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A random column

3:35 a.m. and still no column.

Ideas splash around in this stagnant, gray, mushy soup that I like to call my brain, and I am woozy from the unorthodox cold remedy of Advil and Dr. Pepper. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time: Advil to stop the sniffling, caffeine to keep me up.

Surfing the web for an hour and a half has provided me with dry contacts, a nauseating headache, 15 million pop-up ads, but unfortunately no inspiration.

And on top of it all, got another midterm this coming week, screaming toward me like a 96 mph fastball.

Speaking of which--I told myself I wouldn't do this, but I just can't resist--how about them Angels? You have to love the Angels. A team of no-name, no-nonsense, workman-like players, powering past the perennial champion Yankees, rolling through the media-anointed Cinderella-story Minnesota Twins, and now finally showing up Mr. Bonds and his much acclaimed "Homerun Strut"? Simply incredible. Makes me fall in love with sports all over again. Perhaps I will write a column about the Angels.

About how they never lost faith in the team, or each other, working past the worst start in franchise history to win the World Series; about their starting shortstop, David Eckstein, the shortest man in major league baseball, overcoming his vertically challenged genes to help this team take home the big prize; about their core of relief pitchers, none of whom any of the other teams wanted; about their never-say-die, one-game-at-a-time attitude and how it can be implemented in our own daily lives. I could write pages about the unabashed ecstasy and elation that was expressed by grown men on the field after the last out, and how I wished in the future I find myself in a profession that provides me with that much joy. Paragraphs would be dedicated to explaining how the Angels, with their relentless effort, all-for-one one-for-all mentality, and noble humility exemplify what is still right in today's world of sports.

Or maybe I should write about the news story I read on http://modelminority.com, about the murder of 31-year old Lili Wang earlier this month, a graduate student just down the highway at North Carolina State University. I could talk about how many Asian-Americans are pushing to label the tragic event a hate crime, her Caucasian killer having admitted an infatuation for Asian women; about how it confuses me why The Chronicle never published a story about the event, about how the media has decided not to pursue the racial motivations behind this particular story and about how I actually find nothing wrong with that.

Perhaps I could write that I find it appalling that there are those who are so wrapped up in proclaiming this a hate crime, they have forgotten that a woman's life has been prematurely ended; that while I am as progressive as the next Asian-American Duke student (which, granted, isn't saying much), I find it sad to see activists using a case as weak as this one to promote their cause. I could cite the number of petitions that have been drawn up to force the recognition of this incident as a hate crime, and how while I find it promising that a proactive stance has been taken by the Asian-American community in this case, I believe their energy and focus to be misplaced.

Searching online newspaper publications for more information on the Wang case gives a few more leads, and a hundred more links to information about the arrest of John Allen Muhammad, the man supposedly responsible for the unjustifiable murder of 10 civilians this past month. I write "supposedly" because a smidge of distrust of the FBI, and the government in general, forces me to question whether Muhammad has been made into a convenient scapegoat, while the true sniper continues to live freely. Maybe I will dedicate a column discussing this general suspicion, and how I hold L.A. Confidential, Enron, former president Bill Clinton and the numerous blunders of the FBI itself responsible.

4:22 a.m. It seems only me, my computer, and the owl hooting outside my third-floor window are still up and running on this night. I didn't know there were owls in North Carolina. Perhaps I will write about owls. But then, that would require some knowledge of owls.

And besides, honestly, how random would that column be?

Jasen Liu is a Pratt sophomore. His column appears every third Wednesday.

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