Monday, November 1, 2010

Conversations with Patricia: Day before the election (with apologies)

Please don't fret. Silence doesn't mean disapproval. Silence only means I am holding off for the perfect moment to give your story a good, thoughtful read, rather than rush through it when my mind is somewhere else. I can't believe how much the thought of Joe Miller being our US Senator depresses me.
You mind reader you. I’m already planning to get drunk tomorrow night. I don't see good ahead. Who's Hitler? Now that would be Glenn Beck, not O'Bama...xx PM
If you want to see Hitler: There is an ad on TV here by one of Miller's rivals. It is done in black and white and the message is "Do you know who Joe Miller is?" What is shown in black and white is a parade I think in Wasilla. First you see a huge black Hummer with American flags on it and two sullen rough looking people inside it. It has Joe Miller signs stuck to it. It passes and is followed by people carrying Miller signs and marching mostly in white shirts and black pants and carrying assault rifles and shoulder and hip holsters with handguns and a couple with big knives strapped to their legs. It is striking.
OMG When my friend Fiona was visiting from Ireland, she kept wanting to see a Hummer. We would drive around and she'd say, "there's one!" and it would be an SUV (still huge by Irish standards). When she finally saw one she was struck dumb, rare for an Irish person. Then she said, "wow. A pleasure tank.” I have always thought that the perfect description.
Now, hitting those keys...xx PM
PS You working tomorrow night? Or will you be joining me by drinking in front of the tellly? Or...out and about? Something I really miss about Alaska is the parties on election night, although I would think they are more hostile than in the past.
pleasure tank is a good description. I work tomorrow night though I am not enthused. Every poll here has a different result, it is that close.... and these pollsters are the same ones who had Murkowski winning the primary by a landslide
so it goes
Just be careful, remember Edgar Allen Poe being found dead drunk in a gutter on election night in Baltimore.
Somehow I had forgotten it was an election night. I knew I liked that fella.
the theory was someone got him drunk and dragged him around town to vote in several places. I feel like we ought to do that with a few people in Alaska tomorrow. I understand the bars can stay open on election day these days. I never understood that law. If there was ever a day thinking people needed to drink …
The most drunk I have been in recent history was the second stolen Bush election. I held out until Kerry conceded, way too early if you ask me. I wondered if the fix was in.
You talk about fixes. There is a big flap here over allowing election workers to hand out a list of write-in candidates at the polls. Two courts have ruled it is all right to do that. One of those right wing radio mouths here urged people to hurry and sign up as write-in candidates so the list would be confusing to people wanting to write in Lisa Murkowski. He even offered a special prize to anyone whose name looked enough like hers to be even more confusing. That is so outrageous on so many levels. And, I think it may be illegal. I hope he gets charged with attepting to corrupt an election. And, I don't even like Murkowski.
Murk. Murk is the relevant term here.

I feel old. I feel very very cynical. It's hard for me to imagine that people really want to vote for people as STUPID as Michelle Bachner. But then, I am constantly surprised at my students too. One student in my Senior Seminar on ecology of personal life made a contribution (his first in almost ten weeks) to the group report that he's supposed to be working on, studying the environmental impact of food waste. He posted three websites devoted to using food dyes on clothing. ??????? He's also the one who wanted, as his final project for the class, to buy and flip a house. I don't even know where to begin. xx PM
You went straight into the direction my mind was going. I have been thinking about this for a while. As I watched my kids progress through the schools it always bothered me that they were aimed for the lowest common denominator. In other words, the class only went as fast as its slowest member and the really bright kids had to rise above the system in order to thrive. not an easy thing to do in a world of peer pressure, electronics, drugs and so many other temptations and discouragements. Of course you are closer to the results of the school system than I am and probably see the result more clearly. What I have been thinking is this is what we get, a world where intellect is considered a drawback, where education is ridiculed and where being common is revered. Where someone like Sarah Palin calls global warming “snake oil science” and is cheered for it, where Barack Obama is criticized for his Harvard education and on and on. So instead we get gun toting right wing ignoramuses raising ignorance to worshipful levels. Could these be the Huns, Vandals, Goths and Visigoths and we are again entering a Dark Age?
My new approach has been to aim discussions at the better students. This has made the better students incredibly happy, and the ones who diligently refuse to do the classwork extremely angry. They are used to "respect," which means getting away with murder. Funny to find myself sounding like a right-wing advocate of elitism in my old age..xx PM
I remember when you earned respect rather than demanded it. ah, but how the world turns, elitism is the new left wing
The Mudflats

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve