Friday, October 31, 2008

Are You Out Of Your Part-Time Mind?

Huh. I studiously avoid Diddy, but today I'm co-signing everything he has to say. Ain't no line too damn long, people.

"If you go to the polls and the line looks like it's going down to the next state, you just walk to the next state and get your ass at the end of the line!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

C-O-N-spiracy

"Here are the facts. ACORN verifies the legitimacy of every registration its canvassers collect. If they can't authenticate the registration, or it's incomplete or questionable in other ways, they flag that form as problematic ("fraudulent", "incomplete", et cetera). They then hand in all registration forms, even the problematic ones, to elections officials, as they are required to do by law. In almost every case where you've heard about fraud by ACORN, it's because ACORN itself notified officials about the fraud that's been perpetrated on them by rogue canvassers. Most officials who run to the media screaming "ACORN is committing fraud" know all of the above but don't bother to share those facts with the media they've run to. None of this is about voter fraud. None of it. Where any fraud has occurred, it's voter registration fraud and has resulted in exactly zero fraudulent votes.

You'll hear that Donald Duck, Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, Mickey Mouse and (new this year) the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team have all had fraudulent registrations submitted in their names. That's true. And we know this, why? Because ACORN told officials about it when they followed the law and turned in those registrations, flagged as fraudulent." [emphasis mine]


"The Republican Voter Fraud Hoax" -- Brad Friedman

A Little Bit of Little Bit

Sumbitch.

I can't believe I just started watching this show. Hell, I'm afraid to keep watching this show, because I know it just stops at season three, all unresolved and damn!

Y'all know that I'll watch anything with Brad Dourif in it, so frankly, I'm surprised that it took me so long to sign on.



Don't worry; this won't be like the time I had my wisdom teeth out and blew through all 90 seasons of The West Wing in a drooly, narcotic-stuffed weekend and I would have long conversations with Toby that I thought were actually happening.




I'm currently stalled at S1E10. Because netflix is playing me. In fact, I don't even know why I bother ordering my queue! I'll probably get items 100, 217, and 43 on my list next. Netflix is a janky ho, sometimes.

Anyway, there's a lot to love about this show, all I which I want to get into later when I finish the first season. For right now, I just want to think about this little scene, which comes near the end of things for Rev. Smith. He starts off as this irritating if ultimately good-hearted nuisance...and then he becomes this living, breathing, human part of the camp...and then...

Well, it starts off looking like epilepsy. But it turns out to be a tumor. His vision goes. He loses control over the left side of his body. He smells phantom smells and can't remember things and it's just heartbreaking. And this poor man tries so hard to bear it like a Christian soldier; and for the most part, he seems to be superhumanly stoic about the whole thing. But in this scene, you can see him let down his guard a bit with the only two men in the camp able to offer that little bit of succor that means everything.

I know what's coming next, ok? And as powerful as that will be (I just went ahead and spoiled myself at various Deadwood message boards), I'm just struck dumb by this scene for some reason. There's just something about the way Seth and Sol offer to walk Rev Smith home that gets me.

Edit: this clip won't affect you if you haven't been watching the show; so don't even bother sitting through this clip if you're dead inside and liable to comment in my box about how you were umoved and I'm corny and this looks like a dumb show because I swear to you, I will raise hell up in here. This show is my new shit. I will not hear anything said against it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not Laughing Now, Are You?

via Jack and Jill Politics

Friday, October 17, 2008

Living through the last two presidential election cycles has made me so paranoid, yo. As an Obama administration looks increasingly inevitable, I keep wondering what October surprise is around the corner to fuck it up for us. The closer we get to 4 November, the less I want to talk about it. I don't want to jinx anything with my patented and world-famous brand of fuckituppity! I need to be out of this equation! Anything I want this badly is destined to not come to pass.



I really, really wish my mom was going to be here to pull that lever for Barack. She was so committed to social justice, on a large and small scale. And I know that she saw in Barack Obama a kindred spirit -- someone who genuinely cared about other people. Like, cared about them and wanted the best for them.


