Who me?

October 26, 2008, 9:48 PM · That guy is totally checking me out.

It's 10:30 p.m. and I'm at the grocery store, wearing sweats and a T-shirt, no make-up and a ponytail. I'm buying Egg Beaters and whipping cream.

But it's unmistakable. Twenty-something black guy, well-dressed - he's still smiling at me. Hmmmmm. Well, I suppose even we forty-year-olds can attract attention at the end of the day; that does give me hope. Must be these flattering fluorescent lights. Maybe he digs the frumpy look. I'll give him a little smile back.

"Yeah!" he says, nodding. Okay, this is a little over the top. Now he gives me a thumbs-up. What's he seeing here?


Oh yeah....


October 27, 2008 at 03:37 AM · I love your T-shirt. No wonder that man smiled at you.

October 27, 2008 at 03:38 AM · This is truely an age where, we can see an individual can accomplish something that was previously unimaginable. The stories of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama all illustrate that a breakthrough can be achieved by just one individual.That is alot of hope for our children.

October 27, 2008 at 04:08 AM · You got it, girl!

October 27, 2008 at 04:31 AM · what is an egg beater?

October 27, 2008 at 05:29 AM · "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

October 27, 2008 at 05:37 AM · I was hoping you'd keep your site apolitical, Laurie. I get enough of politics everywhere else I go.

October 27, 2008 at 09:49 AM · You are a very attractive lady Laurie...intelligence, talent, and looks (I mean that with all due respect, Robert)

Unfortunately I think your shirt detracts from that beauty, intellectually mostly. Praise God we live in America and you and I can disagree on our politics, but I've always thought the only thing missing from that shirt's image of Mr. Obama was the hammer and sickle. It has always reminded me of the propaganda images you would see in Stalinist Russia.

October 27, 2008 at 10:19 AM · Hey, come here to Indiana... he has been here like a zillion times. The last time he drew a crowd of like 30 thousand.

And... Palin.. will be here Wednesday, third time in 2 weeks.

It helps when your state is undecided.

October 27, 2008 at 10:38 AM · Thomas Gardner,

About the WPA-inspired social realist poster of Obama on the front of Laurie's t-shirt, here's an interesting article from the Times last February on campaign posters:


I rather like the image, which reminds me of New Deal artwork, but that's probably the same reason others dislike it.

Personally, I don't mind a little politics on the site as long as no one's voice is squelched. Just please let's not talk about baseball!

October 27, 2008 at 10:55 AM · Egg Beaters are eggs that have been pasteurized. They are sold in a little cardboard carton, the same type of carton that milk is sold in. You can buy all-whites Egg Beaters, all-yolk Egg Beaters, or white-and-yolk Egg Beaters.

I prefer to buy eggs in the shell.

As for Laurie's shirt, it is her website, and she can do what she wants. I for one have found this election a real learning experience. For example, I had never heard of the AIP. Who knew?

October 27, 2008 at 12:28 PM · Re egg beaters, they are also a no fat/no cholesterol alternative to eggs in the shell. Important for some folks.

October 27, 2008 at 12:48 PM · So, in a sense, the weirdest contrast here is buying egg beaters and whipping cream simultaneously.

October 27, 2008 at 01:53 PM · Point to Marianne for getting that. ;-)

Humor, people, humor....

October 27, 2008 at 02:08 PM · communism

October 27, 2008 at 03:45 PM · LOL, community is not communism!

About the cream, I'm decadent with my coffee but low cholesterol with my cooking.:)

October 27, 2008 at 05:50 PM · Redistribution of wealth (collectivization, as in marxist-leninism); dissolving social classes; government control of industry, education, healthcare, banking systems, individual salaries; shouting down, and ultimately eliminating all opposition; etc, etc, etc is communism. It also goes against the nature of human beings.

Communism may work on a very small scale, but it is, and always has been, a complete failure on the large scale.

October 27, 2008 at 06:02 PM · By the way...are those Egg Beaters any good?

October 27, 2008 at 07:06 PM · I did not expect Obama at v.com. I thought its about musicians and violinists........why Obama?? or any one else from politics?? its absolutely strange. It is very cheap.

October 27, 2008 at 08:47 PM · Some might be captured by this philosophy of it’s “just owned to me “. I do not buy it or the spread the wealth philosophy. You make your own and America has opportunities for all. Now in my view a vote for Obama is a vote for a government that will give you a handout at the expense of Americans that have or are attaining their dreams that is Socialism. McCain does not advocate this or promoted Socialist Ideas as Obama has for most of his political and public career and that is important to understand.

This country was not founded on hand outs and that is what Obama’s Hope is a hand out, from the Americans who have worked hard.

