May 7th, 2002

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I open my mail; my mail opens me

I got a great package from user asphalteden yesterday--several great paperback books, a tape (wish I'd remembered to listen to it in my car today), a nice note, and sundry other things. What a thoughtful thing to do.

Meanwhile, my friend gregwest98 just posted a cool photo of maple shavings. I never gave much thought to maple shavings, but it's a great photo.

I'm eager to hit the law library today to research something abstruse, beside the point, and altogether fascinating.

On the way to work this morning, Crystal Gayle, speaking on the radio, assured me that half of my love was not what she's after. Suddenly, writing that, I flash on childhood Saturdays getting my hair cut in the barber shop in Gurdon, Arkansas, listening to old men as they speculate about the "get rich quick in earthworm farming" ads in the back of Field and Stream, discuss blue tick hounds and favored trucks, and as they pause to watch the Porter Waggoner twangy country western music show on the television, saying reverentially "that Dolly Parton....what a woman".
  • Current Music
    Glen Campbell, "Gentle on My Mind"
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My Goodness, Buffy

Just tonight on my way home I was thinking about how much more satisfying the television show Angel has been this year than this year's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm an unabashed fan of both. I don't want to put any spoiler material in this post, as folks in different places get the show at different times, but tonight's Buffy was simply amazing. I should be sheepish that two fantasy shows can affect me that much, but they do. Both Angel and Buffy have that quirkiness which is like life to me, "real life".

In the US, May is a ratings "sweeps" month, when shows tend to air some of their "best" episodes, because ratings are tabulated in particular during "sweeps". I can't wait to see what else this show is going to do this month, and what Angel's going to do with its thread.

I know it's hip to dismiss television, but I have to admit that I've always been a big TV watcher. When a TV actually works, as those two do, I'm completely on board. Now if only they would actually reverse their decision to cancel Once and Again, and the world might return to spinning on a good axis in TV land.

The "real world", outside TVs and computers, seems to be spinning on the usual disturbing axis. Another sad bombing, another failed effort at peace, more harsh words, more people dying. The Middle East situation is too horrible for me to say anything insightful. I haven't forgotten the troops in Afghanistan, either.
Domestic news is more workaday, but not less disturbing.
Did anyone else notice that when Enron was funded enough to fight lawsuits and pay lobbyists, we didn't see the full court press that we're seeing now on the energy hoarding front in CA? Meanwhile, the Arthur Andersen financial document shredding trial is interesting theater--but when will real financial reform occur? No matter whether Andersen breaks down--and it looks like it will--the real question is when the SEC will actually require meaningful disclosure for the benefit of shareholders, and meaningful accountability when the true story isn't told. Punching a few individual accountants out may be a satisfying exercise for someone, but when will meaningful accounting reform occur? How long will investors permit those in charge of regulating financial disclosures to give the regulated a "free pass"? Within the normal left to right of our mainstream political parties, nobody has an incentive to allow this situation to continue. But lobbying dollars are still at work.
I'm bored of window-dressing, as investor protection isn't a left wing or a right wing issue. It's just a question of whether the institutional investors and the institutional players are going to
be allowed to withhold info from the public. The current paradigm--silly disclosures and perpetual class actions for financial failure--isn't working.

We need the Powers that Be to send a slayer and a vampire with a soul to solve all this for us--maybe toss in Spiderman, too--or else we'll actually have to all vote (or something) to do something.

At least we have this comfort--only 1 in 6 of the French vote for fascists. I am going to retreat into the cool article on outsider artist Darger that asphalteden sent me. Maybe then I'll doodle some paperdolls in a wartime scene, as an alternative to
getting involved.
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