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August 31, 2001

Over and over again, articles

Over and over again, articles about Burning Man claim Black Rock City as the writer's "community," a "home." In fact, the writers seem almost proud of themselves for being able to survive a week in the desert. That's great. I'm glad the writers feel like a part of something. But when was the last time you read an article about so many people putting all of their creative energy into San Francisco or Oakland? Maybe we should do something for the place in which we live the other 51 weeks of the year. Maybe we should, as the old blues singers say, "Make this goddamned house a home."
Fuck Burning Man.

originally posted by xowie

Remember this classic post? Rock

Remember this classic post? Rock Star is only one week away. Maybe I can get some of the awful images of Audition out of my head with a good Mark Wahlberg/Jennifer Aniston sex scene. Maybe not. Why isn't Colin Powell at the WCAR? [discuss] please!

Yahoo UN Full Coverage HRI's

originally posted by xowie

The World Conference Against Racism

The World Conference Against Racism is officially underway in Durban, South Africa today. Good coverage:

Where else?

Simply put, "Audition" is

Simply put, "Audition" is one of the great horror films of all time. It is the story of a middle-aged widower, Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), with a teenaged son. Aoyama is lonely and would like a wife - a young, traditional wife. In fact his son pushes him to look for one. Aoyama's friend is a television producer and suggests a little deception: that they audition young women who will think they are being considered for a role on TV. Mr. Aoyama will look them over, and perhaps find one to his taste.

Easily the most intense film experience of my adult life. Only the accelerated sensitivity of childhood can produce comparable moments - Monty Python and the Holy Grail sent me into near-fatal fits of laughter, Tampopo introduced me to the idea of sexuality as spectacle, and Zentropa showed me the potential for cinema to shape social conscience.

I don't recommend Audition, I'll never be the same again, and I can't write another sentence about it. See movies101 or deep-focus for more.

I had a wonderful sneeze

I had a wonderful sneeze once, from someone sitting behind me in a concert. It was a really lovely turquoise that came across my shoulder in a triangular sheet.
BBC News - 'I can see sounds'.

August 30, 2001

Bad jobs.

Bad jobs.

originally posted by xowie

"What a fence is doing

"What a fence is doing 90 percent of the time is telling someone not to go here," says Mark Davis, president of the American Fence Association. "A fence will stop a pretty honest person. But anybody with a tool or ability to get in will get in."

"It's something designed to get you angry," says Jamie Loughner, a protester from Washington who joined the Medieval Bloc in Quebec City. "People become more outraged because they are so offended by the fence. . . . It's easy to shake your focus from what you're truly protesting."

"It gives you a very clear boundary, that people have in fact breached the law," says Thomas Seamon, a law enforcement consultant. "People are going to actively either climb over it or attempt to rip it down. Then there's no question you've broken the law."

"If you can make the fence a target so police aren't the target, or private property is not the target, or individuals are not the target, then this fence would have served its purpose," says Hubert Williams, president of the Police Foundation, a District-based outfit that provides research and technical support.
Global Economy's New Guardian (washingtonpost.com). There are (at least) two sides of every fence, especially 2 1/2 mile, $2 million, 9-foot-tall one.

Let's catalog how copyright owners

Let's catalog how copyright owners have used the DMCA so far: to silence a magazine publisher (2600 case); to threaten computer science professors (Prof. Ed Felten); and to jail programmers (Dmitry). And as for the public's first sale and archiving rights, copyright owners are poised to debut a host of DRM [digital rights management] technologies that will dramatically curtail these rights... The writing's on the wall -- how much worse does it have to get before the Copyright Office recognizes that the DMCA has fundamentally, and unwisely, unbalanced the Copyright Act?
The U.S. Copyright Office just issued a disgraceful endorsement of the DMCA.

originally posted by xowie

"Why are you starting with

"Why are you starting with that gay stuff?" Lewis asked Rahman. "I'm 100 percent a woman's man. If he has worries about that bring your sister, bring anyone."
Lewis, Rahman get physical during taping.

originally posted by xowie

Hi, I just finished Bee

Hi, I just finished Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg. It's her debut novel, and it's about a Jewish family (mother, father, son, daughter) and their various quirks, flaws and problems they have getting along. The title refers to spelling bees, because the daughter discovers a hidden talent for spelling, and she and her father, a cantor at a synagogue, undertake a rigorous program of study to get her to win the national spelling bee--but along the way they get into Jewish mysticism. But it's also about much more than that.

It's a relatively short book (about 250 pp.) and the writing is extraordinarily tight but inventive and suggestive at the same time. I've never read anyone with a voice quite like Goldberg's, and it's especially impressive since it's just her first book.

The point of this post is to get you to read it, but also, if anyone has just by chance already read it, I'm interested in talking about it.

According to studies by communications

According to studies by communications professor George Gerbner, people who watch more TV are more likely to believe that their neighborhoods are unsafe, to state that fear of crime is a very serious personal problem and to go out and buy new locks, watchdogs and guns for protection.

Paul Klite, the late Director of Rocky Mountain Media Watch, pointed out that "Murder, one of the least common crimes, is the number one topic on newscasts." According to the group Children Now, while the homicide rate dropped 33% during the period between 1990 and 1998, news coverage of homicides actually increased by 473%.

Children Now recommends that parents speak with their kids about the levels of violent crime reported in the news and explain to them that crime reporting is not accurate representation of reality. Perhaps parents should speak with their adult friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives as well.
AlterNet - Prison Policy in a Media-driven America. via the inestimable wood s lot.

Outrageously overpriced, esthetically questionable, and

Outrageously overpriced, esthetically questionable, and taller than most bookshelves, this will be one of the first things you throw away the next time you move.
Acme Novelty Library #15, that is.

The first municipal police forces

The first municipal police forces in this country were formed to catch runaway slaves. Northern cities found them useful for breaking strikes and suppressing demonstrations. All this so-called ‘protect and serve’ stuff is just public relations. I’ve never known a cop to catch a rapist, but I’ve known several of them to beat and gas protesters or shoot folks for the crime of Driving While Black. The cops exist to make sure that those in control stay in control, and that the masses don’t get out of hand. (...)

To me Reclaim the Streets is an entirely symbolic action. Yes it’s great to have a party and to get people to think about public space belonging to the public instead of to commercial interests, but having a dance party for a few hours isn’t high on my agenda. If we’re going to try to create a temporary autonomous zone why not take a section of the city and hold it for as long as we can — days, weeks, months, even years. To do that would require getting an overwhelming majority of the people in that section to want autonomy, otherwise we’re not a people’s movement but an occupying force. Even other short-term actions like work strikes have a concrete goal worth fighting for. I’m just not sure I’m completely behind a tactic that is so costly to us in terms of police brutality with so little possible payoff. Perhaps I just don’t understand Reclaim the Streets as well as I should, but I wasn’t inspired to take a beating from the cops over the right to listen to techno outdoors for a few hours. (...)

