July 9th, 2005

nancy fight

coffee table chat

the anarchists were out in my neighborhood last night, smashing windows and creating general mayhem. they concentrated mostly on multinational corporate entities, but apparently also smashed a local shoe store, for the crime of gentrifying the Mission.

I have a certain sympathy for these people, or at least for their political leanings, and, to a degree, the frustration that leads them to come out on the streets of San Francisco and bust things up, but I think their energy is wasted, so long as they are a small group who will never be able to, say, mount an armed revolution. who cares if a few windows are broken at the bank? all this really does is make the neighbors mad.

realizing of course that an anarchist demonstration is not a public-relations ploy, I still think that protesting in arguably the most liberal city in the country is futile at best, and when you start destroying your city, then you start defeating your own aims. how many of us took to the streets here prior to the Iraq war? what difference did it make? when the anarchists broke windows downtown last year, whom did it affect and to what end?

I don't mean to be utterly nihilistic in my hopes for political change, but I do think that tearing up San Francisco won't help us meet any goals whatsoever except that of simple attention from those closest by. a broken window in a bank budget is not noticeable at all, and destroying the livelihood of a neighbor only stirs more resentment. as much as I dislike the notion of private property and advancement through greed, if my neighbor wants to sell shoes here on my street, I'm going to grant him or her the opportunity to do so, if only out of pragmatic tolerance for those who simply want to survive in society as-is; you tear up the store, and its owner might not be able to make the rent next month. hardly neighborly.

but so if protesting in San Francisco turns out to be preaching to the choir while the real targets look at us from far away and laugh, and if penny-ante violence gets us nowhere, what should we do? as I mentioned in a comment to zyrc this morning, I think that what we should do is to choose a few conservative towns in the heart of the US--however you want to interpret "heart"--and then march there. seriously. two million people in the streets of Twin Falls ID, or Meridian MS: do you think that would start to get our point across?

suppose we don't trash those towns either. suppose we talk to the people there. would that be possible? if two million lefties showed up in Jefferson City MO, would the townfolk simply try to yell "faggots" at us over and over? I'd like to know what would happen if peaceful protest took it home to where our opponents really are, rather than running around our own streets breaking things out of impotent rage.

the other place we should march, of course, would be Washington DC. not that GWB gives a flying fuck what the other 49.9% of us have to say, but a show of numbers has to make some sort of impression, doesn't it?

if nothing came of this, then I might say well let's go smash some windows. but even then I wouldn't do it here.
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    annoyed annoyed
nancy fight

coffee table chat pt II

the other thing we lefties need is a tv network. a cable channel with as much money behind it as FOX news, and the balls to be every bit as loud and obnoxious. can't there be such a thing as leftist blowhards? can't we dial up our rhetoric to be as inflammatory as anyone else's?

I suppose that's what Ward Churchill did, but suppose he had the weight of organized money behind him. there seems no reason to me why the left couldn't raise enough money to start a network that was well-heeled right out of the gate, with glitz and noise and bad reality programming. we pulled together the dough for the most well-funded campaign in history, so what exactly is stopping us from taking over the media the way the right has? why should we rely on NPR and PBS, which are so blandly centrist and inoffensive anyway that no one takes them seriously as a political force?

I have no idea where to start with something like this. I suppose a general call to those lefties in the media industries who might have some insight into the organizational necessities of such a venture might be a good idea. perhaps I should start looking those up.

