September 28th, 2005

Brad @ Burning Man

Support Mackenzie Allen

I wouldn't wish a fatal cranial hemorrhage on my worst enemy. (Though there are worse ways to die. I doubt he suffered much.) No, not even a neo-fascist like Teddy Bridges. And no, not just because if I had wished a cranial hemorrhage on a President of the United States, the US Secret Service would be all over me like ugly on an ape. As a human being, I grieve for Teddy Bridges, at least for his family. That being said, yes, I'm absolutely delighted that Theodore Roosevelt Bridges is no longer President of the United States. You know I didn't vote for him. You know I campaigned for the other guy. You also know that I'm a believer in the two party system, that I think that people run for office as independent candidates, like people who belong to pointless tiny little third parties, are wasting their (and our) time and money on an ineffectual hobby.

And now a 45-year-old former university professor and former independent candidate is President of the United States. May the gods help her, and may they help us all.

I support President Allen. Not because she's a woman, and not just because she's not a Republican, and not because America has finally caught up with such "progressive" states as Pakistan and the Philippines in having had at least one female chief executive, and not just because she's standing between us and right wing scumbags like Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton, or, should we get so lucky as for him to have a hemorrhage (or, more likely, for someone like The Nation or Michael Moore to finally find some smoking gun that will end Templeton's career) whatever other scumbags the social conservative/new world order coalition that controls the Republican Party these days can maneuver into place. Nor does it even have anything to do with the fact I think she's a damned good looking woman, though I admit it will be a refreshing change, after 200 years of mostly wrinkled old men, to see a beautiful woman give the State of the Union next January. But all of that is irrelevant.

No, my main reason for supporting her is that she was elected to the job, fair and square.

I am sick, sick, sick that Fox News, and so many other right wing culture vultures, couldn't even wait until after Bridges' funeral to mouth lying platitudes about how the public elected Bridges, not her, so it should be another right-wing conservative to replace him. The fact of the matter is that the public did not elect Bridges in 2004. The public elected Bridges/Allen. Allen wasn't just a stunt candidate, or even just any stunt candidate. Walter Mondale tried the "stunt candidate" thing back in 1984; nobody gets elected President because their VP is a "stunt candidate." I say that even though I have been predicting, continuously to anyone who will listen since 1984, that it would be a Republican who got away with having a female vice president, because from a Republican who could do it without pandering. And I was right.

But that's not why she's President right now. She's President right now because, being a scary conservative, Bridges could never have won the Presidency on his own merit, not in a million years. Being from a fringe wing of his own party, Kennedy needed Johnson to prove that he wasn't a flaming liberal. Being from a fringe wing of his own party, Reagan needed Bush to prove that wasn't a religious conservative ideologue. And Bridges needed Allen. The American people voted for Bridges (to the extent that they did so) only because they hoped that picking Allen showed that he wasn't so scary after all. They were hoping that it meant that he wouldn't govern from the far right, the Pat Buchannan wing of the party. And since she's the Vice President the American people voted for, it is absolutely her who should be President of the United States now that Bridges is dead. And so she is.

Besides, don't give me that crap. Nobody voted for Gerald Ford for President either. He wasn't even elected Vice President; Nixon gave him the job because he was the only Republican senator or governor willing to promise Nixon a pardon in exchange. Yeah, that's some credential to take into the Oval Office. Nor should Bridges' hypothetical wishes count. Kennedy famously told his Secret Service detail that if he got shot, they were to make sure that Lyndon went down in the cross-fire. Considering their political differences, I'm not sure Kennedy was even kidding. Nonetheless, Lyndon Johnson served as President of the United States. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution says that in the event of the death of the President, the Vice President shall serve out his term. Which settles it. Sit down and shut up.

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Brad @ Burning Man

Meme: Firefly Quote Meme, Weekend Plans

For the meme that's going around where if you see this meme, you're supposed to quote something from Firefly, the series:

Mal: "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."

The local movie listings for Serenity are finally up on The closest theater to me is, oddly enough, the AMC Creve Coeur 12, the same theater I saw the sneak preview at. The first show is at 2:10 pm. As far as I know, there is no way I can take the bus back from there in time for piratebob to pick me up for the ride to Archon she offered me ... although, come to that, I could have her pick me up at the theater. Depending on what time she wanted to head out (let me know, hon?) on Friday, that might work.

