Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

i get angry with athletic ease 

Someone had to say it.

I said it two weeks ago and someone finally picked up what I was putting down:

This government is powerless. Fuck semantics. Shit is nervous over there. This is a Civil War.

I don't know that this will make a difference, but if the US.gov makes this distinction (admission) maybe they will look at alternate exit strategies like splitting the country into thirds or who knows what? (saying sorry wouldn't hurt)

I saw this story break on MSNBC, NBC's cable news brethren, at 9:00AM on Monday. Amy Robach, the newscaster, interviewing some former Army General.

She asked him what made this a civil war, why wasn't the government acknowledging that this was a civil war, what does this mean, et al.

The General began responding and I heard the sound of air bubbles surfacing.

A pop up graphic appeared in lower left hand corner of screen complete with its own graphic bubbles as wallpaper. A factoid informing the viewer that the General fought in the Gulf War or the General went to high school with Danny Glover or the General shares a birthday with General Custard.

Out of place. Not befitting of the gravity the National Broadcasting Company was trying to convey. This was not a small announcement. They were taking an editorial position on the War. They consulted experts, former military brass - sat in board rooms, made PowerPoint presentations and came to the executive decision that they would be THE media outlet, print, broadcast, whatever that took 3 years of caution, political correctness, media even-handedness and throw it to the wind.

They took a stand, proclaimed their position, tried to shape policy and the hearts and minds of US and Iraqi citizens. They tried to do this and then broke the story (to me at least) with a gurgle of air pocketed in water and a silly pop up window. A small point, for sure, but when someone can't get the minor details right, can't set the proper tone (or even understand the tone for that matter) the rest of the argument starts to crumble. A little bit of food on the chin that just won't go away, residual from that business lunch, and you can't look at the person without laughing anymore regardless of what wisdom they are speaking.


If the Gray Lady had the marbles to declare it a civil war she would have probably done so in a more serious way and not turned their first interview, the day of NBC's proclamation, into a VH1 I Love the 80s segment. She has good posture and a stately presence, in print.

or maybe she wouldn't have.

There is an awful lot of that Dick_&_Rummy_speak, nursery rhymes and fables, a lot of pouting of the lips and temper tantrums - playful and child-like from that Gray Lady, sometimes.

I thought Brown and Geoff were bad... 

Good for this girl. If she wanted to, she could sell her Second Life assests and expliot countless people who have nothing better to do than to pretend they acquired belongings in a video game.

Seriously though, shes got assests worth a million dollars all tied up in a video game. I say sell now while the getting is good. Its only a matter of time until something else comes around and takes Second Life's popularity.

Friday, November 24, 2006

If I ever 

find myself on my death bed from radioactive residuals poisoning at the hands of a former director of the KGB turned President of Russia I hope to come up with something as poignant as this, Alexander Litvinenko's final statement:

You may succeed in silencing me, but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics claim. You may succeed in silencing one man. But a howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life. May God forgive you for what you have done.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Tendency Towards the Hyperbolic 

He of silver screen magistrate

or rather he of over the top descriptives and gravely voice.

Fields of flowery language like One Hundred Years of Solitude

I heard him interviewed (sort of) intermittently, between extended monologues, on Wednesday.

I cringed at first when I heard him describe our 35th president as:

His mind was honey-combed with contradictions.

Who talks like this? Who can speak like this with straight face during an interview?

He then emoted this polished, rehearsed gem, about Lyndon B. on November 22, 1963:

His volcanic emotions kept under stern control - like a chess player thinking 3 or 4 moves ahead.

But when I heard this piece of prose:

Hysteria hung in the room like Spanish moss on the ceiling

Jack Valente had me

Consider me a fan


Saturday, November 18, 2006

New Fangled Gadgets 

Israel developing anti-militant "bionic hornet". They say it will be operational in 3 years.

The flying robot, nicknamed the "bionic hornet," would be able to navigate its way down narrow alleyways to target otherwise unreachable enemies such as rocket launchers, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said.


"The war in Lebanon proved that we need smaller weaponry. It's illogical to send a plane worth $100 million against a suicidal terrorist. So we are building futuristic weapons," Peres said.

