20apr2005 to This Very Daggone Minute
Junk you may have missed and yet managed to live happily without:
31dec2005 Recently I went looking on the web for a quotation by Grandma Prisbrey, who built Bottle Village out of discarded bottles she scavenged from a nearby garbage dump. The quotation I wanted was from a documentary film about Prisbrey that I saw at Art Car Fest 98. Last night, after a night of faux gothing, Babs watched a TV show called Weird Homes that featured not only longtime DoC pal Daniel Paul but also the very snippet of Grandma Prisbrey I'd been looking for, in which Grandma demonstrates the proper amount of respect one ought to have for authority:
They sold the dump for an airport, and they closed up. So I took my StudebakerI have a Studebaker pickupand I went down there the last day, see what I could find. And boy, did I ever have a load!
I was comin' down the pike there and I saw a red light and heard a horn. I knew what that meant. But I didn't stop; I come home. That's resisting an officer, you know! I says, "Now what have I done?" He says, "You got a license to carry that stuff?" I says, "No, I haven't." He says, "Your back window's broke." I says, "I know it." He says, "You haven't got no tail light." I says, "I know it." He says, "You haven't got no muffler, either." I say, "I know it." Then he went and opened the door where I get in at. He says, "You haven't got no horn, neither." I says, "I know it." He says, "You haven't got no emergency brake, either." I says, "I know it. And I haven't got no license, either. Do you know that?"
(Turns out that the entire film is available for viewing on the web. Grandma's Bottle Village: The Art of Tressa Prisbrey )
28dec2005 Just ran across this note to myself, from over a decade ago: Call DMV find out what they'd do with a person who lives in his car, with no address. Sometimes you have to find out the hard way.
The minimum sum of pandigital 3-digit primes, 149 plus 263 plus 587 equals 999.
9992 equals 998001 and 998 plus 001 equals 999, so 999, like all numbers whose digits are all 9s, is Kaprekar.
In fact, any multiple at all of 999 can be separated into groups of 3 digits from the unit position, which when added will total 999.
The same principle applies to multiples of 9 99 9999 and so on.
999 equals 27 x 37 and so 1/27 equals 0.037037 . . . and 1/37 equals 0.027027. . . .
David Wells, Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Numbers, p. 162.
25dec2005 -- R.I.P. Uncle Claude
(I'm not / Gonna be / Any fool's / Christmas tree. Nancy Sinatra)
22dec2005 -- Someone might have mentioned to Conrad that a story containing references to cannibals might be better off not including a sentence such as: He threw his arms up.
20dec2005 -- Congressman displays astonishing honesty, unsurprising hypocrisy
Brian Baird (D-WA) : I think it's incumbent on those of use who do research to always ask ourselves, "Is this research so valuable that I would put a fellow citizen in jail if they chose not to fund it?" That's a pretty high standard, but that's the standard in my judgment. Because that's how you are getting your money. And the numbers of research psychologists who actually ask themselves that question, in that fashion, I think is very, very small. [via flying hedgehogs]
Wow. Have we finally got another Ron Paul in Congress? Baird sounds just like libertarian firebrand Harry Browne:
When a neighbor isn't willing to contribute as much to a social project as you are, you'd never think of:
Using a gun to force him to contribute;
Hiring an armed gang to threaten to kidnap him or confiscate his money if he didn't contribute;
Using the government in place of the armed gang if he didn't contributebecause every government program, in the final analysis, involves violence against those who don't comply.
Hard to believe that there's a politician who actually understands that he is nothing more than a member of an organized crime gang.
Not that Congressman Baird minds that he is nothing more than a member of an organized crime gang, however, as Josh at (the highly recommended) Bureaucrash points out, by means of links to the Honorable Baird's own website:
Right message. Wrong messenger. I don't want to detract from the very true words above but Congressman Richard Baird must have no problem putting his fellow citizens in jail. A sample:
He'll throw you in jail if you didn't give your part for his Meth Initiative.
You'll be prison bound if you refuse to pay for raspberry and cranberry subsidies.
Have your mail forwarded to the slammer if you refuse to retrain information technology workers.
Don't want to pay for the construction of a wind energy generation facility in his district? The cooler for you!
Think the Columbia River Deepening project is a waste of money? It's hoosegow time.
And don't forget what happens if you refuse to go with the nice officers who are trying to escort you into imprisonment.
18dec2005 -- Annoyance avoidance: not just wrong, it's criminal
If you don't already use BugMeNot.com, you've been putting up with a lot of unnecessary headacheor, as offending corporate websites call it, registration ("It's simpleand it's FREE!"). Bugmenot has login IDs and passwords that anyone can use to gain anonymous access to websites that have no reason to be snagging people's personal information. Some corporations, however, view the avoidance of data mining as criminal, such as the corporation for which a friend of mine works, which denies its employees access to BugMeNot, displaying instead the warning: "Criminal Skills" content is forbidden . . . http://bugmenot.com is considered to be in one of the following categories: Criminal Skills.
I am so totally going to memorize unnecessary website login information so I can become a MASTER KRIMINULL!!! MENES 2 SOCIETEE!!!
17dec2005 -- If we ask about the survival value of laughter and how it might have evolved, we also run into problems. Indeed, many have suggested that laughter does not have survival value and that it could only be disadvantageous to a species in which it evolved. Laughter often involves major physiological disturbances. There is an interruption of breathing and the loss of muscle tone; in heavy laughter there may be a loss of muscle control--the person's legs may buckle, he may involuntarily urinate, etc. If the traits that are preserved in a species are those which have survival value, how could something like laughter have been preserved in our species? -- John Morreall, Taking Laughter Seriously, p. 3
Waste anything except
Time is our shortest material
Sign from When Worlds Collide
12dec2005 -- Cracks me up when news stations use bumper music they don't understand. Channel 12 in Phoenix used to use Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up." Yeah. Pump It Up, Channel 12! Pump It!
11dec2005 -- I made a videotape of a little child eating an apple in front of it, to document and prove this had actually happened, and also as a kind of pun on an untranslatable Dutch proverb which has to do with saving money for the future. Erik Hobijn, in RE/Search #11, p. 204
10dec2005 -- When I think about how Pete and Pete was a cult showmeaning it didn't, you know, reach a lot of peopleI think it's not so much that it was so strange; I think it's that it mixed strangeness with so much sentimentality. You bring those two things together, I think you've got something that people can really turn their backs on. -- Will McRobb, DVD audio commentary to the Pete and Pete episode, "Farewell, My Little Viking, Pt II"
09dec2005 -- When the Big One hits L.A., how are the people riding Universal Studios' "Earthquake" ride supposed to know? If they don't die, they'll think it was the greatest ride ever. That was GREAT! Wow, look, they made it look like the whole park's been DEMOLISHED! How do they DO that?
Say . . . where's the car?
08dec2005 -- In December of 1990 I was listening to Radio Moscow via shortwave radio and heard the announcer mention a fiftieth anniversary pertaining to Lenin. That seemed odd; by 1940 Lenin had been dead for sixteen years. 1940 . . . hrmm. Did they mean Trotsky? Then they played "Imagine" and I realized they were talking about John Lennon. Radio Moscow had changed a lot by 1990.
