Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Innauguration / January 20, 2017 / Comment on this

Donald Trump will be my President. And he will be your President. And saying otherwise will make you sound no better than the petulant parents who kept their kids home from school so that they wouldn’t be exposed to Obama speaking on a telecast, 7 years ago. He’ll be my President, and I intend to do whatever I can to hold him to all the legal and moral responsibilities of that job.

He’s going to do things I like, and things I dislike. And honestly, I expect much more of the latter. But I don’t think the solution to that is to disengage and be spiteful. I don’t have to like him or his plans, for him to still be the President. That was one of Hillary Clinton’s great downfalls… the constant refrain that she was mean and unlikeable. A leader doesn’t need to be likable. They need to lead.

I don’t know what Trump is going to do, as President. No one does, yet. You can’t take him at his word, on anything he’s promised thus far. For one thing, he knows full well he can spout off anything he wants now, before he’s legally held to a different standard. And he’s taking full advantage of that, for which you can hardly fault him. But for another, he’s backpedaled and reneged on every single major promise and platform issue. So his word is essentially meaningless. And he’s entering office with historically low approval ratings. He’s starting from zero, in more ways than one.

I think in about 15 minutes, his stage act will have to start coming to an end. It may just be morbid fascination, but I’m interested in seeing what happens in the long run. If he lives up to our worst fears, I’ll be there to demand correction and change. If he occasionally pulls a 180 — as he’s done repeatedly in life — and does something good, I’ll be happy and respect him for that.

And if you don’t like what happened with this election, what productive thing are you doing right now to change that?

Why Trump? / November 7, 2016 / Comment on this

I am mystified by the relative success of Trump’s campaign. I can understand he’d have some amount of support. He’s been a media personality for 30 years. He’ll have developed a fan base in that time. But the idea of seriously voting for him for President, on a mass scale, is bewildering.

He’s a bad Republican.

I understand that a lot of people vote primarily based on political party. But even in those circumstances, he’s a horrible choice. He’s bragged about using every possible legal loophole to make a living, which should anger small government advocates. He’s got a history going back decades, of strongly criticizing both parties, and taking stands that directly contradict the republican platform. He butted heads with the Republican party at every turn in this election. He insinuated if they wouldn’t support him, he’d run as a third party candidate. He denounced Rand Paul and John McCain, arguably the two most powerful, active Republicans in the country. Past Republican administrations are publicly announcing they’ll vote against him.

He’s a bad person.

While running for president, he’s made racist comments, about other countries, and even Miss America. He’s advocated for discrimination based solely on religion. He’s promised to remove civil rights for LGBT people. He can’t seem to stop himself from making sexist comments at every turn. He has shown a blatant disregard for the value of honesty, and instead is willing to say and support anything that will improve his standing.

He doesn’t have the temperament.

All you had to do was watch the debates. He became bitter, hostile, and petulant every time the arguments weren’t going his way. If president, he would have the entire world against him, not one woman. And he has repeatedly made casual, scary, ill-informed comments about the use of nuclear weaponry.

A common refrain among his supporters is that he ‘speaks his mind and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about it’. That is not something to be proud of. That’s the logic of an angry 18 year old. An adult learns there are times you don’t speak. An adult learns there are times where you pick your words to have greater impact. A President is a diplomat, a leader of his party, and the first person the country turns to in major tragedy and triumph. All those things require careful, considered words.

I just read a new bite last night that his staff has locked him out of his own Twitter account, to prevent him from saying something (else) spectacularly stupid. His own staff doesn’t trust him with Twitter… and yet people want to trust him with the world?

He doesn’t associate with good people.

It’s been suggested that he could be a figurehead president. That he would just do as he was told, and collect a paycheck. But the people he has surrounded himself with have horrible records on ethics and (mental) intelligence. Say what you will about Dick Cheney — who people suspect of having run the Bush Jr Executive Branch — but while he was undoubtedly an evil fuck, he was a very intelligent one. But now we have a VP candidate named Mike Pence, who wanted to divert HIV funding to pay for Gay Conversion Therapy, and actually signed a bill that would jail same sex couples just for applying for a marriage license. He was a huge advocate for defunding Planned Parenthood on the basis of their providing abortions — which would deprive millions of women annually with health care services having nothing to do with abortion.

He is unpredictable.

As I mentioned before, he has a long history of being at odds with both major parties; and a history of saying anything to anyone, with no intention of standing by his word. (How well would that untrustworthiness go over in international affairs?) Once in office, why would you think he would do the bidding of either liberals or conservatives? And that’s assuming he can stay in office. With his shoot-from-the-cuff style and do-it-now-and-deny-it-later style, just how long before he’d be impeached?

He’s not just as bad as Clinton

The false equivalence between Clinton and Trump also amazes me. “He may be awful, but she’s horrible and untrustworthy!” Clinton isn’t who I want in office either, but in no sane world are these two people comparable. If Clinton was the monster she’s been painted as, this campaign, then — without resorting to conspiracy theories — why in 20 years of federal investigations, has she never been found guilty? She’s no saint… I believe she’s as corrupt as any major politician. This is a race for the presidency of the United States…. do you think anyone gets to that level without having some serious skeletons in their closet? I think Clinton would be just as bad and just as good as any other run-of-the-mill President. Her only defining character in the last 16 years has been that she wants to be president. Not to do good, or make a change, or anything else… just “to be president”. I think she would go down in history as “First Female President of the US”, and not much of anything else. But when you compare that to the unholy clusterfuck that a Trump presidency is likely to produce…? I will vote every time for ‘useless’ over ‘chaotic, uninformed hot-head’.

Make America Great Again

“Make America Great Again” is an utterly meaningless slogan. It’s pandering to people who feel afraid and alone. It promises people that they can live in a Norman Rockwell / Disneyland version of history. But I can’t think of any decade in the last 110 years that didn’t have major upheavals and problems. Trump’s campaign is based around a meaningless slogan that promises something that never existed. Okay… maybe it is fitting for his campaign.

Why do I still blog after 18 years? / September 15, 2014 / Comment on this

My blog’s older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It’s seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it’ll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.

– Brent Simmons

Inspirational Television / January 29, 2014 / Comment on this

Small observation, regarding television shows: I like Aaron Sorkin shows. Yes he’s an incredible writer. Yes, while he has a definite liberal bent, he has no trouble calling out stupidity wherever he sees it.

But… but… it occurs to me tonight–while I have Studio 60 on in the background while I work–that he writes stories about people getting up and doing things that are important to them. The characters are driven by something, so they go out and do something about it. So many shows are about poor, put-upon characters. People who are beaten down, discouraged, unhappy, or bad. But Sorkin writes stories about people doing something important to them.

I don’t feel better about myself just because I’m not as pathetic as whoever on whatever reality show is popular this week. I like a little real inspiration in my entertainment.

Mother. / November 22, 2013 / Comment on this

Dear lady with the cute baby in the stroller,

You may not know this, but muttering snarky comments under your breath as you walk away isn’t the best way to convey information.

If I caught your words correctly, I should point out that given how I was walking down a narrow aisle, towards an outward swinging door, which you were already in the process of opening, physics dictates that the only way I could have conceivably helped you instead of “standing there like a lazy fuck” would have been to either open the door into your face or expect you to back up and move out of my way while I exited, finally putting me in the only position where I could have actually held the door open.

But I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you didn’t actually look at the situation. You instead just felt entitled to help from anyone and everyone around you. And you know what they say about feeling entitled. It makes an ass out of you.

Sincerely,

Me.

Buy a house. / May 19, 2013 / Comment on this

The perfect antidote to the desire to buy a house is the process of buying a house.

My process so far certainly hasn’t been standard, but even the best of sales seem to take their toll. You spend a large amount of time looking through listings and going on tours, trying to find something that is desirable, affordable, accessible, and usable. And, well, just has that *something* that makes you want to commit to such an insane undertaking. Then you put in an offer for an ungodly amount of money. And more often than not, you get rejected. I was told the average buyer has to make offers on at least 3 places. Say you find the house, and make a deal. The first thing you then have to do is get it inspected. This is the point where someone comes in and starts poking holes in all your dreams. Water problems, structural problems, pest problems, electric problems. If you aren’t put off by that, you start putting together the financing. This isn’t the cute little norman rockwell image of the local banker sitting with you in their office helping the young couple buy their starter home. This is a faceless person asking you for multiple years worth of finances, including full details on several months worth of deposits. (For that one little thing alone, I’ve had to produce over 200 documents). On the lender’s side, it’s multiple steps… any one of which could cause a problem. But if you make it this far, you really don’t want to give up. So you work your way through and agree on a date to exchange signatures. But first… lets clear the title, which is where we verify they owner actually even has a right to sell you the property. (Why this doesn’t occur earlier, I don’t know. Probably to be sure no ownership changes pop up at the last minute.) So… you’ve made it to closing day. Can’t go wrong now, can it? All you gotta do now is sign your name 40 or 50 times. But… first you inspect the house. You gotta verify that it’s in the same condition as you contracted for. Any change that wasn’t agreed to in writing ahead of time, becomes grounds for an argument with the seller, and could lead to either party walking away. (Probably not… but it depends on the scale of the modification).

And all of that assumes the people you’re working with are competent and well meaning. I’m not going to speak about my experiences, here. But it is a business transaction… you really can’t rely on people’s good will.

You survive all that. You sign the papers. You own a house. Tired yet? I hope not. As one of my clients recently said, owning a house is a lifestyle. Clean, repair, paint, maintain, grow, secure, finance,…

Gentrification / October 19, 2012 / Comment on this

I like this article on gentrification in DC. (“Gentrification in D.C.: How will we remember those displaced?” in the Washington Post). While ‘gentrification’ is a loaded word, the article is one of the more balanced I’ve read on the topic. It doesn’t instantly assume that the new people moving into these neighborhoods are bad. (Though almost as bad — it does assume that all new residents will be interested in “improving” the neighborhoods.) It instead just asks that people learn about their new surroundings, and try to find a way to coexist that benefits everyone. That’s kind of — you know — the definition of civilization. Otherwise, we’re just in a predator/prey situation. (Which isn’t to say it doesn’t happen that way quite often. Just that I agree with the author’s request.)

As someone currently trying to buy a house in a ‘transitional’ neighborhood, I’m very aware of all these tensions. I’ve actually lived much of my life in such places; more often being in the minority dispute being a white male. But I don’t choose a place solely on what it might become. I’m sitting on the porch of the hopefully-new house right now, watching kids playing together. Watching people talk with their neighbors. Listening to the wind in the trees, and the sound of the nearby city. I love all this, and certainly wouldn’t want to lose it. Starbucks and a hipster bar would certainly be no decent replacement.

bad light / October 7, 2011 / Comment on this

You want a horribly colored photo? Stick me in a room with incandescent lighting, and beige walls, and beige furniture. No matter how much I mess with the white balance, I can never quite get it right, under those conditions.

Photoshopped / February 4, 2011 / Comment on this

Just had another photo chosen as Photo of the Day on DCist. And immediately — and not for the first time — received some comments about photoshopping.
I adjust things like the lightness and darkness and sharpness. In that sense, yes it’s photoshopped. But these are the same things photographers have been doing in the darkroom since the beginning. (Ansel Adams was probably better known for his darkroom work than his picture taking). But I don’t add or subtract actual items in the photo.
Occasionally I play around with things like cross-processing and vignettes and such, for artistic effect. But I never promised you an unadulterated photo. I promised you an interesting photo. Photographer Clayton Cubitt had a quote something to the effect that “When he photographs something, he kills it. He has to adjust the image to give it back the life as he originally saw it.”

Shopping / February 2, 2011 / Comment on this

I am impressed. I placed an order with Amazon yesterday. Well … one of the retailers who sells through Amazon. Because if this was Amazon, I would not be impressed. If this was Amazon, they would tell me “Your order has shipped”, and for the next 3 days, UPS would tell me “it’s sitting on the docks at Amazon”. But no… this company had it into UPS last night, and across the country by this morning. Not here yet, but a damn good start.
And I like the ‘new’ look of the tracking page on UPS. The page groups information by the order people typically want it. Colorcoding to show the status of your order. The number of days left before delivery, in big bold type at the top. I even like the progress bar.

Rules for dating (especially for “nice guys”) / September 27, 2010 / Comment on this

In no particular order, and open to frequent revision:

Rule 1: Forget everything you’ve learned. Forget whatever you saw on every TV show, movie, fairy tale, or webcast. Most of them are ridiculous, stilted, or simplistic. Real emotions and hormones are unreliable, gritty, and erratic. To think a cleaned up hollywood remake of a 1,000 year old fairytale is going to say anything useful to you today is foolish.

Rule 2: Say every stupid thing that comes into your head. When I was much younger, I had a wonderful night talking with a very cute girl. I felt like I was being smooth and charming and everything good. Then I leaned against a folding chair and flipped over the back of it. I laughed at myself and figured I’d had a good run… at least I tried. The girl left shortly thereafter, but 3 minutes later, her sister came back and gave me the girl’s phone number. Sometimes, it pays to be ridiculous. Better that you make an impact – no matter how ridiculous it might require you to be; than you being polite and kind and proper and not having them remember your name.

Rule 3: Don’t be self deprecating. I used to do this, as a means of getting a laugh and relieving any tension. But … you don’t want to relieve the tension. Tension is not always bad. Besides… no one has ever been impressed with someone who always puts themselves down. You don’t have to be a conceited dick, but if you don’t act like you’re worth something, why should anyone else believe it?

Rule 4: The Andrew Rule – Andrew’s rules number 1 through 5 are all the same: “You put the penis in the girl”. You meet an attractive woman, you’ll want to have sex with her. If she’s still talking to you despite the fact you’ve been trying not to stare at her boobs for the last 10 minutes, she probably finds you attractive and enjoys sex too. Hey… you have something in common! Why don’t you do something about that?

Rule 5: The Mairin Rule – “Don’t think too much”. Don’t try and guess why the other person is behaving a certain way. You’re probably not going to be even close, and certainly not going to have a complete picture. And all it will do is make you paranoid in the meantime. Be happy with what you learn outright, and if you need to know why they’re acting a certain way…? Ask.

Don’t be a dick / September 8, 2010 / Comment on this

Don’t be a dick, when you get drunk.

I can live with drunk people getting loud. And they can even get reasonably obnoxious when they’re drunk. (I have one friend who gets very adamant about everything when drunk). But don’t be a dick.

Don’t be the guys who dragged me from my group of friends so they could take a picture with me in my (non-existant) costume, this weekend. Don’t be the guy who ripped the pole out of the fence at 2 in the morning, (Because I promise you, I will pre-emptively kick your ass as fast as possible if you take even a step towards me after that). Don’t be the townie who crashed the con to “find a party dude” and write graffiti on every wall you passed.

Get drunk. Say stupid things. Trip and fall. Have sex with inappropriate people. But don’t be a dick.

hate. / July 6, 2010 / Comment on this

Occasionally it feels really good to have money to throw at a problem.
Coming home on the subway, 3 car-hopping poster-children-for-abortion threatened to set me on fire with a lighter. They followed me off the train and out of the gates. Reported it to the booth worker, who called in the amazingly-slow-arriving Metro Police. Filed a report.
By this time it’s dark outside, and 6 blocks to my apartment. And I had watched them all leave through that exit. I was thinking “if they had half a brain, they would have taken off when they saw me talking to the booth worker.” but then I think “if they had half a brain, they wouldn’t be doing this in the first place”. Poo.
So I took the shortest taxi ride in recent history. Home. 50% tip.
I hate this city right now.

Nice Guys / May 23, 2010 / Comment on this

Being a “nice guy” is like being an alcoholic, in that you’re never really cured. There’s always that little bit of something in the back of your mind, waiting to jump out and take over your life again. So I speak from personal experience, but hopefully at a distance. It certainly feels like a drastic change occurred in my life within the last few years. And there’s plenty of evidence to support that. But I’ve been feeling like maybe I’m in a unique place, able to see the issue from both sides.

For the sake of less arguments, let’s define what a “nice guy” is. You’ve met them. You know them. You’ve listened to them talk, and talk, and talk. If you’re a woman, you think they’re your sweet, vaguely clueless friend. If you’re a man, you’re friends with them; but you find yourself shaking your head a lot at what they do. And if you are them, you have a justification for everything I’m going to say, anyway.

The “nice guy” label doesn’t come from a good place. Although these men probably are pleasant overall, the name has nothing to do with desirable personality traits. It comes from what is a common refrain, when discussing male/female interaction with these men. “Women don’t want nice guys. They want assholes.” Or “I’m a nice guy, so women never want me.” You know you’ve heard this dozens, if not hundreds of times. Most likely among guys talking to guys. If it’s a guy talking to a woman, I promise you he has a crush on you, but doesn’t think he has any real chance; but maybe if they can just convince you…

Those discussions always proceed with great amounts of logic and reasoning. Always with the logic. Like many things in my life, I always felt safe retreating to logic. “Well… if you look at it in this common sense way… A + B = C, then I’m right, even if it didn’t work out.” And while I was almost certainly correct, it was completely beside the point. I was trying to use logic as a defense in human relationships, which are at their core, completely illogical.

The nice guy will eventually tell you where he has firmly positioned himself in the whole scheme of relationships. “I don’t even try anymore.” “I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy.” “She wasn’t what I was looking for, anyway.” “I just can’t meet women, because of X”.

And the nice guy is going to do this…. over, and over, and over and over… the nice guy telling you about their dating life at 25 will sound pretty much the same at 30, and 35, and…

Why are we like this? I would guess a little bit of conditioning, and — if current science is to be believed — a little bit of biology. Second point first, ‘nice guys’ are almost always geeks to some extent. While they may not wear a pocket protector, the personality quirks are still there. Often with a strong leaning toward Asperger’s-type traits.

But the conditioning part is what interests me most about all this. “Why did I think about men, women, and relationships in this way?” In general, everyone you’ve met shares the same large cultural reference pool. So it’s probably not a question of strictly ‘what’ you’re exposed to. I had the same interests as anyone else. And to some extent, they even matured as I got older. But especially when you’re talking about the sexes and how they interact, there was always a certain amount of unflattering naiveté. Like I was looking at the world through a Norman Rockwell painting, or Disney colored glasses. Women are great, but you put them on a relatively chaste pedestal. Dating always leads to something more involved when it goes well. Sex is great, but it’s walled off in it’s own little world. I would like to say it’s a sort of junior-high point of view of the adult world. But I’d guess junior high kids today are less clueless than I was.

Many years ago, when I first started questioning the “Women don’t like nice guys” mantra, I said that maybe it’s not ‘assholes’ they want so much as confident men. Confidence is absolutely an attractive trait. Real or faked, it gets me better results in both business and personal life, regardless of whether I actually know what I’m doing. But… like everything else… I don’t know if this is really so clear cut. Confidence is a symptom of a personality that is outgoing, that takes initiative. You’re not sitting back examining life, but you’re actually participating in it. You’re engaged, good or bad.

Those kinds of traits absolutely run contrary to the mental process of a nice guy. These men don’t want to exert themselves on someone. “I’ll just tell this person I’m interested in about myself, and if they’re likewise interested, they’ll let me know, and we’ll…” …whatever. It sounds so mature, and logical. But relationships don’t start out like you’re drafting some mutually beneficial contract. Looking back, every person I consider important — every relationship, male or female, that means something to me — initially flared up in my life like a struck match.

What about sex? For nice guys, it’s this great thing that will come about after you’ve established a relationship with someone. While you’re by no means celibate or ashamed of sex, it’s not part of this early connection with someone. It’s a secondary, or tertiary stage. This one is harder to discuss intelligently. If relationships — as I said earlier — are completely illogical, sex is completely insane. Sex is hormones coursing through the blood telling you to do ridiculous things that probably even violate the laws of physics. What on earth made nice guys think this blood/sweat/magic thing can be left out of the discussion? A romantic relationship doesn’t lead to sex. Sex is part of a romantic relationship. Leave it out, even initially, and you’re leaving out a vital ingredient. The unspoken promise of sex, the looks, the hand on the other person, the holding, the actions themselves. Some female friends recently stated that while yes they wanted nice men, (presumably with a looser definition than mine), they wanted nice men who would put them over the arm of the couch and fuck them. The idea that women want to have sex isn’t shocking. But the sheer directness and central nature — that struck out at my dormant “nice guy”. Every woman I’ve asked about this has agreed with the main point, without question. Even better? The women who made the initial comment are the geekiest, most intelligent, uber-nerdy, (honestly… Asperger-ish) women I know. Apparently there are no “nice women”.

How do I think of life and relationships now?

Life is chaos. Try to simplify it and make it manageable and understandable, and you’re actually stripping out the things that make it worth living. If you dive into the chaos and let things swirl around you, it’s fascinating what you will see and experience. A hour of unexpected, new, exciting things is worth many times even the most enjoyable pre-planned day.

