7.06.2002

Posting from the middle of nowhere. Whee....technology sure is fun! Going back to "civilization" tomorrow, using the word very lightly. I've watched two Meg Ryan movies since I arrived yesterday, and am watching one as I speak. There's something about her. I don't understand it, but she has this...thing. She always plays the same role, but she still does a pretty good job making people believe it.
On that note, "I'll have what she's having." See y'all later.
Officials puzzled as to why an Arab shot and killed two Jews at an El Al ticket counter in LA. What's wrong with that sentence?

Well, nothing, if you're married to political correctness. This is the logical (yet, insane) conclusion of the PC wars: that one's ethnic heritage cannot be sufficient explanation for one's actions. An Arab doesn't kill a Jew because he's an Arab.

Right, just like the synagogues in France aren't being burned because they're synagogues.
Latin, yeah, that thing...

I've been doing my work. What you're seeing is the product of my breaks.

Seriously though, I'm in a lot of work...note that many of my comments are posted at, like, 1 AM.

7.05.2002

Isn't Judith Levine the lady who thinks that the national sexual consent age should be twelve? Freaky stuff. I mean, we don't live in The Netherlands or anything. And just because you have an affair with a camp counselor at 14, does that make you an "expert"? I think it's appropriate to have a decision made early on, because more research has shown that sexual relations between older people and teens and preteens can have really terrible effects for the kids.

I thought you went to Chicago to study. Instead you read the Times Op-Ed page, NRO, and Andrew Sullivan and post your comments. Whatever happened to LATIN??
What is it with America and pedophilia (and ephebophilia)? First the Church, then Bush's abstinence only sex-ed plan, and then this book by Judith Levine. However, Levine seems to have hit the nail on the head: not all teenage sexual activity falls under the heading of "pedophilia". I've heard some lovely reviews of it. Meaning, social conservatives are running around in a panic, and social liberals are nodding their heads in agreement.

Unfortuantely, this topic is one on which no book -- however many endnotes listed in the back, or college degrees in the biography -- probably will make a difference. People's mind are made up from the first chapter. Perhaps the reason for this is that everyone thinks he or she is the expert on the topic. "Well, I was a teenager once, and I don't agree with this, so I must be right and she must not be looking at all the possibilities." The problem is that everyone had a different experiance as a teenager -- Levine herself has a romantic encounter with a camp counselor when 14 -- and so everyone has a different point of view which cannot be changed, just as no one's teenage years can be altered after the fact.

Read the book with an open mind, then make your decision.

Correction: do everything with an open mind, then make your decision.
Oh. My. God. Weezer got a mention in the most unlikely of places, the National Review.

This summer-music prescription turns out to also be the definition of "power pop" — the music of early Beatles, Tom Petty, Marshall Crenshaw, the Byrds, Buddy Holly in the 1950s and the occasional Weezer single in the 2000s. Power pop means three-minute radio classics that are every generation's soundtrack to summer days and nights.

Congrats for Island in the Sun. Even if the genre of the green album was lousy, at least Weezer pulled it off spectacularly.

7.04.2002

I've become increasingly disillusioned with the NY Times Op-Ed page -- probably because Maureen Dowd feels the need to use baby-talk to insult 'Dubya' -- but occasionally I'll find gems there. Like this column by Safire. Read it. Funny. And one of the few times you'll see pro-Israeli sentiment in the Times. Seems more and more people are realizing that "It's a mistake for Bush to think he can make it a democratic state. Arabs ain't democrats."

Oh yeah, and happy Independance Day!
Cheer! I'm finally like K. Lo!

I can die and go to heaven now.
Hey, no problem with that definition here.
I also noticed that you take control of this here blog like K-Lo. You always said you wanted to be like her.

7.03.2002

Whoo! I feel like a complete freak saying this but...


...finally finished downloading season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Is it so wrong to have a thing for Spike? Better than having one for Giles, not that I ever would ever dream of falling for a British librarian. Heh, heh.
Read this article by Dennis B. Ross on Yasir Arafat. He's remarkably conservative in his outlooks; at least, his viewpoints would be more widely embraced by the right than the left at the moment. His prose is clear, quick, and to the point -- quite unlike that of the lovely chairman himself. Read this:

Yet [Arafat] cannot be permitted to speak of reform and at the same time avoid its consequences. Otherwise, the momentum will be lost. True reform is an essential part of any political process designed to promote peace. The more serious the reform, the more the Israeli public will see that Palestinian behavior is changing—and the more likely Israel will accept the possibility of partnership again. If Arafat is allowed to escape pressure for genuine reform, the Israeli government will be under no pressure to resume political negotiations.
It's not just Andrew Sullivan who thinks that this summer is weird. I was just on the phone with my who was warning me not to go to the Sears Tower on July 4th. I'm going anyway, partially because I really want to, and partially because I'm just not scared. I should be, perhaps, but I'm not.

It's probably from living in NYC that I'm not scared of something happening. If it weren't for the slightly hyped up levels of patriotism at the moment, one might even forget that something is amiss. Riding on the subway, walking down Fifth Avenue, going to the library...it all feel freakishly normal. But I suppose that's just it. It's not normal, and we know it's not normal, but we try to convince ourselves that it is, which only supresses the anxiety.

Hope the fireworks are fun tomorrow.
Now I really don't feel guilty about installing Kazaa Lite on my computer the other day. To be honest, I never really felt guilty. But now I really, really don't feel guilty.
Well, if the alcohol poisoning doesn't get to them, the blueberries surely will.

7.02.2002

As far as that article on the death penalty goes, it's all show. The statement released by the US Attorney shows that they are not going to take any sudden action (and probably not even any general action). See this: "The judge's ruling will have no immediate impact in New York or across the country unless it is upheld on the appellate level." Meaning: yes, law theorists everywhere can have a heart attack over the scholarly implications soon, but the prison wardens on death row shouldn't start looking for a job.

