Sunday, June 27, 2004

Blue State/Red State and the "Regan Democrat"

Salon has an interesting article about the attention that has been given to the supposed Red State/Blue State divide. I have mixed feelings, about the arguments used in this debate and about the premise of the debate itself. Still, I recommend the whole article, and I find this quote about the "Regan Democrats" especially poignant:

But yeah, there was a little bit of wistfulness, and I'll describe it to you. I was watching TV and they were running a lot of news footage from that era, the late '70s and early '80s. It was images of the fabled Reagan Democrats, you know, blue-collar guys voting for Reagan. I was thinking about the world that those guys came out of, where 20 percent of the private-sector workforce was in a union, and blue-collar people could live next door to white-collar people. The gap between the social classes wasn't that huge. They loved that world so much, they loved that affluent society. They voted for this candidate who evoked it so well, who talked about it so beautifully. And he killed it. Conservatism killed that world. It's so sad. It's just tragic. What's that old term? One of the great ironies of American history. But this is way beyond irony. It's tragedy.

"How the Democrats Lost the Heartland"

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Yesterday, I canvassed in Burbank, Illinois, and I visited one house. The woman who answered the door, to my delight, was wearing a Cubs t-shirt. This being the day of the Cubs-White Sox crosstown special, I assumed she was an enthusiastic Cubs fan. I figured that was already a good sign and started to give my rap about being from the Democratic National Committee, etc, etc. The woman immediately informed me that she was a registered Republican, and then, as I was thanking her for her time and preparing to depart from her stoop, I noticed that under the "Cubs" written on her t-shirt was the word "suck." Now that is neither correct nor necessary. I don't like White Sox fans who are so vehmently anti-Cubs, and when they're Republicans, well, what an unfortunate combination.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Financial and Bird Crap Woes


Exhausted, frustrated with Metra because they levy a $2 surcharge if you purchase your ticket to your final destination on the train if there is an open ticket counter at the station. Also, a bird crapped on my shoulder tonight. My legs are tired, it's totally weird having dinner at 11 PM every night, and God love my dirty, dirty feet (imprints from my black flip flops).

I have met so many people who are unemployed in my job as a canvasser for the Democratic National Committee, and I just wonder if Republicans feel a sense of urgency about the job situation in our country. The fact that so many of them still subscribe to the supply-side economics philosophy suggests that they do not, which is very sad for the direction of our country, since of course the Republicans are in power right now. At least Logan Square, where I canvassed this evening, was overwhelmingly Democratic. Wish people had more money though; for their sake and for ours!!

Speaking of which, I wish I had more money. I need a paycheck and soon. Ugh.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

I just realized that a huge chunk of my friends are in Washington D.C. or Europe at some point this summer, two of my favorite places (well, Europe is awfully big territory to deem as a "favorite place," but nonetheless, it gets my vote). Needless to say, I am wistful and excited for them. I'm a pretty small person...I would be a good stowaway, no?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Short Summer Movie Reviews, Part Une

My first review of the summer is of The Joy Luck Club, directed by Oliver Stone and based on the book by Amy Tan. Without giving away too much of the film, I will say that this story of the relationships between four young Asian women and their mothers is structured very well in terms of conveying the themes of subservience in marriage and love. The four actresses who play the four middle-aged women are especially talented in their abilities to subtly but powerfully portray the trials and tribulations of these women both as wives and as mothers. I highly recommend The Joy Luck Club. The use of parallel structure to convey both the similarities and differences between the lives of the mothers and their daughters is quite effective. I wish the DVD had special features though! ***1/2

One of many stunning scenes in Oliver Stone's The Joy Luck Club

Friday, June 18, 2004

Today on the train...

I am starting a new blog entry series about various random happenings that I encounter on the train on my way to and from work called "Today on the train..."

Well, tonight on the train I sat across from two men who were taking a trip back from Chicago to Highland Park. One was talking on the phone almost the whole time. He had a very flamboyant voice inflection and told each of the several people he spoke with the same story about how he shopped at Water Tower Place and it was "like a Trump building," how he saw Stepford Wives and thought that "it was crap," saw the old water tower buildings that still stood even though they were built before the Chicago Fire and was amazed, and so forth. The interesting thing was, I really got a new, fresh perspective on the city from this excited man, since these are all sites that I have seen many times (well, not the Stepford Wives), and I also learned exactly what he thought of every. single. thing. that he encountered today. The other aspect of this particular situation that I found interestingwas how when people recount their experiences to various friends and family, they tend to adopt a particular script and continue to stick with it with each repeat of the telling of the experience.

