Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Eminem Sees a Burning Bush

Multi-platinum-selling rapper Eminem, never a stranger to controversy, has taken a swipe at Bush in the final week of the U.S. Presidential election. A video of the song "Mosh" was leaked to Gnn.tv today but it appears that the server is overloaded because I can't access it right now.

According to Salon.com, Eminem has decided to vote for the first time in his life specifically because of George W. Bush and his Neoconservative administration. Contrary to his song from the Slim Shady LP, Eminem finally "gives a fuck" and will vote Kerry on November 2nd.

What will the critics think of this song? I'm not sure if Eminem will ever be remembered as a neo-Dylan lyrically, or even as a Great Rapper (on par with Biggy, Tupac, or Nas), but one good point about this song is that Eminem seems hungry again. Bush has that effect on people; he's certainly a uniter, only Bush tends to drive his opponents together. He's like a matchmaker for progressives, leftists, union members, city-folk, and academes. Bush being in office is the best thing that ever happened to the Left in America because it gave them a reason to fight again; he is the perfect Darth Vader for them to oppose. [Ed. Note: That is debatable. Please feel free to comment below if you think JB is going too far.]

Reading Eminem's lyrics, I was overcome with a sense of gratitude. Instead of just making his money and threatening gays/his mother/other rappers, Em has taken a political stand; for once, we can't accuse him of limited subject matter.

(Excerpt from Eminem- "Mosh")

"Imagine it pouring, it's raining down on us,
Mosh pits outside the oval office
Someone's trying to tell us something, maybe this is God just saying
we're responsible for this monster, this coward, that we have empowered
This is Bin Laden, look at his head nodding,
How could we allow something like this, Without pumping our fist
Now this is our, final hour
Let me be the voice, and your strength, and your choice
Let me simplify the rhyme, just to amplify the noise
Try to amplify the times it, and multiply it by six
Ten million people are equal of this high pitch
Maybe we can reach Al Q'aida through my speech
Let the President answer on high anarchy
Strap him with AK-47, let him go
Fight his own war, let him impress daddy that way
No more blood for oil, we got our own battles to fight on our soil
No more psychological warfare to trick us to think that we ain't loyal
If we don't serve our own country we're patronizing a hero
Look in his eyes, it's all lies, the stars and stripes
They've been swiped, washed out and wiped,
And Replaced with his own face, mosh now or die
If I get sniped tonight you'll know why, because I told you to fight

So come along, follow me as I lead through the darkness
As I provide just enough spark, that we need to proceed
Carry on, give me hope, give me strength,
Come with me, and I won't stear you wrong
Put your faith and your trust as I guide us through the fog
Till the light, at the end, of the tunnel, we gonna fight,
We gonna charge, we gonna stomp, we gonna march through the swamp
We gonna mosh through the marsh, take us right through the doors

[Eminem speaking angrily]
And as we proceed, to mosh through this desert storm, in these closing statements, if they should argue, let us beg to differ, as we set aside our differences, and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call our president, for the present, and mosh for the future of our next generation, to speak and be heard, Mr. President, Mr. Senator"

Eminem is no Winston Churchill but he may encourage some of the youth voters to mark their ballots. His heart is definately in the right place, anyhow. Marshall Mathers III may have his personal issues but at least he's trying to make a difference for once. Kerry now has Bill Clinton and Eminem watching his back. Still, I think that Bush and Cheney are more appropriately "Thugs for Life".

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Kerry Interviewed in RS; Iran Endorses Bush for Pres.

"Did you get angry at Bush personally?

Look, I know politics is tough, and I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what they do to me. But I do worry, and I am angry, about what they do to the American people. That's what this race is about. It's not about me. I can take it -- I don't care. I've been in worse things. I was on those boats -- I got shot at. I can handle it."
Jann Wenner interviews John Kerry for Rolling Stone Magazine, RS 961, Nov. 11th.

Kerry is certainly getting targeted by the Karl Rove Patrol of Republican politicos and PR flacks. This is not to imply that he's being very positive in his campaign, though. John Kerry is a master of the home stretch; he has repeatedly seized electoral victories when everyone else counted him out.