And my mother, who grew up in the segregated south of the 1950s...I just can't imagine what it would have been like for her (and will be like, for her surviving brothers and sisters) to pull the lever for Brother Barack.


Listen, I'm child of the '80s. After being wrenched from the bosom of my loving cousins in VA, I moved to Wyoming with my mom and new stepdad, where I was often the only black person in my class, in my school, in the fucking vicinity. But nevertheless, I grew up in an environment that was largely welcoming (not really, but at least people weren't hateful*). I mean, I'm not going to lie to you: it sucked not being around black people. But the qualitative differences between the de facto segregation of my childhood and the de jure segregation of my mother's childhood and parts of her adulthood...well, I just wish she were here so that I could celebrate with her. Because she would be celebrating. My, Tina loved a party. And a party for the ol' red, white, and blue?



She would have been smiling to beat the band. She loved this country. She really did.


By the way, that dashing young serviceman in the center of that photo board was my uncle Stanley, who was killed in Vietnam. All of my uncles, my dad, my brother, and over half of my cousins -- male and female --have served or are currently serving this nation honorably and well. So you know where you can put those questions about patriotism, right?

* I have a couple of stories, but I will save those for a time when I am less likely to set something on fire

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Could...But I Won't

That is, I could start whistling that heinous intro to "Winds of Change" so that you get an appropriate sense of how momentous this is -- the tide turning, and all that. Found this over at Jack and Jill, who've been doing an excellent job keeping up with who is endorsing whom:


Conservative paper endorses Democrat for the first time in 72 years.


"For eight years, American politics has been marked by smears, fears and greed. For too long, we've practiced partisanship in Washington, not politics. The result is a cynicism every bit as deep as that which infected the nation when Richard Nixon was shamed from office and when Bill Clinton brought shame to the office.

This must end, but John McCain can't do it. He can't inspire, nor can he really break from a past that is breaking this nation.

McCain is an American hero, and he has served this country in the Senate with determination. He has gone against his party, but the fact is his ties to the Bush administration and its policies are deep. Americans know we cannot keep going down this path.

McCain, who has voted consistently for deregulation, started off two weeks ago declaring the U.S. economy fundamentally sound but ended the week sounding like a populist. Who is he really?

He tends to shoot from the hip and go on gut instinct. The nation cannot go through four more years of literally and figuratively shooting now and asking questions later."


I found this endorsement, from Esquire, to be a much more provocative read, however. Check it out.

"In truth, though, Senator Obama is the only one of the two candidates who seems to believe in the idea of a political commonwealth, that there are those things — be they the guarantees in the Bill of Rights or mountains in Alaska — that we own together. Barack Obama stands, however inchoately and however diffidently, for the notion that a common purpose is necessary for common problems, that “government,” as it is designed in our founding documents, is our collective responsibility. It is this collective responsibility that built America into a great power without peer in the history of the world. And it is this collective responsibility that has succumbed to nearly thirty years of phony rightist populism, corporate brigandage, and the wildly cheered abandonment of a common American civic purpose. It is shocking that in America an argument for salvaging the common good is regarded as a radical notion by anyone, but that is where we are. And that is what Barack Obama seems to stand for. After all, as a young man with his potential, he could have headed straight to midtown Manhattan and made a fortune. Instead, he took a church job working for poor people in Chicago, and for his troubles, he and those poor people have been viciously jeered by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin. Such is their regard for the common good. And such is Obama’s promise. And in that, however inchoately and however diffidently, Obama stands not only against Bushism, but against Reaganism, which gave it birth. And that is more than enough."

Lord knows, my own political dial has been yanked so far to the left, it's broken off. So while I support Barack Obama wholeheartedly, it is with the certain knowledge that some of the progressive ideals in which I believe strongly (prison reform, to take one instance mentioned by the writer of Esquire's endorsement) will likely not be addressed by an Obama administration as forcefully as I would like. But I also understand, like this writer, that there is absolutely no chance of them being addressed at all in a McCain administration.

