This is my customary input on the Attack on America. The glorious GangstaFeelsGood directed me towards the node Nostradamus and the World Trade Center which basically points out that these 'quotes' are not faithful quotes at all, and in fact, utter bullshit. Thank god.

"In the City of God there will be a great thunder, Two brothers torn apart by Chaos, while the fortress endures, the great leader will succumb... The third big war will begin when the big city is burning"

Nostradamus 1654

The significance of this date is that we were not expecting it.

There are so many daylogs written about this.. so many daylogs. So many news stories and rumours and crying people and racist and religious fuckers perpetuating the gloom. The catbox was amazingly amazingly, the greatest source of information any of us had, and it was just going too quickly to keep up with at times. So of course to slow things down again I retreated to wonko's chatterbox archive which is like the best invention in the world. There were a few things people said during the big hubbub that got me the most. I felt myself in absolute turmoil over this, which i thought at the time was a fucking cop out, because I am in Australia, as far away as you can get from New York, and yet I am wrenched. But I realised.. this is the first time in history that we can all be connected by the internet during a fucking large disaster. So everybody is going to feel it. Because we have accounts from people we know, and not just nameless faces we have never seen and will never see again. This is why I feel it, this is why we feel it. I wish so much to be able to hug my little nodey friends who are scared and sad and ruined and to donate my rare blood and to scour the rubble for bodies with some life still in them. To rebuild the streets of a city I have never been in, but may as well have, because of my little lovely friends there, because of a thousand pictures, films, tv shows, documentaries, because of a hundred books, love the city before I have ever been there, and i love the people who died in that building although I didn't know them. Here are things I heard in the catbox that turned my stomach the most.. the detail, the sense, the futility of the entire scenario was captured a little in each of these. and the absurd.
    • ”A person who answered the phone on the trading floor at interdealer-broker Cantor Fitzgerald, located near the top of the World Trade Center, said: "We're f***ing dying," then hung up.”

    • It was amazing to me that people were actually pouring out of windows. I was amazed at the strength of their terror, that they would actually jump to their deaths although they were going to die anyway. I didn’t understand it. I thought, was there a chance some survived? But then..
      /msg dustfromamoth I think they did die – it was just preferable to burning alive...
      That made me so still and sad.

    • “all it could see was all the *paper* - the files, and memos, the institutional infrastructure and expertise in those 2 buildings... it's a massive human AND economic blow.”

    • “jesus new york looks like something out of the godzilla movie.”

    • Walter is never going to be able to watch Fight Club again without thinking of THIS.
      moodster: The difference is that the buildings in Fight CLub were empty...

    • “this makes pearl harbor look like a friendly gathering.”
      “Bah... this makes Pearl Harbor look like a surprise birthday party.”

    • “During the Vietnam war we all said, Well, if we were attacked at home, that would be different. Well, we've been attacked at home.”

    • "prime minister howard made this statement with his lips quivering" mental picture. Ew. Australia will be going along with anything the US does to hunt down terrorists.”

    • “Yet another example of how religion makes this world a better place.”

    • “Hopefully we can come together and rebuild... better...”

    • mblase tries to envision 50,000 people gone. I can't do it.

The thing which got me was, even Disneyland was closed for christ’s sake. To me this is the utter symbol of the way this incident erased all magic, all fun, all spritefulness…. Any trace of a sparkle.

It pissed me off how everybody got all shocked and shaken over Nostradamus’s predictions. One example being:

