Showing posts with label republican party. Show all posts
Showing posts with label republican party. Show all posts

13 January 2014

mental health mondays :: when the right makes two wrongs

i don't put a lot of stock in arguments from the nra as to why factors other than the ludicrously lax gun laws in america are chiefly responsible for the amount of gun violence there. i believe that the only way to effectively reduce gun crimes is to limit the number and power of weapons available to the general public and that the men who wrote the constitution and the bill of rights never envisioned their second amendment being used in the way it is by the pro-gun lobby. that's my opinion and while i believe it's correct, it's clear that there are other opinions about this, particularly among the right flank of american politicians.

one of the latest scapegoats/ explanations for gun violence in the aftermath of mass murders in colorado, connecticut and at a military base near washington is the country's method of dealing with mental health issues. and for once, the right wing and i are in agreement that something needs fixing and that having more comprehensive gun control will be of limited use if people with severe mental disorders have greater access to weapons than they do to healthcare. at least, i thought that we were in agreement until my good friend martin sent me this article regarding senator al franken's initiative to improve funding for mental health support.

as i mentioned, i don't think that mental illness is responsible for all or even most of the gun violence in the united states, but if you're going to argue that it is, then it helps to put your money where your mouth is. you can't just say "this is a serious problem" and then actively block efforts to solve it. or at least, if you do, you should have to make your explanation clear.

the argument that individual states should be responsible for health care is pretty tenuous. it's a libertarian fallback position absolving the federal government from responsibility for doing just about anything, other than those things which are equally necessary for all the states, but beyond the capacity of individual states to provide. however, i think there's a very compelling argument that access to mental healthcare is exactly that kind of thing. resources vary wildly from one region to another, but the danger presented by a mentally ill person determined to cause harm to others is equal, no matter where one lives. [note :: i mean that the danger would be equal wherever the situation exists, not that there are equal numbers of people with mental disorders in every area of the country.]

the importance of states' rights may be another point on which right wing politicians and i differ. but eventually, i hope that some enterprising journalist will see fit to ask one of the men who has blocked this legislation what they are doing to combat the problem of mental illness combined with gun violence. we're very aware of what they're doing to stop individual initiatives, but i don't see a lot of action directed towards fixing it. this, really, is the larger issue. politicians can list off their reasons for opposing individual pieces of legislation ad infinitum, but if they're going to justify their salaries, they also need to provide an alternate vision.

of course, no one will likely ask those questions, because they've not been asked before. senator tom coburn is notable for having opposed multiple efforts engineered to get help for returning veterans. senator mike lee from utah was one of the strongest advocates of the government shutdown late last year and his most recent piece of legislation is actually designed to block the influence of the supreme court's decision to legalize marriage equality. [to be fair, lee has also done some proactive work on easing the burden on the american prison system.] instead of having to answer the hard questions, politicians like lee and coburn are able to skate their way around by shrugging and saying it's someone else's problem.

in the meantime, conditions in the united states remain dire for many in need of mental healthcare and as long as there are people who are content to view their job as being to oppose legislation they don't 100% agree with as opposed to fighting for legislation that will solve real problems, it seems like little is going to change.

01 October 2013

right zombie

oh, republicans, i warned you this would happen. i'm not just being the "i told you so" bitch, either
[although i am being that, of course]. but i need to remind you that i did say in early 2012 that you'd be better off giving your nomination to a real fringe candidate- rick santorum seemed like the most likely and probably would have made as good a sacrificial lamb as anyone- than hedging your bets with a lightweight like mitt romney. [i'm assuming that having a rational, intellectual conservative like john huntsman was never on the table.]

now you might think that i said that because i wanted you to lose. and, in point of fact, i did want you to lose. but i also thought that things were stacked against you on that one anyway. short of a colossal cock-up by barack obama, the odds of you winning back the white house in 2012 were always long. the politically smart thing to do [although perhaps not the honest and forthright thing to do] would have been to ease off the gas on mitt and let the tea party babies have their bottle, by which i mean allowing the extreme wing of your party to put forward a nominee reflective of their views. yes, it would have been a temporary disaster for your fundraising and you would have lost the presidency by a landslide and probably put your house majority at risk. [although having a lame duck candidate would likely have allowed you to refocus on those races, so there's no telling what might have come of it.] but the larger point is that once the american electorate had kicked such a candidate's uptight ass to the curb, you would have been done. maybe not forever, but for the next few electoral cycles, you could have looked the likes of ted cruz in the eye and said "you had your shot. it didn't work. shut the fuck up and make us some sammiches."

but oh no, you had to go with the guy who looked good on paper, the guy who someone thought would just dazzle people with a smile and win their hearts and minds and votes. you got greedy and now we all have to deal with it. and i do mean all of us, because the looming threat that the u.s. government could just decide that it won't pay its bills [or, more realistically, that it won't pay the minimum interest payments on its bills] because a handful of republicans really hate the idea that public funds should be used for health care is something that could affect lots of people in lots of different countries.

because now there is just no shutting these people up. they still think that they're popular. they still think that their flag might have carried the day last year. and nothing that you say is going to stop them, because those people are fucking lunatics. there is no polite way to put that. you seem to be discovering what a lot of us have known for a while, which is that you cannot reason with that little fringe group. you cannot bargain with them. whatever you try to tell them, they are going to put their hands over their ears and keep right on talking, even if it means that they have to start reciting dr. seuss to drown out your irritating stream of rational thought. [by the way, how has no one pointed out the irony of ted cruz reading aloud a story about someone refusing to try something because he's assumed in advance that he'll hate it, while standing against the implementation of a program he hasn't tried, but is convinced that he'll hate? is that a little too brainy for cnn or something?]

tonight i watched chris matthews on msnbc uncharacteristically surrender the first part of his show to two republican moderates who stopped just short of grabbing the camera and screaming "for god's sake help us!" to anyone who might be watching. i feel like the only potential bright spot in this sad mockery of government is the possibility that after a couple of days, peter king [one of the two aforementioned moderates] might just put ted cruz in a headlock and start choking him into submission. [and honestly, do we see another way around the current impasse?]

but here's the sad thing, my republican freres: you had the opportunity to head this off. now, if you're going to give the tea partiers a shot at putting forward a candidate, you're going to have to do it when it really matters- in 2016 when you might have had a shot at recapturing the big seat. among your party zealots loyalists, cruz is enjoying "big mo" as my polling centre boss used to say, followed closely by dark horse rand paul [who had actually been at the front of the potential pack until the last week or so]. moderates like chris christie or- and i can't believe i'm about to say this- jeb bush are polling numbers just below "bart simpson" and "this school sucks". that's not indicative of where a lot of your potential voters are, of course, but that's the republican problem, isn't it? there's a block of extremists in your party who are a lot more likely to get involved in the nomination process than the laid-back folk who elected people like peter king. and the longer you hold them at bay, the louder they scream and the harder to control they become.

i realise that part of the problem is that a lot of the more "normal" members of your caucus don't dare cross these lunatics because they're so shit-scared of having that voting block come after them with an even more right-wing candidate when they're up for re-election next year. but when you're juggling chainsaws with the world economy, it is not the time to send in the clowns.

as ridiculous as the idea seems, you should have taken my advice, g.o.p. now the corpses of your primary and electoral past have risen from the grave with a mindless thirst for blood and universal health care. we're feeding you to them first.

