Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Political affiliation isn't 1-dimensional

For more years than I'd care to count, I've been trying to figure out where my political affections lie on the continuum between "Democrat" and "Republican." I've spent an equal amount of time figuring out where the dashes denoting the degree (or severity) of party alignment go along that spectrum. As of maybe a year ago, I had figured out that I had slowly moved from middle-right to smack in the middle.

Well, what fucking good does that do me? Who the fuck do I vote for, Mickey Mouse? No one? Why is a seemingly straight-forward thinking individual finding it so hard to classify himself into one of the two ruling parties?

The problem with the political continuum model is that it assumes two things:
1. Party platforms do not shift, and
2. There are only two parties.

The biggest problem is #2, where there is a giant grey cloud which encompasses a huge amount of people left wondering why they don't feel they are properly represented by either of the two ruling parties' ideologies.

Well, that's because political ideology isn't projected onto a 1-dimensional line between "Democrat" and "Republican."
To the chagrin of many pundits, public figures, op/ed columnists, and radio/television personalities, in reality there is a vast "second dimension," or "second axis" of political thinkery on which one's political ideology may traverse, both in the positive and negative directions. I know it's hard to comprehend, but wayward minds may, actually, naturally tend to roam off the stable Democrat-Republican bilateral axis and into this danger zone of heterogeneity.
My theory is that the less publicly understood, and therefore heretical, political affiliations lie somewhere in the solution space provided by my new dimension. There may even be a mysterious dimension number "3" to add to this mess, but I'd hate to trouble your mind with such complex algorithms.
After all is said and done, why is it we have been stuck with the same two parties for over 80 years that have oscillated between positions of leadership and humiliation and scandal? Why is the country so entrenched in the two-party system? Is it because we are somehow coerced into projecting every possible viewpoint for every possible issue onto a 1-dimensional continuum, thereby losing differentiation and committing ourselves to a cycle of incapability and misrepresentation? Or is it because the structure of government or laws provide the path of least resistance necessary for the extended dominance of a two-party structure? You tell me.


I'm helplessly exposed to an unhealthy amount of pop culture and celebutantery in my daily life. I hate it. I hate it I hate it Ifucking hate it. And nothing pisses me off more than the pop culture socialites. The shit I took this morning had more interesting things to say than Paris Hilton.

Yeah, you bet that's Pauly Shore.

When I first heard of a "Paris Hilton" I was utterly confused. I asked, what's going on with the Hilton in Paris? Was it bombed by Al-Qaeda or something? I was mistaken. Somebody did actually name their child after a hotel. Then I asked, "oh, what does she do? What [movies, TV shows, syndicated daytime talk shows] is she in?" To my surprise, the answer I got was a flat "nothing." She doesn't do anything. She does nothing. Nothing at all. She doesn't have a job, she doesn't work, she doesn't write amusing blogs like this one, she doesn't do anything productive whatsoever. Yet, she's famous and fabulously wealthy. Is my hatred out of jealousy? Would I like to be in her position of unlikely riches and irresponsibility? Maybe, but then I'd have to be a vapid, uninteresting party favor whose utiliy won't outlast my mid-20's. So I guess I'm alright where I am.

New Music

After a looooooooooooooong hiatus, and admittedly, a lack of interest, in seeking out and purchasing new music, its been rekindled, and here's what I bought--in chronological order of purchasing.

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor -- f# a# (infinity)
One of the progenitors of the "post-" genre, the three-song album clocks in at about 63 minutes, and the track East Hastings is featured in the "realization" scene in the film 28 Days Later.
Not for everyone, but a dark, moving piece of musical orchestration.

2. Comets on Fire -- Blue Cathedral
A brilliant car wreck of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, this album moves seamlessly from start to finish, never letting you out of the strange creepy rock orb it puts you in.

3. Ulysses -- 010
A quality, straight-rocking, down-to-Earth, lo-fi album from a band from Kentucky. There are some standouts on this album, and the band doesn't make songs any longer than they need to be, which is hard to find.

4. Death Cab For Cutie -- Plans
Oops, yeah really. I never really dug them because they were too mainstream and I lumped them in with Modest Mouse, etc. This is a good mellow-out album that reminds me of The Shins wrapped in a blanket of a quiet Eels album.

5. Arctic Monkeys -- Whatever People Say, That's What I'm Not
Another solid London-based Brit-rock band with blues roots hits gold with this one. With the collapse of The Libertines and their spin-off, Babyshambles, frontman landing in prison, let's all hope the Arctic Monkeys can keep their shit together.

6. Muse -- Origin of Symmetry
This is their third newest album upon their recent release of the new one. I actually like it better than their last, Absolution. Moody, deep space rock with a lot of falsetto. Obvious comparisons are Radiohead, etc.

7. The Thermals -- The Body, The Blood, The Machine
The Thermals are still pissed about Bush being in office, and about losing their drummer, too, I guess. I was hoping for more out of this album, especially after two amazing and under-the-radar albums with Fuckin-A and ...More Parts Per Million. Still, there's more than enough standout tracks to justify the purchase. The lead singer's voice changed, though, it's kinda weird.

8. Jesu -- Silver
I'm actually just giving this EP it's first go. For a brood rock "band" (is one man a group? no.) the album isn't as defeating as I'd expect. It's heavy, and still horrendously introspective, so I gotta say I enjoy it thouroughly already. Now all Justin Broderick has to do is fucking tour outside of the goddamn U.K. for once.

Monday, October 09, 2006

E TV assuages world fears of nuclear war with indisputable comparison

"North Korea may be about to test a nuclear weapon, but the whole world can sleep easy now that superpowers Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie have resolved their differences."

- Sal Masekela, The Daily 10 on E TV



Sure. Makes sense to me.