Monday, October 23, 2006

Reality Almost Stopped (a lighter note from Iraq)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdL2VKTbEpo

Any bets on the authenticity?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Notes From The Field Part II

I like to walk around the hills in Upstate New York.

After the floods in June, this piece of driftwood landed over a small pond and some funny soul took the liberty of painting lips and stapling paper on to make a dragon. It's like rural guerilla art.


My dog, Keno, is on the left and the dog down the road, Sasha, is on the right.
Good times.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Money Money Money

Jobs are so weird. Today I had to administer first aid when one of my consumers was bit IN THE FACE by another consumer. Two weeks ago, I went to see the animated movie, Barnyard, while on the clock. Sometimes I think it's God's work, and sometimes I think it's babysitting.

I used to sit in on meetings to decide how best to win a 23 million dollar grant from the NIH. At one time, I assembled cheeseburgers in a polyester polo shirt and Dickies slacks. I served soup to Peter Gallagher. I checked coats on Jewish Singles Night. I issued birth certificates and marriage licenses. Of all the jobs so far, I like this one the best. It's fun sometimes and scary sometimes, but it's always completely relevant.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Blessed are my loins

My underwear was made in Israel.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

new laws

The Governor of New York did last week what lawmakers are paid to do and made 300 new laws. Within the borders of the State of New York it is now illegal to carry firearms on school buses. Coyote hunting with dogs and selling beer on Sundays before noon is now allowed. There are now tougher penalties for grave robbing and the Vietnam War now officialy started on Feb 28, 1961 (untill now it started on Dec 22, 1961).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

excellence in broadcast journalism

http://youtube.com/watch?v=sVR1JunnuGE&search=but%20he%27s%20gay

http://youtube.com/watch?v=frr2-vSwxQ4&search=news%20vomit

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

paris hilton said it (redux)

"There's nobody in the world like me. I think every decade has an iconic blonde—like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana—and right now, I'm that icon."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Notes From The Field.

Here is the Southernmost point in the Continental US, located in Key West, FL.



This is interesting for two reasons:
1--This is not the Southernmost point at all, there is a Naval base that extends further south in Key West, so I guess they should call it "The Southernmost Point on the Continental USA Where Civilians Are Allowed."
2--After many ill-conceived jokes about "rafts of Cubans" whilst driving through the Keys, there was, I swear, an actual raft of Cubans directly behind this monument when we went. This raft disappeared poste-haste.

What followed were several slap-happy jokes pointing out the Southernmost everything that has ever existed, including the Southernmost facial tumor, which I can only assume was dumb luck. This led, predictably, to what was assumed to be the Southernmost Hangover the next morning. I disputed this point because there were a startling amount of tan, crazy bums that sleep on the beach, and surely they were feeling worse than all of us hotel-dwellers combined.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Paris Hilton said it

I always have a boyfriend all the time, so I've never really got to know me and, like, have time for myself because I spend all my energy on the boyfriend.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tendering My Resignation

I quit my job today. Here is the letter of resignation I gave my boss:

Please let this letter signal my resignation, effective immediately, from Jaffe & Nohavicka / Country-Wide Insurance Company. A number of factors have necessitated this change. First, it has become clear that the legal field does not suit me. There is a degree of futility within the No-Fault framework, and within Country-Wide itself, that is simply hard to abide. Further, a simmering antipathy between management and support staff as well as an overall dysfunction of communication has rendered the work environment unpleasant.
While my resignation may seem abrupt, I am merely providing the company with the same courtesy it provides to those it terminates, regardless of whether they’ve served 10 years or 10 months.


I thought it wasn't half bad.

The Top One Thing I Hate About New York

Now, I didn't think I was an especially short girl until the good people at Gap and Banana Republic informed me that the average lady is either 5'10" or wearing 6" Louboutin stilettos. Either way, as a sneaker-wearing munchkin, the cuffs of my jeans tend to drag on the ground. This why I hate hate hate the doormen on the UES that wash the fucking sidewalks every morning in the summer.

All so the good citizens of the York River House don't have to trudge through the same sludge as the common man...at least for the duration of ONE block. What do they do when they cross the street? Are there UES Booties like the ones that surgeons wear in the OR? If so, I would really like to get a pair, so that my feet will stay dry on the walk to work.

New York is a dirty place, and I certainly encourage everyone to grab a broom and slap some shine on their little piece of heaven, but these guys stand in one place and pump thousands of gallons of water over the sidewalk and for what? So it will dry ten minutes later? This practice violates so many tenets that I hold dear, namely dry pants. A restaurant in Manhattan has to pay for a permit for sidewalk seating but these yahoos can use a valuable community resource to ensure my feet are wet? I am no hippie but come on, how wasteful! How purposeless and lazy! And socially, there is something about having to wait for them to notice me, and turn the hose away that is so prohibitive and rude and infuriating. It's enough to make a girl want to quit her job and move away.

Honorable Mention: Those goddamn HPV commercials, but really, they epitomize everything I hate about everything. Who knew about HPV? Me, that's who. Me and every other woman I know. And most of the men too. I can see you Merck. But trust me, that a rant worthy of a couple beers.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Goodbye Rosemary Song

Sha La La
Rosy, I love you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I need you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I'll miss you!
Bay-Beeeee

Sha La La
How will I work
without you
Rosy?
To whom will I bitch
and moan?
I'll be standing alone
during the fire drill
honey
it's so sad to think of you gone!

Sha La La
Rosy, I love you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I need you!
Sha La La
Rosy, I'll miss you!
Bay-Beeeee

Monday, May 22, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

The O.C.

They killed Marissa. How horrible! How sad! I mean it, I actually like this show. Check out the byline on this Yahoo article though. Do they really have a "Sandy Cohen" on their staff, and if so, does he have to write all the O.C. stories?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Remarkable

This fascinates me. Is it the absolute nadir of literature, or the most accurate representation of reality's dullness ever put to paper?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

There was a rapture

Greg Dulli, subject of my essay "Beauty Black As Night" in Bird Brains Issue #Zero, released a new album today under his Twilight Singers moniker. It's called Powder Burns and while it's a bit early and I'm obviously biased, I already count it among the finest albums of the year. If you like dense, cinematic, soulful music about the dark side of life, I highly recommend picking it up.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mission impossible III

1. retired hero lives a happy normal life after finding the right girl
seen it before-but this time it is more nauseating than usual
2. kidnapped girl rescued from abandoned factory building
seen it before-boring
3. helicopter chase through a windfarm
awesome idea-I'm sure I'll see that again
4. evil rich person is kidnapped from posh party by heroes diving through the sewers
seen it before-boring
5. hero roughs up evil rich person to get information needed to save the world
seen it before-boring
6. prisoner transport is attacked by fighter planes on bridge and evil rich person is freed
seen it before-but well done
7. hero's supervisors turn against him and he needs to go underground to save the world
Tom Cruise disguised as a Czech hippie-priceless
8. hero jumps between skyscrapers in Shanghai
straight out of Spider Man-ridiculous
9. hero almost looses doomsday-device in traffic; then car chase
seen it before-boring
10. hero has drug-induced sexual fantasies (he married the girl between 6. and 7.)
seen it before (many times)-but again it seems particularly sad here
11. hero's wife shows up, rises to the occasion, and saves the day by killing evil people
another Friday afternoon well spent!

