Kevin->Write(thoughts, browser, time)
void Kevin::Write(char *thoughts, char *browser, int time) allows an object of the Kevin class to create printed english text. The function opens a blogger account (automatically associated with the particular Kevin object) using the web browser resouce identified by browser, and while time > 0 and interrupts are disabled, uses blogger to translate thoughts into text.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Adventures in Panhandling
I would first like to note that this is not (yet) a description of my new career.
This morning, as I left Alison's apartment and approached my car, I passed a fairly prosperous looking black man in his late 30s. He wished me a good morning, and I wished him one in return. He then approached me with a story about how he lived in Kirkwood (fairly decent St. Louis suburb), had somehow traveled a good ten miles to the Central West End (where Alison lives, and I live also) but had run out of money, and his debit card at the bank hadn't worked, and he was wondering whether he could have $1.90, for unclear purposes. I looked skeptical, and he reassured me that he didn't drink or smoke, but I regardless told him that I didn't have anything, and he walked away.
I didn't buy his story. Nobody in that situation would begin the conversation by asking if I had a good morning. He'd immediately ask if I could do him a favor, or ask for help. The part about the good morning was a test to see if I would be friendly...once you get a friendly person into your sales pitch, you have a much greater chance of success, because the friendly person has to say no, which is now a sort of unfriendly thing, and the transition from the friendly to the unfriendly is a difficult transition to navigate.
Later, I stood outside my apartment having a smoke, and a curly-haired pasty brunette, who I don't think I'd seen before, walked out of the building behind me and walked to her car. Now, if you imagine that I was standing on the center of a circle and the girl was at a point on the circumference, the path that she followed to reach her car followed the long three quarters of the way around the circle. In other words, she took the longest of the possible routes to her car to avoid walking past me. This sort of made me angry, in that it was broad daylight on a busy street...what did she think I was going to do to her? And that's not even considering the fact that I'm a goofy-looking white boy. If I was black and wearing a doo-rag, I wonder whether she would have cowered in her apartment or just gone ahead and called 911.
Right as this happened and I was irritated about it, another decent-looking black man in his late-30s was walking down the opposite side of the street, but when he saw me, he crossed the street and yelled en route asking if he could bum a cigarette. Now, I'm famous, at least inside my own head, for giving away a cigarette, no questions asked, anytime, anyplace, even, perhaps even especially, to random strangers on the street. Yes, I even gave them to you Matthew, over and over again in Brews, when you generally couldn't care less about talking to me or even acknowledging my existence, I still gave you cigarettes while thinking less and less of you, you pathetic shell of an asocial uncaring human being. Um. Anyway, I was mad at the girl, so for this one time, the first time that I can remember, I lied, and told the dude that I had none left.
I can't describe the look that he gave me, except to say that I have never been looked at that way by a stranger in my entire life. I'm sure that he is sitting with his buddies right now, talking about that whitey cocksucker (or however it is that a black man speaks of a white man that he doesn't like these days) who couldn't give away his fifteen cent cigarette. Like I OWED it to the man. And I just wanted to say to him, should he ever read this, that should he walk past 5047 Waterman again one day, and I am outside smoking, I will gladly give him a cigarette, unless before that time he puts my sorry cracker ass in the hospital, in which case I probably won't have any because you can't smoke in there.
This blog endorses John Kerry (D) for President, Claire McKaskill (D) for Governor of Missouri, Nancy Farmer (D) for U.S. Senator from Missouri, Leslie Farr (R) for 1st District Missouri U.S. Representative, Rachel Storch (D) for 64th District Missouri State Representative, and Don De Vivo (G) for St. Louis City Sheriff. This blog is in favor of Proposition K for children's after-school programs, and in favor of all three tax extensions for special business zones, including the one that is on the blog author's own block and may raise his rent next year if passed. The blog is against Propositions A, B, C, and D (which are campaigning as a group) because they unfairly racially redistrict the city, give unlimited power to the Mayor and Council and remove necessary checks and balances from the Aldermen and City Attorney, and they eliminate the office of Sheriff, where there is a decent and extremely neat chance of the Green Party candidate winning that election this fall.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Excerpt from "Created in Darkness By Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category"
Excerpted from "Unused Audio Commentary By Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002 For The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Edition), Part One", by Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell...
CHOMSKY: I think this is a tragedy, this story. Because it's about two cultures. And poor leadership. It's a human tragedy, and an Orcish tragedy.
