Monday, September 29, 2008

Politics: The Ultimate of Dumbshittery.

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Rep-Press made this probably assuming that the bill would pass. As we can see, it didn't. As you can see, I made comments earlier about the bailout compromising our capitalism. For the record, Obama came out in favor of it, McCain said 'maybe'. But, we'll never know with absolute certainty because neither of them got to vote for it.

But, it would have been SOMETHING DONE rather than NOTHING DONE, so the market was depending on it. It has now come out that some sort of partisan argument started by Pelosi (so say the republicans) caused some people to vote against it. 95 of the democrats voted against this bill (140 for it), and Pelosi has come out saying that the democrats held their end of the bargain. Rather difficult to accurately say when well over a third of their house members voted against it.

Republicans voted against it rather overwhelmingly (65 yes 133 no). Looking at this bill, it's not very republican. It spends a lot and involves a form of socialism. Even though McCain had talked about backing it, the conservative agenda doesn't normally go for this kind of thing.

The Scorecard for the 700 Billion Dollar Bailout Bill

The ultimate result of this has been that the Dow Jones Industrial has fallen like a damn rock. Today it lost 777.68 points putting it back near the 10,000 mark at 10,365.45. The Do-Nothing Congress has once again done nothing. They need to immediately go back to the drawing board and create SOMETHING that will fix this situation. Economy dropping like a rock coupled with no gas in the southeast (where I live) is killing the morale of the people.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Politics: The Presidential Debates: ROUND ONE

Wow this was depressing.

I watched this with another McCain supporter, three Obama supporters, and an independent. We were all surprisingly relaxed with one another while the candidates talked nonsensically about the issues. There was one major thing that brought us together, our mutual hatred for both the candidates.

Since his nomination, I've been a McCain supporter. I hated Obama from the beginning, and still hate him. The only thing that could have gotten me to vote for him would have been if he chose Richardson as his running mate. But he didn't, and probably because Richardson is Latino.

But all that aside, the debate was horrible. I watched the Saddleback Church 'debate' in which both candidates were brought on the stage in a controled situation and asked the same questions. I thought Obama danced around most of the questions whereas McCain answered straight-on which garnered my respect (whether I agreed with him or not). I was hoping for a round two of McCain actually answering questions while Obama put on his point shoes to dance around questions.

The first question was asked and both candidates wasted their time giving the boring thank-yous and introducing themselves with little mini stump-speeches. Then the moderator had to verbally slap them by asking the question again. I figured that the problem would not persist and both candidates would at least be better about it for the rest of the debate.

First question is about a minute into the video.

The rest of the debate was a travesty. Both candidates danced around the question by either not addressing anything remotely close to the subject of the question or by redefining the question and THEN answering their own question (Edwards used to do this by outright saying 'the real question is' and then answering it).

Note Gravel answered the question HEAD ON. The other two didn't even touch the issue. Ballerina alert on Obama. What the heck does that have to do with the question? At least Edwards tried to answer the question before redefining the question and then not answering it.

This is a major problem with presidential candidates. I want to see some answers from the candidates at some point. This has gotten sooo irritating for me. It seemed that the only two candidates who never danced around a question were Mike Gravel for the democrats and Ron Paul for the republicans, and neither of them were given any value for it.

It's depressing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Politics: 700 Billion Bailout Plan?

Nevermind that Obama supports this blank check (or at least a form of it) as well. loves to bend facts when they're not completely lying. This is a bi-partisan issue that I'm not quite sure whether or not I support because I don't know enough about it. But here's what I do know.

Apparently this new bill is being worked on to bail out some companies whose success would help the economy and whose failure would hurt the economy. There hasn't been a list of companies posted anywhere that I know of, nor is there any real cap on the amount of money being spent.

The way the thing is written, it gives the treasurer the right to bail out Wall Street by using a process which I don't completely understand yet, but is limited to using 700 Billion dollars at one time. Then, it goes on without any specification to how many 'times' the damn thing can be used. So if used twice to its limits, 1.4 trillion dollars could be spent to bail out the economy, thus putting us further and further into debt and... destroying the economy?

700 billion dollars of government money being put into the free-market compromises our capitalism. This is a direction that several governments have gone before us. This is bringing a few terms to mind: Communism, Socialism, Command Economy... etc. I just saw one of the penguins down in our government say that he "hoped" this would be temporary. THAT has been heard before several times in history.

America has some problems.

This is a weird bill that's being put through. But all the penguins down at the senate and house seem to support it. I just got done watching Pelosi talk about the progress being made, and McCain just said that significant progress was made yesterday so he's deemed it alright to debate today rather than be absent from the debates.

