October 13th, 2008


[links] Link salad for a travel day

Don’t forget the Tourbillon tuckerization contest. [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

The new film Repo - the Genetic Opera will be webcasting the score all day Monday — Tune in and check it out. (Thanks to jaborwhalky.)

Does it matter if black plus white equals black or multiracial? — The story is not as stupid as the headline. (Thanks to lt260.)

Transparency In Politics Can Lead To Greater Corruption — Huh. (Thanks to lt260.)

Arguments against same sex marriage — Fascinating arguments against same sex marriage, presented as a thought experiment by a proponent. I continue to aver there is no position against same sex marriage which isn’t rooted either in prejudice or religious dicta (or both, in many cases) — no one has yet shown me a social policy argument which stands without an underlying claim on the first type of argument. Opposition to same sex marriage is exactly parallel to opposition to interracial marriage, and just as socially reprehensible. (Link snurched from comments on a locked post on my flist.)

A Tiny Revolution on trust in the governmentOne consequence of the current economic implosion is the U.S. upper middle class is finally beginning to understand that everyone in positions of authority has been lying to them. Another fascinating sociopolitical squib which happens to align nicely with my perspective.

The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama — The GOP’s big source for oppo about Obama is someone who was once refused admission to the Illinois bar based on a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.” When the facts are biased against you, you campaign with the lunatics you have.

Obama-Biden, McCain-Palin: Scandals by the Numbers — Remember kids, character counts! (Thanks to chriswjohnson.)

Body movement: airport walking
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 230.2
Currently reading: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two by Anu Garg

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[writing] MyOwnWriMo

Today was day 30 of Tourbillon. I’ve hit 114,200 words. Which is, functionally, my own personal NaNoWriMo, I suppose.

Though I’ve never been a part of it, I always thought NaNoWriMo was a great idea. If you’re not working to contract or deadline, it provides an excellent framework in lieu of that business pressure. Peer support, press coverage, tracking bells and whistles, retreats. I think it’s terrific.

Maybe some year I’ll be starting a novel draft around November 1, and will play for real. In the mean time, if you’re thinking about NaNo, go do it! (Feel free to hand me my ass in 30-day wordcount, too — I’m here to tell you it’s possible, even with a full-time job and a child.)

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[travel] Flying in the veteran seats

Had a very curious and rewarding experience on the airplane from Dallas to Omaha. I boarded late (due to my connecting flight loitering on the taxiway for 30 minutes or so), and sat across the aisle from a US Army NCO in combat fatigues. He looked over at me with my long hair and my Birkenstocks and said, “Excuse me, are you a liberal?”

I smiled and said, “Why, yes I am. Do you need a position statement?”

We proceeded to have a long, very involved conversation about the war in Iraq. The gentleman was on mid-deployment leave from his third tour there, coming home to see his wife and son. He was quite genuinely baffled about what he considered to be the liberal perspective on the war. I explained my own perspective, pointing out that I was the only liberal I could speak for, and was unfailingly polite and very nonconfrontational. We spoke for about an hour.
I don’t suppose I convinced him of anything different from the opinions he already held, and I don’t believe he changed any of mine, but I may have succeeded in humanizing what he had seen as the faceless and irrational opposition to a cause he firmly believes in. He obviously needed to talk about this, and I was happy to participate in welcoming him home through civil if occasionally tense political debate. Eventually we talked about his buddies who had died over there, his personal sense of commitment, his (well-informed) understanding of world affairs, and the book he was thinking about writing.

Before we got off I gave him a copy of Mainspring. He shook my hand, apologized for coming on strong, and thanked me for speaking with him.

I’m very glad we spent the time together. The gentleman had an immense amount of passion about what he clearly saw as his life’s work and his commitment to democracy. That we agreed on almost nothing in the grand political picture, and disagreed on much in the details, did not detract from my pleasure in having a spirited policy discussion with a fellow citizen.

I wish him well, and all possible safety on his return to Iraq.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.