March 31, 2005
During the most awkward photo-op I’ve ever seen- he and his sons lounge on a rock about 15 feet away from the press- Prince Charles let slip his true feelings about the paparazzi in general, and one reporter in particular. ‘Bloody people. I can’t bear that man, he is so awful, he really is.’, said Charles. Not at all surprisingly, the press’s microphones- since, remember, the press isn’t allowed within spitting distance- picked up his remarks.
So, what about the political implications of this whole situation? My Democratic friends have been happily insinuating that the Terri case may permanently split the Republican party, between the religious conservatives and the small government libertarians. I don’t think that’s going to happen, at least not any time soon, and here’s why:
The ‘Right’ is the only side debating anything and this is no different. The last election saw us debating gay marriage, abortion, immigration, the war and a myriad of other issues and deciding how Bush fit into our personal equations, while Democrats did their best to pretend John Kerry was their dream candidate.
The ‘Left’ has a much more dire situation than we do. They are supposedly for gay marriage, except that none of their leaders feel the same way and when ‘blue’ states like Oregon get to vote on the issue, they knock it way down. They are supposedly pro-choice but anyone on the (D) side that wants to run for president has to make the usual ‘I personally….’ comments against abortion. They are against the war, but most of their leaders voted for it. They are against the Patriot Act but nearly all of their leaders voted for it. They are against the No Child Left Behind act but many of their leaders voted for it. There’s no debate on the left, the people decide what they want and then the leaders they choose do the politically expedient opposite.
So, save the glee that a Republican split is coming. It may be, but as I’ve written before, it will be at the expense of the Democratic party’s existence. Yesterday’s editorial in the NY Times by Bill Bradley (a great read, by the way), describing the Democrats’ reliance on ‘the promise of a charismatic leader who can change America by the strength and style of his personality’ reminded me of my graduate thesis on Third Parties. That’s exactly the way most Third Parties have functioned in the last century. They sprung up around charismatic leaders and would disappear a few years later, unable to sustain the momentum without their chief. If the Republican party does split, one side will pick up conservative, protectionist Democrats while the other will pick up socially liberal, free-marketeers. Democrats can hope for the Republican split, but should understand the consequences.
A good friend of mine recently married a friend to let him stay in the country. They had an engagement party. They got married, didn’t tell her family, and then went home to their respective apartments. If something would happen to her, this man would have control over her fate.
A friend’s sister got married. She had work to tie up at her job and her husband went ahead to Europe where they would meet to honeymoon. On the flight over, he met a woman for whom, a year later, he would leave his wife.
Somewhere between 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in America. I know that people get estranged from their parents or siblings, I haven’t spoken to my own father in years, but I would wager it isn’t half the country.
I realize it is tradition for a spouse to take control, but I feel like we have to face reality: marriage isn’t what is used to be. There are often heard stories of ’starter’ marriages, unions that last only a few years and produce no children. Infidelity is so common in certain communities that no one blinks an eye. Divorce has gotten so easy that I’ve actually heard people take the marriage leap with the ‘D’ word on their tongue, just in case, you know.
I don’t blame Michael Schiavo, and I don’t think he killed his wife or just wanted her out of the picture so he could move on with his life. I think I know what Michael Schiavo wanted, closure or something like it. But, I have no idea what Terri Schiavo wanted and I wonder if a marriage in which a spouse has two children by someone else can even still be considered a marriage. And if it can, as it obviously was by the courts, what is marriage at all then?
Call me unromantic. Tell me I don’t know. But the truth is, marriage is in crisis. It’s time to reconsider whether a spouse, with a 50% chance of being an ex-spouse, should have the level of control that they currently do. I vote ‘no’.
March 30, 2005
I will not rest until I make the NY Press ‘50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers’ list. I want to be among Mr. Kim of Kim’s Video, Yankee Alex Rodriguez and Nick Denton on this special list.
The growth in the prison population has come amid a lingering insurgency in Iraq and despite the formal transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government last June.
I would’ve written that differently:
The growth in the prison population has come because of a lingering insurgency in Iraq and because the formal transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government last June has made cracking down on terrorists and criminals a priority.
March 29, 2005
We don’t hate Jews….we just don’t want to be anywhere near them.