11 New Radiohead Songs!

Here.

From their show in Copenhagen on Sunday. A bittersweet mp3 haul to be sure, as it makes you want to go to the MSG show even more.

So far, the songs are amazing.

What do y'all think?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Local artist makes good $$

Add Duane Keiser to the list of lucky bastards with ingenious get-rich schemes that actually work. Though not quite as lucrative as milliondollarhomepage.com (another lucky bastard, assuming hackers don't throw a wrench in his plan), this Richmond-based artist's "postcard paintings" have netted him at least $20,000 and ZERO negative publicity, as far as I can tell. Keep up with his paintings at duanekeiser.blogspot.com.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Ticketmaster Preterite

Well, no Radiohead tickets for me, despite a multi-pronged attack by my roommates and I. It took 9 minutes for them to sell out two nights. I so rarely use Ticketmaster anymore, or go to Big Rock Shows, it reminded me of being a kid, desperately dialing and redialing the order-by-phone number, hoping that good fortune would befall me rather than someone else out of the thousands and thousands of other seekers. I usually had pretty good luck. Not so this time. Oh well. Seeing Radiohead is like going to church for me, I guess I'll just have to continue my slide into wickedness this summer.

And there's still Mogwai next weekend. Anyone going?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Inflationary Shame Cycle

I don't understand economics too well, but I do recall when Subway and pizza were reasonably cheap lunch options, and I'm beginning to wonder if eliminating the gold standard was one of the worst decisions in US history. Inflation is simply the accepted progression of our currency, and and to what end? Will we be paying $5 for a slice in 5 years? 79 cents for a stamp? And with wages stagnant, how long until the basic essentials become too expensive for the average earner? (They already are out of reach for the poor)

Even more irksome - concurrent with the decline of real money value is the proliferation of high-end consumer tech gadgets and their taunting illusions of connectedness and convenience, just begging you to get further into debt for the sake of staying with it. It's just so funny to see the lifelong waking dream of the capitalist enterprise work so perfectly. Case in point - I desperately want an iPod, but can't afford one.

On a related note, I rode the L to the 4 to get to work the other morning, and I noticed that a vast majority of L riders, when transferring at Union Square, get on the uptown 4, leading me to believe that they work near Madison Ave. and are therefore much more complicit in the destruction of culture than they'd ever let on.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Keith Richards

injured his head falling out of a palm tree on Fiji.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193678,00.html

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Attention!


This is the number ten spot for a new top ten worst album covers of all time list. I submit it to you all along with a link of course. It had me in a wicked giggling fit and I want to spread the wealth.

And here's the original...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Good News Everybody...


CELTIC FROST is back. (They are a Swiss Black Metal band.) On the left you see the cover of their satanic triumph "To Mega Therion" from '85. They are gonna play B.B. King's two nights in September. I'm nervous.

(After the battle is over
And the sands drunken the blood
All what there remains
Is the bitterness of delusion)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Director of Intelligence


"I don't see us as another bureaucratic layer at all," he said. "What's changed is that for the first time, there's a high-ranking official in charge of managing the intelligence community."

Wouldn't that be precisely the definition of bureaucracy, Mr. Negroponte?

Oh well, I forgot that we shouldn't expect too much from you.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What to write in diaries

This is Thomas Mann, a famous German writer who wrote in his diary every day for over 60 years.

The three most important entries are:

"Worried about small cracks in the ivory knob of the new walking stick"

About his sister's suicide: "an almost not at all lamentable event"

Last entry before his death "Shall sit some in the chair today."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

It's The Least I Can Do.

Last night I was de-training with a throng of fellow straphangers when a woman tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, and she said, "Thank you." I shrugged, puzzled, and figured she had probably just robbed me.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sometimes the good outweighs the bad

Saw Oneida play Northsix on Saturday. Certainly one of the best live bands around, and an absolutely thrilling show. Their new(ish) album The Wedding is really good, a nice textured collection of neo-psychedelia, but see them in the flesh if you get the chance, it's white light/white heat times 10 to the 23rd power.

Also been falling back in love with The Queen Is Dead by the Smiths. Best album lyrics ever?

I regret to inform that it's pretty difficult to find a good rock on 4th Avenue at 2AM when you feel like smashing a church window.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

statistics show

that most doormen would prefer living in buildings without a doorman.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Jackal Calls for Carlos

Carlos Mencia isn't even the poor man's Dave Chappelle. I want to like him- sometimes his jokes are funny. But he seems to jump from one easy stereotype to another. Again, I love joking on stereotypes- they're hilarious. Chappelle certainly did and he was pushing American comedy ahead five or ten years at least. Mencia just panders with his jokes- they're cheaper, usually lacking depth. Last night he was shamelessly throwing out Spanish terms for dick to keep an overly extended joke hopelessly afloat. I still like Mencia, he's surely capable of more. Racist humor used to be more edgy and now I see shows and comedians take it for granted. That's when I stop laughing. It's all hard to explain. Ahh Comedy! You always ended up behaving like a slut when you wore those flashy clothes.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Russell Street

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Russell Street bombing in Melbourne, Australia. The bombing - directed at the Police Headquarter of the State of Victoria - killed one policewoman and caused massive damage. A man called Craig Minogue was convicted for the bombing that was motivated by intense hatred for authority. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Minogue later set fire to the Jika Jika maximum security prison in which he was detained. He was the sole survivor of that fire. He later received a second murder conviction in the beating death of a fellow prison inmate that he said was an act of self defense. Last year Minogue was accepted as a PhD student at La Trobe University and he is currently the only incarcerated PhD student in Australia.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Last post for the week, I swear.

I have to share the hilariousness that is "Snakes On A Plane."
Go to the Defamer.com link above and see the photoshopped
potential posters for this, and Samuel L.'s new greatest tag-line ever:

"I want these motherf***ing snakes off the motherf***ing plane!"

(asterisks added, expletive deleted)

It's like terrorism, but with snakes.
It's like Lord of the Rings, but with snakes.
It's like Pulp Fiction, but without John Travolta, and with snakes instead.

I am SO giggling at work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An Excessively Wordy Discourse on Network TV

So I noticed today that the beloved "Love Monkey" bus-advertisement of death had been replaced with one for "The New Adventures of Old Christine." I read somewhere that Love Monkey got cancelled after, like, three episodes. A show that was advertised, and launched for at least a month, was cancelled so quickly, it was like a mercy excecution. Where art thou, Brandon Walsh?

