Archive for November, 2007|Monthly archive page

kicking and screaming

venezuela-constitution-2.jpg

track one on Neil’s wonderful mix CD is “I know you love me” by the Smoking Popes.

I was listening to news radio as I drove home tonight.

Russian elections. boy, the western media and Russia do not get along. but with good reason. that country just has no idea how to behave democratically. it’s a country that is still engrained with a tendency toward authoritarian rule. and that’s scary.

Venezeulan elections. Hugo Chavez is an interesting man who makes some good points. he’s a counterbalanace to neoliberalism in the western hemisphere, and that at least keeps shit interesting. but he’s introducing constitutional reforms that will basically keep him in power indefinitely. and if that’s not the most alarming, unequivocably power-hungry, eye-brow raising thing a democratically elected president can do, I don’t know what is.

an unexplained airplane crash in Turkey. the BBC radio host didn’t say it, but he was pretty suggestive. Turkish flight with nothing wrong with it. nothing wrong with it. searching for an explanation. no mechanical problems whatsoever. he did everything but stamp his foot and cough while mumbling “Kurdish terrorists.”

Neil’s CD begins to drop mad knowledge

font’s all funny. that’s the fucking problem with Wordpress, man. can’t change the font unless you paste something in.
but anyway. “we didn’t start the fire” by your boy Billy Joel. it’s on Neil’s mix CD. give him a dollar! cause this is my jam! 

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it
Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

(chorus)

Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

(chorus)

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

(chorus)

waiting for the time to strike

now that we’ve thinned out all the casual readers.

I’ve got a few ideas. one, I’m gonna critique a Neil mix CD. it’s gonna be fucking sick, man. I’m feeling that one.

and beyond that, yeah. nothing. nothing is going on. nothing I want to write about now, no.

HEAVY USE OF THE COLON

I went to a Miller Center thing on privacy with Cat the other day. yesterday. Tuesday.
the email was deceiving. the fucking email was deceiving, man. I expected to see a debate, instead I get to watch no-neck Ray Suarez referee a debate on PBS. so we watched it on the big screen.
PBS on the big screen.
irregardless of whether I could have watched it at home or not, a couple of UVa professors hosted a Q&A afterwards. interesting conversation.

the debate’s resolution was: In the war against terrorism, and with advances in technology, Americans need to lower their expectations of privacy.

so security vs. privacy ended up being bandied back and forth by four crackers, the most interesting of whom was the British politician, John Lord Alderdice. mostly because he’s a politician, and the rest were think-tank types that hold constitutional law degrees. unlike the three of them, Alderdice knows how to work a crowd. he was for privacy, by the way.

both sides actually made good points. I think, though, the main point I took away from it was this – and this is paraphrased and I don’t remember who said it, but:
to give up privacy is absolute. but there can be no absolution in security.

you can’t guarantee security. it’s impossible. the harder you try, the more unbearable your security will become. honest to god.  

I’ve grown more and more interested in privacy rights recently. I only have a layman’s understanding of it. it’s definitely more of a comfort level thing.

anyhoo. everything is recorded or can be traced now. all the minutia of our daily lives is logged on servers. email. and credit cards. and cell phones, irregardless of whether the government has access to those records, those records exist. and all of those records are the result of a desire for convenience. no?

I think it’s safe to say that most aren’t willing to give up convenience.
at the same time, consumers should have the right to think that companies that gather information as a tenant of business (I think I’ve been here before) won’t turn your profile into the government. I agree. but I’m discontent with thinking business will do the right thing. I also think it’s more likely business will cave to government than protect its customer base, because caving is, and I mean this, it’s an ultimately more profitable business model. all of which is why I’m confused when people complain about priavcy without thinking about how much we contribute to the lack of it.
I’m guilty of this too. obviously.
if you’re that concerned with being tracked, recorded, then cut out the paper trail. cell phones and credit cards. you somehow made it through the day without plastic before. you could do it again. couldn’t you?

obviously agian, I’m not willing to do that; I keep a blog, for christ’s sake. and I’m completely guilty of everything I’ve railed about. but I also believe that with technological advances, privacy changes. it doesn’t disappear, but it changes. expectations will ultimately lower. and most people won’t care. most people don’t care right now, matter of fact. 
everything is too convenient to care.

I am one pessimistic motherfucker.

and this website is solid. solid.

