Here we go this week. More political ones than most weeks, mainly because I'm annoyed and the best way for me to be all pithy about political stuff is through Sentential Links.
:: Strange how the Republicans keep falling afoul of family values.
:: Protecting 16 year old boys wasn’t his priority. Protecting the Republican majority was. Even if it included a generous pedophile.
:: As it stands right now, it looks like Tom Reynolds has something in common with former Boston Archbishop Bernard Law. (Two links about Tom Reynolds, because he's a Big Head in the Republican leadership and he's one of the US Reps from the Buffalo Niagara region. And he is, in my estimation, friggin' scum. He's not my Rep, so I don't get to vote against him. How bad is Reynolds? He's got me rooting for Jack Davis, a guy whose economic positions don't appeal to me at all. But then, I get to vote for or against Brian Higgins, a "Democrat" who has stood up to be counted with the Republicans on many a nauseating bill in this, his first term in Congress. I like Higgins's yeoman work on Buffalo region economic development, but on other stuff, he sucks, too.)
:: At this point, anything that hurts the Republicans helps the Republic: it's that simple. (A terrible place to be, really, for that level of partisanization is extremely dangerous and in the medium term will corrupt the Democrats too. But it's true.) So the developing scandal is, to repeat, something that will give a cheer -- grim cheer, given the actual lives damaged by these men -- to all people of good will.
But I must admit that my other reaction is: for !@#$%'s sake, this, this, this is what we're upset about?!?
Last week the Congress of the United States passed a bill to legalize torture and end habeas corpus, the most fundamental legal right in our legal system -- the Military Dictatorship Act of 2006 -- and we're worried about some !@#$%ing sex scandal?!? (Yup, point taken. I think that whatever changed on 9-11-01 is right back to being as it was; once again we're easily distracted by the Mark Foleys and Gary Condits of the world.)
:: The people in government are just people. They have human weaknesses like everyone else. Merely wanting to be in a position of power is reason enough to suspect any person's motives. (Isn't that the truth. I remember when I was in high school, and how creepy the kids were who really really really wanted to be class president. Well, isn't wanting to be US President even bigger? But still, I'm a sucker for political personalities too. I saw the camera cut to Bill Clinton sitting in one of the boxes at yesterday's Bills game, and I cheered. Oh well.
BTW, in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, part of the Martian legislature is filled by citizens of Mars who are literally chosen by lottery, almost like jury duty. I've always liked that idea on some intuitive level.)
:: It means that George Bush and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove have lost control of the story. They are no longer driving the narrative.
Unfortunately, they are still driving the country.
:: State of Denial may only be a reflection of Woodward's sources, but for a discerning reader the zeitgeist of those sources is what the book is all about anyway. Thanks to Woodward, we can now say with confidence that it's not just liberals who think Bush is a nitwit anymore. Bush's supporters think he's a nitwit too.
:: I'm tired of being led by moral cowards. I want better for myself, and for my country.
:: A certain number of our elite pundits -- Mallaby high among them -- are just constitutionally incapable of being nice to the Democratic Party or to American liberals. As the right's rule proves itself to be worse and worse, they'll become increasingly critical of Bush. But that merely forces them to devise ever-more complaints about the opposition. And one of the Democrats' very worst instincts is a tendecy to care about what these kind of people think.
:: Let him who has ears, hear!
Now for a couple of non-political ones, just to keep my head from exploding:
:: Everyone knows Southern California has its own equinox and solstice, anchored to local seasons: flood, drought, mudslide and earthquake. Most reliable of them all, fire season has now arrived with a vengeance.
:: Heroes is a cool, fun, interesting concept, poorly executed.
:: I have a lot of issues with Heroes but at its most basic level, it's just not any fun.
(Geez, I kinda liked Heroes, although I too could have done without the "stripper with the heart of gold" subplot. But I'd posit that the stripper's "power", a mirror-reflection self that seems capable of independent action, may not make her a hero but the first supervillain the eventual "heroes" face. I enjoyed the show's slow pacing, too, although this show runs the risk of boring me quickly like Lost did. I'll watch a few more episodes, anyway. That second link about Heroes, by the way, comes from the blog of TV writer Kay Reindl, who among other projects wrote a number of fine episodes of Millennium.)
:: I will add, however, that being one of the "best console shooters out there" is not very high praise. This is akin to being the world’s cutest cockroach, or the world’s sexist leper. (For some reason I'm really digging reading stuff about games, even though I play no games at all because the Gods of Time and of Happy Marriages would kick my ass on a tag-team basis were I to start. My last computer game was Riven. I love a fun game, but believe me, it's best that way.)
:: One thing I've pounded home, here and elsewhere, is that the introduction to Shakespeare should be as much like Shakespeare's intended experience as possible -- that is, his plays were meant to be seen and heard, not read. (Ahhh, M-Mv -- the perfect antidote to being too politically pissed-off.)
OK, more next week. Maybe I won't be so annoyed at the state of the world by then; you never know. But hey, imagine what this post would be like if the Bills had lost!