|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Friday, June 06, 2003
Posted 1:52 PM by WiN
Finally got around to reading Lileks today for the first time in weeks. He's doing his 'blogging' thing again ("thin old bread studded with links that resemble stale hard raisins"). As usual with this format, he's all over the map, but the last entry had me literally laughing out loud.
11:18 PM I had exactly six minutes of free time today, and I used it to watch the first segment of the Animatrix DVD. It consisted of two CGI characters having a Matrixy kung-fu fight; eventually the characters snipped each other’s clothes off. Very well done. Real-life pr0n videos are doomed; it’s all going to be CGI in a few years as the technology trickles down. And it will be just as mindless as ever. Dixar Pictures presents Finding Reamo.I think I'll just take his word for it.
UPDATE: Ok, I'm catching up on my Lileks fix. Ran across another chuckler, from Tuesday's Bleat.
Anyway. I put down the cedar chips this afternoon. Opened the bags, dumped them on the ground, spread them out. Ten bags. Ten big bags. After the second bag I realized something that everyone who’s ever dumped out a bag of mulch realizes:I have bags of mulch sitting in close proximity of my flowerbeds, where they have been sitting for *ahem* approximately six weeks. I'm hesitant to start that job, because I know it will require me handling way more bags of mulch than I have now. Better to leave them unopened and pretend you have an adequate supply.
Posted 9:36 AM by WiN
Mark Steyn, musher
Who'd a thunk it? In the last paragraph of this interview with reclusive, curmudgeonly conservative columnist Mark Steyn, he tells the interviewer that he "spend(s) a lot of (his) winters mushing - that's driving dogsled teams - through the snowy wastes of New Hampshire, Vermont and Quebec". He also talks about going unrecognized at a Spectator party and how rampant PC-ism has made American newspapers "the dullest in the English-speaking world" (I assume he's not talking about the New York Post, headline today - "New York Times - the Paper of Wreckage").
One of the more interesting questions deals with his reputation as a right-wing humorist. The interviewer starts out by saying "in this country (England) it's hard to find a funny right-wing columnist". Steyn replies brilliantly (and truthfully) that it is the left that could use a little humor at this point. While Steyn is admittedly the crème de la crème of right-wing political humorists (this column is one of the funniest I have ever read - I laughed so hard I cried), there are more than a few others worthy of mention. My favorites are P.J. O'Rourke (an oldie but a goodie), Jonah Goldberg (who was a lot funnier before he got married, but who isn't), Larry Miller (go here and do an author search), and of course uber-blogger James Lileks. Any of them are funnier than any ten leftist opinion columnists, but I may be a little biased.
My only gripe right now is that Steyn has seemingly gone "underground" and his output is sporadic, to put it mildly. I used to be able to get my weekly dose of Steyn by going here, but apparently he's had a falling out with new management so you have to look here and try to ferret out his various columns from the sites that still carry them. This site is, um, eclectic, at best, but worth picking through to find the recent stuff, just because he's so darn entertaining to read. Too lazy to do that? Then just buy his book. He'll even autograph it with a custom dedication. And if you're mushing through the wilds of Vermont one day, don't be surprised to come across the Anglosphere's most eccentric right-wing political humorist.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.