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June 30, 2003

"brochures that looked like club med"

For the past few years, gullible American parents have unknowingly sent their "hard-to-handle" children to expensive offshore "behavior modification centers" where they are beaten and tortured. Discussion questions: How can this be legal? Why are rich people so fucking stupid?

originally posted by xowie

pic courtesy everlasting blort

originally posted by xowie

the home horror movie

Someone said this question is for both Jesse and for the co-producer and asked, ''What is the movie about?'' And we both looked at each other and were both equally kind of dumbfounded. There's no real easy way to put in one sentence what this movie's about.

New York Times: Questions for Jesse Friedman, of Capturing the Friedmans.

June 29, 2003

Web Comics Reviewed

"Instead of working, I spent the better part of a week reading over 15 different web comics in their entirety. What follows are the fruits of my labors, with a link to the comic, a rating (out of 5 stars), and a short review and description of the comic. Before we get to The List, we'll take a brief look at the history of web comics, and provide some tips on finding those rare web comics that are actually good." Web Comics Reviewed, Kuro5hin.org.

June 28, 2003

audio interview with William Burroughs

"William Burroughs, author of Junkie, Naked Lunch, and Cities of the Red Night, talks to Don Swaim in 1984 about his drug addiction, living in Tangiers, working as an exterminator, and his memories of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg." [link]

June 27, 2003

things people say

I like to imagine it was the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence and Gardner v. Texas that drove Lester Maddox and Strom Thurmond over the edge.
Nicest of the Damned.

not to the east, west, south or north

The mainstream press, after an astonishing two years of cowardice, is belatedly drawing attention to the unconscionable level of administrative deception. They seem surprised to find that when it comes to Iraq, the Bush administration isn't prone to the occasional lie of expediency but, in fact, almost never told the truth.
Christopher Scheer, 10 Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq.

originally posted by xowie

June 26, 2003

The year is 2028. Racism is dead.

According to a National Opinion Research Council poll taken in 2000, about half of whites in the United States believe that racial inequality is caused by a "lack of motivation and willpower on the part of blacks."

That just restates a centuries-old racial stereotype: that blacks are lazy and not too bright. An additional 25 years won't make it go away, either.

"The problem is not race; it's white supremacy," Paul Butler, a professor of law at George Washington University, said in an interview. "When most white people evolve to the point where race does not matter to them, we can start talking about ending affirmative action."
Washington Post: Courtland Milloy: A Ruling Not Entirely Of This Reality.

chin chin, denis

Although a non-political figure in public, Sir Denis was thought to harbour hard-right views. In 1984 he told the Swiss president at a dinner: "Keep Switzerland white."

He married the then Margaret Hilda Roberts in 1951 after having seen wartime service, and went on to become a director of Castrol.
And then all hell broke loose. And now he's dead.
Lord Heseltine told BBC News 24: "I saw enough of him to make a judgment about his incredible loyalty and strength. What I think of above all else is that he was just a very human man."
I remember seeing that very loyal and strong man on TV, in the background, when the IRA bombed the Grand Hotel in Brighton at the Tory Party Conference in 1984. While Thatcher was standing in the middle of the rubble, glaring into the camera with her lazer eyes and going on about how she would not be deterred, he was trying to stay upright, swaying around, pissed as a newt. Cheers, Den.

June 25, 2003

terror in a bottle

There is a certain xenophobia operating within the United States, and this is just a part of it.
Decanter.com: US anti-terrorism law may hit wine trade hard.


Tenthly, one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.

On George Orwell's 100th birthday we present his 11-point set of instructions for brewing tea. He recommends using water at its absolute hottest, which clashes with Kenneth Koch's advice in his wonderful poem "Some General Instructions" (sadly, not online) to use water off the boil so as to draw properly the flavor of the tea. I believe temperature depends on the type of tea you're using.

Last night a mysterious force, perhaps feline in nature, knocked my Bodum tea press off the kitchen counter and onto the floor, where it shattered, awakening me. Cursing profusely, I swept it up and returned to bed. If that frickin' Star Wars kid can get an iPod, surely I can collect for a new tea press--but I'm not doing kung fu on tape to get it.