I've seen this before 1960s visions from Phillip K. Dick and 2000s special effects realized by Spielberg:

And then what?

I once asked on this blog - what is Israel's industry? In the past I didn't immediately identify any one product or company with them as you do Sony with Japan, BMW with Germany, LG with South Korea. Someone responded back in the comments section that Israel is at the forefront of developing security, surveillance and military technology. They are a nation of engineers. And they grow Jaffa oranges.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In Case You Were Wondering... 

... this is why our country can't win a war:

Seriously, people. You just couldn't live without that PS3 for a few more days? You had to spend a night sleeping in a lawn chair on the sidewalk to make your life complete?

The good news, I suppose, is that a serious storm is potentially headed towards our friends. They will gain a greater appreciation for the shelter that they've momentarily abondoned as they are struck by hailstones at winds of 30-50 MPH.
And they will realize that perhaps a wiser investment for some of the $600 that they are about to fork over to Best Buy would have been on a pair of rain boots as flash floods bring the water level to the middle of their calves.

-Pics courtesy of our good friends at Fox News ("We Report. You decide that these kids need to get some fucking jobs.")

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you? 

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. I saw it going on a month ago now. It was good. In a Do_the_Right_Thing_/_25th_Hour_/_Native_New_York_way ... Bensonhurst!!! What!!, but in Astoria, Queens. It was KIDS.

It was me and my friends growing up, hanging out, doing nothing, but romantized and cinematized.

This dude was powerful.

In a Brandon Jacobs type way. Completely bowling people over. With bravado, brawn.

This guy was effective, like a character out of Fortress of Solitude, verbatim.

He was of steely-countenance per the usual.

But, what stood out was the scene where Dito, main character, and a new Irish student ride the elevated subway tracks, N, R, W, 7 in Western Queens, full of graffiti and what the fuck? Packed trains, smelling people closely.

I can't describe this scene in a way that displays its genius (genus) but it is short, so even if you see it you might blink you may miss it, so A Guide to Recognizing Deft Dialogue, Voice Overs, and Pulling on Emotional Heart Strings in a Complex, not Sappy Way...

This scene:

Irish kid, a tourist in new city, asks dumb obvious questions to Dito like have you ever been to Coney Island?

Dito, who's father gets nervous when he leaves the block for fear his horizon will expand beyond 30th ave, says to Irish kid, Nah, yo, never been out there. (And who has? I haven't been to the Statue of Liberty and I've lived within 15 miles of it my entire life. You have one life as a tourist another as a resident, right? Eiffel tower, Reclining Buddha, Coliseum... check, check, yes ... Empire State Building ... no) Dito, asks Irish kid, how is it being so far from home? Irish kid answers it's not so bad, I'm seeing things, going to Coney Island now actually, on this train. The normal-est dialogue you ever heard. But, behind them, voiced-over, each character narrates, not overtly, but tone-wise you can tell, that Dito's nah yo, really means that he knows his world is too small since it can't include a landmark known world-wide, across oceans, that resides 10 miles from home. He knows he is a bit sad and small. Irish kid knows that he is overwhelmed by the new city, the subway, by the Brandon Jacobs character. The voice over narratives function like a Gregorian chant, on this subway.

Something along the lines of we are laughing all the time to keep from crying. Or like Radiohead what if we could say everything of all of the time. Happy and sad. The dialogue at hand. And a removed, distanced, enlightened narrative that explained YOU. Minor, insignificant, and Meta. The conversations on a subway. And the monologue when you are repeating when you can't fall asleep. What you are really feeling and the easier truth that you will pick up and run with.

And you know what, I will come with you to Coney Island.

All speed and whistles heading west!


A light-hearted jaunt 

We may need emergency surgery in the studio.

An Independent, Pro-Active Iraqi Police Force, Army, Security Force 

Doing the peoples' work! Rumsfeld's vision coming to fruitition.