We're fighting for the soul of our country here, people.

Fellow Californians, you have one week left to register to vote.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nah Right

Dismantling some of the more bullshit explanations for the current economic crisis.


Misunderstanding Credit and Housing Crises: Blaming the CRA, GSEs [yanked from over at The Big Picture]

"It's telling that, amid all the recent recriminations, even lenders have not fingered CRA. That's because CRA didn't bring about the reckless lending at the heart of the crisis. Just as sub-prime lending was exploding, CRA was losing force and relevance. And the worst offenders, the independent mortgage companies, were never subject to CRA -- or any federal regulator. Law didn't make them lend. The profit motive did."
-Robert Gordon, American Prospect

Making the rounds amongst a certain subset of wingnuts on CNBC, at IBD and other selfconfoozled folks has been the meme that the entire housing and credit crisis traces to the the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. An alternative zombie myth is the credit crisis is due to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A 1999 article from the New York Times about the GSE's role in subprime mortgages has been circulating as if its the rosetta stone of the credit crisis.
These memes have become a rallying cry --
cognitive dissonance writ large -- of those folks who have been pushing for greater and greater deregulation, and are now attempting to disown the results of their handiwork.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008



Right. So, I couldn't go to the Creative Emmys because Pops Jugo was in town, but the other chicks got to go, and look. They took a picture with Kenneth the Page. You'll remember AB (fierce chick on the right) from this post.




Sunday, October 05, 2008

I'm So Tired Even My Feelings Hurt

Well, I ran those 12 miles, in case anyone cares.

Question! Is there a better running song than Fugazi's "Waiting Room"? The answer, my friends, is no!



Actually, that is not true! The best song to kick ass to on the mean streets of LA is Brother Ali's "The Puzzle."




And that's a FACT. I require one of two things from my music, ladies and gentlemen: it should either make me want to fuck someone or shoot someone. Only one of those urges is of any use to me while running the streets of pizza. I need pure, unadulterated adrenaline when I'm out there, pounding pavement and dodging dog shit. Having said that, when you hit mile 8, mile 9, and you've got nothing left in you, a little hip hop triumphalism will keep you going. Listen, kids: you know those tshirts that say "I'm in shape -- round is a shape"? Well, that's what I'm dealing with here. I'm round as a gatdamn dinner roll.* Every mile I notch is one more lesson I teach myself about being a fighter.

Listen when life leaves you beaten up
Don't lay around in it, hurry pick them pieces up
Cling closely to the people you love
They're your umbrella when the weathers tough
See to it that your head is up
If not just remember this
Just never let your chest and your chin touch in public
Those that stand against us would love this
Man, fuck them, something's bugging em'
They feel inadequate or something and that's been dug in em'
So deep they can't stand someone else making shit
Player hatred, same concept created Satan
Play em, no never mind let em play their part
They're here to make us prove we are what we say we are
We say we are the hard-hearted
Been discarded from everything we've ever been part of
They just robbed it
Unguarded, tormented and tortured
And got nothing but scars and grey hairs to show for it
Fuck that, every stone that's ever been cast or blow that ever landed
Helped to build that man that's standing before your bitch ass
I'm back to wreak havoc: I never retired, retreated or recanted
I, don't expect you to have stood where I'm standing
Why, respect is the only thing I'm demanding
Try, you and I could build this understanding
You can't honestly shake unless you know where my hand's been brother


This is a piece of my puzzle now
Through the years I found peace in my struggle now
If we were put here to carry a great weight
The very things we hate are here to build those muscles
This is a piece of my puzzle now
Through the years I found peace in my struggle now
(Who's to blame for the state I'm in - yours truly
I play my cards but somehow I can't win
--Brother Ali, "The Puzzle"


*and twice as delicious

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Stalled

I have to run 12 miles tomorrow. Ugh.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And furtherfuckingmore



Via Glenn Greenwald's excellent "The Right's Two-Pronged Religion of Self-Pity and Rage"" comes the even more excellent Victimology Blues," a post from the fine folks at We Are Respectable Negroes -- a site which, by the by, namechecks my newest homegirl and sister-from-another-mister, girl6 (that link takes you to my favorite blog post of hers ever, and that includes all the ones that talk about a naked Spock, so you know I'se serious.

