Showing posts with label rhode island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rhode island. Show all posts

Friday, August 26, 2011

This is no dream, this is really happening

CNN, State-by-state developments related to Hurricane Irene:

Rhode Island's Emergency Management Agency held a press conference on Thursday. Officials urged residents to put together emergency kits to tide them over for up to three days.There were no immediate plans for evacuations. Lt. Col. Denis Riel, spokesman for the Rhode Island National Guard, said personal preparedness is important. "It's not a matter of if it hits us it's when," he said.

Saturday's Newport Bucket Regatta, a yachting event in Rhode Island, has been canceled. A gala dinner was moved up to Friday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The existence of nature

OK, New England-under-the-influence-of-climate-change, I've got you figured out. Between the tornadoes this year and the fucking flood last year, I guess your new deal is one different relatively minor but crazily unexpected natural distaster every Spring. Next year: volcano erupts in West Warwick, I don't know.

Anyway, I had planned to try to write a post summarizing some ideas the Baronette and I have been discussing recently about the nature of existence (which she touched on in her admirably brief way here; unfortunately, I suffer from the disease of wordiness), but it turns out that the day after tornadoes hit fucking Springfield, MA (and like a week after there were tornadoes in the fucking Vermont mountains, I mean, what?) is the most gorgeously beautiful day in living memory, so instead of writing about the nature of existence, I'm going to go experience the existence of nature.

O ye who regularly feast upon the well [sic] of my profundity: I apologize, but you will have to wait.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Taxes: an anecdote, with digressions into potholes and libraries

If Rhode Island is famous, it's famous not for you but for potholes. Last night the Baronette and I were driving down a street in one of the Less Desirable neighborhoods of Providence and encountered such potholes as I, a native, have never seen. The weather this winter has been hell on the pavement. We're talking covering-entire-lanes-of-traffic-or-more, literally over a foot deep, people having to take turns going different ways because if you go into this one you're not coming out potholes. Then, later on, we were driving down a street in one of the More Desirable neighborhoods and, lo and behold, there were no potholes.

The Baronette turned to me (while keeping one eye on the road) and said something like this: "I wonder how people who are apologetic for the power, for the current order, justify this kind of thing?"

I happen to know how they justify this kind of thing. Once upon a time, I worked briefly at a small business owned by a professional, educated, Subaru-driving, lesbian, NPR-listening,* capital-L Liberal of the first order, who also just happened to live on literally the wealthiest street in the city.

*I once mentioned that I didn't like NPR partly because they were too conservative (misleading word I know) for me, and she was shocked. "But it's the most liberal news source out there!" she exclaimed.

One day over lunch I brought up some work I was doing with a group fighting to keep the then-endangered branches of the Providence Public Library from being closed by the greedy assholes on its governing board who wanted to sell off the properties to developers. (The situation, by the way, is much better now; the branches are operated by a community organization whose interest is actually in keeping the branches running, and while there are still problems--like for instance the fact that the old board still owns the physical buildings and is putting up a stink about turning them over as they agreed to which means that urgently needed renovations have been delayed--they are slowly but surely being resolved.) I mentioned in passing, naïvely expecting a quick nod of agreement and recognition, that of course the branches that weren't threatened with closure were primarily the branches serving the richer parts of the city.

At this point, though, the Boss had something she needed to say. Like many, she was under the impression that the Providence Public Library system was operated by the local government,* and so she said, "Well, if there's a money problem, we** should get priority, because we pay so much more taxes."

You don't get more liberal than that.

*As most public libraries are. However, the PPL and the current PCL are both considered, with differing degrees of accuracy, private non-profits).
**The first person plural, which encompassed no one in the room but herself, was conjured up by her, unbidden.

When I wrote up my model recently, one of several inspirations for it was my having one of those weird realizations where it's not like you suddenly understand anything you didn't already, but you just suddenly put words in an order that clarifies things to you in a way new to yourself. In this case, my realization was that modern taxation grew naturally out of tribute; in other words, the system of requiring lots of people to pay (whether in money, concrete resources, or services) directly to the ruling forces has never fundamentally changed. Only the stated justification has: now, we're told that we pay taxes in exchange for government services.

