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Same as it ever was.
-The Talking Heads
(A playful post consisting of three ACTS)
The humbly submitted un-universal default weblog entry form
Hi, Welcome to my [weblog, homepage, journal, ego-shrine, celebrity stalker site, HTML barf bag, google clogger].
I found some links while [entering random words in google, stalking my favorite webloggers, scanning the blogdex and its clones, snorting coke off my RealDoll's tits while performing free association exercises and entering a .com to the end of each result] and I probably should be [looking for a job, looking for my lost pitcher of salt, looking for love in several greased vases, beating something, looking for smurf pron, wasting my life in new and exciting ways, not admitting this], but you know how it is when [you've eaten all the toothpaste and drank all the Listerine, mistaken your door for a jar again, cut yourself shaving with Occam's razor, finally let go of your Leggo (so to speak), actually start to wish they'd buy all the fucking songs already and put them in commercials so I could finally hate music forever and spend my money on comics, beer, and stringcheese].
Or maybe you don't...
Maybe I should just [expose various parts of my anatomy on my webcam and think up witty post-modern captions for them like "This is not a penis", decide once and for all whether what software I use to blog has any bearing on...anything, just say "fuggerall" and link that goatse or whatever it is site, actually drop the silly idea that you could write on the web and get famous enough to feed yourself and not just your ego, write poetry on my arm instead of where you can all see it, write Fermat's next theorem and make it about the binding force of quantum quackers, propose my silly string theory of the universe to an audience at MIT in a bunny costume, get back to where I once belonged before I forget where it was, stop worrying and learn to love the world].
I was thinking about [ Britney Spears smoking in a bikini, sleeping on a bed before Jennifer Lopez does, how emimen's image as a serious artist would be forever tainted by a Weird Al video (and THANK GOD we're all saved from that happening!), how if you can't buy love, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't rent it (does it?), how Vincent Gallo's The Brown Bunny creeps me the fuck out. To think about what Chloe Sevigny does in it and how he's become the fellatio to John Waters scatmunching, how my severe hatred of some movies is barely balanced by my extreme love of others, how I want to watch a movie that makes me fall in love with some actress just like when I was younger, how tough it seems to be me when I haven't a clue how hard it is to be you] while I was eating breakfast today.
It's funny, I feel so often that I have nothing to say and yet I write anyway. Don't we all at least start out that way? It's that blank page. I can't imagine there'd be anything worth filling it up with and yet here it is. Is it worth it? Was it? OMG I'm LOL IC how this is so silly. It's a BTW FYI about things IRL AFK and in real time. Really, real.
K BI CU L8R
This is where I talk about weblogs again and say much of the same as is ever said about them and never mind that the damn subject can't stay dead and I'm certainly not helping it by writing about it, but I'll write what I feel like even though I should write about what's important even though I'm not sure what that could be - though I might hit on it in the process of writing it - on this fine day in which I should be out chasing fine things, but here I go again.
In total, Microdoc News believes blogging to be a radically different world than that of mainstream media.
That's the whole article. Save yourself the time from reading the link. Actually, The probability that an author could write a decent article on the "Dynamics of a Blogosphere Story" is not increased by including the word "blogosphere." The diagram from it could easily be a hundred times more complicated or a hundred times less and still make as much sense. Some people can write filler and some can't. In the end, it's another case of describing one wrinkle on the hide of an elephant and taking it for the whole.
The Guardian article could serve as an example of a professional wrap up of a blogagsphere story and this page could serve as responder as well as all the other things it is. Same as..., Same as...
Andrew Orlowski would exhibit an "fashionable techological illiteracy" if he wasn't actually supposed to be a technology writer. Maybe he's Irony manifest and cloaked as a pathetic pursuer of the great googly moogly giant.
In the world of media or government or academe, technological illiteracy is so widespread, it could be termed "fashionable". This is not an exaggeration. The best example of "fashionable technological illiteracy" (hereinafter FTI) might have been the enormous popularity of the movie 2001, A Space Odyssey. In 2001 an evil computer named HAL takes over and threatens innocent Dave with all sorts of disasters. This view of the future was taken so seriously, classes at known universities that charged money and issued grades and credits came to include studying this "cinematic classic".
Of course, 2001 - the year - came and went and there were no computers remotely like HAL to be found anywhere on planet earth. Far from being a threat, a computer is more like an infant - in constant need of care and attention and seemingly irrational about when it decides to cooperate.
