Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Shut Up and Write

The month of November is just ninety minutes away, and somehow I am going to write my Great American Novel before December. Progress, whining, feelings, tips for cafeinated drinks, and maybe even some excerpts will all be posted on my NaNoWriMo blog.

This blog will be restricted to all my other rambling thoughts that don't relate to this insane project called NaNoWriMo. As none of the words I post here count toward my 50,000, I will likely be kind of absent here for the month. Also, as I am going cold turkey from writing pundit political crap starting after the election, the flavor of this blog will change a little.

Wish me luck. If you are interested in reading more of my novel, you can drop me an email and maybe you can be a proofreader for me. I doubt I'll have much worth proofreading until early next year; it will take me until then just to get a significant part of my manuscript revised. The main rule of NaNoWriMo: no revision until December.

The Last Four Days

As we enter the last few days of this election year, we find McCain in Defiance, OH. Looking toward the last days of this campaign, here are the cities we will find the candidates and their surrogates in:

Barack Obama
Bird In Hand, PA
Smoketown, PA
Neversink, NY
Red Bank, NJ
Red Hook NY
Red Lick, MS
Apex, NC
Santa Claus, IN

Election Night: Satan's Kingdom, VT

Flushing, NY
Gap, PA
Little Hope, PA
Dumfries, VA
Needmore, AL
Hope, AK
Wiener, AK
Slaughter, FL
Zigzag, OR
Drain, OR
Fossil, OR
Hell, MI

Election Night: Tombstone, AR

Mooselookmeguntic, ME
Lost Creek, PA
Munday, WV
Cut-n-Shoot, TX
Ding Dong, TX, OR

They are keeping him gagged and locked in the room under the stairs in Santa Clause, IN until election night. However, Bill Clinton will be covering many events in his stead.

Bill Clinton
Blue Ball, PA
Intercourse, PA
Hornytown, NC
Hookertown, NC
Sugar Tit, SC
Hard Up, UT
Virgin, UT
Packwood, WA
Tokeland, WA

Election Night: back in Hookertown, NC

Get out there and see your candidates!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A new blog for a new novel

Starting November first I am going to write a novel as part of NaNoWriMo 2008. Writing about my troubles with the novel, issues I have with the characters and such will go here. The novel itself will go in a new blog:

If you are interested in reading a novel hastily written as part of an attempt to complete a first draft of a 200 page novel (50,000 words) entirely in the month of Novemer, please do so. If not, I don't blame you. The work will be rough as I won't be doing any major revision before December, so other than a very basic spell check, I'm not going to worry about details much.

The novel I intend to write is a fantasy that I have been working on for years without any serious attempts at writing the narrative. I have the history, the magic system, and many of the major characters already created--all in my head. There are some deepish subjects I want to address, so it won't be an elves with bows and dwarves with axes kind of story.

Why fantasy? First, it's easier to write, and I have a lot of the background already created. I doubt I could write a science fiction novel in the same time: the world building and science background would make for too harsh a revision from the first draft. Given that I intend to write at least ten pages a day until I reach 200, easy is a good plan I think.

A Political

As the election approaches and all the hopes and promise yet again evaporate into the standard political kabuki theatre, I'm beginning to wonder why I write about it at all. Everyone has opinions, and I have more than most I think, but in the end political writing without an activist edge to it is pretty much just mental masterbation.

When I take a hard look at myself and go back to read the writings I have made on this blog and on the various forums I participate in, it all sounds like wannabe pundit crap. Predictions, general outrage, but never anything that will change anything. And what is politics if you aren't changing things?

The things I am really passionate about don't reflect my politics. To be honest, politics is so shallow and my attitudes toward most people with strong opinions so cynical that it just isn't more than BS. This blog is supposed to be a tool to keep me writing, even though I am the only frequent reader I know about for sure.

Political writing is easy, and like most easy things, really not that worth while. So, I'm going to stop. For one year, starting the day after the election, I'm not going to make a single political post here or on other blogs regarding politics. Cold turkey.

I have some ideas about what the content here will be next year. Some real blog stuff: what is happening in my life, my daily thoughts, my hope dreams and aspirations--at least the ones I am willing to share with the internet. Maybe I'll post some pics of my oil paintings, Sumi-e, photography. I may also start up a seperate blog where I will post fiction, maybe a novel as part of NaNoWriMo, which starts November first. Philosophy, science, links to stuff that is interesting.