So with that (obvious, but new-in-form) clarifying thought in my head, I responded to the Baronette's question (remember that?) with my story about my former boss. And I think it can be instructive to keep all of this stuff in mind when liberals talk about taxes, because liberals love taxes, and I think one reason why is that it's a way to quantify how much they feel like they deserve. Yes, they do a lot of talking about social safety nets or whatever, but if there's a money problem,* they should get priority because they pay so much more taxes.

*By the way, I feel honor-bound to mention that there was no money problem, demonstrably, inarguably, factually, in the case of the PPL, despite its board's claims.

Which amounts to saying that they've done more prostrating before power, that they have served power better. Meanwhile, they will go on and on about teapartiers who are "too stupid" to realize that under Obama their taxes have gone down rather than up, because they don't understand that there's more to taxes than what shows up on your pay stub.

Because your tribute will be extracted one way or another. What you get in exchange for that tribute depends entirely on your social standing and, more importantly, the whims of the people you're paying it to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good stuff from recent days

The hellhole I work in makes me fall way behind on my internettization for the first half of the week, and other aspects of life made me behind to begin with, so here's some good things ("good" referring to the posts themselves, not always their subjects) I would have responded to in the past week or so had time allowed:

what the Tee Vee taught on monogamy. An excellent and hilarious discussion of what's insane in our attitudes towards sex, and as is so often the case, wtTVt can say in a tangential aside what it would take me a thousand words to say. Here, it's this: Yes, it's pop-sci. Smart folk will hate it (assuming, since it's a book, that they — and only they — are the intended audience, adorable smart folk will write squawking reviews: "I already knew all of this!! Not groundbreaking!")

Jack on Mehserle and Grant, summing up the difference in the treatment of violence directed upwards and violence directed downwards in as few words as possible.

For Rhode Island-interested people, stupid Dave Segal posted some pretty cool proposals for a walking bridge where the old 195 bridge used to be. My favorite is the second one he posted, if you take the awful "The Creative Capital!" slogan off of the wall. Team 10's design is also pretty great, and Team 3's would be good if it didn't assume that there would always be swans and lots of fog on the Providence River, which in my experience is not a safe assumption.

I approve of this Postsecret.

Justin's unfinished Ballroom Dream is one of my favorites of his that I've seen. Very cool layering effect achieved just by painting over someone else's mostly-bland painting.

Dr. Boli misinforms us about the French. Nutella On Toast in comments reminds us that the same is unfortunately true of all foreigners.

We kill other species in lots of different creative ways. Increased UV exposure is burning whales.

Eric Garris on the FBI's detention of David House and seizure of his computer, not even for any bullshit criminal charges, only for working with the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Monday, October 25, 2010

They changed their plans to serve the president

Obama's gonna be at Buff and Johnnie's house tonight! Why, that's less than five miles from my house! Unfortunately, it's also $7500 to get in and touch the hem of his garment. I'd say I'd crash the party, but then I'd probably either get the FBI in my house or worse, so I'll be honest and admit I'm not doing anything of the sort, if only because I'm not creative enough to come up with a prank worth getting mowed down by the SS for.

The article I linked is a fluff piece about food, which is always preferable to the alternative, fluff pieces about politics. My favorite part is this:
Indeed, there isn’t much glamour harvesting apples at Dame Farm in Johnston or vegetables at one of the city gardens of the Southside Community Land Trust; or raising animals at Lily Rose Farm in Foster, or hand-crafting cheese or chocolate. But now each of these farmers and artisans can boast that their bounty fed a U.S. president.
Ha ha! Because growing boutique luxury food for the little people is such a trifle! Why would you want to do something so trivial as that? I cover food for the Providence Journal!

And then there's the reader comments on the article. For favorites, I'm wavering between this:
Enough of this, send him home hungry.
And this:
I am excited to be picking some herbs for him
Sadly, I think the second one is sincere.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In lieu of actual posting

I've actually posted this video before, but it's the best damn thing on all of youtube and possibly in the entire world, so I'm posting it again:

Just a startlingly powerful performance in every respect, filmed as perfectly as could ever be hoped for. The Ikette in the middle, incidentally, is P.P. Arnold (and please do click on that link, especially if the only version of "The First Cut Is the Deepest" you know is the shitty Rod Stewart one or, god forbid, the even shittier Sheryl Crow one).