I am surprised so many Americans have forgotten the real America and its dreams, which are to seek out on one’s own terms its opportunities, in freedom, and oh by the way to be accountable for what you do or fail to do.

But it seems that this “want it right now” at any cost even if they haven’t worked for it society is begging for that handout you hope to get from Obama. I believe everyone has the right to screw up their life but not at my or another’s expense.

If you want what America has to offer go get it but not at the expense of those Americans who are working hard and realizing the dream. In my view a vote for McCain is the better vote.

October 27, 2008 at 09:08 PM · Greetings,

Laurie, by coincidence I was watching Sicko last night. But I think you`ll be okay a slong as you quite the cream and stay with the eggbeaters.

BTW have you noticed a sort of semantic similarity between `egg beaters` and `Chest thumpers?`



PS Jim- I`m afraid you`re in the right ball park.

October 27, 2008 at 09:15 PM · E-Gads! What a true can of worms has been opened here! It is your right, Laurie, to express your political bent, as that is an American right. It will prove, in the interest of social science, interesting as to where it may go. I just hope we can keep it on an intelligent and polite level. One must keep in mind that there are no hard "truths" in politics, only opinions. Despite confusion and opiniated views, and all of the entertaining overtures to the grand opera itself, The elections, and it's ultimate outcome will be historical. Already, I have had the privledge to see history unfold before me. What is coming next, no one can tell. It will ultimately be up to us as to the real outcomes, whether they be progressive or digressive.

October 27, 2008 at 09:39 PM · Laurie made this post because of a stranger's reaction to a shirt she was wearing, which just happens to have Obama's face on it.

No where in the post did she talk about why you should endorse him or not vote for John McCain.

Obama 08!

October 27, 2008 at 09:47 PM · how about a picture of B.O. wearing an Violinist.com t-shirt?

October 27, 2008 at 10:30 PM · Just leave Laurie and everyone else alone guys... Everyone has their opinion and it shouldn't be questioned. Just like someone said in my last blog, be careful what you post because it will come back to bite you.

And it is Laurie's site and she can put whatever she feels like and you don't have to read it if you don't want to. I don't think she's gone all political on us, all she did is tell about an experience she had- The point of the blogs here, duh.

October 27, 2008 at 11:26 PM · thanks Paul. You may leave the temple.

October 28, 2008 at 12:27 AM · Laurie,Thanks for introducing egg beaters to me and Anne thanks for explaining it. You learn something everyday.

October 28, 2008 at 01:02 AM · Hi Laurie, Nice shirt. The man appreciates violin music as well:

Barrack Obama, Joshua Coyne, violin by Joseph Curtin, and bow by Josh Henry

Josh Henry, Bow Maker


October 28, 2008 at 01:07 AM · Egg beaters actually work very well for baking bread and cookies, and they even make a good omelette, but I'm not wild about them in scrambled eggs.

October 28, 2008 at 01:30 AM · Just vote—it is still our privilege and obligation.

October 28, 2008 at 01:48 AM · FWIW, I thought the funniest part of the post was Laurie's facial expression, which matched Obama's on the shirt. That, and the fact that Laurie thought she still "had it," when in fact the guy only liked her shirt. Sorry, dear, you'll have to stick with a 40-year-old -- like me. ;-)

The Egg Beaters are my fault. Blame my family's nasty high cholesterol. But they work just as well as eggs in everything except a meringue. (A touch of milk - or soy milk - helps them fluff up as scrambled eggs.)

You have to be sure to get the original Egg Beaters, though. They make a "with yolk" version now that strikes me an utter waste of time, money and effort. If you want the white and the yolk, just crack an egg!

And speaking of cracked, back to the right-wingers! (Sorry, it was too easy. Couldn't resist.)

October 28, 2008 at 02:02 AM · shell shock?

October 28, 2008 at 02:05 AM · Egg Beaters are useful in recipes calling for raw eggs. Unfortunately, due to the unsanitary conditions the poor hens must endure, raw eggs must be treated as nuclear (pronounced "nu-cue-lur") waste. The pasteurization process that the Egg Beaters go through makes ingestion a bit less risky. Hence, I am able to enjoy the banana milkshake that Dad used to whip up for us:

1 banana, peeled, in chunks

1 egg serving Egg Beaters

1 cup milk

Splash O' Vanilla

Put in blender, whip until smooth. Serve with a dash of nutmeg on top, during Bugs Bunny Saturday morning cartoons, or, before scary audition.

October 28, 2008 at 02:26 AM · I'm really surprised by the many people who equate compassion and helping with socialism, a very bad thing. I have some questions for you. Have you or anyone close to you ever

(1) been unemployed for a long time because local businesses have shut down?