... you know what the real fun thing is? The real shits and giggles part of all this is that there were two groups on the street that day. One group carried guns and clubs, used chemical agents on unarmed civilians, made up laws as they went along (you can’t share food in the park, for example), and used violence to advance their boss' political career and try to intimidate folks from exercising their freedoms if those freedoms conflict with commercial interests. The other group gave food out freely, tried to avoid conflict by staying on the sidewalk, and was armed only with puppets and costumes. Yet the cops are praised in the media by the politicians, while the FBI has labeled Reclaim the Streets a terrorist organization.
From David Grenier's account of last Saturday's Reclaim the Streets party in Seattle. You may not agree with the protestors' tactics or even with their goals, but you should understand that every time a cop swings a baton at a peaceful protestor, your legal, civil, and human rights are smashed as surely as her bones.

August 29, 2001

The tax-relief checks that

The tax-relief checks that will start arriving in mailboxes next week should have a consumer-warning label: "Warning: This check is not a 'rebate' of taxes you already paid. It's an advance on the refund you'll get when you file next April. "

If it's an advance, you ask, does that mean my refund in April will be $300 smaller than it would have been? And if I'm unlucky enough to owe taxes, does that mean my tax bill will be $300 higher?

The answer to both questions is yes. But you'd never guess that from the 1040 you'll fill out next year. It's been designed so that it's nearly impossible to realize how the 2001 rebate checks affect your tax preparation in 2002.

I don't know if I should laugh or if I should cry. This is SO stupid. Surprise: Tax rebate not a rebate.

In 1990, locked in a

In 1990, locked in a tight race with an African American Democrat, former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt, Helms aired a final-week TV ad that showed a pair of white hands crumpling a rejection letter, while an announcer said, "You needed that job and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota." Once again, he pulled through.
The Post's David Broder fills in some spots the media ignored when they reported on Jesse Helms' retirement.

It's important for children to

It's important for children to wear their backpacks correctly -- on both shoulders, not just one (those trendy one-shouldered backpacks are definitely not a good idea) -- according to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Backpack Fitness: Rx for Heavy Class Loads (washingtonpost.com) Of course, I've been saying this for years....

August 28, 2001

I must confess to occasional

I must confess to occasional daydreams about meeting Ms. P. that I have about no other reporter, NPR or otherwise.
What do stateside public radio listeners find so alluring about Sylvia Poggioli? Via MediaNews.

The school board of Montgomery

The school board of Montgomery County, Md., may vote today to ban the use of Native American names and likenesses for sports teams, mascots and logos. U: "Stop it," said the board.

August 27, 2001

Oh that wacky New York

Oh that wacky New York Times: Kevin Smith's 1st kiss fall fashion comic. p.s. - Kevin Smith has also put out an anti-Kevin Smith website.

originally posted by xowie

London vacations are cheaper if

London vacations are cheaper if you pretend to be homeless.

originally posted by xowie

Slipcue features helpful lists of

Slipcue features helpful lists of recommended world music albums. A useful resource if you're generally interested in certain countries-of-origin (i.e., Brazil, Ethiopia, Angola) but don't know where to start.

Last Monday I was driving

Last Monday I was driving to work when I saw a man of 45 or 50 sitting on a rock beside a small van with four flat tires. He asked me for a lift. His name was Nafez TaHa and he had been on his way to Ramallah to buy flour for the grocery store in his village; this is what he does for a living. He took an "illegitimate" detour to avoid spending useless hours at a checkpoint. Israeli soldiers stopped him, and since they didn't have a bulldozer to dig up the detour, they blocked it with his van, let the air out of its tires and took away his key. And, of course, the soldiers did not waste the opportunity to humiliate him: They forced him to lie on the ground face down, stepped on him and called him names.
Muhanned Tull writes powerfully about Palestian life under Israeli occupation and oppression.

The stereotype is something that

The stereotype is something that we all experience, but we never put words to it. We talk in the privacy of our friends and in hindsight think, 'I wish I could have said this.' But this comic strip character says right at the moment what she is feeling. And that's what people enjoy.
Lela Lee, creator of the Angry Little Asian Girl. I especially dig the strip's "Marmaduke"-like "Angry Area."

What matters in life? Aren't

What matters in life? Aren't the classics supposed to answer that fundamental question? Well, they don't. Instead they simply present you with options, choices, possiblities, alternatives, ambiguities. All of which can be stimulating and even useful to a disinterested mind. But if you really need to know what to do? Then they're no help at all.

The Washington Post's Michael Dirda on why we read. Worth thinking about. Also in the Post, Jonathan Yardley on regretting critical missteps.

August 26, 2001

Nice cartoon with a happy

Nice cartoon with a happy ending.

originally posted by xowie

On John Stuart Mill and

On John Stuart Mill and Eccentrics, Women, Minorities, and the Concept of 'Othering'

There is an increasing backlash against the movement to diversify American society. Some people feel that to keep us all in our own separate spaces is perfectly acceptable; as it was, it shall be. There is no need to modify a system that works for the majority, because, after all, that is the notion on which our bountiful nation was founded. There is no need for us to look outside ourselves and gain perspective from the experiences and opinions of persons different from us. "Mankind speedily become unable to conceive diversity, when they have been for some time unaccustomed to see it." (13) If the majority (or, whoever is perceived as the majority) has already placed itself in its comfortable, conformist, white suburban environment, and it has every intention of remaining there, then what is the use of learning about conditions elsewhere? When that majority speaks, we are obligated to listen. However, the majority does not always know what is right. A majority of Americans wanted to maintain slavery, deny women the right to vote, and, yes, dismiss the charges against President Clinton, all because they did not want to face the difficult questions these issues would force them to acknowledge. We are resistant to change because we fear it. If women and minorities were to be on equal footing with white men, that would force us to realign our priorities, power structures, and value systems. We would have to completely change the way we educate and socialize our children. In order to embrace eccentricity, we would also have to accept that there is no correct definition of what "normal" is.

The Left Opposition have released

The Left Opposition have released Mandate?, their response to the G8 leaders' claims to represent the ordinary people of their countries, and a rebuff to the contention that they have a "mandate" to pursue neo-liberal globalisation policies.
This is dangerous music - Socialist dance anthems (one with a nice sample of Gil Scott-Heron).

originally posted by xowie

"Are you lactating?"

"Are you lactating?"

originally posted by xowie

August 25, 2001

NYTM: Barbeque sauce, racists and

NYTM: Barbeque sauce, racists and Piggly Wiggly.

originally posted by xowie

Thinking Differently About Africa: Why

Thinking Differently About Africa: Why isn't Apple a larger force in Africa's computer industry?

August 24, 2001

My Kids Were Used As Guinea Pigs

washingtonpost.com - My Kids Were Used As Guinea Pigs.

I grew up in a

I grew up in a small Massachusetts town. This town had a clear river that flowed under a paper mill. The mill used to dump dyes into the river. The river coursed by my elementary school; every day it was a different color. Some days the river would be bright green, other days it would be bright yellow, and sometimes it would be magenta. I never knew what color it would be. I liked not knowing. I would stand on the bridge and throw rocks into the water and watch the multicolored scum explode to the surface. It was horrible and it was beautiful.
See Cathryn Griffin's photos of Western Carolina in DoubleTake magazine.

