Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Nativity Scene

God bless Anderson Cooper.

The smack down he lays on Texas Rep. Leo Berman, over Berman's unshakeable fantasy that Barack Obama is not actually an American citizen, is truly something satisfying to behold. Cooper's approach isn't overly antagonistic or bombastic. Rather, it's the kind of patient, respectful probing that Socrates made famous through Plato. (Different than the kind of probing he practiced with Plato, though I've heard Anderson might not be averse to that line of discourse either.) Cooper simply shows his evidence and asks questions, which--as anyone who's ever desperately wanted to verbally string up an idiot knows--is a monumental show of poise on his part.

As for the birther issue, while I've reflexively rolled my eyes at it for years now, I think I've finally come to terms with the fact that I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

Most liberal bloggers say it's rooted in racism--Barack is black; he can't be an American President! So, the birth certificate issue is, what, the white, rightwing racist dogwhistle for the post-Jim Crow era? The bigots can't say out loud that a black man is unfit to be Commander in Chief--because they'd be ridden out of town--so this is the codeword they've settled on, "birth certificate"?

Look, I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, within sight of Stone Mountain. (I mean, c'mon.) I think I have a pretty good eye for this brand of hateful lunacy, just from years of exposure, if nothing else. Maybe I've lost my touch after some years here in the North but...I just don't see the racism here.

If I may distinguish one venom from another for a second: the white male supremacist doesn't register foreign blacks in his mythology. I would argue, in some sense, that he prefers them. "Go back to Africa!" and all that. His problem with African-Americans is precisely their American-ness, as it represents a clear threat to the image of his own. (I'm terribly tempted to make a "through a mirror darkly" joke...and I realize I just passive-aggressively did!)

The hubbub over the teleprompters on the other hand, now that I immediately understood. The idea that he couldn't speak so well, so properly, without outside guidance (from white handlers, I would imagine) goes back to the fundamental sneer bigots employ against educated black people being "articulate." Bing, bing, Bubba wins the spittoon!

But Obama being Kenyan, being other. I dunno. No buzzers go off. Which leads me to think that it's more just hopeful thinking on the teabaggers' part--a magical way to get rid of a political enemy. We'll just wish him away, they say. And believe me, I understand the desire. If someone came up to me in 2006 and said that George W. Bush was actually born in Ciudad Juarez because Barbara heard there was cheap formaldehyde down south, well, I'd be awfully tempted to believe it.

But I'd be wrong.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Random Thought: Doucheness

How long before hipsters start using Walkmans instead of iPods...?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nudie Pics

This whole TSA bodyscanning issue makes me terribly cross. Cross, I tell you!

Personally, I don't want some random dude/dudette simultaneously looking at me or my wife naked and potentially shortening our lives. I married my lovely wife because I liked the idea that I was the only person who would get to see her naked and because I'm hoping to spend a nice, long life with her. For folks keeping track, those are exact opposites of what the TSA is offering us.

There are many interesting angles to this, but the one that amuses me most is the idea that this may be the first issue of Obama's presidency that crosses ideological lines. As a left-leaner, I don't like it because I find it invasive and unnecessary, only good for conditioning the public to accept more and more outrageous assaults on our liberty and privacy in the name of fear.

However, I also understand a conservative's take on the matter--resisting the unnecessary growth of government; supporting an airport's ability to hire security firms it prefers--as well as that of the fiscal types pointing out the 6% drop in ridership (pdf, first result) that accompanied the rise of this demeaning security theater after 9/11 and are worried about further blows to the economy.

I mean, hell, I think even conservative Christians would nod right along with me when I talk about my disinterest in the woman to whom I made sacred vows being photographed naked by a stranger. And those people are batshit, especially when it comes to questions of a woman's right to her body! And yet, there we'd be, agreeing.

So here we are, Red America and Blue America, sitting at the table of bipartisanship for the first real time since Obama's election. It must be a relief for the President to finally have an issue where the winning side is also the right side, and to stand up with liberals and conservatives alike as our Chief and make clear that we are all the change we've been waiting for.

Sorry? Oh, you say he supports the scans and the pat-downs?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Bow Before The Bogg

From time to time, I enjoy testing my skill at nailing down the Shiller from Wasiller with the sharpest pins of wit and derision I can muster. It's a kind of cross-tent carnival game: I'm over at the one with the pop-gun and the stuffed animals, and she's a circus freak. It just works out.

