Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I got on here with the intent of writing something, but, as so often is the case, I forgot what it was. I'm rather annoyed that the Charlottesville movie theater franchises have decided, in their less-than-infinite wisdom, to allow only one cinema to show ROTK. Not only that, they don't allow you to buy tickets in advance. So it looks like I won't be seeing it until at least this spring.
Funny, though...you'd think with a movie with the appeal of LOTR3 would be put into all the movie theaters. Apparently there's a conglomerate that runs some aspect of this--either the distribution or some sort of trickle-down effect. Either way, it seems like whatever companies in town didn't get it--Regal, apparently, and maybe some others--are getting screwed over. Which is weird, considering that there's enough demand for EVERYONE to make a profit.
Ah well. Since it isn't looking good for now, I'm focussing on other films. So far I've seen Pirates yet again (at the Jefferson--you miss a good movie, see it three months later for half the price at the Jefferson Theater) and In America, which is a good one if you don't mind emotionally intense movies. It's got a good ending so it's worth the watch, if you dont mind some sadness (then again, who LIKES sadness?). Also, it gives you the oppurtunity to hear some good Irish accents; always a plus for me. My favorite line deals with the concept of Trick or Treat on Hallowe'en: "Americans don't ask, Mam...they demand. If you don't give them candy, they threaten you."
In other news, there's a really good book out called The March Up which is about the invasion of Iraq. It's written by two ex-Marines, one a general and one a former undersecretary of defense, who rode along with the three Marine regiments of the 1st Division who participated in the liberation of Baghdad. It has great photos. Also, these guys have an advantage over the embed journalists; they're leathernecks and know what it's like, being a grunt. The equipment on the ground hasn't changed too much (I'm talking day-to-day stuff--not the GPS, radio, etc. stuff that has undergone much improvement) since the Vietnam War. Plus, the Marines tolerated--even idolized, in the case of the general--these guys, and were more comfortable around ex-Marines than around a CNN or FoxNews reporter who happened to be in their convoy.
I'm not trying to downplay the embeds here--I think it was a fantastic idea on Rummy's part, not only for the great up-to-the-minute news reports but also for the accuracy. With those guys in there reporting on the "chivalry and soldierly compassion," as Marine General Mattis of the 1st Divison put it, of our soldiers, it was impossible for the leftist blowhards to spout falsehoods about "atrocities," "quagmires," and "massacres." That is, until we took Baghdad. Now the embeds are gone and the press is ranting about another Vietnam. Apparently they forgot that we never occupied Hanoi, never had Ho Chi Minh in a nice little cell, and never had the Communist Party of North Vietnam on the run. Ah, how quickly they forget...where are you now, Mr. Cronkite?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I know that the purpose of a blog is to describe one's personal life in detail, but I still can't get over the idea of an online diary. Still seems kind of strange to me, so pardon my recalcitrance.
Christmas was pretty good this year--nothing spectacular, although I did get some good books to read. I suppose the best present is unmitigated and rather blissful sleep, although I do miss the dorm, and Dave and JP and Lauren and Danny and Sarah and Kenji and Will and Adam and Danny W. and Hank and...and the entire Taliaferro atmosphere that I've come to love.
I must admit that it was nice to get back here and spend some time with my family. In all fairness it was good to see them...but sometimes you come home to remember why you left. Not always in desperation or anger, but merely because to stay would be to postpone the inevitable. "Give your children roots and wings." Yup, yup...though it's the branches in between that always knock the wind out of you. Can't go back, can't stand still...

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Well, so far break has taught me the irrefutable "You can't go home again" etc. etc. rule, though I kind of gathered it from the times I spent here during Isabel and Thanksgiving. Not always a bad thing, just a weird thing...that the dorm is where I live but it isn't home, and here is home--but it isn't where I live. Is this limbo? Or will I find an in-between somewhere between the shadows and the dreams?
Pardon my melodrama...I'm hungry and tired and not quite sure what to write. Plus I missed taking my Concerta and my mind isn't running at full capacity. Perhaps tomorrow...

