Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Friday, September 19, 2003
On a lighter note, why am I interested at all in Fashion Week Spring 2004? I'll never wear the actual clothing spotlighted, and it's very likely that I won't even buy anything merely inspired by these clothes. It all looks like the Spring 2003 Fashion Week stuff, which all looked like... Okay, maybe not. But has the "uniform" of Americans between the ages of 14 and 25 changed to any great degree during the past three years? And what can we do now? Waistlines can't get any lower, shirt/skirt/short hems can't go higher, Fashion has tried every print and fabric known to man in order to tempt us to buy... and nothing looks NEW anymore.

Maybe a sartorial revolution's imminent. Maybe, when the designers have sucked every variation dry on every wardrobe theme they can think of, that's when someone bursts onto the scene, bearing something that had never been conceptualized before--and everyone, starved for variety, buys it. Or maybe we're looking in the wrong place--could men's fashion be where the revolution's taking place? Don't laugh--it wasn't until the mid-19th century that the suit as we know it today was solidified. During the middle period of Louis XIV's reign men's breeches were as lacy as, if not lacier than, women's skirts.

Thursday, September 11, 2003
Two years ago, America was brutally attacked at both military and civilian targets. Three thousand people were murdered--by collision, burning, implosion, or falling down one hundred stories to meet certain death as quickly as possible--for the sin of living in America and working at symbolic, supposedly imperialist places. Your race, religion, sex, age, citizenship, thoughts on American foreign policy--the men (for they were, like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, not so different from us once but now horribly changed) who did this didn't care about these; even the most devout Muslim working at 1 World Trade Center was the infidel to them.

So, as any nation with a sense of self-preservation would do, we attacked their main base of operation, sent their fellow murderers-in-waiting into the hills, and installed a new government in the capital. But then--what happened? Why did George Bush drop the ball on Afghanistan? The remnants of the Taliban are still running the rural parts; Al-Qaeda is still on the loose, and our main haul in the "War on Terror" so far has been brother thugocrats from a regime with no clear connection to Al-Qaeda. There is a government with Al-Qaeda ties, but we're addicted to their sweet, sweet oil (because while we're ready to give up judicial oversight over terror-related searches, we CANNOT be expected to give up our precious SUV's!)

I want the head of Osama bin Laden--preferably alive, so he can be publicly disgraced instead of martyred. I want vengeance--not distraction. I want results, and I'm not getting them.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
I'm surprised that Yale students are angry about having to eat out with meal vouchers because of the campus worker strikes--I mean, yeah, they allegedly have the best cafeteria food in the country, but who doesn't relish the thought of eating out for free?

Thursday, September 04, 2003
Matthew Yglesias has been assimilated into the nameless bloggers' pool known as TAPped. There are several possible avenues for protest:

1. Boycott TAPped until they attribute posts;
2. A massive e-mail campaign (tapped at prospect dot org; Will Baude has a nice form letter that you can alter to your heart's content);
3. Replace the "Fair and Balanced" on the template with "TAPped Attribution Now!", "Free Matt Yglesias!", or a similar sentiment;
4. For those of us who don't want to boycott TAPped, the find-the-Matt-post game. For instance, I think that "Curiouser and Curiouser" is a MY post; but "Not Too Late to Fail" probably isn't (unless it were edited to camouflage writing style). Google domain searches can be an asset in this quest; unusual turns of phrases can be searched for on [joke]I wonder if Don Foster, the man who helped identify the Unabomber and proved that Shakespeare did write an unattributed funeral elegy, would be willing to help.[/joke]

Monday, September 01, 2003
Yesterday, I was at Wal-Mart, silently condemning the administration's cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia and Americans' reluctance to forego consumer goods as a form of protest; I was thinking of the millions of diamond engagement rings bought in America during South African apartheid. Then I suddenly realized my hypocrisy--I was doing this in a Wal-Mart, a store which I know very well has rabidly anti-union policies, discriminates against women and minorities, and generally screws over its employees. "But what can I do?" I asked myself. "I haven't heard of any boycotts against Wal-Mart." So I decided to blog on the supposed lack of Wal-Mart boycotts, but I took a quick look on Google to see if there were any such boycotts in place. Turns out there are organized Wal-Mart boycotts around the country, and even better:

On November 21st, union workers, civil rights advocates, and other assorted folk will assemble at Wal-Marts across the country and protest. I don't think that I'll be near a Wal-Mart then--Chicago has stayed Wal-Mart free so far--but I've decided to start my protest early, and I'd like all of you to join me: I'm boycotting Wal-Mart in earnest and I'm switching to Target. Apparently the only people boycotting Target are veterans' groups because Target wouldn't give money to veterans' causes--compared to every other corporation in America, that seems pretty tame.