Saturday, March 22, 2003 at 02:25:41 (EST)


Triumph of the Will of the media to have something to print
Every so often an article captures the tone and presence of an historic moment. I've been waiting for a bold journalistic voice to put everything into perspective concerning our leaders, the war, the people in the streets of Baghdad who are wounded, the people who have died. Tonight, I am honored and humbled to present to you a piece whose headline says more about the nature of what has been happening around us than countless books and pundits have previously uttered. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

 

Bush Watches Some of Baghdad Bombardment on TV

 

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Friday, March 21, 2003 at 16:45:21 (EST)

What a Splendid Little War
Since the war started, I'd been feeling a little unsure of the power of protest. If the protests couldn't stop the war from occurring, what good would they be now that it's begun? But B talked me down last night while we were at Freddy's. So I'm gonna go to the march tomorrow, and encourage anybody who has the slightest inkling that this war is not a good idea to do the same. I can totally understand the protesters in San Fransciso who called for all-out chaos and ended up getting some 1000 of them arrested. In times like these, it seems pretty much the only way to let the world know that we're pissed off that we have so little control over things. But since pro-Bush folks always paint any type of dissent as "Commie boy-lovin' anti-Americanism" I gotta go with the more orderly protests like the one that will go on tomorrow. Of course if even one person is arrested, that's all we'll hear about on the news, but the truth gets around eventually.

Meanwhile, lots of Iraqi soldiers are surrendering. Bug surprise. It's pretty obvious that one of the reasons Bush was so hot for this war in Iraq (as opposed to say, war in North Korea), is because Iraq will be so easy to beat. As long as they can get in there and collect enough white flags from the enemy, while trying not to crash their helicopters or kill themselves with friendly fire, this operation could go over without a hitch. Say, where's those weapons of mass destruction that Hussein was supposed to be deploying? I guess if they're gonna do it, it's better that nobody gets killed. But if nobody had to die, then why was a military solution necessary at all? Let's not forget that what a war is all about is just soldiers shooting at each other. Though our weapons get more and more advanced, we don't seem to have come up with any of way of waging war than individuals killing other individuals. Of course, the people who have to do the dirty work are the ones with least say in the matter.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 11:26:59 (EST)

Oh yeah, I feel much better now, what a load off my mind
What a surprise, we're bombing brown people again, and everybody is sighing with relief that "the waiting is over." Bullshit. If you feel better about a war going on because it relieves you from a feeling of uncertainty, how the hell do you get out of bed every morning? The only way anybody can really feel better is if the waiting ended with Bush saying "Forget it, nobody wants a war. We just figured out another way to get Saddam Hussein to comply, plus everybody gets free ice cream!"

But no, now I'm listening to Rumsfield tells us how our planes bombed a "leadership compound" (which I believe is a compound to which other compounds look to for advice and counsel). The implication is that the US may have already blowed him up good. Now, if it was so easy to take him out, why didn't somebody do it during the past decade, considering how often we had planes bombing at the outskirts.

Rumsfield sounds like he's a proctor at the SATs, "Read silently as I read aloud ... you must have two No. 2 pencils ..." I still feel that "Read Silently as I Read Aloud" is an excellent name for an emo band. Think about it kids!

In other irritating news of solipsistic leaders, the friggin' City Club of Cleveland awarded Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia some ceremonial key in honor of his support of free speech. Now, right there is enough to make ya go hmmm, but that ain't all. Scalia banned the broadcast media form the proceedings. Not only was this event kind of noteworthy in a human interest sorta way, the City Club regularly tapes its gatherings. I used to listen to them on NPR in Ohio all the time. So not only is it highly suspect that Scalia would get the award in the first place (he's protected his free speech, but nobody else's), but it's odd that he has the ability to stop them from doing something they usually do. Anyway, the best line is this:

"The Constitution just sets minimums," Scalia said. "Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."