Going to NYC real quick to see my brother's gallery opening, back early Friday if the hurricane doesn't decide to murder Rhode Island after all. I've got lots of stuff I want to write about so I hope it doesn't. The Baronette and I may also have some new music of our own to share soon.

UPDATE Contrary to what a "certain blogger" implies, I'm not a fucking moron; I know this is a lipsynch. Shockingly, the word "performance" can refer to more than just live noise-making. Also, in the future I will be sure to list every single deficiency in everything that moves me, just so that those who are infinitely smarter than me won't feel that they have to. In general, whenever I like something, I will make sure to shit on it. I apologize for all these failings in this post.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yesterday was a good day

Yesterday was Foo Fest here in Providence, the annual birthday block party for AS220, the open gallery/performance/artist's/living space downtown. The Baronette and I went down a couple of times, first in the early afternoon to visit the Anarchist Book Fair, where we bought a few things from the AK Press booth (I got this and this, she got this and this, if you're wondering). I had a nice, admittedly sort of vapid (my fault) short conversation with the woman working the booth about how all the best writers are anarchists. Then we kind of meandered home and shelved the books and relaxed for a while.

Then, later on in the evening, we walked back downtown, an extremely pleasant three mile walk through about seven different types of city environments, to see fucking ESG, who played to a packed, blocked off street full of people enjoying the hell out of it. From the moment I heard, a few months ago, that ESG was going to be playing Foo Fest, to the moment the sisters got on stage, I had a hard time believing I was going to actually see them. And then I saw them. And they were phenomenal.

The bands I'm used to seeing around here are all kind of the same, and I'm sick of it. It's usually a bunch of self-consciously scruffy 20 or 30-ish white guys* playing an update on either stoner metal or no wave, to my ears adding very little to either field. So in contrast it was refreshing to see a bunch of ordinary women who looked like no one so much as the people I ride the bus with every day creating extraordinary music with nothing but a standard drumset, a hand drum set, a bass, some other various hand percussion objects picked up from time to time, and vocals (and, for one beautiful song, one note on a guitar, over and over).

It didn't sound like their records, and I didn't expect it to. It's thirty years later now, and, obviously, Martin Hannett wasn't there. And he didn't need to be, of course. ESG was there. And they were obviously thrilled to be there, or anywhere, playing to an audience of people who are loving it, who are calling out the names of songs they want to hear, thirty years later, twenty years after releasing an EP titled Sample Credits Don't Pay Our Bills**.

It may seem strange for me to say this while idolizing this one particular band, but: we can all create beautiful things. We don't need to rely on other people to do it for us. I don't mean to say to stop listening to other people's music or looking at other people's paintings or reading other people's books or anything; there should be dialogue, always, and dialogue involves at least two parties, not just one. But one of those parties should always be us.

The best shows I've been to in recent years (The Homosexuals, ESG, the Girls Rock RI show last month that I meant to write about but didn't but which was fucking amazing) have all reminded me of this. Art that only dazzles, that only makes you want to applaud the artist, is shitty art. Art that makes you want to live and create is good art. This was good art.

*Which unfortunately describes me as well.
**Not to say that playing Foo Fest means they're financially set now or anything. But it must feel so wonderful to be recognized for the brilliant people they are.

UPDATE This post of Richard's applies, and I wish I had read it before writing this instead of right after!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Authoritarianism the economy democracy! crystals stability star ancestors roll a saving throw v. recession

Well, this article (which I come to via Matt Yglesias, who I finally just added to my reading list after a few years of getting him only via the mockery of those like IOZ and the praise of those like digby, which if you think about it is kind of the same thing...but anyway) is a delightful example of contemporary fantasy literature. Sometimes (actually a lot more often than sometimes), I'll read an analysis of some aspect of politics or economics or whatever and it will be so dramatically unrelated to reality that it's hard to even describe it as wrong, really, any more than you could say that, oh, J.R.R. Tolkien's portrayal of Sauron is factually incorrect.

