Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 and Back

2008 has largely been a time of transition: finishing graduate school, successfully finding and loving my new librarian job, moving to Sacramento, and being the scourge of librarian conferences (and multiple beer festivals) in Portland and Seattle. 2009 looks to be a great settling in period and becoming a contributing citizen, rather than a vagrant sucking life force from all passer-bys.

2008 also has a best of list composed by yours truly! Who'd have thunk it? Cristina can fill in any details I leave out or call out the lies I leave in, as she has access to my brainwaves at all times. If I didn't include something just ask and I'll mull it over.

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THE BEST (that can't get better) OF 2008 : A Selection by Philippe For America

Best Movie: The Dark Knight

Best TV Program: Star Wars Clone Wars

Best Album: Radiohead's In Rainbows (released last week of 2007 but who the heck had the time to evaluate it in 2007?)

Best let down on film: Indiana Jones and the who cares about aliens

Best Comic Book: None (I just started reading new comics a couple months ago... but Hitman was the best new for me read in 2008)

Best Restaurant: Melting Pot (Cristina and I have gone here a couple of times and have ventured into fondue cookery-land thanks to it)

Best Book: None (again, haven't read contemporary releases but I did read the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time and it is darn good)

Best Videogame: Fable 2 (this was hard but the amount of hours I put into this beast, including an all-nighter, gives it the title)

Best Software: New Xbox live experience (netflix streaming FTW (for the win))

Best Hardware: Griffin Technology 1200-ITSPKR Amplifi Home Music System for iPod (not sure when it came out, but I picked it up in 2008 and it fills my heart and abode with tremendous bass and sound)

Best Brews: Rubicon Brewing Co.

Best at being Funny: Tina Fey

Best Dessert: Olive Garden's Pumpkin Cheesecake

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And there you have it. So long '08 HELLOOOO '09.

Technical Difficulties

My hope and dream to deliver THE ORIGIN! of Magic Boy has hit a snag. In short, I don't have access to a scanner until the first Friday of 2009. This is a tremendous upset to third world countries and widowers alike, but stay tuned for an even better issue than originally planned!
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, December 29, 2008

Videos

A few treats for a lazy week:



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Star Wars Holiday Special


There is nothing like Internets at the airport, except free Internets at the airport teamed up with the Star Wars Holiday Special. Not that I need Internet for it, because I downloaded it. About 10 minutes in I had to stop. I was ready to burst out laughing in the hardiest way. Wookie dialogue and actions have this comedic effect on me. Maybe because the Wookie scene is between a runt, an old timer, and a housewife. Watching and listening to the special with headphones on is an experience like no other, needing complete and total dedication.

I took my headphones off and I could still hear the circus music. A commercial in the background sounded startlingly like the SWHS tunes. Happy Life Day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Recovery

After crashing like a fiend in need, the Star Wars Holiday Special still flashes in my mind and continues to puzzle me. However, I've been able to pull myself away from the void and continue to do things: laugh, love, smile, shower, etc.

With that I am now able to realize that Christmas is upon us, not Life day! Boy did I have myself fooled. Enjoy this Kinks song that'll rock you into the Christmas mood:

Friday, December 19, 2008

George Lucas Melts Brains

I just watched the late 70s holiday Star Wars special and am now absolutely warped in the brain. I've waited a long time to watch this monstrosity and in no way could have imagined that this would be the result.

Let me give you an example. See the dude below, he has some weird volcano hair and a whole on top of it. As I watched I wondered what the heck was that all about? Then the barmaid, on the right (a.k.a. some lady from the Golden Girls), gave the dude a drink and he poured his cup of brew into his hair hole. This looked cheesy and fake- the pour lasted about a second. I imagine he had some fluid on his head so they could only film so much. Then the Golden Girl lady commenced to pour a pitcher of stuff into his head hole. Except you could tell the pitcher was empty and they added water flowing sounds to make it seem like there was some alcohol or something being poured into his mouth-head. If you haven't watched this then you are probably really confused, if you have seen this then you know that this isn't even the worst of it.




When I think of how the scene of the volcano head and the Golden Girl Tatooine barmaid was even presented in the first place I start to get the shakes and forget my name. A regular story contains a beginning, middle, and end. The bar scene I described doesn't fit into any of those categories. It's something that was put in there non sequitur. I can't say completely non sequitur; see some Storm Troopers were in Chewbacca's house and the Imperial Army had to send them an important information feed, so they used their home TV. And this important information was about Tatooine and that bar scene. It makes perfect sense when you don't think about it.

