Saturday, September 22, 2007

President spends like crazy for 7 years, cynically tells the democratic congress they they are fiscally irresonsible in 8th in order to improve his position in the public eye.

Don't you wish headlines said what they really meant?

"Chris Edwards of Cato says federal outlays, when adjusted for inflation, have increased faster under Mr. Bush than under any president since Jimmy Carter. “When he gives speeches now, you hear him bashing the Democrats on overspending,” Mr. Edwards said. “It sounds ridiculous, because we know he’s a big spender.”


"Historians say there is nothing like a good spending fight with Congress to boost a president’s sagging fortunes. When Republicans shut down the government in late 1995, Mr. Clinton emerged the winner. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that, with just 16 months left in office and his approval ratings still crushed by the war in Iraq, Mr. Bush is putting up his fiscal dukes."

Is the president a criminal? Nah. Is he a pig? Yeah.

“If he was interested in fiscal discipline, he should have started $3 trillion ago,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus."


In Shift, Bush Emerges as a Budget Warrior
New York Time, September 22, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some things about writing

Thing 1: There is an economics to writing. For most writers, time spent writing is time not spent with your kids or friends. It is time not spent relaxing or on vacation. It is extra person hours in an individual schedule that is otherwise spent earning money to feed, house, clothe, and entertain oneself. And you must do it cheerfully, because no one cares if you bitch about your hobbies.

Thing 2: While I was at the convention last April, I ran around telling everybody that I'm interested in "the process," only to realize after doing my two pages one morning that it's true. I like having written. Not in the sense of the canard: "I hate writing. I like having written." I feel rewarded to have 2 pages more of a book each day that I get up to write. Unless it was a particularly bad two pages. Maybe it's my acquisitive nature. I like squirreling away my story on its pages, bit by bit. Knowing how hard it is to find financial reward, I think I've got the better end of the writing thing, now.

Thing 3: I don't get writer's block. Ever. I get ambition block. I get periods where I want to write something other than what I'm working on, but I can't figure out WHAT. I get days where I sit in front of my screen and think: "Fuck my head for an empty soccar ball. I am fresh hell out of cool." It never lasts for long. I can always wait it out, just like I do my perodic bouts of lassitude. I never like either period. See above.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two weeks of whirlwind change. Last week, I began the physical portion of a project that will end up changing the look that our library presents to the public. We are changing our atrium so that it is more user friendly: the shelves will be more accessible, the lighting will be better, more of our popular collections will be housed near the entrance, and there will be more face out shelving, so that we can display books in a more attractive manner. I am looking forward to the results.

In addition, my daughter started kindergarten. She handled the transition with aplomb. Her mother and I were much more worried about her getting on a bus by herself, but she handled it like a pro. A pro what? A pro school bus rider, I guess. Whatever, she excelled.

I got to see her classroom. We even played with the foam letter puzzle for ten minutes the first day. She likes school: they have different toys, and short people to play with them with.

For those who know me, and who may visit for information about Poppy, there will be information about another kid: Saturday, the 1st, my sister gave birth to a nine pound baby boy named Nishan George. Which is a little bit of a flashback, because I used to hang with a dude named Nishan in the BIG CITY. We call him Nieko for short. I am not sure how that got settled on. He is strong like bull! Rolling over on his side at about a week, which I understand from baby Mavens is an unusual thing.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

There's a some talk about You tube putting the method of production in the hands of "the people," a la lonelygirl15. This isn't new. The argument between new and old media dates back several years, to before the Fall of Dan Rather.

Here's the thing, though. Unlike such august resources as blogs (I get everything I'm interested in from blogs right now. Hell, I surf through blogs. This also means I don't get much news, but there you have it.) and print resources, Youtube is only distributing marginalia right now. Wicked funny private jokes, online mutterings, and homemade music videos. Some short, arty cartoons, but not much in the way of narrative entertainment.

I was visiting with some friends in May. They showed me this:

Go ahead. Browse the video.

It's a TV show! It's fan fiction, but I think it is the technical definition of wicked cool. Not because it's great. The acting and script are fun but amateur. The setting and costumes, however, are at least as good as much BBC programming, or Sid and Marty Kroft.

When it comes right down to it, the means of production for fiction have always been in the hands of the consumer. Heck, the means of procution are your hands (and your head).

But for other forms of entertainment like music and movies, you need equipment. Electronics, props. The USS Justice crew had the means of production. Scripts, of course, are head and hands. Dedicated fans have costumes and props. Everybody has a video camera and home computer at this point. The USS Justice guys used video game backgrouns and a blue screen for sets. Wicked cool!

Seeing that video, for me, meant that the means of production is out of the hands of the studios. What I'm waiting for now if for someone to take talent from local theaters, make some costumes, and film something really cool and original.