Merry Christmas!


I didn’t vote today…

I already voted by mail. Three of us sat in my kitchen on Saturday with our voter information booklets, our ballots, and the internet. We had all afternoon to listen to the KPCC voter cram session and the chronicle endorsements. It was super easy. I didn’t have to worry about transferring anything from a sample ballot. When we we’re done, we just put them in the envelope and all we had to do was throw it in the mail at our leisure. No waiting in lines at polling places, no worries about how bored the kids are or if they’re bothering anyone. Super easy. I love it.

The perfect commuter car

I found the perfect commuter car. It is a 1986 Honda CRX HF. What’s not to love – small wheelbase, two seats, and 50mpg. This car is the ultimate child of the 1970’s oil crises. Rumors were that you could get over 70mpg. All this with just an internal combustion engine. And it was cheap.

Sure it has a lawn mower engine (59 HP, quarter mile time over 20 sec.), but do you really need that much power when you’re sitting in traffic on CA85 to Mountain View traveling at 5mph at most?

And on top of all that, it a numbered, authorized convertible conversion. Makes it even better. I’m sure that Jeremy Clarkson would agree that this thing is a real find. And at $6000.-, it’s a steal.

OK Computer

Is Radiohead’s OK Computer the best album from the 90’s? It has some competition from Nirvana’s Nevermind of course, but also from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, which were both also released in the same decade. Not to mention My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. I realize that many people consider this album to be overhyped – but I don’t care. Don’t get me wrong. All of these are great albums. Maybe even some of the best through the history of popular music.

But OK Computer is different. It effectively captures a sense of history, and anxiety of the future, of that point in time, and it’s proven to be more prescient than the others. Nevermind can be argued that it started a movement, but it’s not the same as a description of the change in society and how it views itself in the world. The separation of the self from society itself, and the impersonal interactions with others, mainly enabled through technology. From the description of ambition and greed in “Paranoid Android” that we can see daily in dozens of reality TV shows where the stars are worshiped to the disappointment and disillusion of society in “Let Down”.
The impersonal brings about societal norms falling and the resultant social ills that we see today.

Even the structures are the prescient, from the linear progression of “Paranoid Android” instead of the standard chorus-verse, to the electronic production, much of modern popular music sounds like the album – the merging of electronic and rock music.