mr. zilla goes to town

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

great sexpectations

It isn't really rewarding or educational when countries or cultures meet your preconceived expectations of them. However it can make you laugh.

For example, many Australians tend to carry the view that Americans are stupid. This is statement is 48% true. This is the percentage of voting Americans who failed to convince the other 51% of their voting countrymen not to vote for George W Bush. Its kind of like Bill Hicks' comments on the war on drugs. He noted that with tens of billions of dollars sunk into the nation's elite law enforcement agencies, the US government is still losing the war against hapless stoners who may have trouble remembering to tie their own shoes some days. The forces for good in the US just lost the damn political war against gap toothed rednecks with rifle racks and confederate flags in their pickup trucks. Idiots. The Democratic party leadership, I mean... so I guess its fairer to really say that around 0.00048% of America deserves the appelation.

So it is, arriving in Britain. In the states the whiff of sex is a firestorm scandal but here a juicy romp across the front pages by a Cabinet Secretary and his philandering partner is all just rather jolly gristle for the media mill and cause for applause. Well until the allegations surfaced that Home Secretary Blunkett might have abused his position and fast-tracked his partner's nanny's visa. Oh my. Not a scandal of impropriety and immigration!

Monday, November 29, 2004


Courtesy of British Airways I exchanged a blustery Thursday night in DC for a wan English Friday morning sun that couldn't hold a candle to ms. zilla's smile as I met her in the main courtyard of her college.

Unfortunately I couldn't persuade her to carry me -- or preferably all my luggage -- across the threshold of our digs in North Oxford, as instead I was just in time for a hasty introduction to the lore and lingo of the Christchurch regatta. At first I thought all the casual discussion about catching crabs was a strange abberation in the stereotypical English character, to learn with much mirth this is actually a term for poor technique in dipping one's oar, rather than poor a selection of the, err, waterway in which to dip one's oar.

I'm back in mirrorworld and looking the wrong way before I cross the street again. Coins are bigger, prices are higher, but at least the streets are narrower and less festooned with SUVs than the nightly Connecticut Avenue commuter monster truck rally.

Unfortunately one of the aforementioned crabs was a fierce blighter and managed to catapault one of ms. zilla's teammates from the boat and into the drink twelve strokes into the repecharge race, putting something of a dent in their ambitions to reach the regatta's final day of competition. Teddy Hall's loss was my gain, what a shame, what a shame, as we got reacquainted and put in a concerted effort to gad about the town yesterday (Saturday). Her company is a treasure and I'm still quite perplexed how we managed to be a few thousand miles apart for almost the entire the last two years. Any comments about the mouths of gift horses will get me belted with a rolled up newspaper when she reads this, so shhh.....

Following on we rolled up to the post-regatta Saturday night jacket and tie function at the Mitre - where they've been pulling beers for students since 1261 AD, and were immediately fined (one drink, to be consumed immediately) by the master of ceremonies for being from the southern hemisphere. Again, what a shame. The delightfully refreshing (or is that refreshmanlike) night ended with the rude mirrorworld reintroduction to the 11pm closing time licencing laws in England, and despite 48% (NB New Mexico results still to be returned) of my mind and body arguing that it was in fact only 6pm we were well ready to turn in.

I've spent today taking care of the first of five job applications around the traps I need to submit by this coming Friday. Life in England begins with a smile that not even the perpetual celestial grey can diminish.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

32 songs, number 0*: Supertramp - Goodbye Stranger

It was early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn
And I really have enjoyed my stay
But I must be moving on

In allowing rostered students to bring in cassettes each week and play songs of their choice, Miss Fiegert's weekly fifth grade music class of 1986 provided the opportunity for the first prepubescent blush of posturing over musical mores that escalated to the thermonuclear pencil-case covering levels in high school. But these were the simpler days of primary school, where the marbles and footy cards you had were far more important than the bands you branded yourself with, and a time where I think most of us were just beginning to find our feet in terms of the beginnings of our own independent musical tastes.

So naturally, given the opportunity to investigate the rich tapestry of almost a century of recorded music, the class of ten year olds were united as one in attempting to shock the middle-aged Miss Fiegert by bringing in songs with rude words or scandalous innuendo.

You can laugh at my behavior
That’ll never bother me
Say the devil is my savior
But I don’t pay no heed

The two hits of the day that stick in my mind are Paul Lekakis' "Boom Boom Boom (lets go back to my room)" and the frightfully naughty "Bloody Well Right" by Supertramp. I can't quite figure out why the latter was so titillating, I mean we are talking about an all boys catholic school here with some fairly sheltered young fellas, but on the other hand recess and lunchtime were often caught up in the discussion of what exactly a head job was and how it might be possible to get one.

