Get Your War On. "Maybe the plan is to feed hungry leftover Afghans with the bodies of dead Iraqis?
The disturbing part about the German ZDF report -- that Saddam Hussein has employed a cadre of doppelgangers since the early 90s -- has to do with a personal experience working the news during the Gulf War.
It was a quick video still of Hussein in his bunker, two days after the USAF had declared that it was extremely likely that he'd been killed in the last round of bombing. Since it was the latest photo of a living Hussein, it was news, and it was my job to prepare the still for air, on a Quantel Paintbox. I had to scrutinize the image carefully and come in real close on the pixels.
We were all working long hours back then, so when I yelled into the squawkbox, "that's not Hussein," the director of this national news show yelled "what the fuck are you talking about?"
I yelled: that doesn't look like it's Saddam Hussein. The face isn't quite right.
He yelled back: then fucking fix it.
Find another reference, cut and paste, color balance, add noise: I fixed it. Add noise.
No Smoking Gun this, but sometimes it's about quantity, not quality. But at $45 a month for the good stuff, (I mean, the _playboy channel_ is $15/month) I wonder how the value of anything is determined anymore.
What happens when you put Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey, and Steven Holl together? (honorable mention to the Ban + Vinoly + David Rockwell combo)
Wish you had the schedule for This American Life in your iCal? Or tired of missing those Pagan holidays? Or how about the New York Dart Association schedule for the Kettle O' Fish's home dart team, The Flying Karpinskis?
there's an open studio "art crawl" of sorts in williamsburg brooklyn (not to be confused with colonial williamsburg in virginia). anyway, my buddy bart bettencourt is #32.
if that doesn't interest you, you can always trade organic garlic on a truck tapping into a wireless node.
Forget sms riots, here's an account of an email riot. Crazy ivy league kids. "By the time a Wesleyan network administrator returned to work 14 hours later and shut down the list, as many as 300,000 more e-mails than usual had passed through Wesleyan's servers.... The philosopher Hobbes had been evoked. Dorm furniture had been sold to the highest bidder. Allen Ginsberg's poetry had been spread. And tacos had been requested from Alex."
another year, another snub by the macarthur people. Liza Lou, sure she's worthy of $500K. But Vergara? And how come Paul Westerberg's never won? Lucikly they're almost all older than me/us.
Hell, I was going to pick out some of the best and most earnest petitions, but I'll just send you to the list, where you can pick them out yourself.
For the sake of any google searches on my name, I signed the petition to Sack the West Ham United Board. The current West Ham United Football Club Board of Directors have failed time and again to make available money to the Manager to purchase players of a high enough calibre to enable West Ham United Football Team to challenge for the title or for a European Cup place.
I love this structural-list effort at distancing onesself from the engrossing nature of adventure games (and also Star Trek, Buffy, Superfriends, Dr. Who episodes) to see what's behind the curtain. Particularly humorous when paraphrased thusly:
"Quest For the Sparkly Hoozits
Somebody needs a dingus (to fulfill a prophecy, heal the monarch, prevent a war, cure a disease, or what have you). The PCs must find a dingus. Often an old dingus, a mysterious dingus, and a powerful dingus. The PCs must learn more about it to track it down, and then deal with taking it from wherever it is.
Common Twists & Themes: The dingus is incomplete when found (one of the most irritating and un-fun plot twists in the universe). Somebody already owns it (or recently stole it, sometimes with legitimate claim or cause). The dingus is information, or an idea, or a substance, not a specific dingus. The PCs must "go undercover" or otherwise infiltrate a group or society, gaining the dingus by guile or stealth."
Popout Prism seems to have something to do with PARC, though I'm too lazy to find out exactly what.
"Function is an expectation rather than a differentiator. The added value will come from meaning and pleasure, what I call aesthetics -- the look and feel," says Virginia Postrel (The Age of Look and Feel, Harper Collins 2003), in an interview with the AIGA.
