It’s not like the other canadian commentary on America

It might just piss you off, but maybe you should be pissed off, and maybe not at the author of this article. He's vitriolic, to say the least, but if you can read it without being offended, it might give you something to think about.

Open Letter to America from a Canadian (August 7, 2002)

Okay, here's the other one, for comparison:

“The Americans” by Gordon Sinclair (1973)

I think I'd rather be happy and jolly reading the Gordon Sinclair article, but that might just be deluding myself. Maybe I shouldn't post either.

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Everybody’s workin’ for the weekend

romp.jpg
Except me. I'm locked into an insomnia swing set. It's like one of those magnetic desktop swinging things, like seem like they're about to pick a direction but then suddenly spin around in a crazy whirlwind.

Not that I've been spinning around much. Mostly I've been programming and watching CNN, because all the Iraq news is new at 3AM. It's the biggest train wreck that I have ever seen. I have already discussed the war at length, and I think that I will not bore you again with that today.

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I picked my mom up at work today, and in return I got a six pack of delicious Summit Pale Ale. Now that's service. I showed her my Mardi Gras photos, and she reminded me that I have some really cool shots in there. If you haven't already, please check it out.

My mom's husband, John, showed me his new PC mastering studio. He's using Wavelab, and it's pretty sweet. He has officially gone from confirmed luddite to freaky nerd hacker guy. He replaced the cooling fan on his video card with about 60 pounds of copper heat sink. It's so wrong, and yet so very right. I'm so proud of him.

Back in the day- late in 2001- John and my mom wanted a PC. They got a free used PC from John's work. I pulled that PC apart and used a few bits from it to build a working PC for him. At that time John and my mom had a budget of whatever money I could contribute. Within a year they were getting high speed internet service and buying laptops. Now I can't visit without spending an hour on their PC - as they show me things!

So tomorrow is another job interview. Perhaps “job interview” is too strong a word, since I'm going to a temp agency to sign up and take a battery of tests. ProStaff hasn't been making with the jobs, so I'm trying a few others.

Four years ago, when I temped, I would finish a job and I'd already be taking calls for the next one. What happened? Argh. I just want to work, and it's making me crazy.

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Go Michael!

Michael Moore blasts U.S. war

On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction. We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition of duct tape or fictition of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much. –Michael Moore (2003 Oscars)

At this point I don't even care if he was right or not. Anyone who was surprised by what he said doesn't understand his methods of operation, which are to say the most inappropriate and uncomfortable thing possible to make a point. He received an Oscar for those very same methods. You can't applaud him and then rebuke him in the same breath. Well, actually you can, because that's your right to do so. I believe in the everyone's right to speak their mind, especially if it is really funny, really important or both.

It was so sweet backstage, you should have seen it. The Teamsters were helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo. –Steve Martin (2003 Oscars)

I think that Steve Martin summed up my feelings best- that Moore had just dealt himself a difficult hand. Whatever you say, I think that you should have to deal with the consequences. The Teamsters don't have the right to rough someone up, but they could boo all they want, show up at Moore's home and confront him with photos of Saddam's atrocities, camp out at Moore's office asking for interviews- well, you know, all the stones that Michael Moore is throwing at other people's glass houses.

Backstage at the Oscars, Moore was asked why he made the remarks. Moore answered: “I'm an American.”

“Is that all?” a reporter asked.

“Oh, that's a lot,” Moore answered.

“What was the lesson that we taught children of Columbine this week? … That violence is an acceptable means to resolve a conflict,” Moore said.

“I'm an American, and you don't leave your citizenship when you enter the doors of the Kodak Theatre. What's great about this country is that you can speak your mind,” he said.

He said that, far from being appalled, many people in the audience stood up to applaud him.

“I say tonight I put America in a good light,” he said praising the decision to push ahead with the Oscars despite the war raging in the Middle East.

“I showed how vital it is to have free speech in our country and all Americans have the right to stand up for what they believe in,” he said.

Moore told reporters: “Don't report that there was split decision in the hall because five loud people booed.”