Oh, "Human Behaviour." (Bjork)

Monday, June 07, 2004

Reality [TV] Bites

Inspired by my friend Stefanie, I have compiled an extremely valuable list of "reality tv" hits and misses to help you navigate your way through the reality television wasteland of today.

"American Idol"-Reprehensible in everyway, "American Idol," features a panel of three expert judges--a washed up pop star who reached her peak in the early 90s, the bass player for the band Journey, and a snarky British man.

"The Bachelor"-I have not heard of a premise more laughably degrading, or at least, not until "The Swan" premiered. Anyway, this show places one um...eligible bachelor with a bunch of extremely desparate and cloying females. Somehow these women all manage to fall madly in love with the bachelor after sharing limos, jacuzzis, and lots of romantic nights of hot passion. Even more ridiculous, the man falls in love with everyone of them, professing how hard it is for him to narrow his choice down to one girl considering he loves...well, all 30 of them. I can't believe I'm even writing about this show. I'm done.

"Survivor"-Next to "The Real World," viewers can blame "Survivor"'s unexpected success for opening up the floodgates to all sorts of crazy and unique reality TV ideas, such as romantic elimination games on islands, romantic elimination games at resort hotels, and romantic elimination games where contestants jet from resort hotel, to island, to resort hotel.

Despite its negative side effects, "Survivor" is a thoroughly enjoyable and somewhat intelligent program. Best of all, the casting is great, making for truly hilarious "characters," much more memorable than most of the hacks who have achieved their 15 minutes of fame on reality tv.

Richard Hatch

Take for example winner of the first season, Richard Hatch, a large, bearded, gay man who walks around naked and proclaims his ability to separate emotional considerations from the pure strategy of the game. Then there is "Big Tom" Buchanan, who confirms every stereotype you may have ever had about farm hicks from West Virginia, and if you're like me, you have had a lot. Is stereotyping endemic in the game of "Survivor" you ask? Of course. Other examples include the obnoxiously crude, Red Sox-loving Bostonian, Rob Mariano; the intolerant and ornery but still loveable former Navy SEAL, Rudy Boesch; and the Wisconsin trucker with masculine qualities, Sue Hawk. What a great show.

"Rich Girls"-Unfortunately this ingenious creation no longer graces the airwaves, but I must hand it to MTV for having the balls to totally abandon any pretense of reality with the concept of "Rich Girls." This show stars Tommy Hilfiger's daughter Ally Hilfiger as the calm and incredibly rich girl and her best friend Jaime Gleicher as the neurotic and also very rich girl. We watch as they entangle themselves in the usual travails of a high school senior, from trying on clothing in a private designer's showroom in Manahattan, to vacationing in London, to vacationing in Seattle, to vacationing in L.A., to more shopping.

Another long, hard day for Jaime Gleicher

Inspite of the gritty, no-nonsense topics that "Rich Girls" confronts, it is still a thoroughly enjoyable show, because, well, the clothes are fun to look at.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I took the most accurate villain personality test

created by:
The Arch Villainess Gracie

Why am I looking up this song at f--king 1 am in the morning,

Two by two and side by side
Love's gonna find you yes it is
You just can't hide
You'll hear it call
Your heart will fall
Then love will fly
It's gonna soar
I don't care for any casanova thing
All I can say is
Love stinks

(Love stinks)
Love stinks yeah yeah

Oh Peter Wolf.

What's more, why am I posting its lyrics? So reckless.

Tom Jones and Love....

....Or just Tom Jones

What’s new pussycat? woah, woah
What’s new pussycat? woah, woah
Pussycat, pussycat
You’re delicious
And if my wishes
Can all come true
I’ll soon be kissing your sweet little pussycat lips!
Pussycat, pussycat
I love you
Yes, I do!

-"What's New Pussycat?"