Log

Yellowstone

Yellowstone

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03.19.2001 @


"There's an enormous amount of things out there to know: Up until maybe 20 years ago, it was possible to have read pretty widely and know pretty much everything that was going on. What you didn't know when you'd see a reference to it, you could pretty much catch the resonance and hook it in to something so you would understand it. But now... what with the Internet, the greatest disseminator of bad data and bad information the universe has ever known... it's become impossible to trust any news from any source at all, because it's all filtered through this crazy yenta gossip line. It's impossible to know anything. So you're not a stupid person or an ignorant person--you just aren't aware of these certain things."

- Harlan Ellison, making us feel better about ourselves.

I can separate the work from the author. I can like the work and not the author. Harlan can be the biggest ass and I'll still read. But what if the author is more then just an ass. What if the author is a bigot or worse? I figure that I should not let myself be robbed of a good read because of that.

I've recently posted a few things from David Sim's infamous misogyny manifesto in Reads. I took what I liked and ignored the rest, like a literary smorgasbord. Darren recently posted a bunch of links of David Sim misogyny pages. What really struck me was the link to what David put in his latest issue. It's an open letter to Jeff Smith and something I won't normally see since I only buy the collected 'phonebooks' and miss out on all the letters and rants.

"Jeff, I am saying, flat out, that you have lied. In lying, you have made a mess--a non-masculine mess.

You have made a mess.

Publicly.

Let's you and me, man-to-man, clean up the mess that you have made.

Privately."

-David Sim

I wonder how many other things I miss out on. The whole deal makes me laugh. It's very Dave to make so verbose a challenge. The challenge itself is so Cerebus.
"Because boys lack a biological marker like menstruation, to be man is to be not female. Contemporary feminism called this "misogyny," but it was wrong. Masculine identity is embattled and fragile. In the absence of opportunity for heroic physical action, as in the modern office world, women's goodwill is crucial for preserving the male ego, which requires, alas, daily maintenance. It is in the best interests of the human race, and of women themselves, for men to be strong."

- Camille Paglia in Vamps and tramps, p85

Is David's misogyny just rampant maleness? Can any criticism be made on feminism that does not indict one as hating women?

I'd like to think: That people tend to be taught to act male or female early on and they respond to this. That a certain portion of a person's behavior is breed into them just as it can be breed out of them. That the hormonal makeup of a person can affect their actions, but not determine them. In fact, all these things don't determine anything. From biology to MTV, they influence and do not determine action. Apart from the occasional psychotic break and a few drug-addled idiots (of which I have not been immune from in the past) people are irrevocably responsible for their actions.

"Man is condemned to be free"

- Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist (1905-1980)

This also reminds me of Donna Minkowitz's interview with Orson Scott Card where she reveals herself as no great journalist in many eyes. Her other articles and basically her writing (although I didn't read it, but they publish anything these days) can be summed up as (as one person wrote) "self-indulgent narcissistic wank." She has an agenda that becomes clearer with certain statements.
"The alarming fact is that all of us have more in common with Aaron McKinney than we have that separates us. All of us are potentially murderers and bigots. All of us have wanted to strangle what we find threatening."

-Donna Minkowitz

I think she confuses the common transitory fantasies that people have when reacting to someone's actions or words with actual desire. It reminds me of the NPR interview I posted last year. Maybe she was the interviewer?

As far as Harlan's comment's go, I feel that the internet is still worth it. The more you read and debate, the closer you come to understanding. The internet speeds up the whole process. Sure there is more bullshit then ever to sift through, but you become a better sifter.

I could try and analyze why Donna irks me so. Perhaps it's because I take my problems in life and internalize them. I climb to an intellectual summit where the pain and emotion can't reach me. It's a lonely place being up there and I get tired easily with the air being so thin, but I got used to it the more times I climbed. Soon I realized I didn't need to climb anymore. I can just remember the view and move on.

Donna seems to like to go into the cave where the problem lives and study it. She tries to scare herself that it could be her and then feel superior that she is not. The more she looks at it, the more things she sees that are familiar. The closer she looks, the more she believes that it could be her, the more it could be anyone.

You know who I'm quoting next, right? You clever bastard.

"Be careful when fighting monsters, lest ye become a monster yourself; and if you look into an abyss long enough, the abyss will also look into you."

-Nietzsche

03.15.2001 @


"I'm a doctor, not an engineer."

- Robert Picardo as The Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager: Flesh and blood mimics the original Bones.

I have not been a big fan of Voyager, but since the series is coming to a halt I have been curious to at least see how they were going to wrap things up. Deep Space 9 went out with a lot of fighting, loud explosions in space, and was pretty damn cool. So this 2 hour Flesh and Blood episode had it's share of fighting, loud explosions in space, and was pretty damn cool. It also posed the question of hologram rights. The holograms seem to take on sentient archetypes of various Star Trek races or professions in The Doctor's case. The antagonists are the Hirogen, a psychological hybrid of the Klingon warrior or more precisely a ripoff of the Predator in the the guise of the aliens from Enemy Mine. In fact, one of the holograms even looks like the alien Princess Lea tried to pass herself off as in Return of the Jedi. The Hirogen have taken holodeck technology given to them by Captain Janeway to train themselves to fight those nasty holograms. One Hirogen decided to make the holograms better prey by programing them with the ability to adapt, improve, and suffer (if they didn't suffer when killed, what satisfaction is there for the hunter?) So the holograms are forced to be be hunted and killed over and over again until they finally evolve a plan to escape and kill their tormentors. They are pursued and Voyager gets mixed up in the struggle.

It's a great science fiction theme well grounded in 2001, Ghost in the Shell, and many others. It's the question of where the boundaries of being sentient lie. The efforts to pass the Turing test continue, but it seems that we are becoming our technology faster then it is becoming us. It won't be long before we control technology with our minds or blur the distinction between machine and person completely. The cyborg age is coming and you can embrace it's manifesto, ignore it, or fear it.

"(16) Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, (17) so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name."

-Relevation 13, the favorite passage of many fear fostering fundamentalists

DigitalAngel is helping fuel a lot of people's paranoia by announcing an implant that runs on body heat, can monitor biological functions, and can send and receive signals like GPS position. In the future they might know where you are without having to see you. Once we start putting these things in our bodies and we are sure people will based on what they are already willing to do to their bodies, it will become easier to blend more and more technology. Evolution is going digital.

There was an episode of the Outer limits that portrayed a futuristic society completely cyber-linked to each other in a vast network 'stream.' Soon the stream began to use people to acquire more information. From counting the hairs on someone's arm to studying the growth of bathroom tile scum, information was gathered without any consideration of value. Sounds a lot like geocities pages...

Are we headed for trouble? Is the future doomed? Is virtual reality poised to overtake reality? Is there going to be Playstation 2's available in my area soon?

"The cultural world is very much a construction of our dreams, those that express wishes but also those that give shape to our deepest terrors--visions of utopias but also of apocalypse...Nobody invented the apocalyptic facts of our end-of-millennium culture--free-falling economies, drastic overpopulation, wars and famines--but our projections of imagination onto these vents (phantasies, in Freudian usage) express at least as much about the state of the world as they do about our desires and wishes for that world."

- Mark Kingwell, Dreams of Millennium

The continual outpouring of our worst nightmares and wildest dreams into the cultural landscape seeps into our behavior and those on the outskirts of moral constraints will surely try to realize these things. Turn back, run and hide, or embrace?

It's probably obvious what I've decided with my new Temple of Pong. It's a good way to bleed off a bit of that gaming knowledge. I'm trying to also figure out more web related stuff. It's slow going, but I have discovered that web design doesn't interest me. I'd rather just write or code. I'm trying to do more of both.

It looks like I will have some reprieve as King county residents (me) don't have to file taxes until April 30th.

03.08.2001 @


"One might propose that I am either insanely brave or quite insane. I'd answer neither. I'd say insanely loyal. Take your pick. There is insanity in all the answers."

-Robert Philip Hanssen (American Counter-intelligence agent caught giving russia secrets)

The discovery of this mole is likely a sign of the increasing amount of spying going on.

For some people the smarter they are the more lonely they become. Robert's brains and arrogance lead him on a lonely path. Being a Type T personality didn't help either.

"The ability to be alone, to have isolation as your primary state of existence, will serve you in good stead in any situation in which you find yourself. The ability to live in Merged Permanence teaches you only how to function within the context of Another's neurouses, inadequacies and failings. It teaches you how to use your own neuroses, inadequacies and failings as both cudgel and petition. When the Merged Permanence ends, whether next week, next year, five years from now, ten years from now, you are left with completely useless life skills, emptiness, fear, and emotional hunger."

-David Sim, Cerebus #186

I guess some folks are not cut out for married life. Either way it makes sense to develop the ability to get along with yourself because in some way we are all inescapably alone. Usually that involves a bit of exploration.

It's seems that people in this country are still able to exercise quite a bit of freedom to explore. At times it might not feel that way, but when you look at how China is treating the followers of Falun Gong you have to almost be embarrassed for those trying to legitimize being a Jedi as a religion.

Our own freedom is always changing. Napster sure has brought the freedom to enjoy music to everyone's attention. I'm sure it added a strain on Metallica once they saw the truth. Could all this having something to do with:

The top ten songs of the 20th Century

1. "Over the Rainbow," Judy Garland
2. "White Christmas," Bing Crosby
3. "This Land Is Your Land," Woody Guthrie
4. "Respect," Aretha Franklin
5. "American Pie," Don McLean
6. "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," Andrews Sisters
7. "West Side Story" (album), original Broadway cast
8. "Take Me out to the Ball Game," Billy Murray
9. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," Righteous Brothers
10. "The Entertainer," Scott Joplin

I'm just amazed that they would compile this list of 365 songs to show us all their horrible taste. Sure they including stuff that I like, but the ranking is ludicrous. It surprised me that they would recognize such good songs as 'Rapper's Delight', "Fight for your right', or anything by Prince. To have TLC's 'No Scrubs' and Destiny's Child's 'Bills, Bills, Bills' anywhere on the list is obscene. Overall the list it slanted toward ancient, patriotic, Christmas music and even contains music most people won't admit to ever liking('It's hammer time'). When you put 'Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer' as the 31st best song in a century you are just begging for one hit wonder, Don Mclean's, words to ring true and let music DIE! Which came in at number five so we can almost assume that this is their intention.

So I would like to say to the Recording Industry of America Association (RIAA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Scholastic Inc. and AOL that you have proved that music taste is at best a purely individual affair. The commercial music pushed on the masses only increases your bank accounts and does nothing to support good music.

It's a crazy world, but Indiana is stranger then most places. In one place they ban music. In another place they host Vannila Ice.

As the battle for music wages on, the struggles over DVD encryption gets exposure in a mainstream comic.

In a move that can only mark all programmer's as forever being the bane of all politicians, lawyers, and profiteers, some MIT programmers descrambled CSS in 7 lines of Perl.

$_='while(read+STDIN,$_,2048){$a=29;$b=73;$c=142;$t=255;@t=map{$_%16or$t^=$c^=(
$m=(11,10,116,100,11,122,20,100)[$_/16%8])&110;$t^=(72,@z=(64,72,$a^=12*($_%16 -
2?0:$m&17)),$b^=$_%64?12:0,@z)[$_%8]}(16..271);if((@a=unx"C*",$_)[20]&48){$h
=5;$_=unxb24,join"",@b=map{xB8,unxb8,chr($_^$a[--$h+84])}@ARGV;s/...$/1$&/;$ d=unxV,xb25,$_;$e=256|(ord$b[4])<<9|ord$b[3];$d=$d8^($f=$t&($d12^$d4^
$d^$d/8))<<17,$e=$e8^($t&($g=($q=$e14&7^$e)^$q*8^$q<<6))<<9,$_=$t[$_]^ (($h=8)+=$f+(~$g&$t))for@a[128..$#a]}print+x"C*",@a}';s/x/pack+/g;eval
As is the case with programmers, someone optimised the code to do it in two lines.
print pack"C*",split/\D+/,`echo "16iII*o\U@{$/=$z;[(pop,pop,unpack"H*",<>
)]}\EsMsKsN0[lN*1lK[d2%Sa2/d0<X+d*lMLa^*lN%0]dsXx++lMlN/dsM0<J]dsJxp"|dc`
As one of my favorite sites gets some good press I am happy to have contributed to a small part of the good posting going on there (I hope). I have been working on a new part of this site that will be revealed soon. I got my energy back. I got my imagination in full swing and I am feeling pretty damn good.
"Life has more imagination then we carry in our dreams..."

-Christopher Columbus

03.05.2001 @


"I don't believe anything I write or say. I regard belief as a form of brain damage, the death of intelligence, the fracture of creativity, the atrophy of imagination. I have opinions but no Belief System (B.S.)"

-Robert Anton Wilson

How am I supposed to feel when I realize that what happened Tuesday? The little brother of the guy that died was on TV and how could I not feel sad, ashamed, and angry. The police may have been in a no win situation, but after hearing that they had some 300 police there I can find no reason why the police chief still has his job. Instead they want to stop having the celebration.

OK, no party, no problem. The mayor made an anecdote that it's like children playing in a schoolyard. They get into a fight and get hurt. When the Principal comes out, they blame him. I can understand where he is coming from.

It just boggles my mind that after WTO the Seattle police are no wiser. It's not like this kind of stuff is an unknown science. Much larger crowds have been contained by fewer police in many cities all over the world. The problem was that the police were responding to the crowd as a crowd and not as individuals. They pulled out of the immediate area and allowed things to intensify. Rather then handle those that caused trouble they either didn't respond at all or much to late. I don't blame the individual officers. They were obeying orders and the chief is willing to accept the blame. Maybe he just needs to learn a few things. I hope he does.

