Monday, January 31, 2005

Gone, all Gone.

My favorite t.v. friends, that is. Da Brat and the (surprisingly appealing) Peter Brady from The Surreal Life, all four of those crazy housewives, my girl Sydney, and, most wrenching of all, Bianca, Kendall, and Greenlee. (Yes, that's All My Children I'm talking about, and if you think a person can't be equally entranced with the transnational ramifications of the Irish domestic space AND daytime television, you're wrong. Sadly, wrong.)

We cut the cable today, in a desperate attempt to see me finish my dissertation before 2010. Today was the first test--alone in my house all day without cable. What would I do while eating my lunch? How could I stand missing Maggie and Bianca's first make-out session? How would I combat the 3:00 p.m. drowsies without an invigorating dose of Law & Order? These are questions that will be answered in the months to come. Today however, I stood, plate in hand, in front of a ghostly blank television set at 1:00 pm, EST, thinking: why not just check? Surely we aren't on Comcast's priority removal list, even though we set up the euthanasia yesterday.

Wondrously, disastrously, my t.v. friends flickered to life with a wave of the remote. Not gone yet. One last day, one last lost afternoon, one last gentle massaging of my brain cells before the rigorous pounding of dissertaton-writing takes its place to expel Maggie, sweet Bianca, Dharma and of course Greg, Buffy, Willow, Niles, Pilar and Teresita, Vaughn, Sloane, Joey, Rachel, Carrie, Miranda, Ellen, Cordelia, Gunn, Fez, Kelso, Tina and Maya, Jay and Dave--no, Dave and Jay and sometimes Jimmy, Turk, JD, CJ, Toby, Josh, and Donna, Jack, Sayid, Jordan, Woody, Raymond, Debra, Karen, Jack, Bart, Lisa, and all the other wonderful friends out there I hadn't met yet.

Yeah...clearly it was time to pull the plug.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

That would be letting the terrorists win

The terrorists of the fundamentalist right, that is.

Remember when we were all supposed to spend a lot of money after September 11th to keep the economy vibrant--that beaten but unbowed attitude? I didn't really get on board with that (dire financial straits as broke grad student most probable cause) but I wanted to get on board with the latest money=political activism idea. I refer of course to the (apparently totally unfamous and basically unknown) push to boycott GDub's inauguration by not spending ONE THIN DIME! on January 20th. When I found out about the effort, I figured hey why not? If we all really got together and showed our consumer might... blah blah blah. So I forwarded the plea to a dozen people I thought would jump on the train with me and did my grocery shopping a day early.

How did it work out? Miserably. Since I am a late sleeper and a homebody these days, the morning posed no problem. It's pretty hard to fan out the cash while snoring or padding around pouring ricemilk on breakfast cereal. However, once noon past, simple vanity finally got in the way, and I decided I badly needed a haircut before going away for the weekend. I rationalized this expenditure in retrospect by considering the seventeen dollars I paid for a short and brutal cut at the hands of rough Molly more of a donation than cash exchanged for services. (Isn't snipping my hair in a semi-straight line across my back something I could *almost* do myself, for free?)

Apparently I wasn't the only one whose actual life got in the way of wielding their political might, since nary a peep was heard about this intended fiscal protest come Inauguration Day. This may well be because the "mainstream media has done everything it can to marginalize the breadth, diversity, and vitality of the various resistance movements which came together for the counter-inaugural 2005 protest." If so, great job everyone, bad job media.

But if not, and there really wasn't much effect, what was the point of this effort? Either Bush-haters (including, sadly, myself) are all too firmly wedded to the necessities of a consumer life, or they've decided that withholding their cash on Thursday to spend more on Wednesday and Friday doesn't make sense. And I'm afraid they might be right. Not because we couldn't actually grind the economy to a halt for one day if we really tried, but because I don't think Gdub would really care if we did. If 400,000 screaming folks in New York and lots more 'round the world in the winter of 2003 didn't yield even one second's delay of Operation Plunge into Iraq, would a slight downturn in consumer spending for one day in the winter of 2005 really give him pause?

Am I wrong about this? Did anyone out there manage to "not-spend" successfully? I would like to be proven wrong on this issue, so let me know if your protest made a difference. Does anyone feel that their efforts (economic or otherwise) on Inauguration Day impacted this administration or the country as a whole?

In the meantime, I think it's safe to say we need a better thing to do with our money in the fight against reckless government than simply not spend it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

How can I save the world if I can't even upload my own picture?

Not a great start so far. After much deliberation, I chose a photo to upload at the top of my blog. An important choice, after all. When (really, if...) those intrepid few who stumble across my postings first come to my blog, my picture will be their first clue as to my personality, my spark, my creative soul...screw it, there's just no way I can figure out the stupid thing. I 've actually spent the last hour trying to upload it. Just ONE tiny little photo, and I have completely, utterly failed. It's bad enough that I am currently unemployed and unable to finish one little dissertation; you'd think I could make a go of a blog at least? Any computer geeks out there that can help me? YOU'RE probably not unemployed. Probably done with school too.