Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Context Post

My life is kind of insanely busy right now. So much so that I can't even bring myself to write about it because I'm so amped in that not that great way where I can't really calm down enough to focus on what I'm saying. I'm all over the place.

But, I'll try to make sentences enough to note a few news events for when I look back at this time. Remember this is the news filtered through my understanding. There has been no (or very little) fact checking, and sometimes just make up shit to fill in the blanks in my understanding.

On January 12th there was a really big earthquake in Haiti. 7.0 on that scale they use for earthquakes. Lots of people died, and were trapped and the news footage was heart wrenching. "Texting" money to aid agencies gained a lot of publicity. I don't know if it's been done before, but this is the first time that I and so many others were aware of it. You could donate $10 to the Red Cross or other agencies from your phone. It got a big response from folks. Which is great. Because, as I know from the PSA Paul and I did--Cash is Best.

In politics, the lawsuit challenging Prop 8 (eliminating marriage for same sex couples)--began in San Francisco. I cannot be nearly as eloquent in my current state as I would like to be about this subject, but it's happening now, and John August witnesses the proceedings here.

In entertainment, Conan O'Brien and the Tonight Show is the big news. See, NBC decided to try this thing where they gave Jay Leno, who used to do the Tonight Show, a talk show every week night at 10pm, replacing of prime-time shows, that had to employ writers, actors, thus making it cheaper to produce for NBC. However, the ratings were not great, and even worse, the affiliates began to lose money after prime time and got pissed. So NBC decided to call the Leno experiment a wash, and give him back his old time slot at 11:35, bumping the "Tonight Show" an hour later. Conan O'Brien, who inherited the Tonight Show when Leno left feels this time slot undermines the integrity of what the Tonight Show has always been. So he's going to leave.People in the younger demographic--our friends and housemate included--are up in arms about this, to the point of having rallies on his behal. Conan makes lots of jokes about the whole situation on the show, and everyone is enjoying the furor.

Those are the big things...Little in L.A. it's raining, and yesterday there was even a tornado warning, which in all my time here, I have never experienced.

At our house we have had a back-to-back chain of house guests for months, which has been intermittently cool and stressful. The last batch is moving tomorrow and I'm looking forward to writing in my office again by the end of this week. We also have a new roommate, which I think will be good, and hope will be at least neutral, but honestly I can't get really get a bead on it, perhaps because of all the guests. A roommate was going to alleviate some financial strain on the household, but unfortunately, as soon as our landlord realized, he raised our rent substantially, which decreased the benefit by more than half. I didn't realize the husband hadn't told the landlord in advance until after the roommate had already moved in, which has me somewhat pissed, especially as the husband continues to be singularly unapologetic about the whole thing, feeling that his decision to just do it without negotiating upfront was somehow justified by the cultural context of the situation, and that my opinion that it should have been handled in a more straightforward way is indicative of a kind of arrogance, possibly born of my midwestern upbringing. Although I don't miss the extreme slowness of the midwest--when I go back, I am flabbergasted by how long it can take for someone to count out some damn stamps at the post office--or the the preponderance of republican worldview, I do occasionally really miss the directness that one occasionally finds there. Does his make me overly rigid? I don't know.

I know I should just be happy I'm not in Haiti. But then, everything is context specific, and the fact is, that since I'm not in Haiti, I find plenty of things to be anxious about in my own context...and that's the news for today.

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