I'm getting so tired of following this elaborate election campaign. Contrary to the month-long Canadian electoral cycle, Bush and Kerry have been trying to bash each other's heads in since March of 2004. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on since the first Democratic primaries, in Dean's glory days. For awhile, it even looked like Wesley Clark might be the former soldier facing Bush in the debates. Instead, Kerry's connections and "safe-harbour" image won the day. If I must concede one thing, it is that John Kerry is not the solution to every American problem. He won't heal the disabled and make them walk. He probably won't win the war on terror (Bush admitted in an interview that it might be impossible to win, anyhow). He's no Jebus.

What John Kerry will do is give the U.S. an image boost. Bush is the most hated American president in history, capable of summoning millions of protesters in streets around the world, just to burn him in effigy and spit on his photo. Anti-American feelings have reached an untold level and even traditional allies like Canada are against Bush.

The point is, if you want to beat the terrorists, you need your friends and allies to respect your leader. I'm not talking "global test" here; I just believe that George W. Bush is a failure of a man who has offended a large segment of the world with his pre-emptive strikes and his bizarre foreign policy gaffes. He also put the U.S. into debt so far that future generations will still be paying for his economic mistakes.

One silver lining for Bush is that Iran announced today that they have endorsed him for President. Iran? Weren't they that country in the "Axis of Evil"? I need a fucking Tylenol.

Vote Kerry if you believe in America. Vote Bush if you believe in four more years of economic decline and perpetual war.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Jon Stewart Gives CNN's Crossfire a Punch in the Kidneys

(Courtesy of Wonkette)

If you've ever seen an episode of Crossfire, you'll get a chuckle out of this transcript. Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's Daily Show, takes a few well-aimed shots at one of the most fraudulent debate shows on television. He also mocks Tucker Carlson's bow-tie.

I say forget John Kerry. If I were American, I'd consider forgetting this election and convincing Jon Stewart to run for president in 2008! Imagine the hilarious wisecracks during the State of the Union address. Maybe he could get Conan O'Brien to be his running mate.

I agree with Jon Stewart; Crossfire is a stomping ground for seasoned political pundits who spit bile from opposing sides of the field. Even the Democrats who appear on Crossfire can't be defended because they resort to the same partisan bullshit. Every time we get close to a meaningful debate, the bell rings and silences everyone, ruining any chance of anybody formulating a nuanced argument. One liners and baseless allegations abound. Jon Stewart may have put it best:
"BEGALA: Well, it's because, see, we're a debate show.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great.

BEGALA: It's like saying The Weather Channel reduces everything to a storm front.

STEWART: I would love to see a debate show.

BEGALA: We're 30 minutes in a 24-hour day where we have each side on, as best we can get them, and have them fight it out.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that's like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition."

In this corner, we have Paul Begala, ready to accuse Bush of devouring fetuses or chopping up baby seals with a hunting knife. In this corner, we have Tucker Carlson, eternally forgiving of Bush's numerous political gaffes, but certain to vilify and desecrate John Kerry with a volley of defaming insinuations, reprimands, and insults. And they call themselves journalists? (Do they? Not sure of that one)

When Tucker Carlson tried to patronize Stewart by saying "...you need to get a job at a journalism school, I think," Stewart replied, "You need to go to one." My thoughts exactly!

If you're deprived of cable or satellite (like I am), visit The Daily Show with Jon Stewart website for free clips of their program. Stephen Colbert has to be one of the funniest mofos on the planet.

Proto-Fascists From Denmark Support Bush

Associated Press is reporting that Bush has a slight edge over Kerry after the final debate. Can we expect another four years of peace? Hmmm...no, that's not right. Prosperity?...what about fiscal restraint? Er, no.

Luckily for the Bush campaign, a couple of Europeans with viking helmets full of dreams are driving across the Lower 48 in an RV; yes, they're called "Danes for Bush" and they love the American leader. Hell, their website links to his campaign page with the slogan "Hail to the Chief!". (Last time Denmark was occupied, they had to "heil" to a "chief" also. Sadly, he was the architect of a massive genocide and a sick fuck to boot. I guess these Danes haven't read their history books.)
Danes for Bush

Ever vigilant versus "the enemy within", they label their fellow Danes as turncoats due to their contempt for the Abu Ghraib scandal:
"For anybody who loves freedom reading the Danish newspapers is a depressing exercise. Traditionally staunch and wise intellectuals, who normally take a proud stand against the overwhelming influence exerted by left-wing sentimentalists on Danish politics, have suddenly exposed themselves as big-time turncoats.