I'm not quite sure how all this is going to play out. But this whole thing makes me shift in my seat a little. It just smells bad. A lot of limits need to be put on this thing if my understanding of it is correct, and I hope there's a lot of limitations I don't know about. But if there are, the media isn't showing them the light of day.

This could be compared to FDRs New Deal, or it could be compared to something completely different. I hope it works.

Watch and wait.

Art History: The First Graffiti Artist?

An airbrushed hand at Lascaux Cave

There's a painting in Lascaux Cave that has a negative image of a hand surrounded by a red nova that could have been created by modern spray paint. The red fades into the rock behind it at different lengths around the circle before it disappears completely. The middle two fingers are a little close together, and look as if the artist had injured or deformed fingers. Both of these being a great possibility along with the possibility that the human hand has simply evolved from what it used to be.

This piece seems to me that it should win an award for first graffiti. It looks as if someone put their hand up against the wall and spray painted over their hand which could be the first 'Ug was here' graffiti. This makes me wonder what was the point of him making the little hand print. And did he get punished for it?

Maybe it was supposed to be part of a bigger picture, but this is certainly quite different from the largely animalistic nature of the rest of the paintings in the cave. If this wasn't graffiti, maybe it was that kindergarten project in which you're supposed to make a turkey out of your hand, or perhaps it was simply artistic experimentation with the primitive air brush. Either way, I love to think of it as the first artistic practical joke.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Art History: What is Art with a capital A?

On the first day of my Art History class, the definition of "Art, capitol A" was challenged. Apparently the modern definition refuses to accept things with aspects to them other than art, such as the Woman of Willendorf. The Woman of Willendorf was probably a religious artifact of some kind that might have been used in ritual or perhaps was a pregnant woman's self portrait.

Woman of Willendorf

Art is apparently to be looked at. Modern Art fits this model with its strange blocky colors slapped onto a canvas and hung in a museum. I'm still trying to familiarize myself with Modern Art, so I don't quite understand it.

After this class, I wrote on my notebook the following:

"Art with a capitol A has been put on a pedestal by so many critics that it's hard to appreciate the artistic value of the simple world. Art the way I see it is therefore broadly unappreciated. With this in mind, Art with a capitol A is, in my opinion, inferior as a presentation of art. Where religious artistic endeavors are multi-purpose, 'Art' only has a solitary purpose."

To expand on that, I look to one of the two pieces that I have been presented with, 'Dancing Hunter' from Catal Hoyuk, one of the pre-Sumerian settlements from about 6000 BCE. I don't have the art history book yet, but I can infer from what I know of the time period and the location that this is probably religious as well, given that in this time almost all art was religious in some fashion. Pagan religions in this time drove humans to make paintings to honor the many thousands of gods or singular god in their religions. This is apparent in the art from Ireland on the stones guarding the Hill of Tara or New Grange from a similar time period.

Dancing Hunter

New Grange is an underground temple in Eastern Ireland that was designed to honor one of the solstices. The temple has stones with spirals all over them around the entrances. These spirals show up in other artistic/religious works of the early Irish pagans. No one quite knows what they mean, but they are definitely religious art.

New Grange

Two aspects of this suggest that the Dancing Hunter is religious to me. First of them is the fact that it exists in the first place. Without the religious drive to create art, most people in these periods of time were more focused on surviving than anything else. The second is the fact that the Hunter is dancing. The dance is probably to celebrate an ancient pagan god. Dancing during the neolithic age was a common religious practice, and I actually don't know of any other reason for dancing in that age. Most areas in which we dance in modern society either didn't exist in that age, or the purpose of celebration was supplanted with honoring their god or gods.

So, considering all this, is the Dancing Hunter Art with a capitol A? Probably not with the religious connotation. It might have been made to look at, or as a house decoration, but that wasn't the sole purpose of it. The painting has a number of other purposes than 'being art'. In my personal opinion, this qualifies as art, or at least artistic.

Film: Mobster Mountain Dew

While I'm posting some of my older stuff, here's something I made about a year ago. It involved about two hours of filming and editing to make seventeen seconds of goodness.

This video doesn't really speak as much for me anymore since Mello Yello is all I drink. At the time I made this, I liked both of them but I still liked Mountain Dew a little better. Since then I've changed completely.

This video was made to practice some stop motion and get myself familiar with editing on iMovie. It wound up being kind of a failure for the sake of practice since I should have been practicing in Final Cut rather than iMovie from a professional perspective. But anywho, I got a nice video out of it.