I was so horrified by our new foreign policy statement that I ceased to be able to form words.
Luckily, I can still type. I found it somewhat calming to write a good old-fashioned email to all my elected officials, and to see how many other people seem to be writing in to say the same thing.
Spam therapy, you could call it. I highly recommend.
The real question: what kind of agreement will s/he have to sign with the producers of the show?
OK, so maybe this isn't so far away from current political reality...
stray dogs used as mobile billboards in russian city.
overheard at san gennaro festival last night...
girl: "i dunno. i was expecting more italy stuff."
When an executive at Twentieth Century Fox approached Michael Chabon (later, Pulitzer-Prize winning writer, Michael Chabon) to take a proverbial whack at the script for the original X-Men movie, his response took the form of a letter and a six page long proposal/treatment in which his devotion to and obsession with the bunch of mutants is painted in his characteristic prose. Yummy to read if you're a fan. (His League of Gentlemen reminds me of the X-Files, but could also be the Hellfire Club, which then hints at the prospect of...Dark Phoenix!)
The new Disney version of Snow White in which "...she discovers that her stepmother is plotting against her and escapes to mainland China, where she seeks solace with seven Shao Lin monks..." is a terrifying image of two things that should never come together. It's like walking in on your parents fucking, somehow.
But this dissonant convergence of Disney with Japanese-Pop-Show-Martial-Arts combat is the emerging rule, not the exception. Because it's wildly successful when it goes interactive, and Donald Duck, Peter Pan, and Dumbo get their war faces on. See this through. Think Super-Pop Pooh-Bear but with teeth, you know what I'm saying?
Where the Disney brand cops were sleeping when some of these guys came to life is beyond me, but it's maybe best that way. Because there's a naughty and visceral excitement to the vision of Goofy dancing in the proximity of a razor-sharp chunk of metal. Not to mention the mouth of Hell.
In any case, it's all good preparation for the war propaganda we're certain to see come down the pike. And in certain cases already have.
The point of this article is not clear, but it sure cites a whole bunch of surprising (and contradictory) hypothetical ejaculations about why women live longer than men. Is it because we are more risky (fast cars, guns, xtreme sports) or is it because we are bigger (more surface area for pesky parasites) or is it because tesetosterone suppresses the immune system? Take your pick.
In the running for my crackpot of the year award, the New Scientist is having a great contest. You choose between the death prize and the life prize.
Reminiscent of yesterday's frog-buddha-puddle heartbreak is this oh-so-incredibly-sad story about pigeons. "We were going to release the pigeons during the unveiling of the 9/11 memorial," he said. "The pigeons were supposed to fly." Instead, the birds, which Ms. Goldberg said might never before in their young lives have spent significant time outside their cages, turned the ceremony into a blur of feathers and confusion."
As more and more teenagers socialize online, middle school and high school teachers are increasingly seeing a breezy form of Internet English jump from e-mail into schoolwork.
Bush, yesterday in Nashville. "There's an old saying in Tennessee. I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee. It says fool me once... [long, tortured pause] ...shame on...uh [terrified expression] shame on...you. [scans room looking for lifeline...decides he'd better not even risk second part] Fool me...can't get fooled again." Listen for yourself (real audio).
SYNTAX ERROR: Headline
I thought the parents were forced to drink water as punishment for killing their daughter. (They tortured and killed her because they loved her.)
as reported via various news/media outlets...
Thousands of pilgrims in Thailand were visiting a water puddle in the shape of the Buddha's footprint; the puddle is guarded by a frog, and the frog was said to be dying because people keep rubbing talcum powder on its skin hoping to see lottery numbers.
In this month of ancient texts and media/mediated power plays (possibly in the hockey sense), a quote from a semi-ancient text:
"4. The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images. . . .
9. In a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false. . . .
12. The spectacle presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible. It says nothing more than "that which appears is good, that which is good appears." The attitude which it demands in principle is passive acceptance which in fact it already obtained by its manner of appearing without reply, by its monopoly of appearance."
