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America vs. The World

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Blogging will recommence in 3..2..1...

Avast, there be non-sequiturs ahead!

A lot of people seem to be all atwitter about Karl Rove leaving the White House. I'm not exactly sure why. I guess it's a good thing that one of the people most responsible for the sorry state of our democracy is no longer able to pop across the hall to help Bush pick out his socks or give him a backrub or whatever. But somehow it doesn't make me feel better to know that dickhead will soon be awash in more gold-plated doughnuts then he's ever dreamed of. Republican flacks don't resign, they just go to consulting heaven.

I just finished one of the best science fiction books I've picked up in years, William Gibson's Pattern Recognition. It was published in 2003, but the pop culture and technology entwined throughout the book was so fresh then that it's still bleeding-edge today. It can't even be called science fiction, really, since it's set in the present day and doesn't feature any events or people that couldn't plausibly exist. But it feels like science fiction, which just drives home how fast things are changing. Remember, technological change is exponential, not linear.

Right up there with Pattern Recognition is Cory Doctorow's recent collection of long short-fiction, Overclocked. Criticism of intellectual property law meets cyberpunky sci-fi? Sign me up! Plus, it includes a story called "When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth". Nerdgasms. And lots of 'em.

Speaking of nerdgasms, I was at a wedding Friday night that, I shit you not, was held in the same room they'd filmed part of The Dark Knight in a couple days before. Rumors say it might even have been Bruce Wayne's penthouse bedroom (apparently, he's living the pimp life while Wayne Manor is being rebuilt) — which would be appropriate because Hotel 71's 39th floor is a gorgeous location with views of downtown Chicago and the river on three sides. Don't know about you, but I want a wedding where a Batman DVD serves as an anniversary present.

I leave you with Dick Cheney, speaking about the first Gulf War, circa 1994:

Everyone was impressed with the fact that we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action and for their families, it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad and took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? And our judgement was not very many, and I think we got it right.
That's 3,676 dead American soldiers so far. Oh, and at least 1,000 civilian contractors. But who's counting?

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Jeff Goldstein is a wanker.