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Friday, December 2nd, 2005
10:52a - And back we come crashing down...
Screwed up at work again. Rather, found out I'd screwed up on Wednesday. I was supposed to order copies dubbed of six tapes for Ed, but right after I ordered them, he added a request for a timecode window (a black bar that shows what number frame you are currently viewing). So I cancelled the initial order and put in a second -- or so I thought. Turns out I cancelled the second order while leaving the original order intact. Fortunately, PMM (that's basically the tape archive; they're the people I ordered the dub from) sent us the wrong format tapes, so the blame got spread around a little and my boss didn't get mad.

But I really am very bad at what my job is evolving into. I don't like being bad at things. I really think I'm going to quit after we finish the spring hardcopy rush in late January. Assuming they don't fire me first, that is. The only problem is finding another job. I'm not exactly brimming with qualifications.

Update 6:30 p.m.: Just to top things off, Livejournal just put up their Christmas banner on every freakin' "post comment" page and the front page. I hate this season.

current mood: cynical

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1:55p - Propaganda and Influence
So, as an ex-quasi-journalist, I feel it is incumbent upon me to post some kind of a response to these allegations that the U.S. paid the Iraqi press to run favorable stories. First, I have to say, I believe it's true. At this point, I'd believe anything bad about the Bush Administration. If I heard they were using slave labor to build nuclear weapons with which to blow up the world's rainforests, I'd believe it. They have minors imprisoned without trial, torture camps in Eastern Europe, they launched an unprovoked war of aggression in one of the least stable regions of the northern hemisphere -- and that's just what's been confirmed about their foreign policy. It doesn't even start the known violations of domestic law, the raping of the environment, the cronyism, the suspected lies and coverups.... This is easily the most corrupt administration since Kennedy, and quite possibly since the 19th century.

That aside, I'm not in the least surprised by this. There's a word for sending troops into another country without provocation, overthrowing their leaders, and setting up a new government of your choosing: conquest. We are fighting a war of aggression in an attempt to conquer Iraq. It doesn't matter that they're "electing their own leaders" -- they are doing so with our guns in their faces, with our values imposed on them, and they will be entirely economically and militarily dependent on us for decades. They are now a client state in the American Empire.

Certain things are inevitable in a war: suffering, pain, and death. When you launch a war of aggression, you are ultimately responsible for all the suffering, pain, and death on both sides. The blood of every American soldier, Iraqi insurgent, civilian, and terrorist to die in the Iraq war is on the hands of every American citizen. Once you launch a war of aggression, you must follow through or risk creating a nation in chaos, united solely by its hatred of you. Propaganda, prison camps, torture, are all standard tools of the empire-builder. The subjugated population must be controlled, after all, and all traces of the former state must be erased.

Don't have the stomach for it? Stop voting for people who see in black and white, who are convinced they are right, who believe their cause is worth killing for. Stop voting for people who treat nonviolent solutions -- protests, diplomacy, boycotts -- with disdain. Stop voting for corporate masters and spoiled rich boys. I'm talking about one party more than the other, but they're both guilty.

On an entirely unrelated topic, I've decided to attempt to start a meme. Comment to this with the titles and authors of the three books that have most influenced your life. They can be anything: picture books, religious texts, fiction, nonfiction, things you read as a child, things you read as an adult, etc. Here's mine:

The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater (Non-conformity, defiance of authority, self-expression, irony, and subversion, all in about a hundred words; I think I had this read to me long before I could read.)
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg (If you have read it, you understand. If you haven't, buy a copy -- it's still in print. Quite possibly the greatest picture book ever written/drawn.)
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan (Ubi dubium ibi libertas.)

Add comments as I did if you want, or just let the list speak for itself.

current mood: grumpy

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