Any who, my buddy Dan has a great post on his watching experience:

http://www.perpetualmemoryloss.com/?p=764

Don't want to watch the whole thing, here's a TVLand worst of synopsis (copy/paste into URL):

http://www.starwarsholidayspecial.com/multimedia/tvland_top100-divx.avi

George Bush - Breaking NEWS!


Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No More Music For Me!

Ok, the title is meant to be deceiving. Today I traded in my physical CDs (what they would take) for instore credit at the local Vegas music shoppe. With that I bought the physical media which is still near and dear to me: blu-ray discs and vinyl. I was able to pick up the Criterion edition of Botttle Rocket , There Will Be Blood, and The Beach Boys' Endless Summer.

Bottle Rocket has been a favorite Wes Anderson film of mine for years and years. Prior to this full length film a 15 minutes short was done. I have yet to see it and have had a yearning for it for some 3-5 years. I've scourged forums and databases but never found it. Now it is available on the new Criterion edition... yay for me!

There Will Be Blood has added value now for 3 additional reasons. #1 : I've been reading "Oil!" (of which the movie is based) and have developed an even more profound interest in the characters, themes, motifs, settings, etc. #2: My netflix rental had a hairline crack in it and about half through it skipped a ton of scenes, now I own it and will guard against crackages. #3: Property, a good capitalist owns property.

Endless Summer- My buddy, BRR, will be happy for this one. I talked trash about The Beach Boys for some time, finding them to be repetitive and too Californian for me. Heck who was I kidding, they are awesome and I'm a Californian. Thanks to my girlfriend too for interesting me in all things Beach Boys.

So there you have it. I still have a bag full of CDs that they may buy later, so until then ... buy property, commodities, precious stones, and the like!

A Tale of Two Blogs

It may be or not be well known that I maintain two blogs. In theory this allows me to talk library and information shop as The LiS Kid and prattle on about nothing as Philippe for America. In practice it is mostly prattling on in both forums. For some, this may be a disturbance in their blog reading routines. Why should I have to check out two blogs for one dude? If you are the kind of person who favorites or remembers all the blogs you read then I am sorry. I am not sorry for my having two blogs, but am sorry because you don't use RSS. Don't go to the Internet and blogs, make them come to you. RSS is REALLY SIMPLE (haha get it? no, then learn about RSS). With RSS you can read my blogs and all the others you choose from the comfort of a single browser or reader program. In no time you'll be screaming, "I got 99 problems but a blog ain't one".

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tips for the Holidays

Left 4 Dead on the xbox 360 has primed me for possible Zombie attacks. However, the real world zombie situation would be a bit different. Luckily, useful tips do exist. [via geekanerd]

Friday, December 12, 2008

Magic Boy - UPDATE

The Magical Adventures of Magic Boy is a bit delayed due to my world travels, giving conferences on our hero and the future of the comic. Not too mention trying to collect my royalties from blogger has been a nightmare. However, my fair readers I hope that this little update can tide you over till the 2009 season. I present The Magic Boy Rogues Gallery:




magicboyroguesgallery.pdf


The Sleeper - A robot whose looks are deceiving. The immense power that this skinny robot possesses hasn't been measured but it is able to crush concrete walls and pulverize steel. The Sleeper is also incredibly quick and agile.

Tiny Tim- He is an engineering genius and master conniver. Tiny Tim created The Sleeper and controls it for devious missions. Given his short stature and physical handicap Tiny Tim has sought to create works that overpowered and towered over others.


MotorMouth- Not much is known about the origins of this villain. His motorized mouth and vocal chords (or gears?) allow him to project sound waves that control all listeners, human and beast alike. MotorMouth doesn't have any arms and masks this deficit with a cape. While his physicality is limited it is no issue with his mind control powers.


Tragic Gal- This villainess features negative/opposite characteristics of Magic Boy. Her face is covered by a tragic mask. Her powers however are near identical to Magic Boys. Yet her purposes and motivations are tragically different.


Prussian Trumper- Looking to raise the Prussian empire and people the overly nostalgic Prussian Trumper is a parade of sorts. His mischief involves thwarting other Governments and rioting (by himself or otherwise). Mostly, he's a disturber of the peace but a wacky handful nonetheless.

