Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: September 2004

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Useless Pontification

While desperately sucking water out of a fountain at the park today, I had time to ponder over my feelings on the ever-present, "Yankees Suck" cheer. (Or jeer, as it were). My first thought is that this cheer is simply the Sox version of New York's "1918!" gibes. It is rather base, annoying, and in the former epithet's case, clearly untrue. Today "Yankees Suck!" cheers went up all around me, and the scattered New York fans turned around to yell back "26! 1918!". Obviously the Yankees do not 'suck' in terms of championships or wins and losses.

However, there is another plane to this argument. What if, rather than talking simple championships, we were actually discussing the Yankees, their impact on the game of baseball, their fans, and the organization's overall implications in America, as one single entity? Could the seemingly stupid chant be a reflection of the worth of that entity's moral character?

The Yankees under the helm of Steinbrenner have won. And won. And won. Even when they went without a World Series for quite a while in the 80s, they still won more games than any other club in that decade. They did so and continue to do so with what many call "gold-plated bullying" as they spend far more than any other team in the league, shrugging off the luxury tax imposed on them for doing so. They drive the salaries of all players on all teams up because of their eagerness to outbid for free agents, often paying them far more than they're clearly worth, in order to sign them. Their 'baseball imperialism' is a major cause for the financial and competitive disparity in Major League Baseball. They clearly make a mark on the game financially, but is it a good one?

The Fans. There are plenty of good-hearted, baseball-loving fans that root for the Yankees and have for life because they're the team they grew up with in the immediate New York area. It just so happens that they are undeniably out-numbered by jackass, bandwagon-jumping, condescending, soulless, arrogant bastards from across the country that all seem to band together under the Yankee banner. Never have I met another group of people that take so much pleasure in the pain of others--between the emails, the patronizing 'pats on the back' and the burning of non-Yankee hats in the bleachers at The Stadium, they believe being associated with this team makes them better people than everyone else.

A woman who had grown up a Yankee fan because she had loose ties to New York, and felt it was fun to be associated with a winner, but who currently lives with her die-hard Sox fan husband in New England wrote this to Sports Guy after last year's ALCS game 7.

"Am I becoming a Sox fan? A turncoat? A bandwagon fan? Possibly... Only true love can break your heart, and I know that most people wearing Sox jerseys these days are busy taping their hearts back together. It's something to see, that's all I can say. It's incredible to know, and quite frankly, the passion makes a tad bit jealous. You might not have as many World Series rings as those who wear pinstripes, but you might just have something there in Beantown that the Yankees will never have. It can't be bought with George's stacks of green, and it cant be won over with a Frank Sinatra song ... it's just in you. And I am beginning to wish it were in me, too."

Winning does not automatically raise one's moral character. Indeed, it may be the opposite. Can rooting for a team simply because they always win impair one's moral character? I think so. Surely gloating at the pain and loss of others, getting off on it, does. Can always expecting to win, and 99 times out of 100 being right, be good for the soul? Doubtful.

Lastly, can the Yankee ethic be considered a positive influence on our culture? When someone is signed by George Steinbrenner, he forces them to cut and shave any distinctive hair, facial or otherwise. By doing this, he creates a team of players that look like they belong in Eisenhower's 50s to perpetuate the group-think, cookie-cutter mentality that defines the franchise.

They cheat. At home games, specifically during the playoffs, they wheel out mediocre tenor talent Ronan Tynan to sing an exceedingly drawn out and deliberately lengthy rendition of "God Bless America" in order to ice the opposition's starting pitcher after six innings. There have been complaints filed by multiple MLB teams because of the extra ten minutes between innings this charade is responsible for.

The Yankees, with few exceptions, get what they want. If a player is on the market (or in some cases not) they will use all their muscle to get him, no matter what it costs, stealing talented players from clubs that simply can't afford to pay them as much as New York. At a time in which America's actions abroad are questioned by many in the international community as well as by those at home, can this gratuitous and impulsive imperialism be a good thing to immerse our culture in? The only potential positives that the 'Yankee culture' has caused is the general hatred of them by almost every non-Yankee baseball fan, united together against such a corrupt juggernaut. Certainly causing hatred is not virtuous when character is concerned.

