May 26, 2006
This is worth reading, just for its leftist stupidity. But there's no reason to put coins in Salon's pockets by clicking on the link; I've excerpted most of the good stuff here.
That's the word written on sweatbands the Duke University women's lacrosse team will wear when they take the field Friday at the start of their sport's premier event.... With the bands, the women are apparently suggesting that the Duke men's lacrosse team, and the three members charged with sexual assault, are innocent.
In court, the specific term lawyers seek from the jury is "not guilty." I don't know enough of the facts to opine on whether that phrase will be read aloud by jury foremen. I do know enough to say it is a stretch to use the term "innocent" to describe the men of Duke lacrosse. Hiring strippers, excessive alcohol use, disorderly public conduct -- those aren't activities one generally describes as innocent.
Ummm, none of those things are illegal, with the possible exception of disorderly public conduct, but I don't think they've been charged with that.
Notice how prudish a leftist gets when he smells the blood of a white Christian oppressor. Suddenly bad behavior is, well, bad. Typically Salon would be the first to defend this kind of behavior, but not it's grounds to say the men aren't innocent at all.
Since the writer fancies himself a student of the law-- pointing out, for the three people in the world who don't know -- that a jury pronounces a man "not guilty," not "innocent," when it absolves him of criminal wrongdoing, I'll note that what this idiot is doing is attempting to prove guilt in a crime by introducing unrelated (and legal) "bad acts," which is forbidden by courts. You're not allowed to "prove" a man guilty by simply noting he's done other not-good things in his life, but that seems to be the writer's belief. Hey-- these guys drank a lot, hired strippers, and got rowdy. Isn't that enough to convict them?
With a daughter at Duke, I've followed this case closely, and have read the allotment of notes and press releases sent out by the university. I know enough to conclude that the university's administration is failing utterly at one of its stated goals: extracting lessons from this incident.
Duke officials repeatedly told observers to withhold judgment of the players and the university. When a third player was indicted on May 15, senior vice president John Burness said, "It is worth repeating again today that these latest charges do not mean the accused are guilty. That is for a jury to decide." That lesson didn't quite take: The women's lacrosse team decided they are the ones who should determine guilt or innocence.
So much for a teachable moment.
A "teachable moment." The left really has to stop using this word.
He makes a point that I am pained to admit makes some sense here:
President Richard Brodhead called for reasonable dialogue. I find it hard to believe these wristbands support that call. Consider what it might look like if another team decided to make its own statement by writing the word "guilty" on their wristbands. It would be every bit as presumptuous -- and every bit as inflammatory -- as those that say "innocent." It is not a step toward reasonable dialogue. It continues the blunt use of divisive rhetoric.
I would note, however, that the men have been charged with perhaps the third worst crime possible -- rape follows only child-rape and murder in loathsomeness -- and the DA has exploited this case to get re-elected in a largely black district, so there's plenty of "divisive rhetoric" out there already. I'm not sure the women's lacrosse display of the word "innocent" adds terribly much fuel to the racial fires.
Furthermore, the women's lacrosse team is almost certainly well-acquainted with the men's team. We generally don't pitch a bitch when the friends and family of an accused defend them publicly. It's hardly compelling evidence of innocence, but it's also hardly something untoward or unexpected.
Shall we also harrangue the accuser's family for claiming publicly that she wouldn't lie-- thereby claiming the lacrosse players are guilty?
Certainly this writer doesn't offer any criticism of them. Only those who dare to suggest the guys are innocent.
He then goes on to pretty much do what he criticizes the women's lacrosse players for doing -- "rendering a verdict" on the case outside of the jury box. He never calls them guilty -- he can't, of course, as he's making such a major issue of the women's lacrosse team calling them innocent -- but he does note that they're behaving just like a mafia crew (he calls it the "Duke Blue Wall of Silence") and is very suspicious of the fact that the various players' lawyers, get this, cooperate with eachother, just like mob lawyers during a mob trial!
