Friday, September 30, 2011

Hold That Tiger!

Object, object, wilt thou pass
Through the folds of Mankind’s ass?
What exercise of yawning anus
Could get you in and yet not pain Us?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Test Pattern




















Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Moncton

Evidently I'm going to spend a couple of days in Moncton next week.

The only specific recommendation I have been given is to drink blueberry beer here.

Is that it?

UPDATINGNESS!

SolidPhil:
Go to the Tide and Boar restaurant. Drink Garrison's Tall Ship Amber and eat plum pizza. One of the best meals I ever had.
That's TWO, TWO THINGS TO DO IN MONCTON.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nawwww...

Really?
A senior Roman Catholic leader has hit out at Italy's political class, saying the country needs to "purify the air" of sex and corruption scandals.

Leadership

Via the NRO some of Chris Christie's latest speech:
At one time in our history, our greatness was a reflection of our country’s innovation, our determination, our ingenuity and the strength of our democratic institutions. When there was a crisis in the world, America found a way to come together to help our allies and fight our enemies. When there was a crisis at home, we put aside parochialism and put the greater public interest first. And in our system, we did it through strong presidential leadership. We did it through Reagan-like leadership.


UP TO THE MINUTE UPDATARINO!

There's a link to the full speech now, and I guess this must be the crisis at home mentioned above:
Everybody in this room and in countless other rooms across this great country has his or her favorite Reagan story. For me, that story happened thirty years ago, in August 1981. The air traffic controllers, in violation of their contracts, went on strike. President Reagan ordered them back to work, making clear that those who refused would be fired. In the end, thousands refused, and thousands were fired.
Had the dastardly union won, BLOOD WOULD HAVE RUN IN THE STREETS things might have been better for some people!

Full text link found via Roy Edroso.

Time's a Wastin'

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome War Criminals

We love our friends:
Protesters are gathered outside a private club in downtown Vancouver where former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney is promoting his new book.

Cheney is speaking at the sold-out $500 per seat event as part of a promotion of his book In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.

The protest organizers with Stopwar.ca are demanding Canada arrest Cheney for war crimes because of his controversial support for the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other methods to interrogate prisoners in the U.S.'s war against terrorism.

But Leah Costello, who heads up the Bon Mot Book Club that's organized the event, said it's disappointing anybody would want to prevent Cheney from speaking.
Go fuck yourself Leah Costello and your stupid fucking Flash website.

See also.

Michigan

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Parental Love

Smart!
If you think your son's sexuality can be determined through any means other than actually having a meaningful, face-to-face conversation, then you need to waste your money on the "Is My Son Gay" French Android App.
Boy, that sounds like the most helpfullest thing one could ever use.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cheap Excuses

Janine Turner:
As a satellite barrels towards Earth this week with impending doom, the references to Northern Exposure are many.
No they aren't, but here's a picture of Janine Turner just because.



What? Oh yes: write more blog filler.
I am now an activist and I have never felt more urgent sense of passion and purpose. As the satellite is making a beeline for Earth it reminds me a bit of our situation in America. We feel the impending doom: faltering economy, strangling debt, high unemployment, disenchantment, terrorism beckoning on our doorstep and a president who has blinders on and only sees 2012. Satellite? What Satellite? Ignorance is not bliss.
For the standard bananas Big Hollywood writer, this is not bad stuff, even if only marginally less kooky than every Republican candidate other than Mitt Romney, and yes things suck, without the whole terrorism panic angle. And so it goes with the rest of the piece.

On the other hand Michael Moriarty has started A Series:
With the Shostakovich Fifth Symphony as our emotional guide, we can see with increasing depth the massively homicidal inevitabilities in an increasingly centralized governing system with worldwide ambitions. A creation such as the Progressive New World Order and its increasingly empowered, increasingly selective oligarchy.

What will be the fanfare to the Progressive and Increasingly Tyrannical New World Order?

