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My own mini-meme

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Dictionary Submissions

Dictionary Submissions #1 – Drunkstapose

Based on a recent occurrence of this phenomenon in my life, I submit the following new word for inclusion in the English language:

drunkstapose (drŭngkstə-pōz’)
verb: drunkstaposed, drunkstaposes, drunkstaposing
noun: drunkstaposition

– verb (used with object)
1. To pose for a photograph with someone while inebriated (nb: recollection is optional)
2. To photograph a drunkstaposition

1. A situation where two or more inebriates pose next to each other for a photograph
2. A photograph of such an occurence

Typical usage:
“Man, I thought I didn’t know that guy, but then I found a picture of us drunkstaposed, wtf”

Palin Politics

I came, I saw, I quit

So Sarah Palin has resigned as Governor of Alaska:

Gov. Sarah Palin will resign her office in a few weeks, she said during a news conference at her Wasilla home Friday morning

I won’t go on about this much. Even after all this time I’m still sick of hearing about her escapades.

On the face of it, this seems like a resoundingly stupid thing to do: to remove herself from elected office, thereby throwing away the last miniscule vestige of credibility she may have had. And why? Her garbled statements fails to shed any light. Was it because she would not stand by while taxpayer dollars were spent investigating her? Or maybe it was because staying on would be a quitter’s way out?

In any case, PalinSpeak is such a convoluted, contradictory mish-mash of talking points and vague folkisms that parsing it is a pointless endeavour. Theories abound as to why she’s taking the chance to quit now rather than end her term and not run for reelection, of course.

Ace of Spaces speculates that it could be ill health:

It’s over. You can’t resign from a governorship and then run for higher office. Barring some strong reason, like needing treatment for cancer.

I certainly hope that’s not the case. More likely, though: scandal.

I would not be surprised if this latest round of revelations shook something else loose that we haven’t heard about yet.

My guess is that regardless of the circumstances of her resignation, she won’t be leaving the spotlight anytime soon. To the ire of many who’d rather be getting on with more important things, a large number of Americans simply can’t get enough of her.

Prediction: She’ll accept a prime time show on Fox News, offering her a platform to further lodge herself in the public eye and secure a strong fan-base. Her first-night viewing figures will break records, and within 3 months of starting, her show will be in the top 3 most viewed shows on the channel.

Update 05 Jul 09 – Josh Marshall reports that Palin is now threatening to sue The HuffPo, Washington Post, NY Times and MSNBC for defamation after they all reported a possible scandal involving the contractors used to build the Wasilla Sports Complex.


RIP Madelyn Dunham

Tragic. I’m glad Obama had his chance to see her before this, and I hope everyone who mocked him for taking time out of his campaign feels shame to their core.

I can’t think of anything else to say, so I’ll leave with a word from Andrew:

“May she rest in peace. She did good.”

Good luck tomorrow, America. Let’s see what you’re made of.


The real differences between liberals and conservatives

Here’s a very illuminating talk by Jonathan Haidt about the moral mind. Watch it then scroll down for my take.

The graphs he shows are incredible, simply for the discrepancies between the two sides of the moral spectrum. I think he tries too hard to wrap his interpretation of openness around the findings, though.

Ultimately the talk fails because – as he himself states – the principles of open discussion and embracement of ideas and change are liberal virtues. While the comparison to yin and yang was inspiring, I’m not sure how applicable it is. Yin and Yang are two sides of the same coin, whereas in the current climate (or has it been forever?) political polarity is such that each party wants to be the whole thing.

A followup I’d love to hear would be about the effects of discussion, and “conversion” rates. Although Haidt mentioned that a child’s “blank slate” was malleable, he didn’t mention how rigid a person’s morality becomes. Can they change? I can’t help but come away feeling mildly depressed, especially when one end of the spectrum revolves around pack mentality, self-imposed seclusion and rejection of the facts.

Election 08 Politics

Plan for Change

A new 2 minute-long ad from Obama spells out what he wants to do once in office.

Personally I love it: it’s substantive, logical, and it highlights the effects to the working class. But I’m not sure if your average low-information voter is going to sit through 2 minutes of, well, just talking. Maybe I’m underestimating the average American, but there’s a reason why most political ads are 30 second long “hit-and-run” style messages, with exciting graphics and the reassuring bass growl of a narrator.

This actually hits on the reason why I simultaneously respect Obama so much, and fear for the election: he’s not speaking down to people. He’s not telling them what to think, he’s not pushing smears, he’s not peddling to the lowest denominator. If America reacts to open, honest discussion of the issues, I’ll raise a glass to a people whose judgement survived 8 years of empty politics. But if they don’t, then they’ll have earned what they get in McCain.

Election 08 Politics

John McCain Vs Spain

So last night, McCain gave a strange interview in which he refused to say whether – once elected – he’d meet with Spanish president Zapatero or not. Not only that, but he changed the subject to Latin America several times, despite the reporter clarifying that she was asking his prospective administration’s relationship with Spain.

This comes at a time when people are starting to whisper about McCain’s mental acuity.

Today McCain’s campaign told the Washington Post that he meant to snub Spain like that. Now I don’t think that McCain’s becoming senile. I think he either wasn’t paying attention, or didn’t understand the question. But what I find scary is the vehemence with which his campaign declared that he meant what he said. It says a lot that McCain would rather damage ties to a NATO country than admit he made a mistake. Of course, if it was a senile moment and I was his spokesperson, I’d be telling everyone that he meant what he said, no matter how bad it sounded. Oh, he said he’d invade Canada? Uh, yep, he meant that.

Election 08 Politics

More slogan theft

Since once wasn’t enough, the McCain campaign has now decided to coopt Obama’s message a second time.

Mere days after the Obama campaign rolled out their new slogan “Change We Need” – a subtle change to their previous “Change We Can Believe In” – we see this post banking crisis ad. But wait, what message does the ad end on?

John McCain: Changing my message to whatever you think you need.

Seems Obama noticed.


More of the same

No, I’m not referring to McCain.

In a world drowning in vacuous interpretation and the empty drone of millions of people laboriously poring over every word uttered during the presidential campaign; in a blogosphere where everyone and their cat is an expert, one man throws his hat into the ring…

And with that LaFontaine-esque introduction, my blog begins. Stay tuned for some actual opinions sometime soon!