Heaven forbid that someone voice an opinion that runs contrary to the will of the state, especially in front of the enemy. How can anyone believe that we're fighting to bring "American freedom" to Iraqis when U.S. citizens are punished by U.S. corporations for exercising their freedom of speech while in Iraq? Arnett is a goddamn Pulitzer Prize winning war correspondent who probably knows more about war than the kids currently fighting for the coalition. But since his analysis of the situation runs contrary to what the American propaganda machine is putting out, he got the boot.
It's like the various "united front" arguments that some government officials have been spewing. The ones that laughably claim we should refrain from exercising our freedom of speech to prove that every American wants to "liberate" Iraq so that Iraqis can enjoy the freedom of speech.
The gallery of select photos from Dianna and my backpacking trip into the Ventana Wilderness is here. A brief synopsis of the trip follows:
Day 1: Hiked in. This really means hiked up, since the Ventana Wilderness is a series of ridges/gorges that turn unwary backpackers into wobbly little bits. But the views from the top of the ridge trails were incredible. After traveling along the top of the ridges for a while, we dropped down to the valley and were almost immediately in a forested wonderland. After 2 miles, we reached a meadow and called it our first campsite.
Day 2: The weather was beautiful, so we decided to just lounge around in the valley instead of hike out to another campsite. Lots of fun was had.
Day 3: Hiked out of the valley (in nasty mugginess) and up the side of a ridge (in breezy coolness) to our second campsite. While the first two days were great, I really look forward to going back so I can explore the trail around this ridge more. The trail itself was really fun (winding with great views, but not too steep), so I'm looking forward to hiking more of it when we go back.
Day 4: Hiked back down to the valley floor, then back up and out out the wilderness area. Unfortunately, this meant the most grueling climb of the entire trip. I don't really want to talk about it, but I think I promised my soul to the devil so that I wouldn't have to hike uphill anymore.
We only hiked 13 miles during the entire 4 days (we had planned more than double that), but there were several thousand feet of elevation change involved. Next time we're going to find a topo map with a smaller scale (ours was contoured to 200 feet, which made things look easier than they actually were). But it was an incredible amount of fun, and I can't wait to go back.
Dianna just noticed that Plaid will be playing at Bimbo's tomorrow night (doors at 8, opening acts start at 9). So after sushi, I'm going to a Plaid show! My boyish little heart cries out with joy. Eeeeeeeeee!!!!!!
I'm back from backpacking, and the war still isn't over. What's worse, the shenanigans are just getting sillier.
General Tommy Franks (in charge of the US forces in Iraq) has said that this campaign will be "unlike any other in history." Well, I guess he's right. So far I think the evidence shows that we're the most bungling "coalition of the willing" to have ever fucking existed.
And the U.S. is pissed about a couple of planes hitting two skyscrapers? Look at what we're doing to a city filled with civilians.
"Only military targets" my fucking ass.
I'm sure everyone is sick and tired of hearing about the war, but I'd like to get my opinion on it out of the way. All the rants against war have been voiced countless times by others, so I'll focus on the domestic response to the invasion. It makes me sick that a large percentage of the American population has been swayed by speeches, rather than facts, into believing that this is a necessary and justified action. I used to believe in equality of ideas, so that even though I didn't agree with conservatives, I didn't doubt their intelligence (they merely saw the world in a different way than I did). But those that support the war baffle me. They hang on to reports that have are proven lies. They eat every falsehood offered to them and beg for more. Their fear makes them want to lash out, and they seem to think that will somehow prevent any further fear. For some reason, they think that "setting an example" works on an international level. But they don't seem to realize that an example may soon be made of America. What happens to rogue nations? What happens when a nation that is used to power and unilateral backing simultaneous alienates most of its allies in the middle of a recession and further alienates the very groups that attacked in the first place? It's like poking a stick into an ant hill. We're creating an entire generation of zealots to pour out of the ant hill, ready to give their lives to undermine an expansionist aggressor.
America's current course of action will only provide fuel for the fire of anti-American sentiment. Diplomacy through aggression is never the right course of action. And instating military leaders as "temporary" rulers of conquered countries is the worst idea yet. I thought colonialism was dead, but apparently we've learned nothing.
I want to move to Canada.
Somehow, at last year's Coachella, I managed to miss both Plaid and Squarepusher. Apparently they were playing in one of the tiny little tents and I apparently missed the listing.
I think I want to die.
The Flash Mind Reader is a tricky take on an old con. Bonus points if you figure it out within the first two "mind reads."
Prepare to be wowed in a musical fashion. I went to American Elf this morning, as I often do, and saw a link to a song he had made called "Show Respect to Michael Jackson." When I went to the James Kochalka Superstar site on mp3.com, I was amazed to discover that James Kochalka is the creator of "Monkey vs Robot"! It's like someone telling me that, oh by the way, Neal Stephenson also invented the light bulb.
FACT: Today was spent hiking the 6-mile loop to Wildcat Canyon Peak in Tilden park. An incredible amount of fun was had, and several spectacularly adorable pictures were taken (feel free to look at them in the gallery).
FACT: Those of you that have been to Kinja in Tacoma no doubt remember the delicious tea, with the toasted rice, and tiny popcorn kernels, and tastiness. Well I'm drinking that tea right now. Feel the wrath of my superior tea, motherfuckers.
I bought Coachella tickets today. Exxxxxxpensive, but oh-so-worth it.
It's very likely that when I told Dianna, "I don't get sick," that I was knocking on fake wood. My throat hurts. This is not good.
But the main reason I'm posting is to get the BtAF comic off the front page so that my precious page layout is returned to its former glory.
And to let you know that I can't seem to stop listening to "Ghostwriter" by RJD2.