I watched that show once, Love Monkey, on a Monday night, when I was lying in bed looking at the TV. It was okay. I mean, how high can my standards be on a Monday night when I am lying in bed, looking at the TV? I don't have a palm pilot or anything, and I must have been doing something else the next week it was on...I forgot to watch, and then before I knew it, it was gone. I never got to say good-bye.

So much money spent buying stars and writers and directors for this grand new TV show that didn't even get a chance to gain any viewers. How can a network know, after three episodes, how much people are going to like a show? I can barely tell the difference between these shows, let alone form emotional attachments. Is there anyone left in this world that still reads TV Guide, and marks the special "stories" they are going to watch all week?

I think CBS is lucky to get the viewers they have. I mean, I also watch "Two And A Half Men." Every week. Why? Certainly not because I enjoy Charlie Sheen. Or Jon Cryer. I watch it because there's nothing else on, and I'm too cheap for HBO. And I'm embarrassingly easy to entertain. And I probably would have watched Love Monkey too, had it been granted respite from Les Moonves' cleaver of judgement. I mean, it's Monday Night! Who expects anything good from life on Monday Night?

I don't understand how Hollywood makes any money. It would be like if I saved up a whole bunch of money and bought a Mall, and then only 30 people came, so I just demolished the whole thing. It's just so backwards.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

True story

When I was 17 I got on a train to travel around with two of my friends for four weeks. Somewhere in France we were sitting in a train, hungover, high, tired. It rained. My friend had an aisle seat and was drinking orange juice from a carton. A black French dude in some traditional African outfit walked up to him and asked something in French that my friend didn't understand. The guy asked again, slower, very patiently. My friend still didn't understand so the black guy slowly reached out for the orange juice carton, took it away from him and carefully spilled a little of it on the floor. He then handed it back to my friend, smiling and nodding and walked away.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Terror

I won't see V for Vendetta, because it looks dumb, but it does illustrate a funny aspect of Hollywood moviemaking, and by extension, popular culture: we Americans LOVE terrorists. Only, however, when they're tarted up with shiny special effects and patent leather in a dystopian landscape of the future, and only only when the enemies they fight are completely and inherently E-V-I-L, and possibly robots or, better yet, computer-generated holograms. I know, cinematic displacement and all, but it seems silly that we're unable to contemplate the most pressing issue of our day without layers and layers of Manichean garbage and CGI. The Matrix and Star Wars are the biggest offenders in this category, and it looks like Natalie "Sinead O'Connor" Portman's newest vehicle will be no different. In any case, none of these newer films have done anything with futuristic dystopia that Brazil hasn't already done, and waaaaaay better.

I'd really like to see a film that engages with terrorism in an honest, realistic and human way. Why does everything have to be in the future, with sleek, post-industrial design?

But for now.... I named a couple movies above. How many more Hollywood blockbusters can you think of that are essentially terrorist-as-hero morality tales?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Glory of the Interweb

Go here. Laugh (pay particular attention to the music). Then make sure to avoid all Evil holidays and think twice about flashing the peace sign. It's great that there's websites that can educate us about these things.

Warhol was Close

Someday everyone will be really famous to only about fifteen people.

Friday, March 10, 2006

George Orwell

I highly recommend reading Down & Out in Paris and London and Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell, especially if you've only read his two big novels. I dare say his non-fiction is much much better. The former book deals with his days of poverty and squalor as a twenty-something drifter in the title cities, while the latter is a first-hand account of his time in the International Brigade during the Spanis Civil War, and makes an excellent companion to Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Also of note is the essay "Politics and the English Language," which analyzes how the syntax of abstraction and detachment serves the interests of power and pbscures the truth of historical events. The sad thing is that the perversion of language that he describes has now all but permeated modern discourse, where the New York Times can, with a straight face and in the interest of "news," claim to be reporting on the President's speech and actions while merely parroting back his own words.

In any case, you can find any of the above works completely free online at this site. At least the Internet is good for something.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

blond, furry lobster discovered


French, American, and Polynesian researchers discovered a lobster that is furry (and blond). They named it after the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology and made up a new family for it because it's so different from all the other lobsters.

In a somewhat unrelated observation CNN called the "war on terror" for the first time "the so called war on terror" only to change it after less than an hour and, as far as I can tell, also remove it from their archive. Funny stuff.

Monday, February 27, 2006

here

you'll finally have a chance to test your knowledge on bird skull anatomy...
or just look at rotating chicken skeletons...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Descartes said it

"I entirely abandoned the study of letter. Resolving to seek no knowledge other than that which could be found in myself, I spent the rest of my life traveling, mixing with people of diverse temperaments and at all times reflecting upon whatever came my way so as to derive some profit from it."

Conspiracy

The Voice cover story on the 9/11 Truth Movement is really disappointing, focusing only on the members of the movement, their tactics and publications, rather than on any detailed investigation of the facts.

I've read a fair amount into this thing, and there are some really interesting discrepancies and outright mysteries at the center of the affair. It'd be nice for a popular, supposedly progressive paper like the Voice to at least list them, or give a point-counterpoint, or something.

Personally, I don't have a theory about 9/11 other than that the "truth" (or whatever is closest to it) has been hampered by misinformation and confusion. Whether this was by simple beauracratic bungling or devious intent I'm not sure, but it's certainly to be expected with an event of such magnitude and media attention - things always get confused and blurred right off the bat. When people feel so close to a disaster, whether because they live nearby or experience it through television, it tends to hinder any objective analysis.

I will say that it doesn't strain the imagination too much to conceive that a government capable of selling arms for hostages, assassinating democratically elected foreign leaders and extraditing prisoners to enemy nations for interrogation could be capable of far worse. These are the games of power. That people still want to trust in their leaders and act shocked, shocked! when each new scandal is revealed, well, it just blows my mind.

Again, My Love for Alliteration

"All I saw was gray. A sump of a city slushed with sunken souls."

Dance, Dance, Dance
Murakami

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Goat has four babies

Just when you think you can't take another article about Birdshot Cheney. Just when you think you couldn't be more clueless about whateverthehell is going on with those cartoons of Boss Hog or the messiah or Marmaduke. Just when you think the universe of the meta-media couldn't be more self-congratulatory, or convoluted, or irrelevant. Just when you think you've had enough, along comes a truly important story:

The couple bought the already-pregnant goat in October, he said. They had expected twins — maybe triplets.

When Butkiewicus saw what was going on, he left to get a bottle to feed the newborns.

Gibson started cleaning the first three when the fourth came out, she said. "I was shocked, but excited," she said.

It does my heart good.

