muchabstracted: (Default)
I'm reading Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson, a book about the ongoing controversy over violent video games. I'm enjoying it; they're actually dealing with the issue sensibly and thoughtfully, and are taking the concerns seriously without falling prey to the sloppy thinking of most of my colleagues. (You can guess what most of my colleagues think. I admit I am, personally, a little leery of my young clients playing Grand Theft Auto, for the same reasons.)

My current favorite quote, which is discussing The Great Train Robbery, a 1903 landmark movie:

The brief plot contains multiple murders, including throwing a body off a train; shooting a fleeing passenger in the back; several robberies; an attack on a telegraph operator and the subsequent discovery of his tied and beaten body by his young daughter; the dynamiting of a safe; and a square-dancing posse that sneaks up on and kills the thieves. (The square-dancing scene, which is interrupted by the injured telegrapher who'd been untied by his daughter, is apparently the writer's way of letting us know that the vigilantes who will eventually hunt down and mercilessly shoot the killer are just ordinary folk.)



FYI, if you are interested, Current Magazine is putting out a special inauguration issue. It has the inauguration speeches of a number of important past presidents and photos of them. There are also contemporary articles about them, written around the time each president became inaugurated. It is currently 20% off, or $8. Comment if you want me to e-mail you the order form.

Secession

Dec. 20th, 2007 11:05 pm
muchabstracted: (books)
Dude.

What are the practical ramifications of this?

Unrelatedly, this was the only icon that I felt would not be unintentionally insulting in some way. Sometimes I think I think too much.
muchabstracted: (gorey)
Point the First
radio blares: "Schwartenagger's win is a mandate for the bipartisanship he has been practicing..."

*blinks* Has he been? Has he been doing something right, and my reflexive scorn for him has been unfair and prejudiced against Hollywood action stars?

Point the Second
Okay, what is up with all the ballot questions going negative? I'll grant you, I don't care whether or not supermarkets are allowed to sell liquor. But why on earth do you vote "No" for creating a union for home-based child care?

In the interests of full disclosure: I was vaguely worried that such a union would make home based day care more expensive. However, I also realized that "home-based day care union as massive inconvenience" was less likely than "home-based day care unions as a useful force in the world".

The decision not to allow minor parties to nominate major party candidates is marginally more understandable. It encourages special interest groups, which can be a mixed bag, I suppose; but mainly, I think this one failed because the idea was too complicated.

Point the Third
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Race: Yay!!!!
House Race: Yay!
Montana Senate Race: Yay!
Virginia Senate Race: Ha. I'm not holding my breath. I know my state.

No offense intended to the Republicans on my flist. I feel no particular certainty that the Democrats will do all I hope; but it is difficult to avoid expressing excitement at the first major victory since Clinton's Presidency.

Point the Fourth
Every single time a state has elected a black governor, I was living in the state and paying attention to the election. Clearly, I have Civil Rights Mojo.

I'm not actually 100% clear on what "mojo" means.

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