[zombie santo image by dom, of course.]

09 November 2012

republican recap :: nuts and dolts and angry birds

i'm trying to adjust to life without the american election. after all, being a smartass on twitter and on this blog is what gives my life meaning and, since we're not in the middle of any electoral cycle- at least none that i'm following actively- i'm feeling a little lost.

which is why i thought i'd offer my entirely unsolicited opinion to the american republican party. now, i'm happy that the election results came out the way they did. i'd have been even happier if the democrats had taken over congress and paved the way for unfettered socialism and the mass-scale redistribution of wealth which is so clearly their priority.

but after watching the whole republican nomination process for months on end, i feel a sort of... well, actually, i don't feel anything. i admit i stayed up late on tuesday in the hopes that i'd get to see some of them cry, but i do feel that a democracy functions best when there is an effective opposition to the party in power. also, i just like the sound of my own typing.

i do think that people have picked up on something: it was always possible for the republicans to win this race. it was always going to be a fight and while many polls exaggerated how close the race was in its dying days, they were always in the running. it just so happens that they made a tragically poor choice of which horse to send to the track. yes, it looks on paper like he came close, but keep in mind that the number of voters who actually shift from one party to another is diminishing and a couple of percentage points in the popular vote is a much larger victory than it might appear to the casual observer.

but in order to win this election- and possibly to win any presidential election in the near future- the republican party needed to take a stand. there is clearly a darth vader vs obi-wan kenobe battle for the soul of the party going on and both are pointing the finger directly at the other as the reason for the loss.   the thing is, one side is right.

pundits gave a lot of credit to the tea party patriots movement in 2010 for re-energising the republican base after right round walloping of their electoral backside two years earlier. and there's no doubt they did motivate that base to go out and vote during midterm elections, which are the ones that fall on those even-numbered years in between "real" federal elections and involve voting for a third of the senate and every congressional seat, but not the presidency, so most people don't pay too much attention. the fact that a lot of people don't pay attention makes it really easy for midterm elections to get hijacked by any group that can "motivate its base", meaning get their target audience into a froth because of gays or taxes or gay taxes or, you know, anything that you can still get people in middle america to hate. it just doesn't take all that much to swing the vote one way or the other. [in fact, former gop candidate newt gingrich mastered this political move with the midterm elections in 1994. i'm still waiting for the liberal left wing to figure it out.] this should have been the reaction of most republicans when that happened:

"good job guys, you won back congress. now go play in traffic, or see how long you can hold a plastic bag over your head before people start actually paying attention to the inane shit that comes out of your sound-hole and let us find someone we can send into battle against obama."

THE RANT CONTINUETH THIS WAY...

11 April 2012

well that was fun while it lasted...

i suppose i knew that this was going to happen, but it does seem like every time i get to like a television show, it either jumps the shark [an expression that always sounds like something you dare a drunk teenaged boy to do] or gets canceled. and so it is with "the republicans".

to be honest, since they moved the show away from the "debate" format and started getting rid of some of the more entertaining characters, it's gotten a little stale. i mean, i know that you always need the central character to be a sort of "straight man" so that the audience can identify, but the character of stiff rich guy mitt just doesn't seem that human.

i originally didn't see much of a future for the uptight, repressed rick santorum character, because he was just so outrageous, ill-informed and objectionable that, even in the beginning-of-season crowd, it seemed impossible that he could get taken seriously. but the writers really brought him to life after that first big shindig in iowa and compared to robo-romney, a man who once compared homosexuality to bestiality seemed like the genuine one.

far from seeming unbelievable, santo almost got a little too real, telegraphing one of my all-time favourite bits from mel brooks...

original
santo

... you know what, rick? i believe you. i once told dom "don't get your knickers in a knot", which was how i found out that that expression is not widely known in french canada and sounds a lot like something else when you don't enunciate properly. it's just that when i stumble like that, dom takes my vodka smoothies away and tells me to get some sleep. when you stumble like that, people think you're playing to your audience. which should tell you something about what we think of your audience.

yes, things are over for santo, which basically ruins the whole "republicans" show, because the gingrich character just didn't turn out to be as interesting and funny as he looked at first. but the fact is, mitt romney and the republican campaign of 2012 has been marked by santorum and that mark cannot simply be wiped away.

the entire story has become about romney's lack of appeal with "real" republicans compared to santo's. and "real" republicans are apparently those who appreciate a good ni-joke. although they might try to hide it by nominating the guy who looks like he rolled off an assembly line he then shut down and moved to india, you've made a stand for the core of the republican party: people who fear homosexuals, the educated, women [or at least their womanly parts], muslims, union workers, hispanics and the poor.

so bravo, santo, as you ride off into the distance. thanks to your candidacy, we all know a little bit more about who the republicans really are.

27 March 2012

santo vs. il caca de toro

it's entirely possible that bullshit is the best thing to happen to rick santorum's campaign since exit polls allowed him to create the underdog narrative that have made the race for the republican nomination a bit more interesting. for one thing, if you google "santorum bullshit", it generates a page full of links to his outburst against a new york times reporter. any politician would jump at the chance to have a google search of his/ her name + bullshit turn up anything but a critical analysis of their record. and this is an especially great victory for santorum, who has been fighting a severe google disadvantage for the entire campaign. bravo.


obviously here at more like space, we've grown kind of fond of "fighting santo" [no, you said you hated him. you said you hated everything about him. you called him "a dangerous, mean-spirited, sanctimonious creep" right on this blog. -ed.], so to hear the hero of social conservatism get all potty-mouthed sends shivers up our spine. particularly because he was totally right. while he might have uttered the words "mitt romney is the worst candidate to run for the republicans" [i'm lazy so i'm not checking the phrasing- rest assured he said something pretty much exactly like it and probably more than once], it was always when he was speaking on the issue of health care and his point was that, if republicans wanted a candidate who would stand against the idea of them having their tax dollars used to fund affordable health care for all citizens, romney was not their guy, because of that whole providing public health care in massachusetts dealie. and when you think about it, he's not only right about the reporter's question being bullshit, about about the whole health care debate too. double bullshit? [i think that's a summer menu item at burger kind -ed.]