This is the case for all technology. It is fragile. It is in perpetual need of some level of human attention. If the film professor at a snooty liberal arts film department could have talked to the guy down the street who raced dragsters, he would have been regaled with the stories of how brutally unforgiving technology is to carelessness of the slightest kind - the failure of a $5 bearing destroying a $5,000 motor. Folks are truly technologically literate when they can cite numerous personal examples of why they believe that Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) was an optimist.
- Jonathan Larson, "Technological illiterates and WMD"
It's that "Great Scott! The Bloggers are coming!" fear growing out of every FTI hovel of the mediaosmeer. "Dey gots bad grammer an' spellin and dese smell!" "Oh, I hear they'll eat your children and spread nasty memes." "I hear they lie and are totally unashamed to be bias!" "Oh dear, what will happen to our precious fair and balanced approach?"
Oh, it's true. I'm biased, as my two rosy buttocks would prove and I'm not posting pictures of them because my HP315 camera is useless without the battery door. How could that be? I bought it in 2001 and I could have sworn that the design know-how of engineering a device that was not dependent on the battery door's presence came about with the very first calculators that came on the scene. How did Hewlett Packard's engineering expertise reverse this trend and then add salt to the wound by not supplying the parts to a product only a few years old?
It actually gets worse. In many ways, FTI drove the economy of the 1990s. For example, Jack Welch became a Wall Street darling of the era with his management of GE. Virtually everything GE makes, from jet turbines to power plants, is technologically as sophisticated as anything on earth. GE's customers are usually governments or regulated industries. GE was as close to pure socialism as anything we had in USA - and smart folks actually endorsed this arrangement because "big tech" as represented by GE was of such value it was worth taxpayer subsidies and protection from some of the practices of finance capitalism.
Welch became Wall Street's man because he was able to return, with mathematical regularity, increases in "shareholder value". His method, which earned him the nickname of "Neutron Jack", was to close down plants in the US that usually represented a couple generations of technological genius, and ship the tools to some Third World location where labor was cheap. He was called "Neutron Jack" because like the proposed Neutron bomb, it destroyed the people but left the buildings standing. For executing this plan, he was rewarded with wealth beyond wretched excess.
So one market success blazes the trail for hundreds of others and FTI blinds us to the fleecing of the accumulated knowledge that makes companies realistically mirror their stock price. The fact that it's a rare thing to see someone stick to a company these days is not so much a hallmark of a "highly mobile workforce" (or whatever mumble jumble of buizspeak they use against each other) as it is a sign that people are becoming as disposable and interchangeable as the overpriced gadgets from Sharper Image.
And I am tired of all the smoke being blown into the collective assosphere about the coming blogger-based revolution too. If you want to know what God thinks of celwebrity blogger status, look at the people he gives it to. But seriously, I can't even get passed my adverse reaction to the name "Smart Mobs" to read that link, let alone his book. I'm sure it's great, but I've been in one mob too many and I haven't seen much evidence that their online counterparts are any smarter. I get a bad vibe and I'm not convinced blogging means much of anything unless all my favorite bloggers are compensated for their wonderful work.
It does get a bit distressing to pick out all the ones deserving financial support without missing any. After all, the thing that I am becoming aware of it how many sites are out there that I love for a whole host of reasons and how can I gauge the value of the ones that touch my heart over the ones that tickle my intellect? How do we dislodge the FTI that gave 100 million to some poetry organization while ignoring the budding brilliance of this new art?
My word processor does not know Shakespeare.
It balks at ripeness, stops me at Othello
and Desdemona. They are not
in its vocabulary. On the other hand
it does not question arrogance and power,
accepts betrayal, jealousy and grief,
uncomprehending. They are on the list.
I am reminded of the face
of the young killer on the screen
the other night. He knew the words
gun and crime and prison.
He even knew the word guilty,
but when he said it, his eyes were blank.
That prize is going to prop up literary FTI zombies like her. I have nothing but contempt for this "uncomprehending" technophobe garbage. There is nothing to wonder about concerning the dearth of "good" and "well-known" contemporary poets. Their standards of judging have atrophied along with their understanding of the generations living and trying to breathe that back into poetry.
The old institutions as Bill Hicks so clearly saw are crumbling under the weight of change. It's relentless and unavoidable and it can be as scary as it can be exciting. The fear can be so great, but there is hope.
Notes from Maastricht
(Symposium: Personal Publishing Pandemonium)
Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.
This practice makes me crazy.
Pandemonium rules in the land of personal publishing. Why? I expect because things have changed so much. Means have changed. Space and time has changed. What was once expensive and the domain of the professional has now become cheap and the domain of the amateur. Professionalism is dead.
The devil is everywhere.
In space, the effect of superdistribution, the ability to easily distribute messages across great distance at zero cost, has afforded an explosion of nano-markets, increasingly smaller, increasingly diverse, attention traps.