Nonetheless amuse and titillate us it did, enough so that I think I ended up with a copy of the "Best of Supertramp" cassette on the back of this song hoping for more of the same. How wonderful it was to be disappointed.

I now know that much of the content of this particular 'best of' came from the two albums on which Supertramp ditched their earlier prog rock, stripped their sound back to some occasionally absurdist themes and selectively minimalist pop hooks. These hooks clearly set their mark deep as despite losing the cassette a couple of years later and scarcely a thought of the band passing between my ears in a lot of years, one night about a month ago I woke up in the night with Goodbye Stranger playing through the mental monitor.

Goodbye strange it’s been nice
Hope you find your paradise
Tried to see your point of view
Hope your dreams will all come true

I've said goodbyes in my hometown of Canberra, with the sure knowledge that the elastic band of family will fling me back in that direction eventually. I've said goodbyes in mountain villages in Papua New Guinea, with the sure knowledge of the absolute improbability of ever returning. But saying goodbyes to friends from DC last night had different complexion, one tinged in my mind almost with too-honest betrayal. For despite the great friendships and bonds formed here, and sincere wishes that many of the friends here will come my way when they're in the UK next, I couldn't make any promises on the likelihood of returning or my intentions to do so. My gut feeling is that any spare time and money over the next few years my feet will be pointed east and south into Europe - a continent I've flown over but never set foot in - rather than back west into the now-familiar territory of the US. The ability to come back will be there, and the desire is present but not as competitive with other plans.

Goodbye mary, goodbye jane
Will we ever meet again?
Feel no sorrow, feel no shame
Come tomorrow, feel no pain

So its a stranger goodbye than the previous few chapters. One where the predominant feeling is joy at the watermark set on the calibre set of intriguing and diverse friendships amidst the cataclysmic political events of the last year. But one that unlike the super tramp of the song above, it is not without a new brand of self inflicted sadness.

A sadness compounded, incidentally, by trying abysmally to mix the above track in between two Chemical Brothers tracks sometime after 2am. Well you live and you learn: don't drink that third white russian till the fat lady sings. (And if there's any such singing to be done, its got to be Shirley Bassey in the Hip Length remix of the Propellerheads' History Repeating before you throw to the Basement Jaxx remix of Monday Michiru's Cruel To Be Kind.)

* - Some guy called Nick Hornby wrote a book about 31 songs but my mates at Bandwagon, the midday meal and goodbadugly are going one better. Actually between them they're going to go around sixty three better, and the work is first class, so go over and check them out. In my cowardice - or laziness - I refuse to commit to joining the 32 lap foray down memory lane but this post just goes to show its probably a battle I'm rapidly losing with myself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


This is the post where I tie up all the lessons and loose ends of the last eighteen months, reveal some insights into the American character and Washington culture of a personal nature, all delightfully pithy and sardonic, and set the stage for the next chapter.

That is, it was going to be, until I read this:

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The British pound gained the most against the U.S. dollar today among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg, rising about 0.8 percent as of 5:03 p.m. in London.

Now about all the little guy in charge of the internal monologue can come out with is fucking fucking goddamn fucky shit fuck piece of crap fiscal fucktard neocons! Bah! Fucking USD at a nine year low! Shit!

At least I'm going for lerve not money! Re the above, maybe tomorrow!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

i am not permanent

4am. home in the silence, taking in the bamboo bay window and twitching at the tinnitus.

textureDJs' last Blue Room set wound up around 2.30 after kicking off around 9.30. fiercely, fiercly on - except for tha last half hour where the joint was emptying and shots-to-tunes ratio took a beating, and so there's one or two dogs of mixes. we've got it recorded on SD to so with a bit of geekery we'll get it to mp3 or more likely broadcast on

personal highlight, in a set I cogitated long and hard over to farewell this fine city appropriately, was a first out-and-live go at skratching some selections from JFK's 1961 inauguration speech into Steve Lawler vs Oasis - Rise In Panic.

Also nice was a $4.99 promo release of a Smitty dub of To This World by Soel (aka Ludovic Navarre aka St Germain), one of the records I picked up in Manhattan last weekend, that felt like a hand in glove into Deep Dish's remix of Everything But The Girl's Wrong.

with the blue room done, heres to hoping I can kick on and entertain myself like this over in the youkay.