the romney campaign was quick to characterise santorum's reaction as an "epic temper tantrum", probably trying to bury the notion that it reinforced santo's undeniable flawed humanity in contrast with romney's creepy robotic perfection. i'm kinda glad that santo hasn't backed down from the dirty word, if only so that i can watch t.v. news commentators struggle with new ways to avoid using the term "bullshit" in ways that don't make them look like prudish eight year olds [hint: mission impossible]. fcc regulations give curse words the kind of power normally reserved for valdemort. talk about bullshit.


it does, of course, feel like the romney campaign has entered metastasis, slowly but surely spreading to different branches of the party with the inevitability not so much of a conquering hero as the exotic disease he brought home with him from wars abroad. even cnn couldn't be bothered to cover santo's decisive win in louisiana over the weekend and normally wolf blitzer and john king will cover a race for elemetary student council if it gives them the chance to talk voter data and break out the big board. [as an aside, dom has a theory that the board is actually a very high tech murphy bed where wolf sleeps at night, accounting for the fact that he seems to turn up first thing in the morning to talk electoral aftermath, even when vote counting goes into the wee hours.]


party heavyweights like jeb bush [no, i'm not making fun of him] have stepped forward to endorse romney with statements like "yeah, we should probably start making it look like this is the guy we want". endorsing someone by saying it's time to quit acting like the party has a choice in the matter is about the only thing more depressing for the average american conservative than the prospect of having to get excited about a romney candidacy.


but team romney don't see any reason to stop there. john sununu apparently dismissed the idea that the republican nomination race should continue because all the "significant republicans" had already endorsed romney. wow. if i were mitt, i'd be on the phone asking sununu if he'd consider endorsing someone else. if you could make a list of loaded terms that a candidate saddled with an image of privilege and distance from the common man should avoid, "significant" would be right up there. even if you know that very rich people can buy their way into office, you do usually still have to go through the motions of getting the votes. [they're working on that -ed.] telling people who can vote that they're not significant is some pretty epic bullshit. 


seriously, it's apparent to everyone that the best thing that romney has going for him is that he's unlikely to offend the sensibilities of the mysterious "independent voters", or as i like to call them, the "bland block", a sliver of the american voting population who apparently object to candidates who believe in just about anything and who are only capable of developing opinions one election at a time. this is the group to whom the world's largest, wealthiest and most visible democracy has surrendered its decision-making. talk about bullshit.


if i haven't said it before [you have -ed.], i think strategic voting, while sometimes necessary, is a pretty contemptible strategy. it's the sort of thing that should make you feel dirty for having to do it. voting for someone you don't like just because you think he or she has a better chance of winning against someone you like less is a sure way to perpetuate mediocrity in politics and to continue to cede power to the "bland block" that all democracies seem to develop. pretty much any political opinion santo ever utters makes me feel queasy. i still believe that a battle between him and barack obama is a battle of one set of ideas and moral values against another. i'd like to see what the result of that battle would be.


instead, it really does seem like we're going to be left watching obama vs. the results of the republican corporate marketing machine; the candidate who's tested best with middle-of-the-road focus groups in flyover states, who looks sort of like people think a president is supposed to look like, which is more or less like the main character from "american dad". and despite the fact that recent elections indicate that people don't actually tend to vote for that kind of person, the marketing department seems to have decided that this is the horse they're going to ride. and to allow that to dictate party strategy is just utter bullshit.


in the end, it looks increasingly like those responsible for marketing romney are the only ones excited about their candidate. to most of the rest of us, and i think to most republicans, the last man standing seems less inspiring and presidential and more like the kind of repulsive by-product of an overly vigorous process. there should really be a term for that.  

23 March 2012

friday favourites 23.03.12

image of the week
yes, i have finally come back inside. i've spent the last few days seeing how many aerosol cans i can fire off into the atmosphere so that the rest of spring lives up to the giddy insanity of the last few days. i want my global warming and i want it now!

ok, kidding. besides, i had someone assure me this past week that climate change is a conspiracy by governments to allow them to tax us more. and the polar ice caps are growing as much as they ever have. it's on the internet. so we're all safe.

unfortunately, the unseasonably warm weather is due to end tonight and we're back down to single digits [celsius, not fahrenheit] for the foreseeable future. it was really only a couple of weeks ago when we were getting excited to know that the mercury was staying above the freezing mark during the day, but come on, we're spoiled now. that sort of average performance from our weather just isn't going to excite us anymore. besides, i'm vaguely afraid that it'll snow just to mock us.

but while i've spent a lot more time out of doors this week, i do still have some favourites to pass along. enjoy!

good news :: stuff i can't make up from around the internet


painted graffiti is so last year... knitted graffiti is where it's at.

and speaking of knitting, perhaps you'd like to remind your local politician to stay out of your lady parts by knitting him a set of his own? [don't think you're safe if you're in canada, either. the harper government is supposedly ready to allow debate in april on an anti-choice private member's bill from caucus member stephen woodworth.]

so if you don't want your business showing up on google earth, now you know where to go.

what's better than a film on cybercrime from the guy who invented csi, my guilty network television pleasure? a film on cybercrime from the guy who invented csi, my guilty network television pleasure that i can watch on my computer wearing my lululemon pants and eating brownies.

have you ever wondered what "requiem for a dream" would look like if it was a graphic novel made of old "cathy" cartoons? neither have i, but i'm glad someone did. [link courtesy of metafilter]

breaking news, kuwait: "borat" was not a documentary.

goings on :: things you can [and should] participate in


if you're in montreal... the mythbusters "behind the myths" tour hits town next friday at place des arts. tickets are $47.50- $133.50 through evenko, which is a bit of a strain on the budget, but jamie and adam are a once in a lifetime kind of experience. on a surprisingly unrelated note, mythbuster's resident lady-eyecandy tori belleci was in montreal today eating food. but dom and i weren't able to find him. not that we were stalking or anything, but we were downtown. maybe kind of indifferent hipster stalking.

if you're in london [u.k.]... check out "the portable museum". it'll be popping up at various locations until march 25th. the facebook site [linked above] has a number you can text in order to get directions to the day's sites.

musical notes


ok, this has already been posted in every other space on the internet aside from this one [and even then, i posted it on my facebook page], but it is truly deserving of its meme-ality. a lot of mash-ups are pretty lame, throwaway sort of things, but this actually evinces some pretty sharp editing skills. and it's hilarious.


follow-up and shameless self-promotion


well, technically this isn't self-promotion, but i do encourage you to go and check out dom's archive of his wonderful artwork for "the caustic lounge", including the latest and greatest for the upcoming april 4th event. if you're interested in attending that one, we're encouraging the wearing of easter bonnets in the spirit of the season.

also seth would like to send much sexxxxy luvz to all those who made my post of photos of his awesome exposed belly one of the most popular on more like space this week!

i've been re-importing a lot of photos since "the reinstallation" and i thought, as a follow-up, you might like to see a photo of him when he was wee. as you can see, he is hard at work building that nice round tummy that got so much love this week. and, although the photo is a bit fuzzy, there is something about his expression that is really quintessentially him, that perfect balance between cocky and cute.



thanks for reading!!

