The Blogger gods have smiled upon me, and I'm now part of the beta of the new Blogger site! Consider this my first test case.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
A brilliant analysis of the phrase I most despise: "It is what it is."
"It is what it is" means what it means. Depending on context, it can be a statement of resignation or of defiance, but in neither case does it connote the optimistic good humor of "It's all good." If anything, it expresses the absence of emotion, the abdication of feeling. Although it seems to imply value-neutrality, that misses the point; it's not so much that something is neither good nor bad, but rather that its quality simply isn't relevant, that it's not worth the energy to make a value judgment.
To put it another way — it doesn't matter what you think about it because you can't do anything about it anyway. It was in this spirit that Al Gore invoked the phrase after winning the popular vote and possibly the electoral tally as well: "I strongly disagreed with the Supreme Court decision and the way in which they interpreted and applied the law. But I respect the rule of law, so it is what it is."
Meanwhile, the current administration has embraced the phrase as a tautological device to preclude further inquiry. Pressed about the intentions of the US regarding the ABM treaty, a 30-year-old agreement that would seem to preclude the Star Wars-type missile defense system currently under development, a defense official told a NATO ministers' meeting, "The ABM treaty is the current ABM treaty. It is what it is."
"It is what it is" can also be an agent of insinuation, a coy refusal to spell out something that the speaker clearly thinks goes without saying. During the run-up to GW2, the administration made a lot of noise about Iraq's links with international terrorists but refrained from presenting concrete conclusions. Instead, a senior official merely said, "It is what it is. It is a series of facts. People will have to judge for themselves."
Similarly, to sound an ominous note following the discovery in February on board a freighter of North Korean Scud missiles bound for Yemen without committing to a specific response: "Obviously this was suspected by American authorities for some time and I think it is what it is," said US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
For years, "It's all good" served as a rallying cry for the down-but-not-out, a smile as the ultimate umbrella. But there's no smile on the face of "It its what it is." This is no Yogi Berra chestnut, but a blunt recognition of power, either by those who hold it or those under its shadow, with no illusions about the ability of mere words to shape or alter frank reality. When the administration invoked a policy of proactive military action against a regime that might at some point prove threatening, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: "You can call that defense, as I do, or you can call it preemptive, but it is what it is."
What does the replacement of "It's all good" with "It is what it is" mean? What does it say about the tenor of our times, the popular outlook, our existential commonwealth?
It is what it is.
Excerpted from this article.
Like I said... brilliant.
Posted by SuperSteve at 5:10 PM
Couric, who was made aware of the picture's alteration yesterday, joked that she liked the original better. "There's more of me to love," she quipped.
This can't do much for a 49-year-old lady's self-esteem.
She took it surprisingly well, I think.
Couric, who was made aware of the picture's alteration yesterday, joked that she liked the original better.
"There's more of me to love," she quipped.
Posted by SuperSteve at 2:59 PM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Katherine Harris is either a panderer or a zealot.
Just a few nuggets from her interview with Florida Baptist Witness:
"You know we’re covered with, our sins are covered with His blood and so we are blameless before Him. We are as white as snow."
"I have a 100 percent voting record with the Christian Coalition. I have a 100 percent voting record with the traditional values groups."
"...we have to have the faithful in government and over time, that lie we have been told, the separation of church and state, people have internalized, thinking that they needed to avoid politics and that is so wrong because God is the one who chooses our rulers."
"...I do not support any civil rights actions with regard to homosexuality."
"Clearly I would only, from a public policy standpoint, I would limit abortion to rape and life of the mother and incest, but for my personal standpoint, I would not have an abortion for any of those cases."
Those are good, but they're nothing compared to this gem:
"If you are not electing Christians, tried and true, under public scrutiny and pressure, if you’re not electing Christians then in essence you are going to legislate sin. They can legislate sin."
Replace "God", "Chistian", and "church" with "Allah", "Muslim", and "mosque", and all of a sudden you're looking at an al Qaeda press release. We have a U.S. congresswoman who espouses these views, but we have the gall to call them fanatics??
Posted by SuperSteve at 10:05 AM
Monday, August 28, 2006
I guess I was overdue for some airline-induced stress. Until yesterday, air travel had been surprisingly painless.
Went to see my dad in Cleveland, OH, and I had a 4:50pm flight home to Atlanta on Continental (flight 2464, I'll not soon forget that number). I got to the terminal around 3:30. At about 3:50 the lady (Kristen... she was cool, and just as frustrated by the day's events as anyone) announces that the flight has been delayed to 5:35 due to mechanical problems with the plane in Richmond, VA. No big deal, more time to play Civ 4!
But then about every 20 minutes Kristen would announce another delay... 5:55.... 6:45..... 7:30..... at this point, she starts offering to put us on standby for the 8:55 Atlanta flight (which Lu was booked on for his trip home!). Then, a moment of hope... Kristen announces that the plane is finally fixed, boarded, and about to take off from Richmond! I'm going to make it home!
