31 March 2010

Who(se line)

Sid Caesar is a legend. The transition from the French to the German accents was especially fantastic.

And, yes, I'm aware that I reused the same post-naming gimmick from a little while ago.

Here's a quote from one of my textbooks this quarter, Lawrence Grossberg's seminal(ish) (by which I mean it's an interesting read) book We Gotta Get Out of This Place:

Popular culture seems to work at the intersection of the body and emotions. Emotion is itself a notoriously difficult topic for cultural critics who often try to explain it as if it were merely the aura of ideological effects. Such accounts cannot explain why certain practices elicit strong emotive effects while others do not. The very fact that there is an unavoidable quantitative aspect to emotions suggests that there must be more to the production of emotional effects. I conclude that they are the product of the articulation of two planes: signification (rather than ideology, since people can be quite emotional about meanings that do not claim to represent reality) and affect. And consequently, I will locate the sensibilities of popular formations primarily on the plane of affect.

I'm not sure yet whether I agree with him. But it's an interesting point, and it seems to be heading us towards an interesting quarter.

Anyways - off to read about that glorious time back when women ruled everything and men just kind of sat on the couch unless the women told them to do something. Marriage jokes abound.

Eat the rich! Or at least their delicious sashimi. Tastes like oppression!

30 March 2010

Because it's a Tuesday night and I'm done with my reading

On The Hollow Men

I. The Face

the sunken ships
the sunken eyes

o absalom
the thousand ships
o absalom
dragged behind the chariot
o absalom
hidden in the dust

the hundred strokes in the dust
the spear in the dust
sullied in the dust

the insistent wailing
the maiden at the well

the wounded heel
the poisoned arrow
the careless mother

the arrow bruising the heel
the arrow crushing the head

would god my most trusted general
the coins and the field
would god the spear in the side
the blood and the water
drink this and remember
would god the broken jaw
the thousand in a day
the foxes all ablaze
the straw all ablaze

the kingdom lost

my god why hast thou
my god
eli eli lama

this day keep holy
and I am cold in my old age

II. Essence/Descent

and all this for
and all this
and all this for the want

in the wake of the desire
with tenderness trembling
shivering in the whitecaps
in the lee of the craving
at five o'clock in the morning
buried in the current
in the trail of the white lines
in the closed hand
in the thin lines

falls the insistent tapping

or with your claws
or with
or with your claws you'll dig him up again

with a whimper
no friend to men
with a whimper
the fouled water
buried deep
with a whimper
so many so many
you who were with me
I thirst

into thy hands
the vinegar and the spear

here there is water
the leaded gold
the flame and the shadow


The Who.

The Beelzebubs - The Who Medley

Because no matter how corporate TV gets, there's occasionally something awesome that forces its way, chestburster-like, onto the screen. I find this medley to be awesome.

Good morning Seattle! Er... good afternoon to those of you on the East Coast, who I'm well aware are the majority of my readers. A special good morning to Adrienne, whose comment on my "Values Cloud(ed)" post kind of made my morning. I mean, I'll keep writing regardless - I regard this as a place to blow off some stress - but it's nice to know that some of y'all out there occasionally share my perspectives on things.

This morning, in case you're wondering... 20 minute bike ride, 30 minute run, and then about an hour of lifting weights. It's awesome having classes in the afternoon. Many props also to BRL for getting up at 7 AM to join me.

Off to the library! I've just got to slide on my boots, grab my books, and, in the words of an umpire talking to his mirror, I'm outta here!

Eat the rich.

29 March 2010

Lit up like a thousand candles

Ray Wylie Hubbard - Resurrection

And they found him in the desert
picking flowers for the muse
Sometimes he's the fire,
sometimes he's the fuse
He's loading up his saddlebags
out on the edge of wonder
One is filled with music
the other's filled with thunder
He was long gone
he was gone when they rolled away the stone

Heckuva song.

Anyways -

First day of class! Cultural studies today. I'm interested to see what that class is like. Kind of excited.

