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31 July 2014 @ 05:42 am
It's been a very long time.

Read through my old posts. There's some decent writing back there, but damn. A lot of shit has changed.

OBV, right?

I think I might come here more often, though.

It's quiet here.

Current Location: the liminal blur
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: hummmmmmmm
17 March 2009 @ 07:10 pm
On today's Colbert Report rerun, there was a segment about FDR's New Deal, and how conservatives are saying that it didn't work, and the only thing that pulled the U.S. out of the Depression was World War II. Colbert then interviewed the guy from New Republic magazine, who said that the New Deal actually cut the unemployment rate in half, until 1937, when, upon advice from conservatives in the cabinet, FDR altered the Second New Deal, causing the unemployment rate to rise again.

Now, economics is an absolute mystery to me, and the causes, effects, and efficacy of the New Deals are still up in the air, especially depending on weather you ask an economist or a historian. But there's a couple of things that I find pretty disturbing about the current New Deal talk. First, I think that comparing the current econofuck to the Great Depression is a little overheated, if not blatantly alarmist. Second, the fact that conservatives are implying that Obama's economic plan is a repeat of the (they say) failed New Deal, also implies that the only way to get the country out of this mess is a global conflagration.

That's fucking brilliant. Just fucking great. The current market tanked DURING A WAR. Like, two or three wars, actually. Iraq, Afghanistan, Terror... I guess these wars just aren't big enough. Maybe if we get Iran involved too... Hey, Detroit could go from making shoddy, gas-hogging passenger cars to shoddy, gas-hogging tanks. Seriously, it seems like the right-wing answer to every problem is to attempt to bomb it. Even abstractions, like "terror" or "economics". Oh yeah, and their fundamentalist pals have a serious hard-on for Armageddon. This is starting to make a warped kind of sense...

I like this better:

Current Mood: speculative
Current Music: World War IV, Leftover Crack
05 November 2008 @ 02:50 am
History was made tonight. After almost 400 years.

President Obama.
26 September 2008 @ 09:01 am


(my approximate reaction to the preceding website.)


Caused giggling fits.

24 September 2008 @ 11:53 am
This was like a smiley-face button to pin on my imaginary black armband.


20 July 2008 @ 09:02 am
This is probably more for my benefit than anything, but I had to get some notes down before they vanished into the ephemeral dawn-haze-thing.  This is for some phillip dick style "speculative fiction."

Note 1:  Bulk of story written in alternating AP-style press releases detailing the increasingly dire and chaotic state of the world & Ann Coulter-style uber-right polemical columns, one exacerbating the other, to fever pitch, until some sort of destabilizing catastrophe occurs; press releases continue but get more amateur-ish as the geopolitical situation deteriorates; they continue due to a kind of web 2.0 grassroots type media that sporadically yet faithfully details the depridation of the western empire.  The stories detail our turbo-right polemicists rise to power as a kind of warlord of some paranoid white-supremacist militia.  He continues to send his zealots on increasingly bolder and foolhardier sorties; his followers willingly throw themselves upon the bayonets/pitchforks/teeth of the opposition.  Dissenters are graphically executed.  Eventually both his fanatics and other factions end up in a stalemate; things are entirely too fragmented to maintain any sort of black & white rivalry.  Our polarizing protagonist then reveals himself as a lefty-commie-anarchist utopian, who intentionally egged on the whole eschatonal disaster in order to clear the board for an idealized functionally anarchist tribal-community based society to build upon the ashes of an irredeemable world.  POV of story gradually moves away from press releases to third-person.