I think it had to

I think it had to be represented to the court that they were, in fact, gypsies. The implication is that their roots to the community are tenuous. I think it has to be said, for whatever it's worth, so that the judge might understand that these ladies . . . are more than just amateurs at what they do.
washingtonpost.com - 'Gypsy' Crime Warning Stirs Anger. A Fairfax County, Virginia, prosecutor argued that, as gypsies, two alleged thieves presented an unusual flight risk. The judge, in apparent agreement, denied bail.

AlterNet -- D.C. Protests resource

AlterNet -- D.C. Protests resource page.

"I used to use the

"I used to use the cover of ‘Stagger Lee’ [by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds] as a sound check until Hal had a serious meltdown one day," says Jones. "He broke a Budweiser bottle on the bar and told me he would gut me if I ever played the song again. He had cut his finger and stuck it in his mouth. I still remember his cold blue eyes and the little speck of blood on his bottom lip and the moment toward the end of the song when Blixa of the Bad Seeds begins shrieking. It was very surreal. This song is sort of a soundtrack to Hal for me, God rest his angry soul."
Signal Hill is an oil town which I have been careful to avoid in the twenty years since its police department beat Long Beach State football player Ron Settles to death and hung him in a jail cell. Here's a terrific story about the town's meanest bartender.

originally posted by xowie

Today's Serious Writers fail even

Today's Serious Writers fail even on their own postmodern terms. They urge us to move beyond our old-fashioned preoccupation with content and plot, to focus on form instead -- and then they subject us to the least-expressive form, the least-expressive sentences, in the history of the American novel. Time wasted on these books is time that could be spent reading something fun. When DeLillo describes a man's walk as a "sort of explanatory shuffle ... a comment on the literature of shuffles" (Underworld), I feel nothing; the wordplay is just too insincere, too patently meaningless. But when Vladimir Nabokov talks of midges "continuously darning the air in one spot," or the "square echo" of a car door slamming, I feel what Philip Larkin wanted readers of his poetry to feel: "Yes, I've never thought of it that way, but that's how it is."
The Atlantic - A Reader's Manifesto by B.R. Myers.

August 23, 2001

Protrude, Flow is an interactive

Protrude, Flow is an interactive magnetic fluid art installation, or something. Crazy.

"Sometimes he tries to talk

"Sometimes he tries to talk to me but I don't like him. I turn my head,'' Simentov said.
There are only two Jews in Afghanistan. They hate each other.

originally posted by xowie

Seattle Weekly's stoner edition.

Seattle Weekly's stoner edition.

originally posted by xowie

The "war on drugs" is

The "war on drugs" is rooted in racial bias. It is racially unequal in its implementation. And it is racist in its disproportionate impact.
Taking it to the U.N.

originally posted by xowie

A very long time ago,

A very long time ago, in a country far far away, a Gallic man, or a man from France, if you will, decided that he would visit America and see that really cool statue they got sitting out there in the water. So, he jacked up his parachute, and glided on over there. But, merci! Non! Je suis aeroplane non! He missed the danged thing and now he's chillin' out there with all the other tourists. Damn tourists.

originally posted by DC

Elizabeth Horton Sheff, the first

Elizabeth Horton Sheff, the first African American Green elected to a U.S. city council, argues the party needs to radically rethink its strategy, down to rewriting its 10 core values. Horton Sheff says that no matter how often she raises her voice, the party does not listen. Just look at the party's tenets, she says—a list that includes things like "community-based economics and economic justice," "decentralization," "future focus and sustainability," and so on. "Who do those 10 key values speak to? Middle- and upper-class whites," she says. "We have to go where the people are. No one is going to flock to the Green Party, particularly not in urban centers. We have to get out into the community. Sending mail is not going to do it."
The Village Voice: Find the Issues, Reach the People by Ariston-Lizabeth Anderson.

From the Post's "Nation in

From the Post's "Nation in Brief":

A state legislator apologized for forwarding to fellow lawmakers an e-mail that said, "Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity." Rep. Don Davis, a white Republican, said he received the letter Friday and forwarded it to every member of the state House and Senate. He said he didn't consider the letter racist.

Hey, maybe he can replace Jesse.

August 22, 2001

During the course of the

During the course of the 20th century, more than 100,000,000 people persished in wars, and now, at the dawn of the 21st century, violence seems to be an overarching theme in the world, encompassing personal, group, national, and international conflict, extending to the production of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction which have been developed for use on land, air, sea, and in space.

Mr. Dennis Kucinich goes to Washington, and makes a scene. The Peace Scene, dig?

originally posted by DC

Even after the reality of

Even after the reality of genocide in Rwanda had become irrefutable, when bodies were shown choking the Kagera River on the nightly news, the brute fact of the slaughter failed to influence U.S. policy except in a negative way. American officials, for a variety of reasons, shunned the use of what became known as "the g-word." They felt that using it would have obliged the United States to act, under the terms of the 1948 Genocide Convention. They also believed, understandably, that it would harm U.S. credibility to name the crime and then do nothing to stop it.
Bystanders to Genocide, "a chilling narrative of self-serving caution and flaccid will" from Atlantic Monthly. Also, a just-released set of declassified Rwanda documents is here.

originally posted by xowie

Draft resistance grows in Israel.

Draft resistance grows in Israel.
Gaza's economic catastrophe worsens.
Yearning for the joys of normal life.

originally posted by xowie

Look at it. It's disgusting.

Look at it. It's disgusting. It looks like somebody gutted a muskrat.
It looks like somebody really doesn't like the new "hot dog" style cut at Subway, and has started a petition to bring back the "v-shaped canyon" cut.

People have this stereotype that

People have this stereotype that he was this bop guy, but he was really this self-conscious artist. Here you can see him working and revising constantly. He was much more organized than people would have thought.
NYT: New York Public Library Buys Kerouac Archive. Also in the Arts section: Featured Artist: Laurie Anderson. Captain says: put your hands on your head. Put your hands on your hips.

By gosh, it's about time.

By gosh, it's about time. But let us pray that former Sen. Lauch Faircloth does not, hydra-like, simply rise to fill Helms' seat.

Cameroonian architect Edouard Din's KmtSpace.

Cameroonian architect Edouard Din's KmtSpace.

originally posted by xowie

August 21, 2001

Richly textured backgrounds, constant visual

Richly textured backgrounds, constant visual surprises, a thrilling music score--this 'toon gives you your cable bill's worth... Creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory) raids the history of illustration, art and cinema with the gusto of a kid playing in an attic. He gleefully cobbles past, present and future into a supercool fantasy of classical Japanese art, Hanna-Barbera, expressionism, anime, '60s film and '50s modernism, just for starters... Best of all, in an era of chatty, hyper 'toons, this action show knows when to stand still and shut up. Tartakovsky uses generous pauses for drama and laughs, and has no problem going 10 minutes at a stretch without dialogue...
Everyone digs Jack.

originally posted by xowie

The Atlantic Monthly on Waldorf

The Atlantic Monthly on Waldorf schools, which sound really cool. If I were to send my daughter to a school, it might be one of these.

There have already been 78

There have already been 78 migrant deaths this year along the U.S. - Mexico border.

originally posted by xowie

And all you have to

And all you have to do is go buy a Brita. Enjoy the English translation of a newspaper with a title that means "Truth."

originally posted by DC

Carlo is looking up, he

Carlo is looking up, he may just have noticed the carabinieri pointing the gun at him. He has the fire extinguisher in his hands right in front of his face. He is not poised to hurl it, since the position of his arms is more defensive than offensive.

