Sunday, June 27, 2004
I saw the Michael Moore movie yesterday. I was very encouraged to see a packed house (in fact the place where I saw it reserved two theatres for the film).
First off, I want to say how amusing (and telling) it is that so many of the knee-jerk, reactionary neo-cons blasted this movie and accused Moore of lying...without having even watched the movie! And as to the "lies," I've yet to see/hear any of these ditto heads give evidence to prove the contrary.
Their most consistent objection was that Moore has an agenda
. Freaking DUH!
Anyway...for me there wasn't a whole lot of "new" information in the film. Of course, Team Bush has given us so much material to work with over the last three-and-a-half years, that Moore could have made several films and still had material left over.
However, I wish he had cut out, or cut back much of the whole 2000 election/Florida business. There were probably 10-15 minutes spent on this, when it could have been summed up in five minutes. I think the "extra" minutes cut from this would have been better spent on this regime's assault on our constitutional rights, specifically with regard to the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are sitting in prisons right now who have not been charged with any crime and have no access to their families or attorneys, thanks to the "Patriot" Act.
Or, he could have taken that time to really hammer home the fact that this regime said--repeatedly--in the months before 9/11 that Saddam Hussein was contained, that he had no weapons of mass destruction, that he had no way of acquiring them, etc. That is one huge chunk of hypocrisy that needs to be kept out in the light for all to see.
OK, like I said, Michael Moore could have made two or three films detailing the cynicism, arrogance, hypocrisy and incompetence of this regime.
Aside from the above complaint, this film was incredible. Because it really did expose the unmitigated arrogance, cynicism and hypocrisy of this regime. And it showed how this regime literally laughs at the working-class American. I would say they laugh at the average, working-class Iraqi as well, but the film really demonstrated how Team Bush just doesn't give the Iraqi people a thought at all.
The film showed the glaring incompetence of this regime on (and before) September 11th. The reaction by Bush (and his aides) upon first getting the news that a plane flew into one of the towers of the World Trade Center was just mind-blowing! Ari Fleischer and a couple of other aides (don't recall their names) are just standing around, clearly not knowing what to do. And Bush? Well, go see the film...it's something you would have to see to really believe.
The other telling thing is just how easily the American public takes to fascism. After 9/11 they were more than willing to hand over civil liberties (okay, not their
civil liberties, of course, but Someone Else's) in the interest of "security". And there was one particular scene in the film that showed just how undereducated the reactionaries are and how, when confronted with the truth, they essentially put their fingers in their ears and do the "lalalalala...I can't hear you! lalalalala!" bit.
While the crowd in the theatre cheered and jeered in appropriate places, it was interesting to observe how we all were so silently riveted to the story of the mother who is the very portrait of a Patriotic American and her son who was sent to Baghdad. I wasn't the only one wiping tears away watching her story unfold.
Bottom line? Go see this film. Even if you don't like Michael Moore, go see the film and then go check out his claims and conclusions for yourself (BTW, Moore says he had fact checkers work on his film and in one or two cases found that he had underreported, not exaggerated, some of his facts and assertions). This film is very important, and given the upcoming elections, there is simply too much at stake to not go out and gather all the information you can so you can make an informed decision come November (you are
registered to vote, aren't you?).
Nipped into Wallgreens late this morning to pick up a few essentials. I was in line behind a woman and her young daughter (the little girl was probably 4-5 years old). The mom was yakking on her cell phone and grudgingly had to disconnect because it was causing a loud shrieking noise with the cash register. As the mom's purchase was being rung up, the little girl held up a packet of Recess Peanut Butter Cups.
"Are you crazy?!? I just bought you breakfast!" said the mom. The little one said nothing, she just put the packet back.
"Seriously are you crazy?!? Are you insane? What's your problem?!?" the mom continued. I tried to not cringe and thought that maybe it was a "thing" they had between them that was really an inside joke and maybe they'd be laughing at their joke on the way out of the store.
Only, when I caught a glimpse of the wee one she just looked humiliated. And the mom kept shrieking "are you crazy?!?" all the way out the door.
It made me feel very very sad. Here she was, just being a child...I mean, most children, when they see a packet of sweets, want
the packet of sweets. It doesn't matter if they've just ate breakfast, they'll still
want the sweets. Surely, the mom could have just said, "no, you've just had a big breakfast," and let that be that. Instead, she chose to humiliate the child.
