Friday, August 24, 2007

Ask me why and I'll...

Hey everyone -- sorry I've been away so long.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with responses to this post. Here are a few more semi-random thoughts on patriotism and obligation. Feel free to respond!

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
--Samuel Johnson

"Being here in America doesn't make you an American. Being born here in America doesn't make you an American....I'm not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag- waver-no, not I."
--Hajj Malik Shabazz/Malcolm X

"I decreed today that life is simply taking and not giving/England is mi-i-ine/And it owes me everything./But ask me why and I'll spit in your eye/Ask me why and I'll spit in your eye.""
-- The Smiths

Also, I've been thinking about this stuff (and the questions of property that Mel raised) in relation to the stories we grow up with. Has anyone out there seen Hometsar Runner's "cheat commandos"? The best parody of GI Joe ever. The theme song goes:

"Cheat Commandos -- they're fighting for freedom and each is sold separately!
Cheat Commandos -- they're battling evil; buy all our playsets and toys!"

Which, in some strange way, sums a lot of things up.

PS - "Ibn Bint Jbail", what's up!? My wife and I have one of your prints hanging above our couch in the living room. And your little ones are adorable! More soon...

Monday, August 20, 2007

"We can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy!"

Like many a disgruntled person with a "foreign" name, I'm often asked "If you're so unhappy with the US, why don't you just leave?" Well, a) I was born here (as were my folks), b) Everyone I love is here, c) Living on a piece of stolen land does not ethically oblige one to obey the nation-state that occupies it, and d) I love New York City, which belongs to the world as much as it does the US.

But the biggest reason is that American power is, at this point in history, a *global* force that can't be avoided. Which is why I need my own planet to exercise my benevolent but authoritarian rule over! According to the following quiz, that planet would be Saturn. Join me in my conquest! Or find out what planet *you* should rule.

You Should Rule Saturn

Saturn is a mysterious planet that can rarely be seen with the naked eye.

You are perfect to rule Saturn because like its rings, you don't always follow the rules of nature.
And like Saturn, to really be able to understand you, someone must delve beyond your appearance.

You are not an easy person to befriend. However, once you enter a friendship, you'll be a friend for life.
You think slowly but deeply. You only gain great understanding after a situation has past.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No, really, it's "edgy", not blackface...

I'm somewhat speechless at American Apparel's recent quasi-blackface spread in Britain's i-D magazine. Of course, loudmouth that I am, "speechless" just means an angry rant that is less coherent than my usual rants! Let me just say, then: Dov Charney (AA's punk-ass founder and CEO) is not a rebel or an envelope-pusher or a "cool capitalist" or an anti-sweatshop progressive. He's a stupid, ugly, overpaid, prep-school rich kid who really, really deserves swift kicks-in-the-nuts-o-plenty. And then a couple of swift kicks in the teeth for good measure. Here are a few reasons why.

If I could get that millionaire prick in a corner I'd say "Sexually harassing your employees, union busting, and using exploitative ads are not edgy behaviors, you little hipster twit. They're just more of the same ol same ol." Then the swift kicking mentioned above would commence. Too bad bodyguards and cops work for rich people... But a man can dream about shuttin 'em down, right?