they actually got back to me in 1 hour and it turned out that you can't have both airport and a pcmcia card configured to be on the network at the same time. Now I happily have full signal strength all over my apartment :)
My only gripe now is that the preferences pane "forgets" preferences (i.e. "connect to specific network") and my wep password (very annoying)
Tried out the Mac OS-X payware drivers for my SMC2532W-B from ioxperts. I installed them, plugged in my card, and BANG 100% signal strength! Didn't even get that using the windows drivers supplied by smc! (which kind of cheesed me off, I paid extra to get the 200mW output power).
Here's the kicker
I pulled out the plastic, paid my $20, entered the registration code and the bastard stopped working! It seems that there's some problem with the kernel routing table, as when i try to ping any host on my subnet, i get the "host is down" message.
and now for something completely different...
well, the election is way over, so instead of using this as a platform for my political rants, I'll do the Right Thing and blog solutions so Google can find them, in the hopes of saving someone else a couple of hours of cursing.
09:19 pm: King of the Hill a right-wing propagandist tool?
When I was in Tennessee about two years ago, I remember asking my friends, "Do you guys like King of the Hill?" and all of them gave an enthusiastic, "Yeah!" I was perplexed, because I don't understand the comedy. They told me that you just have to be from the South, because you grew up around people like this, and you know them.
In light of the reading and thinking I've been doing lately, this episode of King of the Hill was enlightening, as it shows the archetypes and cultural symbols the right are using to influence people by villifying Democrats.
We all know (if you listen to Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, etc.) that the problems of the country can be blamed on The Liberal Media/Elite. With their fancy cars, their lattes, and fancy euro-centric tatstes, they sneer at the simple pleasures and ideals of Middle America.
A subplot of the episode was that Henry Winkler (remember him? The Fonz from TV's Happy Days?) moves into a ranch next to the wife's (Peggy) mom's ranch, and he closes off access to the road that the mom used to drive cattle through when they were ready to go to market. (It seems that this town is supposed to be like Denver, a sleepy midwest town that has been overrun with vacationing outsiders from the Blue States). In order to combat this, Peggy does some research and finds a 100 year old law on the books that says that "If a road used for driving cattle is inaccessible, the main street of town may be used as a temporary path until the original road becomes clear." She and her husband and some cowboys drive 50 head of cattle down main street, causing calamity amongst the "outsiders". One of the cows walks through a Mercedes convertible, ruining the interior. Another man is seen coming out of a small shop walking an Afghan Hound (not a blue-collar dog), who is shocked by this movement of livestock. A cop stops Peggy on her horse, and tells her that she can't do this, she shows him the 100 year old law, and he is forced to let her pass. A victory for the downtrodden!
Now. Let's look at the subtext of this scene and examine why the writers chose these elements.
First, we have the part of the Hollywood Antagonist, played by Henry Winkler. He has moved into this midwest town and has brought all of his selfish "values" with him. He doesn't understand the simple rules of life in this rural area, and has callously prevented a family rancher from making their living.
The Afghan Hound and the Mercedes are symbols of the elite. The cows ruining the Mercedes interior is intended to bring cheers from the common man, much like when Groucho Marx would take Margret Dumont (embodying the rich, snobbish establishment) down a peg with his wit.
Now, I'd suggest that the "outsiders" and Mr. Winkler are supposed to represent the liberal elite. representing all the evil things that the liberals do, namely (according to Laura Ingraham, radio talk-show host, and right-wing nut-job):
"They are cynical, arrogant, un-American, a minority, anti-democracy, hateful of Middle America, self-cultist, liberal, infallible-feeling, godless, Democrat, trial lawyers, god-haters, affirmative action loving, French loving, UN loving, Bill Moyers, PBS, spa-going, Manhattanite, NPR, diverse, left-wing, flag burning, subversive, anti-Israel, traitors, socialist, communist, fascist, aloof, pretentious, turgid, condescending, ..."
etc. etc. etc.
