Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but somehow this picture sums up a lot of the reasons I'm voting for him. 3:25:50 PM
"But if the man was so smart, how come all the Internet addresses begin with `W'? Not only one W, but three Ws." -Republican Presidential Nominee George W. Bush 8:27:00 AM
On a literary note: October hasn't ever been expressed this beautifully. I'm reminded of Fall because Washington got chilly tonight, and looking at the forecast for next week, I'm not sure that it is going to get warm again. 5:02:12 PM
It's been a linkfest at .wdc for awhile, but on a personal note, I was just notified that the new issue of my zine is going to be featured in an art exhibition at a gallery in Silicon Valley. 1:11:04 PM
Creepy stuff. The last meal requests of prisoners condemned to die in Texas. 10:20:27 AM
"Nader, running a low-budget campaign, is not airing any television commercials of his own and it's possible that the Republican Leadership Council will end up spending more on pro-Nader media that Nader himself." 10:01:59 PM
THE WITNESS: Yes, I did. We discussed the nomination of a pig for President.
MR. KUNSTLER: Would you state what you said and what Jerry said.
THE WITNESS: We discussed the details. We discussed going out to the countryside around Chicago and buying a pig from a farmer and bringing him into the city
for the purposes of his nominating speech.
MR. KUNSTLER: Did you have any role yourself in that?
THE WITNESS: Yes, I helped select the pig, and I paid for him.
MR. KUNSTLER: Now, did you find a pig at once when you went out?
THE WITNESS: No, it was very difficult. We stopped at several farms and asked where the pigs were.
MR. KUNSTLER: None of the farmers referred you to the police station, did they?
THE WITNESS: No.
The witness is folksinger Phil Ochs, testifying at the Chicago 7 Trial. Funny stuff. 10:40:20 PM
An old Fugazi interview on NPR. I can't get enough of hearing what Ian MacKaye has to say, and this is an okay (though I wouldn't say great) segment. 9:00:27 PM
The line, " If Texas were a nation, it would rank fifth in the world in executions." is enough for me. 1:45:24 PM
"But that so many men [women], by mere accidents of birth and opportunity, should have a life of nothing else but toil and pain and hardness and inferiority imposed upon them, should have no vacation, while others natively no more deserving never get any taste of this campaigning life at all--this is capable of arousing indignation in reflective minds." -William James, "The Moral Equivalent of War" 11:03:10 AM
"The embargo is harvesting children." 7:24:22 AM
When working with kids, I've noticed a few things:
- It doesn't mean a damn thing how well I can read, write, or add numbers. What matters is putting these skills into terms that they will understand.
- The most hyperactive, inattentive kids are often the smartest.
- It's clear that some parents have little interest in the kids when they come to pick them up after the program ends. There is a direct and negative correlation between this and the kid's interest in school. 5:25:26 PM
There's few things more magical than putting a piece of photographic paper into the developer solution and watching the picture slowly develop. At first, you're not even sure if you see anything, maybe a very light graying overall, but within ten seconds of that, the darkest parts of the image start to show, and within the next half minute, you have a complete image... pure magic. 11:29:20 PM
I was skateboarding a little north of Dupont Circle tonight, and after a particularly satisfying 50-50 grind to 180 out, I sat down on the marble ledge to rest. I watched a group of women walk by me, then about five seconds later, break out in laughter. I looked down, my pants were zipped, I didn't think I looked like anything more than a sweaty kid who needs a haircut.
