[ f e c k l e s s ]

Thursday, June 27

The phrase Love is the Plan, the Plan is Death has been running through my head all day. If not sure why exactly, but I'll take the hint and dig out my Tiptree when I get home.

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Wednesday, June 26

Lileks, Flotsam Cove:
Look. If you don't want people to call you hicks, don't name your town Poverty Flats, okay? That's all I'm saying.
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Things to see next year (via Jish):
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Effects of reading Paine: New Political Compass score.
Economic Left/Right: -5.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -8.05
Aren't I supposed to be getting less radical as I get older?
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Monday, June 24

from Rights of Man - Thomas Paine (1791)

All religions are in their nature kind and benign, and united with principles of morality. They could not have made proselytes at first by professing anything that was vicious, cruel, persecuting, or immoral. Like everything else, they had their beginning; and they proceeded by persuasion, exhortation, and example. How then is it that they lose their native mildness, and become morose and intolerant?

It proceeds from the connection which Mr. Burke recommends. By engendering the church with the state, a sort of mule-animal, capable only of destroying, and not of breeding up, is produced, called the Church established by Law. It is a stranger, even from its birth, to any parent mother, on whom it is begotten, and whom in time it kicks out and destroys.

The inquisition in Spain does not proceed from the religion originally professed, but from this mule-animal, engendered between the church and the state. The burnings in Smithfield proceeded from the same heterogeneous production; and it was the regeneration of this strange animal in England afterwards, that renewed rancour and irreligion among the inhabitants, and that drove the people called Quakers and Dissenters to America. Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is alway the strongly-marked feature of all law-religions, or religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity. In America, a catholic priest is a good citizen, a good character, and a good neighbour; an episcopalian minister is of the same description: and this proceeds independently of the men, from there being no law-establishment in America.

. . .

While the Declaration of Rights was before the National Assembly some of its members remarked that if a declaration of rights were published it should be accompanied by a Declaration of Duties. The observation discovered a mind that reflected, and it only erred by not reflecting far enough. A Declaration of Rights is, by reciprocity, a Declaration of Duties also. Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.

 (10:26 PM | #)

Men's Fashion:
The funny thing is, wear a polo shirt to your country club and itís a polo shirt, time-accepted. But wear a polo shirt to your punk-rock club and itís something else entirely. Itís a contradiction, and often the best style can come out of such contradictions, those moments when something doesnít quite add up, and it becomes notable not for being good, but for being somehow just not quite right. Itís in such ways that we can have fun with our clothing choices and the messages they impart. Choose not to look like everyone else, but instead choose to confront what certain clothing means. Confront and distort.
Includes advice on suits, shirts, and pants and a conclusion.
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Things we really ought to see this summer . . .
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Sunday, June 23

FBI checking out Americans' reading habits: Bookstores, libraries can't do much to fend off search warrants:

For the first time since the Cold War, the FBI is visiting public libraries to keep tabs on the reading habits of people the government considers dangerous.

The searches of some records kept by libraries and bookstores were authorized in an obscure provision of the USA Patriot Act, quietly approved by Congress six weeks after Sept. 11. The act, passed virtually without hearings or debate, allowed a variety of new federal surveillance measures, including clandestine searches of homes and expanded monitoring of telephones and the Internet.

Of course, you already knew this, because you were paying attention when they passed the Patriot Act, right?
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Thursday, June 20

Good lord, I need to rationalize the CSS on this. My margins are all gooey.
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Wednesday, June 19

Statement in opposition to fully electronic balloting systems (via Politech):
I am adamantly opposed to the use of any fully electronic or Internet-based systems for use in anonymous balloting and vote tabulation applications. The reasons for my opposition are manyfold, and are expressed in my writings as well as those of other well-respected computer security experts.
 (10:12 PM | #)

The terrible economic consequences of dealing with global warming (via RRE):
People will be five times as rich in a hundred years' time. And if we are willing to postpone that prosperity by just two years, we could fix global warming into the bargain. That's the startling conclusion of leading US climate scientist Stephen Schneider and Swedish energy economist Christian Azar, who are about to publish a bruising assault on the Bush administration's claims that international plans to curb climate change would cripple the US and world economies.
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Tuesday, June 18

Words to be banned when the revolution comes (first in a series): portlet.
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Mar Vista. Cottages. Gualala. A goat. Peace & quiet. Beaches. Mind cleansed. Thank you Eva!
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Friday, June 14

Not Dogs Playing Poker:
As if to add a dash more insult to Coolidge's anonymous lot, few call his seminal work by its given name. Instead, most people refer to "A Friend in Need" ó indeed, the majority of the Coolidge oeuvre ó as "Dogs Playing Poker," which is not unlike referring to one of Van Gogh's self portraits as "Guy Missing an Ear."
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Thursday, June 13

I don't get very angry very often. You wouldn't like me when I'm Ang Lee.

(Checks Google. Confirms that I'm not the first to make this terrible, terrible joke. And I'm pretty sure I won't be the last, either.)

Um. But massive, collossal, truly epic--and I mean Vikings would have written full sagas and still had to use a few sonnets to finish up--truly epic beureaucratic and administrative incompetence that specifically involves my paycheck when I actually have some need of it--I mean, do these people not pay rent? Do they not pay bills? Are these bills not due at specific times of the month, not, you know, "probably tomorrow," which sounds like I'm dealing with a stoner roommate, not people who get paid real money--probably on time do they get paid!--to handle other people getting their money on time-- do they not have to pay rent--and what if they did this to one of the professors? I'd like to see what would happen then! And another thing, grumble. Bark! Chew, fume, & gripety-gurr. That kind of thing makes me angry.

