My Inauguaration Day Letter to Avedon

Back in the 2008 election season it was a large source of friction between myself and many of my friends and family, my tepid non-support for a Barack Obama candidacy. Taken purely on his policies he was at best the fourth best fit in the primary race for my beliefs. I didn’t much care for what he said, even as I noted how well he said it.

Very few voices in the left-wing online sphere agreed with me, but political blogger (and long time science fiction fan) Avedon Carol was one of the few people with my outlook. Her blog has recently moved here, for many years prior it was here. On inauguration day 2009 while the entire left was having a great party and enjoying the historic swearing in of our first black president, I chose to say nothing online at all expressing my lack of joy. What I did do was send a private email to Avedon, baring my soul about my doubts. I didn’t think to get her permission ahead of time to include her reply, but suffice it to say it was one of sad agreement.

Posted below is my email in its entirety, written and sent on January 20, 2009:


Just a word of support, so it will literally be true that “lurkers support you in email.” I’ve been reading for years and my disdain and distrust for our Democratic leadership to act as Democrats, up to and including the swearing-in-right-now incoming president seems very close to yours. I’m hearing how historic and groundbreaking it is that a black man has been elected president, and that’s true. What people fail to notice is that in his not-even-completed first senatorial term he was an overwhelming supporter of the incumbency of power, and nothing about his administration picks from the transition has given me any hope of that changing. His status is very much quo, his frames are very much right wing.

He’s getting acclaim for being bipartisan when in fact, he is being monopartisan. My local (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) paper praised him for including Lindsey Graham on his policy advisor list. I don’t give the man credit for accepting extra voices of the failed policies. It’s not bipartisan, just dumb. That the power brokers and voices of incumbency love it is predictable, but to me it is the warning sign that the revelers are ignoring.

I think you could see this pattern clearly in the 2006 election when he crossed his party to support Lieberman over Lamont. For putting his personal crony loyalty above that of his party, he was rewarded in 2008 by having Lieberman speak at the RNC and support McCain. He sold out what he should have preserved, and he got LESS THAN NOTHING FOR IT. I envy the people having a hope fest. What I see ahead of us is 4 years of Liebermans running around.

My final thought: America has come a long way in the diversity of our power structure. It used to be you had to be a rich white male lawyer to make a credible run at the presidency. Now you can be a rich woman lawyer or even a rich black lawyer. It’s a new day. I’m glad we have elected a black president. I’ll be even more glad when we elect an actual Democrat.

You are free to blog or ignore any of this you see fit, but I’d prefer you not blog any during Jan 20th, 2009. I’m running silent on my feelings today, letting people have their party without being a buzzkill. I’m not celebrating but buckling up for what I’m sure is coming.

Best. Yours in the tribe,


Around the Podosphere A Little Farther

I saw notices about the passing of Joe Murphy of the Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas. My sympathies to his friends and family. I don’t think I ever met him at a PME and I had never actually heard their show until today. As I remain underloaded on new shows, I’m digging back into older shows I had downloaded last year and moved to the external drive when my laptop was full. I just heard their episode on Sterling’s Holy Fire. I’ve got to say that a program where half the panelists can dismiss that book because “nothing happened” is probably one that I can pass on safely. As quality goes it wasn’t bad, but I think my sensibilities and theirs have a large impedance mismatch.


I’ve been listening to the John Edwards podcast since the beginning, as well as the Barack Obama podcast. I started listening mainly to see what they did with the medium, not necessarily because I was in their camp. I’d have to say if one of them was swaying me harder with it, it would be John Edwards. In particular, the speech he gave at the Riverside Baptist Church was killer. In general in the podcast, he seems more willing to take chances and more sincere. He also is more personal considering that his wife is a co-host on most of them and they frequently give updates on what their kids are up to. Having listened to both since they began, I feel more invested in Edwards than Obama from a podcast sense.


When it started up, I listened to Radio Open Source but dropped it after a few months. I know a lot of people seem to like Christopher Lydon but I find his breathless interview style a real impediment and the show generally less than the sum of its parts. I had heard his proto-podcast blogger interview series that Dave Winer was working with him on, and I had the same problems with those interviews. I had decided to give it another try last year and downloaded the episode where he talked about the NSA wiretapping and included William Gibson. I have to say, I’ve never heard an interviewer get less out of Gibson. It was just downright disappointing. Looking at the website to blog this, I see they had Sonny Rollins on the show last week. I recently subscribed to Rollins’ video podcast, although I haven’t watched any episodes yet. I might give them one more listen on that. If Open Source manages to underwhelm me with him as a source, I doubt I’ll ever be back.


I listen to the Dread Daze podcast, which has a lot of that 60s and 70s reggae vibe. I generally care very little for modern dance hall style reggae and prefer the older sounding stuff. I rely on Najashi to inform me of current bands with old school reggae sensibilities. In this old episode from last year, I think it is my favorite of the series. I liked all the music, I liked the vibe. It was exactly what I was looking for at the moment I listened to it. I’m going to look up the music of Tuklan and Jah Roots. Almost 10 years ago in the heyday of, I found some songs from a South African reggae band that were unmistakably old school reggae but had that distinctive “Soweto sound” guitar in them. I’ve been on the search for bands like that ever since, so if you know of good African reggae that combines all these musical traditions, let me know.

EGC Clambake for October 21, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for October 21, 2005.

I play a clip from the Barack Obama podcast; I play a song by the Siderunners; the Marjane Satrapi video interview is up; I used Virtual Dub and Deshaker to clean up the video; I lay out my term for the DIY lifestyle; I play another Siderunners song; WREK has a new show I love called “Longboards and Longhorns”;

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPod Observer and Reel Reviews! Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

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