I looked up, as a man walked by and smiled at me. He was dressed in all leather, and as he passed me, I realized what they were laughing about. His leather pants covered (as one might imagine) from his waist down to his shoes with one exception- on the rear of his pants, where one might expect to find back pockets, there was nothing, save for his pale white butt sashaying down Connecticut Avenue. 7:16:58 PM
PrayerWear is a line of apparel designed for the individual who wishes to display his or her spirituality in a subtle yet powerful manner. <deep, deep shiver> 6:51:27 PM
Bleh. In the last 48 hours, I've licked over 75 envelopes, $80 worth of stamps, as well as hand-writing 40 or so notes. My mouth feels gummy, and I've developed a disturbing habit of leaving out the letter "i" in words. 5:02:04 PM
Giving Nader some hip-hop credibility. 4:29:32 PM
I was awoken today at 10 by a phone call from the downstairs desk, my zines had arrived! After carrying seven forty pound packages up, I got to take a look at it, and, I'm happy, after a year of on and off work on it, it came out well, and I can finally stop telling people, "It'll be done soon."
<shameless plug>It costs $2 (which includes postage), and, you can buy it online. </shameless plug> 1:01:26 PM
Hearing an acoustic version of None of the Above at 3:20 in the morning reminds me of playing it over and over as I drove alone up to snowy, quiet Vermont.
I drove by a tiny diner in a fading town, remembering this same trip with friends the year before. The waitress had taken every word out of our mouths as an invitation to kindly make fun of us. As I dug around a terrible piece of apple cobbler, she'd explained that she worked with mentally handicapped kids during the day, and this was her release, and I understood.
Being alone makes you feel fiercely independent and longing for connection, both of those. My freedom came in the miles driven on salty, dead winter roads. My connection came from a single CD that somehow spoke to both the chill I felt coming in through the windows, and the beautiful sunset that brilliantly colored the sky to my left. 12:52:55 AM
An incredible account of actions by the different anarchist blocs at Prague. 8:25:10 AM
A Buchanan commercial with some not so thinly veiled racism. Assuming Buchanan doesn't have any Native American ancestry (which I strongly doubt), one might wonder why immigration was acceptable when his family entered the United States, but not today. (Warning: Link goes directly to quicktime movie clip). 8:45:32 PM
Kids are annoying and loud and impatient and wonderful.
I arrived at the grade school at 3 PM, met with the school coordinator who ran through the rules with me and had me sign a form. At 3:15, the bell rang, and 75 kids, from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade poured into the library, and the quiet I had been enjoying was broken by screaming, fighting, and.. more screaming.
I was assigned to the pre-K and 1st grade kids. There were 11 of them total, I got five of them, and they sat at a table loaded with broken crayons and chewed up pencils. Within the first ten minutes, I had used every idle threat that I'd ever heard my teachers say, including "I'm going to tell your parents" and "Do that again, and you're going to sit in the corner." The premise of this program is that it's a time for kids to get their homework done since many of their parents probably won't be around to help them.
So, for two hours, I helped Greta, Diana, and Carlos color in rectangles red, squares blue and triangles yellow. Two other very young girls that I was helping spent their time filling up sheets of white paper with wild colors, exhausting the spectrum of broken crayolas.
The time went like this: as I helped Carlos sound out the word 'yellow', Diana would steal Greta's pencil. When I came back to Greta, and got her pencil back, Carlos would diligently continue his work while Diana would try and steal the flashcards containing pictures of animals starting with every letter of the alphabet (except 'Fox' for 'X', in case you were wondering). When I got to Diana, Greta would start screaming out my name every two minutes until I helped her figure out where the red crayon was, or something like that. The two adorably cute little girls were oblivious to all of this and continued to create their colorful masterpieces.
At 5:15, the kids packed up, put away the crayons, and lined up to walk to the cafeteria for snack time. For snacks, the kids each got a blueberry muffin and a little cup of apple juice (which I was pleasantly surprised to see fortified with Vitamin C). The apple juice was of the 5 ounce variety, with the little foil tops that kindergarteners need help with opening. For once, the kids sat patiently with their frosty apple juice cups in front of them while I went around to each and pulled back the foil lid.
The eating habits of pre-kindergarteners are not that different from those of small babies, so I watched as they broke little pieces off of the muffin, smooshed it in their hands, and press it into their faces, seemingly only slightly concerned about how much of it ended up in their mouths. Still, little kids with blueberry muffin-stained faces are pretty cute, and I was going to let them leave like that, but I thought that might reflect poorly on me as their group supervisor.