Friday, February 17, 2006

We Fight These Wars Any Way We Can

I got drunk on my lunch break today. And I'm not ashamed by it. Not in the least. Any pangs of guilt that may have fluttered through my heart were quickly replaced by a contented defiance, because, to quote one wonderful movie: "It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

So I figure, if the Vice President can have "a beer" at lunch and then go shoot one of his friends in the face, than I'm perfectly within my rights to have three beers (and, truth be told, a shot of whiskey) at lunch and then come back to the office and do absolutely nothing. I'm sure that No-Fault Insurance Law will suffer greatly from my inactivity.

To be perfectly serious, I think it is our duty and obligation to slow the entire machinery of white collar production down as much as possible, if only in the interest of throwing a cog in the works. At least just to strike a blow against that which we do not, and indeed cannot, care about. After all, we all know where the money ends up anyway.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This is a Bad Feeling

It was the baby that got me. The new Abu Ghraib photos made me feel how Americans must’ve felt when they saw images of Vietnamese men, women and children in My Lai, slaughtered by U.S. soldiers. I pulled up some pictures, and immediately saw the shot of bodies in the dirt road- one of the most infamous pictures from 1968. Very clearly one of the bodies is just a baby. And it got me- writing this, I can’t get it from my head.
The latest torture photos from two years ago and their new insight into the hellishly sadistic behavior of our own troops at Abu Ghraib struck the exact same fucking chord. Real torture- the kind one readily finds in a third world zoo- or an omnipotent police state is now clearly on our hands. We paid for it- we worked for it- I consider my W-2 as the receipt. And it’s one more piece of twisted justification for the twisted mind of every backpack bomber with our faces in his crosshairs (oh wait- I almost forgot, they feel justified no matter what because they're psychos). Regardless, our enemies love it when we sink to their level- it helps crystallize the hate- makes it easier to fight us. Deep down I bet most people want an absolute bad guy- a boogieman so there’s no shred of doubt in their rage- real “dark side” shit. When I see these new pictures I can say with complete honesty that I’m ashamed to be American. And actually if our president would get out right now and say likewise, it would make me feel a little better. But he won’t because our leaders are just monkeys in three-piece suits.

Rivers Cuomo At Harvard

This is just strange. The unabashed oddness of it all. The ten years taken to earn a Bachelor's degree. In English. Dude, there are mail order classes. Call Sally Struthers or something.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

God It Hurts. It Hurts SO Bad.

So it's every young, single person's favorite time of the year again: Tax Time! The one season we and all our friends become momentarily flush with that forgotten thousand dollars we've already paid to Uncle Sam. So today, rather than working, I decided to do my e-file taxes.

I tried one site, and they tried to (pardon my racism) gyp me into accepting a $43 dollar refund. No thank you sir, I said. I tried another site, recommended by a friend. Again, $43??? I'm insulted, all those taxes paid and you will only return this pittance? So I cruise the IRS site itself, to figure out what the chilies is going on here.

There is no mistake. My federal tax refund this year will not even cover my phone bill. Damn. For a moment there, I actually wished that I had paid more taxes, so that I could have enjoyed this windfall. And then I stopped myself: What!?! My dad is right: we allow money to be taken from our own paychecks every two weeks, to be held INTEREST FREE by the government for up to a year. And then our W2s roll in and we all clap our hands like little monkeys, waiting for our "free money."

Not only is this money not free, it's probably depreciating as it sits there idly. The practice of employers deducting taxes from our paychecks probably started as a professional courtesy to both employees (stop doing math! enjoy your new Ford!) and the IRS (take the money before these deadbeats have a chance to spend it!), but it has since grown into the norm. So much so that I don't know what to claim on what form to get it to stop.

At my next job, I want ALL my money. I want ALL of my money in my hands, so that I can then put a third of it in my own 5% interest-bearing ING account. Then I will pay my taxes by myself, like a real-live adult. Yes, it will hurt to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in one blow...but at least all that money won't be growing moldy in Fort Knox all year long. At least I can make it work for me while I have it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

V-Day - From the horse's mouth

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns. "

Monday, February 13, 2006

Particle of the Week

The tachyon travels at speeds faster than light. This, of course, is not possible without reversing the direction of the time flow. As a consequence tachyons travel backwards in time. In doing so they violate the rules of cause and effect - the only rules I thought I could trust.
Wrath of Khan is so much better than Search for Spock...

Cheney Shoots Fellow Hunter in Face

I'd just like to point out that these are the people who run our country.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Flaubert, 1859

"I am convinced that the most furious material appetites are expressed unknowingly by flights of idealism, just as the most sordidly extravagant sexual acts are engendered by a pure desire for the impossible, an ethereal aspiration after sovereign joy."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Best News of the Week

"About eight dollars in there," Mr. Morrison said. "They weren't thieves, whoever they were."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wouldn’t it be Cool?

Wouldn’t it be cool if violent people were at our beck and call to riot and protest whenever something happens around the world that offends our sense of right and wrong? This country has a shamefully disproportionate amount of men over women in positions of power… Riot!!!!! This country funds the coffers of violently oppressive regimes around the world… Protest, burn a few buildings!!!!! Final Destination part 3…. Blow up a movie studio!!!!!! Feel free to comment- what do you think is offensive enough to torch an embassy? Pop music? Genocide in The Sudan? Reality TV? The US Congress? NY Mets? Britney Spears? Swanson HungryMan TV dinners? Badly trained pet cats? Bird-Brains.org?
"We believe freedom of the press entails responsibility and discretion, and should respect the beliefs and tenets of all religions.”
- Statement by Kofi Annan concerning the
international uproar over those pesky Danish
cartoons.

No. Wrong. Exactly wrong. It is no one's duty to respect any religion except those who practice a particular religion. Sorry, all you wannabe theocrats. We're better off with a press that doesn't respect religion (at least the press is nominally based in reality and not some arcane mythology).
I'd also direct you to Christopher Hitchens' take on this mess. As usual Hitchens is at his best when committing unapologetic sacrilege.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Forest

"Happiness is a new idea in Europe."
- Saint-Just

Here.

In and Against Blogging

Blogging is like mental illness.

An increasing number of people are depressed and anxious and it is ever more in vogue to treat these people with psychoactive medications, despite the obscure chemical functions of these drugs and their unnerving personal and social side effects. Likewise, another serious affliction of our time is the stranglehold exerted upon information by the powerful and the elite. As a supposed remedy to this, blogging ostensibly creates openings for marginalized perspectives to be heard. But a quick glance at a typical blog proves that it just makes you an idiot as much as any selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Blogging mostly contributes to the fractionalization of discussion, in forums ripe with the stench of “identity politics,” where people are more concerned with shouting loud enough to gain a mediocre level of celebrity rather than taking any time to compose a unified perspective. And anyway the organization of most internet information is still a top-down affair. Witness the proliferation of political blogs, which usually take their subject matter from national papers anyway. The same filtration mechanisms are still in place, just once removed, and with an even greater degradation of content.