"It has been foreseen that exactly three hundred and fifty years into the future, silver phoenixs shall strike down the twin brothers of oppression that carried the king's nation, which shall bring upon the apocalypse." - (September 11th, 1651)
Apart from the fact that translations can often be sketchy at best, this man also predicted a whole bunch of things that just plain did not happen. And really, could we call New York City the “city of god”? His prophecies are also very general. And this is not the beginning of the apocalypse. Such beliefs are harmful, and they make me so angry I could strangle you all. This type of attitude is what got us into this mess in the first place. A prime example of this is an email I got from one of my friends, a Christian, who I otherwise respected, despite his beliefs, up until now.
"hi to all
you are all my mates.. from some time in my life.. i wanna get this off my chest.
i think what has occured is the collapse of humanity. this has gone too far... and i believe will go further... so as a loyal friend that i am i want to say i love you all in some way.. and valued the times we shared and will come to share. i feel awkwardly numb.. but awoken in a sense to the feeling in the air of a new era.. this is the 21st century in all it's glory.... great how far humans have evolved after all this time wouldn't you say.... what is the sense... all for a statement... the real perpetrators never come to justice.. on both sides... we are pawns in their litttle ego game... it bites hard that our choice is restricted soo much... i have decided to live life with a new attitude from today... stay safe and close to your families..."
My reply; I clenched my teeth and tried to be as polite as possible, as nice and understanding as possible:
"dollface, much as i love you, i don't think you should be blindly believing something like this, it's dangerous. it very well may be the collapse of humanity, but it may not be. what we don't need right now is a bunch of other fanatics believing in something for no reason.

thats what caused this in the first place. the terrorists believed so strongly in whatever their little goal was, without thought. They were brainless and manic.

we can't be sure what this means for the world so please don't just instinctively expect it all to end. If too many people do this, it may. Suspect it, by all means, be wary of it, speculate, contemplate... but please don't believe.. believe is such a strong word darlink."
Prosaic, inarticulate, but what else can you say to a person. When I saw that I had received a reply I was very nervous about what it might say to me.
"hey, you are right.. i know.. but i feel something in my stomach.. a total gut instinct.. and i have the gift of knowing the future sometimes... i hope it is not so... i really do.. stay safe my good friend.."
What can one say to something like that? I didn’t say anything. One of my other friends said to me:

"No country would be stupid enough to go to war against USA"

That statement seems logical, but we are dealing with extremists. Logic doesn’t come into the equation. And that is why I spent days, teeth chattering, wondering how I was supposed to go on anyway, knowing..

Anyway. What I am most concerned with now is the rebuilding. There is such a power in something like this. It brings people together, which is a thing I very much love :) It always saddened me that only a few things could bring people together… disaster, religion, and fanaticism.. each of these have dire, dire consequences. Why can’t we just all be together for no reason? Just because we’re alive? It makes no sense. A quote, by Feuerbach, that speaks to me about the one fundamental flaw of religion:
"We project all our unrealized perfection onto an imaginary non-human entity, God,instead of concerning ourselves with the realizable improvements of our fellow human beings".
Another thing, the borglist on the catbox was phenomenal. dwardu said something about this I thought was very valid (although I saw the value in stopping people from flooding the catbox with useless information during this time):
I know I'll be borged but have been silenced before today...EDB: Your radical ideas about censorship reflect how americans preach freedom while imposing themselves on the rest of the world. Has today not taught you a lesson?
And the first joke we heard about the incident?

Bet you this is the media release for Windows XP
big banner will unfurl – "Wont crash like this"

dragoon: May I point out one bright shining spot of humanity in all this: NYC has not reported any looting or other attempt to abuse this tragedy.

That’s what I like :) That’s what I like.

ooooh. that nipple boy just informed me of some looting that occurred, I forget precisely what he said because I accidentally deleted the message but I do know that the looting could only have been accomplished by the rescue and relief workers. Which I think is disgusting, but expected. Sadly.

So, I used to keep a web journal... I stopped at the start of this year, when my life became busy; I got a full time job, I got a full time girlfriend, heh... didn't leave much time for messing around with HTML and PHP, but I guess it left me wondering about a lot of things and having no outlet for them.

Most things I can talk to Anna about (Anna being my girlfriend)... she'll probably end up reading this, we try not to hide things from each other... but it's sort of different when you're writing for the anonymous masses, instead of to a particular person. Somehow easier to just say what you're thinking, and not worry about offending whoever you're writing to.

