Friday, May 30, 2008


One of the deals at the upcoming Democratic Convention in Denver is that there are going to be Hell Of Bloggers there. On the one hand, one of my very favorite blogs Sadly, No! will be sadly absent. On the other hand, after looking at the State Blogger Corps, I have been introduced to the highly pleasant (so far) HorsesAss, Washington's chosen blog. On the one hand, it would have been lots of fun if the Slog had been chosen (or everyone's least favorite Washington blog, The Wizard Belt Project), HorsesAss seems really cool. Check out their awesome take on Dino Rossi being an ass and the P-I failing to notice.

Of even more local note: My Ballard.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Really I Just Want It All to End

I would rather Senator Hillary Clinton drop out of the race about now. I think Senator Barack Obama would be the better candidate. This doesn't make me a sexist.

Here are some things:

I like Sen. Clinton sometimes. I like her health care plan, I like her response to the sexism that she has seen. To hear her talk about the bullshit media pigs who spewed unthinkable, bilious word vomit about her gender, her purported resemblance to a nagging housewife and whatever other nonsense, is to hear her talk like a real thinker. The fact is she's right about it and it might be a different game right now if we didn't have people like Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough on people's TVs.

However, I don't like her a lot of the rest of the time. I don't like she played a Republican game about gas taxes, and then to defend it played the same game that Christian Conservatives play when defending abstinence-only education or creationism: the Screw-the-Experts Game. She plays the anti-intellectual card, she does not win points with me.

I also don't like that despite her heartfelt, well-spoken response to media misogyny, she has made no effort to reject the racism of some of her supporters. She has made blunt - and admittedly true - statements about how white working class voters support her and not Sen. Obama. However, despite the truth of this, as the favored candidate to these people isn't it her responsibility to at least give some lip service to the thought that maybe race should not influence their voting? I mean, obviously she wants their votes and that's fine, but I do not like seeing a major Democratic candidate saying "well sure they're racist, that's just how it is, so just back off and let them vote for me for the wrong reason," especially when she's seeing discrimination of her own.* Her readiness to play up GOP talking points regarding Obama and Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan has not sold me on her either.

It boils down to this: I respect that Hillary Clinton wants to win, and if she loses the reason damn well shouldn't be because she's a woman. But that doesn't give her the right to run a hatemongering campaign (based on race or intellectualism), especially under the banner of the Democratic party.

*Notably, Sen. Obama could have done more to reject the sexism that surrounds his opponent. However, it's not like he made any speeches proclaiming that he would win black voters because black people do not trust women.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

A New Series: A World of Metal

As a follow up to my recent project about metal's distribution across the world, I'd like to begin an exploration of a few pinpoints on the world metal map.

The first pin goes into Hanoi, Vietnam, home of Ngũ Cung, a young progressive metal act, and of many bands I found while dicking around in the search-by-country section of Encyclopedia Metallum. This particular search was inspired by my recent venture in learning the Vietnamese language, and along with it, the culture. The band's songs are epic and thrilling, and fairly heavy, especially for being a progressive metal band of more or less the Dream Theater school (though with some additional Sabbathy hard rock sounds at points). The site linked has recordings of two songs, "Giã Cốm Đêm Trăng" ("Grinding Rice Flakes At Night[or possibly By Moonlight]" seems to be the meaning of this title) and "Cướp Vợ Tục Lệ Người H'Mông" (the title seems to translate to something about abducting a crying, vulgar, Hmong woman?), titles that suggest a lyrical focus on older Vietnamese cultural issues.

Further looks at the Vietnamese section on the Metal Archives suggest quite a few prog bands being based in Hanoi (as well as, like everywhere else, a number of black metal bands), though none of them so far have seemed to be of the quality that Ngũ Cung have shown. I hope to hear more from them soon.

Coming soon to the world of metal: Further explorations of the far east, and an upcoming film on the subject of worldwide metal!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feeling A Bit Abessive

I can't help but feel like today's Achewood was specifically made to make me sad.

That said, to celebrate this making me sad, I (with the help of Wikipedia and an online Finnish dictionary) wrote two lines from a Finnish-language emo song. It's pretty great.

"Sinutta kuollisin,
Minutta juhliisit."

("Without you I would die; without me you would celebrate")


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

In Trollmountain and Forest

I was in the fine Seattle neighborhood of Fremont yesterday, and something occurred to me that made me really appreciate how awesome my city is. It occurred to me that there is a troll under the Aurora Bridge.

Now, obviously I was already aware that there is a troll under this bridge, and has been for years upon years. But somehow it hadn't really registered until just then how awesome that is. This is one of the symbols of our town. Nevermind that it doesn't have quite the recognition of the Space Needle or the Columbia Tower. This is better than those. It's a fucking troll.

Of course, Seattle isn't the only western city to be associated with a famous troll. Check out the troll from Phoenix.