Well, given that they're all making the same claim -- that none of this ever happened, it is entirely fabricated, and they are all witnesses for the others' innocence -- I think it is somewhat reasonable to imagine their lawyers would work together, as they're all working with the same facts and the precise same legal theory.
That theory is that they're, get this, wholly "innocent."
But the writer calls this evidence of a "pack mentality," and implies it's underhanded. His assumption seems to be: We know they're guilty. By cooperating with each other, it precludes one of them from stepping forward and ratting out the others. So there joint defense is an attempt to block "the truth" from emerging.
The writer scolds the women's lacrosse team from examining the evidence as private citizens and offering an opinion -- not a legally-binding verdict -- on the charges, and yet he himself has little qualms about offering his own opinions.
As I've said before: without double standards, the left would have no standards at all.
I haven't mentioned this case before because I am only vague aware of the facts -- or "facts;" what we mostly have is assertions from the defense and the prosecution which have not truly been tested by any rigorous process -- but I'll cop to my own not-very-well informed opinion:
That said, I could easily be wrong. I've been wrong before. Like, for example, when I figured that Michael Irvin was guilty of an alleged rape. Hey, he was a drug user, he was generally guilty of bad behavior, and he wore golden suits. Seemed like he was guilty.
Of course, it later turned out the woman completely fabricated the story, and was charged with filing a false police report.
I learned a little something from that particular "teachable moment." It's a shame Salon didn't.
The left seems to cling to the idea that women simply don't lie about rape. As this writer says, it's extremely brave for a woman to come forward with a rape allegation.
Well, it is indeed. If she was, in fact, raped. If she is lying about rape -- to extort from a wealthy pro football player, or from the wealthy parents of college lacrosse players -- it's not particularly courageous, is it? In fact, it's rather... reprehensible.
They assume the fact of rape and then impugn anyone for daring to not follow them in those assumptions.
I generally assume women tell the truth about rape. I'd say that 95% of rape charges are true (or pretty much true). But that leaves 5% of charges which are fraudulent, and that is not an insignificant percentage.
But the left would invert its usual claim -- "it's better than 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man be convicted" -- in rape cases, especially, of course, when it's a minority woman accusing wealthy white male oppresors. Then, it becomes "It's better that every one accused of rape be convicted, guilty or innocent, so as not to dissuade other women from coming forward to accuse other men of rape."
The writer concludes his idiotic essay by suggesting that the womens' lacrosse team display the word "Respect" on their wristbands, rather than "Innocent." It could, you see, mean many different things to many different people.
Well, that sort of defeats the purpose of trying to send a message, doesn't it?
Why not just have them wear writstbands that say "Bush lied, people died"?
I grow so tired of the left lecturing us that we must never render an opinion as a citizen on a case of political import, unless that opinion agrees with their own, in which case, have a lynching party. We heard this claim constantly when Bill Clinton was accused of his various crimes -- we must not assume his guilt, we were told -- as they nearly simultaneously proclaimed his complete innocence.
It's one or the other, guys. One or the other.
I would like the sentence "We should not try this case in the media" barred from ever being spoken again. It's an empty platitude; of course we all have opinions on cases as we hear them, and there's nothing in the Constitution that demands we stay silent about those opinions.
Further, as a technical matter, you simply can't be "convicted in the media." You're either convicted in a courtroom or not at all.
Although, as regards Bush, the media sure seems eager to test the limits of this notion.
— Ace ...going office to office.
The shots were first heard in the parking complex.
Two women ran out of the building and say they saw a man with a gun, who hid in the building's gym.
Their description is of a white man, 5'10".
— Ace Not sure what to make of this.
— Ace Hmm...
The Respect MP George Galloway has said it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to murder Tony Blair.
In an interview with GQ magazine, the reporter asked him: "Would the assassination of, say, Tony Blair by a suicide bomber - if there were no other casualties - be justified as revenge for the war on Iraq?"
Mr Galloway replied: "Yes, it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it - but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable. And morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - as Blair did."
He said: "These comments take my breath away. Every time you think he can't sink any lower he goes and stuns you again. It's reprehensible to say it would be justified for a suicide bomber to assassinate anyone."
