Posts from May 20, 2002

Blogging as exhibitionism: There are

Blogging as exhibitionism
: There are all kinds of things I cannot say on my blog.

At a recent school event for my kid, a neighbor said that he’d read my blog. I was flattered and shocked. And I realized that I can’t write about the neighbors.

Some colleagues read it. Can’t talk about work.

Family either.

I now understand the appeal of anonyblogs. I’m thinking of taking on a personality, a nom de post, so I can say what I really think. And I’m not telling anybody.

The (aggressive) pursuit of happiness
: Every six months or so, I get fed up with the modern American quest for spirtuality. When I lived in California, that happened every week or so.

Spirituality is, too often, just another way to say self-indulgence: What will make me happy?

I want to slap its practitioners.

Sunday night, I watched much of the end of Survivor and was disgusted by the faux ethnic/religious/spiritual clapcrap: the survivor ladies paddling to an island to spend the afternoon painting (they called it tattooing) symbols on their arms and legs to connect them to some bogus spirituality. They’d have been better off doing their hair.

Next I watched the wonderful Six Feet Under where, at least, they made fun of the screwed up shrink parents’ renewal vows, revealing the vacuum of their souls.

And today, I pick up the New York Times and read about a new program at — one guess — Berkeley promoting the study of peace and love:

The new institution, the Center for the Development of Peace and Well-Being, already nicknamed the joy center, will scientifically explore “inner peace” as it relates to individuals, relationships and communities…

Good, God, I wish cliches were most self-aware.

The world is a screwed-up place that requires real morality and hard work and we can’t solve problems with mumbo-dumbo-jumbo whose only aim is to make us feel good. Sometimes, we should feel bad so we work on the cure and not the symptoms, so we worry about others’ problems and needs and not just our own.

I’m not feeling like peace and love these days. We’re still at war.

Accountability
: Howard Stern reliably delivers the pulse of America and this morning, he’s pissed at the Bush administration over the 9.11 warnings. Howard says they could have done simple things once warned about hijackings and Arab pilots. They could have put air marshals in planes. They could have looked at the rosters of other flight schools. They could have tightened airport security. Stern likes Bush. But he has said from the start that Bush is a Type B personality and it doesn’t surprise him that his administration did not jump on these warnings. He says that this should cost him another term.

I wouldn’t go that far.

Nonetheless, the pundits and pollsters should listen to Howard’s pulse.

What is needed is cabinet-level accountabilty. We don’t have that today. Cheney is the one being sent out there to draw lightning; he’s the one who warns of another attack so they can say we-told-you-so; he’s the one who refuses to release the hero-FBI agent’s memo. Poor Dick. Meanwhile, the heads of the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Transportation Department are getting free rides. They are the ones who should be feeling the power of vox pop voltage.

There is one answer: RUDY!

Stern says Rudy should be President.

I wouldn’t go that far.

Rudy should be attorney general; I’ve been saying that since October.

We now have an attorney general who’s there to push the far-right agenda — guns, abortion, prayer — and make the far-right happy when what we should have as attorney general is somebody who knows how to catch criminals and protect the people. That is the real job. And the man who could do it: Rudy Guiliani.

A strong crime fighter should be attorney general. That person should be responsible for homeland security so there is cabinet-level accountablity. And if Dick Cheney wants to make himself useful, he should take charge of making sure the FBI, the CIA, and the military communicate, compare notes, connect dots, and work hard to prevent the next attack (just take Ken Layne’s wise suggestion: stop complaining about your old computers and just start a cross-agency Terror Blog).

Howard says that Cheney should not just say that we’re going to get attacked and leave it at that. Howard says Cheney should warn that if we get attack, we are going to nuke the Palestinians or Saudi Arabia, pick a country, any country.

I might go that far.

: Update: Matthew Yglesias gives all the good reasons why Rudy won’t get the job. Still, it would be nice.

Repetitive stress
: Amy Langfield is typing again and it’s a good thing.