A series of photos document Carlo Giuliani's murder in Genoa.
He was killed one month ago yesterday.

originally posted by zagg

If breaking windows and fighting

If breaking windows and fighting back when the cops attack is 'violence', then give me a new word, a word a thousand times stronger, to use when the cops are beating nonresisting people into comas.

Starhawk's latest

originally posted by zagg

August 20, 2001

8 Goths and 22 Norwegians

8 Goths and 22 Norwegians on exploration journey
from Vinland over the West We had camp by 2 skerries
one days journey north from this stone We were and
fished on day After we came home found 10 men red
with blood and dead Ave Maria Save from evil
Did Vikings visit Minnesota in 1362?

originally posted by xowie

If the long-playing record brought

If the long-playing record brought about a culture in which musicians aspire to the full-length album as their ultimate creative expression, then the Internet promises to return us to a world in which the song stands alone. As a result, the process of promoting music will change.
The NYT's Neil Strauss on going online for music and ditching the stereo, as an experiement.

On Sunday, August 12, the

On Sunday, August 12, the front page of the Washington Post brought us yet another story about white suburban youth, who, to the amazement of their parents, friends, and the media, turn out to be stone cold criminals. This time the headlines emanate from "nice neighborhoods," in Northern Virginia: places where sinister crimes aren't supposed to happen.

But, as authorities have discovered, one of the most significant drug operations in the region's history was being run from this "nice, safe" place. And not by dark-skinned street-hustlers preying on vulnerable teens and getting them hooked; but rather, by the former soccer-playing little leaguers who this nation grooms to run major corporations, hold political office, or merely typifies as normal, all-American boys.

In the instant case, the accused, from the Prince William County hamlets of Chantilly and Centreville are youths who reporter Josh White describes as "good kids," who "went bad." When was the last time a black or Latino drug dealer or gang-banger was described this way? To those who study media, implicit in most news coverage when they do it is the suggestion that it's because they were congenital criminals; it was their IQ or pathological underclass families. They don't "go" bad, they just "are" bad.

But when stories are written about pale-faced killers or dealers, or in this case both, sympathetic adjectives fill the pages. Crime becomes human interest -- a cautionary tale. We are encouraged to identify with the instigators of the mayhem in ways we never would be were they dark or poor.

Listen to those quoted in White's story. First there is Prince William Detective Greg Pass who explains, "None of this happened in bad neighborhoods... It bothers everyone involved that in many ways these kids are mirror images of the detectives working the case, except they have chosen to go the wrong way." Sympathy, recognition, identification, and all of it, by the officer's admission, due to the fact that these kids are "mirror images" of the detectives themselves. And what does one see in the mirror after all? One's face: one's white, middle class suburban face, to be precise.

Just as the media generally "deracializes" incidents of white deviance, portraying them as the aberrant, inexplicable acts of aberrant, inexplicable individuals, (unlike the same from the dark and poor which are often portrayed as group tendencies), so too did Josh White in his piece on Wolfe, Barber and Petrole. Instead of pointing out the fallacies of white suburban denial and the blindness that besets so many of the residents in these "nice," places, White and the Post offered up a quixotic melodrama: good kids gone wrong; sympathetic, misguided youths posing as hardened criminals and coming to a tragic end.

Read the Washington Post article, In N. Va. Drug Ring, Good Kids Went Bad, and the entire Tim Wise commentary, A New Round of White Denial: Drugs and Race in the 'Burbs.

Planet of the Dubyas and

Planet of the Dubyas and other great Tom Tomorrow toonies.

originally posted by xowie

"I'm working on lots of

"I'm working on lots of issues," he said.
President George W. Bush on his extended vacation, according to Harper's Weekly Review.

>nudge metafilter awake

>nudge metafilter awake

I hope to participate in

I hope to participate in the expansion of WhitePrivilege.com, which has already become a great resource on the eponymous subject, so keep your eye on it. I'll stick a link in flux where you can be sure to find it.

Did you hear about the

Did you hear about the Trash Bloc? Some anti-authoritarians are planning a bloc for the weekend of the protests that would go around Washington neighborhoods and pick up trash. I think we can all get down with that.

Key Anti-Capitalist Convergence (Sep 29 and 30, Washington, DC) links:

Great Buildings Online "documents a

Great Buildings Online "documents a thousand buildings and hundreds of leading architects, with 3D models, photographic images and architectural drawings, commentaries, bibliographies, web links, and more, for famous designers and structures of all kinds."

August 19, 2001

Good reading in the Sunday

Good reading in the Sunday Post (I got my fingers inky over coffee so you don't have to):

Also, never got around to posting this last week: "Velma Rules. Jinkies!"

Variety editor Peter Bart is

Variety editor Peter Bart is out of work. Here's why.

originally posted by xowie

Lesbian fans invisible to WNBA,

Lesbian fans invisible to WNBA, except in Girl Bar.

originally posted by xowie

August 18, 2001

The epic at Milk Hill,

The epic at Milk Hill, and other great circles of 2001.

originally posted by xowie

washingtonpost.com: Route 1

washingtonpost.com: Route 1

I knew that Bob Crane

I knew that Bob Crane of "Hogan's Heroes" was murdered in 1978, and I knew that it had later come out that he was very involved with pornography, and liked to film himself and friends. (It's likely the murder weapon was the tripod from his video camera.) But now Crane's son has set up a Web site where people can pay to see Crane's nude photos and sex videos. Dude, this is just wrong. He was your dad. Have some respect.
Visit Alt-log for the link (scroll to July 21). Disclaimer: I haven't followed it myself.

August 17, 2001

Swimmingholes.org details over 400 natural

Swimmingholes.org details over 400 natural swimming spots in twenty states in the Eastern U.S. and a few in the West.

It's a great film but

It's a great film but bloody, a body is shredded and suchlike, and not quite what he wanted to see, poor fellow.
Guardian - Vidal praises Oklahoma bomber for heroic aims. Apparently the last thing McVeigh did before he was martyred/murdered was watch Fargo. In any case, Vidal has a brave and provocative perspective on McVeigh's story.

Lesbian Girl Scouts. Cookies. Uniforms.

Lesbian Girl Scouts. Cookies. Uniforms.

originally posted by xowie

I thought I was the

I thought I was the quickest the quickest the quickest mind alive and the quickest with words but words cannot catch up with these changes, these changes are beyond words, beyond words, beyond words. While I repeated these words I felt the waves of pleasure like those of the most acute pleasure of lovemaking . . . I felt the impossibility to tell the secret of life because the secret of life was metamorphosis, transmutation, and it happened too quickly, too subtly.
Anaïs Nin, on the acid she got from local hero Oscar Janiger, who just died at age 83.

originally posted by xowie

TUFFest MEN ever

TUFFest MEN ever

originally posted by dm8k

August 10th, 2001: A

August 10th, 2001: A day that will live in Skin-famy

First of all, this has nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, the actual event or the silly movie of the same name. August 10th, 2001 is the date that no less than three major Hollywood films were released, each featuring significant dermatological conditions. Perhaps the politicians are right, maybe the film industry does have skin on its mind.
www.skinema.com explores celebrity skin in all its defects and glories. I spent most of "The Others" marvelling at Nicole Kidman's blue, blue eyes and her pale, pale skin. Clearly, I'm not the only one.