19 March 2012

the real slut problem

rush limbaugh, bill maher [not exactly as pictured]
i was watching cnn earlier tonight and saw erin burnett giving her response to being called out on rival network msnbc over backing republicans who equated comments made by comedian and obama super pac donor bill maher with those made by radio talk show host rush limbaugh. predictably, burnett was defensive, repeating that to her, there was no meaningful difference between comments maher has made about conservative politicians like sarah palin and michele bachmann and those made by law student and women's health advocate sandra fluke.

the aftermath of "slut-gate" generally has had me a bit at odds with myself. my knee-jerk reaction is to assume that those who are sounding off about maher, burnett included, are doing so purely out of political interest and wouldn't care if the democrats sacrificed a woman as the climax of their convention. [maybe if she was a virgin, but i digress.] my other knee-jerk reaction is to think that there is a peculiar nastiness in comments directed towards women in the political sphere that i don't necessarily see directed at men- as if it's predicated on a belief that they don't really belong.

so i'm kind of stuck, both knees jerking uncontrollably, trying to figure things out.

i see the point that democrats, liberals and those from the proverbial left in america have when they say that maher is a comedian and that his comments are presumed to be outrageous/ unrealistic by virtue of this, whereas limbaugh purports to speak seriously about issues. you can go back and forth on that alone for quite some time: maher's status as a comedian would probably not have saved him if he'd used the n-word to describe tea party congressman tim scott and limbaugh would likely concede that he exaggerates for effect, even if his listeners don't get that.

and you could argue that claiming that africa is a country or that vaccinations make people retarded does make you stupid, while testifying before congress that women should have access through their employer's health care insurance plan to oral contraceptives for a variety of health issues does not make you a slut.

i even get the republican point [yes, you read that correctly] that there is a certain hypocrisy when you only cry foul over derogatory terms in the mouths of your political opponents. i felt the same sense of unease when feminists were falling over themselves to talk about how wonderful bill clinton was, rather than saying what most of us felt to be the truth: he was a shitty individual to his wife and to a degree to the women he was cheating on her with, but that isn't a political issue. end of story.

that sort of clarity is what's needed in this situation and although i doubt it's going any further than you and me, here it is:

bill maher's brand of comedy is scathing and he can say some things that most people are going to find harsh. the fact that he's a comedian doesn't make what he says insincere, because his fans and viewers all know that he believes what he says and is trying to get his audience motivated in much the same way as limbaugh does. he isn't giving a million bucks to re-elect obama as a set up for a big punchline.

and you know what? i could even be persuaded to think that he's a misogynist. i don't, but if someone who knew him wanted to tell me he was, i wouldn't immediately write them off as a republican operative. it would mean that i would always view bill maher as a sexist jerk, but i'm not trying to date him and, since i'm in my thirties and not a model, he's not trying to date me, and that would be the end of it.

and therein lies the difference between maher and limbaugh.

no one, least of all the republicans who are crying foul over maher, think that his statements are reflective of a larger anti-women agenda within the democratic party. many, many people think that limbaugh's statements are precisely that- the crest of the g.o.p. iceberg. you can play word-for-word match games between maher and limbaugh from now until november and none of that will change the fact that republicans have been moving backwards on women's rights since they pushed through the 19th amendment in 1919. [seriously. look it up.]

limbaugh's been saying insulting, erroneous, batshit crazy stuff for years without this scale of reaction, but when there are so many examples of republican-driven legislation that seems backward, condescending or flat-out hostile, it ties into a larger story.

so it's not just about the "slut" tirade. it's about what those statements reveal about how a lot of republicans think about women to begin with.

14 March 2012

the continuing adventures of el santo vs. mammon

it just doesn't stop.

i'd pretty much decided that last night was going to be a mundane affair, where the results would likely mirror the polls for the republican nomination campaign: gingrich would win alabama, romney would eke out a victory in mississippi, following the time-honoured canadian tradition of taking advantage of a split opposition vote. there hadn't really been any major hiccoughs to derail things. romney and gingrich parried over grits and polls showed us some other things about the south that confirmed most of our worst fears about that area of the world. [forget gay marriage, mississippians still struggle with the debate over interracial marriage.] although rick santorum had scored an outrageously skewed win in kansas over the weekend, the consensus was that his competitors gave that one to him, because they were busy fighting in the "real" battle along the gulf. things moved lazily, like a southern summer breeze and when wolf blitzer did his "in this race anything can happen" opening for the cnn primary coverage, even dom screwed up his face and answered "you always say that". [yeah, we've watched enough cnn that we talk to wolf right through the television scrceen.]

it honestly seemed like the southern primaries weren't really going to change a lot in terms of momentum. if romney won one state, he'd have a weak-kneed claim to being a viable candidate in the south [if you ignore the whole vote-splitting argument]. if newt won one and came close in the other, he might be able to breathe life once more into his increasingly moribund campaign. [even freddie and jason burnt out their appeal eventually.] santorum could certainly continue if he came a solid second in both states, although he really needed a win to maintain any sense of momentum. but basically the biggest thing that looked likely to happen would be that mitt romney, might start to begin the process of really locking down the nomination the way that ari fleischer insists he's been doing all along.

and then...



recent events have led me to believe that there is a concerted effort on behalf of the santorum campaign to either avoid answering polls altogether or to lie, even at exit polls when it theoretically doesn't matter. because it's not just that the campaign has put together a nice little pack of wins and strong performances. it's that the candidate has been consistently outperforming his poll numbers in virtually every race. polls in alabama had him running third, but from the moment the polls closed, he was ahead and remained there the entire night. sure, it was a pretty tough three-way race, but in the end, el santo bested gingrich by almost 30,000 votes. that's not exactly squeaking by.

in mississippi, of course, the vote was much closer. but the fact remained that santorum maintained a thin lead for the entire night [despite running third in pre-vote polls and still trailing romney in the exit polls]. once again, a flummoxed media had to admit he'd grabbed both states.

we all know that polls can be inaccurate, but statistically, it's extremely unlikely that they would be inaccurate in the same way across multiple jurisdictions unless something was wrong. and to santo's team, if you are encouraging your supporters to stay silent or tell little white lies for god and rick, may i just say: well played.

after all, there is something compelling about an underdog story, particularly to americans. and the fact that these come-from-behind [sorry for any unfortunate imagery that puts in your head] wins keep happening bolsters the sense of momentum around the campaign. it also means that the overall nomination process narrative is more or less being dictated by the santorum people: mitt romney is continually cast as the privileged new england preppy with a sense of entitlement and the law on his side who is continually outwitted by a simple, hard-working man of the people. what's worse is that the more romney crows about his delegate count in response to criticisms that he can't buy a win to save his life, the more he plays into that image- the machinery of the political power structure is working in his favour against the wishes of the people. he's one step short of walking out to the tune of the death star theme.

