Friday, April 20, 2007

Break on through to the other side.


Overheard in the Office | Have to Wonder How She Got a Teaching Certificate:
"Assistant: I just talked to the stupidest woman ever. It was an honor. At first it was frustrating before I was overcome by the joy.

141 River's Edge Drive
Traverse City, Michigan

Overheard by: Heather"

More reasons I can hate religious folks...

Evil moralizing jackasses.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Are You There, God? It's Me, Some Asshole.:
"The statute of limitations is up and the wingnutty 'Virginia Tech happened because America forsook God' videos are rolling out. This American Family Radio production ropes Jeff Chamblee into reading some essay that's been making the e-mail rounds, framed as a letter to God about why all these campus massacres happen. The answer:

Reply: 'Dear concerned student. I am not allowed in schools. Sincerely, God.'"

SuperBad trailer

Very funny.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"History is more or less bunk."

Puts my degree in perspective, certainly.

Course Ford was also an anti-Semite and Hitler supporter, so there's that...

History Is Bunk by Sergei Boukhonine:
"...many other examples strongly tempt me to agree with Henry Ford’s assessment of history as bunk. To be sure, "history is bunk" is an inappropriate and oversimplified generalization per se, but Ford did not put it quite so bluntly. Instead, he said the following:
"History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history that we make today." (Chicago Tribune, 1916).

This paragraph is still an oversimplification, but a more nuanced one. It’s about thinking about the present and the future rather than dwelling in the past. But here is a further quotation from Ford:
As a young man, I was very interested in how people lived in earlier times; how they got from place to place, lighted their homes, cooked their meals and so on. So I went to the history books. Well, I could find out all about kings and presidents; but I could learn nothing of their everyday lives. So I decided that history is bunk. (1935).

Now, this is a great observation! Many of us remember having to memorize historic dates and how pointless it was. It is also a known historical fact that the politicians who blundered into the WWI were students of history, but look how much good did their historical expertise do to them or millions of victims!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Someone stole your future. Don't you ever wonder who?" - Warren Ellis

Great essay/intro for his new book Doktor Sleepless.

Warren Ellis - Doktor Sleepless.

Always respect dibs.

Especially for Jessica Alba. I mean, come on...

I'd totally think this was Jr, except he's in SC. Shoot, he's probably in FL on "business."

Overheard in the Office | Oh, and You're Working Sunday:
"Boss watching Sin City: Dibs on Jessica Alba.
Employee #1: I'll fight you for her.
Boss: Okay. [They spar for a second, then the boss kicks the employee in the shin and slaps him in the head, dropping him to the floor.]
Employee #1: Ow.
Employee #2: Just not smart, dude.
Employee #1: It hurts so bad.
Boss: Respect dibs.

Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

Overheard by: He can have her"

Also my major fault.

You can hate the truth, but don't hate the truth-teller.

Overheard in the Office | In Fairness, He Didn't Seem to Know:
"Man: It's not my fault the guy was a fucking idiot... It may have been my fault that I told him, though.

New Street Station
United Kingdom

Overheard by: I would have told him, too"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Honor amongst...

Fred On Everything:
"...The Prussian officers who attacked Poland and wreaked horrendous death and havoc on Russia spoke voluminously of their honor. What honor? They were just amoral killers, the scum of humanity—but honorable amoral killers, and honorable scum, you see. The Japanese Army, of Nan Jing fame, believed that they were somehow honorable. Yes, and Jeffrey Dahmer too.

...Honor is important to militaries, which need to regard themselves as distinguishable from hit men for the Mafia. They aren’t, of course. Both kill people they don’t know on orders from people they don’t know in order to make a living. Is this not literally true?

When a man becomes, say, a fighter pilot, he agrees to bomb anyone he is told to bomb. Perhaps he has never heard of Lithuania, or Guatemala, or Baghdad. He has never met a Lithuanian, and no lithuanian has ever harmed him. One day orders come from above to bomb Vilnius. He does. Doing so, and doing so bravely, is a point of honor.

It is exactly what Guido and Vito do. A torpedo for the Cosa Nostra however has the self-respect not to lie to himself about what he is doing. (Although it is of note that Mafia dons refer to themselves as “men of honor.” Like Vlad the Impaler.)

Note that the notion of honor has nothing to do with right and wrong or human decency, and seems to be incompatible with them. Ulysses Grant said explicitly and at length in his memoirs that the invasion of Mexico was entirely unjustified aggression, and yet he took part in it. That is, he felt honor bound to do what he knew was wrong, and killed a great many Mexicans while doing it.