07dec2005 -- It isn't easy to de-kipple.
05dec2005 -- Nat King Cole sang "But Beautiful"; Sir Mix-a-Lot sang about beautiful butts.
(Who is your water cooler buddy? I am totally your water cooler buddy.)
04dec2005 -- The last chapter of Weintraub's book is entitled "What If?" This is counterfactual history at its best and he sets out what he believes the rest of the 20th century would have been like if the soldiers had been able to cause the Christmas Truce of 1914 to stop the war at that point. Like many other historians, he believes that with an early end of the war in December of 1914, there probably would have been no Russian Revolution, no Communism, no Lenin, and no Stalin. Furthermore, there would have been no vicious peace imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty, and therefore, no Hitler, no Nazism and no World War II. With the early truce there would have been no entry of America into the European War and America might have had a chance to remain, or return, to being a Republic rather than moving toward World War II, the "Cold" War (Korea and Vietnam), and our present status as the world bully. [ Link ]
03dec2005 -- I saw a TV report once on poison soaking into the skin and all I could think of was rented bowling shoes.
Story idea from long ago that I ran across in my notes, now nearly rendered moot by reality:
"Bodybags"A story about a society so saturated with cameras and spies that people do as much as they can from inside bags that cover them from top to bottom. For example, to "share a bag" is to have sex.
Another snippet, the first two sentences from a long-ago story idea, now sadly no longer fiction:
A story set in a time when all available information is stored in massive, cross-referenced computer databases. It's a full-time struggle for those who want to try to keep small snippets of information out of the system.
That recalls what is to me the most abstract stage direction ever written. In the script of one of her plays, Gertrude Stein wrote: "Witty remarks are made off-stage." -- Oscar Levant, Memoirs of an Amnesiac , p. 214.
You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. -- Sacha Guitry
29nov2005 -- Today some Ohio hacks performed the 999th execution in the U.S. since the moratorium was lifted in 1977. I think we should all pull together and make the 1000th execution very, very special. I think you know who I mean. If you don't, sorry, I think it's illegal to actually spell it out for you.
27nov2005 -- On this date in 1994:
BANKGKOK, Thailand (AP)A Texas evangelist who fled rioters in Cambodia denied he had promised to perform faith-healing miracles there. . . . Angry Cambodians rioted Friday outside the Phnom Penh hotel where the Rev. Mike Evans was staying, accusing him of swindling thousands of ill and disabled people who had traveled great distances to see him. . . . People in the crowd said they wanted compensation after Evans failed to perform faith healing. Extensive radio and TV advertising for his visit promised that "blind eyes will open, the paralyzed will walk."
"Nothing has happened to us . . . our people sold their housing materials and cattle for their trip to Phnom Penh," said Men Soryan, 20.
Evans expressed sympathy, but he insisted that his advertising promised no miracles. He said he stressed at a news conference before the rallies that he "could not heal a mosquito."
"Only God can heal," he told The Associated Press by telephone from his Bangkok hotel Saturday."I came here to pray." Evans said religious rivalry may have been behind some of his problems. . . . "If you are a Buddhist priest, and all of a sudden you see these Buddhists lift their hands and accept Jesus Christ as their savior, you think, `What am I going to do? There goes my business.'" Evans said.
One of the most important religious observations ever: "No wooden legs."
Speaking of fakey shit, there used to be this band or music project or something called Plastic Eye Miracle. I did a web search and instead came up with the source of the name Plastic Eye Miracle.
Finally, Brad Templeton (as "The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)") smacks Pat Robertson ("We'd like to say to the good Reverend Robertson: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to Science, you just rejected it from your life.")
26nov2005 -- Playing to the Paxil crowd?
The Treadmill Bike's hard wearing belt offers a sure grip while protecting your feet from dirt and other contaminants commonly found on the earth's surface.
Alternatively, for cheaper earth contaminant protection you can wear these devices called shoes. Shoes are also helpful to the form of transportation the ancient Greeks used to call walking.
24nov2005 -- Does anyone have a scientific explanation for why sleeping dogs smell like Fritos™?
Or, alternatively, for why someone's nose might think they do?
And in a flash, Tex writes in:
This is the only thing I could find. Its about pugs. Apparently, maybe it is cause by the bacteria and the salts the dogs bodies produce, mixed with the type of food they eat. But I know the smell you are talking about. I never thought about it before as fritos, but you're right...it does smell like fritos. Thats sucks because I really like fritos and now I hope I dont think about dog breath when eating them.
Tell Mr President I said HI.
It's not just pugs, though. Over at RV.net, they're talking about rat terriers, chihuahuas, and Lhasa Apsos with "Frito feet." (For the record, the dogs I'm talking about are a Great Dane and some sort of Boxer mix, who for some reason snaps to attention upon hearing the exclamation, "Mister PRESident!" Which matches neither her name, sex, or occupation. Dogs are so weird.)
My favorite comment on that RV.net page: "My Rat Terrier smells like a dog but Fritos are one of my favorite snacks. Wanna trade?"
23nov2005 -- Some inner sickness compels me to love scary all-powerful conglomerative corporate names. ABSOLUTE DESTRUCTION (formerly ABSOLUTE DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION) has been a longtime favorite but the other day I saw a truck with a business name that tops it: TOTAL LOGISTIC CONTROL. With a d.b.a. like that I coulddare I say it?RULE THE WORLD! I must seek out others.
07nov2005 -- Right up there with the Heaven's Gate suicide cult and Mahir, Dave Cassel's 100 Greatest Internet Moments includes The Mojave Phone Booth.
02nov2005 -- It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. James Madison, Federalist 62
29oct2005 -- Santa Rita Rawx D00d OK
The search for lyrics to the Supersuckers' "Santa Rita High" led me to the website for the Tucson school's website. . . .
. . . and SANTA RITA HIGH SCHOOL PRIDE!
24oct2005 -- Sitting in a van in a parking lot in an industrial park in the rain, using wi-fi. It is a modern world. Un monde moderne, if you will. Will you? Bon. Tres bon.
20oct2005 -- I should've put big money on this year's baseball post-season: my two top picks, the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros, are going to the World Series. I chose both teams for humanitarian reasons, based on my Post-Season Baseball Underdog Matrix. I don't remember ever watching a World Series without preferring one side over the other. This will be fun.
A good game offers a half dozen angles. A good story begins with the writer selecting the right angle, the element or elements that determined the outcome of the game. This selection is the underlying basis for a strong lead. If a writer makes the wrong selection, and begins with a tangential matter, nothing, not even eloquence, will save his story. A misconceived lead ruins everything. Roger Kahn, Memories of Summer
19oct2005 -- I don't know what I think about it; I'm just here for the laughs. The amazingly good humored Raquel Welch's final words on her hilarious DVD audio commentary track for the mind-bendingly bizarre Myra Breckenridge. (Who knew Raquel Welch was so funny?)
17oct2005 -- New Hampshire will tell the Federal Government to go pound sand.
16oct2005 -- There's the old expression, and I don't know who said it: "The mind is willing but the body isn't." Weepy retiring famous illiterate hockey player Brett Hull
Of no help in this, not even to hockey players: Babelfish
12oct2005 -- Wagner hangs with the Yard Dogs, Handsome Little Devils, Mz. Lily Rose Love & more at [Link defuct, lo siento], mmmmm hmmmmm.