So, if I have this right, if someone doesn't like a politician, and considers him a force for evil in the world, he's wholly justified in killing that politician?
I hope Galloway understands the implications of the rules of engagement he's suggesting.
Meanwhile, he continues speaking jihadi:
Mr Galloway yesterday made a surprise appearance on Cuban television with the Caribbean island's Communist dictator, Fidel Castro - whom he defended as a "lion" in a political world populated by "monkeys".
Mr Galloway shocked panellists on a live television discussion show in Havana by emerging on set mid-transmission to offer passionate support for Castro. Looking approvingly into each others' eyes, the pair embraced.
"Monkey." "Lion." He's only playing to the Al Jazeera crowd at this point, eh?
— Ace It's as terrible as the day KISS stop wearing makeup.
May 25, 2006
— Ace That headline overstates it a bit, but I couldn't think of how else to say it briefly. It's not a death threat, per se, or at least not one that could get you charged. It's cuter than that:
I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut....
Not an actual threat so much as the masturbatory fantasy of a warped, impotent she-boy.
And-- from a Reuters account.
LGF has an idea that it might just be this "moderate muslim," a man who praised both Sheik Omarr and Osama bin Ladin, and who was actually chosen by Britain's Home Office as one of seven Muslims tasked with rooting out extremism among Muslims.
A guy who praised OBL as a hero is the most moderate Britain can find in its Muslim "leadership."
He was tipped to the LGF website after having written this article for the Guardian, which argues that the DaVinci Code is the key to reducing Christian-Muslim tensions. How so? Well, if Christians would only accept Dan Brown's thesis that Christianity is founded upon a lie, and therefore Islam is the One True Faith, all of our problems would go away, no?
Well, no. It's not the religion, at least not on this end. It's the culture. I'm an agnostic leaning towards atheist and trust me, Christianity is the least of what separates us. Decency, humanity, enlightment, and a post Dark Ages civilization are sticking points, before we even get to that Jesus guy.
At any rate, someone with access to a Reuters IP is sending emails from fake addresses like "zionistpig" and drooling over the day his infidel oppressors have their throats cut. LGF has written to Reuters to ask about this.
I expect a prompt and vigorous investigation by Reuters, post-haste.
— Ace This is an article about a different style of cloaking device than the "superlens" technique I linked a few weeks back. This one is more like a chameleon cloak.
Both groups propose methods using the unusual properties of so-called "metamaterials" to build a cloak.
These metamaterials can be designed to induce a desired change in the direction of electromagnetic waves, such as light. This is done by tinkering with the nano-scale structure of the metamaterial, not by altering its chemistry.
Pssst, Instapundit-- Nano-scale!
John Pendry's team suggest that by enveloping an object in a metamaterial cloak, light waves can be made to flow around the object in the same way that water would do so.
Special materials could make light "flow" around an object like water.
The work provides a mathematical "recipe" for bending light waves in such a way as to achieve a desired cloaking effect.
"What you're trying to do is guide light around an object, but the art is to bend it such that it leaves the object in precisely the same way that it initially hits it. You have the illusion that there is nothing there," he told the BBC's Science in Action programme.
Another Article: Similar fare, though it makes the distinction between a radar-invisible cloak (18 months with proper funding) and full-spectrum-invisibility (5 years).
Wow. Won't happen, of course, but at least we're at the age when we're making predictions like this.
— Harry Callahan I imagine that there are a lot of upsides to being the unquestioned dictator of your own country. No waiting in line, all your jokes are funny, and you get to hang out with all sorts of terrorists and Hollywood actors.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides is having videogames made where the player is invited to kick the crap out of a lightly fictionalized version of your country.
Sorry! Didn't you get the memo?
— LauraW. Dave in Texas purchased this tome of important quotations recently.
It arrived bound in sumptuous ostrich leather, with gilt-edged pages and a silvery ribbon page-marker woven from the softest hairs on Don King's head.