Pretty awful, no? I mean, I wouldn't want to know one of these folk! They're nasty, and callous and irritating!
In driving cattle through this stronghold of "liberal elitists" we see the downtrodden Middle American get even with the world that has victimized them, and cheer for him taking the pretentious yuppies down a peg.
When did "liberal" all of a sudden get to be synonymous with "yuppie"?
Did I miss a meeting?
Strangely enough it is this small group of people, the rich Hollywood crowd, who break with core of the Democratic Party, they are the exception to the rule. It is more likely that a Mercedes-driving, Afghan Hound owning yuppie would vote Republican, because they are more likely to benefit from the economic policies of the GOP!
However, the right-wing media has shifted the hatred of the rich not onto the true villains of the American economic pecking order (CEOs, free-market worshiping right-wing neocons, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen...), but onto the very small minority of rich Democrats.
Pretty ingenious, no?
By taking economics completely out of the picture, they can paint whatever social group they like in whatever light they wish because their argument is not based on a logical premise. It's because they're liberal that they do these things! Therefore: all liberals must be bad
02:30 am: Class Warfare
I've been reading Thomas Frank's book "What's the matter with Kansas?" and it has been very enlightening. I've been wondering for the past week how the Republicans, who most people will admit are the party of and for the very rich, have managed to snooker the working class of America into voting for them.
Every form of logical argument that I've attempted to apply to this condition has led me to fits of laughter or binge drinking. But now, I see how we have been out-maneuvered, and it's not funny.
For the beginning half of the last century, the Democratic party was the party of the people working against the plutocracy of robber barons like JP Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. The farmers and most of the midwest were on our side, rallying for New Deal policies like farm subsidies and regulation of the railways. During the Depression, the battle lines were clear. There were those with and without food, and there's no questioning hunger. Democrats made out on this class warfare, the rich vs. the poor, the stuffy establishment vs. the simple farmer.
Where we have been hoodwinked, my friends, is in our belief that the masses would remember who helped them out of the Depression. What the Republicans have done is frame the class struggle in a new light, a light that never once touches upon economic policy. It is one of unattainable and superficial cultural gripes.
I was amazed reading this book. In one section, he quotes that attack ad that ran against Howard Dean, in which one farmer's wife says to another farmer's wife, "He should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs."
I was amazed at this because they're talking about Yuppies, the insane, catalog-obsessed yuppies from Best in Show. The same pretentious assholes that my friends and I can't stand and make fun of at any available opportunity
You can see the very subtle mix of images in that line. Note "tax-hiking, government-expanding" are economic/political, but from "latte-drinking" to the end are all cultural, and by far are the dominant images in the sentence.
The truly scary thing about it (to me) is that here are a group of people who have been convinced that I am a pretentious yuppie because I'm a Democrat. Only in a post-cold-war society could this happen. The pretentious yuppies vote Republican! They're the ones with the money! Democrats used to be slightly to the right of Communists! How the hell did we get to be "the liberal elite"? It defies all logic!
Why would an elitist raise taxes on the rich to support funding for programs that would benefit the middle class?
Why would an elitist support federal programs that stabilize grain prices and allow smaller farmers to survive in the world market and not get swallowed up by AgriBusiness?
This is really the crux of the biscuit, my friends. The Republicans have taken economics completely out of the picture when it comes to class warfare. It's not the rich vs. the poor anymore, hoooo-no, they couldn't win that one. Instead it's the evangelical protestants vs. everyone else. The sanka drinkers vs. the starbucks crowd. BMWs vs. Pickup trucks. The Republicans have pissed off the angry white males of the nation told them that the GOP is on their side and that the real problem was FAR FAR AWAY in the "Blue States".
lemme summarise that just for the sake of clarity:
THE REPUBLICANS ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORKING MAN!
Does anyone else see something wrong with that statement?