More specifically, fewer of us watched network evening newscasts than normal, 10% fewer households watched primetime TV on 09.11.02 than on 09.11.01 (59% v 69% on the day of). Not sure what to make of these numbers, except for the incredible stat that the WB's show, "My Dog Skip" delivered a "solid" 4.0 rating/6 share this 9.11, double the delivery the previous week.
Caveat that it's late and caveat that this involves something by a paying client, but if you're on a PC, and you use WinAmp or WMP or Real to play music, there's something to pay attention to, maybe. There's this company that made something for Spiderman that's kind of interesting. It's a visualizer for your audio player, and you can download it from the Spiderman site. (It's all flash, so no bookmarks: skip intro > enhanced media > visualizers and skins)
Install the appropriate one, and instead of opium-like satori patterns in your media player, you'll see a beautifully rendered Spiderman moving through the city, all 3D. It's pretty. Very.
It's pretty, but the really interesting part is this: the streets and sky and even the buildings (you'll see) are all responding to the music you're listening to. Spidey is independent, but you can imagine him also being responsive, five minutes into the future. And that's where entertainment takes an interesting turn.
Because if Spidey moves through the city, his paths and actions determined by pitch, volume, it's not "interactive" per se; you can't determine which way he'll go, or what he'll do. But it's compelling because it has the grammar and drama of predetermined narrative, without the constraints of same.
This is not interactive entertainment, it's something like systems-response entertainment, something which is in dialogue with the world, just not you in particular. Which puts you back in lean-back mode, entertainment wise; this is how we like to sit anyways. But it puts you in lean-back mode with some of the complexity of the mad big world brought to life.
It's like 60's concept-kunst "systems esthetics" but lite, or maybe not so lite. The systems esthetics folks ("For systems, information, in whatever form conveyed, becomes a viable esthetic consideration") were concerned with somehow revealing systems; environmental, mathematical, political. But Spiderman, for example, builds on the interplay of their complexity without revealing anything. The viewer is the one piece of the puzzle that knows the least, and is the most passive. Everything else at play in front of us, and we ourselves at rest.
It could be that this resonates now in particular because the world -- this new one -- feels so far from the effects of our own interaction or agency. Look at Spiderman, but just for example: invisible systems define and redefine the skyline. Invisible systems define and redefine the skyline.
Or, I'm quoting the 60s, one of the systems esthetics artists: "These processes evolve without the viewer's empathy. He becomes a witness. A system is not imagined, it is real."
Which is worth pursuing, maybe. Or worth following. It's worth something, anyway. Either way, I could watch Spidey forever, especially with Le Tigre playing. Feels a little dangerous without being so at all. That's Entertainment.
there were amazon reviews. Like this one (last on page) of a pre-everything but the girl Tracey Thorn project. "If I were to make a movie of my pre-marriage days in Chico CA using scanned still images (like Ken Burns in the Civil War), I would use some of this album as audio...." Yeah. My own san mateo stills would be slowly panned to echo and the bunnyment and the "everything's gone green" EP.
>"We're not implying in any way that mobile phones are dangerous," Levi's European communications manager Cedric Jungpeter told Reuters.
Gavin Keeney's appraisal of the times's contribution to the "debate" over the future of ground zero is worth reading if only for this beginning of a sentence: "Herbert Muschamp, one of the worst architecture critics on the planet, has effectively rounded up his favorite architects...."
see this Yahoo story, complete with spectacular photo (reason enough). But is there some ironic lilt to these poor folks "fleeing" that I'm not getting?
We'll never see this kind of journalism on television -- Salon's "Forbidden thoughts about 9/11".
Sure it's disturbing, but it's more real than the velveeta that has to play on TV. The 9/11 documentary, though, was amazing (despite the velveeta piano refrain playing behind the incredible shots of the WTC falling).