Not that I'm particularly offensive, but I get paranoid about pissing people off, saying the wrong thing so they never want to speak to me again. I think this stems from a bad experience I had with an internet friendship at the end of last year.

The funny thing about Anna and I, is that we liked each other for so long, and neither of us knew it. I mean, there would be times that we were thinking, 'Yeh, I could see myself with them', but we never acted on it, and it sort of went away... but we were always close friends, and we were always close physically too, she'd hug me when she saw me, she'd sit on my lap... which when we look back at it, is just kinda strange, hehe... and then when we got together, it was just so perfect and right, we don't know why we didn't do it earlier... I guess the time just wasn't right.

Anyway, this is meant to be a daylog, so I guess I should talk about what's going on in my life at the moment... working (as in, right now, I shouldn't be on here), trying to spend as much time with Anna as possible, and help her out with her study... she's doing a psychology degree, on her last year, so only has a few weeks left; I just try to help her out with typing her essays and going through some statistics stuff with her.

We're seeing a movie tonight, Cats and Dogs, then going back to my house... she stays over at my place at least twice a week, my parents give me the freedom to do what we want... her parents are a bit stricter; when I stay at her place I have to sleep in the spare bed. (Unless we manage to convince them that we just fell asleep together on the couch) Frustrating.

Band practise tomorrow. Our band finally got itself a name at our drummer's 21st last week : Askew. We should be trying out an original tomorrow, written by me; that should be interesting. And fun, everybody is getting a lot more enthusiastic now, buying new equipment and stuff, the gig at the 21st last week helped there too, I think. That was an amazing experience, singing in front of a bunch of strangers, and having them actually sorta-kinda enjoy it, hehe... we got encouragement all round, at least.

Ah well, this is probably really tedious, but meh, it's my first day log. I'm not an incredibly opinionated person, so I don't really have a lot to say. Which is unfortunate, because I kinda like this Everything2 place, and would like to contribute.

on to September 23, 2001

Today I went out to my garage to grab a joystick I had left out there (I had to do some research for another one of my Atari nodes). When I got out there I noticed my empty Pac-Man arcade cabinet along with my newly refinished (minus the sideart), Double Dragon machine. But I couldn't play either one. My ever resourceful buddy Dave managed to step on one of the jamma boards to the Double Dragon and the Pac-Man is just an empty case (I plan to restore the Pac-Man eventually, but all I have aquired so far is a power supply and monitor).

Next thing you know I have decided to build a new MAME cabinet. I decide to use the Double Dragon, which was actually a Defender in a former life. My roommate Ryan helps me get it in the house through the second story window. Within 2 hours I have it pretty much put together. Although I have already built a couple of these before, so it went much quicker, it didn't hurt that I already had a hacked Sidewinder controller wired up to an old arcade control panel because that is what takes the most time.

Here is what I have so far. The cabinet is a refinished Williams Defender that has been painted gloss red with black t-molding. I used a 19 inch PC monitor. Right now the control panel has a single 8 way joystick and 9 buttons (I have a button filling the spot where I plan to put a spinner). I have a generic marquee with some Kung-Fu guys on it, which I still plan on replacing. Finally there is no sideart as of yet, but I have a few ideas.

This weekend I hope to finish it up by adding a trackball and better integrating the PC that is running it, although everything already works perfectly. Not bad for a few hours work.

I always hope things will be different. I guess it's the eternal optimist in me. But the U.S. media is once again playing lap-dog. They might as well be an official branch of the government.

Yesterday in Los Angeles they buried Adel Karas. I never saw a mention of it on any of the TV networks. I had to read it in the Jordan Times. Mr. Karas was shot and killed in the backlash against anyone resembling an arab. Mr Karas was a christian. On TV there were no reports of fund-raising for his family. There were no reports of his 67 year-old mother flying in for the funeral. There were no images of her weeping.

President George W. Bush announced the creation of the Office of Homeland Security. This was reported. But it was never mentioned that he had rejected this same idea months ago. The U.S. Commission on National Security issued their report in January stating the US was vulnerable to attack and urged the creation of this office. Only after they were tragically proved right did Bush reverse position and agree.