Wins and losses do not determine moral character. The Panzer General Erwin Rommel was a great tactician and leader. He won far more battles than he lost and left an undeniable imprint on WWII as it unfolded in Northern Africa. Despite all of this, the government he fought for, indeed the motivation for his successes, was an entity of little or no moral virtue.

I concede that 99.99% of the people chanting at the game today did not go through this thought process before they began their unified and altogether stupid chorus of ridiculousness. However, if we dig deeply into the issue, perhaps in the overall scheme of things they are right. The Yankees, as an entity, lack any virtuous moral character and could be said to...well...suck.

Disclaimer: Everything in this post was written after excessive exposure to the sun during a very long baseball game. Facts may indeed be false, and conclusions are surely flawed in places. I have no background in philosphy, nor do I contend to. I do, however, stand by my beliefs, despite the fact that I will never chant "Yankees Suck" for fear that it will be misconstrued as an ignorant, desperate scream in the face of history.

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Fenway Baseball

Today we went to the last regular season home game at Fenway Park. The Sox destroyed New York. Despite being there for way too long, (almost five hours) and the game dragging along in brutal direct sunlight, I thought it would be a good time to write my ode to Fenway.

I love going to baseball games at Fenway Park. Everybody cares about what's going on in the game and on the field. Newer ballparks have 'fun zones' with arcades and restaurants and waterparks for kids to play in. You don't even have to watch the game if you go, there are quite enough distractions as it is.

I love becoming fast friends with fans around you, so that for those three hours or so it would seem incomprehensible that you had never met before, let alone that you will probably never meet again after the last pitch crosses the plate. Hugs, high-fives, jokes, and food are shared between people that would never meet otherwise, but within the confines of Fenway Park they are bound like brothers.

Everywhere is green. The grass, walls, the scoreboard. The Wall. The best scoreboard in the game is at Fenway Park. Not only is it romantic and historic, with its manually operated number slides, but after a few beers digital scoreboards get fuzzy while the green and white paint on the old scoreboard stand out.

I love that there is minimal ridiculousness between innings. Sure, they'll show some Sox clips and play music, but it has the feel of old baseball. There are no stupid sound effects (ahem, Yankee Stadium) that make me feel like I'm at a minor league game. How many times must I hear that windshield cracking sound effect after a foul ball? Never at Fenway. The park caters to those who love the game, and those who are willing to be swept up into it for the few hours they are there. If you want fountains, arcades, and stupid video races between Mr. Soda, Mr. Peanuts, and Mr. Hot Dog, go somewhere else.

I love the silence that follows a foul ball on a full count pitch when it matters. Deafening screams disappear in those few moments, only to slowly ramp up again with scattered claps, piercing whistles and finally an even louder ovation than before as the batter steps into the box and the pitcher comes to the set.

The place is cramped, uncomfortable, and small. Considering the likelihood of acquiring post-season tickets, I don't think I'll be back to Fenway until next Spring. I already can't wait.

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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Shame, shame...

I don't remember when the last time I posted was, but it was too long ago. As my work tends to fluctuate between periods of severe inactivity followed by manic, 18 hour work days to meet deadlines, I suppose I am prone to such a long drought.

I went to the Red Sox game tonight and they kicked the crap out of the Yankees. Yes. It was my last game sitting next to Nate (see this for more info) and that was a tad sad, but you know, I'll get over it. Maybe. Tad and sad should really not sit next to each other in a sentence.

I had one of those "I Love Boston" days today. Between the baseball game and just walking around at the open market at Haymarket, it was definitely classic. I went into the little deli on the side of the open market and there was some old old black guy sitting there just eating pepperoni. Just eating slices of it by the handful. He insisted that I partake, and of course I did not refuse. After talking to him for about fifteen minutes, and eating far too much pepperoni and other assorted cured meats, I left to continue buying copious amounts of produce for little or no money.

