Delicious dirt on Rummy, who in any other administration might be called a big, lying (lieing?) sack of shit, but this time everything's relative. Recent leaks detail Rumsfeld's frequent, unsolicited attempts to make foreign policy "April was a banner month for "Snowflakes" and "Rummygrams," as the defense secretary's classified and unclassified memos are called."
The constructed image The Firm tried to build for Pony maybe didn't work so well. But was it too raunchy, or not raunchy enough? How do you get "more lifestyle and attitude" than Jenna humping your high tops?
Salam, Up Close and Personal: shy, gay, unsentimental, a walking anachronism.
"I hide behind computer screens."
Finally, one of those "videogames are good for you" articles makes it to the front page of the Times, probably because it was in Nature and it was done at Harvard.
"Experienced players of these games are 30 percent to 50 percent better than nonplayers at taking in everything that happens around them," and fragging the hell out of it.
"They carried out four experiments on undergraduates, all of them male because no female shooter game fans could be found on campus."
NY Post's puffy piece on the ipod, with the rumor of a DJ-specific ipod. tmonkey, phrisky, and I were weeks ahead of the Post on this...
This entertaining reading compares Barney's Cremaster 3 to Miyamoto's Donkey Kong.
Because we didn't spend all that money to let the Iraqi people just go and elect any old political party.
quick prescience quiz: How will our media react to the success of Bruce Almighty? I'm trying to remember what theological hand-wringing (or -slapping) accompanied Oh God (and Oh God You Devil) back in the day. Time magazine seems contractually obligated to devote at least four cover a year to Christianity -- part of its pact with the Illuminati -- so watch that space first.
Let me be the first to congratulate our man Hirmes on his photo and mention in the Sarah Boxer's piece in the Times today. Good stuff.
"On www.hirmes.com/ice, the photographer travels to the center of spherical ice forms and sends back pictures that look like new galaxies."
"My lyrics poke out like nipples." -- E-40
Chiffreiermaschinen A.G. Enigma (circa 1937), Army/GAF version, Serial Number 5228. Excellent condition inside, like new. Moderate wear to wooden case, not refinished, has original leather handle and all hardware. Extra lamps and plugs. New reproduction reflector (Umkehrwalze B), excellent repro. Has no rotors (Walzenlage)... see other auctions or repros. Will be an outstanding museum-quality piece once it finds some rotors.
So some media theorist or scifi guy must have predicted the wearable camera that "casually" captures what you see. I know I need about 8 billion more pictures of my everyday life, if only to feed the fotolog.
"Fruit from the new Meat Trees, developed by British scientists using gene-splicing technology, closely resembles ordinary grapefruit. But when you peel the large fruit open, inside is fresh beef."
This only confirms my suspicion that most vegetarians abhor meat because they imagine they can hear the screams of the animal it comes from, but really, deep down, they are zeta-jonesing for a bacon cheeseburger.
Chris Hedges, the NYT reporter and author of "War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning," got heckled during his commencement speech at Rockland (?) College outside Chicago. Amy played it this morning on "Democracy Now" -- in the middle of his speech, you can hear the graduates booing, firing Fog Horns, and then eventually the mic gets cut. Hedges starts up again, talking about the way that war shapes culture, America's addiction to it, and the need for friendship to counter war-instincts, and then the mic gets cut again. this time, students get up on stage.
Now, the student's behavior was outrageous, wrong, juvenile. But I also wondered about Hedges just showing up to reel off his politics without really walking people into it. Commecement isn't a moment of high-consciousness. It's the completion of maybe the most expensive four years of your life coupled with mimosas.
US Psy Ops uses Metallica and Barney to break the will of Iraqi prisoners.
"They can't take it. If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken. That's when we come in and talk to them."
Sgt Hadsell's favourites are said to be 'Bodies' from the XXX film soundtrack and Metallica's 'Enter Sandman'.
The theme tune from the US children's programme Sesame Street and songs from the purple singing dinosaur Barney are also on their hit list.
"In training, they forced me to listen to the Barney "I Love You" song for 45 minutes. I never want to go through that again," one US operative told the magazine.
Reading Eric "Fast Food Nation" Schlosser's new (unfortunately titled) book, Reefer Madness, I'm saddened by the fact that this won't make the same kind of waves that FFN did. After all, it's a brilliantly reported indictment of "America's gross national pretense of virtue"* manifested in the shadow economies of marijuana, porn, and illegal labor.
saturation owes its existence, in part, to this issue of Wired. So let us pay tribute, by quoting. "They don't hate the way we cook; they hate the way we behave. So I can't take any responsibility for any of that. All I can do is help everybody, everywhere, live a little better."
I admit, I didn't recognize him as Councillor West, but I did note the solid representation of African-Americans in the film. Look for him to maybe throw down some rhymes in Matrix Revolution! in a few months.
While listening to NPR this morning -- which I only listened to because WBAI's "Democracy Now" had Arundhati Roy's elegant but platitudinous speech from Riverside Church on Tuesday night -- I caught this fascinating report from Iraq by, of course, the British.