09oct2005 -- In a recent email, Jessica noted the lack of apostrophe in Grants Pass, Oregon. On their website the Grants Pass city government manages to mention the lack of apostrophe without offering any reason for it. Ah, just like a government. But I think maybe I know where it wentcheck out the page title:
How Grants Pass Got It's Name
06oct2005 -- America is apparently not watching The Mandible's TV show Three Wishes, even though one of the co-hosts is the chick who played Fook Mi in Goldmember? PlusduhMANDIBLE!
America O America. What has happened to your sense of Fine Family Entertainment?? I mean, I'm sure it's a totally awesome show, though, fook mi, I haven't seen it myself.
Fook Mi & Fook Yu, or vice-versa.
04oct2005 -- Post-Season Baseball Underdog Matrix
# W.S. appearances
# W.S. won
Last in W.S.
The Astros were initially called the Colt 45s. Malt liquor & firearms: twice the un-PC action. Go Houston!
Chicago White Sox
(1906, 1917, 1919, 1959)
For fuck's sake, put Shoeless Joe Jackson in the Hall of Fame already.
San Diego Padres
How come the Catholics don't protest the team's name? How come non-Catholics don't protest the team's really retarded name?
Boston Red Sox
(1912,1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2004)
Wouldn't be bad to see them repeat, but the White Sox have been waiting as long as the Red Sox did for another championship.
Los Angeles Angels
Have changed their geographical designation more times than they've been to the World Series (from Los Angeles Angels to California
Angels to Anaheim Angels to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).
St. Louis Cardinals
(1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1982,
1985, 1987, 2004
Got swept in last year's World Series. Ho-hum. Next scene.
(1914, 1948, 1957, 1958, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1999)
"America's Team" has won 14 division titles in a row. "America's Team" has managed not to win the World Series 13 of those times. BO-ring.
New York Yankees
(No way am I listing that shit)
Over the last 100 years the Yankees have won about a third of all AL pennants and a fourth of all World Series. They've won 8 straight division
titles. Enough, already. Send the Yankees to Iraq. America! Fuck YEAH!
03oct2005 -- Every Weatherman considered forks uncivilized and ate with chopsticks. -- Former Weatherman Underground leader Bill Ayers (Fugitive Days, p. 254), seemingly oblivious to the irony
29sep2005 -- Every Carolina wren alive today is the descendant of a Carolina wren that succeeded in fighting off the competition. The nice guys did not merely finish last; they dropped dead, and their nice-guy genes died with them. -- Stephan Budiansky, The Truth About Dogs (p. 52)
26sep2005 -- Latest favorite quotations:
• The best place for anybody to finish is first place. The second-best is second place. -- San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou, showing why media companies expend money to include interviews in their sports coverage
• The following program contains scenes of indigenous nudity. -- Discovery Channel program note before a show about a tribe in Papua New Guinea
• Dummies, I forced myself to remember, all marks are dummies, who'd stare in drop-jawed fascination at a spinning hubcap if admission were free. -- Peter Fenton, Eyeing the Flash: The Education of a Carnival Con Artist (p. 198)
24sep2005 -- A gracious No Thanks from a poet to the White House
22sep2005 -- Tempe's Liz Michael finally calls for shooting the bastards:
What I am about to do now, I do with an extremely heavy heart. I had sincerely wished it would not come to this. But it has. This is a hard article to write. Because I thought that when I wrote it, and I knew someday I would have to, I thought I would be happy, sad, angry, vengeful, something. Actually, all I feel now is hesitant and numb. It is similar to the feeling a general has when he orders his troops into battle. Because what I am issuing is the equivalent of a declaration of war.
Oh, shit. Now you're depressed. I know! Here's a comic to cheer you up.
No? Okay, this is sure fire: an interview with Dave Barry:
If you tell most people what libertarians think, they immediately assume that you cannot mean it all the way, that you're really just taking a position for argument's sake. When you say you don't think we should have public schools, they can't believe you mean that. You must mean that they should be smaller. But you can't really mean no public schools. . . .
John Dorschner . . . immediately got to the question of whether or not you can have sex with dogs. The argument was that if it wasn't illegal to have sex with dogs, naturally people would have sex with dogs. That argument always sets my teeth right on edge.
And I always want to retort with, "You want a horrible system, because you think the people should be able to vote for laws they want, and if more than half of them voted for some law, everyone would have to do what they said. Then they could pass a law so that you had to have sex with dogs."
So I wrote about why I didn't think libertarians are really doing this kind of thing so that they can have sex with dogs. I discussed some of the reasons that a person might want to live out of the control of our federal, state, local, and every other form of government. . . .
I got a few letters, mostly pretty nice. One or two letters saying, "Here's why it wouldn't work to be a libertarian, because people will have sex with dogs." Arguments like, "Nobody would educate the kids." People say, "Of course you have to have public education because otherwise nobody would send their kids to school." And you'd have to say, "Would you not send your kids to school? Would you not educate them?" "Well, no. I would. But all those other people would be having sex with dogs."
Update, 03jan2006: Woman Marries Dolphin
The Valley's overflow into Pinal County is pushing farther south in the quest for the biggest and cheapest new houses. And communities such as Florence and Coolidge are fighting among themselves to become the next big growth area.
"There is a window of opportunity here," said Florence Mayor Tom Rankin. "It's something that has to be taken advantage of. If we don't, it'll pass us right by."
First, Coolidge violated a decades-old "gentlemen's agreement" over future boundaries on unincorporated land and stole Florence's Elks Lodge at Arizona 287 and Attaway Road, which is potentially a prime commercial location. Florence then snatched Coolidge's "C" mountain, threatened to turn the "C" into an "F" and has alluded to a grab for Coolidge Airport.
Interviewer: You're a self-described model agnostic, and you've deconstructed all manner of belief systems (BS) in your books. In Prometheus Rising, you encouraged people to consciously enter as many different reality tunnels as possible, to examine their beliefs from multiple viewpoints. Human culture is filled with people zealously attached to various orthodoxies and ideologies. The clash of fundamental belief systems has often proven destructive to humankind. What will it take to shake people from their dogmas?
Robert Anton Wilson: In a word, Internet. Ever since I read Wiener's Cybernetics: Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine back in 1948 I've thought of "intelligence" as a function of feedback. The more feedback, the higher the measurable "intelligence," and the less feedback, the less "intelligence." As the computer gave birth to the Net and the Web, feedback has increased exponentially. As R.U. Sirius wrote recently, "The rise of the Net and the Web represents a victory for the counterculture and the subculture. The next generation, raised on the Net as their primary medium, won't even know what consensus reality is." In other words, feedback and Maybe Logic form a circle that spins faster and faster. The Tsarists fear and hate it -- they call it "flip-flopping" -- but it characterizes all high intelligence systems, electronic or protoplasmic.