My bracket is absolutely shot. Like, really, really shot. I got... let's see... oh, that's right. Zero of the Final Four. Zip. Zilch. Hooah. For what it's worth, I had Kentucky beating Kansas in the final. Out of the teams that are actually still playing, I'll pick... Michigan State over Duke in the final. 61-53.

I got the new Star Wars novel! Yay! (yes, I'm a geek. Sue me. Or don't... I'd have to represent myself, and it would get ugly for you. You don't want me pulling out the big guns) Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Backlash is in my room right now, and I'm about halfway through. Verdict so far: great plot, but not overly well written. Two different characters (Jaina and Tahiri, for those of you who are also geeks) have been described as looking like former medal-winning track-and-field athletes who have since retired and now make their money by endorsing breakfast cereal. That's a bit weak, dudes. Also: did you have to bring back the Sith again? I mean, I know that it's necessary to some extent in order to set up the whole Cade Skywalker saga, but there's plenty else going on in the galaxy without relying on such a time-honored (some would say time-worn) opponent.

Before I sign off: big hug to S.M.E. - have a safe trip! I'm sure it'll go great.

Eat the rich!

25 March 2010

Staying on the DL


Kind of a chillish day today - and it seems a bit less awesome in the wake of yesterday's 70-and-sunny. Figured I'd just throw some vids at the page for y'all, then get to my reading.

p.s. - I'd also like to throw out a giant Welcome Back to our friends at Attempts at Hip. Check 'em out! Good folks, good music, good blogging.

24 March 2010

Guess who's back...


I've been out for a few days biking up to the San Juan Islands and camping out there with some good people. We saw some beautiful scenery, got in some good roadtime (my quads are rock-hard and bulging), and generally recharging for the start of next quarter. I'm excited.

Jason Webley - Icarus

(many thanks to NB for the knowledge)

and, finally, for all y'all - a fragment from a longish piece I've been working at for a while now:

it builds and it builds and oh god oh God My God shabach shabach thinly this day keep holy this day keep holy rest rest but sab but sabbath there is no time my father rabbi my father rabble of voices rabbit twisting shorn in the trap naked in the trap made in the trap born in the trap borne from the trap every morning the trap reset the liver regrown set set my trickster friend loki what a laugh a salmon my queen mab queen of the fairies with all propriety make merry this day the very latest thing the last word the last word oh god make me holy bend me unto thy will burn me purify me make oh god burn me oh god burn me crucible the silver the drops of silver the moments of silver the cracked crucible Johnny Johnny there is no home no home it builds one hand the back of the hand I am falling the helper failing the crooked mattress the sheets tangled the bed tangled the hands tangled and the pewter and the black iron

Eat the rich, y'all. Piece by piece. Screaming. Possibly with foie gras.

18 March 2010

Values Cloud(ed)

So I just got the following email:

From: Stetson University Values Council
Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2010 4:24 PM
To: Michael xxxxxxxx
Subject: Add Your Voice to the Values Cloud

Let your voice be heard!
Be part of the Values Cloud!

The Stetson University Values Cloud is an interactive project that reflects your opinion about values important to the Stetson community.

At the Values Cloud web page, you’ll see words describing values that have meaning to the Stetson community.

Click on the words that are important to you. Choose as many as you wish. Then, click on the “Submit” button.

To see the results, click on “View the Cloud.” A cluster of words will appear. The words will change size, depending on how many clicks the words are receiving from computer-users. The larger the word, the more it means to the community.
Tag clouds will be telecast on large screens in various places on campus on Friday, March 19, as part of the Presidential Inauguration and Homecoming activities. Computers also will be set up for ongoing participation.

I followed the link... and was utterly disappointed. How do these words reflect Stetson's values? Where are things like 'profit', 'favoritism', 'racism', 'homophobia', and 'bowing down to the interests of the rich white men who run the school'? Oh, wait... 'homophobia' is there! But there's the word 'no' in front of it? Look! It's not just a values cloud! It's something much better! It's a bizarro values cloud! It adds words to the values Stetson holds and, thus, utterly negates... uh... something, I'm sure.

