As the ol' blog begins its fourth year this month, I've decided to take a hiatus of a few weeks at least. I expect to be back blogging no later than my birthday in June.
Speaking of birthdays, my father turns 65 today. Dad has the same birthday as Mikhail Gorbachev, and my mom the same as Hillary Clinton. Commies all, we are.
I'd hoped to get him his birthday present by today, a homemade jazz sampler culled from several library CDs. But delay is inevitable now, because since late January our household's been having computer problems, and we're waiting for my wife's friend at work to finish repairing our PC. The computer has crashed not once but twice in the past six weeks, and this week we found that the motherboard needs to be replaced. All the songs I'd downloaded up to January were lost. Damn.
I remember accompanying my dad as he bought a present for his dad's 65th birthday in August 1973. He bought some racy silverware (spoons that looked like nudie girls, if I recall correctly) at an adult gag shop in downtown Portland, which was risque stuff for a 11-year-old like myself.
In just 21 years (about the time of "We Are the World" to now) I will be 65. Wonder what my kids will buy me.
Some links and thoughts to help tide y'all over, while I take time off...
*Two new additions to the list o' links: the Adult Swim website, featuring interviews with the creators of some of my current fave TV shows; and another fine political blog, from Julia at Sisyphus Shrugged. In my view, the best of today's lefty blogs represent a renaissance in political thought, and as a contributing commenter for a few of them I'm glad to be a small part of it.
*As Bill Nye The Science Guy would say, consider the following.
"I have read many of these descriptions of our fallen estate, looking for one that best describes in plain English how we got to this now and where we appear to be headed once our good Earth has been consumed and only Rapture is left to whisk aloft the Faithful. Meanwhile, the rest of us can learn quite a lot from "Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire" by Morris Berman, a professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. ...
Berman makes the case that the Bretton-Woods agreement of 1944 institutionalized a system geared toward full employment and the maintenance of a social safety net for society’s less fortunate—the so-called welfare or interventionist state. It did this by establishing fixed but flexible exchange rates among world currencies, which were pegged to the U.S. dollar while the dollar, for its part, was pegged to gold. In a word, Bretton-Woods saved capitalism by making it more human. Nixon abandoned the agreement in 1971, which started, according to Berman, huge amounts of capital moving upward from the poor and the middle class to the rich and super-rich."
"(W)hat I hear, first and foremost, from these Bush following corners is this, in quite a shrieking tone: 'Oh my God -- there are all of these evil people trying to kill us, George Bush is doing what he can to save us, and these liberals don't even care!!! They're on their side and they deserve the same fate!!!' It doesn't even sound like political argument; it sounds like a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate. It really sounds like a personality cult. It is impervious to reasoned argument and the only attribute is loyalty to the leader. Whatever it is, it isn't conservative."