24 March 2005

Dumb, dumb, dumb 

I've kept mum about the Terry Schiavo case for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is that I think the disgusting abuse of a family's privacy by both sides of the political divide (aided in no small part by both the husband and his in-laws who have turned a women lying in a hospital bed into some sort of political celebrity) and the press in this matter has been worse than shocking. The grandstanding by politicians is so revolting as to make me want to shut off the television and makes me a little satisfied that I haven't had much time lately to do much more than read the paper in the morning.

At any rate, I don't know which members of her family should have the right to make the decision as to whether she should be kept alive by a feeding tube, but I know for fuck all's sake that I don't want James David Cain and the rest of the Louisiana legislature to ever be able to tell my family that I should be kept on a feeding for some unforeseeable amount of years simply because they think there's a chance one of my fingers might wiggle one day.

This morning the Advocate ran a rather helpful story that described the way this situation would be handled in Louisiana (the husband, assuming the pair were not legally separated before the term of her care began, would have guardianship and the right to make the decisions, then the adult children and siblings, then the parents), but today James David Cain (R-Dry Creek) has decided to pre-file legislation that would prevent anyone from ever pulling a feeding tube out of someone in a persistent vegetative state. Presumably this would even rule out pulling the plug on people with living wills in place. Talk about your overreactions. He calls this "erring on the side of life" to ensure that no one with a disability is ever treated with disdain by medical professionals.

Obviously I can't speak for anyone but myself in this matter, but I'll be damned if the state legislature should presume to speak for every family who should ever go through this kind of ordeal, preventing them from any future decision that they might take pains to make over the courses of their already damaged lives, and retroactively deeming ones that already have as murderers of the innocent. Cain should be so lucky that his family not have to deal with an event so painful without demagogues labeling them killers.

Louisiana loves you more 

Deuce should spend more of his money here in his adopted home. As far as political aspirations go, I do wonder who would elect a black Governor first. Louisiana or Mississippi? Haley Barbour spent his campaign for Governor hobknobbing with (don't call them the Klan) the CofCC (seriously, I dare you to click on that link), but it was less than fifteen years ago when we sent a real life Klansman to the runoff for Governor. My nod goes to Louisiana only because of the relative strengths of the black vote in the two states, but Deuce will probably be dead for fifty years before either state gives a black man the keys to the front door of their executive mansion.

Hitting the mark 

In my absence from most things computer related over the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that Greg Peters has hit the mark rather brilliantly with two cartoons about some issues near and dear to Louisiana residents. The first is an imagined conversation between Fidel and the Queen bee, which I missed last week. The other is a subject that whatever Lafayette readers are left will know is near and dear to my heart, and it includes a bumper sticker idea that Greg ought to think about marketing.

Per Ken 

I'm a little slow on the uptake on this, but Ken asked and he shall receive. It only took a few days...

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I'm not sure I even understand this question. Does this mean I want to be a book that would be burned? I read Farenheit in the sixth or seventh grade and don't remember any books specifically mentioned by the text, but if I had to come up with something that I wouldn't mind seeing eradicated from the face of the Earth, I'd probably go with the entire Left Behind series. The last thing we need is a bunch of nutcases running around thinking that the end of the world is here because of the UN and some sinister, global subculture of sexual deviancy. Too bad most of the GOP thinks this way without having read any of the Tim Lahaye's books.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I don't think fantasies and crushes are the same thing, so I'll leave out the dreams I've had about Catherine Barkley and a whole slew of other fictional characters from books I read in middle and hig school. However, I can say I've had an honest to God crush on Melanie Van der Straaten, which developed like a whole lot of crushes in real life. Despite the story's somewhat pleasant conclusion, as I came to know her better, I was disillusioned and then nearly completely forgot about her until I read this question. I think there was probably something to the older woman's infatuation with an energetic young idealist that appealed to my more prurient instincts as a freshman in college, but this always seemed more like a crush than the hormone filled fantasies of an adolescent. Whatevs...

The last book you bought is:

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay It's Michael Chabon's Pullitzer Prize winning novel about two young men and their endless quest to beat the reader over the head with symbolism. Okay, okay, it's actually quite good despite my problems with it. I bought about a month or so ago and it was worth the twelve bucks I spent on it at Barne's and Noble with a gift certificate. It's rare that I really root for characters to take control of their lives, and this book was no exception, but it wasn't nearly as good as the other book about sort of fictional Jewish people during the war years that I read just before that one.