In an interview in the national Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende, personalities such as Ditlev Tamm, Claes Kastholm Hansen, Henning Fonsmark, Ulrik Høy and Bent Jensen disavow their once steadfast support to he Coalition of the Willing and the fight to bring democracy, peace and prosperity to the people of Iraq.

Not realising that you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, the few irregularities which took place in the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq have managed to topple their belief in the global War Against Terror. “I am angry, I feel deceived,” says Claes Kastholm Hansen to the newspaper, regarding the mismanagement of Abu Ghraib. Shame on Claes Kasthom Hansen and his band of sissies, might we add."
[Ed. Note: Italics mine!]

"Save us from Old Europe!" their website pleads. Why should anyone "save" them? The CIA World Factbook 2004 describes Denmark as a pretty nice place to live.
"This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade."

The Danes for Bush "road team" consists of two intellectuals who operate out of Copenhagen; Mads Cortzen and Jacob Boeschou. Cortzen apparently "...studied rhetoric at Copenhagen University and knows how to deliver a speech which is right on the money." Boeschou "likes to quote Adam Smith and is an avid collector of various military artefacts (sic) from The Second World War." I wonder if he collects allied artifacts, or does he have a bunch of tea sets with little swastikas and Iron Crosses on them?
Hail to the Chief?

I'm not 100 percent sure whether or not this is a big joke or some sort of psychological experiment being conducted by some twisted Danish psychologist. Can this NGO group be real? What do you think? Will the enormous inflatable sausage mascot influence you to vote Bush on November 2nd? If so, please excuse me as I swig a bottle of Rye and cry softly in the nearest available corner.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Ré / Création: Where Literature and Music Are Connected

Calling all French-speaking literary fans and anyone seeking a good internet radio show! If you dig bands like Bright Eyes, Arcade Fire, Arab Strap, or anything else "exponential", check out the online radio show Ré/Création hosted by Anouck Vigneau and Geneviève Bouchard. Focusing on literature and its relation to other art forms, listeners are encouraged to submit questions or comments which will be addressed in next week's show.

Click here to listen to Ré/Création radio show

Ré/Création airs every Wednesday from 11 AM to Noon. This week, Anouck won't be able to make it but Geneviève has a good show planned. Jeremy Brendan will be manning the soundboard to the best of his ability, so when you hear those buttons being pushed, you'll know that he really exists. JB will try his best to convince Geneviève to put on a Julie Doiron song (and if we're lucky, she might even allow an Ed Harcourt track!).

Bring your thinking caps and a nice hot cup of coffee. If you can't listen when the show is live, don't forget that it is archived on the Ré/Création website. If you don't speak French, now is a good time to learn. Vive la musique qui allume la flamme éternel, qui lève mon âme vers le ciel!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Album Review: Arcade Fire- "Funeral"

Rating: 4.7 out of 5
~ ~ ~ { } {} { } ~ ~ ~

In early September, I contacted Merge Records and requested a Promo copy of the AF's "Funeral". They were kind enough to send me one poste-haste and I received it close to two weeks later. Perhaps it is telling that not only did the first pressing of the CD sell out across North America (the second press which should arrive in stores very soon), I got the promo cd stolen by a former DJ at Reggie's Pub (you know who you are, dark haired girl with the pigtails!).

Luckily, prior to the maddeningly-ironic theft, I listened to it reverently over a period of several days and its songs have been comitted to my memory. Once you hear these tunes, you won't soon forget them, either. Bold and effortless, "Funeral" is not a droopy, depressing affair like the name might suggest; it is more like a wake where life's little miracles are celebrated and remembered.

The first track "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" starts with Win Butler strumming insistently and exploring his quivery, confident vocal range. "Purify the colors / purify my mind / and spread the ashes of the colors / over this heart of mine" sings Win as the song builds to an anthemic denoument. After I heard this song played at high volume, I could feel the weight of my troubles being lifted from my shoulders.

Three of the songs are entitled Neighborhood but the strongest may be the second track, "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)". Spectral-voyage harmonics and chanted vocals in the first verse build up the tension when Sarah Neufeld's violin begins to leap out at you. Meanwhile, Régine's accordion holds the song together like silken string. "Laika" evokes images of a drug-addicted brother battling with his parents, much to the amusement of his voyeuristic neighbors. "When Daddy comes home, you'll start a fight / so the neighbors can dance / in the police disco lights". Utilitarians at heart, the whole band chides Alex for his indulgent behaviour by singing "It's for your own good / it's for the neighborhood".

