Where ya been?

Since Dad chastised myself and my older brother for our lack of contributions to the blog, I figured it was probably time to throw my few words into the twice-or-thrice-daily waterfall of posts by webnerbob – even though I expect to see it relegated to the 2nd page by tomorrow at the latest. Regardless, life is fleeting and so are blog posts so what the hell.

First of all, in response to Dad’s post about the draft. While I wouldve definitely liked the browns to draft a quality runningback like Beanie Wells (and I was really pulling for it), the Alex Mack pick pleases me the more I think about it. Getting a young powerful, BIG center is really a cant-miss proposition in the AFC North. Mack may take some time settling in, but I have confidence that he will soon be better than twilight Hank Fraley. Plus, there is no way Mack could be less athletic than Fraley, he was pretty obviously overweight and out of shape. I think the browns missed by not drafting a better RB earlier on, but I think both Robiskie and Massaquoi could be great pro receivers, like the inverse of Braylon Edwards. In sum, I think a lot more optimistically about the Browns when I imagine Joe Thomas, Eric Steinbach, and now Alex Mack lined up on the left side of the line. Plus, I think the players the browns acquired from the jets will end up being a much larger factor than most people currently think.

Anyways….what else is new….

I’m currently in the process of 3 final papers, a painting final project, a media studies final project, and then an exam when that time comes around. I take my father’s urging of me to write this post as a valid and excuse-worthy means of procrastination. Dad, if you arent exactly enamored with my report card this semester, blame it on the blog.

Otherwise, I’ve really been enjoying the current summer-worthy weather in Poughkeepsie, NY. It is especially complementary to a new hobby I’ve picked up — skateboarding. For my birthday I went to the mall and put together a custom board with the help of my skater friend Jon. I got a regular trick deck but big beefy, smooth, yellow longboard wheels. It took a while for me to get used to riding a skateboard ( and I have the scabs to prove it) but its like riding a bike, once you learn its easy to take it and run with it. I’m definitely still at a novice-level, though. I can skate around and get going pretty fast; my turning is definitely improving. I could work on my braking. Tricks, forget about that for a while. What I like most about skateboarding is just the feeling of gliding through the air with no effort. Surely, you have to kick the board to make it move, but once youre up on it and moving it feels great. Like the board is an extension of your body. I’m really looking forward to using my skateboard as a means of transportation when I come home to Ohio for the summer.

That seems like a suitable enough post for now. Whenever I next get sick of my schoolwork I’ll try to add more. Incidentally, I just added a new post chock full o’pics in my own blog: http://russellwebner.wordpress.com/

Until next time, MUCH LOVE.

It’s About Time

It’s hard to believe that, until this week, there were no busts or statues of African-American women in the Capitol. That all has changed with the unveiling this week of the bust of Sojourner Truth, who had a very interesting life (including giving a famous speech in my hometown of Akron, Ohio) and is certainly deserving of such recognition.

When Kish and I lived in D.C., I liked taking visitors to the Capitol and showing them the various sculptures in Statuary Hall. (The massive, black and gold statue of the muscular Hawaiian king Kamamahema (or however his name is spelled), with arm outstretched, was my favorite.) Interestingly, many of the statues in the Hall were of slaveowners of southerners who supported the institution of slavery. I think it’s about time that an abolitionist like Sojourner Truth is included, and I hope it is the first of many recognitions of the political, cultural, and literary contributions made by African-American women.

Walk Away Renee

In one of my recent searches through the library CD section I stumbled across Adieu False Heart by Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy, performing as the Zozo Sisters. I picked it up because I’ve loved Linda Ronstadt’s voice since college. Adieu False Heart is a fantastic CD, and Walk Away Renee is representative of the kinds of songs you’ll find on it — acoustic, simple, and pure in tone. This Youtube treatment also features some fine photography that will help everyone get ready for the spring flowers that will be brought by our April showers.

Republican Reckoning (Cont.)

It always interests me when a well-known politician decides to switch parties, as Sen. Arlen Specter did today. They always explain their decisions as involving some titanic internal struggle of principle and conscience, when in reality they have coldly assessed their prospects and decided that, if they want to get reelected, they need to make the change. In that sense, I agree with this article. What does it mean when a politician who has run for decades as a Republican or Democrat suddenly changes their affiliation as easily as they might change an overcoat? It tends to confirm what many Americans seem to think — that the political parties don’t really stand for anything, and are just a matter of convenience.

I’m not questioning the personal sincerity of elected officials who switch parties. I think most politicians honestly believe that it is best for their constituents and the nation as a whole if they continue to serve. Indeed, one of the main problems with most politicians is that their egos have grown so colossal. If, as many politicians do, you think it is critical that you be re-elected, why run as a Republican if you are convinced you are going to lose to an announced primary challenger?

I’m not sure, though, that Sen. Specter’s announcement says anything about the general status, popularity, or prospects of the two political parties — any more than did Joe Lieberman’s decision to endorse McCain for President. Decisions that are motivated entirely by naked self-interest tend not to be suggestive of broad trends.