Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Song Meme

When you see this, post a song in your journal.

To the rich man's bright lodges I ride in this wind
On my good horse I call you my shiny Black Bess
To the playhouse of fortune
to take the bright silver
And gold you have taken from somebody else

As we go riding in the damp foggy midnight
You snort, my good pony, and you give me your best
For you know, and I know, good horse,
'mongst the rich ones
How oftimes we go there an unwelcome guest

I've never took food from the widows and orphans
And never a hard working man I oppressed
So take your pace easy,
for home soon like lightning
We soon will be riding, my shiny Black Bess

No fat rich man's pony can ever overtake you
And there's not a rider from the east to the west
Could hold you a light
in this dark mist and midnight
When the potbellied thieves
chase their unwelcome guest

I don't know, good horse,
as we trot in this dark here
That robbing the rich is for worse or for best
They take it by stealing and lying and gambling
And I take it my way, my shiny Black Bess

I treat horses good and I'm friendly to strangers
I ride and your running makes my guns talk the best
And the rangers and deputies
are hired by the rich man
To catch me and hang me, my shining Black Bess

Yes, they'll catch me napping one day
and they'll kill me
And then I'll be gone but that won't be my end
For my guns and my saddle will always be filled
By unwelcome travellers and other brave men

And they'll take the money and spread it out equal
Just like the Bible and the prophets suggest
But the men that go riding to help these poor workers
The rich will cut down like an unwelcome guest

WORDS: Woody Guthrie 1940 - MUSIC: Billy Bragg

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Oye Como Va

Fair warning; for as long as the Twins are still in the hunt, I'm going to be talking about them here.

Game One: Santana didn't have his best stuff, but enough to make more than one Yankee look foolish. The defense is what won the game: my man Torii made two spectacular plays, and the infield turned five, count 'em, five DPs, which ties a postseason record which has stood since, oh, 1914. The Yanks didn't even threaten, really. I'd almost like to see the series go to four games, because I'd love to see them face Santana when he's on. But it'd be much better to finish this one in three, and get ready for the BoSox, their most likely opponents. I hope it will be Boston, considering all the emotional history with Mientkewicz and Ortiz. After Boston? My guess would be the Cardinals; a rematch of the '87 series. Maybe lightning will strike again.

Robert's Rules of Revolt

I remember January 15, 1991. I was cashiering at the Rathskeller, the restaurant/cafeteria in the Memorial Union on the UW-Madison campus. It was just after the lunch rush. I think Jai-Yi was working with me. We were sitting there catching our breaths when John Peek came out and said in a half-pissed, half-scared voice, "I just thought you might like to know we're strafing Baghdad right now."

The news I'm seeing tells me there are 10,000 GIs surrounding Fallujah right now. This is what political capital buys, apparently; an insane raid on the metaphorical corner the Iraqi resistance has been backed into. And this will stop terrorism? This will ensure free elections? We can't even pull one of those off here.

The holy war fixation on Iraq is killing this country. Think the "moral values" implication of four more years of W are scary?* Think about the economy. I work for a small manufacturing company, and the cold hard facts are that materials costs are out of control. There are a lot of factors causing this, and oil is one, but the real problem isn't assigning blame; it's that Bush won't acknowledge there's a problem. Manufacturers are being squeezed, and the recession we are trying to come out of is going to be a depression if it isn't addressed, and soon. 85% of the U.S. economy is services now, did you know that? You can't sustain an economy with that little manufacturing. More people are going to lose their jobs, and ironically, many of them are the same people who were too scared to vote for Kerry. And if it's a cold winter, those people are going to be in even more trouble. Natural gas is scarce right now, and prices are going to get higher. While our attention is on multiplying the number of people who hate us, the housing market is heading for a collapse and health care is in crisis. Why wasn't any of this being talked about during the campaign?

How about the fact that the European Union is now driving the world economy? The number of "U.S." companies that have been bought up by the Europeans is staggering, and the Euro's value has increased by fifty percent since it was introduced. What happens if OPEC decides to make the Euro the standard instead of the fading dollar? I'll tell you what. Argentina.

I'm still grappling with the implications of all of this, but I am terrified for the viability of this country. Do I sound like a Cassandra? Remember the oil crisis of the Seventies. Remember the Depression. And that's the other thing; the New Deal got this country through the Great Depression without everything collapsing. But with the deficit as enormous as it is, how could this government fund a similar effort if it is needed? It couldn't. The Gulf War happened again, and it went worse the second time. If the Depression repeats, what will the consequences be?

Four years ago I joked about moving to Canada. This is not a joke anymore. Aside from the very real and present dangers of Bush's "moral values" being imposed on all of us who aren't born-again addicts, I'm afraid of events unfolding in such a way that we won't even recognize this country. I'm not sure I want to be here when that happens. Yeah, yeah, love it or leave it. I love a lot of things about this country, but if all the people I love weren't here I'd be scouring the job rolls in Norway or Spain or something. I want to stand and fight, but how? I really don't know how.

*They are, don't get me wrong.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Conspiracy Afoot

Janet Leigh died today. She starred in Psycho, yes, but that movie hasn't really stood the test of time, in my not-so humble opinion; I was more impressed with her in Touch of Evil. Now that is a film, the Prez as a Mexican cop notwithstanding. Janet Leigh was 77.

Gordon Cooper also died today. He was the youngest of the original seven Mercury astronauts. According to the AP, "When asked who was the greatest fighter pilot he ever saw, Cooper enthusiastically answered, 'You're looking at him!'" Cooper was 77.

Do you see where I'm going with this? Someone is killing the great septa-septans of America! Someone go check on Leontyne Price! On Harvey Korman! Oh no--Ralph Stanley is 77 years old! Harry Belafonte! Coretta Scott King!

I just want to go on record as saying I'm against it.