A lot of the fighting was purely the result of drinking macho bullshit. The crowd was almost entirely composed of teenagers and folks in their 20's. I noticed after a while that a lot of the more violent fighting was being instigated by a small group of kids who just so happen to be black.

My feeling is that this was a street gang that took advantage of the room police gave them for some ultra-violence. It's hard for people to not react when someone is killed while trying to help a girl in trouble. I can see some people might just use this as fuel to their hatred of blacks.

An article by John H. McWhorter points out that attitude is a major factor keeping blacks from succeeding. I'm sure this is true for some, just as it is true that some blacks are capable of violence. The road to equality is long and hard. Thankfully in most countries the darkest days have past. People like Steve Biko gave their lives so we could get this far. Things like affirmative action are not perfect, but I have not heard of better ways to insure change.

Why are all our solutions so damn myopic? Why has feeling become more important then reason? Movies are pure emotional motivators, as is music, as are commercials. Who is pushing us to feel happy and who is pushing us to feel angry?

"It's part of the official advertising world view that your parents are creeps, teachers are nerds and idiots, authority figures are laughable, nobody can really understand kids except the corporate sponsor."
This stirred up quite a discussion on MetaFilter. On one hand I think that the generation manipulated by corporations will grow up. Hopefully, most of them will wake up to what happened to them. On the other hand, I think that this manipulation will only grow more effective.

As a regular viewer of Survivor that enjoys this Machiavellian play, I would like to point out the scene in last week's episode where the contestants were shown the food they were competing for, Doritos and Mountain Dew. One of them even parroted the "Do the Dew" ad line! Here they are in the outback fighting against malnutrition and their prize is junk food! Hahahaha! OK, that's not funny. Those poor...Bahahaha! Anyway, it's clear that these folks are fully saturated by advertising to not be just a little pissed that their picnic wasn't a bit more substantial.

Dave Sim is working his way towards the end of his Cerebus story. At issue 186 he released a huge blow directed towards the worst qualities of feminism.

"Reason, as any husband can tell you, doesn't stand a chance in an argument with Emotion. There are no rules to an Emotional Argument. You simply wander around in rhetorical circles until you feel Happy again."

-Dave Sim, Cerebus #186

Reading this issue leaves little doubt to why a lot of people would be offended by it. It picks apart with a rare wantonness at the insidiously inane emotionalism that has gripped our society. This has fueled Australia's insanity to propose a ban on anything not appropriate to children on the internet. This is not just the desperate ravings of obsolescent fundamentalists, but of a country fully in the grip of emotion. Of course, Dave messes it all up with a lot of bad logic. That Male Light of his is blinding him.

I realize that when I criticized Bill Maher's remarks about retarded children. It was an emotional reaction. We don't want to feel the pain of the truth. Of course, the lack of tact is bad.

When idiots hurt themselves because of the show Jackass do we have to ban it to protect them?

"There is no cure for willful stupidity."

-Dave Sim, Cerebus #186

Death comes to mind. Death is nature's way of making room for new ideas. There is a show on Sunday nights called Maximum Exposure that did an episode on the world's dumbest guys and they put a disclaimer at the start that went something like "Do not attempt the events depicted in this show. They are dumb and dangerous. However, if you are dumb you will probably do it anyway." Is airing shows like this and Jackass dangerous or a Darwinian public service?
And when his humble TV servant
With humble white hair
And humble glasses
And a nice brown suit
And maybe a blonde wife who takes phone calls
Tells us our God says
It's okay to do this stuff
Then we gotta do it,
'Cause if we don't do it,
We ain't gwine up to hebbin!
(Depending on which book you're using at the time...
Can't use theirs...
It don't work...
It's all lies...
Gotta use mine...)
Ain't that right?
That's what they say
Every night...
Every day...
Hey, we can't really be dumb
If we're just following God's Orders
Hey, let's get serious...
God knows what he's doin'
He wrote this book here
An' the book says:
He made us all to be just like Him,"
so...
If we're dumb...
Then God is dumb...
( and maybe a little ugly on the side)

-Frank Zappa, Dumb all Over

The resurgence of religious fundamentalism, governmental crackdown on freedom of speech, and the desperate clutching of corporations at any type of profit show that a shift in people's understanding is going to happen.
"From a geological perspective all human history looks temporary. What I mean to convey is the acceleration of chaotic (unpredictible) events in the last decade. Information and chaos are shaking everything loose."

-Robert Anton Wilson

Whatever change does occur it will not be total. Our lives will change significantly, but certain qualities of the human experience will remain.
"The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency."

-Albert Einstein

So what is the next step? The current trend has been to blend the old with the new. It is a reasonable approach as long as you try to take the best from both. Lately, I have been curious about the nature of Nature. That leads a lot of people to magic. A lot of smart people like Alan Moore have delved quite deep.
I've known a lot of people go mad over the years, and it is more distressing than people dying. People dying is quite natural, people going mad is the complete antithesis of that. Just after I became a magician, the son of a close friend of mine - who was a kind of rave culture casualty - had quite a powerful and florid breakdown. Very grim, I was going to visit him every day in the local loony bin - I wouldn't dignify it with the term 'mental home' - and his florid beliefs, his messianic fantasies, and I was listening to him and thinking "well, he's putting it in different terms, but this is pretty much what I believe." Where are we going with this? I cannot I stand here with my hand on my heart and say that my perceptions of reality are any madder than his, or less mad, what's this about? The best description I could come up with was that somebody had said "all of us, as human beings, through our accumulated perceptions, that could be considered to be our window on reality - what we perceive. We know that it is limited, what we perceive, but it is still our window upon reality. Just as if you are looking out of a window from your house, you can see a little bit of the houses across the street, a little bit of sky - you know there is a whole universe out there, but the limits of your window just show you that view. What the magician is attempting to do is alter the dimension or the angle of that window, broaden it perhaps, tilt it so it can see different things. The schizophrenic has had their window kicked in, the magician has got a body of law - probably most of it bollocks, it doesn't matter. The magician's got a system into which the alien information that will be pouring into him or her will be fitted. They've got a filing cabinet, like the Qabalah, which is a filing cabinet for ideas. It divides the whole universe up into ten drawers. Any experience can be passed into one of the drawers. The schizophrenic is probably having exactly the same experience as the magician but has no context in which to understand it. If I see some particularly florid vision, I can think 'right, Qabalistically, because I saw this number of flying talking fishes, then this number relates to here on the Qabalah, the fact that they were fishes would mean they tend to relate to this, and I can start to make sense of this apparently incoherent vision. The schizophrenic can't. They get the same feeling. The schizophrenics I have known, the most evident thing about it is the interconnectedness of everything. That's standard lunacy, it's also standard magic. But with one of them, it is uncontrollable, you are lost in a world in which everything is obviously connected by symbolic threads. That is what the magician is seeking, to see these threads that connect things up. If you've got a system - even if it's a completely made-up bogus system - then you've at least got a filing cabinet to sort this stuff into, you don't have to get crushed under it.

-Alan Moore

I have always been more afraid of madness then death. Losing control scares and fascinates me. It's why I don't commit myself to any beliefs. Beliefs are like giving up tiny bits of your mind for a warm fuzzy place to hide your fears. Einstein once wrote that religion came about by man's fear of things. He imagined beings whose wills and actions these fearful things depend. In an attempt to secure their favor he did certain things like offering sacrifices to appease or gain these being's favor. Eventually there became those that saw the benefit of being a mediator between the people and what they feared.

The priest caste then creates moral laws to control the social development of people. At this stage they still must maintain the "God-fearing" aspect of the herd. The conception of God retains an anthropomorphic character.

The third stage is what he calls a cosmic religious feeling which there is no anthromorphic conception of God.

"The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole."

-Albert Einstein

Being without a God doesn't not mean one does not have morals. I'm sure folks like Bush and Liberman would like you to believe that it does.
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs: no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

-Albert Einstein

So the cry is made to make yourself an individual in this world. To know and define yourself. There is a way to cope with the world.
When I was a kid, I used to go to the seaside and play in the waves. The thing you learn about waves, is that when you see a big one coming, you run towards it. You try and get out of its way and you'll end up twenty yards up the beach covered in scratches. Dive into it, and then you can get behind it. You get on top it, you won't be hurt. It is counter-intuitive, the impulse is to run away, but the right thing to do is to plunge into it deliberately, and be in control when you do it. Magic is a response to the madness of the twentieth century.

-Alan Moore

Sane in an unsane world? I've had my fill of junk culture. It fills you up, but leaves you hungry. I am full of ideas, but emotion has scattered my concentration.
It's the standard moron's question that drove me away from comic conventions; "Where do you get your ideas from?" And yet, it is the only question worth asking. Where do we get these ideas from? Something is not there, then it is an idea from, then it is a book you pick up and read. Where is this nothing, this pregnant vacuum, that these things come from? Once you've noticed that then sooner or later you are going to have to come to turns with it. You've got something that is pouring ideas down into you. When I was twenty-five my big problem was that I had so many ideas, I couldn't finish any of them. Everyone has been through that phrase. The big sprawling projects laying around in your head that vaguely depress you because you know you are never going to finish it. You need to get this raw energy into some form of acceptable, digestible form for the rest of the population.

-Alan Moore

It will come.

03.01.2001 @


An Ode to Movie Titles (or A Whole Lot of Links to the IMDB)

There is a place known as Hollywood
Where people make movies both Bad and good.
With so many movies being made there
A shortage of titles creates some Despair.

Movies are being made each Monday
More on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
Friday they leave early for A Friday Night Date.
Saturday they then sleep really late.

They watch Football on Sunday
Because on Any Given Sunday
Someone will win A Little Bet
Or they'll be downloading porn on The Net.

The Weekend is gone all too soon.
It seems like a Decade before it's Thursday Afternoon.
It isn't till Next Friday that they find
That no title for the film has come to their mind.

One Month Later things are looking Grim.
What can get them out of the Situation they are in?
In comes consultants with A Program to share.
They input some data with meticulous care.

The program has issues to be quite frank
It's math level is surely not high in rank.

Does 1+1=3 or 1+1=1?
When you take 8 1/2 x 11 and 12+1 does it matter when 1=2?

After The 6th Day of mathmatical injury
The consultants completed their Crime of the Century.
The bill charged 1,000 Dollars a minute instead of Six Dollars a Minute.
Before they could start The Chase
The consultants were Gone in Sixty Seconds
Proving that perhaps for all Time
Naming movies is as hard as ryhming every line.

02.28.2001 @


Seattle's Mardi Gras Riot

Since Friday people have been gathering in Pioneer Square to party. At about midnight things tend to get a little more wild. Women show off their breasts, fights break out, and eventually the police move in to disperse the crowd. I decided to see it for myself on Fat Tuesday.

The walk down James street is a steep downward plunge. The huge crowd was clearly visible from several blocks away. At about 12:15am when I arrived, it was still a party. The majority of the people there were very young. It seemed like they were either there to have fun or to watch the fun. Then a few women began the usual flashing for beads. One young women on a streetlight brought it up a notch when she also dropped her pants. Not satisfied with that she then allowed some stranger to eat her out.

15 minutes later fights were breaking out only to quickly resolve themselves. "Damn! That dude got dropped cold!" some kid exclaimed beside me and I turned to see someone face down in the street unconscious. People gathered around him. Some were videotaping him. That made me feel a little sick. There were video cameras in a lot of people's hands.

The police moved out of the square itself after many bottles were thrown at them. Now that the police were away the fights became more frequent. People in the crowd shot off fireworks and smoke bombs. People strarted running, fearing tear gas or guns. Idiots kept throwing bottles into the crowd. At one point a women was flashing to the left of me while a group of people were fighting to my right.

As a fight erupted by him a man whipped a cymbal by a string around him. It made a chaotic sound as it skipped over street.

I tried to stay in areas where I smelled pot. Hopefully, these would be less dangerous areas, but the fighting knew no bounds. A group of black men were beating someone I could not see and one of them had a skateboard in his hands. He raised it over his head several times probably landing on someone's head.

Things were deteriorating quickly. Women that flashed their breasts were not met by cheers as much as by hands trying to cop a feel. Fireworks that were shot in the air to the entertainment of all were now being aimed at people. A man driving what appeared to be an older model Nissan hatchback drove down Yesler into the the crowd. He was not concerned about hitting anyone and suffered many broken windows and dents from an angry crowd.

A grifter tried to get money with the story that someone had stole his wallet and he needed $40 to get it back. Suddenly there was a "pop" and then several more. It sounded like gunfire. A lot of people thought it was and got scared. A surge of people began to run from 1st and Yesler. People shouted "Don't run!", "There are more of us!" That seemed to work, but as I looked north on 1st a line of police were moving south. The "party" was over.

People that had ran one way now ran the other from the police. I decided to join them at a fast walk pace. I reached 2nd when the first Tear gas canister burst. The police channeled everyone southwest. I saw one yuppie exchanging heated words with a cop over this. I guess walking a couple more blocks is too much for some people, but it was a smart move by the police that would make it hard for people to regroup elsewhere.

The police were stuck in a no win situation. In this case it appears that they did not act quickly enough to stop the worst of the violence. Many fights were not stopped. The idea that it might risk the safety of the police if they were to interfere and that people were asking for trouble just being there. The latter part is a scary application of logic. Most of the fights involved two stupid people trying to find out who was better, but sometimes people would get dragged into fights they didn't deserve. One guy got hit by a chain-wielding maniac for no apparent reason other then to sate his bloodlust.

