Like podcasting, only more depressing

I was testing out the new MSN search engine tonight and found an old interview I did last summer that I completely forgot about. It was recorded in July of 2003 and after I spent 10 minutes or so rambling (and from the sound of it, drowsy on several hits of Nyquil) about MetaFilter and online communities, Greg (the host) asks me what I’m excited about online in the coming future.

I talk optimistically about the internet’s impact on the election that is over a year away. How the internet will be a place where you can truly engage constituents, where it “won’t just be people streaming commercials,” and that the net will “make it feel like a democracy again.”

In other words, I expected something great and basically was wrong on all counts, as my memories of this year’s election were mostly people yelling past each other and streaming commericals towards each other. I really wish we could use the tools properly and get away from all the Terry McAuliffe/Karl Rove bullshit we seem to end up with.

Ugh.

Listen for yourself, my optimism is worth a laugh: election.mp3 (1Mb 65 seconds total)

LazyLawyer Request

Given that Traditional Non-Traditional Weddings are no longer legal in 11 states, I’m wondering why enterprising lawyers in every state aren’t clamoring to produce what basically amounts to “near-marriage in a box.” I know there are over a thousand rights you can’t have as a committed couple that isn’t legally married, but you can certainly turn over the power of attorney to someone special and hopefully get at most of those 1,049 rights with a series of contracts.

So that’s what I’m wondering. Why isn’t there a lawyer out there compiling all the necessary contracts together to make this as simple as possible for a committed couple? I’m sure there are thousands of couples that would gladly pay $500-1,000 for some package that would ensure their partner can make emergency room decisions, visit them in the ICU, and other less traumatic things.

It can’t be an impossible thing to do, it doesn’t require “activist judges” and would hopefully weather any legal challenge even if a constitutional ammendment bans the act. Seems like lawyers are missing out on millions of dollars by not streamlining this kind of service.

As Dick Cheney said, “People ought to be free to choose any arrangement they want.”

The system works

Kottke collected hundreds of reports from folks on how their voting went. But what I want to point out is this: Go to this comment and do an in-page search for the word “Oregon” and find all the rest. Half a dozen pleasant voter experiences from Oregon, all saying pretty much what I said a couple weeks back.

Voting by mail rocks, and I’d love to see it move beyond just Oregon.

On a likely Bush win

I never would have thought Karl Rove’s plan to campaign in the churches and get all the anti-gay provisions you could onto the ballots would win the election in the end, versus all the focus on “new voters” and “young people” who didn’t really vote in record numbers.

All these newly registered voters, voters that everyone said would side with Kerry 2-to-1 seemed to go mostly Bush, if he’s still got a ~3.5 million vote lead by next morning. Who would have thought the GOP could get the vote out in the churches better than all of Hollywood and the music industry trying to get college kids to speak up and vote?

Fucking stoned slackers. You can never depend on them for anything.

Stages

1. Denial

No! Noooooooooo! No way, that can’t be right? WTF?

2. Bargaining

It’s not that bad, is it? Can we forge a working relationship in Congress to undo the division?

3. Anger

Crap! Crap damn crap! I hate ____ they are so _____ I wish they would _____. Crap!

4. Despair

Hello, Canada? Yeah, do you take reservations? No? Ok. Dang.

5. Acceptance

Oh man. At least I’m not gay, right? Oh man.