Tuesday, August 31, 2004

RNC - Day One

Just got done watching the Republican National Convention. Two pretty darn good speeches by two very moderate Republicans: Sen. John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani.

I feel so bad for McCain. He is one of the most respectable politicians in America, period. Yet, in the interest of promoting party unity, he has to swallow his pride and support the man who unfairly sabatoged his campaign in 2000 with slander and innuendo. McCain is ten times the man that George W. Bush is -- a legit war hero, a man of conviction, and a true bipartisan -- and yet he has to be subservient to the inferior W because of party loyalty. McCain's speech was fair-minded and overall pretty positive, but while some people thought the swipe at Michael Moore was powerful, I thought McCain lost control of the crowd, and the GOP faithful looked a little foolish booing this silly fat man who loves to be hated.

The 9/11 tributes sandwiched between the speeches were overkill. It really did seem to be exploitative of 9/11, as if the Republicans somehow have a monopoly on the tragedy of it. First some families gave testimonies, which was fairly powerful. But then that annoyingly ubiquitous NYPD singer sang "Amazing Grace" which was just far too much for me to stomach. Do the Republicans want to really be reliving the greatest security blunder in American history? Are they trying to get America back to the days and months right after 9/11 when Bush's approval rating was high, because all of America was behind him against a common enemy? And are they trying to do it, even though it's bringing back so many painful memories of so many? I didn't lose anybody I knew on 9/11, and I was still devestated by it. I can't imagine being someone who did lose a loved one, and now they are being forced to relive it yet again.

Giuliani gave a very good populist speech. It was entertaining and he's a very ingratiating guy. If you didn't see it, here was the gist:

"Hey, do you remember September 11? I do, I was there! We New Yorkers sure are resilient aren't we? George W. Bush is a real tough guy; a lot tougher than John Kerry! Hey John, are you gonna let terrorists get away with stuff? New Yorkers don't do that; we're tough! Here's a story about how New Yorkers are so unique. New York construction workers are really unique! John Kerry can't seem to make up his mind!Vote for George Bush, please."

Both speeches were, in my opinion, far superior to the subject they were touting. Having Giuliani and McCain pimping Bush is like having Robert DeNiro and Gene Hackman pushing for Vin Diesel to get an Academy Award.

I can't wait to see the debates between Kerry and Bush, and especially between John Edwards and Dick Cheney.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Check out Jitter's and Toastie's blogs too. Does anyone else I know have a blog? Let me know, beeotch.

The Blood Feud Between Rochester and Buffalo

I read an article that really bugged me. The columnist, Mary Kunz, wrote what was supposed to be a cutesy little article which said, in essence, "Hey, you think it's bad living in Buffalo? Try living in that cesspool Rochester." If you don't know or live outside of New York State, the entire upstate New York region has been losing jobs left and right over the last 20 years or so. Industries have left and the economy is really suffering. Most of this has to do with the tax laws that drive companies straight out of town and either down south, or worse, out of the country. I was born in Rochester and despite its shortcomings, I love the city itself. Maybe it's nostalgia, since I haven't really lived there in about a decade, but I have great memories of the place. And whenever I go home to visit my family, I always feel like I'm going home for a little while.

Anyway, if you want to read the article, here it is:
Big up to my boy Javen Bohall for hooking me up with the link. He's from Randolph (Jamestown NY area, south of Buffalo I think, home of the Cardinals) and I think he knew it would piss me off.

And here was my response to the writer (and maybe I'm taking the whole thing way too seriously, but it just rubbed me the wrong way):

"I'm glad that you take such delight in what you perceive as Buffalo's superiority to Rochester. Yes, Rochester -- like most cities in New York State -- has been falling on hard economic times. Yes, Rochester is the smaller, minor league brother to Buffalo. But to imply that a reader in Buffalo should somehow feel better about Rochester's supposed dearth of economic and culinary advantages is to take pettiness and schadenfreude to a very unnecessary degree.

Because New York City is sucking all the money out of Upstate, and because we have the most inept state government in the union, all of us -- Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany -- are in the same boat. Jobs and people are leaving. Friends are going to Virginia and North Carolina and Georgia, and not because of the weather. I've lived upstate all my life, and it's already hard to stomach people from "the City" coming upstate with an air of superiority, saying the rest of the state is small-time, or that we have nothing to offer. Now, we're backbiting each other? I don't see what it proves.

I'm sorry you have had bad experiences in Rochester, but you don't live there. It is not a cesspool of depression and homelessness. I'm there at least every couple of months, and while the city might not be Boston or Dallas or even Minneapolis, it's a fine place to be.

We're all going through hard times. Rochester (or any other upstate city for that matter) does not celebrate the demise of the Buffalo area, and one certainly would not expect a friend to the west to do it either. All it does it perpetuate the myth that we all live in an inferior area with no culture, bad weather and a lack of intelligence. That we are all a simple, blue-collar people who decide to stick it out in this region in spite of our best interests.

We are a region, not just a collection of cities, so maybe we should curtail the cute commentaries and start attempting to find out how we can best improve the entire state west of Long Island instead of engaging in futile acts of self-aggrandizement at the expense of people in the same difficult situation, just in a different zip code."

Yeah, I should probably lighten up, I guess. Ah well...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

My very first blog! Good lord I hope I don't screw it up.

It's really hard to try to come up with something interesting to say when you're on the spot. Now that I've entered the magical world of blogging, I think I better keep it low key. I don't have anything remotely interesting to say, but for the sake of posterity (for myself, so 10 years from now I can look at my comments and realize what a jackass I am), here are things I'm thinking about. They are of little importance for the most part...

- I think that Paul Hamm guy should at least offer to give back his gold medal. If the tables were turned and it were an American on the bad side of a scoring error, the USOC would be having a fit.

- Don't you think these Swift Boat Veterans for Truth guys are a little sad? They're still holding a grudge against John Kerry for stuff that happened in 1971. Whether they're telling the truth or not, it seems interesting that this is the first we've heard from them in over 30 years. They have an axe to grind because Kerry "slimed" (as that great upright citizen Pat Buchanan said) their record by cutting off heads and ears, etc. But hasn't this been proven? Isn't it pretty common knowledge that atrocities like that were going on all the time? Was Kerry saying anything that was meritless? Obviously it was a vast minority of soldiers, but did it not actually all happen? Politicians on both sides take too much out of context.

- Right now I'm listening to Sage Francis and Aesop Rock a lot. And I mean a whole lot. If you like what rap used to be but hate what it's become check out Sage Francis's "Personal Journals" and Aesop's "Float" or "Labor Days."

- I think my sleeper team right now for the upcoming football season may be the Seattle Seahawks. But I haven't read up on it that much, so I may get back to you with a different answer later. Kansas City's defense looked pretty awesome last night against the Rams, so watch out for them. And if Joey Harrington can keep it together, Detroit may have an exciting offense, though their defense has too many holes to be a contender in December.

I don't know if I'm doing this blogging stuff right, so I better read some other ones and compare.