However, I propose that all is not lost. New media is always going to be servicing power first and foremost, but it is also never a cut and dried affair. Blogs may be an insidious servant in the control and manipulation of information, but after all so is television, as was the cinema and print media before it – and even a half-century of infantilism has not yet completely dulled their progressive edges. They remain, hidden under layers of rust. It is the duty, of anyone who cares, to be diligent in their medium, continually pressing for incisive discourse and avoiding the trap of narcissism. That is if anyone cares.

Monday, February 06, 2006

outlawing weapons

The French, Chinese, American, Pakistani, etc. do not want to give up their nuclear weapons but they do not want other countries to have them (for obvious reasons). Well, it won't work.

In the early 11th century somebody invented the crossbow. This was probably the most important step in making killing more efficient, because now you did not have to actually fight and risk your own life to kill somebody. You could just sit in a tree and kill everybody walking by.

So, the Catholic Church outlawed the use of the crossbow. It lasted till the English king, Richard I, used it to slaughter the Franks (my people). After that nobody went anywhere without a crossbow anymore.

Friday, February 03, 2006

BIRDS DIED FLYING DRUNK

Experts who conducted tests on 40 songbirds found dead in Vienna last month say they did not die of avian influenza, as feared, but slammed into windows after becoming intoxicated from eating berries that had fermented. The birds all died of broken necks, a spokeswoman for Vienna's veterinary authority said, and had livers so diseased "they looked like they were chronic alcoholics." (AP)

Of Note

8% of the parliamentary seats won by Hamas in Palestine went to women. The percentage of women in the US Congress is about 14 for each house. I just found that interesting.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

*&%$^*$R&^I&*(&*(&*(&*(&*(!

At least there is Flaubert.

"She loved the sea only for its storms, and greenery only when it was scattered among ruins. She needed to derive immediate gratification from things and rejected as useless everything that did not supply this satisfaction. Her temperament was more sentimental than artistic. She sought emotions not landscapes."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Dopplegang Bang

Was reading Saramago's "The Double"
story of intrique and questioned identity
Where a mild-mannered history teacher
watched a rented video and dicovers a b-level
actor who is his exact double, visually identical in every way.
The story progresses as the teacher does all sorts of logical though slightly paranoiac
detective work to find the actor and eventually confront him.
Saramago is grand at using different voices (including in "The Double", an internal voice simply and repeatedly referred to as common sense)
He builds tension in ordinary situations, keeps his word choice quite simple, and usually leads up to some nail-biting and visceral scene where his characters
are pushed beyond their own personal limitations, made all the stronger by Saramago's exquisite abilities to make you sympathize with some of the most boring personlities ever put on paper.
Anyway, The plot thickens as both characters feel vaguely threatened by the very existence of the other
and....
My bag was stolen off the back of my chair in a very crowded Corner Bistro this past Sunday with "The Double" in it.
The book is gone. Vanished
And though I'd really lke to know what happens in the end, I find it all kind of appropriate
Ha!

What have I been doing with my time?

Again this year, I have not seen a single film nominated for this year's Oscars (TM or whatever)

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
CAPOTE
CRASH
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.
MUNICH

And yet, Deuce Bigalow, European Gigilo? You bet your ass I even watched the Special Features.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Paris Hilton said it

I meet so many people. I don't even know some of my friends' names.

Quick & Pointless

Today I passed by a bus with an advertisement for that show "Love Monkey" right on the front grill and realized - that could be the last thing someone sees before they die. how horrible!

Random Rules

Since the fascists at my job have decided to restrict access to my email, I've been amusing myself with the Shuffle Play option on RealPlayer.

I like shuffle because it approximates that wonderful feeling radio used to provide a long long time ago, when a song that you weren't thinking about but which was absolutely perfect for your mood would materialize out of nowhere, as if beamed across waves and signals and circuits and transformers specifically for you at specifically that moment.

I almost cried today when a particular Mojave 3 song came on. Especially when it was followed right up by Dylan's 4th Time Around.

Of course, it doesn't always work, like with the Bright Eyes/Jay-Z mash-up that soon followed. My Realplayer seems to particularly enjoy the Bright Eyes/Kevin Devine combo on this Monday, January 31, Year of Our Gourd 2006. Now Mogwai is on and I am happy.

This has been a truly idiotic post.

Punk Rock

It seems that Franco Canadian Punk bands from the late 80s no longer get the attention they deserve. Therefore, I decided to pay tribute to Dayglo Abortions. Most of us will remember them from their bilingually titled masterpiece Two Dogs Fucking-Deux Chien Fourrent; others will remember that they were prosecuted for the distribution of obscene material in their native Canada in 1988. It was the first such prosecution since this particular offense entered the criminal code 29 years earlier. Their three most influential songs were:


Scared Of People

(I'm scared of people really don't know why
I nearly shit my pants when they look me in the eye
I'm scared of people and I'm scared of you
I'm gonna go inside and shoot some glue
…)

Bedtime Story

(Flesh and blood and splattered guts
Dripping brains and radiation
Everybody's mutilated
Screaming missiles and burning babies
…)

Proud To Be Canadian

(I'm proud to be a Canadian
Pass me another beer
I'm proud to be a Canadian
Hold my seat while i take a piss
…)

Friday, January 27, 2006

People I Hate...at the Gym

I have been feeling particularly angry and violent this week, perhaps brought on by my lack of sleep. I have been waking up earlier than normal in order to keep up my new morning gym routine. Consequently, my fellow exercise aficionados are my prime targets. All morning I fantasize about yelling, punching and even kicking these annoying people. In an effort to release (at least mentally) some of my anger, I have compiled a list of people that I hate at the gym.

1. ALL of the unabashed naked women that surround me at every turn.
*I understand that I may be somewhat of a prude in a locker room environment, but these people have no respect. They bend over in everyone’s faces, have lengthy conversations with each other while standing right beside me, and give me dirty looks for wearing a robe (a little thin one, not some floor length terry cloth job) over to the showers.

2. Every single woman that walks past my locker aisle and stares me down while I’m dressing.

3. The woman who brings an additional duffel bag full of hair, makeup and skin products and spreads them out over an extensive area like she owns the place.

4. The woman who sits (naked, of course) in front of the only full length mirror for forty-five minutes drying her hair and styling it.

5. The eighty-five year old people who get in my swim lane and proceed to swim at a negative ten mile an hour pace, especially when I only have 5 more laps to go.

6. The hot men’s swim team members who flaunt their skimpy Speedos in the lane next to me while I try to suck it in and swim faster, so as not to appear so out of shape.

7. Anyone who attempts to pass me while I’m swimming.

8. The women who take my favorite showers stalls and my favorite lockers.

I think someone should poison Ann Coulter

Except I mean it.