big picture advantages aside, anyone who's worked on a political campaign will tell you that it's good to have the polls make things look tighter than they really are, because it makes it a lot easier to get your vote out. nothing is more nerve-wracking than having your guy up by 5% and everyone knowing it, because people tend to start thinking that they really don't feel like going to the polling station when he's going to slide by anyway. life for that campaign manager is hell.

the fact is that romney is still so far ahead in delegate count that talk of him losing the nomination seems strange. and newt gingrich, who came second in both races, is actually romney's greatest campaign asset, since without him to siphon votes from the right, santo's wins would have been annihilations [to say nothing of the fact that he would have triumphed in the tightly contested states of michigan and ohio with relative ease].

in fact, gingrich may already have effectively paved the way to a romney victory by playing spoiler in a handful of important states. when you look at what's left, it's hard to imagine romney losing either new york or california [although granted, the latter won't vote until june], which leaves only texas as a really major prize in the delegate sweepstakes. many of the most populous states have already passed, so even if gingrich were to drop out at this point, it's questionable whether santorum could catch up.

the more interesting question is whether or not romney would be able to secure enough delegates himself to guarantee a nomination before convention time. while i don't think that santo has it in his mind to run for the vice presidency, it might transpire that it becomes necessary for him to be the v.p. candidate because romney won't be able to count on the party's conservatives turning out in the general election unless santorum is with him on the ticket. [and don't talk to me about how long the obama- clinton 2008 fight went on. that fight was tough because both of them had such passionate supporters. i'm not convinced even mitt romney is a passionate mitt romney supporter, which means that a lot of people who back him now will see long voting lines in november, or leave work late, or get a great deal on a vacation and will think that four years really isn't such a long time to wait and flake off from their voting duties. mitt romney supporters are so ambivalent that they've drained the fire from ron paul supporters after paul was seen to be engaged in political shenanigans with the former governor.]

whatever happens, these last minute twists and thrills do make for compelling television. i also think that we might be witnessing the final transformation of american politics from reality into scripted entertainment, the more against-all-odds grassroots victories i see, the more sermons from madman newt, the more tragi-comically awkward television moments from the pre-ordained nominee [right now there are dozens of campaign workers coming up with reasons why, when mitt said he was going to win at least one state in the south, he didn't mean "win" in the sense of getting the most votes, but in some moral, "a bronze medal is great for the special kid" way that you see in bad movies, something his campaign is starting to resemble...] it seems like the real trick for the g.o.p. would be bringing this all back to the realm where we take them seriously again. as a friend of mine put it, it's become more "show" than "reality".

in the meantime, there does seem to be a biblical passion play happening for the souls of republicans and apparently it's also easier to pass through the eye of a needle than for an extremely rich man to get on the g.o.p. ticket this year.

[once again, thanks to dominic f. marceau for the wonderful "santo" artwork. i swear that i'm going to make these all into a set of greeting cards if he confounds us all by winning.]

20 February 2012

the passion of santo

welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the right-off, the conservative battle of the new millennium, the epic war for the souls of the everyman. [everywoman is not in high demand, since we all know that her vote really shouldn't be worth more than half a male vote and she'll probably be too busy admiring her nails and her new lemony-scented oven cleaner to remember to vote anyway.] these are the days when the challenge is set and the red state warriors must stake their claim for the loyalty of little people like you and me.

well, not like me. and, if you're reading this blog, probably not like you either, because, like me, you're likely to be the sort of snide liberal shit who sits back and watches the republican nomination campaign unfold with a micro-brewery beer and the sense of superiority that rick santorum rightly accuses us of having. that's right people. we're the elite snobs. and, as it turns out, elite snobs are every bit as susceptible to the charms of reality t.v. as our trailer-park-dwelling cousins. we just like to be able to convince ourselves that we're watching something of great political depth and import. please don't tell us we're not. we don't want to have to stop watching because we can't fit it into our snobby world view.

but having watched this process for months [j.h. christ, seriously? months????], i have come to a decision that might surprise you: the republican party should nominate rick santorum.

and no, that isn't just the smirking liberal who sees an easy election win talking. it is, but that's not all it is. i've come to the decision that there is not really a good argument for any candidate other than santo for the g.o.p., unless they're being completely hypocritical. [o.k., there's ron paul, but the fact is that many of his policies fall well outside the comfort zone of the majority of republicans, who aren't really libertarians, even though they might like to think of themselves that way.] the more i watch the republican nomination process, the more i think that the party has never had a candidate who embodied their supposed ideals more than rick santorum. and if they choose to push forward with mitt romney, they're essentially admitting that their views are unpalatable to the majority of voters.

dammit, people. it's time that you stand up for what you believe in. for those of you who are still deciding, i'd like to lay my wildly inaccurate record on the line by exploding a few of the popular media narratives that have marked this nomination process.

popular media observation #1 :: "in 2008, the obama- clinton fight went until june and was incredibly divisive, but the party coalesced behind their candidate and the fight made obama stronger. what's happening in the republican party now is similar." 

no, it isn't. in 2008, the republicans were going through a nomination fight of their own. in 2012, the republicans are fighting a sitting president with a huge war chest and a money-raising machine behind him.

in 2008, two clear frontrunners emerged and fought each other. in 2012, among republicans, mitt romney has always been the clear frontrunner. even after santo's stunning hat trick of minnesota, missouri and colorado, romney is still the guy to beat. hilary clinton and barack obama were always seen as evenly matched, whereas whoever goes up against romney is an underdog.

of course, even if you do accept that the fights are similar, there's something to be learned from the conclusion. in the fight between the establishment pragmatist and the idealist, the idealist won both the nomination and the presidency. technically, that makes santorum the best bet.

popular media observation #2 :: "romney's strategy of using negative ads is working."

not exactly. it worked against newt gingrich, but that may be an exceptional case. for starters, it's just not that difficult to make newt gingrich look unsympathetic and untrustworthy. gingrich has a tendency to look pretty unsympathetic without any help. so sure, reminding people of all the things that he'd done wrong was an effective political move. you know what was even more effective for romney in that case? newt gingrich acting like a petulant child who wanted to blame his failure on cheating by the frontrunner.

but what works against newt is not necessarily going to work against santo. where gingrich is bellicose, santorum is positively humble. he has described himself as "not the most exciting speaker", but he's doing an excellent job of convincing people that that really doesn't matter too much. sure, to many of us he's a gay-bashing, woman-hating, war-mongering basin of leftover douche water, but he's also peculiarly likeable. the leader of the colorado republican party told cnn in no uncertain terms how santorum pulled off a rather stunning upset: he won big in areas he visited. in fact, santorum has won every state where he has put serious time into meeting and talking to people except south carolina [which he ceded to gingrich, not romney].