16sep2005 -- Dash Riprock
I was shown a point of rocks from which a Sioux woman cast herself and was dashed into a thousand pieces on the rocks below. Explorer Zebulon Pike, quoted in Jefferson and the Gun-Men: How the West Was Almost Lost (p. 131), by M. R. Montgomery, who comments: It is always said that persons who leap off rocks are dashed into a thousand pieces. In fact, they are not, as any emergency medical technician who has been to a jumper's landing will attest. Large mammals may splash quite a bit of serum and soft tissue, but they do not fragment.
14sep2005 -- And then, years later, having walked into Fortnum and Mason's in London for tea one afternoon, my wine adviser Mr Young said in some surprise, `Mr Donleavy what are you still doing here when authors have just become tax free in Ireland.' And only weeks later I found myself speeding up a pollution haunted highway from London to Liverpool. To take the mail boat and land in Dublin. Hopeful, in spite of all my history here, and what they did to The Ginger Man in Dublin, that I would upon returning to these emerald pastures, become a resident, and be tax eternally free for my future and past creative scribbles. -- J. P. Donleavy's Ireland: In All Her Sins And in Some of Her Graces, p. 9
12sep2005 -- The strange business of protesting jobs that may be better than yours (via LewRockwell.com)
(This will be old hat to readers of Babsomatic.comsee shame on shame on - outmob the mob)
11sep2005 -- A group of female hurricane survivors were told to show their breasts if they wanted to be rescued, a British holidaymaker has revealed.Ged Scott watched as American rescuers turned their boat around and sped off when the the women refused. . . . Mr Scott, 36, of Liverpool, was with his wife and seven-year-old daughter in the Ramada Hotel when the flood waters started rising. "At one point, there were a load of girls on the roof of the hotel saying 'Can you help us?' and the policemen said 'Show us what you've got' and made signs for them to lift their T-shirts," he told the Liverpool Evening Echo.
"When the girls refused, they said `Fine' and motored off down the road in their boat." . . .
Mr Scott also slated the rescue operation, saying police were more interested in taking snapshots of the devastation rather than rescuing the victims.
"I could not have a lower opinion of the authorities, from the police officers on the street right up to George Bush," he said.
"I couldn't describe how bad the authorities were. Just little things like taking photographs of us, as we are standing on the roof waving for help, for their own little snapshot albums"
He added: "The American people saved us. I wish I could say the same for the American authorities." (From Yahoo UK)
17aug2005 -- Attention: Weird announcement
Contrary to previous declaration (Why We're Not Returning to Burning Man), I am Returning to Burning Man.
My reasons are -farious, both multi- and nef-, and will appear on the playa in an issue of this year's volume of Piss Clear and afterwards on this very website here (provided I am not first killed nor otherwise harmed).
I'll be camping at Gooferville [Esplanade at 9:40] and will gladly meet one and all among whoever wishes it (with the obvious exception of the moronic aforementioned probably religious prig, unless he is willing to forego cowardly assassination in favor of a manly squaring off mano a mano in a match of Mumbledypeg-to-the-Death or some studly equivalent substitute).
17aug2005 -- What-the-Hell-is-Hell.com/
16aug2005 -- Meriwether Lewis is both curious and imaginative, and William Clark is practical and productive (he is doing the laborious business of making a map of the Missouri and its tributaries, while Lewis does the more intellectual work of locating their latitude and longitude by celestial observations). On April 22, while Lewis is scouting along the bank of the Missouri, a buffalo calf approaches him. "It attached itself to me and continued to follow close at my heels until I embarked and left it." On April 23, a buffalo calf follows Clark. He eats it for dinner. -- M. R. Montgomery, Jefferson and the Gun-Men (p. 71)
11aug2005 -- Ah, freedom.
Parody is just one form of speech. All of which is supposed to be none of government's business. Freedom of speech, people call it.
When an individual affiliated with 666 cough syrup objected to my fun-poking at their product, he wrote a letter. Fair enough.
When members of the legal mafia -- that is, government employees -- object to fun, however, they do nastier things. Such as remove a beloved phone booth or arrest and jail offending funsters, as Ohio Assistant District Attorne Daniel Kasaris did to Bryan DuBois and Elsebeth Baumgartner, in response to DuBois' parody of him on the Ohio political website Erie Voices.
According the The Empire Journal, Kasaris responded to the parody with a "secret indictment" that paints DuBois and Baumgartner as terrorist threats, charging the pair with a variety of felonies such as "intimidation, retaliation, extortion and possession of criminal tools." (And by "criminal tools" Kasaris doesn't mean crowbars or lock jimmy -- he's talking about a computer.)
"At first Kasaris stated the Erie Voices website was not a factor in the arrest of the pair. But now he says if the website editor [DuBois] stops writing for the site and stops associating with Baumgartner, he’ll reduce the felony charges he brought against him to a misdemeanor. . . . Kasaris characterized Baumgartner and DuBois as `paper terrorists' for having filing motions and other court papers. . . . Baumgartner and DuBois have been criminally charged because a retired visiting judge, Richard Markus, filed a complaint against them, claiming that he was intimidated by them and their charges of judicial corruption."
Oh, boo hoo. I guess law schools teach next to nothing regarding free speech, limited government powers, or not being a big fucking candy-ass bitch.
This is liable to give other government lackeys ideas. (Btw, that's liable, not libel, be-yotch. Note it.)
10aug2005 -- Florida Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell just pulled the rarely successful Hidden Ball Trick on Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Terrero.
After Terrero advanced to third on a single, Lowell took the cutoff throw and just never threw it back to the pitcher. Lowell must have signaled catcher Matt Treanor, because Treanor called pitcher Todd Jones to the front of home plate for a conference. Afterward, Jones, without the ball, walked back toward the mound, but was careful never to touch it, instead walking on the grass to the back of the mound in order to re-start play. After Jones picked up the resin bag, Terrero stepped off third base and Lowell instantly leapt forward to tag him out.
The Diamondback announcers claimed that the rule forbids pitchers from touching the mound dirt without possession of the ball. As I understand it, however, Jones could have legally stepped onto the mound without the ball, as long as he didn't touch or straddle the rubber or otherwise attempt to deceive the runner.
I fell for the Hidden Ball Trick once in Legion ball. When the pitcher stepped onto the rubber, I led off first base only to get tagged -- hard -- by the grinning first baseman. His grin lasted only a moment, just long enough for DeLillo, our Brooklyn-born manager, to storm out of our dugout, shrieking and pointing at the pitcher, "HE TOUCHED DA RUBBA! HE TOUCHED DA RUBBA!" So, the umpire ruled that not only was I not out, I was awarded second base because of the pitcher's balk. But for that initial moment did I feel stooooo-pid.
As does Terrero, to look at the expression on his face. He knows that tonight he'll be on every highlight reel there is.
Just looked it up. Here's the official MLB rule:
8.05: If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when . . . (i) The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher's plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch. . . .
The Diamondback announcers were wrong, DeLillo was right; Alfonseca could have legally stepped onto the dirt. By not doing so he was probably just trying to head off any arguments afterwards.
Terrero is apparently the first major-leaguer to fall for it since last year, when it was pulled on Brian Schneider -- by the very same Mike Lowell.
09aug2005 -- Mail from Professor Cardyhouse:
What the fuck was the deal with Kierkegaard again? You mentioned his ass one time.
