The Debate: Part One

Well, that was interesting. Not in an intellectual way mind you. It’s late and I’m tired so this will be pretty concise for now. Here are my thoughts on the debate…

  1. Well moderated. The PBS guy was great and the rules were clear and followed very well unlike our disaster of a debate during the federal election in Canada. The only problem was that the 30 second extensions were almost always prompted by Bush speaking out rather than the moderator choosing to extend the discussion.
  2. Bush was out of his league… again. He never lost his tight-lipped, hunched posture or his “everyone is gonna kill us” composure, but he did become speechless on a regular basis. Endless rhetoric on “mixed messages”, “hard work”, and “our duty” has no place in building arguments. These empty statements are signs of a lack of clear coherent thought and would be torn apart in even the most elementary political science essay when looked at by any Professor. No one cares that you “meet every morning with the head of the FBI.” You could be having a coffee and shooting the breeze for all we know. This kind of diversionary tactic is telling of how little thought has gone into Bush’s plan for dealing with Homeland Security.
  3. Kerry was well spoken and, unlike Bush, paced himself out almost flawlessly and even weaved in a few uppercuts into his rebuttals and statements. Classic gold was given when Kerry stated how Bush “outsourced the task of getting Osama” to Afgahn rebels. Priceless.
  4. My total disdain for Bush reached a new high when he discussed unprovoked his decision to not support the international criminal court. This institution is responsible for dealing with leaders who commit criminal acts and attempt to administer justice on them for what they did. Previous defendants in this court include such dictators as Pinnoche (Chile, 73-89?) and Milosovich. Bush’s reasoning was simply that he would not support any effort to prosecute American troops and leaders. I find it unbelievable that Bush is holding Saddam for trial in a way he says no American should be, even if they did what he did. Saddam’s soldiers, who were fighting for their country as brave soldiers following their leader (rather than flip-flop over whether they should or not) were told by Bush in the beginning of the war that “just following orders” is not an excuse and that they would be brought to justice for their “crimes.” Puzzling, the inconsistencies of Bush’s argument from this single segment are more telling about his own lack of cohesion over his own policies than anything Kerry has apparently done.
  5. With regards to Kerry’s “flip-flops” and “mixed messages” I can only say this. If someone came to you and said, “I have evidence that tomorrow it will rain” that if the evidence looked solid that you would agree. But if the next day it was sunny, you would question that intelligence and wonder if you should rethink your decision and how you made it. This is not flip-flopping. This is called learning from your mistakes. The mistake was trusting this administration that has done nothing but show contempt for any inquiries into finding out how the intelligence was faulty or how 9-11 occurred in the first place. The mistake on November 2nd (not the 11th, thanks Anonymous) will be to trust it again for four more years.

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First Listen: U2 – Vertigo

Yeah, I only have the single right now. But with a name like “How to Disarm an Atomic Bomb” how can you go wrong?

This single just screams rock to me. I’m right in the zone with the Edge blasting my eardrums with a straight up rock-riff straight from The Who playbook. The rhythm section is solid as always, and no one needs to state that Bono is still on top of his game.

Hello, hello (¡Hola!)

We’re at a place called Vertigo (¿Dónde está?)

Lights go down, and all I know

Is that you give me something

I can feel your love teaching me how

Your love is teaching me how

How to kneel, kneel

I can’t wait for the rest of the album.

First Listen: Chevelle – This Kind of Thinking

*feedback* *rock riff* TOUCH! *madness*

Here starts the new cd from Chevelle. Fans of Wonder What’s Next will be completely at home on this record as they have not deviated much from their previous course. What you will find is deeper textures of guitar and more mature melodies. Personally, I felt a little bored by the midpoint of the album the first time through, but it has really grown on me lately. I find that it gets played in its entirety more often than most of my other favorites at the moment.

The first track, The Clincher, is my favorite by far. The riff is straight up and fierce and the chorus takes the grit and distortion and takes it to a new level of sonic soundscape. This is Chevelle at a peak in my opinion. I put this song on and I just get sucked in. So much so that I usually repeat it a few times over until I start to get sick of it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and I force myself to move on so my play counts on the ipod don’t get all out of wack.

