Sunday October 31, 2004
An open society such as ours is based on the recognition that our understanding of reality is inherently imperfect. Nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. As the philosopher Karl Popper has shown, the ultimate truth is not attainable even in science. All theories are subject to testing and the process of replacing old theories with better ones never ends.
Faith plays an important role in an open society. Exactly because our understanding is imperfect, we cannot base our decisions on knowledge alone. We need to rely on beliefs, religious or otherwise, to help us make decisions. But we must remain open to the possibility that we may be wrong so that we can correct our mistakes. Otherwise, we are bound to be wrong.
Saturday October 30, 2004
Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo says he’s been inundated with mail from Kerry supporters, fretting about the political meaning of the new tape from Osama Bin Laden. As he’s said before, this seems to be a uniquely Democratic ailment, “their tendency to fret that all is lost, almost to indulge in it, when the car hits a simple bump in the road,” as he calls it.
Actually, I think it does point to something unique about Democrats — something that is also one of their strengths — and that is an openness to discourse. In the administration’s call for a truce, we see what the Republicans are always calling for: the end of discourse. You can’t talk about the President. You can’t talk about Prime Minister Allawi. You can’t talk about the allies. You can’t talk about the troops. You can’t talk about Mary Cheney. You can’t go out and register voters or run PSAs reaching out to disenfranchised voters. The right’s instinct for stopping rational discussion about anything is neatly summed up in Bill O’Reilly’s rallying cry: “Shut up!” You could read it on the faces of Bush and Cheney when they were forced to actually justify their positions during the debates.
Democrats, on the other hand, love to talk. As believers in speech and the fallibility of authority, they love to keep the conversation going. As Marshall points out, this sometimes leads to doomsaying — and while it might sometimes make the left appear naive in contrast to the Machiavellian operators on the right — it beats blind faith in the messianic callings of mere mortals. And that is, in part, what this election is about: pluralism vs. absolutism, inclusion vs. exclusion, openness vs. secrecy, humility vs. arrogance, discourse vs. silence.
That said, let’s review the week. Bush let explosives be stolen by insurgents. He got caught doctoring a photo for no good reason. The FBI is investigating Halliburton. Curt Schilling blew him off, and the guy who wrote his campaign theme song has asked him to please stop using it. Slate, meanwhile, is reporting that Bush will have to win every state in which he has a poll number of 46 or higher to wrestle Kerry to an electoral tie. As for the Osama tape, I’m with this guy. If Bush is doing his job, why are we still watching Bin Laden VNRs?
Just show up on Tuesday, take your ID, wait as long as it takes to vote, and everything will be alright.
Friday October 29, 2004
A few months ago, I had to do some work on the road, so I signed up for an AOL trial. I forgot to cancel it, so it showed up on my credit card bill. I called yesterday to cancel it and found myself in the middle of a lengthy — and creepy — exit interview. It went something like this.
ME: I’d like to cancel this account.
AOL: Alright. Sorry you’re leaving us. How do you usually connect to the internet?
ME: I have a cable connection.
AOL: And what do you usually use the internet for?
ME: I don’t want to answer these questions.
AOL: Are you ashamed of what you use it for?
If this is part of AOL’s customer service script, I’d like to ask them to remove it. If it is not, I’d like to ask that John Ashcroft be reassigned to tech support. Thank you.
My friend Pat makes a good point about this whole missing explosives flap and the administration’s attempts to blame it on the troops on the ground. This would be bad for any president, but this president has explicitly defined himself, again and again, as the commander-in-chief. Or is he not up for the job now? Pat writes:
George Bush has defined himself and been defined by his administration and defenders as the Commander in Chief as though he had been elected solely to fill that function. If you run your campaign on the premise that you are the strong Commander that the nation needs you can’t just drop the chain of command when it gets hot.
Chain of command too hot? I like that.
Thursday October 28, 2004
It’s telling that Fox News’ Paul Schur resorts to an analysis of FNC’s audience to rebut Timothy Noah’s criticism of the network’s content. Balance and fairness are questions of content, after all, not demographics. If anything, the number Schur cites — that 70 percent of FNC viewers favor Bush — reveals just how effective the network’s skew has been in promoting the “Bush cause.”