It's not that I dislike Stetson. I have many fond memories of the place. But isn't it a little bit strange to ask people what they think the school stands for and then completely refuse to allow any potential negatives? I mean, certainly, you've got to put on a good show for your alumni, but... really?

I've claimed before (and taken flak for it) that Stetson, at least in its undergraduate manifestation, does not have the students' best interests at heart. While the administration has to some extent changed since I've been there, and it's entirely possible that the situation has improved... getting this email doesn't make me all that optimistic. Yes, I'm cynical... but that doesn't mean that things aren't bad.


Eat the rich!

And all y'all have a great night.

17 March 2010


Done with the quarter! Time to celebrate.

...by which I mean go on a bike ride and then make panniers. Hurrah!

Eat the rich!

16 March 2010

In my lucky underwear...

George Watsky - Who's Been Loving You?

Because, every once in a while, we need some high-quality white boy rap.

Feels just like the first time...

Corinne Bailey Rae - Feels Like the First Time

I could pretend that I was okay
I wind around the parties, drink in hand
I could pretend when you went away
That I had changed and I no longer hear the band

But I won't lie
I found a love
I had to rediscover
I was emotionally scarred we could not get it away
There are times when it breaks and I feel amazed

Feels just like the first time when you kiss me, my lover
Angels in the sky will descend on our love
And it's hard to deny what is happening
Although we talk, talk, talk on the telephone
We laugh, laugh, laugh at the things we know

I've been a soldier for much too long
I'd willingly surrender all my arms
If you decided you won't be long
I'd wait here patient for you
Look for you every morning

Had this love
These were sparks
We tried to push it on but
I was afraid of the dark
We could not get it away
Never mind what they say
I would feel the same

Feels just like the first time when you kiss me, my lover
Angels in the sky will descend on our love
And it's hard to describe what is happening
Although we talk, talk, talk on the telephone
We laugh, laugh, laugh at the things you know

If I could choose then my heart would be in it,
My charms would be in it,
My love would be in it

Feels just like the first time

Sometimes I get worn down, worn out, burnt out, don't feel like it's worth heading up the next hill, writing the next paper, reading the next book, getting up the next morning.

And then, sometimes... sometimes I get to the top of that hill, drink a cup of good black coffee, finish (in this case) that next paper.. and, all of a sudden, without warning, I remember why I'm doing the things I'm doing. I realize how much I love this stuff. That's an awesome feeling. Granted, right now, it's after midnight, I'm bone tired, and I'm gonna go sleep for a few hours before I get up to work on my next paper - but it's a good tired, it's gonna be a good sleep, and I feel good about being here, doing this work.

Time to crash, y'all. Hurrah.

15 March 2010

This is a test.

This is only a test. For the next 238 seconds, this station will be conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.

Seriously, I'm just seeing if I can figure out how to embed YouTube vids without the actual videos.

Radiohead vs. Dave Brubeck - Fivestep

Time to get back to work.

14 March 2010

It's Sunday night in Seattle

and I'm working on seminar papers.


No, seriously - hurrah. This is what I came out here to do: to have the time and the freedom to develop interesting ideas, to study fascinating things and then to write about them. It's pretty awesome.

Anyways, the bike ride yesterday was pretty awesome. If you Google Maps "Seattle U-District", that's where we started. If you Google Maps "La Conner WA", that's where we wound up. Or you can just go here, to this map, where the approximate route is listed (we actually went another couple of miles past that in order to meet up with folks, plus we sort of meandered about Marysville for a bit trying to find the path, but it's all good). It's a bit of a trek out. My legs are tired. But there's something about exercise - in this case, lots and lots of exercise - that clears the head and lets you focus more on work than you could before. Good stuff.

