Saturday, October 23, 2004

The battle of the wits is over

While GW might win the election, it's clear that the battle of the wit -- those clever enough to retain a sense of humor through all this -- is on the side of those supporting John Kerry.

There has been such an outpouring of clever web sites (see that as painful as it is to consider another four years of George W. Bush, the laughs have been good.

The polarization has been bad in some ways, but good in others. How can you possibly compromise with Halliburton? How can you compromise on Iraq? A colleague predicted that we are about to enter 20 very hard years of social unrest, with the left finally ready to take on the conservative lunatic fringe that has taken us so far down the right-leaning road.

I keep hearing people on the right talking about fighting the totalitatian regimes in the world and installing democracy.

Maybe we should start with that in Washington.

mjf 10/23/2004

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The battle of the films

So this morning's newspaper featured a story about a right wing movie which sets out to somehow counter Michael Moore's Fahrenheit. I wish in one of these flicks, they would address the business about the relatives of Osama Bid Laden being allowed to fly out of the U.S., when most of us were sitting on the ground stuck solidly.

Some of the Fahrenheit film probably could be challenged, but that part, well, I just want a reasonable explanation.

And I suppose the Saudi-Bush business dealings could use a little clarification, too.

One thing is clear, movies are about to become the new political battleground. And maybe it will mean a resurgence in movie attendance. I've seen Fahrenheit, Silver City, and Going Upriver in the last three weeks. And they were all excellent films, politics aside. Going upriver is so good, I'm going to use it in a class eventually to explain about Vietnam.

It's that good.

mjf 10/19/2004

Monday, October 18, 2004

Hold the election soon, please

Like sports teams that have peaked, the electorate is really ready to vote and only getting increasingly angry and frustrated as we close in on election day.

It's almost as if everyone just wants to get it over and get on with whatever occupied our lives before we lived through this mess of a campaign season.

Of course, if the election goes to Shrub, well, we will be able to get back to watching the unemployment lines grow (until the benefits run out) Halliburton making even more profits (but perhaps in the next soverign nation the U.S. decides to liberate) and a return to inflation (oh, it's out there, it's out there).

Hurry November, hurry.

mjf 10/18/2004

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Life in Crawford, Texas

I just read that the good people of Crawford, Texas are taking their newspaper to task for having the termerity to endorse John Kerry for President, instead of their hometown boy.

It reminded me of all the editorials I had to write in which the owner/publisher of the newspaper had one opinion and I had another. Guess whose opinion the newspaper published?

But with the force of the Internet -- even this blogging stuff -- that kind of power has diminished, certainly. Right now thousands of bloggers are probably having a good Internet laugh at the 740 people in Crawford, Texas who are hopping mad at their newspaper.

I guess they haven't lost anyone in Iraq yet.

mjf 10/1/204

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Failing schools, failing media?

As I was reading some reports on the No Child Left Behind Act — and the labeling of schools as 'failing' because they missed the national mark on one of 37 indicators — it occurred to me that perhaps the U.S. media might be ranked similarly.

For example, a matrix could be devised that would measure whether a network (say, Fox) used language that was non-objective in its newscast. If it did, then a national panel created by a No Media Left Unjudged Act, could declare the network biased.

For the schools labelled failing, it means they get less funds. (Hmmm, give less money to schools that need help. There's a program.)

For media, it could signal that fewer advertisers should give money to the newscasts.

Oh wait, I forgot, the advertisers WANT some bias in the news. It just has to be their biases. (Look up what's going on with Sinclair TV stations to get some idea about that...)

mjf 10/10/04

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Legislative disadvantage

In the debate last night between Kerry and Bush, it occurred to me why John Kerry seems unable to speak freely — and it's not the flip-flop issue.

On the Patriot Act, on No Child Left Behind, he can't be too critical because he voted for both measures. Our culture allows for people to divorce and remarry a half-dozen times, it allows people to move from one apartment to another each year, it encourages shifting alliances on what you buy from moment to moment, but God forbid you can change your mind about taking away Constitutional rights or an education act that's a disaster for children.

Howard Dean would have been able to speak much more freely.

mjf 10/0/2004

Friday, October 08, 2004

Can't stop thinking about the draft

Since watching Fahrenheit 9/11 two nights ago, I can't stop thinking about the draft — the one that every politician in Washington swears is not going to happen. They are as sure of that as they are sure that Saddam Hussein has weapons of... Oh wait! they changed their minds on that. No weapons of mass destruction after all. People of Iraq who have been bombed, well... Whoops!

I guess I shouldn't worry, then about either of my two draft-age sons, or my soon-to-be 7-year-old granddaughter. This country will always have an all-volunteer army, just ask any National Guardsman serving in Iraq.

Maybe I'll be able to think about something else after tonight's debate between Kerry and Bush.

Maybe not.

mjf 10/8/04

Thursday, October 07, 2004

First Contact

This is the first 'blog' I've ever posted and it will be short because of my sincere skepticism about technology.

Still, given what blogging did to Dan Rather, well, it's a powerful force.

mjf 10/7/04