Friday, November 23, 2007

A rash of domestic murders in Maryland

Domestic murder is the most common type of murder, and the type most often committed by women. The reason for this, why when a woman is murdered the husband is always the prime suspect and often the killer, is, as a friend told me a while ago, most of us have to have a strong emotional connection to someone to get to the point of even considering killing them. Only psychopaths or other emotional defectives feel the urge to kill a total stranger. Or someone so greedy or desperate who kills for money. As the article states, there have been several high-profile incidents in Maryland this past year, often with children as the victims. The murder of a child, especially by their own parents, is always disturbing. Children are almost always innocent victims, caught in the crosshairs of either a mother's severe postpartum depression, one spouse's desire for revenge against the other, or a parent's mental illness. And with most parents' will to protect their children against any type of ill, up to the point of sacrificing their own lives, when a parent ends their child's life, it's an exceptionally sad story, but all too common.
The guy I recently met, though currently out of town, is still calling me frequently, and I saw him again last weekend and had another great night. I'm almost to the point of forgetting the asshole who wanders in and out of my life, who until now I thought could be the love of my life, if he would only stick around. But now I see him for what he is, a coward who can't even tell me his whole story. But this new guy is different, at least that's how it feels at the moment. And I might have a new job soon, if I don't blow this interview like I often have the past few months, if I get that far in my job hunt, which has been rare.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Democratic Presidential candidates

The candidates for President on both sides leave much to be desired. But on the Democratic side, it's particularly distressing. Hillary Clinton, despite being reviled by the right, is displaying increasing levels of Howard Dean-style unfocused insanity, and appears to absolutely refuse to answer questions in a concrete manner. Barak Obama, despite his early promise, has now turned all God-warrior on us, allying with anti-gay ministers, and also refusing to answer questions with anything but empty optimistic phrases. I still hold out a shred of hope for Obama, but I feel he has overstepped his limitations by running for President so soon. And while John Edwards gained my respect with a very strong performance in the 2004 Vice Presidential debate against Der Fuhrer Cheney, after Bill Clinton, the nation is wary of another smooth-talking southerner. I have a soft spot for Joe Biden and his unrehearsed honesty, but unrehearsed honesty doesn't get one far in the political sphere, and it's not enough to hold up a successful Presidency. And while the borderline Marxist in me also has inclinations toward Dennis Kucinich, I don't see how his ideals will translate to the anti-Marxist American stage. But there is one faint beacon of hope: Bill Richardson, the very successful and popular governor of New Mexico. Richardson is a champion of civil rights, an advocate of the environment, opposes the Iraq occupation, supports tax fairness, and, most importantly, has made affordable health care and quality education his top priorities, recognizing the Bush administration's failings in both areas. For transcripts of his cogent and eloquent speeches and outlines of positions, go to Richardson also gets points for recognizing America's energy crisis, and as former Secretary of Energy, he should know. Richardson has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the Middle East and Darfur activism. While all things are subject to change, for the time being, Godless Liberal is endorsing the Honorable Governor Bill Richardson for the next President of the United States.
Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, has made some promising strides of his own in his short time as head of the state. I heard him speak on Thursday at Progressive Maryland's awards banquet. While some called his speech a "downer," I found his honesty about the hard road ahead refreshing. O'Malley passed the nation's first living wage law, and is doing his best to close the state's deficit and undo Ehrlich's various damages. And it says something about O'Malley that he is willing to be identified with Progressive Maryland, a group Ehrlich called "wack-jobs." I consider the former governor's words an endorsement. In his pro-rich and pro-business eyes, I guess any group who advocates a slight tax increase for the super-rich is a wack-job. And we wear that tag with honor. Also, Martin O'Malley, unlike many politicians, has a good sense of humor. When one of Progressive Maryland's team members put on a George Bush mask and wandered by the governor doing an impression of our President in name only, O'Malley was, according to those who saw the incident, laughing his ass off.
Here ends my political rant. Not as informed as I would like, and I may come out looking stupid as a result of my lack of thorough research, but for now, I'm comfortable with my positions. And being a member of Progressive Maryland has not only increased my comfort in social situations, but I am also learning more about various social injustices and how to start solving them. But, American politics sure is depressing. No wonder so many of us prefer not to think about it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer dead at 84;_ylt=Au_V2CYMWHJ9VUEGkk_n7Oes0NUE