Relationships are similar. Don’t go in with a plan. Just go in. Interact in every way that comes up. Say every stupid thing that comes into your head. Forget everything you’ve ever seen or read, because every human relationship is unique. If there’s a connection, seize it immediately. And if not, that person still fits in your life somewhere.

bad. fucking. mood. / August 30, 2009 / Comment on this

bad. fucking. mood.

bad does not equal evil / May 31, 2009 / Comment on this

It’s important to remember, when you’re latching on and criticizing the man for the latest unpopular or controversial thing done by the Obama administration, that every president does bad things. No one can lead and be perpetually good and popular. We weren’t ashamed of Bush for doing bad things. We hated him for lying, deceiving, manipulating, obfuscating, and depriving. If the most awful thing we can say some day is that Obama made a decision we don’t agree with, then he’ll still go down on his worst day as a better leader and a better man than Bush ever was.

no i.d. for you / March 4, 2009 / Comment on this

must kill someone.
jesus.
I have always thought it incredibly stupid how every building wants you to sign in unless you work or live there. There’s absolutely no security value to it.* Even if I didn’t go to the mental effort of giving a fake name, it’s not going to stop me from doing ‘bad things’.
But this one building has decided I also have to show them my ID to get in. Not just a business card, or anything. Has to be an ID. Well yes, that shows I went to some effort to prove an identity, (though not necc. my real one). But it doesn’t actually make the building any more secure. Still not gonna stop me from doing ‘bad things’. Still not gonna make it easier to find me afterwards, if I have half a brain.
But it is an invasion of my privacy. I don’t want another record out there of every place I visited on a given day.
The smarter buildings just ask you who you’re going to see, which is perfectly reasonable. Still not secure… but it roughly lets them know who to talk to if something goes bad.
The white house, last time I went, didn’t want to see my ID at all. And it’s supposedly a pretty secure building.
So I left. Got home and sent a message to the printer in the building telling them that so long as that was their landlord’s policy, that they would have to come to me if they wanted my business.
Yes it’s generally a stupid little thing. But I put up with more than enough of those… I don’t need to put up with the ones that mean something to me.
*okay… yes. if you’re dealing with morons, this might be of some benefit. When we had a prostitute working upstairs, it was amazing to watch the guys come in and be completely unable to maintain the simplest story about where they’re going and what for.

politics / November 4, 2008 / Comment on this

obligatory: yes, i voted. Spent an hour in line at my polling place. Which wasn’t too bad, compared to the last 2 major elections.
I kind of want to write before I hear any of the official results. As it is, it seems very likely that Obama will win, barring some hijinks/lawsuits/evil after the election is over. It all has a very epic feel to it. The last few days, even jaded people have been talking to me about this being a great moment in history. Obama is inspiring people in a way we haven’t seen in 40 years. (So much for all those people who told me his inspirational nature wouldn’t matter).
I don’t know what kind of president he will likely be. I have my concerns. But fuckit… given this job, I would have my concerns about anyone. This is one of those positions where no one is completely qualified. And it’s also not a job done alone. It will be interesting to see cabinet choices and such.
And political correctness aside, I will take a certain pride in seeing a black man stand up there representing our country. We talk a lot of high ideal shit in this world, only to have it be rendered meaningless by a bunch of rich, old, white men. Seeing the quintessential American success story stand up and represent us will be a nice change.
I don’t have a particular hate for McCain, although I get the feeling he was led down the wrong path in this election. He abandoned everything that made him McCain, and started blatantly appealing to the most extreme, unbalanced parts of his own party. The nomination of Palin is just downright insulting. I swore to myself 3 years ago that the massive trauma the republican party was going through was intentionally self inflicted. It looked to me like they were killing off the weakest sitting members of their party, in hopes of bringing in fresh blood to those positions. But if that’s at all true, their timeline is much longer than I expected.

not just you / October 25, 2008 / Comment on this

So there were two thoughts bugging me on the metro tonight. One new, and one very old. Here’s the first, and we’ll see about the second if I still have the energy later.
More than a few times recently, I’ve been thinking of things I want to write. They’ve concerned things involving people I know. They always involved multiple people. But based on past reactions, I’ve felt like, each time, that I would need to add a disclaimer, that when I mention “several people did or said so-and-so”, that I would have to reinforce that point. That I would have to say: If you think I’m talking about you, I probably am. But I’m not talking only about you.
Well… fuck that. It’s stupid to have to have to try to convince people of something I said clearly the first time. And it tends to lead me to not even bother writing.
When I say it, I mean it. If I get crap in the future, I’ll very likely simply point you to this post, and then drop it. If you choose to sulk and not tell me that you feel personally insulted, well… not really my problem then, until you do come to me about it.

Down with Xenu / March 17, 2008 / Comment on this

2335584266_8a5843728c.jpg
Stupid little buggers.
I went to take pictures at the Anonymous protest, yesterday. Anonymous — if you’re unaware — is a protest movement against the Church of Scientology. The movement’s organizers cloak themselves in anonymity to “protect” themselves from the Scientologist’s well-documented harassment of any critics. So the protests are generally a lot of people in masks (see: Anonymous) waving signs outside any branch or office of this “Church”.
The general things that the protesters are upset about include Scientology’s secrecy, their financial focus, questionable physical and mental health practices, their tax-exempt status as a church, and their harassment of former members any just about anyone trying to find out any details about them.
But I had a vaguely bad feeling when I was reading a bit on the local Anonymous chapter’s website, here in DC, on Friday night. They were specifically telling their ‘members’ to be doubtful about anyone who showed up that wasn’t part of the protest. Anyone who stopped nearby, or anyone who asked questions, or talked to them in any way, was supposed to be viewed with distrust, since they could be a scientologist “mole”. And sure enough, within about two minutes of arriving, and taking pictures from a nearby meridian in the street, (right next to the traffic cop assigned to keep order), I had people looking at me suspiciously. There were plenty of people pointing at me, soon enough. And lots of pictures and video footage including me, eventually. A few of the braver souls eventually yelled across the street that I should have been more subtle… I was too obvious a plant.
A plant for what? I wasn’t talking to them. I wasn’t getting in their way. I wasn’t trying to disseminate my own message. Assume the worst… that I was L Ron Hubbard reincarnate… then what harm was I still causing to them? Are protesters there to be seen or not? Is there any value to being rude to people asking questions, as I watched them do to a couple others, just because they aren’t part of your protest? Isn’t that why you’re there? You will never convince someone who’s already hard-line for a cause. You’re whole purpose in protest is to convince the people in the middle, who aren’t firmly decided. To ignore them, or even chase them off, is just shooting yourself in the foot.
But… also not particularly shocking. The majority of the protesters were — by appearance — black block-ers. The people who go to ANY protest, in all black, wearing masks and imagining themselves to be the hard-core true-believers. My biggest problem with the black block, besides the fact that most of them are just obnoxious little pricks who protest because that’s what “you’re supposed to do”, is that they always do it with their face covered. Attending a public protest with your face covered is meaningless. You protest because you want to stand up and say that no matter what the risk, I personally support this cause. To do so in a mask removes any personal commitment, making you a useless twat.
And of all the things to be pissed about — to choose scientology says just as much about you as it does about them. They absolutely have some questionable practices. And I have a real problem with anyone who isn’t open to questions. But in just about every major religion you’ll find all the same basic issues as you do in Scientology. They all expect money… (tithing would have you give 10% of your income to the church). Mormons are just as secretive about their buildings and papers. Jehova’s Witnesses have difficult and questionable restrictions on medical practices. I don’t believe the scale at which the Scientologists do these same practices warrants this special attention. And on the chart of fucked-up institutions and practices that humanity inflicts upon itself, they don’t even make the Top 100.
In the end, I don’t care what they yelled at me. And if they want to film me, it just adds on to all the tourists’ shots I probably already show up in ever summer. And attacking me just for taking pictures of people acting strangely on the streets of one of the main tourist locations in the country makes them no different than the cop who stopped me a week after September 11, 2001 for taking a picture of an empty street. I’m sure the black block will love that comparison.

An open letter to women / November 2, 2007 / Comment on this

This is an open letter to almost every woman I’ve ever met. It’s certainly specific to every woman I’ve dated, and even several of my friends recently. It’s not for one specific person, but there are certainly several people it can apply to.
You simply don’t get to be upset that I haven’t fixed a problem you never told me about. Or more realistically… you don’t get to expect me to feel bad about it. I didn’t know it existed… I couldn’t even contemplate it much less solve it.
And no… “I should have known” is not acceptable. If you have a problem, it’s your responsibility to bring it up. And no; hints and insinuations and a cold shoulder are not acceptable substitutes. I, and from what I can tell – most men, simply do not get a hint. Ever. At all. Period. This is not an exaggeration. There are no exceptions. I mean any hint. EVER. Period. Zero. Zilch.
I’ll be the first one to agree I can be an asshole. I can be insensitive. I can be inappropriate. But if I am one of those things, tell me. Because if you hold it in and it makes your life hell in some way, and you come back to me weeks, months, or years later… I am not going to feel bad. And that’s only going to make you more upset… to which, I repeat… I won’t feel bad.

HPV / February 7, 2007 / Comment on this

I saw an article a couple weeks ago, about the ‘new’ HPV vaccine. And there was a blurb in the very last paragraph that really bothered me. But it felt like just that: a little incendiary bit with little actual factual support designed to inflame the passions and inflate the subscriber base for a few days.
But no. Weeks later and the little bit is taking over the story.
The HPV vaccine, in case you haven’t heard, is a vaccine against the human papilloma virus. HPV is responsible for 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. (There are over 40 types of HPV. The vaccine addresses 4 of them). The numbers are staggering. At least 50 percent of sexually active people in the US get HPV at some time in their lives. For a more detailed description, check out BWHI’s program on HPV.
So we have a vaccine against at least a small portion of cancers. Cancer is the great monster that lurks in the dark. And we have one more small stone we can now throw at it. Having been declared safe by all the big alphabet-soup government agencies, many school districts and states are considering adding the vaccination to their list of required shots for girls for school attendance.
But the problem is that there’s people protesting the recommended requirement. And more than anyone, I’m fine with dissent and disagreement. Protest the testing methods they used. Protest that there’s not enough long-term knowledge of it’s effects or efficiency. I might even help you protest that the government should not be dictating what you do with your own body. Protest that required vaccines are actually government mind-control drugs, if it makes you feel better. But no… the protest that is taking over this story is by conservative *cough*ignorant*cough*, family-values *cough*orwellian*cough* organizations, claiming that this vaccine will encourage sexual activity in minors.
Oh.
Mah.
Gawd.
Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. I could ignore the horrible state of what we call sexual education in this country, that involves a lot of enforced ignorance and very little education. I could ignore the fact that anyone could believe a vaccination is going to encourage any little child to go out and get freaky. I could ignore the fact that someone could believe it takes ANYTHING to make a teenager horny. I could almost ignore the fact that they feel hiding any issue from someone is ever better than addressing it. But I can not ignore the fact that even if you could subscribe to all of the above ideas, you’re willing to let someone suffer and die from horrendous diseases, all in the name of God and moral values. Where is the moral righteousness in preventable death?

Bad Website Design Tip #134 / November 15, 2006 / Comment on this

If you’re gonna put a form on your web page that checks to see what people are entering in the fields, and won’t let them move on to the next field unless they complete the first one properly, then…
…give the user feedback as to what they’re doing wrong so they can fix it!
Or… you know…. tell them how to do it right in the first place.
Otherwise, they may spend valuable time cursing you, trying multiple web browsers, and calling you, all to figure out why the hell they can’t use your form.

Citizenship / July 26, 2006 / Comment on this

So on my way into court for jury duty today, I had a thought that’s occurred to me before. And strangely enough, it was again addressed in the book I was reading in the Juror’s Lounge while waiting to be called–The Federalist Papers:
Why are people born in this country automatically subject to citizenship and all the requirements that come with it?
Even my church, which promises salvation and grape juice to anyone who asks, requires that you go through confirmation classes and a ceremony in order to become an official member. But in the U.S., anyone born here is automatically a citizen and required to do things like register for the draft and serve on juries and such.
I’m not saying it’s a bad deal, because there’s certainly some cool things that you get in exchange, like a common defense and free flags in the newspaper every spring. But why is it automatic. I’m less concerned with wether or not everyone deserves it, than I am with why it is actually forced on people. I’ve actually known people who went to the trouble of renouncing their citizenship. (Wonder how their life has gotten over the last few years?)
Even Hamilton, arguing for a stronger Federal government in The Federalist Papers, cites the lack of popular support in establishing the original Articles of Confederation as one of their weaknesses. He asks why people should be subject to the rule of a document they never got to vote on.
Shouldn’t it either be much easier to renounce your citizenship, (and yes, all the benefits that come with it), or like a church, shouldn’t you be included automatically up to a certain age, at which point you must make an educated decision as to wether you wish to remain officially associated with the entity? Or possibly something like Robert Heinlein suggests in Starship Troopers, where you can live a fairly normal life and even be successful. But if you wished to have any say in government, you had to provide some civil or military service to that government, to show your dedication to the body.
I don’t think that there should necessarily be citizenship tests for people born into this society. We’ve proven generally bad at coming up with simple, fair tests. But attend a class that talks about all you’re getting and all that will be required of you, and at the end of it, you have an interview where you state your choice.
*shrug*

Dead. / September 4, 2005 / Comment on this

I am…
…really disturbed.
There’s a bad series of events rising. The news of the past week has been depressing enough. But reading the paper today casts a pall over everything.
Article One: Supreme Court Chief Justice Reinquist died last night. This man held on with tooth and nail, to his dying breath, to outlive the current administration. He must have been crushed after last year’s elections. It would explain all his trips to the hospital this year. Once you know you can no longer make it, or that you’ve done all you can, you will die off rather quickly.
He’s been dead for less than 24 hours, and the story has already become his replacement. The Shrub is expected to quickly name a nominee. Nothing will surprise me this time. I was sure last time, that it would have to be a hispanic person, or specifically a woman. Anything, really, but an old white man. Enter Roberts: Aspiring Old White Man. No, he hasn’t been confirmed yet. But he will be. No legislator has the cahonés any more to take a stand on a single issue.
Article Two: The Marines have been ordered into New Orleans to maintain order. Is that even legal? The National Guard is one thing. Unless federalized, as President Kennedy did, the Guard is called out by Governors. How does sending in the Marines, a federal force, to a domestic location to act as a police force not violate the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878?
Regardless of the legalities, it’s ominous and enlightening in its own right. Most Americans I have talked with have a belief that their government will “take care of things” when the going gets rough. After all… the whole point of civilization is to protect the weak and the young. But time and again, these last few years, we’ve seen how woefully unprepared our federal and state governments are to handle anything more unplanned than a new tax law. And when taken off guard by some event, be it man-made or the assault of nature, we as a people have shown neither the intelligence nor imagination to find truly reasonable and feasible solutions to these concerns. Like an angry child, we attack the thing that just scared us, with no thought towards the unknown. And terror, from any source, is by definition, the incitement of fear through the use of the unknown or unexpected.
The government isn’t all stupid. They know people believe in them, like a child looking up to their all-knowing parent. But this most recent hurricane laid bare the inadequacy of the current federal government to even inspire its people, much less actually protect them. The governments responses have been woefully late and perpetually defensive, as has become common practice. We really heard nothing until people starting asking where they were.
They panic, after saying that they’re just now learning of the true scale of the horrors along the gulf coast. They’ve already started blaming local authorities for not sending federal government accurate information. (How exactly does the Mayor of Biloxi report in, when his town no longer exists?) So is it an organizational failure? Besides the obviousness of a response of “send everything you possibly can” to a disaster of this scale,I have never seen an organizational failure that didn’t originate from the top down. And I’ve never met a good leader who didn’t take the blow themselves when their subordinates fucked up. So the local authorities didn’t check in often enough? How about all the news reports coming out of the area? How about your national guardsmen? How about your FEMA workers? How about reports from the Red Cross? Nice to see our Director of Homeland Security was scooped by Al Jazeera. Did they think the order to evacuate New Orleans was not a bad sign?
I don’t lay blame for all the people suffering, on the federal government. I lay blame for an inadequate federal government, on the federal government. For the people sitting in the sun on the highway for 3 days; for the people having to dig their way out through their roofs; for the people desperate for aid an assistance; I lay the blame primarily on those people. I don’t wish suffering on any person. And there are, without a doubt, people who were physically unable to respond the the warnings and danger around them. But what is wrong with these people who are just sitting there saying “save me before I die”?! As I said… if your legs don’t work, or you’re trapped on an island, then it is an incredible tragedy. But otherwise… why are you sitting there? Your house is gone. You’ve run out of food and/or water? What on earth makes you sit there and wait for someone to pick you up, rather than to start walking north? People in Sudan are being bombed, and raped, and slaughtered. So what did they do? Entire towns stood up and started walking, and didn’t stop until they got to a new country.
It’s all a horrible parody, I sometimes think. The “strong” American people, so dependent on being told what to do, when to do it, how to do it. And we’re proud of this. Not like those third world countries. Other countries have people dying for the freedom to make their own decisions. We now have people dying in the streets for nothing more than their blind faith in the government.
For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about feral cities, in relation to New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast. I don’t know that the people in this country have the ability, on the large scale necessary, to take responsibility for their own lives, anymore.
Yeah… I know I lost my focus somewhere in here. But these are just a few little things that have been bugging the holy fuck out of me.

a little house-cleaning / June 9, 2005 / Comment on this

From Randi Rhodes, a terrible radio host, who stumbled on a few good ideas for news media:

First, Congress must act to adopt standards for labeling a broadcast as NEWS. There is a right to a free press expressly guaranteed to each and every one of us, and yet there are no standards for corporations who brand themselves as news providers. We had standards for sitcom families and their sleeping arrangements. We have language standards for radio stations, but no news standards that define what journalistic principles must be present in order to brand as news.

If I may insert a note here: Wether you know it or not, this has actually gone to court. In an unlawful termination case against Fox, the court eventually ruled that there is no requirement that the news be true.

Second, I think we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine which served this country well from 1949 through 1987. It simply guarantees competing viewpoints on issues of public importance. There’s never been and Equal Time requirement as is widely believed. We viewed station licensees to be “public trustees” and therefore, they had an obligation to present different viewpoints on issues of public importance. License holders were also required to actively seek out stories of interest to the public and air programs addressing those issues.

Thirdly, finally and most importantly, we need to protect our journalists. They must be free to report and never be penalized with lost access to the people they cover or with retribution from partisan employers. Journalists have died covering Afghanistan and Iraq in numbers that surpass the numbers of lost journalists in Viet Nam. And that is saying a lot. Coverage of Viet Nam went on in earnest for 12 years. Yet in just 2 and a half years there have been more journalists killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dunno if I agree with number 3. How the hell do you “protect journalists’. If anything, I would prefer journalists had less to do with American soldiers and such. I think if you’re going to travel into a war-torn area to talk to and take pictures of lots of people, then you better fucking well be prepared for the consequences.

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Google owns Blogger, right? And Google has a half decent translation service for web pages. So why don’t they add a “translate this page” link to the blogspot header on Blogspot-hosted pages?

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brought to you by the Washington Post and several administration officials who wouldn’t know ethics from a hole in their backside:

“The White House said Wednesday that changes in government reports on global warming by a former oil industry lobbyist were part of a normal review and did not violate a pledge to rely on sound science.”

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On the party in power refusing to give credentials to people who didn’t support them in the last election, to attend a telecommunications conference in central America:

The White House admits as much: “We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and–call us nutty–it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that,” says White House spokesman Trent Duffy. Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. One nixed participant, who has been to many of these telecom meetings and who wants to remain anonymous, gave just $250 to the Democratic Party. Says Nokia vice president Bill Plummer: “We do not view sending experts to international meetings on telecom issues to be a partisan matter. We would welcome clarification from the White House.”

TIME.com: Any Kerry Supporters On The Line? May. 02, 2005
So we’re so concerned that certified experts in telecommunications be supportive of the administration — not the country, but the administration — that we won’t let them talk to other people about… you know… telecommunications.
More and more there’s a disconnect between the US and the world. I mean… literally. I’m constantly being reminded of the scene in Channel Zero where the protagonist, after being exiled from the US, discusses with a foreign reporter the difference in realities, between what you see from within the united states, and what you see from the outside. An all pervasive control of reality, at the borders.

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There’s something wrong with running hot dog and Perdue chicken commercials on Animal Planet.

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And only two years after I first brought it up, the FBI finally arrested the Pentagon employee who was passing secrets to Israel. If you can’t find a way to get out of the country to somewhere without an extradition treaty in two years… well you probably deserve what’s coming to you.