That is not money. That is frozen halibut. They look like that when you freeze em, they fish dammit. Big damn fish.
The words ring as true today as the day he so famously uttered them.
Thanks to skinbad, whose son's nickname translates to "Evil, With Meat" in English.*
*I swear this is true.
— Ace ...and they say they can prove or disprove their model in the next several years.
They've got their guns set on Einstein.
Scientists at Duke and Rutgers universities have developed a mathematical framework they say will enable astronomers to test a new five-dimensional theory of gravity that competes with Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.
Charles R. Keeton of Rutgers and Arlie O. Petters of Duke base their work on a recent theory called the type II Randall-Sundrum braneworld gravity model. The theory holds that the visible universe is a membrane (hence "braneworld") embedded within a larger universe, much like a strand of filmy seaweed floating in the ocean. The "braneworld universe" has five dimensions -- four spatial dimensions plus time -- compared with the four dimensions -- three spatial, plus time -- laid out in the General Theory of Relativity.
Keeton and Petters focused on one particular gravitational consequence of the braneworld theory that distinguishes it from Einstein's theory.
The braneworld theory predicts that relatively small "black holes" created in the early universe have survived to the present. The black holes, with mass similar to a tiny asteroid, would be part of the "dark matter" in the universe. As the name suggests, dark matter does not emit or reflect light, but does exert a gravitational force.
The General Theory of Relativity, on the other hand, predicts that such primordial black holes no longer exist, as they would have evaporated by now.
"When we estimated how far braneworld black holes might be from Earth, we were surprised to find that the nearest ones would lie well inside Pluto's orbit," Keeton said.
Petters added, "If braneworld black holes form even 1 percent of the dark matter in our part of the galaxy -- a cautious assumption -- there should be several thousand braneworld black holes in our solar system."
"If the braneworld theory is correct," they said, "there should be many, many more braneworld black holes throughout the universe, each carrying the signature of a fourth dimension of space."
Nice, I guess, but I'm always looking for someone to propose something that simplifies the conceptual framework of higher physics. This doesn't seem to do so.
What's that fourth dimension physical dimension all about? What's it for? I was hoping the article would say something about it.
— Ace Really? Seriously? No shittin'?
The economy just posted a red-hot growth rate of 5.3% and you're saying it may slow in the future?
Always the downside. As I've noted too many times to recount, the media is only willing to acknowlege the current strength of the economy in a cautionary tale about its future weakening. We will proceed from "the worst economy since Herbert Hoover" to a "severe recession caused by the unsustainable growth during the Bush Bubble" without ever having an acknowledgement of the strength of the economy in the present tense.
It's the only story the media knows how to write. Sort of like Dan Brown. And like Dan Brown, the luridness and absurdity of the tale is palpable.
The actual story isn't particularly objectionable. But the MSM knows headlines have impact. And they're damn-sure not going to let the public be tricked by a positive headline about the economy.
Stocks rose on signs the economy is expanding fast enough to boost company profits without igniting inflation. The rise in gross domestic product was the biggest since the third quarter of 2003 and compares with a 4.8 percent rate that was reported on April 28, the Commerce Department said. Sales of previously owned homes dropped to a three-month low, the National Association of Realtors also reported.
Last quarter's economic vigor may give way to a more moderate pace of growth for the remainder of 2006. Slower consumer spending and a weakening housing market will allow Federal Reserve policy makers to stop raising interest rates if additional data point to a smaller risk of accelerating inflation, economists said.
``Consumption and investment were a little softer than we were looking for,'' said John Shin, an economist at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in New York. ``Reports since have certainly showed growth has decelerated, and that's consistent with the Fed's statement that growth will decline to a more sustainable rate.''
Holy Sacred Feminine, to call them scumbags would, as Dennis Miller said, be a disservice to bags filled with scum.
— Ace As Wardrobe Door notes, this should not be a difficult assignment. Pretty much he can simply re-use the DaVinci code script, chaning PARIS to VATICAN CITY as required.
Sacred Feminine All Mighty! I'm a believer in capitalism, but when a guy gets this rich off something so shoddy, I do begin to see the virtues of "Merit Committees" for artistic works.