Note 2:  Finally, a possible beginning for the sci-fi that I've been accumulating notes for.  Starts by detailing the missions and adventures of a kind of "game warden."  In this future society, the entire white-to-beige collar population exists in geodesic spheres floating, due to their properties of displacement, high above the earth's surface.  These spheres are anchored to the planet by columns/tethers that are a combination of elevator, umbilical cord, and defense mechanism.  All inhabitants of the spheres are riddled with nanomachines that can emulate any neurotransmitter and have genomes that are trademarked and meticulously designed.  Since the need for struggle with the "mother culture" is an instinct that seems to be hard-coded into our behavior, there is a kind of draft/prison that is simultaneously a punishment for this instinct and a "planned crisis," not unlike coming-of-age rituals that seem to be pan-cultural (and even pan-special), such as vision quests, military service, tribal exile, etc.  This "game warden" position is part of this.  The function of the "game wardens" is to ensure that those humans left on the surface and not enslaved by the manufacturing apparatus of the system (mainly composed of the descendants of aborigines, luddites, the homeless, and other segments of the populace that lived outside of the world-spanning consumerism of the 21st century) would be unable to form a civilization of the type that spawned ours.  One of the ironies inherent here is that the society that exists in this future recognizes its own malignancy, and yet, instead of correcting it, attempts to maintain it.  This future society, while founded and dependent upon consumption, waste, and commodification, realizes that it will extinguish itself if it acts upon its nature without check.  Therefore, the consumption, waste, and commodification are held in check by an intricate balance of resource management & allocation, "molecular expiration dates," population control, recycling, and sustainability.  This society realizes that another civilization like it would rapidly cause the extinction of both.  Hence the "game wardens." Any of the somewhat ungovernable tribes that exist on the earth's surface that exhibit tendencies toward expansionism, xenophobia, population growth, militancy, etc., are pruned and destabilized, so that they remain in a "pre-civilized" state.  So the "game wardens" manage the humans on the earth the same way that wildlife preserves are managed nowadays, with the added wrinkles of the human animal's tendencies toward culture, communication, curiosity, etc.  The central conflict begins when one of these tribe/community/race/cultures begins to make preemptive strikes against the "game wardens."  It turns out that this particular tribe is headed by a person that originally came from the spheres, was sent on its traditional exile, but was too "faulty" to be allowed to return.  He/she (haven't decided yet) was then "banished," condemned to live in exile on the surface.  His/her connection via the nanomachines was rendered null.  However, the central resource management-and-allocation computer, which is a complicated bit of massively parallel processing incorporating cloned neurons (thus introducing a biological as opposed to strictly electronic factor), has become self-aware and sees itself as the spirit/brain/heart/personification/deity of the ravaged planet.  It has thus covertly reactivated the protagonists nanomachines and visited him/her in visions, making him/her a prophet.  And so begins the rebellion.

Whew!  First note is prime short-story territory.  Second note finally gives me a starting point (plotwise) for ideas I've been fucking around with for years.  Hopefully, I can coerce myself into actually writing these things, since the jumping-off points are (at least to me) so intriguing.  Let me know what you think.

03 July 2008 @ 10:02 am
This is somewhat in re. to Nick's post about cultural waste; this is something I wrote some time ago along much the same lines, though a bit different in tone, and a little more locally concerned:

This area is near the geographical center of the country, however, it is at the cultural outskirts.  All culture & traditional media filters slowly inward from the coastal/urban centers from which it originates and is distributed.  We receive & consume these products second and thirdhand.  We do not produce, we consume & regurgitate.  This area is where ideas go to die; a landfill for the discarded products of a commodity-centered media culture.

The ideas, symbols, images, art, etc (i.e. culture) that are eventually deposidet here are formed from a mindset that is inherently consumptive, and as such, are intended not to edify, enlighten, change, but to be purchased, used, discarded.  Our culture is not generated as a means of communication of meaning, but harvested and sold as a product to be consumed.  All consumption produces waste, and this is where the waste is dumped.

A shift is needed - Instead of the outskirts, this should be a frontier.  Instead of a landfill, this should be fertile ground.  Instead of producing a commodity to be sold, consumed, and discarded, we should creat art, media, and culture to be shared, understood, and built upon.  True art is not a commodity, but a cause and effect of the mind and its evolution.

Tags: ,
Current Location: The Nelson Compound
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Crass
07 June 2008 @ 05:33 am
...And the Adventures and Mis-Adventures of the Usual Cabal.

Despite my oft-professed love of the written word, and my thorough enjoyment of the missives written by my friends and colleagues regarding their various doings, I often find myself shirking my duty (and pleasure) to reciprocate with tellings of my own excursions.  Especially regarding a charge laid upon me by my good friend, Mr. Wyatt, who stated, that as a small recompence for the travails of the last weekend, that I was obligated to relate the motely details of this passed Saturday in this particular forum.

Upon the evening of the Saturday in question, I was to attend an intimate presentation of a film whose production I had been involved with in several capacities, and whose director (and writer, along with myself), Nicholas Yeck-Stauffer, is a close and dear friend.  Flush with the entitlement that comes with the completion of an arduous creative task, I had seen fit to attire myself in flattering and eye-catching vestments, and was prepared to partake of the Bacchanalian delights the night was sure to offer.  Thus, bearing a bottle of wine and with my lady (and Lead Actress in our work) Ms. Nolan on my arm, I arrived at the chosen venue, the Independent Media Centre.  Despite difficulties with the auditory apparatus, the exhibition was well received, and we thence congregated en masse (excepting Ms. Nolan, who was feeling somewhat fatigued) in the fine establishment of a Mr. Dee, who was a gracious, engaging, and welcoming host.

