Sunday, October 10, 2004

Mary Matalin and James Carville, Kerry, Papermates, A9, Gorey my God

Listening to Tori Amos's Cornflake Girl.

This weekend I went up to visit my brother at the University of Rochester--and I admit I had very low expectations, especially considering most of my weekend would be spend driving there and back. But it was worth it--why? Because among other lectures, there was a sort of speech-cum-debate with Mary Matalin and James Carville!

For people not familiar with Matalin and Carville, they're two big-name political pundits; Matalin is an advisor to Dick Cheney and Carville is a big political advisor and campaigner currently aiding in the Kerry campaign. So one's obviously a staunch Republican, one's a die-hard Democrat. And they're married. Heh. So they took turns speaking about the present campaign, current events, and each other--and they did NOT sugar-coat their extremely partisan views, which I liked.

Funnily enough, both were wittier and more interesting speakers than either Bush or Kerry. But the two things said at the lecture that stayed with me were both from Carville. First, he said that the bravest thing about politicians is that they are willing to fail publicly; in every race, someone has to lose. Second, he responded to the oft-asked question of how he could be married to someone with views that so opposed his own. He said that he would rather be with someone who was passionate about a cause he hated than someone who had lukewarm views that corresponded with his. That, I thought, was a valuable lesson. And by the way, Carville is hot for 60. And he has a southern accent thicker than my gym teacher's skull.

Coincidentally, last week Ben Affleck lampooned James Carville on Saturday Night Live; I remember seeing the skit and thinking, what an over-the-top imitation--no political advisor could be THAT intense and un-PC. But then at the real speech this weekend Carville said something like "I would not piss down Nader's throat if his heart were on fire." So I guess that yes, a political advisor CAN in fact be that intense and un-PC. How refreshing--even if he IS supporting Kerry.

And there isn't enough space on the INTERNET to hold all my opinions on the second pres-debate and the VP-debate, but I hope you all watched them and--not to be BIASED or anything--I hope you realize how scary it would be to have Kerry running the country. Seriously folks: he thinks it's horrible that Bush is lowering taxes during a wartime but he vows not to raise taxes if he gets into office? He thinks the volunteer-armed-forces doesn't work while he is completely opposed to the draft BUT if he's president he'll win the war by shipping 40,000 more troops off to Iraq? What the hell is this guy talking about?!

Alright, I know, enough already with the political ranting. Let's just all cross our fingers and hope for the best. But later remind me to put in my two cents about why the electoral college is no longer beneficial to America. Yeah, I know you can't wait.

And speaking of politics, another site run by a few well-informed and political-minded students can be found here. It's a LiveJournal called Papermates and it's quite interesting. Remember, we are the politicians and writers and leaders of the next generation of America--listen to us.

And now for the final order of business of today: check out Amazon's search engine, A9. I think it's been up in beta form for a while now but it only recently became official. The engine itself admittedly isn't as cool-looking as our old favorite Google, but it's much better overall. First of all, searches on A9 glean information from Google, IMDb, Amazon's own search-inside-the-book archives, and other online data banks. Secondly, the image results of a search are shown in the same window as the text results, which I find very handly. Also, you can store bookmarks online, so you can access them from any computer. All I can say is Google, you better think of SOMETHING more creative than auctioning off stock shares if you want to keep me from switching to A9. Hell, I've already switched.

Oh, and one last thing before I leave to go watch Mean Girls; this drawing (by my new love Edward Gorey) sums up how I feel about school.

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