The question at hand was: why is it that in Um Khazar, the port under British control, there has been little looting, social riot, and no killing of troops. In fact, they just quite easily elected their new mayor without much fuss. Why? The interviewer proposed that Um Khazar, as a port, had more of an internationalist culture and community. It's also relatively small, compared to Baghdad, with only 45,000 people.
But then this academic got on and made a great point: The Americans really value "protection control" -- meaning, American troops protect themselves first and then protect the population. The British, and this comes from their historic traditional as a colonizer, are much more comfortable not militarizing their interactions with the locals/natives/etc. "Protection control" is not the point, so you can do much more with fewer troops and more (and different) kinds of interaction. The academic's final point was a powerful one: there has been one combat British soldier death in Iraq. It happened when a British driver got out of his car to help a group of Iraqis who needed water, and one of them shot him point-blank.
(Excuse the length on this post)
It's nowhere near as classy as the Euro, but at least it's a start. Does anyone else find it dorky that the official url for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is http://www.moneyfactory.com?
Someone tell me what this means: Torrance has two separate, independent scrapbooking supply stores. I am sure this is significant. Discuss.
If one of them had been "Egregiously large tax cuts" I would have bought my ticket to France right then and there. Well, I guess #13 comes
(Letters to the NYT Magazine in regards to their piece on JM a few weeks back.)
Now that the combat portion of Operation Iraqi Freedom seems to be over, can we please send coalition forces into the south of France to take on John Malkovich's ego (Lynn Hirschberg, April 27)! Who does this guy think he is, and did I and other (former) fans who enjoyed the characters he has played create this self-indulgent, Machiavellian obsessive-compulsive? Give me a break.
Erin M. McSheffrey
As an admirer of John Malkovich's early work in the theater, I felt a sense of disappointment on reading your article about how he portrays himself off-screen. Were he not so arrogant in describing his life and philosophy, one might be tempted to believe he is a true eccentric. However, he comes across as someone who desperately needs attention and has to tell the world: Look how different and strange I am.
Opinions may differ, but I think that John Malkovich has a monotonic delivery; he's boring; and he is always, always the same.
Thomas H. Baer
Hirschberg writes that Malkovich ''vociferously maintains that he is not political.'' In a talk last year at Cambridge University in England, when asked whom he would most like to fight to the death, he said he would rather not fight and would rather just shoot Robert Fisk (a British journalist who is a critic of Israel) and the Scottish M.P. George Galloway. This comment caused quite a stir in Europe.
Well, somebody had to post it.
"The New York Times continues as before. Every morning, stacks of The Times are piled at newsstands throughout the city; every morning, newspaper carriers toss plastic bags containing that day's issue onto the lawns of readers from Oregon to Maine. What remains unclear is how long those copies will carry the dust from the public collapse of a young journalist's career."
So, what do people think? Is the Times' reputation irrevocably sullied by Blair's ignominious stain? Are other news organizations any better? Is this a watershed moment in newspaper journalism?
zeta-jones: to eat ravenously, as if downing last bowl of Sally Struthers-provided rice in the midst of a famine.
In Safire's column this weekend, he tries to shed light on the possible origins of "jonesing" ("obviously a participle in play, presumably the latest, hot, with-it usage"), but it seems he was too busy getting sidetracked about the sloth of heroin addicts or talking to Maureen Dowd to mention the huge mound of references in black popular culture, starting with Love Jones (a raft of songs and a recent title of a movie), Basketball Jones, Mr. Jones, and my personal candidate, "cojones".
There is a spectre haunting the music industry, the spectre of ... Avril Levigne?
"My fellow Avrilutionaries, our cause is too awesome for any of us to feel worthy of it. Our task would be impossible, if not for the inspiration and guidance of Avril Lavigne and the Avrilution. Fellow Avrilutionaries, it is the cause of the Avrilution to resist concentrations of power, private or public, which seek to monopolize and edit the content on which we thrive. Do not suckle the singular Rosenite teat of the Recording Industry Association of America. These forces see us merely as a herd, to be fed and fattened as they see fit, then slaughtered and commoditized for their solitary benefit. Should you find yourself feeding from this collective trough, keep a wary eye on the funnel through which the grain flows. Destroy those who with conceited self-interested would see fit to force our cultural sustenance through a filter of their own design."
Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan can't write Shakespeare.
OK. Let me get this straight. You want to nominate who for the Nobel Peace Prize?
I suppose it depends on what your definition of peace is.
The Byko Birthday Book yesterday mistakenly resurrected Johnny Unitas. He remains dead and did not celebrate his 70th birthday.
"An activist seeking the overturn of Canada's marijuana law said he smoked hashish and marijuana before arguing his case in the Supreme Court. 'I took a couple of hits off some bubble hash and a little bit of cannabis,' David Malmo-Levine told reporters after delivering a 40-minute monologue to the nine justices. 'I was happy, hungry and relaxed, but I was not impaired."