(2) been turned down for jobs for which you are well qualified because you have a physical handicap(but can't prove what was in the mind or heart of the interviewer), even though such discrimination is against the law (3) lost your home and everything in it due to severe flooding several years ago and still have no home (4) read about or played in an orchestra which is shutting down or severely limiting performances, salaries, and benefits because that's the way the marketplace works (5) read about or experienced drastic cutbacks in medical research, which is essential for improving health care in the future, because of the free market (6) been forced to choose between buying a life saving drug for your child and buying a birthday gift for him (7) had no health insurance, like 40 million other Americans (8) watched gas prices skyrocket while a major gasoline company keeps racking up the highest quarterly profits of all time for any corporation (9) made good money working hard as a realtor and now have to search desperately for an income (10) been told by two hard working, employed parents that If you want to go to college you'll have to pay for it yourself because they can't afford to (11)been elderly, sick, and unable to afford the medications you need (12) read about millionaires who pay no income tax while you have to pay more than you can afford (13) receive Social Security retirement checks which aren't even large enough to cover your copay under Medicare (14) been handicapped and received medical coverage from the state which is so low that very few doctors will accept you as a patient. I have drawn on my own experiences and my friends' experiences to compile this list. I know that some of you can and will provide legal and/or financial information to dispute some of the points I've made. However, it is abundantly clear that some people who work or have worked hard get a bum rap, and the government doesn't do enough to help them. A democratic government should care and help without being branded as socialist.

I love Laurie's T-shirt.

October 28, 2008 at 03:45 AM · I didn't notice this the first time I read the post, but I'm troubled by the fact that the admirer is described as a twenty-something black man. Would his race have been mentioned if it had been anything else? Would you have taken longer to come to the conclusion that it was your T-shirt that was making him smile at you? Because I think somewhere in this account is the implication that all black men automatically support Obama, and that's a problematic assumption.

And Laurie, I don't mean to harp on you, but I'd still really like to know why you deleted my second comment when you have let stand others saying pretty much the same thing---that you have the right to write whatever you want on your personal blog. If I've offended you, I wish you'd respond directly instead of just editing the discussion.

October 28, 2008 at 09:45 AM · ...it was just part of the brief physical description of the guy....might as well have said a tall twenty-something guy, or a red-haired 20-something...

October 28, 2008 at 09:48 AM · Anyway, I get that kind of reaction from 20-something black guys without having to wear the slogan shirt.

Heh heh. ;)

October 28, 2008 at 10:06 AM · I've never expected my government to be "compassionate". That is not and has never been its job. Many of those descriptions that Pauline provided apply to me and to many others. Part of the problem is that we expect the government to do for us what we should really be doing for ourselves. Unfortunately, there are those in government (Obama, for one) who are more than happy to let government do for the people what they should be doing for themselves. It gives the government way more power than it was ever intended to have. Less government equals better government.

October 28, 2008 at 10:09 AM · one things that truly matters beyond all the fuss is color.

without color, there is no music:).

October 28, 2008 at 10:39 AM · 38 posts based on Laurie's t-shirt and text, it seems like a political web site, huge conversations just on politics. WHERE IS THE VIOLIN???? think about it.

October 28, 2008 at 12:04 PM · Thomas,

I agree

People must be held accountable for their actions and in actions. If the Government gives handouts to people and the people expect that handout when they fail then the country will eventually fail.

I think someone with great wisdom said “teach them how to fish" and they will not go hungry.

The problem with Pauline’s post/argument is that she is discounting personal accountability and advocating that government should step in to enable more poor behavior. Most often people experience problems because they make poor choices, are poor planners or feel sorry for themselves. So teach them to make better choices, to change: spending, saving or work habits. Only the individual can do that. They need to quit feelings sorry for themselves and expecting others to just give when they will not even try.

Taking from other “spreading the wealth” and giving to people who will not help themselves does not fix any problem. Again, if I give a man .50 cents of another man’s hard earned dollar it will only create animosity and not solve the problem. But if he is taught to make better choice, to live within his means and build on what he has, you will give him the means to earn his own dollar and no government can do that only you can.

I am surprised that people don’t understand the difference between compassion and socialism also. There is a difference between compassion and socialism. Compassion would be to provide moral support, encouragement, mentoring and teach so that one can move forward on their own. Socialism is where the government doesn’t allow individual ownership stifles initiative and it ensures that everything is metered by the government and spread equally to all there is no “HOPE” in such an arrangement and compassion has nothing to do with it.

October 28, 2008 at 12:12 PM · there should be a test to assess if voters really understand the candidates' issues before they are allowed to vote:)



October 28, 2008 at 12:13 PM · But,

What I am really interested in right now is the best technique to use to build and finally master the vibrato?


October 28, 2008 at 12:26 PM · Laurie, I am twenty plus too and right now smiling at you as well.......

