July 30, 2004

Recently, the inimitable James L. of consumptive.org was wondering about making a photographic equivalent to a Pixies song. (A stieglitz-esque cloud?) And video ain't nothing like photography, except in the ways that they're identical, but yesterday I spent a lot of time pretending it was work to watch videos by Michel Gondry. While the rock video has been around, in its current form, for more than two decades (and if that doesn't make you feel old, what will?), Gondry has managed to utter more than a few completely new words. Yes, there's lots of groovy gimmicks in his work, like the Legos in that White Stripes video. What really sends me, though, are the equivalents. Like the videos for the Chemical Brothers' Star Guitar; Gary Jules' Mad World; and Daft Punk's Around the World. Extra bonus awe for the Polyphonic Spree Eternal Sunshine song, though its more goofy than profound..

Posted by dbrown at 11:04 AM
July 29, 2004
Call for Entries


Posted by dbrown at 11:19 PM
July 28, 2004
Chain of Command

just relaying news; it may sink, it may swim. no pun intended.

"By ROBERT WELLER, Associated Press Writer

FORT CARSON, Colo. - One of four soldiers charged with pushing two Iraqi civilians into a river, where one of them drowned, says he was ordered to do so and told what to say to officials looking into the death, an Army investigator testified Wednesday. ...

Bowman said he had been ordered to push the men into the Tigris River, Cintron said."

Posted by dbrown at 07:18 PM
Loony Tunes

I believe Capitol Hill Blue to be fiction, but even from that perspective, today's story on the Bush White House is pretty wonderful

"President George W. Bush is taking powerful anti-depressant drugs to control his erratic behavior, depression and paranoia, Capitol Hill Blue has learned.

The prescription drugs, administered by Col. Richard J. Tubb, the White House physician, can impair the President’s mental faculties and decrease both his physical capabilities and his ability to respond to a crisis, administration aides admit privately. ...

Tubb prescribed the anti-depressants after a clearly-upset Bush stormed off stage on July 8, refusing to answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay.

“Keep those motherfuckers away from me,” he screamed at an aide backstage. “If you can’t, I’ll find someone who can.” ...

One long-time GOP political consultant who – for obvious reasons – asked not to be identified said he is advising his Republican Congressional candidates to keep their distance from Bush.

“We have to face the very real possibility that the President of the United States is loony tunes,” he says sadly. “That’s not good for my candidates, it’s not good for the party and it’s certainly not good for the country.”"

Posted by dbrown at 06:11 PM
July 27, 2004
Convention Blogging Blogging

Billmon, at the end of a mixed review of Day One:

"What was important to me was what I saw when the camera panned the delegates - black and white and every shade in between, male and female, gay and straight, young and old, union guys from Cleveland and lesbian couples from San Francisco, Irish pols from Boston and Hispanic pols from East L.A. Asian American businessmen from Seattle and African American teachers from Harlem.

God knows it's not perfect - not even close. I'm sure there was no shortage of vile hacks and corporate fat cats in the audience. And when it comes to actual policies, it's pretty clear the Democratic Party has about as much progressive backbone as a bowl of corn meal mush.

But compared to the sea of sour-looking honkies and fundamentalist zealots that have filled the seats (if not the stage) of every GOP convention I've ever watched, there's no question in my mind which side I'm on in this fight. It may not be my party, but those are my people, my America. I wish I could be there with them."

Posted by dbrown at 10:48 AM
July 26, 2004
Convention Blogging

omigod, DNC video of the Little League for Special Needs kids that J. Kerry helped survive (in some vague way) legal challenges from the big, bad Little League. Fucking broke my heart, and put it back together again, Humpty Dumpty-style. That's what John Kerry will do for this country. He will do what All the King's Men could never do.

Here comes Hillary.

Posted by dbrown at 10:26 PM
Dept. of Wow, That's Fucked Up


Planned Parenthood's new (?) T-shirt, for sale now, Medium or Large.

The best way to look at it, I think, is to admire them for taking back the word & identity, like Queer Identity did in the 1980s. But I'll also say, being gay and having an abortion are different things.