The gist of the article is that in general "democracies" fare economically better than "authoritarian regimes." Most readers of this blog have probably already come up with a lengthy list of objections just to this premise: how do you decide what country is which, what definition of economic success are we using, etc etc blah blah blah.

It's one of those charmingly formulaic articles that starts with a little "I wasn't there but let's write like I was" scene-setting, which then leads into The Point:
On a recent Saturday morning, several hundred pro-democracy activists congregated in a Moscow square to protest government restrictions on freedom of assembly. They held up signs reading “31,” in reference to Article 31 of the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of assembly. They were promptly surrounded by policemen, who tried to break up the demonstration. A leading critic of the Kremlin and several others were hastily dragged into a police car and driven away.

Events like this are an almost daily occurrence in Russia, where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rules the country with a strong hand, and persecution of the government’s opponents, human-rights violations, and judicial abuses have become routine. At a time when democracy and human rights have become global norms, such transgressions do little to enhance Russia’s global reputation. Authoritarian leaders like Putin understand this, but apparently they see it as price worth paying in order to exercise unbridled power at home.

What leaders like Putin understand less well is that their politics also compromise their countries’ economic future and global economic standing.
From this, we're meant to see that Russia falls into the "authoritarian" column, which, you know, I wouldn't necessarily dispute, I guess. I don't know much about Russia, honestly, but the takeaway here is that countries, like Russia, where people aren't even allowed to peacefully protest in freedom, are authoritarian baddies.

Oh, oops, I linked to an event in the wrong country. WELL I'M SURE THAT WAS AN EXCEPTION, RIGHT, AND NOT A PARTICULARLY TAME EXAMPLE OF THE NORM HERE RIGHT. I mean, it's not like the US has ever murdered or in any other way violently impeded dissidents, right?

Attempting to analyze the rest of the article makes my head hurt. Beyond his weirdo little anecdote about the Russian protest, he never defines the difference between authoritarianism and democracy. He explicitly excludes countries "that owe their riches to natural resources alone" from his theorizing, so we can continue to hate mozzies even if they're rich--what a relief!
When we look at systematic historical evidence, instead of individual cases, we find that authoritarianism buys little in terms of economic growth. For every authoritarian country that has managed to grow rapidly, there are several that have floundered. For every Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, there are many like Mobutu Sese Seko of the Congo.
Ha ha! Mobutu, whadda kidder! And I suppose the fact that for every [insert name of universally prosperous democracy here if you can think of one] there's an Iceland or a burning banker in Greece is...what, statistical outliers or something? OK then.
Democracies not only out-perform dictatorships when it comes to long-term economic growth, but also outdo them in several other important respects. They provide much greater economic stability, measured by the ups and downs of the business cycle. They are better at adjusting to external economic shocks (such as terms-of-trade declines or sudden stops in capital inflows). They generate more investment in human capital – health and education. And they produce more equitable societies.
Ha ha ha, what the fuck is this economic stability? I'd like to get some of that for myself!!! Too bad then that it's "measured by the ups and downs of the business cycle," rather than by whether or not ordinary people have what they need to live. And "investment in human capital," aside from being one of those terrifying terms that economists like to throw around as if it were some kind of a good thing, is another laugh and a half, for reasons I doubt I have to provide any links to. The "equitable societies" thing pushes it all over the edge for me, because, well, Indians weren't US citizens until 1924 and even now they don't even have to bother stepping out of line for this to happen, Black people here are still legally enslaved to this day, and women, we all agree, aren't even human. To name three examples.
For the true up-and-coming economic superpowers, we should turn instead to countries like Brazil, India, and South Africa, which have already accomplished their democratic transitions and are unlikely to regress. None of these countries is without problems, of course. Brazil has yet to recover fully its economic dynamism and find a path to rapid growth. India’s democracy can be maddening in its resistance to economic change. And South Africa suffers from a shockingly high level of unemployment.
And waddaya know, that South African unemployment just happens to plague primarily the population that was the victim of the authoritarianism there before that magical "democratic transition" they accomplished. It's almost like it didn't actually happen--or, maybe, it's almost like democracy is a fucking crock, a hoax, a distraction.