August 15, 2001

One acre of cannabis hemp

One acre of cannabis hemp produces as much paper as 4.1 acres of cut-down trees.

originally posted by xowie

"I thought to myself:

"I thought to myself: What am I going to do that's going to make a difference?" That night, O'Keefe dreamed he was surrounded by singing birds. They were hidden by leaves, but their songs swirled through his head, a glorious dawn chorus. Then, in his dream, he awoke to eerie quiet.
The sustainable-coffee movement is born. Make mine shade and fair-trade.

originally posted by xowie

The single biggest influence on

The single biggest influence on most of these artists, according to the acknowledgments in their liner notes, is . . . Actually, let's see if you can guess. Who do you think is at least partially responsible for such songs as "Where the Party At," "Bootylicious," "Bad Boy for Life," "American Psycho," "The Girlies," and "Pimp Like Me"? Who do you think inspired the rapper on D12's "Ain't Nuttin' but Music" ("Independent women in the house / Show us your tits and shut your motherfucking mouth"—a chummy reference, presumably, to Destiny's Child, whose hit "Independent Women Part 1" opens their "Survivor" album)? Give up? O.K. You may well be surprised to learn that the very first person thanked in the liner notes of the CDs containing these gems is the Almighty Himself. He gets thanked on seven of the ten albums, by sixteen different contributing artists. Brian, of Jagged Edge, for instance, declares that without God "we wouldn't be here doing this third album"—incontrovertible, according to much creationist theory, but a somewhat reductive view of the universe nonetheless. Let's face it, without God the first two albums would have been pretty tricky, too. In a similar spirit, Michelle, of Destiny's Child, is moved to point out to the Creator, "There is no one like you!!," which is, on reflection, one of the tidiest ontological arguments you could wish to hear.
Nick Hornby walks you through the Billboard Top Ten. After reading this, marvel at the train wreck that is the New Yorker's idea of web page design. (Via Robot Wisdom.)

I think it ought to

I think it ought to be mandatory. I just think it ought to go nationally. . . . That database could be used for many things.
D.C. Plans ID Card for Students (washingtonpost.com). And that's the problem.

Pop-Quiz Question: If it were

Pop-Quiz Question: If it were a military spy plane being held hostage in Genoa, instead of four young pacifists, would the US government then feel the need get involved? The question, of course, is rhetorical; we all know the answer. Home of the brave, indeed.
19 members of the PublixTheatreCaravan, plus American Susanna Thomas, have finally been released.

originally posted by xowie

The ACME Mapper puts a

The ACME Mapper puts a snappy interface onto Microsoft's Terraserver database of satellite images of the surface of the Earth.

August 14, 2001

The purpose of the terror,

The purpose of the terror, economic strangulation and daily humiliation is not obscure. It was articulated in the early years of the occupation by Moshe Dayan, one of the Israeli leaders most sympathetic to the Palestinian plight, who advised his Labor Party associates to tell the Palestinians that "you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave."
commondreams.org - Neocolonial Invitation to a Tribal War by Noam Chomsky.

Ecstasy, science and politics.

Ecstasy, science and politics.

originally posted by xowie

Witness the NYT act baffled

Witness the NYT act baffled at the simplicity of The White Stripes. Pomo or no, I'm rocking out to White Blood Cells.

There is much to be

There is much to be found in the grandly named Online Journal and Multimedia Companion to the Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, including lots of typos and ugly typefaces. But also a lot of excerpts from critical works on a huge range of poets, from renowned to obscure, and even some of the poems themselves (or at least links to them).

Punk Rock Guide to Washington

Punk Rock Guide to Washington DC.

A dead man fell from

A dead man fell from the sky and landed in the parking lot of a Long Island lobster pound, narrowly missing a customer. The man, who wore no shoes, apparently stowed away on an airplane that took off in London, and hid among the landing gear, where temperatures at cruising altitude can reach minus 80 degrees centigrade and oxygen becomes quite scarce. After hiring a plane in order to have sex in mid flight, an elderly couple attempted to hijack the plane and force the pilot to fly to Cuba. In the ensuing scuffle the plane crashed into the sea near Florida and the couple drowned. In Boston, at a rehabilitation center for people with brain damage, one patient grabbed the eyeball of another patient and pulled it out.
Sometimes reading the Harper's Weekly Review is like reading a concentrate of Edward Gorey.

August 13, 2001

Has it been 30 days

Has it been 30 days already? I would buy their cheap-ass camera if it would make the ads go away. This seems to be helping a bit.

originally posted by xowie

Q: "Mr. Allen, you met

Q: "Mr. Allen, you met wife Soon-Yi when she was so young. After all these years, what keeps you two going?"
Someone nasty's at City of Angles. (Spotted by LAX.)

originally posted by xowie

Coltan is abundant and

Coltan is abundant and relatively easy to find in eastern Congo. All a miner has to do is chop down great swaths of the forest, gouge S.U.V.-size holes in streambeds with pick and shovel and spend days up to his crotch in muck while sloshing water around in a plastic washtub until coltan settles to the bottom.

Coltan --> Tantalum Powder --> Capacitors
Africa does not exist to us.

originally posted by tragicM

The Lannon Foundation's Web site

The Lannon Foundation's Web site has an impressive collection of audio files of poets, authors and critics reading and discussing their work. Included are William Gass, Jorie Graham, Lucille Clifton, Wallace Shawn, Jamaica Kincaid, Robert Hass and Czeslaw Milosz. And there's even a conversation between Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry.

There is an important

There is an important rule at work in this movie: screenwriters cannot write characters smarter than themselves. A corollary is: lazy screenwriters don't even try. They just populate their worlds with props and shills who can push forward formulaic plots. A final corollary is: bad white screenwriters are deathly afraid to write an intelligent black man.
The Filthy Critic skewers Rush Hour 2 and everyone involved with it at every level. I saw this movie with my cousin, and I couldn't believe the extent to which it relied on blatantly racist jokes and sterotypes, much much moreso than Rush Hour 1 did.

Northern Fairfax Stopped by Big

Northern Fairfax Stopped by Big Arm - This may be the most widely reported use of "the arm" yet.

P&G is targeting people who

P&G is targeting people who have already tried some sort of makeshift wet toilet paper, mostly women from families with young children. Data shows that 60 percent of U.S. consumers have at some point made their own form of the product, moistening a sheet of regular toilet paper or putting together some combination of toilet paper and wet wipe. Twenty-five percent are regular users.
Reuters - P&G Rolls Out New Ad for Wet Toilet Paper. Makeshift wet toilet paper can be tricky business I would imagine.

August 12, 2001

Condit is doomed.

Condit is doomed.

originally posted by xowie

If Metafilter wasn't on vacation,

If Metafilter wasn't on vacation, there would be a huge thread about this voicemail for the homeless story. (c/o guess who).

originally posted by xowie

Toker Aaron Sorkin punks out,

Toker Aaron Sorkin punks out, Bartlett-style. Perhaps he can begin to redeem himself by writing activist Woody Harrelson into an episode or two of "The West Wing" this season.