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Anyway… if I may paraphrase an email I recently sent Lea:

“Me? Now? I work. I work a lot. And, you know, then I work more. Working for myself, I have worse hours and longer days than I did with other jobs. But I don’t hate it. I ended up hating my last job, with passion. When I climbed in the elevator every morning, it felt a little more claustrophobic each day. So while I may panic now about a schedule, and am never sure where the next job is coming from… I feel like every day is lived in a wide-open space. (I take the stairs a lot.). And hey… the next job keeps coming.”

Wrong from the start / May 4, 2005 / Comment on this

My sister is frequently too self-righteous and pig-headed for her own good.
I called to offer her a free computer last night, since I knew of a cache of them being given away. Her immediate response was to rail against Macintoshes. There’s no way she would ever want one. She doesn’t know anything about them. Her husband is an ‘expert’ in Windows, because he is always repairing his mother’s Windows machine. And apparently I am a bad, vain person for offering her one, because not everyone “can be a computer genius”.
Several thoughts:

  1. Last Christmas, I watched her husband, the ‘expert’, take several hours, with the help of his cousins and uncles, figuring out how to download pictures from a digital camera.
  2. So according to my sister, a Windows machine like her mother-in-law’s is better, because it’s more common. Despite the fact that her husband, as she said, is over there constantly fixing it?
  3. Apparently I’ve learned much in recent years, because the last time I gave her a Macintosh, she got rid of it because she refused to believe me when I told her she could get online with it. Now, though, I’m a computer genius.
  4. Best of all… I never offered her a Macintosh. I offered her a computer. There are a couple Windows machines in the cache being given away.

But by the end, when she finishes up a five minute rant by insulting me for offering her a free computer, well… she can kiss my ass. I briefly considered sending her the Windows machine with a little note saying “I didn’t offer you a Mac”. But that idea was quickly discarded when it occurred to me that my sister of all people wouldn’t have the grace or humility to feel bad about the way she treated me. She’d just complain that it was too old or didn’t come with whatever. She can go spend a $1,000 of her own money, which I know she damn well doesn’t have.

Someone give me some herbicide / November 6, 2004 / Comment on this

You think your life is over. Well look around. You’re not the only one.
Visqueen
You’re allllllllllllllllllllll going to hell. And you’re dragging the rest of us with you.
You put the fucking Shrub back in office. Even if you accept every single conspiracy theory, that still means wayyyy too many of you voted for this … thing. He and his administration lie and mislead as a matter of course. In the last 2 weeks of the election alone there were at least a half-dozen major lies brought to light. When challenged, their only tactic has been to ruin the life and reputation of their accuser. Every major law or legal initiative they have championed has involved the reduction or elimination of some freedom, choice, or action. They have spent obscene amounts of money in creating the largest government bureaucracy since FDR. They’ve ignored their military commanders and committed troops to places no one wanted them. They took America from being the center of pity and warm feelings after 9/11, to being nearly universally dismissed and reviled.
They’re bad leaders. Their bad commanders. They’re bad republicans. And they’re bad men.
And you fucking voted for them.

Terrorism / October 27, 2004 / Comment on this

“Let’s take the War on Terrorism. This is a very powerful phrase, to the degree that it’s offensive for anyone to say they don’t support it. But it’s also dumb, because nobody knows what it actually means. Clearly, we are not about to rid the world of terrorism, because you can’t defeat an “ism”. Terrorism will be with us for as long as desperate, insane people exist; the best we can do is to mitigate the damage such people can do, and try not to encourage them.
Max Barry
Barry is admittedly a good writer. (I recommend his Jennifer Government). But he comes so close to making an important point, and then veers off to the road MORE taken.
This “war”–the War on Terrorism–is not the modern homage to the metaphorical War on Drugs. While there was very real fighting and dying in coca fields and on city streets, there was just as much education, propaganda, and outreach. But this war, once again declared by the White House, has nothing to do with anything except wholesale slaughter of anyone who doesn’t live up to Western morals. And this is going to do nothing but instigate a even greater spread of Terror and terrorism.
Terrorism comes from people who are scared. It comes from people who are suffering. And it comes from people who are desperate. It often involves people sacrificing themselves because they no longer see another option. And no invention of man creates these circumstances so well as actual war.
The Palestinians are perhaps the most obvious example of this. The international community, through their silence and refusal to intercede, has granted Israel unlimited license to literally destroy these people’s homes, businesses, crops, and lives. We’re not talking the occasional attacks mentioned on CNN. This is an every-day occurrence. Without warning, Israel has repeatedly cut off access to their jobs for tens of thousands of Palestinians. Without jobs, and without crops, how do you even eat? American slaves were treated better than this. It’s no longer shocking that people — homeless people, hungry people, people with dead family members — are willing to turn themselves into walking devices of vengeance (and hence, terror). Good or bad, this is a message. Terrorism is always a message.
Everywhere people are desperate and oppressed, terrorism will break out. My own country’s history celebrates many acts of terror our citizens have committed. The Boston Tea Party. The Raid on Harpers Ferry. Timothy McViegh was never labeled a Christian Terrorist. Apparently, if you’re American, and desperately want to make a point, you’re free to act without fear of bringing down retribution upon your entire group of people.
You can fight the people who are committing acts of terrorism. But you cannot physically assault the cause of terrorism. It is not a man in a robe in a cave somewhere. It is not an aging military dictator, governing on a whim. Killing those people is like taking a throat lozenge. It makes you feel better, but it doesn’t make you any safer, any better, or any less in trouble.
If we’re going to ‘fight terrorism’, we have to wipe out the things that scare people. We have to wipe out hunger. We have to wipe out diseases like Malaria and AIDS which are ravaging populations worldwide. We have to deal with resource scarcity. We have to deal with land scarcity. These attacks and invasions will only stretch the tensions even further, and lead to more desperate acts; many by people who formerly were satisfied with or accepting of the status-quo.
This War on Terrorism is not an attempt to stop terror. This is a “War of Opportunity to Get Rid of People and Places We Find Offensive”.

Blog Celeb / July 15, 2004 / Comment on this

Do people automatically tend towards stupid modes?
The first time I wrote candidly for my website was … probably 1995. Just a little bio of myself based upon a conversation I had with Natasha from Toronto. I wish I knew where she went.
This is a journal. I started writing for my website in a sequential manner for my website back in 1997. I wasn’t trying to “do” anything. I was just trying to clear my head and get my thoughts straight. At the time, I was a recent college graduate looking for work and dating a control freak. So I took off for the hills for a few days to get my thoughts straight, and used the time and free computer labs to write out my thoughts.
Not a very glorious thing.
About a year later, several friends I had made on IRC (an obsession that I cannot figure out why it has never spread… it in fact seems to have dwindled) started keeping journals on their website. I was very happy when Melissa got annoyed with me for coming up with a good navigation system that she’d wanted to use. Considering the time, when everything was hand-coded, it was pretty good.
Journals got kind of popular after that. We’re not talking mass-media obsession like they are now. But still. The first Content Management Systems (blogging software) were created by people just like my friends and I. They wanted to write for their sites. But they didn’t want to have to recode a half dozen pages every time they created a new entry. (Keeping in mind this was the days before CSS, when HTML was tres ugly).
Journaling, or Weblogging, or Blogging as it became known, was one of those things that just hit critical mass one day. It sort of became self-aware, and instead of people using their journals to talk about things, they used their journals to talk about blogging. And about other people blogging. And about the power of blogging. There were now experts on blogging. (I’ve been doing this longer than Meg or Jason, and I like to think I’m smart, but no one has ever invited me to be on a panel and explain how this represents my generation.)
And bloggers were sure they had found the purpose embedded in the DNA of the Internet. “This thing we create is amazing and new”, Well… kinda. Except that back in 93 when I first got into the web, this is exactly what I found. Almost everything was personal websites. Just people, with a little bit of space, saying “I like this kinda shit”. In the mid-to-late 90s, I was actually kinda depressed that the personal web seemed to have disappeared.
Well, it was rediscovered. If internet time is as fast as they say, then this was the next generation, reinventing rock music.
And now they’re giving it up, too.
To be cool or part of “it”, blogging is no longer about they little person. Blogger is still free, but it is owned by the 900 pound gorilla of the internet. Graymatter died a rather quick death, though not before showing us how sad Blogger was. Movabletype has gone from two kids wanting to build a blogging tool as a blogging tool, to being just another international corporation offering their software as shareware.
I know there are a dozen little free journaling tools. And I don’t care about them. WordPress is obviously the next heir to the thrown. Butt I don’t care.
We have blog celeb now. You go to certain journals, because those are the journals you read. You can tell the authors know it too. It shows in their writing. They’re writing to an audience, instead of just writing. Only once have I ever targeted an entry here, and that was to tell the little fuckhead nazis who couldn’t grasp sarcasm to go away and leave me the fuck alone.
Jason, and several other popular bloggers, complained the other day, saying they felt obligated to write. This, a couple days after I skimmed an article about what “famous webloggers are listening to in music now”. That article started out saying they could give a chicken fuck what Bertha from Decatur was listening to. And now… so many of them simply have to make money off of it…
You wanna idol-worship? That’s fine. But that’s not what the point of weblogs were. That’s not what the blogger-revolutionists espoused.
I find a lot of private journals by average people, which are typically abandoned after about 6–9 months. I think they realized the world would not come to them. I think they find out that this is not something you do because it’s cool… this is something you do because you don’t have a choice. You spout off here, or you go down to the park and try to yell louder than the homeless guy next to you. It’s not work… it’s a pressure valve.
I wonder what’s next. You can almost see it coming. The current ‘life’ of the web is sort of a 300 lb. weazing, 50 year old diabetic, trying to stay on it’s feet. The next big thing must be coming along soon. If not, Wired magazine is bound to invent something.

Fuckable / June 23, 2004 / Comment on this

Why are the only women on TV complaining about not getting laid and competing with “models”, themselves incredibly hot but wearing a pair of black-framed glasses?
And better yet, why do I care?

Bad, Warren Ellis, Bad / May 23, 2004 / Comment on this

I love Warren Eliis’ writing. He is a truly sick man who should be locked up far away from animals and little children. But he is an amazing writer.
But I have caught him twice now, letting me down, by reporting only part of a story, which results in a blatantly skewed view.
Last week, when Colin Powell was being interviewed, and his aid tried to stop an interview by obstructing the camera, Powell told her to get out of the way so the interview could proceed. (An amazingly honorable move by someone from the party in power.) Warren’s coverage of the incident, though, stopped at the point where the interview was interrupted right at the vital question.
Now today, he is reporting on what I will bet my wallet on will become a meme if it isn’t already. The idea that the draft could be re-instituted by next year. Overall, it’s not a new story. The party in power has been refinancing and reinvigorating the Selective Service Administration for a while now. Warren’s support for this story points to an article on Congress.org that points out there are identical bills in both houses of Congress that would institute a national service requirement for young adults. The fact that the legislation does exist, (see here and here), doesn’t mean much. The sheer number of bills introduced in congress every year that never even make it onto the floor is staggering. many of them come back year after year after year. But what really screws the pooch for this website’s credibility are some of the other articles given the same priority:
Work camps set up in the USA already by the New World Order. (Are these made the same contractors who have taken several months so far to repave the 1 block of street behind the White House?)
NESARA = THE STRUCTURE FOR A BETTER WORLD! (Wherein, a bill signed into law by “the sitting president of the United States” back in 2000 will lead to world peace where we will all immediately hold hands and since about Coca Cola).
A License to Steal which lets us know that there are evil credit card companies out there who will raise your interest rate just because… get this… you have a bad credit rating.
God help me, I hope this site is either a parody or a joke or something.
Anyway… yes, Warren Ellis specifically states that he uses diepunyhumans as a dumping ground for his research. But he has many times also shown exactly how aware he is that he has a huge attentive audience. He has used this specific site to bring new material, such as music or short fiction, “to the peoples”.
So I only hope this time he is in on the joke.

The Shrub / April 13, 2004 / Comment on this

rajee88: what’s so wrong with him
pakgwei: wardeathliepollutearrestdumbasfuckingshit

Media Whore / March 31, 2004 / Comment on this

And just to prove, yet again, that I have no lie outside the couch…
1. The West Wing
What crack addict thought up the concept for tonight’s show? And have they never watched the series before? Somewhere out there, Aaron Sorkin is rolling over in a crack house.
They idea behind the episode is to show it as if part of a behind-the-scenes documentary. So everyone acted different. Talked different. Was less comfortable visually. You saw whole teams of people not in the regular series. You saw ways of doing things not done in the regular continuity.
All of which might be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that the regular continuity is already supposed to be a behind the scenes, day-to-day look at what goes on in the West Wing.
By having all these people behave completely different, you’re fucking with the viewers perception. Fucking with the “suspension of disbelief”. Millions of people watch every week, already knowing that it’s fake, but following the story. So which fake “reality” is the real “fake reality”?
2. Air America Radio
It’s live!
Yippee! (copyright Sara, 1996, 1999, 2002)
Go.. listen… now.
No brain dead DJs. No political operatives. No coma-inducing talk show hosts. No recordings of petty congressmen.
Interesting people — talking like real people — to other interesting people — unscripted.
Damn….
why didn’t I think of it.

State of the Union as seen from UK / January 21, 2004 / Comment on this

Published by the lndependent/UK
Today the President gives his annual address. As the election battle begins, how does his first term add up?
232: Number of American combat deaths in Iraq between May 2003 and January 2004
501: Number of American servicemen to die in Iraq from the beginning of the war – so far
0: Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender to the Allies in May 1945
0: Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home from Iraq that the Bush administration has allowed to be photographed
0: Number of funerals or memorials that President Bush has attended for soldiers killed in Iraq
100: Number of fund-raisers attended by Bush or Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2003
13: Number of meetings between Bush and Tony Blair since he became President
10 million: Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, setting an all-time record for simultaneous protest
2: Number of nations that Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into the White House
9.2: Average number of American soldiers wounded in Iraq each day since the invasion in March last year
1.6: Average number of American soldiers killed in Iraq per day since hostilities began
16,000: Approximate number of Iraqis killed since the start of war
10,000: Approximate number of Iraqi civilians killed since the beginning of the conflict
$100 billion: Estimated cost of the war in Iraq to American citizens by the end of 2003
$13 billion: Amount other countries have committed towards rebuilding Iraq (much of it in loans) as of 24 October
36%: Increase in the number of desertions from the US army since 1999
92%: Percentage of Iraq’s urban areas that had access to drinkable water a year ago
60%: Percentage of Iraq’s urban areas that have access to drinkable water today
32%: Percentage of the bombs dropped on Iraq this year that were not precision-guided
1983: The year in which Donald Rumsfeld gave Saddam Hussein a pair of golden spurs
45%: Percentage of Americans who believed in early March 2003 that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September attacks on the US
$127 billion: Amount of US budget surplus in the year that Bush became President in 2001
$374 billion: Amount of US budget deficit in the fiscal year for 2003
1st: This year’s deficit is on course to be the biggest in United States history
$1.58 billion: Average amount by which the US national debt increases each day
$23,920: Amount of each US citizen’s share of the national debt as of 19 January 2004
1st: The record for the most bankruptcies filed in a single year (1.57 million) was set in 2002
10: Number of solo press conferences that Bush has held since beginning his term. His father had managed 61 at this point in his administration, and Bill Clinton 33
1st: Rank of the US worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions per capita
$113 million: Total sum raised by the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, setting a record in American electoral history
$130 million: Amount raised for Bush’s re-election campaign so far
$200m: Amount that the Bush-Cheney campaign is expected to raise in 2004
$40m: Amount that Howard Dean, the top fund-raiser among the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls, amassed in 2003
28: Number of days holiday that Bush took last August, the second longest holiday of any president in US history (Record holder: Richard Nixon)
13: Number of vacation days the average American worker receives each year
3: Number of children convicted of capital offences executed in the US in 2002. America is only country openly to acknowledge executing children
1st: As Governor of Texas, George Bush executed more prisoners (152) than any governor in modern US history
2.4 million: Number of Americans who have lost their jobs during the three years of the Bush administration
221,000: Number of jobs per month created since Bush’s tax cuts took effect. He promised the measure would add 306,000
1,000: Number of new jobs created in the entire country in December. Analysts had expected a gain of 130,000
1st: This administration is on its way to becoming the first since 1929 (Herbert Hoover) to preside over an overall loss of jobs during its complete term in office
9 million: Number of US workers unemployed in September 2003
80%: Percentage of the Iraqi workforce now unemployed
55%: Percentage of the Iraqi workforce unemployed before the war
43.6 million: Number of Americans without health insurance in 2002
130: Number of countries (out of total of 191 recognized by the United Nations) with an American military presence
40%: Percentage of the world’s military spending for which the US is responsible
$10.9 million: Average wealth of the members of Bush’s original 16-person cabinet
88%: Percentage of American citizens who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes
$42,000: Average savings members of Bush’s cabinet are expected to enjoy this year as a result in the cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes
$42,228: Median household income in the US in 2001
$116,000: Amount Vice-President Cheney is expected to save each year in taxes
44%: Percentage of Americans who believe the President’s economic growth plan will mostly benefit the wealthy
700: Number of people from around the world the US has incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
1st: George W Bush became the first American president to ignore the Geneva Conventions by refusing to allow inspectors access to US-held prisoners of war
+6%: Percentage change since 2001 in the number of US families in poverty
1951: Last year in which a quarterly rise in US military spending was greater than the one the previous spring
54%: Percentage of US citizens who believe Bush was legitimately elected to his post
1st: First president to execute a federal prisoner in the past 40 years. Executions are typically ordered by separate states and not at federal level
9: Number of members of Bush’s defense policy board who also sit on the corporate board of, or advise, at least one defense contractor
35: Number of countries to which US has suspended military assistance after they failed to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from prosecution before the International Criminal Court
$300 million: Amount cut from the federal program that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes
$1 billion: Amount of new US military aid promised Israel in April 2003 to offset the “burdens” of the US war on Iraq
58 million: Number of acres of public lands Bush has opened to road building, logging and drilling
200: Number of public-health and environmental laws Bush has attempted to downgrade or weaken
29,000: Number of American troops – which is close to the total of a whole army division – to have either been killed, wounded, injured or become so ill as to require evacuation from Iraq, according to the Pentagon
90%: Percentage of American citizens who said they approved of the way George Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 26 September, 2001
53%: Percentage of American citizens who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president when asked on 16 January, 2004
© 2004 Independent Digital (UK)

grrrr / November 16, 2003 / Comment on this

okay.. really…
If you have a website, do not… NOT… have your web page reload automatically. Period. End of story. No excuse.
There is no website whose content is updated so frequently, (other than maybe Girls in Bikinis with Lollipops and Bad Wigs), that they need to interrupt my reading in the middle of a page to present me with a whole new set of advertising. Not popups, not cookies, no flash,… NOTHING bugs me more than a web page reloading right in the middle of reading it.

gay and bald / October 31, 2003 / Comment on this

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
fuck.
I hate it when I can’t get my thoughts straight.
Sometime I spend more time around gay people than straight. But there is still something that doesn’t look right about a balding, pudgy middle-aged black guy snuggling up to another of the same. I blame WIll and Grace. All gay people are pretty and young. Aren’t they?
Freudian slip… straight thoughts… gay men. Something there maybe.

