matters of little significance

Saturday, July 31, 2004

I was at friends' for the last night of the convention. There was some argument about whether or not we should watch it on FOX, but the anti-FOX people were on the verge of tears, so we opted for C-Span.

That was good, becasue we were able to watch as Andre Heinz introduced Chris Heinz who introduced Alexandra Kerry who introduced Vanessa Kerry who told a great story about how her father rescued her pet hamster from drowning, a story that was second only to Al Sharpton's line about riding the Democratic Donkey as the high point of the convention for me.

Then the video, then all the Swift Boat veterans, then Max Cleland in his wheelchair, screwed over by the Republicans (at that point I started thinking, W may think he has God on his side, but John Kerry may well BE God).

I thought John Kerry's speech was good, especially considering how everyone's expectations were so low.

By the end of the evening I wanted John Kerry to be my father, my boss, my landlord, my bank manager. He would make sure I paid my bills on time, got regular check-ups, ate healthy low-carb meals and watered my plants. Under a Kerry administration, my job would be fulfilling, my friendships easy, my love life exciting...

Oh, wait, *sigh*, back to reality and FOX News...

...and flying to Chicago for a Cubs game on Friday. Pictures to come.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Saying Barack Obama is like Tiger Woods is really lame. Think of something else to say.

So Ron Reagan makes a speech at the Democratic Convention which begins by saying that it must be non-partisan, and seems to be frighteningly scientific, and ends by saying you must make a choice in November "between true compassion and mere ideology".

And you know he is laughing up his sleeve because of who he is and why people are paying attention. He seems like he wants to be, and is, a completely ordinary person, and yet he is able to turn things inside out and upside down and get everyone's attention and say exactly what he thinks, which happens to be very different from what everyone assumes he would think.

I like that in a person (especially when I agree with what that person thinks, but sometimes even when I don't).

Guardian Unlimited Swinging the hip-hop vote

Typical. I had to go to England to find this.

The Nation: John Kerry forces Dems to oppose the death penalty

The Democratic party platform that will be adopted this week includes one particularly significant change from the platforms adopted by the party conventions of 1992, 1996 and 2000. During the platform-writing process, the drafting committee quietly removed the section of the document that endorsed capital punishment. Thus, for the first time since the 1980s, Democrats will not be campaigning on a pro-death penalty program.

(via atrios)

This afternoon I suddenly found myself at the AIGA Gallery's current exhibit Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics. It's really cleverly done and well worth dropping into if you happen to be around the Flatiron District anytime in the next couple of weeks.

Videos and transcripts of speeches from the Democratic National Convention 2004

I saw Bill Clinton's speech last night, and it was pretty good. Everyone at work was buzzing about it.

I've heard that the speeches from Jimmy Carter and Al Gore were also pretty good.

Monday, July 26, 2004

MoveOn PAC has put out a fundraising CD with songs from people like They Might Be Giants, David Byrne and REM.

Having recently spent a week with my 14-year old niece Hannah, who only likes hip-hop, I think perhaps they could have found a better name than "Future Soundtrack of America."

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Last night I watched "Night of the Iguanas" on PBS. I first saw it when I was a teenager, probably on PBS as well, and it made a tremendous impact on me -- well, two scenes, anyway, because I seemed to have forgotten the rest of the movie, except for two scenes that have played in my head countless times for most of my adult life.

The first is the one in which Richard Burton, as a defrocked priest, is walking on glass in his room in order to try to convince the girl, Sue Lyons (who also played Lolita), to leave him alone.

The second is the one in which Richard Burton, seeing that Deborah Kerr has only two cigarettes left and, knowing that she can't afford to buy any more, asks her for one; then when she unhesitatingly gives him the whole pack, tells her that he can tell she is truly a lady.

I didn't remember that Richard Burton also throws away the pack and tells Deborah Kerr that she shouldn't smoke those, and gives her his own imported European cigarettes. And I remember her as having more experience with men than she did in the movie, perhaps because of the unhesitating way she gave up her cigarettes.

For some stupid reason I wanted to be that woman when I grew up.

And if any man told me he would walk through fire and brimstone to get me to leave him alone, I certainly would take the hint.

I even had my own Tennessee Williams moment, when one year I decided to spend Thanksgiving in a youth hostel in New Orleans with my travel buddy J instead of going home to my family, and I met an Irish ex-priest on his way around the world, who left the priesthood for a woman who then left him, but who was more bitter about the church than about women, although he loved to talk about theology -- with women especially...