It's too late and I'm too tired to keep writing stuff. I'm back on track, though, and there will be more posts with more frequency now.

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Monday, September 20, 2004

Debates

It seems that both the Bush and Kerry camps have finally reached a consensus with the Commission on Presidential Debates. Or should I say, the Bush campaign has finally given in to the format selected by the independent organization and immediately agreed upon by the Kerry campaign.

The hang up? The second debate, which is held in a 'town meeting' style with questions asked of the candidates by actual undecided voters. It seems the Bush strategists thought this format was far too risky for them and their candidate, undoubtedly because of its sharp contrast to the way they have run their stump speeches to this point.

The raucous crowds shown hanging on Mr. Bush's every word at campaign events are carefully screened to make sure they all fully support the President across his entire platform. Anyone who even mildly disagrees with Mr. Bush is barred from attending such events to make sure that all audience inquiries, even on such tricky topics such as the economy, are cream puff questions for the President to answer.

Now the Bush campaign is worried about what they consider a terribly risky event in which the questions come not from fervent Bush supporters, but from undecided voters--the very group that they hope to woo to their side before election day.

I find it quite strange that the campaign for the candidate billed as 'one of the people' and 'a regular guy' was so scared of these truly 'regular' people. Moreover, it was odd that the campaign that touts the President as a strong, fearless leader in the world seems to be so worried about the questions of his own citizens at home.

I don't know what the outcome will be after the first, second or third Presidential debates. I don't know who will be deemed 'the winner' of them. I don't know what impact they'll have on the voting public. I just know I'll be watching them intently (on C-Span, not on Fox News).

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Sunday, September 19, 2004

Touching The Void

My last post was way back on Thursday and it is now Sunday night. I was otherwise indisposed for the period in between, mainly because Jocelyn was up for a long weekend. It seems that the school year is front-loaded with tons of Fridays and Mondays off, so one must take advantage of these Jewish holidays and such.

Over the weekend I got around to watching a film called Touching The Void, a docu-drama about two British climbers and their reactions and recounts of an accident that occurred while they were climbing a mountain in Peru.

The structure went back and forth between the real men telling their respective stories to the camera and experienced climbers--with acting ability, no less--re-enacting the fateful trip. Without giving too much away, I'll simply say that while I knew the basic outcome of the entire scenario, I was on the edge of my seat as the narrators lead me through the ordeal and the breathtaking pictures drove the their words home.

In the recent months, as mounting human fatalities due to war, famine, disease and genocide have been neatly categorized into statistics by the media, the UN, the Pentagon and others, this film takes a slow, meditative look at the choices we as people make regarding life and death. The whole thing was very well done and I recommend it to all.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Disturbing and Entertaining

My friend Changmo sent me this flash cartoon. It is one messed up little short, and I think I should give you the website's disclaimer:

WARNING! These cartoons will upset children and the elderly, and please watch these at your own risk if you are doing acid or mushrooms. No complaints, I've warned you.

Now that you've been warned, click here and watch the second (and best) episode of a character named "Salad Fingers". If you don't like it, you can't say I didn't warn you. It's pretty f-ed up. If you DO like it, there are three more episodes on the website.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

World RPS

I got this little gem from my friend Jeff. It's entirely hillarious, while at the same time serious and extremely intriguing. I don't know whether to take notes or laugh my ass off.

World RPS

Comcast!

Not long after my friend Nat and I had a hearty laugh at the expense of a mistake in his cable bill, causing it to arrive in the mail at a hefty $632.00, I got my own invoice-driven incredulity.

My cable bill came recently with a $215 charge for an 'unreturned digital converter'. I called them last night and found out that when they installed cable at our new apartment they left our old cable box. In order to credit my account with the $215, I have to return the box. To where, you might ask?

Why, to good old Somerville, MA 02144

So soon? I had counted on not having to go back there for at least a few months, but now it looks like all is lost. I have no choice, it seems, but to take the ungodly shuttle bus which substitutes for the train that is out of service for next year, then hop on yet another bus and make my way back into the heart of darkness that is Walnut Hill.