This Is My Truth, Now Tell Me Yours

Last night I argued about politics with an old man at a bar (that was my first mistake, I know). I think at first it had something to do with Hamas, but later his main contention seemed to be that I, as a white, middle class college graduate sitting at a bar, had no standing to critique the world. If I had been just slightly more sober it wouldn't have bothered me so much, but as it stood I was irked by this criticism from a fat, white, middle class old man.

He kept asking "what are you doing to change things? what do you think should be done?" I think the implication was that since I was having drinks with friends and not out fomenting revolution on 7th Avenue, I was betraying my own cause. I fell back on the argument that I don't know what should be done to change things, nor am I sure what type of world I want to live in. This is a cop out and later I was annoyed with myself. I realized that I only said it to avoid being seen as ridiculous for any opinions I might offer. To save face in front of a drunk old idiot!

I'm sick of this shit. I should have said that I honestly believe that drugs should be legal, that health care should be universal, and the President should be impeached, that I adhere to the materialist conception of history, that class trumps race, that societal structures are geared towards preserving the power elite and repressing the masses, that white collar labor and the proliferation of communication technologies are annihilating human mental capacity, that the fundamental elements of the modern condition are greed, alienation, boredom and brutality. In a political climate this ridiculous we shouldn't be afraid to say whatever we want.

Later I went home and caught Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation on Sundance Channel. It was strange to go from barstool pontificating to viewing such an intimate piece of work. You may remember the film, it was the personal documentary edited on iMovie and produced for something like $800 that won a bunch of acclaim at Cannes a while back. Well, it's pretty damn good. What struck me most was the central theme (and I'm not sure this was intentional) that the way we perceive our lives and the way we document our lives (through photos, videos, etc.) have merged into one conception of "truth." The film is a compilation of 30 years' worth of home movies and photos that seem almost ready-made for the documentary, as if shot specifically to fit the concept and not the other way around. Caouette is unabashed in his use of the video camera. The subjectivity, and indeed solipsism, of his endeavor is always out in the open. It kind of makes you want to question his intentions, but actually serves as a built-in credibility mechanism. His film is simply a construction, and an acknowledged one, of his life as he sees it. And the central, bracing theme of Tarnation is that in reality this is as close to "truth" as we're likely to come.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

"A Few Things"

One:
Just finishing up a few weeks of high volume at the job and now that it's over there's more time to screw around. The memory of all that work just a few days ago leaves me with a feeling of creative possibility (fleeting, limited and false) that only a cubicle-rat could understand. Obviously there's the internet at my fingertips, music on my speakers and coffee on my breath.

Two:
Opposed to the false and limited feeling I just described, last week the concept of true personal (not political) freedom came up for definition and it left me baffled. There seem to be instances where you can pin-point it, like an electron, but what I'm trying to define is so powerful that we shouldn't even use words. The best private moments with your lover, being moved to tears by a piece of art, the myriad of religious experiences- things like these could stand as examples. Some call it "losing yourself." I call it personal/emotional/spiritual "freedom." Losing oneself "just because." Like galaxies swirl around just because, animals run, fight and screw just because. Matter exists just because. When there's great music blasting from a nice sound system, sometimes I find myself screaming with joy- no longer thinking or making decisions- it's a scene from Dave's primeval forest- it's animal but specifically human. And I suspect this momentary freedom is dangerous to many in the world who exert great power over people. I don't understand why. It's so personal- hardly any money is changing hands, there's no violence, and sex... well, (REDACTED FOR POSSIBLE USE IN HK-SYMPHONY) The point I'm searching for is too big for this blog post- please excuse me.

Three:
Hamas won?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Asks Oprah, harbinger of insight: "Why didn't you go insane?"


Night is the new Oprah Book Club pick. Right after James "Pants-On-Fire" Frey. It's not that I don't want my favorite book to be appreciated by millions of people. It's not that I don't want to share my beloved Elie. It's not that. Maybe I want everyone to read the whole trilogy, Night, Dawn, and Day (or The Accident), as well as Rollo May, Viktor Frankl, Primo Levi, and Kurt Vonnegut. Night weighs in at a scan 128 pages. Albeit, 128 very dense pages. I think Oprah should have assigned the whole Triology.

Dawn takes place in one night, as a survivor of Auschwitz is living as a terrorist in British-controlled Palestine after the war. He is given the task of killing a prisoner at sunrise if the demands of the Jewish terrorist gang he is a part of are not met. He ruminates on the nature of his task for the hours approaching dawn.

The Accident is also about a man who has survived the Holocaust. He is walking in Times Square and is hit by a cab, and nearly dies. He is bedridden and drifts in and out of dreams, wondering always how it is possible to move forward in life when such an anvil of suffering has crushed not only your past, but your very ideas of human nature.

Nowhere in this world is there more knowledge of, experience with, and dissection of the glorious highs and depraved lows of human nature than in the accounts of people who survived the holocaust. I wish Oprah would assign all these books.

I don't mean to have sour grapes. It's just that when I was in Eckerd yesterday, I saw Night for sale on the same rack with the Nora Roberts books. That made me feel weird inside.

Beauty where you can find it

You never get such clear, sunny days as in winter. Though apparently this surplus of sun is just an illusion.

I was happy to start my day by reading that "scientists just don't understand clouds very well." Must be all the contrails controlling their minds.

The clouds over Brooklyn last evening about 5:30 connected in a lovely pattern, set against subtle hues of blue and fading orange; a nice reminder that the days are indeed getting longer (it's almost February!). It's crucial to find hope wherever you can.

Charlie Rose is my favorite Pot Head

Was watching his show late last night, special guest Sir Anthony Hopkins. Rose is one of those guys who (when stoned) gets really into the conversation, leaning heavily forward on that round wooden table floating in soundstage limbo. Eyes glazed over, he tends to interrupt his guests and to take the conversation into bizarre directions based on his selective memories of other guests. Don't get me wrong, the boy knows how to handle his high, it just makes me smile that he gets the best guests, big softee. And he Always agrees whole heartedly with whatever the his guest is saying. Laughing and smiling his jokes are the best.

Anyway last night, he asked Hopkins ( Who he truly revered as one of the real old-schoolers, dropping superlatives on him left and right, between coughs ) if there were any actors which he saw as having a "talent" which Hopkins himself could never achieve, "anyone who ever made you feel that if they are so good and I can't possibly do that, than what am I doing in this business?" Hopkins qestured around a bit and squinted. "I think, Brando, because..." "T-that's what everyone says!" stammered Rose. After calming down a bit, Hopkins was asked why, "What was it?" "Brando had an animal magnatism, he was always watchable." Hopkins ponders while Rose reminises, "he was pure animal, pure intelligence, and relaxation."

The combination of the three is what caught me.