What an arrogant asshole. I might appreciate my rights, but I don't "enjoy" them like I was eating the white stuff out of an Oreo cookie. The way he phrased his comment reveals how he believes he's the one who gives us our so-called rights. This article sheds further light on his philosophy, in which he basically says that God gives him his powers to dole out rights to us peasants.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, March 19, 2003 at 12:00:26 (EST)

Noting like a war to make we wanna buy property
I got us prequalified yesterday. This means we have a dollar figure for how much we can blow on an apartment. The estimate was higher than I anticipated, but I get the impression if we were to buy at that level we'd have absolutely no money whatsoever. But who needs money when you have a "handyman's special" or a house that "just needs some TLC from the right owner"? TLC is a term that nobody uses anymore except for realtors. They throw it around constantly even though it really doesn't make any sense. How exactly does one commit "tender love and care" on an inanimate object? Who are these people, Care Bears? What they really mean is WLM: Whole Lotta Money. We'll probably start looking at places this weekend. This is probably gonna suck for a while, since we have a pretty clear idea of what we want, and it's pretty clear what we want doesn't exist. But it's a big town, we'll find it eventually. I need to go acquaint myself with Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens some more. Plus about a million other neighborhoods that are still sort of under the radar of the Hip'n'Rich.

I think my bar marathon is starting to become detrimental to my health. I have learned that a night drinking whiskey results in after effects completely different from a night drinking only beer. And of course, nights spent drinking both result in yet another discrete morning-after feeling. I got a week and a half left. I shoulda got sponsors or something.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

If the Terror Level goes Red, kiss your rights goodbye [via ce]
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Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 08:05:14 (EST)

Please note the terror alert level is back up to "Very Fucked."
I purposefully avoided the Bush speech last night so it wouldn't ruin my St. Patrick's Day, but of course there was no way to avoid it. This is such a bag of bullshit I can't believe it. I'll say this for the administration, they know how to use cultural amnesia to their advantage. They give us a lot of complex information and we quickly remember only the simplest aspects. Everybody's relieved that the waiting is over, but I think that relief is halved since, what we really should have wanted was an end to the waiting that resulted in anything besides war. But now half the country thinks the September 11th hijackers were from Iraq, that Hussein tried to have Bush Sr. assassinated, that Iraq is the public face of Al-Qaeda, that blowing up another country will produce happiness and prosperity. We think this way because our memory of the past couple years is hazy; we leave it up to the government to tell us what happened and what it means.

Consequently, many Americans are likely adopting the attitude of "Well, it's too bad we have to go to war, but Hussein left us no choice. I bought a yellow ribbon!" People said the exact same thing last time we had a war in the Gulf. In retrospect, that little engagement was nothin' but sweetness and light compared to the motivations behind the current operation. It reveals how much the government has really taken from us when we begin to find ways to rationalize whatever they do, in order to live with ourselves. I suppose if the government was a completely trustworthy entity, we could give them the benefit of the doubt. But considering the integrity levels of our leaders throughout American history, it's obvious we should be taking them task more, not letting them tell us what to believe.

Now the US is putting its foot down, and suddenly the UN seems almost, but not quite, as evil as Iraq. Everybody's been holding us back! Oh boy, Bush says Iraq has 48 hours to comply. I'm glad the Hussein boys didn't waste any time in rejecting the ultimatum, it defuses the dramatic flair Bush is trying to weave around this whole thing. But the Hussein clan is not without its own sense of occasion. They claim that if attacked, "the wives and mothers of those Americans who will fight us will weep blood, not tears." Great, these assholes are just as crazy as Bush.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 00:58:27 (EST)

yeh i'm drunk
bush sucks. kiss me i'm an asshole.

