October 7, 2007 archive

French People Are Terrified of Diebold Machines

I was just in Paris and talked to quite a few bartenders and so forth.  Suffice to say the American dollar is barely worth the paper it’s printed on, so we may have spent most of our time in the more dodgy areas of town.

That said, I believe we interviewed quite a cross-section, in our pidgeonish Franglais.  I was repeatedly told variants of the following:

1. Bush and Sarko (Sarkozy) are the same.  (usually followed by an obscene gesture)

2. Sarko won because a weak candidate ran against him.  (followed by a warning not to do the same in US)

3. Diebold voting machines are stealthily and gradually being installed in France.  (followed usually by the comment, “We don’t want to happen in France what happened in US” = stolen election(s).

4. Unions are getting weaker and demonstrations and strikes are ignored in US and France and anywhere else they’re tried, because of globalization. 

There were Chinese products everywhere, and a few suspected sweatshops, lots of immigrants “sans papiers” (& a demonstration planned to try to get preschool services for their children).  Alot of things seemed familiar (though we are still having “reverse culture shock” upon returning to America).

We were staying in the area of Paris that was formerly known for incidents such as the “storming of the Bastille,” which was inspiring, but I have no doubt that something of the like needs to be done periodically, whenever the rich get too uppity.

Should Domenici Retire Now?

Senator Pete Domenici was diagnosed with Pick’s Disease, a progressive and aggressive form of dementia.  It is unknown when he received the disease, or at what stage the disease is in.

However, it is always fatal, and it always affects insight, judgment and behavior.

Given the known disease progression and prognosis (fatal, usually within five years), should Domenici retire now instead of planning to serve out the remainder of his term until 2009?

Brian Eno’s Soundscape in Shrillville: The Vertical Colors of Shrill!

The British are coming!  The British are coming!  Wow.  I thought artists were supposed to talk about airy nothings, like Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, “making a brick, not building a wall,” and the vertical colors of sound, you know, talking about things not related to concrete objects, but expressing something that can only be appreciated intellectually, based on general principles or theories rather than on specific instances, not aiming to depict an object but composed with the focus on internal structure and form, describing music that is intended to have no programmatic content, decorated with irregular areas of color that do not represent anything concrete, emotionally detached or distanced from something.  You know, drifting clarifiers floating ideas in the air of abandoned churches, and shit.  Boy, was I mistaken.  Brain Eno has gone unmistakably thoughtless, vulgar, and insensitive as to lack all refinement or delicacy, extremely so, and flagrantly.

If we have lost Brian Eno to the anti-war movement, then who can we look to salve our flaming souls?  Follow below the fold into the absurd reality of an artist banging his head on the political abutment that is Iraq!

Kucinich: Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights w/poll

As we all know, Dennis Kucinich is the strongest supporter of GLBT rights, along with Mike Gravel, of the candidates running for President.  In case you have any doubts, please view the HRC/LOGO Rewind here.

Pony Party: Democracy Edition

Democracy can get rather sticky and inconvenient when suddenly the people, the citizens, the great unwashed, want those silly privileges like democracy, freedom of speech, the right to assemble and peacefully state their case. I mean honestly, if “the people” got democracy what would they do with it anyway?
Surely, we don’t want people making decisions for themselves, challenging authority, questioning the ethical/moral/ financial intent of elites…

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