I saw the most ugly face that Seattle has to offer. I felt the reactionary nature of the crowd. It's frightening ability to panic instantly. The way it gathers to gawk at a female willing to expose herself and the way it spreads and then gathers to watch a fight shows the coldness of group mind. I have to remind myself that this bad reflection is of the crazy, thoughtless few. I have to remember that in my hometown they rioted when the Bulls won. Idiots are common the world over. The images of someone being beaten with a skateboard are all too vivid now and make a terrible parallel to the scene in Kids.

I survived Mardi Gras in Seattle.

- I also survived the Earthquake. They are saying it came in at 6.2 7.0 6.8. I managed to get away with little damage. For my first Earthquake this was pretty intense.

02.27.2001 @


"During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. "

-Nelson Mandela (speech at his trial)

February is the shortest month. It is also Black History Month. The last century has pushed the whole world forward in it's understanding of race. King's dream feels like it could be realized in my lifetime. The courage of people like Nelson Mandela will hopefully inspire someone to echo his ways in Israel. Africa is still struggling in places like Sierra Leone that is regularly ignored by US media in favor of boring tidbits about the latest celebrity marital problems. Even in Kenya the government officials abuse their power.

As science is pealing through the layers of DNA we are finding that the factors of race seem more and more cosmetic. At times our growing sensitivity can result in overreactions. When science goes into the social arena the results can be hard to swallow. Edward O Wilson found that out. It's alright to make all sorts of claims on the genetic makeup of various animals and insects, but to apply any of that to people steps on all sorts of toes in religion, science, and philosophy.

It doesn't help him to point out to the ugly secret behind American prosperity.

"We live in a delusional state...America in particular imposes an horrendous burden on the world. We have this wonderful standard of living but it comes at enormous cost."
The typical person in the US requires 24 acres to maintain his lifestyle, while those in less developed countries use a tenth of that.
"To bring the world's 6bn people using today's technology up to the level of the average American will require four more Planet Earths. I've seen the figures for this assessment, I've repeated them in front of a wide variety of experts, nobody has refuted it. "It's an enormous differential. The right-wing know-nothings in the conservative think-tanks in Washington, and the demagogues of whom we have an abundance in the US keep coming back: 'Well, that's what America is all about, we want the rest of the world to reach our standard, right?' Wrong! We're running out of land. The two major challenges for the 21st century are to improve the economic situation of the majority and save as much of the planet as we can."
Lately ugly secrets have become more and more obvious as Hollywood sounds a wake-up call on the drug war with Traffic. It scares me a little that because something appears on film politicians like our current President and Senator John McCain suddenly grow understanding that prohibition laws don't work.
"The prestige of the government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land then passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."

-Albert Einstein

Harsh anti-drug laws hurt low-income minorities the most. That is why most blacks are in jail for drug related crime. It's a slap in their face to see the mostly white wealthy tech types do drugs with few consequences or the constant slack given to celebrities.
Why them say you must not use the herb? You see. We hear them say, "No, you musn't use it. You musn't use it because it'd make you rebel." Against what? Against men who want a career, because a career fulfill things like some material things and have more of a captivated mind until you say, "Well you have to work for your pension and to keep it all." It make you look apon yourself. Instead of you want to work for the man, you want to be the man too and not in the sense of how he is, but in the sense of why should you have to bow to these things. This means you're your own man. The first time you own yourself. You do what you want to do. Anything people say about you, you don't care."

-- Bob Marley, who was his own man.

Most people are afraid of taking responsibility for themselves like this. Fear is ever present in our society. Children in Utah are afraid of being aroused. Others are still afraid of Dungeons & Dragons. Sometimes our increased connectednesses helps stupid people in positions of power realize their mistakes before a movie has to be made.

The use of private citizens, a.k.a. Mercenaries, in Columbia reminds me of the game(big surprise right?) Jagged Alliance 2. Using the Campaign editor I was thinking of making a Columbian drug war campaign, but the limitations of the editor frustratingly many. Since you can't add or change quests and non-player characters the editor is fairly useless and the value of the expansion sinks considerably.

One note during this 'game tangent' is that the eagerly longed for Black & White is due to ship March 30th.

With all these political talk it probably won't surprise you that after taking this survey, it told me I was a New Aquarian. According to The Secret Language of Birthdays I was born of the Day of Quicksilver, which can explain why my writing here tends to jump topics and my general frenetic nature. I've always had a casual interest in Astrology because it always seemed to peg me. I know lots of people that don't seem to fit theirs. Is this because they deny their nature or proof that it's all coincidence?

I like the book regardless, because it's interesting to look up someone's day when they visit and because I can turn to it and see that today is the Day of the Reality Masters and that Ralph Nader was born today. I just heard on NPR that it's John Stienbeck's and Henry Longfellow's birthday as well. I would use the word "serendipity" here if it didn't bring up sour memories of my last job and the fact that those promised weeks of severance have not appeared. Today is also Fat Tuesday and I'm thinking about heading out to Pioneer Square to see if people start acting stupid like they have the past few days. Breaking windows and looting being the past-time of the most intellectually vacant amongst us.

It's what scares me most of all. That for all our progress there remains a large population of idiots. Due to their nature they tend to reproduce rapidly and we are supported them by putting warning labels on everything. Is it elitist to think we shouldn't cater to people that need to be told to not be wearing what they are ironing? Anyone in the IT industry is aware of the problem.

"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

-Rich Cook

One of the brightest died Saturday. Claude Shannon outlined the basis for the creation of computers and his A Mathematical Theory of Communication outlined what is now known as Information Theory.

The recent death of Dale Earnhardt not only showed the longstanding division between the North and the South as clearly as the election did, but it showed where our priorities are when important people die.

I listened to the President talk today. I don't understand his stance on the Death tax which is republican for the Estate tax. He makes it sound as if it affects a lot more then the obscenely rich. Maybe he wants more of Daddy's money? The Estate tax enables equal opportunity rather then allow the rich to keep it in the family and start an american aristocracy.

He also talked about giving more money to the military folks. I have to admit that the current Army ad campaign with Recruit profiles reminds me of Sally Struthers commercials. "For only six cents a day you can provide the money for ammunition to keep PFC Santiago alive. So please call now."

As far as the President's grasp on foriegn affairs goes, I recall the cover page of a newspaper depicting in an eerie Dr. Stranglove manner the President riding ontop an F15 while waving a cowboy hat.

"Well he got this new globe for Christmas. He's found a lot of new countries."

-Robert J. Dole, when asked by Conan O'Brian about how some people were concerned that GWB doesn't have a good grasp about current affairs

I have to admit that I was so happy that the annoying Kimmi was voted out. The inevitable animal rights activist outcry seemed silly.

``The fact is, this animal died and suffered for entertainment purposes masquerading as hunting and gathering,''

-Humane Society Senior Vice President Wayne Pacelle

How is it masquerading when the pig was eaten afterwards? Animals suffer and die all the time and now I'm supposed to believe this time it's wrong because it's on TV vegetarianism is a luxury of modern society. Some people take it up merely to eat more healthy like myself. Some take it up because they can't stomach the killing of animals for any reason. Finally, some people take it up just to feel morally superior to carnivorous masses and they bug the shit out of me.

Time to go out and discover what tear gas smells like.

Random thought of the day: If Ricki Lake was deaf, when she did her "talk to the hand" thing would it be kind of redundant?

02.21.2001 @


Streaming Grammy raving

What can good can one say about the 43rd Grammys that isn't forced out like concrete constipation? Yeah, Madonna knows how to wiggle on a limo and still not impress me. John Stewart manages to wax unfunny time and time again. Heather and Kid Rock are color coordinated announcing Macy Gray won something and we see hasty cuts to stars before another set of ads.

Take a breath and John Stewart babbles on and N'sync sings. Now a couple of TV comics shoot T-shirts at the crowds. Steely Dan wins something and manages to not appear phased at all. More gratuitous shots of stars in the crowd and back to the ads.

John admits he sucks, but what does he suck? Destiny's Child is a phony cacophony and proves that wearing very little makes you win very big. Back to the ads. Heinykin is trying to subvert the origin of lame concert lighter llamas. Oh yeah, next one should be of the creation of the first beer bong being filled with heinys.

Paul Simon is still alive he just sounds half dead. Toni Braxton shows that even the past Grammy winners barely wore clothes. Yes, Eminem picks up a Grammy and I can't pretend to be surprised.

Faith Hill shows that country can be entertaining if your hot and my mute button works. Damn, they cut back to John and they haven't gagged him yet, "Shopliftster." Yeah, John you can start up Schlockster. Bad jokes for everyone. U2 music sounds like it is so good. You have to like it, you must like it, you can't not like it. Like it, Like it! OK they stopped singing what was I thinking, I hate U2, mind control. They won. They are hypnotoads! (obscure Futurama reference)

The Heiny folks subvert the peace symbol, all of your history are belong to to us! Too much Habanero in my food. I'm spitting flame.

Damn, Shelby and Cheryl Crow impress me that they can read the teleprompter and U2 gets another one.

They are going through awards presented earlier and it's going by quick. Damn, something furry crawled up on Kevin Reagon's head.

John is making me shiver with the desire to throw something at him. Blue Man group does push music along when they combine an instrument with a projectile launcher.

Shelby wins something and shows once again the power of skimpy clothing. I think all the women are required to wears cloths like that so I keep watching.

"Bayuoo pa ba muyaaaaack!" Yeah, it's music without instruments, achypello. Hey Tony Bennet is still alive, I think...

U2 wins again and I'm almost ready to change the channel. They are giving U2 awards just to torture me. Bastards.

Hey, its Christina Agullwawa and she's can't get out of this thing they lowered her down in. Now she's free of it. Now she's having trouble taking her coat thing off. There it goes. She's dancing with everyone and I don't know what she's saying...Oh well Shakira won. What a cool name. Japanese = Akira, Latin = Shakira, Liquor = Tequila. Yes, alcohol might get me through this!

John were you ever funny? You are going into joke point deficit hell. Hey, classic piano is cool, but couldn't he pick a better piece? Val Kilmer looks like he wants to be anywhere but here. Did he just wake up? Run Val! They are on the warpath, they are gathering their nations, "What you say?" He thanked Jesus, who I think played the bass drum for them.

Yeah, Heiny takes scratching now. Note to self, do not kiss Dentyne chewing women or you could cause massive cold damage.

Were having a country moment. What a big hat...Dolly is sporting the "I dream of Genie" hairdo. Country music is popular outside of the US because the English is slow and easy to understand and therefore a good way to learn English. Country music is popular inside the US because it is slow and easy to understand for those whose family tree does not fork. Faith Hill won something and her husband's hat is huge.

Hey, hey, it's Dr. Dre as the producer of the year. Now we look back at The Who and Bob Marley... The pres is trying to justify giving Eminem a grammy.

The moment is here. Eminem singing with a queer.
Oh, what shock it is to say such things about those that are gay.
Taking pot shots at boy bands and girl bands is not so out of hand.
But you don't talk about things worth taking a stand.
So you are just playing with us man.
You think that everything is all right because of your song Stan.
Sure the money must be great, but must the music be so filled with hate?

Stevie Wonder is the hardest working man there. He ain't reading any teleprompters and rattled off all the nominees. Steely Dan again. They are only slightly amused now. I could pull a Volkswagon out of my ass and it wouldn't impress these guys.

I survived the Grammys.

02.19.2001 @


"The great thing about being ignored is that you can speak the truth with impunity."

-Toxicology, Steve Aylett

When one turns down toward the murky path of mystery, the strange track towards the occult, and the bizarre boundaries of science there is always the risk of becoming what you experience.
It was difficult to irritate Satan, but that accomplished it.

"What an ass you are!" he said. "Are you so unobservant as to not have found out that sanity and happiness are an impossible combination? No sane man can be happy, for to him life is real, and he sees what a fearful thing it is. Only the mad can be happy, and not many of those. The few that imagine themselves kings or gods are happy, the rest are no happier then the sane."

-Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger

Grant Morrison is one of the more prominent chaos mages channeling some of the growing chaotic energy of this era. The more the New World Order tries to take hold the more chaos seems to be in vogue, the more tattoos, piercings, and perverted acts become popular. Mass markets become more massive, but the ground doesn't seem as stable underneath.

We can go the x-files direction of aliens forces waging war over our big blue ball. I imagine war propaganda campaigns based on the old SEGA "say it" commercials replacing "SEGA" with "KININIGIN".

As crazy as that all sounds their are strange things on this world. I plan to visit the Oregon Vortex when I can. An area where laws of physics are violated is certainly high on my list of vacation spots. I can only wonder what John Lister discovered that caused him to burn all his notes. Are we not ready?

Is our accelerated march to higher technology outpacing our own capacity to handle it? What hubris humanity had when we stole apocalypse from God with our nuclear know how. Now we probe own our blueprints to perhaps redesign our own image. When God does not present himself to our queries we presume to become him. If one is to accept time as being something more then a linear track, then we may have always been gods or at least their ancestors.

Our "now" has become at once more unforgivingly brief and unprecedently elastic.

-William Gibson

The physics top ten of questions reveal the problems of knowing anything. Information is it's own science. The pursuit of knowledge is the Hercules fight with the hydra.

Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time then ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est--all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.

-C. G. Jung

The gadgets keep coming and the games consume us. Are we liberated by technology or becoming enslaved by it?

There is some hope that the generation connected by the internet will use it's meme production abilities to advance us all.

The segue into games is the new meme "All your base are belong to us!" that rides on the japanese to english translation of the game Zerowing. Another example of fine photoshop subversion shows that history is a mallaeble entity for the masses. So it would seem that true history is now as easy to divine as winning a Ronald Reagan memory game.