Posted by dbrown at 05:50 PM
July 25, 2004

from espn's live text coverage of the final stage:

"Jimmy Casper, last in the general classification, has just pulled out a camera and taken a photo of himself at the front of the peloton, in front of American Lance Armstrong."

Posted by dbrown at 01:16 PM
July 24, 2004
Sentence of the Day

"Fame is an extreme imbalance between inbound and outbound attention." Clary Shirky, on blogs, in the August Wired.

Posted by dbrown at 06:24 PM
July 23, 2004
the money

deep throat is always right. via James Ridgeway, this reporting in the Guardian about 9/11, Pakistan, and Daniel Pearl:

"Omar Sheikh, a British-born Islamist militant, is waiting to be hanged in Pakistan for a murder he almost certainly didn't commit - of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.... Significantly, Sheikh is also the man who, on the instructions of General Mahmoud Ahmed, the then head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), wired $100,000 before the 9/11 attacks to Mohammed Atta, the lead hijacker."

Posted by dbrown at 01:17 PM
July 19, 2004

other bloggers have some, umm, minor nits to pick with hackblogger Mickey Kaus; not my department. My department is to gasp when I find this sentence in a car review of his:

"Drive a Scion for a few days and you'll see other cars the way Humbert Humbert saw college girls—as repulsively over-ripe."

Posted by dbrown at 04:55 PM

from an email this morning:

"With warm heart I offer my friendship, and greetings, and I hope this mail
meets you in good time. ... My name is joyce kanan from moronvia in Liberia ... and this is a proposal in context but actually an appeal soliciting for your unreserved assistance in consummating a project requiring maximum confidence."

Either he means Monrovia, or someone is having some very subtle fun.

Posted by dbrown at 09:54 AM
July 17, 2004

David Newiwert, of ornicus, often says things I wish I'd said, or wish I'd thought of, and sometimes makes me just wish I was a better person. Today, he writes about the lingering effects of 2000:

"But how, exactly, do you "get over" the assault on democracy that the election theft represented? Certainly not by enduring three-plus years of arrogant incompetence. Moreover, any American who cherishes democratic values -- particularly the bedrock principle of having one's vote counted, because it is the essence of political enfranchisement -- would not, should not, readily shrug this off. This is not, and never should be characterized as, a minor issue."

Those minutes of f911 showing us the black congresspeople standing up to the crushing power of James A. Baker III were, for many of us, the most surprising and inspiring thing in the movie.

Posted by dbrown at 11:33 AM

two things about the Tour de France: in yesterday's final climb, up La Mongie in the Basque section of the Pyrenees, fans paint slogans and encouragement to their favorite riders on the pavement. But there were dozens and dozens of big "ETA" signs painted on the road. I am trying to imagine another such public display of support for what I naively assume is a terrorist group.

two, in today's stage, which was full of brutal mountains, Iban Mayo, a Spanish climber who was a favorite to challenge Armstrong, had a kind of do or die day. It was clear from his poor climbing yesterday that he wasn't going to challenge anybody. Today, on the 2nd to last climb, he wanted to give up, took his feet off the pedals. And but then his teammates, and two non-teammate Spanish riders, came up behind him and started pushing him up the hill. He is a champion, and they did not want him to fail so ignobly. It is heartbreaking.

other updates: Heras is getting his ass kicked. Hamilton was getting his ass kicked, but dropped out of the race today. Ullrich is getting his ass mostly kicked. Voeckler and Rasmussen are amazing. Armstrong is, as always, superhuman.

Posted by dbrown at 11:23 AM
July 16, 2004
publishing news

via r. and publisher's lunch:

"Wired contributor Julian Dibbell's PLAY MONEY: Or How I Quit My Day Job and
Set Out to Strike It Rich Sellling Imaginary Castles and Make-Believe Gold,
an examination of the world of MMORPGs -- massively multiplayer online
role-playing games -- and what they say about the legal and philosophical
underpinnings of real-world globabl economics, to Megan Hustad at Basic. by
Lydia Wills at Writers and Artists Group International (world)."

