The Archives

  • 2018 (1)
  • 2016 (9)
  • 2015 (1)
  • 2014 (59)
  • 2013 (286)
  • 2012 (73)
  • 2011 (14)
  • 2010 (30)
  • 2009 (101)
  • 2008 (88)

The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

More of Doug's books »
Doug's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Time Since Reboot

  • 1216 days, 2 hours, 31 minutes, 24 seconds ago

On Voting Your Conscience 2012

presented without commentary: via adbusters.orgI wanted to, before next week’s election, post something thoughtful about where I stood re: politics 2012, etc.  I am far, far away from where I was four years ago… not with regards to ideology but in terms of enthusiasm.  Four years ago I waved the flag and beat the drum for Barack Obama along with all the other "young" Americans swept up in the swelling rhetoric of hope, change, and so forth.  In a country emerging from the global embarrassment of the W years, the climate was ripe for that mentality.  In the four years that have passed, the futility of those hopes has been brought into brilliant clarity.  Obama has been tremendously disappointing.  I wanted someone with passion to stand up for progressive ideals and not take any backwards conservative bullshit.  Instead, he acquiesces, showing none of the political acumen he displayed on the 2008 campaign trail. 

The problem, internally, is that I want to change minds not policies.  It does not bother me that there is no law in place assuring equality for persons of different sexual orientation as much as there is a huge population of Americans who are against that equality in the first place.  (Replace GLBT rights with any issue here… universal health care, teaching science in schools, pulling troops out of pointless foreign conflicts, whatever.) 

The problem is that capitalism has produced, finally, a situation in which megacorporations can use their massive funds to drive political discussion in the media, megachurches with bottomless pocketbooks can spew uncontested hate from bully pulpits, and because ordinary citizens are influenced heavily by people they identify with as similar to them, the country has quickly oozed into two distinct ideological cocoons labeled "liberal" and "conservative" with no room for crossover or compromise between them.  Fed by wealth.  Driven by greed.  Frantic megaphones drowning out moderate, rational thought.  It doesn’t matter if the facts aren’t understood, or are misconstrued, or are complete falsehoods.  If x believes in y, if x says y is the truth, it must be true, it must be important, it must be supported.  ("x" here can be Rush Limbaugh, the Daily Kos, James Dobson, Richard Dawkins, your coworker who attends the fundamentalist church, your neighbor who has a PhD in astrophysics… doesn’t matter.)  Sound bites leave no room for nuance.  And the modern American citizen has no time to educate him/herself on every side of every issue. 

Money buys influence and exposure.  The winners keep winning.  The losers lick their wounds for the remainder of the election cycle and lob attacks from the sidelines, drumming up support from financiers who share their causes.  Two-minute over-simplified explanations of complicated issues are crafted to produce the greatest possible outrage in an attention-deficient society.  This is what revolts me:  the same people who can recite every plot point of this season’s Honey Boo-Boo but can’t tell you the names of the Vice-Presidential candidates – those people will still pull that lever on election day.  Their vote matters.  God help us. 

None of this makes any difference.  I’m disappointed in Obama.  You won’t find any more stickers on my bumper.  You won’t find me posting on political websites.  I will vote because I care.  I will vote for the issues that matter, not for candidates.  I don’t believe in candidates, and I don’t believe my point of view has any power at all.  If I were voting my interests I would vote Republican.  Obama’s health care legislation is going to potentially hurt my bottom line due to employee insurance requirements and changes to Medicare.  But for me, social issues are larger than economic ones.  I cannot support a party whose supporters treat one class of citizens differently from another on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation.  I cannot support a party that gives any credence to unscientific ideas like creationism and intelligent design being taught in public schools (or private ones for that matter).  I cannot support a party that allows the term "intellectual" to be thrown around like an insult… as if being uneducated was a virtue to hang your hat on – the benefit being that the less educated society is, the easier it is to force feed them whatever lies benefit their larger agendas.  I cannot support an ideology of selfishness over selflessness. 

anyone voting for these kooks to have greater influence and/or louder voices is a monsterAnd I don’t for one minute think that voting a straight Democratic ticket is voting for the "right" party.  In fact, the Democrats are just as beholden to wealthy benefactors as the Republicans are.  It’s the lesser of two evils, always.  Advance a party whose ideals provide the greatest benefit for society.  Women’s’ rights.  Gay rights.  Economic fairness and transparency.  Universal health care.  Equality.  Equality.  Equality.  The truth. 