June 24, 2003


Counting the Human Cost: A Survey of Projects Counting Civilians Killed by the War in Iraq.

originally posted by zagg

macfilter is coming soon we promise

Regardless of how Apple corporate wants to portray its products, the Mac isn't a machine for the masses any more than red wine is the preferred beverage at baseball games. To be honest, the masses don't have the capability to appreciate the elegance and depth of this platform. In reality, the Mac is a computer for developers, geeks, power users, risk takers, visionaries, lunatics, scientists, musicians, photographers, educators, and entrepreneurs. When you consider that half of the PC world is still running Windows 95 and 98, you understand why Mac OS X is often overlooked. Many of these people think that an operating system is some type of medical procedure.
From Mac OS X Dev Center: Developer Notes from WWDC 2003 and programming with ODBC.

if rW used adsense

What others think of us: Aaron Swartz has set up a script to show you what ads google would put on your blog, were you to invest in adsense. Here's what google thinks of rW. What do you think is a blog entry? Sam Ruby has set up a wiki entry and invited the community to participate.

June 23, 2003

love yer brain

You could call this a creativity-amplifying machine. It's a way of altering our states of mind without taking drugs like mescaline. You can make people see the raw data of the world as it is. As it is actually represented in the unconscious mind of all of us.

New York Times Magazine: Savant for a Day.

June 22, 2003

a functioning sunset strip relic

"She crawls her way or stumbles or whatever to the fridge," Pauly said. "She doesn't want anyone there. I mean, last night I finally had a conversation with her, and she finally agreed last night, because she's mentally fine, even though she's Mitzi Shore — I mean Mitzi Shore's a little nuts, everyone that knows her knows that — but mentally she's actually sharp, when she's on, she's still that same person. So legally they can't take her away."
LAT: Echo of laughter.

originally posted by xowie

June 19, 2003

i thought being brown was the new black

The Guardian asks, is gay the new black?

that's me

"I have certainly treated patients who experience significant, acute symptoms even when entering a room where a cat had been prowling around, sometimes days or weeks previously. In that sense, cat allergen in cinemas could pose a health risk to some patients."
Cinemas may trigger asthma. [via jean]

Asian Pride Porn

Since you've watched and rewatched every film in The Media That Matters Film Festival, I have one more to offer you. Asian Pride Porn is a "satiric short," directed by Greg Pak and starring David Henry Hwang, Tony award winning writer of M. Butterfly.

Remembering the Rosenbergs

"This death sentence is not surprising. It had to be. There had to be a Rosenberg case because there had to be an intensification of the hysteria in America to make the Korean War acceptable to the American people. There had to be hysteria and a fear sent through America in order to get increased war budgets. And there had to be a dagger thrust in the heart of the left to tell them that you are no longer gonna give five years for a Smith Act prosecution or one year for Contempt of Court, but we’re gonna kill ya!" --Julius Rosenberg in a letter to their lawyer Manny Bloch

History will record that we were victims of the most monstrous frame-up of our country.
— Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, June 1953.

This evening--sometime around 8:45 PM--marks the 50th anniversary of the executions of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, American Communists and alleged atomic spies. The hysteria surrounding their trial and execution helped mark the era of McCarthyism. Replace anti-Communism with racism against Muslims and Arabs and calls to quell dissent. Substitute McCarthyism and the McCarran Internal Security Act for PATRIOT I and Ashcroft wet dream PATRIOT II. That's why the story of the era and the trial remains relevant.

originally posted by zagg

the crime of dark poetry

"The next morning Dick came to class & in his coat he conseled a machedy," the boy wrote. "When the teacher told him to shut up he whipped it out & cut off her head. When the sub came 2 days later she needed a paperclip so she opened the droor. Ahh she screamed as she found Mrs. C's head in the droor."
LAT: Poetry as Art and Threat.

originally posted by xowie

June 18, 2003

emptiness never sleeps at Clifton’s 6 a.m.

Judith Lewis hangs with the world’s next rock-girl idol, Brody Armstrong of the Distillers.

originally posted by xowie

"With a name like Smucker's, I should have known that they'd be f--kers.."

Elliott of Elliott's Amazing Juices dishes the dirt on his competitors in the beverage business.

