Monday, February 21, 2005

And speaking of...

Speaking of women bloggers, Jeanne at Body and Soul is on fire lately (despite accidentally rendering her blog unreadable earlier today...don't worry, I have sooo been there...).

Check out Big gay jpegs and He may be a terrorist, but he's our terrorist to see what I mean.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

This topic is officially a big stupid boring snore.

Once again the tiresome "Why aren't there more women bloggers?" discussion has started up again. Kevin Drum, who I'm sure is a nice guy, makes a big mistake in this article by equating ratings in an 'ecosystem' maintained by a conservative blog as a measure of quantity.

Thus subject has been broached once or twice a year since I've been blogging.

Just because female bloggers aren't "popular" doesn't mean we're not there. Or that we're not as opinionated as the male bloggers.

Personally, I'll take Sisyphus Shrugged or Body and Soul over Political Animal any day.

Thanks to Rittenhouse Review for the link.
A small amount of Taos Aelthing Photos

There will be more up later on the official website.

For now, though, enjoy: (warning, images somewhat large, and taken with camera of poor quality)

Brian Und-Bjorn winning the Very Large Stone-Throwing competition...

Christopher Tangle-Hair and Brian Und-Bjorn rolling a log...

The three spears of the Royal Council...

Rishi Splatter-Pate and Faust Ring-Dropper practicing a really inacurate form of glima (Icelandic wrestling)...

The three-way duel between Terence the Strong, Christopher Tangle-Hair, and Rishi Splatter-Pate that ended the swordfighting competition...

Faust Ring-Dropper looking glamorous, despite there being a car in the shot...

And Gerald Axe-Bane performing some sort of swami yogic levitation trick during the long jump competition...
RIP, Raoul Duke

Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself
ASPEN, Colo. - Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself Sunday night at his home, his son said. He was 67.
He will be missed.

"We can't stop here! This is bat country..."

Monday, February 14, 2005

And take your stinky cigars, your Hummers, and your cilantro with you!

I must say Brian is right on the money with his Californians in New Mexico rant.

Now, for those who have spent little time around the nouveau riche Californian expats who have come to crowd our once-gentle state, they are not the usual breed of what you probably think of when you mention 'Californian.'

They are entirely different from the mother-earth, crystal-hippie type of Californian who migrated to New Mexico decades ago. These people have all either moved to Taos to run moderately successful Bed-and-Breakfasts while sculpting nude goddess figures or some such enlightened, harmless, pricey art on the side, or have settled down in Albuquerque or Santa Fe to raise a generation of children who get really good grades in history and English but are really bad at math because they smoke too much weed. (Wow, that's like everyone I went to high school with!)

No, the new, irritating Californians are the type who talk too loud on cell phones in restaurants. They get mad when customer service people call them 'sir' or 'Mr. Johnson,' and say, "my father is Mr. Johnson!" They think that yelling and humiliating waiters or checkout girls/guys will actually get them respect and better service. They have big, shiny, gas-guzzling SUVs with nary a splatter of dirt on them that might signify they are actually used as utility vehicles. They find cigarettes disgusting but huge stinky cigars manly and cool.

They demand immaculate green golf courses in the middle of the desert. In a city with a dwindling water supply, no less!

These people will actually say with some sense of achievement that they "had a breakfast burrito this morning, with green chile on it and everything!" Well, bully for you. So did everybody else! And no, the Frontier restaurant is not 'quaint' or 'charming,' it is disgusting. In my younger days I pulled a stint there on the graveyard shift, and believe me, once you've tried in vain to wash the sickly sweet stench of cinnamon buns out of your hair, you can never even look at them again.

The new, rich Californians will beam with pride at having gotten up at the crack of dawn to freeze their asses off while oggling cheesy, giant floating spheroids of gaudiness at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, then pay too much for a stupid T-Shirt or pin with that giant cow balloon on it.

These people are irritating. They are the new yuppies. They're bad drivers. They slap each other on the ass after making tasteless jokes. They're just like the brute they elected governor.