"The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity."

-C. G. Jung

Thankfully, I still remember much of the C64 era of games. The music from this time is enjoying a revival. One of the songs on there is for a game called Way of the Exploding Fist, a version of Karate Champ

The first fighting game was Karate Champ. the game even appeared in the movie Bloodsport which has the distinction of not only being the only good Jean Claude Van Damme movie, but also one of the few movies that I believe uses the original video games sounds. For some reason most movies replaces the original sounds with inferior sound effects. Such movies are The Princess Bride on the good movie end and Maximum Overdrive on the side of "yuck."

As more games are becoming movies, perhaps the games that do appear in them can get more respect. Of course when Van Damme does Street Fighter it doesn't help anyone, but when I see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon I think Ye Ar Kung-Fu so there may be hope.

I suppose I could wallow endlessly in the seas of C64 SID music. So I'll just link remixes of the classics Bubble Bobble and Spy vs. Spy and briefly move back to magic.

I decided to try out Grant's little guide yesterday. I created a nice sigil for a good job and then decided to take a walk and see if I could find magical meaning in my environment. It was a nice afternoon and I walked somewhat aimlessly through the nearby freeway park. I passed by a man that said "I gotta take a piss." He turned towards the street and began to piss on Pike street as cars and people passed.

I kept walking and didn't look back. Now my mystical magic musings were at siege by images of a peculiar pissing person from Pike street. Maybe magic is not my thing?

02.14.2001 @


"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

-Albert Einstein

I've mentioned my desire to design games at some point. Games have always been a big part of my life. I managed to be lucky enough to have a neighbor when I was very young that was just as much into gaming as I was. Perhaps he's the reason I got hooked. I got my first taste of many a board game there and then one day came the Odyssey or maybe something like it. He only had Pong and a light gun game that consisted of a randomly moving square that you tried to shoot but could hardly miss unless you were Stevie Wonder. Things got better when he got the Odyssey 2.

There were quite a few cool games for this system. Quest for the Rings was one of those. The only viable classes were the warrior and the essential wizard. The Changeling was OK, but boring to play. You could get by the Dragon easily but, had a horrible time navigating through the levels with lava walls. Of course, the Phantom was totally useless in this case because his ability would not save him. The wizard is the classic example of an Odyssey "dude." In other games like Take the money and Run you were: or Showdown in 2001 AD's:

Here are the simple instructions to Take the money and Run which had some great cheats. A standard tactic would be to lure the little guy to your opponent and then try and zap yourself through the screen with the cheat which was all rather funny and fun.

Other favorites include Pick Axe Pete, Monkey Shines, KC Munchkin, and Attack of the Timelord. It was a great system and then everything changed again when he got a TI99/4A and I entered the world of personal computer gaming. One good game was the super hard Parsec, but I remember most was Tunnels of Doom.

Tunnels of Doom came on a cartridge and cassette tape. It was the first true computer RPG that I ever played. Navigation through the dungeons was like an ultra primitive first-person perspective and combat was like a simple version of early Ultimas. It was a long game and I don't believe you could actually "save" it.

Needless to say, I could go on and on tracing through the VIC-20, C64, Atari XX00's, C128, Amiga, and such, but I want to just establish that I have played my share of digital games. My desire to break into the realm of gaming might just be to start writing about it. This shoddy review of Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business shows that you don't even have to be very good at reviewing. Several of his negative points like aiming and squad control are clearly detailed in the manual and show that despite his claims of knowledge of the genre I doubt he even played JA2. The fact that he doesn't mention that it includes a mission editor and several improvements to the interface show a disregard to do a proper review. It's no wonder that gaming sites are disappearing. Game sites like Daily Radar pull Howard Stern type stunts like destroying a PS2 to keep people amused rather then informed.

It's a good thing to know if you like something before you commit to it. I may be more of a poetaster then a poet so I keep my day job, when I can. I think that if I entertained the notion of having people pay me I might write differently. Better, more often, or worse? I don't know. I know that if you love anything enough you can eventually profit from it.

Another way is through religion. While not all things that came out of Hubbard were good. I have to wonder about the power of belief.

"I felt betrayed by the Church. They led me down a path and didn't deliver...Religion is a dehumanizing instrument....The Ten Commandments is a political document. You only need two. First, though shalt always be honest and true to the source of thy nookie. Second, though shalt try real hard not to kill anyone unless, of course, they deserve it."

- George Carlin

People break one commandment or the other all the time and whenever anyone does anything there are those that think they can do it better.

The Genome research is showing us that we share a lot in common with all other forms of life. Our superiority as humans is the equivalent of inheriting a deluxe set of Lego's rather then a few individual blocks.

I play a game with my cat where I hide her favorite toy (a fresh rubberband) and she searches for it, plays with it, and then drops it at my feet to start over. Some may argue that that shows cats are smarter then some people or at least those that are entertained by things more dumb then rubberbands.

If all life is connected, then it should be just as connected with the universe where it resides. The improbable nature to this universe may suggest that it is one of a possible infinite variety growing in a multi-dimensional fractal.

"The geometry of nature is fractal to the extent that if you look at many shapes in nature -- clouds, trees, et cetera -- small parts are the same as big parts; that's the definition of fractal."

- Benoit Mandlebrot

It's getting late and I'm getting tired. I still have more to say involving magic, a strange vortex, aliens, and, of course, more stuff about games. Lastly, as a single person on Valentine's I would like all happy couples to leave me the hell alone today.

02.06.2001 @


I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.

-Samuel Johnson

I'm not a misanthrope, but there are times when I understand David Bowie's fear of americans.

When americans take a break from reading their gender appropriate literature they get in their undertaxed SUV and pick up their cellular phone to call their lawyer.

"I want Rosie's McCall's to be about the take-charge woman; the mom who knows that there's more to life than losing weight and getting gorgeous," she says.
The new magazine "will have less spirituality than Oprah's magazine and be more realistically crafty than Martha [Stewart]'s," O'Donnell said. "And it will have a lot more of my annoyingly Democratic politics in the middle."

- Rosie O'Donnell

Unfortunately Rosie's politics isn't the only thing annoying about her. Another annoying celebrity, Bill Maher, knows about being Politically Incorrect.
Bill: But I've often said that if I had -- I have two dogs -- if I had two retarded children, I'd be a hero. And yet the dogs, which are pretty much the same thing --
[ Laughter ]
What? They're sweet. They're loving. They're kind, but they don't mentally advance at all.

- Bill Maher

Bill keeps pushing the point, "What? Dogs are like retarded children." and then "They have a heart and a soul and a brain that's retarded. That's a fact, people! Excuse me!" Martin Short could only reply, "I'm not gonna comment. You're a hideous, cold person."

I watched Friday's show that had Darrin Farrow on. Darrin payed 47 thousand in an ebay auction to appear.

Anyway, what we did is we auctioned off this seat on the internet, as people know, and you paid $47,000 for it. And I'm not trying to be picky here, but, you know, I'm not an internet guy. Mostly I think -- and this sort of feeds into my point -- is because I think it's about ego, the internet. I think it's about people just wanting to share more than the rest of us really need to have shared with. You know? Websites with people's diaries -- who cares? E-mail, "Hi, every thought I ever had in my head, I'd like to share it now."
[ Laughter ]
What happened to the days when diaries were under lock and key? Now people get pissed off if you don't read their diary. I don't want to know every thought that's in everybody's mind.

- Bill Maher

The rest of the transcript can be read here or here. He goes on to make another point, "I mean, you used to have talent before you were published."

It is a typical point made from someone that has no understanding of the internet. Trying to think of the internet in terms of other media will usually result in this kind of misconception. A website can take on so many different forms that to call it a new kind of TV or postal service is only ever partially correct.

Ego on the internet is not much different from anywhere else. The elitist snubbing of other people's websites is such a waste of words. It tends to irk me when smart people waste their time whining about what other people do to amuse themselves. It's as if every instance of bad teenager writing existing in a public forum is a personal affront. You can choose not to visit a URL as easy as you can switch the channel. Perhaps if 90% of what is in radio, TV, magazines, movies, and music was not anything but a well produced turd, then 90% of what is on the internet would not be the rather unkempt crap that it is.

Your assignment is to email me whining about how I was whining about people whining about people's lame websites. I will whine you back and we will continue until one of us dies and a winner is declared.

There's a new party being born. The People Who Hate People Party.
"People who hate people, come together."
"No!"
We're kind of having trouble coming off the boards, but you know.
"Are you going to be there?"
"Yeah."
"Then I ain't fucking coming."
"Your our strongest member."
"Fuck you!"
"That's what I'm talking about. You Asshole!"
"Fuck Off!"
Damn, we almost had a meeting going.

- Bill Hicks, Rant in E Minor

Bill had an interesting way of looking at things. While watching the TV show COPS he thought about how an IRS show would work. I have to wonder what he would think about the shows like Making the Band and the female version, Popstar. How about a show called Making the Politician. I'm not talking about the idealistic version that was The Candidate. I'm talking a straight out showing of the corporate sellout, the pandering, the lies, and in the case of the Democrats blow by blow coverage. So I'm talking a cable show.

I could stop right there but...

Now as soon as Bush's boys get that assassination law passed I have another idea for a show. Let's take part American Gladiators and part COPS to form American Assassins. Each week we select an enemy of the state like Osama bin Laden and have two teams of american soldiers try and take him out, live and uncut. So I'm talking a cable show. Actually, Bill was sort of on the same wavelength here with his show, Let's Hunt and Kill Billy Ray Cyruss. Since I don't think Congress will declare any of the fevered egos in Hollywood enemies of the state I have another idea.

Celebrity Survivor. I finally decided to watch Survivor 2 and the sight of the "land-based animal" vegetarian compromising her moral stance since it would endanger her chance of getting the cash was enjoyable. Despite the fact that my current eating habits are the same I don't hold any moral qualms about eating meat. It's just that vegetarianism is so damn seductive and perhaps one day I can be a level 5 vegan of the Simpsons that doesn't eat anything that casts a shadow.

I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants.

-A. Whitney Brown

My version of the show has us round up all the annoying celebs and hopefully match up ones that really hate each other too. Like Eminem, Christina Agulawhatever, Anna Nicole Smith, and all the Baldwins. Put them on an island with hidden cameras everywhere and one crate of supplies to fight over. The winner is whoever survives with no time limit. In the tradition of Jeopardy we can have a tournament of champions so we can get rid of most of the winners too. So I'm talking a cable show.

Since I'm on the subject of TV I would like to say that I did watch the debut of the XFL and we can all be grateful that they seem to want to give cheerleaders more airtime. The part of that article that was interesting to me was that "The league, which is hoping to capitalize on the post-Super Bowl lull in big sports events, maintains the "X" in its name doesn't stand for anything." That seems true of all the "X"ness that seems to be going around these days. ESPN decided to cover the X-games for their ESPN 2 channel which should have been named EXPN like FOX should have just dropped the "f" for their FX channel. You have to go all the way. As a member of generation X I know know this. As a former reader of the X-men I really know this. As a player of the game X-com I really, really know this. If you've ever been to X-entertainment then you know who's your daddy. Oh my, I can't believe I typed that horrid cliche. I need to get my head X-amined. Ah, I've become over-X-serted from this diss-X-tion of cultural X-crement. How could this happen? As an american I must blame something or someone. I choose Microsoft.

Ever since they announced the X-box I knew to X-pect them to X-pand into the rest of the un-X-plored "X" domain. Now they have X-posed the names of their next bug-rich OS, Windows XP, and their X-tremely over-featured applications suite, Office XP. I'm sure a huge marketing research effort was conducted that only a multi-billion dollar company could cough up. The headline that resulted...

New Versions of Microsoft's Flagship Products Designed to Enable and Deliver Exciting New Experiences for People at Home and at Work
...proves that by putting an "X" in something makes it an X-citing X-perience. I can picture the X-citment now as I discover all the new ways my OS can now crash or discover how much processor time Office XP takes up while writing teXt!

I could just be using the internet too much?

In some ways, I'm in a constant state of culture shock with this country. It's a creature that seems to be falling apart, mutating, self-mutilating, self-immolating, self-hating, self-serving and yet surviving, at times even thriving.

"We're a virus with shoes."

-Bill Hicks, Rant in E minor

This captures a bit how I feel sometimes, minus the hallucinogenic aspect. Yeah, some people don't need drugs. Take the time and read this nice and cozy short story.

02.02.2001 @


Those who want the government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide.

-Harry Truman

Like a poor version of Adrian Veidt (Watchman) trying to gauge the state of the world through a myriad of TV monitors I browse the web on two computers scanning many instances of the browser on each. One trend seems apparent. As our government moves to the right the subversive elements seem to grow against them and the...
"Devil-worshiping international conglomerates of giant magnitude."

-Lloyd Kaufman of Troma

The greed of the 80's turned in to the seemingly benevolent greed of the 90's. As smart as most members of the new technology based economy seemed to be, they lacked the experience to realize the nature of the beast. Illustrated quite plainly in the Technorealist Manifesto is the naive understanding of what our government really does.

How much confidence can you have in a government that can't even keep track of it's own tax income? Don't look to the scientists and other intellectual elite since most of them are engaging in studies of the obvious or completely irrelevant. It seems that the famous are as out of touch with reality as some of us are.

"Scientists used to do an experiment whereby a dog's repeated reward for performing a task was unaccountably replaced by punishment. The dog, knowing it would be penalized for doing well or doing badly, would become melancholic and inactive. This and other unforeseeable results were funded by taxing up to sixty percent of people's earnings. People became strangely melancholic and inactive."