But incredible sweetness and thoughtfulness on the part of the guys at Mod Lang can go a long way to rescuing the day. They will now be getting an even larger percentage of my income than they were before, as thanks.

You know, after I get fricking paid.

And a very happy birthday to the sister.
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Wednesday, June 12

Sarah Sze - Transforming Life's Detritus into Sculpture
What she proposed was three underground displays, covered in glass, that would look like a hybrid of miniature construction sites and archaeological digs. Imbedded in the floor, illuminated by a system of fiber optics, the works were to suggest the dioramas of animal life at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Each display would encourage viewers to believe they were seeing a fragment of a vast underworld. As in so many of her pieces, a goal was to scramble perceptions, to make an observer question, in Ms. Sze's words, "our line between what is real and what is fake."

I really enjoyed her "exploded Jeep Cherokee" piece at SFMOMA last year. The underground displays reminded me of constructions I used to make in the playground as a kid. I would dig small holes in the dirt, and then fill them with tiny beams of balsa that I'd carved symbols on, in arrangements that were supposed to look like miniature architecture and furniture, only aged and then partially unearthed. Little lost civilizations, left for other playground archeologists to unearth.

I was an odd child.

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LURKY McDEMON: It's canon, alright? Blame the doof with the stupid hair for that.
SPIKE: Who, Angel?
LURKY McDEMON: No, Joss Whedon. You're stuck with it. Now cry, little monkey!
-- Lurky McDemon, via prolific
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Tuesday, June 11

From Secrets of the Stradivarius: An Interview with Joseph Nagyvary:
Joseph Nagyvary set the world of violinmaking afire in 1977 with his research into the legendary Stradivarius violins. The instruments made by Antonio Stradivari in the 17th and 18th century, along with other instruments made in the northern Italian city of Cremona, are widely recognized by violinists as superior to any made since. Controversially, Nagyvary suggested that the chemistry of the instruments is asóor moreóimportant than their craftsmanship.
New College folks, please note the byline. And music geeks, please play with the sound samples in the sidebar.
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Four websites: And that's probably enough of that, although there does seem to be yet another comp: Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau, on Ghostly International. Just so you know.
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Monday, June 10

From the Chron's coverage of FBI, CIA, and Ronnie Reagan hijinks in the 60's:

But Reagan seized on the thin red report to bolster his own charges of campus misconduct.

At the Cow Palace, he declared, "There is a leadership gap, and a morality and decency gap, in Sacramento. And there is no better illustration of that than what has been perpetrated . . . at the University of California at Berkeley, where a small minority of beatniks, radicals and filthy speech advocates have brought such shame to . . . a great university."

Claiming his sources had verified allegations in the report, Reagan demanded the dismissal of those responsible for "the degradation" of the University of California.

All I can say, is, for the last two years one of my greatest pleasures has been grabbing an exquisitely made latte from the Filthy Speech Cafe on campus and walking past a copy of this picture of one of the finest of Americans.

And, in case you've forgotten, this is what he had to say to us then:

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

 (9:29 PM | #)

Spider-Man was OK. J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle, on the other hand, rocked my suddenly 12 years old again little world. Was my journalism fetish really operating that early?
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Saturday, June 8

Went to Jezebel's Joint to see No Maps for These Territories, a documentary in which they stuck William Gibson in a limousine and made him talk for a long time. Which turns out to have been a very good idea--I could listen to Gibson talk for hours cheerfully. The slight southern accent was a revelation the first time I saw him read in person, and now I read his writing in that slow, mild drawl as much as possible.
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Friday, June 7

Apparently Bon Harris (formerly of Nitzer Ebb) has a new project in the works, called Maven. Websites all broken-y at the moment, but if you dig around in google you can get the story. Together with the incipient Shriekback reunion and all of this electro#### stuff, I'm thinking the next year or so is looking pretty good, music I like to dance to wise.
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Two videos: (I tried to find four. But I failed.)
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Thursday, June 6

I present to you: The Jerome K. Jerome Society.
Members of the Society, whilst supporting this very good cause also manage to enjoy themselves at every opportunity. They don straw boaters and striped blazers and take to the boats fortified by Champagne and memories of Jerome's intrepid trio (to say nothing of the dog).
I'm strongly considering joining.
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Wednesday, June 5

Four articles:
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You tell them, James Kelman!

In other (old, not sure how I missed this) Scot-Lit-Geek news, Kelman, Alasdair Gray, and Tom Leonard have been teaching Creative Writing at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities. Droooooooool. It looks like the program involves, as either instructors, lecturers, invited speakers, or conference speakers, almost every person worth thinking about in contemporary Scottish writing and criticism. (The exceptions are mostly, and unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the genre writers: Banks, McLeod, Rankin, Palliser, Metaphrog, etc.)

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Tuesday, June 4

Pie baking + pie theft = pie art.
"An adult man ran across the plaza and stole the pie, right in front of a bunch of little kids who were waiting, and ran off," Ms. Mack said. "That was pretty satisfying, to get it the way I wanted it."
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Monday, June 3

Four compilations:
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There's nothing like a three day email outage to reduce the household to frothy, quivering, spastic junkies in withdrawal. Except for the cat, of course. She was fine. While our fingers twitched uncontrollably with motions that looked suspiciously like typing in usernames and passwords, we managed to do a number of things: In other words, we had a real weekend. It was bliss.
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