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we jumped into this war too quickly, and we should have waited for the United Nations. Moore's message is to think very hard about our actions. When Moore thinks very hard he doesn't see war. When I think very hard I see that we are running headlong into a tar pit. I've already heard Iraq compared to Southeast Asia. I'm prepared to be wrong. I'd prefer to be wrong on this, but I'm not in charge of that.

I wish our troops health, safety and a speedy return.

If Frida was alive, she would be on our side, against war. –Gael Garcia Bernal (2003 Oscars)

[I dedicate this award to] all the people that are raising their voices in favor of peace, respect of human rights, democracy and international legality, all of which are essential qualities to live. –Pedro Almodovar (2003 Oscars)

It fills me with great joy but I am also filled with a lot of sadness tonight, because I am accepting an award at such a sad time. My experiences in making this film made me very aware of the sadness and dehumanization of people in times of war and the repercussions of war. Whatever you believe in, whether it's God or Allah, let's pray for a peaceful and swift resolution and may he watch over you. –Adrien Brody (2003 Oscars)

In light of all the troubles in this world. I wish us all peace. –Chris Cooper (2003 Oscars)

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Blowin’ Up Stuff

Another sleepless night- not because I'm worried about things like jobs and war, but more because I'm just wide awake. I'm watching the war coverage on CNN.

Okay, I'm not a saint. I enjoy watching stuff blow up. Case(s) in point:

http://gallery.jpmullan.com/fireworks

http://gallery.jpmullan.com/2002independenceday
I understand that fireworks are really different from war.

Nonetheless, I'm enjoying watching Marines dump high explosives into unmanned enemy tanks. I'm enjoying watching Marines fire .50 caliber machine guns into abandoned Iraqi trucks. Wow! Cool!

Does that make me a bad person? I don't want people to die, and the US went in too soon, like a hotshot in a Navy pilot movie. This looks like a rerun of a bad movie and I'm not interested in watching it- except that I can't stop watching it.

We should have waited for the UN. This is crazy and scary. I fear retribution from terrorist groups who consider the US an imperialist country. I love my country, and as far as I know we an imperialist (anymore).

Even if we suppose that we are in the right in our actions, are we being a good world citizen by ignoring the wishes of our friends and neighbors?

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Coolest… Thing… Ever

It's all about the hotbuggy.

Imagine it with me: you, with a go-kart on dirt. You know you want it. You do.

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Fark Party!

Fark Party Minneapolis/St. Paul this Friday (tomorrow) no matter what happens in the middle east. Fark Party Decorah, IA the following Tuesday:
{from FARK}

If you don't know about Fark.com, well, uh… you should. It's fun 'n' stuff. The guy who runs it is coming to Minneapolis. Drinking ensues.

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It gives a sense of hope.

Optimus Prime is heading out to the Middle East:
{from FARK}

Thanks to Matt for forwarding me the information that really makes a difference

Transformers! More than meets the eye

Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of The Decepticons.

Transformers! Robots in disguise.

Transformers! More than meets the eye.

Transformers!

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Boom

Saddam Hussein orders the execution of his opponents.

Everybody's talking about it! It's the new thing! Oh hell. I'm terrified.

Our military is the best in the world. I wish our troops health, safety and a speedy return. Saddam Hussein has taken evil actions in the past and he will do so again.

I just don't know for sure that these reasons are enough for us to go to war.

  1. reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither

    1. adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq
    2. nor

    3. likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq;

    and

  2. acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Saddam Hussein orders more executions

Bush's explanation seems to have three parts.

  1. Iraq is a military threat to the US
  2. Iraq is disobeying UN edicts
  3. Iraq supported the terrorists from 9/11

Can Iraq attack the US using conventional military methods? Can Iragi missiles, planes, or troops reach the US?

Isn't the US disobeying UN edicts?

Iraqi Stromtroopers

Can a line be traced from the 9/11 terrorists to Saddam Hussein? I would buy general terrorist ties without further explanation, but I want more proof before I believe that this is retribution for the events of September 11th. I have an emotional attachment to the idea of revenge- I want revenge, but I want it to be on the right people, otherwise it's just misdirected anger.

