january 2005

click here for permalink January 30, 2005

First things first. I'd like to thank Mortimer for lighting a fire under my lazy, complacent (and overworked) ass. I don't know why a well-placed "what the fuck's wrong with you" from the other side of the hemisphere should do more than months of praise, encouragement, positive reinforcement and later guilting and pleading by family and friends (yeah, the guilting was mostly family) but, like the other Pink says, sometimes it be's like that.

My thanks go out to Mortimer as well for linking to this statistical study showing the Average IQ for each state alongside the presidential candidate that state voted for in 2004. Very telling. (But also, strangely, not...?) Another interesting study along the same lines shows voter preference in the 2000 election in the 15 least educated and 15 most educated states (based on the percentage of each state's population with a Bachelor's degree). You have to think, if only all those smart people could somehow put their heads together... Hmm. What was I saying? Oh well, it's gone!

And yet another perspective on voter distribution elucidates beautifully the growing cultural chasm between Red states and Blue states in the US. This post-election commentary comes from my former favorite free weekly, Seattle's The Stranger.

In literary news, the board of trustees for the Jackson-George (Mississippi) Regional Library System was inundated with complaints from local residents and hate email from across the country last month when it attempted to ban Jon Stewart's "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction." Two weeks ago they took another vote and came out in favor of lifting the ban 5-2.

My favorite part of that story (after the part where it's about Jon Stewart) is what Robert Willits, the library system's director, had to say about the overwhelmingly negative response to the ban: "We got some absolutely nasty emails and telephone calls that you would not believe... We were communists and fascists at the same time!" He said it.

My thanks go out to all those who actually took the time to email them. That is how it's done, people!

Speaking of America (The Book), go out and buy it! ...if you can find it. I had to harass several local bookstores for the last two weeks before I finally spotted (and immediately seized) a freshly restocked copy at the Chapters on Robson.

Mmm... shiny, new hardcover book... so tactile, so space-inefficient... so yummy-smelling...