November 9th, 2006


Ba da pa pa...

It has been at least two years since I've been anything near this ill. Probably nearer four years. I fear I no longer have the hang of it. I'm out of practice. But this germ, it means to teach me a thing or two, to remind me, as it were.

Ah, whatever.

So, yes. The Democrats have taken the House, and likely the Senate. We have a woman as Speaker of the House. Rumsfeld has finally left the building. And I suppose, to some degree I must be glad of these things. But there's not half so much gladness as I would have felt once upon a time. I can't help but recall how elated I was the night America elected Clinton (I was 28). Bush the First was gone. The long shadow of Reagan would be swept aside. We were going to have national health care and gay rights. We got, instead, Monica Gate, an impeachment trial, "don't ask, don't tell," war in Yugoslavia, and etc. and etc. Ultimately, we got President Asshole, Bush the Second, and a new Vietnam in Iraq. Which is to say, yes, good news, but we've been in a much better position, not so very long ago, and it only led us to...well, here. I hate cynicism, but I feel it in my bones. As I said before, yesterday or the day before, I'm better off leaving these politics to them what still calls themselves humans, as these are human politics. More and more, I feel like I'm just along for the ride, driven before the flood, drowned with the rest.

Here in Georgia, we're stuck with Sonny Perdue and the same ol' bunch of gun-totin', Jesus-lovin' rednecks we had before the election. I suppose it would have been nice to have some Democratic rednecks, just for a bit of lip service.

As I was saying.

I did manage to write yesterday. Just a smidge. 700 or so words for an afterword and bio to accompany the Czech reprint of "Riding the White Bull." I am so behind at this point I only see the back of my head whenever I look in the mirror.

Last night we watched Monster House (the movie, not the reality show). What an odd film. I felt like it should have worked, but it seemed rushed, and I got the impression pieces were missing. The character design was creepy (not in a good way), like a bunch of living bobble-heads. I chalk this creepinesss up to Dr. Masahiro Mori's "uncanny valley":

...if an entity is sufficiently non-humanlike, then the humanlike characters will tend to stand out and be noticed easily, generating empathy. On the other hand, if the entity is "almost human", then the non-human characteristics will be the ones that stand out, leading to a feeling of "strangeness" in the human viewer.

I've never had that problem before. For instance, I had no trouble with the CGI characters in The Lord of the Rings or Peter Jackson's King Kong. I know The Polar Express bugged a lot of people for this very reason (I haven't seen it). Also, I was annoyed at the peculiar blending of small-town 50s Suburbia with Now. Beaver Cleaver for the 21st Century. The film's sterile landscape was like some neocon yuppie dream of Heaven. Like I said, an odd film.

Whoops. Okay. Time to lie down again...

Postscript: Personally, I remain a great admirer of President Clinton's, even if my admiration is sorely tainted by disillusion.