i've been aware of him and his most objectionable views for years. i shuddered when he got into the race, because i thought that there was no way that i could handle hearing him talk even at a single debate. and yet, on the morning after he released his long-promised taxes, i watched him being interviewed, talking about how he had bought a new home to accommodate his large family and how he'd had to take steps to pay down his debt when the house lost 40% of its value and i was practically levitating, because damn he was good. this is a man who makes almost a million dollars a year who is making a credible case that he understands the plight of the panicked middle class homeowner. [note: i have to admit that when i first typed that last bit, i used the phrase "i was practically frothing at the mouth" rather than "i was practically levitating". and then i realised that that wasn't a good idea.]

all this to say that, while romney has already started to carpet bomb santorum in michigan, where the former senator seems ready to open a particularly humiliating can of whoop-ass as of this moment, i don't know that the tactic is going to be as successful. you can crap on gingrich, because a lot of people don't like him very much anyway, but santorum? romney runs a serious risk of looking like the rich bully beating up on the nice kid who spends his after-school hours taking care of his brothers and sisters. as long as they're not gay.

although the media is strangely resistant to letting go of the idea that romney's negative ads work, they tripped over themselves putting the national spotlight on santo's response to the negative potshots of his rival. where gingrich was whiny and tantrum-prone, santorum is humourous and off-handed. while neither may be the case, santo looks noble and romney looks desperate.

popular media observation #3 :: "rick santorum does well with social conservatives, who haven't warmed to mitt romney."

yes, but that's missing the point. santorum certainly does well with social conservatives, but that demographic had no problem voting for romney in new hampshire and florida. he did pretty well with them, in fact. sure, when santo puts in the effort, he wins that group easily, but the issue isn't that mitt romney has a credibility problem with social conservatives. the issue is that mitt romney has a credibility problem with everyone. and unlike santo, who seems able to connect with people almost without trying, romney's favourability ratings seem to sink the more people get to know him.

that has to be the worst metric possible for a would-be presidential candidate. i mean, if romney wins the nomination, is his party planning on sticking him a hole somewhere from august to november and hope that plastering pictures of his chiseled jaw and perfect hair will be enough to win people over? how do you wage a campaign for someone who gets less likeable every time you see him? you can't. it's a losing proposition and i have to think that people in the republican party know this.

popular media observation #4 :: "if romney isn't able to overcome santorum [and the others] by super-tuesday, the republican party will pressure someone new to parachute in and take the nomination."

sure they will. if they're secretly going to vegas and betting the party's money on an obama win in november.

every time that rumour gets repeated on air, the possibility becomes exponentially more stupid. because every time it's repeated, more people realise that, if the party does throw a mitch daniels or a chris christie or, in their ultimate fantasies, a jeb bush into the ring, it is going to look like an establishment rejection of the democratic process. even if they were to manage to push their chosen one through [and, while i don't know much of daniels, i suspect that both christie and smarter bush are too shrewd to be conned into pissing away their political future on a maneuver that reeks of desperation], they'd be lucky to get half their supporters out on election day. no prize, not even the prospect of winning the presidency and both houses of congress, is going to overcome the wrath of a grassroots electorate scorned and the republican party would be wise to consider that.

so where does all this leave us? us? what are you, joking? i live in canada and we've got our own problems. i'm just an international observer.

where does it leave the republicans? well, it kind of leaves them up in the air. it's possible that santorum will self-destruct and clear the way to a romney victory. certainly, his deeply unpopular views on contraception and on reproductive rights could be an embarrassment for the party. on the other hand, those views aren't going to hurt him any with his core. and he has shown an uncanny ability to connect not just with social conservatives, but with blue collar workers, those downtrodden folk who have been most hurt by the exodus of manufacturing jobs. no one in their right mind is going to argue that mitt romney is going to be able to pull that off.

in fact, his popularity with that segment may make santorum more electable than romney, because he might be in a better position to capture potential swing states, even if he were weaker against obama in states that the democrats are already likely to take.

so what's my advice? well, not that anyone's about to ask, but here goes:

look, republicans. you've been making noises about this movement from the ground up of strongly conservative voters who want to see their views reflected in congress. you had a bit of a surge with that in 2010. now it's time to put your money where your mouth is. you have your choice between the next obvious choice, the candidate who you think is probably maybe going to be able to unseat the democratic president, or you can go with a guy who pretty much embodies the kind of things that you say you believe in. there's a good chance that whichever one you pick is going to end up on the losing end of the 2012 election, but do you want to go out with a compromise or do you actually want to put your agenda out there for scrutiny? i'd argue that if you really believe the things that you say, the choice you have before you isn't really much of a choice at all.  one candidate clearly embodies the sort of things that you say are important. the other one has nice hair.

no matter what you want to say about his politics [and believe, me, i have a lot of things that i want to say], rick santorum is completely [foolishly?] unashamed of who he is and what he believes. who among you, republican voters, can say the same?

[many, many, many thanks to dominic f. marceau for the fabulous artwork accompanying this piece.]

21 January 2012

the right angles

i guess every girl eventually wants to write letters to the stars of her favourite television show.

dear mitt,

i hate to shatter your illusion that you're the aristocratic, above-the-fray president-in-waiting, but you need to know that your awkwardness is so pronounced that i feel awkward just watching you. the overwhelming tension that's evident when you smile makes me think you're being shot full of electrodes, or that you're about to fire me, neither of which is a good look for you.

we really don't care about your tax returns, but the fact that you squirm and stammer every time you talk about them makes us all wonder what it is you're trying to hide. and the fact is, i don't really think you're hiding everything. you say that you're proud of the success you've had, but your actions tell a different story. your reticence to throw a public light on your finances tells me that you're deeply uncomfortable revealing that you are a rich guy doing rich guy stuff with his money.






dear ron,

that moment in the debate where the crowd had to holler at john king to remind him to let you answer a question was kind of priceless. i notice cnn hasn't been running that one ad nauseum. in fact, it very much suited the outsider-ness of your entire campaign and i don't think that was lost on you.

some polls are indicating that you would be one of the party's strongest candidates versus barack obama, only a hair behind mitt romney and perennial front-runner "generic republican". i don't see you getting the nomination, but i love watching the general discomfort you cause for your party and the media.







dear newt,

whatever you're doing right now, you should take a break to send john king a great big gift basket filled with fine liquers, belgian chocolates and aged cheeses. by asking you that admittedly ill-timed question about your ex-wife and the open marriage ultimatum, he gave you a moment so powerful you could have blown your nose on your lapel, scratched your junk like there was an infection and napped for the final thirty minutes of the debate and everyone still would have said you were the winner.

i will never count you out of this race, because i know that you are the jason vorhees of the republican party. you can't be killed because you're more bogey than man. no matter how final your demise, you can just keep coming back when people think they're safe. you're probably the party's best bet, now that i think of it.





dear santorum,

i've recently realised that you bear a startling resemblance to a former boss of mine, a real leader in the asshat community. i thought maybe that was why i'd developed such an instinctive dislike of you and then i remembered that you're the one who stuck up for s.o.p.a. at the debate and who wants to ban contraception. and that you were selected as one of the most corrupt politicians in washington by an organisation that, despite what you say, targets democrats as well as republicans.

that said, i realise that i've underestimated you all along and what's repulsive to me plays very well with a certain group within your party. your performances at the debates have gotten consistently stronger, reaching their peak on thursday when your final speech. you were overshadowed by your conservative competitor and i think that, ultimately, he's going to get the better of you, but it's evident that you're going to go down swinging. and not in the gingrich way.