As some of my smarter readers may have gathered, I actually know less than jack shit about "economics." And you know what? I don't care. I know a hell of a lot more about the meaning of "democracy" and "authoritarianism," of "wealth" and "poverty," than this hack's article demonstrates. Economics is magical bullshit. It's remarkably successful in convincing large numbers of people that the suffering of the vast hoard of humanity for the profit of a tiny little segment of the population is good, just, scientific, rational, and best for everyone, but beyond that it's about as "true" as the notion that if I put on a magical ring I'll turn invisible.

PS I'm not actually a fan of Tolkien if you were wondering.
PPS My point, which I never actually made, is that economic interests in the US have a vested interest in defining "democracy" and "economic success" the same way, and that definition is of course that both are any country which submits itself to the rules laid out by those economic interests.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rhode Island is back in my good graces

So, yeah, we still celebrate Nuke the Japs Day around here, but my city tried to take out Antonin Scalia the other day, you guys:
Justice Antonin Scalia is unhurt after he tripped getting into a car outside a restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence on Sunday.

A court spokeswoman said the justice is fine after the mishap.

The incident happened just after the Supreme Court justice had eaten at an Italian cafe.

Christopher Spertini, a restaurant worker, says he escorted Scalia to the door. A few moments later there was a commotion in a cobblestone plaza immediately outside.

Spertini says he was told that someone had fallen and that it turned out to be Scalia.

Scalia did not need medical assistance.
Ha ha! I hope it was this tacky place.

OK, he wasn't hurt or anything, which kind of ruins the fun. I'm sure Federal Hill could have tried harder, but I'm sure there was some residual Italian thug solidarity going on keeping it from going all out. Still: good job, streets of Providence!

UPDATE Some investigatory googling has revealed to me that it wasn't Zooma that Scalia was leaving when he had his brush with death, but rather Venda, which is actually a wonderful, wonderful place. Still funny, but less funny! Also, I may feel dirty next time I go in there.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The reason for the season

The buses are running a reduced schedule. Those of us who are working are getting time and a half. Many of us are not working--and that includes those of us who have jobs! Only in Rhode Island. Somehow, the insane murderous bloodthirstily nationalistic holiday that was a step too far for the rest of this insane murderous bloodthirstily nationalistic country is just fine for Rogue's Island, the lively experiment.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Meanwhile over on Hardball, Matthews had both David Gregory and Chuck Todd shaking their heads over why the Republicans would be doing this sort of thing. After all, they agreed, the Tea Party doesn't care about issues like gay rights or race or any of these unpleasant culture war issues --- they care about economics. So why on earth would the GOP think it's a good idea to talk about these divisive culture war issues at a time like this?

They really are clueless aren't they?
No, Digby, they're keeping you clueless. And it's funny, because they're doing it by being right--the GOP doesn't care about "culture war" issues--but doing it in a distracting way.


Alexander Trevi has a concept for a "conflict zoo." Interesting hypothetical for thinking about depressing shit.


Rob Payne writes well about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tomorrow is Nuke the Japs Day in Rhode Island. I don't have it off, but I am getting time an a half! Thanks, Truman!


This is a picture of a rich old Newport lady. She's crazy looking. I don't have anything to say about her except for that.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Jim Langevin is also a despicable asshole. Just FYI.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being alive

I was just riding the bus home from work, struggling to read. I say struggling because I kept getting distracted by the noisy conversation the bus driver and a few of the people sitting near the front were having. And when I say "noisy," I mean noisy.

The conversation was wide-ranging. I first started picking up on it when they were talking about the various ways you can get electrocuted during a thunderstorm (we had thunderstorms here today), and the different things you can do to increase or decrease your chances of it. Then, via an anecdote about someone being electrocuted as a result of peeing on a third rail, they seamlessly transitioned to talking about the Acela and in general the viability of Amtrack as an enterprise. I got back to reading again, but then got distracted by some disdainful talk about celebrities who have recently bought property in Rhode Island (Nicholas Cage, Arnold Schwarzenegger on behalf of his granddaughter) and the possibility of turning the Westin Hotel and the Providence Place Mall, to which it is connected by a covered walking bridge, into a sort of refuge-living-space-casino complex for the very wealthy, which idea was met by much hostility (as far as I know, it is not likely to actually happen, and I don't think anyone's even talking about it).

