Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PA Primary (Should she stay or should she go?)

I'm sitting here waiting for the numbers to come in. It's great that our votes actually make a difference this time. Well, I guess if you are a Republican you might not feel that way. I switched to Democratic for just such a reason.

But the real story of the night is what happens after. Will Hillary Clinton drop out if Barack Obama makes a good showing? PA is not winner-take-all, but representative. Math-wise, she can't make it without Florida and Michigan. She could with the super-delegates, but at what cost?

8:37- WHYY is still prattling on about voter registration changes. Well, I'm one of them. Over here whole counties have switched their party make-up. I would think that looks better for Obama.

Back to the prior topic- I think last week's debate showed a the shift in what many Americans want in their politics and political coverage. People were not clogging ABC's comments box in the hours and days afterwards because they thought the moderator's were "mean" or "unfair". The people were loooking for coverage of the issues. Deep discussion of the issues. We are in a war that is draining our economy and troops, gas prices are going up (not necessarily a bad thing, IMO), the climate is changing, resources are being depleted, our current administration has condoned torture, our economy is shaky, our foreign relations are shaky. The American people, or at least this one and her husband, really would like to hear something about that. We get enough scandalous new from Hollywood (and state governors). I think we would like our national politics to be a little less tabloid and a little more TIME.

8:45- Clinton w/ early lead in Pittsburgh and Scranton, Obama w/ an early lead in Philly.

8:50- WHYY is explaining how the number of red lights in a town and distance between towns can affect numbers.

8:59- The AP just called it for Clinton. What? What numbers are they getting that I'm not? According to mine, only 1% of the votes are counted. Weird.

OK, Blogger just ate my last edit. I'm annoyed. I had a whole big thing.....

It was about the actual title of this post. If Hillary Clinton cannot not get a math-turning, decisive victory, should she drop out? I say yes. Not necessarily for the good of the party, as I only consider myself a half-Democratic. But to save herself, her party and her country the embarrassment. This could become an ego trip, bordering on denial, especially considering the amount of debt her campaign has accrued.

Speaking of which, that seems irresponsible. If that is how you handle your campaign funds, what are you going to do with the national funds? Hope the Congress keeps you within your budget? They've been great so far.... Is anyone else concerned by this? Is this another case of government spending money because they can just "make more"? She has debts not just to advisors, but for working class establishments like diners.

9:11- Fox and CNN have called it for her as well.

9:14- 9% in, Clinton 53%, Obama 47%. That would hold with prior polls for the differentials. But there's a lot more votes to get in.

9:19- from Matthew Yglesias http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/its_official_2.php

I should probably be studying.

9:25- WHYY is sharing coverage with WQED! I watched Seasame Street on this channel growing up! Cute old lady with a Hillary sticker upside down on her head.

9:29- Fox just reference a NYT tech piece saying Obama is the MAC to Hillary's PC. Interesting. I'll have to find that.

9:30- 13% in. NPR and NewHour join the call.

9:35- The Harrisburg station needs a better cameraman.

9:49- 25% in, 46/54

9:55- 42%- 55/45. Double-digits is bad for Obama. Bad.

I'm taking a break to watch SVU. I'll be back if something earth-shattering happens.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Art in Times of War

From the NYT Blog today: "Running out of art and artists means that we are losing the civilized face of our society, and losing the appreciation of beauty … and love." Read it all here: http://baghdadbureau.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/graven-images-2/ (hat tip [that's what I say, right?] Andrew http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/)

My thoughts on this:

As a dancer and choreographer, the arts are incredibly important and interesting to me. Over the summer I read "The Ministry of Culture" by James Mullaney. It's fiction, but addressed this very issue of art in Iraq, albeit in 1984, during the Iran-Iraq War (I was 2 at the time, so I don't remember much about it). Great story about the murals and how war can rob art from the souls of artists.

I wonder, though, if it gives fodder for others; but maybe that only works if you are detached from it (say, a continent away). I think film has a hard time making war into "art", as it tends to be just carnage. But modern dance and songwriting seem to be two areas, in my experience anyway, that can use hard topics and create beautiful (as in artistic, not necessarily as in pretty), meaningful works. Even visual artist seem to use the "ugly"(Picasso with Guernica, Goya).

Artists, I think, are more willing to struggle with the hard, the nonsensical, the incomprehensible, the ugly. Some never get out of their struggle. Some use that fighting energy to create works seen world-wide, some in just a local performance/gallery. But they have all taken the time to see their world, and to try to create meaning from it. Which is what art is- creation of meaning (at least for the artist, if not for the audience). So, I hope they keep painting murals. That the artists in Iraq can keep seeking to creating meaning. I cannot comprehend how difficult it must be some days.

The last sentence of the NYT Blog- "Running out of art and artists means that we are losing the civilized face of our society, and losing the appreciation of beauty … and love."- makes me so sad. It is deeply true. And I can't help but feel responsible. We have allowed this to happen. In our quest to "civilize" them, the opposite is occurring.