment streak, even if it is laden with ads from major corporations. weak sauce.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

a different level

obviously my blogging activities never reached this level, as documented by former Gawker blogger Emily Gould in the NewYork Times Sunday Magazine. that's certainly a good thing, and of course at this point the readership here is practically (if not assumedly) non-existent, given the severely diminished frequency of new material.

the idea of constant exposure to public scrutiny, particularly as a facet of varying levels of self-promotion, complicity, and outright encouragement, is fascinating. ultimately, i think these arrangements are untenable for the vast majority of people, because they shatter the normal veneer or mental space that we occupy distinct from the world around us.

people for whom this presents limited repercussions are generally just oblivious to the ramifications or are driven enough by their desire for celebrity to ignore them. others wishing to maintain their status often lash out at criticism in the traditional manner of defending ones ego and self-confidence against external comment (actions driven by a subconscious need to maintain ones "edge" and ability to act without self-doubt).

it seems that the experience for almost all, in some form or another, is fraught with difficulty and is often quite dis-empowering. those who profess to be normal and unaffected by this process may be those who are ultimately the most damaged. for it is difficult if not impossible to fully control our external image, and it seems that most problems derive from this inability.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

the tibet issue

i have been following the recent issues in tibet since their occurrence with great interest. i've probably spent far too much time on it, and i think i need to make a clean break from getting too deep again, so i won't post lots of links or anything here.

my thinking on this issue has certainly evolved, but it's difficult to have a productive discourse via the internet, for several reasons. i did spend an inordinate amount of time reading comments on this post, on Nick Kristof's blog. I posted twice, #248 and #460. Sadly I didn't really get great responses to my questions of the other posters, and after my second comment I had to just leave it at that. Part of the problem is that the post was linked to by lots of pro-Chinese (and pro-Tibetan to a lesser extent) websites, which heightened the invective and seemed to make a rational discussion of the issues at hand all the more difficult.

the whole process was an illuminating experience for me, however. history, the media, the internet, all seem a little bit different in my conception of them now. but i was nonetheless disappointed, not only in the responses to my thoughts but in the difficulty in having a reasoned debate, given the medium, language barriers, and other issues.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

back in effect

not me, per se, but rather old music blog stand-by lemon red. not to get too meta, but the lineage of the evolution of my musical tastes traces back to discovering his blog like three years ago. funny how the internet works.

hot fire, fer sur.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

beyond belief

I think Kevin Drum has it right. What purpose would a McCain presidency serve on the foreign policy front, and why would we expect that more aggressive posturing with "rogue" nations would somehow become effective, after its stunning success under the current administration?

Friday, February 1, 2008

why so fire?


i can't figure out why i find this graphic so fascinating. well, i guess i could be all po-mo and deconstruct it, but i'm at work and there's no need for any of that bs. hella dope. in case you're curious, it's the header for the fool's gold blog. droppin fire over there these days, on the nu-rave hip tip (i refuse to use the word hipster and am still searching for alternatives. it has now lost all meaning.

Friday, January 18, 2008

dejected and disappointed, i know


I had grand plans for my one january post (haha), but I can't seem to conjure up the links I was looking for. Instead, I will give you some Afro-Funk from Ice, who later became the Lafayette Afro Rock Band. Classic jams. via Benn Loxo

Ice - Time Will Tell