Regarding the Wall Street Journal ’s ridiculous correction about Fox News’ sympathy for the “Bush cause,” did anyone catch the cuts to Iraq last night during the World Series, which showed a gang of American soldiers celebrating the end of the Red Sox curse? I’m sorry, according to Fox’s chyron that was footage of the “Multi-National Force-Iraq.” Still, in addition to sustaining 90 percent of the casualties and 90 percent of the cost, I’m pretty sure our troops are also responsible for 100 percent of the Red Sox rooting.
Wednesday October 27, 2004
At my day job, I have occasion to see all the get-out-the-vote PSAs as they are released. You don’t have to see many of them to realize that most of them come from the Democratic end of the spectrum. Why? Because, as has now been reported thoroughly, the GOP actively opposes voter turnout, especially among minority voters, who — according to research by a Republican polling firm — could, with a strong turnout, secure a decisive victory for Kerry. Suppressing the vote, challenging voters and fighting attempts to register new voters is official GOP policy. Just today, a spokesman for the state Republican Party of Wisconsin called a public school project that involved registering voters “a disgraceful use of taxpayer money.” We used to call it civics class.
In July, Michigan state rep John Pappageorge espoused the strategy when he remarked, “If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we’re going to have a tough time in this election.”
This month, Doug Haag, chairman of the Milwaukee County Election Commission said, “Why is there this need to get all these people registered? If people want to vote, they will vote. If they want to stay in bed and not vote, they don’t have to bother.”
And in a letter to the editor in Tuesday’s Cincinnati Enquirer, a member of the GOP faithful writes:
Ohio Democrats should be ashamed of themselves. Once again, they pander to the poor and African-American community by claiming that these two segments of our multicultural society require special privileges when it comes to voting.
Voters who really care, regardless of their political beliefs or social status, take the time to find out where they are supposed to vote. Only Democrats, who are constantly pursuing gimmicks to inflate their political following, think it is reasonable to conduct massive registrations among people who don’t really care and then cry foul when their “get-out-the-vote” schemes are legally determined to be unreasonable.
At the GOP, thinly veiled contempt for voters’ rights is the norm. They couch this as an attempt to stop voter fraud, but this is belied by the survey of likely voters above, which shows that the numbers are simply there for Kerry. You can’t poll fictitious voters.
The best reason to vote next Tuesday no matter what? Bush doesn’t want you to.
“A political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief.”
George W. Bush, today in Pennsylvania.
Tuesday October 26, 2004
Both my hometown papers — the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Cincinnati Post — have, predictably, endorsed Bush, although it doesn’t look like it was easy. Both endorsements list Bush’s failings, then — as if by magic — decide to endorse him anyway. I sent letters to the editor to both, neither of which will see the light of day. It looks like the Enquirer has only run two letters in response to Sunday’s endorsement and, frankly, I can’t find any letters on the Post’s website at all. Both my letters appear after the jump.
To the Cincinnati Enquirer:
As a Cincinnati native and graduate of Miami University, I read with interest your editorial endorsing President George W. Bush in the the upcoming election. I was dismayed, however, with how different your editorial board’s conclusion was from the facts outlined in the editorial. To cite but one example, the editorial acknowledges that the intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction was “simply wrong,” but excuses the President since “other nations and past administrations all believed Saddam had the weapons and was willing to use them.”
Neither other nations nor past administrations made the unilateral decision to invade Iraq in the absence of conclusive evidence of an “imminent threat.” Most of our historical allies, in fact, supported the rational course of continuing inspections in order to discover the fact of the matter. Had such a course been followed, there would not now be “a bill that America will be paying far into the future” or the need to “restore frayed alliances.”
The editorial’s call to President Bush to return to “the compassion that he has long professed,” meanwhile, seems to be wishful thinking. Such compassion was indeed professed during Bush’s bid for election, but it has never been practiced, and the president shows little indication that he desires to use it — or any other method — to restore our alliances, as the paper’s endorsement suggests. I, like your editorial board, “wish the president were willing to acknowledge the mistakes that were made, and to hold accountable those in his administration who made them.” For that reason, however, I will be voting for John Kerry on November 2.
And to the Cincinnati Post:
As a Cincinnati native and graduate of Miami University, I read with interest your editorial endorsing President George W. Bush in the the upcoming election. I was dismayed, however, by your editorial board’s wishful thinking with regard to a second Bush term.