In time, the growth of archives and the development of tools and practices to review and re-enact histories, both our own and that of others, has afforded a schizophrenic pluralism, a simultaneous acceptance of multiple points of view.
The upshot of all these changes? Dreaming has become our currency. Existence one long identity crisis.
- Alamut(10 MAY 2003)
The "schizophrenic pluralism" was always there. In fact, there is nothing necessarily new to any of this. It's just that the volume of communication is increased by the tools. We have control over our consumption of content. We can turn our machines off, can't we? We can close our eyes and cover our ears and come to hear our own thoughts again. We can also create our own "web of trust" and think and link accordingly.
Many people are counting the days to what has been named "the Singularity" and yet the near tomorrow that is more likely within our grasp is the Super-connected Society. The power structure might be changed from top to bottom because of it. Bloggers are the worker ants to this new world disorder. Choose your Queens wisely.
My humbly submitted un-universal default weblog entry
Hi, Welcome to my anteater fan site!
I found some links while surfing the same web that brought you here and I probably should be keeping the results to myself, but you know how it is when you've been blogging too long
Or maybe you don't...
Maybe I should just share only what is first filtered through someone else. You got to trust someone sometime, right?
I was thinking about how so many of "my heroes are falling apart" while I was eating breakfast today.
It's funny, I feel so often that I have nothing to say and yet I write anyway. Don't we all at least start out that way? It's that blank page. I can't imagine there'd be anything worth filling it up with and yet here it is. Is it worth it? Was it? OMG I'm LOL IC how this is so silly. It's a BTW FYI about things IRL AFK and in real time. Really, real.
K BI CU L8R
blogus detritus maximus
Did you know I'd mock you for what I'd do myself
Do you see me laughing over what I cried before
Is it all just fodder for a comedic commonwealth
Is it just an outlet when reality is such a chore
And I'm not immune to futile fits of fighting
An exponential potential for perpetual excre-mental
Forays into antipodean wars towards left-ing and right-ing
For I can't buy your views; signs point out mine are rental
I'm web weaning myself off the war-whores de jour
They're all yours with all the blighted bile
It's secreting in legion from every region out every pore
In HTML files, it riles and it's no use, but they're in denial
So I'll spin my bloggeral doggerel one more time
I'll give the sacred anchor tag -all ping, no lag
It's the blabber-jabber-webber-waning-whine
It wags the log, it plays the pog, it breathes the smog
And it's all good under the URL.
Emotion is when (w)e(go) in motion and it's more than just some whimsical notion, but deep down marrow matter setting our teeth to chatter and hearts to patter.
sod soun' off, get down, don't frown. I'm gonna play a part clown - don't scoff - but it's boun' to soun' like a sanity lost and foun'.
And "Why?" could be your question. Because it's like in circles we go and I'm not for forever war; damn wisdom's convention. I'll keep a lesser light on the fight on whether to go left or right (on) for it tends to go on and on.
It's a wondrous trip, each day into night. Links keep pushing new things into sight. I'm happy to have some time here. It's better when I can spread some cheer. It lightens the burden. It fades the fear that we've been under year after year.
"I mean men bore me. If one of them behaves like an adult it's a cause for celebration, and even when they do act human, they still aren't as good in bed as women."
"Maybe you haven't met the right man?"
"Maybe YOU haven't met the right woman."
-Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle
You'd think it's a big enough Internet that we'd all have enough space and could leave well enough alone. But it's not going to happen ever. Sure we can do the old htaccess thing and try and keep those that annoy us out, but there are ways around these things. Besides, when you put forth an opinion you should be able to handle the pressure of criticism, right? Of course, this doesn't count the kind of activities of harassment that some online folks think is so damned amusing. Can't we handle these things through debate and not comment spamming and signing the person up to more email spam. Furthermore, if you are going to attack someone's character, please try and spend a second to find labels that have a chance of sticking.
An interesting parallel exists here.
This is hilarious. I wonder, how is simply responding to her website posts and comments regarding me considered harassment? Heaven forbid.
Man, I was gonna drop this ages ago, but she just won't quit... and it's entirely too funny to leave alone.
Clue: some of you folks are taking this way too seriously.
Posted by: Richard Bennett on May 15, 2003 12:02 AM
Clue: when someone with no spine realizes they're wrong or that their opinions make them unpopular, they'll usually say something like "just kidding!" or "you people are taking this too seriously!"
