Tags: politics

bad cat

Headlines and another Rall comic

I got a chuckle out of Reuters' headlines for Top Stories:

  • Bush denies Iraq headed for civil war
  • Polls show support for Iraq war at new low
  • Bush still backs Dubai ports deal
  • Supreme Court hears Anna Nicole Smith's case

  • *shakes head*

    Through sheer force of denial will, Bush can create realities where once only talking points existed.

    At least Anna Nicole is getting her day before the Supreme Court, so the system isn't completely broken.

    And now a Rall:

    Now I've got "I'm Just a Bill" stuck in my head.
    topsy and hat

    Okay, so I'm a loser... wanna be a loser, too?

    Well, the party head and SP-USA candidate in the government simulation convinced me to sit in for another week, working in the Socialist caucus to help put together a platform. I can deal with that - theory and debate within the safety of a party list- no Sean Hannity or dittohead-dodging. Plus, I think that I might open a few minds and even a couple of minds entertaining hitherto unthought radical questions would be well worth my time.

    It's hard to believe, yes, but that ranting "libertarian" Danny is vying for Speaker of the House, and if he doesn't get that, he's got his party's nomination for president. His first act was to introduce a bill to abolish all federal income and property taxes. It won't fly, but I was amused.

    Interesting Sim - there are plenty of Libertarians, plenty of Democrats, a few Constitution Party and a handful of Independents and Socialists, ...but not many Republicans; none of the conservatives want to claim that party.

    Anyway, I've been encouraged by the game moderator to whore for more players (of course, preferably of my party)... so if anyone feels like being a slacker-representative with me, let me know and I'll find out where to get your invites. Any funky legislation you want to propose?
    william morris

    Parting shot

    Yep, I'm done with the "simulation".

    I was going to just leave it, but I felt that Danny's last response to my post was so misleading, I'd feel irresponsible giving anyone the impression that it was a well-reasoned refutation of socialism. So, here I go on a parting shot and onward to spend my time reading something more entertaining.

    Collapse )

    Collapse )


    EDIT: Humorous. Someone just responded to this nominating me for "President".
    Don't worry, my resolve is strong (actually, the annoyance of the game is greater than the pleasure received by approval from strangers - a purely Epicurean calculation). I'm still going to leave the game.
    william morris

    Political rants for the bored : More tiring than NationStates...

    ...and much more pointless, so far.

    Recently, I was invited to take part in some simulation of American government on Yahoo groups. I was a bit wary, but wrote up a little political introduction as requested and was immediately ushered in.

    Naively, I was hoping that this would be actual debate on issues to improve this country, or if not that, a group to debate different ideas, but so far it is neither. So far, I am sitting on the Capitol steps being barraged by Sean Hannity Newspeak while people in the Capitol are naming and re-naming their caucus and offices (maybe it is a realistic simulation of the American political process ;P ).

    Anyway, after any illusion of usefulness vanished, I've been holding on to its rapidly-eroding entertainment value. I'll probably be dumping it soon, but in any case, for anyone's masochistic needs out there, I'm posting a couple of threads here (behind a cut, of course).

    Three dramatis personae are:
  • Jim (a Texas Republican, retired army and fond of long paragraphs),
  • Danny (a Californian Libertarian, possibly functionally illiterate, sadly older than his dialogue)
  • Bill (a Socialist candidate for President from Montana, unkown quantity),
    ... not to mention yours truly, Matthew the boy. *bows*

    Cliff Notes Overview
    Jim provoked Bill by calling him a Maoist. Bill took the bait and said "AM NOT!! Jerks!". Jim then blundered like he couldn't tell the difference "All you socialists look alike". I responded to this post, then Danny parried with a wit of his own.
    I said, "Uh, yeah".
    He said, "I showed you!"
    I said, "Uh, yeah".
    Jim wrote back, ignoring most of the questions I put to him, but blathered some more about Saddam - 9/11- !!!eleventy-one!! And I responded, hoping for the best, fearing the worst, but thinking that it might make a decent LJ post.

    "The Dialogue" or "Twelve Three Angry Men"

    WARNING: Some content may be unbearably boring, resulting in bleeding eyes, nausea, concussion from striking head or sudden onset of catatonia. Viewer discretion is advised.

    Collapse )

    Collapse )

    Collapse )

    Collapse )

    Collapse )
  • william morris

    some things are funny; some not

    ..and some media are funny only with disbelief unsuspended, seeing the 'serious elements' as ridiculous and 'ridiculous elements' as serious, seeing things as parodies of the empty "block-buster" forms they try to emulate.

    Some people seem to hate the WSWS Arts Reviews, especially film reviewer David Walsh. I have to admit that the idea of a Trotskyist film critic seemed a little bizarre to me, too, and I found plenty of reviews dull and uninteresting. But, I can't imagine being stirred to anything more moving than boredom by them; I just don't understand taking the time to write to a journal to bitch them out for being "too serious" about movies. Maybe they feel more threatened by someone challenging the notion that humor is somehow "neutral" or apolitical, and don't like to think of entertainment as being just another commodified industry.

    In any case, David Walsh wrote about his role as film critic in his review of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I think his political snarkiness is more entertaining than an uncritical reviewer, making almost every mainstream film an opportunity to play MST2k.
    "[M]ere chance does not operate in the cultural world as it does in other spheres. Reviewing films is not like tossing a coin. For every five poor films or worse, let’s say, the law of averages does not guarantee an equal number of works of distinction, or even one."

    Collapse )
    topsy and hat

    even mediocre sci-fi can have a point

    Combining my dual interests of utopian novels and stuff to read in the bathroom, I've been reading Mack Reynold's Commune 2000 A.D.. The book is inspired by a dystopian look at a world similar to Bellamy's 1887 utopia Looking Backward (which I have available to anyone via my BookCrossing hobby); a few of his other books are also inspired by Bellamy, for better or worse. Considering we shared an interest in Bellamy (and Bellamy's flaws), not to mention an interest in Esperanto, I figured I'd give Reynolds a try.

    The book reads like someone who really wanted to make one point, but felt it necessary to build an incidental story around the points rather than just writing a more direct essay. His attempt at inventing the slang of the future is embarrassingly lame and the sexism is unbelievable at times; the plot was predictable and I caught on to the sinister dystopian master plan 154 pages before the PhD protagonist (the book is 181 pages long). Despite its failings, it has a couple of good points, which I will reproduce here to save anyone else undue pain (unless you're looking for 'undue pain', in which case, by all means read the book).

    Collapse )

    And the climax of the book... a rant against collectivism, couched as a revolution against the welfare state, which demonstrates well that the cradle-to-grave welfare state is Collapse )

    I'll probably muse on these thoughts in a later post.