Also on TV last night, Bill Clinton on Letterman. In vintage Clinton style, he laid out the two issues to consider before going to war with Iraq: 1. We'll dust them in 1 week (the sanctions did work) but when Saddam feels like the game is up, he will use the biological weapons we were talking about, and give them to terrorists who will use them and 2. the precedent our unilateral action will set -- we may come to regret this in the future. But then again, what the fuck does the current administration care about the future? As the government that runs like a corporation, they want to see quarterly profits. Can't think about energy conservation, can't turn off the big oil engine because it produces steady profits.
Oh well, looks like we're going to bomb Iraq.
so just guess what last night's winning new york lottery numbers were.
(let's just hope it wasn't fixed.)
Well someone has to post something. So here: the corncam harvest has finally begun. If you've been following corncam, you'll be pretty excited.
dubya declared sept 11th patriot day.
Quote of the day, from Get Your War On. "If I was Saddam Hussein I’d pay a human rights organization to draft an International Declaration to Have My Ass Overthrown! Cause you know the U.S. wouldn’t go along with it!"
Man on air-phone, unclear who he's talking to. I've only got his end of the conversation, but it's enough. It's enough.
-- It's his first day, right?
-- Yeah, sure.
-- No, he'll be thrilled to death to get taken to school in a race car. Just do me a favor and don't take it over a hundred.
-- No, because it's bad for the suspension, is why.
So was that really a color insert in the Times today promoting 9/11 artwork by America's mouth- and foot-painting artists? (rhetorical. yes, it was.)
The question of whether "it is possible for a preemptive war waged with nuclear weapons to be a 'just cause." (Answer: when faced with the version of Genghis Khan inside the Civilization program, yes.) "
No link here, just a brief and disturbing anecdote to report. My 15-yr old nephew started high school in upstate NY last week. On Friday, the principal made the following announcement on the loudspeaker:
"All students are asked to show their patriotism and support by wearing red, white, and blue clothing all week next week."
Greil M. on 24 Hour Party People: "Actor Sean Harris looks little like Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, but the nervousness of his dancing -- a trance you wouldn't want to enter and may barely stand to watch -- makes David Byrne in "Stop Making Sense" look like Daffy Duck. Harris' Curtis is on to something, he hasn't decided whether he can say what it is, when he hangs himself the movie goes from Olympus to a parking lot, and you no more than the people in the movie will believe that neither you nor they will ever make it back."
Dot-Bomb Yearbook: A fair distribution of people who cashed out and went to farm or prep cook or start families, and also those who really went into the web business for the kiddie porn/sex and got busted. Know anybody on the list? Or how about the Top 40 richest Americans under 40. Interesting mix of dot commers and sportsmen and rap stars -- man, Master P's up there! Just above P. Diddy and Marc Andreessen!
Another reason to love John Berger's (not that John Berger) Fucked World: This roundup of Bush administration justifications for fucking Saddam.
"So Dick Cheney says Iraq practically already has nuclear weapons, which puts him at odds with Colin Powell, who thinks Iraq has added the Andromeda strain to its biological weapons arsenal. Donald Rumsfeld claims Hussein has velociraptor DNA, but Paul Wolfowitz feels it's more likely Saddam has the Genesis device. Ari Fleischer told reporters that the Butcher of Baghdad possesses a Death Star, while the president himself told close associates that Saddam has mastered the Stone Cold Stunner. John Ashcroft warned that Iraq might know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, and Condoleeza Rice is pretty sure the rogue nation is hiding Gamera in a baby food factory near the no-fly zone."
K, listen up: the future of ads is product placement! That just in from MIT's Technology Review. The bright side? "On the one hand, product placements may be a boon to storytellers, allowing them to sustain a desired emotional pitch across a single episode without commercial interruptions." Umm, yeah.
when an RPG character dies in the game, and it's effect on real people, as well.
when the real person behind an on-line RPG persona dies? they have an in-game funeral (via slashdot). what's funny (or sad) is how some people wouldn't come without a temporary truce because they were afraid their characters would be attacked.