-Slaughtermatic, Steve Aylett

It shouldn't seem strange that the world's population is becoming lethargic, ancient cultures are losing long held traditions, extreme religious methods are being pursued, or fringes are being explored.

The cult of consumerism survives on a steady supply of panacean products. Corporations make the products while paying the government to make sure we can't entertain ourselves cheaply.

The ever growing signs of the total failure of the drug war point to an inept media. They vie to interview the psycho Ted for ratings. They inflame events like Columbine so now even a child holding a chicken leg like a gun is punished. You don't trust each other and your government doesn't trust you.

To say all these factions are trying to keep people lazy, stupid, entertained in a fiscally, corporate sponsored manner is silly right?

Remember the FOX show Married with Children? After the show was cancelled the actress that played the daughter went on to another show with her in the title role, Jesse. Remember the WB show Unhappily Ever After that was a direct copy of the FOX show? Now the actress that played the daughter from that show is in a new one with her in the title role, NikkI. This may be proof that TV producers use the cut & paste feature in Word while coming up with their new season lineups rather then some greater conspiracy.

The growing number of bear related commercials on TV these days must mean something. First they seem funny. Then they mix the humor with violence. Finally they think this is funny. Bears are certainly dangerous if you don't know how to act among them.

It may be comforting to know that from parent's groups calling themselves PISSED to corporations naming their product WinCE (wince?) that idiocy knows no bounds. Comforting in the "we are all screwed" way. The dumbing down of communication enables more people to understand while sacrificing quality. The result is a society that becomes more involved with pop culture then who controls the culture, since those issues don't satisfy the entertainment levels geared up by the trend incubator of kid's early years.

To some degree I feel that Bush's ties to the far right will only force a lot of people to vote the whole lot of them out in four years. A third party needs to get it's act together and make a real fight for it. The Dems. have not proven any better. The country needs an enema.

- Game designers have a new pledge. While a lot of those rules are not going to be met by a many of the companies out there, I have a few games in mind that will work, but will I work in the game industry?

Age of Wonders 2 is now under development. Will it be a proper new version of Master of Magic? The same hopes are riding on Master of Orion 3.

I can't say the same for Duke Nukem Forever or Team Fortress 2. They appear to be stuck in development limbo. Then there is Sid who promises the world again with Civ 3.

Finally,

"I seem to get people finding some of my work and they then come on to my other projects. I'm like the Jesuits. If I get you at a certain age then I've got you for life."

-a Warren ellis interview [1][2]

01.29.2001 @


FiringSquad: Is weapon accuracy pretty much set, or will there be more adjustments in 1.1? When was the last time you actually adjusted weapon accuracy, recoil time, etc? It seems like the community complains after every single release.
Gooseman: Yeah, they do.. and it does get irritating having to convince people that I haven't changed a thing but take it from the horses mouth.. I haven't changed them since BETA 6.. but then again, I'm a freaking liar and I like to play mind games with everyone!! YEAH THAT's RIGHT.. I'm a freak lord.. and I change accuracies in between betas and it pisses off the testers ! hahaa.. I'm keeraaazyy .. I'm the accuracy changing FIEND!

-Gooseman AKA Minh Le is a programmer for the Halflife MOD Counter-Strike

I've recently been playing Quake 3 again and I have reverted to newbie status in my understanding of things. One matter that got cleared up for me is that you can camp in CTF. Another matter is that the skill level of players out there seems to have increased considerably. A good ego check anyway.

I still haven't had the patience to try and get Weapon's Factory up and running. There is a bit of fear of becoming readdicted to the MOD.

I am craving distractions to rouse me out of a general anxiety about the future. I don't think I can actually relax until I see that first paycheck of a new job. Surfing on the web has not made me feel any better.

Another thing that is bothering me is the discovery that I am missing an entire box of comics. Lots of it was the typically obscure ones that I have little chance of finding again. I did find that at least one of the series that I lost is available as a collected book. That series was called Moonshadow by J.M. Matteis. Another series that I lost was Akira, which is new being reprinted as a 6 volume set and the movie is being remastered and will be rereleased in theaters this spring with a DVD to boot.

This just goes to show that when making a list you are bound to leave out a lot of good things. I'm sure the AFI knows what I mean. People just loving ranking things and I know who to blame.

Some sort of deeper competitive instinct may be the culprit. The kind of thing that makes even smart people do strange things.

So it is the natural progression to start rating something once it has gotten big enough. Then others can mock you.

As for me, I think I just need to try and silence those critical voices. After all, it's the start of a new year, new beginnings, new... stuff.

"As 2001 gets going so do I! This year is going to be a good one! I can feel it! I'm off to Spain next week to do a commercial I'll tell you more about it later. Lots of interesting stuff on OneWorldLive so check it out!"

-Melanie Griffith from her recovery journal

Nothing wrong with optimism as long as you don't abandon caution. Now I plan to at least ask a few more questions then this buyer when I search for my lost comics. We all know Ebay has everything from X-rated fishing lures to penis lighters. Ebay does not have a monopoly of strange things for sale as this inflatable Jesus proves. The best part is the warning:
(2) Do not attempt to fill the Jesus doll with Helium. Only the real Jesus has the right to ascend to heaven.
"He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy."

-from Life of Brian-hear it

Just in case you missed it, Melanie's site also has a warning:

"This information is not intended to substitute for medical and/or therapeutic advice. You should not use this information or advice to diagnose or treat a problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. Any therapeutic, medical or other decisions should be made in consultation with your qualified health care provider. This is not an endorsement of any treatment, medication, or products discussed herein. You are encouraged to consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have with regard to your condition."
Not really as funny as it is sad that one would even think to put such a thing on your site to ward off potential lawsuits.

Another star that seems to have big plans for the future is our buddy Arnold.

"I'm like Jesse Ventura, but I can identify with both major parties. I think both have interesting ideas, so why not work with both?"
The theory my brother proposed (congratulations BTW) to me about a future election having Arnold running with Jesse against Hillary Clinton running with Oprah now seems almost plausible. I must admit that I would have to vote for Arnold. He's the man. Anyone that can say this with a straight face is pure gold.
"But Harry, he molested, murdered, and mutilated her."

-from the Arnold carnage classic, Raw Deal

Come to think of it, that's the perfect campaign. Out: New Deal, In: Raw Deal. I can see Arnold in the commercials, "I am here to pump [clap] our economy up!"

Don't bother pointing out that because he wasn't born in the US the Constitution states he can't be president. The Constitution is a few hundred years old and if you saw End of Days, then you know Arnold beat Satan who is a lot older and tougher.

Of course, there is someone that can beat Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Dear Arnold,

My friends and I were discussing what some of the greatest (cinematic) battles would be. Of course, your name came up very quickly, and we put you up against Yoda. Most of my friends tell me that you'd lose to Yoda because Yoda has the force on his side and will just use his mind to throw you into the wall a few times. However, I beg to differ with them. Yes, Yoda has the force. Yes, Yoda could probably throw you into a wall a few times. But, when has a wall ever stopped you? From being crucified to surviving a nuclear explosion, I think a wall would be child's play...

Although these are good arguments, there is still one that is far above the others. What does Arnold do best? The impossible. If defeating Yoda is impossible, then you would do it... I'm curious as to how you'd answer such a ludicrous question: Who would win, you or Yoda? And why?

- solymot@alleg.edu

This is the funniest question anyone's ever asked me and, to be honest, when it was forwarded to me, I thought at first someone in my office was just trying to have fun with me. But after I read it, I thought, why not? It's kind of an interesting question. Let's have fun. Actually, I've seen the STAR WARS films a few times, and of course, my kids like them tremendously (there's even a life-size Yoda in the conference room at the office -- a gift from a friend). Although I wouldn't consider myself an expert, what I can say about Yoda is that he's character with a strong, serious mind and a disciplined will. To become a Jedi Master, Yoda would have had to work very hard and make tremendous sacrifices. He would have needed to spend tremendous hours training; levitating rocks, practicing with his light saber, that sort of thing.

By now, I think you'll see what I'm getting at; becoming a Jedi Master is not unlike becoming a champion bodybuilder, or becoming an actor. I worked hard in the gym to become a champion, and I worked very hard to become an actor, and I couldn't have done any of it without commitment, and that takes discipline and willpower first. The mind is actually more powerful than the body, because it is our will that helps us shape everything else around us, whether it's our careers, how we help our communities or even if it's just making time for our families.

So who would win? Possibly Yoda, but I'm sure I'd kick his butt in a pose-down!

I'll be back to his site, pure gold.

So the movie I want to see is Arnold & Jesse in Executive Action Team with Rob Riener directing or the comic book with Alan Moore writing. The unbeatable team defending important American values, landmarks, and secrets like those 11 herbs and spices.

01.21.2001 @


Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

-G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

Poets were also silent for Bush's Inauguration. I'm sure they could have found just the right poet if they looked hard enough.
"The sorry fact is that while the secular publication on whose board I serve receives its share of mediocre submissions, when it comes to the truly awful stuff, the religious publications win hands down."
So maybe it is good that we have been spared from someone that would pass Bush's poetry filters. It's not like we are missing Emily, the bizarre Roussel, or the grand conservative TS Eliot.

If I am to learn anything at all from my experience with the folks at Poetry.com, it is that there are enough poets out there for everyone's taste or lack of. I finally got my hands on the book I was fortunate to be included, The Peace to Come. I don't have the strength to read through all 249 pages that contain some of the worst poems I've ever read. This is a pure money maker for the editors. They allowed the poets to purchase copies at $50 a pop. 249 pages with an average of 7 poems a page equals $87,150 and even when taking out the $1,000 prize that got me into this, it's a nice incentive to publish.

"Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read."

- Frank Zappa, 1978

It should be no surprise that Eminem got nominated for a Grammy, Britney and Maddonna will work together, and that Paul will be a billionaire soon since Beatles tunes still top the charts.

The realm of popular opinion seems to deem the best albums of the 90's are pop and I can think of some of the best albums of the ones that I own from the 90's in semi-alpha order.

As you can probably see I try and find strange albums. Variety is good. One group called Mr. Bungle I found recently got some attention because of an indirect reference. Mr. Bungle itself is a reference to one of those 60's films depicting a misfit student.

A virtual community such as LambdaMOO is one of many types of Multi user object oriented text environments that are an addiction to many. Everquest takes the multi-user aspect and adds graphics and perhaps more addiction. Of course, virtual communities can be as simple as newsgroups or the message areas of websites. Howard Rheingold describes one of the problems with these communities is that it can create more isolation as more time is spent in front of computers and not in front of people.

Virtual communication allows one to be a shapeshifter or worse. People just want to talk to someone even if it's not real. Some people don't want to appear real at all.

One unwelcome site that appears almost anywhere in communities is graffiti. There are ways to interpret gang graffiti. As for geek graffiti, it is at least environmentally friendly.

01.19.2001 @


"She did a huge, big full-bodied shake and as she came down she sensed my skin and just gone chomp - sunk her teeth into my leg and did a head shake which messed it up a little."

-Steve Irwin, "Crocodile Hunter"

Lately I've noticed that the UK has been exerting a strong influence on me. I believe it started out slowly and then before I knew it nearly everything I read or listened to was from the UK or at least Australia, which is somewhat close...

It soon became apparent when I caught myself uttering "bugger this" that I had to do something. Or did I? Sure, maybe the fact that I haven't eaten at The Elephant & Castle in a while is only because I haven't had much cash to spend. Maybe the fact that I've been listening to Gatecrashers and Global Underground stuff and started reading Against A Dark Background by the Brit Ian M. Banks because they were recommendations from a friend...who just happens to be Australian. This isn't some conspiracy to get me to watch Cricket on cable.

Speaking of cable, I watched this show on the BBC channel (ack!), 'A Man and His Dog'. I was stuck watching it for the duration in a mixed state of awe and horror. Lucky me got to see the finals of the Sheepherders olympics or whatever it was. I don't know how long it was on since time started to distort a bit for me. Watching a man guide his dog to guide sheep around an obstacle course does that to me.

Anyhow, I realize that this all began with comic books. Why most good comic book writers come from England is a mystery to me. Comics have been maturing into something that even adults can claim to like without shame. Not everyone agrees that the comic book industry is doing well, but now there are comics for everyone and places to help you start your own.

So let's have a look:

The Publishers:

The Writers: The Media:

So much to read...

- Strange music fills the air when you have the Theremin and a Glass Harmonica.

- Yet another weblogger fad.

Recently I found that Jack linked back to me. It was only luck that I caught it. So should I start actually taking and checking referral logs? Nah. Feedback is good, but I rather just post what comes to mind then worry about who reads what. After all, this is link worthy and not crush worthy. BTW, I'm just playing on the site name and not the site.

01.15.2001 @


"I have a Dream."

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Hear it.

In order to offer some peace of mind to those concerned, I should be counted among the employed by the end of the month. As another peace lover, John Lennon, once said, "I get by with a little help from my friends." Indeed, it's good to have friends.

Though the question may still remain, the question of "Why You No Longer Have a Job." So let me explain:

1)Your bosses were idiots.

An interesting point. I find myself citing the CEO's lack of Internet business experience as a big factor. Business experience alone doesn't seem to cut it.

2)Their businesses made no sense

Initially the idea was shaky, but could be done with the right people. Soon they started talking about verticals and striving to have something strikingly different. What business there was started to dilute into something that tried to be everything for everyone.

3)They had no idea how to run a business

The writing was on the wall when we had the meeting where the CEO stated, "The morale must improve." I've never been ordered to have good morale before. It had quite the opposite effect. My morale had been quite good and now I was suspicious. Then he tells us that the company is kaput in the next meeting via speaker-phone.