There can be no honor in unprovoked aggression, since it is simply wrong. Courage, yes, and toughness and endurance, and sacrifice. But honor, no. The Wehrmacht had all of these admirable qualities. As all armies do in varying degrees, the Germans committed atrocities, these being natural in war. As all armies do, it lied about them. To this day many Germans insist that the Nazi Army consisted of Aryan Boy Scouts, and it was the SS that did all those bad things.

Militaries pride themselves on doing their duty, and on following orders. But then they can be only as honorable as those giving the orders.

...Honor seems to me to be little more than systematized, prickly vanity coated inches deep in amour propre. When you find yourself among honorable men, I say run like hell."

I'm more "Bad Learner" than Good.

This video was shown at last year's renewer's conference that I attended in Kobe. It was well done and pretty funny. The creator and presenter, Will Jasprizza, recently put it up on YouTube. He's got a nicely done blog about studying Japanese here NihongoJouzu.

Nihongojouzu : Good Learner, Bad Learner

Holy god there are some stupid people out there.

The guy who says Al Qaeda is a wing of the Masonic Order may actually be the smartest guy here.

Batshit crazy, but not an idiot.

Hostility and Subjectivity. *Updated*

*Had this up for a day or so, and then couldn't get it out of my head. So I pulled it back out of the ether and thought about it. The bit about the "inherent hostility" in the act of writing about other people really resonated with me when I first read it. But the more and more it turned over in my brain-meat the more I came to the conclusion that whatever little else the author and I had in common, we both came up and were raised in a way to feel that expression of self, if it might make someone else uncomfortable, was somehow hostile towards others. The idea that just by way of expressing your own perception of how things are, it's somehow an attack or some kind of violation of the integretity of the other's perspective. And raised in such a way to think that your own opinion, if it somehow might offend or reveal something that someone else doesn't want to be, should be squashed.

Live small, so that you might not offend.

Stay quiet. Stay out of the way. Don't attract attention.

I still struggle with that.

But you know... Fuck. That. Noise.

Whether someone else has a problem with something you say or do or express... whether they're offended, or hurt or put out... that's on them. That's their decision about how to feel and respond.

Stop living small and unfulfilled like some punk because you'd hate to offend someone.

[That last bit's for me as much as anyone else.]*

-- Original Post --

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel that talks about her childhood and her closeted gay father. She also writes the strip Dykes to Watch out For.

This is a fascinating bit about writing about family that struck me -

How I told my mother about my memoir. - By Alison Bechdel - Slate Magazine:
"Now I know that no matter how responsible you try to be in writing about another person, there's something inherently hostile in the act. You're violating their subjectivity. I thought I could write about my family without hurting anyone, but I was wrong. I probably will do it again. And that's just an uncomfortable fact about myself that I have to live with."

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'

Best song I've heard in ages.

Some of the lyrics...

"...Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Decker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain.
Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a peadophile… Some people are just nice.
...Thall shalt not stop liking a band just because they’ve become popular.
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry.
Thou shalt not judge a book by it’s cover.
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover.
...Thou shalt not attend an open mic and leave as soon as you're done just because you’ve finished your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick.
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in, week out just ’cause you once saw a girl there that you fancied but you’re never gonna fucking talk to.

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were.

The Beatles - Were just a band.
Led Zepplin - Just a band.
The Beach Boys - Just a band.
The Sex Pistols - Just a band.
The Clash - Just a band.
Crass - Just a band.
Minor Threat - Just a band.
The Cure - Just a band.
The Smiths - Just a band.
Nirvana - Just a band.
The Pixies - Just a band.
Oasis - Just a band.
Radiohead - Just a band.
Bloc Party - Just a band.
The Arctic Monkeys - Just a band.
The next big thing - JUST A BAND.

Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English speaking countries.
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music

Thou shalt not pimp my ride.
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster.
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness.
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit.
When I say “Hey” thou shalt not say “Ho”.
When I say “Hip” thou shalt not say “Hop”.
When I say "he say, she say, we say, make some noise" - kill me.

...Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me.

...Thou shalt think for yourselves.

And thou shalt always kill.

The Surrealists got nothing on the Mixed Martial Artists.

Cause that's Russian President Vladimr Putin with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

There are no words.