The very riots predicted by Progressive Mayor, Michael Bloomberg of New York and actually promoted by the deliberately failing prescriptions of Bloomberg’s fellow provocateur, President Obama.

What is the “fundamental transformation of the United States”?

Martial law.

With that as the objective of the entire Obama Nation, everything Obama has done makes perfect sense.
Woo woo!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trip Advice

I'm going to be driving a truck from Los Angeles to Toronto for a friend from November 6 through 13.

Any route advice? Off the top of my head I'd think staying south until crossing the Mississipi is what I'd do and then head north...

Listening Now!



Yes, that IS the way I like it.

The next bunch:

Supernaut | Black Sabbath
Coney Island Baby | Tom Waits
Dethjingle | Dethklok
Main Title (Grizzly Man) | Richard Thompson
Shaker | Yo La Tengo
i love u, but i don't trust u anymore | Prince
Blackbird | The Beatles
Shoot Out The Lights | Richard Thompson
Beethoven: Symphony #9 In D Minor, Op. 125, "Choral" - 1. Allegro Ma Non Troppo, Un Poco Maestoso | Herbert von Karajan: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Always Returning | Brian Eno
mi swing es tropical | quantic & nickodemus
Blue Monday | New Order
Wild Wild West | Kool Moe Dee
Can't Get Enough | Bad Company
N-Sub Ulysses | Nation of Ulysses
Whip It | Devo
Wolf Like Me | TV On The Radio
Heart Of Glass | Blondie
Gratitude | Beastie Boys
Just A Bit | Robert Wyatt
Kitten On The Keys | Claude Bolling

Gettin' old.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dicks

Some stuff about Adrian Belew:

At the time, the internal relationships in Talking Heads were particularly strained. The band's rhythm section, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, covertly approached Belew with the suggestion that he should replace Byrne as the band's frontman - an offer which Belew politely turned down.[5] He did however go on to work with Weymouth and Frantz on their own spin-off project, Tom Tom Club. Joining them for recordings in Compass Point, Nassau, Belew played rhythm guitar on the sessions for the band's debut album as well as adding his trademark processed solos (and even performing the entire instrumentation for the track "L'Elephant").

Unfortunately, Belew's experience with Tom Tom Club was less harmonious than his previous work with Talking Heads. Tom Tom Club's recording engineer, Steven Stanley, was vocal about his dislike of distorted guitar and erased the majority of Belew's solos during the mixing sessions. Worse was to follow when Belew queried Weymouth about songwriting credits, having co-written several of the album's songs in addition to his playing. He was apparently blanked, with Weymouth no longer returning his phone calls. Belew did not play live with Tom Tom Club or contribute to any further sessions. Recalling the situation when interviewed twenty years later, he claimed that he had opted to pursue other work rather than involve himself in legal or personal struggles with Weymouth and Frantz; and that he had chosen not to let it bother him, as several other more promising projects were happening for him at the same time.[5]

Adrian Belew should maybe never be allowed near a microphone, but he's an incredible player and kinda deserved better than that...as did David Byrne who, you know, was the important guy in Talking Heads.

The Talking Heads' best band, with Belew on shrieks and roars and feedback:

Steven Pinker is a Jerkwad

By request. Audience participation encouraged.

Art works because it appeals to certain faculties of the mind. Music depends on details of the auditory system, painting and sculpture on the visual system. Poetry and literature depend on language.
—Steven Pinker, asplainin'
Evolutionarily speaking, there is seldom any mystery in why we seek the goals we seek — why, for example, people would rather make love with an attractive partner than get a slap on the belly with a wet fish.
—Steven Pinker, no fun at the dungeon
We cannot hold ten thousand words in short-term memory. We cannot see in ultraviolet light. We cannot mentally rotate an object in the fourth dimension. And perhaps we cannot solve conundrums like free will and sentience.
—Steven Pinker being uncharacteristically modest, because he's talking about the limitations of other scientists rather than himself.














OMG Blogger's stupid image preview has broken drag and drop. Let me see if I can fix this.

