I’m watching Zell Miller speak, and Holy Crow he is perturbed. The angriest man at the convention turns out to be a Democrat: who'd have thunk. He's brutal. He’s hammering Kerry like a blacksmith; if Kerry was a horseshoe he’d be thinner than aluminum foil. Zell doesn’t gesture, either, which makes him look like someone in handcuffs making a final defiant speech before sentencing. He’s one of a kind, ol’ Zell. Let us not forget that he wanted to provide Beethoven to all Georgia newborns. But an Ode to Joy that speech was not. As an former Democrat myself, I understand exactly the roots of his exasperation. Look, over in Roosia y’all got a hunnert Islamic terrorists holdin’ schoolkids hostage with bomb belts, and they’d do it here in a heartbeat, and they might probably will. So can we talk about spendin’ federal money on carvin’ up embryos later?

Odd to hear Dick Cheney introduced as “the love of my life,” but even odder was the music that ushered him on stage. I swear it was “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass” by Nick Lowe, as if arranged by Doc Sevrinsen.

Cheney was sober and dry. He’s not the attack dog. He’s the explaining hedgehog. Some people find him evil and creepy, I know; they hate him like sand in a bathing suit. And some people would much prefer to have John Edwards as Vice-President. I understand. But imagine John Edwards shaved bald, lightly scarred about the cheeks with acid, and suffering a facial paralysis that hampered his ability to flash a megawatt smile. In other words, reduce him down to his abilities, not his properties. In the event the government was decapitated in January of 2005, would you prefer that the person in charge of making the next ten decisions was Cheney or Edwards? Keep in mind that these decisions must be made quickly, and there isn’t much time to explain what each of them mean, and there are ten more sets of ten coming down the pike.

It helps to be up to speed, in other words.

Yes, yes, I know. Halliburton. But if you wanted to make money rebuilding a country's infrastructure, wouldn't it be easier to drop sanctions in exchange for lucractive contracts fulfilled with the help of the existing regime?

Now, Thurlsday. This is the sort of entry that will lead someone, somewhere, to purse his lips, push his glasses up his thin and glistening nose, and type “I see Lileks has discovered William Grant Smith. Perhaps there is a chance he will get around to the works of Hargrove Andersen by 2006? One can hope.”

In other words, there are always people out there who know something you know, and are often peeved to find out they are no longer part of a small, select club. Well. Today I turned on the satellite music stations (how I love saying that; it sounds so ultra-modern, so Telstar’d. I get my music directly from space!) and heard a symphony I’d never heard before. There are of course many I have not heard, and most of them are by Haydn or Hovanness. I’m not crazy about Haydn and once you’ve heard one Hovanness, you’ve heard all 120 of them. But this was the sort of music you don’t hear on the classical channels – 20th century, American, pre-WW2, bluesy, really really good. I checked the composer’s name on the screen: STILL. Plugged it into Amazon, and ordered up some symphonies from William Grant Smith.

He wrote five. His first was conducted in '31 by Howard Hanson; the 2nd was conducted by no one less than Leopold himself, in 1937. The websites don’t do him justice, but one does have something that rewrites your preconceptions, perhaps. Still wrote a song for the World’s Fair of ’39, and it played in a loop in the famous Perisphere.I expected a theramin and Bartok, or something big and streamlined. Not this. But now you know.

I don’t know what to say about this. (via Allah.) Maybe Zogby’s nuts. Maybe New Yorkers haven’t just drunk the Moore Kool-Aide but have gone directly to laying out the powder on the table in nice white lines and snorting it through a rolled-up Chomsky tract.

The internet was made for sites like this: Desperately seeking discontinued condiment packets. Aren’t we all? I am not making fun of this guy – who am I to criticize this sort of monomania, after all. I almost want to start my own collection now.

Because every week should have a link to Forgotten New York, I give you Dual Purpose Liquor Foyers. And more.

Fraters now has a blogger “next site” bar at the top; I took it for a spin, just for clicks ‘n grins. Don’t miss this site! Especially the archives! Then there’s this, which makes me feel as though I am just having a shower of mini-strokes, because it makes sense and then it doesn’t, and then it does.

Hmm. First, Hewitt’s interview with Terry McAuliffe.

HEWITT: I want to start with some very easy questions.


HEWITT: Do you believe that John Kerry took a CIA man into Cambodia and kept his hat?

MCAULIFFE: Uh, I have no idea.

HEWITT: You have no idea that he made that story to the Washington Post and that he made it again in 2004 to the LA Times?

MCAULIFFE: If John Kerry said he did something, I’ll take John Kerry at his word.

HEWITT: Do you think that he ran guns to anti-communists in Cambodia which he told the U.S. News & World Report on May of 2000?

MCAULIFFE: I don’t know. You’d have to ask John Kerry about that. I don’t know what he did in Cambodia or didn’t. That was a war 35 years ago. I want to talk about this year.

HEWITT: Did he go to Cambodia on Christmas Eve -- your understanding-- in 1968?

MCAULIFFE: I think he probably did and probably George Bush when he was in the Alabama National Guard was driving the boat.

Now watch this.

In one instance, it’s “I have no idea,” and in the other he’s quite certain what Kerry did. In McAuliffe’s mind, the contradiction doesn’t matter – who’ll notice? He’s compartmentalizing. The Hewitt interview ceased to exist, or matter, the moment it was over. On to the next engagement. But that’s oldthink, brother. If you want an example of how blogging can impact elections, this is a perfect example. Radio host blogs an interview with big-time party strategist. Another blogger uses a camcorder, iMovie and a .mac account to post a snippet of an interview with the same guy on the same subject. A third party draws a connection between the two statements. You can hunt and link and draw your own conclusions. You’re no longer the reader, absorbing what the editors have sought fit to give you. You are the editor.

The downside: once these guys realize that everything is being blogged, sifted, compared and contrasted by the million-footed legions, they’re not going to say anything definitive to anyone.

It’s interesting to note that McAuliffe doesn’t have consistent talking points. He should have one answer, handed down from the campaign. The fact that he doesn’t suggests that there isn’t an answer handed down from the campaign. To be without a talking point 3 weeks after a story breaks is really quite remarkable. This will make it into the debates under the “trust and credibility issue” - Bush gets asked about Arkansas and Kerry gets asked about Cambodia. Stay tuned.

Update! Gnat has opened the suitcase of goodies Mommy bought in Arizona. Mommy bought her cowboy boots. Pink cowboy boots. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Perm link: here.


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