He may have been a misogynistic asshole in his private life, married six times and almost fatally stabbing his second wife, but Norman Mailer was still a towering figure in American literature. I will always admire him for his iconoclasm and fighting into his last days with "President" George W. Bush, calling Bush on his "pre-fascist" regime.
Todd and I were talking last night at Bound about the very lackluster attendance. Where are all of you? We have a decent space, great music and people, but we're still about 100 guests short. Bound is the only goth-industrial event in DC on Fridays. We need you, and you need us. Still, I managed to have a good night, until I left. I met a great guy named Anthony, who I'm seeing again tonight, and we talked about movies and literature and stupid people, which are among my favorite topics. At the end of the night, around 2 am, he had to drive his friend home, and since he lives near me, he offered me a ride. This was very nice of him, and I wanted more time with him, so I accepted. Bad idea. Not because of Anthony, but because his friend brought some military friends who had to be taken back to base in Southwest. They didn't see the entrance at first, so we had to basically circle around the city to find our way back, which took a very long time. And on our way, we got stuck behind an accident, and had to wait until the ambulances cleared. Luckily, Anthony had some Dave Attell standup routines on his iPod, which helped lighten the mood. It was about 4:30 when we finally got the uniforms back to their barrack. They were lucky I didn't throw them onto the ground myself. To give an idea of how long the trip took, after finishing my fifth drink at the club right before we left, I was completely sober by the time we got to the barracks. Then after that long and painful trip, we had to go to Gaithersburg to drop off a girl at her car, then drive Anthony's friend out to Frederick. I got home at 6 am. By the time we got to my house, I had never had to pee so bad in my life. Still, I enjoyed meeting Anthony, and am looking forward to seeing him tonight. We're going to AFI to see "Taxidermia," a Hungarian film that's part of the European Union Film Showcase. The lesson to be learned in our drive around the circling highways of DC in search of a military base is this: I don't care how they've served their country, never give a soldier a ride home in the wee hours of the morning.
I've met a great guy (the great guy I saw again last week after months of not communicating has stopped communicating yet again, and of course I still can't stop thinking about him), started a not-great but still interesting part-time job at Progressive Maryland with some very cool people, and I have an interview on Monday to work as an SAT tutor. Is my life finally starting to turn around? Or is this just a mirage of a high before my inevitable fall? I guess I should enjoy the good times while they last.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

School shooting in Finland

Finland is a surprising place for a school shooting, an almost entirely American phenomenon. While gun ownership is more common in Finland than in the rest of Europe, the article states, shootings are still rare. The gunman shot several people in the school, including the principal, after putting up a plan for his rampage on YouTube, calling it a "revolution." He then shot himself, but survived. No other information about the shooter or his motives was included, but I will, of course, be following this story.
Some odd political news: Pat Robertson, professional religious wingnut and swindler of the faithful, is backing Rudy Giuliani for president. This is surprising because Giuliani, while I'm not a fan, is at least pro-choice and pro-gay rights, making him a bit too socially permissive and, well, rational for the crazy Christians Robertson represents.
A bit of good news: I officially start training at Progressive Maryland today. Not only am I employed again, I'll be working for something I can be proud of. And when I explained my dissatisfaction with my previous job during my interview, the interviewer not only understood, he fully sympathized and shared stories of corporate bullshit of his own. I think I could be happy there.

Monday, November 05, 2007

A mob story from the old country

There's not much here, just the latest mob boss arrest in Sicily, a guy who was nicknamed "the Baron." Gotta love those Mafia nicknames. His archrival was "the Lawnmower," due to his method of mowing down hit targets. There's also another great Mafia power struggle story, which makes me wonder just how different the mob is from any American government organization or corporation.
On the job front, after months of sending out resumes with no responses, I received two responses in the space of one hour today. I now have two interviews, one with a coffee shop and one with Progressive Maryland, a grassroots political organization. Not my ideal job, but still a good cause, much better than the corporate bullshit I was once subjected to.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Control review

The Joy Division movie Control is definitely worth seeing, not just for the energetic recreation of concert footage that is the closest we will ever get to witnessing a Joy Division show. Sam Riley's performance as the band's tormented lead singer, Ian Curtis, deserves every bit of each glowing review it has received. From his epileptic seizures to his early romantic naivete and later depression to his passionate stage shows, Riley nails every facet of Curtis' complex character, all while having the slim frame, black hair and pale skin to make him every high school goth girl's dream. The final moments, with Joy Division fans knowing how this tragic story will end, when Curtis is facing his homemade noose, then a cut to a wide shot of his wife discovering the unseen body, are heartbreaking. As "Atmosphere" plays over the closing credits, Curtis' solemn voice and sad lyrics take on a new significance. Also, I was thrilled that my favorite JD song, "She's Lost Control," was featured in the film. After coming home, I had to listen to my Joy Division albums.
Personal news: Had a great time at Bound last night. A big thanks to whichever DJ played "Red Right Hand." I met some great new people, and saw a guy I hadn't seen in months, the one who has been slipping in and out of my life ever since we met, when I felt he could be the love of my life. Despite the uncertainty of our history, I was happy to see him, and we got a chance to hang out and talk on our way home. I just hope he doesn't slip away again. But with some of my friends going through nasty divorces and drama-heavy breakups and reunions, maybe I shouldn't rush into anything.