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July 14, 2006
Surprise, surprise

Bush had nothing intelligent to say about the latest 'outbreak of violence' in the Middle East.

What? There's no one left in the White House capable of writing an intelligent-sounding 20-40 word response to a question they know Bush is going to get?

Interestingly, though, I really can't remember the last time I saw one of the MSM come right out and admit they're using canned material from the White House:

It's the label on the photo to the left: "In this handout photo provided by the White House shows President Bush as he called several world leaders concerning the situation in the Middle East from Air Force One en route to the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Friday, July 14, 2006. (AP Photo/White House, Eric Draper,HO)"

They sure did work hard to get that Air Force One emblem showing in the photo, didn't they? Gosh, if you didn't look carefully, you might think he was in uniform or something.

Posted by AnneZook at 03:40 PM | Comments (1)
Trouble

You know, if not for the Bush Administration and their lunatic-neo-con-crazy cronies, our economy would probably be strong enough to withstand what's coming, but as it is.... We're not immune from the BSE problem because we're the USofA, you know. People are just refusing to care. They don't believe it can happen to us, but it's going to.

I don't know how much time any of you have spent tracking the tentacles of the ground-to-gullet process of getting the USofA fed, but I promise you that a very little research will prove that we could be on the verge of a mighty-big problem.

Especially with that other little developing problem the world is facing.

We could all be vegetarian by the end of the decade.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:44 PM | Comments (2)
Non-politically

Feeling chatty, is all. Sorry, I know this isn't why you stop by, but it's my blog and I'll meander if I want to.

Last night I accomplished...exactly nothing. I carried out some trash. The rest of the evening was spent in front of the computer, something I haven't done in a while. Spent three hours to try and get caught up on my internet reading and didn't quite manage it but I'm not quite as far behind as I was.

Tonight I'm having dinner out with a couple of friends and then we're tentatively penciled in for brunch on Sunday as well, so not much time for lolling around this weekend.

Back when I scheduled tonight's dinner I didn't know that today would be the season premier of Stargate Atlantis. Aarrgghh. I waited months for this and now I'm not seeing it tonight?

Yes, there's a little bitterness, but not much. I can tape it. And we're going for sushi! It's less than a year since I learned to love sushi and I'm still at the point where every opportunity to eat it is a treat.

I have to do one (or maybe two) more loads of laundry this weekend and I have to clean that bathroom before the germs form an alliance, and maybe a band, and set out to take over the world.

Also, the question of books for the cruise remains open. I have four new books but that's hardly enough. I have, tentatively, settled on PGWodehouse for the rest of my selection. I'm in the mood for really well-written stuff, of the kind produced by someone who loves language. That pretty much says Wodehouse. (Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad is still on the short-list.)

Now I have to decide which ones. Jeeves & Wooster? Blandings? Psmith? The school stories? It's so hard to choose....

I find myself regretting, as always, that the millions of words written every year aren't all good ones. Or even mostly.

Although I love a new book, it's frequently a relief to turn to my own bookshelves and know that no matter what I pick up, it will be good. Twain, Trollope, Dickens, Austen, Sayers, Tey, Wodehouse, and Tolkein. (Not to mention a number of more contemporary authors, of course, but those aren't the first names I think of when I think of good writing. It's a personal preference.)

I love Golden Age science fiction with its air of unshakable optimism and the belief that no challenge was beyond us. I sometimes wonder if one might consider that period the dawn of the "technological" age. While it was long before PCs and iPods, the concept of technology was starting to make its way into common understanding. The promise of infinite improvement was there...on the horizon where anyone who cared to look could see it.

I've read a lot of SF&F in my lifetime. I haven't read as much contemporary SF since it went all post-apocalyptic (although I still love really good fantasy. Terry Pratchett's stuff never fails to please.) but I can almost always return to the Golden Age authors for a little spiritual refreshment. The lines between good and evil might have looked clearer without really being so back then, but in that deceptive simplicity I can sometimes find the seeds of understanding for today's more complicated tangles.

I love Golden Age detective stories for that air of naiveté that's just starting to give way to the idea that the good guys might not always win. For that dawning awareness that sometimes good people do bad things, or evil might triumph with the unwitting assistance of innocence. For the desperate desire to reassure us that someone of conscience can make a difference...can hold back the tide of human darkness. And that no human effort toward righting a wrong is ever wasted.

Yes, there's a certain racist and misogynistic* streak through much of both of those genres, but I don't fault any author for being the product of the times in which they lived. And in those streaks, you can also trace many of the roots of the problems we still face in this world. The whole "White Man's Burden" thing which we still have not managed to shake to this day. The fascination with technology, dangerous and otherwise, that might lead us to mass destruction. The fear...the distrust of the "other" whether it's aliens, criminal, people with dark skin, or homosexuals.

In some ways, I guess I should be relieved that the problems in front of us aren't entirely new. We've survived them before, we haven't solved any of them but we've alleviated a few and we're still working on the problems.

In other ways, I'm discouraged that we're not doing as much as we might.

But still. For the cruise, I think I'll retreat to the idyllic banter of Wodehouse's worlds. Where the biggest thing anyone has to fear is an Aunt with an attitude.

Try not to blow anything up while I'm out of town, okay?



_______________________

* Although, you know, not entirely. Superficially many of those authors seem to be misogynistic, but if you read carefully, you get a different impression.

I sometimes suspect that many of these authors didn't so much assume that women were inferior as they feared that women, given power and opportunity, might prove to be vastly superior. We do not yet, live in a world that can wholly prove or disprove such an idea but I have to say that so far, I'm both discouraged and encouraged to discover that women, given a voice, can be just as stupid, ignorant, bigoted, and short-sighted as men. Without achieving equality by any means, women have at least won the right to their individual personalities and not all of those have been revealed to be admirable.

In other words, just as I always suspected, both men and women are simply human beings.

Posted by AnneZook at 08:56 AM | Comments (4)
July 12, 2006
Nope, it's no good

The thrill is gone. I should be all over blogging the stuff that's been going on for the last week, but I just can't motivate myself.

I'm marginally busy at work, trying to remember everything I have to do before I leave town (did I mention I'll be gone for 10 days? I'm taking a cruise to Alaska, leaving the 20th of this month.), and resolutely not thinking about the insanity that is politics in this country.

Move along...nothing to see.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:36 AM | Comments (4)