What an unfortunate lesson this wee one learned today, that it's okay to bully and humiliate someone, just because you're bigger than they are.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Put In Leg Shackles Over MARSHMALLOWS?!?!?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Bush Administration must go.
A young woman was hauled off of a cruise ship
and held in custody for nearly nine hours
over a $50 fine she allegedly didn't pay when she was at Yellowstone Park last year. Why was she fined? She left out her hot chocolate and marshmallows! Actually, I don't have an argument with this rule because it's to keep the wildlife from entering the "people" areas (well, I do have a problem with human encroachment on wildlife areas, but that's for another blog entry).
What I do have a problem with is the fact that she had already paid the fine. She said she wasn't able to leave Yellowstone without paying the fine. Thus, she was hauled out of her cabin on the ship at 6:30 a.m. for a completely bogus reason! And I have a MAJOR problem with a federal government that would put someone in leg shackles over fifty goddamn dollars!
Need another example that Bush/Ashcroft are out of control? This beauty comes from the New Zealand Herald (excerpted below...emphasis mine...read the whole story here
):The American Civil Liberties Union said documents uncovered during court challenges to the Patriot Act reveal for the first time that the FBI sought permission last year to conduct secret searches under what is known as Section 215 of the law.
Last September, at a time when the section was drawing wide-spread criticism from librarians, booksellers and civil rights groups, US Attorney General John Ashcroft said that the power had never been used. Records obtained by the ACLU show that the FBI asked for permission to use the law a few weeks later.
The provision allows the FBI to get court permission to search confidential records, including those of businesses, doctors, universities, libraries and bookstores, as part of terrorism investigations.
The target need not be a suspected terrorist and the government can review personal data without the targets ever knowing.
Sunday, June 20, 2004
Like Finding an Old Friend
In my latest fit of cleaning and shifting furniture (go figure, it actually made my lower back feel better
to push furniture around!), I came across a tape in my cassette player...since I have it on CD, I popped the CD in for a listen. It took me back to a time when my life seemed much more simple and so much more fun
I remember the first time I heard INXS
. MTV showed their video (yes, kids, Once Upon a Time, MTV actually showed music videos!) for "The One Thing" in the early 1980's and I immediately went to Tower Records to get my own copy of Shabooh Shoobah
. With a steady foundation of rock and roll, the album was infused with glam, reggae, blues...and sex. Lots of sex. But very subtly done...not in your face like so many of those god-awful "hair" bands of the 80's.
Michael Hutchence quite possibly was the sexiest man ever to roam our planet. His sexiness seemed effortless...he just was sex
. It was in the way he looked, the way he sang, the way he spoke, the way he moved.
He was the one guy that I could have fun lusting over with my girl friends and my gay male friends. Even my hetero male friends could acknowledge Michael's sexiness without compromising their own sexuality.
But I don't want to take away from the rest of the band, who are all incredibly talented musicians and song writers, and who have had to try to put the pieces back together after Michael's very tragic death in late 1997 (my stars, has it really been almost seven years
It looks like they're ready to start the next chapter in their history, by having their search for a new singer be a reality TV show (presumably shown in their native Australia, but not sure if it'll be shown in the States).
Obviously, there's no replacing Michael Hutchence. But, then, this band was not all about Michael Hutchence, either. These guys deserve a fresh start and I look forward to hearing new music from them soon. But, in the meantime, I'm quite enjoying visiting "old friends" like Listen Like Thieves
and Shabooh Shoobah
I'm in one. There are positives and I'm desperately clinging to them hoping I can use them as a sort of kick-board to get out of the deep end of this funk.
To start with, there are games going on...not the fun kind, either, but the kind where someone with authority is yanking me around. I have no patience for such games, either, so what tiny little speck of patience I had floating around my bloodstream has been bled out.
On the career (what career?) front, I'm feeling especially grim. I'm trying not to, I really am. But, jeeziz, after over two years of hearing that there are a million other people in my field who "better fit the needs" of every dang company I've applied to, it's hard to not feel like an incompetent, unemployable boob.
Artistically, I'm in a major dead zone. I have a roll of film I shot in the Holga a few weeks ago. I think
they'll be cool photos, but I don't have the money to get the damn roll developed and printed to find out.
And let's just top it all off with my lower back going out. Again. I've been in so much pain the last several days that at any second I could either burst into tears or kill someone.
