I enjoyed UJ’s post on the Carpenters and his crush on Karen Carpenter. Although I can’t say that I had a crush on Karen Carpenter — nice hair, by the way, in that 1971 Australia performance footage! — I did secretly like some of the Carpenters’ songs, like Superstar. My only question is: Was it lamer to like the Carpenters, or Bread? I grudgingly admit that I liked Bread songs like Diary, although I never would have admitted it to my high school friends.
But, every self-respecting guy has to draw the line somewhere, and for me it was Barry Manilow. Unlike the studly males of Quahog, I never liked his stuff.
By all accounts, the election in Afghanistan went better than many expected. Although there were some security issues and attacks, for the most part Taliban threats proved hollow and voters were able to vote without intimidation. The BBC report on the election is here. The results of the election will not be known for some time.
I think any true election — as opposed to the vintage Soviet-type shams where one candidate earns 99.8% of the vote — accomplishes something just by being held without significant incident. Individuals who live in countries that have not experienced democracy need to learn to trust the system and their ability to exercise the franchise without retribution. The act of voting also promotes a more active, involved citizenry and pride in country. All of these things are positive developments.
Of course, holding a successful election does not mean Afghanistan won’t continue to face enormous challenges. It is, however, a good first step toward a free society for people who have long been oppressed.