Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween Indeed

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Leaking anew

The best thing about being on the Wallace-l is the generosity of the listers. That's also the worst thing. I could have avoided the whole Rolling Stone article, maybe just read the excerpt online (thanks, Claud) but of course, one of the generous members copied the whole thing, made a PDF of it - around 25 mb, and put it on her website.

So now, thanks to a writer who had access to DFW's family and friends, including the famous, we have his entire personal history, the blueprint for suicide, according to a lister - the early depression years, the mid-depression years, and a chronical of his insecurities, from high school through last summer. Of course, many artists/writers will recognize and relate to the insecurities, the worry that the ability or the impulse to create will dry up, that the one thing that keeps you relatively level will disappear and not leave a forwarding address.

It's a weird sort of comfort to know that this great talent was burdened with the same basement sale humanity that the rest of us root around in, separate from any clinical depression.

It's not at all a comfort to re-realize that for all its glory and expense, modern medicine can fall so incredibly short.

"He was like a comet flying by at ground level."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debate this, my friends...

I planned to watch the last debate, mostly so that when I watch the commentary on Rachel Maddow's show, or the Saturday Night Live parodies, that I get every nuance... yeah, that's my level of commitment. Debate that, "my friends."

And I thought I made it through an hour, seemed like an hour, but it was only 25 minutes. I was trying to stay in the moment and actually listen to what they said, but I was too distracted by McCain with his red, anime eyes, his bumbling and angry statements, and that gigantic Sharpie he was using to take notes. How big was that thing? Now, I am a huge fan of the Sharpie, my friends, and have every size - but the McCain size is what I use if I'm making a Help sign on a deserted island.

And then I'm trying to think of a one word that would describe McCain. Evil is already reserved for Bush, and it isn't really descriptive enough, and is also kind of a cop out, actually. For McCain, the word for the short-term is smarmy, my friends. The dude is smarmy. Smarmy, bumbling, and angry. Presidential? Nope.

And not just smarmy because of this campaign, which of course, would be reason enough. But he's already feeling guilty about statements he made, what, 3 days ago? In one of his ads, all of which are completely negative and not about issues... That's reassuring, my friends. But commentators suggest that voters don't want to hear about the past, about Obama's relationship with Ayers, about McCain's being one of the Keating 5. (Because THAT comparison, my friends, is apples to apples no?)

McCain was involved in a debacle in a local savings and loan that is like a thumbnail sketch of what is happening nationwide now. I'm going to copy and paste a bit from Wikipedia cuz I'm lazy: "The Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989, at a cost of over $3 billion to the federal government. Some 23,000 Lincoln bondholders were defrauded and many elderly investors lost their life savings."

Now, all-told, it was a nationwide-wide savings and loan debacle, but here in Arizona, McCain and his compadres went to bat for Keating, the Chairman of that ill-fated S and L, against regulators after they received mondo bucks from Keating. Keating bilked the oldsters out of their dough by buying junk bonds with money made off real estate development projects. Eventually their holdings were worth nothing. Obviously it was more complicated than that, but that's the gist.

The most arresting visual image I have from that particular debacle was watching, on Tv, a senior citizen throw a pie in Keating's face while he was being led to jail. Wouldn't we all like to have a giant, Sharpie-sized pie right now for the folks responsible for the current economic apocalypse?

I did a stint as a temp for the Resolution Trust Corporation in the early 90s, the agency created to liquidate the assets, mostly real estate (read - FAILED LOANS) of that savings and loan debacle, and saw close-up the process, and how much waste was generated by having a government agency run that kind of show. The kind of waste that makes you question every cent of your tax-paying life.

Americans' memories being what they are, McCain went on to re-election and years later, here we are. Not that many years later, either! But voters don't want to hear about all that stuff, that's history, my friends, and has nothing to do with character, or ability. And acting like it never happened, and promising the world regarding balancing the budget and fixing somehow this current debacle, which should feel super familiar to him and give him a Presidential-level case of the willies, well only a smarmy dude could get away with that, and still think he deserved the voters' trust.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ode to

I remember when we had to go
To Corbis, to Getty, to I don’t know
What was it,

And suddenly, like manna from heaven
If you believe in heaven, and you like manna that is,
Istock appeared on the internets

And lo, it was good, and low, as in cheap
Its contents juicy, the artists, many,
And the lightboxes, divine

Searching is wiggy but soon you learn
That white background means color
and ethnicity too

For a dollar - photo credit,
Which you can use outright
Or edit!

It’s bad for the artists, but good for us
They’re screwed, yet no one makes a fuss
“I’ll make it up in volume!” their tortured cry.
Istock, great photos we can afford to buy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Living with David Foster Wallace

The Blammos have recorded a tasty little tribute to DFW...

give it a listen

And but so...