Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Beach Rumble from New Picture Agencies on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Obama, along with the Congressional Democrats, should just jump off the nearest tall building en masse, right now. It will end the agony for those who thought they voted in 2008 for Hope and Change, and who knows, probably ease their own suffering as well. Since the question in Washington has clearly degenerated into: who can ruin the country sooner, the Democrats should at least out-play the Republicans for once: if you can't, or won't beat them in politics, at least try to beat them in something — crazed mass suicide, for example.

But that is probably too much to ask. We all know the Democratic Party is the party of Losers that Lose. Losing is what they do best: when they win, they lose; when they lose, they will only lose in the shabbiest, most loser-ly way they can.
Yay, the PCRs that were working, and then suddenly stopped working, are now working again! Such are the voodoo witchcrafts of Molecular Biology... As far as sciences go, Physics is so much, so much better.
Sunday, July 10, 2011

(Buster Keaton)

I find this such a striking and pathetic portrait — perhaps because I just read this?
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wildlife sightings: skunk (just up the street, almost walked into it), red-tailed hawk (Harvard campus, being mobbed by a flock of starlings), a small weasel (Fresh Pond, thought it was a squirrel at first), and today a young buck deer along the commuter rail.
Monday, May 09, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Fool me once
At this point, I can't see an image of Barack Obama, or hear his voice, without an almost physical revulsion. Since his election, joy has turned to puzzlement, to concern, to frustration, to anger, and as of now my sentiments is about an equal mixture of despair, shame, and contempt. The latest contributions to this process are his pathetic sophistry regarding the shocking treatment of Bradley Manning, and his crouching passivity, masquerading as sophistication and nuance, as he prepares to all but completely abandon Libya to slaughter.

It is more or less completely clear now that this man is a pure transactionalist, who is largely unmoored from a moral or policy center, whose interest is in winning as much as possible with the least risk. Never mind what is the substance of such victories, of course, so long as he can burnish himself with them. Obama would call this "pragmatism"; what it means in reality is giving up challenging the existing condition even before joining the battle.

I wonder now what made me support him so ardently during the last election. I conclude that it was largely for tribal reasons rooted in sentiment; after all his policy differences with Clinton was small, and I would have supported any Democrat against Palin & McCain. Obama's personal charisma and rhetorical powers are undeniable, but I think I supported him largely because I thought we were in the same tribe: liberal academic types who value intellectual rigor and sophistication, and read the New York Review of Books. Obama may still read the NYRB, I don't know, although it has been pretty hard on him.

It says something about modern political campaigns that even after a long and grueling primary, all I had to really go on were these sentiments. It also says even someone who fancies himself to be too sophisticated, too grand, to be confined to mere tribes, can nevertheless be easily fooled by such tribal feelings.

Well, I have certainly learned my lesson: Paul Krugman is always right. Obama doesn't deserve to hold the office of Washington and Lincoln; he certainly doesn't deserve to be reelected. I hope never to be so fooled, and so fool myself, again.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wherein I am ahead of the curve (yet again)
I would just like to let you know that I've been on top of this "trend" since, oh, about mid-2003. Not that it make me that much more awesome, you know (although it does).
Monday, February 21, 2011

Al Jazeera's live blog and live broadcast on the popular uprising in Libya.