Or, if anybody (including you, PirateBob) has Friday afternoon off and would like to offer me a ride to the 2:10 pm show at Creve Coeur, or the 1:15 pm show at the Esquire for that matter, and then give me a ride to the con, I'd cheerfully pay for their movie ticket. Now that I know when the check is coming in, I can spare that much.

Now, as to Archon itself. I have an offer of a ride, a tentative backup offer of a ride, and a tentative emergency fallback plan where I'm 99.99% sure it's possible to (with enough transfers) get a bus from here to the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville for Archon Friday evening. So Friday evening, I plan to be at the con; unless some specific room party snags my attention, probably 3/4 of that time in Hospitality. (If you're looking for me in the evenings at Archon, and I'm not in Hospitality, I usually circle the "party floor" room parties deosil, that is to say, clockwise.) Friday night is (like River's food in "The Message") problematic. I still don't have an offer of crash space for Friday night. I'm going to risk it anyway, and gamble that I can find some corner to curl up in. Then Saturday, I'll be at the con all day through at least the Grand Masquerade costume competition Saturday night. At which point the strategy tree forks.

I have almost never had a really good time on Saturday night at Archon. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a personal thing. 9/10ths of my friends are costumers, or family of costumers, or SO's of costumers. The local costumers' guild throws a closed room party after the Masquerade every year, so the entrants and stage crew can decompress, and just as importantly so they can see the video of their show and see how it looked from the audience's side of the stage. That party typically runs until 1:00 am or later, after which many of those friends go to bed, so Grand Masquerade is pretty much the last time I see most of them. Saturday night also tends to have the weaker room parties, which leaves me with nothing particular to do that I want to do, hanging around strangers nearly all of whom are half my age. Boring, at best. If I think that's how Saturday night is likely to go yet again, I think I can take the bus to the train station, and the train to the bus back home, even that late on a Saturday. I have to check on that, but I'm pretty sure. And not a little inclined to do so.

Alternatively, mztish103 is throwing a room party Saturday night, and offered me crash space for Saturday night, and asked me to attend her room party. (Perhaps more relevantly, so has kukla_tko42, and we those of you who've paid any attention to the personal stuff on this blog know that I'm constitutionally unable to say no when she asks for a favor.) It could be a good time, especially if anybody shows up, and I probably should do it. And in all likelihood codeb6 and mari_who and vespa_tattoo are likely to be there Saturday night and in a mood to party, and the god knows I don't get to spend enough time with them. So we'll see how I'm feeling on Saturday. After all, I might well be all peopled-out after not having gotten out of the house at all, let alone spending time in big crowds, in the last six months or so.

I've got no firm plans for Sunday, nor (if I stay at the con Saturday night) do I even have a firm idea when I'll be home. I do have a tentative offer floated to phierma and cos_x to go over to their house after the con Sunday afternoon and help them with some yard work. The last I heard, though, that probably wasn't going to happen. So if I don't get to see Serenity on Friday, I can probably find a way to get to it and back on Sunday afternoon, and still make my contribution to the first weekend take.

I usually have my cellphone handy. Those of you as need it probably have the number.
Tarot - 4 of cups

Hmm. Do I even want a car now?

Sorry to fill up your Friends list, but with the disability payments coming, I've got a lot of thinking to do. And here's one place I'm going. Let me think aloud here, tell me if what I'm talking about makes any sense.

I don't commute to work anymore. My grocery shopping is local, a comfortable walk in all but the most miserable of weather, and so are two pharmacies. I can do an awful lot of my non-perishable shopping online. So the only places I would be likely to drive would be maybe once a week or so to Rivalz or some other coffee house, and maybe once a month (at most!) to some convention, or party, or movie where I for some reason or other couldn't catch a ride.

ABC Cab, with whom I've had good dealings in the past and who advertise the lowest rates in town, charges $2.25 per trip plus $1.70 per mile. Let's assume 5.4 miles from here to Rivalz, and 12 miles (typically) from here to some event or other. So, assuming round trips, that works out as follows:

Trips/MoTripMiles Each WayMonthly Cost

That exceeds any reasonable estimate of what I'd pay for a car, plus insurance, plus gasoline, plus maintenance. But wait, that's the pessimistic estimate. The actual cost may be only a little more than half of that, because of one odd quirk I've noticed. I have the hardest damned time getting a ride to an event, but once I'm there, as soon as I go to call a cab or wait for a bus somebody offers me a ride home. Does that seem right to you? So if it works out that way, I could still throw in another trip or two per month, say a couple of trips to goth night at various clubs, and still be cheaper than driving myself. Am I missing anything here?