Archive for April, 2006

iTunes favorites

April 28, 2006

I’m about to make some changes to my iTunes setup that might erase its history, so before I lose it, here are my 10 most played songs of the last four years:

  • 1. “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” by U2
  • 2. “Ruin My Day” by Jon Brion
  • 3. “Year of the Cat” by Al Stewart
  • 4. “Umm” by Scritti Politti
  • 5. “Get In or Get Out” by Hot Hot Heat
  • 6. “Your Favorite Thing” by Sugar
  • t7. “Headshots” by Suzanne Vega
  • t7. “America, $#^% Yeah” by Team America
  • t9. “Savoy Truffle” by The Beatles
  • t9. “Theme from ‘Shaft'” by Isaac Hayes

Footie follow-up

April 26, 2006

West Ham 1-2 Liverpool.

Happiness reigns in Anfield!


April 25, 2006

To follow up on my last post

It is said that the opposite of love is not hate, but rather indifference. Two kinds of passion differ less with each other than they both do with a lack of passion.

In the same way, the opposite of a left-wing polemic is not a right-wing polemic, but rather a good book. Two kinds of ignorance differ less with each other than they both do with wisdom.

I love Portland, Part 7

April 19, 2006

Seen on Southeast 6th Avenue this afternoon: A Chevrolet Corvair with the Oregon license plate “UNSFE”.

Anywhere else I would call it irony. In Portland, though…Nader voter feeling guilt?

Footie chat for Lucy

April 19, 2006

Only 7 shopping days left before Liverpool knocks the stuffing out of West Ham.

Ohio State University librarian controversy

April 19, 2006

At Ohio State’s main campus, April was usually the time for protests: The weather was nice and thousands of students had senioritis. Marches would be held, demands would be presented, promises would be made, and all would be forgotten by September.

But at OSU-Mansfield? I never thought they had it in them.

Scott Savage is entitled to hold his opinions in peace if they do not interfere with his conduct as a librarian. Unless there is more to this story than I have seen, his actions were hardly harassment.

As a librarian myself, though, I am disappointed that Savage chose such a weak polemic to recommend to freshmen. Was that really the best he could do?

Colleges should introduce their students to viewpoints that challenge mainstream values, but should also ensure that those viewpoints have intellectual, philosophical, literary, or historical heft to them.

Why waste student time — why waste anyone’s time — with Kupelian’s shrill ravings? Why, when Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations is available? Or Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism? Or Pope John Paul II’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope? Or, as Savage is a Quaker, the pastoral letters of George Fox?

That the Savage case has become a “conservative” rallying point is a sign of how weak a grasp many “conservatives” have of conservatism. Life has more to offer than fear, anger, hate, and paranoia.

What does “the decider” decide?

April 18, 2006

President Bush made a characteristic error this morning while speaking to the press:

[O]n Friday I stood up and said, I don’t appreciate the speculation about Don Rumsfeld; he’s doing a fine job, I strongly support him. […] I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision. And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He’s not only transforming the military, he’s fighting a war on terror. He’s helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld. I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the Secretary of Defense.

Actually, the President does not “decide what is best”. He decides what he wants.

And what he wants is not always for the best.

The first warblogger

April 11, 2006

Tertullian considers flight from persecution as an imperfect, but very criminal, apostasy, as an impious attempt to elude the will of God, etc. etc. He has written a treatise on this subject, which is filled with the wildest fanaticism and the most incoherent declamation. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that Tertullian did not suffer martyrdom himself.

— Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XVI.

Three years on

April 10, 2006

Many of today’s “conservatives” are not conservative.

Their reaction to the fall of Saddam three years ago was a telling case in point. Rather than burning with radicality and hubris, wouldn’t remembering the wisdom of Edmund Burke have been the conservative thing to do?


April 10, 2006

If the empire had been afflicted by any recent calamity, by a plague, a famine, or an unsuccessful war; if the Tiber had, or if the Nile had not, risen beyond its banks; if the earth had shaken, or if the temperate order of the seasons had been interrupted, the superstitious Pagans were convinced that the crimes and the impiety of the Christians, who were spared by the excessive leniety of the government, had at length provoked the Divine justice.

— Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XVI.