Monday, January 23, 2006

In anticipation of the "Jobs" Issue

I quite liked this.

Tongue in Cheek (boys throw rocks)

Drinking coffee tastes brown
My shoes are cute and all the boys look
I don’t think I’ll call him, though
Shall I wear a bad attitude tonight?
In my bedroom listening to Boy George,
I cry.

The POTUS Takes "Unscripted" Questions From Fawning Acolytes

Well good for him. La di da.

mud dragons

This wall chart was drawn by Rudolph Leuckart in 1884 as a teaching aid. It shows mud dragons, a phylum of small (invisible to the naked eye) animals that live in mud. They are very widespread but nobody knows what they are good for.

Friday, January 20, 2006

wow. how very clever. way to be cool.

Pitchfork Asks Why People Hate God-Rock

The "trend" of Christian indie-rock, as evinced by the grand arbiter of all that is trendy.

As Bart Simpson said, "all the best bands are affiliated with Satan."

For the record, I quite like Page France, and their spiritual symbolism doesn't bother me because the images are rather good and unconventional, and the songs are good. Sufjan Stevens on the other hand............eh, not my thing. Plus it seems a little disingenuous to complain about being pigeonholed as religious when your whole initial marketing campaign featured glossy photos of yourself surrounded by white-clad "angelic" (and attractive and female of course) persons.

I don't think my disdain for religion is bigotry, though I suppose that's precisely what a bigot would say. I just think it's imminently logical that religion causes more problems than it solves and the whole world would be much improved were it much mre secular. The Deepak Lal article cited previously illustrated that perfectly. Even when religion does good there's always a catch - donations to be made, guilt trips to be pressed into.

I don't find "Christian" music interesting because I find it's perspective - and by extension, the "struggle" it purports to portray - cloying, reductive, myopic and BORING. Of course, I don't have to buy it, and neither does anybody, and if someone does, that's fine too. Because we all know, deep down, which God we're really beholden to in the end.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

On Tuesday I saw a very disappointing screening for the movie, Fur, in which Nicole Kidman plays Diane Arbus in an "imaginary portrait" of events that occur shortly before and leading up to her artistic awakening, i.e. - she falls in love with a "freak," aka Robert Downey Jr. with perfectly combed and curled hair glued to his entire body. The relationship climaxes in her shaving his entire body, fucking him, and then taking him to the ocean to drown himself. Sigh, but not before he's made a coat for her out of his hair. The movie ends with her braving a nudist colony to take photos. She sits by the only girl with perky breasts, ignoring the wrinkled old people. There was one scene involving a dominatrix and an old naked man that had the only chance of capturing any essence of Arbus' work. The rest was just tragic. Nicole Kidman as Diane Arbus? It's just insulting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Deepak Lal: The endurance of religion: Faith vs Reason

The mania of the suicide bombers would then be like bird song, studies of which have shown that, while the "basic species-specific skeleton of the song is hardwired in the genes, it requires the environmental clue of being able to hear its own voice to be triggered."

i heart bonnie fuller

Instead of watching CNN, embrace E! Television. Degrading comments about the fugly Duff sister are a hell of a lot more entertaining.

No Sympathy for the Servile

The Post continues it's "human interest" coverage of a child beaten to death in Brooklyn with a headline crowing about "justice," on the same front page, mind you, that five days ago was devoted to football and five days before that to the amazing tale of the miners who were alive and then weren't. Cannibalism is alive and well and riding the M train. And every day the people in droves shell out quarter after quarter just for the privilege of participating. What these people lack is The Terror. If Ann Coulter can get away with it, so can I: the next time terrorists decide to blow something up, I hope it's the Post building.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

for the birds

the birds

"I love he who makes his virtue his addiction and his catastrophe" -Nietzsche from Thus spoke Zarathustra

Friday, January 13, 2006

And they're doing the atomic bomb...

The outrage over Iran's revival of it's nuclear program is simply the gap between First and Third World made manifest. While fashionable hand wringing and dutifully somber denunciations of the dangers of nuclear proliferation keep people like the Times editorial board content in their elitist superiority, their fundamental misunderstanding of the situation is precisely what raises Iranian rancor.

The First World, eager to play paterfamilias to their historically shackled Third World bretheren, lectures in drab and condescending tones about how yes, it was they, who in their unbridled quest for technological advancement and unending pissing contest for global dominance, first unleashed the power of the atom upon this planet, but really they've learned a lot since then and it would be much better if you inferior nations just heed our advice and take a pass on this one. A child can understand the double standard here! It is the logic of the larger boy who forces the smaller into a game of his devising, changing the rules to his benefit at every step. The United States' pandering to Pakistan, whose government is just as reactionary as Iran's, further exposes the selectivity of their ire.

I'm not saying that an Iran armed with nuclear power is a good thing, far from it. But I am of the opinion that the patronizing tone of First World power brokers, who are only interested in maintaining their own hegemony anyway, must cease before there's hope of moving forward with serious discussion.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Wish

Last night I was thinking about a friend that passed away recently. I was just thinking about his life, and who he was, and I just couldn't help but wish. I just wish so much for his own sake, for everyone's sake, that he could be here again. I wish that I could run into him on the street, I wish that his family could see his face again. The wish is like a thorn of hope in my side, bristled with a thousand plywood splinters of sadness.

To paraphrase Stephen Gaskin, in his book Monday Night Class, laughter is an absurd, non-linear reaction to an absurd, non-linear series of events. A man is walking down the street, the man slips and launches into a pratfall, limbs akimbo, look of utter shock on his face. There is no way to predict the second event from the first event, it does not follow. We react with a wordless, gutteral laugh at this unexpected hilarity. This is not to express pleasure at his embarrassment, but rather a child-like delight in randomness and unity of chaos.

I believe the same is true of crying, it is the same absurd reaction. A man is walking down the street, the man slips and cracks his skull on the curb, and suddenly he is dead and there is brain matter splattering the cross-walk. We react with a wordless, gutteral sob at this unexpected tragedy. We react with a child-like fear of the randomness and disparity of chaos.

A friend once remarked on the length and depth of proper grief. There is a socially acceptable time for sympathy and caseroles, but beyond this time grief becomes a personal and quiet affair. Its length and depth are impossible to share. Even after the sadness stops, the absurdity remains, and may never go away. I fear when I am old, decades from now, I may still carry this wish around, to reverse that which makes no sense. Some of us take comfort in the possibility of heaven, some in the forgetfulness of time. And some of us carry our ghosts around forever, like watchful parrots on shoulders of pirates.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Syrianna: Cleared with Hezbollah

So we went to see Syrianna and since I've been reading about the CIA like they're losing their charter, I loved it. I walked out of the theater with a million conspiracy theories to fill in all the holes in my memory of the flick- since it's one of the puzzle movies best seen several times, my mind was trying to fill in the pieces- was Matt Damon working for the agency, was Nazir working with Hezbollah? It really was "Traffic" set in the middle east- only better. Syrianna is another step in the direction of Traffic and Heat and The Insider. These last two movies were made by Michael Mann who me and DB think is pretty much at the forefront of the movement. Since there's nothing new under the sun, this current of realism cinema probably has precursors going back to the 19teens but who's counting? I like these movies because they throw you into a real-time drama unfolding before you as if you had a million security cameras on all the characters at all times. Exposition is at a minimum- you snooze, you lose! Events happen and all you can do is scratch your head until they pile up into a coherent pattern, usually that’s when the guns come out. I almost forgot- I love movies!