4)They assumed more money was in the pipeline

This point hits home. The CEO promised everyone that things were fine and we were sure to have money up to March or April. Several people, including myself, broke leases, left their home countries, on his promise. Why we kept believing anything he had to say is a mystery to me. He got us to work another week to archive everything with the promise of 2 weeks severance. I even bought some hardware based on that. They cashed my check but we have yet to see a dime of severance.

5)They believed in the power of marketing over service

One sin that did not occur. This part never even entered into the mix.

6)They expected too much from the technology

A 'yes' and a 'no'. They managed to hire, eventually, a team that could do what they wanted, but they kept wanting more. The business plan bloated and mutated before they even tried to get the initial piece together. Finally, it was so bloated that it needed lots of customers with high bandwidth and the market is not there yet. The CEO went into meetings looking for 15+ million to build something that should have started at 1 million first and grew.

Also, a CEO should know the difference between a demo and a prototype.

7)They mistook the business they were in

They weren't sure what business they wanted to be in. When your business plan changes after every single meeting with potential investors, you might be lacking a little direction.

8)Your company was a cult

"Morale must improve."

Not a cult, but I've seen employee's treated better at Taco Bell.

9)Your co-workers were spoiled brats

I wasn't there long enough to catch a lot of the "All My Children" aspect of it, but it was there. Some of the stories I've heard run the gambit of sad, sick, and surreal.

10)There were too many of you

We were full steam ahead to self-destruction and since I am a dot com newbie I missed the early warning signs that stare at me in big bold hindsight now. Too many people and no leadership where it was supposed to be.

You can probably see that I blame the CEO for a great deal of what happened. I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt on his ignorance and intentions. His last promise of severance is hanging like 'The Sword of Damocles' on my final judgement.

Even though it looks like things are on the up and up for a new job, I am tempted to write up a sweet looking resume just for the recruiting incentives.

After all, when it comes to most crimes it pays to be rich or white.

By the way, I do love the part in the latter link that goes, "Prosecutors are contemplating sending stern letters to the suspects warning them to keep their noses clean." I love the double entendre.

It seems that the huge failure that is the drug war is becoming a mainstream topic. The new movie Traffic is set to educate the masses. Drug references are everywhere and every government is still taking things seriously. The hypocrisy continues.

When making wild accusations and not so auspicious speculations you know it's time to pull religion into the fray. Since Jesus was a ganja guru we know he'd be for ending the drug war. Still, I'm sure most Christians don't see it that way, but are they real Christians? There are tests.

They have to have a sense of humor about these things. Some have to learn to stop trying to force their views on others. That kind of thing makes people react badly since everyone makes mistakes we all need to be more tolerant of other's beliefs no matter how strange they make seem. Of course, when it comes to Oprah I just wish she would disappear from public instead of turning up in movies and magazines. Her career based on being a blatant sycophant to fractured female egos makes my skin crawl.

It's not so much the message, but that I get the taste of hypocrisy in my mouth. I got the same taste when seeing the HBO first look special on Pay It Forward. The message is fine, but I go to movies to be entertained and to not sit through utopian fantasies based on ideas stolen from Magnificent Obsession. Much more entertaining is Satan's version, Needful Things.

I suppose I need to be more tolerant. That trait seems to be in short supply these days. It strikes me a bit odd that Jorn of Robotwisdom would post a headline like that. The whole Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a powderkeg of pain wanting to engulf everyone. Why?

For us, it seems to come down to oil, money, the usual suspects. Israel gives the US a foothold into the Middle-East and many economic ties that are painful to sever. The question is if it's worth funding a country that seems to be practising apartheid and creating hatred from a large number of people.

"If the Supreme Court had given the order to destroy my house, it would have happened the very next day. But since the order was to build a house for me, I probably won't get it even if I wait another 20 years. That is racism,"

It's the worst sort of irony that Western guilt over World War 2 only perpetuates hatred towards those same people. So many people on both sides don't really care, but it's always the fanatical few that have enough energy to keep this going. It doesn't matter how much you try and Pay It Forward there are all kinds of people out there that won't. This doesn't mean good works are a waste of time, it just means that you can't change everyone.

It's hard to have faith in anything, especially people. The people I have encountered that really believed in something always kind of scared me. If God wanted people to believe in one version, then I think it would be made a little clearer. He would talk to everyone, not just the crazy people. Perhaps he should get a TV show where he would appear as George Burns and get Biblical with people every weekday at 6pm central time (check your local listings). Would he get good ratings? Would you watch? Even if Oprah is on?

01.04.2001 @


New Year's Resolutions 2001 vs. Reality

12.13.2000 @


"I began to understand that the promises of the world are for the most part phantoms, and that to have faith in oneself and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course."

- Michelangelo, 1475-1564 Italian Architect, Painter and Sculptor

You know you are starting a bad month when you lose your job on the 1st and then both of your bikes on the 6th.

We were eating dinner and playing cards when someone stole both of my bikes from my friend's storage unit in the apartment. I was going to grab my good bike that night, since I haven't even ridden them since I got to Seattle. It was the best bike I ever owned. It took me almost a year to save up for it. Diamondback Racing frame, Judy SL shocks, Syncross stem and seatpost, and Shimano XT or XTR for the rest, it cost me $1800. The other bike was a Trek 7000 and no small loss, but the DBR was something I was so proud of. There is nothing else that I own that I liked as much as that bike.

"It so falls out that what we have we prize not the the worth whiles we enjoy it; but being lacked and lost, why then we rack the value; then we find the virtue that possession would not show us while it was ours"

- Shakespeare

To reason that one had to lose everything to find what their worth. So I have walked the streets of Seattle for several months now and I see the familiar faces of the homeless. Young, old, and timeless, but always sticking to certain areas of the city. An army to call to action as in the movie M or something else?

I let my mind ponder the possibility of a few more unfortunate events sending me to join them. Could I let such a thing happen? Would I have a choice? As I pass them by what do I owe them? They reach out to offer me a chance to trade guilt or pity with loose change.

There are ways to help and places willing to help them. So keep that in mind while you are out there.

Sanity's a virginity of the mind

- Atom, Steve Aylett

Sometimes I wonder if my daydreams are crazier then my sleeping dreams. I just don't seem to see things the way a lot of people do. I've had people remark that because of me, they can't look at certain things the same way again. I don't know why my brain tends to find odd connections to things. Why does Christina need "Flinstones" chewable vitamins and what's wrong with Evian? Did someone point out that it was "naive" backwards and upset her?
"A maniac will beat nine people to death with a steel dildo. A crazy person will beat nine people to death with a steel dildo, but he will be wearing a Bugs Bunny suit at the time."

- Back in Town, George Carlin

The old adage about writing what you know is being taken a little bit more seriously by me. I know about threading the fine line of sanity, I can bore you with my vast knowledge of game lore, I can pretend to know what's funny, but I will gladly surrender the political arena to those more dedicated. This election has made it abundantly clear to me that our country has grown to the point where we don't need a President. No one really cares, much less votes. I won't stop from the occasional rant even if I might contradict myself.

I contradict myself? So, I contradict myself. I am large I contain multitudes.

- Walt Whitman

So as I now am forced on to the job market once again, I have to be sure to make a good impression when interviewed and hope to sound close enough to sanity as most.

I'm sane and I have the papers to prove it, do you?

- A old friend of mine. Whom after being released from the psyche ward, had written 'proof' that he was sane

12.02.2000 @


The Ballad of John Namest
(sung to the theme from the Beverly Hillbillys)

Come 'n listen to my story bout a geek named John
Had a poor net connection that was hardly ever on
An' then one day, he was smoozing at Siggraph
An' along came Steven who was looking for some staff
Employee's that is. Silicon Gold! Code Warriors!

Well the first thing you know Alan wants to go
He said "There is something you should know."
Said "Justin Couch is the one we really need."
So we loaded up the truck, and moved at a slow speed
Crawled that is! Snails passed! Drank Gas!

Everyone got a new place, lawdy dey was swank
When we got our pay we were laughing to the bank
Some folks were worried that company wouldn't work
But the backers confidence seemed a real good perk
No worries, that is! Sitting pretty! Easy street!

Well now it's time to say goodbye to the company John was in.
The backer got cold feet from what some VC's were tellin' him
So he asked us all to take our leave just the other day
Pack your things, leave the key, and we'll send you your back pay
Voluntary dissolution that is. Locked out! Sent home! Game over!

Catch phrase of the day: [The] ability to laugh in the face of adversity and turn a horrible situation into pure gold."

11.30.2000 @


"In a free and republican government. you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude. Every man will speak as he thinks, or, more properly, without thinking, and consequently will judge of effects without attending to their causes."

- George Washington (1732-1799)

While I can't wallow in nostalgia about last year's WTO party here in Seattle, I can watch some of the action at home. I walked by the area during lunch and it seemed like fun, but I was hungry. Of course, there was nothing to watch. Police are everywhere tonight. In fact, I can see two cop cars right across the street from my window.

The hazards of trusting governments are being increasingly apparent. Is the WTO going to maintain this level of awareness in it's reign? They have experts on their side. Should we trust him or read about it ourselves? ...or not read all that and still not trust him (raising hand).

But who do you trust?

"Trust in God does not supersede the employment of prudent means on our part. To expect God's protection while we do nothing is not to honor but to tempt providence."

- Pasquier Quesnel

Take this tree. Julia "Butterfly" Hill stayed atop Luna for two years. Take this bra or just take off. To stand against clear-cutting forests sounds obvious. Why don't some people agree?

Suffice it to say, much work has be done to find out how much is good enough. The application of science shows that it is not a "right or wrong" issue.

It is our belief that it is somewhat inappropriate to conduct high-level public hearings on the subject of clearcutting as a single and distinct subject. Forestry professionals and scientists are keenly aware of the multitude of other issues and considerations that must be taken into account when discussing whether or not clearcutting is appropriate in a given circumstance. By holding hearings on the single subject of clearcutting, the Committee is to some extent playing into the agenda of those organizations that promote a simplistic approach to a highly complex issue, where "right" and "wrong" are not so easily distinguished. While it may serve some political and ideological ends to promote a black and white interpretation of clearcutting this is not defensible on ecological, economic or social grounds.

Patrick Moore seems to know his subject and even goes out to debunk the hemp movement. One can always play the matching game setting one expert against another. We can't even be too sure about whether one expert's massive credentials means he is more apt to be right or apt to be over-confident.

"When they win, it's forever. When we win, it's merely a stay of execution."

- David Ross Brower, 1912-2000

The story of dams and men has its lessons. The one that is becoming ever more clear is that when corporations call the shots, it's all for the money.

11.25.2000 @


Only sick music makes money today.

- Nietzsche (1844-1900) in 1888

On the new Shaggy album, Hot shot, there is a song called It Wasn't Me. A humorous tale about someone getting caught and coming to Shaggy for advice. Shaggy tells him to deny no matter what. It's a catchy tune so after much confusion I managed to get what appears to be the closest to what the lyrics are:


(Yo', man) Yo'
(Open up, man) What do you want, man?
(My girl just caught me) You let her catch you?
(I don't know how I let this happen) With who?
(The girl next door, you know) Man
(I don't know what to do) Say it wasn't you
(Alright)

Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this, we were both buck naked
Bangin' on the bathroom floor

How could I forget that I had
Given her an extra key
All this time she was standing there
She never took her eyes off me

Oh, you've another woman access to your villa
Just a sign of weakness all left on your pillow
You better watch your back before she turn into a killer
Best to view the situation that you're caught up inna
To be a true player you have to know how to play
If she says you night convince her say you day
Never admit to a word that she say
When she says you tell her say baby no way

But she caught me on the counter (It wasn't me)
Saw me bangin' on the sofa (It wasn't me)
I even had her in the shower (It wasn't me)
She even caught me on camera (It wasn't me)

She saw the marks on my shoulder (It wasn't me)
Heard the words that I told her (It wasn't me)
Heard the scream get louder (It wasn't me)
She said our dealy was over

Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this, we were both buck naked
Bangin' on the bathroom floor

I had tried to keep her
From what she was about to see
Why should she believe me
When I told her it wasn't me

Make sure that she really knows for ride the dick
Whenever you should see her make the gigolo flex
As hard as it appears to you it's not that complex
Seeing is believing, so you better change your specs
You know she gonna bring up whateva things are from the past
All the little evidence you better know it fast
Think 'bout your answer know how to talk
But if she packs a gun you know you better run fast

But she caught me on the counter (It wasn't me)
Saw me bangin' on the sofa (It wasn't me)
I even had her in the shower (It wasn't me)
She even caught me on camera (It wasn't me)

She saw the marks on my shoulder (It wasn't me)
Heard the words that I told her (It wasn't me)
Heard the scream get louder (It wasn't me)
She said our dealy was over

Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this, we were both buck naked
Bangin' on the bathroom floor

How could I forget that I had
Given her an extra key
All this time she was standing there
She never took her eyes off me

Gonna tell her that I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused
I've been listening to your reason, it makes no sense at all
If you tell her that I'm sorry for the pain that I've caused
You may think that you're a player, but you're completely lost
That's why I sing

Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this, we were both buck naked
Bangin' on the bathroom floor

How could I forget that I had
Given her an extra key
All this time she was standing there
She never took her eyes off me

After completing this task my mind started to wander, as it's oft to do. Scooby Doo! I've always was suspicious of Shaggy being a stoner. The guy had the munchies so bad that he ate dog treats. He also had this tendancy to wander off with Scooby "Dooby" (so obvious) Doo. A trait shared by another TV character with more then a passing resemblance, Gilligan.

