View from my soapbox
Well, we’re coming to the end of 2002.

Personally, I had a decent year—which is to say no serious health problems and no friends or family dying on me. Like some Americans, though, I’ve been consistently frustrated by being poor while paying heavy taxes for things I find morally and philosophically wrong. Also, having to suffer daily the B.S. of bought-and-paid-for media and their pathetic lack of coverage concerning the most egregious and long-term destructive acts committed by a U.S. government in years.

Almost every major thing this arrogant Bush administration has done is corrupt, foolhardy and, to use one of his favorite adjectives, “evil.” And yet he remains popular, according to “official polls.” Outrage rarely poured into the streets—and when it did, it was ignored or belittled by the media. Real activists are a rare breed these days, though we need them now more than ever.

But the lack of public response can’t be blamed on people alone: After all, we are being conditioned on a mass scale. And at the end of a working day, the average American probably just wants time with his or her loved ones—or barring that, to curl up with some form of bland home entertainment; anything but reading depressing alternative news outlets that paint America as the new Roman empire on the verge of impending doom.

So why all the 2002 “doom and gloom” in this column, you ask? Why don’t I put a happy face on and think happy thoughts—then together at 4:20 we’ll toke up, hold hands and the world will change? Please … like Jack Nicholson once said in a movie, “go sell crazy somewhere else, we’re all stocked up here.” Happy thoughts may work in aspects of our personal lives (like yoga class), but in dealing with politics they’re tantamount to sticking a thumb up your ass.

People should be mad. People should be ear-steaming pissed about what is going on with “their” government. Instead they avoid politics like the plague or default to some vague, self-satisfied and lazy assertion that “this is the way it’s always been—the rich screwing over the poor.” My other guess is that the vast majority don’t make connections between trickily worded, secret legislation and the damaging effects passed on to them.

But I should say, “Bitch not for what your country has done to you, but for what you aren’t doing for your country.” Namely, demanding accountability from our corporate masters/government leaders.

Concerned about Bush’s current attacks on California clean air and water? Read the latest Salon piece: “Bush to California: Choke on This” by Katherine Mieskowski, then contact your reps. Some other sites to visit these holidays:;;

Weekly props
1. Support local businesses

2. Drops of rain to sleep by

3. Devin the Dude

4. Two Towers dress-up crew on opening night