Time for me to get back to focusing more on work. Paper and a half left and then the quarter is done! Whoo? Whoo! (the whistles go...)

Eat the rich!

(The report)

And all y'all have a great night.

13 March 2010

Quick Sat post

Yo -
Leaving in just a couple of minutes to go bike 70+ miles. Got a belly full of eggs and a pack full of fruit, bread, and cheese. It's gonna be an awesome day.

12 March 2010

I confess...

I confess that I have lived my entire life in privilege. I confess that I have never been imprisoned for my beliefs. I confess that I am an academic who produces mild rhetoric and milder action. I confess that, when I see people who have real problems, who are dealing with real oppression, it makes the quibbling details about which I so often complain seem small by comparison. I confess that I have, for all its problems, a comfortable life. I confess that, were I threatened, I would probably keep silent. I confess that, in truth, I do not know how I would respond.

Anyways - time to get back to my academics.

Eat the rich.


the report

11 March 2010

Beauty in the storm

So I was walking to class this morning and I turn this corner and see the quad. It's a bitterly cold sort of day - the kind where every inch of exposed flesh is stabbing sharply before it goes numb - and it's starting to rain harder. I turn this corner and there's a huge bank of clouds rolling in from the east, big, dark clouds, heavy with the promise of more rain and less sun. There's also a square full of cherry trees in full, amazing, jaw-dropping bloom. There was something about this mass of white blossoms hovering just below this roiling mass of incoming weather that was absolutely amazing. Made my day.

The dance is fascinating. From Lesley Eneanora Boyce-Wilkinson's essay on butoh.de:

Butoh disregards all notions of sophistication and the symbological referencing. It does not seek idealised form or harmonically choreographed patterning, but rather embraces the grotesque, the ungainly, the raw, non-aesthetically encoded body. Butoh gropes beneath the overlay of socialisation and cultural authoritarianism for what the critic Ichikawa miyabi called "the body that has been robbed" and attempts to restore a wild inner flame in the heart of darkness.

The forms put me in mind of certain of Mapplethorpe's images (and many thanks to NMB for introducing me to these) -

The spectacle (the gaze)

The report


and the file cabinet

10 March 2010

All the single ladies

First off: xkcd makes me smile on a consistent basis. Today's version is no exception. The mouseover text alone is worth the price of admission. By which I mean... well, it's free, and I wouldn't pay for it, but I find it funny.

Second: today is Wednesday. Which means that tomorrow is Thursday. Which means that the day after tomorrow is Friday. Which is the day that my first seminar paper is due. Hurrah. Continuing to bury myself in Charlotte Perkins Gilman. At least she's pretty. Or... was, I guess. Not so much into the zombies, myself.

Third: so far today... get up, drink coffee, bike downtown, pick up stuff, bike back, quick shower, hit the library. Stay in the library. Read. Write. Rithmetic, I guess - everything is a matter of math. Darren Aronofsky is awesome.

One of my favorite movies, actually. I'm a little bit less about Requiem, though, hey, the music is fantastic. I wanted to embed a scene from Pi - the discussion of Go - but the embedding was "disabled by request". Slow burn.

Restate my assumptions: One, Mathematics is the language of nature. Two, Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature. Evidence: The cycling of disease epidemics;the wax and wane of caribou populations; sun spot cycles; the rise and fall of the Nile. So, what about the stock market? The universe of numbers that represents the global economy. Millions of hands at work, billions of minds. A vast network, screaming with life. An organism. A natural organism. My hypothesis: Within the stock market, there is a pattern as well... Right in front of me... hiding behind the numbers. Always has been.

Time to get back to work.

