Monday, June 4, 2007

Things That've Been Bugging Me: Some Reader Thoughts Would Be Nice

Not sure how you guys like to work. Maybe you're an early riser, like to get up early and enjoy some quiet time before work -- read the paper, do a little yoga, what-have-you. My inclination is to use the post-midnight hours for my me time, and this tendency is only increased when I'm living in a country 5-7 hours ahead of good old East Coast Time, when my friends and family are awake and online. So, typically once Sunday rolls around, I'm pretty out of it, and tonight is very much a typical Sunday -- a weeks worth of news starts to curdle a bit in my mind as I'm planning out the week ahead, and certain things pop out at me. Here are some of this weeks:

1. Apparently, according to an Editorial from NYTimes, there do I say this?...anti-dancing laws in New York City and in other cities across the country:

"New York’s cabaret laws limit dancing to licensed venues. They date back to the Harlem Renaissance, which had created the unsettling prospect of interracial dancing.
For decades, no one paid much attention to the laws until Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, bent on turning Manhattan into a giant mall/food court, decided to get tough. Today, the city far more famous for its night life than its Sunday services has only about 170 venues where it is legal to get up and dance — hence last month’s danced protest, as well as an earlier one in February."

I don't get it. I don't get the fact that these cabaret laws still exist. I don't get why and how exactly they are enforced. And I'm having a hell of a time trying to picture "last month's danced protest". Then I found this video:

2. There has been an article or two recently that seem to be laying the ground work for our administration to tell us outright that we're pretty much sticking around in Iraq -- or using the "Korea Model" as they have said. It has seemed increasingly clear to me that the administration never really had intentions otherwise, considering we're constructing the world's largest embassy in the heart of Baghdad, and have discussed and/or begun building "three or four major bases in the country". So doesn't this make all the debate about troop withdrawals and timelines sort of moot. It doesn't appear as though we'll ever really pull out entirely, and even if we did allow all of our troops to return safely to their homes, we would still have a presence of tens of thousands of "defense contractors" there, who have been and will continue to act effectively as a mercenary army. And, as far as an Iraqi is concerned, I'm not sure it makes much of a difference if the patch on the arm reads "US ARMY" or "HALLIBURTON".

3. I have a great respect for Al Gore, and I think jokes about his weight are tasteless and facile humor (though Bill Maher managed to make me laugh when he commented on the nonsense about the large electricity bill at Gore's Tennessee estate, saying "It's not his carbon footprint that I'm worried about; it's his carbon ASS print." Well played, Bill), but whenever I see Al Gore appear on tv, I can't shake this overwhelming urge to stare at his very very shiny face. It's just very very shiny and sort of mesmeric. Doesn't make me like the guy any less or think that he isn't doing a lot of good work. In fact, it's kinda cool. Go ahead, Mr. Gore, shine on you crazy diamond.

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