Friday, November 19, 2004

casualties in the culture wars, II

The suspect said the victim had told him there was nothing he could say that would convince the 62-year-old to believe in God.

Following this discussion, the suspect said, he went into another room and removed his shirt. Then he shaved his face.

He tried once more to convince the victim to believe in God, but this time, he had the shotgun.

"How long would it take you to believe in God?" the suspect said he asked the victim.

"Not until I hear Gabriel blow his horn," the victim allegedly replied, while tipping his hat.

That's when the suspect shot him.

via Slacktivist.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Oh yeah, rumours are still floating around here that Powell is headed for the World Bank.

casualties in the culture wars

"I'm not sure where we went wrong," says Ellen McCormack, nervously fondling the recycled paper cup holding her organic Kona soy latte. "It seems like only yesterday Rain was a carefree little boy at the Montessori school, playing non-competitive musical chairs with the other children and his care facilitators."

"But now..." she pauses, staring out the window of her postmodern Palo Alto home. The words are hesitant, measured, bearing a tale of family heartbreak almost too painful for her to recount. "But now, Rain insists that I call him Bobby Ray."

Even as her voice is choked with emotion, she summons an inner courage -- a mother's courage -- and leads me down the hall to "Bobby Ray's" bedroom, for a firsthand glimpse at the psychic devastation that claimed her son.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Here in the bluest of states, in Manhattan since Friday and having a whale of time. Friday night met the happy but jetlaggin sister and bro in law off the plane from London and promptly dragged them through the drizzle of Times Square and out to dinner followed by dropping an mildly obscene amount of cash at the midtown flute on some marvellous champagne. Leaving the poor lagged family to their rest the final stop for the night was out at the Royal Inn in Brooklyn to catch a free set by Turntables on the Hudson doyen Nickodemus. He spun a great progression off a rare groove base into some saxy house while a really nice middle-aged bloke next to me at the bar told me about the antique furniture restoration business and his dominatrix wife.

Saturday night saw some dedicated dashing about, from Chelsea thai & ramen bar Nooch to clubs Trust and APT in the meatpacking district, over to Anatomy in the East Village where the latest CD from Gavin Froome the Nordic Trax label was being launched. Great stuff. You can grab some (free, legal) tracks of his over at epitonic if you're interested.

At the final destination I ended up chatting for a while to the upstairs hiphop DJ. Cheers to you Mike and your friend whose name I never caught but nonetheless who gave me his comp ticket to Fatboy Slim. Not long after that and a hairy 2am stumble in search of a cab I made it back across town to catch the last few minutes of the set. Thanks Graham for calling in the midst of this even though I couldn't hear much and was well trashed to boot...

Sunday saw some jolly jaunts through the Met and more of midtown including a credit smoking stop at Tiffany's for my brother in law... should have bought her something in Italy when you had the chance mate ;-) Off downtown, Ellis Island, a great Malysian meal at Jaya in Chinatown.

Today (Monday) I've been vinyl shopping in Greenwich village mostly at Vinyl Mania -- distressingly apt name, that -- and Bleeker Bob's Records, picked up some tasty tasty stuff including some Alastair Cooke and speeches of JFK just ripe for sampling. The fams are off up the Empire State at the moment and I'm having a timeout to rest my still slightly wobbly ex-broken ankle.

Tonight its out to Deep Space @ Cielo for more housey goodness with Francoise K playing all night.

Good times.

Continued. Cielo was pure heaven. While Fabric in London is the best supersizeme experience I've found, the clarity of design in the more moderately sized Cielo is superlative. A single box shaped open space, a single long bar exquisitely lit opposite the DJ booth on the opposite wall, neither of which pull focus from the central well of the stepdown dancefloor.

Francoise K played a spacey dub-oriented hours long introduction to some killer disco, that having been in the business for over 25 years he probably played the first time around. Fatigue took me around 2am but not before he moved into some volcanic techno territory. He spun the whole night using a powermac and Traktor Studio - a piece of kit I'm quite enamoured of myself - combined with a UC-17 controller and a top of the line PCMCIA-interface USD$1200 RME soundcard.

More on this later, but I'll wrap up this post by saying this previous weekend has more than reversed a slight residual narkiness about the NYC club scene from the previous foray that was overpriced and underwhelming due to some substandard leadership by local sherpas.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

frequent fiver smiles

In his native Amsterdam he is Schuurmachine to his friends. In the clubs of Berlin they know and fear him as the unique and unstoppable Sandpapierschleifmaschine, destroyer of dancefloors. In Rome his name can only be whispered by the faithful: Sabbiatrice, Sabbiatrice...