Putin Greets Van Damme at Major Martial Arts Contest - NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM:
"Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday received Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and other martial arts fighters at the Konstantinovsky palace, St Petersburg, the AFP news agency reported."

Best. Metaphor. Ever.

Overheard in the Office | We Need to Be Disoriented and Dangerous:
"Boss: We need to be the blind kids with the M16s playing soccer.
Suit: [Silence.]
Boss: You understand what I'm saying?

64th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cary, NC? Seriously?

C'mon... I've lived near Cary. They need SWAT like a cancer patient needs a cigarette.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > ♫ You Gotta' Know When to Hold 'Em. Know When to Fold 'Em. Know When to Walk Away. Know When to Get the Fuck on the Floor and Put Your Hands on Your Head...♫:
"More paramilitary raids on poker rooms, in Georgia this month, and in North Carolina last month.

The latter included a small army of police officers from several police agencies, including the federal BATF and the National Guard. They even brought a damned helicopter. They issued 41 citations, all of them misdemeanors.

Police in Cary, North Carolina gave the same excuse for the show of force that the cops in Dallas gave when they sent out the SWAT teams to raid poker games in that city: While not prone to violence themselves, poker rooms are often robbed. Therefore, they sometimes have armed guards. Therefore, police have to use overwhelming force.

I don't know that it's true that poker games are regularly knocked off by armed bandits. Nor are they particularly dangerous. I've been to a couple. And I've gotten email from people who were at games that were raided in Dallas. These games are frequented by poker enthusiasts, not mobsters. I suspect the local authorities may have been watching too much Sopranos.

But even if the theory is true, the show of force doesn't make a lick of sense. Let's assume the game does have armed guards. Put yourself in the guards' position. You've been hired to make sure a black market poker game doesn't get knocked off by armed intruders. Under which scenario are you more likely to use your gun: (A) Several uniformed cops knock on the door, identify themselves, come into the room, and break up the game, or, (B) several men dressed in black or camouflage and packing heat storm the place without warning, screaming and shouting obscenities?"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oh politics, you so crazy. You just want to crush all the little bits of optimism I have left, don't you?

Crooks and Liars » Wolfowitz: An Example of NeoCon Principals in Microcosm:
"The saga of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank really is indicative of the US under neo-con control: A crony with fairly insubstantial bona fides within the arena is appointed to a position of critical importance on the world stage solely on the basis of his connections to ideological brothers. He then bullies and pushes his own arrogant notions, alienating his colleagues and promotes more cronies (and love interests) without regard to appearances. Then when the house of cards inevitably comes tumbling down, he pleads ignorance or cries victim and must send out other cronies to argue for his job. How many times have we seen this pattern–with very little variation–play out again and again in the Bush White House?"

Better living through obscenity.

Don't worry, get therapy | Weekend | Guardian Unlimited:
"If you hear voices in your head, he says, tell the voices to shut the fuck up. 'If you suffered childhood abuse, don't go back and relive it in your mind. Once is enough!' He says psychotherapy is nonsense and a racket: therapists are rewarded for failure. The longer a problem lasts, the more the therapist is paid. Who cares about the roots of the trauma? 'Don't think about bad things!' Bandler says. 'There's a machine inside your brain that gets rid of shit that doesn't need to be there. Use it! I can give myself amnesia. I can just forget.' He clicks his fingers. 'Just like that.'"

Martial Arts, Psychedelics and Waxing Philosophical.

Interview: Joe Rogan, Stand-Up Comedian | Dead-Frog - A Comedy Blog:
"...understand how your own life is always affected by physical insecurities. That every man’s fear deep down inside is being dominated by another man. And when you overcome that fear, when you get past it, when you rise about it – it gives you a different and more enhanced perspective on life itself.

Martial arts really are a vehicle for developing human potential because it allows you to transcend. It allows you to transcend your monkey body and experience things from a more balanced and enlightened perspective. Though it doesn’t seem like it should.

To overcome that physical confrontation fear that everyone has – that’s totally and completely natural – it’s like learning how your car works. You got to get in there and go “what the fuck is the carburetor.” And once you do that, you’re the controller. You’re the computer chip that controls your whole body. If you have a better understand of your body, then your body is less likely to influence you in adverse ways. It’s less likely to fail you or it’s less likely to betray you when you get nervous. Less likely to make you make bad decisions.

There’s no one thing I can pin down as a catalyst [for my stand-up], but for sure martial arts and psychedelic drugs are two big ones. In very similar ways."