With even the more difficult kids, there were little flashes of understanding and interest. Diana, when I managed to hold her attention, could copy any word I gave her, in about ten seconds. Carlos wanted a high five every time he colored a square blue, and Greta was an amusing negotiator who would do anything I asked if I promised to sharpen her pencil after she was done.
All in all, a good and tiring day. Tomorrow morning, I start working for Ralph Nader. 6:59:38 PM
The Million Family March is happening tomorrow in DC. Why they would schedule it on a Monday is beyond me, it doesn't seem conducive to attracting participants. Furthermore, the word 'million' is the new (last 5 years) keyword for any sort of large rally here, though it doesn't ever mean 1,000,000 people.
Anyways, a quick look at their ugly site shows a link to their merchandise page, which gives you the opportunity to purchase shirts from the "Official Million Family March clothing line" or, if you're feeling saucy, a Million Family March 14 karat gold medallion. This rampant junk goods-peddling makes me question the motives behind the march and its organizers. 6:51:04 PM
Tomorrow, I start my new job. It doesn't pay anything, but allows me to spend time with kids, teaching them how to read, and (hopefully) helping them to think critically and make good decisions in their life.
I can't think of a better way to be spending my time. 5:43:49 PM
I just came back from the Israeli and Palestinian rallies at the White House. Tensions were high, and the over anxious cops weren't helping either. A couple of observations:
-The predominant sign held by Palestinians showed a four frame television screen grab of that little boy and his father hiding from gunfire, then being shot to death. 11:46:39 AM
-Many Israelis held signs saying "Rock Can Kill" to suggest that the use of military force against people throwing rocks is justified.
-The Palestinian rally was held directly in front of the White House, while the Israelis were in the park across the street. When I got there, the area where the Palestinians were was marked off with police tape, a protest pen, if you will. As Palestinians came to the police tape (with the rally already well underway), the police lifted up the tape so they could pass under, and said things like, "Folks, I appreciate if you could be on time for the protests." What?!
Haunting NPR documentary. 9:04:04 AM
I got to vote on whether Megan's Law should be instituted as a constitutional amendment, and in talking with Charlene about it, found it to be a really difficult question.
For those who don't know, the law was proposed after a repeat sexual offender moved into a neighborhood, lured a girl into his home, and killed her. The proposed law states that these sex offenders need to registered, so that concerned citizens might be able to go the police station, look up these records, and find out if any known sex offenders live in their area.
Good idea, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
As a citizen of the United States, I worry about the power the government has. I worry that many states are given the right to kill people as their judicial system sees fit despite numerous innocent people being put to death.
I worry that a perfect government doesn't exist, and that an imperfect government should not be making choices about who to register as a sex offender and who not to. Furthermore, if people are to be registered as sex offenders, why not register murderers, muggers, or armed robbers when they are released from prison? Should the age of the target these criminals pursue affect to what degree the criminals' life continues to be ruined when they get out of jail?
It's not an easy decision to let a sex offender live in anonymity, especially since they often repeat their crimes. But this isn't a problem that should be dealt with after a criminal is released from jail. Better counselling, and more effort given to reform would make Megan's Law unneeded, and it would mean less people returning to jail after being released. On a larger scale, the effort to reform prisoners would reduce the prison population a great deal, and slow down the second largest growth industry in the United States, prison building. (rant mode off) 10:53:45 PM
My civic duty for the next four years is done. Woohoo, go Nader!
Update: I think there's some vaguely illegal about putting your filled out absentee ballot up on the web... so be it. 10:38:38 PM
Test presidential election results, get 'em while they're hot. No, I have no idea what this is about. 4:35:50 PM
I'm not sure if people know about it, but there's a good debate between Ralph Nader and Reed Hunt (a Gore advisor) over at Wired. 9:38:41 PM
"The person who has freedom of the press is the person who owns one." -A.J Liebling
"... freedom of speech is not simply a yes or no question. It is also a "how much" question. And how much freedom we have depends on how much money we have, what power we have, and what resources we have for reaching large groups of people. A poor person, however smart, however eloquent, truly has very limited freedom of speech. A rich corporation has a great deal of it." -Howard Zinn 1:38:51 PM
Steve: I'm glad the Kozmo couriers don't know what's in those bags, I think they'd get pissed at all the stupid shit people order.
