Thursday, September 20, 2007

So Bored is So Tired...

...of the dehumanization/demonization of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Now they won't let him visit ground zero to lay a wreath! Since the towers fell, I've had to listen to probably twenty parties of clueless pudwucker tourists on the subway go on about the cool pictures they just took at Ground Zero. Like it's Mt.-fucking-Rushmore or something. And now the PRESIDENT of another country -- a country that condemned the attacks on 9/11 and offered condolences along with the rest of the world -- wants to, in his own words, "pay respect to the innocent victims", but he can't. The treatment Ahmadinejad has received from New York City's government and from politicians and the press in general is disgusting. The cops are claiming operational issues in denying a visit. But pretty much everyone else is spouting invective, from City Council people to Bush's pet/token ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to Rudy "The evil skull *shall* be president!" Giuliani. Is Ahmadinejad a power-hungry strongman who loves the cameras too much? Yes. But the racist, belligerent 'logic' that says Ahmadinejad should be prevented from visiting Ground Zero because he's 'like' al-Qaeda is...well, racist and belligerent.

Another Reason That Bowie Rules

There's a long list of reasons to give props to David Bowie. He's written some of the best rock songs ever. He's reinvented himself numerous times without getting too cheesy (for the most part). He was one of the very few white artists to be on Soul Train in the 70s*. He's a diehard New Yorker but sings "I'm Afraid of Americans". He's aged with more dignity than any other rock star. And he married Iman! Now my #1 "must see in concert before I leave this earth" act has added to his list of accomplishments. He's donating $10,000 to the Jena Six's legal defense fund. "There is clearly a separate and unequal judicial process going on in the town of Jena," the Thin White Duke said in an email to the AP. "A donation to the Jena Six Legal Defense Fund is my small gesture indicating my belief that a wrongful charge and sentence should be prevented." Cool.

*(I tried to post a link to a youtube clip of this, but I got the awesome message "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Don Cornelius Productions, Inc" -- Make that money, Don! Solid! )

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Republicans shout "Kick protestors' asses!", Democrats mumble "Umm, err, maybe you shouldn't" -- is there a difference?

On Monday, during a campus Q & A with Senator John "we will kill the terrorists" Kerry, University of Florida student Andrew Meyer was Tasered and arrested by several punk-ass doin-whatever-The-Man-tells-them-to-do slabs-O'-pork...err, police officers. Meyer, according to various accounts, shouted, jumped to the head of the question line, and/or refused to stop speaking when his time was up. In the aftermath, video of the incident has spread all over the Internet.

All sorts of people have pointed out that Meyer's behavior was theatrical and obnoxious. That he was a bit of a doofus ("Don't Tase me, bro!" he shouts in the video). That he had a history of pulling pranks and that he was performing for the camera. Fine. But none of that justifies police brutality! There were at least five cops there, and this guy was not exactly a powerhouse. They had this kid ON THE FLOOR and they still Tasered him! A Taser is not just a little electric shock. It is a torturous, potentially lethal weapon -- classified, in fact, by police and manufacturer literature as a "less lethal" (as in not NON-lethal) alternative to firearms. Why didn't they just drag him out?

After the incident, the officers were placed on PAID leave -- a vacation, essentially. The Kerry machine and the school administration released some generic 'we regret this incident'-type statements -- as if this was a tornado or some other act of nature, and not a human act for which guilty parties should be held accountable. More than anything, this incident is a telling instance of mainstream-liberal culture's failure to check the police state in any meaningful way. In the video, one can hear Kerry mumbling half-assedly "OK, I think if everyone just calms down we can all...blah blah blah". Why is he not shouting at the cops to stop!? He later claimed that he didn't know the kid was being Tasered (just like he didn't know Bush was lying about Iraqi WMDs)!

Sigh. Given Kerry's record, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised -- in fact, it is precisely this kind of complicity with foul forces that Meyer was asking about: his questions had to do with a) Kerry conceding the 2004 election even though there was clear evidence that the Black vote was distorted (in Bush's favor) in Ohio b) Kerry's refusal to even consider impeachment proceedings against Bush and c) Kerry's membership in the same elitist Yale secret society (Skull and Bones) as Bush. All valid questions for people (the Senate Democrats) who are claiming to oppose the way Bush does things, but who, in practice, are not a whole lot different.

As an aside, it's lucky for Meyer that he's white, otherwise the response would have been even worse. As we learned last November, just going to the library can get you Tasered if you're Middle Eastern.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Peaceful Journey to Robert Jordan

Bestselling fantasy author Robert Jordan has passed away. I've been a fantasy novel nerd since...well, since forever, and Jordan has always been one of my favorites. We were worlds apart politically, and his later books were notoriously slow, but I must have read The Eye of The World five or six times now -- no small thing, as it's something like 700 pages long! It's also one of the best fantasy novels ever written. Maybe it's time to re-read The Great Hunt for the fifth time...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Damn, they couldn't even send him to Disneyland?

CNN today reports on the latest solution to the mass murder and deprivation that the US invasion has sparked in Iraq: theme parks! Youssif [his last name is being kept confidential] is a very sweet-seeming Iraqi kid that has been in the American media spotlight since he was savagely attacked and burned by masked men earlier this year. Unlike the vast majority of Iraqis, Youssif's family was able to escape the chaos and come to the US. But to hear CNN tell it, you would think that going to Universal Studios and hugging some weird guy in a Spider-Man costume can erase war trauma, physical scarring, forced migration, the loss of everything known or familiar, coming to a country that is at war with other Iraqis, lack of a job, etc. Thank God Youssif and his family are relatively safe now, but what about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who have died since the US first invaded a decade and a half ago? What about the hundreds of thousands that are deformed from our sanctions and our depleted uranium bombs? What about the kids that can't go to school because of the post-Saddam chaos? What is Captain America going to do for them?

Waitaminute, isn't Cap dead? Aaagghhh! Run Youssif! It's a zombie Captain America!