Thursday, January 20, 2005

Haircut (With Bonus Anti-Administration Rant)

Apparently, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station (조선중앙방송) television show Common Sense (상식) recently started a five-part ambush makeover series, "Let's Trim Our Hair in Accordance With the Socialist Lifestyle" [ BBC | The Guardian | 통일뉴스 ]. Apparently, a TV crew is roaming P'yŏngyang and other cities in the north looking for men whose hair is longer than is allowed by the "socialist lifestyle."

Just in case any of those TV crews are in D.C., I decided to get a haircut this morning. I took the day off (well, I'm editing some stuff at home, but it's still a day off) because the inauguration has a 100+ block area closed off downtown with street closings and diversions stretching into Virginia. I figure I could have made it in with minimal disruption to be at my desk for 4:00 a.m., but I wasn't sure I'd be able to get home in time for Evelin to get to work by 1:00 p.m., so I'm not going in to the office. I did however get a haircut.

[RANT: I think the single biggest goal of this administration has been (and continues to be) to keep people scared. They seem to love big, public displays of insecurity — tons of fences, roadblocks, circling helicopters and fighter jets, metal detectors, etc. — just about everywhere.

Today's inaguration is no different. Fences have been going up since start of January (for the past two weeks, a six-foot chain-link fence has surrounded the Mall with only a few openings for traffic and near the entrances to various Smithsonian buildings); the entire parade route is apparently restricted to ticketholders only; police can stop and question people at will within the 100-block "secure" part of downtown. This is supposed to be a celebration of the peaceful changeover of power and all they want is a tightly controlled, scripted, heavily policed event that presents their insular happy view of how great they are. And they're sticking D.C. with the bill for all that extra security.

The same playing up to people's fears is evident in all the talk about a crisis with social security when there is no crisis and the administration's proposals are likely to speed up the drain on the system.

I'm really tired of the fearmongering and the lies.]


enjanerd said...

Like the rant. I completely agree. I think we're all tired of the fearmongering and lies too... but as long as people continue to be uninformed or merely trust a man who has demonstrated the lengths to which he will go to deceive us, we're going to have to muddle through. Thank goodness this country has term limits. That's all I have keeping my hopes up. -j.

mc said...

I'm with you on having enough of the fearmongering. I had this elaborate theory about the election and the alleged Bush security voters in flyover country - something to the effect that people who live in cities are accustomed to a certain amount of risk, albeit small, in their daily lives, so perhaps that's why they don't fall for the "terrorists are out to eat your children" as easily as people in rural areas, whose day-to-day existence doesn't involve as much potential risk from strangers. (I guess the theory's not so elaborate if it can be expressed in one very run-on sentence...)

T. Carter said...

MC, I think an urban mindset vs. rural mindset about risk thing could play in to it, but I also think Enjanerd is right in that a lot of people just don't take the time to inform themselves and/or to think critically about what the administration says vs. does. Maybe they feel overwhelmed or that the world has changed too much from what they perceive or remember as the "good ol' days," but that doesn't excuse the refusal to ask questions or to think critically about issues.