05 January 2012

dissecting the iowa carcass

i can't believe i watched the whole thing.

well, actually, i have to admit that i passed out before wolf blitzer went all rogue and started calling iowa election staff in the middle of the night, but i made it almost all the way. with a small nap in the middle, because it turns out that watching iowa caucus results come in isn't quite as exciting [or as tweet-worthy] as watching these guys debate each other.

but the first big challenge is over and one more participant has been voted off the grand old island, while one of the last remaining non-romneys has seen his star rise. a few thoughts on the whole shebang:

- ok, i really got it wrong with santorum. he'd been languishing in the basement of the polls everywhere for so long i just figured it was impossible that he'd ever get his turn as the flavour of the week. but with a barrage of negative ads having disarmed the newt-ron bomb, indeed, voters turned to rick santorum in a last-ditch effort not to vote for mitt romney. i guess it's only fair, since the guy's basically been living in iowa for the last several months. it does worry me a little that santa is apparently a rabid born-again, seeing as santorum got the biggest present of any republican, but i'm hoping i'll have a chance to live a long and interesting life before i'm condemned to the fires of hell.

santorum has been consistently my least favourite candidate, simply because almost everything he says is antithetical to my thoughts and to my idea of human decency. in the debates, practically every word out of his mouth has been a hateful indictment of some minority- muslims, gays, the poor, planned parenthood. but i've never laboured under the illusion that most people agree with me and spreading hate, xenophobia and suspicion has always been an effective political tactic.


23 December 2011

i'm still waiting for when we look back at all that and laugh

"kiss my ass, history!"
when i was in grade eight, we used to have a weekly period in school where we were just supposed to sit and read. if we didn't bring a book with us [i.e., if we were too thick to figure out that we could use the time to read stuff we were assigned but didn't want to bother with during our free time], we were told that we should just put our heads down on our desks and nap. i'm not making that up. it's what we were told to do, a rule obviously invented by someone who had never seen what happens when you close your eyes in a room full of thirteen year-olds.

one week, i decided to use this forty-five minutes of "quiet" time to write something and, since i'd been watching a lot of the station called "cnn", which was new to my house, i decided to make it a political parody, i wrote a little jingle [to be sung to the tune of "she'll be coming round the mountain", which also makes excellent backing music for the poems of miss emily dickenson] about ronald reagan and how he was hell-bent on bringing the world to nuclear destruction. it was kind of funny, for something written by a thirteen year-old and to get some sense of peer affirmation, i slipped it to my best friend to read.

she read it, laughed and got spotted by another bored classmate, who wanted to know what was going on. so then the paper with my protest song got passed to her. and then to another person and another and then people started adding their own verses and then more people wanted to look at it and, well, you can see where this is going. the problem is that once something starts to pique interest, silence goes out the window and i believe that the only purpose of "reading period" was to make us all try our best to shut the hell up for forty-five minutes.

my homeroom teacher, a rather unpleasant character called mr. wilson, who i swear i will punch in the nose if i ever see him again, confiscated the offending document and that was the last i ever saw of it. but for that afternoon, i was a political hero [which was kind of amazing, since i was one of the least popular kids in the school and when i said my "best friend" earlier, i really meant "only friend"]. i had mocked ronald reagan and his tunnel-vision cold war policies and, although some of the kids in my class insisted i was some sort of communist traitor, it made me feel very important to have gotten people talking.

my point- yes, there is one- is that at thirteen, i'd managed to figure out that ronald reagan's politics were extremely divisive and quite likely dangerous. and yet every time i tune into one of the republican presidential debates, each of the candidates talks about ronald reagan the way that most people talk about mother theresa. i've followed campaigns before and, while i know that republicans have always expressed an admiration for reagan, this sort of genuflecting is not something i've seen before. and it raises many questions.

actually, it raises just one question: why?


17 November 2011

if you ask me [and you probably shouldn't]

i think it's reasonably clear to readers of this blog that i've been following the republican presidential nomination campaign. i'm doing this not out of any sense of masochism, but because i truly think it's the most hilarious thing on television since arrested development left the air. things won't be nearly so entertaining when there's only one of these guys left and actual power is at stake.

i can't say who i'd vote for among the current field if i were a republican, because i can't really imagine who i'd be if i were a republican. if someone told me that i could ensure that all the world's cats would be treated like royalty in perpetuity if i voted for one of the republican candidates, i have a good idea who that candidate would be, but i think that's unlikely because 1. that's a lot of cats; and 2. i'm not american, so i can't vote anyway.

see you at the ballot box


that said, we're on the eve of one more in the 1,001 debates that all the candidates are participating in [ahem, mitt romney is still tbc for this one], one hosted by fox news contributor and [apparently] "america's favourite pollster", this guy:




and this one is a special "family centred" debate, so you just know everyone is going to try to moral-high-road everyone else... so i thought i would pass on my sage advice to each of the candidates. and i'm kind of serious. kind of.

michele bachmann :: you remember that first debate, where everyone thought you were going to embarrass yourself and it turned out you were actually pretty on the ball? yeah, neither does anyone else, including the good folk in iowa who handed you that early straw poll victory that made us all momentarily take you seriously. i know you think that you got shafted in the last debate because you barely got a word in edgewise, but did you also know that it was one of your strongest performances? you looked classy, you made a few decent points and you didn't get to talk so long that your inner dingbat took over the spotlight. think about that. [and, woman-to-woman, you should ditch the false lashes. i feel like i'm watching an injured bird try to take off when you blink.]

herman cain :: your fifteen minutes are over. you know it. i know it. toothless hillbillies in west virginia who live in villages where there's one last name know it. so who cares? you've done better than anyone thought you would, you're probably looking at a lifetime of paternity suits once your campaign ends. enjoy yourself, sir. and by the way, i think it would be the best political moment in history if you were to find a way to respond to a question on libya by singing the following song. you can make up your own lyrics, too.



WHAT'S MY ADVICE FOR THE REST OF THE GANG?

