Monday, November 22, 2004

JFK -- 41 years, but who's counting?

Today is the 41st anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, and I didn't hear a word about it on the radio. Maybe I just missed it, but it seemes the media has a whole new host of horrors to memorialize, and the Kennedy conspiracy theories are, well, old news. This is the way of things, I suppose. When was the last time you heard a soundbyte commemorating William McKinley or James Garfield?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Abercrombie & FUBU

The recent settlement with Abercrombie & Fitch over their disproportionately White public image has opened my eyes to the benefits of diversity. Sadly, the execs at FUBU clearly do not share those views. Even a casually color-conscious observer will note that the models, promoters and employees of FUBU are disproportionately African-American. How long can we allow this injustice to stand? Organize, my Anglo brethren, and sue FUBU!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Texas Renaissance Festival

Sheridan, Nora and I finally made it to the Texas Renaissance Festival on the final weekend. It's an annual event in October and November, set on a huge complex of shops and stages, entertaining unruly throngs and selling things you would normally find only in New Age shops. Don't blow it off as a big flea-market freak show, however. Attractions include shows of comedy, juggling and swordplay, chariot races, jousting and even a carillon. You'll hear hammered dulcimers, bagpipes and recorders blending in with the din of crowds and hawkers (hey, where's the hurdy-gurdy?) It's always fun to see the shows, hear the minstrels, eat and drink. When Sheridan goes, we always start with face-painting, eat a turkey leg, and find the kids' events.

I do have a rant, though. Most of the costumes we saw were great, but some people are unclear on the concept of a Renaissance Festival. We saw a couple of idiots dressed as Roman Centurions. "Ave, Caesar! You're about MDXCII years late, aren't you? De gustibus non est disputandem!" I blame the media for this; people learn their history from Hollywood. Xena had the Romans fighting Gengis Khan, for cryin' out loud. And what about these Imperial Stormtroopers? Halloween is so two weeks ago. "Since you're here, tell the Emperor his new movie better not suck!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election 2004

After the debacle in 2000, many of us believed Bush “stole” the election and finagled his way into the seat of power. That led to some hard feelings, and the criticism since then has been visceral to say the least. While I am no fan of the President’s policies, I have to admit I’ve been embarrassed by the anti-Bush community. Notice I didn’t say the Democratic Party. I don’t consider the two categories to be synonymous, but by now I’m sure a lot of people do.

I believe in equal rights for all individuals, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. I believe in secular government, sex education and environmentalism. I believe patriotism does not demand blind faith in leadership. These things, and a dislike for Country music, prevent me from being Republican. When Bush says he acted because God spoke to him I cringe and fear for our future. However. . .

In the last few months I’ve seen ads comparing Bush to a chimp, Hitler and a Special Olympian. Such comparisons are meant to be derisive, I suppose. They are hateful and pointless, undermining the Left and send sensible moderates running into the arms of the Republican Party. If we want to turn things around, we should focus on policy rather than personal attacks. The Civil Rights movement didn’t make inroads by attacking Whites. Gays haven’t earned mainstream tolerance (acceptance hasn’t come yet) by bashing straights. What are we trying to accomplish through ridicule? Whatever it was, it didn’t work.

When did “Liberal” become a bad word? Conservatives stand up and proudly proclaim themselves to be conservative. Call a politician a Liberal and he’ll bob and weave. It seems to me we should start by cleaning up the word “Liberal,” if that’s possible. Maybe it’s not; maybe the word’s too politically charged to be of any use. Maybe it’s time to come up with a new term.

The polls are closed, the votes are (mostly) counted. Four more years. This time, Bush won the popular election. Yes, it was very close. But he won. We can be mad we lost. We can learn lessons and take positive steps towards change. Or we can throw rocks and eventually go the way of the Whigs.