— Ace 51-47. Those who are thinking about staying at home, or not donating to worthy candidates, should bear that narrow margin in mind.
Michelle, as usual, has a comprehensive backgrounder on this crucial vote. Although Bingaman's 650,000 cap represents a fourfold increase in current numbers, Kennedy and McCain are screaming murder about it.
Matter of fact, John McCain just brought up Jim Crow.
— Ace It's been said on the blogosphere before, but this is a good print bit about it:
Osama bin Laden says he doesn't fear dying. He says he fears being humiliated. So let's give it to him.
What would happen if we ridiculed the terrorists instead? Would young people still flock to become "fighters" and suicide bombers? Would they still leave on their doomed missions with tearful support from their mothers, fathers, grandparents and the girls at home, blessed by a cleric who justifies murder as a noble sacrifice in Allah's name?
The U.S. military may be developing its war-fighting skills to do just that. Recently it shattered the seemingly invincible persona of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose beheadings and bombings have terrorized Iraq and the world, by pairing his latest video release with captured raw outtakes.
The outtakes showed al-Zarqawi not as a fearsome fighter but as a confused, bumbling fat boy in American sneakers and a black ninja costume who couldn't figure out how to operate a simple machine gun. (And even if it wasn't simple, there was no way to know that from the outtakes.) For the first time ever, the world saw al-Zarqawi's weak side: a pudgy, vulnerable, even contemptible creature who can't fight like a real warrior.
Of course, it doesn't help the cause when the New York Times and CNN immediately spring to this absurd fat-boy's defense, talking up the incredible complexity of the basic American squad automatic weapon.
To most Americans, ridiculing terrorists might seem trivial, even sophomoric, as a weapon of war. But dictators and terrorists, being unable to function in the free market of ideas, need propagandists to control (not merely spin) their public images. They require obedience or acquiescence - a fear factor that cannot long coexist with put-downs and snickering. (That's why, six months after taking power in 1959, Fidel Castro had signs placed in official buildings that read "Counterrevolutionary jokes forbidden here." One of the first publications he shutdown was Zig Zag, a humor magazine.)
Pride, honor and shame are profound in much of Arab Muslim culture. The al-Zarqawi video was devastating. That's why Iraqi television and other moderate Arab media gave it plenty of play.
In a January 2006 recorded message, bin Laden signed off by saying: "I swear not to die but a free man even if I taste the bitterness of death. I fear to be humiliated or betrayed."
If he's not afraid to die, let's pour on the humiliation.
As long as the terrorists can make themselves look like fearsome winners - and as long as we inadvertently help them - they will always recruit followers. But nobody likes to follow a loser.
Except CNN and the New York Times, of course.
It really is amazing. The writer notes that the media (including Hollywood) eagerly enlisted in mocking America's enemies during WWII.
Flash forward to today, when two of our most powerful news organizations play PR flack for a loathesome killer, and Hollywood churns out movie after movie "contextualizing" and apologizing mass-murder.
As the man says: They're not anti-war. They're just on the other side.
Speaking of being on the other side... Jack Murtha vows he will not sleep until the Jihadists get as much political benefit as possible from the alleged massacre of civilians by Marines in Iraq.
Then, having a senior moment, I guess, he notes we intentionally killed a lot of civilians in World War II, and says:
"In World War II we dropped bombs on all these different countries," he told Colmes. "We killed civilians. In wartime - this is wartime. You're not sitting in an office back here. This is wartime."
Compare his "This is wartime" statement about firebombing Dresden to his vow to not "let them cover... up" the alleged massacre in Iraq.
Seems that "This is wartime" doesn't apply when a Republican is President.
More of this c**k**ker's ruminations here. Including his parroting of the claim that Democrats won't seek to impeach Bush should they take Congress.
They have to impeach Bush if they take power. That's step one in their plan to capture Bin Ladin, defeat the terrorists, stop the Iran and NK nuke programs, and lower the price of gas to two bits per gallon.
