I’ll be interviewed live about the push poll call (see below) tomorrow (Tuesday) morning on XM Digital Radio’s POTUS 08 (channel 130) at 7:30AM Eastern (I could use even *more* parentheses if you’re not getting enough…). Those of you who fit both of the criteria of being plugged into digital radio and being up at 7:30AM can check in.
Archive for April 2008
Well, it’s been an educational few days (if you haven’t read the post below about the push poll call I got from the Clinton campaign, you might want to scroll down and check it out).
My little phone call recording has gone from Huffington Post to Daily Kos to Politico to ABC news, and it looks like POTUS 08 (the XM satellite radio channel that covers the race and nothing else) is going to interview me on air Tuesday morning.
The comments have been fascinating, too, both on here and on the media sites. I’ve been called either an idiot or a really good guy on public media sites by people from all over the US and a few from Europe.
I was torn about whether to edit the comments here – I feel ethically OK about editing because I don’t consider this a public site, so I feel like I bear some responsibility for what’s said here. Kind of like having a rude guest at a party in your living room. It’s my place, so I feel some burden to shut them up or escort them out if they’re hurting the people around them. In the end, though, I decided to publish all of them that didn’t contain profanity in the interest of the public discourse, though I certainly was tempted.
Here’s the thing, folks. I know some beautiful, intelligent, inspired people who support Senator Clinton, and yes, I even know some good, bright, kind people who are Republicans. I treasure their friendships and I respect them. Part of why I support Obama in the first place is that he has avoided demonizing and dehumanizing people in general. He’s trying to raise the level of the general conversation. Can we avoid insulting each other and rather concentrate on holding each other accountable?
This stuff is important, and of course we have to ask the tough questions, but there’s a difference between a tough question and an insult.
By putting this out there, I’m trying to hold the Clinton campaign accountable, not insult them. Let me be clear that if I did get a push poll from the Obama campaign I would record it and put it out to the media. That would only be fair. I’m deeply impressed by the transparency of his campaign, and that’s what justice is: everybody being subject to the same rules. I would do that in the interest of justice, even though it would hurt the candidate I support.
I think this phone call was pretty despicable, and I think when the candidates make this kind of choice it should be made public. I’m not willing to insult people, though. That’s not the point. I’m not going to ‘go negative,’ and I hope Obama won’t either. It’s one of the fundamental differences I see between the campaigns: I honestly believe that Obama would rather keep his integrity and lose the race, and sadly I don’t see the same signs coming from the Clinton campaign.
Here’s the thing — I’ve done some digging around and I can’t find *any* reference to the Obama campaign doing anything like this. I think that’s because they’re not doing it. The accusations are that his inspiring speeches are just empty talk. Well, how do we check that to find out? Against his actions, I think. And his actions seem to speak pretty loudly.
Hang in there, people. Let’s try to inspire each other and keep to the high road, listen to each other and speak truth as we understand it, while understanding that there may be more truth out there to learn.
Oh, and while I’ve got the floor – thanks for caring enough about this stuff to chime in. Even you ranters.
Two really funny vehicular scenes from my last twenty-four hours:
Yesterday a Harley-Davidson pulled by my house and I glanced over at the biker riding a machine with all the auditory subtlety of a jack hammer on a freight train, only to do a double-take: he was talking on a cell phone.
Can you hear me now?
I was turning left onto a busy road behind two oncoming cars – one of those split-second decisions that I got wrong: Both of the cars in front of me stopped with an extra car length between them, so I found myself unable to pull forward, but out in the road already, with my car hanging out and blocking the lane beside me until the cars in front of me pulled forward. Sure enough, a car came up in the blocked lane beside me and laid on the horn. I was clearly in the wrong, and chagrined, but happily the blast from his horn made the cars in front of me pull up, I pulled forward and he was able to pass. It was only then that I saw the car that had laid on the horn: Asheville City Police.
Apparently he was on his way somewhere.
…I’ve got about twenty-four minutes to go, actually. According to my birth certificate I was born at 11:06AM, forty years ago today. Or almost forty years ago. About twenty-three minutes short.
Had a lovely birthday party with my family last night. I was born on my sister Margaret’s sixth birthday, and to this day Mom still insists on making two cakes so we won’t feel slighted by having to share.
Life’s good. If I felt like these days weren’t rich and full, I might mourn the time passing, but it’s hard to imagine them being much richer. Thanks for being a part of that.
Just twenty minutes left in my thirties. I think I’ll spend them eating breakfast on the back deck.
This is a letter I wrote yesterday to the New Director of POTUS 08, the XM radio station that covers the presidential campaign exclusively…
He did Lens Cap too. ;-)
It’s always an honor when someone covers your song, of course, but there’s something especially cool about having it covered by a Turkish guy in Germany.