The truth is science, ever changing but ever striving to discover the realities of our world.  The truth is we are all human beings who each deserve the same chances for success and happiness and freedom from oppression.  The truth is American youth have died and are dying in wars that line the pockets of the rich.  The truth is every life that is taken in the name of an ancient, unsupported mythology is repugnant and unnecessary.  The truth is the people who teach young minds to hate people who are different are no better than serial rapists and murderers. 

And the saddest truth is that none of this matters.  In 50 years I will be dead, and whatever progress that gets made in those years won’t mean anything at all to me then.  But even if voting for selfishness would result in the best possible life for me, I will never be convinced that selfishness is right.  I will vote my conscience, not my interests. 

Readers, research these candidates.  Educate yourselves on their platforms.  Don’t rely on other people to tell you what the truth is. 

GOP National Platform 2012

Democratic National Platform 2012

Reuters Election Issues 2012

There are plenty of resources.  Go out there and google them, okay?  (Note: Glenn Beck does not count as a "resource".) 

At Rest, KY 123 West


Autumnal Purge: Quotations (Series 2)


Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.

~ Oscar Wilde

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.

~ Paul Valéry

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

~ Edgar Allan Poe

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.

~ Ray Bradbury

And that alone is love, that which never becomes something else.

~ Søren Kierkegaard

David Foster Wallace

The next suitable person you’re in a light conversation with, stop suddenly in the middle of the conversation and look at the person closely and say, "What’s wrong?" You say it in a concerned way. He’ll say, "What do you mean?" You say, "Something’s wrong. I can tell. What is it?" And he’ll look stunned and say, "How did you know?" He doesn’t realize something’s always wrong, with everybody. Often more than one thing. He doesn’t know everybody’s always going around all the time with something wrong and believing they’re exerting great willpower and control to keep other people, for whom they think nothing’s ever wrong, from seeing it.

~ from The Pale King, David Foster Wallace

By constant communion with others we hope we shall be able to accept the horrible fact of our total solitude

~ Ingmar Bergman

Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.

~ Cesar Cruz

What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?

~ Jacques Lacan

and I am still this
this paper
and all the

~ from The Last Night of the Earth Poems, Charles Bukowski

The 3rd Saturday in October is the 3rd Saturday in October

As it should be.  Get your stogies ready.

I will be in the state of Tennessee.  Sadly – it will be in Nashville for the AU/Vandy game, but I’ll find a television in the Music City somewhere.  Here’s a statistical preview from Rocky Top itself.  Don’t read it if you’re afraid of monsters.  Go Bama Go!!!

Autumnal Purge: Photographs (Series 2)


Untitled by Yosigo via SoundTHAT


by Shikhei Goh via My Modern Met


‘独。’ by gzi24 via SoundTHAT


by Don Pettit via iheartmyart


unattributed via FFFFound!


by Débora via Scintilla


Untitled by Antoine Rouleau via SoundTHAT


by Joeri Bosma via My Modern Met


lastdaysofblackandoakland via Scintilla


by Davis Ayer

Autumnal Purge: Quotations (Series 1)


You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

~ Franz Kafka

I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.

I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild.

~ "An Eastern Ballad", Allen Ginsberg

The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.

~ Nikola Tesla

Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.

~ Marc Riboud

I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else.

~ Pablo Picasso

Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous — to poetry.

~ Thomas Mann

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

~ "One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII", Pablo Neruda

A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.

~ Grace Murray Hopper

T. S. Eliot

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

~ T. S. Eliot

This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away.

~ Anne Lamott