Va-voom poet Liz Belile headlines

Va-voom poet Liz Belile headlines Gynomite, a reading series featuring "hard-core slut/dyke/whore/hussy/het/vamp PORN with an occasional political edge".

originally posted by xowie

This Blackness may be used

This Blackness may be used for making jokes about black people and/or laughing at black humor comfortably. This Blackness may be used for instilling fear. This Blackness may be used to augment the blackness of those already black, especially for purposes of playing 'blacker-than-thou'. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while seeking employment, shopping, or writing a personal check. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used while voting in the United States or Florida. The Seller does not recommend that this Blackness be used in the process of making or selling 'serious' art.
At last check, Keith Obadike's Blackness was worth about $150 on eBay. I wonder how much I could get for my white privilege?

csmonitor.com - One man's trash

csmonitor.com - One man's trash is another's gold. Dumpster diving: "like Christmas every day."

August 11, 2001

Perseids tonight.

Perseids tonight.

originally posted by xowie

"I know what I believe.

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe -- I believe what I believe is right."
There are times that I love this man. He just fractured the pro-life movement, he still talks like Yogi Berra, and, well, Jenna.

originally posted by xowie

The World Bank and the

The World Bank and the IMF said in a statement late yesterday that their annual meetings would be "consolidated" to two days -- the weekend of Sept. 29 and 30. That is a drastic reduction from the original schedule, under which the meetings would have begun a couple of days before that weekend and run through Oct. 3. Protesters had planned actions from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4.
washingtonpost.com - IMF Trims D.C. Session to 2 Days.

Welcome to allmylifeforsale. Over the

Welcome to allmylifeforsale. Over the last six months I have gone through the process of listing everything I own on Ebay. Feel free to look around and sort through where all of my stuff has gone. The last item that I will list will be the domain name for allmylifeforsale on August 1st, 2001. When that is finally sold feel free to join me on my road-trip to visit all of my stuff.

Paint the Moon: It won't

Paint the Moon: It won't work.

The more cuttings you accumulate,

The more cuttings you accumulate, the more you will be tempted to offload them on your readers, like the celebrated Scottish leader writer who, returning late from a liquid lunch with a deadline to meet, clipeed the main leader from the Times, scrawled "What does the Times mean by this?" above it and sent it down to the printer. Packing the column with other people's quotes is the columnar equivalent of watering the milk. Assimilate the material and then discard it.
Having something to write about is not the same as having something to say.
plasticbag.org shares Keith Waterhouse on writing columns.

In Thin Blue Lies: Police

In Thin Blue Lies: Police and the Art of Propaganda, Tim Wise drops a lesson on how the public is persuaded to accept racist policing. What are you afraid of?

August 10, 2001

Did you always have

Did you always have this fire in your belly?
When I was 10 years old, I was asked to leave the Vatican. I was raised in a Dominican Catholic convent. I was asked to leave the Vatican because I asked the question, 'I thought we didn't believe in idolatry,' when I walked in and saw all the stuffed embalmed popes. When they ask you to leave the Vatican, you're pretty much on the express train to hell.
Stop giggling. Susan Powter is the shit, really.

Face it, fanboys -

Face it, fanboys - the emotional gravitas and melodrama that once surged through the Star Wars series (in the form of The Empire Strikes Back, at least) is gone forever. With the pot-bellied, corporate-minded Lucas running the show, it's been turned into a total kiddie franchise. Look for satisfaction elsewhere. The Empire has won.
Jeffrey Wells is still my favorite Internet movie critic.

Mind-blowing restored photos of the

Mind-blowing restored photos of the 1964/65 World's Fair.

originally posted by xowie

A field guide to the

A field guide to the L.A. River.

originally posted by xowie

I think I have said

I think I have said this before, but [ b r o o k l y n k i d ] is what New York looks like. Am I right?

Dangerous agitprop.Salon.com - No laughing

Dangerous agitprop.
Salon.com - No laughing matter. Fantagraphics owner Gary Groth on Scott McCloud's Reinventing Comics in Salon's look at online comics.

The game becomes a wild

The game becomes a wild goose chase across the Net as you receive phone calls, faxes, e-mails and instant messages from a variety of Anim-X staffers and mysterious informers, directing you to research any number of strange alien conspiracies and nefarious government activities.
Salon.com - Paranoia for fun and profit.

People who don't live here

People who don't live here can't understand our realities. You take a couple in Europe or in the United States. They have one or two children, and they can't understand why people traffic in children. But when you live here, you understand right away.
nytimes.com - The Bondage of Poverty That Produces Chocolate.

But White House spokesman Ari

But White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was adamant today when asked whether the president would ask Americans to stop using so much energy. "That's a big 'no,'" Fleischer said. "The president believes that it's an American way of life, that it should be the goal of policy-makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one." The president, he said, considers Americans' heavy use of energy a "reflection of the strength of our economy, of the way of life that the American people have come to enjoy."

August 9, 2001

The mainstream media finally has

The mainstream media finally has broken its silence on the excessive police repression at the G8 summit in Genoa. Many European nations have spoken out against the violence rained down upon the demonstrators, but not the U.S.

originally posted by zagg

But too often when

But too often when I look at what builders and developers are doing, we're not talking about architecture any longer. We're talking about capitalism at its most obscene. The public has bought into the mediocrity and insipid attitude of manufactured and spec houses, and has given up any hope of creating homes with spirit. Real architecture does cost somewhat more. But most homes in America are built with false façades that try to pass themselves as architecture.
Brian Libby interviews "architect for the poor" Samuel Mockbee.

Everyone should know about the

Everyone should know about the Charleston 5.

Kenneth Riley is going to be in NYC twice in coming weeks. There's going to be a teach-in/rally August 23 with a site still TBD. He's also been asked to lead the Labor Day parade this year.

originally posted by zagg

Black August is always a

Black August is always a great show. It's coming up on Sunday. If you're in The City, I can't recommend it any more highly.

Someone (me) has actually posted

Someone (me) has actually posted something to rW books, our co-branding initiative and red-headed stepchild.

Boy, what a sad state

Boy, what a sad state this page is in. Whose fault is this? DJ, get to work! Take this mop and bucket of soapy water!

Okay, not fair to blame him. But look, we can talk about a book: Bobos in Paradise, by David Brooks, which I just finished last night. I forced myself to finish it. I wasn't sure I wanted to. Has anyone else read it? Overall, I thought it was well-written and amusing at times, but "deeply problematic." (See, putting a cliche in quotes makes it OK!) The problem was that he was totally excusing Bobos for their materialism and shallowness, because:

  • gosh they're just so cute and silly
  • they spend lots of money
  • Brooks is one

I have some Bobo tendencies, too, I admit. I shop at Fresh Fields every now and then when my local co-op is not convenient and I need some organic vegetable bouillon without MSG. And I am resolutely secular but still entertain some "spiritual" ideas now and then. But Brooks' book, despite its celebratory tone, actually made me want to be far less Bobo. As little as possible.

Huge numbers of same-sex couples

Huge numbers of same-sex couples were counted in Census 2000.

originally posted by xowie

Controversial Black Panther t-shirts.

