Obama/Biden ’08

So its official, my man, Barack Obama has chosen Joe Biden as his running mate for the upcoming presidential election.

Good choice, in my opinion, not the best choice but the best choices would generally be impossible.

I’m happy but not thrilled, not that this stood the slightest chance of affecting my own vote.  I’ll wait to pass judgement on how smart this was until after I see Biden speak tomorrow, and at the DNC.

In related campaign news, I turn 21 in under 24 hours, which will bring me one year closer to my 2024 Presidential campaign as the nominee for the CAPS LOCK ticket.

ANDREW ZIMMER 2024:  CRUISE CONTROL FOR AMERICA

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Media Blackout

The world needs a break from 24 hour news networks.  They’re poisonous, and not just Fox, which is intentionally poisonous.

Over the course of time, and more specifically this campaign season I’ve realized that what some might refer to as the Death of Journalism is not a willful disrespect, or bias, but rather a necessity of format.  24-hour news networks simply don’t have enough news to validate their existence, yet there are three major ones, with several financially-oriented offshoots.  CNN, Fox, and MSNBC all suffer the same problem: Lack of Substance.

There is barely enough newsworthy material in a day to fill the primetime news hours on network, let alone 24-7 coverage on a full three dedicated stations all vieing for supremacy.  Somewhere along the line, everyone realized this, and instead of doing the civil thing, that is saying on air “We, the people responsible for this network have made a terrible mistake, and in doing so cheapened one of the most important professions of the past 200 years, goodnight.” they found a way to serve not as news reporters and journalists, but as news makers and sensationalists.

Apart from Fox, none of the 24 hour networks have any notable bias, any percieved liberal bias is due to their competition with Fox, an unabashedly conservative organization.  Take this election for example.  It is my belief, that if John McCain received the kind of coverage given to Barack Obama, or was simply covered at all in any relatively even-handed way, the race would be over.  America would see a doddering old man, obviously suffering the mental affects of age, and leading a campaign that would frankly embarass even such fuckup luminaries as Michael Dukakis.

That’s a bad story though, the election over in the middle of July?  That’s terrible for ratings!  No, we, as the media, must keep this going by boosting one candidate, be it by polls with shoddy methodology (see: Likely Voters polls, wherein you can strike from the count anyone on the basis of “they probably won’t show up”) or endless “analysis” that does little more than parrot and debate talking points from one side or another.

There’s another business benefit to this, as well.  Its cheap.  Really cheap, I’m talking cable-access cheap.  If you don’t have to send a journalist out to find a story, research it, get their proverbial shit on the shelf, and present it, you save thousands of dollars and hundreds of man-hours right there.  By following the talking-head model of endless analysis and innuendo, you save money, and keep news cycles going indefinitely, long past their organic sell-by date.  It is essentially life-support for 24-hour news networks.

And if there isn’t something political, there’s usually something of horrific violence, or lewd sexuality, or please oh god please both.  You can then mold events ranging from school shootings, Elton John doing something and Hurricane Katrina into more than mere disasters, but political issues, thus feeding your machine, keeping it going.

Finally, when you’ve got nothing left to say, do not worry, because surely someone, somewhere will have called you on your bullshit, and you can then talk about yourselves for a week or two before something else happens.

What we need as a nation, and indeed as a civilization is a media blackout.  A voluntary media blackout.  Everyone should set up a time and date, and agree to not watch a single second of cable news for a month.  perhaps read the newspapers, or watch the nightly news, whatever you feel you need to do to keep current in world affairs.  I wonder if at the end of that month, when everyone returns to cable news they might see it a little differently.  They might view these shenanigans for what they are, and respond with the only proper response to such cynical abuse of the people.

Outrage.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

The past few weeks I’ve been dealing with a lot.  Lot of bullshit.  I’ve gone into turtle mode, really, and because of it my writing has suffered.  Anyway, I’m going to try to make the effort to write some more here, maybe pump a bit more life into this dead husk of a blag.  I’ve got some thoughts percolating on modern medicine, the political ramifications of the Sino-American partnership, the Olympics, Grand Theft Auto IV, and life itself.

Here’s a preview:

Doctors increasingly don’t know what they’re doing, and yet they increasingly think they know what they’re doing.  I’m not anti-science by any stretch, but the mind and its processes are the one thing that modern medicine is nowhere close to mastery over.  The increasing cultural drive to paint sadness as a medical condition that must be cured is doing more harm than good, especially on Prozac Kids like me.  In a month, it will be the first time since I was eight years old that my brain has not been addled by psychiatric drugs.

