Eventually I’ll stop writing about it.

But I need to get over it first.

I’m still reading the news too much. This site made me feel a bit better, because I can at least be angry.


I also finally found what I’ve been looking for and can maybe read a little less news. What is it? A cartogram of the United States based on population showing the election results in the usual striking red and blue. I also wanted a county by county version of the same. I just couldn’t abide by that big red map with the tiny bits of blue on either end. Why should Wyoming count so much more than Rhode Island, it may be huge, but no one lives there. I want to see a map that looks like the near 50-50 split that the election actually was.

Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman at the University of Michigan have answered my prayers (google searches). The typical election map looks like the one below, lots and lots of red. What these researchers have done is to shrink or expand individual states based on their population. This gives a truer picture of the popular vote than a map based on land mass, which doesn’t really figure into the equation.
Map of US Election Results 2004 - State by State

Cartogram of US Election results 2004 - State by State

Then next thing I wanted was basically the same data, but on the county by county level. Why? Because my first reaction is to say fuck the south and contemplate cecession, but then I noticed the tip of texas was blue. What? No, really, there are parts of Texas that vote blue. Parts of every state that vote blue except Utah and Oklahoma.
Map of US Election Results 2004 - County by County

Cartogram of US Election Results 2004 - County by County

So what is all this analysing about? I guess it is grieving really, I had higher hopes for my fellow Americans despite all likelihood. I would still like to see the difference between a cartogram based on population and one based on electoral college votes. Maybe one superimposed over the other with enough space between states to make individual comparisons. I guess I’m wondering how broken this system is, I’ve read that it weights more heavily rural votes than urban votes. Michael, Cosma, and Mark, can I have that too?

Their whole report.

Paris Saint Germain Vs. l’Olympique de Marseille

Fabrice FiorèseEach team calls the other their meilleur ennemi, and their fans shout obsenities that are only common when you have heard them all your life. Football families and clubs reserve huge swaths of seats at the ends of the stadium and are known to be so rowdy, lighting fireworks, chanting, jumping, and swearing, that they are contained inside 12 foot metal walls with spikes at the top, incongruously painted pleasant shades of red or yellow.

At the game of the season tensions were especially high as it was the first time the enemys met since Fabrice Fiorèse, a PSG attacker, had betrayed his team. He moved to OM from PSG on the last day of trading after swearing he was sticking around. This left Paris with no time to replace him after having met his contract demands and thus expecting he would stay. When asked to explain his decision he said, “Paris is a prison.”

They already hated each other, Marseille having a well deserved reputation for cheating, and Paris being accused of being supported by public funds, so it was no surprise when the Marseille fans were forced to collect their tickets 50 kilometers from Paris on a bus, were brought to the stadium through seperate entrances, and kept in a cage. I’m not making this up! They can’t come and go as they like and are forced to stay in the stadium until all the Paris fans have dispersed. When they finally leave, again by bus, and aren’t released until they’ve traveled back the fifty kilometers and are seen as no longer dangerous, or at least not nearby.

Fiorez accepting his OM jerseyEvery time he touched the ball the entire stadium shouted, “Fiorèse, Fiorèse, fuck you in the ass!” Police in riot gear protected him from organized groups of fans throwing things at him as he made beautiful corner kicks.

I would have wondered if these fans were really French, they don’t act like any French I know, and yet they proved it again and again. Who else would wear a matching turquoise velour sweatsuit, or a warm-up suit reminicint of the globe trotters in blue satin with white piping only several sizes too small? As the US suffers from a bigger is better complex so french men suffer from a tighter is better dilusion.

A PSG player received a red card with 70 minutes still to play for tackeling Fiorèse with the obvious intention to take him out and yet Paris, playing one man down for most of the game, won for the eighth time in a row. Each time they scored I felt the thick concrete under my feet jump up and down as if it were made of 2 X 4’s on the flat. Unnerving really.

I thought of football as something of a posh sport, at home the fans are people with international connections, who are interested in what happens in Europe, and drink wine. Not so.