On what seems to be a random and organic trend:

Courtesy of Brendan:

IN RESPONSE TO THE "RANDOM FACTS" THAT ARE BEING GENERATED ON THE INTERNET

I'm aware of the made up declarations about me that have recently begun to appear on the Internet and in emails as "Chuck Norris facts." I've seen some of them. Some are funny. Some are pretty far out. Being more a student of the Wild West than the wild world of the Internet, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's quite surprising. I do know that boys will be boys, and I neither take offense nor take these things too seriously. Who knows, maybe these made up one-liners will prompt young people to seek out the real facts as found in my recent autobiographical book, "Against All Odds?" They may even be interested enough to check out my novels set in the Old West, "The Justice Riders," released this month. I'm very proud of these literary efforts.
~ Chuck Norris


I am posting this because I think it's an hilarious phenomenon. I enjoy Chuck Norris because I used to live on a dirt road with no cable. Our TV antennas picked up CBS from a city 60 miles away. On Saturday nights, before I had a life, I used to watch Walker, Texas Ranger every week. Much like Diagnosis Murder, I just enjoyed the bejesus out of this program for no apparent reason, and without any irony.

Chuck Norris is currently experiencing an increase in popularity via the "Random Facts" website (which also holds forth evidence of the kick-assery of Vin Diesel and Mr. T) and dozens of postings on collegehumor.com. A new generation is discovering Mr. Norris for earnest hero he portrays in dozens of movies and his series, Walker. I only hope that he does not become an object of derision.

I think, secretly, that everyone loves Mr. Norris in large part for his intense and heartfelt demeanor. Today's kid might mask this with a sarcastic, or "ironic" affection but I know better. I wish Mr. Norris the best of luck, and I know he will continue to rule with a beareded fist.

Smoke & Mirrors

I'm sick of the news media only dealing in the realm of appearances. Perfect example: the Times' handling of Alito's confirmation hearing. They focus on the fact that Alito outmaneuvered Democrats who tried to paint him as an extremist, giving only passing mention to the lack of legal heft in his answers.

There's an unsettling symmetry between the testimony of Judges Roberts and Alito and the news coverage of it; both pander to image and skirt substance.

There's no way to know how Alito will behave if appointed Justice, but every reason to suspect that he and Roberts are meant to be a conservative wedge on the court, tasked with rolling back many of the progressive precedents of recent years. In fact there is no need to suspect it: it's the stated goal of the Republican party. How irksome to barely hear a whisper of it in the press.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Addendum

An epilogue to the post about synchronicity: yesterday I sat next to the exact same man on the M train going to and from work. I didn't notice coming home until just before I got off.

security to bar area

On Saturday, Lt Gen Urano Teixeira Da Matta Bacellar was found dead. He was wearing a white (blood stained) T-shirt, white boxer shorts, and sandals. His body was slumped on a tile floor against the balcony of his suite in the upscale Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. He appeared to have been alone at the time of the shooting. His gun was found near his body. He was the commander of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Haiti.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Year of Synchronicity?

2006 has begun with a series of small but noticeable synchronicities. Just as one example, last Thursday I watched "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Then on Friday the History Channel aired a program about Hitler's relationship with the occult. This show also contained a few choice B-roll scenes of Der Fuhrer taking in the idyllic German countryside, which has been the butt of a running gag around the office ("Oh... shrubs. Eva, look at that blue sky. It's so blue!"). I am not the only one I know who has experienced such sly coincidences. Perhaps 2006 is a seam slowly splitting wide open.

Friday, January 06, 2006

To the best of my recollection

Lately I've found myself examining the people around me - on the train, on the sidewalk, in stores - and wondering; if something were to go down, some crime or catastrophe, would I be able to identify them clearly and specifically after the fact?

It's a strange thought, it made me realize just how little I examine my daily life. Could I dictate a police sketch of the person that sat across from me this morning?
If I met someone in passing two years ago and they committed a crime in the present, could I recognize them now?

I also realized that I lack the language to properly describe facial characteristics. How can I be sure that the "tufted bangs" and "sloping forehead" and "prominent jaw" that I would describe mean the same thing to someone else?

Hell, sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder if it really is me staring back. The real me? The same one as yesterday? Are you sure?

Working World: We're Very Sad

While reading articles online at work, I came across this piece about Comedy Central's new online video player: MotherLoad. We are beginning to premiere new shows to play exclusively online and the LA Times has picked up on our progress. They note that online video and such has finally become lucrative.

"One thing member Nick Kroll discovered: People like online comedy."

But most importantly...

"People seem to be desperate for content," he said, "because they're terribly sad at work."

Yes. Yes we are. But it's even sadder that the company that is trying to cure the working world is leaving out the most important person: me. I can't watch MotherLoad because it doesn't play on my Mac.

Best. Website. Ever.

Chuck Norris built a time machine and went back in time to stop the JFK assassination. As Oswald shot, Chuck met all three bullets with his beard, deflecting them. JFK's head exploded out of sheer amazement.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On Mortality and text messaging

Funny, recieved a good number of funny, celebratory, inscrutible, and filthy text messages this weekend.

Among them was one I got last night from (remove name) at 12:15 last night saying: I DO NOT THINK WE GET TO KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO DIE.

bizarre enough, kind of passed it off, then about an hour or so later I wrote back: NO SHIT

Not the most elegant or polite response, for this I apologize, it was an exhausing couple days and the nature of human mortality and its facets was not on the menu for me.
However, today is another day and it's not very often I get to reference this on of my most favoritest of quotes within any normal logical context so here goes. A question with an answer

"...who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn not traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bears those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o're with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard thier currents turn awry, and lose the name of action..."

The Prince of Denmark was by no means a great philosopher, but in this statement he has a point. Death, the "undiscover'd country", is by nature unknown. And thus (remove name) your answer via the Great Bard, and a good one at that, except I personally feel differently about the whole "dying" ordeal (terrible thing, that) and will offer my own opiion upon further request.

That is all

Fortune

I found the following fortune (originally from a cookie) on my desk today. Who knows how long it's been idling there. Enjoy.

"Birds are entangled by their feet and men by their tongues."