Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Common Sense Shit Post

I know most people regard me as a die-hard partisan Democrat, though I'm not, and that I'll say and do anything to make a Republican seem dirty, which I will, but it is reporting like this that should put to rest the attempts of so many to paint the Jack Abramoff scandal as one shared by both Democrats and Republicans.

It goes without saying that career politicians of all stripes are almost certainly dirty individuals, in some respect anyway, and that there should be reforms; but it doesn't stand to reason that this scandal needs to be equally laid at the feet of both parties in order for that to happen.

A Shit Post

As a lot of you already know, be it through other kind-hearted bloggers or through conversations with me, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation last week. Remarkably, things went very smoothly. All that is left now to make the necessary editorial revisions, bind it, and spend another $100+ shipping it o'erseas.

I've been asked a lot lately how it feels being finished. My instinct is to regard the whole affair as oddly anticlimactic. But, really, I only feel this when sober. Get a few pints or drams of whisky in me, and I'm the king of the world. Another reason to stay boozed up, I guess.

The other question commonly asked is, in short, 'What now?' Good question. The short answer, besides getting drunk a lot and revelling in my superiority complex, is that I desperately need to find a job. One that does not relate to shelving CDs and DVDs. In order for that to happen, though, I need to get some more stuff published. So, basically, there's no rest for the weary. As soon as I get the thesis bound and shipped, I have to start tearing article-sized portions out for possible publication, finish up writing articles and reviews I committed to writing without really thinking, and then pimp out my services to a institution that finds appealing somebody trained in philosophical aesthetics and theology. Any of you with uncles or great-aunts who happens to be on the Board of Trustees of a college or university, you know where to find me.

Wow. This might be the most boring blog post ever.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Maybe We're Not So Different After All

I obviously spend a lot of time frustrated at my country's undyingly fundamentalist fervor -- be it fully fleshed out in something ostensibly noble like 'justice', or something ostensibly wrong like 'revenge' -- for, in short, a messianic return. We all want a return on our investments, so why not go for the biggest return of all, the promise of which prompts the investment, cynical or pious, of many a president and professional politician.

Which brings me to Scott Peterson's excellent two-part article in The Christian Science Monitor on the appropriation of religious language, especially that of rapture and eschatological fulfillment, in the political saga currently unfolding in Iran. (part one // part two).

It's nice to think that all that divides us is the name of that tyrannical religious excuse for demagoguery.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Checking In

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last posted. I've been bad before, but surely never this bad. And this after a torrent of comments related to my, shall we say, strong opinions about The Chronicles of Narnia.

There is something about life in Belgium, especially when you're not in the city, that causes days to race by without you even noticing. Mind you, I'm not isolated. I have super-fast internet, a variety of BBC channels, and an assortment of Flemish and French documentaries that I can sometimes vaguely follow. So, I know what's happening in the world.

I know, for instance, that the US Senate is on the verge of likely confirming a Justice with a conception of 'executive' power disturbingly similar to that of the US President, and that all right-thinking people should by very very concerned. A move to Belgium, in fact, should not be ruled out.

I know that West Virginia mine officials, the private corporations that failed to heed governmental warnings and governmental agencies that failed to enforce said warnings, have little to no interest in the lives of the workers who keep them in power.

I know that I'm a little sad that Tom DeLay will no longer pursue leadership of the House -- but am also a little delighted that in the span of a few years the head Republicans of both the Senate and the House have had to resign their positions in disgrace.

I know that I'm very depressed at the prospect that none of this will matter on Election Day in November.

I know, moving to lighter stuff, that last night the New England Patriots took one more step toward playing the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs. ('nuff said) And that the Bengals will likely lose today against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I know that my viva is less than two weeks away and all bravado has slipped away.

I know that this was a very haphardously random blog post.

I know that I'm going to try to be a better blogger the rest of my trip abroad.