Posted By Jimmy Legs
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Monday, March 17, 2003 at 13:34:29 (EST)

Wanted to buy: BASEMENT
In other news, I finally did my taxes. Ugh. One of these days I gotta figure out why my refunds are so minimal. And also why I always end up owing money to NY State. I keep trying to remember that it's actually better to have to owe a little tax, as it means the government has been sitting on money that belongs to me all year. But just once I wanna get an enormous tax refund myself. I suppose if I buy an apartment that would help in terms of getting something back. B and I have been talking about this a lot lately. I realize that sooner or later I need to buy a place. It's the only way to combat the endless money pit of renting. But the more we talked about it, the more I realized how good we have it here. We have a partial duplex, with sole access to the basement (where all the band equipment is kept). We have a backyard, and a small outdoor porch/bunker thing. I can't say I like the way this whole place has been renovated, total cheap job using poor-quality materials. But the space is great, and has spoiled me for anything less. But the chances of finding an apartment that has all of these amenities at a price I can afford seems next to impossible. Added to that is the fact that in a condo/co-op situation, we probably won't be able to get away with all the noise we make. You ever notice how many property ads say "on a quiet street," or "very quiet building." I can just see the realtor's face when I ask, "Do you have something in a loud building? I plan on making a lot of racket."

I've been making cursory investigation online, and the results are mixed. I can find duplex apartments, some of which are on ground floors. This sometimes means getting a garden, and may also mean direct access to the basement. But it seems near impossible to find such a situation in which the building manager is as clueless as our landlord. Originally, she told us the basement was not part of our apartment, although we'd be able to use it for some storage. In the end, however, the basement has pretty much become our domain, even though I know she could shut us down at any moment. But she doesn't seem to have any interest in what goes on down there, past what the city made her renovate in terms of the furnace and meters. If we could find a duplex that is the proper size, we might be able to continue band practice on the lower floor, but considering how much sound filters up to the second floor here, I suspect that would result in plenty of complaints.

This leads me to more extreme options, like heading farther out into Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, or other neighborhoods with less subway access and fewer commercial options, and just buying a whole goddamn house. Just checking the real estate sites last night I found several townhouses that are cheaper than most of the the 1-bedroom apartments I've been seeing. It's an awfully seductive idea, getting a whole house in the bargain. There'd be no common charges, no neighbors to placate (well, none in the building anyway). We'd have all the space we could need, and of course there is the famed possibility that I could become a landlord myself, renting out an upper apartment or something. The obvious downside is living even further away from where things are happening, in a neighborhood I'm not familiar with, not knowing the area's disposition, or how I would be perceived there.

It looks like what I have to do now is go see a mortgage broker and get pre-approved for a loan. This will tell me how high a price I can afford, plus it helps keep the Realtor's attention since it makes you look like you're serious about buying. Then it's time to get with the realtors and start looking at properties. It just sucks that we like our current place so much that it seems like we could only find apartments for sale that don't measure up. Quite an oddity. Maybe we'll just hang on to this place as long as possible until we find its exact replica! Why do I have visions of B and I crowding each other on a futon in a studio in Flatbush?

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Monday, March 17, 2003 at 12:18:22 (EST)

See, I don't go to the bar and we go to war
I kind of broke my streak; I didn't go out to the bar last night. I really wanted to see Oneida, but nobody wanted to go with me. The idea of going alone coupled with the fact I think they went on last resulted in me not going anywhere. But all is not lost. B and I spent the afternoon in the East Village. We went to Kate's Joint for brunch, something I feel might become a regular thing for us now. Kate's is a nice little place, good food, stiff Bloody Marys, lotsa coffee. And best of all, a smoking section! Of course, in a week or so that won't matter, but it was nice to sit in a restaurant and smoke for one of the last times.

After that we wandered around for a while, walking down St. Marks Place. I know it's not the same as it once was, but there are still a fair number of weirdos walking around down there. We had a drink at a pub before rushing home to meet the guys for band practice. We got to test a transit theory we've had for a while: when at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, is it quicker to get home by taking the C train which is waiting for you, or is it better to wait for the G, which shows up much less often. I got on the C, stopping off at Clinton-Washington. But even with a brisk pace, B beat me home. The G showed up right after I left, which put her much closer to home. I guess that's reassuring but waiting for that train is sometimes just too trying to bother.

Tonight it's St. Patrick's Day at the Alibi. The guy who owns it appears to be Irish, so I guess it qualifies as an Irish bar. Certainly not a pub, but it will do.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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