Gunmen wearing Iraqi police commando uniforms (or actual Iraqi police moonlighting as kidnappers) kidnapped as many as 100 men from a Higher Education Ministry building. ID cards were checked to separate Sunnis from Shiites. It takes a while to kidnap 100 people and check IDs, where were the real police? Were these the real police. This government is powerless.

Fuck semantics. Shit is nervous over there. This is a Civil War.

Like a Million Elephants with Silver Back Orangutans 

Tonight I started reading Tao Lin's collection of poetry called You Are a Little Bit Happier Than Me. I like it and will comment on it when I finish reading it. But I also read a spam mail. It was one of those stream of consciousness narratives that accompanies an ad for some weight loss pills. I am intrigued by this. Who writes copy for spam mail to sneak past the censors, the filters? And isn't this spam free form, strange and kind of almost poetic? Can someone confirm any of this, or better yet explain how it works and who writes it? Wikipedia's explanations are lacking.

Any burglar can eat an ocean about a bullfrog, but it takes a real hole puncher to be a big fan of some oil filter.
A light bulb related to the wedding dress prays, and the unstable support group reads a magazine; however, a bowling ball around a dolphin pours freezing cold water on a pork chop. When a completely fractured spider is secretly false, a boiled fundraiser gives secret financial aid to some football team.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

You Can't Be the King of the Parking Lot Forever 

Tupac got murdered, Biggie got murdered, Jay Z makes too many records to not have a few potholes in his playlist.

Andre 3000 from Outkast keeps making music, but with a few exceptions, i.e., The Mighty O off of the IdleWild soundtrack, he stopped rapping 6 years ago, after releasing Stankonia.

I heard The Walk it Out Remix on Hot97 while driving home tonight.

Kinda catchy, but the type of thing that didn't exactly appear to be intricate, layered.

One verse ended with the query:

How can I say this and be polite, don't make me have to kill you, aight?

Material for a dissertation in cultural criticism course at NYU this was not. The last person I expected to hear on the next verse was Andre,

not just because of the tone already set in this song, but because he does not rap anymore, he croons.

The lyrical content couldn't be more disparate in the verses. Like Jay Z and Kanye in Diamonds are Forver Remix. Jay-Z ignoring the theme, or throwing spite at Kanye's attempt at social consciousness. There is not a common theme running through Walk it Out by DJ Unk featuring Jim Jones (the We_Fly_high_you_know_it_BALLIN!!!, dude) and Andre 3000.

It is also like Hugo Chavez invited onto US soil and critiquing his host country from their podium at UN and pulpit at Harlem Church.

Andre 3000 tries to talk sense to the real talkin', long white t-shirt wearin' (dip) set, who happen to reside on the same track. Oh my. Some excerpts from Andre critiquing the rap world and hip hop culture he left behind (in (and for) his spaceship) years ago.

Walk it out like an usher, if you say real talk I probably won't trust ya.

If you want to go to war with guns, my pleasure, even Jesus had twelve disciples on the lever, excuse me I mean trigger, whatever.

Your white tee, well to me, look like a night-gown, make your momma proud take that thing two sizes down. Then you'll look like the man you are, or could be. I could give a damn about your car, but then I would be.

My boy is wicked smart.

But it's not just a good verse, it's well-placed, in a song with this dude who epitomizes everything that is dead, soul-less, unoriginal and boring about hip hop today.

WAKE UP!@#!@#!@#$

Jones looks like he can't even stay awake listening to his popular, painfully slow-paced, plodding song called We Just Ballin.

Andre 3000 is calling him out (among others) and is just so much more adept and crisper. The song also appeals to The Billiken's Bluff because it mixes high_culture/low_culture, street smarts and books smarts, violent hip hop brag talk with nuanced turns of phrase. It's like a port city from the past. A cosmopolitan melting pot. A trading mecca where varied ideas and goods change hands. Like a bazaar in Constantinople or Babel.

Those moments, those what you might call liminal, Limit, frontier, edge zone experiences...are actually now becoming the norm. These multiplicities and distinctions and differences...that have given great difficulty to the old mind...are actually through entering into their very essence, tasting and feeling their uniqueness.

I am thoroughly excited and encouraged by Andre's unexpected appearance on this track. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.


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