Just kidding. Kristen gets on the PA, just minutes after she had made our day, and kicks us all right in the nuts: Continental has cancelled the flight. Those on the standby list for the 8:55 flight can hang around to see if they make it, but the rest will have to catch a 6:30am Delta flight the next morning. Needless to say, I didn't make the 8:55. I watched Lu board and fly home, and I was left to deal with grouchy customer service ladies who, when I asked them for a hotel room for the night (the least they could do, right?), asked me where I had stayed the night before and why I couldn't just stay there again. Lady, with all due respect, please shut the **** up and book me a hotel room.
So now I had to catch the hotel shuttle, but first I had to go to baggage claim to pick up the bag that I had checked. The Continental lady had sent for it to be pulled out for me, but it was nowhere to be found. Upon further investigation, I learned that they decided to put my bag on the 8:55 plane to Atlanta (the one I was hoping to get on standby), even though they decided not to put ME on it. My toothbrush, deodorant, and "product" (the essentials) were in there.....
Got to the hotel (the Airport Holiday Inn!!), ate a grade-C chicken Ceasar salad in the dumpy hotel lounge, then hit the sack. 4:30am wakeup call, 5:00am airport shuttle, terrorist-level security check, a stale Cinnabon, and all of a sudden I was finally on a plane and on my way home to Atlanta. Of course, I had left my car in long-term parking at the Brookhaven MARTA station, so there was the 30 minute train ride, then 20 minutes to drive the rest of the way home to find my beautiful girlfriend waiting for me..... frantic because she has a chunk of mascara stuck in her eye.
What a trip.
Posted by SuperSteve at 10:48 PM
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Goddammit. I had a decent-sized post typed out and then tried to post a picture. Google toolbar killed the subsequent popup, so I told Google toolbar to allow popups and it reloaded the page. Adios post.
Sitting at the Cleveland airport and my flight home has been delayed, two hours and counting. Good thing I have my trusty rusty laptop to entertain me (see baby?!? I told you I needed it! :) ) I wonder how my PSP ebay auction is going...... it's up to $112.50 with just under 7 hours to go. Looks good to meet the reserve price.
There are birds flying around in the terminal.
This is the worst post I've ever made here. :)
UPDATE: The PSP auction ended at $193.50, but the winner was some clown in Ireland with ZERO feedback. Predictably, the next day his/her account was deleted. I've since offered it to the second-place guy at his highest bid ($191), and he has 3 days to respond. I'm not holding my breath.
Posted by SuperSteve at 5:02 PM
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Picture a moving sidewalk at a busy airport, full of passengers from one end to the other, and they're all walking at a brisk pace. What would it look like to an observer standing about 50 feet away if the moving sidewalk all of a sudden stopped moving? I think it would look really funny.
Posted by SuperSteve at 12:20 PM
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I had a conversation with a coworker today in which she was telling me about the negative experience of living with an old boyfriend. She said she lived with him for over 3 years, and that she ended up leaving him because they turned out to be completely incompatible. Then she ended the thought by saying something that stuck in my head: "That's why I'll never live with a man again until I'm married."
I admit that it's counter-intuitive, but couldn't you look at that entire experience and say that the system worked perfectly for her? To me, the major purpose of moving in with a girlfriend/boyfriend is to determine whether or not a relationship can work through the day to day issues of life as a married couple. A dry-run, if you will. The failure of a relationship to survive cohabitation is as sure a sign as any that it would also not survive marriage. Although surely painful, wouldn't we all want such a sign as early as possible? Of course we would all like for things to work out, but why is it that some consider it a mistake when it doesn't?
Posted by SuperSteve at 2:01 PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Just got a brand new laptop over the weekend. I've never had one and I've always wanted one, so this is kind of a big deal... plus it caused a gloves-off, relationship-redefining fight with the ladyfriend, so now it will always carry even more significance. Anyhow, I'm thinking about dual-booting it (Windows MCE and some flavor of Linux), but I can't get one question out of my mind:
Other than the obvious and ever-present geek answer "Because I can!", I'm struggling to come up with one solid reason why I should invest the time, effort and hard drive space. What would Linux allow me to do that I can't do in Windows? Under what circumstances would I choose to boot into Linux rather than Windows? I've had desktop computers since the beginning of time, and I've never felt the need to dual-boot those, so why now? If I install and configure Linux and then never use it, I'm going to curse the time I wasted and long for my hard drive space back.
Please, someone sell me on this. My inner geek wants to do it, but I don't exactly have scads of free time these days.
Posted by SuperSteve at 2:00 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The only time that all my troubles seem to go away is when you're with me..... or when I have my bottle :)
Seriously though, I'm a happy guy and I owe that to you. Thanks for bearing with me while I try to become a man that is worthy of the attention of a lady like you. I love you!
Posted by SuperSteve at 11:06 PM