There you have it, these Rogues look to make appearances throughout 2009. LET me know which villain looks the most enticing and maybe he or she will make a good number of appearances. I look to have a special Magical Boy ORIGIN issue out for December- keep an eye out!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Garbage Pail Kids

The last two days the sun had been shining bright and early. It was odd given the constant fog and coldness this time of year permits. This morning during my sunny trek to the light rail I happened upon a scene. A child was left by the dumpster. Economic times are hard but that is no reason to leave a hungry one to search for meager rations. I captured this moment for all history and leave it to my humble reader to contemplate over:


Upon noticing me the child threw her arms up in dispair and gave up searching, she was too short to reach into the dumpster. My options were to throw her in and let her forage in the safety of bags and trash or to give her a dollar to buy a cup of coffee. I decided to do nothing. Rather, I wanted to be an observer of life and I had to catch my train to work. I imagine a nice garbage man will pick her up and take her to a new home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life in Blu

I will stay away from technical details as much as possible and stay within the subjective experiences of multimedia quality.

Recently I picked up a blu ray player. This choice went against that which I had been a stalwart- the move to digital downloads/streams, Netflix only, and avoidance of the format war. So what made me crack? The realization that: not everything is available on digital stream and it will be awhile before that is even close, the need for Netflix purely for the physical format is overwhelming, streaming digital TrueHD movies won't be available for another 5-10 years (even then, new movies won't be available because of licensing and rights), and the reign of blu ray over HDdvd. While, HD streams are available (via my xbox 360 netflix) and look great- they are lacking; I notice the loss of data and notice slight pixelation. Also, many movies aren't available in HD. They are in lower quality streams, not unwatchable but there are some films that deserve a greater justice for viewing pleasure.

The REAL reason though is the Dark Knight. This movie is filmed and directed in an amazing way (see Wired article). I watched it last night and the viewing experience is hands down better than any movie I have seen on a television screen EVER. So I bought this for one movie? Not entirely, I bought Iron Man too and have Netflix. I probably won't buy other movies and will rely on Netflix. I already need it for digital streams so why not blu ray for the highest quality too?

The blu ray player also upgraded my DVDs. Unfortunately, the quality of DVDs on a digital LCD TV suffers under regular DVD players and xbox dvd player conversion rates. In short, a DVD can look better on an old analog television than a $1,000+ HDTV; unless you have an upconverting DVD player- as my blu ray player does. Tonight I watched Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and compared the upconverted quality to the regular. On my LCD TV the difference was dramatic. Without upconversion: darker colors, quick movements, and color differences are pixelated, overall the resolution and quality is obviously lower. With upconversion images are clear and colors more vibrant. It isn't comparable to TrueHD but I'd say it is better than streaming HD on netflix. I've watched the Iron Man DVD and Lord of the Rings on different HDTVs and the drop in quality is loudly noticeable, hindering my enjoyment of the film. Luckily, upconversion has resolved that problem. I'm serious the unconverted difference makes me think of VHS quality.

As it stands, the Dark Knight is the one film I may only be able to watch on bluray/TrueHD or in the Imax theater - other formats would leave me gasping for air.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Excess Income

I almost spent my oil money on the 2nd appearance of Dr. Fate and the first time a comic book cover donned the blue and gold hero:



However, this was an original with a reprint of the cover (original cover torn off and probably pasted to some kids wall in the 1940s), making it relatively cheap but lame if I wanted to mount it and hold it in high regard. I didn't win the auction because spending over $200 on a reprint cover isn't worth it. One day I may own this issue, but will be content with a high quality reprint of the cover that is framed and mounted above my phonograph.

Now I have oil money for other things. It is either get a blu ray player on black friday or get a PS3 via $150 off (with a Sony credit card offer) - so that I may enjoy the glorious oil drive, in a classic for all time- There Will Be Blood.

My lady tells me that this movie is filled with shots of dirt, grime, Daniel Day-Lewis, and oil splashing around- a blu ray version will look great but you're not looking at something amazing like Iron Man, The Dark Knight, or a Wes Anderson film. Too true, but she understands that I'm an old timey kind of guy and the realism blu ray will bring into my humble home will make me wish tycoons still thrived and monopoly wasn't just a board game.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gold with anger!

