February 2009 Archives

Fifteen Albums


Here's a Facebook meme I was tagged to participate in, but because I prefer my blog to Facebook I'm doing it here.

Instructions: This is harder than you may think! Think of 15 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that, no matter what their critical or commercial significance, shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!

So. Here's my list, in chronological order of when they entered my life or made their impression.

Synesthetic Sound


Splotchy asked for contributors to another playlist, and I was able to volunteer in time to get my suggestions included in the official list.

He called it "ROYGBIV" for reasons explained here. The rules specified that the title of each selection had to contain a color, and that color could not be duplicated in any other song title.

Some participants followed the ROYBGIV color scheme rigidly. Not me--I tried to broaden the palette. The full list is here.

I sorta had a hard time with this, because I realized that a bunch of songs that do not have colors in the title still evoke colors for me. "Papa Don't Preach" by Madonna is bright blue. "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince is bright orange. "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" by the Smiths is a very deep pink, occasionally bleeding into burgundy. This is the only tinge of synesthesia I have, a gift I have always envied. It made me feel slightly better about myself to realize that at least music is a multi-sensory experience for me.

Anyway. Here are my offerings:

Elizabeth Gilbert and Ole, Ole


Saviour Onassis sent me this video, which was pretty much what I needed to see. If you pursue any sort of creative endeavor, you will be glad you watched this.

US Churches' Attempts to do SOMETHING About Gaza


There's been a ceasefire in Gaza for a few weeks now, but one of my readers recently brought to my attention the responses to two christian sects to the Israeli attacks: this condemnation of them from the Episcopal church, and this offer of $21,000 in "hygiene kits" and blankets from the LDS church.

It's a fairly significant difference, but not surprising if you consider each source:

after all, one is an enterprise that seeks to understand and do Christ's will in the present, and thus offers women and homosexuals full fellowship in its organization (like this person or this person) in addition to condemning violence and warmongering, while the other is "the only true and living church on the face of the earth," and thus run by old straight white guys (plus maybe a few closeted homosexuals and a token man of color or two, because those are the people God prefers to talk to) interested in maintaining the status quo and, because they know they're the only ones on the earth God really approves of and communicates to, free from any responsibility to ask themselves if they are truly behaving in Christlike ways.

But I guess considering how bellicose and reactionary the Mormon church has been in the past, $21,000 in blankets and shampoo is a major improvement, and we should be grateful for progress wherever it appears.

One of the conservative arguments against the stimulus bill making its way through Congress is that it will "cost more than all the wars in US history."

Now, first of all, this is untrue. If you adjust the cost of World War II for inflation, it goes from $288 billion to somewhere around $3.6 trillion. (At least, that's what I learned from sites I found through Google. I didn't want to link to any of the sites providing these numbers, because they're mostly wacky right-wing platforms.)

Or, as this post from the Daily Kos explains, the "war on terror" has already cost more than the stimulus package--and it's not even over.

But what I want to point out is this:

saying, "the stimulus is going to cost more than any war has ever cost," can be paraphrased this way:

"We are going to spend more in an effort to heal our economy, begin to address the problems with our health care, provide for our children's education, feed the hungry, house the homeless, and repair and strengthen our crumbling infrastructure, than we ever ever spent to kill people."

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that's so bad, and frankly I wish it were true.

I admit, I spend a lot more of my income on things like food, education, clothing, housing, transportation, etc, than I spend on killing, maiming and undermining my enemies.

I mean, what's YOUR budget for contract killings? How many soldiers do YOU employ to attack and protect you from your enemies?

We SHOULD spend more on investing in our own country and our own citizens than we spend killing other people in other countries, if you ask me.

Let's hope that we never again spend nearly as much waging war as we spend taking care of each other.

After all, that's what Jesus would do.

p.s. Also see this analysis from the Daily Kos demonstrating that the New Deal actually did work. An excerpt:

The oddest idea is that "putting the nation on a war footing" was the cure that finally ended the depression when the New Deal couldn't get the job done. It's something that gets repeated every time this tall tale is told, because even Republicans realize that the Great Depression did end. They just have to think of some way to give credit to something other than Democrats.... But if they really believe that wars are stimulating, you have to ask: why aren't we stimulated? We have two wars going on. We've invested lots of capital -- including the kind that lives, breathes, and has family -- but that doesn't seem to be shooting the GDP skyward. Maybe Republicans think we need to take on a bigger target. Would a war with Iran get the stimulus working? Or is this stimulus more China-sized?

Republican Legislators: Bad Faith Fire Fighters

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Discussing the approach of Republican legislators to economic stimulus, Rachel says, (basically--I'm paraphrasing rather than making the effort to make sure this is a verbatim quote): If your house is on fire, and you call the fire department, and they tell you to pour gasoline on your house, they're not making a good faith to help you save your house.

Republicans want us to pour gasoline on our economy. Tax cuts don't work; spending does.

Watch Rachel's insightful analysis if you haven't seen it already.

p.s. If you are one of the unlucky people in the world who don't already know Rachel, read this profile of her from the Guardian.

Let's Don't Divorce Them


Thanks to Spike for this clip considering what people really mean when they complain about "political correctness gone mad":


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This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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