02aug2005 -- Back from a fabulous few Manhattan days, involving the Dirtbombs, David Cross (again), and this exchange, which should be on Overheard in New York, except it took place on the plane, so not only weren't we in New York, we weren't even over New York. But so what.
Babsomatic: Is prolixity another word for verbosity?
DoC: Si, si, si.
Babsomatic: One si would have done.
Also, one evening we went to eat down by NYU, & even though we were semi-stalking Amy Sedaris, I decided, that one time, not to take along Wagner, because my back was kind of tired from carrying him. So who walks into the restaurant? Jane Goodall.
Jane. Fucking. Goodall.
I'm going to have a marsupial pouch surgically created on my body, just for Wagner.
24jul2005 -- Do we know for sure that Leo Gorcey is dead, & that he isn't just Tony Sirico?
23jul2005 -- Rep. Ron Paul, speaking Thursday before the US House of Representatives:
Mr. Speaker, the USA PATRIOT Act and Terrorism Prevention Act (HR 3199) in no way brings the PATRIOT Act into compliance with the Constitution or allays concerns that the powers granted to the government in the act will be used to abuse the rights of the people. Much of the discussion surrounding this bill has revolved around the failure of the bill to extend the sunset clauses.
However, simply sunsetting troublesome provisions does not settle the debates around the PATRIOT Act. If the PATRIOT Act is constitutional and needed, as its proponents swear, why include sunset provisions at all? If it is unconstitutional and pernicious, why not abolish it immediately?
To this, Groucho Marx adds:
I don't know what they have to say,
it makes no difference anyway --
whatever it is, I'm against it!
No matter what it is or who commenced it,
I'm against it!
Your proposition may be good,
but let's have one thing understood --
whatever it is, I'm against it!
And even when you've changed it or condensed it,
I'm against it!
22jul2005 -- And finally, in our Most Amazingly Nonsensical Idiotic Acronym Category, competing with USA PATRIOT ACT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), we have:
-- Christian Hope Indian Eskimo Fellowship!
We apologize for the internecine nature of the nominations. The Baptists among the voters will want to congregate afterwards in the foyer (FOY-yay) to enjoy a significantly dumbed-down Flannelgraph presentation that further spells out these blindingly simple nominations. Thank you.
We would also like to thank our benevolent sponsor, Your U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act: Now with semi-permanence! (Mark our words.)
20jul2005 -- Herbert Spencer, contra "Support Our Troops":
Some years ago I gave my expression to my own feeling -- anti-patriotic feeling, it will doubtless be called -- in a somewhat startling way. It was at the time of the second Afghan war, when, in pursuance of what were thought to be "our interests," we were invading Afghanistan. News had come that some of our troops were in danger. At the Athenæum Club a well-known military man -- then a captain but now a general -- drew my attention to a telegram containing this news, and read it to me in a manner implying the belief that I should share his anxiety. I astounded him by replying -- "When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."
(via The Picket Line)
18jul2005 -- So far I've seen Charlie & the Chocolate Factory twice. Tim Burton had me worried there, with Big Fish and all its feelings & crap. Thankfully, very little treacle in this version of the Willy Wonka story, especially compared to the 1971 film, which I like, except for the songs and the treacle.
Some of the great things about Charlie & the Chocolate Factory:
• The recipe for this Willy Wonka = Mister Rogers + Dr. Evil + Harold from The Red Green Show. This is a troubled Willy Wonka. This is a Willy Wonka with problems. This Willy Wonka has flashbacks. Yes. This is one fucked-up Willy Wonka. This is a Willy Wonka one can live with.
• Johnny Depp = A Hero For Our Times.
• All the Oompa Loompas are played by one man, Deep Roy. No orange skin, no green hair, and what a great Pete and Pete villain name Deep Roy would have been, every bit as great as Endless Mike.
• Only the Oompa Loompas sing -- and their songs are all by Danny Elfman, which means, compared to the other film, a one-hundred percent reduction in Anthony Newley content, which means no "I've Got a Golden Ticket," no "Candy Man," no "Pure Imagination," and especially no goddamn "Cheer Up Charlie" (though I admit I kind of missed "I Want It Now" -- you can't beat the original Veruca Salt, and for you 90s nuts, I'm talking about Julie Dawn Cole, not the
"sounds like the Breeders" "can't fight the seether" band).
• Charlie's father is played by that guy who played Hitler.
• Mrs. Beauregarde is played with perfect creepiness by Missi Pyle, soon to be seen in the upcoming film The Mojave Phone Booth.
• "AUGUSTUS GLOOP WILL NOT BE HARMED!"
11jul2005 -- [O]ver the past century and a half in the United States, spokesmen for institutional life have demanded a role above and beyond service to families and communities. They have sought to command and prescribe as kings used to do, though there is an important difference. In the case of ancient kings, once beyond the range of their voices and trumpets you could usually do as you pleased; but in the case of modern institutions, the reach of technology is everywhere -- there is no escape if the place where you live and the family you live in cannot provide sanctuary. -- John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, p. 54
08jul2005 -- "Winning an Olympic Gold Medal took years of hard work. Raising a family today is an even greater challenge. Thanks to TV Guardian, my job just got a whole lot easier." -- Mary Lou Retton, stumping for a product called TV Guardian
Wow. Sounds great, Mary Lou. Tell me more.
"TV Guardian is a new invention for television that automatically filters out profanity and other offensive language."
Old Coot Paul Harvey Goes Rest of Way Insane
Approves of Biological War & Slavery
Why No Nuclear War? Asks Venerable Radio Man
Following the New York disaster, we mustered our humanity. . . . We called Saudi Arabians our partners against terrorism and we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq, and we kept our best weapons in our silos. Even now we’re standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive, because we’ve declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies -- more moral, more civilized. . . . But we didn’t come this far because we’re made of sugar candy. Once upon a time, we elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving small pox infected blankets to native Americans.
Yes, that was biological warfare!
And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever. And we grew prosperous.
And, yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves.
And so it goes with most nation states, which, feeling guilty about their savage pasts, eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded, and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry and up and coming who are not made of sugar candy.
Paul Harvey . . . good day.
Time for your dirt nap, ya bloodthirsty ol' kook. . . . I said Good Day, sir!
06jul2005 -- From a press release: Worldwide Law Enforcement and the Long Island University Homeland Security Institute announce their 5-day Crime Scene and Homicide Investigation Seminar. . . . Also featuring a case study of the infamous "Zodiac Serial Killer" by the supervisor credited with the apprehension of The Zodiac Killer.
Think any of the cops will know enough to point out that the Zodiac Killer was never apprehended? Or is the press release claiming that this unnamed "supervisor" merely understands Zodiac?
06jul2005 -- I was disappointed in the second half of the book. Lots of words saying that you have to set yourself free. Once you realize that institutions are the problem, you have to deprogram yourself from your belief in them, and walk away. No ideas about what to do when they come after you. -- Bill St. Clair on Butler Shaffer's Calculated Chaos
05jul2005 -- Colombia
Tucson -- that arid aggregation of toughness, adobe and spare time, where people have too much leisure to tell the truth. -- Charles R. Lummis, 1886
28jun2005 -- In response to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of government land grabs, Babs and her brother had the idea of forming a development corporation and using eminent domain laws to seize property owned by Supreme Court justices. Today I learn that someone's already initiated the attack:
Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.
Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."
Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.
"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."
Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.
Email Logan Darrow Clements to invest or volunteer.
28jun2005 -- Robinson Crusoe, patrolling his solitary domain, had few worries, I take it, about infringements upon his personal liberty and his personal prerogatives. His own decisions, tastes, and preferences prevailed. When Man Friday showed up, Crusoe found it necessary, according to Defoe's account, to accommodate himself to changes of routine "occasioned by the existence of a second individual."
Thus, life on a lonely island merely underlines the fact that complete freedom, which is to say a complete absence of restraints and abridgements upon private determinations, is available only to hermits. -- Crawford H. Greenewalt, The Uncommon Man: The Individual in the Organization (p. 47)
24jun2005 -- Constitution kaput:
Bill St. Clair: With the Supremes' decision in Kelo v. New London, the United States is now officially a fascist country. We can own property, but the gummint tells us what we may and may not do with it, charges us rent (property taxes), and can take it away whenever they damn well please. Unless we shoot them, of course, which I predict will start happening with regularity. Good. The tree of liberty is parched. It needs refreshing
Thomas Jefferson: "what country can preserve it's [sic] liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it's [sic] natural manure." (Letter to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356)
Kim du Toit: If you look at instances where otherwise-ordinary individuals went nuts and started wasting federales (or their local equivalent), it was over property, or the imminent loss thereof.
Kim du Toit: with their disgusting, un-Constitutional ruling, the Supreme Court took the country further down that road to where the bullets will eventually, and with absolute certainty, begin to fly. So when some poor schmuck shoots a state employee driving a bulldozer, and people ask: "How did this tragedy happen?" you can just point towards the Supreme Court.
The state hauled Drega into court, attempting to block his tiny "project."
This was piled atop earlier actions by the Town of Columbia, some dating back more than 20 years, and starting when the town hauled Drega into court and threatened him with liens, judgments and (ultimately) property seizure over a "zoning violation" which was comprised of his failure to finish a house covered with tarpaper within a time frame which the town considered reasonable, former selectman Kenneth Parkhurst told the Boston Globe.
Drega tried for years to fight the authorities on their own terms, in court. Needless to say, as a quasi-literate product of the government schools, and no lawyer, his filings became a laughing stock both in the courts and in the newspapers to which he sent copies, begging for help.
[D]id government agents Vickie Bunnell, Leslie Lord, and Scott Phillips deserve to die? Did Carl Drega pick the right time and place to say "That's as many of my rights as you're going to take; it stops right here?"
Or is that the right question? The problem with the question is that the oppressor state and its ant-like agents are both devious and clever: Except when faced with overt resistance and a chance to make an example of some social outcasts on TV, they rarely send black-clad agents to pour out of cattle trailers in our front yards, guns ablaze.
No, they generally see to it that our chemical castration is so gradual that there can never be a majority consensus that this is finally the right time to respond in force. In this death of a thousand cuts we're always confronted with some harmless old functionary who obviously loves his grandkids, some pleasant young bureaucrat who doubtless loves her cat and bakes cookies for her co-workers and smilingly assures us she's "just doing her job" as she requests our Social Security number here ... our thumbprint there ... the signed permission slip from your kid's elementary school principal for possessing a gun within a quarter-mile of the school ... and a urine sample, please, if you'll just follow the matron into the little room ...
"Those are the rules," after all, "Everybody has to do it; I just do what they tell me; if you don't like it you can write your congressman."
When ... when is it finally the right moment to respond, "I'll tell you what; why don't you take this steel-cored round of .223 to my congressman? In fact, take him a whole handful, and tell him to have a nice day ... when you see him in hell!"?
Carl Drega decided the day to finally say that, was the day they came to arrest him on the private property of a supermarket parking lot, supposedly for having rust holes in the bed of his pickup....
if they keep going down this road, there are going to be a lot more Carl Dregas, hundreds of them, thousands of them, fed up and not taking it any more, a lot more pools of blood drawing flies in the municipal parking lots, a lot more self-righteous government weasels who were "only doing their jobs" twitching their death-dances in the warm afternoon sun ... and soon.
When is the right time to say, "Enough, no more. On this spot I stand, and fight, and die"? When they're stacking our luggage and loading us on the box cars? A fat lot of good it will do us, then.
Mr. Jefferson declared for us that "whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People, to alter or abolish it."
Was Mr. Jefferson only saying we have a right to vote in a new crop of statist politicians every couple of years, as the pro-government extremists will insist?
No. The Declaration fearlessly declared that the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord had been right to shoot down Redcoats who were "only doing their jobs" in Massachusetts the year before. And it put the nations of the world on notice that Gen. Washington was planning to shoot himself a whole lot more.
(See also Vin's book The Ballad of Carl Drega)
Clarence Thomas, dissenting from another recent Supreme Court decision: "By holding that Congress may regulate activity that is neither interstate nor commerce under the Interstate Commerce Clause, the Court abandons any attempt to enforce the Constitution's limits on federal power."
Sandra Day O'Connor, dissenting from this decision: "Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power. Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded--i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public--in the process. To reason, as the Court does, that the incidental public benefits resulting from the subsequent ordinary use of private property render economic development takings "for public use" is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property--and thereby effectively to delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment."
In principle, property taxes are hardly different. You have to pay to keep what you supposedly already own. Right, "Dodie?"
But from now on, whenever a government says they want your land for a mall or an office building -- or for any purpose whatsoever -- there is no appeal for you. The Supreme Court Has Spoken.
Militant Libertarian: This decision, I believe (and in some ways hope, despite myself) will lead to a thousand Wacos and a thousand Ruby Ridges.
Here is my vow and I hope that all of you who read this will take a similar pledge and stand by it:
I vow that if a government entity attempts to take my property from me, for whatever reason, I will stand firm and protect my property with words, physical force, and even with force of arms if necessary. I will not relent in my protection of my property until I have received a fair settlement, the government entity wishing to take my land has relented, or my dead body is plowed under by their bulldozers.
I hope every other property owner in this nation will take a similar vow and back it up by owning and knowing how to use a rifle. The Supreme Court does not speak for the people of the United States of America! Show them that!
A Thousand Wacos! A Thousand Ruby Ridges!
Perhaps Drega will soon morph into a verb. A still better verb might be Ceausescu ("That government dude like totally got Ceausescued on C-SPAN!") .
In the meantime, Bureaucrash invites you to attend Operation Our Land at 6pm on Wednesday, June 29th on the steps of the Supreme Court building.
(Link via Cardhouse)
More pants-shitting fun
24jun2005 -- October 18 at 4 P.M. we departed to our new camp at Gila, Arizona, bade sayonara to our friends. As we passed the city of Los Angeles by nightfall, windows on the train were closed tight, and we could not even peep outside. The train passed Indio, Yuma, at two o'clock next afternoon and we reached Gila Bend, but there was some kind of trouble . . . we finally reached Gila Location Center, at 10 P.M. . . .