Did you check that?

Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, ‘McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.’

The New York Times’ Lynette Clemetson revealed her comments went even further over the edge: ‘Ms. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.’

That’s loony, all right. As an editor of the highly respected Atlanta Journal Constitution told NPR, McKinney’s ‘practically accused the President of murder!’

Problem is, McKinney never said it.

A little gold bird drew attention to the screwing of Cynthia McKinney by old friend Greg Palast.

originally posted by zagg

choice reading from the latest new yorker

you don't know jack

Last August, one of us read Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises." Jake, the narrator of this classic chronicle of the Lost Generation, drinks a "Jack Rose" cocktail while waiting to meet Lady Brett Ashley at a bar in Paris. What was in the drink, and why would this particular character enjoy it? A passing question, to be sure. But, for whatever reason, we both remembered it.

So we decided to taste the Jack Rose, expecting to enjoy about 20 minutes of harmless whimsy. We would drink this cocktail, briefly imagining ourselves in 1920s Paris, and then turn our minds back to our lives in contemporary Washington.

It didn't work out that way.

Two D.C. guys set out in search of a Jack Rose. I'm game to try one if anyone wants to join me. In other cocktail news, I flubbed my first effort at mojitos the other night. Make sure you use extra-fine sugar. Also from the Post food section: cilantro tips.

silver-tongued devil

Because Jews are afraid, and the institutions that should be helping them conquer their ignorance are instead stoking it to further solidify their grasp on Judaism’s future. The darker picture they paint of Judaism’s plight — the further synagogue membership dwindles, the greater Israel’s peril — the more money they raise. Every suicide attack on Israel and each negative report on intermarriage statistics lead to a surge in donations.
Suicide Jews by Douglas Rushkoff.

originally posted by xowie

June 17, 2003

the beauty supply at sin-é

VV: Regulars by Alison M. Rosen.

originally posted by xowie


The BBC is hosting a unique global television debate about America's place in the world with 10 other national broadcasters.

What The World Thinks of America will be broadcast in the UK on BBC Two on Tuesday, 17 June at 2100 BST.

You can also watch the programme from this website.
What The World Thinks Of America. Excellent. Can we all vote in the elections and sit on the boards, too?

Died for a Lie

One reason for your government operating this way could be that the small closed group in the White House sees what they want to see and proceeds from there, even if it is plainly delusional to anybody looking in from outside. The only one who takes on George W. Bush over the weapons is Sen. Bob Graham of Florida. Graham compared Bush to Richard Nixon. He says the Republican closed-door hearings are shameful and a dangerous display of secrecy. Aside from delusion, the other reason for scaring the country about nuclear bombs is lying. There is the lie being told that is false but which the teller has taken to be true. They give the president a speech that is a lie and he gives it. Then there is the lie that tells the opposite of what the teller knows to be true. It leaps out that the reason given to Americans for going into Iraq - to stop them from blowing us up with nuclear weapons - was an outright lie. It was told to America by President George W. Bush. And people died because of it. What kind of a lie and why it was told is something that only a full investigation by Congress, full and on television, can tell the public and tell us who lied and why. And tell the families of these two Marines we lost in Iraq and who stand for all the others who died for a lie.
Does anyone else feel like they are hearing the same news story over and over and over again?

June 16, 2003

time is our total capital

Let's say you're in a crowded cafeteria, and you buy a cup of tea. And as you're about to sit down you see your friend way across the room. So you put the tea down and walk across the room and talk to your friend for a few minutes. Now, coming back to your tea, are you just going to pick it up and drink it? Remember, this is a crowded place and you've just left your tea unattended for several minutes. You've given anybody in that room access to your tea.

Why should your mind be any different?
The Doors of Perception: Why Americans will believe almost anything.

"Pizza Schmizza paid me to hold this sign instead of asking for money."