I mean isn't this a good idea? I think it's a damn fine idea.
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    contemplative contemplative

coffee table chat pt III - caution: contains much paranoia

finally, let me just say something about the nutcakes in charge. I pointed this out in fu_le_bear's journal yesterday, but it needs to be more widely known.

if I am right about the level of their religious zeal, then the leaders of our country are out to destroy civilization. now this might sound paranoid and raving, and perhaps it is and perhaps all I ever really argue with are my inner demons, but the fact is that fundamentalist christians, for the most part, are obsessed with the visions chronicled in the book of Revelation and believe them to be prophecies for things that are happening right now, and if you've ever taken a look at any of their interpretive literature, you'll know that they believe that Revelations predicts, mainly, the end of the world.

every age thinks it is the last of course, but these people are dangerous. they believe, for instance, that environmental catastrophe is a sign of the imminent return of Christ, and if you are concerned about global warming--whether or not it turns out to be catastrophic--think for a moment about the fact that one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gasses is led by a crew of born agains who believe they are god's agents in his plans for the end of the world. think for a moment about the possibility that this administration actually includes people who believe that by ignoring global warming, they may be working according to divine plan.

I mean let's not even talk about the Middle East. anyone who has spent any time in christian society knows that that is where Armageddon is to take place, and if you think that the fundies truly want peace in the middle east, think again: Armageddon is truly to be the war to end all wars, and, depending on your interpretation of scripture, may be the war to end the world. not only oil money keeps GWB's attention turned to the Middle East, and there is more than one reason for him to want to be involved in never-ending warfare there. wouldn't he receive a big crown in heaven if he were the one who started Armageddon? (of course if you interpret scripture a certain other way, then actually he turns out to be the antichrist, which should surprise no one.)

seriously. I don't know if they've thought it out to this extent, but if they think the world is to end in fire and that they are the ones who have been sent to start the blaze, we could be up shit creek. nuclear missiles in N Korea? just another fiery agent.

what I hope is that the rest of the world is stable enough to counteract this madness. I don't know if it is too optimistic to think that a united Europe, for instance, could stand as friendly opposition to religious insanity. it doesn't help that Europe itself is somewhat divided in their attitudes towards the US, but "old" Europe at least might turn out to be the wiser older sibling of the Western world. knowing little about politics and economics, I don't know what it would take for them to gain enough power to be able to do more than talk, but whatever makes Europe stronger, I'm all for. perhaps I should go over and lend a hand--surely they need another lefty poet!

really though I might have to move there one day in the near future. as I also pointed out somewhere else, we think we only have three more years to put up with Mr Bush, but surely Karl Rove has already thought about the next step in keeping his party in power, and is willing to go to any lengths to do so.

I still haven't gotten my passport. this is something I should do very soon.
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    scared scared

life and times

well so anyway. I just had to get some things off my chest. I wish I had a blog with millions of readers but I don't and I don't think I ever could attract that many readers but maybe a good idea will propagate itself from ear to ear and something will come of all our discontent.

my really burning question of the day is whether to shower before I put on clothes or later this afternoon or evening when I get tired (ha) of computing. you all know how I feel about showers, and showering when I could be geeking instead just isn't attractive to me. as far as I can tell I smell ok, and I have the house to myself this weekend as sandy has gone off on a microbrewery road trip (which she invited me on but I declined, wanting to catch up on things here today and tomorrow), so how I smell to other people is not really an issue, so all that is left is something like either self-respect or that american mania for cleanliness that would have me believe that a daily shower is about self-respect and not pathological obsession.

either way I must put on clothes before doing much else. that's my compulsion. pajamas are for sleeping and drinking coffee in. of course I drink coffee all day, so that's not quite accurate. but you get the idea.

so far my computer still works. yay! (dear computer gods: please don't take this as a sign that you should send trouble my way to keep me from complacency. didn't you see me shaking yesterday as I removed my hard drive?)
  • Current Music
    Air America 960AM

party animal

it is 9:15 and it feels like the middle of the night. I've been laboriously reinstalling internet software all afternoon after ranting my head off this morning.

I can't believe how quickly the day went by. I've always slept for a long time at night but the days used to have more hours in them I'm sure. I'm not sure how it all worked.

there's still a big pile of cds with software on them plus about a million installers that I've downloaded at one time or another on my hard drive--transferred from the old one. this job may never be finished.

oh dear wouldn't that be a tragedy.
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    geeky geeky