40-minutes? I'm sure he could have gone on for h o u r s....
Great DJ. Lots of chemicals. Should be a blast.
This just in:
"Horseman, Pass By" by John Jeremiah Sullivan, published in Harper's, just won a National Magazine award. It's a fabulous, long-and-winding rhapsody about the history of horse racing, his father's career as a sports journalist, and the nearly indescribable greatness of Secretariat. If you missed it in print, perhaps now Harper's will put it back online...
From Page Six:
May 7, 2003 -- HOW tough is it to get a reservation at Nobu? Just ask chef Nobu Matsuhisa. "He couldn't get a table at his own restaurant," cracked Nobu partner Richie Notar to The Post's Braden Keil. While in town for the James Beard Awards, the L.A.-based sushi master called his TriBeCa restaurant for an impromptu seating. "This is Nobu," he said to the unseasoned reservationist. To which she replied, "Yes, this is." He tried again: "This is Matsuhisa." She then explained that Matsuhisa was their restaurant in Beverly Hills. The conversation went on like a "who's on first" skit until the chef finally gave up and called Notar, who quickly found him a table.
The Exalted Prince channeled by Arial Dorfman. Via Tom Engelhardt.
and yet and yet
who did not defend the words and the widow
if I do not curse you, who will?
A bit ... something. But somehow also satisfying. Don't give up before you get to the curses:
may the years of your rule be in groaning
years of scarcity years of famine
darkness without light
the removal of your name and memory from the land
I remember having a conversation with someone about whether lethal injection was any more "humane" than electrocution. In fact it is not. Especially when inept prison officials (I guess Executioner is not a desired job title) take an hour to find a suitable vein (often with the help of the victim), or when the intravenous needle is inserted pointing at the fingers instead of the heart, prolonging the ordeal, or when the straps that bound the victim were too tight, restricting the flow of chemicals. We're talking anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour of torturous pain.
Then again, neither gas nor electricity seem to be any more foolproof:
Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against a steel pole in the gas chamber while the reporters counted his moans (eleven, according to the Associated Press). Later it was revealed that the executioner, Barry Bruce, was drunk.
December 12, 1984. Georgia. Alpha Otis Stephens. Electrocution. "The first charge of electricity ... failed to kill him, and he struggled to breathe for eight minutes before a second charge carried out his death sentence ..." After the first two minute power surge, there was a six minute pause so his body could cool before physicians could examine him (and declare that another jolt was needed). During that six-minute interval, Stephens took 23 breaths. A Georgia prison official said, "Stephens was just not a conductor" of electricity.
Scenes from the recent auction of Andre Breton’s studio: ". . . frustrated protestors set off stink bombs and harassed some collectors. Inside it was occasionally not much better, as some protestors handed out fake 10-euro notes with the legend "your money stinks of the corpse of the poet that you never dared to become". Others yelled and clapped as the auctioneer attempted to sell works. One man interrupted the auctioneer by reading a text by Breton and Leon Trotsky out loud."
IMPEACH BUSH. OH WAIT, NO ONE WILL BLOW HIM.
(on side of one of those free weekly dispenser things that was knocked over.)
When the Food Workers Union stages an impromptu walkout at the U.N., the diplomats start looting for lunch and booze.
Were the Neocons right about the U.N. or is this just what happens in a New York office when the cafeteria goes on strike?
Aron Ralston, a canyoner, goes for a dayhike in Canyonlands. He pushes his hand into a canyon wall, a boulder shifts, and his arm is trapped. Three days later, he's still there and his water runs out. Two days after that, getting desperate, he gets his pocketknife, ties a tourniquet, and amputates his arm just below the elbow. He then rappels down 60 feet to the canyon floor and begins walking. He's been gone six days. A helicopter finds him and takes him to a hospital where walks into the emergency room and explains what happened.
"Aron Ralston is a warrior," says the Canyonlands park manager.
What did you do today?
She was the only woman at the table in all those Saddam videos. She's the only chick in the deck of 55 Most Wanted members of the regime. (She's the 5 of Hearts.) Now Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash is in U.S. custody. As one of the top biochemists in Iraq, she's going to be an interesting factor in the non-event of WMD investigations. And maybe it's a gender bias I have, but I just can't see women running chemical attack strategies on innocents. I really *do* think if women were running the show, there'd be less war, better healthcare, and birthday cards sent from the I.R.S.
Also: loved this quote from Rummy: "I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country," Rumsfeld told "Fox News Sunday." Will there ever come a moment when they just have to say they were wrong?
Watching Conan last night, Yoko was on and she did her Bag Piece with him -- big, stretchy bag, the two of them in it, filling up most of the screen, it undulating and stretching, their clothes being dropped out of it like little rabbit pellets. For minutes and minutes, just the big bulbous bag on the screen. Great TV. But what really did it was that I was watching on jetblue, and *everyone* else was watching too. Fluxus didn't ever think of that.