Controversial Black Panther t-shirts.

originally posted by xowie

August 8, 2001

The lower leaves of

The lower leaves of the trees
Tangle the sunset in dusk.
Awe spreads with
The summer twilight.
From the favorite poem project. (The Tanka form is interesting; I like reading this Yahoo group.)

originally posted by xowie

Jack, or "Ti Jean" ("Little

Jack, or "Ti Jean" ("Little John"), as he was known, was born on March 12, 1922, at 9 Lupine Road, in the upstairs apartment of a shabby duplex building in a Lowell slum called Centralville. He was delivered at home by Dr. Victor Rochette, whom Kerouac later described as a lonely, desolate man, unwanted and unloved. According to a neighbor, Reginald Ouellette, Dr. Rochette's wife had died in childbirth and he'd never remarried, which struck Jack, who grew up in a close-knit family that spoiled him, as tragic. In a December 28, 1950, letter to Cassady, Kerouac disclosed that his birth occurred at 5 P.M. and that Gabrielle later gave him a blow-by-blow account of his delivery. As Jack was born, his mother could hear Pawtucket Falls a mile away, crashing into the Merrimack River, heavy with spring-thaw snow and ice. Her lurid description of the way he was forcibly dragged from her body, and then yelled at and spanked into life, led to his belief that birth was the beginning of the tragedy of consciousness, the dance of life that ends in death. The processes of nature, which most writers extol as symbols of renewal and eternal life, were always seen darkly by Kerouac.
Read from chapter one of the recent biography Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac by Eliis Amburn.

The Washington Monthly - Canada's

The Washington Monthly - Canada's Burning: Media myths about universal health coverage

I don't fully understand the

I don't fully understand the 'design anarchy' issue of Adbusters, but the stories are awful nice to look at.

originally posted by xowie

Lots of good reads in

Lots of good reads in the Washington Post lately:

Did I miss anything?

I've been careful to teach

I've been careful to teach my daughter critical thinking in my one-woman "mind over media" campaign. It started with fairytales: "What's make-believe?" and "How would you like to stay home and cook for all those dwarves?" Later we moved on to the news: "Why was it presented in this way?" and "What's a stereotype?" But if you think I was reading "Winnie the Pooh" to my toddler when I thought up these questions, think again. I was relaxing with a cup of coffee and a book on feminist theory while Maia was riveted to PBS.
hipMama: In Defense of Television

Coming out of a sixth

hicksville cover

Coming out of a sixth reading, several months distant from my first encounter, I still shake my head in sadness, knowing that one of the best-crafted comics of the last twenty years - maybe of the history of the medium - can't be placed in the hands of those who need so badly to know what comics can do.
Ninth Art's review of Dylan Horrocks' HICKSVILLE accurately appraises the palpability of the author's love for the medium, but gives short shrift to his ability to convey that love to those unfamiliar with comics.

It could be shipping right

It could be shipping right now.
Is Bob Cringely talking about viruses, or about the parasite becoming the host?

I've had some exciting and

I've had some exciting and promising ideas on a new project. The good news is that what I see in my mind's eye is incredible, and I'm extremely confident about my instincts. The new ideas are out-of-the-box in the way G-Force was when it first appeared. The not-so-good news is that the algorithms require a system at least a hundred times faster than what's in existence today to get decent frame rates.
So says G-Force (a.k.a. iTunes visualization) creator Andy O'Meara. This guy sees sound the way some people taste colors. Get him an honorable discharge and his MacArthur 'genius' grant, already!

Virginia Commission for the Arts

Virginia Commission for the Arts Artist Fellowships exists "to encourage significant development in the work of individual artists and in the medium in which they work, to support the realization of specific artistic ideas, and to recognize the central contribution professional artists make to the creative environment of Virginia." Grants are available to organizations, and Fellowships to individual artists in the literary or visual arts. What, no digital?

I've been using Google in

I've been using Google in Esperanto for a while now but I can't figure out how to link to it. I'd have to delete my cookies to be sure, but try this Google preferences link.

August 7, 2001

The purpose of global poverty

The purpose of global poverty is to create a vast pool of cheap labor that the transnational corporations can exploit. Many Asian and African countries, along with those of East and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, compete with one another as to who can provide the cheapest labor. Corporations shut down their plants in the U.S. and Europe and set up shop in some part of the world where they can pay their workers 50 cents an hour. Workers here and in Europe, terrified of being thrown out of work, respond by settling for low pay.

This state of affairs did not come about by accident. Following the end of the Cold War, governments of the West pursued a ruthless campaign to facilitate the work of the corporations. Countries would borrow money from the Western banks. Inevitably, they would get into trouble with repayment whether because of the collapse of prices of primary commodities or the sharp rise in the value of the dollar or the devastation of their currencies following a speculative attack. Then the IMF -- effectively a U.S. government agency representing the interests of the West's bankers and creditors -- would offer to lend money, but with "conditionalities." Countries would have to pledge to follow the courses set by the IMF: cuts in public spending, currency devaluation, free trade, price liberalization, deregulation and privatization. Such programs implied wholesale political transformation. What the people themselves wanted was of no importance.
Just in case you weren't quite sure what role the International Monetary Fund plays in keeping us fat and happy.

Of the little more than

Of the little more than 1% of clones that make it to term, most have severe abnormalities: malfunctioning livers, abnormal blood vessels and heart problems, underdeveloped lungs, diabetes, immune system deficiencies and possibly hidden genetic defects. Several cow clones had head deformities - none survived very long. It would be fair to say that experts are amazed in the few instances that cloning has worked.
BBC News - Cloning humans: Can it really be done? I do not understand the other arguments against cloning humans, but I understand this one.

Once in the studio, we

Once in the studio, we had to wait around for almost two hours before the show began. Throughout that time everybody was talking about what dead relative of theirs might pop up. Remember that all this occurred under microphones and with cameras already set up.
Is he playing hot or cold with the bereaved or does Crossing Over's John Edward really see dead people?

August 6, 2001

Dmitry makes bail.

Dmitry makes bail.

originally posted by xowie

Well, it seems like Nader's

Well, it seems like Nader's disappearing act is over. He's started something called Democracy Rising and they had a rally in Portland that the New York Times wrote a really snide story about.

originally posted by zagg

I can't believe no one

I can't believe no one told me that Camper Van Beethoven got back together six months ago and played some shows. Now I'm having to post an article from January about it. Of course, no one's posted here since Friday, so I don't feel too bad about it.

4 words, and a "Planet

4 words, and a "Planet of the Apes" screen test that will have you on the floor.

August 3, 2001

When you finish reading this

When you finish reading this paragraph, do not move your head, and just let your eyes wander around and count how many logos or ads you can see without moving a muscle. Notice the logo that's no doubt stuck on your computer monitor. Look at your mouse, your mousepad, your modem, any pens that may be around, books, yo-yos, the odd do-dads you may have on top of your monitor.

If you haven't started trying to cut down on your advertising memes, I wouldn't be surprised if you found around 15 logos trying to sell themselves to you. I suggest you try this experiement in a couple rooms in your home, perhaps while you're taking a shower, or first thing in the morning when you've woken up, but not gotten out of bed yet. If you're a run-of-the-mill American, I think you'll be shocked to see how many logos are creeping their way into your subconscious as you lounge around the house.
Free your mind with the pwan's Personal Unbranding Resources.