ZINN: A perfect example of what you're talking about is right here, when Strider attacks the Black Riders, "saving" Frodo from them.
CHOMSKY: Think of it from the Black Riders' perspective. No doubt they arrived at Weathertop thinking, "Can we ask a few questions? We'd like to talk to you."
ZINN: Now from here we jump to Isengard, post-ecological atrocities. What I personally see here is...well, I see industrialization, I see a very cooperative workforce, I see a people who aren't terroried, a people attempting to make do with what they have.
CHOMSKY: Well, they're making weapons, which is sad. I mean, it would be nice if they could make plowshares, but unfortunately this isn't the time for plowshares in their culture. But they're showing great ingenuity, and they're showing cooperation, you're right about that.
ZINN: Actually it shows the Orcs smithing a lot of pieces of metal. I don't think it's necessarily established that what they're making is swords, is it? They could be farming implements of some sort. They're definitely unusual-looking. But I have to ask you, what about the genetic engineering that goes on with the Uruk-hai?
CHOMSKY: It's certainly a strange aspect of their culture, but why should we be so condemning? I mean, this is the way they reproduce. If it looks disgusting to us, well maybe we should readjust what we regard as disgusting. I mean, is that any more vile that pulling a baby out of a gaping, bloody hole?
ZINN: Now we witness the Black Riders finally together-all nine Riders-giving chase to Arwen and Frodo. When we see the Orcs destroy their environment, it is this big scandal. But Arwen is able to send a whole herd of watery horses down a river, no doubt a very delicate ecosystem, and probably completely demolish it, and no one says anything about that.
CHOMSKY: The Elves, of course, always say that they are the best custodians of nature. And there's a curious type of nature worship in their culture that allows them to claim, by every implication, "Trees are more important than people." They don't regard the Orcs as people. However, Orcs are thinking, sentient, conscious beings with a culture and a language. They feel pain. They express emotion. They are constantly evolving, trying to better themselves.
ZINN: But here the Elvish culture is revealed to be very elaborate, because, of course, they have better architecture. But I vastly prefer the real grittiness one finds in Mordor. Think of the suspiciously clean city of Rivendell. You don't see any life going on there. No people at all. There's hardly anyone in the streets. It should be said, though, that on occasion, the Orcs have been known to eat one another.
CHOMSKY: That's cannibalism, sure, but maybe it's part of a sacred ritual with them. Maybe it's an ancient part of their culture. Who are we to judge? Still, I have problems with it, I agree.
ZINN: So here we have another shot of Rivendell being beautiful because it happens to be located in the mountains, where the lighter people live.
CHOMSKY: The humans are all so entranced by the Elves' completely mythological power. It's a spell that has been cast upon them.
ZINN: I see the humans, embodied by Aragorn, as being indicative of a sort of middle class longing.
CHOMSKY: It keeps them striving. If you'rew a good enough man, you can be an Elf.
ZINN: An Elf. As if that's the best thing to be.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Look! It's been not quite a month this time!
I'd just like to point out that the McSweeney's humor collection that came out this year is nifty. Perhaps I'll post a favorite line or two manana, but I don't have it with me ahora.
Also, saw the Cavs the other night as they played preseason basketball in St. Louis against the Bulls. LeBron looked excellent, but they'll miss Boozer tremendously. Drew Gooden looked small and ineffective.
Thirdeth, I am a fairly skinny dude once again, returning my drivers license quoted weight of 195 to the realm of truth. I believe this to be a compound effect of four to five Forest Park loops per week on the old (actually, new) rollerblades, and drastic reduction in soda consumption. In a related story, I look good in my suit.
Now we come to the part of the program where I make rash, assholic generalizations. I'm having a hard time finding people with whom (oof) to play dorkarific board games in the St. Louis area. This is because people who play board games tend to have the social skills of drunken trout. So, when I meet someone who I think might like to play board games, I am wary of broaching the subject because trout are much better for eating than talking (not that I am suggesting that I want to eat these people, or any people for that matter. Let's just move along). Conversely, when a normal-seeming person asks me what I like to do, I hesistate to mention anything that might smell fishy. Advice for mitigating this conundrum is welcomed.
Lastly, please watch game seven between the boston/new york baseball clubs tomorrow night, for you may witness, for the first time in the history of american sports, a team losing the first three games of a best-of-seven game series and rallying to win the remaining four.
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