More than 250 acts of violence have been reported against arabs or those "resembling" arabs -- on US college campuses alone. It's comforting to see that our education system is working so well.

I always hope that things will be different. Maybe one of these times I won't be disappointed.

I love voting on daylogs. It allows you to see the bitterness of a lot of folks - the predictable seven downvotes on every write up. I can't really see the point in downvoting a subjective node. Personally, I'm way more inclined to look at Everything as a documentation project. The minutiae of daily life is part of that. With the sheer amount of joke nodes out there I don't see daylogs as a real detraction from the actual content of the site. I guess, in the end, office jokes really are more important to some folks.

We're going to war. Fuck. I'm too old and diabetic to worry about being drafted but I'm also a student. Some of my classmates who are in the military are looking very haggard lately. This sucks.

I have band practice in a couple of hours. Like it fucking matters, right?

Well it's birthday number 28. 27 is supposed to be the hardest year on rock stars (Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Moon, and Nowell all died at 27). I didn't OD, though I am drinking an awful lot. Hmm, not sure what the next few years will bring. I am, as most people are these day, a bit apprehensive about the future. I am scared even. I want my kids to grow up substantially like I did, and I'm not sure how to make that happen.

"So it's your birthday. Well it's so good to have you back again!"

--From the Bogside Zukes birthday song.

I first found out about Jerry Falwell's comments about liberals and gays being largely responsible for the recent attacks from Jonathan when we spoke on the phone the other night. "He was censured," Jon said.

"He wasn't censured," Jon's wife shouted in the background. I have always suspected that she does not entirely trust the goyim.

"Yes he was," Jon shouted back. "He was totally censured."

"He was censured?" I asked mildly.

"Yes. I saw them censuring him on the news."

"Well, then. I guess it's my duty as a Christian to steal a Piper Cub and fly it into a building full of people."

Black humor. You gotta love it.

After I posted my daylog yesterday (what I have come to refer to as "some thoughts from a coward and a glutton") I spent the rest of the day thinking about the crossroads we've come to, and how our ancestors responded to similar crises.

I thought first about World War I. Now there's a hell of a confusing war; if I'd been alive then, I think my response would have been, "And we give a rat's ass why?". All those tottering colonial powers sending their best and brightest out to die in trenches, and for what? Yet when armed conflict became unavoidable, people somehow found the will to fight.

Then I remembered that it was the outcome of this war that led to the next one: the Treaty of Versailles, in which we allied powers decided to really fuck Germany over, dismantle her military, cripple her economy, and humiliate her people. That'll teach those damn Huns!

Only what resulted was a country full of hungry, poor, hate-filled people who found their salvation in a guy whose program involved taking over countries they considered to rightfully belong to their sacred Fatherland and killing Jews.

Was it partially our fault? Yes. But in the end, we had to fight this monster we ourselves had helped create. We should have acted differently at the end of the Great War, but we didn't. And now we were faced with an enemy who was only too happy to accept offers of peace as long as we let them continue taking over countries they considered to rightfully belong to their sacred Fatherland and, of course, kill Jews.

They played an excerpt of an interview with a Pakistani citizen who angrily insisted that he would never side with "nonbelievers and Jews." Seems that it always comes down to the Jews. Geez, one of the radio personalities said as if in echo to my own thoughts, it's like Nazis only with different accents.

For most of yesterday all I could do was focus on how we have contributed to this crisis. But on the other hand, the extremists in the Muslim countries have traditionally found it neccessary to kill us when we do things that most right-thinking people would agree do not neccessarily require the death penalty: like build bases, send them humanitarian aid, go on vacation, hand someone a Bible, play our Whitesnake albums where they can hear them, and allow our women to drive down their streets. Since we have yet to receive a message from them linking the World Trade Center attack to any specfific grievance, we must assume that the list now includes our simply breathing.