When I hear about werewolves, see collector spoons, see jewelry, or find a pre-1965 quarter - I think about silver. More importantly, how the world and The United States of America abandoned this classic precious metal- making it: A STANDARD NO MORE. That's right, silver is not an accepted monetary standard. However the horrible puke colored gold is the standard, nationally and globally.

WTF, does this mean... it means that gold is the only "monetary standard under which the basic unit of currency is equal in value to and exchangeable" (freedictionary.com). Our monies and printed currency is only worth as much as the gold that backs it. This makes me SO angry for several reasons. Silver is a great resource and looks dapper on my lapels, derby, and top hats! It should have never been abandoned. Imagine if the rest of the world abandoned the silver standard, but the US didn't - guess who has more money ... we do!



Also, the United States of America don't need no stinkin' gold! We have a standard called a massive and well trained army, an insane amount of war technology, the greatest Universities, baseball, and Barack Obama. Move over you ridiculous bullions - make way for reality!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

My buddy Dan has a good post on our U.S. Holiday Veteran's Day and WWI. World War I has always been an anomaly to me. Comparable to other wars, men killing each other in brutal fashion; yet, it was fought by digging deep trenches, infested with rats and disease- then there's the mustard gas and gas masks. This war and it's battles must have been hell: dark and deep in the bowels of mud, earth, and bodies. Trees, vegetation, and life were decimated- leaving what was coined a "waste land". The terrain was unlike anything before and from what I can gather, unlike anything we have seen since. The atomic bombs are comparable but the damage and mayhem different.

Also, this "war to end all wars" lead to canonical works: T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" and "The Hollow Men", J.R.R. Tolkien's series "Lord of the Rings", and a slew of wartime poetry and dystopian novels. Lastly, not only should we remember the ideals for which our soldiers fought, but we should also ground ourselves in the reality of the events through which they struggled. With that, I leave you with a World War I classic.

Wilfred Owen

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


Explanatory notes on the poem available here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tough times


Many Americans are going through difficult times right now. The US unemployment rate is higher than it has been in ages and the war in Iraq rages on. In times such as this I like to reflect on Millard Fillmore and his words of wisdom, may he be a guide for us all:


"I know how difficult it is to determine what is and what is not in order, to restrain improper language, and yet not abridge the freedom of debate. But all must see how important it is that the first departure from the strict rule of parliamentary decorum be checked, as a slight attack, or even insinuation of a personal character, often provokes a more severe retort, which brings out a more disorderly reply, each Senator feeling a justification in the previous aggression. There is, therefore, no point so proper to interpose for the preservation of order as to check the first violation of it." —Millard Fillmore, April 3, 1850



Friday, November 7, 2008

The Magical Adventures of Magic Boy Premiere Issue

After thousands of e-mails, numerous knocks at my door, and a bag of poop lit on fire... I bring to you the first issue of MAGIC BOY!!!!

Make sure you have a .pdf viewer for this piece, you will want to zoom in and out to see the intricate detail put forth in this soon to be masterpiece. Otherwise use the preview option provided by box.net and enjoy!

http://www.box.net/shared/mvpiyvm89v

Letters to the editor coming soon, where I answer fan comments and questions.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Guy Fawkes says, "never forget"




Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I can think of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Surfing on a Jet

Marvel Civil War was a long series that came out awhile back and I just started reading it. It jumps in and out of other Marvel titles while having it's own mini-series. Again two of my favorite authors Straczynski and Millar turned what could have been a ridiculous, contrived, and repeated plot into something exciting and fun. In Civil War #1 Millar gives us Captain America doing what could possible be the coolest two pages in comic history:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

An e-mail

This is an e-mail sent to some pals.

I've had the unfortunate luck of finding a comic store that provides a buy 3 new titles get 1 free and monthly orders are 25% off. With that I'm looking for any titles ye may recommend.

- I read "Kick-Ass" by Mark Millar and enjoyed it immensely.
- I gave author Geoff Johns another try and read "Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds", after getting sick of his JSA and Dr. Fate writings. He still sucks.
- I picked up "The Age of The Sentry" ... looked like a simple read, one shot deals, and maybe in the same vein as Batman Adventures. It's written like an early 1960's Marvel comic, complete with some humorous sexist material and critiques of that era. BUT it is no Batman Adventures, I don't see myself picking up issue #2.

I have yet to read some TPBs : SCUD is my gem that waits and Batman: DARK VICTORY by Loeb and Sales. I didn't like Batman: HUSH (even though it got rave reviews), but am giving Loeb another try. I picked up the hardcover Watching: The Watchmen by Gibbons? or the artist? Sketchbook and story notes .... haven't looked at it yet.

