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Current Topic: Society - Cock the Vote by Steve Almond
Topic: Society 9:55 pm EDT, Oct 11, 2004

] All of this sounds perfectly laudable, but it begs the
] question: What does it mean that Election 2004 has become
] an online pimpfest?

I know Nathan Martin. He's cool. The project is cool. I'm sure it is nice to have some positive press about it. - Cock the Vote by Steve Almond

Topic: Society 1:44 pm EDT, Oct 11, 2004

] I do mind when anybody who doesn't have a child, doesn't
] have a child at war, or isn't or won't be in harm's way
] themselves, is encouraging that there's "no shame in not
] voting" "if you don't know what you're talking about"
] (Mr. Stone) without mentioning the shame of not knowing
] what your talking about, and encouraging people to know.
] You guys are talented young guys but alas, primarily
] young guys. It's all well to joke about me or whomever
] you choose. Not so well, to encourage irresponsibility
] that will ultimately lead to the disembowelment,
] mutilation, exploitation, and death of innocent people
] throughout the world. The vote matters to them. No one's
] ignorance, indcluding a couple of hip cross-dressers, is
] an excuse.

This is an interesting and misguided attack. From a response interview on salon (

% On Sunday, Parker and Stone responded during an interview with
% Salon's Heather Havrilesky. According to Stone, "when you read it,
% the letter comes from such a high place of arrogance, you know,
% [deep, serious voice] 'You guys are young guys! If you don't have
% children, you can't say anything about anything!' And the whole
% voting thing. All we ever said was that we thought that uninformed
% people should not vote -- on either side of the political
% spectrum. It doesn't matter who you're gonna vote for. If you
% really don't know who you're gonna vote for, or are uninformed, or
% haven't really thought about it? Just stay home. Don't let people
% fucking shame you into going to the polls."
% Added Parker: "If you have absolutely no idea, fuck it."
% "If you really don't know or you're just going vote for George
% Bush because he's already in office, or you're gonna vote for John
% Kerry because he's on the cover of Rolling Stone, don't do that,"
% Stone said. "That's lame. Just stay home. That's all we ever said."

I can't really disagree. I know one or two people who don't follow politics, actively, and don't plan to vote. What I find odd about Sean Penn's attack, in particular, is that his PS really seems to emphasize the point that Trey and Matt are making. He suggests that becoming educated is the key to overcoming ignorance as to the import of the election -- by that very metric, for the people who /can't/ just go take a guided tour of Iraq, and can't be bothered to keep up at all, why should they vote? I could badger my non-voting friends into voting, and I'll kick myself if Pennsylvania falls to Bush by a vote or two, but that's not within the goals of our republic, votes through shame.


The New York Times: Opinion: Op-Ed Contributor: How to Debate George Bush
Topic: Society 3:41 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2004

] As Jon Stewart of the "The Daily Show'' nicely put in
] 2000, "I want my president to be the designated driver.''

Following up from an earlier meme from today -- Al Gore cites Jon Stewart in his op-ed piece for Kerry. The /only/ citation.

The New York Times: Opinion: Op-Ed Contributor: How to Debate George Bush - 'Daily Show' viewers ace political quiz - Sep 28, 2004
Topic: Society 12:02 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2004

] In a recent survey, viewers of Stewart's "The Daily Show"
] on Comedy Central tested better than Letterman and Leno
] viewers on a six-question politics quiz.

Does this speak more to the intelligence and format of the show -- fake news backed by real news -- or the lowering of the bar by the rest of the media? - 'Daily Show' viewers ace political quiz - Sep 28, 2004

Federal Judge: Anti-bootlegging law is unconstitutional - Sep. 24, 2004
Topic: Society 12:07 pm EDT, Sep 27, 2004

] U.S. District Judge Harold Baer ruled that the statute
] banning bootlegging is unconstitutional, because it
] states that copyrights on live performances are protected
] forever. This, he said, conflicts with the "limited time"
] requirements of copyright law.

Wait... is this an example of reason?

Federal Judge: Anti-bootlegging law is unconstitutional - Sep. 24, 2004 - Automotive - New Truck Makes Hummer Look Small
Topic: Society 4:54 pm EDT, Sep 17, 2004

] International is unveiling its new pickup, the largest
] ever. The International CXT is nearly twice the size of a
] Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup -- and it makes full-size
] SUV's look like Mini Coopers. - Automotive - New Truck Makes Hummer Look Small

Telegraph | News | TV reporter killed by US fire during live Baghdad broadcast
Topic: Society 1:03 pm EDT, Sep 13, 2004

] A television journalist was shot dead as he made a live
] broadcast from Baghdad yesterday when United States
] helicopters fired on a crowd that had gathered round the
] burning wreckage of an American armoured vehicle.

Hard to spin or deny that...

Telegraph | News | TV reporter killed by US fire during live Baghdad broadcast Books | When animals go to school
Topic: Society 8:23 pm EDT, Aug 31, 2004

] There's a story of the orphaned lion who was raised by
] rangers in a South African game preserve, and who took as
] his role model their Australian cattle dog. And was very,
] very interested in wild antelope and learned to herd
] them.
] His interest in wild antelope was hard-wired. He had lots
] of innate behaviors, like sneaking, crouching and
] pouncing. But he had no idea at whom to direct that, so
] he pounced on his friends when he was playing with them
] -- the dog and the people. He was very interested in
] impalas, but the dog, his role model, herded them, so he
] herded them, too. Not a good way for a lion to make a
] living.

Excellent interview. The basic issue is that more survival behaviors that we would expect are taught rather than innate, and that the role of mimicry and education is critical for preserving wild animals as anything other than physical representations. The notion that reintroducing a naturally exitinct species may genetically be possible but without preserving their "culture" we still lose, was particularly interesting. I'll have to check out this book. Books | When animals go to school

MSNBC - Why Kerry Is Right on Iraq
Topic: Society 4:28 pm EDT, Aug 15, 2004

] Perhaps Iraq would have been a disaster no matter what.
] But there's a thinly veiled racism behind such views,
] implying Iraqis are savages.

Makes a good point about the untenable position of the sanctioning of Iraq that most anti-war people don't appreciate but which Kerry seems to get. The point is that it hasn't worked in Cuba, and Iraq is far less isolated and insignificant from the global political space. The question of Iraq really does imply a question of timing and execution. That, I guess, was what was frustrating to me, and made it so defensible -- we had to do something (eventually) and supporting Saddam wasn't plausible -- but that did not say we needed to go into Iraq now, and so on.

MSNBC - Why Kerry Is Right on Iraq

'SP2' a Must For XP Users (
Topic: Society 10:59 am EDT, Aug 15, 2004

] To get an idea of how Windows got to be such a mess,
] think of it as a house that was built on an island in the
] middle of a lake, deep in the countryside.

It is a good metaphor, except that it excludes the part about Microsoft building it for such an environment, and then marketting it in Shanghai, with big city features making it seem like the appropriate location. One could argue that Window 95 was not a Network-Focused operating system, but by 2000 they were getting in trouble about the webbrowser-as-inextractable-OS-element, and that doesn't make any sense without the intent to put it in a hostile urban environment.

No, he doesn't need to bash Microsoft... but it comes off as praise as expressed.

'SP2' a Must For XP Users (

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