China and the United States have found a brilliant way to wage a weaponless cold war.  China, by and large seen as a nascent superpower, will host the Olympics, an irrelevant exercise by all definitions, but by doing so they are drawing massive protest from all corners of the globe, except of course Washington D.C.  America has sold itself to China in exchange for cheap consumer goods, and China has sold itself to America in exchange for a means of rapid industrialization and economic growth.  If one leaves the partnership, both fall apart.  The economic form of Mutually Assured Destruction, and the most brilliant political accident in history.

Grand Theft Auto IV is amazing, and I have been no fan of the series nor its creators.  More on that once I actually beat it.

And life?  Well, this seems to be the time of revitalization in all forms of life.  Mating season for the mammals, trees and flowers bloom, kids flock into the parks and streets to play.  But how does that vitality reach one so inneured in The Matrix, as it were?  The answer is chemical, and the response is a full-frontal assault against my drive to mate.  More at 11.

Til’ next time, this is Andrew Zimmer, not dead yet.

I’m a liar

(note: This post contains wildly harsh language, in quotation. For all my love of the word Fuck, this shit shouldn’t be taken as my own opinion. Consider yourself warned)

I’ve not updated in forever, and honestly it’s because the world is so infuriating at a base level right now that I’m barely staying coherent.

Personal stuff aside, here’s one of the more infuriating facets of the world of late: The 2008 Presidential Campaign. Specifically, the increasingly bitter and hateful primary of my own party, the party I’ve known for tolerance, if not ability to win elections.

Once again they’ve proven to me that if anyone knows how to fuck a sure thing up, its the Democratic National Party. They are the world’s greatest losers. Here we have two of the best political minds of our generation all but killing each other on the campaign trail, their supporters so entrenched that I’ve seen things so absurd that they’re challenging my faith in humanity as a whole.

Clinton supporters talking about the “worthless nigger” Obama.

Obama supporters talking about the “stupid cunt” Clinton.

Putting aside my own political allegiances, this is the most shameful behavior I’ve ever seen, on either side of the aisle. I expect this bullshit from Republicans, that’s why I’m a Democrat. But to see the people themselves so bitterly divided, when they agree on just about everything is nothing short of tragic.

When did people start having, no pun intended, dick-measuring contests over what -ism was worse? Discussions between Obama and Clinton supporters, people who by all rights shouldn’t even be fighting, inevitably turn into “Well you’re a racist, and racism is worse than sexism!” versus “Well you’re a sexist, and sexism is far worse than racism!” ad infinitum.

There are no winners.

If Hillary wins the nomination, and let me be clear, I think she’d be a great president, she does so at the expense of the party. By all accounts she’d have to steal the convention with the superdelegates to come away victorious.

If Obama wins the nomination, and I happen to think he already has, he does so at the cost of a great deal of female support, support he needs.

A compromise ticket is impossible, the divisions run too deep, any ticket with both candidates on it will alienate twice as many people as either one by themselves.

You know the most psychotic thing about it all? This election should be a walk for the Dems. No incumbent party has ever, EVER won re-election to the White House during a recession. Ever! It shouldn’t even be a factor, McCain might as well be a sack of sand, he’s got about the same chance! Or at least he should have, now the Democrats are beating the shit out of one another in some twisted Rovian wet-dream, a nightmare that even the most cynical mind couldn’t have thought up.

I’m a very political guy. I’m political despite my cynicism. I’m political because I think the only way to improve the world is to work with it, not against it. I believe in the essential goodness of humanity, the enduring virtue of survival and ingenuity that cannot be undone by our own machinations. I base everything on the assumption that people are good, misguided at times, but good.

The more I live, though, the harder it is to keep believing in that.

So the US Navy test-fired their railgun today…

The project is to create a ship-mounted railgun that can fire a projectile over 200 nautical miles with precision.  The pure aluminum slug was fired with ten megajoules of energy, part of its casing vaporizing on launch.  No explosives were involved in the test.  Pretty cool, but I’ve got one better.

The weapon of the future?  Nuclear-powered ballistic catapults.  The Catapults would be nailed to the decks of ships, powered by nuclear reactors and capable of launching ICBRs anywhere in the world.  That is to say, Intercontinental Ballistic Rocks.  They will rain boulders upon enemies with laser precision.  The MIRV Trebuchet is still under wraps, but promises to be even more amazing.

You’re welcome.

Modern Gladiatorial Competition

With the recent return of that most shameful of American institutions, American Gladiators, a television program in which mutants try and kill each other with gigantic Nerf weapons, I’m having a strange revelation.

Rome, the world’s first true Republic, seems to have given us two lasting plagues, that are not so dissimilar as they are brother and sister, no doubt born to an incestuous parental unit themselves.

Politics, and killing for sport.

They’re one and the same if you ask me.  Let me take you on a journey, here.  Let’s break it all down. Continue reading

Goodnight, sweet prince…

good night, sweet prince…

The Little Candidacy that Couldn’t 2006-2008.