Everyone's Got Problems (And Why The Forward Party Isn't One Of Them)

Republicans haven't won the popular vote since 1988. GOP one party rule states HOLD on to their majorities thru gerrymandering and voter suppression. Don't pretend that a direct election is a result of "bad numbers" It's not. This is NOT a problem with Democrats numbers! — Nick Capet | Keep Calling Out Corruption (@justpersnickety) July 29, 2022 Look, everyone's got problems and I sat on this response to a Quote Tweet I sent for a couple of days because I wanted to unpack it a bit and see if my assumptions were wrong. I think checking one's assumptions is always good a thing to do from time to time, because, well, I could be wrong. But here's the thing: I don't think I am in this case.  There's a lot of online discourse on Politics Twitter (PolTwitter, whatever you want to call it) that bemoans the state of the United States Senate. It sucks. It's unfair. It's (insert platitude) here. But here's the thing: with every complaint, the

Bookshot #156: The Hero of Ages

The first era/trilogy of the Mistborn series comes to a close with The Hero of Ages . Jumping forward a year or so from the events of the second novel, The Well of Ascension , we find Elend more comfortable and strong with his new powers of allomancy. Vin is still trying to figure out the agenda of the entity she released from the Well of Ascension- it's named Ruin and everyone agrees that it's probably bad news. But while Elend and Vin try to pursue clues left by the Lord Ruler with his five mysterious storage caches that were hidden all over the final empire. On top of all that: things aren't looking all that great for the world in general. The Mists are everywhere now- including during the day. They're starting to kill people as well. Ash is falling constantly. Ash mounts (volcanoes) are erupting. It's getting harder and harder to grow crops and feed people: in short, everyone is becoming increasingly convinced that the world is about to end. To make things even

Goodbye To Hoover

Living where we live, there's always been a soundtrack to our house. Summer brings softballs, fouled out right over our fence and into our yard for the dogs to collect. Fall, there are Friday night lights, the cheers of the crowd. Spring there are the shout and the echo of starter pistols from track meets. Late July and early August you get the start of two-a-days for the football team, voices in unison, shouting out numbers of jumping jacks. August, the marching band begins and there's a week or two of trying to figure out what this year's theme is before it all actually clicks. This past week or so, the soundtrack has been different. Jackhammers, clanks and crashing, rubble shifting, things slamming so hard the windows shake. The sounds of destruction behind a screen of shrubs or trees that the school district planted as a privacy screen years before.  Hoover Elementary is slowly being torn down. What's going in its place hasn't been made super clear yet-- I'm

Squawk Box: Obi-Wan Kenobi/The Book of Boba Fett

So, Star Wars . Yes, I've seen all the movies. Yes, I've seen The Mandalorian . I've seen bits of Clone Wars (but not all of it) and the other animated shows. And after catching up with The Book of Boba Fett and watching Obi-Wan Kenobi , I am convinced of two things: first, for the sake of the Star Wars franchise, they have got to discover other planets in this galaxy of theirs that are far, far away. I'm getting bored with always coming back to Tatooine. Secondly: I'm starting to wonder about the MCU and now I'm really starting to wonder about Star Wars: how much content is too much content? At a certain point, do people stop caring? Or do people wander in and out of the franchise and watch what they like? (Streaming, as a concept, is still fairly newish in the grand scheme of things, so it'll be interesting to see if set viewing patterns emerge or shift as we go forward into a multiplicity of streaming platforms.) But, Obi-Wan Kenobi : the overall idea w

Summer Prognostications

I've been contemplating how to write this post for a while. I wanted to let the dust settle a bit and see how the media coverage plays out and see if there are any emerging trend lines out there in the zeitgeist/internet hive mind that might translate into something tangible come November and to be honest, I don't know if I can hang my hat on anything concrete.  It's entirely possible that inflation and gas prices plus the historical pattern of midterm elections all hold true come November. I feel like voters are frustrated at the turgidity of both Congress and the Biden Administration on any number of issues and if there's no serious relief of something , somewhere come the fall then, try as the media might, I expect pocketbook issues to take center stage once the serious campaigning starts. (Hopefully: Biden comes through on some kind of student loan forgiveness AND they fix the impending Obamacare Subsidies disaster at a minimum , but it would be very nice- and not

Bookshot #155: Under Heaven

Guy Gavriel Kay is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. Under Heaven is only the second book of his I've ever read and I went into it knowing nothing at all about what I was going to read and I left honestly sad that it had ended. Kay is an author whose books will sit with you for a very long time, but in a good way- a very good way. Under Heaven is set in a fictionalized China that roughly corresponds to the Tang era. Right off the bat, I don't know that much about ancient Chinese history, so I can't tell you how well he captures that era of China's long history, but given the care that you can see Kay put into constructing the characters that inhabit this world, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he probably did a good job. He doesn't seem like the type who is going to skimp on his research. Anyway: when the story opens, Shen Tai, the second son of a renowned general of Kitai (what we're calling the fictionalized China) has been living

Random Song: The Motown Song

 So, I'm putting together a playlist on Spotify at the moment and I've been fiddling with it over the course of the past few days. In general, there's no overall theme, just- and I say this reluctantly because I'm old and don't want to seem overly cringe about this- real, solid bangers (as the youth say, or so I'm told.) I just wanted songs from all over my personal timeline of music that just rocked my face off and you could get a good groove onto. When it comes to playlist construction, I am criminally guilty of using some of the same songs multiple times over and over again- it's partially why I try, now and again, to do deep dives into random things on Spotify just to futz with my algorithm a bit. (Given this lengthy Stereogum article on Paul McCartney , I think a deep dive on Macca might be in order, but that's another post.) So this playlist (the current year playlist, helpfully titled 2022 Jams) features some songs I've been grooving to a lot