With that, I'm looking for great reads. I'm sick of paying $3-5 a title hoping for it to turn around on the next issue or so. J. Michael Straczynski is going to pick up "Brave and the Bold" soon, that will be a definite. Bendis is on a million titles and I'm not sure if that negatively effects his work. Lastly, I think I saw a preview for Punisher War Zone- and it looked killer.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What were they thinking!?
















This is the first installment of a segment we here on the mainland like to call: "What were they thinking!?"

A fierce nation in Africa but mostly South Africa are the Zulu. They battled their enemies with shield, spear, and speed. Their tactics in battle followed that of animals. For example they had a bull tactical charge that attacked head front but then spread around you like horns on a bull. Thereby forcing one to defend the front with a majority of troops only to end up surrounded. This worked well for them and for awhile, considering the millions of soldiers they had and the fact that all males were soldiers.

This brings us to breech loading rifles. Think of a musket, how one has to load gun powder into a tiny shaft, put a ball in there, and pack it- a timely process that lead to inaccurate shots and wastes of time and life. The breech loaded rifle used bullets that were locked and loaded into the rifle. During the late 19th century it was only one shot at a time, then refilling time. However, the speed in which one could load a bullet, aim, and fire was rapid and astonishing. A line of troops could command a volley of constant firing rates. Lastly, drastic improvements to aim and sight were managed thanks to bullets and breech loading designs.



Enter colonial England and their march through Africa. In the way were indigenous or autochthonous folk like the Zulu. Now, the Zulu did rock the Brits for a bit, after all they were a warrior driven culture of hundred of years and young and old men fought; they even got their mitts on rifles and pecked away. In the end, they were no match, it was dudes with spears and paper thin shields versus dudes with rifles, revolvers, and cannons.
Honestly, what were they thinking?!




Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Contemplating Comics

I'm thinking of writing a comic. One that is simple and just plain fun, mostly one-shot deals. Unveiled for the first time since I drew it in the hallway at work: The Magical Adventures of Magic Boy!


Update: After conferring with my sponsors and board of trustees we have voted to take on a dynamic new element that involves you! Yes you! Leave me a comment on what you would like to see in the comic and I'll try to implement it. Your wildest dreams in comic format and written/drawn by yours truly! Don't hesitate true believers, who knows how long this deal can last!?


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Good It's In All Two of My Blogs

Mets Fans Call for Playoff Bailout

After failing to reach the play-offs and meeting record setting cataclysmic ends two years in a row New York Mets fans have had enough. One such fan, graduate student Daniel Kaplan, has written his local representatives to save the team he loves and had this to say, "I love the Mets and they choked harder than any other team ever, it is only fair that America save us when we are down, I'm just glad the House turned down the first bill, it really gives us time to add some verbiage". Mets fans hope that The United States Congress can extend a "2008 wild-wild card" to the National League, providing a playoff spot for the Mets. The only question remains, who will they play?

There has been division between some fans. Select die-hards want the Mets to play whomever they can be set up with in the National League, while others are happy that they made the play-offs. Frank Griffiths of Queens states, "It's enough for me to say, well they made it to the playoffs, last year was real bad, but at least you know they made it this far, they don't need to play anyone, we can hold up our heads and say: "We are NL wild-wild card champions."."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sir Francis Dude

A long time ago in a Catholic School far far a way I was in the 5th grade. It was has here that I learned of a Sir Francis Drake and his exploits of the 16th Century. I won't bore you with details and long-winded history findings. Rather, I leave you with a simple tale that captures the essence of this man and legend. I admit the story drags on in the middle parts and doesn't have a clear sense of direction, however the plot is solid and the character development is tops.

http://schechter.com/family-open/02-02-cartoon/default.htm

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One For the Road

Before we step back into that time of simplicity I would like to point out that I love The Articles of Confederation. During Government class in high school our teacher used a "choose your own adventure" type computer program, projecting it onto the wall. The class made decisions by voting, in order to shape the newly free and self governing United States. We had the choice: revise the Articles of Confederation or start from scratch with a Constitution to debilitate States' rights, giving powers to a Union that resembled a "kingship". My championing paid off and the class voted wisely. Unfortunately the programmers were fools and it lead us into disarray and our hopes of a Utopian society failed.

