Thursday, March 27, 2008

democratic fatigue

It's finally happened: I am tired of all the election coverage. I admittedly binged on the earlier primaries and was fully absorbed by the race to the party nominations. now? I'm simply tired of hearing about it. About what do you ask?

Obama's Lack of a Flag Lapel Pin
This is retarded. Why is he not patriotic for not wearing a flag pin? Is this standard politician uniform nonsense, doled out alongside stars and stripes boxers? Don't we have a better measure for patriotism than adorning oneself with a 10 dollar metal trinket? The guy obviously has a sense of style; maybe he just doesn't want that irritating hole left in his Italian suits that pins would certainly leave in his fancy lapel?

McCain's Insanity
I am not going to vote Republican, but I still really wanted to like John McCain. Unfortunately, he is nuts and I am prevented from doing this. When asked about how to solve the current economic woes in the U.S., he began by focusing on the importance of free markets. Ok John, I'm with you. I believe in free markets too. Then he attributed the current issues to legislative and regulatory impediments. What? Are you kidding me? What statutes and encumbrances inhibited the lenders from writing billions of dollars of really ill-advised debt? Isn't that what's at the heart of much of today's financial woes? I'm all for a smaller govt footprint, but excessive greed and myopia has dealt us a serious blow, let's own up to it and do whatever we can do to prevent it in the future. Reluctantly, I think this means correcting issues created by capitalistic excess in this case.

Obama's Preacher
Get over it. The guy's preacher has an abrasive, old school style of preaching that is at least confrontational if not openly racist and wrong-headed. Obama should know better, but who agrees with everything they hear at church? Or in any other group? A thinking, independent person will typically filter what data they take in and accept only what makes sense to them. Why would someone instantly attribute all the beliefs of the ppl who are listening to the one that is speaking? I can understand the temptation to do this, but we need to be smarter than this. We not only have the printing press, but YouTube as well. Let's give ourselves a bit more credit.

I'm done with her little lies, awkward attempts at humor and most importantly establishment politicking. While I frankly think her policies, experience and budget objectives are more aligned with what I want than Obama's, I'm so turned off by her person that I'm afraid I can't vote for her. I just don't trust her.

Having said all of this, I can't believe the current breed of tyrants running the white house and any of today's flawed candidates will be an improvement over GW and Cheney. I was incensed this week to read Cheney's quote of "So?" in terse reaction to the american public's lack of support for the war in iraq. The white house spokesperson, in a failed attempt to recover, stated that the american ppl get the chance to vote every 4 years. WTF? So they can do whatever they want in the interim? No matter how bad the current crop of candidates seem, can it really get any worse than this? Warp speed captain, bring on November!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

current playlist

all i really want - viktoria mullova - through the looking glass
tick tick boom - the hives - the black and white album
bombs - faithless - to all new arrivals
silverlake pills - adam freeland - silverlake pills e.p.
bump bump - skeewiff feat. young mc - the jalapeno sound system
hong kong - gorillaz - help: a day in the life
twice - little dragon - little dragon
meant to be - dub specimen ltd feat. little tasha - oliver peoples 5 (compilation)
the longest road - morgan page - the longest road e.p.
mandarin girl - booka shade - movement
hope - jack johnson - sleep through the static
cologne cerrone houdini - goldfrapp - seventh tree

detroit city: a pictoral by whit

whit clements, the goalie on my inline hockey team, is also from michigan and a pretty good amateur photographer. he snapped the shots below on a recent trip to the motor city. check 'em out.ketel one? belvedere? chopin? step aside my friends and take your fancy pants foreign names with you. this is mohawk town! mohawk vodka, that is. i'm betting mohawk has been in a helluva lot more brown bags than martinis.

sort of speaks for itself eh? remember how i mentioned the cute, fuzzy graffiti i saw in italy. yikes. this is our goodfellas to their pokemon.

sites like this are not that uncommon. urban decay in detroit is in advanced stages, it has every feeling of a city without hope.

old mills and abandoned industrial yards. sites like this have been mined for scrap metal which can be re-sold. i read a story a few months ago about people ganking air conditioners and phone lines so that they can be sold as scrap. detroit = desperation.