While the editorial dismisses Kerry’s pledge to “change the course,” the endorsement repeatedly insists that change is what we need, particularly with regard to the war in Iraq — a situation in which, your editorial acknowledges, the president was “led astray” and was “unprepared to win the peace.” To avoid the obvious conclusion of these facts, the endorsement cites unnamed evidence that Bush is “learning from his mistakes.” My fellow citizens can confirm for themselves whether or not the president displayed a willingness to acknowledge — let alone learn from — his mistakes during the course of the three presidential debates.
We do need a change. I also agree with the Post that the president was “led astray” about Iraq and was “unprepared to win the peace.” However, in the spirit of accountability, this means I will be voting for John Kerry on November 2.
Friday October 22, 2004
A new study out of the University of Maryland underlines what makes me so frustrated and, yes, sad about the upcoming election. It also points to how successful the administration has been in misleading the public and what a terrible job the media has done in informing the same. The study polled both Bush and Kerry supporters about their beliefs on various issues. Kerry supporters did turn out to have a better grasp on the facts and on the positions of the challenger, but this is not about gloating — it’s about a point I’ve made before: If everyone had a grasp on even the non-controversial facts of the matter, this election would not be close. Some of the study’s findings:
- 47 percent of Bush supporters still believe that Iraq had WMD. This even after the Duefler Report concluded otherwise and the administration abandoned this contention.
- 63 percent of Bush supporters believe clear evidence has been found linking Iraq and al Qaeda. 55 percent believe this was the conclusion of the 9/11 commission, which concluded the opposite.
- And most depressing, 58 percent of Bush supporters say that, in the absence of WMD and a link to al Qaeda, the U.S. should have not gone to war and 61 percent assume Bush wouldn’t have if he had known this.
More than by who wins or loses, I’m kept awake at night by the fact that so much of the electorate is unwittingly voting against its most deeply held values.
In July, I noted that documentary filmmaker Errol Morris was shooting a campaign for MoveOn.org featuring former Bush supporters who plan to vote for John Kerry. Why are these people switiching? There are so many reasons that Morris has posted 42 spots on his personal website, in which switchers talk about everything from Iraq to God.
Thursday October 21, 2004
Lest there be any doubt about Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s original plan to air Stolen Honor in its entirety — or any doubt about the fact that even its creators view it as a partisan drive-by — here’s a promotional email I received from the Stolen Honor site after I signed up to receive email alerts:
Kerry Wants To Stop Stolen Honor Video
John Kerry and his Democratic allies are so worried that you will see this film, they have launched a major effort with the FCC to prevent Sinclair Broadcasting from airing it before Election Day.
Kerry’s aides have even threatened Sinclair, hinting that if they are elected they will exact revenge.
But John Kerry has reason to be afraid that you and millions of Americans will see Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal.
In fact, this video documentary includes many of the same Vietnam veterans and POWs who have appeared in the Swift Boat commercials — commercials that have rocked the Kerry campaign and caused his first major decline in the polls.
So it is just a Swift Boat ad writ large. And it’s main selling point is that it will rock the Kerry campaign and cause him to decline in the polls? This is not the way journalists, or even Michael Moore, generally measure success. This should put to rest any doubts that this is propaganda — in both substance and intent — rather than “news,” as Sinclair claims. Good material for challenging those licenses, folks.
Tuesday October 19, 2004
With fear and trembling, we went and saw I Heart Huckabees this weekend. A lot of critics don’t like it, and the ones who don’t really don’t. Surely I shouldn’t have been worried, however, since this is the same academy that made Mystic River a critical hit and have led some to believe that Garden State is something more than solipsistic junk.
I thought Huckabees was great — a novel and refreshing film. Slate’s David Edelstein, who I almost always agree with — despite the fact that he, like so many, fell for Mystic River — at least gets the initial assessment right:
I Heart Huckabees is a rambunctious intellectual ensemble farce in which a group of disparate people cogitate frantically about the interconnectedness of all things. It’s not exactly common for an American filmmaker to tackle that subject head-on, sans irony; I can think of no comparable film — certainly no comparable American film, although its Preston Sturges-like hustle and its characters’ New Agey earnestness mark it clearly as a weave of New York and Los Angeles sensibilities. No, it’s sui generis: a breathlessly original — almost free-associational — work that seamlessly mixes high and low comedy, that makes sport of its characters’ narcissistic contortions, and yet treats their existential confusion with civilized respect.
