Brother Machine

Tuesday, April 1, 2003
@ Ruta Maya | 9:23 PM

If there’s one thing I can say for Ruta Maya (now at 3601 S. Congress, behind Expose and under the Penn Field watertower), it’s that I enjoy their open mics. Any other day of the week, the music is invariably awful and much too loud, or Thom the World Poet is reading his political anti-poetry, or there’s some other annoying use of the stage going on. Come Monday (Tres Hombres Open Mic.) and Tuesday (Trey’s Open Mic.) nights, though, around eight o’clock, the volume is lowered and a diversity of music not seen in Ruta’s usual music schedule takes over. Three songs or fifteen minutes means even the worst band can’t bother you for too long. It’s a good scene.

Moving on.

Of course, the big joke among anti-war folks today was, “BUSH PULLS TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ.” April Fools. It’s sad we’re forced to the point that we’re making wishful jokes such as that, I think.

I hate to keep coming back to this issue. Michelle voiced to me her utter exhaustion (and not small amount of disgust) with web journallers who’ve been posting their opinions on their websites in that holier-than-thou-I’m-right-you’re-wrong-so-just-shut-up vein recently. I hope I didn’t (and don’t) come across that way in the one entry (or this one, for that matter) I’ve posted so far discussing this issue. I’ve really been trying to take a reasonable approach that leaves aside useless ad hominemswhen referencing this conflict. I’ve tried to couch my opinions in terms not only open to reevaluation and discussion, but also containing enough caveats to show that my anti-war stance isn’t just some across the board thing, but a position that’s taken (and taking, as they evolve) into account the other side’s arguments. So, with that said, I’ll continue.

In a later entry (or possibly an “On” piece), I plan to discuss what I feel are the problems with the anti-war movement. My complaints extend from a general lack of organization to the use of the anti-war movement banner by other groups (anarchists, et cetera) pushing their own agendas. Certainly we all have political and social goals we’d like to see realized, but I don’t think this anti-war movement should really focus its energy beyond ending this conflict as soon as possible with as little loss of life to troops and civilians both Allied and Iraqi. That’s to say, the anti-war movement should be anti-war and no more — not anti-capitalism, pro-choice, anything. (One caveat: To keep my backing, the movement must remain in support of the troops.) I don’t know how prevalent this view is among current activists, but I’d bet many of the first-time protestors who have been motivated to make their voices heard in the streets would agree. Anyway, as I said, this is for a later piece to deal with.

I was going to write more about the war issue, but I’ve decided to talk more personally instead. Fuck the war. Bring home the troops.

Kat came into town last week. I picked her up at the airport and she stayed with me for a night before heading down to San Antonio. We went out drinking the night she got into town. It was probably the best night she and I have spent together on the town so far in our friendship. I’m trying to remember the other nights we’ve gone out alone and either they are few and far between or not memorable. Hitting empty frat bars, Lovejoy’s, Club Deville, and elsewhere, coupled with some pretty good conversation and heavy inebriation, though, makes me think I probably won’t forget this outing for a while.

The next day, as foretold by yesterday’s entry, John showed up in town. Brian woke me up around 9:30 in the morning saying he was going to meet John at Jo’s Coffeeshop. John was in and out of town taking care of business throughout the week and left early this morning on a bus back to Baton Rouge. It was good to see him, as well. Always entertaining.

In other news, I’m applying to go to Guanajuato, Mexico, for a little more than a month almost immediately after this semester ends. I want to go take care of my Spanish language credits down there at the University of Guanajuato. It’ll actually cost me less to get eight credit hours there than it would to take six hours at St. Ed’s over the summer. I’d also prefer to study the language in a country where it’s spoken regularly rather than the U.S. I’ve taken Spanish classes in the States before and been unimpressed with my mastery (or lack thereof) of the language. Not to mention that I can acquire more credits down there in a month than I can in two semesters of foreign language study at St. Ed’s. So, if any of you have been to Guanajuato or have any inside information about the town or school, be sure to knock it my way via e-mail.

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