But no politics. Call it a year committment. After I vote I will go clean. Maybe a year without expressing these opinions will focus my politics into a passion that will translate into some real activism, by which I mean I will speak with actions and not just words. Maybe in a year I'll have something to say that is worth saying to the world, but only if there is action behind it.

So, a political will be apolitical. For a year.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am Joe

It's entertaining how the overconfident left is so sure they will win the election this year in a big way, yet when anything comes up that may challenge this they go mean fast. This week, Joe the Plumber became the narrative, much to the chagrin of the Obama campaign. Joe is an ordinary person, with ordinary troubles and a down-to-earth work ethic. He is also a conservative that made The One look bad. Because of this, we are watching the entire MSMedia apparatus digging up all the dirt they can find. Similar to the way they overreacted to Palin last month, they can't help themselves. Any datum that doesn't fit their apparently tenuous grip on their opinions is cause for a vicious backlash.

Does anyone believe that Obama is a normal American? He is an elitist. If you like that kind of thing, by all means vote for him. But one this is apparent to me. After you tear down all the "post-racial" "post-partisan" "post-political" BS, the Obama campaign is just John Kerry with bigger ears. Hope you can believe it? Hope is right. Hope is what you need if you want to vote for a political upstart who leads by emotion not policy.

Here are some things I won't take from the left anymore:

- Bush stole the election. One acronym means you can never say that again: ACORN. We have known for years that voter fraud was an unspoken grassroots effort of the left, and ACORN is proof of this. You aren't mad that Bush stole the election, you are mad because you think he stole your stolen election. Look in the mirror moonbats.

- The Republicans can't win unless they Swiftboat. Right. The word for this tactic is ad hominum, and almost every attack on the republicans this cycle has been ad hominum. Look at Palin. Look at Joe the Plumber. Look at Bush. Look at all those opiners on the vitriolic left you can't trust McCain because of his "fighter pilot mentality." How about the lies about Palin's daughter really giving birth to Trig? I wasn't a big fan of the "Swiftboat veretans for Truth" but the left has lost all credibility on this issue. You are like pacifists with guns. You can't use this as a weapon, then say you are doing it because they are. Give me a break. Your mother taught you better than that.

- Democrats are more in touch with the regular joe. Ask Joe the Plumber about that. Which Obama do you want to believe in: the one that says higher taxes will make the US more fair, or the one that says you cling to your religion and guns. He is an elitist. If you want to vote for someone who thinks they are better than you, Obama is your man.

I guess this is as good a time as any to come out for McCain. I won't be voting with the Obamatons this election. To be honest, like Joe, I can't afford Obama.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Why I am Optmistic about America

There is a storm outside, that is for sure. The markets are a rollercoaster without a working lapbar, and everyone is scared. Banks are closing, the dow had its worst year ever, and debate about if a recession is coming seems part of the good-ole-days (i.e. three weeks ago).

In the world, we are facing our impotence: Iran will have a bomb it seems, which will likely start a slow arms race toward a completely nuclear Persian Gulf. Isreal will attach someone in response, maybe soon. Russia seems unimpressed by NATO: we are back to paper tiger status with them. They are sending arms to Huga Chavez, including long range bombers and nuclear warships.

The election has turned nasty (as usual), and whether Obama wins or loses, it is obvious that racism will be a factor. Neither candidate has a grasp on what to do about our economy. Anti-Americanism seems to be in style again, especially inside America.

And this makes me feel optimistic.

First, we are having problems right now. For a brief period of time we see the situation as it is, we see reality. The bubble has popped, or is popping. We will fall, get hurt, cry a little, then get back up and keep going, maybe a little wiser. At least we will have a chance to prevent these problems from happening again in this way. In this time of rollercoaster markets and turmoil, I see opportunity and hope.

Second, the fact that no one in America ever seems happy is a good thing. I personally don't have much time for those that seem to blame the US for our problems. A great example is all those 911 toofers out there that can't accept that someone outside the US could actually want to harm us here; it's so much easier to say the REAL enemy did it: the US Government. But the fact is that we in the US are never happy, which is exactly why we lead the world. I personally don't care if the USA is the leader of the free world. I DO care that the USA remains free.