(Then comes step two, and then comes step three: Profit.)
— Ace Lay on all counts, Skilling on 19 of them.
And so far as I know neither has offered to turn on the actual masters of the conspiracy, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.
— Ace He mentions a New York Times piece about the Clinton's marriage seems a bit incomplete.
It touched only lightly on the former president's friendship with Canadian politician Belinda Stronach.
"Friendship." Let's just say if Broder was a columnist at the New York Post he might say "galpal" or "canoodlemate."
The Observer's blogger thinks we're all just jealous:
But aren't we sick of the prurience? And isn't there a freedom in their choices of which others are envious? Maybe we can all learn from their experience.
Yeahhhhh, baby! Free love! Shagadelic!
I'm not sure the country is looking for Part II of the Austin Powers co-presidency.
The President has her finger on the nuclear button, and we don't need her with an itchy trigger-finger just because her husband never calls her pretty anymore.
— Ace Right Wing News heds this as saying Gore says it's okay to lie to alarm people about global warming.
He didn't quite say that. But I'd like to know, precisely, what an "over-representation of the facts" consists of. It does sound like a euphemism for "absurd hyperbole."
Why did you make it look like hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, droughts, and ice calving off of glaciers and falling into the ocean, are only recent phenomena associated with global warming? You surely know that hurricane experts have been warning congress for many years that the natural cycle in hurricanes would return some day, and that our built-up coastlines were ripe for a disaster (like Katrina, which you highlighted in the movie). And as long as snow continues to fall on glaciers, they will continue to flow downhill toward the sea. Yet you made it look like these things wouldn't happen if it weren't for global warming. Also, since there are virtually no measures of severe weather showing a recent increase, I assume those graphs you showed actually represented damage increases, which are well known to be simply due to greater population and wealth. Is that right?
Well, sometimes you need an "over-representation of the facts," you see.
— Ace Another scoop for the Radio Equalizer. It's sad-- great blog, but he's killing his meal-ticket.
Although, it would be funny if Radio Equalizer just began following around a homeless Al Franken in the street, turning in reports every day about what tasty morsels Franken had "liberated" from a dumpster. I'd link that every Sacred-Feminine-Damn day.
Maloney notes that lefties just don't understand how to work in the private sector. They're so used to working in government or the academy or the entertainment biz where stuff like expenses and performance and profits don't matter, they're baffled to hear about some "voodoo capitalist balderdash" about inflow exceeding outflow.
Quoting a the great scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur Dr. Raymond Stantz:
Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*.
— Ace I think I just had a psychogenic orgasm.
Allah's post ends with a curious link: Anderson Cooper bragging about all the hot tail he scored at Yale, and suggesting that many of the graduates there might be his illegitimate children.
One might say that he, like Jim McGreevey, became as "avid a womanizer" as anyone else.
Let me quote Kathy Griffin on Clay Aiken: "Clay Aiken-- he's all about the p*ssy."
— Ace But you don't have to read it. Because next week someone else will write the exact same cant-rant. These things are tedious in their monotony and derivativeness.
I saw a cool word on Jeff Goldstein's site the other day. Had no idea what it meant, so I looked it up.
Main Entry: phatÂ·ic
Etymology: Greek phatos, verbal of phanai to speak
: of, relating to, or being speech used for social or emotive purposes rather than for communicating information
Perfect. So much of what these people write is purely phatic. It is not novel in its analysis or perspective or presentation of facts; nor is it really intended to be. It communicates approximately the same amount of genuine information as a "Hey, how's it goin'? Lovely weather we've been having, eh?"
What if they gave a war...?
Sacred Feminine All Mighty, that is musty. The old "What if they gave a war and no one showed up?" nonsense.
That's as ancient as the mouldering pages of the Necronomicon. But, alas, it has none of the talismanic power of an eldritch incantation.
1968. It was the height of the Vietnam War, the year of My Lai and the Tet offensive. Student riots in Paris nearly brought down the French government. Soviet tanks put a premature end to Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring.
