06 November 2008



I've been surly, brethren and sistren. Very surly. Mostly about voting lameness, alleycats, underemployment, and California's failure to grant basic civil rights to people based on who those people choose to love.

That's so gay.

But! This is not the first time I've been surly, oh, no. As such, I'm prepared. I have weapons in my arsenal. I have strategies and tactics. I have resources and support.

I have kittenwar.

Seriously. After five minutes of kittenwar, the world really does look like a better place. A place with kittens, and cameras, and a little basic code. If I live in a world where kittenwar can exist, there is hope.

May the cutest kitten win.

05 November 2008


N O V E M B E R 2

November 2 was election day in 2004. The shirt I'm wearing in this photo (actually an iron-on) was part of a grass-roots, non-partisan, get-out-the-vote campaign, and the agency was none other than wee, scrappy Wieden+Kennedy 12. (Which is a school. Well. An agency disguised as a school. OK, an experiment disguised as an agency, disguised as a school.) I wear the shirt every election day, local or national, because I believe that people, speaking together, as one voice, can make big change.

Kind of like what happened yesterday.

Also yesterday, debate raged about whether it's okay to tell undecided/uninformed voters how to vote on local measures on the day of the election, the idea being you're helping them by introducing them to the political process.


If you don't have opinions about issues on the ballot, and if you take someone else's suggestions without researching them, you are essentially letting that person vote for you, which is not the same as voting. It's a lazy, complacent simulation of voting. Voting is harder than that. Voting SHOULD be harder than that. Voting should take time & research & discussion, because you'd be surprised at how vastly your opinion might differ from people you know very well. And there's no real shortcut to finding that out other than research and discussion.


Telling someone else how to vote without references or citations is arrogant, condescending, and self-serving. Nobody has the authority to tell someone else how to vote, without discussion or debate, on the day of the election. No body. Doing so is not helpful to anyone but yourself -- you're making your vote count more times than you are allowed. To recap: You are allowed one vote.

In the olden days, if you got other people to vote the way you wanted them to, you had to pay them, and it was called "vote buying," and it was illegal. And it was not a true reflection of the will of the people. Which is

the entire


of voting.


If you're thinking of voting: Read. Debate. Listen. Think. Debate some more. Then go to the polls. Draw the curtains. And vote. But really vote, yeah? Don't vote blindly or vote the way someone told you to vote. Because voting with ignorance, apathy, & sloth is far more dangerous than not-voting with ignorance, apathy, & sloth.

If you're thinking of telling impressionable, undecided, lazy people how to vote: Don't. Just ... don't.

03 November 2008


Saturday, I helped my friend Shannon host an alleycat. Here are some of the spokecards, "designed" in roughly ten minutes, by yours truly. The theme was "scary, scary things."

Alleycats are hard on racers. 20-25 miles through the city, and you don't know the checkpoints til you start, and you have to do things at each checkpoint. Fun ... but hard. (A more thorough run-down of how they work is buried in this post about LA Brakeless' opening party. But they're also hard on planners. The planner has to research routes, organize props at the checkpoints, organize people at the checkpoints, figure out the party at the end, and otherwise keep everyone on track and on time. Which is hard with bikers. "Like herding cats."

So when only five people showed up on Saturday, it was a little disappointing. But we weren't fussed; everyone was full of candy and hangover, and even the racers looked tired. Much more disappointing was when three out of five racers decided not to finish. Decided -- didn't blow out a tire or bust an ankle or accidentally get on the freeway. (It happens .... ) Sat on their saddle and thought, "eh." One rider (I won't call him a racer) decided not to finish because his friend didn't finish. Actually!

If you say you're coming to an alleycat, then come to an alleycat, and be prepared to ride a goddamned alleycat. If you're too cool to try, to be seen caring for anything or exerting some fucking effort, then you might as well just walk up before the race begins and ask for the DFL prize.

You might as well ask. But you won't get it, because you won't have earned it. DFL is for finishers.

02 November 2008

this guy was pretty smart

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

-- Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass: By the Roadside (1855)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I think I've been ranging columns.
Goddammitt, Walt! Just ... goddammitt.