October 28, 2008 at 12:35 PM · I am afraid that the Hope and Change candidate is not interested in more western white patriarchal culture that teaches respect for traditions and encourages an exploration of the foundations of that culture in religion, philosophy and art.

I think some violinists ought to start retooling themselves for other careers. When the redistribution starts none of it will be redistributed to them at least not as musicians.

October 28, 2008 at 12:39 PM · Al Ku

Tests of voters awareness of the issues are part of our racist past.

I prefer a method of voter screening inspired by our American revolution. "No representation without taxation".

October 28, 2008 at 01:18 PM · It is a right and privilege to vote. But, It is also the personal responsibility of each eligible voting American to educate him/herself on what is going on and I don’t mean just by watching the entertainment networks of CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC or listening to bias journalists’ etc… If one votes without knowing then he gets what he deserves.

Personal accountability and responsibility

October 28, 2008 at 01:37 PM · Richard I agree with your comments on compassion and socialism, but as you said..."If one votes without knowing then he gets what he deserves".

Unfortunately, the rest of us are also stuck with consequences stemming from the bad decisions the uninformed voters made.

October 28, 2008 at 01:49 PM · Deb,

Your right there. How does that get fixed???? We can only hold people accountable for their actions and in actions not in a mean way but in the right way. The right way is not to enable bad or irrespnsible behavior i.e. handouts, bailouts, voting in poor legisators it does start with us.

Thanks for your comments

October 28, 2008 at 01:43 PM · if i were middle class, i might like the theme of taxing the rich...except the fact that the combine net of forbes 400 is about 2-3 trillion, which will last feds less than a year. what comes after if we stay the course is a system not unlike the europeans' where the middle class contributes to and shares the tax burden.

if i were rich, i won't mind the campaign slogan because i have the resources to dodge the taxes when the time comes.. who will be holding the bag eventually? the middle class.

if i were neither, i vote!

October 28, 2008 at 01:44 PM · Karin, I didn't delete your post, or anyone's. I don't know what happened, but it was never up, and if you want to put whatever you said up, go ahead.

Indeed, my little post here has inspired many strange ideas! I'm not much swayed by people who voted for the Great George Bush, sorry guys. :)

Having a functioning government is extremely important, and I haven't seen that in eight years. In fact, the last eight years have been corrupt and incompetent beyond anything I could have imagined. If you don't see that, you aren't lookin'!

So yes, I'm for confident leadership at this point, and I see the Republican party as an abject failure, morally and practically speaking. You know who will get my vote. :)

October 28, 2008 at 02:09 PM · I didn't vote for Bush.

October 28, 2008 at 02:11 PM · Richard – here’s the recipe for perfect vibrato…

Prepare to play, and then start thinking about what the next four years will be like and within minutes you’ll be shaking so bad your vibrato will be fantastic!

Sorry, I really couldn’t resist…my attempt at humor in the midst of a scary situation…

October 28, 2008 at 02:10 PM · Mr. Obama is truly an upright and moral person. Just ask the unsuccessfully aborted babies who were left to die on some laboratory table because a doctor messed up and didn't kill him/or her in utero. Obama is all for that. He is so moral he is willing to extend the right hand of friendship to many of our countries gravest enemies. Who is he going to represent if he becomes president...the interests of the American citizen or the interests of the "global community"? They don't have to be mutually exclusive, mind you, but I prefer my president to put "us" first and "them" second.

How uncompassionate of me, I know.

October 28, 2008 at 02:31 PM · And that comment, my friends, is a true indication that we've gone off the reservation! Goodbye, have fun!

October 28, 2008 at 02:21 PM · Deb,

Thanks I have a recital this Sat so I will have the opportunity to shake.

October 28, 2008 at 03:06 PM · Laurie,

Just remember who controls the congress right now. That hasn't been a very successful group of servants either. I am out of here to get some violin talk.

It has been interesting

October 28, 2008 at 03:14 PM · > That, and the fact that Laurie thought she still "had it," when in fact the guy only liked her shirt.

Robert, I'm here to tell you. Laurie still "has it." : )

Pauline - I loved and applaud your comments. I enjoyed others' contributions, as well. I actually prefer to hear both sides of an issue/discussion. Can't say I agree with everyone, but hey. And what I've learned most from this thread is not to post any personal blogs/comments on Wed, Nov 5th, like I'd been thinking I might do. : )

October 28, 2008 at 03:12 PM · Why is that "off the reservation" Laurie? Do feel that an American president should not represent the interests of the American people? Do you feel it is morally acceptable for unsuccessfully aborted babies to not receive medical attention? I only brought it up because you mentioned the lack of morality within the republican party and to point out that questions about morality go both ways. You are such an interesting person Laurie because in many ways you exemplify exactly what I mean about the possibilites of limited government. I applaud you very much for the efforts you took to bring Suzuki education to the schools around you. You took a personal initiative to achieve something woderful in your community and didn't wait for the federal government to do it for you. You have constantly stepped up to the plate to write about perceived injustices in the community, most recently the orchestra you play in that would like to cut concerts to help with its financial woes. Limited government allows you to do that, not the other way around. Anyway, in our society of social relativism it is hard for anyone anymore to agree on the term "morals" or "morality", but I just don't think my beliefs are "off the reservation".