Still, it's this amateur pastime of mine that makes me appreciate the level the pros play at.

TBogg's just...good.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

More Bush

Speaking of Bush, I think moving his upcoming memoir, Decision Points, to the True Crime section of your local bookstore is a truly fine idea.

Though seeing as I'm a firm believer in accurate labeling, and since this is Bush we're talking about, I'm torn between that and the ESL shelf...

No, Just....No...

There are so many things wrong with the idea that Barbara Bush showed little George W. her miscarried fetus back in the day that it makes my fingers hurt when I consider cataloging them, and it makes my stomach turn thinking about what I'd be cataloging.

Yes, there's the idea of a fetus in a jar to begin with, as well as the unsavory nature of most pro-life politics--to which Georgie-Porge apparently turned after this macabre vignette--and let's not forget the nauseating fact of W's very existence (natch). Yet, the most fundamentally disturbing element of the story is that the fetus is just more proof that someone actually engaged in voluntary intercourse with Mrs. Bush...and was happy enough about it to finish.

Know horror.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mawage: Year One!

Three years and two days ago, I kissed a girl.

One year ago today, I kissed that same girl, making her my wife.

This morning, I kissed the very same girl. And then I made coffee and she fed the cats. Ain't married life grand?

According to some tradition or other (one that apparently dates back to the Middle Ages, the interwebs tell me), the married couple on each anniversary is supposed to gift each other things made out of a certain material, like wood (heh) or crystal. Now, because we're corny, you've-been-the-love-of-my-life-since-I-first-saw-you-we-don't-need-no-stinkin'-piece-of-government-red-tape-to-know-what's-what types, we've already done paper and cotton (years one and two, respectively), even though we've only technically been married a year, so today we're supposed to give each other something made out of leather.

Why? Dunno. Three years seems like a little soon for a relationship to need spicing up. I would think maybe the seven year mark is more appropriate. The funny thing is neither of us really has an idea about what to get the other--though we've both suggested a cured ha'bunny pelt at one time or another. (For those playing at home, Eliza often looks and acts as if she was half cat-half bunny, and the English used to call a half penny a "ha'penny." Again yes, we're geeks. And yes, we joke about flaying and tanning her hide because we often want to kill her.)

If nothing else, I have promised my love the leathery feel of our skin after 60 years of wedded bliss. As far as gifts go, this one may take a while to deliver, but it'll be sooooo worth it in the end...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Yaawwnnn.....Anything New Happen Lately?

Bullet points with butterfly wings:

Republicans take the House. Sure, it sucks. But Dems didn't really turn out and the GOP once more relied on a constituency that has one foot in the voting booth and one in the grave. We can wait them out. The upshot is that the standard GOP types will now be forced to share their bed with their feral, teabagger cousins, while, conversely, members of the Blue Dog caucus were sent home in droves (which must hurt since they're used to taking their ball and going home when they say so), thus freeing the remaining Dems from at least a portion of their pandering duties.

On that note...Pelosi. She's stated she's interested in running for Minority Leader. Good. When I read comments like this, saying 1) why keep Pelosi? people hate her!, 2) if we have liberals in charge Obama will be caught in the middle, and 3) we should have more conservative leadership while we're in the minority!--I then set a puppy Havanese on fire before blurting 1) we keep her because she's proven good at her job (even now) and because the Republican puke funnel can make many Americans hate anyone, just look at Obama!, 2) well, I know which point of the triangle he should side with if he's pressed, and 3) um...what?

Olbermann is suspended without pay. Again, it sucks. But what I really want to know, given the specifics of MSNBC's rule against political giving, is if they really with-a-straight-face-no-fingers-crossed earnestness believe that Countdown is straight news rather than opinion. But even then, how do they think Olby's personal contributions (which are allowed) negatively affected his job performance, assuming he made clear the money wasn't on behalf of his employer? MSNBC Pres. Phil Griffin: today's most maybe biased, politically tin-eared person...in the world!

Okay, I'm sure I'll have more bullet points soon, probably aimed at your head from a car window (cause life's been a bit stressful lately).

Now go let your auto-correct misspell some tongue. Sorry, something.