August 28, 2004

A Murderous Longing

O! When will Underworld tour?
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August 25, 2004

His Brain is in an Undisclosed Location

I can't help but gaze suspiciously on the Vice President's recent public straying from the reservation. On the one hand, it could indeed just be a somewhat ham-handed attempt to soften the GOP's stance towards non-far-right 'family values' voters - to allow them to vote for the GOP, if you will. On the other, it might be something else.

Stories have been rife for months now about the drag on the ticket that Mr. Cheney represents, with his poll numbers ranging from poor to abysmal. Could it be that this is the beginning of an effort to divorce him from the ticket? A highly contentious issue in which he describes his difference of opinion with the President wouldn't be much of a story, save for the almost religiously monolithic nature of White House and even Republican party platform and position message to date. On the one hand, it is still before the GOP convention, albeit only a couple of days before; this would allow his removal to occur through the selection of an alternate candidate rather than actually removing him from a final ballot. On the other hand, this late in the game, if such a maneuver were attempted, it would surely raise a furor amongst the delegates (and, one would hope, the party members) who have dispatched their proxy to New York City based on what would be an obsolete platform.

I know, it's all musings, not very likely ones even. Still. I'm not sure how I come down on this issue - as an angry liberal, I would say that anything that makes the GOP ticket less electable, the better. Whether leaving an unpopular VP candidate on or causing the furor is worse is a comparison I don't know how to make. Also, it seems like it would fail at least one 'likelihood' test - especially given this administration's fairly high-handed attitude towards their responsibilities and promises to the electorate, simply waiting until after the election and then replacing Mr. Cheney (convenient heart attack, again) would cause the least trouble.

Unless, of course, they're really worried he's jeopardizing their election chances.

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August 17, 2004

All Rise. Well, not *you*.

So I had jury duty. Which, for reasons best known to others, means you have to get to the courthouse at some ungodly hour, like 8 am. Given my present sleep schedule, this leaves precious few hours for repose the night before; hence, that morning consisted of a desperate lunge out of bed to silence the alarm placed thoughtfully across the room, then a Frankenstagger to the bathroom. A shower did nothing to help, save clean me; I pulled on clothes blindly and headed off. I managed to make it on time (yay me!) and was, of course, promptly handed a card and told to wait for the orientation film to start at 8:30.


At 8:30, we were given a well-polished briefing by the gent in charge (he had a uniform with a radio handset clipped to his shoulder, that's all we needed) and then he hit 'play.' Two TVs gave us a 17-minute video presentation in which several people with the demeanor of those in the airline safety videos walked through the process of a jury selection. Between that and the judge briefing us later during the selection process (oh, and the speech given at the start of the tape by some superior court justice) we were told our duty was 'sacred' something like nine times.

After the video, we were told we had fifty minutes break time and that this was normal (I got up early because...?) but to be back by ten of ten OR ELSE. So we were.

Finally, I was called (along with forty of my peers) to a courtroom, where a genial superior court judge gave us another pep talk - although that might have just been to irritate the surly-looking plaintiffs and defendants who were sitting along one wall in their best court clothes, looking annoyed. A civil case, involving a promissory note, thousands of dollars, yada, yada, default, yada. Well, if you've ever been for jury duty, you know what happens then - you're called up one by one to the sidebar to let the judge ask you questions while the lawyers (potentially cloned fat Masshole Italianates) decide how to bounce you off the jury if you're not white, mid-to-lower class and surly, just like their client. I watched this happen for about an hour and a half. Just as they filled the fourteenth and final seat with a white person, it hit 1pm - lunchtime. The judge dismissed us with his thanks, and the rest of us - free - filed out.

That's when the embarrassing bit happened...the judge, on his way out as well, came out a few minutes later. There was a bit of a wait for an elevator (we were on the 10th floor, and fifty people at once was a bit much, so I was still there) and he remarked to me, in a friendly way, that he had never seen the funny-looking animated character on my T-shirt before, what was his name?

I had totally forgotten the T-shirt.

So I was left to mumble my way out of explaining by saying something along the lines of "I beg your pardon, your Honor, it's rather obscene..." because better that than to admit I'd just sat in his courtroom proudly wearing a Fruit Fucker 2000(tm) shirt.

I am a loser.

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August 12, 2004

Hypo fulla love!

According to the suspiciously-named BetterHumans.Com, researchers at the U.S. National Institute for Mental Health have apparently discovered that by blocking a dopamine receptor in the brain, 'procrastinating' monkeys can be turned into 'workaholic' monkeys. While there are no reports on any potential side-effects, and indeed the technique does seem to involve injecting a genetically-engineered substance directly into a region of the brain (ouch!) I can't understand why they won't give this to me in consumer-friendly inhaler form NOW. SO much of my depression is manifested by, based on or in some way linked to a complete inability to marshal the ability to do anything anymore that I feel fairly safe in stating that I'd happily accept some fairly evil symptoms if only that problem could be solved. Hell, I've been involuntarily single and celibate for years, now, so what would I care about most anything it could do to me?

Sorry about the whining. Should've tagged this one better. Hm, a 'whining' category...there's a thought.

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August 3, 2004

Thought Experiment

A quick counterfactual. Suppose we had a Democratic administration, say, under Slick Willie. Suppose that under this administration's aegis, gas prices in urban U.S. areas went from under $1.50/gallon to over $2/gallon. How many outraged screams from pro-business commentators would we hear about the incompetence of the energy policy, foreign policy as applies to oil, and economic policy of said administration? To say nothing of the calls for releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? Now think about the past few weeks. Think about the Vice President's steadfast refusal to hand over papers relating to his 'task force' on energy to Congress. Think about the complete silence.

Depressing, isn't it?

Update: As of today 8.4.2004, Cheney has officially blamed the Democrats for rising energy prices because - I kid you not - they have not supported his energy policy recommendations.

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