Within this fantastic text the word "friendship" appears twice (zero appearances in the US Con.). It even included this interesting provision:

"Article XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States." No passport, no problem, welcome to Canada eh. The Montreal Expos might still be a team too.

The kicker, brilliant wording like this: "...unless such State be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion...". Whereas the US Con. dumbs it down to: "To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;..." All in all the US Con. pales in comparison to the direct and avant-garde notions highlighted in our beginning freedoms.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy U.S. Constitution Day

Today we celebrate the antiquated document known as the U.S. Constitution. We've been able to put a lot of mileage on this piece of parchment, coasting us into the 2000s. Some though express their desire to rewrite this contemporary-obsolete mess that doesn't apply to our modern technology and progressive ideals. Moreover, we continue to argue over tattered paper with chicken scratch written hundreds of years ago by men in wigs and stalkings, wasting time and money deciding what it means or intends or how it should be construed. Lastly, we are governed by laws that were written by slave drivers and the true elitist of the time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prohibition

As I sit here listening to Al Jolson, having read Theodore Dreiser, and pontificating the faults in the Great Gatsby it gets me thinking about the experiment of U.S. Prohibition. A failed experiment but one that gave us tons of culture in which to appreciate: speakeasies, Fitzgerald novels, Eliot Ness, improved root beer, the American mobster, and more. People often confuse prohibition as a ban on the drinking of alcohol. However, alcohol consumption was nevered banned; it applied more so to the manufacturing and selling of alcohol. One could have made a load of cold ones before the amendment was ratified, thus having a store of liquor for consumption- but I digress. A huge amount of tax dollars and time was wasted in combating alcohol. Time and money that could have been better spent on education, labor rights, human rights, keeping Germany down so they couldn't raise an army for WWII, etc.

I've jumped from the Civil War and Reconstruction years to Prohibition and find myself heading too close to contemporary and modern societies. It's time to take some steps back and visit a time of simple pleasure and interesting notions. What is in store? You will have to check back and see!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reconstruction

After the end of the war, Federal troops occupied Southern lands from 1855-1877. Attempting to establish order, rights to former slaves and African Americans, propone the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and thwart a resurgence of a Confederate army. This also allowed Carpetbaggers to take advantage of the war torn south. While they may have taken advantage they were investing in an area that needed all the help it could get. During that time African Americans and the South were on their way towards a semblance of repair and progress. However, Southern war wounds don't die quickly and as soon as Federal Troops left- Democrats came into power, enacted policy to discriminate and deny African Americans their rights (i.e. Grandfather Clauses). The Ku Klux Klan also came into great power once the troops left. The North being removed made room for hibernating hatred.

President Grant did well during his Reconstruction years until the Panic of 1873. A depression hits and the President always gets thrown to the wolves. That and he was rather ineffective in combating the economic turmoil. The economy was taking a nose dive and Republicans controlled the Capitol. The obvious move, Democrats were elected, leading to massive racism, segregation, murder, discrimation, and rape of our own people.

In short, our troops needed to occupy the South longer and retain order and peace. The defeated South effectively gained power of the U.S. Has the South been resonably healed of the massive racism, slavery, and war wounds of time past- or does the battle still rage on?

Welcome and Slavery

Welcome to my new blog. I have made some small attempts on my political prowess but this is the latest.This blog intends to serve a purpose of political insight and understanding that no other blog or historical text can provide. I would personally like to thank My Girl Friday for convincing me to start such an endeavor so as to enlighten the peoples of the world.

Topic 1. Slavery

We all know that slavery is a stain upon the earth and inhuman. It is one of the worst policies anyone can ever adopt and The U.S. is part and parcel to it. However, it is widely believed and accepted that Honest Abe Lincoln was a staunch abolitionist and did everything he could to end slavery. While he did end slavery, it wasn't his original goal or intention. The most important thing to our lanky president was preserving The Union. This meant allowing slavery and all it's provision to exist. Abe Lincoln was no states' rights kind of guy. After all, the Civil War is a result of his pro-union stance. Slavery luckily ended due to the war. It ended so as to cripple the South, changing their way of life and making them nothing but punk-ass-bitches without any economy, an economy that would pale in comparison to the North, teaching them a valuable lesson about succession. Lastly, do we honestly still think the Civil War was fought to end slavery? I am not even going to get into that one- but it WASN'T.