Brilliant thought... too bad it would fly in the face of hundreds of years of puritanical insanity.

Great article.

Sex and Nudity Aren't Good Reasons to Fire Someone -:
"What if we start with the idea that sex is good, bodies are beautiful and exhibitionism is a wonderfully exuberant way to celebrate life, love and the pursuit of pleasure?

What if we take it a step further and admit that technology has opened the doors -- and the windows, and the portcullises, and the skylights and the ventilation systems -- to a surfeit of sexual expression and display?

Is it really asking too much to suggest that employers stop worrying about how we perform in adult spaces and concentrate on how we perform our jobs instead?

Apparently it is, for the nonce.

An Ohio teacher was fired last month after his private nude photos were posted online without his knowledge and then discovered by administrators. In February, Michelle Manhart was demoted from Air Force staff sergeant to senior airman and then reassigned to the Iowa National Guard, simply for posing in Playboy without first obtaining the Air Force's permission.

A New York Post article about how online activities affect a job hunt cites an example of a manager who was fired after his bosses found his pictures on an erotic dating site. Not because he was using company time to update his profile, but because "he showed extremely poor judgment by making such a personal matter public."

It makes you wonder what the bosses were doing at the dating site.

I am so sick of the priggishness. Tired of people making assumptions about a person based on their perceptions of the other's sexuality -- especially when they base those assumptions on the single dimension of online expression. Flabbergasted at the assumption that if you participate in adult activity online, you must lack judgment, integrity or reliability.

Getting naked on the internet is an international pastime, not the whim of a handful of sex addicts. Flashing your booty or treating yourself to an orgasm is hardly a sign that you are incapable of doing your job well, nor does it grant permission for others to dismiss your professional competence or authority."

Hey look, it's Officer Friendly!

If Officer Friendly was a racist, ignorant douchebag.

SALDEF - Sikh American Legal Defence & Education Fund - The new name of SMART:
"On Friday March 30, 2007 at around 3:00pm, Mr. Kuldip Singh Nag, a Sikh American who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Navy during the first Gulf War, was at his home in Joliet, IL when a local police officer noticed that a van parked on Mr. Nag’s private property had expired registration tags. Upon being confronted with this, Mr. Nag’s wife, Vera Kaur Nag, informed the officer that the van is parked on their driveway and was inoperable.

Mr. Nag then came outside to answer the officer’s questions regarding the van. The Joliet police officer then demanded that Mr. Nag park the van inside his garage and not on the driveway, to which Mr. Nag responded to the officer that it was not possible and that regardless, the van is parked on his private property and he has a right to park it on his driveway.

At this moment, the officer pulled out his pepper spray and attacked Mr. Nag. As Mr. Nag screamed in agony, the officer removed his baton and violently struck Mr. Nag numerous times until he fell to the ground. While the assault ensued, the officer was reported by both Mr. and Mrs. Nag as saying, “You f****** Arab! You f***** immigrant, go back to you f****** country before I kill you!""

Man, sex roles are confusing.

Glad I'm not a lesbian. Well, you know... kind of.

village voice > nyclife > Girls to Men by ChloƩ A. Hilliard:
"...At the weekly 18-and-over females-only hip-hop party going on, about half of the black and Hispanic crowd is femme, the other half "AGs," or "aggressives," who also refer to themselves as "studs," whether they're fly or not.

Later, when two AGs get into a pushing match over a femme, one shouts, "Suck my dick, nigga! I'll fuck your whole shit up!" Friends break it up, pulling one outside the club to get the story. One of the women had tried to talk to the other's girlfriend while her back was turned. But it's a common occurrence. No femme, committed or not, is really off-limits.

In 2005, filmmaker Daniel Peddle chronicled the lives of AGs in his documentary The Aggressives, following six women who went to lengths like binding their breasts to pass as men. But Peddle says that today, very young lesbians of color in New York are creating a new, insular scene that's largely cut off from the rest of the gay and lesbian community. "A lot of it has to do with this kind of pressure to articulate and express your masculinity within the confines of the hip-hop paradigm," he tells the Voice.

As rap songs boom through the Lab's speakers on a Friday night, AGs dominate the place, shouting lyrics that objectify women as playthings. They point their fingers in the air to simulate gunfire, and throw down lyrics at other AGs like they were calling out rival gang members.

Shoot, I could do that.

Okay, not really. But I could try.

[kick ass bowling trick]

Hat tip Japan Probe.