Last Wednesday it was James Lavelle and U.N.K.L.E, this midweek for repeat customers of club Five it was a case of buy one, get one free. An unbilled addition joining Dutch progressive preacher Sander Kleinenberg was local lad made good Ali Shriazinia, also known as the less hirsute half of superstar duo Deep Dish. The two tag teamed from twelve till three, it was quite a treat.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

and I say this to the night

A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt...

If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.

Thomas Jefferson, 1798

let us not forget
there is hope

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

on a jag

I'm starting to feel like it's a case of England or bust. The last 10 days have just about drained every last sap of energy I've got and I still need to gear up for a full on final 48 hours at work followed immediately by a 9-12 Japone set and then a couple of hours of Sander Kleinenberg around the corner at Five on Wednesday.

Thursday I'll be hunkering down like a tick-tock homo floriensis to double dose on the deecee zeitgist - none other that Leni Reifenstahl's Triumph of the W[ill]. Following that I'll be just in the frame of mind to take California - via a blitzkreig down through the lowlands of Oregon - and roll a few tanks victoriously down Rodeo Drive, be dissuaded by the fighting spirit of the Hawaiians, open a second front in the northeast, and heroically give my last breath and life to the fatherland in a futile push on Bostongrad. And all before heading to NYC lunchtime friday. Yeah, life's so tough. Violins me. I almost can't wait to get on the plane just cos I know it will be six hours of uninterrupted sleep. Almost.

Nonetheless Sunday night I dragged myself out of the house and down to U St to catch a truly remarkable experience going by the moniker Jaga Jazzist. They're a Norwegian ten piece band signed to the Ninja Tune label with an astonishing texture to their sound and a presence on stage monumental in its eccentric energy. Picture almost a dozen shaggy scandanavians before you in a constant state of undulating bodygroove, bent respectively over their xylophone, tuba, synth, tweak box, soprano sax and/or bass clarinet, flute, geetars, drum kit, & trombone. Think about what that looks like and think about how it might sound; despite having four of their albums I was cosmically unprepared for the hypnotic drama in the aural tapestry of their live performance and if I wasn't standing up for it probably would have fallen out of my chair. There are probably a perishingly small number of readers of this site to whom the following analogy will make any sense, but it has to be made anyway it is so apt: Jaga Jazzist are the Avalanches on hydroponic Birdseed. More accessibly, Rolling Stone have called them "a virtuoso union of Miles Davis' 1975 Agharta-Pangaea band, zero-gravity 1970 Pink Floyd and the chilled digital foreboding of Four Tet and To Rococo Rot."

Uh, right. I think we both need a sponge, Mick. But the point is, Jaga Jazzist are a, frickin, mazing.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

tune in, turn on, chill out

check your watch. if you're reading this before 10pm Saturday in Washington DC, or 3am Sunday in the UK, or 2pm Sunday in the eastern Australian states, or 11am Sunday across in Perth, make a note to jump over to where I'll be going out live over the net to y'all for around 3-4 hours, taggin with DJ Frekur and possibly some other guests. There are streams suitable for both DSL and modem on the site.

There'll be some fat proggy, some fly'n'flirty dirty disco, some beats so broken its like two wrongs making a right, and some totally tokyo terrifictronica. tune in!

Update. Got broadband? Oh yes you do... if you missed the set live you can now download all 3 1/2 hours of awesome tunes from DJ Frekur's site. Just right click and save-as right here: Frekur vs Cynan

Update update. Dang, a few parts of the stream aren't at the best levels. That would be me overcompensating for the gigaport's usual lower output levels. Trouble was with the output studio's less-than-club monitor I wasn't telling where the problem lay (ie the monitor itself or the actual feed) and we were drinking beer instead of checking the d/l feed on delay to suss the actual output. Frekur's TT levels are tight though, and she serves top shelf tracks n mixers. Get into the download above, or just tune into her prog @ 8pm each week. It's the biz.

A full setlist will be forthcoming shortly once we put our heads together...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

not the Kerry concession speech

[John Kerry, flanked by his family and supporters, steps up to the podium in the bright autumn sunlight. Cheers and applause are heard.]