Horn of Death / October 15, 2003 / Comment on this

I stand about 6’3″ and am in pretty good shape. No athlete or anything. But I can move at a decent clip when I want to.
SO I can’t tell you why the inbred speed-fetishists at the corner of 15th and H feel the need to lay on their horns every time I cross in front of them.
We’ll ignore the fact that I have the right of way. What truley makes this boggle the mind is that there is no way; absolutely no way; that I could be delaying them, for even a second. They’re making a right hand turn, so there is no risk of traffic blocking their passage, once I’ve inched my way over the crosswalk. They also happen to be on a one way street, which means no one from the opposite direction will be making any sudden turns into their lanes. And the street on the opposite side of the intersection from their intended route is also a one way street, going in the opposite direction.
So no one else for a one block radius is coming anywhere near disturbing their progress. Except me. Of course… this is rush hour. Always rush hour. And in rush hour, the lower half of fifteenth street is bumper to bumper. I would literally have to drag myself across the street with my tongue in the middle of winter so that i froze to the street every other step… in order for me to delay these people from getting to their destination one second later.
So if I catch you honking at me on that corner, I will drag you from your car, chop you into kibble, and feed you to my attack cat. She’s been getting that look in her eyes again.

the shrub does… / September 19, 2003 / Comment on this

I attacked and took over two countries.
I spent the U.S. surplus and bankrupted the US Treasury.
I shattered the record for the biggest annual deficit in history (not easy!).
I set an economic record for the most personal bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
I set all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
In my first year in office I set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history (tough to beat my dad’s, but I did).
After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, I presided over the worst security failure in US history.
I set the record for most campaign fund raising trips by any president in US history.
In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
I cut unemployment benefits for more out-of-work Americans than any other president in US history.
I set the all-time record for most real estate foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
I set the record for the fewest press conferences of any president, since the advent of TV.
I signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any other US president in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
I cut health care benefits for war veterans.
I set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.
I dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.
I’ve made my presidency the most secretive and unaccountable of any in US history.
Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history.
(The poorest multimillionaire, Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker
named after her.)
I am the first president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously struggle against bankruptcy.
I presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud in any market in any country in the history of the world.
I am the first president in US history to order a US attack AND military occupation of a sovereign nation, and I did so against the will of the United Nations and the vast majority of the international community.
I have created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States, called the “Bureau of Homeland Security”(only one letter away from BS).
I set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any other president in US history (Ronnie was tough to beat, but I did it!!).
I am the first president in US history to compel the United Nations remove the US from the Human Rights Commission.
I am the first president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the Elections Monitoring Board.
I removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in US history.
I withdrew from the World Court of Law.
I refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default
no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
I am the first president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors access during the 2002 US elections.
I am the all-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
The biggest lifetime contributor to my campaign, who is also one of my best friends, presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
I spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in US history.
I am the first president to run and hide when the US came under attack (and then lied, saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
I am the first US president to establish a secret shadow government.
I took the world’s sympathy for the US after 9/11, and in less than a year made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
I am the first US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
I changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I set the all-time record for the number of administration appointees who violated US law by not selling their huge investments in corporations bidding for gov’t contracts.
I have removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in US history.
I entered office with the strongest economy in US history and in less than two years turned every single economic category heading straight down.
RECORDS AND REFERENCES:
I have at least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine (Texas driving record has been erased and is not available).
I was AWOL from the National Guard and deserted the military during time of war.
I refuse to take a drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.
All records of my tenure as governor of Texas have been spirited away to my fathers library, sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All records of any SEC investigations into my insider trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All minutes of meetings of any public corporation for which I served on the board are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
Any records or minutes from meetings I (or my VP) attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.
GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC

Fuck the RIAA, too. (Attack them.) / September 7, 2003 / Comment on this

Last year, I posted a comment on the story of the RIAA’s website being hacked and their public response to it.
Since that time, it has become one of the most commented-on items on my site. All from strangers. All from people I doubt have read anything else I’ve written. I’m actually yanking these people’s chains a bit, with the title of this entry. I figure it should draw them in again.
But before any of you get pissed or stop reading, you gave me the time before … do it again.
I do love the sight of people questioning ‘big business’. To see people excited to the point of advocacy and action about ANYTHING anymore is great.
But you gotta stop being such ignorant cusses.
The most common complaint against RIAA members, both on my entry and in general, is that they have so much money, that it’s ridiculous for them to complain about some kids downloading a couple songs.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
If there’s one thing people on the bottom have fought for, for hundreds of years, is that laws should apply equally, no matter how rich you are. Just because ‘they’ have a lot of money doesn’t mean shit. It doesn’t make it right to steal from them. It doesn’t automatically make them bad people. The very fact you can read this shitty writing of mine means you are better off, economically and educationally than the majority of the people on earth. But do you think it’s right for little bobby who sits on the stoop downtown each evening with his grandmother to come into your home and take whatever he feels like?
Stop picturing youuselves as Robin Hood. All anyone ever remembers that story is “He stole from the rich and he gave to the poor”. But every version I’ve ever read or seen says he stole from the king who was unfairly taxing the people.
Several people were quite patriotic in their rants against the record companies. They described how un-american their activities were, and recommended some old fashion revolutionary solutions.
I don’t think there is a much more American industry than the recording industry. They take an intangible commodity, package it in pretty colors, and sell it to you for the highest profit they can get. They’ll use any means they can to ensure those profits. Like it or not, that’s the American way.
Someone called for a “Boston Tea Party on their ass”. That person was so close, and yet so far from a good idea. The surest way to get a company’s attention is to stop buying their product, and then let them know what youu are unuhappy about with it. Organize boycotts. Organize CD burnings because the quality of the music sucks.
You all need to stay in school too, ’cause you still have a lot to learn. Money and art are not seperated by government, morals, or ethics. Since money was first invented, it has tied itself inextricably up with art. The first European banking family, the DiMedicis, were among the most generous backers of art in history. The Christian church has funded arts for nearly 2000 years. Art is something that is bought and paid for, either by commissions, self-funding, sales, or donations.
The people playing or singing on the street corner are not there because they like music. They’re there because that’s where people are who will give them money. If they just liked music, they can sing at home.
Someone today asked why organizations like the RIAA don’t attack cassette recorders, VCRs, and digital recorders. Well… they do! What you’re doing with your VCR and casette recorder are illegal. Look up the betamax case sometime.
Intellectual property rights — copyrights, since we’re dealing with a creative medium — were intended to benefit the artist and allow them to make a living off their efforts. And in modern times, it is perfectly legal and proper that they may sign those benefits over to another person or company.
I’ve worked as a type of artist for the last seven years. While the majority of people are more than willing to pay you for uwhatever efforts youu may exert on their behalf, I am happy to have the legal protections for what I do. Companies and people lie, cheat, and steal. They ask youu to create something for them, only to have it finished by a cut rate hack. They claim to be unhappy with work in progress or a finished piece, and decide they don’t think they should have to pay for it. (Try that with your car mechanic). Some people just ouutright steal what we’ve done.
But right now, if the company I work for goes out of business, or I drop dead from too many pints of Ben and Jerry’s, then I really don’t have a need for too much money. Paying for my own burial/remains would be nice. But I really don’t need that additional 75 or so years on the end of my copyright. My wife and kids, you say? My wife damn well better have a job of her own. I am not Mr. Donna Reed.
Don’t attack the record companies because their rich. Don’t attack em because they’re selling art. Don’t attack em because they seek to enforce existing laws.
Attack them because they lie. Attack them because they create artificial scarcities. Attack them because they don’t give the customer what they want. Attack them because their product sucks ass. Attack them for getting ridiculous new laws passed. Attack them because they treat you like a (credit card) number. Attack them for not innovating. Attack them for lowering the standards for culture. Attack them.
The record companies are businesses. Most of them could care less about the artform. They will do whatever it takes to get every last dollar you have in your wallet. If you want any chance of recognizing their deceit and educating your fellow man, you have to be smarter than them to begin with. This penny-ante crap; faux-patriotism; poorlittleme shit has to go. Nobody cares that you wear black. Nobody cares that you cuss like a Tourets patient. If you don’t offer an intelligent, serious threat to the existing situation… then you’re just another problem.

They lied. EOS. / August 6, 2003 / Comment on this

On March 9th, I sent the following email to my families listserv:

I have a very hard time with the argument that we’re going after Iraq for freedom and democracy for it’s people.
“It’s been over 12 years since their most heinous attacks on their own
people. It’s been over 10 years since the first gulf war. In this
country, those were the most prosperous times in our history. So we had over a decade and amazing resources, but didn’t feel the need to spread democracy.
“If what we want is for people not to have to live in fear, about half
the countries in Africa live in conditions that make Iraq look like the
Crowne Plaza. People starve to death in Zaire (DROC) because the food trucks get hijacked as soon as they hit the road. The Lord’s Resistance Army forces prepubescent children to fight each other to the death. How about the recent killings by police and military during protests in Venezuela and Bolivia. And women’s rights around the world are still for the most part a joke… and I’m not talking about voting or wearing veils.
“We want everyone to have the rights and freedoms we have? The next time you complain about Hillary Clinton, enjoy it… I don’t get a voting
representation in Congress. DC has half a million residents, more than
some states, but it is the only place in the country (including the
territories), where we must pay taxes, but have no say in how they’re
used. That wonderful right to protest? I don’t know if the 300 people
protesting in Farrauget Park last fall will agree. Despite doing
nothing illegal, they were arrested in order to prevent it from
developing into something that might cause disturbances. (This isn’t
the protesters point of view… this is what the police state).
“I wish I knew why we were doing it. If we’re going to improve life for
everyone, we have a lot more work ahead of us.
“Some of our plans to free Iraq include launching 800 missiles into
Bagdad in the first 24 hours. The rough equivalent of a plane into a
building every 2 minutes. But I’m sure we won’t hit any of the several
million civilians living there.”

The speech from the soapbox came after some brief discussion about the potential war, and one of my aunts supposing that at least we might “bring freedom to those people”.
But at least she was thinking about it then. No one in our government would mention “peace-bringing” for another two months, well into the war.
We certainly brought peace to some people. As of today, the Iraq Body Count site lists between 6,000 and 7,800 reported civilian deaths since the start of hostilities. The last estimate of US Military deaths was in the range of 180. And since the Pentagon refuses to release death estimates for the Iraqi military… heaven knows how many left there.
In case Kobe Bryant’s libido has distracted you, we still haven’t found a single weapon of mass destruction. As far as I know, we have only found one violation at all of the restrictions on Iraq. (That being the previously mentioned missiles that went 30 miles too far. A very serious threat to…. nobody new).
And for those of you who don’t follow online news closely and may have only recently heard about it in mainstream news outlets, it has been months now that we’ve known the evidence of Iraq trying to buy Uranium was bullshit.
But give the Shrub credit. Facts don’t get in his way. This *cough* man recently said that we had to attack Iraq “because Iraq did not admit inspectors”. Anyone with a memory longer than the last time they took a piss will recall that Saddam Hussein was more openly accepting of inspects at the beginning of this year than any time in the past decade. They were even admitted into the presidential compounds. It was actually the U.S. who told the inspectors to get out, because we were coming in.
While in country, the inspectors were suspicious of their interviews with Iraqi scientists. They felt the scientists may have been pressured for their own or their families safeties if they revealed any weapons programs. What was a little less widely broadcast was that even now, with Saddam Hussein in hiding and Iraq in a state of organized anarchy, the scientists are still telling us that there were no weapons programs.
But at this point I can’t remember the last time a major announcement came out of the West Wing concerning Iraq that didn’t turn out to be wrong, (or as some of us might call them — lies). It looked for a while like the CIA director would soon be falling on his own knife to protect the President, until it was pointed out that the CIA had warned the White House BEFORE the state of the union about misstatements (again, lies) in the speech concerning the uranium gathering.
A month or two ago, there was a poll from some major newspaper that showed that 77 percent of those surveyed believed that Iraq was involved in the September 11 attacks on the US, and that was one major reason we should wipe out the Iraqi government. These people have been sniffing a little too much fertilizer, of course, because none of the hijackers were from Iraq and no connection has ever been proven with Iraq.
You have two choices.
Either the Shrub (as the personification of the executive branch of the US government), blatantly lied to the world about the was in Iraq. Or else they were insanely, criminally, outrageously negligent in performing their jobs.
Their only initial stated reason for the attacks was WMDs. Where are they?
They later claim they seek peace and democracy for Iraqis. When are we leaving the country? And how many soldiers helped dig those 7,000 civilian graves.
They say they didn’t have all the information when they were making decisions. Oh wait… yes they did.
They said the inspectors were not able to do their jobs. Have we found anything the inspectors didn’t?
Iraq was a brutal military regime who threatened the entire middle east. Except of course that they essentially rolled over to an admittedly weak US force.
There were no weapons. There was no threat. Saddam Hussein and Iraq WERE living up to their restrictions and requirements.
Yes. Iraq was not a safe place to live. Imagine… a country were you could be detained without trial, denied your official rights and protections, threatened and punished beyond all reasonable limits…
oh…
wait.

Shwarzeneger / August 6, 2003 / Comment on this

Oh, complete fucking shit.
They ACTUALLY broke into The West Wing to announce Shwarzenneger is running for governor. And it wasn’t even a Fox network.
Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap.
It’s a good thing handguns are banned in DC or Sara wouldn’t be the only one in need of a new TV.

Advertise / June 28, 2003 / Comment on this

Fucking hell.
Someone brought back the full table covers at the mall food court advertising Coke.
On the subway, in bright red, white, and blue, is a sign in Helvetica Condensed Bold, shouting “VOTE ATT FOR CHANGE”.
I just noticed that those new commercials that talk about empowering women to do whatever they want and be unique are actually for MickeyDs, the posterchild for the monoculture.
I wanna go back to being a customer. Being a consumer makes me feel like I should be bedbound by my massive bulk, with someone wheeling in carts of sweet foods and new sneakers.
If you haven’t yet, or haven’t recently, please go and browse through “A Product“.

Yes, I am a little pissed off. But only a little. / April 11, 2003 / Comment on this

Watch out. They just used the term ‘regime’ to refer to the leaders of Syria.
Fucking hell. You know somebody is holding a pro-war rally here tomorrow? How fucked up is that shit?
Just how mentally diseased and thoroughly mind-fucked do you have to be to be pro-war? I don’t personally know any soldiers who are pro-war. Most military people I’ve talked to say that war is the result of a failure. They don’t like having to do the job, but they do it because someone has to.
Some old man was on NPR this afternoon saying that he was very impressed with modern warfare. That unlike when he served, the weapons are much more precise. The body counts are much lower. Compared to 30 years ago? Maybe. Fewer soldiers, better equipped.
But modern warfare really sucks for the audience. Battles used to involve a couple groups of pissed off people throwing shit at each other in the middle of a field or forest. The only civilians killed were the dumb-asses who climbed the hill to watch the battle. But in the last fifty years, war has gotten to be very personal. Battles have moved into our cities and homes. That precision bomb strike to take out the foreign leader ONLY takes out maybe 10 civilians.
In the spirit of the oh so popular reality TV shows, I think we should get to vote a few celebrities into the army. I wanna send DCs police chief. The only time you see this man in the news is when he’s talking tough about taking on Protesters. Especially when they’re teenagers. He keeps his mouth shut during the real national rallies. But if it’s a bunch of high school kids pissed off at the world bank, he becomes dirty harry.
Fucking dickless wonder. Forget the friggin’ kids and do something about the increasing crime rates. About the increasing gang violence. About the police neglect and mistreatment. About the insane burglary rates and car thefts.
Why is it when some kid wants to yell at a businessman and stick a bumper-sticker on his window, I find no shortage of jack-booted, armor-plated, baton and shotgun wielding stormtroopers. But when five guys decided to do a dance on my head in the middle of the street, I waited an hour and a half for two patrol officers who wanted to search my apartment for signs of me abusing my nonexistent wife.

Baghdad / April 5, 2003 / Comment on this

Have you seen the front page of today’s Washington Post? Color picture, above the fold, 3/10ths of a page:

By itself, this is a moving image, though not unexpected during an invasion.
But it immediately occurred to me, this is Baghdad. While all the news reports might show you pictures of jeeps and tanks rolling through open deserts or ramshackle villages, those are not Baghdad.
Baghdad is a city of over 5 million people. There are over a thousand grade schools, three major universities. Baghdad was arguably the cultural center of Iraq, and most of the arab middle east, until the late 80s. The city itself is almost 1,300 years old.

This is a city entire orders of magnitude larger than most of you have ever lived in. Modern and huge. And yesterday we rolled through there with a column of tanks. In and out. And judging from pictures like this, leaving a trail or wreckage in our wake.
Man… I am such an American; because I just cannot imagine what it would be like to live through that.

Apples and Oranges / March 22, 2003 / Comment on this

In tried. I really tried to write something up that explained what I thought of the Protesters and the Counter-protesters. I really tried to sound fair.
But for fuck’s sake, there’s some blind, ignorant, obnoxious people out there.
We protest.
The simplest fact is, we can. We are allowed to. The very foundation of the country is the right to hold contrary beliefs, and express them as you see fit. And so long as we’re not doing physical harm to anyone or thing, you can damn well live with it.
We are not protesting against the soldiers. We are not even protesting against the military. More often than not, Protesters will independently share their concern for our troops. We are protesting against the Shrub, and everything he represents in this war.
This is a man with no experience in international relations, but an entire lifetimes experience in corporate affairs. This entire argument with Iraq has been based upon a pissing contest between our respective leaders. And Saddam Hussein has come out as the more mature.
How fucked up do you have to be to come across as a lesser man than Hussein? He is a blatant dictator who has a history of open aggression and nightmarish mistreatment. And he’s still behaving more civilized.
We have not yet turned up a single weapon of mass destruction. We have not turned up any evidence, more substantial than seven missiles which go thirty too far, that Iraq has not lived up to it’s requirements. At the same time, Iraq has accepted every increasingly ridiculous demand made by the US and the UN, right up until we simply told Hussein to go away.
We feel we have good reason to protest military actions being taken at this point. I already said this has nothing to do with not supporting troops. The very freedom those troops claim to be fighting for is what allows us, even now, to voice our concerns. You expect people violently opposed to an action to simply go away because that action has finally commenced? If that is what you would do, you are truly sad.
The neo-nazis can protest here. The religious fruitcakes can protest here. People can drive through the District with 6-foot tall pictures of aborted fetuses on the sides of their vehicles. Anti-nuke protesters have had a permanent station outside the White House for over ten years.
We are the people from the supermarket. We’re every age, every color, and every faith. And we can damn well gather here to say we don’t like the President.
A couple years ago, I lived with a girl from Tanjikistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union. She really wasn’t too happy with any part of the world. Americans were loud and garish and too proud of their “freedoms”. And for the sake of supposed freedom, people in her own country were having a hard time even getting food to eat. She said people had freedom to say what they wanted in Tanjikistan before the collapse of the USSR; they simply said it in their own homes.
It’s seductive — the idea that people should simply keep their concerns amongst their close associates.
But, we’re Americans. We’re loud and garish, and proud of our freedoms. We’re going to stand on the corner and yell and scream just because we’re pissed off.

One. / March 19, 2003 / Comment on this

Someone in Iraq died tonight. If they even saw it coming, they had but a second’s notice.
Someone’s child is dead. Someone’s friend is dead. Someone’s coworker is dead.
They didn’t threaten violence. They didn’t attempt to injure anyone. They just went to work.
There is nothing patriotic about this. And there is nothing good about this. One person is dead, and multiple people are grieving for someone they can never get back.
It has, as always, begun on the crumpled body of one dead person.

Cranes, Vets, and Buildings / March 8, 2003 / Comment on this

This man was angry. He wore the uniform of the neglected vet, but his fatigues are too new. His boots still shine. He picked through the trash with his left arm while his right hand held a 6-string guitar. The case was leaning against the bus stop bench.
This building has been under deconstruction since I’ve been here. It used to stand out like a cartoon, in an otherwise grayscale city, with it’s fat curves and small windows. You could see the smell of india food emanating from it. Two years ago someone started gutting the building. I wasn’t sure what you could put in someplace that looked like that. But you gotta admire the character. So I was a little depressed last month when it was obvious they had trimmed the curves and straightened the walls. They were making more like everything else. But today, … today they apparently have chopped out half the building. The top floor and a half are totally gone. Gaps in the plywood barricades show a building gutted to the walls. And a sign hangs on the front saying “space for rent”.
They erected a new crane across the street, this morning. I knew they would — I had seen the plans at work a couple months ago. I live so on the edge that I don’t know if it will be an apartment building or an office building. We really don’t need either. Office space is plentiful right now, and no one in this neighborhood could afford new apartment rates. This is one of those cranes that goes up in stages. A small, five-story crane is used to erect a fifteen-story crane. The fifteen story crane is then used to assemble the stationary crane. These things are colossal, immobile towers, 20 stories high, with a spinning arm at their head. The building goes up right around them. I’ve never been around to see how they extract them from the structure after the floors are all up. I guess I will soon, since there are two of them within a block of me now. These cranes are like zits. They appear for a while, all greasy and loud. And when they go, they leave a nasty scar of a building behind. Another grayscale building.

different / January 19, 2003 / Comment on this

Why do we do stupid shit?
Why do I buy a bath tub mat? Because my bath tub is made out of a material that stains too easily. If we have the ability to make a silky shirt that is essentially bullet proof, I don’t believe for a second they can’t make a bathtub that won’t stain if I don’t scrub it every week.
I buy one more thing, cause something else I’m already paying for doesn’t do what it probably should, but I accept that.
It’s true that my landlord would probably be upset if i ripped out my shower. And I probably ought to be thrilled that they’re replacing the beautiful granite lobby with a beautiful marble lobby.
But it’s one more stone in the foundation of me wanting to be…
different.
It’s not self hatred or self improvement. I am already pretty damn good, thank you. And I’m getting better all the time.
Consider it a loathing of humanity in general. You’re average participant in my view of life couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. One too many times, I’ve walked down the left side of a nearly empty 20-foot-wide sidewalk only to have the person coming from the opposite direction step into the street to ensure they could pass me on their right. Because my feet were essentially frozen in place yesterday, I was forced to listen to an activist explain how the funds we intend to use for war should be spent on helping our enemies instead; that these problems would go away if only we’d improve their education and help them develop their cultures. (If you ain’t got Tivo, you ain’t nothin’). Please, get your world view from someplace other than reruns of M*A*S*H. I stood in a crowd yesterday that literally stretched for , but the Post told me today there were “tens of thousands” of people there.
You are all diseased and inbred. If not physically, then intellectually. Not only do you all read and listen to the same sound-bite news-stories, but you don’t even care how often they are revealed to be lying to you.
If you haven’t asked “why?” to anything in as long as you can remember, then please, get out of my way because I trying to evolve.

honk / December 18, 2002 / Comment on this

to the fine gentleman driving the black sedan earlier tonight…
no, I wasn’t watching the green light in front of you. mainly because I was on the sidewalk, and pedestrians aren’t governed by the streetlights.
Even if I was, which I normally do, the light was with me, and I being on foot, must have started into the intersection much sooner than you to meet you there. Which, of course, makes me think of that whole “pedestrians have the right of way” thing.
but boy did you put me in my place when you stopped traffic behind you in rush hour to yell some sarcastic, half intelligent insult at me.
Sadly, it was frickin cold out and you just weren’t worth the trip back to your car to spit in your face through the window.
Kiss my ass, you accidental-ejaculation.
I feel better now.

