Thursday, October 17, 2002

That illusory connection... again. The Idiot Called George Bush claims that "We need to think about Saddam Hussein using al-Qaida to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind." Huh? In the meantime at the Post, reality rears it's head:

Chas Freeman, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, said that the idea that a secular leader such as Hussein would link up with "religious diehards" who despise his government is "a very strange notion indeed."

But Freeman said the administration's assertions might become a self-fulfilling prophecy if the United States does launch an attack. In that case, he said, Hussein might "make an alliance with the devil" and promote terrorist attacks if he had nothing to lose.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Reading a lot of dooce to keep my mind off the upcoming war. You should read dooce every day.

Reading Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness which is hard for me to keep straight because I haven't read SF in a long time and I keep forgetting that the story takes place several thousand years in an alternate future, and that's supposed to make sense in some way. Otherwise it's brilliant: a planet of humans who are not born with innate gender identities, but instead take one on when they rut once a month. The characters are funny, and the LeGuin is not shy about examining the religious implications of a society ignorant of the Manichean allegory. But I'm never satisfied with fiction, either it's too real (William Trevor) or it ain't real enough. I'm much more comfortable with non-fiction these days. Except I've had a hankering for reading J.M. Coetzee after reading a review of the latest volume of his autobiography (which I would link to, except The New Yorker has this thing about never putting archives on the internet, which I just think is weird).

I saw David today. That's always a good thing. I had to return his ASP book, which I borrowed for an incredibly long time. I tend to borrow a lot from David, and he's always very gracious about it. I think I often have friends that have "more" than I do. For instance, David has much more more music knowledge than I do, a lot more computer knowledge, not to mention hardware, and is a lot funnier than me.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

You should read Kinsley in the Post from Friday:

"Ambiguity has its place in dealings among nations, and so does a bit of studied irrationality. Sending mixed signals and leaving the enemy uncertain what you might do next are valid tactics. But the cloud of confusion that surrounds Bush's Iraq policy is not tactical. It's the real thing. And the dissembling is aimed at the American citizenry, not at Saddam Hussein."

I took some 8-year-old girls to the zoo today. Pretty tired now. Best moment was when, on the way, they discussed how other kids make fun of your name, no matter how normal your name might seem. (One girl has last name "Katz," and a boy does a "meow" bit to her; stuff like that.) Having discussed this awful fact of childhood, they agreed: "let's think of all the kids we know, and try to figure out ways to make fun of their names." It was one of those moments, like something out of Milgram.

I have to finish my class in the next week. I find myself still puzzling out lots of questions that I think I should have figured out a long time ago. Not included in that set of questions is the fact that many times I can compile code on my gcc compiler that my Microsoft compiler won't compile. It doesn't make much sense to me how a very, very wealthy corporation can sell buggy compilers. But then again, I work for (what seems to me) a fairly large company, and we make mistakes. So maybe that's life.

Sometimes you can't look, but life reflects itself on the opposite wall. Then you can't help but look. I told Ivy tonight that growing older sometimes feels like you had magic spells once, but they no longer work. But now I think that, where once you thought you held magic, in fact you were just unready to accept any other possibility.

Her reply to me, in any case, was, "well, I wouldn't know; I'm not a grownup."

Monday, October 07, 2002

This, from "Foes of online music swapping sing out in Sacramento":

The group 3rd Storee, billed by record industry representatives as the next big boy band, said its latest CD, "Get With Me," was released Tuesday, but at a Sept. 28 concert, one fan admitted she had already downloaded the album.

"When she told me that, instantly my heart just dropped," said 3rd Storee member Dante Clark, known as D'Smoove.

"I was just hurt," Clark told the committee. "They don't see how much work, how many sacrifices, how much dedication goes into making an album. You feel like you've been robbed of something you worked so hard to gain."

First of all: D'Smoove? Does D actually get female interest when he whips out that name? What kind of woman goes, "hey, he's cute... and that name!"

Second: 3rd Storee's appearance in Sacramento (not a photo op) was keepin it real. You know what I'm saying, the record company is about artists. I wonder why we never got that before.

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