They just plain hate our guts. And are we partially responsible for that? Yes. All our actions in the region have been in the interests of keeping the oil flowing, and their people have suffered as a result. But now the immediate reality is that we find ourselves faced with an enemy for whom the horrible deaths of six thousand men, women, and children will not be enough. The perpetrators must be brought to trial, and the voices that come to us from the lands of the Middle East tell us that they will not stand for that.

I believe we must proceed calmly and rationally. We must avoid civilian deaths whenever possible. (Though Chomsky points out that cutting off aid to Afghanistan effectively condemns millions of its citizens to death by starvation.) We must do what we have to with the ultimate goals of peace and justice in mind, and never give in to the desire for revenge.

But, may God have mercy on us, it looks like we can't do it without shooting some folks.

Here is a letter I received from a boyhood friend.

He was one of my best friends growing up in the Neighborhood. We did just about everything together. You know the kind of friendship that makes you part of his family, and he part of yours. Well it was like that until he went and got hooked up with a girl from the next town over. From that day on, they were inseparable. I was tossed out like the bath water. Here's what happened.


I am writing you to tell you that I never meant to hurt you. I know what I did was not the kindest thing a guy can to a friend. At the time, I had in my mind that I was helping you. I think as you read, you will see that I did end up helping you.

Things didn't work out between Miranda and I after these 7 years. We did have some fun time together. She did speak of you often. How you were so sweet all of the time. Even after I came into her life. You see, I was so hurt when you found her to replace me. I was in love with you. I know I never told you this. Maybe things would have ended up different. When you went off to college, I filled the void in her life. I now need to tell you that Miranda has left me for some guy she met on the Internet. They have been chatting for about six months. I never suspected a thing until on day she came home from work real late. I asked where she had been. She stumbled on her words. She had gone out to dinner with this man. She then proceeded to tell me she was leaving me for him.

So in the long run, I have saved you from this terrible heartache that I am feeling. I am on my way out to San Francisco to fly in the wind between the golden deck and the wet surface.

Love, Charles

I kind of flipped out yesterday, and lost it.
Maybe I get panic attacks when I smoke pot, but I don't know what a panic attack even feels like.
I am supposed to be at the Mountain Oasis Festival this weekend, but Medeski Martin and Wood are going to be in town on Sunday.

I think the reason why I went insane for a day is because I'm trapped here, I hardly ever leave the campus, and this place, this institution not the way people are supposed to live.
Today I had a date. This is a milestone in my life. I'm not sure if it was a date or a lunch outing, or what, but it was nice.

I met him at the Electronic Frontiers Forum at Dragon*Con this year. I know what you're thinking: "never go out with people you meet at Dragon*Con." Hey, I met him in the computing area, so this might be ok, right? He was the microphone bitch at the panel discussions and seemed like a neat guy. We emailed and agreed to meet today for lunch. I had the great pleasure of skipping out of Calc for the day.

What can I say? I kind of get excited when I actually get together with people. I must have been radiating something good, because the guys at the MARTA card window said, "You look like you are having a great day!" I must have this attitude everyday. It's great. I even look better. Good luck, me.

Mike traipses in wearing geek on day off attire: computer-related shirt, shorts, boots, and an uneven shave. We wander around for lunch and decide on Mick's, a restaurant nearby. It is a bit noisy, but we have a great conversation and a nice lunch to boot. Mike turns out to have a chock full of stories and an unique laugh and ice blue eyes that don't look real. He has a stripe of gray hair, something he claims is genetic, and a family steeped in science.

So basically he is a nice guy.

We walk back to campus because there is an M.C. Escher poster that I want to buy. Afterwards we walk to a nearby park that homeless people use for napping purposes and find an empty bench. Did I mention that today is a beautiful day? It is beautiful. Idyllic. Pure blue sky with sun-dappled leaves, bright flowers, a small breeze, mid-70s Fahrenheit. We watched rainbows skirt in and out of the water fountain's mist, butterflies alight on the Lantana bushes, and lots of bright colors in abundance.