I can. Solution here.

The American Folk Art Museum

Via Boing Boing, this:
Please. Someone, everyone, do something to save the American Folk Art Museum from dissolution and dispersal. Or at least slow down the process, so that all options can be thoroughly considered. New York’s contemporary artists, and New York as a whole, need the creative energy of this stubborn, single-minded little institution, its outstanding exhibition program and its wondrous collection, an unparalleled mixture of classic American folk art and 20th-century outsider geniuses.
Go while you can, it's an amazing place.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Measure of Virtue

Good old John Derbyshire:
I just want to point out that Micky Dolenz’s reading list also includes E.O. Wilson’s On Human Nature, a book so deeply, iredeemably politically incorrect that I quoted at length from it in We Are Doomed (p. 145).

I also told everyone’s favorite Wilson story. It bears re-telling:

Wilson featured in one of the more colorful incidents in the nature-nurture war. At an American Association for the Advancement of Science symposium in 1978, he had a pitcher of ice water dumped on his head by Culturists chanting, “Racist Wilson you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!”

Wilson is, in short, a good egg, and I congratulate the former Monkee for his intelligent perspicacity.
Ha ha! E.O. Wilson is a good egg because people think he's racist. Similarly if I were to punch Derbyshire over and over again in the face until his nose slides around to his ear Derbyshire would become more and more angelic, but ONLY if I was yelling "RACIST!" as I did so.

The real outrage?
The Monkees’ music, though, was low-grade pap.
Thus far all comments but one concern The Monkees except for this one:
Sigmund C. Munster
: 09/19/11 16:39

Am I missing something about the story? Guy gets water dumped on him, people chant, and...? Or is that it? In which case, I don't get it.

Mr. Munster your name is fun to say out loud. Also you do not get it.

Lady, GET AWAY FROM ME.



On the other hand I'd hang out with Screaming Jay any time.

Bug Bunny Was a Fag

Tommy Woods:
So what, then, am I so tweaked about? I’m a father of three children; ages six, eleven and thirteen. For years, it has troubled me that a selection of children’s shows were laced with strains of propaganda and amoral thought. Some suggest they have scientific proof that modern children’s programming dumbs one down. But, it has the potential to be much more dangerous than that. No matter what side of the political fence you are on, there is one thing upon which I think we can all agree. We don’t want our children exposed to certain subject matter before they are ready, much less have someone else’s opinion subconsciously embedded in their minds.

I’m guessing by now you would like an example. I’m cool with that. As funny as the show can be, one of the repeat offenders is Nickelodeon’s iCarly. They follow the standard “aimed at tweens” obsession with first kisses, gross-out gags, rebellion and celebrity status. The show is full of small desensitizing moments that include a half-naked chubby boy, made up “cuss” words and disrespect for adults. Not too long ago, an episode called iWant MY Website Back aired. Spencer, Carly’s crazy adult brother, dressed in elderly drag in order to hoodwink the grating Nevel. The affable Jerry Trainor, who plays Spencer, sold the gag and yes, it was funny when an older man was mistakenly taken with her… I mean him. If it stopped there, fine. Of course, it did not. Later in the episode the doorbell rings, and it’s the old man. With a desperate tone, he tells Spencer to put the wig back on, and they can try again. At a minimum, this brings into question sexual orientation. So many issues are layered in that moment that we almost have to applaud the writer’s skill at subtext (just kidding). Still, should this content be couched in a primetime kids’ show on a kids’ network?

Don’t answer yet.

I have an even more unsettling example.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Orly!

Entertainment news:
A leading figure in the "birther" movement is mulling returning to the California ballot in another bid for statewide office.

Republican Orly Taitz, who ran in the GOP primary for secretary of state last year, said today she is "absolutely" considering challenging Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2012.

"I think I do have a chance specifically because I do speak Spanish and I speak Hebrew," Taitz told The Bee after attending a town hall-style event on Latino issues at the California Republican Party convention in Los Angeles.
The Hebrew should get her the vote of those communists in Hollywood.

