August 23rd, 2006


Clean desks, Korean GFs (not mine), administrivia, and Steam

Ironically enough, the day after I found this, we had a mind-numbingly stupid departmental Information Security meeting. Apparently having the whole floor locked down with keycard access isn't enough - now we have a "Clean Desk" policy that requires us to have all sensitive or confidential info off our desks and stored in a lockable file cabinet in our cubes at the end of the day. What of the keys? Will we be taking them home or turning them in to our supervisors? No, we will not. We will be hiding them in our cubes. P suggested I put mine in a black box labeled "I'm a ninja. You can't see me.", which would certainly highlight the massive stupidity of the whole deal. God, I can't wait to get out of here.

Last night was spent socializing and not really getting anything done, which was dumb of me; at least I should have done a first draft of my appeal letter. As it was, I spent entirely too much time chortling over this article from The Marmot's Hole on the whole Korean/foreigner dating thing. As so often happens, most of my amusement comes from the commenters, who are every bit as amusing as the crowd at Tim Blair's or Protein Wisdom. Heh.

I probably should have mentioned this yesterday when I did it, but anonymous comments are now being screened. This should be no problem for the handful of pseudo-anonymice known to me, since they tend to sign their comments anyway, and I'm obsessive enough about my e-mail that I can't go within five feet of Cowzilla without starting it up and firing up Thunderbird, where all comments go as a matter of course. Screening allowed me to purge about half a dozen stupid comments (more Queenslanders living down to the bogan stereotype, or maybe just the same moron) before they actually hit the LJ, which is a Good Thing.

Today looks like another slow day at the Evil Banking Neighbor as I supervise my understudy's work on the month-end balancing. Tonight I need to do laundry and get stuck into the psych homework.

At the intersection of Cobb and Stein

Couple of worthwhile things from the blogger formerly known as Boohab: an examination of class, especially as it pertains to one Lone Gunman and his peregrinations through the middle class; an examination of self-esteem in black girls, and perhaps most poignant (from my perspective) a link to a Ben Stein column in the NY Times bemoaning the fact that while the men of the generation preceding Ben's all did time in the military during World War II, most of the money men now haven't and would most likely consider the suggestion that they should ridiculous. Stein doesn't use the phrase, but he points out that most of the troops doing the fighting and dying in Iraq are men and women from the red counties. Not a lot of Ivy Leaguers in the mix these days. Cobb thinks that when things get desperate they too will pick up a rifle, but given the quality and type of teaching being done at Yale and Harvard these days I have my doubts.

On a related topic, Ann Althouse slams Judge Taylor for giving ammunition to critics of judicial activism. This comes after her ripping on Lawrence Tribe for defending Taylor's decision and publicly criticizing bloggers who pointed out that the Empress had no clothes.

I think the subtext here is that the only things holding this country together are the law and a sense of shared responsibility for the common defense. Respect for the law began to fray during the sixties along with the popularization of draft dodging, and I don't think the country has ever really recovered from that time. Much of the current political frenzy on both sides is a reflection of this situation: one party is fighting the centripetal tendency, one is trying to encourage it, even as their basic philosophies conflict with their objectives.

Oh, Lord, not another snotty music critic.

People like Jack Sparks piss me off no end. For one thing, they think they can look down their noses at all the folks who like what K102 plays and act all superior, when in fact they're arguing about taste in the same snooty manner as the music critics who sneered at Journey and all the other popular bands when I was growing up. They told us ten years later that Cyndi Lauper was the true innovator & musician and this Madonna person was just some dancing fool who'd be forgotten in a few years once this annoying disco thing went away. Well, they were full of shit then, and he's full of shit now.
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The bottom line is that not everyone who likes Brooks & Dunn is an inbred moron, and not everyone who likes k.d. lang is an enlightened genius. I once brought an argument over country music to a screeching halt by saying "'Bluegrass' is what you NPR listeners call 'country' when you don't want to be embarrassed in front of the other Keillor fans," and while I admit I was just being an obnoxious prick at the time, there's some truth in what I said. You can argue about the technical merit of one piece of music as compared to another, but for God's sake don't try and convince me that your obscure artist is better than my popular artist when all you've got to go on is a bunch of esthetic justifications that boil down to "I like this song, but that one sucks." I might have bought that bullshit back when I was nineteen and buying all the art-rock I could find that had any connection to Roxy Music whatsoever, but I'm forty-six now and not nearly so gullible.