"Crown of Love" sounds vaguely like a Bright Eyes song, only Win is closer to the prairies than he knows. I can even hear traces of Neil Young in his voice, even though Mr. Butler prefers Motown or soul music. When the band changes time near the end of the tune, the sadness of the track dissipates and the sun shines all over the place.

Arcade Fire

"Wake Up" may be in the running for "Song of the Year". Live, it is without rival, but they managed to trap that unknown quantity for the record. It begins with a haunting "Whoa" chorus which sounds almost like a Native American prayer, dispelling bad omens and inviting us to free ourselves from the trap of Western Living. "Children / Wake up / hold your / mistake up / before they / turn the summer into dust!" Win intones. "We're just a million little gods / causing rain storms!" "Wake Up" never fails to send a chill down my spinal column, reminding me that I'm mortal and that I must devour every single moment of my life.

There are several other keepers on "Funeral". "Rebellion (Lies)" always makes me think of the Pixies trying to cover a lost David Bowie song. Other reviewers have likened Win's voice to David Byrne but I must plead ignorance on this question (I've never even listened to the Talking Heads before, but so what if he does? Great bands don't crawl out of a Dirt Devil.) "In the Backseat" gives us a solemn Régine wishing that she could go back to the innocence of being young and unaware, before her family tree began to "lose all it's leaves". Her voice is like a kitten hiding beneath the sofa, gentle and wary of strangers, but full of love and sadness. The only stumble on "Funeral" is possibly the track "Haiti", if only because the guitar riff sounds cribbed from the Bloodhound Gang's "Fire Water Burn".

With all the critical acclaim that this album has received, it is tempting to kick over the sand castle and call "Funeral" several bad names. Personally, I couldn't care less about what the Pitchforks and Rolling Stones of the world think about the AF, because this band is as gifted as it is prolific (they wrote over 100 songs in the past few years but only recorded an EP & an LP) and they shall never be defeated. "Funeral" is a multi-tonal, bombastic compilation of unnatural musical beauty. Hands down, this is the best CD to touch my fingers in at least 5 years; like a cobweb in a doorway glistening with dew, "Funeral" will moisten your eyes and stick to your heart for ages.

For track samples, you can always visit their Allmusic.com album review or the Arcade Fire's website.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Live: The Paperbacks, Trailer, & the Weakerthans @ Club Soda, October 1st

Forgive me for taking so long to write this post; I've been suffering from a bad case of malaise since I saw the Weakerthans show on Friday night. My heart has been ground into paste and my eyes are sunken into my head. I feel like I witnessed the death of something pure.

Having scored some great seats--upper gallery, left side of the stage, right beside the Bose speakers--my pals and I were expecting a tour de force. Although we hadn't heard the two opening bands before, I was hoping that the mystical ability of John K. Samson would inspire the openers to do something magical. First up were a band from Winnipeg. The lead singer was very chatty and explained that he got the gig because he grew up with the Weakerthans. Tragically, the Paperbacks turned out to be a rehashed Sum 41/Dashboard Confessional purveyor of pop-punkisms. As the lead singer hopped around like a one-legged penguin, my friend Gen kept repeating "these guys suck." Although I wasn't ready to condemn them quite yet, it was only a matter of time.

Although their tunes are pleasant, the Paperbacks lack the heart and soul to be real punks. Instead, we have a singer who croons about how no girls love him, a bass player who thinks that he's in Limp Bizkit, a lead guitarist who hides in the background and tries his best to remain stoic while the ship is sinking, and a pretty good drummer. Yes, the man on the skins was the only one in the band who belonged up there; he actually looked like he had something to prove, bellowing into his microphone while keeping the beat, and that is the one saving grace of the Paperbacks.

When your drummer overshadows the rest of your band, it is time to start thinking about going into the insurance business. Another option for these guys is to give up the punk pretense and stick to soft rock, or perhaps start a record label and give their equipment to the first band they sign.

Next up was the local band Trailer. "Don't worry," I told Gen, "I'm sure these guys are going to rock." She nodded and sipped her Boreale Blonde. I could see the doubt in her eyes. According to the Pop Montreal site, Trailer play "(a) perfect mix of blues sensitivity and pop bliss." They sounded more confident than the opening act and their instrumentation was more diverse. Not unlike Wilco at some points, I must say that their countrified psychadelia was very well received by the crowd and I was digging their sound.