And so on. As I said, I kept getting distracted from my reading, and was finding myself more and more irritated. Why don't they shut up, I thought. They seemed to be having a great time, and they were all manifestly smart and engaged and funny and lively and interested in the world around them, but: they were distracting from my reading, and it annoyed me.

The book I was reading was Derrick Jensen's Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization, which I have just started reading at Richard's suggestion. The passage I was so irritated at being distracted from was this one, which I have massively truncated from pages 19-20:
...if we dig beneath [the] second, smiling mask of civilization--the belief that civilization's visual or musical arts, for example, are more developed than those of noncivilized peoples--we find a mirror image of civilization's other face, that of power. For example, it wouldn't be the whole truth to say that visual and musical arts have simply grown or become more highly advanced under this system; it's more true that they have long ago succumbed to the same division of labor that characterizes this culture's economics and politics. Where among traditional indigenous people--the "uncivilized"--songs are sung by everyone...within civilization songs are written and performed by experts, those with "talent," those whose lives are devoted to the production of these arts... I'm not certain I'd characterize the conversion of human beings from participants in the ongoing creation of communal arts to more passive consumers of artistic products manufactured by distant a good thing.

I could make a similar argument about writing, but Stanley Diamond beat me to it: "Writing was one of the original mysteries of civilization, and it reduced the complexities of experience to the written word. Moreover, writing provides the ruling classes with an ideological instrument of incalculable power. The word of God becomes an invincible law, mediated by priests... symbols became explicit; they lost a certain richness. Man's word was no longer an endless exploration of reality, but a sign that could be used against him..."

[Jensen moves on to his next point, or rather to the next part of the same point]

...I'm not certain that the ability to send emails back and forth to Spain or to watch television programs beamed out of Los Angeles makes my life particularly richer. It's far more important, useful, and enriching, I think, to get to know my neighbors. I'm frequently amazed to find myself sitting in a room with my fellow human beings, all of us staring at a box watching and listening to a story concocted and enacted by people far away. I have friends who know Seinfeld's neighbors better than their own... The other night, I wrote till late, and finally turned off my computer to step outside and say goodnight to the dogs. I realized, then, that the wind was blowing hard through the tops of the redwood trees, and the trees were sighing and whispering. Branches were clashing, and in the distance I heard them cracking. Until that moment I had not realized such a symphony was taking place so near, much less had I gone out to participate in it, to feel the wind blow my hair and to feel the tossed rain hit me in the face. All of the sounds of the night had been drowned out by the monotone whine of my computer's fan... [G]iven the impulse for centralized control that motivates civilization, widening communication in this case really means reducing us from active participants in our own lives and in the lives of those around us to consumers sucking words and images from some distant sugar tit.
Once I got that far and the meaning of the words began, along with my increasing agreement with them, to sink in, I started to become ashamed of my previous irritation. I gave up trying to read, because after all I can do that any time I want*. I closed the book, and while I didn't go so far as to join in with the conversation (I'm shy), I did listen, appreciatively, and did feel part of a community, if only glancingly, and only briefly. It was nice.

Then I got home, turned on my computer, opened all the windows, and was immediately startled by the call of a bird. Not knowing at first how to interpret the sound, unfamiliar in this context, I thought for a moment that it was my computer issuing its death rattles. Baby steps; I guess I can't expect to become a fully functional life-form in an instant.

*Except of course during work hours!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

As of now

My landlord is, like, god's gift to landlords. Or, I don't know, rephrase that sentence in a way that makes sense. He convinced his sister (who he delightfully faggily described as "Looks just like me, drives a minivan, total Desperate Housewife"*) to drive two hours out of her way today with her sons who had to go to karate to bring us two sump pumps, because she, unlike every hardware store in the tri-state area, had them. After only a few hours, pretty much all of the accumulated water in our basement has been pumped out. Naturally there's still a whole shitload of stuff to do in the way of cleanup and drying and de-moldification, but I can't even tell you what a relief it is, and how satisfying it is, to see that water getting sucked up and pumped away.

Credit where it is due to the Baronette, who did all of the wading around in the basement. I just ran around fiddling with hoses and extension cords. She did all the hard work.