So, Mike is a nice guy. He kind of has that geek charm. Maybe it is the voice, or the clothes, or the inherent geekness. I don't know, but I like geeks. Like most humans, he has his glitches, but I am sure we both aired ours very well today. One of the downsides of enterring the dating game late is that you have to make up for lost time if you haven't learned these things through other social interactions. For now, I think that dating is not in the forseeable future.

However, this does not rule out friendship, and, as I said, he is a good guy. People deserve second chances. He was well-meaning and friendly and courteous and funny and I see little reason to discount him altogether.

And that is about it. I spent 5 hours with himn just hanging out and talking anbd it was really nice and much better than Calc. Maybe we'll get together and go to the driving range. The driving range rocks. It's just you, a club, a bucket of golf balls, a tee, and a large green expanse. My anger and energy shoots through the club and, if it connects with the ball, through the ball and out onto the green.

So, yes, if you were asking, this has been a great day. Now I will go stalk and kill my freakin' hormones. I managed to win the battle of wills and even turn down a small backrub in deference to the fact that I have known him for about 5 hours and that, despite the hormone overload, I want to try and take things slowly. If you see my hormones walking around like they are all that, you have my full permission to beat them down because they are driving me crazy.

Today I begin my experiment in the human condition.
It is an experiment that will no doubt, take lots of time, energy, and I'm sure will shoot any hopes of me having a node-fu above 2 straight to hell.
But it must be done.
I'll be tabulating my results, when I feel that I've gathered enough information.
I promise I'll tell you how it turns out. But until then, I drag myself onwards

Maybe one day, the Everything Women will lust after me, just like they do Webster 1913.

After two hours of sleep, I get up again. My printer's not working, so I have to walk to a computer lab on campus to print stuff out for the Landscape Architecture project that's due today. Before I leave, I notice the guy on the couch, and vaguely remember my roommate coming into my room at 1 or 2 to let me know his friend would be crashing here. The guy wakes up as a result of my getting ready to leave, so I ask him what time it is (conversation always relieves these tiny bits of social tension) and he doesn't know.

Tool tickets for the Phoenix show go on sale today at noon. I won't have the opportunity to get to a computer again until then, so I check out the ticketmaster website to see what I'll have to do, to help speed the process, since every millisecond wasted will be one more pair of seats sold to someone else. I create an account with ticketmaster so I won't have to enter all my billing information when buying the tickets later. Then I finish putting together my class project and go home to get ready for the rest of the day.

It's 11:55, and I'm back at the computer lab, not sure if Arizona is on Pacific time or Mountain Time (we don't have Daylight Savings Time here, so those two zones fluctuate in and out of our time). The plan is to keep trying to order tickets, and if the site is still locked after 12:10, I'll leave and go to my class. The second time I click on Search for Tickets (10 seconds after the first time I clicked, and was told it wasn't time yet), I get through. Two seats are reserved for me in Section 202, row AA for the next five minutes, and I must complete my order before then, or they'll be released back into the pool. I try opening a seating chart in a new window, but it refuses to load. Oh well, it's not like I'll be able to get better seats. I confirm my order, and am taken to a screen with a Go Back button and a sentence declaring that Express Ordering (using a member name with billing info already associated with it) did not work, please try again or enter billing info manually. I try again (press Back and confirming the order) some dozen times, to no avail. Entering billing information manually means backing out, losing the tickets, then logging out, requesting tickets again and then rushing to enter all the info in under 5 minutes. But I'm out of options, so I do this. Section 201, row TT. Shit. A minute later, I'm told my credit card number is invalid. Double shit. I can't count the number of times I've used this card to buy (worthless) stuff online. Why does it fail now, when I'm trying to buy something I've been waiting for for 3+ years? I try to solve the problem for a couple minutes, double-checking the number, using IE, trying Express Ordering again, but none of this works. The most easily eliminated problem now being the credit card number, I run for the nearest pay phone (luckily, I got change for a dollar yesterday and still have two quarters) to call my mother and ask for hers. The pay phone doesn't accept my quarter. I ask bystanders if they have a quarter they'd be willing to trade for mine, but they don't. I haul ass to the nearest change machine, but I don't have any singles or fives on me. I haul ass to the Student Union Food Stop branch in this building, and exchange the quarter. I run back to the phone and dial, and the woman at front desk at my mom's work says she can barely hear me. I repeat the extension number twice before realizing I have to shout into the phone, and finally I get through. I talk loudly to my mom but she can still barely hear me. Can I hear her alright? I resort to shouting again. It takes 15 seconds for me to convey what I need and why I need it, and then another 15 seconds for her to dig the credit card out of her wallet out of her purse, and then another five seconds for her to ask if I'm sure I can hear her clearly, and then as she gets halfway through the credit card number, I begin reciting it along with her. I committed this number to memory (unintentionally) four years ago when the only way I could get home access to the internet was to create a new free AOL account every month, using their credit card. Thanksgottagobye, and I run back to the lab and enter all the billing info manually and find myself in section 305, row something or other. On a whim, I hit the back button and try again, and end up with section 201, row TT (anything in the 200's is much better than anything in the 300's), and I enter my parents' billing information and finally get a confirmation number. I write it down about 10 times in my little notepad, then run off to class. For the first two minutes of walking, I'm incredibly pissed about this whole debacle (I had seats at the front of the second fucking section! fucking computers!) but then I remember that since there's nothing I can do about it, I need to stop wasting my energy thinking negatively.

