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Oct 08, 2004

Comments

Irakli

N,The public has come out of its caotntaia aboutthe bullshit policies of the so-called conservative party.If they're so goddamned compassionate,when are they gonna get around to helping the people of Nawlins?They sure as hell dawdled over helping the banks and airlines with the corporate welfare now did'nt they?Dont even want to get started on the tax cuts for the motherfuckers.The Dems now hold the fate of this country in their hands(now if they'll just find some testicles)and its all because of the culture of corruption conserevatives that the dems are winning back control one seat at a time whetherin congress or the circuit courts or the local librarian,they all play a part.Now they need to point out the Bullshit first but give credit where its due because not all conservatives are charlatans,just most of them.

Ahmad

Yeah, Stan, and if it had been a Democratic president going to a cobmat area for a holiday visit you'd be calling it political grandstanding without a second thought. At least I'm giving the guy credit for going.Clinton met the embassy bombing victims' remains at Dover AFB, eulogized victims of terrorist attacks, and didn't start an admittedly (thank you, Mr. Perle) illegal war. He also promoted new rules concerning the DoD's handling of veterans' funerals, mandating that certain provisions be provided by the military to honor the dead.And regarding Cheney at the Wellstone event: what is the biggest difference between the Wellstone memorial and the average military funeral for soldiers killed in Iraq? If you answered 20,000 people were at the Wellstone event, and screening all of them would have been much more of a pain than you're implying, then you win!

Akash

"Ferris" (sic my name is FARRIS)"Not winning is the same as lonisg in that situation.That depends what your timeframe is. Pick a date at random between 1950 and 1990 and ask yourself""NATO vs. the Soviet Bloc: Winning or Losing?"Alliances of governments against each other not the same thing at all as a government vs an internal insurrection. Almost the entire cold war was stasis with the occasional blip."United Kingdom vs. IRA: Winning or Losing?"Losing in that the IRA got the british government to negotiations and most of what they wanted. But framing the conflict as IRA/UK is simplistic as it ignores the loyalist paramilitaries which all together were more violent than the IRA."Peru vs. Shining Path: Winning or Losing?"The Peruvian government was mostly winning that in that Shining Path never got broad peasant-based support and only ever had any success in a few provinces."Israel vs. PLO: Winning or Losing?"See-sawed but the PLO basically won the first (long round) gettingtIsrael to negotiations and concessions from them. Yes, being Palestinians they quickly squandered the fruits of victory but the first intifada was very much a Palestinian victory. Though again that's not so much government - insurgents as a long protracted territorial conflict that will continue in stasis until one side or the other gives up as there's not enough will on either side to get along.Getting back to Iraq, the problems are far more extensive than the simple US/Iraqi government vs insurgents. The sectarian paramilitaries are more interested in killing each other than the occupiers or their proxy government. Nationalism in Arab countries is always a problematic thing as Arabs are highly motivated by questions of group loyalty that are only activated at a higher level of opposition. That is, Iraqis don't exist in Iraq but only in contrast to Kuwaitis or Egyptians. There's no positive value being Iraqi for its own sake. Within Iraq, group loyalties are tied up with religious and ethnic identity (though there's always been lots of intermarriage). That is, there aren't 'muslims' in Iraq there are Sunnis and Shias who can only unite against the threat of another (non-Muslim) religion.So, fighting for the future of the country is a non-starter for most Iraqis, fighting for the future of their family, clan or religious sect is something they believe in very much.

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Articles in Print

  • The Fearless Personal Inventory
    Mortified -- the funniest public ritual of personal intimacy to mark the rise of confessional reality.
  • The Zombie Zeitgeist
    A full scale movement is on the lurch. But why the best zombie movie ever made a video game?
  • Believer interview with Mark Allen
    Digital artist and awesome gallerist Mark Allen talks about Tekken Torture Tournament and other projects where people were wired to machines and did strange things in public.
  • Believer interview with Marjane Satrapi
    Enlightening Q & A with the Persian cartoonist, memoirist, quick conversationalist in which she declares: “THE WORLD IS NOT ABOUT BATMAN AND ROBIN FIGHTING THE JOKER; THINGS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.”
  • ¡Viva Border Volleyball!
    Two on two on a toxic and geopolitically divided beach. (Nifty pictures and video available!)
  • Yeti Researcher
    Yet another 100-page issue of the world's top academic journal devoted scholarship about the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasqatch, and other mystery primates worldwide. For researchers and lay audiences alike, the latest YR features a history of Sasquatch sightings in southern California, an update on the wily orang pendek of Sumatra, and a new look into Teddy Roosevelt's obsession with bagging a Bigfoot. As Editor-in-Chief, I promise you won't be disappointed.
  • The Jacuzzi Apocalypse
    Notes from Y2K. With some humor, and a nifty drawing by Carson Mell.
  • Monkey Love
    My contribution to the vast cultural conversation on King Kong and the viability of simian-human romance
  • Man's Best Friend
    Nintendogs puts existentialism in the palm of your hand
  • Digital Trim
    Hillary Clinton likes her coffee cold

Readings

  • Panda PowerPoint!
    I guess I don't mind being "the entertainment" when it's at Mark Allen's second annual Holiday Fry-B-Que. Presented: preliminary findings from my ongoing research into the most charismatic megafauna of all: Giant Pandas.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Dec 9, 2006
    For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
  • Jest Fest at Skylight Books
    Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006
    Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
  • McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006
    The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
  • Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos
    How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
  • Little Gray Book Lecture 25 at Galapagos
    The Animals: Are They Our Enemies? In the case of my presentation about the giant gerbils of Xinjiang, the answer is yes.
  • July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings
    I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
  • October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott
    Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.
  • October 9th: MoveOn Fundraiser in Los Angeles
    See above.

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