It's too late to debate. We are taking our course of action, and I'm sure that the repercussions are already in motion. Be cautious. Be afraid. We won't be untouched by war forever, and we might have started something that we will regret. We should have waited for the UN.

Then came Peter to him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”

Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

King James Version of the Bible

Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, Verses 21-22

Then again, didn't a lot of Christians get eaten by lions? Sometimes you have to draw a line. I just think that line should have been drawn amongst international agreement.

Hilary Andersson prepares for chemical or biological attack in Northern Kuwait

The BBC has terrific news coverage. The thumbnails are from their broadcast on the local public television station.

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I’m waiting to watch Angel



Somehow, somewhere, at some point in my life, I became addicted to Angel- not just because David Boreanaz is a USDA Choice piece of man-meat, not just because Charisma Carpenter and Amy Acker make me crazy insane. There is a dearth of good Sci-Fi/Fantasy television programming, and Angel makes up for- no, it's the HOT chicks.

So, after a half hour of drumming my fingers while my roommate readied himself for the total experience that is Angel (including special guest star Eliza Dushku as Faith: HOT), we settled in to watch what promised to be the climax to the epic Angel/Angelus story arc. Even Alyson Hannigan was back as Willow, the HOT lesbian witch.

Let's discuss the “HOT lesbian witch” thing for a minute- and not just because that is something that I would enjoy seeing more of. I guess that I could say that I've known hot witches, hot lesbians, and lesbian witches, but rarely do all three coincide. Maybe that's what happens when you live near a hellmouth. Wait a minute, I don't know any vampires or slayers, either. I guess that's just what we will call “the hellmouth effect”.

So anyway, Willow swoops in, saves the day (but, sadly, does not have any American Pie moments), and then leaves with Faith in tow. I guess that four HOT, powerful, intelligent women were too much for Angel. Sonofa. It wasn't too much for me. I felt a little cheated by this episode, since it seemed to have too many extraneous flashback scenes and not enough ass-kicking. This particular mini story arc (the involvement of Faith) was full of wonderful hand-to-hand combat and witty rejoinder, but it ended in tepid Buffy-styled poo. I was expecting a big, climactic battle across mulitple dimensions and visions of reality, but Willow just magically busted the Giant Jar of Angel Soul and twitched her nose until Angel's soul popped back into his body. Terrific.

Oh yeah, spoilers.

I'm still in the “Angel is a good show, worthy of entertaining me” camp, but even good shows can let you down. Also, my friend Lisa correctly predicted the evilness of faux-Cordelia, and mentioned that good Cordelia would never wear something as ugly as at the end of the show - all black and fringey and just plain wrong. It was almost bad enough to make me forget that Charisma Carpenter is HOT.

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I like pooping

Well, okay. So, here I am at 4am, up with the laptop and HBO. “Punchline” is on, and again, it's another movie about one's career shaping one's existance. What do you do if you don't have an active career? I think that I was okay with all of it as long as I had cash flowing in and out, but all of a sudden there's no more give. I've stretched the cash as far as it will go, and now I'm gonna start selling plasma.

It helps, I think, that I didn't take up my father's awful habits like drinking and drugs. You can keep a few hundred bucks going a lot farther if you aren't snorting it up your nose.

I was almost working at the plasma place. I made it through two behavioral interviews, which were not quite as grueling as was promised to me by the friend who referred me. If you ever get the chance to be- uh- behaviorally interviewed - I highly recommend it. It's… fun.

So, after making it through two interviews and being promised a third (with the regional director), I suffered through insomnia until 7am. My vibrating alarm clock shook me into awakening and I jumped into the shower. The phone rang, and my friend informed me that I would not be interviewing with the regional director on that day.

I was offered the opportunity to interview for other, lesser positions, and I almost jumped into the fry vat with both feet. Ultimately, I couldn't bring myself to make the commitment. Who can promise two years of their life in the salt mines when salvation could be just around the corner?

My roommate said that he wouldn't be able to blog because he would spend hours worrying over every word. I've spent an hour on this. Sonofa.

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