Of course, I'm being dramatic. There's nothing wrong with Somerville. I just don't relish the idea of taking four buses in the span of two hours. The reason I was so exited to move down here into the city was so I could pretty much walk or take the train anywhere I needed to go.

Perhaps if I just got dressed and did it it would be better than sitting her and whining about it to people that may or may not be reading, and even then may or may not care. Heavy on the 'not', I would imagine.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Traffic Court

Oh, how quickly my hard-nosed defense turned to one of pity-inducing groveling. I came with pictures, hard evidence, exhibits and more--all predicated on the placement of a sign. Once that was shot down (within the first thirty seconds or so) I immediately switched to the "I didn't know you couldn't do that" defense made popular by Dave Chappelle.

It worked.

Now I just have to remember that I'm not $100 richer, I'm just not $100 poorer.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Dumb Media

Blogging got another bit of respect from the national media this week and weekend as some geeks decided that there was incontrovertible evidence proving the memos produced by "60 Minutes" concerning W's Guard Service were forged, citing the kerning of the letters and the document's spacing similarity to Microsoft Word templates.

News programs talked about this all weekend, and it was a major part of the Sunday morning talk show subject matter. Unfortunately, very few people have come out to say the truth about what this all is: it's dumb.

Does it really matter what George Bush did those many years ago, well before his self-proclaimed cut-off date (before which he conveniently dismisses any of his actions prior to being 'born again')? No. Why should people concern themselves with what he did thirty plus years ago when there is enough evidence in the last four that he shouldn't be President any longer?

I think it's actually a continuation of the Fox effect, except spun in the opposite direction. When the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth came out with their ads in a precious few states, it was the Fox News Channel that blasted the ads across a national audience, and it was FNC that devoted hours and hours of punditry to them. Instead of talking about the issues, Fox deliberately made a small issue a serious one in order to hurt John Kerry. The rest of the major media outlets jumped on the story because it was helping ratings.

Now a parallel accusation aimed towards Bush has come out, and since the nation and the media is in a nitpicking mindset, we all talk about it like it's the most important news out there.

Meanwhile, Colon Powell went on Meet the Press this morning and once again showed that he clearly disagrees with the administration's claims that Al-Qaeda and Iraq had dealings together. No one has time to discuss the freaking Secretary of State's judgments, because we're all checking the spacing between the letters 'O' and 'A' on a pointless memo. Who cares whether Bush lied thirty years ago when he clearly has problems finding (and admitting) the truth today? Not to mention the fact that he can't seem to keep his house in order, as aides and officials resign and one of the most important members of his cabinet says he is wrong.

The national debate that should be aided by the media has been hijacked, wrestled to the ground, and dragged through the murky and frivolous filth of mudslinging.

Somewhat (but not really) off-topic, Nish just turned on a television game show that promises the chance to give away one billion dollars to one lucky contestant tonight--by using a monkey to make the final decision. Don't you love TV?

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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sept. 11

I don't know how to feel this year. Obviously three years ago people in America pretty much all felt the same. Two years ago I remember being really upset, especially after watching all the memorials on television and remembrances by the families of those that died. Last year was similar to that, but with about half the potency. This year I don't feel much.

I turned on the TV this morning to--it sounds crude and tasteless, but it's the best way I could find to describe it--get in the mood of the day. I found myself, however, more annoyed than anything at the coverage. Obviously there were memorials in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania, but the cable news channels didn't really show them. At most they had images from the three sites with their normal talking heads making noise about this and that. The whole thing felt very trite. The anchors and their correspondents were talking about superficial things and the entire broadcast lacked any kind of gut feeling to it.

I went to Fenway Park today for their 9/11 blood drive. I hadn't given blood in two years, and since I have liquid gold running through my veins (O-, baby) I decided it would be good to go. The atmosphere there was about as jovial as it could be, what with the hot Sox closely chasing the Yankees for the division title and the playoffs looming ahead. People were happy, they were eating free food and enjoying entertainment while they waited. Every hour or so, though, the MC felt it necessary to bring up in the briefest of talking points today's date and its significance. I had no problem with him killing the mood for thirty seconds while he talked about it, but then afterwards he would turn around and say, "...and it was indeed a tragic day. Up next, Larry Lucchino will come and talk with us about the owners' plans for the ballpark!" Again, trite.