Monday, December 15, 2003

It'd be a travesty for me to try to expound on what's already been said about Saddam's capture. I find it typical, however, that some of my liberal friends are more worried about how this affects Bush's re-election--or worse, that it might "distract" the American people from what we "really" invaded Iraq for. Uh...last time I checked, it was to 1) depose Saddam Hussein and 2) find his WMD's. Now we have the guy literally at gunpoint--ya think he might be willing to show us a few liters of sarin or VX for our troubles? You know, so he doesn't wind up with a 9mm bullet for a brain and yet another muddy hole for a resting place. The Left has become the Politowhiners of the American political spectrum. "I want a party! I want a pony! BUSH LIED!" Geez. I predict an upsurge in the economy--at least as far as medications go. My acid reflux and headaches have gotten worse ever since those idiots started their carping the minute the DNA tests came back positive.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Okay, so I found this site called "Irregularoo" (http://www.irregularoo.com), and somehow I managed to wander onto a site talking about Bush and abortion. I decided to see if they had anything different to say and found to my surprise that they didn't. Here's one of my favorite lines:

"The dangerous thing about having George W. Bush as president is that he truly believes that his life is normal. He doesn't seem to understand that most Americans are born without a single penny in savings, much less the millions and millions that he had to play around in as a child. George W. Bush is incapable of feeling the pain of a couple who wants children but truly cannot afford to raise them. Such things just don't exist in his universe.

For George W. Bush, it's always been easy to make harsh, absolute moral judgments about other people's behavior. His obscene family fortune has always protected him from the consequences of his inflexible principles. If Mr. Bush can always pay somebody else to clean up the messes that result from doing the "right thing", is it really a courageous decision to do the "right thing"? How oftem, we wonder, did George W. Bush change his own kids' diapers, compared to the number of times he had someone else do it for him? How many times did he give up a job opportunity because he had to take care of his children? How often did George W. Bush have to make a choice between paying a utility bill and giving his children a proper meal?"

My first, and logical, response, is: Well, why don't you BITCH about it? Ya frickin' idjit!
My second, and more rational, response is: How many presidential candidates have you seen lately that really appear to be "men of the people?" You think John Kerry changed any of his kids' diapers? Not unless he got to say stuff like "You know, changing diapers reminds me of the messes we had to clean up during my service in Vietnam." Howard Dean, when asked by his wife to change his son's diaper, would get a long lecture on sewer systems, waste disposal management, and how the Republicans had futzed them up but good--and she would wander away, dazed and confused, sure SHE had done something wrong but not really sure what. Bill Clinton--probably explained his feeling of solidarity with Chelsea and with other babies who needed to have their diapers changed, and that he felt the support of the infant lobby was very important to a united and democratic America.
What I'm saying is, why cast aspersions at the Republicans? (Because the Dems are paying the abortion activists' bills, that's why.) A good number of the Nine Dwarves are more "stuffed shirts" that Bush is, living lives of ease and plenty in their senatorial mansions and such. I mean, in this day and age, if you can raise enough money and garner enough support to run your own presidential campaign, chances are you had it made for most of your life. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as we keep things in perspective. And the perspective here is that money DOES make the political world go 'round. Not every candidate can or should have first-hand experience with poverty, squalor, depression, and hardship. To expect such things is to live in a dream world. But, to be a hardcore liberal is to expect such things. Ergo...
'Kerry yesterday angrily cited his war record in Vietnam when asked by a New Hampshire student about charges that it's unpatriotic to attack the commander-in-chief, fuming: "I left some blood on a battlefield that President Bush never left anywhere." '

Pardon me, Senator, I don't quite understand. Do you mean you that President Bush never left the battlefield anywhere? That seems rather impossible--I doubt many men have ever left battlefields lying around. Or do you mean the President Bush never left any of your blood anywhere? If that's the case, I would certainly hope so...it bodes badly for candidates to have their blood left somewhere by the current president.

Friday, December 05, 2003

So I'm coming out of my advanced state of finalphobia to weigh in against those Failures of the Female Folk Franchise, the Dixie Pigs. I suppose I'm a bit late, since their appallingly tasteless comments about President Bush preceded the Iraq invasion, but since I had never listened to their music I didn't feel ready to fully blast them.
Now I have heard one of their songs. From what I hear, it is one of their many on the subject of killing abusive husbands. This dubious subject matter led me to think about certain aspects of their pro-Saddam stance (note: for those of you argumentative types out there, let me say this: if you come out against the president of your nation when it is standing on the brink of war, you are fully with the other side, no matter how you color your statements):

"Earl," abusive husband in the song: beat wife, put her in hospital
My stance: bad man. Deserved jail time. Death is debatable.
D.C.'s: KILL 'IM!!