Cultural Baggage

Vancouver, one of the greatest cities in the world:
The City of Vancouver secretly approved a bailout of more than $1-million for the struggling Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and the Museum Of Vancouver (MOV), and will provide an annual operating grant to the theatre company, which had been facing bankruptcy without the emergency help.
It's good to hear, but the Vancouver Playhouse is the big thing in theatre in this town: we still have an enormous distance to travel before we get to use the "vibrant arts scene" cliché.

The Museum of Vancouver is a well-put-together walk through the area's history. To be fair, though, we haven't got a whole lot of history to crow over.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Concept Album

We should make a concept album.

Ideas/lyrics/music welcomed. I am not kidding (although I imagine some high-level project-fascist position for me in the enterprise).

From Thundra, unchopped:













Maybe I should steal some Grateful Dead and Austrian Death Machine and add the birds.

Apologies to Winlock and Vogon Poets

Erik Loomis unintentionally reminded me that I stopped in Winlock a while ago, a miserable little town that I feel guilty about poking fun at, especially since everyone I met there there was very nice, helpful, and accommodating. 3, 2, 1... Guilt's over!

Sing to me of Winlock's charms,
The SPACE FOR LEASE at NorthEast First,
The chirping of the car alarms,
The Coffee Bus with chicken cursed.



The thrift stores sell the choicest bits
Of what your neighbour sold at last,
You may now find him ogling tits,
As Jell-O Wrestling's not yet passed.



But hold! We see a festival!
Where queens shine bright as if in nova!
Perhaps they'll play some Esquivel,
At this carnival of ova.



Coronations at schools high,
Parading soon so don't be late,
Free egg sandwiches to try,
For the not-yet satiate.



And what's this reaching to the sky?
A monument to salmonella?
You know that egg's just not that big
To a certain sort of fella.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

All Fear the Absorption Cart



Sorry for the libel. PDF at this link if anyone gives a shit.

Programming Options for Kids

This is a good thread on Boing Boing.

Learning how to program helped me a lot, and such learning might be good for grown-ups too. Consider that the kid is going to be looking at the computer for a fair chunk of his or her life: understanding that you can have power over the fucking thing is important in addition to the logic-building skills.

First mentions were of Processing, which I have mentioned before. It, alas, has some system-specific kookiness.

What Could That Mean?

Chris Christie:
“I’m not going to have urban mothers and fathers lied to about the quality of the education their child is receiving,” the governor said, “I’m tired of giving out fake diplomas to people who can’t qualify to sit in a college classroom.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tut Tut

Elizabeth Warren is running for the senate and a thread about it devolved somewhat:



Others get a turn:



Maybe that thread does not rise to the level of disgust that I feel about the various makeover suggestions. I'm still depressed. And for the record Sarah Palin can bed anyone she likes, pre or post marriage. It's not my business and it's not like she's running for office or anything...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Canada the Civilized

Fuck us:
Afghans, who risked their lives working for Canadian soldiers in Kandahar, are getting a raw deal from Canadian immigration officials.

In 2009, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Afghan interpreters, who gave 12 consecutive months of service to Canadian forces, and whose lives were at risk from the Taliban, would be allowed to immigrate to Canada under a special visa program.

At the time, Kenney suggested Canada would welcome 450 interpreters while estimating that applicants would only have to wait an average six months to a year to obtain a visa.

As of July, only 60 interpreters had been accepted and average application processing times have been well north of two years.

Moreover, two out of every three Afghan translators who have applied under the program have actually had their applications denied.
Thanks for the help, suckers!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

For-profit schools in Sweden:
Per Ledin, Kunskapsskolan's managing director for Sweden, argues that it is unfair to judge his company's 32 schools by Kunskapsgymnasiet.

"We have a surplus of capacity in Malmö, so we get people coming into our school who can't get into other schools," he said, adding that on average his students get 11 points higher than would be predicted by their socio-economic background.