I love George Bush's revisionist history. The war in Iraq was to wipe out weapons of mass destruction except that it wasn't. Similarly, when Bush was campaigning, he wanted to enact a tax cut because of the federal budget surpluses and this was a way to "give people back their money." Except when the surpluses went away the exact same tax packages magically became "stimulus" packages. The first tax cut and the most recent one are handouts for the rich. And all that is happening while most people are dealing with the brunt of those attacks whether it be through layoffs, rises in health care costs and the loss of benefits and social services. The money to fund the tax cut is coming out of our pockets. In this climate, you've got the fear of losing insurance keeping workers from moving on. Also a study finds most workforce heroes cannot afford to own a home in communities they serve.

Meanwhile, in the state of Washington several points are illustrated in just one story. First we see the Democrats (who we're supposed to rush to elect in 2004 to stop the madness) rolling over once again, this time on agreeing to cut jobless benefits in the state. It's also an illustration of how the ruling class doesn't just function inside the government. And it shows how they intend to get themselves out of this economic crisis: by making the rest of us pay and pay and pay ...

Majority House Democrats acquiesced to business and GOP demands for sweeping cuts in Washington's unemployment benefits last night, and the Legislature wrapped up a special Boeing session and finally concluded work for the year. Gov. Gary Locke is expected to sign the Senate bill, which will substantially cut benefits for thousands of seasonal workers, including some farm and construction laborers. It limits all jobless to 26 weeks of benefits, rather than the current 30-week cap. And it reduces the state's maximum benefit amount.

Lastly, in another example that illustrates the messed up priorities of this sick system, a pizza chain in Portland is feeding the homeless, but only after they act as walking advertisements.

"We dig in trash, but usually, you can't find anything good in the trash," he said. "Just half-eaten sandwiches, cold french fries, crumbs in a bag of chips."

So a slice of hot, fresh pizza dripping with cheese seemed like a good deal -- especially since all it required of him was holding a sign for about 40 minutes. The sign said: "Pizza Schmizza paid me to hold this sign instead of asking for money."

originally posted by zagg

things from everyday life

Moroccan weavers use a multitude of designs. Sometimes they are of things from everyday life, such as a car or an animal. More often, they are geometric shapes -- stars, diamonds or zigzags. Weavers are very clever and imaginative in using patterns to decorate their work.
The Fabric of Moroccan Life: Find the Design.

June 14, 2003

14 bullet wounds

Elderly inhabitants recount that when Che was laid out in the hospital, campesinos who passed by and saw him affirmed that it was the figure of Christ. Today, people living in the area pray to Che and ask for miracles when they have personal problems, if they have lost an animal and, if there is a drought, for rain.
Granma Int., Memories of Che.

originally posted by xowie


Hillary greets everyone with a smile, as her eyes bulge big -- so big that the whites attain 360-degree clearance around her irises. To the people assembled, this expression means different things. To her fans, her eyes say, "I'm one of you--just a gal who likes to stop by Wal-Mart for a Sam's Choice cola and a $1.78 Nacho Chile Pie." To her moderate critics, they say, "Look at me, I'm almost human." To her Freeper-style critics, the eyes say, "Back off, or I'll ice you, just like I iced Vince Foster."
Weekly Standard, Hillary Goes to Wal-Mart.

originally posted by xowie

June 13, 2003

at least that's what it says on my

At 27, in accordance with her faith, Mirza is a virgin, a nondrinker and a nonsmoker. She has never had a boyfriend, as it would be unacceptable to spend significant time with a man outside the bonds of marriage. ''I never make jokes about sex,'' she says. ''Because I've never had it.''
Shazia Mirza is a Big Act in Britain these days.

originally posted by xowie

no rats but the scabs

Myron Krocek, one of the laid-off miners, takes the floor. He has 23 years of service in the salt mine. A big, bearded guy in tattered blue jeans, Krocek looks like an Old Testament prophet. "Cargill's a power-hungry ogre," Krocek says. "We've been illegally replaced by scabs, and Cargill's getting away with it. Mayor Jane sold us out. We've got to stick together and vote this contract down 100 percent. Sometimes you have to draw the line. It's a matter of principle."
Pathetic tale of a busted union, Teamsters Local 436 at the Lake Erie salt mine. [Mefi]