After partaking of Mr. Dee's outstanding provander, we traipsed to the site of a fete held in the residence of some of the town's artistic (in both senses of the word) patrons, where several modern musical ensembles were scheduled to perform.  The airs composed and performed by said ensembles were indeed skillful, and evoked in most of the persons in attendance what appeared to be a trance-like state, in which they reverently folded their arms and rocked back and forth, calling to mind the Jews before the Wailing Wall of Solomon's Temple.  Fascinating as this was, we retreated out of doors to converse and intermingle with various aquaintances.  At some point, after several introductions and fascinating interchanges, including a lively discussion upon the merits of India's passive resistance as opposed to the active revolution of the Paris Commune, I encountered a compatriot of mine who had fallen a bit heavily under the spell of distilled spirits.  I assisted him to his conveyance, and subsequently drove him to his quarters, where he could retire and nurse his physical and ethereal wounds.  At this point, my bosom-brother Nicholas had, under a melancholy star, retreated to his own sanctuary.  So, fellow brother Mr. Wyatt and good friend Mr. Kent (who we had encountered at the festivities) were left to continue the celebrations in a manner befitting our absent fellowes.

Circa this juncture, Mr. Wyatt sought to procure a Peculiar Compound, which would raise our spirits and impart the endurance necessary to continue the evening's intercourse into the dawn.  Contact was made with the necessary parties, and we sought to embark to quieter quarters.  However, one of the doors of his vehicle was still ajar when we left, and stuck in the dirt of the roadbank, which caused it to be pulled back upon its hinges, damaging it beyond repair.  Spirits undampened, I held the door shut as we navigated the nighttime streets toward our erstwhile haven.

We arrived, and through the prowess of Mr. Wories, the rightward portal of Mr. Wyatt's vehicle was secured.  David, Nicholas's brother (by blood and spirit), was at the house to welcome us.  Temporary troubles thus temporarily allayed, we partook, and discoursed mightily upon diverse matters, great and small, grave and frivolous.  After a time, as the sun crept once again upon the face of the firmament, while enjoying the triplet wonders of music, chemistry, and comradely debate, we received a communication from Mr. Novarra, a splendid musician who, unfortunately, had found himself disoriented and without friendly hearth to retire to.  And so, Mr. Kent, generous soul that he is, paid the fare for Mr. Novarra's transmission to our erstwhile quarters.  Upon arrival, Mr. Novarra seemed in good humours, conversing, laughing, and playing delightsome melodies upon the guitar.  Eventually, the fatigues of the long night caught up to him, and he retired to a vacant berth.  However, after an interval, he returned, seeming distressed.  His heart was troubling him, in a visceral as opposed to spiritual manner.  It soon became clear that he required the attentions of a doctor, and, collectively concerned, we braved the dawning roads and sidelong looks of those whose shoulders bowed beneath the weight of respectability to rush our belaboured friend to the hospital.  Mr. Novarra, accompanied by Mr. Kent, entered the hospital, while Mr. Wyatt and I dashed David to the train station, for he had an early ticket to adventures northward.  Upon exiting the vehicle, however, David absent-mindedly re-opened the wounded door.  So, with car stopped in the path of other travelers, I pushed, pulled, swore, and visited all manner of exertions upon the errant portal in a vain attempt to replicate the nonchalant magic Mr. Wories had previously worked.  In the interval, Mr. Kent, having seen to Mr. Novarra's intake, jogged unexpectedly up to the station.  Abandoning my futile labours, we once again manned the vehicle, I, once again, holding the door closed as we retreated to environs more hospitable.

There, under the rapidly rising sun, we pondered, pushed, pulled, exhorted, exerted, extolled, and otherwise manhandled the door, in hopes that it would at the least remain fastened tight for Mr. Wyatt's long journey westward.  All to no avail.  Well acquainted with the cost and trouble of a grievously wounded car, I repeatedly expressed the utmost sympathy, fully cognizant and frustrated with the fact that doing so would neither shut the door, nor repair it.  Ultimately, it was decided that we would have to resort to an effective, if inelegant, solution.  The crude yet powerful binding force of Duct Tape was called upon, and several turns of that near-mythic wrapping did what we could not after hours of frustrated tinkering:  secure the door long enough for Mr. Wyatt's homeward excursion.

There is not much more to recount after this; the particular weariness that comes with these kinds of circumstances slowly but surely crept in, its oppressive weight slowing our minds and our limbs.  Mr Wyatt went to nap a nap of the just; Mr. Kent and I were left with little energy for much else other than sporadic snatches of somewhat melancholy, yet still engaging, conversation, and reflection upon the seemingly epic events of the evening.  Eventually, Ms. Nolan returned, full of kindness and magnanimity, to transport Mr. Kent to his car, and to whisk me away to a land of long-delayed dreams.