Gila Center is an Indian Reservation of more than 15,000 acres. It is a genuine desert, no grasses grow. Nearby little streams by irrigation ditch grows the cotton [wood] trees. On the height huge Cactus standing just like a Ghost, 20 or 30 feet high, having no leaves or branches. The whole place was so Lonely and hideous looking as I ever saw. . . . The scene in this desert looks like a picture I saw on the wall of some church a few years back -- Moses Leads the Jewish Multitudes to Palestine. They wandered many years in a desert. . . . -- Journal of "Mr. H.", quoted in Allan Bosworth's America's Concentration Camps (pp. 129-30)
How to succeed in politics, as told by Doctor George T. Spelvin:
1) Find out how much they gut.
2) Git it.
20jun2005 -- Bootie Zimmer's Choice, by John Taylor Gatto
17jun2005 -- To be sure, a number of smaller and less obvious phases transpired here, and each phase can be finely divided into many specific strata and formations. But, as one geologic caustic proclaimed, "there is nothing so boring as another man's stratigraphy." So lumpers not splitters we shall be. -- Michael Collier, An Introduction to the Geology of Death Valley (p. 44)
16jun2005 -- Forty odd years ago when I first knew Phoenix, it was a small city with the barren desert waiting just outside the paved streets. Now it is a great sprawling city covering many square miles and surrounded with resorts, ranches, and fertile fields which intersperse the suburbs. From Phoenix to Mesa is virtually one sea of dwellings. Not until the tide reaches the base of the Superstition Mountains is there any end to urbanization, and then it stops abruptly. -- Erle Stanley Gardner, The Desert is Yours (p. 64)
These days, not so abruptly.
15jun2005 -- IMPEACH. IMPEACH. IMPEACH.
09jun2005 -- The second and more important reason for the decline of political clubs has been the centralization of politics. When the decisions important to you are made at a local level, it makes sense to have a place to discuss those decisions; but when everything is decided thousands of miles away by people you will never meet, the incentive to be part of politics through a political club tends to vanish.
The reconstruction of some equivalent to the political club -- possibly through electronic networks or interactive television -- is a matter of some importance if we are to reclaim the republic. -- Robert A. Heinlein, Take Back Your Government! (p. 274)
It's maddening that the rare instances of common sense breaking out on the Supreme Court nearly always occur in dissenting opinions.
Still, nice try, Clarence (though surely you must realize that it's been ages since the Federal Government was one of limited and enumerated powers -- ages, in fact, since it was a genuinely federal government.)
More on the Interstate Commerce Clause:  
Response, from Strike the Root: "Freedom and Privacy: R.I.P." (Where R.I.P. = Retired, Invisible Pirate)
Read the court's decision (If you hate .pdf files, don't follow that link)
04jun2005 -- Front page news in Apache Junction, Arizona:
Lusk Is Judge Of The Year
AJ Justice Court recognized as state innovator --
First J.P. ever to receive the state bar's award
And to what does Judge Dennis Lusk attribute his award?
"I have extremely innovative thinking clerks who are very skilled in Power Point."
-- Apache Junction News, Vol. IX, Issue 22 (30may-05jun2005)
Heading for San Francisco & environs for a few days. If you're in that area & want to hang out & swat some flies or whatever, let me know -- I'll be trying to check email from time to time. (Man proposes, drive shaft disposes.)
02jun2005 -- Heading for San Francisco & environs for a few days. If you're in that area & want to hang out & swat some flies or whatever, let me know -- I'll be trying to check email from time to time.
27may2005 -- Then he [Justin Martyr] resorts to what was with him a favorite and unanswerable argument, that Satan had anticipated Christianity and imitated it in advance in the pagan cults: "When I am told that Perseus was born of a virgin, I realize that here again is a case in which the serpent and deceiver has imitated our religion." Homer W. Smith, Man And His Gods (1952; p. 183)
21may2005 -- Playazon: Your On-Line Source for that Burning Sensation
19may2005 -- Popery, pineapple, panties: Economy Superstar
16may2005 -- It's over. Or not.
Interviewer: The literary world seems so much more vicious than the music or art worlds. There's a lot more nastiness.
Martin Amis: I'll tell you why. When you review a piece of music, you don't sing a song about it; when you review an art exhibition, you don't paint a painting about it. But when you review prose fiction, you write prose fiction about it. And don't tell me that particular journalist is satisfied, or never had ambitions to become more than a journalist.
-- "Conversations," Icon, jun1998
12may2005 -- Glen [Matlock] was a closet Abba fan, and funny enough, so was Sid. We got rid of one Abba fan and got another one in its place. Once Sid ran up to the girls from Abba in the Stockholm airport to ask for their autograph. Sid was completely drunk and stuck his hand out. They screamed and ran away. They thought they were being attacked -- or maybe they thought he wanted money or something. -- John Lydon, ROTTEN (p. 232)
08may2005 -- HOLY CHRIST CALL HOMELAND SECURITY IT'S AN ILLEGAL FUCKING MANICURE
06may2005 -- People who use force to get what they want suck hard. Government. Unions. Force-based advocacy groups.
Anyone who gives things much thought ends up with some sort of vision of how they think things ought to be. Even drug addicts. But no one should have the power to force other people into conforming to (and paying for) their idea of how the world should be ordered.
05may2005 -- "It would have been all right, but you're both so ugly. Why didn't you get somebody attractive on the cover, if you had got to have somebody naked?" -- John Lennon's Aunt Mimi, on the Two Virgins LP cover (from John Lennon: My Brother, pp. 98-9)
04may2005 -- "What about all those four-letter words in your magazine?" Mike Wallace of CBS once asked a young radical magazine editor, on the air. "Which ones do you mean, Mike?" answered Paul Krassner of The Realist.
An example of self-censorship at its finest, with both sides pitching in to help each other shut up.
-- Marvin Kitman, The Marvin Kitman TV Show (p. 83)
02may2005 -- I've never had any geese but I did once have a supervisor prone to an apparently very common QWERTY error: I just ran across a letter of commendation I once received from her, encouraging me to "keep up the goos work."
Annual tally of THE THING sign sightings on I-10 between El Paso and Lordsburg (2005):
(Just inside the NM border out of El Paso, about 6 or 7 miles east of Vado:)
Mystery of the Desert -- 225 miles
(Westbound, just west of Deming:)
Mystery of Arizona -- 138 miles
(A mile or two further west of the previous sign, but nevertheless has the same mileage:)
A mystery worth seeing -- 138 miles
(Way more than a mile west of the previous sign; maybe ten miles, by the Butterfield Station:)
Tour buses welcome -- 137 miles
(Just west of milepost 38 -- I'm almost sure this one has the wrong exit #:)
Exit 321 -- I-10 AZ -- 106 miles ahead
Exit 322 -- Texas Canyon -- I-10 AZ
(About 100 yards west of the previous sign:)
Exit 322 -- Don't miss it -- 93 miles
A reluctant goodbye to April, which featured double the usual traffic here at Deuce of Clubs, thanks to the Danneels passover and "I Shit My Pants" getting Boing Boing'ed the other day.
Once, I went in search of Nigh Systems, International. If I were in Los Angeles, today I would be looking for WTF Solutions, Inc.
Improbably, there is at least one other WTF Solutions, Inc., this one in New York (they think it stands for We Think Fast).
There is also wtf.org (World Taekwondo Foundation) and wtf.net (Welcome to The Future Productions).