originally posted by xowie

if asylum seekers were fluffy bunnies they'd be treated like humans

In 1983 Bradford became the first local authority to introduce halal meat into school meals. A small local animal rights group led a campaign to reverse the decision. Their numbers swelled as people rallied to the cause, only to leave abruptly once the controversy passed. Letters to the local press, warning "When in Rome", complained about "the systematic torture" of "British animals". It was as if the animals participated in the quality of being British whereas citizens of Asian extraction did not.
Brian Klug on why an appeal to repeal provision for Muslim and Jewish methods of animal slaughter feeds inexorably into a racist discourse of 'Us' (modern, civilised, decent) against 'Them' (backward, savage, merciless).
Every year, the appeal for the poor friendless donkeys brings in about nine times as much money as an appeal for the needy children. This solicitude extends even to foreign donkeys. There was a celebrated contest between the tabloids some years ago to rescue a donkey that was to have been dropped from a Spanish church tower as the culmination of a village fiesta. If a French village were found to be throwing asylum seekers from the belltower, the British newspapers would probably not fight each other to rescue the victim and bring him here to live out his days at stud.
And Andrew Brown (also at helmintholog) on how no one any longer argues, at least in the broadsheets, for the rights of animals to take precedence over the interests of Muslims.

the long way out

Alison M. Rosen on the death of Smile.

originally posted by xowie

June 12, 2003

same but different

Back in the day, predating the formation of Rock against Racism, 'there ain't no black in the Union Jack' was the mantra for boneheads everywhere. Except, there is now, courtesy of reFLAG's campaign. Another redesign of the UK flag comes from Jason Guillermo Luz as part of the Amigo Racism project. Paul Gilroy's book is a must-read on the subject. My favourite is this game: Supporter or Deporter?

need a miracle

"Anybody got extra tickets?" is the textbook line, but feel free to utilize iambic pentameter, poetry, or other variations. Make clear that you are looking for free tickets only. A handwritten sign can be effective as well; be careful not to get too ornate, as ticket-holders will wonder why you applied your funds to a sign rather than a ticket.
SF Weekly, The Freeloaders' Handbook.

originally posted by xowie

June 11, 2003

too polite to wipe it off

Our man Woody in Havana. Response. (c/o LA Examiner)

originally posted by xowie

newly digital

G (bell)
Prefab bytes assembled for Adam Kalsey's Newly Digital project:

Our first computer was the Apple ][+ which my dad bought in large part because the guy who started the company attended his zendo. Particular pleasures included: Beagle Bros software, Ultima ][, text adventures, Brickout, 20 GOTO 10, PR # 6, Aztec, Wizardry, Wilderness Adventure, Ctrl-G, Castle Wolfenstein. There were many more, some of which I've relived lately with emulation software.

Our next computer was the Mac, which was upgraded to a Mac 512k and then a Mac Plus. That thing, in its travel case, survived a fire which destroyed our Volkswagen van on the shoulder of the New Jersey Turnpike -- just south of exit 8A if memory serves. I don't think anything else was salvageable. I was... 11? -- my most affecting loss was the Gordon Korman and Douglas Adams books. My bookbag full of schoolwork was also lost, but I don't remember having any trouble in school about it. I wonder why.

Then we got a Mac SE/30. Somewhere in there I got a TI99/4A to mess around with. Finally I got my own first computer, a Mac IIsi.

My high school had an internet connection so I guess I've been online since 1992. The big "wow" came for me when I discovered the song lyrics FTP server. I knew in that moment that this thing was big.

All I've got going on now is this silly weblog, but back in the day I was serving up an online version of Kyosaku from my IIsi in my dorm room. I didn't have a domain name or a static IP but I was listed in Yahoo nonetheless, so whenever my server crashed I'd have to stay up until 2-3am watching the network to grab the dynamic IP I needed.

Lesser Evil

A good discussion has emerged over at Dru Blood's place about Howard Dean and the 2004 election.

(It's the kind of discussion I hoped would happen here when I wrote this beast.)

The discussion reminded me of a key example to use in the case against reformism: Britain circa 1974.

I found a couple of good pieces, one socialist (scroll down a bit) and one anarchist, that discuss the era where a wave of anger and a demand for change swept in the Labour Party into power. This was not Tony Blair Labour either, with the government then talking of nationalizing the banking and shipping industries on the agenda.