05 November 2011

friday favourites :: 04.11.11

i have to say that aside from a headache/ vertigo at the moment, it's been a fairly enjoyable week. the weather's been unseasonably warm, i've had plenty to do and much of it has been enjoyable. of course, it sort of figures that since this week included halloween, the day of the dead and the caustic lounge that it was going to be a happy time for me, but since i've already talked about those things, here's some of the other stuff that i enjoyed...

brutal knitting :: there is little in this world that is truly unique, but tracy widdess' whimsical, fantastical custom designs are unlike anything else. if i had human children, they'd each have her hats to wear to school and frighten the bejeezus out of their classmates. when i have the money, i am absolutely buying a hat and a tea cosy. and outfits for the cats. and for dom. and i'm going to ask if she'd consider making a blanket, possibly themed around john carpenter's "the thing", so i could feel like time spent watching television in the living room was actually a process of morphing into a superior being.

the gop :: this nomination contest is the gift that just keeps on giving if you're someone like me. herman cain was accused of sexual harassment and the complainant was paid off? rick perry gave a speech where he seemed a little "tired and emotional" as the press like to say? mitt romney is trying to explain his opposing positions on access to abortion by saying that he worded his answers differently? [note :: i don't want that man anywhere near a position where he can affect legislation on sexual assault if he believes saying "no" and saying "yes" can sometimes be the same thing, worded differently. just saying.] i do hope that herman cain's ads are put in a modern art museum somewhere when this is all over. seriously, there's no danger any of these guys is actually going to get elected, is there? is there?


OH THERE'S MORE AND THERE'S A CAT PIC JUST FOR YOU!

01 October 2011

what's wrong with romney?

there are a lot of things that i don't understand. physics, for instance, at least beyond the really basic stuff. and what everyone finds so wonderful about watermelons, which to me smell and taste like what i think would happen if you poured sugar on a compost heap. but most of the time, i think i have a pretty solid grasp on politics, even when i don't agree with what's being said. but i have to admit, what's going on with mitt romney and the republican party has me kind of perplexed.

i'll start off by saying that, from a distance, the 2012 election seems to be shaping up into a race that both sides are trying their damnedest to lose. with his post-electoral swing from populist progressive to moderate republicanism, barack obama is working hard to ensure that those people who were moved to vote for the first time in 2008 never consider leaving their houses on election day again. without that cushion of young and newly-inspired voters, the president increasingly looks like a bit of a soft target.

or so you'd think.

do you love me yet? how about now?
the election is, of course, more than a year off and political parties often look to be in some disarray when they're searching for a leader, so it's entirely possible that all wounds will be healed once things really get under way, but at the moment, there seems to be a forceful and very public movement among republicans to finding an alternative- any alternative- to voting for the guy they're apparently going to choose anyway. i don't know who's holding all these poor voters at gunpoint, or who has kidnapped their children, but there are nutball dictators who seem to have greater support from their constituents.

mitt romney hasn't done anything to impress me personally [big surprise there]; i find his policies ill-defined, or at least poorly articulated and he always strikes me as being a sort of dull cardboard cut-out, lacking in charisma and conviction. but i do have to admit, i am starting to have a basic sense of human empathy for the guy [i'll have to have that looked at] when i imagine the shit-kicking his ego is taking on his road to victory. after all, he's really only the front-runner because mike huckabee and the chick who thinks africa is a country aren't in the race.


23 September 2011

friday favourites :: 23.09.11

well folks, there's no denying, it's officially fall as of very early this morning [at least in my time zone- please adjust as necessary] and that means that we're into the final stretch of the year. personally, i love fall. i've noticed that some of the leaves are just starting to turn now and i'm greatly looking forward to an opportunity for a nice autumnal walk when i can take pictures of the splendour.

as for the past week, i have to admit, i spent more than my fair share of time watching television. that means both watching it in real time and watching shows in large chunks. of course, i did take some time to move things around here, as i've already noted and i'd like to thank those who have taken the time- whoever you may be- to have a look at the tabs i've added linking to posts of prose and poetry i've done here. feel free to keep checking back, as they'll be updated whenever i post more.

so here are a few things that made my week more upbeat...

dexter :: how could i not love a show about a serial killer hunting serial killers? just the premise is so awesomely warped that it cries out to be watched. plus, it stars michael c. hall, who was really the only thing i enjoyed about the promising but ultimately over-rated "six feet under". this week, dom was finally able to get season five on dvd, after we'd both made a concerted effort to avoid knowing what was going on with the series [this is the price you pay for not wanting to wait a week between episodes]. how stimulating was it? we watched the entire season in one night, staying up until daybreak because we were so engrossed that sleep was a patent impossibility. i'm consistently impressed at how the show's writers, operating as they do within fairly strict confines, come up with story lines that are tense and compelling and at the same time, make the show so darkly humourous. i can't imagine how they're going to top this last season, although i say that every year and they generally confound my expectations.

MORE HIGHLIGHTS AND YOUR WEEKLY KITTY PIC AFTER THE BREAK...

16 September 2011

friday favourites 16.09.11

whoa. friday already? the last thing i published here was actually tuesday's installment of a definable moment in time. it's not like me to be so un-wordy. but, yes, another week has passed and very quickly. this also seems to be the week that the weather switched magically from summer to fall, dropping from high heat and humidity to temperatures that require a good, thick sweater.

doing a list of favourites this week is actually a little tricky, because, as i haven't been feeling that well, i didn't end up doing a whole lot and also because probably my favourite thing of the week was seeing the film "cafe de flore", which i'll review separately and in more detail. i likewise got a couple of lipsticks from a new company [meaning new to me] that actually have a great selection of offbeat colours, but, again, i'll get to that separately.

so that leaves me wondering what to write here. and i feel that i should write something, because, after all, i phoned it in on monday, which was actually the post previous to this. oops.

but the fact is that this week, i've felt fairly quiet in general, not in a depressed, sulky way, but simply from having little to say. perhaps i overdid it last week. there are things that i enjoyed, of course, but i feel like they're the same things i've written about here before. and, of course, i wouldn't want to be repetitive. 

i did make a very nice pasta vongole earlier in the week and one of the great things about the easing of the mercury is that i'm actually tempted to return to the stove, something i try to limit during the summer. cooking is something that i've really come to love, despite the fact that when i moved out of home, i was intimidated by anything that involved pots. as it turned out, i got over that fairly quickly and being at work in the kitchen has made me happy ever since. [except for having to clean up the mess afterward.]

i'm not a slave to recipes, but i do find that they can give me ideas, sometimes just by suggesting ingredients i don't know that well. probably my all-time favourite cookbook, one that i've had since i moved out [a gift from my mother, who was probably worried i'd starve to death] is 125 best meatless main dishes. the recipes are almost all winners [i found one that really didn't work for me, but that's it] and the flavours used are really original. i still go back to it regularly.
 

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