The rain stopped, the clouds broke. Right now the skies are beautifully clear. As my father and I keep discussing, there is every possibility that spring/summer monsoons are the new New England climate. If so, there will have to be major adjustments in every facet of our lives. But for right now, things are looking up.

*He also, after telling me he was dealing with flooding at my house and his own house, called himself "The Water Removal Queen" and said "It's a title I never wanted." I love him.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

If the rainstorm doesn't, we will!

Providence Journal headline: "The rainstorm doesn't discriminate."

The article is about two of our local business moguls, one a higher-up at a restoration company, one the president of Gem Plumbing, whose incessant ads you're familiar with if you've ever tuned on a radio anywhere but the far left of the dial even for a brief moment anywhere in southern New England. The restoration company guy only borrowed one of his company's pumps, "even though" they have thousands of them! And the president of Gem Plubming, why, how good-hearted he is to personally call his upper-class friends and see if they need any help!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I never, ever look at the Providence Journal website, because a) that newspaper sucks, b) their website sucks, c) their website sucks, and d) the newspaper sucks. But in looking for updates on all this frickin' flooding, I came across this headline:

Woman denies having consensual sex with officer

You mean woman was fucking raped, you asswipes.

OOPSY: That's not the Providence Journal, that's the Channel 10 news website. Whatever.


OK, people, so one of the reasons I like living in Rhode Island so much is that WE DON'T HAVE NATURAL DISASTERS.


Sure, as natural disasters go, this one isn't all that bad, but I mean really. They're evacuating neighborhoods adjacent to mine.

And worst of all:


If I could get some sympathy about this from four or five people I've never met in person, I'd really appreciate it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Indian Country Today has named my governor, Donald "Fuck All Of You" Carcieri, as the single individual who had the greatest negative impact on Indians in 2009. And that wasn't even the year he set stormtroopers and attack dogs on elderly Narragansett women.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My city in the snow

Beautiful. No shots of my part of town, sadly, but those buses are a big part of my life. 1:59 to about 3:03 I hope conveys a bit why I don't mind being a bus person, even in the cold, even when I complain about it.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

I really don't give a shit about gay marriage

Or at least not as much of a shit as I seem to be supposed to. Equal rights and all, sure, but I can't help feeling that the fact that people get all incensed on one side or another of the issue (which, of course, like all issues, has more than the two sides allowed to be discussed in the mass culture), but not about the systematic incarceration of American human beings, particularly American Black human beings, or the enormous wage gap between workers and their owners, or the mass murder of foreigners for profit, or whatever, is just extremely misplaced passion and helpful to the ruling class. Not to mention that gay marriage is not the be-all and end-all (or however that's supposed to go, typographically) of gay rights, the way many people seem to think it is. Same thing goes for abortion.

Anyway, I'll read anything that criticizes Governor Carcieri, so I read this article about him speaking at an anti-gay organization in Massachusetts. No surprise from Carcieri, really. I tend to think of him as being a comic book super villain, evil for no other reason than that he enjoys it. His wife's the same way; after her husband fired all of the state's translators, she called Asian kids who were upset at their parents' now extremely limited access to already minimal state services "terrorists". For writing a letter. Um, anyway, that's beside the point. I just like to bring it up.

So I'm reading this article, standard, standard, blah blah, fags, and then I come across this passage:
A Brown University poll from May showed that 60 percent of registered voters would support a law allowing gay couples to marry, but obstacles remain for those pushing the idea: The state is heavily Catholic, and same-sex marriage is opposed by both Carcieri and Democratic legislative leaders.
Now, come on, what? Yes, that second listed obstacle is real. Our elected officials in Rhode Island are largely opposed to gay marriage, including the leadership on "both" "sides". But the second one? How can you go directly from saying that 60% of the voters are in favor to saying that the heavily Catholic population is an obstacle? Obviously that Catholicism isn't stopping a large majority from being in favor. Christ. I mean, hell, you might as well say "Spain is heavily Catholic, so there's an obstacle to legalizing gay marriage".

This is exactly the same kind of reasoning that gets support for single-payer health care or withdrawing troops from Afghanistan being branded as "far left" rather than "blandly centrist". I understand why it happens, but my god, it's so obvious.