My fellow Americans, the people of this nation have spoken, and spoken with a clear voice. So I am here to offer my concession. [Boos, groans, rending of garments]

I concede that I overestimated the intelligence of the American people. Though the people disagree with the President on almost every issue, you saw fit to vote for him. I never saw that coming. That's really special. And I mean "special" in the sense that we use it to describe those kids who ride the short school bus and find ways to injure themselves while eating pudding with rubber spoons. That kind of special.

I concede that I misjudged the power of hate. That's pretty powerful stuff, and I didn't see it. So let me take a moment to congratulate the President's strategists: Putting the gay marriage amendments on the ballot in various swing states like Ohio... well, that was just genius. Genius. It got people, a certain kind of people, to the polls. The unprecedented number of folks who showed up and cited "moral values" as their biggest issue, those people changed history. The folks who consider same sex marriage a more important issue than war, or terrorism, or the economy... Who'd have thought the election would belong to them? Well, Karl Rove did. Gotta give it up to him for that. [Boos.] Now, now. Credit where it's due.

I concede that I put too much faith in America's youth. With 8 out of 10 of you opposing the President, with your friends and classmates dying daily in a war you disapprove of, with your future being mortgaged to pay for rich old peoples' tax breaks, you somehow managed to sit on your asses and watch the Cartoon Network while aging homophobic hillbillies carried the day. You voted with the exact same anemic percentage that you did in 2000. You suck. Seriously, y'do. [Cheers, applause] Thank you. Thank you very much.

There are some who would say that I sound bitter, that now is the time for healing, to bring the nation together. Let me tell you a little story. Last night, I watched the returns come in with some friends here in Boston. As the night progressed, people began to talk half-seriously about secession, a red state / blue state split. The reasoning was this: We in blue states produce the vast majority of the wealth in this country and pay the most taxes, and you in the red states receive the majority of the money from those taxes while complaining about 'em. We in the blue states are the only ones who've been attacked by foreign terrorists, yet you in the red states are gung ho to fight a war in our name. We in the blue states produce the entertainment that you consume so greedily each day, while you in the red states show open disdain for us and our values. Blue state civilians are the actual victims and targets of the war on terror, while red state civilians are the ones standing behind us and yelling "Oh, yeah!? Bring it on!"

More than 40% of you Bush voters still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I'm impressed by that, truly I am. Your sons and daughters who might die in this war know it's not true, the people in the urban centers where al Qaeda wants to attack know it's not true, but those of you who are at practically no risk believe this easy lie because you can. As part of my concession speech, let me say that I really envy that luxury. I concede that.

Healing? We, the people at risk from terrorists, the people who subsidize you, the people who speak in glowing and respectful terms about the heartland of America while that heartland insults and excoriates us... we wanted some healing. We spoke loud and clear. And you refused to give it to us, largely because of your high moral values. You knew better: America doesn't need its allies, doesn't need to share the burden, doesn't need to unite the world, doesn't need to provide for its future. Hell no. Not when it's got a human shield of pointy-headed, atheistic, unconfrontational breadwinners who are willing to pay the bills and play nice in the vain hope of winning a vote that we can never have. Because we're "morally inferior," I suppose, we are supposed to respect your values while you insult ours. And the big joke here is that for 20 years, we've done just that.

It's not a "ha-ha" funny joke, I realize, but it's a joke all the same.

As well as conceding the election today, I am also announcing my candidacy for President in 2008. [Wild applause, screams, chants of "Ker-ry! Ker-ry!] Thank you.

And I make this pledge to you today: THIS time, next time, there will be no pandering. This time I will run with all the open and joking contempt for my opponents that our President demonstrated towards the cradle of liberty, the Ivy League intellectuals, the "media elite," and the "white-wine sippers." This time I will not pretend that the simple folk of America know just as much as the people who devote their lives to serving and studying the nation and the world. They don't.

So that's why I'm asking for your vote in 2008, America. I'm talking to you, you ignorant, slack-jawed yokels, you bible-thumping, inbred drones, you redneck, racist, chest-thumping, perennially duped grade-school grads. Vote for me, because I know better, and I truly believe that I can help your smug, sorry asses. Vote Kerry in '08! Thank you, and may God, if he does in fact exist, bless each and every one of you.

[Tumultuous cheers, applause, and foot-stomping. PULL BACK to reveal the rest of the stage, the row of cameras, hundreds of unoccupied chairs, and the empty field beyond.]