The funniest thing I read online today:

"I tried to add Peter Schilling as a friend on Facebook, and that motherfucker disapproved me."

And thus concludes my biennial post on Major Tom, a song with which I am happily, but inexplicably, obsessed.



So, I was stuck on a bus while the debates were happening, and I kept tuning in via NPR and then having to tune out because I would get so fucking angry. I'm not going to lie. And I'm not going to surprise you here, either. Sarah Palin gets on my last motherfucking nerve -- and I say this as someone who believes that she is more to be pitied than vilified. Or at least, I used to believe that. I used to think that she had been thrown into something for which she was clearly unfit and largely ignorant. That is, I knew that she didn't know anything, but it seemed as if she didn't know that she didn't know anything. Like, in the same way that it's possible for the vast majority of us to go about our uncritical ways never thinking about how much we don't know about, say, particle physics, I suspected -- and the sheer weight of youtube/CNN/newspaper evidence indicated - that Sarah Palin had gone through her 40+ years never worrying too much about Hamas or RU-487 or Plessy v. Ferguson. Which would be fine, if she was just some regla citizen. But ladies and gentlemen, this woman has a one-in-five chance, if her ticket is elected, of occupying the highest office in the land, and being the most powerful human being on this earth. FUCK YOU, AMERICA, that anyone, anywhere, in any corner of this great land, allows this travesty of a candidacy to proceed.

It's clear from what I was able to catch of the debates tonight (I was stuck on a bus listening to it on NPR) that Gov. Palin is not the happy idiot I thought she was, but rather, something altogether more insidious -- she's a mean idiot. She's one of those people who doesn't know much, and is happy not to know much.

You know, when people were talking yesterday about how Gov. Palin couldn't name a single Supreme Court case with which she disagreed -- not because she's in complete accord with the long history of American jurisprudence -- but because she actually couldn't name a single Supreme Court Case, I had to stop and think a moment. How many cases could I name, on the spot, if pressed? The people I was speaking with could name 5, 6, 10 off the tops of their heads (yes, I do know some lawyers, but I also know some regla folks). And the thing is, trying to keep it honest, I had to admit that five was my limit, without really sitting down and thinking it through.


Five.

And I had the good sense to be ashamed of myself. Because a lot more of the rights I take for granted every day aren't covered in the five I could easily call to mind. Now, in my defense, I was able to come up with a lot more once I thought about it, but that's not the fucking point. The point is, there are people who don't know anything and want to, and there are people who don't anything and don't care to. Because as far as they're concerned, it doesn't matter.

This attitude infuriates me. This attitude, evident throughout the debate tonight, that says, "well, Joe Six-Pack is a good guy, and so whatever he thinks is probably ok," ...

No.

No.

Being "a good person" is not enough. Just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best is not enough. Just wishing and hoping and praying that America will continue to manifest its destiny as some chosen state is not fucking enough. Fuck you, Joe Six-pack! I would love to have a beer with you and watch the game! But I don't want you to be president! We all love to play armchair quarterback on Monday morning, but the fact is, there's a reason why ...

Ok. cough, sputter


I want a president that is smarter than me. I want a vice-president that's smarter than me. No, I don't happen to think that that's necessarily demonstrated by the acquisition of advanced degrees. But I do want some evidence of a sharp intellect and astute judgment. To paraphrase my best friend Fergus: yeah, Sarah Palin is just like you, Mr. And Mrs. Middle America. And I wouldn't vote for your ignorant ass, either.

For fuck's sake.




Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Gratitude




Happy birthday, Beautiful. I'm so glad you were born. I'm so glad you were mine.

Earnestine aka "Teeny" aka "Tina" Horton Hudson. Born this day, 1948.