That evening, Mr. Wyatt returned to his outpost in the frontier metropolis of Kansas City, his car bearing strange spoils and vicarious battle scars, Mr. Wyatt himself replete with a glut of slightly debauched memories.  Myself, I slept like a stone, if stones had the poor sense to spend their nights far from the arms of Dream.

Hopefully, this rather whimsical account has entertained you, dear reader.  And perhaps if and when the Usual Cabal once again engages in its Adventures and Mis-Adventures, you will be there alongside us, chasing away the hobgoblins of Responsability, Respectability, and Sleep; and thus, your own memories will adorn these words, with the rubies of memories instead of the paste jewels of vicarious conjecture.

Until next,

23 May 2008 @ 09:31 am

I haven't "blogged" in ages, and as I have recently been gainfully employed by United Parcel Service, and work from around 4-8:30 a.m., and my circadian rhythms have been knocked utterly out of step, and I don't know anyone who is up before noon and either not at work or still intoxicated, I realized that these morning hours might be a good time to get back (?) into the habit. Of "blogging".  Even though I still fucking hate the word.

Grammar.  Yay.

On the nerd front, I think I may have finally rebuilt my music collection after the Great Hard Drive Crash of '08, thanks to the kind donations of Nick and Brent.  Another consequence of the Crash is that I have been futzing around with a dizzying array of Linux distros, looking for one that is interesting enough for me to enjoy using, but not so laden with odd bugs and inconsistencies that I have to invent new swear words.  I settled on Ubuntu Studio, because it is tricked out with a shit-ton of audio and video creation programs, and close enough to Ubuntu to still work.  True, I don't have the know-how or hardware to effectively use a quarter of the programs, but...  It's still cool, dammit.

Apparently I have a penchant for run-on sentences.

I'm pretty pleased with the job, despite the diurnal confusion...  Lifting boxes for a few hours every morning is causing muscles.  In about a month, I'll be a member of the Teamsters Union.  Woohoo!  Union dues!  Strikes!  Picket lines!  Fighting scabs!  Workers of the world, unite!  I'm gonna be blue-collar as fuck.  Might have to get me a pickup truck or something, start listening to Springsteen.

Tilly and the Wall rocks (? I'm not sure if that's the right descriptor... They something) my face right off, with their epic love-songs to getting fucked up and heartbroken on holy summer pre-dawns...  And tap dancers!!  Fucking tap dancers!!  "Sing Songs Along", "Reckless", and "Night of the Living Dead" touch me in places.  Back-seat-of-car kind of places.

That's all for now.  I will eventually post a part two to my musings on art from last time.  I seek sandwich.

Current Location: The Nelson Compound
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Tilly and the Wall, then The Raveonettes
19 January 2008 @ 03:55 pm
Last night, during the Sweet Action Radio Hour, the off-air conversation turned to a discussion about, of all things, art.  Details are a bit hazy, but beating the "What is/isn't art" dead horse got some wheels turning, and I've been thinking about art, what it is, what it's for, etc...

First off, my definition of art is a bit more expansive than, say, oil painting.  To me, art is creation, everything that exists because of human actions.  Painting is art, sculpture is art, poetry is art, music is art, dancing is art, of course, but to me, so is language itself, so is science, so is math, so is thinking, so is dreaming, so is fucking, maybe even shitting.  The old saw about art imitating life is bunk, in my opinion.  Life is art, and art is life.  Art is humans describing the universe to itself, and I suspect it might be the reason we exist at all.  Art is the result of the mind's existence...  As each of us forms our perceptions into our internal universe, we are constantly creating a continuous opus, incidentally, as when Vishnu creates a universe with each blink...

In all of known existence, this is the only planet (as far as we can currently tell) that harbors life, the only process in the universe that is anti-entropic, that increases in complexity.  And, as far as we can tell, humans are the only organisms that are aware enough to try to understand the universe...  We are the eye through which the universe perceives itself...  We are the neurons in the universe's brain, and art and culture are the axons...  After all, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?  If a universe is birthed through inconceivable fires and matter is forged from pure energy and no eyes lift to the ancient stars to behold their intricate dance, do they still spin in their fantastic pirouettes?

Some might say I'm putting the cart before the (dead) horse, that art is kind of a by-product of having the kind of brain we do (with its penchant for symbolic thought - more on this in a bit).  But art is really the only thing we humans do that I can think of that justifies our existence...

This entry is ending up pretty long and kinda spacey...  I'll come back to this later on with something a little less... religious?  And actually talk about actual "works of art" in the artsy-fartsy sense.