Friday, April 27, 2007

...and then what?

ok. so, i guess here's my problem with withdrawing the troops: it
doesn't actually solve the problem that's at hand. i mean, okay, it
does solve the problem of US occupational forces getting blown up in
Iraq and innocent Iraqis getting blown up by US occupational forces.
it allows us to put more troops back in Afghanistan, which may or may
not happen and may or may not be good. it also hopefully will slow the
spread of antagonistic feelings that we provoke in Iraqis with our
oppressive, militaristic presence (i mean, if we pull out, US troops
won't be around scaring Iraqi civilians, either through purposeful
action or incidentally, by doing things like walking around city
streets with with large assault rifles). not that the US's power over
Iraqis will disappear entirely either, but rather the mechanisms will
migrate behind the semi-closed doors of politics and business.

the problem that this will not solve is the problem of creating a
peaceful Iraq. remember when colin powell said something about the
pottery barn rule, "you break it, you bought it," when talking about
accountability in regards to invading Iraq? that, i think, still
applies. we went in and fucked that place up beyond recognition.
pulling the troops out is great. i'm all for less militarism. but we
have to do something after pulling out to help get the Iraqi people
back on their feet. until a reasonable post-retreat plan is proposed,
i'm going to feel ambivalent about any pullout. Iraqis deserve
significantly better than what we've given them. I'd like to see some
effort put forth by the people who are supposedly our nation's leaders
into figuring that problem out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the brunettes are playing a show at bar bodega on may 5th. that's like only a week and a half away. it's gonna be a dizzy time of pickled rock'n'roll with a side of lemony pop. what am i gonna wear?!?!

also playing that evening: teenwolf

Thursday, April 19, 2007

what's news?

While I have nothing to say directly about the events at VA Tech other than pretty much the same sentiments that everyone has: it's a tragedy. While that's true, I'm a bit miffed as to why it is front page news. Still. Even in New Zealand. The Dominion Post, which services pretty much all of New Zealand below Taupo, had a large photo of Cho Seung-Hui brandishing his firearms on the front page. I understand that there's a fairly compelling human interest story. But this is also an event which can bring forth many points of discussion about American culture, higher education, psychology, basic human interaction and decency. (Gun control is being discussed of course, but somehow I doubt any progress will be made on that front.) There's an odor of exploitation that permeates media's coverage of these sad events, events which are fairly isolated and have a relatively small sphere of influence.

They're sensationalizing the people involved. They're playing up
Cho Seung-Hui as some kind of one-dimensional evil villain, like someone out of Batman's rogues gallery. He doesn't make a statement. He has a diatribe. He's disturbed, anti-social, eccentric, and a loner. He's been dehumanized and is now a character in one of the media's stories about terror. And then there are the victims of the massacre, who have articles about them such as the one on the today that begins "Like a string of jewels come stories of priceless lives cut short on a day when the unthinkable occurred."

158 people were murdered in Baghdad two days later in similarly senseless bombings, but their lives aren't described as priceless and their stories don't sparkle like jewels. Their stories don't do anything because they're not reported. There is no follow-up. No real effort at making these occurrences human occurrences. The Washington Post article about these bombings interviewed one witness. ONE. A man who witnessed another man's head being eliminated. Maybe if news sources like the Washington Post reported on Iraqi bombings--bombings that are a symptom of a larger problem of sectarian violence in a region rife with tension due to religion and cultural differences that have global consequences--like they are the VA Tech shootings, people would actually care what's happening in Iraq. I only seems fair that Iraqi deaths should be noted as people not numbers and commented on by their friends and family instead of state officials.

And one last note: the is posting photos and bios of people killed at VA Tech. Why haven't they been doing this for US soldiers killed in Iraq?

photo pump

yeah. spent some time at the beach the other weekend. also there's work being done in the city.

pleasing pizza

my best pizza yet! (from two weeks ago).

Monday, April 16, 2007

i traded my tv for box of bagels. magic bagels.

it's been two weeks already. time accelerates when there's lots of activity. i went to the beach, moved houses, attended the first ever 128 annual general meeting, had a couple of nice evenings with the bruells and regans, and eaten lots and lots of food ( feijoas are running amok at 128). i swept the kitchen and emptied the compost this morning. also, i biked to work for the first time thanks to a bike generously donated to me by the regans. i'm still planning to finish the other bike i'd started working on. hopefully that'll get completed this week.

photos of seagulls and similar nonsense is tk.


It's kind of like craigslist... kind of..., except everything is free.

from the website:

When you want to find a new home for something -- whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door -- you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of the local Freecycle group.

Or, maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member's offer, and you just might get it. After that, it's up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure.

Our main rule: Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.

Though, I think you have to register to use it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

the janitor of the underground

monday i was approved on a provisional basis to be a caretaker of 128. there'll be a two month review of how i'm doing. and i pretty much move in as soon as i can find someone to replace me in the flat i'm currently in. so yeah. hooray!

currently listening to some reggae-inspired cover of billie jean on student radio.

more fun things: the owner of the gift shop i work in has apparently been negligent in paying rent. the landlord came in today and threatened to lock us out if rent wasn't payed tout de suite. no one has heard from him (the owner) in the past few days. where is he? i think there's a chance he's split the country. small but possible.