He may have missed a bit of the English, but I really like his take on the guitar part — maybe a little more than mine. ;-)
Leave him some nice comments, eh?
I’m waking up in North Carolina this morning, and will be home tomorrow after one more workshop and show this evening.
Had a wonderful show at UNC last night, where we raised some more money for PEG. This last week’s shows have raised about $1500 for projects in Guatemala, most of which will go to support the Chacaya project that Eric and Jason are cycling across Canada to support. You wouldn’t think that college students would be the ones to go to for fundraising, but their generosity is pretty impressive, and it underscores one of my big topics these days: that the small changes DO matter.
I counted up on a plane to Texas a few days ago and realized that I’ve spent a total of 29 days at home since New Year’s Eve, and we’re most of the way through April. The next few days at home will be a real treat.
I’m home for a couple of days and enjoying it while it lasts. Last night Deanna and I went to see my nephew, Nate, in a high school production of Lil Abner. Nate played the part of a pumped up hunk that had been transformed from a scrawny kid by a potent herbal potion. The incredible part of that for me was that someone in MY family was in that play and playing the part of the BUFF guy, not the scrawny one!
Since I just got a new camera, I took a ton of pictures. Nate came to the decision this morning that he’ll be heading to Chapel Hill next year, where I think he’ll take the campus by storm.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Wow! So this is cool…
MJ got an email today from This American Life and they want to license my song Ten and a Half for use on their TV show on Showtime. This American Life is some of the smartest and most fascinating stuff being broadcast these days, and I’m just plain tickled to be a part of it. Heck, I admit it— I’d be happy to have a song on Survivor, but this is really delightful to not only have my music on a national show, but an excellent one to boot.
Since I don’t actually have a TV, I’ve never seen the show but I’m a HUGE fan of their radio show by the same name. It’s probably the thing I use my iPod for most. No kidding. The TV show’s about to enter its second season. ‘My’ episode is slated for some time in May.
Classy that they list and feature the music from each episode prominently on their web site, too. Nice.
Let me clarify, though, that I’m not actually sure if they’re using the instrumental version or the one with vocals, and I don’t know whether they’re using ten seconds or the whole song. Regardless, it’s pretty cool. And, in keeping with what Chris Rosser refers to as the Even Steven Philosophy of the Universe, they’re sending me a check that’s roughly equivalent to the cost of the new SLR digital camera I just bought (Deanna opened the newly-arrived camera box today while I was driving and gave me a play by play of what she found there— She’s very good to me).
All that on the heels of a great weekend of brief but nourishing visits with friends in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee (around respective shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This evening I had a lovely writing class with some students from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. We’ll meet again tomorrow morning and they’ll share the poems they wrote from tonight’s assignment, then one last show, outdoors, while the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, then home on Thursday.
In looking for a different poem to read to the class I stumbled back across one I wrote last year and forgot all about…
The Water and the Glass
Dallas, TX, 5/18/7
I am the child of a fluid family
The manse dinner table always crowded with extra plates and glasses
Some friend of my older sister’s
Fresh and willowy in her peasant blouse,
Smelling of shampoo and incense
Flowing out of the room with my heart
In the back pocket of her bell bottoms
And laughing friends of my parents who stopped by on their way somewhere
Or parishioners with something heavy on their hearts, gulping for air through their tears
Sometimes strangers who showed up at the church office
Hungry and hung over
Broke and broken
Smelling stronger and less inviting than the girl
There was always enough room, enough table
The next afternoon, with the artful placement of a blanket and a towel or two
The same furniture would become a cave and a sanctuary
I could lie on the carpeted floor of my den
And watch through the cracks
For unsuspecting prey
Mostly, though, I practiced hibernating
A useful skill in the wild kingdom of extroverts
The youngest of four
I sometimes suspected
that when I wasn’t looking
the freckles on my skin had rearranged themselves
into the shape of a target
That pattern has dispersed now, though, and other spots have appeared
Pale patches, translucent like the inside of a grape
The same skin seems less solid somehow
More like a still pond when the breeze puffs and ripples the surface
Flecks of light, darker troughs, a few still points
Where I can glimpse the pebbles on the bottom
and occasional reflections of the grander scenes around me:
Mountains and trees and desiccated old men with fishing poles and sleepy eyes
And I move like that, too
In every way that water moves
Evaporating imperceptibly each day
Consumed from a clear glass at a crowded table
Flowing down gutters and seeping through stone
Whipped through the air, violently dispersed
And slowly gathering again
Small and essential
Patient and resilient
Steadily pulled home