This does set an interesting precedent, however, and could be the early foreshadowings of a massive revision in interpretations of the US Constitution. It will take a while, but hey, it could happen.
Something, I think, is wrong with the code for our comments system. More fool I for messing around with the template. As soon as Sallust finishes describing the way in which Catiline's walk shows him to be guilty, I shall attempt to fix it.
Sad news from the day camp world:
Actually, it's good news. For me anyway. From my own incompetence: read, I'm lousy at changing diapers, I no longer have to do so!
Answering your questions in order: "someone" is a NY State Federal Judge. The "freaky pattern" is a conspiracy theorist's way of saying that the Constitution has recently become abused by people who think it gives more rights than it really does. And here is your link.

7.01.2002

Becky, they what? Come on...article link. Who is "someone" and where is this "freaky pattern"? Is this the Supreme Court on executing mentally retarded people? Evidence now or else!
So apparently someone declared the death penalty unconstitutional. Interesting...anyone else notice a freaky pattern?
(I'm going to take the high road and ignore the insults.)
In response to Becky...

1) Thank you for pointing out my spelling errors. What would I do without you? Someone, out of our 0 readers, might notice I spelled "divestment" incorrectly. Whoo!

2) Shibby is from a comic strip (not sure, will check and report back). Got it from my friend Erin. It's a briticism and you shouldn't ask more.

3) The point I was making about the AIDS posters was that, while it is perfectly acceptable for someone to protest at a Pride Parade, it is toeing the line of acceptability when one attacks not the idea of homosexuality, but, rather, focuses his attack on a disease that is no one's "fault". The idea that someone could think that homosexuals do the world a favor by dying from AIDS was very disturbing, both because I could not disagree with it more, and because I could barely believe there were people on this Earth who could actually think like that.

4) Catullus had no hip-hop phase.

and lastly...

5) The best movie out right now is Minority Report. Once I finish my Latin work for this evening, I shall be posting a more in-depth comment on it (actually, there will be two...one on the actual movie, and one on the issues it raises). Everyone should go see it; it's one of the best movie's I've seen in a while. I'll expand on this later, but be warned that it not film noir. It is just a very good post-Schindler's List Spielberg movie.

6.30.2002

I saw a play and a movie this weekend. (Last post of the past five minutes, really.) The play was a closing piece off Broadway (really off B'way-- 7th Ave and 30th St.) called "American Maccabee." It was about what happens when international conflict and terrorism come home to middle class America. In the play, the son of a divorced LA couple comes home on Hanukah after assassinating a Palestinian diplomat and his family. However, according to the playwright, it's more about family, and how tragedies like this affect real people. It showed the conflicts that many liberals go through regarding the conflict, and also what it's like to be a parent who was a product of the 60s when your kids grow up thinking that you were there. In the case of the play, the father told his kids he'd been involved with the freedom riders (yea Bob Moses!), which was a lie, that he'd been in Chicago in '68 (yea NBC news coverage!), also a lie, and the rest. The kid thought he could be a freedom fighter like the hero vision he had of his dad. What do you do, then, when your kid does something wrong with a vision like that? Very good, and very interesting questions it raises.

I also saw "The Bourne Identity." Not terrible, but "Spy Game" was better. I'm going to read the book when I finish "Truman" and comparison shop.

I'm done for the day, and in the words of Clive Anderson , "this is me, Clive Anderson, saying goodnight: Goodnight!"
Had a busy weekend, so first I needed to snark at Sarah. In response to the Gay Pride Parade post, I'm guessing "shibby" is...I don't know, an SAT word? Something from Catullus? (in his hip-hop phase?) And about the HIV/AIDS thing, I don't know... intraveneous drug users get it through no evilness of their own? What about intraveneous drug use? And if you're going to sleep with someone, shouldn't you think about the consequences? I think it's more about irresponsibility than sin. But then, what do I know?
Damn....you can go all the way to Chicago and study more Latin in a day than I ever will in my entire life, but you can't spell. Divestment, as in the opposite of investment. Nothing to do with "diversity" (you owe me how much? who owes whom for that one?), but as one popular musician has been known to say, "It's all about the Benjamins."
PS. "The government right now is in support of Isreal..." Frouma would KILL you for that one girl.
Hi! Had a very eye-opening day, to say the least. Went with a friend to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade; her mom's company had a float, and so we (and a host of other, exuberant teenagers) got to ride on it. Had a absolutely shibby time. It was probably the most fun I've had in a long, long while. The people watching was great; we got to see basically all of the crowd from the float. The usual suspects were out in force, but so were the married couples. Counted about 20 little kids with their (married) parents. Quite the family outing.

The protestors -- you know, those bible-freaks who come toting hellfire, brimstone and nasty posters -- really bothered me though. I've seen homophobes at parades like this before, but never as cruel as these ones. They were holding up a lot of posters, two of which read "Aids -- it's not a disease, it's a cure" and "Got Aids Yet?" I thought those posters were completely heartless and needlessly thoughtless. Aids, for one, isn't a "gay disease". Plently of heterosexuals, intravenous drug users and the like, have contracted it though no evilness of their own. It's just not acceptable for them to have been attacking something that kills people. Aids is a disease, it's not a weapon to use in the battle of the orientations. People's response to them was admirable; no one that I saw was overtly heckling or attacking them (though they did have ample police protection), and everyone was ignoring them or catcalling. One drag queen said something snarky to which the homophobe responded "Yeah, we'll you're not attractive and your five o'clock shadow is showing."

All in all a very cool day...I suspect I'll head back down to that area (Diversey) to look around a bit this upcoming weekend.