Since everyone seemed to have a good time with the ‘Gambling’ playlist, I present another one. The theme is ‘Lost People’:
1. ‘A Baltimore Love Thing’- 50 Cent
2. ‘The State I Am In’- Belle&Sebastian
3. ‘Poison Oak’- Bright Eyes
4. ‘Atlantic City’- Bruce Springsteen
5. ‘Isobel’- Dido
6. ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’- Leonard Cohen
7. ‘Small World’- Nas
8. ‘She’s a Star’- James
9. ‘Hurt’-Johnny Cash
11. ‘Lipgloss’- Pulp
12. ‘Exit Music (For a Film)- Radiohead
13. ‘Bad Things To Such Good People- Pedro The Lion
14. ‘Hard to Find A Friend’- Tom Petty
15. ‘Poems’-Nearly G-d
Any other suggestions?
Update: Not everything on Yahoo News is real, this story is fake. Sorry.
I had dinner with famed commenter Von Bek on the upper west side a couple of hours ago. He’s a real person, in NY on business and doesn’t talk about James Polk as much as you’d think. He is also impeccably mannered, refusing to sit until I did, telling me I look as young as I did when he last saw me 3 years ago, and not pointing and laughing when I spilled my tea all over both of us. Coincidentally, Eric ‘I hate everybody and everything’ Deamer actually had a post about Von Bek today, apologizing to him, of all things.
I haven’t written about the Saturday night blogger party, mostly because I haven’t had time to catch my breath since then. Scott, Dawn and Dorian each make mention (I like Dorian’s best, for obvious swollen-head reasons).
March 28, 2005
In the spirit of Dawn Summer’s ‘Hookers and Strippers’ playlist on her ipod, I’m putting together a ‘Gambling’ playlist. Here’s what I have so far:
1. Have a Lucky Day- Morphine
2. The Gambler- Kenny Rogers
3. Atlantic City- Bruce Springsteen (not exactly about gambling but he does cash out all his money and heads to AC)
I’m sure there are a million others so help me out.
I know, I know, it’s stunning news. I just recently found out the president can’t walk on water. If I had known that before the election…..well, who knows, maybe I wouldn’t have traveled across the country to work to elect him and instead would’ve voted for John ‘I haven’t had a solid position this entire election season and I don’t ever intend to’ Kerry.
Jeff Harrell has a must-read piece on the hand-wringing and back tracking happening by some Bush voters because they’ve found out that no leader is perfect, no party will represent all of their positions and -gasp, gasp- that politicians sometimes make political calculations.
-Remember those questions from a Canadian that I answered last week? They were written by Matthew Good and I’ve been on his site a lot since. Despite my deep irritation at the tone of his questions, and us having near nothing to agree on politically, he’s not the worst and in the name of bridging some gap between right-wing Americans like myself and left-wing Canadians like him, I’ve added him to my blogroll in the ‘international’ section. He’s started a conservative section of his blogroll and is open to adding blogs to it if people drop him an email, so go give him some other perspectives. I’m not the only one who is impressed that he did that. Each one, teach one, right?
-Another new addition to the international list is Julien of The Point. Julien is a French conservative. I often complain about being so outnumbered in NYC. Well, I can imagine it’s so much worse for Julien. So go visit and wish him well.
-Wes Roth does the Roth Report, a Drudge-like news compilation site. He also aggregates several blogs.
Update: Another international blogger who I thought was taking a blogging break (checked a few times and no site was up so I took the link down) is back on the roll: I love America.
I don’t have the capacity to think any more about Terri Schiavo. I have been spared most of the mania because I don’t watch TV but bloggers have, obviously, been all over this story and I feel like I have little to add. I’m pro-tubist because I think starving a woman to death is never the right thing to do, not because Jesus tells this Jewish woman that that’s the right thing to do.
I have even less patience for the hysteria coming from some quarters that religious fanatics are at the helm of the Republican party. Again, I am not religious yet have come to the same conclusion as the people standing watch outside Terri’s room: this woman should not be killed. It’s not that complicated. We don’t starve dogs, we don’t starve killers, why are we starving her? Like I asked a few days ago, what kind of people are we?
Anyway, two of the funniest writers around, Jeff Goldstein and Mark Steyn have excellent, serious pieces on the subject. Jeff is on the political implications while Steyn writes about things that are wrong even when not illegal. Must reads.