Walmart wedding / November 23, 2002 / Comment on this

okay…who the fuck goes shopping for their engagement ring at Walmart?

Sir / October 27, 2002 / Comment on this

That’s it.
The next person who’s within five years of my age that refers to me as “Sir” is getting bitch-slapped.

What part of “fuck off” didn’t you understand? / October 27, 2002 / Comment on this

Neo-Nazi
White Supremacy
White Power
Aryan Brotherhood
These people are all proud of their heritage, of their ‘race’, of their skin color.
Do you realize how stupid that is?
The way you’re born; wether you’re white or black or gray; wether you’re born to a Jewish mother or a Italian immigrant. These are among the only things in your life you have no control over.
And this is what people choose to be proud of.
Have you never done or accomplished a single thing in your life which you can claim to be proud of? Have you not even learned to wipe your own ass after taking a shit?
No, I’m not being particularly one-sided. Black pride is just as stupid. But they haven’t posted comment’s on my web site promoting their cause.
The comment will stay up there because these thoughts are open for public discussion. But that doesn’t mean I have to like you. So in case the headline on the last Nazi post didn’t make it clear enough for you:
You suck.

We’re going in. / October 15, 2002 / Comment on this

okay. for those of you who are still confused about this, the United States will attack Iraq. Just like we always would attack Afghanistan. We were never coalition-building, We were wasting time while our aircraft carriers got into the area to equip our soldiers. The same thing we’re doing now in Iraq,
American troops were recently shot while performing “exercises” in Kuwait. Such a load of crap. Exercises with live ammo, apparently, since they chased down and shot the Kuwaitis to death.
Keep track of the soldiers. As soon as we hit a 10 to 1 ratio of troops in our favor, be prepared for an assault. We’re going in.

fuck off. / October 3, 2002 / Comment on this

I have coworkers who can’t grasp the concept of an intellectual thought coming anywhere but from their own mouths (though that isn’t the orafice I would guess). I have a boss who wouldn’t know a business decision if it bit him on the ass. I have a computer that just ate all my email… 26 plus unread messages. And my mother tells me the closest thing I have to an Ex lately is running around accusing me of being a cheap slut.
There are those days when it doesn’t pay to even open your eyes.

dear protester / September 27, 2002 / Comment on this

Dear Protester,
You have met the enemy, and he is you.
For a few shining moments in Seattle, you stunned the world and made people believe revolution was possible.
Enjoy the warmth of that moment, because reality is cold and harsh.
Not only do you no longer make a difference. You have become a tool, and an excuse. And you are allowing yourselves to become the story. Do you want the atrocious actions and records of the World Bank to be common knowledge? When was the last time the story of any of these meetings was anything but some high schoolers getting arrested?
You’re methods are ridiculous.
You sit back and let them tell you you’re not allowed to protest on public sidewalks. You erect web site for the police to find out your every plan and locale. You give them an opportunity and excuse to make public fools and examples of you. You’re playing by their rules.
Protests alone never change anything. To truly effect change, you must sway the body of people. The prototypical marches in the 60s and 70s were accompanied by entire social revolutions.
Change does not come in one weekend a year. Be here every month… every week, every other day. Set up a cell system for passing information on, which makes it much more difficult for your plans to be leaked or communications infiltrated. Poster the cities, and distribute educational information to the public. Use that web site for education and training, activities it does the police no good to watch.
Be intelligent. Keep the issue in front of peoples faces. And make sure it is your issue, not your oppositions. Ambition and urgency should not outweigh or negate intelligent and decisive action.

JaxxSuxx / September 26, 2002 / Comment on this

JaxxRoxx
I really wanted to go see Meg Lee Chin‘s show last night at Jaxx. I could get out there via cab and subway. But the subway closes down long before most clubs.
The owner was a great guy though. Offered to get me a ride back into town after the show, with one of his employees.
So I went out there last night.
The pigfucker didn’t even show up for work. None of his employees had anything good to say about him. (He has missed two appointments with Washington Post photographers this week alone).
So I hopped in a cab to catch the subway just as meg was setting up on stage.
JaxxSuxx.

Advancement never came from the device, but from the idea. / September 9, 2002 / Comment on this

Call your congressman and tell him to pull his head out of his ass.
The big tech issues and concerns at the moment involve congress passing laws that would either outlaw standard practices, or require new regulations or inhibitors that would effectively give one organization or industry control over an entire range of media.
Ain’t nothing but a business thang.
There is no way — no way — this is anything but beneficial in the purely economic sense for big businesses. At no time in history, has the strict control over the manufacture of any item been in the end beneficial to that business. Inevitably, either the product stagnates, or the rest of the world will move on without you.
Look at my beloved Macintosh computer. You may think that right now they are relatively well off. But in 1979, they had a 81 percent market share. 8 out of every ten personal computers sold was made by Apple, who has almost always maintained a monopoly on the manufacture of their equipment. Two years later, IBM introduced their first PC and licensed it to all interested parties, and every consecutive year after that Apple’s sales have declined by half.
These bills before congress are all form an economic standpoint of what is best for a specific industry at this exact moment. But no major societal advancement has ever come from a product or good.
Despite what you were told in history class, the invention of the printing press did very little by itself. You could print all the materials you wanted at the time, but they were all in Latin; a language totally illegible to the majority of people alive at that time. It wasn’t until several people, at the risk of their very lives, translated the Bible and other major church documents into the common tongue of the area, that substantial amounts of people realized they had been lied to all their lives by elders and ministers.
The Internet existed for decades without critical acclaim, before a group of scientists decided they wanted it to be easier for each other to have access to their research and papers. This desire to improve access to their educational information spawned the World Wide Web, and with it, an entry point to global communication for every redneck with an income tax refund check.
The current crop of lobbyists, if they’re anything like their predecessors, are shooting themselves in the foot with all their demands. The movie industry has lobbied against TV, against movies on TV, against movies on VHS and on DVD. Every single time, they luckily lost, and proceeded to make more money than anyone ever imagined in that new field.
Even when a industry group manages to be one step ahead, they will use that advantage to trip up the person (I will not use the term consumer). When it became obvious that CD burners would become widely available, and people would be able to aggregate whatever content they wished, many countries granted the music industries a tax on the price of blank CDs, to offset what was bound to be a loss due to people copying music from one CD to another. (Since so many people photocopy the work I do, does that mean I should collect money on every sheet of paper sold?) But now the RIAA is claiming that music sales are unexpectedly suffering due to the exchange of music via the digital medium.
They are trying to screw you with a 12-incher. But take heart. While corporations are legally considered living beings, they must be George Bush’s dumber half brother. They are continually blind to emerging trends. They are continually outsmarted by 12 year old children with a little creativity. They take years to introduce anything different, and even then, it is never new.
Advancement does not mean that a new product cycle is coming. Choice doesn’t mean I have to pay you or you. And the next time someone tells me they use a particular computer or listen to certain music because everyone does, I am going to shoot them between the eyeballs and cleanse the gene-pool just slightly.

Planned Sept. 11 Restrictions On / August 30, 2002 / Comment on this

Planned Sept. 11 Restrictions On Foreign Flights Canceled
Does anyone else remember that every plane used last September was part of an American fleet?

Would someone rip that goofy thing off Farakahn’s neck? / August 18, 2002 / Comment on this

There are ignorant people and there are manipulative people in this city. Normally the bullshit doesn’t get this deep until congress is in session.
For now I simply refer you to what I wrote a couple months ago. Yeah I trailed off at the end, but you get the idea.

Do something, or sit down and shut up. / August 18, 2002 / Comment on this

It’s only going to get worse, but I have no desire to comment on this at the moment.
For now I simply refer you to what I wrote a couple months ago.

But is there anyone left who isn’t a victim? / August 17, 2002 / Comment on this

I work with a bunch of obnoxious assholes.
I say that in the most loving way. I would rather not work with any other kind of people. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
But is there anyone left who isn’t a victim?
In a discussion about soft drinks, after saying she didn’t drink pop, I mentioned, as might happen in a discussion, that I’d heard Coke was the number one selling beverage in the world.
The response involved an indignant rebuff, that she simply didn’t like any soda and didn’t drink it!
Who asked? Who offered? Who beat you about the head and shoulders with a 12 oz. can and forced a Sprite down your throat?
When a fact doesn’t apply to your life, it is hardly cause for great personal grief. My discussion of facts will not be curtailed by your indignation.
As if you didn’t know by now that I thrive on upsetting people. But if you make it too easy for me, it will just take all the fun out of it.

why not me? / August 3, 2002 / Comment on this

I’m disturbed.
More so than even Sara will tell you.
I have been the modern internet.
I have been through every trend and every type, before any of them became fashionable. I IRCaddicted and romanced. I cracked and pirated. I telneted to online music shops before CDnow was a nightmare in customer service. I learned to handcode HTML not to be cool, but because there was no other option. And even then, there was damn good money in it. I have been at least six months ahead of every major web design trend. (here’s a little tip: half of them were crap). When I lost all interest in being online for a while, it disturbed me. What would happen if the other half million did.
Where’s my money. Where’s my fame. Where’s my options. Where’s the obsessed fans?
If I saw all this, a step ahead of the masses, why didn’t I make something out of one of the ideas. I proposed these many of these things to friends.
I’m too fucking lazy.
………………..
I have no modesty, so don’t even bother telling me how concieted I am. Modesty is an utter waste of time.
You know when you have done anything of value. If you don’t, you’re probably too clueless to accomplish anything deserving pride or respect.
Pride is not a evil thing. The Bible was wrong. Egotism is what will destroy your soul.

DC is a planned city / August 2, 2002 / Comment on this

You know..Ierjk .,, ,xc, ,, .,c , .
sorry… sneeze.
I was saying…
I have a hard time taking pictures in this city. A small part of it is no doubt that it is hard to find anything interesting in the familiar.
But the more looming problem is the lack of adequate subject matter.
I enjoy taking pictures of natural objects and situations. Something spontaneous or unplanned. Small items in everyday life.
But this is the District. Nothing goes unplanned here. Everything is a presentation. Whether it is federal, city, or private property, it all looks the same. They all plant the same flower beds. They all get the authentic antique looking accessories at the same Homebuilders store. They all put out the same faux iron benches.
The people are no different. Everyone is putting on a front. The homeless scream and yell or shuffle and moan. The politicians, likewise. The college student’s buy the just right unfashionable clothes, and attempt unnatural things with their hair. There are the fashionable yuppies leaving the bar after work in their black pants and blue dress shirt to rush home to their Dupont Circle apartments or suburban houses to change into khakis and sweaters, before heading off to a show later.
There are parts of this town where the facade doesn’t extend. But I tread carefully. They are not friendly places for a skinny little white boy with an expensive camera.
My best pictures come from travelling. I am going home to NY next week to see my family, and to see what I can see. I will not forget my camera.

He will get me killed. / July 28, 2002 / Comment on this

You kind of get sick of the helicopcopters here. One reason or another, they’re always overhead. But sometimes the definition of overhead gets a bit ridiculous.
Last night there was something, presumably a helicopter, hovering at roof level somewhere in the neighborhood.
Quite a few neighbors were at their windows as well.
This, the night after a pair of F-16 fighter jets chase a UFO across the District.
……….
“When the US goal shifts from one of moderating Hussein’s behavior to the openly expressed purpose of ”regime change,” what does Hussein have to lose? And when Hussein knows an invading US force is surely coming, does he not have to ”use or lose” whatever weapons he has? Isn’t Washington forcing him to respond with his worst?”

Boston Globe
When we finally do take it upon ourselves to enter Iraq, (and believe me, we will eventually) we’d better all just kiss our collective asses goodbye.
It will be the surest trigger to someone or some country to launch a major attack on the US to teach us a lesson.
Americans didn’t seem to get that idea from last September. It wasn’t some mental deficient intent on causing meyham just for the enjoyment of it. This was an organized movement of people, with no intention of a prolonged attack. Repeated attacks would have meant they were interested in outright destruction in this country. Don’t believe it was our security that prevented such attacks from happening. As I’ve said here before, even here in the heart of the country, no one in power knew how to respond immediatly after the attacks, or even for days.
Those attacks were a message. The US has been behaving as an imperial force for better than a hundred years now. We justify our foriegn military assaults and occupations for economic reasons by declaring the need to spread our morality. I for one have never heard God/Allah/Jehova telling me to go forth and convert yon savages.
We armed Iran to fight our enemies. We armed Iraq to fight our enemies. We armed central american drug manufacturers to fight our enemies. We armed Afghanastan to fight our enemies.
Maybe if we stopped being the world’s arm supplier, these people would stop stabbing us in the back. We’re only lucky that the biggest countries on the planet have always been our enemies, or else we would really be sorry for arming them.
We have a Shrub in the Oval Office who is drawing lines in the sand and taunting the enemy. He is the worst possible person to be in office right now. His very nature is being a business man. And a bad one at that. Every decision he makes is based on a business point of view. He has neither the historical perspective nor the national morality to truley inspire his own people, much less the global audience.
He will get me killed. When we get bitch-slapped, it will be close to home. But don’t worry… you can be sure he won’t be in town that day.
………….
The Shrub, the man of perpetual vacations, is leaving on another. He plans to spend a month on his ranch. Does anyone wish to start a pool now on how soon we send forces into Iraq?

I disturb myself sometimes. / July 6, 2002 / Comment on this

Disturbing.
I disturb myself sometimes.
When I heard reports about the Supreme Court’s rulings involving schools a couple weeks ago, I don’t like how I reacted.
I did manage to ignore the obsession people seemed to have with the more religious of the two. Timed to coincide with the Pledge of Allegience debate, I have a hard time disbelieving it wasn’t intended to overshadow greateer things.
But as for the ruling that legitimized random drug testing in extracurricular high school activities, I said “Why not?”
yeah.
Why is it permissable to require drug testing as a requirement to participating in extracurricular drug testing?
The ruling was based on ‘Special Needs’ exceptions. The idea behind these exceptions was that some people are in positions so critical and dangerous that they should be examined that they can complete their duties safely and not endanger the public. These people are allowed to quit their jobs rather than face examination.
What does your average high school student do that fits this description?
In professional sports, athletes are often tested to ensure that they are not recieving an unfair advantage due to drug or biologicals use. These people are allowed to quit their jobs rather than face examination.
Again, how does this effect high school students? Will millions of dollars be at stake if East Bumpafuck defeats West?
But participation in extracurricular activities is often considered in college admissions. Try making it through school without participating in something? Do you believe that the definition of extracurricular activities won’t eventually be extended to school dances and graduation parties?
If schools are meant to prepare youth for the real world, why are they subject to searches that no free person would submit to? Or is it more of a matter of time before you could be subject to such a test?

Man… it hasn’t even been / June 13, 2002 / Comment on this

Man… it hasn’t even been 24 hours since I read the first article on how Universal and Sony will start selling unprotected digital music online.
And already the walls are shaking, and cracks are appearing.
I just finished a suspiciously timely article about how when Disney broke ranks with the other major movie studios and started selling their movies to be broadcast on Television in the early days of broadcasting, it broke the studios resolve and they all started offering their products up for sale. Of course, this resulted and still results in massive new amounts of income for the studios.
The New Scientist has an article that speculates movie studios may start abandoning copy protection on their DVDs, since the copyprotection is likely costing more than it is worth. I say this was a test ballon, to see how well a Movie like Harry Potter, which should rack in millions, fares when people are able to copy it from their neighbors.
The same site features articles (1, 2) on some already well documented stories like Panasonic (the owner of the copyright on Compact Disc technology) being unhappy with copy-protected CDs, and the ease of breaking most copy protection schemes.
I feel like I’m living in Jericho, and somebody just started playing the horn.
(Did you catch the musical reference there… damn I’m good!)

Money. Money. Money. / June 12, 2002 / Comment on this

Money.
Money. Money. Money.
Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money.
Does anyone else think the Shrub is on a spending spree with someone else’s credit card?
I’ve seen him do nothing but sign into law new multi-billion dollar initatives. Five billion dollars today for bioterrorism protection efforts.
Fucking hell, man.
We were three trillion dollars in debt back when I was in grade school. That is an obscene amount of money. It would take essentially every last cent collected in income tax this year to pay a debt like that. If it hadn’t continued to grow. If the money wasn’t needed elsewhere. If it wouldn’t destabalize the entire world market.
And here the Shrub is spending more money each day than even Bill Gates makes?
If only it would happen.
Money. Money. Money.
Come back to me in 10 years. Show me 3 of these programs that recieved all the funding they were promised. I’ll buy dinner at Georgia Brown’s.

"This weekend, in a luxury / June 5, 2002 / Comment on this

"This weekend, in a luxury hotel outside Washington, D.C.," said the announcer, "Europe’s secret rulers are meeting their American counterparts %uFFD0 or that’s what some people believe. Today is the start of the annual gathering of the Bilderberg group. Never heard of it? That’s the whole point. It’s officially described as a private gathering, but with a guest list including the heads of European and American corporations, political leaders and a few intellectuals, it’s one of the most influential organizations on the planet."

BankIndex.com

Shock Me Shockwave / April 30, 2002 / Comment on this


This is just fuckin’ disturbing.
Maybe I’m slow and I missed something everyone else knew long ago. But in playing around with a flash presentation on the Post web site, and went into the flash document settings. I’m sure it’s intended to be a legitimat feature, but the window that pops up asks you if the web site can have access to your web cam and microphone.
I was able to recreate this on about half the flash presentations I tried on various web sites.
No… no potential there for invasion of privacy. I’m sure noooooo one would find a way to make the default setting for this to be “on”.

the sun rising over a carribean rainforest / April 23, 2002 / Comment on this

Wait… you’re telling me that Robert Blake is still alive?
Frankly, Tony WIlliams can stick his party animals where the soft money doesn’t flow.
Enron is dead — hand me a shovel.
AOL is deathly ill — hand me a garrotte.
Trains, planes, the Shrub, and the Catholic Church are all crashing.
Why the hell should it take half an hour of channel surfing to find out… well… anything… in the morning. I nearly sprain my thumb on the worn-out remote trying to flip past morning shows before they exhibit another picture of whats-her-name’s colon. And if you subject me to one more traffic report from some bubbly bimbo with a cute name in a helicopter, I am going to cause my own jam by pitching the TV into the traffic outside my apartment.
We live in an age where we can watch live footage of military assaults on foriegn capitals live via television or ‘net. But all I see on every channel when I wake up in the morning is Barry Manilow singing in the middle of some New York street. (Do they have morning shows in LA?)
How much would you be willing to pay to see, unedited and unnarrated, the sun rising over a carribean rainforest? Or maybe morning prayers at a buddist shrine in Japan? Sunset in the desert?
You get the idea.
The more massive our technological capabilities become, the more massive amounts of crap we shovel with them.
I would pay every cent I have just to get that fucking body-builder infomercial off TV; replaced with a half hour of footage of someone hangliding through the Grand Canyon.

a plain white van / April 21, 2002 / Comment on this

I thought when I heard the first motorcade pass my apartment, that it was the start of a long weekend. These meetings always bring in hundreds of diplomats and VIPs, roveing around town in their limos.
But this time… nothing. One motorcade and that was it.
Until the same thing happened before me one too many times.
You would be walking down the street, and see a police car or two. They weren’t apparently in sequence or after someone. They’re just waiting at the streetlight. Near them is a large white passenger van with tinted windows but no markings. And close by is a white compact car with the emblem of a private security company on the door.
Did it finally sink into someone’s thick head that maybe the police escorted motorcade may actually make for a larger target?