Posted by dbrown at 08:23 PM
Sentence(s) of the Day

"Long rumored to have been living in Japan, Mr. Fischer was reportedly sheltered and helped by chess devotees. He was said to have frequented a Tokyo chess club."

Posted by dbrown at 08:09 PM
July 14, 2004


Not new, but new to me: Nancy Burson's Jesus Guys, 2000.

Posted by dbrown at 05:04 PM
July 12, 2004

7/12/04: "But Saddam refused to open his country to inspections, Bush said."

11/19/02: "U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has described the atmosphere in Baghdad as "tense" as he arrived with a team of assistants to seek any weapons of mass destruction. Blix, head of the U.N. commission responsible for searching for chemical and biological weapons and missiles, arrived in the Iraqi capital on Monday with a 30-strong team of inspectors."

Posted by dbrown at 12:35 PM
July 07, 2004
High Value Targets

Josh Marshall noted something a while ago about pressuring the Pakistanis to cough up Osama or friends in late July. John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari lay it bare in the New Republic:

"A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston."

Posted by dbrown at 07:35 PM
Rozz Tox

I found Gary Panter's blog today, and with it my first exposure to the Rozz Tox manifesto, first "run [in 1979], item by item, in the LA Reader's free personals, week by week, for free." It ain't the Futurists or SCUM, but also, it ain't the Futurists and it ain't SCUM.

Item 1: The avant-guard is no corpus. It merely lies in shock after an unfortunate bout with it's own petard. It feigns sleep, but one eye glitters and an involuntary twitch in the corner of the mouth belies a suppressed snicker. The giggle of coming awake at one's own funeral dressed in atomic TV beatnik furniture. A mutant with a mission.

Item 2: There are twenty years left in the twentieth century. Twenty years to reap the rewards and calamities that have been put in motion in this period. At this time a current of aesthetic function is emerging: the inevitable culmination of concepts and experiments pioneers and conducted in this century. We declare society an amusement park and on to be dead reckoned with.
Item 7: Profound faith in glamour is a sure fire way to to not see that you kill what you eat.
Item 15: Law: If you want a better media, go make it

[also, note "Joshua White, of the legendary Fillmore East's Joshua Lightshow, and Gary Panter present a supersized lightshow, with live and taped music. July 15-18, 2004, at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, (at 2nd St.) New York City (212) 505-5181."]

Posted by dbrown at 07:19 PM
July 06, 2004

So who broke the Edwards-as-VP-choice story? An aviation chat board, last night.

"Posted: Jul 5 2004, 09:44 PM

John Kerry"s 757 was in hgr 4 pit tonight John Edwards vp decals were being put on engine cowlings and upper fuselage. :up:"

And then ensued a spirited debate between those who think Bush if a buffoon and those who think Theresa Heinz is the antichrist. I think we'll be hearing more of the latter soon, since they won't be able to talk as much about Hillary. (Hillary '20!)

Posted by dbrown at 08:52 AM
Mea Culpa

Others have already noted it, but still I want to relay the newspaper correction of the year, in the Lexington Herald-Ledger:

"CLARIFICATION: It has come to the editor's attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement. We regret the omission."

Posted by dbrown at 08:41 AM
July 02, 2004
Abt Descriptions

Tomorrow is July 3, which means one thing: We get to read Samuel Abt's Tour de France dispatches every day for the next two weeks. Today, we learn about "Mario the Magnificent — a k a the Lion King, Super Mario and the Italian Stallion..."

Posted by dbrown at 07:36 PM
July 01, 2004
File Under Sticks, Stones

via Digby, dispatch from the Guardian:

"American military police yesterday raided a building belonging to the Iraqi ministry of the interior where prisoners were allegedly being physically abused by Iraqi interrogators. ...

Nashwan Ali ... 'The American asked me why we had beaten the prisoners. I said we beat the prisoners because they are all bad people. But I told him we didn't strip them naked, photograph them or fuck them like you did.'"

Posted by dbrown at 01:42 PM