Monthly Archives: May 2008

Broken Promises

Believe it or not, I used to be a Randy Travis fan back in the early 90s. He had some pretty great songs like “I Told You So“, “Reasons I Cheat” and “On the Other Hand.” That’s right — I have some pretty strange tastes in music (and other things). I also used to be an Opera aficionado, Reggae junky, and even got into some of my college roommate’s Metal. It is also no secret that I think Lyle Lovett is king, and I dig Mos Def, The Roots, and other quality Hip-Hop. I get nostalgic for the 80s classics, regardless of the haircuts, and I love my old 18th Street Lounge days. Now I spend most of my time listening to Jazz, but I do give myself ample time to reminisce with former tastes and even check out more eccentric stuff. If it’s good, I’ll listen.

In any event, this post had a purpose. Yes, now I remember. At work, we’d been putting together a customer loyalty program directed at regaining inactive users. Whenever we’d meet to discuss it, I’d always get distracted from debating the finer points because I’d be lost singing the lines from Randy Travis’ song “Promises”. My contribution to the efforts was giving the whole thing a nice, catchy name — the “Broken Promise” program — for internal purposes only, of course.

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Saturday Morning with Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy

I woke up early this Saturday morning. Instead of of wasting my time, I stayed in bed and listened to a bunch of Charles Mingus albums featuring Eric Dolphy, including

  • Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus
  • Cornell 1964
  • The Great Concert of Charles Mingus
  • Mingus at Antibes
  • Town Hall Concert 1964

My favorite is the last ten minutes of “Fables of Faubus” from Cornell 1964.

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Ahwak

This video is of Abdel Halim Hafez singing the classic love song “Ahwak”. Personally, I much prefer the version by the oud trio, Le Trio Joubran, from their album Randana.

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Obama – Napoli: Dream Ticket?

Obama Napoli Dream Ticket

Photoshop by Jacobo.

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The Death of Victory

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The other day I came across this sentence in The Enchantress of Florence, and it pretty much sums up the U.S.’s entire predicament in the world:

Then a strange moment came, a moment of the kind that determines the fate of nations, because when a crowd loses its fear of an army, the world changes.

That’s the death of victory. No threats, posturing, no preventative or preemptive war seems to deter anyone anymore. That’s what Israel proved in Lebanon, what the U.S. is proving in Iraq, and the end result has been the great death of military victory.

Yes, guerrilla warfare was what Alexander Hamilton preached in 1776 and the Minutemen practiced to defeat the British or how the Spanish defended themselves against the French in 1808. Military might, whether in Somalia or Vietnam, has always had trouble when fighting someone else’s map.

Nonetheless, this feels even greater today. With the globalization of information, we are even more aware of the fact: the crowd’s lack of fear in the face of an infinitely superior army foretells not the end of war, but the end of victory.

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Much Ado About Nothing

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I recently finished Special Topics in Calamity Physics and The Enchantress of Florence. Both had similar qualities and similar failings — the writing skills of the authors are undeniable, yet neither lead you anywhere interesting. At the end of the day, you read a lot of explosive, highly stylized language, but it amounts to little more than that. Continue reading

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Object in the Mirror

 Object in the mirror

Object in the mirror not as close as she thinks . . .

(Thanks Alex for image)

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The Final Days, Everything’s On Sale

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The word on the street is that if Hillary goes gracefully, the remaining Super D’s will let her finish out the race, but if she continues her slash and burn tactics, then they will come out in unison and end it now.

Many voices have already spoken against Hillary’s latest Race Card rantings about

how Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.

including Bob Herbert, Eugene Robinson, and Maureen Dowd. Even Charlie Rangel, a Clinton supporter, found those comments difficult to explain away. If Hillary thought that Obama’s “clinging” comments came off as elitist, then what do these comments come off as?

I suppose that what they actually prove is the end of the Clinton Regime. It’s insane, like Crazy Eddie’severything’s on sale“. We’re witnessing the final days. Friday’s Wall Street Journal editorial described it best: Continue reading

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On Tyranny

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This morning on the metro I started Czeslaw Milosz’s The Captive Mind — recommended to me by my friend Sorin — and found this quote (attributed to “an Old Jew of Galicia”),

When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God. But what’s to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.

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Who Are You?

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One thing that we’ve learned over the course of the Democratic primaries is that people are incredibly predictable. Regardless of the pandering and negative attacks and endless press coverage, people did not change the way they voted. Wright didn’t hurt Obama and the Gas Tax didn’t help Hillary. We are demographically conditioned. White women over 60 and uneducated white men voted for Hillary. African Americans, educated whites, and younger Americans voted for Obama.

So don’t even try to fool yourself and think that you have free will. Look at your ballot, and face the truth — the mirror doesn’t lie. Ironically, last night I had a wonderful dinner at my friends’ house, they didn’t serve squirrel, and I didn’t even know that they were white trash until we discussed politics.

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