Weekend was uneventful. Went and saw The Life Aquatic, which inspired fellow moviegoer Andy Sensat to pledge himself to the purchase of "a vessel of exploration". Afterward we went to Casa de Wilson where we tried to invent new mixed drinks and tried to trick their wiener dogs into diving into their backyard pond. Not much success on either count.
I also had Mono Ensemble practice. I played only the bass and did very little singing. Frank returned to the band after his baby acquisition hiatus. This freed us up to play Radiohead's Go to Sleep and other Frank-critical numbers.
Mono Ensemble is tentatively scheduled to play at the Carousel Lounge on Saturday the 22nd. Crack is being considered for an opening slot. People's reactions range from amused to horrified when I tell them that Crack may be playing out at the Carousel. It's mostly the people who have heard us before who are horrified.
I listened to Rush Limbaugh today as I ate my lunch. Sometimes it's good to keep an eye on what the enemy is up to.
Without going into too much detail, it continues to amaze me that the American populace at large has adopted the Republican party as their representative. As I listen to Rush argue for greater import/export protections for the American pharmaceutical industry (in an industry which uses half of their research and development costs for advertisements of medications available only by prescription), I am once again stunned that the conservative right wing has managed to convince middle America that they're looking out for their best interests.
When I was a child, my grandfather, who worked in an iron ore mine, explained political parties to me by saying, "The Republicans are made up of mine owners and management. They want to make as much money as they can. The Democrats protect working people so they can still make enough money to make a living. They help to pass rules so we're safe when we're working down in the mine."
Now granted, this explanation is a bit of an oversimplification, but it has more than a grain of truth to it. Yet somehow the American people are convinced that the "liberal elite" in the Democratic party are trying to steal their money and give it away to unmotivated welfare leeches. I think that this partially has to do with an American population that wants to identify with the rich and has an increasing tendency to see the working or middle class as undesirable losers. America is all about Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, and MTV Cribs- not people struggling to feed and clothe their kids. Furthermore, America is scared- scared of changing social norms (e.g., gay rights), scared of rapidly changing technology and biotechnology (from stem cell research to internet porn), and desperately afraid of terrorists and attacks on the American way of life. We have retreated into a mindset of defensiveness and "traditional" values in order to deal with our rapidly changing world right at a time when technology, business, and world politics are pushing us faster and faster into an interconnected global community. We are trying to make the world safer by dominating other nations, at a time when technology has made it feasible for any jackass with a centrifuge and an incubator in his apartment to brew up biological weapons.
I'm not afraid of being a liberal. I don't think anyone should be worried about being branded a liberal, any more than one should worry about being branded a conservative. Liberals have made some (mostly) well intentioned missteps throughout history, but they've also had some little victories (like getting blacks the right to vote and passing child labor laws).
We need to practice politics of inclusion, not exclusion. We need to convince nations of our leadership and exercise force only in the case of clear violations of international law. We need to protect the rights of consumers and employees at least as much as the rights of corporations and manufacturers. We need to protect the interests of American workers as strongly as we protect the interests of our CEOs. We need to respect and honor our diversity and place a premium on human rights. Mostly, we need to stop being afraid.
That sure is a mouthful, but that Rush Limbaugh gets me fired up.