Last year, for example, I decided that since my mom likes movies, I would bring her out of the dark ages by getting her a DVD player to replace her ancient VCR. I also bought her season one of "The Sopranos", since she's a big fan of sex and violence.
Anyway, here we are, almost to August -- a good eight months since I bought her the DVD player -- and she still hasn't watched it. She continues to rent movies on VHS, and has not used the DVD player to watch "The Sopranos", or anything else. She claims to be 'too busy', which, considering that she is retired, strikes me as improbable. Nonetheless, she maintains that the DVD player, which she has never used, was a 'great present'.
So, anyway, for her birthday this year, I told her to make me a list of things she wanted, and I would buy her stuff off the list. She included lots of jewelry which I can't afford, lots of gift cards which I can, and odd items like postage stamps. Yes, my mom asked for postage stamps for her birthday. Mom, you old romantic smoothie, you! What's next, an iron? A broom? (And did I get her postage stamps for her birthday? You know I did.)
- I don't wish to imply, in my previous post, that our landlady is a bad one. She's usually quite attentive about repairs -- when our sink was leaking recently, she sent a guy over within a few hours of my calling her -- and she's generally friendly and even lets us go without raising the rent every few years. It's just that she's out of town pretty much all the time. Also, I suspect that in addition to being Panamanian, she is a lesbian. She lives with another woman, who is in charge of coordinating all the repairs and improvements on our building while the landlady takes care of the financial end of it; when we first moved in, the landlady said "I'm software, and she's hardware." Ha! (Hi Irma & Olga! You guys rock! I'm glad you don't read this journal either!)
- I've been thinking about country music radio lately, largely because that jackass Toby Keith has the #1 country song with that piece-of-shit pro-lynching anthem "Beer for My Horses". I've also been thinking about how pretty much any great country singer of the past, all the legends I love and admire -- Hank Williams, Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, Porter Wagoner, the Louvin Brothers, etc. -- would stand zero chance of getting a record contract in Nashville today. (In fact, living country legends -- amazingly talented guys like Johnny Cash and George Jones -- are unable to get contracts today, and have had to sign with non-country or tiny indie labels.) Anyway, this got me to thinking about how country music today is essentially the bad pop music of 10 years ago, and how much country videos resemble the rock videos of the very early 1990s. And I seem to recall someone writing an LJ entry about this. marlysmullen, was this you? And did you happen to save it, by any chance?
- My step-uncle died last week, and I went to the card shop to get a sympathy card for my aunt. I noticed that the sympathy cards are all tucked away, almost hidden; like they live in a sad little ghetto all their own. I think the greeting card industry doesn't want to call attention to the fact that somewhere in there, among the Far Side cards and the wacky birthday cards and the "you're a great secretary" cards are big fat reminders of mortality.
- A conservative friend of mine was lamenting the other day about how, supposedly, liberals are against the war in Iraq (don't call it a quagmire!) not because they have any legitimate quarrel with it, but because they are simply blinded by their hatred of George W. Bush.
Now, I don't completely agree with this. I mean, not to put too fine a point on it, but I hate Bush for a reason. His economic policies are a joke, his cabinet are a bunch of fanatics, the economy is in the shitter, he's systematically destroyed a century of diplomatic relationships, and he got us involved in what is an unjust and unneccesary war no matter how you slice it. That said, I do have a rather negative visceral reaction to the man. I flatter myself that it doesn't overly color my judgment of his abilities (or lack thereof), but I must admit that some things about him drive me absolutely crazy: his faux-folksy speaking voice; his incompetent speechmaking; his PR stunts, dripping with smarmy arrogance; his bad-boss demeanor; his veil of false piety.
But since when is hating the president such a bad thing? Just like with the tactic of stonewalling judicial nominees, Democrats learned from the masters. The GOP -- Orrin Hatch and John Ashcroft, in particular -- invented the stalling techniques that are now being used to great effect by the opposition, and it's fun to watch them choke on their bile as the knife they forged themselves stabs them in the back. Likewise, the Republicans may not have invented the technique of allowing their personal distaste for the president to taint their entire perception of his adminstration, but they certainly perfected it -- under Bill Clinton. They hated him so much, hated every little thing about him, that they were blinded to the fact that under him, the economy thrived and we didn't get involved in any wars. I personally didn't like Clinton; I think he was a mediocre to bad president. But the conservatives </i>loathed</i> him, loathed him like they've loathed no one since Roosevelt -- and they still loathe him. They hate him with a purple passion even though he hasn't been president for 3 years. Every word he utters makes their blood boil, and more than a few pundits have hinted that it will be a glorious day when he finally shuffles off the mortal coil.
I spent 8 years living in a country where the GOP treated a sitting president like he was Satan made flesh and given veto power, and I'm supposed to apologize because it bugs me when Bush says "nuke-yu-lar"? Forget about it.