I get to class, with 10 minutes left before it ends, turn in my project and leave. On the stairs leaving the building I run into a friend from high school. It is the fourth time in as many days that I've run into him by accident (before that, I hadn't seen him for about 4 months), and it occurs to me now that on three of these times, the run-in resulted from my leaving class or work early. The second of these times, I mentioned I was on the clock at work, and getting paid for not being there (I'd be getting paid for basically doing nothing if I was there anyway), and in the discussion that ensued (most people in America get paid for not producing anything tangible...) we realized that we'd independently discovered and subscribed to almost identical political standpoints. He mentioned Noam Chomsky, Adbusters and, and I referred him to, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, and gave him one of the burned copies of Rant in E Minor I always carry with me now.

But that was September 19th. On September 21, I saw him on the stairway, exchanged greetings, and then said I had to get going, since I was on my way to Phoenix. I walked downtown, got to the Greyhound station, bought a ticket, gave some woman $2 towards the ticket she needed to get to California, then started reading The Umbrella of US Power by Noam Chomsky while I waiting to board the bus. After arriving in Mesa (having finished the pamphlet), I was feeling nauseous at the number of US flags I'd seen on houses, businesses and vehicles throughout the city, being flown by people who had little to no idea (I still have but a fairly small awareness) what US foreign policy involved, what kinds of abominations that patriotic symbol actually stands for. I'm forced to leave the bus depot after each of the other four people in the waiting room pay their homages to the pair of Pepsi-owned vending machines and blissfully place over-priced garbage into their bodies. The second or third thing I say to Jeeves after he picks me up is I'm ready to get the revoke my citizenship and get the hell out of this wretched consumer plantation as soon as he is. He sympathizes with most of my sentiments, but thinks I take some things too seriously. There's nothing inherently evil about Pepsi, it's a legitimate business that provides a product that lots of people want. Sure, the US has some bad policies, but at least people like me with anti-government sentiments aren't disappeared. He also thinks I shouldn't harbor such strong opinions towards anti-globalization without being able to defend them properly. Belief without rationalization is religion, and religion has no place (shouldn't have a place) in politics. My only defense is that I don't have the time or the memory capacity to file away proofs that completely justify every opinion I hold... sometimes the moral conclusion of a line of reasoning is all I can retain from the information I collect. My opinions generally exist for good reasons, I just can't always remember what they are. I may have tried to convey this, but if so, it came out somewhat garbled (I'm even worse at real-time verbal debate than I am at trying to hold normal conversations), so I changed the subject.

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