Not The Onion, part 387: Judge plays hoops with 20 year old pot smoker. "The 20-year-old defendant told the judge that marijuana made him a better basketball player. "Oh, yeah?" replied Judge Marc Kelly, peering down at Alvaro Alvarez, charged with pot possession. "I'm a 42-year-old man. I don't think you can take me on." . . . "I though maybe he was kidding," he said."
This piece in the Guardian reminds me of why my kung fu teacher refuses to teach fighting application of moves: because in a fight there are no rules, no warming up, no mercy. Grab my arm -- no, the other arm -- no, with the other hand -- hold on ...
If Iraq does what General Van Riper did in this wargame, we will be crying. Oh, and by the way, we lost in the World Championships of basketball. With NBA players. No medal possiblity. We are lost...
The Greek government, in an effort to crack down on illegal gambling machines, has gone ahead and decided to ban ALL videogames including the ones that come with Windows.
If you were hemming and hawing about switching to Mac 10.2 aka Jaguar, you need to read John Siracusa's extremely thorough and thoroughly entertaining report on it. It's like Consumer Reports taking a car and banging on it, prying at it, squeezing it, and basically putting it through its paces, but for an OS, so he's torturing the graphics rendering engine in the worst way possible by, for instance, taking semi-transparent terminal windows and wiping them back and forth over a Quicktime movie while it's playing which I didn't know would bring previous iterations of OSX to its knees but which in Quartz performs spectacularly well. I learned so much from this pleasurable article and funny/anal guy...
A Temple University linguist says "like" is not mindless filler but can actually impart meaning.
How did Chi Chi Rodriguez wind up on the cover of Q:Are We Not Men? Just ask Chi Chi. "I tried to listen to their music, but I felt sorry for them. I couldn't understand what they were saying,'' Rodriguez said. "I told Eddie to take a check for $2,500 and just tell them to skip the royalties part, just to help the kids out.''
Mexican Teen Singer Loses Fingers
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Doctors reattached three fingers to the hand of a 16-year-old pop singer, after they were severed by a helicopter rotor as he waved to fans.
Ricardo Abarca was getting off the aircraft at a Guatemala City airport on Saturday. In raising his hand to greet fans, he put it into the still-whirling rotor.
``The index finger and middle finger are completely recovered,'' surgeon Gustavo Lopez said Wednesday. ``We only have some problems with blood circulation in the little finger.''
Abarca, who had only recently joined the popular teen group Mageneto, was still hospitalized in Guatemala Wednesday.
If you thought you were the only one wondering what the big deal with Napster and file "sharing" was, well you were wrong. Ain't no free lunch, as my pops used to say.
"Why did I want to compile forty different versions of 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door'? I honestly have no idea."
CBS News on Rummy on September 11th: "Now, nearly one year later, there is still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn't matter to Rumsfeld. "Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
The misguided kind. The Daily News smuggles some shit. United Airlines responds: "That is a violation of federal law that you guys knowingly took those items on an airline. You can be arrested." Like the death penalty preventing murder.
A Queens man was arrested yesterday in what federal prosecutors said was a conspiracy to take out life insurance policies on Guyanese immigrants and then have them killed to collect the proceeds.
"On Monday, Saddam said that by controlling world oil and its prices, the United States would be able to determine the growth of world economy."
Saddam: America Hates Iraq Because It Stops It From Controlling World Oil. It's almost an Onion headline, in that kind of blunt obvious way. Except that it's not funny. Almost not funny.
This morning I was on the Q, more or less the first time since being away from New York a while.
I was sitting there reading about how the world is shit. Then I heard a crack, as the deranged man (still wearing his fashionable hospital admission bracelet) slammed his fist into the window, yelling something about a goose. No one even looked up.
Obviously, I was in the wrong car.
You'll want to read the customer review on this popular little item, and then see if there are any left for sale.