08 July, 2010

No, there is no such thing as "polite racism."

When I was young, in the days before there were, to quote Springsteen, "57 channels and nothin' on," you trusted the men who brought you the news each night on one of the three major networks. You just did; it was something ingrained, like sea turtle hatchlings heading towards the full moon. I'm old enough to remember watching Cronkite. Though Brian Williams' appearance in comedy skits makes me like the guy way more than his somewhat stiff anchor style - or is it really some sort of attempt at hipster irony - the times have changed. And the changes have not all been good, save a few things. One thing is the rise of The Daily Show.
For the below clip alone, I would like to hug each person who worked on the segment and Stewart himself.

The fear, racism, xenophobia, discrimination, violence and stupidity spins on and we've slipped backwards since 2001. Yes, blocking your neighbors from building their house of worship because of something somebody told you they heard from the Internets or from their cousin who heard it from a friend who heard it from Fox News, is not just stupid, it's discriminatory, and pretty blatantly racist. Oh, and, it's pretty damned un-American. Well, I guess it's not un-American according to your narrow, isolationist, bigoted conceptualization of the place, but hey. Am I angry? Yes, as an American AND a human being. I think you should be able to worship (or not!) and not have to worry about people tossing pipe bombs at your building. Silly me. I take that whole "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" thing seriously. I know, crazy! And, I love and am proud of what most of this country aspires (and sometimes, admittedly, fails) to be. Maybe, MAYBE, someday everybody can crawl out of their trenches, cross the minefields, shake hands and actually work together to solve the real challenges. I know - radical! And, these days, I'm thinking not bloody likely.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Wish You Weren't Here
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07 July, 2010

Why, yes, I'll hold.

Watching: the post-game analysis of the ESP-GER match. Viva, La Roja!
Reading: Cosmopolitanism by Appiah
On Deck: World Poverty & Human Rights by Pogge (gonna finish it this time!)
Recently really enjoyed: I Am Love
Excited about: Diving with friends on Friday

Not as exciting a match as I'd hoped, but Spain is on to the final Sunday, so it's all good.

I'm still on hold for my self-designed final internship for my graduate program. Heard back that they can't give me an answer until three months out, but my department says they need to know now due to their procedures. Note sure what will come of it, but I really hope it can be sorted out. It would put me back in my favorite place in the Middle East and (I suspect) give me a good launch for my post-academic life.

On the other hand, I'm having a hard time mustering in regards to my Fulbright application. Not sure if I am just burned out and ready to be gainfully employed or if I've just psyched myself out. I'm sort of running a parallel track at the moment researching ideas for either Egypt or Jordan. Both columns have pluses and minuses.

Not much going on really. I am just laying low and hiding out. It's what south Florida used to be famous for. It's a nice change, but I am getting itchy. I think I'm just feeling a bit on hold and ready to move forward.

Oh, and trying to find a place to live in Austin for 3.5 mos. If anybody has a room for rent...