But this was met with sharp retribution from British capital, which exacerbated the economic crisis and lead to the government doing a 180. Instead of reform, the Labour state lead an attack on workers that ultimately led to mass disillusionment and the eventual emergence of Thatcher.

All of this comes back to a key point:

Electoral strategies assume that the state is a neutral body. But this is not true.

originally posted by zagg

June 10, 2003

wind blows

I saw the film in an air-conditioned, pitch-black press screening room at Sundance earlier this year and when the first frames started rolling, I realized I only vaguely knew who the Weather Underground were-a hazy memory from high school history class, a faint recollection of a Bob Dylan song. As I watched, I kept asking myself how had I not known about this splinter student group that emerged in the late 60s, went underground in 1970, and by the time it disbanded in 1976 had taken credit for bombing two dozen public buildings, including a bathroom in the State Department? They even busted Timothy Leary out of jail!

If you want to see a real movie that takes up difficult questions about revolution, skip Matrix: Reloaded and take in The Weather Underground.

Here's Guerrilla News Network's interesting take on the movie as well as a Village Voice review and another one.

originally posted by zagg

maurice sendak

Happy Birthday to Maurice Sendak, 75 today.

Viva la Mama!

The summer issue of Viva la Mama! is ready in time for solstice! Inside zine #2 is... Affirmative Action Bookmobiles The Zen of Being Ten TV Free Mothers of the Revolution Resistance in Palestine Lactivism Women's Health Book, Music, and Zine Reviews & more...
Order your copy today. Order an extra for yr favorite mama.

June 9, 2003

The weather cracks, starts to

The weather cracks, starts to break. I just saw with my third eye.

June 8, 2003

2.7182818 blog

RealityCarnival (C. Pickover)

originally posted by xowie

heidelberg makin' change

Tyree Guyton's "OJ House" has been dismantled and sold.

originally posted by xowie

June 7, 2003

credibility chasm

John Dean thinks Bush makes Nixon look good. Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?

originally posted by xowie

stolen, possibly grilled

We're under contract with MTV, so we can't talk about anything.
MTV's Fraternity Life cast member, commenting on the cast's raid of UC Santa Cruz in which a pet fish was stolen and eaten.

June 6, 2003


Get Your War On, the unofficial official randomWalks comic of choice, just won a 2003 Webby Award. Congratulations to David Rees!

Also good: page 25 of GYWO came out yesterday, so go take a look.

Apple iTunes independent music pitch

I got an invitation to go to Apple's office for a presentation/meeting today (June 5, 2003) about how to get independent artists into the iTunes Music Store. There were about 150 people there, representatives from the best independent record labels and music services, in this invitation-only conference room. Steve Jobs came out and started a two and a half hour presentation/seminar/Q&A about iTunes and the benefits of independent labels making their music available there. I type fast and had my laptop, so I wrote down all the major points of their presentation as they went.
Just in case you, like me, are rabidly curious.

June 5, 2003

blogging all open tabs

June 4, 2003

how we connect

Meaning is found between heaviness and lightness, solid and void, material and immaterial.
"Betweenness" opens tomorrow, June 5, at The Bullseye Collection Gallery (Portland, Oregon).

goddess day

June 4.

originally posted by xowie

June 3, 2003

it could happen to... you?

The Justice Department's roundup of hundreds of illegal immigrants in the months after the Sept. 11 attacks was plagued with "significant problems" that forced many people with no connection to terrorism to languish in jails in unduly harsh conditions, an internal report released today found.

[ via infojunkies ]

As vyoma says, "But it can't happen here, right? It could happen to anyone."

the phantom tool booth?

I got a tour of the NY Times news room today from Martin Nisenholtz the CEO of NY Times Digital, and Michael Oreskes, Assistant Managing Editor for Electronic News. We also concluded our discussion about the Times archive, we found a good compromise, the archive will remain open to people who link from weblogs, but they will keep the toll booth up for others.
Dave Winer has been very outspoken about the importance of collaboration between blog developers. He's been especially critical of Google's purchase of Blogger. But if the NY Times only allows incoming archive links from Radio Blogs - isn't that an unfair advantage?

imperialism is about choosing your dinner partner

Even Western liberals, under a veneer of multicultural modesty, are cultural imperialists at heart. We believe, even if it remains tactfully unspoken, in the global conquest of sexual freedom, rock music, and science fiction. The more sensible liberal pacifism goes along these lines: no point in sending in the Marines, because Hollywood and the internet will do the job so much more effectively. Salam Pax is living proof of that. So, of course, we like him.
Nick Denton on the Baghdad blogger.

