May 30, 2003

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."

Posted by dbrown at 06:49 PM

a permanent chinese moon base in the next 10 years? will dubya let our children sleep under a "communist-experimenting-with-capitalism" moon? he might just have to dust off project A119.

Posted by elia at 05:05 PM
Stay Gold, Pony Boy

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?

Posted by dbrown at 02:45 PM
Weblogs Killed the Embedded Journalist Star

Salam, Up Close and Personal: shy, gay, unsentimental, a walking anachronism.

"I hide behind computer screens."

Posted by tmonkey at 08:39 AM
May 29, 2003
have sitcom idea...

need name...

Posted by elia at 02:43 PM
As We May Have Thought

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."

Posted by tmonkey at 10:12 AM
May 28, 2003
because it's there

The view from Everest. quicktime vr.

Posted by dbrown at 04:00 PM
three weeks ahead of the curve

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...

Posted by dbrown at 12:02 PM
May 27, 2003
Cremaster v. Donkey Kong

This entertaining reading compares Barney's Cremaster 3 to Miyamoto's Donkey Kong.

I met Beatthief I think in the Palace back in '96 and he had one of the most interesting sites back in the day. Probably best known for his eWorld interview of Kathy Acker.

Posted by tmonkey at 01:49 PM
Democracy InAction

Rumsfeld: U.S. Won't Let Iraq Be Made Into New Iran

Because we didn't spend all that money to let the Iraqi people just go and elect any old political party.

Posted by tmonkey at 09:46 AM
May 26, 2003
americans are nuts for god!

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.

Posted by dbrown at 05:17 PM
May 24, 2003
Walker Evans + Nan Goldin = Hirmes?

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, the photographer travels to the center of spherical ice forms and sends back pictures that look like new galaxies."

Posted by tmonkey at 09:34 PM
May 23, 2003

"My lyrics poke out like nipples." -- E-40

YA HEARD? - E-40 Invented Every Rap Word You Ever Heard
Including "fo shizzle ma nizzle."

Posted by tmonkey at 05:00 PM
May 22, 2003

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.

Posted by dbrown at 09:00 PM
I'm All the Time

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.

Posted by dbrown at 08:43 PM
May 21, 2003
Meat Tree

"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.

Posted by tmonkey at 11:55 AM

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.

Posted by phrisky at 10:42 AM
The horror, the horror!

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.

Posted by tmonkey at 12:10 AM
May 20, 2003
Shadow Economics

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.

  • from Sam Sifton's review in the Times.
Posted by tmonkey at 11:33 AM
May 19, 2003
May 18, 2003
What is Cornel West doing in the Matrix Reloaded?

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.

Posted by tmonkey at 11:22 PM
May 16, 2003
finger lickin' good

jailed man allegedly chewed fingertips.

Posted by elia at 03:11 PM
May 15, 2003

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)

Posted by phrisky at 12:37 PM
May 14, 2003

What with a new Sheriff in town, folks getting their guns, everybody playing cards and prospecting for black gold, this ain't no surprise.

Posted by tmonkey at 02:15 AM
May 13, 2003

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

Posted by tmonkey at 08:05 PM
L.A., part 3

Someone tell me what this means: Torrance has two separate, independent scrapbooking supply stores. I am sure this is significant. Discuss.

Posted by dbrown at 11:49 AM
14 Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism

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
pretty close.

Posted by tmonkey at 12:26 AM
May 12, 2003
Beating John Malkovich

(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.

Charles Blackwell
New York

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
New York

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.

Robert Lurie
New York

Posted by elia at 10:04 AM
All the news that's ... aw, fuckit.

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?

Posted by tmonkey at 01:45 AM
May 11, 2003
Gawker coinage Safired

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".

Posted by tmonkey at 12:32 AM
May 10, 2003
Whan that Avril with her shoures soote...

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."

Posted by tmonkey at 10:26 AM
May 09, 2003
ssss s sssss ssss

Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan can't write Shakespeare.

Posted by elia at 05:30 PM
Ode to an Air Traffic Controller

Here's the visual (15MB QT) to go with the poem. First link via boing boing.

Posted by hirmes at 04:38 PM
the horror

I think I saw something like this in Alien Resurrection.

Posted by dbrown at 11:32 AM
Say WHAT??

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.

Posted by tmonkey at 01:45 AM
May 08, 2003
lazarus was ungrateful for a second chance


The Byko Birthday Book yesterday mistakenly resurrected Johnny Unitas. He remains dead and did not celebrate his 70th birthday.

Posted by dbrown at 09:48 PM

from Reuters:
"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....

Posted by phrisky at 03:03 PM
Got this Underground Party invite in my email


Great DJ. Lots of chemicals. Should be a blast.

Posted by tmonkey at 12:41 PM

Posted by tmonkey at 11:14 AM
May 07, 2003

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...

Posted by kio at 02:26 PM
i pee address

Microsoft plans toilets with web access.

Posted by elia at 02:20 PM
Irony Chef

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.

Posted by tmonkey at 01:23 PM

The Exalted Prince channeled by Arial Dorfman. Via Tom Engelhardt.

and yet and yet
Rumsfeld Rumsfeld
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

Posted by at 12:04 PM
May 06, 2003
Incompetence Is Murder

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.

Posted by tmonkey at 02:20 PM
exquisite corpse

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."

Posted by dbrown at 10:33 AM

Posted by tmonkey at 02:38 AM
May 05, 2003


(on side of one of those free weekly dispenser things that was knocked over.)

Posted by elia at 05:57 PM

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?

Posted by tmonkey at 04:08 PM

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?

Posted by phrisky at 12:44 PM

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?

Posted by phrisky at 12:24 PM
May 03, 2003
L.A. part two

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.

Posted by dbrown at 11:59 AM
May 01, 2003
This almost made me cry


The MAME song.

Posted by tmonkey at 10:54 AM