How not to be my friend. / April 20, 2002 / Comment on this

A note to all salespeople, on how not to be my friend.
When you come in to my job trying to sell us new telecommunication service, I will very likely not be interested, since I have sat through too many of those presentations, and been screwed over by too many ignorant salespeople.
Even so, I will politely tell you that we are not looking for any new service at the time, but that you can take our card and let us know about any new products or promotions you have, by mail.
At this point you ask me if I am really authorized to make decisions about my companies telecommunications service, or would the owner have the final say.
Dispite the fact you are being an obnoxious prick, I will tell you that the owner and I jointly make those decisions.
After you ask me if I’m sure, I will politely show you the door and walk away.
At this point you, the salesperson, will turn to the receptionist and ask if I was really the person authorized to be making decisions about the company’s telecommunications service. Since she is much more tolerant than I am, she will again tell you that I am that person.
We’ll all laugh at you after your gone.
Then, an hour later, you will call up the owner directly, and ask him if I have the authority to make such decisions, or if you, the salesperson, can deal with the owner directly.
Thankfully, the owner is a relatively intelligent and nice guy, and I’m sure he politely told you to fuck off.
This is how not to be my friend.

bigger men / April 12, 2002 / Comment on this

This is a time for bigger men.
Without bigger men, there will be no final outcome from this conflict in the Middle East.
Say the US sticks to it’s standard of supporting Isreal no matter what. What if every Western nation supported Isreal. It wouldn’t take much of an effort at all for Isreal to wipe Palestein from history and the planet.
However, the minute Isreal declares war, it signs away the lives of millions of it’s own people. Every Arab nation in the region — all of which have been amassing weapons and troops in the general vicinity of Isreal — will come across that border and they aren’t going to stop. If there’s one people Sadam Hussein hates more than Americans and Kurds, it’s the Isrealies.
But what if we went the other way. Could we find some way to justify palestinian actions and side with them, against Isreal? Could western civilization overcome their 60 year old guilt-trip long enough to bitch-slap Isreal and tell them they better start playing nice with their neighbors because they aren’t going to be bailed out any more?
I don’t see it happening.
So we either do the impossible, or we watch one state commit hari-kari by destroying a nation.
Or will this be the time of bigger men?

Colin Powell / April 12, 2002 / Comment on this

Colin Powell is in Isreal and Palestein, again trying to broker a peace between the Jews and Arab Palestinians.
And every one laughs.
No one believes it will help any more. They look at the situation and see it utterly hopeless.
I am looking at the man, and think he may be the best chance they have right now.
This is General Colin Powell we are talking about. The former Head of the Joint Chiefs. He has been on a battlefield and seen his friends die. He has been a commander and ordered men to commit acts which would lead to their deaths. He has led the entire military complex of the most powerful nation on earth. He now is the very embodiment of this country’s foriegn policy.
This man is one big ass 900 pound gorilla. You better give him whatever banana he asks for.

freedom / April 11, 2002 / Comment on this

There is a beautiful idea taught in classrooms across the country that the founding leaders of this country where men who believed in equality for all, and that every man was your brother.
It’s very pretty. And very wrong. The government, as it was set up then, very much protected the rights of wealthy individuals from the “Mob”, as the majority of the poor and ignorant were known. There is no direct election of the president. There was no direct election of the Senate. The Supreme Court is appointed by the President. Of the three branches of the federal government, only seventeen percent were even marginally elected directly by the whole of the people (barring slaves of course). Even then, the elected officials were more likely to be mmen of a certian class.
It is now 2002.
1. The Secretary of State advises all government agencies to resist Freadom of Information Act requests. We wouldn’t want people being able to oibtain some information perfectly legally.
2. Director of Homeland Defense, who is third in power of the Executive branch, behind only the President and his Chief of Staff, refuses to testify publicly before congress, stateing he will only do so in closed hearings. (When did this become a homeland? Maybe more on this later.)
3. The Shrub issues an Executive Order that all presidential documents and communications are the property of the President’s estate. This violates so many laws it isn’t even funny.
This is a man who know’s he will not be in office for a second term.
Keep watching, out there in TV land. You don’t think he’s done trying to protect ‘them’ from the Mob yet, do you?

Three large U.S. companies were / March 27, 2002 / Comment on this

Three large U.S. companies were named in a lawsuit on Tuesday filed on behalf of black Americans descended from slaves, the first-ever class action seeking reparations from firms for profiting from slavery.

Yahoo!

*deep breath*
*Calming thoughts*
Okay…ummm… Fuck You.
You have no rights in this case. You were damaged in no way. There hasn’t been slavery in this country for over a century. The last widow of the last slave is dead.
This has nothing to do with helping black people.
Where would the money go? No person alive can lay claim to personal injury.
Give it away to just every black person in this country? How black is black? And what about those people who got here after slavery. And what about those black people who’s ancestors owned slaves?
Do you really think the money would go to help educate and uplift the culture as a whole? Helllllllllllll no. An educated, self-confident black man or woman is not going to wallow in the cesspool of victimization necessary to instigate lawsuits such as this.
I can’t stand people who wallow in the past, blaming it for all their miseries. You will find black people in every sector and every level of life in this country. There is no glass ceiling. Pull your head out of your ass and try to do something with your own life.
I sat on the subway tonight listening to 2 Live Crew’s Banned in the USA. It’s a powerful song, with a beat and lyrics that make the heart and mind burn.
And it really kind of depressed me. At the time, 2 Live Crew was considered the lower end of Rap anyway, dealing mainly with partying and sex. But if you listen to that song, those lyrics and his voice are so much clearer, so much more intelligent than black music today.
Banned talks about taking back the power. But it never happened. Pop black culture has degenerated into a self-destructive, hedonistic lifestyle. They react to eachother like playground kids, and disassociate themselves from other cultures simply for being different. The rapper shootings were the most visable result. For a while, everyone stepped back and said, “This is nuts”. But we’re right back on that path again.
Your minds are being bought and sold by the same old white guys — the media moguls that control everything you see and hear. I think you need to step back from that slavemaster, before you worry about what might have happened to your ancestors.

Could you just bend over little more? / February 15, 2002 / Comment on this

Hot Air
You’ve got to hand it to the Shrub. He must have balls the size of watermelons. It would take at least that much to make thse demands.
First he officially withdraws the United States from the Kyoto Protocals; the first major environmental treaty agreed upon by every major industrial nation in the world.
Then he goes back to Japan with his own idea of what should be used as environmental policy.
And this policy doesn’t even fix a damn thing. It only seeks to curb growth of toxic emissions.
Would this Kyoto Protocals have put a great deal of pressure specifically on the U.S.? Yes. Have we earned it through wholesale environmental massacre? Yes. Even if we hadn’t earned it, shouldn’t we try to be the bigger man, and set the standard for others to follow? Yes.
We’re not talking about smog here. We’re talking about the eventual death of the human race, and potentially all life on this planet. And we’re not talking about “if”, but “when”.
We know the causes. (We were the causes). It takes a real jackass to sell out the planet’s future because he wants to get re-elected.

School called on account of ignorance / February 11, 2002 / Comment on this

Schools Shy Away From Washington Field Trips
Boneheads. Fuckin’ Boneheads.
I am so utterly and inccredibly sick of the ignorant speech and actions of people in relation to Washington DC.
I’d be surprised to hear anyone anymore mention the Pentagon when discussing the September 11 th attacks. I can only imagine how the people in Pennsylvania feel. In all likelyhood, that plane crash there saved my very life.
But when people do discuss Washington, it is mainly to say they don’t feel safe about coming here. They no longer seem concerned to fly, which is where the only danger to most civilians was on September 11th in Washington. And the anthrax infections never managed to spread from the buildings they originated in.
So what the hell are you scared about?
Those hundred or so nuclear ICBMs pointed at our heads for the last 50 years don’t seem to matter much to you. Fifty missing back-pack sized nuclear bombs, which disappeared after the overthrow of the Soviet Union, don’t seem to be making anyone nervous. A murder rate higher than anywhere else in the country never affected tourism.
Kneejerk, ignorant, selfish reactions.
You need to fold up your american flags, put them back in their plastic bags, and return them to the stores. You have already lost. Consider yourself a prisoner of war. When you started reacting based on fear insteaad of logic; when you started allowing the assaults to change the way you lived your life, then you let the enemy beat you.
I live in this city. I have been here four years already, and not a day goes by that I am not in awe of some aspect of this city or the people in it. To teach your kids that dispite common sense and factual evidence, you won’t take them to a place such as this where every building and tree is a piece of history. You’re pitaful.
On a side note, this author needs to be bitch-slapped.

Students who visit today find a city visibly changed; police are stationed at nearly every corner, and concrete barricades encircle the monuments like scattered dominoes. Chaperons enforce an unpopular 6 p.m. hotel curfew.

Bullshit. The concrete barriccades were there before September 11. And the city has actually been replaccing many of those gaudy conrete slabs which have been around for years with more suitable and attractive fences and posts. And maybe once a week do I see a cop or military officer I didn’t see before. This is Washington Fuckin DC. Do you think we don’t have security here? And what the hell does a high school student’s curfew have to do with this city?

I can just see tommorrow’s / February 7, 2002 / Comment on this

I can just see tommorrow’s headline:
“Scriptkiddie found with computer parts sticking out of every body orafice.”
No, this isn’t the hacker I’m upset with.
Just another wannabe. I miss the days when I woulda shitcanned him. But strangely enough, I got a little taste of reality, and I liked it. I’m done bitching.

Pat Buchanan: A man and hsi nightmare / February 3, 2002 / Comment on this

The de-Christianization of America is different from mass immigration. They?re coming into a country whose institutions no longer enforce a certain morality. They?re coming into a country, half of which is deeply secularized and says keep your language and your separate institutions and your ethnic entitlements. And the other half is deeply traditional. It?s not just that they?re coming into a country that?s bifurcated. They?re bringing beliefs and ideas and languages in such enormous numbers that that alone would make it far more difficult to assimilate.

— Patrick Buchanan
Why is Pat Buchanan still around? What religion does this man represent? What church does he preach at? Who ordained him?
This man will use any ploy, misrepresent any fact, spin any tale, simply to …
to …
I don’t know. What’s his point? What is he working towards?
He espouses a desire for a more Christian world. And he has all the trappings of a patriotic American. But his narrow, ill-conceieved view of these environments makes me think he is simply in love with his own voice.
I believe he is a very learned man, (though i wouldn’t go so far as to say intelligent). He speaks well, and knows how to spin almost any point to his advantage.
He could be a great leader if he wanted; I’m sure. It’s too bad for him that his head never stays out of his ass long enough to gain much of a following.
This entire interview of hsi is baased upon two flawed facts.
The first one is easy: English. It is not the national language of the United States. It just so happens it is the most commonly used language. Whatever language(s) are in widespread use in this country should be recognized, and not suppressed. By virtue of it’s own momentum, English is the language of business and international power and trade. Any group of people so dedicated to their own cultural sovereignty that they refused to add English as even a secondary language — they will be left behind. This is a very reasonable argument. Unfortunatly, it isn’t the one Robertson chose to make.
Secondly, Pat Robertson seems to have trouble with the word “assimilation”. I believe he has confused it with ‘obliteration’.
This land, from it’s very founding as colonial properties, has been a haven for any person to come and be themself, when they most often cannot be in their original homes. Pilgrims come here to practice their own religion. Haitains come here to live freely without an opressive govermment. A collection of farmers fought here to be able to have control over their own lives and commerce.
We have accepted refugees from every country on earth. We have reached out and help countries being overrun by madmen with ideas of superior races in their minds.
But Pat Buchanan seems to believe that this country cannot survive unless each persons cultural heritage and person beliefs are surrendered to the good of the state. That diversity is the biggest threat to America.
Assimilation, Mr. Buchanan, is not the process of taking something in and utterly subornitaing it to the current standard. That is obliteration. Assimmilation is taking in the new, and adding it to yourself, so that you are something more than you were before.
So we have room for all new ideas, Pat. But your ideas aren’t new. Ignorance and bigotry are very old, and very tired.

stick it where the monitor don’t shine / February 2, 2002 / Comment on this

And if you’re the little pigfucker who hacked my account, among others, today…

Is there anybody who / January 22, 2002 / Comment on this

Is there anybody who hasn’t taught school in NYC for a few years?

I’ve really got to / January 9, 2002 / Comment on this

I’ve really got to thank PETA for showing us all that stupidity is it’s own reward.
In case you haven’t met these people, they are basically the Keystone Cops of the animal rights movement, constantly finding the most ridiculous method of protesting animal cruelty.
Yes, I actually had a former employee of PETA tell me they were going to send a complaint to McDonalds because there was a tray of roasted chicken in one of their ads.
I can’t remember exactly where this took place; I just heard the story on the radio this morning. But some town in the midwest, I believe, holds a fairly regular deer culling, to thin the heards before snowfall in hopes of preventing starvation.
Obviously PETA was hot over this. Since all the hunters involved are required to wear those orange field jackets that make them look like construction cones, PETA decided to capture and release about 400 deer, after attaching orange jackets to them. The idea being, that the hunters would think twice about shooting anything in orange.
However, despite what Deliverance might teach you, not all hunters are braindead hicks. And the hunters were armed with shotguns, which required them to hunt from close range. So they had no trouble discerning deer from man.
And with a local shop keeper offering rewards for the return of the jackets, especially with bullet holes in them…
well, lets just say there won’t be any starving deer in one town in the MidWest this winter.

It’s more than a / January 7, 2002 / Comment on this

It’s more than a little fucking sick that with almost every charity in North America suffering severe cutbacks, people are complaining about the money New York City families will recieve if they were involved in the world trade center.
It’s sick.
Absolutly no money will make up for the actual loss of a person.
And yet in all likelyhood, most of the survivors annd families are going to be millionaires once they collect all their checks. And still people are complaining it isnt enough.
Well fuck you.
We aren’t here to rebuild your lives for you. We aren’t here to make you feel good again. All anyone could do is support those in trouble while they rebuild their own lives.
There are people out there every day losing family and friends to murder, starvation, illness, and accidents. None of it is fair.None of them will be driving away from the funeraal in a limo though.
Get over being a victim. If you aren’t strong enough to rebuild your own life, how will you help those around you? As if you cared.

It’s a miserable day / January 6, 2002 / Comment on this

It’s a miserable day in the neighborhood.
All the forecasted snowstorms are here. Unfortunatly, they mistook rain for snow. It’s a dull gray day with sub-freezing rain covering the City.
I froze my cahones off just going for groceries. I can’t be the only one who’s sick of the weather. The subway escalators sounded like Humback whales today, groaning their way up a 150 feet.

This is World AIDS / December 1, 2001 / Comment on this

This is World AIDS Day.
This is a shitty day.
This is they day we cannot allow ourselves to forget the people living and dieing with these diseases.
HIV and AIDS are not pretty diseases, or particularly epic. Your body simply becomes so weak it cannot defend itself from the smalest of infections. You won’t die of AIDS, or anything to dramatic. You will most likely be snuffed out by a common cold.
Death by runny nose.
And there are 40 million people who have experienced this so far.
Forty Million.
That is just an insane number.
Nearly 1 out of every hundred people is infected with at least HIV. That would be like wipeing out all of the Metro New York area, and beyond. This is an epidemic. And it is not going away.
Don’t be lulled into a sense of security by the lack of news reports. These reporters just can’t find a story any more after 2 decades of overindulging themselves on it.
This is a uniquely human disease too. What other species would continue to so rapidly spread a disease that is so hard to transmit. I mean no insult to the people living with AIDS or HIV, but in todays world, you would be hard pressed to not know about it, and how it is spread. Only an radical exchange of bodily fluids.
Of course I am wierd, but it has been a long time since I had contact with a major dose of anyone else’s bodily fluids.
So how do we have 40 million people suffering?
While I hope and dream we find the resources to cure this disease, I am more seriously concerned with educating people to the point where a cure is not so vital.
This brings us to the close of my brief attempt at being someewhat meaningful.
I leave you with a few links, to organizations who deal with AIDS, that I have personally worked with. These are not business people. They generally make little money. And have no hope of curing the disease or making a major difference to the world. But they saw people suffering, and they want to do whatever they can to help.
AIDS Nutrition Services Alliance
National Episcopal AIDS Coalition
National Minority AIDS Council

Good people are concerned / November 29, 2001 / Comment on this

Good people are concerned about:
homelessness
the environment
pollution
global warming
AIDS
equality
recycling
violence
corruption
moral decay
the state of youth
sexual deviancy
representation
inflation
servitude
enlightenment
embarasment
speech
nutrition
eloqution
faith
preservation
and the definition of life
Right?
I said right?
How the hell am I supposed to accomplish anything?
Thankfully I am above such things as good and bad. But what about you mere mortals? Can you manage to do more than pay lip service to ‘the list’. Can your consience be satiated by the truley dedicated pursuit of just a single or few of these causes.
Can you put away the soma long enough to do something, no matter what it takes, about anything?

Apply a little mental / November 29, 2001 / Comment on this

Apply a little mental energy to this one and tell me what you come up with:
In order to prevent telemarketers from calling you and harassing you, companies are now selling you a devise to erase your number from their systems.
*insert mental strain here*

40,000,000. 40 million. / November 28, 2001 / Comment on this

World AIDS Day: Link & Think 2001
40,000,000.
40 million.

okay… just shut the / November 22, 2001 / Comment on this

okay… just shut the fuck up. We don’t need a world trade center eulogy at the beginning of the freakin Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
These disasterS (with three s’s) will not haunt our lives because they were especially tragic. They aren’t going away because you won’t shut up about them.
There is a time for all due respect and mourning. But when my family is killed in a car crash, you don’t discuss it with me before everything I do.
You shut up and learn to get on with your life.

Fuckin hell. I just / November 16, 2001 / Comment on this

Fuckin hell. I just wrote a long article on filtering software and decided I needed to erase it. Cause it was crap. The whole thing is pretty simple.
Filtering software, and the companies that make it, are lying to you.
I’m not talking about goofy glitches like when CyberPatrol banned part of the WHite House’s web site.
I’m talking about banning access to Amnesty International information. Banning access to human rights articles and web sites. Banning access to religious sites. And even shooting it’s own foot off by banning any web site, from small sites like Peacefire, to huge corporations like Time magazine, when they call into question the effectiveness and ethics of these software packages.
These site’s wont coorupt you’re children or grow hair on your palms. They might challenge you topull your head out of the sand (you thought I was gonna say ass, admit it).
Every major software package in this field claims that every site they specifically ban is first reviewed by a human being to ensure applicability. So who is the warped SOB who decided people shouldn’t know about The AIDS Quilt, the Vatican, youth soccer leagues, and breast cancer research?
And if for some reason mom and dad decided not to be the lazy slobs most corporations assume them to be, and they actually monitor their children’s habits, you may still be blocked from some sites. Because there are now Internet providers who are filtering out some sites before they even get to your computer. (And you thought you were paying for the whole internet, silly rabbit). And these arent small fry providers run by religious zealots in East Bumpafuck, Wisconsin. These are internet backbone companies like AboveNet and Teleglobe, who provide access to potentially millions.
Do yourself a favor. If you are at all responsible for computers in a public space, be it libraries, schools, offices, or otherwise, find out what you’re being protected from. Visit Peacefire.org. Read Access Denied, published by GLAAD. And check out the Internet Free Expression Alliance.
That is, unless some software blocks you from doing so.

‘My Fellow Americans, Let’s / November 9, 2001 / Comment on this

‘My Fellow Americans, Let’s Roll’
You’re a sick fucker, George.
Taking the words of a man who gave up his life, with no training, no orders, and no hope, so that other people wouldn’t die. And using those words to gloss over all the heinous acts the American government has commited in the name of safety and security, in an effort to sustain support for a war on Afganastan. (Does anyone remember any more that Afganastan was not the one who directly attacked us?)
You’re a sick fucker.

Ah h h h / November 7, 2001 / Comment on this

Ah h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h h

I can’t even find / November 6, 2001 / Comment on this

I can’t even find any election results for the NYC mayoral race. Pretty sad. Though it’s looking to be another one of those “none of the above” choices.
I saw both of the main candidates on one of the morning culture shows today. I can tbelieve how much utter asshoels they were so openly. One openly admitted to trying to buy the election, while the other excused his downright disgusting attacks on his opponents with “well he’s worse!” and “I’ve been at this for 12 years” (and you still haven’t gotten it right).
Should we really be concerned about two wanna-be politicians who couldn’t get their heads out of their asses long enough to to talk about the issues, when they are simply taking over where a wanna-be Nazi left off?
Guliani, the great white hype. Hideing maniacal power grabs and wet dreams about Big Brother behind the feel-good facade of “cleaning up” NYC (Disney in Times Square?!). Man, what is the city without it’s crack addicts and prostitutes. And don’t forget the crime some people commited of being homeless.
And now the buzz is his move to Washington. Whether in front of the cameras or behind, they expect him to continue his same agenda’s here in the armpit of politics.

“Freedom,” Giuliani argued, ‘Is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do and how you do it.”