June 2, 2003

sherman marches through utah

* "That's why I like Utah. It's the only place in the world white guys carry my bags."
* "We brown people profile white folks, too. We stay 100 feet away for every square foot of flag they're waving."
* Whenever he flies, Alexie plays a medley of rock stars who have died in plane crashes, "because God can't be that ironic."
* "We're all afraid of sweaty little brown guys in airports. My wife makes me shave every time I fly so I'm not too swarthy."
* "The chances of anyone in this room being killed by a terrorist is infinitesimal. But the chances of you women being killed by a man you love are pretty damn good."
* "I keep hearing, 'The Dixie Chicks, they ain't what country music's about.' I'm like, 'Yeah, they write their own songs and play their own instruments.'"
* Alexie, a Roman Catholic, on the sacrament of communion: "I love the mysticism of ritual cannibalism. It's a Donner Party religion."
Alexie does the Park City hit-'n'-run

his greatest talent is lying, shamelessly and endlessly with the straightest of faces

From Howard Kurtz's interview with Ari Fleischer on CNN's "Reliable Sources":

KURTZ: ... Do you see yourself as being an advocate for the press?
FLEISCHER: I do. And that's one of the hardest things for anybody to understand about the press secretary job. My job is to be their advocate inside here, to try to get more access, to try to have interviews and questions, things of that nature.

Anyone who believes that, please drop me a line; I've a bridge you might want to buy.

Before the interview started they aired a clip of Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show" talking about Fleischer's resignation, saying "Fleischer has earned a reputation as an evasive mouthpiece for the president, who stays on message using ambiguous half-truths or, as they're known at the Bush White House, freedom lies." You can see it here, thanks to Comedy Central.

[ via Romenesko ]

the most cowardly war

The Day Of The Jackals, a speech by Arundhati Roy.

originally posted by xowie

she has taken painstaking measures to ensure her domestic environment

People who wish to have contact with plaintiff do not always do so through legitimate channels which respect her personal space. Unfortunately, some people are prepared to resort to any means to secure that glimpse, or illicit photograph, which fulfills their desire to feel close to Plaintiff, or to make money at her expense. Thus, Plaintiff is often stalked by obsessed personalities who possess an unnatural urge to stake her out at all times. (via MoreTV 32)
Barbara Streisand is suing the California Coastal Records Project, run by millionaire environmentalists Gabrielle and Kenneth Adelman, for including a high-resolution aerial photograph of her Malibu mansion in their image database of the California coastline. The frame in question clearly shows the layout of her property, not to mention a nice stretch of beach. Don't worry, Babs, a few more years of coastal erosion and you'll be living in a sand dune, far from view.

June 1, 2003

to get some sense of this nation

I think it was then that I realized that it wasn't Mount Rushmore or any other big tourist attraction that was going to turn me on. What was going to fascinate me were purple flowers on the side of the road in Wisconsin that screamed out, "There are colors that you thought were only made up by painters."
"We encountered zero black people in our 14 days, zero Asians and two Latinos." The Rockwells tell the New York Times about their 14-day RV trip around the U.S., timed "to catch our daughter at the very end of her childhood, to enjoy a family experience before she escaped forever into the dreaded wasteland of teen-dom."

the charade goes on

The recipe is unvarying. The Palestinians are required to pledge that they will instantly abandon all vestiges of resistance to Israel's onslaughts on their persons, children, houses, land, crops, water, trees, livestock, roads, schools, universities, graveyards and public buildings. In return Israel agrees that a few years down the road the government of Israel will begin to ponder the outlines of a dim possibility of formal ratification as a Palestinian statelet of whatever tiny sliver of territory they haven't already appropriated.
Alexander Cockburn, The road map hoax.

originally posted by xowie