10 June 2006

Disoriented Express

Colin Cotterill and I both write books set in Asia. His are set in Laos in the mid-1970s. This September we'll be going on a short book tour together, stopping off at points along the way as we drive from L.A. to Madison, WI for Bouchercon. We're planning a multimedia presentation with quirky Asian pop music and either a digital or slide show (depending on what sort of projector we can come up with.) It ought to be a lot of fun. Check the Appearances page of my website for where we're going to show up. Here's the poster for it:

Disoriented Media
I guess Ann Coulter sells papers, and attracts viewers and sells books, but I find that very depressing. She is not particularly smart. She is not funny. She isn't even really all that pretty, she just wears short skirts and has limp looking long blonde hair. What she is, is an ignorant, arrogant, vituperative boor.

I suppose I can't blame her too much for her cretinous beastly persona. Like anyone else, she's just trying to make a buck. I blame the press for her. If she said exactly the same stuff, in exactly the same way and was a dull, rumple-suited, balding white guy, would anyone pay any attention to her moronic blather? I doubt it.

I can't say that her latest nonsense about the widows of men killed in the 9-11 attacks is a new low, even for her. Near as I can tell she broke the vileness meter a while ago and so there's no way of measuring how low she can go.

I'm happy to listen to people I don't agree with, even caustic ones just so long as they employ some wit and intelligence in their arguments. Ann Coulter isn't one of them. Can't the media just boycott her? Can't we make her go away?

Reoriented Bookstore
In some good news, for a change, Aliens & Alibis, the bookstore in Columbia, South Carolina that I bade a fond farewell to a couple of blogs ago, has found some new funding and a new and much better location, and is reopening. Congratulations! As they said in the email announcing the resurrection: You can't keep a good bookstore down. Well, unfortunately there are too many examples of the fact that you actually can, but I'm delighted to see that Aliens & Alibis has popped back up again.

Discombobulated Voting
With regards to the last post on this blog, I did end up voting. It was a struggle. First, I went to my usual polling place only to be informed that my precinct had been split up into several new polling places. This in spite of the fact that the lowest ever turnout was expected for the election and the election commission was worried that it didn't have nearly enough poll workers to go around.

So, from my usual polling place they sent me to a different place. I went there, only to be told that I needed to go to another place. So I went there, walked up to the first table and was told, "oh, you're not here." At that point I was about to give up on voting, but they pointed across the room to another table and told me to go there. Finally I was in the right place.

They gave me my ballot and I went grumpily to vote. There was virtually nothing and no one on the ballot that I cared the slightest bit about. One of the most idiotic things about the California ballot is that I was asked to vote for a bunch of judges that I, and 99.9999999 percent of the rest of the electorate knew nothing whatsoever about. I left those votes blank.

I was cheered by one of my votes, although it was purely symbolic. I voted for a woman running against Diane Feinstein, the incumbant Democrat Senator from California. With her opportunistic support of such things as California's loathesome three-strikes law, the death penalty and the Iraq War, I do not at all like Senator Feinstein. In November, unless the Republicans put up someone I like better than her - which is doubtful - I will no doubt hold my nose and vote for her anyhow. But at least in the primary election I had a feeble chance to voice my disgust with her.

I was also somewhat cheered by the fact that it was indeed the lowest voter turnout ever - 28 percent. There has been, of course, a lot of hair pulling and chest beating over that, although unfortunately nothing will come of it. I'm hoping that one of these elections there will be a specific "Don't Vote!" campaign to keep home an even larger percentage of the vote. Maybe then someone will be forced to figure out ways to get people more interested in elections.

But, probably not.

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