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May 07, 2005

Aw, hell

Even in this day and age, it sometimes takes bad news awhile to catch up with you. I just found out that a friend of mine named Steve Moss passed away last week. Steve was publisher of the San Luis Obispo New Times, and was an early and steadfast supporter of my cartoon. There's a page of tributes to him here.


May 06, 2005


Someone in Strasbourg is repurposing very, very old Tom Tomorrow cartoons to advertise their events...


I've had occasion to deal with both MacConnection and MacMall this week. MacConnection was superb to deal with. MacMall, however...somehow I accidentally ordered two of these little peripheral gizmos when I only needed one, and trying to call to straighten it out, I've now been on hold for 24 minutes and counting, listening to 80's era Phil Collins music periodically interrupted by the "please continue to hold your business is important to us" message.

It goes without saying that MacMall will never get any of my business, ever again. And I'm kind of hoping they won't get yours either.

...35 minutes. Part of me is tempted to see just how long they'll leave a customer on hold, but my phone battery is almost exhausted, and it's beginning to look as if the answer is "indefinitely." Looks like I may have an extra KVM switch for sale, if anyone needs one.


May 05, 2005

Oh for chrissakes

"Militant secularists."

The Tierney-Brooks one-two punch may be more than I can bear.

Computer hassles and book deadlines

Likely to be another slow day or two 'round these parts.


May 04, 2005

Real Americans

In yesterday's column, John Tierney moves in on David Brooks' territory--explaining those salt-of-the-earth red staters to oblivious blue state elitists. As grateful as I am for the efforts of these selfless columnists, I have to admit that I still have a few questions. To wit:

1. Are red state and blue state Americans isolated tribes separated by an impermeable barrier or an unbreachable wall? Do Tierney and Brooks not understand that most of the people who live in the supposedly elitist enclaves they like to decry are actually from somewhere else--i.e., people who grew up in red states, probably still have families there, and yet actually chose to move to the city? That many of the clueless Democrats they so enjoy denouncing actually have formed their opinions about the more conservative parts of America from life experience, rather than elitist ignorance? (Tierney, for instance, mocks Thomas Frank's view of Kansas without noting that Thomas Frank grew up in Kansas).

2. I know that there's this idea that we coastal elitists don't understand what Real Americans are thinking because we're all too busy doing whatever it is we do in our elitist enclaves--but why is it that Real Americans are always presumed to be white exurbanites in SUVs? I've seen more than one writer declare that New Yorkers know far less about Real America than someone who lives in exurban Houston or Indianapolis or wherever. When I lived in New York City, I was surrounded by a constant cacophany of humanity--men, women and children of all races, ages, and presumably ideologies. Are they denied the status of Real Americanhood due to their skin tone, their accent, the fact that they ride the subway rather than drive an SUV? Is there an underlying racist assumption that they are all illegal immigrants, each and every one, and therefore not Real Americans?

3. I currently live in a college town in a blue state in the Northeast. Three strikes against me, right? I'm surrounded by latte sippers, and once again, completely out of touch with this noble species, these Real Americans about whom Brooks and Tierney and their ilk wax so rhapsodically. But it's strange. I'm a homeowner now. I go to Target, I go to Home Depot. I buy tools and gardening implements and jackposts to shore up sagging beams in my basement. I'm surrounded by SUVs with those ubiquitious ribbon magnets. In the course of my daily life, I come into contact with a wide variety of people--many of whom, astonishingly enough, do not seem to share my political beliefs. How is it, again, that this adds up to a portrait of someone completely out of touch with SUV drivers who shop at Target and Home Depot?

Of course, Tierney and Brooks aren't really writing about red states and blue states. They're writing about the assumptions about red states and blue states which seem prevalent at the cocktail parties they attend, the dinners they go to. This isn't about liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans--it's about the elites trying to comprehend the lower classes, spinning out competing fantasies at those cocktail parties and on the op-ed pages of major newspapers: you don't understand real Americans like I do! And in a way, it's true--you'll never understand someone else's fantasies as well as they do...


May 02, 2005


But you definitely want to read Bob Herbert, as well as this article on outsourcing torture.


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