Giving blood was good, though strange. It was in the luxury section of the park (the .406 club) and the rooms were covered in flat screen tvs. What do you think they would be showing? News? Tributes to...something? Classic Sox games? No, for some reason every television was showing a Ronco infomercial about an electric rotisserie oven. Strange.

On the flip side I did get to walk all throughout the park in places normal people like me don't get to go. The Monster seats, a luxury box, the right field café section, etc. And did I mention the free food? I love how after you give blood they give you an escort to walk you to your seat in case you're dizzy or whatever. I just wanted to look at this waif of a 12 year old girl and say, "look sweetie, I weigh 265 pounds, I don't need you to walk me anywhere. And where are the hot dogs?"

It was a good thing, today. It felt right, today's historical significance, though not as somber as in years past, was definitely on my mind at the blood drive. What better way to commemorate a tragedy than by doing a very small thing to help people suffering from tragedies now and to come. With all the blood being shipped down to Florida to help hurricane victims, the bank is especially low and they needed me. And did I mention the free hot dogs?

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Friday, September 10, 2004

Whew...

The Pats just pulled a win out of their collective buttocks. I think I'm going to start a petition to change the plural form of 'buttock' to 'buttox' instead of the 'correct' spelling above. How many words are pluralists by an 'x'? Let 'x' have a chance. Okay, I won't use a 'quote' for the rest of this post now.

I talked earlier this week about the age disparity of the North End, and how it is inhabited by 20-somethings and 70-somethings. The problem is, however, that during the day all the young people are at work, so the area is about 95% comprised of the elderly and middle-aged tourists. Those two groups of people, it turns out, walk slower than any other in the world. Including toddlers.

I'm hustling and bustling down the main street here to the post office with my huge umbrella shielding the large boxes of videos I hold under each arm from the rain, and everyone else on the street is walking, stopping, reading their AAA guides and wondering aloud whether a certain pub served Paul Revere or not.

Sometimes these two groups, tourists and the elderly, become one in some unholy combination of age and historical curiosity and the shit hits the fan. They walk twice as slow as normal tourists and ask four times as many questions.

Disclaimer: I, Travis Marshall, have nothing but the utmost respect for the elderly of our society and indeed the world. Their sacrifices long before I was born allow me to live the life I currently enjoy, and we all owe them a debt larger than can ever be paid.

But they're still freaking annoying.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Late Night

I'm up too late right now. I was doing work, and now I can't quite get to sleep. Damnit.

I had to re-register to vote for my new address, and the form that I filled out was completely ridiculous. At the very top of it it had two questions, each with a check box for 'yes' and 'no' answers. The two questions were:

"Are you a citizen of the United States of America? Yes/No"
"Will you be 18 years of age or older by election day? Yes/No"

The form then dutifully informed me that if I have checked no for any questions so far, I should cease filling out the page. Do we really need check boxes for this? If you have checked the boxes that say you aren't allowed to vote, you can't vote, so don't check any more boxes please. I almost felt that if I had checked 'no' the form would have instantly self-destructed, lest I attempt to fill out any more check boxes farther down the page.

I bought a messenger bag today. I feel like I've kind of sold out. Of what, I do not know. I do feel, however, that the purchasing of the bag coincided all too conveniently with the fact that I now live in Boston proper, and that I will be doing some work for Nish's company in the next few weeks--dipping my toes in the corporate world, if you will.

The bag started out as a simple replacement for my six-year-old backpack that is worn and torn, but I believe there was something far more dubious afoot when I strode in the Government Center Staples today on a mission to buy DVD cases only to exit with a far too stylish attache in addition to said cases.

Anyway, I will feel so falsely hip with this bag that I may have to counteract it by wearing something completely out of style. Perhaps some fluorescent Jams shorts, or a vest with a bolo tie.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Red Sox



Even with their winning streak broken, the Sox are still running hot. They took another one in Oakland last night without much of a fight. Derek Lowe looked like someone who could actually handle pitching in the post season without throwing multiple temper tantrums and sulking through games.