— New York Times 3/17/94

What does the end / November 4, 2001 / Comment on this

What does the end of the world sound like?
Living in a big city, I hear strange noises all the time. Crashes, booms, roars, screams, sirens, and wild sex.
And just as simply, I ussually ignore them. I know living in any city is dangerous, much less DC. Here we all walk around with targets painted on our scalps.
Yesterday I drove by the Pentagon. It was the first time I’ve seen it since it was hit. You just can’t adequatly describe the feeling. It’s a massive building, on scale with skyscrapers and beyond stadiums. And as we rounded the road yesterday, looking at this building, just suddenly a hole appears in the building. Like someone reached in and ripped out a couple thousand tons of steel and concrete (and flesh).
I can’t imagine what the people on 395 South must have thought that morning as they drove parallel to the plane’s flight path, just a couple hundred feet away; and watched it plow into the building, in what must have been an explosion rivaling the World Trade Center itself.
So what does the end of the world sound like?
Every roar outside my window makes me wonder if some fanatic set off the nuke in their backpack. I ussally just look at the wall, waiting to see if it disintegrates. Some morbid interest occasionally drags me to the window to check. But would you really want to see a wall of….
death…
coming at you?
Isn’t this the kind of shit that drives people crazy in movies?
If I get lucky, it would be more like those movie scenes where all you see is an instantaneous white flash, and everything is gone.
It’s not as morbid as it all sounds. At least not to me. Growing up near Sampson Air Base, I’ve had these kinds of thoughts for as long as I understood war and death.

Is it just me / November 3, 2001 / Comment on this

Is it just me or is this a little disturbing?

Thank you CDnow. As if the holidays didn’t appear commercial enough.

What makes you think / October 24, 2001 / Comment on this

What makes you think the government has your best interests at heart? Even your own cat shits in your sneakers.

Okay people. Time to / October 24, 2001 / Comment on this

Okay people. Time to buy you a hat. Seems your brains are frozen again.

The biggest privacy concern this week is Bugs. A little unseen image that sits on a web page and *gasp* reveals all kind of information about your computer. It’s terrible because it may give out your information to people you don’t even know about.

Small detail here.

This is exactly the way every web page and every browser has ever worked. Every file you load in your web browser… every image, every text file, every sound file… every time you load one of these from a server out there on the ‘net, they have access to quite a bit of information about you. Your IP address, what you loaded, the time and date.

And something no one else has mentioned in their reviews of these bugs, they can also see where you just came from, and where you go next.

This is the way it has always been people. This is akin to being shocked that someone is reading a billboard you put up.

The more in depth articles point out that someone could pass ‘cookie’ information on to the bug owner this way. Of course, if you have taken any time to learn about the web browser you are using, you probably set it not to return cookies to anyone except the person who set them. Otherwise you do stand a chance of broadcasting private information to god knows who.

Don’t be stupid people. I know it’s what you’re good at, but still…

In trying to avoid / October 21, 2001 / Comment on this

In trying to avoid our friendly neighborhood bullys (a.k.a. Police) recently, I found myself stepping through the looking glass. I simply walked around to the back of one building that I have passed many times. But behind there, it was a whole different city, so it seemed.
Two or three blocks form the Capitol, and the building was the Department of Agriculture. The front is prime tourism grounds. Big buildings with a view of the skyline. A Starbucks on every corner, and a policeman at every crosswalk.
Behing the Ag, it all just stops. The buildings become non-descript. Streets are replaced by commuter highways and on/off ramps.
This isn’t an area you see if you can help it. Tourists would politely run for their lives and brag about it to their neighbors. District residents would never be there in the first place. And with no businesses or important officials in residence, the police could care less.
The only people there are sitting on the stoop of the Homeless Center, the only public building visable in the area. Three men in the dirty brown overcoats and boots with no laces. Three men homeless.
Not the homeless you see on the street normally, who push around a shopping cart while screaming at God, nor the panhandlers who work the corners and Metro stops after work. And certianly not the addicts and conmen (they’re always men) who sometimes give performances so good you pay them just for the quality of their work.
These were men without a home. They do want better, but have no way to get it. No way to get out of the condition they’re in. The jobs they can find hardly pay enough to eat and drink. If you don’t have enough money to improve your own condition, how do you convince someone to hire you for a better job? And likewise in reverse. Without a lot of luck or a lot of help, these men are going to be sitting on that stoop for a long time.
The won’t be lonely. Estimates for true homeless people in the District range from the hundreds to the thousands.
I don’t care how hardened you are. It will get to you when a young woman sits in a doorway to Wendy’s crying. She doesn’t want your money or your pity. She just wants someone to buy her something to eat.
I stood watching the anti-war protestors setting up in Freedom Plaza a few weeks ago. It was wonderfully active. Everyone was making sure they were heard, from the protestors, to the conspirists, to the communists. But off in the corner, on al but empty benches, slept a man. On a frigid windy day, he lay there in his spring jacket and sandles, trying to sleep. Makes it hard to take seriously war protestors seeking justice for every factory worker in Malaysia.
God bless America. This is our Capitol.

I know I have / October 15, 2001 / Comment on this

I know I have commented enthusiastically about the RIAA before, and their ignorant, self-destructive, monopolistic efforts to control music. But you gotta give it to them. If yur gonna be an ass, you might as well be the biggest ass.
They’re joining everyone and their grandmother in trying to tack on riders to the anti-terrorism bills going through congres right now. These bills are scarey enough on their own, without the help of the big-three media companies.
They weren’t so much trying to add anything, as to grant themselves special exceptions. In this case, to make themselves immune to prosecution.
What are they afraid of being prosecuted for, that could possibly relate to terrorism? (Besides forcing people to listen to another Hanson album). The exemption they want involves a portion of the bill that classifys any hack on a computer that results in 5 grand or more of damages as an act of terrorism.
Why do they need to be exempt from this?
The only answer that has come up so far is that they literally want the ability to hack into individual’s computers in an effort to locate and destroy illegally distributed music. Or as this article puts it, “RIAA’s License to Virus”. And if they accidently destroy the contents of your hard drive while they’re at it? Well they wouldn’t have been legally liable.
RIAA: Judge, Jury, and Executioner
Bite my friggin ass.

Are you pondering what / October 15, 2001 / Comment on this

< weiny whineing >
Are you pondering what I’m pondering?
Signs.
I’ve been working on a couple projects that involve very old pictures of various towns. It’s caused my to take closer looks around me now, especially when I’m out taking pictures. And in the last hundred years city landscapes have become incredibly cluttered.
street signs
lights
roadmarkings
I doubt there’s an intersection in this city with less than 8 signs surrounding it. Most have 3 or 4 times that many. Two blocks from my place, there are two signs on the same corner, going the same direction, that both forbid right turns at a certian time. The problem is, the times conflict with each other.
Even where there aren’t conflicting signs, there are usually redundant ones. Or totally ointless ones. The most current trend in DC is to put up signs reminding people that causing gridlock in intersections is illegal.
Who
fucking
cares.
If you have enough mental capacity to drive, you ought to know that pulling into a crowded intersection is a stupid idea. And if you couldnt figure that out, the 6 ton city bus that is going to come barreling at you will likely clarify the point.
If you don’t think we’re becoming inured to it all, then why are the newest signs all done in flourescent yellow and green?
With an average of 15 signs at any given city intersection, and people haveing 1-3 seconds to look at signs, do you think anyone is getting all this information?
There needs to be a review of city signage, with brevity and clarity in mind. And a strong consideration for aestetics and usability. Put some standards in place, man.
I said this would be a ridiculous post. But I look at these old pictures of the city and you see people, and architecture, and skylines. I look today, and you see streetlights, and powerlines, and signposts every 10 feet.

Even with all my / October 14, 2001 / Comment on this

Even with all my bitching about people overreacting, I notice I’ve gotten a bit jumpy. It used to be when I hear loud noises out in the city I just assumed some numbnuts smashed their car up. But I’ve caught myself straining to listen to every crash and boom in the last month.
Comments about undoubted attempts at further terrorism ain’t helpin.And quite frankly, the talking heads, and the president (the Talking Ken Doll), really need to stop mentioning them. It does no good. If you don’t think there are always efforts to attack the US, originating from inside or out, well then you’re still the same dumbass I told you that you were a few weeks ago.
*right turn*
About a year or two ago, I was talking to Sara about one of my inspirations. They hit me about once a month. Sometimes they become something great, but ussually, like in this case thus far, they fall miserably by the wayside. Anyways… in this case I was thinking about creating a newsletter/magazine. It would be distributed online in PDF format. I would (hopefully) get articles and stories contributed by people who were writing online. Cause, ya see, back then, it was still a new thing. I know maybe 5 or 6 people who were seriously writing online. (There’s still not a whole lot of serious writers online). I figured it would give the writers a chance to distribute their work, and me a chance to utilize my design skills with no client screwing it up.
My, how times have changed.I think it would be a lot harder now. Writing on the ‘Net isn’t as unique anymore. And someone stole the damn (a gram is better than a damn) name I wanted to use.
*left turn*
So I was listening to the Fastbacks on the subway today. They’re one of those bands you go back and listen to so you don’t forget how good they are. Not to mention how much better they are than listening to tourists who are scared of the automatic doors on the train cars.
Speaking of which, did you know Franconia and Springfield are pretty damn far away?

“It would be easy / October 12, 2001 / Comment on this

“It would be easy to poisen your corn flakes, but astronomically difficult to poisen all the cornflakes in the entire country.”
Moron.
You would cause much more terror and problems by not infecting the entire batch. Terrorism would involve contaminating only a few selected sites at random locations across the country. It would leave everyone paniced about their cxhances of being the next victim, as opposed to simply not buying corn flakes.
*end rant*

George Bush is a / October 11, 2001 / Comment on this

George Bush is a twinkie.
I can’t think of a better word. I tried watching his speech this time (don’t call it a press conference). But I can only stand so much rhetoric and campaigning. (Managed to get in everything from Palestinian statehood to the Ballistic Missile Ban. And I just know someone is going to slam him tommorrow for his comment about “my country”. (Coulda sworn we all lived here, Dubbya).
Damnit. My building is on fire again. It wouldn’t be a new month if the fire trucks didn’t park outside. It might be less disturbing if they actually rang the fire alarm.
Judging from the news, I’d think we were it. Attacks on America. Terrorist networks and anti-terrorist partnerships. Occasionally an attack in Isreal/Palestine. But it seems others are just as good at acting like animals.

This boy wants to / October 6, 2001 / Comment on this

This boy wants to kill you.
Or so I’m told, by the talking heads.
He really didn’t look too imposing shivering on the sidewalk, way too early in the morning to be radical.
I’m not sure how many people that showed up have even finished puberty yet. They carried drums and banners and wore rags and scarfs covering their faces.
Going to a rally, and concealing your identity?
By quarter to ten, there were maybe 300 people at most. It was your general granola bar mix of nuts and flakes. If you can name a cause from the sixties, they were there. Environmental, Organization of Anarchists, big government haters. I felt like I was back at a Saturday afternoon in college.
This was a rite of passage, not protest or rally. These are the same people that show up any time a cause is in danger. The important thing is the protest itself.
People concerned about the cause would probably put more effort into the message than the props, and would show up here more than one day a year.
So what the fuck was MetroPDs problem. Fuck me if they were there to observe and ensure.
I was once assaulted by 5 guys 100 feet from my apartment. It was over an hour before I saw a single police officer, and then I had to prove to them I wasn’t the one doing the assault. But a bunch of high school radicals with cloth banners brought out one third of the metroPD.
Those cops that weren’t lineing every street and intersection for six blocks around the park, or sitting on one of at least a hundred motorcycles were sitting on Metro buses across the street from the park. Just sitting there.
Until 5 minutes before the rally started. At which point over 100 riot troops in full gear marched out and surrounded the entire area, three officers deep at some spots. And proceeded to constrict themselves into a smaller area every few minutes. Thirty seconds into the march, the cops started gathering up all the people sitting on the grass. shit or get off the pot, I guess. There was no option… if you were in the park, you were forced to march by big, ugly men in riot gear.
This is when I turned on my sorry ass and went the other direction. When cops start forcing people to join a protest, it will not be a good day for the protesters.
No doubt. I kept an eye on several other protests in the city that day. I wasn’t able to find that one again, after circling around a couple blocks.
That night of course, there were stories of how protesters marred a peaceful rally with violence.
Bull fucking shit. These people couldn’t do anything more violent than blow their nose. They didn’t even have ammonia soaked rags this year. I suppose they beat the shit out of an innocent bystander with the blue peace-symbol or the swan signs.
And this kid shivering on the sidewalk looks like a threat to a 6’5, 250 lb. cop in full riot gear.

Feeling good about being / October 2, 2001 / Comment on this

Feeling good about being an American? Freedom and all that?
A little something for your paranoia: “Government seeks to extend reach of secretive court used on spies, terror”.

The former IMF-World Bank, / September 29, 2001 / Comment on this

The former IMF-World Bank, now anti-war/pro-justice protests are scheduled to start in an hour.
And the only thought in my head is how the police are going to do their damndest to screw it up. It may or may not be enough to show up on the news. But the MetroPD long ago dropped the idea of impartial observer. What the hell gives them the right to try and upset protests, much less legally sanctioned ones, is beyond me.
We will see.

Shut up. You try / September 27, 2001 / Comment on this

Shut up.
You try and be coherent when you’re this tired.

Someone slap a piece / September 27, 2001 / Comment on this

Someone slap a piece of duct tape on George’s mouth, please.
Since the day he was elected (okay, maybe 50 days after he was barely elected), he has been a doomsayer with an awkward way of making his predictions come true.

“The economy will slow down”
“There will be a recesion.”
“We need more defenses in case we’re attacked”

now..
“We must go to war.”
(Maybe I could get him to predict a more active sex life for me?)
It’s awfully hard to take as coincidence the fact that the economy boomed about the time the previous president was elected. And when he left, so did people’s confidence. Regardless of what you thought of the man, he inspired strong feelings. People act on strong feelings.
George was put in office by an election that showed just how apathetic people were about the candidates. Until he decided to declare a non-existant war, you couldn’t get him to take a stance on anything more vital tha boxers-or-briefs.
George, stop feeding us lines of patriotic bullshit about this slaughter (I refuse to use the word tragedy), and start actually doing something progressive for this country. When the public school system is in need of over 20 billion dollars, you give the airlines 15 billion?
Fucking hell.
Planes won’t stop flying. There is still a huge demand for it. Someone will fill it. At worst, it will force the airlines to start treating passengers like people again to get their business.
Someone want to explain to this man that the Presiden’t of the United States is the embodyment of the entire country?

I can’t read the / September 27, 2001 / Comment on this

I can’t read the national news any more.
Yikes! I used the ‘r’ word… I’m sorry. *slap* bad monkey, bad
All it does is annoy the hell out of me.

Someone send me a / September 26, 2001 / Comment on this

Someone send me a pair of wire cutters.
Please.
And I’ll stand on the District border, and stop each car that approaches. First I’ll snip the wires leading to each and every car horn.
And for anyone who complains, I’ll use the clippers to whittle off their limb of choice.
You know, you could almost get the impression I hate people who honk their horns unreasonably?

you gotta wonder about / September 24, 2001 / Comment on this

you gotta wonder about any society where companies can spend millions of dollars on advertising paper towels.

me? a bit vitriolic? / September 23, 2001 / Comment on this

me? a bit vitriolic?
could be.

I may be getting / September 22, 2001 / Comment on this

I may be getting old. I can feel the weather in my broken ankle. Like some blue-haired, chain-smoking, old woman predicting a hurricane.
At least I’m not as stupid as you idiots though.
You ignorant, childish, vapid, weak-willed idiots.
Did you ever think it was any different than this? And if so, how long ago was it that you pulled your head out of your ass.
There has been mass transit by air for probably over 65 years now. Big ol’ flying hunks of steel and copper carrying big ol hunks of flesh and drool at hundreds of an hour at thousands of feet in the air.
And there are people who hate us — Americans. When you park a battleship off someone’s coastline and start lobbing 30-inch shells into their country, they may get miffed. Or maybe we bought them a new President. Or we told them if they make our Nikes for 60 cents a piece, we won’t nuke them until they become puddles of irradiated genetic stew.
And you’re suprised these people dropped a couple jetliners on our cities?

“I’m saddened to admit that this job is even necessary, but it is necessary. Our nation faces an unusual threat that it’s never faced before.”

— Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge

This man was just appointed head of “homeland security”. And he is already feeding you a line of bullshit so long it dwarfs our welfare lines.
People hate us. Lotsa reasons. Some not even so reasonable. But they do. And they have been trying to kill us. In large numbers. One by one. Any way that works. Do you think all those nuclear weapons pointed at our collective asses are there for show?
They get stopped. 99.999 percent of the time.
How many people died on American soil at the hands of foriegn terrorism in the last 20 years? a little over 5,000? I’m willing to bet that gang killings in this country dwarf that number considerably. And suicides. And negligent homicide.
We are much better at destroying ourselves than they are.
This is not new. They’ve been doing it forever. This is not different. I can’t think of a decade in the last 50 years when a couple of planes and/or buildings haven’t been blown up in the name of a cause.
The people in government are not stupid. They know all this.
With one hand they are wiping away your tears while the other hand is pushing through legislation that is going to do to you what is probably being done to Ted Kazinsky right now.
Legislation to require any cryptography created to have a backdoor that the US government can exploit. So you are allowed to have secrets from anyone except a government employee? Forgetting that, this would effectively be the end of cryptography, period. Once it is known every crypto system has a exploitable weakness, it will be exploited, in very short order, by anyone with half a clue about computer programming.
Of course, you might also want to ask why this is being passed to protect us when it would have done nothing to prevent the very incident that spurred it’s presentation.
Legislation that would allow the INS and Attorney General to lock up and deport ‘foriegners’ with no evidence of wrongdoing, and basically no chance to appeal the decision.They’re not just talking about people who step off a flight from Iraq with a load of C-4 in their suitcase. They mean every international citizen in this country. All the friends I had in college who were there on educational Visas. Probably all the cab drivers in New York City. The computer programs who flocked here a few years ago.
And just in case you think the government is run by reasonable people who wouldn’t let this get out of hand, consider the words of Lousiana Representative John Cooksey, who is running for Senate next year:

“If I see someone come in and he’s got a diaper on his head and a fan belt around that diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over and checked,”

This Congressman sits on the Committee on International Relations.
Apparently you dont have civil rights unless you were born in East Bumpafuck, NJ.
Just a taste of what we’re in for.
Rule of thumb: Everytime someone tells you they are doing something to protect you, cover your ass (in every sense of the phrase).

God Gave U.S. ‘What / September 16, 2001 / Comment on this

God Gave U.S. ‘What We Deserve,’ Falwell Says
Satan called, Jerry. He says Timothy McViegh has already claimed you and Pat as ‘his bitches’.
Emotional Fucking Rape. That’s what it is, Jerry. And you’re spewing it like a prisoner watching the Playboy channel.
You have a capitive audience of 250 million people locally, who are scared and overwhelmed by the bloodiest single act ever commited on this continent. And you choose this moment to take advantage of 5000 mutilated bodies,… for political means?
These people are looking for anything to cling to. And when you saw them falling over themselves to embrace the Patriotic frenzy that is sweeping this country again, your response is, “I want some of that”.
So you gave them an even easier out. They don’t have to risk dying in some war that should never be fought. They only have to look at the neighbor and hate them. And not just one target, but a whole bunch of scapegoats; enough so that there’s someone for everyone to hate.
Homosexuals, femanists, pro-choicers (no… the term is not abortionists, Jerry)… they don’t want special treatment from this country. They want to be treated equally, as stated in our very constitution and supported in faith by every major religion. A Constitution over 200 years old that we still can’t seem to live up to.
The founders of this country were not heathen fools, either. They did not ban anyone from embracing religion. They simply declared that the dealings of faith would not be the dealings of goverment. Whenever religion and government attempt to come together, they have always sought to dominate the other, resulting in the violent oppresion of all things different.
We don’t need to be told to hate anyone right now, not by the government or by you, Jerry. There are tens of thousands of people who have lost friends and lovers this week. And the idea of replacing their lost love with your version of hate just makes me sick.