October 28, 2008 at 03:41 PM · Actually the Suzuki method is Communist. ;) So is my seeking of a city grant to fund the program. Which actually no longer has funding. If I were a real citizen I'd just fund it through something more legitimate then the government, right? I mean what are they doing, funding education with OUR taxpayer money? Huh? Kids with violins? Waste! How is it in our country's interest to educate people? Let those kids educate themselves!

Terez, don't be too afraid. Just because people get loud and extreme does not mean that most people aren't sympathetic to a more reasonable view. No one has to argue to the bitter end for that to come through to the 100 + people reading for every one person posting. Though it's tempting.

To try to have the


October 28, 2008 at 05:43 PM · I have only one question, where is the VIOLIN at v.com

????????????????? why there is so much of political discussions?????????????? its all BLOOD PRESSURE out puts,,isn't it????? plz guys..forget politics at v.com and enjoy music. its too much now, v.com is not for politics and even the owner of this site can not change the ruls, its about many of ours dignity and personal feelings, we do not surf v.com for Obama or McCain. Come on Laurie, I did not expect this from you, you are 40plus, not a kid any more. Now leave this politics and get back to violin, it will be good for you eventuality. No more political conversation please, just violin and music. please.....all of you.

October 28, 2008 at 05:56 PM · oh come on,,,there is so much violin on v.com 24/7/365 that once every four years we all take a break from violin!!!

the little hose is not going to do it, pal, it is an inferno! :)

October 28, 2008 at 06:26 PM · Laurie - time for you to get in touch with your inner hottie.

October 28, 2008 at 07:28 PM · Oh dear...

Sometimes one does not know what to say - and it ca even become difficult to look at comments objectively because the objective comment can be read as an attack against a person, ideology, opinion, etc. ad nauseum.

Nevertheless - I have recently spoken to friends of mine who grew up under Communism and they have spoken quite forcefully about some of the ideas espoused by the Republican Party.

Regarding Laurie's shirt - it's a GREAT shirt, period, and while it may to some be reminiscent of subversive propaganda it must be said that many artists (including Willem deKooning and other members of the group of Abstract Expressionists called "Irascible Thirteen") were responsible for painting large murals in public spaces through the Works Progress Administration, the largest New Deal Agency. Of course, it feels somewhat ridiculous to remind very educated people why the New Deal came about and what it was, but since we're here - some could say that the New Deal was akin to Communism, but I'm sure that no one objected to the fact that during the New Deal years many Americans who had fallen victim to the financial and spiritual destruction inherent in the Great Depression were arguing about working.

Second - there is language here that can only be called reprehensible at best. While there has been abuse of government programs by many people, to say that the government should not bail folks out who have made bad choices speaks of incredible ignorance of the history of racism as bureaucratic initiative throughout the twentieth century. Granted, I too feel that part of any government-sponsored initiative should include an element of "aftercare" (i. e. , let us chart a person's progress and also "teach that person to fish" while having given a lifeline), but talk like that done by one of my colleagues here smacks of racism in disguise.

October 28, 2008 at 07:56 PM · A correction...

"but I'm sure that no one objected to the fact that during the New Deal years many Americans who had fallen victim to the financial and spiritual destruction inherent in the Great Depression were arguing about working."

That should read - "I'm sure that no one objects to the fact that during the New Deal years MANY Americans who had fallen victim to the financial and spiritual destruction of the Great Depression were working."

"With that, is it fair to say the government should 'not bail people out due to bad choices'? Are there not hundreds of thousands of Americans who have simply made the best choices that they could considering the facts at hand, and that those same people could have made mistakes, or simply found themselves affected by large forces out of individual control?"

October 28, 2008 at 09:15 PM · Sam,

Race is not an issue. Although some may want to make race an issue in my view it is an immature conclustion.

Personal accountability or the lack of it is the issue .

To many Americans today want the government to fix their problems. Well the gov. can't. And there are segments of American Society that for some reason live in the past feeling sorry for themselves. I say use your energy towards moving forward you will be better off. However, if that is what one wants to do that's fine after all it is America.