Does anyone really need an explanation of 1968 at this point? Of course not; it's purely phatic. He's not delivering information; he's merely demonstrating his membership in a certain political tribe by saying the proper pass-code.
In the United States, the streets were teeming with antiwar protesters and civil rights demonstrators. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated within two months of each other. The Democratic convention in Chicago dissolved into chaos. And by the summer, America's cities were in flames.
Really? I'd never heard.
The world was seething, and for good reason. There was a lot to be angry about. It was a lousy year, 1968.
I was in high school then. I quit the baseball team because, frankly, sports seemed frivolous. In 1968, there were more important things to worry about than perfecting a curveball. All very high-minded and, in retrospect, more than a little pompous.
Just a little, mind you. Thank the Sacred Feminine he's managed to contain that self-righteousness and pomposity at his late age.
But nearly 40 years down the road I don't regret having done it.
I'm sure Major League Baseball doesn't regret it, either.
My political consciousness was awakened and I was actively engaged in the world around me.
Has there been a single word yet which was not entirely predictable? The Sacred Feminine preserve us, there has not yet been a single word written that any of us couldn't have written as a parody, while on auto-pilot.
But as bad as things were then, they seem infinitely worse now.
But of course they are, darling. It's always worse. Nixon was the worst, ever. Then Reagan was the worst, ever. A couple of times when Clinton made half-hearted nods to social conservativism, preemptive military action, or fiscal sanity, he was the worst, ever.
And now, of course, George Bush is the super-duper-we-really-mean-it-this-time worst ever. Cubed.
So why aren't the streets clogged with angry Americans demanding to know why their president lied and deceived them so he could attack a country that had absolutely nothing to do with his so-called war on terror?
Take a guess. Seriously, guess the answer to his rhetorical question. See how close you come.
In short, where the hell is everybody?
I'll tell you where they are. They're at home, tuning in to root for the next "American idol." They're plugged into their iPods, utterly self-involved and disconnected from what lies just outside their doors. They're spending 25 hours a week playing video games in virtual worlds instead of fighting to save the only world that really matters. They're surfing porn. They're text messaging and e-mailing and scheming to close that next big deal. They're flogging their useless crap on eBay.
All that technology at their fingertips, and they're completely blind. Two terms for George W. Bush? They're deaf and dumb, too.
Bread and circuses. The government and the corporations are giving us bread and circuses to keep us sufficiently distracted so the powers that be can pursue their agendas. Television (flat screens only, please) serves up Donald Trump and Paris Hilton as role models, and gives us the abomination of Fox News, which is more a wolf in sheep's clothing than any Vulpes vulpes you're likely to encounter.
Hollywood only cares about blockbusters, chick flicks and inane buddy movies. Tiresome reality doesn't make for good escapism and, more importantly, it doesn't fill coffers. And George Clooney can't be expected to produce every movie.
Whither the press? Forget it. Britney Spears gets more ink -- and better play -- than global warming does.
The real voices of dissent and engagement are found on the internet these days, but the internet is simply too diffuse to effectively galvanize a revolution.
And we desperately need a revolution.
Award yourself 1 point if you guessed the answer would involve the other opiate of the masses, television. Give yourself 3 points if you guessed he would specifically mention American Idol, and two more points if you said he'd say Fox News. (Only two points for Fox News -- it's a little too obvious, non?)
Give yourself 2 points for naming each of the following: iPods, the Internet, porn, emails, text message. Give yourself a big ten point bonus if you connected any of these to "scheming to close that big deal."
Three points for any guesses of the names Donald Trump or Paris Hilton or Britney spears; 10 points if you deduced Hollywood, except for George Clooney, was to blame.
Four big points for guessing "bread and circuses."
And finally, one additional point for guessing that he'd end by noting we need a revolution now (because, hey, the previous one in 1968 was so much fun). Only one point because, let's face it, we knew where that train was headed the moment it left the station.
Why would anyone feel compelled to write such obvious, tired musty cant?
Why would anyone -- even an on-line "magazine" -- feel there was any value in publishing it?
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