Tim Robbins on voting for

Tim Robbins on voting for Nader.

originally posted by xowie

Motherjones reconsiders anarchy in a

Motherjones reconsiders anarchy in a brief column loaded with links including:

August 2, 2001

washingtonpost.com: On a Small Farm

washingtonpost.com: On a Small Farm in Maryland Botanist James Duke Champions The Healing Power of Plants

Put your faith in the

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
From Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry.

I'm on the plane back

I'm on the plane back from my week vacation in the Northwest, which was much needed and greatly enjoyed thanks to my hosts:

Ben and Irene.

On Thursday night, we had tickets to the Portland Premiere Screening of the vastly underrated Planet of the Apes. I love premiere screenings, when I'm lucky enough to go. The prints are always clean and crisp, the sound loud and clear and the audience appreciative and quiet. When a movie like this comes out and gets universally panned, it makes me wonder about the usefulness of movie critics in their current manifestation. As Jeffrey Wells writes: "Lay off, it's a monkey movie!" Mark Wahlberg lands among the Apes, runs from the Apes, and battles the Apes. What did you expect?? It's not quite as entertaining and politically relevant as the original, but it's close. I won't ruin the ending for those of you damn dirty humans who have yet to see it, but I will say that it makes perfect sense when you think about it, and if you want to know how just email me.

In Seattle, I saw the

In Seattle, I saw the abridged version of Best of Show, which was also excellent. I've recently been lamenting the fact that even my favorite directors and actors occasionally make crap, but is it possible that Parker Posey can do no wrong?

Speaking of movies - Larry

Speaking of movies - Larry Clark, the director of Kids, has a new movie out called Bully and it's generating quite a buzz. I picked up a copy of Reel To Real at Elliot Bay books before my train ride from Seattle to Portland, so bell hooks could remind me why I hated Kids so much:

All the usual race, sex and class hierarchies remain intact in the fictive teenage world Clark creates in Kids. Even when Ruby and Jennie are tested to see if they are HIV positive, their nurses are racially matched. Ruby has a dark-skinned nurse who is as nonchalant about the issue as is the teenager. Jennie has a white nurse who behaves as though she is both bored and indifferent. The only adults we see in the film are women. They are either hardened by experience (i.e., the nurses) or easily duped (i.e., Telly's mother). They are all ineffectual, unable to make a meaningful, constructive inervention in the lives of the teenagers they encounter.


Since the film in no way indicts patriarchal parenting, it can act in complicity with those cultural forces that view the dilemmas in teenage life as solely a function of the absence of coercive control and authority. Moreover, only individuals who have absolutely no awareness of the culture of inner-city poor and often homeless teenagers can be awed and shocked by this film. Given the persistence of class elitism, of racism and white supremacy, of fierce antifeminist backlash, and the desire on the part of the right to bring back rigid controls tht will regulate desire, pleasure, sexuality, racial mixing, there is certainly a need for films that offer constructive insights, progressive alternatives. Kids is not that film.

The script is so narrowly focused on its concerns that it sheds no light on the complex reality of urban teenagers. Ironically, despite the film's transgressive allure, it will undoubtedly be used as evidence to support the notion that there must be greater repression, more surveillance, a return to benevolent, good old-fashioned white supremacist capitalist patriarchal values to keep teenagers on the "Right" path. Subversion does not happen simply because images are transgressive. Kids is the escapist fantasy of an adult imagination.

I highly recommend reading the entire essay, entitled: "kids: transgressive subject matter - reactionary film." When I saw Kids it was at Kettering Hall at Oberlin. Ben (aforementioned host) was projecting it (as was his duty at the time) and the auditorium was full of transplanted New Yorkers who were hoping to catch glimpses of their friends or even themselves, since the movie drew it's cast mainly from "real" kids they pulled off the streets of New York.

The movie benefits from the desire of the audience to live vicariously through those "real" main characters, but the authenticity of the characters is mediated by the script and the director, whose age removed him from the reality of being a kid by at least thirty years. The fashion and dialogue was appropriated from African American youth culture with some extreme misogyny thrown in, but the central characters were white and predominantly male.

Please think about this before you spend your money on Bully.

Portland has exceptional food for

Portland has exceptional food for a city it's size. Ben and Irene were great sports about dragging me around to all the restaraunts I enjoyed over my 2+ years there, as well as showing me some new ones. Here's the line up:

  • Wednesday Lunch: Taste of India - the famous "Indian Cart," a little oily, but very tasty and cheap
  • Wednesday Dinner: Tess's Pizza Housewarming Party - we made some Pizza and played some foosball
  • Thursday Lunch: Swagat - Portland's best Indian buffet, I restrained myself from going back for the third portion, which always kills me later
  • Thursday Dinner: Pambiche - a new Cuban restaraunt. I was slightly jet lagged and crabby for no good reason at this dinner, but the food was great
  • Friday Breakfast: Chez What - this breakfast was courtesy of our friends from feedback and the aaww, who were in town for the night. Jen Hazzard wasn't there, but the tofu scramble is still delicious
  • Friday Lunch: Thai Peacock - the best Thai restaraunt downtown
  • Friday Dinner: Pipfest Dance Performance - coffee & juice
  • Saturday Lunch: Wedding - Wild Rice & Cherry Tomatoes
  • Saturday Dinner: La Bonita Vegan Tomales
  • Saturday Dinner #2: Queen of Sheba - One of two good Ethopian restaraunts on MLK Ave.
  • Sunday Breakfast: Legin - very satisfying Dim Sum, albeit low on the vegetarian options
  • Sunday Dinner: Pasta, Salad, Bread, Bean Soup - Sunday dinner, my favorite Portland tradition
  • Monday Dinner: Doong Kong Lau (Seattle) - my favorite Chinese restaraunt in Seattle.
  • Tuesday Lunch: Cafe Huey (Seattle)
  • Tuesday Dinner: Nicholas's
  • Wednesday Breakfast: J&M Cafe
  • Wednesday Lunch: Lemongrass - My favorite restaraunt in ... the world? The owner (Shelly) was In Thailand for the month of July, so I snuck in lunch on August 1st before my plane left. As I approached the restaraunt, Shelly looked up from spraying her garden and said: "Welcome back! Let's Eat!"

I finished the book Word

I finished the book Word Freaks, which made me want to drop out of life and become a full time Scrabble player. As I was reading the book I was tempted to stop and post excerpts to rW every 4-5 pages, but thought better. It also strengthened my resolve on the validity of using less-than-usual words (such as two letter words and "caziques"), even in the most casual of games.

We can take the story

We can take the story apart, we can find out how the bits fit, how one part of the pattern responds to the other; but you have to have in you some cell, some gene, some germ that will vibrate in answer to sensations that you can neither define, nor dismiss. Beauty plus pity—that is the closest we can get to a definition of art. Where there is beauty there is pity for the simple reason that beauty must die: beauty always dies, the manner dies with the matter, the world dies with the individual. If Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" strikes anyone as something more than an entomological fantasy, then I congratulate him on having joined the ranks of good and great readers.
From Nabokov's analysis of Kafka's "Metamorphosis." Thanks to metascene.