(untitled #168)

Yes, I just can’t think of anything to call this post.  I wonder if this is true of the many abstract artists whose work gets titles like Contrast #231, and there literally are 230 other Contrast paintings beforehand.  I can’t quite get behind that; why not just call it “Dypsomaniac in a Confessional Booth” or “Trophy-Belt, Strung with Invertebrates”?  Hmm.

Okay, question du jour: are gas prices really going down, or did I have a minor stroke induced by Waco drivers?  My news reading has been a little less pervasive due to the damned lie about my apartment having internet (it doesn’t), but I thought this would make a headline.  I guess it’s not BAD enough.  And on the topic of petrol, how many of you honestly think we should be going to all lengths to reduce prices at the pump?  I’m speaking as a fairly frequent driver here, so I’m not just hectoring from the window of a Portland lightrail car.  I’m serious.  If oil companies see a decrease in demand and have to invest in alternatives to be profitable, not just nice, might that not be better for us all, if we take the long view?

I’ve also begun to think, in the past couple of weeks, that the U.S. must be an incredibly conservative nation.  It boggles my mind how many conservative analysts think of America as some kind of post-Christian wasteland of leftist atheism.  Notice that both candidates have moved right since the general election race began?  That’s right.  A centrist, maverick Republican vs. a fairly liberal Democrat with a talent for cross-partisan work would seem like the ideal face-off after the hardline right-wing Bush administration, right?  But instead, McCain has moved closer and closer to Bush, retaining a token belief in global warming as a distinguishing feature, while Obama has thrown distinctive beliefs over the bulwarks like water from a sinking lifeboat in a hasty attempt to seem like a center-right Democrat.  I find this all very disappointing, not because I want the country to be leftist instead of conservative, but because I think we desperately need balance to keep a check on the torture, spy, and invade view of security that is currently so pervasive in our government … is it seriously just the hard left, and me, who wants something truly different, saner, and more humane?

As said by the immortal someecards.com, “the X-Files were a lot funnier when the government wasn’t actually spying on us.”

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5 responses to “(untitled #168)

  1. CNN posted an article about gas prices falling below $4.00, so at least some news centers are taking note. Dad got gas today for $3.93 and said it was “almost like free gas.” 😛

    I think it’s pretty common for one “side” to think that the other is all-consuming. I think some people in Europe and America suspect a gun-slinging, Arab-hating, Baptist cowboy
    behind every rock (or every rock in Montahner, anyway). So it’s not surprising that conservatives often dread a left-wing takeover. Did you know that Tim Lehaye firmly believes the Illuminati is extant and at work destroying Christianity in the U.S.??

    On an unrelated note, you should let me drive you downtown when you come home, by the way. 🙂

  2. Since when are torture, spying, and invading in the name of security inherent to the conservative philosophy? Do you seriously know any conservatives (other than Ranieri, because nobody ever knows about him) who are ok with that? Are the liberals less corrupt than the conservatives just because they try to control the people in different ways?

    I guess different people probably have different definitions for “conservative” and “liberal,” depending on what they think is important in life. I consider conservatives to be in favor of stepping back and letting people live their own lives as long as they don’t hurt anybody else – that is, small government, and more local authority. This is diametrically opposed to wiretapping. Ranieri might define conservatives differently. I also don’t read political journals more than is absolutely necessary, so my definition might be universally shouted down. That’s fine, I’ll just hold up my Ron Paul The Next Time Around sign all by myself.

    Of course, this means Bush isn’t a conservative, but I never thought he was.

  3. OH. I have to brag. I get gas for $3.70 halfway to Tulsa. There are some advantages to living miles away from civilization.

  4. vanitasqoheleth

    Well, I think the key is where I say “so pervasive in our government.” No, it’s not pervasive among my friends, because most of them are paleocon/libertarian in some mixture (with some other funny things thrown in for drill — far be it from us UD folk to conform to just one party! Myself included here).

    Unfortunately, “conservative” is just a label, and right now the brand seems to be largely co-opted by the so called neocons or “movement conservatives.” Check out some pieces in the National Review or Commentary Magazine … or even the more left-leaning New Republic. There’s a real belief that being “hard on security” means that militarism and “extreme measures” (think Julius Caesar) are absolutely, unqualifiedly necessary in these “unprecedented times.” There’s a real nostalgia for militaristic Israel and a deep suspicion of overtures toward peace … these people have a very, very zero-sum mentality. Either we destroy them ALL, or nothing. No matter that the IRA has laid down its arms now … Hamas could do the same. But even the idea repels them.

    I totally agree that people should largely be left to their personal privacy (note: NOT the same thing as being left to be ravaged by the impersonal mechanisms of industrial capital). But I don’t think that’s expressed any more by what we call “conservatives” (perhaps “Republicans” would be the better tag!).

    $3.79 in Waco, TX. I’m crossing my fingers. There are advantages to living in boring, depressed towns. 🙂

  5. vanitasqoheleth

    Oh, and Connor, I’d love to be chauffered by you. Do you want to come down here and drive me to Dallas a couple times? 🙂

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