An excerpt from the rough draft of the essay that's due Monday:

It may be more appropriate to approach this book as a poem of fragments. Take the scene in which the narrator reads a newspaper: "The greed spilling through the type is poetry. Where the oil and gas could be / Where offshore oil already exists / Close to the border finds / special feature / big bear / Production forecasts rocket / As seen from Sydney" (174) and so on. Take any scene. Temporality exists only through haunting - the past popping up in the present; temporality, that is to say, exists in this text as and only as anachronism - and, in such a matter, serves as the means of its own destruction, resurrection, and comprehensibility. The long, unbroken stretches of narration that spanned months within a single passage no longer exist - indeed, have never existed. Everything is set apart by (literal) blank, homogenous space. While the narrative(s) contained within the text do indeed move forward through time, they do so haltingly, failingly, endlessly disrupted, interrupted, in improbable, unpredictable, nearly unmappable relations to each other; the topography of the narrative is impassible in the conventional sense.

Boom. (the report)

Eat the rich.

And all y'all have yourselves a great day.

09 March 2010

Bank of Nikolai

The following ad makes me smile.

Not a whole lot to post about today. I've been working my way through the end of the quarter, haven't had a lot else going on the last couple of days.

Got a package in - some crucial materials for my project. Expensive, but worth it. Payday is tomorrow (hurrah!)

Gotta go! Meeting with CW in an hour or so.

08 March 2010

The spider

Yes, more of the Paper Chase.

I want your head.
I want your wicked parts.
I want to wring out your evil thoughts.
I want to eat out your bitter heart.
I want your soul to sing six words harmony
Of all the pigs that might tempt me.
I know you're sick alone
and I’m telling everyone everything.
So scratch it on the wall
of your coffin on your sick day home:
And when your lover loves to cheat
there's another you can meet
It’s a short pier, it's a long walk home.
You gotta show me where it hurts,
There’s a beast and a burden
Kicking, spitting on your bathroom floor.
This is your life this is your life and
When I’m done it's over a little bit more.

Good things die all the time,
God bless your heart, vengeance is mine.
"Kiss me like you mean goodbye,"
said the spider to the fly.
When all those times you thought
that you were wrong, you were right.

So if I fight the good fight
will hairlines recede?
Will lines deepen in face
to craft a look of defeat?
I feel the end is near
my little Monday night whore,
My little Saturday night
became a Sunday remorse.
When it's all over America,
The Godless game show heathens.
This is your life, this is your life,
At last my good friend we are even.
I know I’ll never lose an arm,
never stay up staring at the phone.
I'll never rot up with disease
don't you bury me and leave,
Don’t you leave me in the ground alone.
You gotta show me where it hurts,
never cremate me to burn,
Never chop me up and throw me to sea.
You’ll never have to find the words
they come spilling unrehearsed,
But you and I will never find that peace.

Good things die all the time,
God bless your heart, vengeance is mine.
"Kiss me like you mean goodbye,"
said the spider to the fly.
When all those times you thought
that you were wrong, you were right.

Good things die all the time,
God bless your heart, vengeance is mine.
"Kiss me like you mean goodbye,"
said the spider to the fly.
When all those times you thought
that you were wrong, you were right.

The presentation is just about ready. Hopefully I'll have a chance to bike downtown this afternoon post-class, pick myself up a couple of things. In the meantime, I've got Raisin Bran and Dr. Pepper to keep me going.

I pass all the checks! Hurrah.

You know... everything is connected to everything else. And, too, there's the story of how, no matter how far we run away from our pasts, they're always with us. The lure, the thin, bubbling allure - we want things. We all want things. You know that little ache at the back of your stomach, curled up tight like a snake against your spine? You know you do. It makes you breathe fast, makes your muscles clench, makes the veins writhe like kelp fighting to get past your too-impermeable skin. You can't burn it away - the fire only makes you want it more, every moment you stare into the flame.


Back to work. Time to make this presentation all shiny. Y'all know you love it.

Eat the rich!

And all y'all have a great day.

07 March 2010

All of the beautiful bodies

The Paper Chase - What Should We Do With Your Body (The Lightning)

Great song, innit? I think I'd like to be cremated. No scattering of ashes, though... just burn me and throw the ashes into the yard. Grow some tomatoes or something. Slick, red, juicy tomatoes...