But when I visited the Malmö school, it was hard to see how. It was so noisy that I thought it must be break time. "Students here, they don't have to do every task if they can show that they know it," a teacher said. "English for example, they can learn from the TV and other places."

Much of the learning at the 32 schools in Sweden run by the company is done alone by students, using an online system, with one-on-one guidance from teachers once a week, interspersed with lectures in classes of up to 60 students.

If students prefer to play cards and chat all day, it's up to them.
Cool! I do pretty much everything on that model and look how productive I am! A little earlier in the story:
SNS, a prominent business-funded thinktank, issued a report last Wednesday that sharply reversed its normal pro-market stance. The entry of private operators into state-funded education, it argued, had increased segregation and may not have improved educational standards at all.

"The empirical evidence showing that competition is good is not really credible, because they can't distinguish between grade inflation and real gains," Dr Jonas Vlachos, who wrote the report on education, told the Observer.
All hail the prominent business-funded thinktank that tells the truth.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Clod of the Gaps

Need inspiring words? The New York Post provides:
Richard Mgrdechian is an engineer, a problem-solver by nature. The problem, as he saw it: There weren’t any patriotic, pro-America hard rock bands.
Sadly, that function was largely outsourced to Canadians at that time.* Back to the Mgrhdfashjklafsdhlkj story:
Mgrdechian, 45, was a high school senior growing up in Bayside, Queens when “Born in the USA” hit. He loved the album cover — the blue jeans, the flag. He loved the title. He even loved the song — at first. “It definitely grabbed me right away because the music and chorus were so powerful and direct,” says Mgrdechian from his Midtown office. “I just assumed it was the ultimate pro-American song.”
But ass we all know, when you assume you make an ASS of U and in this case nobody else, pretty much just U.
Mgrdechian, who considers Reagan “infinitely inspiring,” says that when he thought some more about “Born in the USA,” he “realized how vile it really was. The whole thing was all about ingratitude and failure — ‘You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much’ . . . ‘Sent me off to Vietnam to go and kill the yellow man.’ What type of lines are those?”
Seriously! What work of great art has ever featured a guy who had a bad time and was cranky about it? The answer is NONE WORKS OF ART. So once you have the AWESOMEST WORDS about the AWESOMEST COUNTRY lined up - imagine what those might be! - what sound should best represent the AWESOMEST MESSAGE DELIVERABLE?
A heavy sound that fits into the Stone Temple Pilots/Creed spectrum seems to portend a lot of gigs at military bases and NASCAR tailgates, the kind of crowds Mgrdechian sees as his target audience as he builds Madison Rising on his own indie label.
These people are just monsters.



PELICAN A AIR AM AROUND BADGER BRICK CAT CLAM CUZ DED DOOD DRAG DRINKED DUST EATED FORGOT FUNNY GET GOO HA I IF IT ITS JOKE KIN SHREDS MAH MAKE MUSTASH NO NOO NOW ON OOPS POO POOP POOPS POST SMART TEH TELL U WONT WURDZ RATE FOR
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ


*Seriously, check out the lyrics and tell me they're not a conservative wet-dream. Just ask Aryan.

UPDATE!

The hateful mood demands non-stop playing of this again:



Two straight hours so far.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Warnings

Kathleen's lovely daughter:
I made the poopy go away.
My lovely daughter:
My pee is like my own skunk-musk.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Infamy!

That other guy over there is to blame:
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the former media baron [Conrad Black] filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, alleging Radler hurt the value of Black's stake in Horizon Publications Inc., a U.S.-based chain of small newspapers.

The suit claims Radler illegally added shareholders and debt to Horizon, which the suit refers to as the "Cain-like betrayal of Lord Black," according to the report. The suit also calls Radler "an infamous Canadian citizen."
It's Cain-like because Radler totally killed Black after the two took turns chatting with God. One Lord to another in Black's case.