Posturing and Empty Gestures

An article from the Indy Star today:

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and state Sen. Pete Miller, R-Avon, Thursday said they believed more cops—called school resource officers—in schools will keep them more safe and proposed a bill aimed at making that happen… The bill would set aside $10 million in state money and allow public schools to apply for matching grants to hire officers to work in schools.

NO.

Hiring teachers and librarians and compensating them fairly? YES.
Funding arts and music programs? YES.
Increasing foreign language instruction? YES.
Supporting athletics programs? YES.

I’m tired of empty political gestures. And, judging by the negative backlash in every media outlet I’ve checked, so is the rest of the constituency.

Grizzly vs Voter

Last week, I saw two articles regarding a speech given by Sarah Palin that disturbed me in an entirely new way. According to these articles, Palin “freely used” and “started tossing around” the word feminist/ism in a recent speech to the political action committee, Susan B. Anthony List. There was similar fuss about Palin’s “mama grizzlies” rhetoric. Predictably, these articles sent me into a Google Reader comment rant. I was on the verge of sharing said rant (now deleted) when I realized Continue reading Grizzly vs Voter

Books and Plays and Things

I chose to work this MLK Jr Day. I am one of two people present in my unit  and maybe one of ten present in the entire cataloging division. I’m rather enjoying the quiet though.

I am desperately trying to get through Sense and Sensibility before I watch the movie (1995 with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman), which is now being held for me at the library (and there are more holds so I only have it for a week). I’ve never read it before. In fact, I think Pride and Prejudice is the only Jane Austen novel I’ve read cover to cover. I can’t remember why I put down Emma. I think I get distracted too easily, hence my determination to finish S&S.

I’ve already Tweeted about joining DailyLit, a service in which you receive chunks of the book of your choosing either by email or RSS. I’m reading An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde in hopes of finishing it before seeing the productions staged at IU. More time-sensitive reading.

I’m looking forward to the inauguration tomorrow. I feel as though I ought to do something to celebrate…

Yes we can.

Many bloggers are posting music videos to sum up their sentiments upon the announcement of our President-elect. My first reaction was, psha, right, as if some pop song could sum up the multitude of things that I’m feeling right now. Oh right, I’m an instrumentalist. So here is my musical offering (with no offense to pop-lovers, nothing from the genre seemed to fit this moment for me!).

Today’s musical interlude is brought to you by Hope. Yes we can.

from Respighi’s Pines of Rome

Sociopolitical Ramble

Politics does not exist in a vacuum. Contrary to popular belief, ‘politics’ isn’t a dirty word either. It is simply policies that govern a society. I haven’t given much thought as to how current political events, namely, the election, will shape our society.

Nancy asked me a question last night: whether blacks voting for Obama because he is black is the same as women voting for a woman candidate because the candidate is a woman. I have no idea how to answer this but the question primed me to consider the cultural dimension of this presidential race.

This morning I read an interview with Bernard-Henri Lévy on Salon that touched on the broader social implications of Obama being elected president. To Lévy, this scenario isn’t just about blacks being empowered:

…it will mean the end of a new American evil, which is the dividing, the Balkanization of American society. This is another counter-effect of a great idea, which was tolerance. You so much tolerate that you tolerate the American society to be in separate bubbles having their own peculiarities, and so on. Obama as president will mean all these bubbles submitted to a real ideal of citizenship. This is his message. McCain will not be able to do this. If McCain is elected, I can tell you the Iranians will close themselves in the Iranian identity. The Arabs will coldly, freezingly imprison themselves in the Muslim identity. The African-Americans will believe that the American society is more and more built against them. You will have an increase of the Balkanization. [emphasis is my own]

If Americans elect a black man (OK, I’m ignoring Obama’s mixed heritage for the moment) to the highest position in the nation, the American ideal of democracy will finally be married to equality, not just for blacks, but for all minorities. Such a scenario not only empowers ALL Americans, it also sends the message to the rest of the world that heads of state aren’t just a bunch of old, rich white men talking about opportunity and equality. This election has the potential to be a radical affirmation of American principles and values.

Nancy is exactly right: this is an amazing time to be alive.

If John Cleese says so…

…then I am in no position to argue. John Cleese gives his brief thoughts on Palin becoming Vice President. OK, so he isn’t saying anything truly earth-shaking; plenty of us have been saying this since McCain announced his veep pick. Still, “Monty Python could have written this.” I’d laugh if this scenario wasn’t so terrifyingly close to being reality. Vote people. Please.

If my previous post wasn’t a good indication of how I spent my weekend, I will summarize: Rocky Horror tech week. Time was spent doing publicity, tickets, programs and painting the set. However, I did get a nice reprive on Sunday: Tim, Sara and I had a Firefly-thon. Yay!

I meant this to be a longer post, in which I chatted about the dangers of paint fumes + empty stomach while climbing around on 15′ scaffolding, the highly politicized Nobel Prize pick in Economics, Paul Krugman (google him, there are articles aplenty if you’re interested), my lack of progress with The Graveyard Book (love the first chapter and a half though!), reasons why I enjoy watching The Lost Boys more than Interview with the Vampire, and why I really need to head back home and hide this Thanksgiving but probably can’t.

Ah well, maybe more later when my brain doesn’t feel like scrambled eggs.

Ah, the Weekend

I finally got my hands on a copy of Neil Gaiman’s latest, The Graveyard Book (surprisingly, the hold list wasn’t too long at the library).  I have thoroughly enjoyed what I’ve read thus far! I know I will want to go back and listen to Gaiman reading the book, which anyone can do for free by going here.

Yesterday was quite productive. I did errands, worked a few hours at Avers, cleaned, made some phone calls and then did a mini-Outlaw Star marathon with Tim (and Sara, when she could duck in). I almost made it through the series but I was seriously tired at about five episodes until the end and had to whimp out. Another time, I suppose.

For those of you using feed readers, I am playing with my sidebar (you can see items recently added to my LibraryThing account once again). More aesthetic changes to come.

Two Weeks

“Two minutes… get your shit together.” Thanks to Kristen, for introducing me to George Carlin’s “Two Minute Warning,” which I believe is from On the Road.

This is your two week warning. You have a little less than two weeks to register to vote in Indiana. Failing to do so will prohibit you from voting in the November 4th general elections. Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Go here. This site can also tell you useful things such as your polling location and which districts you belong to.

For more information about the election, including candidates, state-level public questions, visit this site.

Let’s play the power back into our hands.