Those Hovercrafts

Floating with intention

Archive for the ‘Travelogue’ Category

Dennis Rodman And Kim Jong-un Are Friends And That Is All

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Dennis Rodman Kim Jong un

This week former professional basketball player Dennis Rodman went to North Korea. Why? It’s kind of unclear. He went along with a few of the Harlem Globetrotters and a video crew from Vice magazine for a feature to be shown on HBO later this year. So that’s part of the reason. Also because Kim Jong-un, the baby faced autocrat who has been ruling the country since his father died in late 2011, really loves basketball.

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February 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Everything Old Is New Again

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Inauguration Nation

Again we wait. We wait for four years, for policies, for wars and peaces. A country celebrates things staying the same.

It’s not the same the second time, of course. It could never be. Nothing ever is. The magic is gone, replaced by reality of politics and economics and the existence of violence both interpersonal and international. Things are hard. The luster has been gone for a long time.

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January 22, 2013 at 7:04 am

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Nobody Knows Where Anything Is But They All Want To Check Your Credentials: Convening With Politicians, Pt. 2

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The boarding gate at the airport for this convention is different from the last one. Not everyone is as white, and for a moment I’m not as sure that everyone on the flight is going where I’m going for the reason I am. Maybe there are other reasons to be in Charlotte, though I can’t imagine what they would be, or maybe they’re just passing through. Some of them are professionally dressed, in open collar suits or dress shirts and skirts, but there are also jeans and polos and tanned middle aged men with sunglasses casually reading books in shorts. These aren’t the political operatives I’d come to see.

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September 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Convening With Politicians, Pt. I

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My flight is early. 6 am. Most people flying to Tampa for the convention are likely coming from Washington, so the flights are sold out and by the time I book I’m stuck with the early in the morning or out of Baltimore. It’s supposed to be a hurricane when we get there and on the shuttle from the economy parking lot I overhear others who mention traveling into the storm. I know them already. I think I see a newspaper columnist I admire but it’s too early; I assume he would get a better flight.

The early flight gives me confidence. It makes me feel that, even if the storm comes and cancels this whole thing at least I will have landed in time to be safely in town. As long as I’m not stuck watching from afar.

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September 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

What Happens At International Economic Summits Ought To Stay There

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A handful of times in a year all the world’s most powerful people will decide to fly to a certain city and meet each other and talk about the Big Important Issues affecting the world. They talk about the economy, they talk about wars that are happening and wars yet to happen and wars that exist but aren’t quite called wars yet, but mostly they just talk.

It’s hard to believe anything is actually accomplished at these events. Why, despite the fact that governments are massive and full of technocrats and experts on every conceivable geopolitical issue, would it take a couple of guys (and maybe, depending on the group, a lady or two) in suits sitting around a big circular table for a long weekend to figure things out. Last weekend they met and tried to do it again. Results were mixed.

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June 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Recollections Of A Recall

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June nights in Wisconsin are chilly and dark, flat and empty from the highway. In a small pocket of a county called Waukesha, which I am still unable to pronounce, a line of cars coasts gleefully away from an exposition center where, they believe, something fundamental happened in American politics. Their guy won.

The weird thing about a recall election is that it’s not a simple choice of who would do a better job at leading a group of people through fiscal, economic and social realities; its a referendum on whether the guy currently in charge is awful enough to take out early. It’s asking whether its worth it to pull the pitcher in the 2nd inning. In a recall election you’re really just trying to stay alive.

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June 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Florida and the Machine

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Florida should not be a state with a coveted early primary date. It’s not even a state, really — more of a tiny nation, full of small constituencies and voting blocs, none of whom have paid the attention to the long process of politics that makes good, informed voters in the first month of an election year. They haven’t met the candidates, haven’t looked them in the eye at town halls and backyard barbeques or shaken hands to test their grips; just seen them on TV.

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February 3, 2012 at 6:00 am