At one point, the violin player sat down at the piano and her voice reminded me of Ani DiFranco or possibly Tori Amos. Although their songs began to blend together into a seamless whole, I was fairly happy with their set, at least until the bizarre ode to Jesus and his saving graces in the last song (which was good but made my skin crawl--I don't respond well to preaching, unless it is from the Violent Femmes).

Then, the Weakerthans took the stage. The place was full by now and the crowd was elated, applauding wildly. I sat on the edge of my seat and waited for rain. I'm still waiting.

Before the show, I was ranting to Gen and Nick about how John K. Samson is a true poet. "He is the second coming of Leonard Cohen," I told them. I was ready to deify the poor guy. To their mutual annoyance, I rambled on and on about the way "Elegy for Elsabet" made me cry the first time I heard it. With a build-up like that, it is no small wonder that we were all let down.

John K. was chewing gum flippantly and playing as if he had punched a clock. I clenched my teeth and hoped that this was just a stumble. "They're just warming up," I thought. The first few songs were fast and hard but something was missing. The Weakerthans sound so humble and brave on their albums that I expected to hear something wonderful and anthemic at their live show. Instead, I had speedy pop-punkisms and a couple of older songs thrown in to pacify the rowdy fans in the back who didn't want to hear the new material.

"Aside" sounded fairly good but it didn't colour outside any lines. It was a connect-the-dots hit song, played efficiently like a German symphony, but without any chutzpah or joy. I flailed my head wildly, hoping that this song would be the beginning of a raucous second half of the set. Instead, it was the high-water mark of the show, and everything dribbled downhill from there.

Although I stayed for both encores, I felt a deep sense of loss by the end of the night. The shrine I had built to the Weakerthans in my head had been smashed by barbarian invaders. Live, they underwhelmed me. They're not hungry anymore. Sampson seemed bored and closed up on stage. Although his bandmates trudged on through the songs, he didn't seem to show any signs of joy, except maybe during the encores. Secretly, I wished that I had gone to the Unicorns show instead. It isn't enough to play your songs; you have to display them with passion, or pride, or something, anything except ho-hum consistency. The fact that I was sober was even more damning, because I didn't have the artificial flavouring of drunkeness to camouflage the awful taste in my mouth.

Maybe this was only an aberration; perhaps Samson was just having a rough night. Still, I have this sinking feeling that I should have seen them when they weren't famous, when they weren't getting stunning reviews in Exclaim; I can't go back in time but I wish I could. On Friday night, one of my favourite bands was stolen from me and replaced with a cynical, loveless group of imposters, incapable of changing the world. I expected more from the Weakerthans and that is why I got burned. I think I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey now.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Jeremy Brendan Complains to Teacher, Invites Further Bullying

My vitriol is unmatched! I am a white-hot ball of blogging fury! Exclaim has gone too far and now I'm sick and tired of sitting on my hands (They're getting sweaty under there, anyhow). Witness the hateful riposte I flung at Exclaim magazine tonight from my Operamail account:

Dear Exclaim!,

As a fervent admirer of your publication, I turned the other cheek when your profile on the Arcade Fire (Sept. '04) referenced my interview without proper attribution. I know that everyone hates bellyachers so I bit my lip and kept quiet, despite the way Michael Barclay called my blog a "fanzine". That was a real kick in the jewels.

Imagine my surprise when I opened the October issue of Exclaim and discovered that you wrote about another one of my favourite bands, Wolf Parade, only to post the wrong picture to accompany the write-up! I'm not sure who that is with the guitar string in his mouth--it could be Spencer, only he's a keyboardist--but you can be sure it isn't Dan, the guitarist & lead vocalist of WP.

This kind of amateurish journalism is what makes me want to quit the whole writing thing and become a hermit somewhere in Appalaicha. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Despicably Yours,
Jeremy Brendan
"Jeremy Brendan--My Life as a Reptile"

P.S. I still love y'all but redress is in order, wouldn't you say?

We shall see if they have the cojones to publish it in their "Letters" section. I would be satisfied with a simple correction in a future issue, although a job would be even better. Yes, I am a fucking sell-out. I would cut off my left leg to write for a vital Can-rock magazine like Exclaim.

