Tuesday, July 27, 2004

there is a tipping point when it comes to liberal thought, a point where the mind moves from "this is the noble choice" to "this is the self interested choice which, coincidentally, serves liberal ends."

I saw Stanley Crouch read about 10 years ago and he was talking about the OJ trial (yeah, ten years ago) and part of his point was that, say what you like about the sorry state of race relations in the U.S., but it's something that the best available defense attorney is a black man. 

Not the best available black attorney, but the best available attorney, period, happens to be a black man.  And there's something undeniably progressive about that.  The progress isn't over but to say that there is no progress?  Well that's just crazy.

I felt that way watching Barak Obama give the Democratic keynote address tonight.  To think that Illinois, a state dominated by Chicago (not known for its progressive racial politics) and filled out with rural, farming communities (again) that we have a senatorial candidate like Obama who is, at this point, running unopposed and who does not just give me a smug "ooooh aren't I progressive voting for a black guy!" warm feeling  but is actually an ass-kicking, the-best-qualified, hell-of-a-speaker candidate who I get to vote for. 

It's a hell of a long way from Carol fucking Mosley Braun.

I have a co-worker who is a Republican but otherwise we like one another.  I was teasing her today about the convention, asking if she was the one I saw dressed in a giant rubber flip-flop standing behind Chris Matthews, etc.   Anyway, she asked if I had seen the Clintons' embrace (it wasn't even an air kiss, more like a neck touch with chins pointed as far away as possible).

She takes some kind of confirmation from that non-kiss in the same way I take confirmation from Barak Obama.  That Hillary is in a loveless marriage and that there is something deeply cynical about staying with your openly philandering husband simply because it advances your own agenda.

And I feel all over the place on that.  I can't imagine having the entire world weigh in on Your Husband and What He's Been Up To.  On the other hand, if your husband did, in fact, jizz all over some dress from The Gap and had to fess up...well why NOT turn that into a career for yourself.  Clearly they spend no time with one another whatsoever and I don't doubt for one minute that he is getting international booty left and right out on his speaking tours, book tours, fundraising tours, etc...I mean this is the first ex-president who could command a full-on groupie brigade.  I imagine all the pilates-ed forty-somethings who would LOVE to show him around (insert name of community here) while he's in town.

I dunno if Hillary is getting any action (although I do rather hope she has a squad of interns, ivy league, fit, and having signed non-disclosure agreements ready to service her every need) but it's hard for me to blame her for capitalizing on His presidency.  I mean, my god, Sonny Bono's wife took over his seat in Congress, we aren't supposed to cut Hillary any slack?????  TELL ME she isn't qualified for elective office?  She was AS qualified, if not MORE qualified than her husband so she decides she wants to run?  And win?  Well bully for her.

At the end of the day, I'm happier with my opinions than I think I would be with my co-workers.  I get bitter, of course I do.  But my hope, oh my hope.  It fucking glows sometimes.
According to today's Boston Globe, Madeline Albright, Senator Joe Biden and Andre 3000 of OUTKAST visited the JFK Library yesterday.  Hey Ya.

Monday, July 26, 2004

 at work now...sleepy and not feeling productive.  So I've started looking up info about the Democratic Convention.  The Boston Globe has a cool, interactive map that will tell you who the delegates are for any state.

Strangely, one of the delegates from Illinois is Blue Note recording artist Kurt Elling.


Saturday, July 24, 2004

There is so much about being a soldier that seems demanding and horrible...I think it's really quite a lot to expect soldiers to also eat meals that have been re-hydrated with urine.

My brother turns 30 today.  Happy Birthday Josh!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

I recently bought a 3-disc compilation of House music.

In 1979, Chicago was infamous for hosting a "Disco Sucks!" rally in the middle of a White Sox doubleheader. The fans grew so excited over burning of disco records that they rioted, rushed the field, and the second game had to be cancelled.

A few years later disco was mutating into House and, as the liner notes suggest, there was "House Nation" everybody was as one, etc. etc. The usual dance cliches (Tear Down The Walls! Feel The Love Within The Bass!)

so anyway (it's early a.m., ya gotta give me a pass with my transitions between paragraphs) the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs hosts a program called Chicago SummerDance. Thursday through Sunday there is a dance lesson of some sort of dance (Salsa, Tango, Swing, etc.) and then a few hours with a live band. This year they've added DJ sets on Wednesdays-no dance lessons. I went with some friends from my hip hop class last night.

First of all, in the middle of the week, 6:30-9:30 p.m. is an ideal time to go dancing.

Second of all, because it's free and in the middle of a park, there is a truly diverse crowd. Not just racially (although it was) and socially (it was) but there were old people there, kids, homeless people and at least two women in floral print suits who shouted "We're in town for a convention!" at us, all shaking it on the portable dance floor.

If you attended raves in the early 90's, you're old enough to have kids now and indeed lots of former ravers were there with kids who were having a hell of a time blowing bubbles, playing with glow sticks, etc.

Nice to have something put on by the city that's totally free and totally works. I'll be back.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Well I'm somewhat done with my summer school class (no more assignments, just re-writes which aren't on deadline through the month of July) and I cautiously re-enter the blogosphere.

John Edwards-charming fellow. But is he as charming as the current vice president? From The International Herald Tribune:

By the second rally of his weekend campaign swing, Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to be getting the hang of it, delivering an entire line of his standard stump speech looking at the audience instead of the podium as he usually does.

Then the audience got a little too excited. Their cheers forced him to read the same line twice. The vice president is a man who likes to get on with things.

"You guys want to hear this speech or not?" he asked, not quite kidding.

This weeks issue of THE NEW YORKER has a story about The Lusty Lady, a peep show in San Francisco. My brother was briefly the manager there a few years ago. The article is about how the strippers bought out management and are now running the peep-show as a co-operative venture (they borrowed the set up of a local Natural Foods co-op for part of their operating structure).

The article goes on to confirm what I've always thought which is that collective groups are a gigantic pain in the ass. In theory, I would like for everyone's voice to be heard. But in practice, I'm not that interesting in doing the hearing (such a passive construction "Let every voice be heard" rather than "let me hear every voice"...no, it's somebody else who should be doing the listening whenever the talk turns to letting voices be heard).

Strangely, one employee of the club, a guy who works at the front desk (a job my brother held at the Lusty in Seattle for many years) named Aesop bemoans the fact that so many of the co-op's meetings discuss vaginas. Well duh.