Edelstein, and others, just don’t like it. I don’t know why, unless it’s because to be associated with such a sincere enterprise might compromise a reviewer’s cynical bona fides, or because anti-intellectualism has become so fashionable that any movie that talks about anything in philosophical terms has to be immediately discarded as pretentious. EW’s Owen Gleiberman scoffs, for example, at the movie’s “coy highfalutin banter.” The movie is filled with philosophical banter — “highfalutin,” I guess, is in the eye of the beholder — but none of it is as ponderous as, say, Zach Braff’s lugubrious meditation on “home” in Garden State or Laura Linney’s ridiculous Lady MacBeth redux in Mystic River. Those movies bully viewers — and apparently reviewers — into taking them seriously with tone rather than substance. “Stand back everybody,” they seem to announce. “We’re making art over here.”
Huckabees’ tone, on the other hand, intentionally belies its seriousness by creating an offbeat world in which people actually, you know, care about the meaning of life. They wonder about it and dream about it and talk about it and try to work their way through it, often with hilarious results. Mark Wahlberg, for example, plays a fireman who is obsessed with how petroleum products are ruining the planet, confronting anyone who thinks otherwise. Wahlberg nails the portrait of a man whose obsession with environmental peace leaves him with no shot at peace of mind. Like Kierkegaard’s Either/Or, Huckabees is filled with such existential grotesques. There are devout Christians who collect celebrity autographs to plug the gap that Jesus can’t fill. There’s the retail model who realizes beauty isn’t everything. There’s the French nihilist who confronts nothingness with a Bataillean carthesis by rooting in the mud like a pig. (Portrayed by Isabelle Huppert, who appeared in the 1994 movie Amateur by Hal Hartley, to whom Huckabees director David O. Russell is clearly indebted.)
As for the frequent claim that Huckabees is a mess conceptually, this just isn’t true. The husband and wife team (portrayed by Dustin Hoffman and Lily Tomlin) who teach that the universe is animated by interconnectedness and the meaninglessness espoused by their fallen grad student (Huppert), form a perfect dialectic that is not only conceptually sound, but historically accurate. “The universe is meaningless” and “The universe is nothing but meaning” are, after all, the same proposition — or two ways of looking at the same proposition, if you like — as evidenced by the fact that the original French existentialists more or less cribbed their views on acceptance and resignation from Kierkegaard, who was a theist. “All is One,” with or without meaning and whatever you want to call it, and that is where Huckabees’ protagonists ultimately wind up.
Edelstein is correct that Huckabees has no analog in recent American movies — although Hartley’s filmography would be a good place to look — but it is not completely without parallel. Walker Percy’s fake self-help book Lost in the Cosmos also uses humor to get at the lengths to which the humans will go to avoid the big picture. Woody Allen likewise gets there in Manhattan when his character lectures Yale about people filling their lives with meaningless drama so they don’t have to think about the big questions. And George Saunders (who, like David O. Russell, is a Buddhist) seems to be ploughing similar ground in his recent pieces for Slate. In any case, and despite the reviews, I predict Huckabees will long outlive its critics.
Kurt Vonnegut — who I am 90 percent sure I saw lurching down Third Avenue yesterday — has another piece in In These Times. (Read the last one here.) This time, it’s the author’s final conversation with Kilgore Trout before the latter’s suicide and, it seems, the end of the world.
(via Maud Newton.)
Publishers Marketplace reports that George Saunders’ “allegorical novella” The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil will be published by Riverhead next year, followed by his third short story collection, titled The Red Bow, in 2006.
Monday October 18, 2004
I was sad to hear that Cordell Jackson passed away last week. Her funeral is being held today in Memphis. She was 81.
While Jackson was best known as the “Rock ‘N’ Roll Granny” who schooled Brian Setzer in a 1991 Budweiser commercial, that’s just the tip of her biography. As a young rockabilly babe (the early publicity still to the left confirms the last part), she launched Moon Records as a response to Sam Phillips’ Sun label, and she continued to operate the company off and on for more than four decades. The ’80s saw a revival of Jackson’s music — spearheaded by local musicians like Alex Chilton and Tav Falco, whose band Panther Burns covered the early Moon side “Dateless Night” — which eventually set the stage for her fame-making appearance with Setzer.