Still, the email wasn't intended to earn me a spot on their masthead; I just want to see some justice from these navel-gazing scenesters. I am a modern-day John Wilkes, if you will. Let us see if the number 45 gets scrawled on the bathroom walls of Exclaim offices in the near future. Brendan and liberty!

[Ed. Note: JB, how do you expect to get their attention when you're parading around these twenty-dollar words like a pretentious Ontarian? "Redress"? What the fuck? Stick to rock criticism and let the big boys run their business.]

Friday, October 01, 2004

Bush Vs. Kerry: The First Debate

As I watched Bush dodge Kerry's constant attacks and accusations on CNN tonight, I couldn't help but think of a Bright Eyes song called "Bottom of Everything (We Must Sing)". When he played it live on television (I think it was on Late Night with Conan O'Brien), lead singer Connor Oberst said "This song is going out to the President and to the Governor of California...two men that I admire a lot...for their biceps and their creepy fascist agendas! One, two, six, six six..." before breaking into song. Could Oberst be a modern-day Bob Dylan? You tell me:
"We must talk in every telephone, get eaten off the web
We must rip out all the epilogues from the books that we have read
and in the face of every criminal strapped firmly to a chair
we must stare, we must stare, we must stare

We must take all of the medicines too expensive now to sell
Set fire to the preacher who is promising us hell
and in the ear of every anarchist who sleeps but doesn't dream
We must sing, we must sing, we must sing

While my mother waters plants, my father loads his gun
He says death will give us back to God just like setting sun
is returned to the lonesome ocean"

Although I've chopped out at least one verse and a modified final chorus, I hope that you can see how this song would be relevant in contemporary America. "Don't vote for the Dems or Osama is going to getcha!" the GOP screeches, without considering that it was under a Republican's watch that the most devastating terror attack transpired. They are selling fear and I hope America won't buy it.

I know that some people are convinced that Kerry is a flip-flopper. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you were steering your vehicle into a ditch, wouldn't it make sense to jerk the wheel in the other direction? Bush might say "remain steadfast and don't change course" but quite frankly, that is the equivalent of saying that a President's decisions are both infallible and static. How can you run a nation (and protect them from harm's way) if you can't even admit when you're wrong?

Say what you will about the late Ronald Reagan, but at least he had the balls to stand up and admit his responsibility for the Contra affair. I hope that Americans remember this when they go to the polls on November 1st.

A paranoid part of me wants to believe that the whole Iraq War in 2003 was just a diversion tactic by the Bush Administration to draw attention away from economic woes, those notorious tax cuts (and elimination of the dividend tax), and Bush's failure to capture Osama Bin Laden. If you conduct a search of the Whitehouse official site, you will find that the last mention of Bin Laden was back in July! Of course, can you blame Bush? He's busy being a war president.

John Kerry looked fairly confident in the debate but I was frightened by echoes of famous Democratic loser Michael Dukakis, as Kerry spoke. Kerry may have come across as a mean-spirited fellow, not a fence-mending rancher/Marlboro man like George W. Bush or his template Ronald Reagan. Kerry did get some jabs in about Bush's lack of military service and he also played his experienced leader/fresh start card several times. Bush looked befuddled frequently and had some issues with the English language, but he is like a sidewinder. He always gets away.

The funny thing is that Bush and Reagan do have something in common--they both avoided military service. Reagan got off because he was an actor while Bush escaped from Vietnam because he had a wealthy father. Some guys get all the breaks.

[Ed. Note: Looks like Kerry is back in this thing. A USA Today poll suggests that Kerry was perceived as a good speaker and many people (including those crucial "swing voters") are beginning to believe that JFK might be up to the task of running the country. Bush, on the other hand, looked slightly disturbed by many of the questions. Also, he repeated himself quite frequently and even spouted a couple of illogical statements. Also, how many times can you repeat that being President is "hard work"? Pleasure Captains.com has posted a video entitled "How Bush did" which is somewhat humourous but fairly revealing of Bush's poor showing. Admittedly, they've chopped up some of his responses (which is a form of propaganda, taking things out of context) but many of the statements are bizarre on their own, context be damned. Watch the video on their site and come back to let me know if you think that Bush has hurt his chances of re-election.]

What did you think of the first Presidential debate? Did Bush hold his ground? Does Kerry have any momentum going into the next debate? Please comment below!