It is the right of every American to hope but it takes work for that hope to become reality. I hope every day I can play my violin like Paganini but I can't so you all out there need to give me some of your hard earned talent so I can go on tour or better yet the webmaster needs to force you all to give me a year of talent from every registred member of this site. You know I started late in life because my parents were too poor to get me a violin and pay for lessons. Kind of silly if you ask me but like the webmaster that can’t do that neither can Gov fix things and as for Mr. Obama’s mantra of hope I wouldn’t be so sure it hope he’s offering.

So lets get back to practice

October 28, 2008 at 11:54 PM · Wow, I had no idea there were so many reactionaries on this site. [Stepping backwards carefully out the door in her own HOPE t-shirt...]

October 28, 2008 at 11:58 PM · And by the way, thanks, Samuel for being a voice of reason.

October 29, 2008 at 12:05 AM · From Robert's post on the discussion board today:

"From Robert Niles

I just converted the site's back-end database to a newer version of the software. However, it took a little longer than I expected, so we lost a few minutes' worth of data.

So if you just posted something to the site and it is not there anymore, well, that's what happened.

Going forward, if you see any bugs on the site in the next day or two, please let me know. Our ETA is Saturday for a new site design, with some new software support."

Eureka, Karin Lin! Laurie didn't erase your post-- Robert is the culprit!

October 29, 2008 at 12:13 AM · I guess it's fine Laurie to have the last word, though I would appreciate it if it was at least understandable. I'm not sure I understood exactly what you were saying or the point you were trying to make. Were you being sarcastic or were you serious?

October 29, 2008 at 01:02 AM · There is a difference between irony and sarcasm.

October 29, 2008 at 01:37 AM · I grew up in and luckily escaped a communist country. McCain and Palin reminds me of that country: distortion, character assassination, promoting ignorance and anti-intellectual mentality, and using all sorts of divisive tactics to gain power and support.

I wonder how many of you have read Obama’s books. If you want to attack Obama or anyone for that matter and for the sake of your own integrity, at least get his positions straight.

For all I can see, this is really not about Obama vs McCain. It’s about reason vs. ignorance. It’s about having hearts vs.being small-minded. It’s about being self-reflective vs.being self-interested.

October 29, 2008 at 02:31 AM · Amen, Yixi.

October 29, 2008 at 03:03 AM · Thanks for solving the mystery, E. Smith! I didn't think I was nuts, because I even saw the comment count go from 21 down to 18.

October 29, 2008 at 04:25 AM · Gretings,

I wrote some of the most profound and amusing things in my life in the seconds before Roberts impression of Armageddon ticked in.

Can`t remember what they were though...



October 29, 2008 at 04:26 AM · Greetings,

I was also interested in Karin`s comment about Laurie using the descriptor `black.` It is, to mind , worth some exploration as it certainly is in some cases indicative of racism given that one doe snot automatically write `white.` However, I feel in this case it was actually something more importnat and connected to the message of what may have been Obama`s most important speech during the election campaign when he pointed out that all side need to acknowledge our faults and deeply ingrained attitudes before we can learn to live with each other as one. Thus in noting that the man in question was black (can`t help feeling that L would also have written any other nationality/race under the sun anyway) she was in a sense acknowledging that there are deeply ingrained attitudes of seperation and pain that we all need to deal with and here was an example of how it might happen thanks to the Obama phenomenon: two people across a divide were able to share what was to them a greater idea (whether you accept the politics or not) and in the process acknowledge each other as one.

That is actually a beautiful thing.



October 29, 2008 at 04:52 AM · In a just world (we're a long way from such a world) musicians would be allocated instruments based on their ability to play. No fine instruments would be sold to non-players and the best Strads and Amati's would only be available to soloists and first desk members of top tier orchestras. No Amatis for risk taking entrepreneurs who develop a popular web site that features interviews with top caliber players and attracts sponsorship to pay the bills and contribute to the family's wealth.

October 29, 2008 at 08:45 AM · "In a just world Strads and Amati's would only be available to soloists and first desk members of top tier orchestras"

Choke. No no no, Corwin, they would be available only to those who truly appreciated and desired them. THAT is just. My never achieving the option of playing one, in part because of my family's inability to have me learn as a child and thus never having the chance to achieve the status of top tier (as has been ecxtensively discussed in this site) would be decidedly UNjust.

As an australian, who has compulsory voting (And in fact, I almost lost my drivers license because I was sick for ONE local council election and failed to vote, but never received the fine and so never paid it), I find it amusing that the presidential election in the US always attracts such interest here (will be televised all day), when the reality of the interested voter in the US is such a pitifully minimal quotient.

I've never quite understood the reactionary view that you help yourself or get what you deserve. There are children and innocents who are impacted by the actions of others and do not 'deserve' what happens to them. A good government in a western democracy must provide a welfare net to support those groups. The trick is in finding the way to support without removing the interest, capacity and motivation for self achievement.