As Brian mentioned, though, Albuquerque still manages to hold on to some of its essential curiousness despite the onslaught. (See Pika Brittlebush for instance. She has a knack for capturing parts of the city that are not faux-adobe stripmalls.) We did not lose Burt's Tiki Lounge to Banana Joe's We have not lost the Double Rainbow (or, as it has actually been called for years now, the Flying Star, but you'll never hear a real local let that escape their lips) to Starbucks. Despite the fantastically overpriced Whole Foods Market, La Montanita Co-op thrives.

And although the fabulous Highland movie theater is now the home of bad Broadway musicals starring the local weatherman, and the Lobo theater (the location of many, many, many debaucherous moments at midnight screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show) is now a church of all things, and the drive-in theater got bulldozed in favor of a 24-screened monstrosity built in a style that's half fakey-crap Deco, half fakey-crap Southwest, the plucky little Guild theater still hangs in there.

So all is not lost. I do beg the Californians, though, to leave us to wallow in our poverty-stricken charm and pick on Arizona instead!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Bringing Theocracy to the Middle East

So Iraq held elections and everything is wonderful. But I can't help but be disturbed by a few paragraphs in this otherwise fawning article.
The election results highlighted the sharp differences among Iraq's ethnic, religious and cultural groups — many of whom fear domination not just by the Shiites, estimated at 60 percent of the population, but also by the Kurds, the most pro-American group with about 15 percent.

The results also draw attention to the close and longtime ties between now-victorious Iraqi Shiite leaders and clerics in neighboring Iran. The Shiite ticket owes its success to the support of Iraq's clerics, including Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Umm, are we sure this is good news? It seems like it might turn out to be more of a lateral move in the long term...

As I think we can see from the results of our last three major elections (Bitter? Not me!), voting is not what makes a country 'great.' The freedoms we take for granted in this country are more often threatened by the results of voting than they are guaranteed by voting.

What we seem to have done is created a government in Iraq that will echo the beliefs and values of the theocratic government of Iran.

Great! Because, you know, that's just what the area needs. More fundamentalist religion.

Instead of rushing towards elections (which, by the way, was not what our own founding fathers did), we should have been encouraging the formation of a Bill of Rights-type document, or a Constitution that ensures the separation of church and state and the basic rights of all citizens.

This, I believe, would ensure the unalienable rights of the Iraqi people (all the Iraqi people) to the pursuit of happiness than elections.

But what do I know, I'm just an athiest liberal.
I hate this time of year

It's too crappy out to hang around outside. It's not crappy enough outside to really enjoy staying in. There are no good movies in theaters. TV sucks. All the stores are so crowded with pink and magenta Valentine's Day crap that it looks like the aisles are covered in dried, bruisey scabs.

I'm so bored I'm starting up on an old stupid video project that I abandoned over a year ago. And yet, I still can't muster up the desire to clean the apartment.

I wish I had gone back to school this semester.

The appearance of Cadbury Cream Eggs at the checkout counter at Walgreen's gives me hope. Spring is coming!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Wow...look...some hope!

In what I am too jaded to call good news (let's say, it's nice news) Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas have declared a cease fire.
SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites) and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas declared Tuesday that their people would stop all military and violent attacks against each other, pledging to break a four-year cycle of bloodshed and get peace talks back on track.
Let's see how long it takes for Hamas to screw this up by bombing some mall or something, or for Israel to decide to send some IDF bulldozers to bury some mother and child.

For now, though, it's nice.
Now we're one of those blogging couples...

Please welcome the lovely Brian, One of the Lost, to blogtopia*.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Back from the land of ice and snow...

So I'm back. The Sidekick wasn't picking up a gprs signal on the outskirts of Taos, so I couldn't update as much as I'd hoped. Shortly there will be photos of all the fur-draped, horn-helmeted debauchery. Will get to regular blogging as soon as the mead wears off.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

Vikings onward!

So I'm off to the Taos Aelthing. Will update as Sidekick dispatches allow...