I visited her once at her lemon yellow house in North Memphis — she had a lemon yellow Cadillac to match — which she had turned into a museum of sorts. She gave tours of her home every August, as long as you called ahead first. She played a song while I was there — “Midnight Rodeo” from Live in Chicago — and she was one of those performers who seemed entirely transformed by her music. She was sweet and devoutly religious, but musically she was raw and fierce. A true original.
Thursday October 14, 2004
After the vice presidential debate, I took issue with the AP’s use of ABC News’ poll of debate viewers to declare the matchup a draw. The problem was that the ABC poll was the only one Cheney won and the sample was 38 percent Republican and 31 percent Democrat, something the AP coverage glossed as “a poll of a Republican-leaning group of registered voters.”
Well guess what? The party composition of last night’s audience was exactly the same — 38 to 31 — and Kerry won, 42 to 41. ABC calls this a draw. It will be interesting to see if the AP, which hasn’t filed a story on this yet, again describes the ABC poll as one of “Replubican-leaning registered voters” or instead uses it as evidence of a “draw.” Bloomberg calls the ABC poll a tie in its hed, but reports the party affiliations of the sample.
CBS’s poll shows a Kerry win — 39 percent to 25 percent — while CNN’s shows Kerry winning 52 to 39 percent. Since Kerry also had a slight edge in ABC’s GOP-leaning poll, well, this debate wasn’t even close, no matter how the AP reports it or the GOP spins it.
Tuesday October 12, 2004
Eight years ago, I wrote a story for The Memphis Flyer about the immediate aftermath of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which — among other things — abolished the so-called “rule of twelves,” a law that prohibited any one company from owning more than twelve AM stations, twelve FM stations and twelve TV stations in the U.S. (The rule was already a roll back of the “rule of sevens” which was in effect until 1984.) The 1996 Act passed the Senate 81 to 18, with only one Republican — John McCain — voting against it, eliminating national caps on station ownership altogether. (And, yes, John Kerry voted for it.)
This kicked off the media consolidation we see today. In Memphis, for example, Clear Channel quickly acquired seven radio stations, the ABC television affiliate, operational control over the city’s UPN affiliate and 75 percent of the city’s billboard faces. At the time, critics charged — correctly — that this would lead to higher advertising rates, centralized news operations, less local news and fewer programming choices for listeners and viewers. While it also raised the spectre that a single company could use its media clout to shape public opinion, few took this terribly seriously and the harms of consolidation seemed a little abstract. Until now.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group, as everyone knows by now, has ordered its 62 U.S. television stations — 50 more than it could have legally owned in 1996 — to air an anti-Kerry documentary on the eve of the election. Like I said, such a scenario seemed almost unthinkable eight years ago, when these nascent empires seemed primarily concerned with eliminating redundancy and spinning economies of scale. Now we know better.
For more coverage of Sinclair’s plan to use its government granted media saturation to sway the election, and for some suggestions about what you can do to stop it, see Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo.
Monday October 11, 2004
While I’m quick to admit that the early days of fall leave me prone to overeating, over-napping, and being overly moved by moments of ridiculous beauty, I thought I’d share a highlight from the Little Gray Book Lecture that took place this weekend in a recording studio at the end of a blind alley in South Philadelphia.
The topic of the lecture was “How to Communicate Without the Use of Wires.” To this end, Paul Tough’s piece — about his father’s obsession with contacting alien life forms — concluded with what was billed in advance as “the creepy radio trick.” The story concerned, in part, the exploits of Albert K. Bender, pioneer of World Contact Day. The first World Contact Day took place on March 15, 1953, when Bender asked his associates in the flying saucer community to attempt to telepathically communicate with nearby aliens by silently reciting a scripted message that began, “Calling occupants of interplanetary craft!” The entire message became the basis of a song that The Carpenters recorded for their 1977 Passage album.
Saturday’s “radio trick” consisted of passing out a dozen transistor radios to the audience, all tuned to a frequency broadcasting LGB musical director Jonathan Coulton as he played an acoustic rendition of the song from the stage. The effect was creepy, but it was also sublime. As soon as I got back to New York, I started researching the song.