Think about this. We have a history of racial relations in this country that ranks near the bottom. You have to go to Hitler's Germany or Stalin's USSR to find a more repressive society than the USA in the first two hundred years of our country. Because of that we have made the most progress. BECAUSE of RACIAL TENSION we are in fact leading the world in racial relations. I live in LA. If we had the problems you see in Europe here in LA we would have riots: so many races living so close together.

We see it as horrible, but I would rather have our problems than just about any other country in the world. And we are improving exactly because we think things are so horrible. If we thought things were fine, nothing would change. So the next time you talk to someone who smugly says how great things are elsewhere, think how static they must be, and what is under their rug.

Fat and happy means fat and lazy. Comfort is the best way to stop working you can find. We in the US see ourselves as the worst in the world--most often when we are actually near the top--and because of this we are constantly striving to improve.

I believe:

- We will lead the world in green technology
- We will be the most significant reason the world will avoid another world war
- We will invent the next technology that will be followed by the word "revolution"
- Our standard of living will remain one of the best in the world
- We will be the most significant reason the the standard of living in the rest of the world will rise
- We will suffer another terrorist attack, and we will rise to that challenge
- We will be find the balance between safety and freedom

Our inherent pessimism is a major reason we are on top. We are always striving to improve, even when it seems that we are going backwards. WE KNOW WE ARE GOING BACKWARDS. That is my point. It's all those wingnuts and moonbats that keep us that way. The MSM is always looking at what is wrong, not what is right. And though it would be nice for some kudos every-so-often, it is not required and likely just emotional drag anyways.

Even when times are high and everyone is happy, we will too busy complaining about how much better if could have been if we had done things differently. So, to everyone who thinks the USA is going down the toilet: Thanks for keeping us number one!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Which Celebrity will You Vote For?

Take a minute and think about this. Do you know how each of the four players in the presidential election stand on the issues? In the past few weeks, has your understanding of their standing been increased or not?

I know for me I have learned next to nothing in all the speeches and debates. The candidates know that being specific can cause them to lose voters. Obama especially has been playing fast and light with the issues, saying just enough to make me think he thinks like I do. When I look at his record, I see a die-hard liberal who votes the party line almost always. When I hear him talk, he is mister mainstream.

But this election is not about issues. In fact, there has been precious little about issues in the media coverage. Whether its Chris Matthews getting a thrill up his leg for Obama, or Sean Hannity throwing softball pitches at Palin, this election is turing into the People's Choice awards.

As a diehard moderate, I always feel like an outsider to both parties. But this year it is extreme. The campaign--the longest ever in history I believe--has given us nothing but play-by-play pundits, gotcha questioners, and dances with Ellen. Each candidate has figured out that issues don't matter, even as they say that what we really want to know is the issues.

This is the Entertainment Tonight Election, and I have no clue what either ticket will do or not do for the country. Will Obama push forward with half a trillion dollars of health care reform after we just gave 700B to the financial bailout? Will McCain do anything different than Bush on the war? What will either candidate do to stop global warming? When you parse the speeches, there is little there. No specifics, no plans deeper than bullet points. If I am wrong and there are specifics, please respond with the links.

The media has not done their job. Coverage has been almost entirely about the "phenomenon" of Obama, and more recently Palin. The mainstream media falls over itself to make Obama look good. Foxnews (and to a lesser extent than normal, talk radio) have given McCain the same treatement. No one has really given a rundown of the issues, nor have they challenged the candidates into giving specifics. It has been all about the horse race. Who is up today. Will x get a bounce from the convention? What is the Palin factor? What about the elderly white woman vote? Will there be race riots if Obama loses this fall?

Crap. It is all crap. We are in a war. Our air is poisoned and our planet is warming. Banks are folding hours after we find out they are in trouble. Russia is selling their nuclear bomber to Chavez, and Iran is laughing at the IAEA. Talk is no longer "if" we will have a recession, but how bad it will be.

And we don't know anything significant about how McCain or Obama will deal with the issues. Both are worthless in economics. The only reason Obama is leading on this issue is because people don't think: dems are better at economy, reps are better at foreign policy. The old stereotype.

I will vote. Though I voted for Bush twice and really like McCain in 2000, I am having a hard time this year. Obama is a rock star, and I don't vote for rock stars (and I live in CA, we had that opportunity not too long ago). McCAin is a war hero and moderate, or was. Now I can't tell. Both are pretending to be something they aren't, to get elected, and I'm not sure who they are.

Given what I have seen of politics lately, there is only one thing I think we can be sure of:

We're Screwed.