Writing: Whore

First post, figured I'd throw up some of my writing. This is a piece that got me disqualified from a school contest because it had the word 'whore' in it. They basically said I shouldn't have even submitted it to begin with, but at the time it was the best short story I had lying around.

It was inspired rather randomly after talking with a few people. Shortly after writing this, I met a girl named Hannah who thought it was quite awkward that her name was in this piece. I swore to her that I wrote it before I met her, and that at the time Hannah was a random name. I'm still not sure if she believed me or not :P but whatever.

The disqualification issue still bothers me even though it was a couple years ago. I swear that schools need to recognize good writing when they see it, and not disqualify over a 'bad word' that was used tastefully in my opinion.

But here it is,


Hannah awoke to the sunlight pouring in through her window. Her arm flopped over across the bed into the empty space beside her.

He had left.

She knew it would happen. They never stayed for long, playing their way into her heart and leaving in the midst of the night. She wriggled in the bed and pulled her covers over her shoulders and close to her neck, placing her chin over the edge of the blankets and locking the fabric into place.


Not as warm as his body was. She barely remembered his name. It had started with a ‘J’… or perhaps a ‘T’? She wasn’t sure. Her bare feet remained cold under the covers. Winter had that effect on her body. No matter what, her feet seemed to remain cold.

She tucked them in, close to her bare body in the fetal position, wrapping her arms around herself. She shivered ever so slightly beneath the covers. Her lips pressed together tightly in a state of near frustration. The emotion she felt at that moment could not exactly be described… not by her anyway. She had felt this feeling a thousand times before. Each time she let a man into her life, for one night, he left before the next day, leaving her to wake up alone… and for today… cold as well.

She didn’t want to get out of the bed. She would wait a while.

She shivered again.


She wished for that body again, that warm body which held hers the night before. When the arms of a man held her, she felt as if nothing could touch her. She felt the need to get as close as she could to them—even if that meant removing her clothes.

Protection was all she wanted… protection from the world's judgments, assumptions, and hatreds toward her. She only wanted to feel the arms of one next to her each night, knowing he would be there the next morning to kiss her and tell her it would all be okay.

But they all left before dawn… all back to their own lives, carrying on as if she never existed. She would only be a memory to them—only a memory.

Nothing more.

But to her, each man had been much more until she awoke the next day to their vacancy. Each of them had crept into her heart for one ephemeral moment. Yet then they ripped themselves away, as if they had been caught by the fear of staying forever. She only wanted the same hand to hold, lips to kiss, and a shoulder to cry on. She wanted the same ones to be there for years and years again. Yet her confounded reputation always got in the way.

Others saw Hannah as easy—bedded in one night, and left naked in the dark. And though she had to admit to herself the truth of this common assumption…

She hated it.

Hannah’s desperation had led to her own demise. A demise before death. She lived as an empty shell for anyone to fill as they pleased with their lustful instincts.

She stirred from her rest, moving her legs to get out from underneath the covers. Her thin arms removed the covers from her naked body as she moved to sit up in the bed. She stretched her arms out in the sunlight, yawning as she did so.

She had to try again. She had to find love. She needed to be loved.
Hannah would go to find another man. But this time it would work, this time she wouldn’t be left in the middle of the night. She would be so good to him, give him such an experience that he would never leave her.


She examined her frail shadow on the floor opposing the window. What was the matter with her? Why did men refuse to stay with her for more than the night? Why did all of them leave before dawn?

She stood.

Hannah walked delicately across the room and out the door, crossing the hallway into her bland bathroom. She turned on the shower and waited for the hot water to turn on. She examined her body in the mirror.

She couldn’t see anything absolutely repulsive about her… Was it her boobs? No… she had always been satisfied with her breasts. She always wore clothing that showed them a little, hoping men would notice. They usually did. Men could never refuse her.

Was it the small pudge on her stomach that drove them off? Could she not move correctly in the night? Was her touch not soft enough, not hard enough, not warm enough? She shook her head and noticed the steam coming out from behind the shower curtain.

She briskly moved it aside and stepped in, letting the water fall around her. Her hands moved through her hair as she brushed it back, filling each strand with water.

She fell back against the wall of the shower, breathing deeply as she did so. Her frail body slid down to the bottom of the shower against the wet wall. Hannah’s hands covered her face.

Was it her face?

Could it be the pointed nose?

The little mole above the left side of her mouth?

Her blank brown eyes?

Her small mouth?

What could it be?

What could it be that made her so repulsive?

A droplet of water which came not from the shower trailed down the side of her cheek.

She realized her fate.

She could only be what she was.

A whore.