Thursday, September 30, 2004
"A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purposes when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger."
-Justice William O. Douglas
I'm bracing myself for tonite's hour and a half of carefully scripted tedium referred to as a "debate".
Fear is an interesting thing. It's been used to motivate people since the first fish crawled onto dry land...hell, probably even before that. Not really saying anything new there. We've all taken Social Studies. We all have (or have had) jobs. The Republicans are rather shamelessly using FEAR against John Kerry. If you vote for Kerry, our country will be less safe. That's what they're telling me. It's a pretty reprehensible tactic. The Democrats have every right to be a wee bit pissed off about it. Or, they'd be justified if they themselves were not actively engaged in similar fear-mongering. Truth of the matter is those sneaky little Dems are doing the exact same thing.
If I vote for anyone but Kerry, the world as we know it will end. Particularly, horror, if I vote for Ralph Nader. The fear rhetoric is all over the web, all over the news. Just go to Google. It's a little more insidious, even, in that the "Party of Choice" is trying to steer me away from choice. Scare me into voting their way. A bit hypocritical, methinks. But what do I know?Kerry voters obviously know best. Voting for a third party candidate is considered "idealistic". Idealists-what a terrible group of naive idiots. I mean, what have they done for us? All we've managed to get out of idealism is...well, a Constitution, a Declaration of Independence, a Bill of Rights, the Suffrage Movement, Unions, Civil Rights...well a few more inconsequential things. Nuthin' major. Perhaps the most disappointing thing to come out of all this has been the buying out of two of my favorite writers: Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. By siding with fear over everything they've previously stood for, they've now tainted a pretty respectable body of work. Cowards.
For the record, I'm not entirely convinced I'm going to vote for Nader, either. I'm actively researching all other possible third, fourth, fifth-party candidates. We'll see.
In other very bad news, Tom Waits is only doing 2 North American shows...with Seattle being the only announced stop in the good ole US of A. Bastard.
No politics, next post. I promise.
Today's slabs of hot rockin' tuneage have a bit of a theme....
Shane Macgowan: St. John of Gods (mp3): Everyone knows Shane. Don't think I have to say much about the man, missing teeth and all. I worship him. Yep. This song is taken from his underrated Crock of Gold album. It's one of the best tunes he's written in years, a big middle finger to "The Man".
Red Star Belgrade: Highway to Hell (mp3): Yep, it's the song you think it is...all altpunkcountryfied. Go to Red Star Belgrade's info page. The song comes from Bloodshot Record's 5-year anniversary comp Down to the Promised Land.
(Click on song....Go to Briefcase....Download from there.)