The Truth of Impermanence

One evening this fall, eating a MOP in our room while recovering from a five or six hour drive, I will turn forty. Though I’ve taken pretty good care of myself (I don’t drink, I’ve never smoked or taken recreational drugs, I don’t eat as badly as I could, and I exercise a bit), I could probably have taken better care of myself (I could certainly weigh less), and all at once my body seems to be showing its age. Maybe it’s because the heat and humidity of summer has descended on New York all at once, and I’m trying to deal with that while dealing with a cold. I just feel so worn out.

Or maybe it’s because I have an inguinal hernia or two and a cholesteatoma in one of my ears. Neither of these are even slightly serious, but together they mean that I’ll spend the summer being poked and prodded by doctors. Really I’m just happy to have these, especially the ear (which has been bothering me without being diagnosed for nearly five years) fixed, but I wish this would have come up during the winter instead.

Brother (or Sister), Can You Spare a Dime?

It’s spring again, when a young (or not-so-young-anymore) man’s thoughts turn to walking for charity. I’m doing AIDS Walk New York again next Sunday, and I’d appreciate any support that anyone can offer. You can donate on-line, or you can e-mail me to get a mailing address for checks made out to AWNY.

I’ll match all donations myself, so you get two dollars of merit for every dollar you donate–you can’t beat that. And I’m sorry for the short notice this year–I’ve been a little disorganized.


morgannels is Moving, Sort Of

I’m in the process of moving this Weblog to another host. The address for the site, the RSS feed, etc. won’t change, but it all might be intermittently available for a day or two. I apologize for any inconvenience.

What Could Have Been

With a tip of the hat to Meg, some entries I never got around to writing:

  1. Digital media content providers have blown it. Because of their obsession with preventing everyone who hasn’t paid them directly for the privilege from enjoying digital versions of their content (an obsession they didn’t develop to such an exaggerated degree with the analog versions of their content, by the way), they have ceded control of the industry (if not all of the profits… yet) to Apple and Microsoft. There was a chance to come up with some sort of open digital rights management protocol or standard (akin to SSL, for instance) that would have made media file format providers far less central to the industry, but that moment has long passed. At this point, we just have to wait and see if Apple wins and we all join the cult, or if Microsoft wins and we’re all rebooting our home theater systems daily ten years from now. Unless, of course, Yahoo’s disconcertingly rational approach carries the day…

  2. From Bruce Arena’s stubborn failure to the atrocious ABC commentators, the United States should be deeply ashamed about its participation in this year’s World Cup.

  3. Is faith the antithesis of reason, or the complement of reason? Is it the basis of reason, or the result of reason? Is faith dogma or trust? Could fundamentalists who won’t allow their beliefs to be examined really be said to have faith in those beliefs? Is there a single act in our lives that isn’t enabled or informed by some sort of faith?

  4. Ulysses is almost certainly an Irish sutra. When first I read it, just getting my Master’s degree from Yale and trying to figure out how I had changed, it was the key to cultural accomplishment. When next I read it, under the influence of Harold Bloom, it was a most astonishing act of characterization. As I read it now, it is undoubtedly a Western pointing out instruction.

  5. Me and Cassius

…Or Maybe It Is the End Times

Pat Robertson says, “I go away at the end of each year to pray, and if I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms.” If he heard the Lord right? Meaning that prophets might mishear the Lord? If a tsunami doesn’t hit the Pacific Northwest this year, does that mean that maybe Moses got the Ten Commandments wrong?

General Hayden says to the Congressional committee that will confirm his selection as the head of the CIA that “if I had no lawful authority to do something that needed to be done to protect this country, of course I would do it.” That can be effectively translated as him claiming that his opinion (as to whether or not the country is being threatened) takes precedence over the laws of the country that he would ostensibly be protecting. In any other job interview situation, this would be the answer that would ensure that he would no longer be under consideration for the position. That he attempts to justify this declaration of criminal intent by informing Congress–the Congress with the sole power to declare war, and which has thus far declined to do so with respect to the Bush Administration’s military missteps in the Middle East–that we’re at war should really just reinforce that. Does he understand that he’s not auditioning for a part on 24?

AIDS Walk (Again)

Donate to AIDS Walk New York

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where the weather turns nice so we can take long walks to raise money and awareness to combat diseases with which we should no longer be troubled. It’s kind of depressing to me that it’s gotten so that there’s a season set aside for this–a season during which Central Park is given over to one charity walk or another just about every Saturday and Sunday–but here we are. As I have in past years, I’m doing the AIDS Walk. If you feel moved to do so, please sponsor me. You can do it through that link, or you can e-mail me to make other arrangements. However you donate, if you can, I will match every dollar donated. And thanks.

I’m an Uncle

Cassius Marcellus (I really, really hope he doesn’t have a problem with sibilance) was born this evening at almost exactly 5:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time, and everyone’s well. I wish I was out there with them, rather than in the middle of a weekend getting intimate with my anger (yet again). Does anyone have advice on New York residents funding a 529 plan for a California resident?


Good at getting themselves elected:

Margin by which total votes for Democrats in the last three Senate elections exceeded those for Republicans: 2,900,000

Number of seats won by Democrats and Republicans, respectively: 46, 56

Bad at conducting wars:

Minimum number of Iraq war veterans who have declared they are running for Congress this year: 11

Number of these who are Democrats: 9

According to last month’s Harper’s Index.