With all of this frustration and stress, the poor furkids got more than their share of being yelled at today. I'm very thankful that they're resilient...but I sure hate testing their resilience. I think an extra little bit of Petromalt is in order for their bedtime snack.
The positives I'm clinging to...well, actually at the moment I can only come up with the one. I sent in my bio for the National Dean's list. Can't afford to buy the book, but maybe my college library will have a copy and I can see my name in there. But, really school seems to be the only area of my life where my hard work pays off...everywhere else, my effort seems to just go for booger-all.
Gods, I really wish I could find the door so I can leave this pity party. I thought once I got past the stressful school term I'd feel better, but I actually feel worse. I keep searching inside myself for that thing
...that key to unlock myself, but so far the search has been fruitless.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
As If I Needed Another Reason to Not Buy a Condo
The California Supreme Court has ruled that
a condo association can enforce a previously-existing (previous to 2001, when a law allowing condo owners to have at least one pet) no-pets rule, effectively trumping the rights of a homeowner.
'Scuse me? If I am BUYING
a home, whether it's on a lot or is a condo, I don't want anyone telling me that I can't have as many damn animals living with me as I want! As long as it's within local ordinances, I don't want some tight-ass "association" board member with his/her own agenda telling me whether or not I can keep my furkids in MY HOME, whether or not I can plonk a satellite dish on MY roof, or whether I can have terra cotta flower pots on MY deck.
If you're reading this post and you're looking to buy a home, whether it's a condo or a house, please do your due diligence. Even a house might be governed by a neighbourhood homeowners' association and they, too, will dictate to you what palette of colours you may use to paint YOUR home and what shade of green your grass may be. If you're like me and you want to be able to do what you please with your own property (again, as long as you don't violate local codes/ordinances), be very careful about where you buy your home.
Friday, June 11, 2004
The college finally
posted the Spring term grades:
* 4.0 in watercolour painting
* 4.0 in speech
* 4.0 in Statistics
I felt pretty confident about the speech and painting classes, and I thought I'd have to really have bunged up the final to get a bad grade in Statistics. So the 4.0 GPA remains intact for another term.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
You just know it's gonna be a shit day...
...when one of the furkids gets you out of bed at 4am owing to another bout of UTI. And, bless him, the other furkid, knowing I'm stressed decides to lie on the pillow next to my head when we wander back to bed at 4:30am. And, of course he drops right of to sleep...snoring right in my ear. Finally got to sleep some time after 5:30. Alarm went off at 6:30. Feh!
And I can't afford to take the furkid to the vet because whenever we go in for this it's $350. The last time we did this was February and it turned out to be a false alarm...but I still have the baytril from that adventure and it's not expired so I'm going to give her the course of it and keep a very close eye on her and just hope for the best.
And my frustrations about the--what's the best word/phrase here...inconsistency of process, I guess...at work finally got the best of me today and I had a bit of a dust-up with the supervisor. If I still have a job there next week (I am there as a "temp", after all), then I just need to train myself to not think even one hair's width outside the box, don't question anything and for goodnes sake, stop having an opinion on things. It came to a head today when, in frustration, I asked for a procedure on how to handle a particular circumstance because I was told to do it one way a week or two ago, then today told we never
do it THAT way. And, that, I suppose, put my supervisor at the end of her tether with me.
So, if I'm still there beyond tomorrow, I have to get used to the fact of life there that one day down is down, the next day down is up. One day left is right, the next day left is left and the day after that, hell left may be up or down. It can no longer matter to me that I have to do things over (and unwittingly commit my worst sin...being inefficient) because I didn't realize that this time right is left and up is down, and that I'm just going to keep my feckin' mouth shut.
Yeah, I know...welcome to the world of "Bizarro Vicster" where she keeps quiet and has no opinion on anything. And all this time I swore I'd never end up like my mom, but if I'm to turn into the Bizarro Vicster then it is sort of committing suicide on the person that I am...or, was. Not like the real me would be missed, anyway...the fact that I have opinions and express them seems to really put people off. Seems as though being headstrong is a fashion-DON'T
...sort of like wearing white after Labor Day.
Oh well...tomorrow I start my three-day detox diet. I just got back from the store stocking up on fruit and veg and green tea. Maybe detoxing the coffee and refined sugars and alcohol out of my body will help my outlook on life...who ever that life turns out to be.