Personally I find myself disillusioned by your election - the only runners in the race are those that can fedangle themselves into the adequate financial position, and that must leave many a competent and inspiring politician by the wayside.

October 29, 2008 at 09:54 AM · Yixi, Welcome back it's good to read and hear your voice again!

October 29, 2008 at 09:44 AM · you know it is a cool thread when just now i had to click on "more thread" to get back in here. weeeeeeee!

1. not going into a debate of dem/rep, obama/mc, just want to caution that promises are made to be broken, esp coming from a politician. sometimes history is a good indicator for the future, sometimes not. no elected officials have to anything they promised after election. as they say, a govt that can give you everything is also one that can take everything from you.

2. i have many black friends and also many white friends. since i am yellow, i will say this: without going into stereotyping, i know how the whites look at the blacks differently from looking at fellow whites. similarly, blacks look at whites differently as well (not necessarily the way laurie had experienced). it is as complicated as it is simple but it comes down to "us" vs "them". ignore that you are ignoring the obama phenom. many whites feel that when blacks cite racism, sometimes it is justified, often not.

2. during campaign everyone puts a label on someone else. it is not really redistribution of wealth, certainly not communism. what it is is a spin by both sides. if i hand out 500 dollars to someone else, i can live but that someone else's lot may not change at all. but, for the promise of 500 dollars, you may get a vote.

3. to many that i know, the 3 most crucial factors going into the voting booth will be race, race and race.

ps. i pretty much say whatever i feel, appropriate or not by others' standards, as you can pretty much tell on v.com. to preserve your own image, if you have to say something in response, watch yourself.

October 29, 2008 at 11:22 AM · Sam, I love your eloquence and elegance.

And this continues to be an entertaining thread.

For those of you steaming about it, folks, this is a personal blog. Don't come to the party in the bedroom if you want to stay in the living room, where the conversation continues to be PC, proper, and carefully moderated for content.

October 29, 2008 at 11:43 AM · so sam's post is eloquent according to terez. since terez is a writer, it means something; i just don't know what.

i did catch sam's question, in my paraphrase: is it fair that when "folks" make mistakes that the govt does not bail them out,,,and that somehow is related to racism???

bailout. racism. huh?

October 29, 2008 at 12:02 PM · here is another line from sam:

"it ca even become difficult to look at comments objectively because the objective comment can be read as an attack against a person, ideology, opinion, etc. ad nauseum."

couple things:

1. a person is a subject therefore whatever he processes after looking is subjective. objective is just a play on the word. even if i interpret that phrase literally, it is quite self rebutting if he says has problem looking at objective comments objectively.

2. while sam finds it difficult to read "attacks" against his believes, later in his post he related that he sided with his friends from communist countries their political ideation against a certain political party. i have no problem if one makes a stand on politics. it is just that it will be more "eloquent and elegant" to point fingers at others as well as self.

October 29, 2008 at 01:56 PM · >so sam's post is eloquent according to terez. since terez is a writer, it means something; i just don't know what.

There is a musicality, a smoothness to his writing and style that pleases me. And I found the New Deal comments to be insightful and interesting.

But I like your comments too, Al. : )

October 29, 2008 at 02:08 PM · savvy writers tend to get away with many things for granted, even on the topic of content vs style:)

but i must admit that when terez made the reference of bringing the party from the living room to the bedroom, i had flashbacks of whipcream, the dude and the hottie.

October 29, 2008 at 03:07 PM · Sharelle, I think you may be right. Ability and achievement count for nothing in a just world--only grievances for past injustices. That is why it is okay for certain self-identified segments of society to be over-represented in some areas of achievement while still claiming redress for their under-representation in other areas.

Besides so much achievement is subjective anyway. We should throw out best and be satisfied with good enough or even not quite good enough but what they hey... it doesn't matter anyway.

Of course when it doesn't matter anyway who will care about it enough to buy a ticket to hear it? How then will the grievance be redressed?

October 29, 2008 at 03:28 PM · Buri thank you for seeing what I saw at the heart of that moment, and for describing it so well.

I undoubtedly offended a number of middle-aged, make-up-less pony-tail wearers as well with my overly-thorough description. In my defense, I would not have described myself that way unless I were middle-aged, not wearing make up, and wearing a ponytail.

October 29, 2008 at 08:20 PM · heck Laurie,

if you`d just said `man` you`d have offended the literati pining for adjectives; if you said dude with big shoudlers and a sexy smile you`d have offended Robert; if you said ugly bugger you`d have offended me; if you said human you`d have offended ET...