I’m beginning to think / September 14, 2001 / Comment on this

I’m beginning to think I live in a war zone. At least, that’s the impression the local militia would have you … have.
Cordoned off entire blocks surrounding the White House. Can only enter at one corner at one end of the street at one side. Cause basically that’s the only place they’re really staffed. which makes me wonder what the fuck is the point of th barricades anyway. If there is no one to back them up or even watch over them, they won’t keep out my dead grandmother much less a determined terrorist.
However the choppers overhead are a nice touch. the constant patrolling and all. who know’s what they’re patrolling for. They are’nt going to stop any plane attacks (though the F16s might). And I dont believe for a minute you can tell a damn thing from that far up that will let you know that the guy picking his nose on the corner is going to stick a pipe bomb in the rain gutters at the white house.
A few more minutes and I can get out of here. Show my ID to Rufus the Redneck Trooper. An ID that is 3 years old and from issue. But I don’t think he really cares. After all, police never look you in the eye unless they are doing the talking, and hope to intimidate you. I suppose it should make them look like they’re watching everything going on, to be sure they don’t get bushwacked.
here’s a thought mr. Rufus. Worry about the guy in front of you that could pull out a shiv and eviscerate you, more than the car stopping at the corner McDonalds for a Big Xtra Meal.
Is that a threat from me? no. Motivationless, power-hungry security guards are not what worry or antagonize me.
Smart people like these terrorists are much more scarey. No one wnats to admit that there is next to nothing that was or could be done to stop them. sharp knives can come from anywhere and any substance. A hurtling plane wouldnt even be stoped by a missle once it was on course. there are no barricades that could hold them back. These men knew once they were under way that they had already won.
It was all incredibly simple. Ingeniusly simple.

Ann Coulter on Barbara / September 14, 2001 / Comment on this

Ann Coulter on Barbara Olson
Ignorant, sadomasochistic, bigoted faux-intellectual.
I’ve gotta get into Journalism if this woman is the Gold Standard for writers.
She is ready and willing to go out and start deporting, bombing, and killing people. And her vauge references don’t hide who she is talking about.
listen bitch:
we
do
NOT
know
who
did
it
.
Dozens of countries have agreed to strike down any country or individual who turns out to be responsible. These people will pay, one way or another. The Taliban has even agreed to turn over Osama Bin Lauden should we present proof he was responsible.
No one is going to get away with this.
But before we start shooting anyone who wouldn’t fit in at a Klan meeting, may I request that we actually find the true responsible party(ies)?
Cause when we start slaughtering Afghani men, women, and children, only to discover this was the result of some hick, redneck militia from East Bumpafuck, USA, we’ll prove ourselves to be the very monster we are currently decrying.
Maybe Ms. Coulter needs to take her hood off in church so she can hear better. Like the lines about “Judge not lest ye be judged” and “thou Shalt not Kill”. And if that doesn’t move her, she should keep in mind that this “murderous cult” she is referring to happens to be the fastest growing religion in the world, with millions upon millions of members. It doesn’t do to tease the lion when you’re in his cage. (And all this goes without mentioning the fact that Islam has far stricter moral and societal codes than Christianity or Judaism).
Go back to the Dark Ages, Ms. Coulter. We have no more Japanese internment camps. We aren’t out for playground justice. And we don’t need people like you playing off the basest, most vile aspects of human nature.

Okay. So I feel / September 7, 2001 / Comment on this

Okay. So I feel a little pathetic looking back and the two biggest rants Ive had lately were about MTV and Freedom of speech on the internet (AOL no less).
On the scale of importmant issues in the world, these rate somewhere near the level of what’s on TV tonight.
I live in a city where people are gunning each other down in the streets on a daily basis. Where the department of health is located in a building that can’t pass their own inspections. Where the people re-elected a Mayor who had been caught on video smoking pot with a hooker.
This city is the capital of a country where a black boy was recently dragged to death behind a pick-up truck. And another boy was tied to a fence and beat to death for being gay. Where when a young woman disappears from her apartment never to be seen again, the question isn’t “what happened to the girl”, but “who was she fucking”.
The most powerful country in a world where after tens of thousands of years of civilization, our usual solution to international conflict is to try to kill eachother. A world where our greatest advances only come from wars. Where more savagry has been done in the name of God than anyone else.
and I was complaining about MTV’s ideals?
excuse me while I order a labotomy.

It’s said you cannot / September 6, 2001 / Comment on this

It’s said you cannot slight someone for being what they are.
Bah. Fuck that.
MTV is the crap du jour. Or more precisely, MTV is the crap du jour tout la monde. (that’s “shit all the time” for all the Americans out there)
While they have never held themself to very many lofty standards, their current marketing campaign (not to be mistaken for cultural changes, kiddies) has turned the 900 pound gorilla of contemporary music marketing into a self-consuming cannibalistic shadow of it’s former self.
Did you ever think you’d see the day when VH1 had a better selection of music.
MTVs target demographic has become the same as their sister network, Nicolodeon. Those shows and concepts that haven’t been cancelled and/or outright banned, have been recycled and redone so many times they wouldn’t be fresh if they were sponsored by Right Guard. The stepford children they are passing off as pop musicians are the only fitting accompanyment to the ignorant grunting most of their favorite hip hop and rock groups being passing off as music.
I dunno. I think if I was still a kid, I’d be pretty insulted. The soundtrack to your disenfranchisement is being organized and brought to you, regardless of your race, creed, or color, by planning committee’s and focus groups paid for by a bunch of old white men who only make money if you do exactly what they tell you. (What do you want from a group of businessmen who make Richard Branson look young and wild?)
Turn off your TV. Shave your head. Go out to a club or bar (but I’ll lose all respect for you if they play dance music). If you don’t piss off old people, who will?

Belfast Blast Rattles Schoolgirls / September 5, 2001 / Comment on this

Belfast Blast Rattles Schoolgirls
um. yeah.
In order to protest violence perpetrated by Cathloics, the protestants are shoot and bombing young Catholic school girls.
This isn’t even an eye for an eye (which only leaves both people blind). It’s more like a head for an eye.

I cannot believe they / September 2, 2001 / Comment on this

I cannot believe they (mis)quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Bite me — it’s not like there is a whole lot of intellectual entertainment to be found on evening televion Friday nights. I can’t help it if my remote gravitates towards young, poorly dressed women.

For those of you / August 16, 2001 / Comment on this

For those of you who need to get a life, you may have noticed the succession of names this little diatribe has taken.
The current incarnation is “Shakespear’s Monkey”. Barring the probable misspellings, I had two main reasons behind this shift in names. The first being the well worn quote that if an infinate number of monkeys worked on an infinate number of typewriters, one of them would eventually write Shakespear’s plays. And this being my own seemingly infinate verbal meanderings, maybe someday I’ll actually wrtie something worth reading.
On a similar idea, though through a less direct method, I have been thinking about writing lately. Well, photography first, and then writing. In photography, very few such artists get their amazing pictures from singular attempts at a composition. Every photographer I know has said, once you get yourself set up, you take as many pictures as possible of the subject. Film is cheap, and you never know what detail will make or break a shot.
Yes, writing is involved here somewhere. Basically, I applied the same photography philosophy to my writing. (Well, I am starting to apply it). Words are cheap. If you write a lot, you only improve your skill and chances of happening upon an interesting thought.
So overall, it is very similar to the SHakespear’s Monkeys quote.
Excuse me, I need a banana.

Imagine you’re a man. / August 15, 2001 / Comment on this

Imagine you’re a man. Work too much, spend too little time with your family. But you’re fooling around with a younger woman. She’s not bad looking. She cooks for you, cleans, waits on you hand and foot. She doesn’t mind being the other woman. And you’re wife, wether she suspects or not, doesn’t seem to care.
With a position like this, why would Rep. Condit kill Chandra Levy? Let’s not be stupid people.
And since the girl’s connection to the congressman is the only reason this story is still in the news, and he obviously didn’t do it, can we please all get on with our lives?
There are over 2000 people a day in the USA reported missing. In the 4 or so months since this all started, that amounts to over 240,000 people.Is anyone else offended that there are half a dozen police forces who are devoting significant resources to finding this one woman who by the most optimistic estimates will only be found dead now?

They can all fucking / July 16, 2001 / Comment on this

They can all fucking bite my ass.
I call to make a claim on my Personal Accident insurance policy and get told no payment has been made on the premium since last July. I would bring this up with the people who’ve automatically been deducting payments from my paycheck, but no one is answering the phone.

If you’re gonna call / May 12, 2001 / Comment on this

If you’re gonna call me at 7 in the morning to sell me crap I don’t need, you should at least have the decency to talk to me in person so I can tell you where to go.
would you guess I’m not a morning person?

my apartment, washington, dc / February 28, 1999 / Comment on this

ug… just got home… bout 4 hours after i left.

😛

needed to go out to montgomery mall to get some things. (is the mall in Bethesda… dont remember if we ever went). So i get out to Medical center metro station. stood there for maybe five minutes when i realized I didn’t have any cash on me… no bus fair. So being too stubborn, I started walking in the rain, the mile or two up to the grocery store above where my uncle lives… near the Hamburger Hamlet. Was the closest ATM, and a place to get change.

finally from there i caught the bus to the mall. they had an antique show, which i usually like… but all they had today was jewelry… mucho boring to me. but i got what i needed. bought a alarm clock and a moustache trimmer. my old alarm clock didn’t seem to appreciate 5 years of being dropped, kicked, and slammed. but it makes a good wall clock now. as for the moustache trimmer… dont laugh at me till you’ve tried trimming your eyebrows with a pair of hedge clippers.

anyyyways…

made my way back from the metro through the average assortment of beggars and bums. they asked for cigarettes tonight. I pretty much never give to the beggars. Too many people that I see sitting on the same corner, day after day. Never actually trying to get off the street… if they’re actually on it. but on the reverse side, I also try not to ignore them. Initially, I just didn’t want to annoy them into a confrontation. But it occured to me, it would be pretty rough in their position, to be ignored. When someone walks by without even looking, they’re trying to ignore the existance of a PERSON. no matter how lowly they may live, they are a person. And the idea of having people ignore my existence is pretty damn scarey.

god my apartments a mess. all the packages arriving and going out in the last week took their toll. personally i cant deal with it in this condition. I tend to start acting like my surroundings. When my place is a mess, my life gets terminally unorganized. Being organized makes it easier to get anything done, not just physically, but mentally. And when things like cleaning get put off, I start getting really lazy. Never a good thing. Would be all to easy for me to just go to work, come home, and watch TV till I go to bed.

be back later…

……………………..

okay… we wont even go into the race thing here. I wholeheartedly agree that racism exists, and that it’s a stupid, awful thing. But I just got done watching one of the most annoying shows ive ever seen. was one of those low budget, public access shows. “Black Women on the Light Dark Thing”

They claimed the ‘oppressors’ where teaching children as they grew up, that european, and only european features are beautiful. And this is causing undo self-hatred in all black women.

There are so many things wrong with these ideas, its scarey. these women have he wrong end of the stick. they are saying that because black women in general dont fit a popular idea of the perfect female image, that black women are feeling bad, and that we need to change that image. We dont need to change any image. And you cant. If this many black women really are feeling cheated and have such a low self-image… they need to work on that… their self-image. I hate psychobabble personally, but even i will agree that you have a problem if you spend your time trying to change yourself to fit in. We need to be teaching people to be happy with themselves. Wanting to change is a normal, good thing, in my opinion, as long as it is towards improving yourself in your own eyes.

I have been watching a woman very close to me change over the last couple of years. Her color doesnt matter. She went from being a fairly typical college freshman, to an very special lady. She learned she didn’t need to make other people happy. She learned she needed to do things to fufill her own dreams. She is finally starting to see her own beauty, inside and out. She knows she is in charge of her own life. That’s all anyone has.

I am also personally offended to be considered an oppressor because of the way I was born. why is it nearly blasphemy if i insult a black person on the basis of their skin, but the color of mine means that I am responsible for all the sins of my fathers. the person claiming to be fighting one form of racism, is using her own prejudice to support her arguments. I think clinton was a moron for apologizing to ‘the black community’ for american slavery. If I was a black person, I would have been offended. Almost no person alive today has ever experienced that slavery. To think that you can lessen todays troubles, or make a modern person happier by apologizing for something you had nothing to do with, and no control over, and directly affected no one in your audience… just doesn’t make any sense, and has no meaning.

And for gods sake… let me smack the next person that uses the term african american, or talks about the african culture among american blacks. Same goes for most jewish and some chinese people in the US. to 99.9% of you out there, I say “WAKE UP” … look around… notice… almost no resemblance to that whole other continent across the sea. You are an american. I am an american. That is your culture. kaput. thats it. any claim to africa or israel or wherever… is an INTEREST. I dont care if your great grandmothers aunt did come from there. If scientists are to be believed, we all did. Its a matter of timing. You cannot and will not make a place for yourself in this culture until you admit you are a part of it. If you want an african culture, you should be looking in africa. but watch out… ive met enough africans to know that a lot has changed there in the last 150 years. your going to find a culture more american that the fake one you’ve set up here.

having said that, I also want to say… im not asking anyone to abandon their past. By all rights be proud of your families history, and origins. But pull your head out of the past, and realize where YOU are right now. Take those wonderful ideas and actions you find so inspiring, and apply them to the current situation. Because if you refuse to progress with this culture at the same rate its going… well… take a look at the mennanites and such. they have their ideals.

this case in the news recently, of two white men, dragging a black man from the back of their truck until he died, has just been… ridiculous. These two guys committed murder. An awful, disgusting one. On that basis… throw em in jail, hang em from the yard arm, whatever the jury decides. But I dont think the racism issue should have ever been allowed to enter this case. I think the idea of hate crimes and giving stronger punishments on the basis of the biases of the offenders is wrong, and too close to totalitarianism. It is a simple act of legislating morals. It trys to tell people what is and is not RIGHT. and this is not something you can teach people by forcing their hands. The murderers with the truck… I personally dont wanna see em in public ever again. And I hate racism down to my very core. But I would defend to the death their right to have a different belief, even one so contrary to my own. This country is founded on freedom to live your life as you want. I dont think you have a right to do one thing to a racist (or such) until they put their beliefs into an illegal action. and at that time… judge them on that action and that action alone. you dont cut a murder slack for believing in god wholeheartedly, why do you further condemn the same murderer for their other beliefs, no matter how offensive?

I think Ive pissed off enough people for now.

my apartment, washington, dc / February 11, 1999 / Comment on this

im getting sick of having all these cool thoughts throughout the day, of what I can write about, and when I sit down, they all disappear.

my apartment, washington, dc / February 8, 1999 / Comment on this

so im watching this miniseries on the 60’s. seems like everyone in it is trying to find themselves, and failing miserably, or fighting for a cause they arent sure they believe in. doesnt keep em from fighting of course.


I used to say that the people in my college were overly apathetic. But i havent seen much change since retruning to the “real world”. At least in school, I could hold a conversation. When was the last time you were so engrossed in a topic that you could sit till 5 in the morning talking?


nothing gets to people anymore.


in my life?


I saw us overrun a country to protect oil. weigh this on your moral scale: black fluid verses human lives.


I saw the bodies of servicemen dragged through the streets in africa.


Ive seen nearly every important woman in my life deal with rape.


I had to be careful on the streets of my hometown when I walked with my girlfriend, because we werent the same shade.


Ive personally had to watch the most beautiful little children leave a preschool and go home to families where theyll be abused; mentally, physically, and sexually.


I dont know.

my apartment, washington, dc / February 2, 1999 / Comment on this

morons… theyre all morons.


(I think i like that word)


anyways…


if someone from ProLease ever shows up to talk to you about managing your officeworkers… run for your friggin life.


They done nothing but caused me trouble.


tell me a doctor right out of their book doesnt exist… make me resubmit his name FIVE times! Get the name and address wrong on all my paperwork. Forget to pay my taxes, cancel our 401k’s and dont start new ones.


And Im just one person. Other people in the office have their own horror stories.


anyways…


got my new check’s in the mail today… very cool. Funky Retro geometric graphics. And no more updating the address on my old checks.


have i mentioned that client meetings make me nuts? very seldom do they work out well. had the wanna-be client today. As he sits their in his brown three piece suit and Alan Alda perm, he’s telling me his company isnt like the rest; theyre ‘less-structured, young, creative’. I suppressed the smile I think. Then I got the hell outta their building that all but smelled of cotton balls.


have I mentioned I have a beautiful girlfriend? that smile alone lights up my heart. I can still see every curve, every flowing wave of hair, the light in her eyes that lets me know she’s okay.


we wont mention how intimidating her intelligence could be too.


but I love her… everything about her.


(granted, i could do with a muzzle for her dog)


i figured out what happened today, where everything went downhill. I put on a tie this morning. Boss wanted to impress Alan Alda. I shoulda known it woulda been trouble.


The best show in the world for one-liners, Will and Grace:


“You know what those rocks need? A little Scotch”


“You’re like a spoonfull of whoopass”

Bethesda, MD / January 11, 1998 / Comment on this

Ignorance is bliss?

nahhh…

Ignorance is annoying as hell.

Was talking with some friends the other day. Me, being oh so subtly sarcastic as I am, I was asking, since we always hear about Muslim terrorists, why dont we ever hear about Christian terrorists (ie. Timothy McVey).

After people stopped being offended that I would say such a thing, they really started swallowing their foot.

“But their religion is what causes them to be terrorists!”

*cough*

“I dont understand why they’re so violent. They don’t get to watch violence on TV like us”

*hack*

“You know what those people over there are like”

*choke*

It’s amazing how many they‘s there appear to be in the world. And they’re always so much more deprived than us. And not quite as intelligent. They live in grass huts, with no indoor plumbing. They dont have cars or microwaves. They worship either Satan or a close relative of his.

How long is it gonna be before some people realize that there is no they. There is no them. There is no us.

There is only we.

And there will be no solving of any world problems until we all accept this simple fact.

Bethesda, MD / November 28, 1997 / Comment on this

I’ve heard it said time and again, that your life and personality are shaped by the events you experience. Less seldom said, and what I have distinctly noticed as of late, is that your life is shaped by the people in it.


I remember the people that sat at my table in kindergarten, including the girl who used to show off her muscles by flexing her arms. I remember my first real friend, and all the times we drove our parents nuts. I remember the bully in high school, and the day I stood up for myself. I remember my first girlfriend; who doesn’t remember her. I remember my first love, and how much it hurt when I lost her.


And now, while I am starting my life anew, all alone, I am slowly realizeing who were my true friends, and those who were even closer than friends. Who was there when Anita died. Who listened to me for those long, repetitive nights after Lara left me. Who was willing to admit they loved me.


I can no longer touch any of these people. The closest of them is 300 away. I have to stop myself everyday from buying a ticket to Rochester, and hiding on Lea’s bed for a few more weeks. But those closest to me are still there. Still in me, helping to make my decisions, making me realize what I really want out of life, without being able to say a word to each other.

Gannet Multimedia Lab, RIT / October 9, 1997 / Comment on this

I am really friggin tired. I only wish it was from staying out late all nite partying. But noooo… I had to fill out more job applications. Responsibility sucks. (okay, maybe Im a little grumpy this morning)
But I guess I’ll live. So now I have someplace to stay in DC while I am down there for interviews. I just need to get the interviews now. I hate making the phone calls after you apply for a job. I always feel like such a putz over the phone. I have a hard enough time talking to people I know, much less people I am supposed to be impressing.
I ussually just follow a hint I heard somewhere once, about writing down what you wanna say exactly as you want to say it, before you call. Kinda like a script. May seem goofy, but it works. Keeps me from having to think (which is always a good thing).
Speaking of not thinking, heard some more tidbits about my *cough* wonderful school yesterday. You see, we got this university president who seems to have the common sense of a hedgehog. Forget the idea that these schools are here to educate people, and the students should have the biggest say in how things are done. Around here the administration seems to take the stance that whatever will annoy the most people the fastest should be implimented.
Our president, Al Simone. The man, and I use that term loosely, doesnt seem to have a firm grip on reality. He has no idea what the common student goes through. I’ve heard him continually spout ignorant, degrading commonts about the art school, which he doesn’t seem to realize, houses one of the biggest majors on campus. What do you want, he was asked to leave his last job at the University of Hawaii. Came here to supposedly help us save money. But most people I know think he was hired to cut and burn his way through the University, lowering their costs by any mean necessary. But while his programs seem to have done little for this school, Ive seen first-hand the kind of waste that goes on. While working for RIT, I saw countless ways money was spent recklessly, or pointlessly. I think people here have just forgotten this isnt supposed to be a comfy job, it is supposed to be a school.
Ah well.
A coupla years ago, they talked about getting rid of a few programs in the art school. But the entire college protested. There where acts of protest across the entire city. Teachers and students were upset. (No programs were losing any money, the administration was just following the theories of Darwin). But in the end, no programs were cut.
Cool, right? EEEEEEEEEEEE! wrong answer.
Over this past summer, while there is only a skeleton crew of students, faculty, and staff, the administration quietly cut at least one of the art programs (textile). I had a friend who wasnt even sure if they were going to let her graduate, because some teachers weren’t sure if they wanted to stay any more.
Its not that the classes were being cancelled. They were being kept. They just werent offering the majors any more. Does this make sense to anyone?
All I gotta say, is that if you’re coming here for an art program other than Graphic Design, be prepared to fight for your classes.
Let’s see nowe if this page still exists tomorrow, or if my account gets accidentally erased. Don’t worry, if it does, you can be sure it will show up again within a week on a private system.