September 28th, 2004


[political crap] isolation

Is is just me, or is the US government doing everything it possibly can to isolate the country from international discourse? Last week's Science had an article on how new regulations limit government-funded agencies from sending more than 50 people to international conferences and events. This Thursday, the US-VISIT program gets expanded to 27 more countries, including a good chunk of the EU.

Not to mention, but I'm getting really irritated at the free campaign advertising the news media gives the Bush administration by reporting the content of every new advertising effort. Contrast the phrase "Bush ad suggests country under Kerry would be vulnerable" with "Kerry rips into Bush". Specific issue-related accusation vs. general insubstantive mention. I'm biased, maybe it works the other way too, but Googling for headlines containing "Kerry" doesn't produce many issue specific headlines. I saw one, I think - something about dairy policy. Not exactly the same level of emotional response being courted there, I don't think.

Oh, and here is an interesting gem - apparently the RNC has sponsored a set of websites aimed at different religions that talk about why Kerry is wrong for them. Oops, sorry, my mistake - aimed at Christian religious groups (for some value of Christian). There is Kerry Wrong for Mormons, Kerry Wrong for Catholics, and Kerry Wrong for Evangelicals, but no Kerry Wrong for Buddhists, or Kerry Wrong for Muslims, at least not linked to from these pages... how very lopsided. The RNC endorsement is in tiny print at the bottom, with the footnotes: Paid for by the Republican National Committee Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate Committee - They've managed to dig up thumbnail photos of Kerry for their banners that make him look positively demonic in his glower. Interesting the three target groups they chose - I've heard each of them described at times as "not really Christian" for some reason or another.

I'm not sure why I feel motivated to point this stuff out. Sharing my frustration? Who knows.

heh, and double heh

Growing up, I never was much good at recess. I much preferred to stay inside and read a book, either in the library or the classroom. I suppose you could say things haven't much changed - I slip quietly into a corner when freed up, tending to keep to myself. I'm usually happy to celebrate things with other people, but rarely go out and delight in my own.

However, the Real Astrology [see below] for this week is at least the fourth thing I have encountered (possibly the fifth or sixth) in the last little while whose message is in part "Shoo! Go play outside, get some fresh air or something. No, put the book down - there's time for that later. Go on, now, git!!" In the best possible way, mind you, but the broom is definitely there.

So ok, I'm going, I'm going. I'm not quite sure where yet, or for what. But perhaps taking it by ear is part of the point. I suppose I can start with my 38th birthday on Sunday - and after the last dark period I can say that clawing my way through to reach it is something worth celebrating. *bow*

Week beginning September 30
Copyright 2004 by Rob Brezsny

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The cosmos is finally ready to discharge you from your heavy, dark assignments. Your main duty in the coming weeks is to seek relief and release in the most constructive ways possible. Celebrate, Libra, don't thrash. Rejoice and look to the future, don't thunder against the ordeal you've completed. I nominate the exuberant Libran poet Michael McClure to be your role model during this time. The poet Aaron Shurin has described McClure as a reveler who "puts the attitude in beatitude," and as an alchemist who's "fluent in two languages, English and Beast." That's exactly what you should be like as you lift your own spirits. Now please read aloud this paraphrase of a McClure poem: "GRAHHRR! RAHHR! RAHRIRAHHR! HRAHR! I'm not sugar, I'm love looking for sugar!"