The last book you read:
The Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Hey, it's Lent.

What are you currently reading?

Besides Luke's Gospel, I'm rather embarrassed to admit I'm reading James Patterson's Along Came a Spider. I managed to put away the first 100 or so pages in just about an hour last night, which was nice.

Five books you would take to a deserted island.

East of Eden--It is Timshel's namesake, after all.

The most recent World Almanac and Book of Facts. I killed hours of my childhood reading boxes of Trivial Pursuit questions, a couple of thousands of pages of trivia would probably good enough before I finally walked out into the sea to drown myself.

The Bible, duh. I could stand to read the Old Testament to brush up on things anyway.

Pale Fire, by Nabokov. I didn't read this when I was supposed to, and it so filled with layers and layers of games and that famed "intertextuality" I've heard so much about, I'm sure it could occupy me for endless hours examining it. Of course, I should probably bring some kind of companion study of the novel to aid me, but I won't count that against my five books.

Finally, Ulysses. Let me count the times I've picked this book up only to forget about it completely after about forty or fifty pages. It would probably take a long stretch on a desert island to finally compel me to finish it. So be it.

So, who are the three that I'll burden with this silly little questionnaire? I'll leave Jeffrey and Oyster out of it, because they spend quite enough time talking about their taste in literature anyway.. Besides that the Library Chronicles have been as scarce as my own lately, and so why unduly burden someone with some silly blog task?

Instead I'll send this over to Michael, Ian, and Mary, who's probably too busy with law school to care much, but I'd be interested in her take on this anyway. They're all quite interesting and divergent "characters" who I'd love to hear from.

More posting to come a little later today.

22 March 2005

Hello Acadiana 

Quote of the day

Police arrested an Abbeville man Saturday who is suspected of having walked into a convenience store growling with a sword clenched between his teeth to rob the place of a can of tobacco and a bottle of whiskey.


"He was like a pirate. If he had been wearing a patch and a hat on his head and a parrot, she (the clerk) would have thought he was a pirate," Hebert said.
He sure is a handsome devil...

It's been said before... 

Adam Nossiter is hardly the first reporter to note the farce which is the staged Bush "Town Hall" meeting, but it's nice to see him do it in the pages of one of my state papers. I couldn't find a link to the Advocate who carried this yesterday(?), but here it is at the Tuscaloosa paper. I generally like Nossiter, but this column is better than usual largley because he normally uses his semi-weekly "analysis" to make rather understated and considerably more measured statements about "the state of things." From this piece about Bush in Shreveport you're left wondering if someone in the Presidential posse of handlers didn't do something to really piss him off. Either that or he's just ready to throw his hands up in the air to say, "I quit."

Catching up 

Since we last spoke, my Cajuns lost in a hearbreaker of an opening game to the NCAA tournament. Perhaps the most disheartening thing about the game was the condescending way the announcers talked about the Cajuns giving it their all, but just coming up short. There was little doubt to most of us who watched the Cajuns all season that they were capable of much more than barely fifty percent from the free throw line and only collecting eight turnovers from the other side. Some of my friends yelled about the awful officiating, and while it wasn't very good, UL still should have been in the victor's column after the first round of play. Oh well.

Today my papers greet me with two stories about the "spat" over the Jena band's proposal to open a casino in Grant Parish between David Vitter and Kathleen Blanco. Essentially, it looks like David Vitter is trying to score political points over Blanco, but to be so bold about Indian casinos at this time does seem a little strange considering the questions that have been raised about his connections to the Abramoff gang. The Pic raises this issue in its article, but Bill Walsh is a little behind on his own reporting when he writes "unwittingly" to describe Vitter's knowledge of his help from the Coushatta tribe. It was only last week that Walsh wrote for the same paper that Vitter "did not deny" knowing about Abramoff's ties to the gambling industry when he let the lobbyist organize a fundraiser on his behalf.

Sigh, whatever the case, it's better than the Advocate's shocking ability to completely ignore the massive conflict of interest that rears its ugly head anytime David Vitter even mentions gambling anymore.

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