This is an older article, written in the midst of the long winning streak, but it pretty much sums up the way I feel about the situation.

O, words of Sportsguy
I laugh each time I read you
Here are your best parts:

"Imagine if the roles were reversed, if the Yankees were the ones making a late charge? Would Yankee fans be complaining about things like "We can't catch them, their schedule is too easy in September," as my Dad and others were saying as recently as last weekend? Of course not. Yankee fans would expect to catch the Red Sox and act accordingly -- sending taunting e-mails, giving co-workers crap, calling "Mike and the Mad Dog" and making brash predictions, even springing for expensive Paula Jones-style haircuts for their girlfriends. They would be LOVING this."

Subtle jab! Paula Jones! Bah!

"The mystifying thing about Yankee fans? Their improbable sens of superiority, as if they're better people because they root for a baseball team only because A) they grew up within two hours of Yankee Stadium; B) they jumped on the bandwagon as a kid because they wanted to be associated with a winner; or C) they have no soul. As one of my readers wrote last year, it's like rooting for the house in blackjack."

Not to mention the fact that there seems to be a Yanks-Sox thing blooming between Boston and Oakland. We play them, we get a few wrong calls our way (Brady's "forward pass", Manny's "catch" the other night) and we always win. They hate us. We love playing them. If they win again tonight, it could take the whole thing to another level.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Doodling

I'm at a strange place right now, having finished both my move and a wedding video. After I complete the final edit of the video I have to compress it into the right format for DVDs, which takes about 18 hours. Thus, I was left with way too much time on my hands today. After hustling and bustling around doing any number of things to get here and settled, I had pretty much nothing to do today.

I went to get a haircut, but there are four barber shops to chose from within 10 minutes walking distance. I got a bit flustered. I walked to each and looked in the windows, and then eventually made a choice which I now believe to be the wrong one. Though Guy's Men's Salon touted a barber shop sign in the front window, it was clearly more a salon than a barber shop. Plus they freaking sheared me.

I saw a great Will Ferrell video today. It's sponsored by a group called America Coming Together--a liberal 'get out the vote' organization--but what is most important is that it's just fucking funny. See it here.

I've decided to take advantage of living in a neighborhood that is home to the best restaurants in town. I'm going to do my best to sample each restaurant in the area until I find three specific things I'm looking for:
  • A great pizza place
  • A cheap, family-style, gorge-friendly Italian restaurant
  • A good, and reasonably priced date spot

Now I've gone and made myself hungry. I might just have to work on my project right now. Food...

Monday, September 06, 2004

Monopoly and more

Go to jail.

Pretty funny stuff there.

My friend Isaac turned me on to this site as well, and I recommend it to anyone who has a few extra minutes they're looking to kill. It's a group of weird actors/directors who are clearly looking to get into the business in LA, but apparently are not quite there yet. They create short shows with premises like spoofing The OC (The 'Bu) or a super hero that shoots lasers out of his butt when he farts (Laser Fart). I especially like the former of the two, but there are also plenty more to look at.

Now that I'm done with teaching and done with moving, it's finally time to get back to work. I have plenty of tapes sitting next to my desk waiting to be edited, and a few raving brides and other clients emailing me a little too frequently about where their DVDs are.

After hours of deliberation I decided it was NOT too creepy to put my theater-sized Silence of the Lambs poster above the head of my bed.

There is a door in my room that opens out to a little...area. I don't know what else to call it. It's a space about 4 ft. by 7 ft., enclosed entirely on all four sides by brick walls. If you stand there and look up you just see brick and a few windows for four floors. It's very strange. I've decided never to go out there because it's too scary. Also my room is small, and I need to put my bed against the door anyway.

The North End is a strange place. It is populated mostly by 20-somethings and 70-somethings. 30-somethings often come here for dinner, and 50-somethings come as tourists, but it's a large age gap and a curious dynamic between the two age groups that actually reside in this 18th Century Italian neighborhood. All these hip, stylish bars a block away from signs that say "Elderly Crossing" on them.