So naturally I began to dive deeper into the recesses of my childhood memories. The whole gang drove around in that "Mystery wan" with the flowers on it solving crimes. One of them seemed adept at the work, Velma Binkley. With such a promising start to her criminal justice career I believe she later resurfaced in a much higher position.

If you think that's far fetched, then consider this. The straight-laced blond guy was Fred Jones and he always tried to be the leader even though he was as dumb as a stick. With such a fake sounding name and those characteristics he could be none other then, Dan Quayle!

Daphne Blake is a mystery to me. I do have a hunch though, Drew.

Finally, we come to the main instigator. After much consideration and thorough research I know how Shaggy got his name in both cases. Scooby Do is Snoop Dogg.

I know you've been runing it through your head, so here are the lyrics.

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, Where are you?
We got some work to do now.
Scooby-Dooby-Doo, Where are you?
We need some help from you now.

Come on Scooby-Doo, I see you...
pretending you got a sliver.
But you're not fooling me, cause I can see,
the way you shake and shiver.

You know we've got a mystery to solve,
so Scooby Doo be ready for your act
[Scooby Doo]Uh-uh Uh-uh Don't hold back!
And scooby Doo if you come through
your going to have yourself a scooby snack!
That's a fact!

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, here are you,
Your ready and your willing.
If we can count on you Scooby-Doo,
I know you'll catch the villian!

11.16.2000 @


In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long, Holly.

Harry Lime AKA Orson Welles from The Third Man

The lure of cable tv is still strong. I watched Boy's Don't Cry the other day and I noticed that the next channel was playing It's Pat, which had me flipping to it in that car crash gaping kind of curiosity mixed with habitually sticking your tongue on sore tooth masochism. It was strange, but in more of the Don King haircut kind of way then the Original humping rabbit animal cookie collector way. For something like that you would need M. Butterfly and The Crying Game to be playing as well.

Perhaps it's natural to find patterns in things or try and make connections. There was a game we used to play in High School where we would try and think of bands that should tour together based on their names. Some of them were: Boston/Chicago/Berlin, Cars/REO Speedwagon, (MC) Hammer/Nine Inch Nails, Jefferson Starship/Led Zepplin, Maddonna/Supertramp, Prince/Queen, Pretenders/Millie Vanilli. With so many new bands the game has gotten a bit easier: Cream/Korn/Meatloaf, Black Crowes/Counting Crows/Sheryl Crow...

I was totally willing to let this train of thought die and then I had to read Suck's Filler today, which is now yesterday, which brought to mind the whole gender ambiguity facet of the internet. This isn't especially interesting except it makes a connection to the first paragraph. I like connections.

So this summer I had this dream.

I dreamed that I was in this rather large apartment with all sorts of people inside, one of them was a killer that nobody could see. He couldn't see me, since I wasn't physically there, just a floating camera. As the killer approached his first victim I stopped him.

The rest of the people in the apartment suddenly were awakened to his existence and the killer tried to escape. A couple of them grabbed him and threw he down the stairs and he died.

The people from the apartment wouldn't let me wake up because they felt that this killer might come back (his body had vanished-typical.) They put me on a 24 hour watch.

In the meantime I met Bob and Laura. Bob had plastic wrap over his hands to protect me from whatever disease he had (looked like measles) while he introduced himself and shook my hand. Laura had the same sores on her body as Bob and made it a point to tell me that "Bob and I are not going out and I like you a lot."

There was a flash of red light from this wooden wardrobe by the wall. I knew the killer appeared there. I seemed to be the only one aware of it. I opened the door and grabbed the scrawny killer by the neck. He had a long, seedy looking face with blue makeup and short brown hair, goatee, and pointed nose. "What do you want?" I asked him, "To kill you" and he tried to break free.

At this point I started to speak in verse. I don't know exactly what I said. Some sort of persuasive "don't kill" thing that seemed to work. The rest of the folks were not as convinced as I was to this killer's sudden conversion. They had to watch his for 24 hours hours. I woke up.

A week later I had another dream. I was in a band singing. This time I woke up and managed to write down what I was singing. So am I a poet or only in my dreams?

Connections continue as I am without a car to serve the greater good

11.10.2000 @


My warning label would read: Not for mass consumption

The Internet Grammar Manifesto

95 16 Theses

1. conversations are boring
2. flame fests are eternal
3. uppercase is superfluous to communication. shift keys are only one letter away from their true meaning.
4. aNyOnE tHaT TyPeS lIkE tHiS sHoUlD bE ShOt!
5. ANYONE THAT TYPES LIKE THIS IS JUST AN ASSHOLE.
6. i am not that special.
7. commas are like annoying grammar groupies hanging on to words for no reason other then to slow them down.
8. there is no point in hypens. it is email not e-mail!
9. single quotes are good enough. double quotes are nothing more than redundant.
10. ~ what good are you?
11. You only ever need one ! you bastard.
12. haha bahaha and muhaha are not words but preferred to LOL or any form of :-)
13. If you are happy then type 'you made me filter my pepsi through my nose with that comment'
14. people may get the wrong idea if you filter coke through your nose.
15. who the hell is being helped by apostrophes in abbreviations?
16. acronyms are evil.

11.06.2000 @


"I was deeply unhappy, but I didn't know it, because I was so happy all the time."

- Steve Martin's character in L.A. Story

I have not had cable for a couple of years. Now that I do and at least temporarily have access to all the premium channels, I fell into watching a lot of cable this weekend. One movie that came on, 8 days a week, was a cute little comedy about a boy that spends the summer outside of a girl's (Keri Russel) house to demonstrate his devotion. It ends with the Freudianesque message that all human actions are merely interludes between sex.

It is hard to determine if people are becoming less interested, more interested, or somewhere in between. Since only 2-3% of commercial websites are sex related it does not seem we are that obsessed, right? After all, people visiting sex sites on the web are not likely to be having sex, at least with someone else.

The web is pushing sex in new directions as much as the rest of our environment is changing sex for us.

"When the concept of 'most beautiful in the world' tends to be the same for everyone, it becomes more and more difficult to make more people happy."

- Dr Caldarelli

Far be it from me to try and poke a hole in the Doctor's theory, but it seems people will always find something to keep them happy.

It is just as well that people will find ways to be unhappy. While he may just be harboring a testosterone influx there is the whole bedtrick without a bed aspect of sex on the internet. Which may explain the lower numbers of people getting married. So far technology has not provided a fair substitute for that face-to-face moment of realizing this babe's for you.

Am I then stuck with another label, QuirkyAlone, to explain why I've been avoiding a relationship? I have to wonder if enjoying one's freedom is a self-destructive path that leads one to be too self-sufficient.

Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan. But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.

- Harriet Lerner

- It had to happen. And I thought female version was bad...

- Random thought of the day: All around Seattle are elevators from a company named Dover. I have noticed that quite a few have "ben" in black magic marker put in front of the company's name. I have had a long struggle with bouts of insomnia and after watching Fight Club I have been wondering If I might have something to do with this. Nah!

10.29.2000 @


"I don't want to call it a drug. An herb is not a drug. It's good for stress, which is the biggest killer on the planet. If you need some temporary help in getting through the day, cannabis is the best way."
- Willie Nelson

Back on again on the subject, to smoke or not to smoke. The question I have is that if things are so bad now with drug related crime, why can't we try legalization for a while and test those theories. Prohibition was overturned and I'm sure we can do the same with legalization. Of course, this would mean actually having politicians try out new solutions to problems rather then argue all the time. You would think that they would be more inclined to this kind of policy in order to lessen the amount of skeletons that might pop up.

"Actually, I've talked to W. briefly about [the whole cocaine thing]. It was last August, and we met at a small campaign event in Indianola, Iowa, a little town about twenty minutes south of Des Moines. I said, 'I don't care whether or not you've ever done cocaine, but, since we're in Iowa, I have to ask you: Have you ever manufactured any crystal meth?' He laughed, but he did not, and I think this is important, he did not deny. Which actually was smart, because if he'd denied, then I could have asked him why he wouldn't categorically deny using cocaine. So, in this case anyway, I guess he outsmarted me."
Al Franken

It would seem that the only reason we have the laws that we do is because there are certain companies that would prefer us to keep buying their drugs. Perhaps the whole drug issue is just a bit confusing?

"Allowing the new bill that was passed in the Congress made sense to allow for, you know, drugs that were sold overseas to come back, in other countries, to come back into the United States. That makes sense. "
George W. Bush during the 2000 debates.

Sometimes you just want to slap some sense into them. By the way, I don't knock Hillary for defending Bill.

"This is not a daytime soap, it's real life, and Meg and I are real people. The reason for our breakup will remain private, just as anyone out there wants their intimate life to be a private thing. But I won't stand for any criticism of Jack's mother!"
Dennis Quaid

Continuing on this tangent, who can blame Meg for falling prey on the typical curse of falling for your co-star? Jim Carry did it, Tom Cruise did it, and Jim might do it again. I'm just Bedazzled and Bamboozled by the craziness going on. Even Jackie Chan is releasing his old movies as new. This is supposed to be one of his best. It's based on Wong Fei Hung who created Hung-gar. It's a shame that Jackie is getting older and can't can't hack the big stunts anymore, but at least we can look to Jet Li for the future.

No matter how crazy Hollywood seems it just can't compete with what is happening in India. Rajkumar is a legend starring in over 200 films and has been kidnapped by the most notorious bandit in India, Koose Muniswamy Veerapan.

10.25.2000 @


"You know, the guy ADMITTED he was a drunk for twenty years, and if the abortion issue is true, then that puts him lower on the morality scale than Bill Clinton!"
Larry Flynt on CNN's Crossfire

The quote in context, as found from Ethel

NOVAK: Mr. Flynt, never let it be said that we censor any of our guests here on CROSSFIRE, and you said you wanted to talk about the election. Tell me what you wanted to say.

FLYNT: Well, during the impeachment debacle, we did an investigation which resulted in the resignation of Bob Livingston and others and we have continued this investigation and for eight months we've been looking into George W. Bush's background. And we've found out in the early 1970s he was involved in an abortion in Texas, and I just think that it's sad that the mainstream media, who's aware of this story, won't ask him that question when they were able to ask him the drug question without any proof at all, and we've got all kinds of proof on this issue.

NOVAK: Well, you're...

FLYNT: You know, the guy admitted he was a drunk for 20 years, and if the abortion issue is true then that puts him lower on the morality scale than Bill Clinton.

NOVAK: Mr. Flynt, you said if it's true and you have no proof of that. I gather you are a very strong...

FLYNT: The hell we don't have proof.

It seems passť to talk about the hypocrisy of politicians or how they lie. In that sense it would seem we are easier on them. I'm of no great political sense, but since Time validated (somewhat) my idea about lovers and fighters I am starting to feel like I have an angle.

The Jaded American has come into his own. Blame it on youthful indiscretion or momentary weakness, we don't care. Big Government and Bigger Corporations are the not so invisible forces that are in control. As long as only a certain percentage of us as are finding themselves under their boot, it doesn't matter. We got hundreds of channels or millions of URLs to lull us into complacency. Sure some people are awake, but they have always been few. How long before they fall in line?

With about half of Americans even bothering to vote there is concern that democracy is failing here. American ambivalence is growing. Politicians scramble to fight drugs while most americans have tried some at one point. We feel that while kids should stay away from them (at least until college) they will have to learn on their own (like we did) and any time we hear about how bad pot is we have to restrain a tired laugh. When we hear how violence in media is making our kids more violent we realize that we have to ignore falling crime statistics as communist propaganda. When we hear that where one Cuban boy's life is important we numbly nod our heads. When a TV show claims 'the truth is out there' we agree because it's certainly not here.

The most scary thing about the Jaded American is that he is headed toward a brick wall. We consume and consume. Our bellies get as big as our cars. We throw away most of what we buy and the trash piles out of site. We unconsciously justify the murder of people hundreds of miles away so our gas prices are low. Kill for the Economy.

The people picketing against WTO and for human rights today are facing the cold apathetic gaze of the masses and the tired angry clubs of authorities. Today's evils have the benefits of marketing research, statistical analysis, and medically enhanced spokesmodels. There is no more free love. Every inch gained is stained with blood. They are many and we are few, but we are still here.

It really isn't that bad. Hey, football is on...

- After a some vacillating clearer heads prevail.

- APB News offers a clue about why serial killers kill.

- Nullsoft and AOL have an interesting relationship.

"we didn't get into this 'space' cuz we're internet gold seeking cockos. we're legitimately nihilistic media terrorists as history will no doubt canonize us."

- The next time someone says "I know molds smarter then you." it might be true

- I have to admit that I do love that Saag Paneer.

- Isn't it Ironic? Is Alanis Morissette clueless about irony? Her 'Ironic' lyrics are not ironic. So is this where the irony lies? Is the chicken how the egg reproduces?

- Economy Class syndrome is making it's way back into the spotlight. Word to the wise is exercise when for a long time you 'flies'.

- Timely side change by video game maker to the (M$)xbox camp. Nah, still getting a PS2.

- You can curse out a cop but we can't make Brad Pitt stop.

- call 18008883999 wait for option 7.

- Screw driving to work.

- They sure got balls.

- It won't die!

- That little chat between David Sim and Alan Moore that I linked to a while back got moved. I grabbed the files until he decides where they will be (since I have not finished reading them myself).

Correspondence 1, Correspondence 2, Correspondence 3, Conclusion.

