Fight the Power

Radio Raheem

Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It’s a tale of good and evil. Hate: it was with this hand that Cain iced his brother. Love: these five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love. The story of life is this: static. One hand is always fighting the other hand, and the left hand is kicking much ass. I mean, it looks like the right hand, Love, is finished. But hold on, stop the presses, the right hand is coming back. Yeah, he got the left hand on the ropes, now, that’s right. Ooh, it’s a devastating right and Hate is hurt, he’s down. Left-Hand Hate KOed by Love.

–Radio Raheem

In the wake of the expected, yet unfortunate news that Darren Wilson won’t be charged in Michael Brown’s killing and the violence that is sure to follow, I felt like this was more important than ever. It’s very easy to give in to the hatred that has been simmering under the surface in the months since this shooting. Yet, wouldn’t it be something if we rose above it all and conquered the world with love and not hate.

Just something to think about. Always do the right thing.

This Land Is Your Land

Polling Place

The honest truth is that pretty much every race in this year’s election is more or less predetermined where I live, from US Senator down to the local school board. You can blame the fact that Jersey is still a strong blue state (in spite of our governor), as well as strong gerrymandering for that. I’m sure it’s the forgone conclusion nature of so many elections that will keep a lot of people home and not voting in this election. That, or general apathy over the fact that our government in Washington is hopelessly gridlocked (it’s hard to have a working government when one side has decided that its only prerogative is to destroy the other side because the black man is president).

Still, I have a strong civic pride in the whole voting thing. I’ve voted in every general election since 2000. Not necessarily because I thought my one vote was going to swing a race or impact the world in some great way, but because it’s the thing to do. I think that we Americans, of all political stripes, really do take our political freedoms for granted. We may not always like the people we’re asked to vote for (and trust me, there’s plenty wrong with both sides), but we’re the last word in putting and keeping them in power. And maybe, one day, enough of us will be able to band together and fix some of the problems in the fucking system (like getting all the money out of the elections).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even when you’re stacked with somewhat shitty candidates and races that you can’t get excited about, voting still fucking matters. You’re a goddamned American and this your goddamned civic duty. If you’re not getting out there and voting each and every year, maybe you need to stop and ask yourself what you’re doing calling yourself a member of the stars and stripes nation.

Get out and vote. If you don’t know where to go, this website will help you out. Just plug in your address. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for or talk about who I’m voting for. Vote your conscience. Vote your ideals. Vote your pragmatism. Whatever it is, just fucking vote, okay?

Photo Credit: stephenvelasco on Flickr released under a cc by-nc 2.0 license.

Crash Into Me

Crashplan

A few days ago, my trusty ThinkPad T420s’ hard drive decided that it had enough and it was time to retire. Major bummer, right? Eh, not so much. Thankfully, I have this nifty service called Crashplan which seamlessly backs up all my stuff to the cloud. What a lifesaver. Once it became obvious that the hard drive was beyond the point of reclamation, it turned into a scenario of “OK, let’s move on and do something else.” And because that damn service had all of my shit tucked away in a remote data center somewhere, I could do that. Setup new laptop, load Crashplan on it, start the restore before I leave for work, and my data is waiting for me—fully intact no less—when I get home.

The moral of the story is it only takes one total hard drive failure to make the money you spent on a backup service worth every penny and then some. Get a service and back your data up on the regular.