micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Writing this cornucopia of links

When plotting today’s post, I planned to mention how 40 seconds before the first track of the first disc of David Cross' Shut Up, You Fucking Baby (SubPop, 2002) there is a wonderful Cross riff on the homoerotic nature of clothes that are popular in fraternities.

With that in mind, I was then going to point out that Run Ronnie Run! (Troy Miller, 2002), a movie that is based on a character from Mr. Show, a sketch comedy show created by Cross and Bob Odenkirk, is coming out on DVD on September 16, while Odenkirk's directorial debut Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003) will do the same two months to the day later. After doing that, I was going to point out how sad it is that these guys are not better known with better distributed work.

But then, as fate would have it, I did some web surfing and found some more to write about, which I would have done if not for something that I will disclose later, like the asteroid that probably won't hit this planet in 2014. Part of me can't help but wonder if what this planet needs is a good asteroid hit. Then there is this well-meaning but unlikely to be effective call for "cell phone etiquette." Even if the piece was widely read, I doubt many would follow the advice since I suspect that cell phones are a status symbol and when you are taking a call on a cell phone in a public place most people, consciously or unconsciously, are saying to the world, "I am important! So important that anything that needs to be conveyed to me is more important than your ability to avoid hearing me talking more loudly than I would to someone I was actually in the physical presence of!" It is a human desire that can only be quenched by cell phones but oh what the cavemen would have given for it.

In unrelated news from today, CNN writes:

Israel declared "all-out war" against Hamas Monday and said it is freezing diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority unless the Palestinian leadership takes "tangible steps to deal with infrastructures of terror."
If was writing about this, I'd make a joke about how it looks like the Road Map is close to being torn up because Israel is mad, whereas Israel killing 13 of its Arab citizens a little less than three years ago -just one small part of what sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has persuasively argued amounts to Ariel Sharon's campaign of "politicide"- is not a big deal.

Next I would joke about how the U.S. of A. has made Afghanistan all wonderful and stuff while protecting Uncle Sam's many offspring before pointing to a Boston Globe report by Bryan Bender about how the U.S. appears willing to deal with North Korea, a charter member of the "Axis of Evil." Then it would be time to laugh at Colbert I. King of The Washington Post for thinking that it is even possible that the Bush Administration was honest about Iraq.

After that I would point out that what Josh Marshall identifies as the "revisionism" of the Bush Administration is in fact the logical outcome of the "first draft" of history after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks where it was identified that "war" had been declared on the U.S. by "the terrorists" as opposed to just a particular group of terrorists. Doing so would be a good set-up for noting the self-justifying framework of the "war on terror."

Finally, if I were doing all of this, I would scornfully chortle in response to Paul Richter's Los Angeles Times report from Sunday and today's Washington Post report by Peter Slevin about how other countries aren't eager to pay for the occupation of Iraq. "Imagine that," I might write, "governments who didn't support the U.S. taking over Iraq don't want to share the financial burden of that conquest. What will those nutty places think of next?"

I would have written all those things if it wasn't for the news that former Michigan State football player Brian Ottney passed away yesterday at the age of 23. Perhaps it isn't admirable that I can laugh at problems in faraway places but feel sad when someone who entertained me died at a very early age.

As I thought about this my mind turned to Andrew Cockburn's article on modern day slavery in the September 2003 National Geographic. It is an excellent but very somber piece that implicitly points out that today's slavery is not an aberration from the most advanced economic structures, but rather part of it.

Doing a bit of searching, I come up with Ronnie Greene's Miami Herald story from yesterday about brutal conditions, including slavery, on some Florida farms. On a somewhat hopeful note, I did come up with a BBC story from Saturday by Jan Rocha on the freeing of slaves in Brazil:

In Brazil, government inspectors from the Ministry of Labour have freed 849 workers being held in conditions of slavery on a coffee farm near Barreiras in the state of Bahia.

So far this year inspectors have freed more than 2,000 workers from forced labour, mostly in the Amazon region.

"Freedom" is of course nothing other than what it is commonly agreed upon to be, but any decent definition could not be inclusive of the outright buying and selling of other humans, a fact that, the more I think about it, makes slavery stand out to me amongst all of the possible issues I could concern myself with.

Or at least it should. I can't justify that I don't do more on this issue as, while I may be skeptical of utopian dreams, I do know that slavery is incompatible with either utopia or the desire for it. And when each of us allows the duty of alleviating slavery to fall to the mechanisms of state, we show Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's light and joyful to the point of being giddy call in Empire (Harvard University Press, 2000) for opponents of their titular object to end "big government" to be, at best, a long step removed from reality.