Hardcore hipsters and music heads are surely way ahead of me on this, but “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” certainly strikes the casual fan as a strange song for The Carpenters to have recorded. The pair did not write the song, however. That distinction belongs to Klaatu, a Canadian prog outfit that released the song in 1976. The band takes its name, of course, from the alien protagonist of The Day the Earth Stood Still. And if The Carpenters’ recording of the song wasn’t strange enough, note that the human name Klaatu choses for himself in TDTESS is “Carpenter.”
Anyway, The Carpenters’ version — which is in fact amazing, except for the campy intro in which aliens dial in to talk to a radio deejay — sticks very close to the original, which you can download at www.klaatu.org. Other renditions I’ve found include one by the schoolchildren of the The Langley Schools Music Project and one by Babes in Toyland off the tribute album If I Were a Carpenter, although that’s a rock version that basically dispels all of the song’s psychedlic, quasi-religious weirdness. All this to say that, yes, that was in fact one beautifully creepy radio trick.
Jacques Derrida has died. I spent a large part of the ’90s studying his work, and I even met him once — poolside at a sprawling ranch house near the University of Memphis. He was controversial then, and maybe still is, although I haven’t kept up with his work for almost a decade. He was very short — movie star short — and he was smoking a large cigar.
The best Derrida story I’ve ever heard allegedly happened at a conference in Kansas. Taking advantage of the setting, a questioner from the audience brought up the scene from The Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy and company finally meet the wizard. He is powerful and overwhelming, at least until Toto pulls away the curtain to reveal a very small man.
“Professor Derrida. Are you like that?” the audience member supposedly asked.
Derrida paused before answering.
“You mean like zee dog?” he asked.
My psychiatrist — who practices on Park Avenue and doesn’t have an accent — looks very much like Derrida. He is short, he has a healthy tan and a full head of snow white hair. I look forward to my next appointment so I can confirm, once and for all, that they are not in fact the same person.
Thursday October 07, 2004
My good friend Michael Graber will be launching his debut volume of poetry this Sunday at the Southern Festival of Books in Memphis, where he’ll read alongside Kentucky poet lauerate James Baker Hall. The book — The Last Real Medicine Show— is gorgeous and Michael’s poetry is as skronky and poignant as a Delta blues breakdown. As AE Stallings notes, “Like an old-timey fiddle, Graber’s music has a snake’s rattle in its belly.” I just ordered mine at Amazon.
Wednesday October 06, 2004
Amazingly, AP is declaring last night’s vice presidential debate a draw, despite the fact that the VP lied about everything from whether he’d ever met Edwards before to his constant insinuations that Saddam and al-Qaida had a colloborative relationship. This graf from the AP story made me do a doubletake.
Both candidates got some encouragement from post-debate polls. Cheney fared best in an ABC News poll of a Republican-leaning group of registered voters who watched the debate, with 43 percent giving Cheney the edge, while 35 percent said Edwards won.
Well, that’s an interesting way to do a poll. There’s registered voters, likely voters and now “Republican-leaning registered voters.” If you look at ABC’s poll, you’ll see that it’s a poll of people who watched the debate. This group was composed of 38 percent Republicans and 31 percent Democrats, with the rest undecided. So while this poll might measure the media footprint of the debate — if more Dems had simply watched, these numbers would have presumably gone the other way — it’s a terrible measure of who made an impression on the people who matter. ABC probably shouldn’t even conduct such a poll — at least not without correcting for the turnout, as it were — and AP sure shouldn’t be citing it as evidence of a “draw.” CBS’s canvas of 178 undecided voters found that Edwards won by a large margin, 41 to 28 percent.
Monday October 04, 2004
I will be taking part in a gang reading this Saturday at the 215 Festival in Philadelphia. Dubbed the “WebLitMagSmallPress Showcase,” the event takes place from 3 to 6 pm at a bar called Tritone, and will include readings by Michelle Orange, Todd Pruzan, Samantha Hunt, Christian Hawkey, Kristin McGonigle, Leonard Pierce, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Jeff Barnosky and others. After that, I’ll be off to witness the Philly premiere of the Little Gray Book Lectures, which are being recorded for posterity.
The complete 215 Festival schedule is available here.
Friday October 01, 2004
Daniel wonders, as I did, about the “core value” that Bush kept talking about last night. What is it? I think it can be formulated as follows:
A nation at war must remain resolutely at war — without doubts, discussion or debate — in perpetuity. Otherwise, Poland might feel bad.
UPDATE: Whoops. Poland already feels bad.