Char: If you ordered a test tube baby, you wouldn't feel bad, it's something important. 12:20:04 PM
It's a good thing that the US-imposed sanctions on Iraq prevent dangerous items such as flour, dialysis equipment, soap and baby food from being imported into the country. How else would the United States be able to maintain its 150 dead Iraqi children/day quota? 11:45:17 AM
The impact of graphic design and art in a revolution. The importance of the raised fist symbol is that it carries an international meaning (of revolution and solidarity), and with its ubiquitous presence can raise the consciousness and emotions of the people. Branding a certain image can be an interesting experiment, as seen with Shepard Fairey's work. 9:44:36 AM
Last week it reached the 80s, and I remember looking forward to going back up north for cooler temperatures and wildly colored trees. Now I'm back down south, it's 44 degrees, and I'm getting ready for wool sweaters, hot tea, and frosty windows. 9:50:28 PM
I'm going home for the weekend, and to alleviate any fears, I've set up a newt cam to look in on Basho and Issa and make sure they're ok. It updates every minute. Update: Newt cam's off, newst are safe and sound. 8:23:32 PM
A wonderful dissection of Al Gore, the speaker of half-truths, misstatements, and lies. 6:26:31 PM
Skateboarding is significant in that it makes you reinterpret your surroundings and put them to use in nontraditional ways.
Nose pick, 10:44 PM, Apt. 817. 7:48:36 PM
In one of my classes, we had to design a business card for ourselves using this wacked software (Macromedia Freehand). It seemed like a good opportunity to be crude and garish. I'm happy with the results. 3:33:37 PM
A good rundown of the events happening outside the debates, on the streets of Boston. 8:58:40 AM
Quote of the day: "I hope Bush wins. I need to have more issues to fuel my punk rock lyrics with." 8:52:51 AM
On C-Span Radio in the fifteen minutes leading up to the live coverage of the debates, they started taking calls. Of the ten calls taken, seven of them were about Ralph Nader and why he and other third party candidates were not let into the debates.
I find that wonderful. 6:02:24 PM
I had the opportunity to see Two Trevors Go To Washington tonight at Georgetown University. The film was quite funny in parts, and gave a decent depiction of the April protests in Washington. There were some great shots of the police swinging away at protesters, of the black bloc coming at the police with a chain link fence, and the police trying to overcome the fence blockade with their motorcycles.
What I really took from the movie was that South Africa, despite being free from apartheid, is not that different of a country for the poor than it was fifteen years ago. Resources like water are being privatized. and subsequently prohibitively expensive for many people to access. They then have to rely on unsanitized water which leads to the usual barrage of infectious diseases. It seems to be a case of the revolutionaries becoming the oppressors, or at least, the revolutionaries who helped overthrow the apartheid government not remembering their roots, and letting the usual problems of poverty continue. 8:35:01 PM
Paying for entire meals with the change in your (and your girlfriend's) pocket can't be beat. 8:16:50 PM
Why my university newspaper sucks. 10:22:07 AM
Ray Bradbury, Andre Breton, Emily Bronte.
A quick look at these authors would turn up very little in terms of similarities except for their last names all beginning with "Br". But that's just the thing, in my never ending search for Richard Brautigan books at used book stores throughout the country, these names have continually shown up, teasing me with their closeness to the name I seek.
It is between these names that I do sometimes make that rare discovery of a slim, beat-up book, solid colored, with a picture of Brautigan on the cover, usually standing next to an attractive woman. But the Brautigan book is a rarity, it is these other authors who inhabit my searches, and whose spines I bid my time on. 2:45:50 PM