As Max's Frenchie friends were fond of saying in pretend bad English: What is the fuck?!
The launching produces one of Keaton's greatest images: Buster standing in the bow as the Damfino slides slowly down into the water, the bow slowly engulfed by the water, and then all the rest of the boat down to the stern. The boat continues straight to the bottom with Buster standing firmly in place, absolutely immoveable. When the Damfino has finally disappeared in the swirling water, all that is left is Buster's porkpie hat floating away. As the boat sinks before your eyes, it is impossible to avoid Buster's terrible logic: This boat was meant to be sunk, and now it is sinking.
In 1921 there were many who laughed and laughed and came back to see it more than once. There were also those who might have been heard muttering at the end of the film, "But did he really have to sink it?" It confused some people, for with Chaplin and Lloyd you knew where you were -- it was funny or it wasn't. But with Keaton things were never so sure. A tombstone at the end of a comedy? -- Tom Dardis, Keaton: The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down, pp. 93-4
26apr2005 -- Email from Babsomatic yesterday:
so i'm walking down ol' washington in downtown phx at lunchytime and find myself behind a gaggle of conservative, older-looking gents about their lunchytime business.
i don't know the conversation immediately preceding this but i seemed to tune in when i heard the eldest, dapper fellow say:
"what do they call those people that dress up in... or wear, uh... wear all black?"
to which one of the other suits replied: "groth."
in the next life someone will understand that.[*]
Possibly, but in this life, Goth, ye be hereby dubbed: Groth (at least in our conversation since yesterday, which has been seasoned with variations on a theme: "Dude, that's so groth!"; "I'm SO more groth than you'll ever be!"; "GrrrrrrrOTH!"; &c.).
[*] "in the next life someone will understand that" -- this is a Macro[**], arising from something Babsomatic said a while back, in the guise of Goth Girl (which means that her mascara happened to be running):
DoC: What's so great about death, Goth Girl?
Goth Girl (with mock plaintiveness): In the next life, someone might understand me.
[**] As defined by macros2000.com, and as opposed to groth, which macros2000.com would consider more of a WACK-EEE-NITION. Check with macros2000.com for the distinction. You are getting the idea that you should go to macros2000.com and submit your own Macros, aren't you?
25apr2005 -- In the desert we see cruelty as kindness. The man who has been trained in the desert and by the desert is self-sufficient, competent, keen in his perceptions, quiet in his mannerisms and able to win and hold friends almost anywhere. Because any mistake can be fatal, the desert dweller is trained not to make mistakes. The unremitting cruelty of the desert has bred the qualities that enable him to live with himself. Moreover he has learned to accept infinity and eternity as basic factors in everyday existence. The man who has never learned to live with himself in solitude is afraid both of himself and of nature. He dares not sit down for a period of contemplative thinking. He can't derive inspiration from watching the majestic glory of a sunset or sitting quiety in the deepening dusk until darkness makes the stars visible. Few people realize how much time which might otherwise be significantly employed is taken up by the demands of social life in card playing, idle conversation, watching television, or in other activities designed to "pass the time." The prospector who has spent much time in the desert has learned to relax against the shady side of some unpainted shack and calmly regard the infinity of space with steady eyes while enveloped in silence which stretches down from interstellar space to the surface of the earth. In the understanding of nature, he has come to understand himself. Many a city dweller confronted with similar conditions and an enforced period of silence would at first experience a strange restlessness, then a vague unrest which might well ripen into panic. -- Erle Stanley Gardner, The Desert is Yours (pp. 68-70)
24apr2005 -- Two FBI agents are ferrying soon-to-be-murdered Mob Godfather Paul Castellano across the Verrazano Bridge to jail:
"I love this bridge," he said. "It ruined Staten Island, but it's beautiful. I know a guy worked on it -- he riveted his initials on the top of one of the stanchions. It's seven hundred feet up, something like that. I says to him, `Who's ever gonna see your name up there?' He says, `No one.' I start to ask him then why did he do it, but then I stop. I know the answer. That's what it's like for most people -- somewhere they leave a tiny little mark, knowing that nobody knows or cares it's there. But they do it. That's how people are. If they believe in God, they think God sees it. They don't believe in God, they do it anyway. It's this thing about leaving some reminder you were there. You get to leave a bigger reminder, that's called being lucky. Or maybe unlucky. I go back and forth on that one."
-- Joseph F. O'Brien & Andris Kurins, Boss of Bosses: The Fall of the Godfather: The FBI and Paul Castellano (p. 321)
23apr2005 -- Perfect exchange for Overheard in New York, had we but been overheard, and in New York:
Babs: Whatever happened to Lamb Ball?
Doc: You threw it at Spiderman. Remember?
Questions of dubious Frequency, from the Chiclets Frequently Asked Questions page:
2. Who is a typical Chiclets gum chewer?
Chiclets is loved by people of all ages.
3. Where is Chiclets most popular? Are they a worldwide gum?
Chiclets is most popular in Latin America. In Mexico, as you are stopped for a light in your car, you will have a street vendor come to your window to sell you Chiclets. This is one of the biggest markets for Chiclets.
7. How many Chiclets are made in a minute/day/week/year?
In 2003, a total of nearly 18,000 metric tons of Chiclets were produced. At approximately 667,000 pellets per metric ton, that equals 12,006,000,000 pellets.
8. How long does it take to make one piece of Chiclets gum?
The entire process from gum making to packaging takes 6 days.
Questions of dubious Frequency, from the Cadbury-Adams
Frequently Asked Questions page:
Q: Can I chew the wrappers of your gum?
A: No. Wrappers are not meant to be eaten.
Q: What is the benefit of pellet gum?
A: Pellet gum instantly delivers an intensity of flavor and immediate sweetness.
Q: What happened to Trident® Strawberry Breeze® gum?
A: It was discontinued.
Not long before I left Solo behind, I read a Robert Ruark novel, Poor No More. The grandfather spoke to the book's hero when he was a boy, something like, "Look, I know I'm goin' to die soon. Let's not make a big fuss about it. It don't matter. But look at your father. He never took one chance in his life and look where it's gotten him. Don't you do that. Have the balls to kick life around a little bit. Make it hop!"
[ . . . ]
I envision my own end coming at any moment with the snap of jaws, but somehow I feel fated to survive. I lost everything I owned with Solo, but it is intriguing to think of what it will be like to start over again with no worldly goods, only experience.
[ . . . ]
In these moments of peace, deprivation seems a strange sort of gift. I find food in a couple hours of fishing each day, and I seek shelter in a rubber tent. How unnecessarily complicated my past life seems. For the first time, I clearly see a vast difference between human needs and human wants. Before this voyage, I always had what I needed -- food, shelter, clothing, and companionship -- yet I was often dissatisfied when I didn't get everything I wanted, when people didn't meet my expectations, when a goal was thwarted, or when I couldn't acquire some material goody. My plight has given me a strange kind of wealth, the most important kind. I value each moment that is not spent in pain, desperation, hunger, thirst, or loneliness. Even here, there is richness all around me. -- Steven Callahan, Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea (pp. 79, 81, 109)
20apr2005 -- The latest, frightening search term parade (minus all the Danneels hits):
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