Friday, January 28, 2005

Pornography and the American psyche

Is anyone else repelled by the plethora of "reality" porn sites on the Internet in which women are picked up, coerced into having sex, and then are humiliated in some way. What does this say about the American soul (though I am sure there are plenty of viewers outside the U.S.), since it is the USA from where these sites originate?

"We should be afraid of government forces interested in repressing sexual expression. But we also should be afraid of the influence of misogynist pornography. These two fears are not mutually exclusive and can co-exist. Our fear of the former shouldn't stop us from critiquing the latter. " - Dr. Chyng Sun

Two great sources for truth.

The United States of North America is destined by providence to usurp other nations in the name of liberty and democracy. - Simón Bolívar, 1928.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Margaret Atwood's Clairvoyance

Has anyone else noticed how Margaret Atwood's dystopian vision of a future USA in "The Handmaid's Tale" bears an alarming resemblance to the architecture of the Bush republic?

The lesser evil?

Jeb Bush, no doubt feeling juiced by the same "mandate" that Big Brother purports to have received, has in one fell swoop lowered taxes in the state of Florida, while raising college tuition (admittedly much lower than the average for public universities), and decimating a number of programs that assist the needy with medical costs. My mother, whom my brother and I have just moved down to Florida, will not be able to avail herself of the now defunct Assisted Living Medicaid Waiver, which helps low income seniors pay for assisted living facilities and thus remain out of nursing homes. Mother has a monthly income of $800, and about $20,000 of net assets. The net assets will be gone in approximately 2.5 years, at which point, the costs beyond her monthly income will become my brother's and mine.

Dissent is the ultimate act of patriotism

You Better Hope You Die Before You Get Old

The Bushies are about to launch a $50 million to $100 million dollar propaganda campaign to convince us the Social Security system is in crisis. Actually, it's not. It's quite robust and has astonishingly low administrative costs, less than 1 percent.

According to President Bush's own Commission to "Strengthen Social Security," the administrative costs of keeping track of private accounts will be 10 to 30 times the cost of administering the current system.

-- Molly Ivins


"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
--H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956 )

Missing Will Eisner

I live no more than 6 miles from where the late Will Eisner created his sublime pen and ink fables. Every week for the past five years I swore I would make my way to the master's studio, and, if welcomed, merely tell Will how much his art, wit, whimsy and soulfulness had moved me over the years. Of course, as is usually the case with such plans, I never did, perhaps because, I reasoned, the awkwardness of the moment might overwhelm the sentiment. Having endured a period of mild public stature myself, I remembered how relieved I was to slip back into anonymity when the opportunity arose. Of course, Will's celebrity was of the best kind; it resided in the art, while the man was able to live a quiet life among the other retirees of Tamarac (though to suggest that Eisner was "retired" in any traditional sense of the word is ludicrous). For me, Jewish and Bronx-raised much like Eisner, his graphic novels remain the counterpoint wherein our two lives touched. Oh, I liked the Spirit, more for its graphic exhilaration than anything else, but it was in stories like "The Neighborhood : Dropsie Avenue " where Will Eisner touched a common current between us. And his life as lived gives me faith that I, too, will be able to spin my tales someday, even when I'm in my eighties.