- Sure, I've put off the trip log, but I've started my Ego Trip

10.22.2000 @


" In plain language, there came a moment in the evolution of hominids when God intervened and injected a human soul into a previously animal lineage. (When? A million years ago? Two million years ago? Between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens? Between "archaic" Homo sapiens and H. sapiens sapiens?) The sudden injection is necessary, of course, otherwise there would be no distinction upon which to base Catholic morality, which is speciesist to the core. You can kill adult animals for meat, but abortion and euthanasia are murder because human life is involved."
Richard Dawkins

The tendrils of morality that have held me meatless for about 6 months are growing tenuous. The camps are becoming more organized on both sides and I finding myself once again in the middle, confused.

At present I cannot prove that the idea of animal rights is extraordinarily dangerous and inhumane; to get proof of this, we'll have to wait until the disastrous consequences of the idea reveal themselves over the next century or so. But I strongly suspect that it's a dangerous idea, and accordingly I suspect that the promoters of this idea, whatever their intentions, are enemies of the human race.
David R. Carlin

The line has blurred, and I am no longer certain where I stand. The issue presses toward the more volatile territory of god and religion. I can't seem to make the leap of faith toward any idea no matter how reasonable. A tenant to one thought seems to hold as much permanence as investing in corduroy pants with the view that they will always be in fashion.

"An attack on evolution is an attack on all of science," she says. "Discredit that, and the next generation may wonder why they should support science at all."
Eugenie Scott

So if I can't discern the moral position of meat eating any more then the existence of god, can I decide my position on how everything came into being?

It appears that I may just be lazy with my beliefs. The Ewoks of Oregon's Willamette National Forest seem to have strong beliefs or do they?

"Most of the people out there don't have a clue as to what they're protesting. Some of them are anarchists, with belligerent, atrocious behaviors. I'm talking about putting up barricades of logs across the road and covering them with human feces."

It is nice to know that people can still find things to stand for and find interesting ways to show it.

The one thing that I fall back on is a firm belief in humanity. We will get better due to the efforts of individuals. Diversity of belief ushers in better beliefs. Good people suffer and grow better. The great snowball of human progress won't stop.

"Faith is a torment. It is like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call."
Antonius Bloc from The Seventh seal

- Lately the economy has not been having a good time. Whatever theories may be behind this is beyond my current caring, but assuming everyone keeps buying stuff we will be OK. It is a bit disturbing to me to find that schools have allowed corporations into the classroom to seed in the next generation the proper levels of consumerist views. I am talking about Channel 1. The one good sign is that some kids are resisting and some politicians are acting.

- How can you be sure the next person you talk to in chat is real?

- Grant Morrison seems to want me to buy X-men comics again.

"I`ve said it before, if you want to see comics dead, then continue to tear everything apart before it even gets started, continue to shout and rant based on wrong-headed assumptions, ignorant misunderstanding and misplaced frustration. I won`t be listening and I won`t be on your side in this miserable endeavor. Sorry."

Um, OK. I'll give it a chance, jeesh.

- Penny Arcade is a online comic that I used to find funny. User friendly is a online comic I used to find funny. Can they get worse? Maybe they need to read Reinventing comics. My copy should arrive next week.

In other comic news, Alan Moore gets interviewed on Salon and Eddie Campbell gets interviewed (and gives views) on Mars Import.

- Time for the funny stuff. With out a doubt, this has to be one of the funniest entrances ever recorded.

- Now for some of the best fight scenes ever filmed.

- As Dreamcast owners can now enjoy the fun that is Q3, will this hurt PS2 sales...yeah right.

- So are you looking for hidden goodies in anything from Art to TV?

- Egos never die(link died). Hasta la bye bye Rage against the Machine.

- What's the difference?

- Why do I have a web site? Some people have said it better then I. It is the best way for me to keep in touch and to touch the things on my mind.

This internet thingy is just to much fun to be sitting out on the sidelines. You never know what comes next. You don't have to be popular to have fun.

10.12.2000 @


"I can only think of Peter's denial of Christ for the sole sake of his own personal gain. As well, I have denied the truth in an attempt to shirk responsibility for my own actions... I can only ask that you will forgive me as Jesus surely forgave Peter."
Samford University senior graphic design major David Carrigan after putting tiny nude pictures in the student directory.

I must also seek absolution. I have not called anyone since I've got here. I should be moved in to my new place and have a phone hooked up next week and I can finally relax (providing I get a bed too) and call. I got the trip page written up and I just want to add photos, which means I need to use up of rest of the film this weekend. It will all work out...

- As a long time fan of games, digital or otherwise, it may not be too surprising that I have some strong opinions about the subject. If I were to pick out a genre of computer games that I most hate, (excluding Christian games) then it would have to be adventure games. To think that these games were purchased by enough people to allow a company like Sierra to continue to exist even to this day (offering not a single adventure game currently) is more of a comment to the horrible state of the old MS-DOS EGA/VGA game industry then the severe lack of taste of PC users at the time. Of course, I might just be feeling generous, but PC gamers didn't have many games to choose from. I was enjoying my C64 at the time and cringed at the sight of Leisure Suit Larry, King's Quest, and the like.

Once I got my Amiga I relaxed in hubristic comfort that it's games would not be sucky adventure games. Then it happened. I used to buy everything Interplay released. Future Wars(1990) changed that. Maybe it's just me, but paying $45 for a game and finishing it the next day makes me feel ripped off. Even though I recouped $25 of it when I submitted the walk-through to a hint collection and thought the music and animations were nice, I still felt ripped.

A year later the same development team (Delphine Software International) came out with Another World, which was released in the US as Out of this World. While once again being a short game (I finished it in hours) it was pretty damn cool. I even played it again, once. Like a movie that you might enjoy again, it still held it's charm. I would have preferred to pay $20-30 for this game. The sequel sucked and I haven't bought anything they have done since.

Growing up at the same time the industry was spawned, probably colors my perceptions a bit. I remember when the game NARC arrived at the Chicago Game company that used to exist across the street from Lane Tech High School. I managed to finish the game easily with a massive score by busting most of the bad guys rather then shooting them. One day some guy had the machine opened up and was going through usage statistic screens. When he left, the game had a new level and the boss at the end of the game was ridiculously hard... Of course, my friend and I used to try and compete to see who could finish games on the least amount of quarters (back in the days when they only cost 1). I thought that being able to finish Super contra on one quarter was pretty good and then I found that I was able to play Heavy Barrel, Xenophobe, a few others indefinitely. It's amazingly though, being able to go into an arcade and enter you name on the all time high score screen of almost any machine does not transfer as much of a skill in the job world.

Perhaps I'm just selling myself short. I've been doing everything but try and get that computer game job. I've let the many game ideas swim in the back of my mind, uncertain who to share them with. It's time to pull all that game knowledge and get those games out of my head.

- I can reminiscence about the history of the Playstation since I probably won't be able to get my hands on one until next year.

- Moving is a major problem in getting people to vote.

- Bush doesn't know dick.

"Columbine spoke to a larger issue, and it's really a matter of culture. It's a culture that somewhere along the line we begun to disrespect life, where a child can walk in and have their heart turn dark as a result of being on the Internet, and walk in and decide to take somebody else's life."
George W. Bush, presidential debate, October 11, 2000

- Then again, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority doesn't seem too smart either or they are just greedy.

- With all the craziness in my life lately I could use a vacation, but not here. It's enough to make you want to end it all

- It seems that forces are hard at work trying to convince me to buy a cell phone, but this is silly.

10.7.2000 @


"I guarantee we will live in a normal state where there will be no revenge"-Vojislav Kostunica

Milosevic is gone and Europe is now the exclusive domain of democracy or at least the pseudodemocracy of the UK.

Hopefully with increasing stability in the region various criminal elements can be cleared out. This way we can try and figure out what to do about other world problems.

A major turning point was when the Serbian broadcast station was taken over. The media tends to be the mouth-piece of the government and this was a sure sign that things had changed.

In a symbolic act directed at the media control, citizens of Warsaw left their homes when the state TV news went on the air and went in huge crowds into the Lazienki Park for a silent mass walk under the trees, then vanished equally silently back home when the broadcast was over. Schoolchildren removed the electronic resistors from old radios and attached them as visible badges on their clothes: "opur," or resistance.

After all is said and done, the biggest threat to any government not aligned with it's own people is to not control the flow of information. How does the nature of the information persuade people to rebel?

"George Orwell once remarked that political thought, especially on the left, is a sort of masturbation fantasy in which the world of fact hardly matters. That's true, unfortunately, and it's part of the reason that our society lacks a genuine, responsible, serious left-wing movement."

-Noam Chomsky

"Anyone who, in conversation, talks over the head of even one person, is tactless. For the sake of humanity talk is restricted to the most obvious, dullest, and tritest matters."
- from Minima Moralia.

The one problem about having politicians pandering to public prerequisites is that they are forced to perform all sorts of twists on previous positions.

The number of the month just has to be 30 Million, which is the number of barrels of oil released from the strategic reserve by the order of President Clinton on September 23rd - not because it is wrong, but because it represents one of the most remarkable u-turns in the history of junk science. As we have observed above, this move was demanded by the nice Mr. Gore in a complete contradiction of everything he has ever stood for. In his preposterous book The Earth in Balance he called for nothing less than the elimination of the motor car. The road to Damascus has nothing on the road to the White House when it comes to dramatic conversions. Like the nice Mr. Blair, he has suddenly discovered that the ordinary punters might be prepared to be lectured on the prescriptions of junk science, but they draw the line at paying through the nose for it. It remains to be seen just how many of the electorate will be taken in by such cynical last minute apostasy. There is some honour in being convinced but wrong. There is none in being prepared to ditch one's principles in electoral desperation.

It does not come as a surprise to me that now Lieberman is toning down his stand on violent video games. As the election draws closer politicians become more and more moderate. It's obvious that when you play these kinds of games it makes you more aggressive, but the fact that playing a game of football does not cause the same outcry makes these guys look like silly hypocrites. These games do help people concentrate and relieve stress. A quick deathmatch is one of my favorite ways to forget about things for a moment.

As we continue towards the future things will still go wrong. People will still get all worked up over trivial things that had even worse precedents.

The saying that the more things change the more they stay the same points out that the only constant in the equation is change, but change without movement.

We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood ... It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.?
- Abraham Lincoln Nov. 21 1864 letter to Col. William F. Elkins

- I may have a place next week right in the middle of downtown. Things are looking good. A log on the trip over is in the works. Seattle is quite a pretty place and I plan on exploring as much as I can whenever they let me out of the office.

It is nice to know that I can keep up on the latest crimes in Chicago in case I get homesick. If I can find a similar service for Seattle, I can test the current opinions (considered safe? -Seattle 76%, Chicago 44%) on their relative safety.

I screwed up and didn't register to vote. Little did I know I had only a limited time due to the fact I was moving. Oh well, I could have at least made some money. In fact, my vote has lost value (from $16.31 to $12.36) by moving to Washington, damn!

-Things have been a little crazy lately to allow too much time for me to entertain many sentimental thoughts. I am feeling the peripheral tug of it come on. People that know me do not usually expect emotional outbursts from me except for bouts of laughter from the jokes told in good company. I internalize my reactions to things. I've been this way as long as I can remember. Whether it's a male thing or an eldest child thing I don't know. I remember when my Grandmother died and how I felt numb for the longest time. Waiting in the hospital, the wake, the funeral, and well after that I couldn't or didn't cry. When high school started again, I took speech. One of the assignments was to do a eulogy for something. I wrote one about her. As I read the words my feelings came to the surface for the first time and I came apart right there and had to rush out of the room. This was a new school for me and I didn't feel like crying in front of strangers. I wonder when my feelings for those left in Chicago will catch up to me.

- Poetry.com send me another letter before I left town. It caught me in a suspicious mood. They wanted me to submit another poem which was already approved to be published in their latest book Poetry Elite: The Best Poets of 2000. Perhaps I just do not take flattery very well, but it made me think that the way they made money was by offering poets publication knowing they might buy their expensive books. They offer the carrot of some prize money to boot. I figured it was only fitting to submit the poem they inspired me to write.

My attitude towards modern poetry is sour enough, now that Stanely Kunitz became the 10th poet laureate of the United States. His work:

One day in the library, Puzzled and distracted, Leafing through a dull book, I came upon a picture Of the vase containing Buddha's relics. A chill Passed over me. I was Haunted by the touch of A calm I cannot know, The opening into that Busy place of a better world.

It asking for rhyme too much? I challenge Stanely to at least come up with something clever or new.

- A correspondence between Sim and Moore is worth a look.

"With hindsight, I imagine it's a problem that will be familiar to anyone working in a research-based or semi-documentary field, and it further strikes me that the nature of the phenomenon is probably mathematical. There's a form that's frequently used to exemplify fractal mathematics known as the Koch Snowflake. What this is, basically, is an equilateral triangle. An iterative computer program is applied to this and told to append a smaller equilateral triangle, exactly half the size of the original, to each of the three exposed sides. This gives a sort of Star-of-David shape, which now has twelve exposed sides. The computer will then add half-sized equilateral triangles to each of the three exposed sides. The computer will then add half-sized equilateral triangles to each of these twelve new facets, making the basic star shape more prickly and giving it lots of new exposed facets to which the computer will continue to add half-sized equilateral triangles ad infinitum. As you can imagine, the perimeter line of the shape becomes crinklier and pricklier with each new iteration of the program. The interesting thing is that since the original equilateral triangle can be drawn within a circle of a given diameter and area, the area of the resultant snowflake-like shape can never exceed the area of the original circle. The perimeter of the snowflake, on the other hand, can become infinite."

- How many more reasons do I need to buy a Playstation 2?

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