Anyways. Ron Artest has crazy hair. He also failed to play defense against Vince Carter, who put up 25 points in the Magic's 96-94 win.

Not much of a post tonight... I've got some slick graphs to work up for my presentation in the morning. Most of the work is done, it's just a matter of making it look pretty for the good folks in class.

Y'all look out for big stuff coming out from me this week... I mean, yeah, it's week 10, but I'll hopefully have a pretty major post for all y'all to read either Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Big news! Keep posted.

Eat the rich.


(the report)

06 March 2010

Another Saturday in... paradise?

So, yeah. Got up this morning, had buttermilk biscuits with strawberry jam, had coffee, then met up with folks and got on the road. 50 miles of biking. Heckuva trip. My legs are gonna be sooore tomorrow, I tell you what.

Somebody (you know who you are) asked me the other day whether I like cycling. My answer: as a thing unto itself, no. As a way of connecting with people and getting to really cool places, yes. Do I enjoy having a sore butt and aching quads? Not necessarily - but I do enjoy the camaraderie. It's a lot of fun going down hills, too.


But, yeah. My brain is also tired. Gonna be a long day tomorrow - I really need to get some work done. I've got a good start on all my seminar papers (I'm not at all worried about my ability to finish them out), but I want to get them to the point of being really good, rather than just passable, and, ideally, I'd like to get them all done this upcoming week so that I don't have to stress out at the end of the quarter.

I've got big plans for this week. You'll see what I mean... ;)

Completely off topic, and not indicative of any ideological leanings (though, yeah, in an ideal world populated with ideal people, I'd be a communist)... this song's been stuck in my head all day long. I'm not exactly sure why.

Eat the rich!

And all y'all have a good one.

05 March 2010


From the last paragraph of the IGN review:

No, this Wonderland is just listless, bland and derivative – a mere technical undertaking from a disinterested filmmaker. Tim Burton recycles much of the same watered down, consumer-friendly Goth guff that he's peddled for over a decade now, giving us a joyless Wonderland bereft of anything fantastical or whimsical enough to suggest why Lewis Carroll's stories have enchanted people for the past 145 years.

I was hopeful for a handful of minutes, you know? Coming off of Sweeney Todd (which was, to my mind, one of the most moving films of the past half-decade), I had hoped that Mr. Burton could accomplish something meaningful with Alice. Guess not.

Bonus points for using the word 'assuage' in a song. Don't see that much.

Maybe Burton just needs Sondheim? I might suggest either "Assassins" (with, of course, Johnny Depp playing the parts of John Wilkes Booth, Leon Czogolsz, and Lee Harvey Oswald) or "Sunday in the Park with George" (featuring Johnny Depp in the role of Georges Seurat and Helena Bonham Carter as Dot).


Flat affect.

I feel like I need to make something out of the time I have on this earth. There's the old question - if you knew the time of your death, how would you spend your last days? There's also all sorts of cliches about living each day as though it were your last... what would you do?

Budget cut protests at the UW yesterday - 500 or so people walking around the quad holding signs, chanting, yelling into megaphones. I walked around with them for a little bit. Not a big fan of a 'who'se university' sign... irony. If you want to make a point, get a couple of thousand people to refuse to pay tuition. Get the TAs to strike. Just standing around, though, isn't going to disrupt much other than your own life.

Eat the rich.

03 March 2010

Harsh Times

If I may quote:

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

Makes me shiver.

The Braves are hoping for a good year. I'm just hoping that Billy Wagner's arm doesn't explode mid-pitch, Dave Dravecky style. It's nice to have an experienced closer, a guy who's been closing out games, with great success, for a long time. All the same, though... are we certain he's not too experienced?

This article reminds me how awesome the Braves used to be. It's always a bittersweet thing to see Steve Avery's face staring out under a headline.