I get moving

new boss started.
he is frumpy. frumpy. like, breathes through his nose and not very light on his feet. and the closer he gets to deadline, the more disheveled he looks. shirt becomes untucked. stuff like that.
but he seems like a nice guy. so, you know, bonus.

to be honest, now that I have coworkers again, work seems OK. I hung out with the other copy editors Friday night, got tanked, and apparently dubbed the new guy “boss nasty,” which he took like a champ.
I’ve got a lot of growing up to do.

tomorrow, I get on the horn with the doctor, as my heel is killing me. when I run on it, feels like jelly. and then I hobble around with a limp for half a week. and after that, the bank. yep, a life of excitement.

I’m really at a loss for something to write about. which the kids call writer’s block, I hear. either way, I’m waiting for something to strike me, but honestly, I’ve been slogging for the last month or so, and it’s been pretty standard.
so. hmm.
saw a movie with the Cat last week. “The Darjeeling Limited,” which is everything you’d expect out of a Wes Anderson movie. condescending, elitist, frustrating, oddly engaging. very pretty. lots of unexplained slow motion. Natalie Portman’s ass (it’s an art film).
and, even more importantly, the Coen brothers have released some insanely violent monstrosity that I’m looking forward to seeing. and they made a movie out of “I am Legend!” with Will Smith! the holiday movie season is upon us! christ, to the hills!

I’m righteously indignant and you think I’m stupid, I know it.

man. was I, uh, tired when I went off about my irrational fear of Google last night. I stand by it, but I certainly don’t know how to explain it intelligently. 

I deleted my Facebook account. fuck it. in the end, it means absolutely nothing, but now I can pretend to have done something constructive about something that interests me. I can do without Facebook, anyway.

and let’s all give Yahoo! a round of applause. come on, everybody, let’s, come on. let’s give ’em a hand.
but really. there are so many great lines in this article that it gives me shivers.

like:

“While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies,” Tom Lantos, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said angrily after hearing from the two executives, Jerry Yang, the chief executive, and Michael J. Callahan, the general counsel.
Mr. Lantos angrily urged the two men to apologize to the journalist’s mother, who was sitting directly behind them.
Mr. Yang and Mr. Callahan turned around from the witness table and bowed from their seats to Mr. Shi’s mother, Gao Qinsheng, who bowed in return and then began to weep.

that actually gives me chills. like, spine-tingling-with-anger. 

 what a wonderful online world we live in. a wonderful world.

some more for youse

I’ve fallen off for a while. but more importantly, here’s some shit you should read: 

Pakistan is going buckwild, and guess who’s fighting a military clampdown? lawyers. Pakistani lawyers are rioting..
god, that’s awesome. I think I like that idea so much is because American lawyers would never do that. 

and more importantly: Google on your phone! more Google! hooray! THIS IS PROGRESS.
you know, as a sidenote; I don’t understand how you can’t think Google is insiduous. I mean, they’re moving into cell phones now. and the good news is they’re going to create an open-source platform so, you know, the public can start creating applications for those phones. so you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos. on your phone.
I’m less than thrilled. and it’s because I just don’t give a shit about a revolution for the cell-phone consumer. I have a cell phone, and that is a depressing reality of my life. I’m not interested in participating in its fucking revolution.

but from everything I’ve read, everyone is pumped about this upcoming “everybody gets well” announcement because Google’s nice. it’s a nice company. it’s a nice, Bay area internet start-up with a great-sense-of-humor-kind of multibillion dollar corporation that compiles information on anyone it comes in contact with as its most basic tenet of business. and it’s really, really nice.

anyway, here’s the real reason Google does anything, so get a pen: it’s to make fucking money. so call it for what it is. it isn’t a godsend, it’s a corporation. but for some reaseon, every time it muscles into another corner of the market, people shout its praises, lay rose petals at its feet. for where goes Google, goes progress. as if its easily-accesible Google maps and calendars and emails and all-encompassing search tools are the pinnacle of progress.

well, fuck, I’m tired of hearing about how Google has it’s fingers on the pulse of the world. becasuse Google’s history to this point hasn’t been a wonderful, inevitable matter of course, and we need to stop looking at it that way. none of this has been pre-ordained. Google gets on cell phones, and pretty soon you’ll have a wonderful set of tailored advertisements following you wherever you go. fantastic.

so as far as I’m concerned, I don’t have to appreciate all of the wonderful applications it can offer me.

read the article:

Putting Google’s popular search, e-mail and YouTube video applications in front of more cellphone users positions the company to tap into a growing market for mobile advertising. Search on cellphones generates $30 million in revenue in the United States and is expected to grow to $1.4 billion by 2012, according to Kelsey Group, a market research firm.

message from Mar

dude,
grandma’s saving acorns to feed the poor squirrels in the winter.

mar