Saddam, former dictator (hee hee isnt that GREAT?) of Iraq: killed lotsandlotsandLOTS of his own people, gassed the Kurds, evaded a hella bunch of UN resolutions, and supported terrorism.
My stance: How does one say "torn apart by wild horses" in Iraqi?
D.C.: Well....Bush is worse!

Now, I know this has been overdone, but I find it frankly chilling that a lot of leftists are still unsure as to whether or not they approve of an Iraq that is no longer under Saddam's reign of blood, murder, terror, and oppression. They dabble in moral equivalencies and fail to see that, even if Bush was wrong about the WMD's--and if he was, Clinton was too; they both believed that Saddam had them--we should still be ecstatic for the Iraqis. They're getting a taste of things most of them never dreamed of having, and some American lefties are upset, from what I can tell, that it wasn't some Clinton or Howard Dean that liberated them. (As though either of those two would have the brass to stand up to even a two-bit despot like Saddam.)
My personal opinion is that the peace movement or rather, the anti-war movement (let's face it, the Left today is defined more by who it ISN'T than who it is--which doesn't surprise, since it ISN'T a lot of things) has become less about principle and more about fashion. And no, I'm not talking through my hat here. I spent three years at a Friends school and talked to some of the Quaker staff there. I've read books on peace movements throughout the years and if I disagree with the overall ideology I can at least respect the principle behind it. The men and women who make up the Quaker faith are 1) religiously motivated and 2) serve their fellow man in other ways. As far as I know, their beliefs do not prohibit them from serving in positions such as rear-line medics and doctors. Basically, they operate in the same fashion as the U.S. did after its defeat of Germany of 1945: throw down the sword and pick up the hammer and the plowshare. In other words, they seek to widen the possibility of peace; military powers like the U.S. give them the ability to do that by kicking out scum like Saddam.
One Quaker song even goes as follows:
"When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?"
When was the last time you heard your typical anti-war protestor taking a stance against tyrants? (And no, spewing hate and vitriol at Bush doesn't count--if he were a tyrant, there would be no such thing as the "2004 elections.") They'd rather a country remain under the iron heel of a cruel monster than see America win.
So next time you hear some anti-war airhead raging about America's "lack of moral authority," ask yourself this: how horrible is it to be endowed with a sense of ethics--and be willing to stand by while evil is done?
I realize I digressed quite a bit here, but such is my thought process. Now you understand why I have focus problems.

Well, Russia has jumped on board deep-sixing Kyoto. If France and Germany join in, does that give it worldwide legitimacy?
It strikes me as funny that people who accuse our president of being "evil" believe that a cowardly, self-serving, weaselly country that has become the national equivalent of Peter Lorre and a corrupt state run by an oligarchy of KGB agents somehow have moral authority. It's gone way beyond casting stones, people...we're talking eye-planks the size of 2 x 10's.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

It snowed a little today...however, this is Williamsburg, where it's warm 11 months out of the year and the snow won't stick even if you put down flypaper. Oh well. Snow isn't going to cancel school and I've got finals coming up, so the weather has been the last thing on my mind lately.
Except ice. That would be nifty; I could build another igloo.
Oh yes, the finals. Right. Nothing like going into Christmas break with the weight of your GPA hanging over you like the 16-ton Weight of Damocles. Seriously, I doubt it's going to be that bad, but it doesn't exactly put one in the Christmas spirit. Having chirpy high schoolers IM me with "It's almost Christmas!" doesn't help, either.
Ah well--it all comes down on me now but second semester will hopefully bring some calmness and clarity at the beginning. Maybe I can even go back to eating breakfast on a regular basis. Though that would require gumption. I wonder if I can borrow anyone's?

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Andrew's dad told him that since there were two blogs coming out of our room that the reality must lie somewhere in between our seperate notions. Andrew told him that that was laziness and that my blog was right more often (I think that's what he said...correct me if I'm wrong). Anyways, given the amount he's been blogging lately, I feel guilty for not posting and making his bemused ramblings all the more polarized.
But now I have nothing to post. So send me a natural disaster or an Act of God and see if I don't come up wtih a few things to wrtie about.
Found an interesting blog on WSJ's "Opinion Journal" (http://messopotamian.blogspot.com/). It's got some cool stuff to look through. Makes you realize what's changed since the Baath-water got thrown out.