The US-Netherlands game this morning was a bit of a disappointment, frankly. Why the heck does Bradley keep playing a 4-4-2 when we only have one decent forward? I mean that as no insult to Mr. Findley, who is of course far more skilled than I could ever be, but he's not got the physical ability to compete with the kind of players a top-5 national team puts out there. Bornstein was also especially horrible today. Good work by Altidore (not much that'll show up on a stat sheet, but way to battle), DeMerit (steadying influence on the back line), and Beasley (some good runs down the side). I know that it's been said before, but the US could stand to put in another midfielder and control the pace of the game a bit more, rather than relying on getting lucky off of hopeful deep balls.

If y'all will pardon me for a minute here, I'm going to vent.

The object of my rage?

Read this article.

I find it interesting, worth a read, if only for the completely infuriating way it mischaracterizes Kanazawa's findings. From the article's subtitle - "Human Values Are Determined by Intelligence, Study Claims" - to its conclusion, which argues that "It's safe to say that anyone who reads this is going to have many doubts about Kanazawa's findings. We all know too many exceptions", Dye consistently displays a complete lack of knowledge about statistics and their interpretation.

Another example: "The IQ difference was not all that great -- around 103 for the smarter kids and 97 for the lesser lights, but Kanazawa insists the difference is 'statistically significant.'" Why the heck would you put 'statistically significant' in quotes there? It's a matter of math! Math that you could review and understand if you'd made it past, oh, I don't know, eighth grade? How the heck are you a writer for ABC?

Then again, I guess it's not that surprising. This is more or less the level of analysis that I would expect from Disney. Let's paint a smiley face on it, sculpt the shrubbery, and call it science!


Eat the rich!

And all y'all have a good day.

02 March 2010

It's the little things

Funny how much we take for granted, isn't it? We go about our daily lives assuming that the myriad systems we rely upon will function flawlessly, never thinking about them more than cursorily until something goes wrong. How ungrateful!

With that in mind, I'd like to propose a toast to our collective respiratory systems. A toast that is accompanied by Pink Floyd. Just because.

NFL combine going on. My thoughts... if there's any NFL team out there, in this age of continual surveillance, that hasn't compiled its dossiers by this point, that's an NFL team that's in some trouble. But it's always nice to have some grist for the fans.

Terrence Cody is a big boy.

There's a lot to think about, these days. Every action we undertake and every action we do not undertake leaves a trace - even a still rock leaves a wake in moving water - but, still, it would be best to have a clear head. A calm head. To act deliberately, unhurriedly, in the closing of a hand. To breathe slowly, in, out, feeling the air move past one's lips, and be aware of each heartbeat, all the while the world devolves into chaos around oneself. To take a step without feet. To be the calm at the center of the storm. To avoid freaking cliches. Gah.

Tom Hanks is awesome. Segues are for the weak.

To be serious for a moment... Chileans, you're on my mind. For what that's worth, coming from a minor blogger in the other hemisphere.

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Ahh, T.S. Eliot, you always cheer me up on melancholy days.

Eat the rich.

01 March 2010


[warning: video contains profanity and provocation]

Moments like this are seductive. I quoted a speech from Schindler's list a few posts ago. Do I hold any of these sentiments? No. Hell no. I respect folks' right to move around where they like. I have no quarrels with immigrants. But I would identify two distinct reasons why this sort of speech has a draw.

1. There's nobody speaking on the other side. People like Derek (Edward Norton's character) get dismissed as crazy, and nobody responds to them without talking down. Nobody likes being talked down to. There's a scene in the film where his mother's Jewish boyfriend starts talking about race. Condescension leaks out everywhere. This is too often the case in real life.

2. Everybody's angry. There's a little sick thing curled at the base of all our stomachs, sitting at the back of our minds. Most folks don't think about why they're messed up, why they want to break things, why they want to hurt people - they just bury it beneath layers of guilt, church, booze, sex, work. But when you hear somebody who's willing to admit how utterly f***ed the world is, somebody who presents a plan for dealing with it... well, people are going to be drawn to it, no matter how crazy it is once they've given it some thought.

Eat the rich.