One of my new favorite pastimes involves our large bay window that looks out to the harbor. The base of the window stands about 7 ft. up from the sidewalk--pretty much where you would hold a boom mic if you were recording audio for a film--and when you open the glass you hear snippets of passing conversations with perfect clarity. Some excerpts include:

"So then she says to me, totally naked, 'Get the fuck out of my bathr...'"

"...green ones and the little yellow ones keep me regular, so I don't keep getting out of bed at..."

"...why would I do that? Why would I tell her what Kimberly told me not to tell anyone except tell you? I mean I..."

Friday, September 03, 2004

Soooo

I've been so busy of late, what with moving and all, that I really haven't had the time to sit down and get things off my chest. I appologize if what comes out now is disorganized, but it's spilling out like a dam breaking in my brain, so I'm just trying to keep up with it.

The Red Sox are on a tear! They were 21-7 in August, and are only 3.5 games back from New York. There's no way that anyone in this town would have thought it possible even two weeks ago. It's all very exciting. Up to the point, of course, where they spectacularly blow it and send my sister into another fit of bawling in my living room.

I was in New Haven to drop off the van I used to move our apartment, and the city is really looking very nice. The downtown area is thriving with commercial enterprises, both corporate and owner-operated. The whole area has a very positive feel to it, so different from ten years ago when the place was in the shitter.

Nish and I are finally living like pseudo-adults! Our apartment is so cozy. Even though it's still a mess from the move, it looks much more like a home than a frat house, which is always a step in the right direction.

With the RNC and their quite conservative platform created under the veil of a moderate speaker lineup, I've been thinking a lot about the extreme Christian Right. I don't understand how Bush can call himself compassionate when he is so strongly influenced by a group that seems to hate a lot more than it loves. In a religion based on love and forgiveness, it never ceases to surprise me the way people use God as a means for their anger toward others. Burning books, talking about how gay people are weak-willed sinners that are sending our society to hell, and the general practice of overt judging just remind me of a slogan I like to tout: If Hitler did it, it's probably not the best idea.

I miss our dog, Maggie, who now lives up in New Hampshire with BJ, but I don't miss her hair. I instinctively brush off my feet before climbing into bed at night, and since we moved into our clean, carpeted, and quite stylish apartment, I am brushing off nothing.

Jackhammers next to my bedroom window piss me off.

Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to Babs, who actually reads this stuff, and on occasion, even comments. It's good to know someone is out there.

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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Flip Flops

Now, I would be one of the first to say that the theatrically staged political conventions this year are pretty hard to believe. I know a lot has changed in the last four years, including my own mental maturity, but I didn't recall the 2000 conventions being so tacky. I do remember the hats, however. I'll always remember the hats. I don't know what it is about political fanaticism that makes people love horrible hats.

Watching the RNC on C-Span tonight I got shivers up my spine as the chants of "flip flop!" resounded through Madison Square Garden, accompanied by many pairs of the rubber sandal of the same name waving back and forth. That's Fox News for you.

Not to say that the DNC didn't have shades of mass-homogenization and group-think, but what I watched tonight really left a sour taste in my mouth. It was like a religious revival. My feelings could also have something to do with recently Netflixing Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's Secret War On Journalism. The film has plenty of paranoia flying around along with its inexpensive graphics, but a lot of what it says hits home. I feel a bit disgusted right now.

The conservative media talks a lot about "liberal bias" in mainstream media. I will not disagree that most reputable news organizations lean slightly left. They do, however, actually report, offer multiple viewpoints, and stay within the margins of acceptable discussion.

How come there can't be a conservative media that does honest reporting with a mirrored nudge to the right? Do they really have to make a mockery of truth? Same goes for you too, Air America Radio.

I'm pissed. But I am in my new, exquisite, grown-up apartment, so I'll live.

Moved In

Nish and I are finally all moved in to our new apartment. We now have internet. I will resume my daily posts from here on.