May 15th, 2002

abstract butterfly

dawn wandering

I awoke at 3:45 a.m. so that my wife and I could
take my car to the backyard mechanic, whose "backyard" is now somebody's big corporate service center, and get my wife to her "ride" with a coworker at 4:30. Someone on the BBC, which plays all night on our public radio, was reading from Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. It was the passage when the inquest turns up the fact that *someone* had scuttled the boat in which the first Mrs. DeWinter was drowned.

I've never really related to the second Mrs. DeWinter, who takes the news that her husband is a murderer with rather a bit too much aplomb for my taste. It's not that I think this is un-life-like. I'm altogether concerned that it's *too* life-like.

I've got a lot to do today, so I'll head into the office at 6:30. I must pick up a new electric shaver from one of those all night Wal Marts on the way; my current one requires a fair bit of effort if I am to avoid a sort of charming vagabond-ish appearance...this sort of "whisker here, whisker there" result looks good on folks in Victorian novels about good-hearted sailors and well-meaning tradesmen (who are always showing their True Worth as contrasted to the clean-shaven elite), but for some unexplained reason does not seem to win me friends or positively influence people.

The Dutch elections, in the wake of the recent assasination of the anti-immigrant fellow,
should prove interesting. I hate to see an assassin stifle free speech, and I think that murder was a wretched thing to do. Still, the Dutch need to stay away from that particular slippery slope of voting for "ethnic purity" candidates. Let's hope the sympathy vote does not do much damage.

Meanwhile, our local farm bill, coupled with the steel tariff bit, makes me curious about our current government. As I start well to the left of our Glorious Conservative President on most issues, it's odd to find that I am much more of a "free trader" than he is. Steel is one thing, being a defense issue, but for our agribusiness establishment to be supports-dependent is outrageous corporate welfare. Although the spinmasters play it differently, this administration seems no less avid than the preceding one to do whatever they believe it will take to win swing state votes. Does anyone else think that Ari Fleischer should be in the "shadow government" bunker, giving press conferences to which nobody comes?

Meanwhile the media seems stuck in "free pass" territory, actually spending ink on wondering about Karen Hughes's teenager bonding.

ABC cancelled Politically Incorrect. I have nothing against his replacement show, Jimmy Kimmel, but that's a travesty. I hope that Bill Maher will take the concept back to cable or in a roadtrip format, as I enjoyed this show. We need more shows in which people talk about ideas, even if the talking is all done by media celebrities and the Save the Endangered Right Winger conservative groups.
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