and on a lighter note :-)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

outro feb, intro march

it's been a while since my last "real" post. while i normally get a lot of these done on the road this past journey had too many cities in too little time: stockholm, oslo, copenhagen, milan. it was all i could do to keep my breath with the planes & hotel rooms. i'll post some pics after i get home and settled in, but in no particular order, here are my thoughts on the plane ride home:

all airports should have hardwood floors.
every airport in scandanavia does (that i saw) and it completely changes how you feel about the space, turning what could have been a bustling, stress-ridden thoroughfare into something not unlike an ikea living room display floor. they should hire the norwegians to extreme makeover the dirtbag airport that is LAX. just left charles de gaulle and even the french are kicking our butts with clean & stylish airports. the french! these are the people who thought red pants would make great camouflage in world war 1 and inaugurated consumption of snails.

faded empires don't suck.
this was an important one i contemplated while cruising around stockholm. i understand the swedes used to be a dominant society at several times in history. now they are relegated to bestowing upon us meatballs with lingon berries, disposable design furniture and the occasional pop or movie star (think abba, greta garbo, dolph lundgren, etc.). none of this is bad, but it's not exactly shaping the future of humanity. having said that, the swedes seemed genuinely happy with their lot in life even though their one-time glory is mostly recalled now in advanced college history courses and commerative shot glasses with really small font. relate this to where we are now in the US and i think we can take some comfort from the fact that other nations have quietly slipped into a background role on the world stage where they were once playing the star. and, following their adoption of a lesser role, people seem really ok with it. really. sooooooooooo... heed my call citizens of the u.s.a.: it is time to figure out what our new contribution to the world since the day will soon be upon us when we will hand the keys over to the chinese. i'm betting it will still be media and some form of hollywood that does not include kanye west-- i heard the man rap about klondike bars at the grammies. what the hell is that?

graffiti doesn't have to be gang-related or violent.
this one is sort of obvious, but i think i lost this sometime in LA. in fact, i think it relates directly back to jonathan who can explain which tagging relates back specifically to which gang did it and where they're from. for example, after spotting the "TMK" tagged onto our trash can a few months ago, jonathan sagely advised me that "too much krap" had staked a claim onto our trash bin. apparently they are a mexico-based gang that is on the rise in socal. i'm fine with them tagging our trash can, but if they are going to claim some portion of it, the least they could do is take it out for us every now and again. anyways, back to my point, which is as follows: graffiti in italy was downright cute and fluffy in some areas and artistic and fun in others. why does is almost all of our graffiti in LA so ugly and bleak? granted, we have some cool street murals like the "art of chase" and wyland stuff, but impromptu street art is not our flavor apparently. too much krap indeed...

it's floor happy face.
can we just standardize on what floor the lobby level is on? some places it is "ground", which i'm ok with. other places it is "1" and commonly in europe it is "0". which i can appreciate. it's all too confusing though; i think we should just replace all of it with a star or a happy face. this works for me. on another note, while explaining that we did not name the latest version of our backup and recovery s/w version 13 (went straight to 14 from version 12) for the same reason many buildings do not have 13 floors, a smug italian pr person commented to me (in front of about 20 italian journalists) that 13 was actually lucky in italy. go figure. i remarked that it was an ethopian guy who had made the decision (which it was), which i figure was about the best defense i had at the time.

english rules.
now you can't just go assuming everyone speaks english, especially cab drivers, but if you had to choose one language to carry you around the globe you'd be well served to through english in your knap sack. this is really the benefit of the work the british started so long ago, hollywood has more gently influenced and the internet is perpetuating. just try and find an internet protocol that you have to spell out in french, italian or any other language. really. so to the victors go the spoils: we can travel damn near anywhere and step 2 paces beyond everyone else's pointing and grunting when they don't speak the language b/c everyone has seen our movies, had at least a little high school english or visited an adult website on the internet. while the chinese will eat our lunch economically, i don't think they will have much luck replacing english as a form of clumsy esperanto worldwide. their character system was nearly designed to prevent literacy, the language is impossibly tonal and (apologies, but let's be honest), it's just plain ugly to the eardrums. so while we will no longer be able to afford to travel internationally with our already flaccid dollar bills, when the chinese or russian tourist offers to buy our house with cash, they will at least have to suffer the indignity of doing it in english.