Maybe we should just all stop writing and eat chocolate

October 29, 2008 at 11:34 PM · I think you also offended grocery stores, for implying that their lighting is not flattering for optimal beauty.

October 30, 2008 at 01:21 AM · Please pass the whipped cream, Al.

October 30, 2008 at 01:55 AM · as Terez offends the perverts....

October 30, 2008 at 04:34 AM · If Laurie's mention of the man's race was intended to be descriptive and nothing else, I'm cool with that. I can fully believe that she would have written "twenty-something blond guy" or "Asian guy" or "tall guy". But given how huge a factor race is in this election, I think it's appropriate to pay attention to the underlying assumptions we make about people and how we express them. I was not offended, merely troubled at the possibility. There are far too many times when a member of a minority race is seen as representing all members of that race, and I think this is a major cause of the problems we still face in this country. I'm not calling anyone---least of all Laurie!---a racist, just asking for vigilance.

October 30, 2008 at 11:27 AM · in that fleeting moment laurie captured with exuberance the undertones of color, sexuality, age and the common goals shared by seemingly different folks from different walks of life, like cutting through the american society with a sharp cleaver. great writing like that is better appreciated at its face value, instead of dissecting it as if it is a shakespearean play full of plots and motives.

a 20 yo black man is a 20 yo black man. whatever images we want to conjure up is our business and out of her control. the fact that it has provoked much reaction and emotion is a testiment of its brilliance.

in a sense, laurie put up a mirror and suggested to us all: look at yourself!

October 30, 2008 at 02:52 PM · WOW!

First - while I feel somewhat strange continuing, as this is not my blog here =), I have to thank Terez, Al, and E. Smith for their compliments, as well as for the many comments posted here that have proven, if I may, enlightening.

To Richard, regarding personal accountability and my reference to the deep wound called American racism: having read many books and essays as well as having been bombarded with "news" all of my life, I must say that it is not only unfair, but also incredibly ignorant of anyone to say that one cannot mention the darkness of prejudice and "other hatred" that (despite the Civil Rights Acts and other legislated mandates) still exists in our great "land of opportunity".

Oddly, I have a feeling that should many of us sit and speak candidly about the government being asked to "bail us out", I wonder if we would truly feel the same should the dichotomies of government assistance and how such assistance is viewed in light of other factors (those factors including the notions that many people have about others) was truly explored.

Being "who I am", of course, I do honestly have to say that when I hear certain words (as I'm sure that all of us are attuned to read code words) I have to question what's behind the words, and being somewhat knowledgeable in public policy, social policy, American History, and politics, I must - as we all must - be incredibly careful when speaking so as not to throw life and friendships into conflagrations.

THAT kind of thoughtfulness, my dear colleagues, is what results in true dialogue and understanding.

Furthermore (if I may adopt the "fire-and-be-damned-to-you" rhetoric of Malcolm X), anyone who can simply say that "race is not an issue" when the history books chronicle - quite thoroughly and candidly - the horrors of pre-Civil Rights Act dehumanization, the fearful and shortsighted internment of peoples of Japanese descent during World War II, the systematic and brutal removal of Native Americans (and what DOES "Native American" mean?) from their lands, and the subtle yet equally destructive concepts of superiority and inferiority that permeate "race relations" in both this country and others - as well as sit back while their ethnic peers are treated with subtle disdain and disrespect - is either incredibly optimistic or content to float down the river of Denial.

October 30, 2008 at 03:49 PM · I hear you, Samuel.

October 30, 2008 at 08:27 PM · Greetings,

Karin, I couldn`t agree more with your psoition. I wish we were all like you!

It reminds me of an interesting exchange between John McCain and a voter that could ahve used some public deconstruction.

The lady in question said she could niot vote for Obama because he was not to be trusted as an Arab and muslim. McCain then , in his terms as a decnet man defended Obama by saying that he wasn@t but rather an honest family man. The racism is so deeply imbedded here that one has to do a double take before notng that by implication Arabs and Muslims are not. Unfortuinately the huge population of them in the whole world is all to familiar with this kind of thing and it has terrible consequences for global cooperation. What a cool place the world might be if an Arab became Americabn president. Edward Saaid would have been brilliant...



October 30, 2008 at 10:47 PM · Ah, Edward Said. Oh well. But if the Phillies could win the World Series, maybe it's possible to imagine that a person of Arabic descent could one day become president of the US.

I'm really only posting because I'm curious if the blog comments will be archived at 100 like discussion board posts.

October 30, 2008 at 11:24 PM · me too....

October 30, 2008 at 11:31 PM · Are you kidding Buri-Sensei? Edward Said was one of the most notorious liars in the history of American scholarship. He made up a childhood of persecution in Palestine when he was actually a child of plenty raised in Egypt.

Edward Said

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