"But wait a second Jon," I hear you exclaim, "the Republicans don't fund education, they cut taxes on the wealthy, increase the tax burden on the working class, they allow corporations to run willy-nilly across every kind of regulation that's designed to protect the environment and workers, have blocked every attempt in the past 10 years to raise the minimum wage above the subsistence level, they hate labor unions, and they take HUGE sums of money from special interests and big business! Besides, there were close margins in quite a number of 'Red States', in fact, looking at a distribution of votes by county, George Bush dominated very few states absolutely..."
You know what? All of those "facts" add up to a whole big pile of diddly-squat.
Because the Republicans are giving middle America something that the Democrats aren't, the feeling that voting for the GOP is taking back control of their drab, wretched lives.
Voting Republican means you're sticking it to the man!
I have learned something tonight. I'm pissed. I'm not quite sure how to go about fixing this, but at least the problem has been defined very clearly.
My friends, we need to harness this power. We had it in 1992, when we showed how out-of-touch Bush Sr. was. We need to prove over these next 4 years that we are the party of the people. That the Republicans drink as many lattes as we do. We need to prove that the man behind the curtain, pulling the strings, raping the environment, cutting jobs, and letting corporations outsource overseas are Republicans. We need to focus this battle on the one area where we can win.
If people tell you that they're honestly worried about "gay marraige", no matter how ridiculous that sounds coming from a person from Kansas (where, I'll bet there is *not* a thriving gay population), it is important to take them seriously. They are telling you the truth, their perception of reality, and nobody likes to be mocked.
The problem is that the conservatives have researched for the past 30 years how to manipulate the American people (Democrats and New Yorkers included). By labeling us "liberals" and using the word "elitist" they have polarized the average American with rhetoric of class warfare. Now, while to me, the thought that the people that want to tax corporations and the rich more heavily and ensure that everyone has health care and Social Security are the "elitists" is the highest form of nonsense. However, this is exactly why we've been *slaughtered* in the major elections since 2000, because it's a big lie that people *believe*. To a person in Montana, telling them that they're sneered at by the "liberal elite media" plays to their sense of victimization. It's the Democrats' conspiracy to keep them down, and voting Republican makes them feel like they're doing something about it. It gives them a feeling of empowerment.
Now, here is the real problem. In 1992, when Clinton was elected, he was touted as the leader of the "New Democrats", a fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal brand of political philosophy. Yet in our move to the center, we've really lost our *identity*. We're trying to play the Republican's game, and we're getting *killed* out there.
What's amazing to me is that *we* should be the party of the people (for all of the economic and social reasons that you all know already, so I won't bore you with a rant).
We need to get tough. We need to go out there and go down swinging! We need to kick them in the nuts! We need to fillibuster! Protest! Call their private residences late at night and ask them if their refrigerators' running!
The Democratic Party has got to stand for something again. We have to stand for the common man, as we always have, but we have to do it in action! When the Bushies try to push a huge corporate tax cut through, we need to *try* to block it! Even if we don't succeed, at least people will respect us for having conviction!
And you! YOU FUCKING MEDIA OUT THERE! Yeah! I'm calling you out NEW YORK TIMES!
When will you freakin bastards get some spine? This administration has been WIPING THE FLOOR with you! Where's your backbone?! Where's Woodward and Bernstein?! So the administration doesn't allow follow-up questions at their press conferences, YOU GUYS ARE THE MEDIA! REPORT IT! WHINE! BITCH! PISS! MOAN! COMPLAIN! Call to the masses to rise up and demand ACCOUNTABILITY from our "leaders"!
AND *YOU*, CNN! You are the worst of them all! You're trying to move to the right and get all that Fox money. You should be *ashamed* of yourself! That's the easy way out! You should be reporting on how much *bullshit* Fox does! It's disgraceful that an independent filmaker had to make "Outfoxed" to get this in the news! Where are our heroes in the press? If you don't fight for us, we can't possibly win!
By the way, if anyone knows how I can get in touch with someone at the DNC and put their feet to the fire, please let me know. I'm eager to reach out and strangle someone.