The other outstanding track on here is Panic Prone. I feel that it is a close sibling of The Red, but stays in a more mellon collie state of being. This would probably be the closest to a ballad as Chevelle will ever come I think. I hope that this song would be graced with being the third single after The Clincher being the second. But then again, they did choose Send the Pain Below last time for a second single… so…

I highly recommend this disc to anyone who likes the whole modern rock sound. You can’t go wrong with this one.

And the winner is…

Muse! Wow! That was easily one of the best concerts I have ever been to in my entire life. The Commodore was packed and people were rushing the stage the second the opening act finished. When the three members took the stage, this wave of presence just washed over everyone. The screams of elation of just the sight of these guys was louder than the amps! And here I was thinking it would be a nice rock show… I was wrong.

They busted into apocalypse Please off their newest album and just kept going up from there. The frontman was just astoundingly talented (as were the other members mind you) and did such a visceral assault on my senses that I was left speechless when the set was over. He played his guitar with authority, as if the gods of rock had raised him to be the messiah of music. This may sound like overkill, but if it does, it’s just another sign of how you weren’t there. It was just amazing.

The only fault of the entire show was the sound. I was smack dab in the middle of the stage and 2 people widths from the security gate. There is no P.A. pointed in that area so all you can hear from there is stage volume. This proved to be a problem since all I could hear was music. The vocals were washed out by all the screaming. The only songs I could make out words for are the ones where the crowd sang along… which happened more often than I thought it would have.

All in all, great show. I will be seeing them next time they come for sure. Of course, that will probably be in the Pacific coliseum or other large venue…

Timing is Everything

So my pal Dave just announced that he and his girlfriend of 2-months are going to get married. Now, I have no real issue with them getting married. I think they are very cute together and could definitely make it as a couple. The trouble is, what’s the rush? Why not slow down, chill out, and just get to know each other before making the commitment?

It’s not my decision to make obviously. I just hope they made the right one since there isn’t much room to maneuver in now.

UBC Bookstore aka Black Hole Financial Institution

You put money in, you get nothing back. Well, not exactly. The UBC Bookstore is well known for it’s ridiculous prices and hazardous line-ups come September. To make the pain of buying a $130 textbook for one of your six classes (which each require a similar priced book), they have implemented a “Buy Back” program where you can get cash for your no-longer-useful books.

What they DON’T advertise is the fact that you will NOT recieve a “fair” price for your book. And that’s only if they haven’t switched to the new version of the text that probably just came out.

Here’s my experience… I bought Systems and Signals 2nd Edition back in January. It cost me roughly $130. Today the price of a new copy is about $122. The stupid part is that I used this textbook once… as in I opened it then closed it five minutes later. It should also be noted that this occured while I was buying the book in the store in January. The course NEVER USED IT ONCE. So, in BRAND NEW CONDITION, I took it to the buy back booth and was told I could get $42.50 for it. That’s 1/3 of the retail price they could get for it since it’s still as new as the other books they sell. If I sold it to a student, I could probably get $80 with no haggling at all since the cheapest used copies (which there are none of) are going for $92.

Now, this could get even worse if I hold on to the book. It would not surprise me at all if the book goes into a Third Edition this fall. Of course, all that would change would be a few pictures and the cover most likely. Yet, the bookstore would never buy an “out of date” book…

Therefore, I’ll have to try and find where that class is being held and post some messages advertising the book for cheap.

Yawn

Well, its 9am and I just got out of my first class. I have nothing until noon which is just completely retarded. It makes me feel even worse for sleeping through it since I can have a three hour nap after and not miss anything. Sigh.

Tonight is the Blindside concert at the Croatian Cultural Center. Should be a good show. They outplayed P.O.D. when they opened for them last summer so hopefully they will knock this one out of the park.

The Muse concert is coming up quickly. September 24th at the Commodore… Hopefully doors will open LONG before they did when we saw the Killers. We got there at 8pm but doors didn’t open until 9:50pm. I have been listening to all three of their albums (yes they have more than Absolution) The other two are called “The Origins of Symmetry” and “Showbiz.” Showbiz is my current favorite but I haven’t really check out Symmetry yet…