From Adam Felber's Fanatical Apathy (with just a few minor changes by yours truly)

election wrap

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

election 2004 (spooky black cat remix)

If you tuned in to the the later audio entries last night you'll know that I ended up at the black cat where DJ Spooky (aka That Subliminal Kid) and friends were at work on a different take on the dozens of vanilla election night parties on offer around town. It's perhaps the one good thing that came out of last night and at least demonstrated that there are some talented people wielding heavy armaments for the forces of good in the continuing culture war. Spooky's collaborating VJ, whose name escaped me, had feeds of all the cable news networks plus a whale load of archival and artistic injections and was presenting a freaked and tweaked interpretation of the television coverage. The still shots below perhaps give you a sense but really don't do it justice. The tunes ranged from fine funkin mashtastica to bursts of relentless aching DNB which couldn't have been more appropriate as electoral armageddon, as if through the eyes of Hunter S. Thompson, played out before us.

damn internets

OK so I'm in front of a computer and back able to drop text. dunno what's going on with the audioblogging, I suspect the blogger server is having conniptions with the load tonight, I phoned in two posts (around 7pm, one a bit after 12.00am) that I don't see below. Maybe they'll sneak through later??

((Update 7am Wed: yep, all the audio posts have come through now and I've numbered and put more-or-less the right time stamp on 'em.))

It looked pretty fcuked for a while there but now it's clearly on the barest knife edge. Kerry must win Ohio or the game is over. Numbers I'm seeing now on CNN hold Wisconsin Michigan Washington and Minnesota his way. Nevada and New Hampshire look like going that way too. But New Mexico is clearly for Bush and therefore he who wins Ohio -- or the legal battles therein -- wins the day.

The tension of the race after what has more or less been a complete bender in the last five days has completely sapped me and I'm going to catch a few hours kip before getting straight back into whatever the morning brings.

Hope you've enjoyed the below. (Although I can't seem to download any to see how they sound at the moment, so I hope you've actually been able to access the mp3s). The night here has been a wild ride and I'll possibly be more coherent about it all soon. Suffice to say that the media coverage has been shithouse, CNN in particular with too many talking heads and bullshit and not enough flickerticker data to absorb. Or perhaps its just me that have been changed by the internets and my expectations of normal levels and modes of input have exponentialized.

election night #5

this is an audio post - click to play

election night #4

this is an audio post - click to play

election night #3

this is an audio post - click to play

election night #2b

this is an audio post - click to play

election night #2

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

election night #1

this is an audio post - click to play

other local boothy calls

DailyKos corresponent Tom Schaller was at a different booth just down the street in Adams Morgan:

I live in DC, where almost nothing significant is decided on general election day. At best, you get some hot contests for city council -- though usually those battles are decided between Democratic contenders on primary day. As for presidential contests, the District is the antithesis of a swing state: It was carried by the largest margin of any jurisdiction in 2004 (Gore by 76.2%, which shames even Bush's Utah margin of 40.0%).

And yet the lines at my local polling station in the Adams Morgan section of Northwest DC look like scenes we've witnessed from TV broadcasts in Broward County, FL. I went to the front of the outside portion of the line at my voting location at 7:50, and the woman there said she began waiting at 6:50. The line wrapped around the block, and the next (shorter) block, probably 250-deep. The only explanation I can muster is that people here want to post the highest Kerry national vote winning margin possible, because the three electors are a lock.

As I said in the audio below, one woman in the line I was with said she hadn't seen turnout here in DC like this in the 15 years she has been here. Lets hope that Democrats throughout the country are equally fired up and out there!!

Check out these instructions for the touch screen voting though - hope the size/res is OK. It doesn't look a cinch with no less than seven steps of instructions to follow - and the instructions in spanish on the opposite side were somehow even longer and in a smaller font. There is no paper trail generated either after you vote. (At least regular paper ballots are optional here, unlike much of the country... this is a very pro-franchise, benign-for-Dems voting environment!)

No wonder I saw that old blind guy taken away from the polling booth in an ambulance - he probably got a nasty electic shock when his guide dog read the instructions wrong and pissed on the "Bush" on the touch screen...

9am boothy call

apologies to Eric Idle - click to play

(Update - pics added)

Monday, November 01, 2004

election eve, part 2

this is an audio post - click to play

election eve, part 1

this is an audio post - click to play

election night multimedizilla

heads up gang, live election night audio blogging commences here approx 39 hours from now. Still a bit up in the air where I'll end up - could be @ the Spy Museum with the redefeatbush crew, could be the 930 club event, could be an undisclosed location a couple of blocks from the white house. Will start when polls begin closing at 6pm EST, 11pm GMT for the folks in the UK, 10am in eastern Australia, 5am for the early rising Kazakhs.

synchronize your swatches...