Oh, and i'm going to join my local chapter of the ACLU. Because nothing pisses off conservatives more than a bunch of whiny liberals who want to protect unimportant nonsense like the freedom of speech and due process of law.
12:51 am: What now?
You know, i've been witness to some real tragedies in my life, but this cuts deep.
I want to break things! I want to drink myself into a stupor! I want heroin!
I want more than anything to be 6 years old again hug my mom have her tell me everything is going to be okay and BELIEVE HER WITH ALL MY HEART!
How the hell can someone be so morally corrupt and still get elected? What would he need to do for people to see how evil he is? Kill a baby and drink it's blood?
WHEN?! WHEN IS IT GOING TO END?!?
My friends, when is this sheer *greed* this self-pitying "I'm white where's my affirmative action?" going to end?
"Oh my God, you mean i have to pay TAXES?"
GROW UP YOU WHINY ASSHOLE! EVERYONE PAYS TAXES!
If you had half a brain, you'd vote for the people who would TAX THE RICH!
This is Germany 1933, a small minority of self-pitying racists have seized control of our government and are bent on causing World War III (I know what you're thinking, "But Jonathan, you're being ridiculous" NO! if you *dont* think that's in the cards, then just *wait* until IranPakistanNorthKorea goes nuclear). You get a small group of "leaders", a large homogeneous population of people who are poor-to-middle income in an economy that is on the skids, and the leaders tell the people "Hey, *you're right!* You don't want to pay taxes? Well okay! Here's $800, oh, and we'll give you back $1000 a year if you have kids!"
And lookee here, they've even got their own jews to demonize called *homosexuals*, Evil morally-corrupt hedonist sodomizers who want YOUR CHILDREN TO BE GAY! And those other evil people that want to hurt you! The MUSLIMS! They're insane! They don't believe in god! They hate our *freedom*! They're going to attack us and murder your kids and rape your dogs and force your wives to cover their veiny legs and botoxed faces! MMMBUGABUGABUGABUGABUGA!
Read between the lines people
Joseph Goebbels said, "The only thing you need to control people is to give them the illusion that they are under attack"
When people from South Dakota talk about how 9/11 "changed their lives forever" I want to *puke*. I was *in* New York on 9/11, I was in manhattan 2 days later. I remember the *SMELL* the hundreds of pictures posted in subways "MISSING: FATHER OF TWO" soldiers patrolling the streets F16s flying overhead asking a friend of mine in the Corrections Department if he'd known anybody who was there and how angryhurtsadupset he was and how bad I felt when he said, "*OF COURSE* I knew people who were there!"
And Bush has the *TEMERITY* to wrap himself in the flag and talk about it? And these *farmers* have the *audacity* to be afraid?!
NEWS-FLASH RED STATES: THE TERRORISTS DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU!
wanna know why?
BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT WORTH THEIR TIME! IT'S CALLED "POPULATION DENSITY"
Amazing how the state that was most directly affected by 9/11, the one place that had the most loss of lifepropertysecurity voted OVERWHELMINGLY for Kerry. The people with SOMETHING TO LOSE. But the gung-ho Nazi assholes that want other people's kids to go over and kill some brown people WILL NEVER BE ATTACKED DIRECTLY!
People in Kansas have no repercussions for their decisions. Nobody is going to ever bother them. However it is *we* in the Blue States on the coastlines that have *contact* with the rest of the world who bear the brunt of *their* decisions.
WE are the ones who are going to die in the next terrorist attack.
This really fucking hurts.
We were counting on you America. We told each other, "Come on, the rest of the country isn't *that* stupid."
02:14 pm: Deep thoughts...
It's funny. I started working on a C# port of the core of twisted the other day. Glyph asked me online "What posessed you to do that?" The best thing I could think of was wanting to brush up on my C# skillz, yadda, yadda.
I was driving back from going swimming, and I had one of those moments-of-clarity-out-of-nowhere. The real answer to that question floated into my mind,