Clue 2: When someone expresses an idea that you disagree with or think is dangerous...let's say someone recommends eating poo...there are (at least) a couple of ways to lodge dissent. The first way, preferred by rationalists, is to attack the claim by pointing out all of the drawbacks, pointing out all of the benefits, weighing them, and concluding that the drawbacks outweigh the positives.
The second way preferred by...let's be nice and call them "assholes"...is to attack the writer. "Havrilesky is a man-hating, penis-obsessed, volvo-driving Marxist...so why would you believe her claim that poo tastes good?"
Hmm, why am I still on this site? This guy is a certified imbecile.
Posted by: dong weevil on May 15, 2003 08:49 AM
-bennett.comThe arwen person ignores the full magnitude of what her cronies did and considers further harassment her right in order to amuse herself. Perhaps she actually believes what she claims in her post. Hey, it's just a silly website, right? Unfortunately, she and her playmates decided to go beyond simply responding in comments. I can't even fathom how she could let something like this go this far and pretend to enjoy it. "Hey, I drove someone off their own website over an disagreement on opt out policies! Yay me!"
In Bennett's case, we have someone that is just as afraid to admit a mistake. Of course, after reading this:
You're off the deep end, weevil. Dennis Miller's "The Raw Feed" is hilariously, sharply, bitingly funny, and anyone can see that as long as their vision isn't blurred by their politics. Writing long essays to prove that politically-motivated criticism of Miller - a man with the nerve to stand up to the Hollywood establishment at the expense of his career - doesn't pass the giggle test.I'll admit that I only caught the end of Dennis's HBO show, but it was anything but what Bennett describes. How Miller's polar shift to ultra-rightwing cheerleader is a stand against Hollywood and not the fair-weather waffling of a man trying to pinch off the last morsel of his career is as believable as claiming Heather is a Marco Polygamist of the Sino-Salt Lake order.
HBO cancelled his Friday show and replaced him with Bill Maher. What does that tell you? And now we have a critic attacking him in the pages of Salon.com (not only a stock market swindle but one of the most partisan publications in America,) and that critic has Marxist/feminist credentials and loves "The West Wing". What does that tell you?
And I'm sure HBO dropping Dennis has nothing to do with the fact that to get his humor requires one to not have "their vision...blurred by their politics" and that many of his former fans would have to make that leap to the right that he did to stomach his partisan pool-peeing. Really, what's wrong with the center and the ability to snipe at both sides?
And for bonus points...how one can claim Salon.com is partisan when it carries articles by Arianna Huffington, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Andrew Sullivan, etc. is a blatant disregard for the facts. Hell, you should complain that they aren't partisan enough!
I don't care for the extremists or the wannabe's on either side. There's Ted Rall with wannabe's like Bartcop. And there's Ann Coulter with wannabe's like Rachel Lucas. How about another comparison contrast?
No shortage of capitalists here, but isn't Rachel's humor kind of like the nazi thinking she keeps talking about? OK, maybe I'm a little sensitive on the whole nazi joke thing, but I find imagining your political opposition away appalling and I'm into most kinds of dark humor, but there's a certain point where it seems one might have been fighting monsters too long. I wonder where the disgust really comes from in our reactions to one another, because it seems more often a matter of our own interpretation of what someone has said rather than what that person actually meant to say (my mock reaction to Rachel's mugs and overreaction to Eric's comment are examples). I believe that we need to be able to make fun of the things that bother us the most in order to survive. Otherwise, we'll be constantly and endlessly attacking those that merely want to lighten things up. This doesn't mean that no joke can go too far, but it does mean that it's relative.
Yes, I have been going over that post and wondering what the...I mean, how many of us are doomed to hate each other over politics to the point of ignoring all the good in a person outside of those views?
Is it just me, or does anyone else think that people who refuse to have guns in their homes are not very smart? I don't mean to insult the intelligence of anyone who refuses to have a gun in their home - but you must know that you seem insane to me.
So start's one of Rachel's pro-gun wankjobs. One almost has to admire that paragraph for its ability to convey how the rest of the piece is going to sound, "I'm gun crazy and you must be crazy not to be!"
Of course, I'm not exactly sure how serious to take her. First she's afraid of "goblins" and then she's mad that her sister doesn't have to keep a gun handy to squelch her fear that "Joe Rapist" is coming and a gun is the only thing that could stop him. She had even (thankfully she seems to have sense enough to not do something so stupid) "considered sneaking up on her in the dark some night or breaking into her house just to scare the living hell out of her and help her get real."
Apparently, the only scenarios worthy of conjuring up are ones in which nothing but a gun could save you (ignoring the situations where it doesn't help at all) and therefore you are insane and stupid to not arm yourself properly. "We womenfolk have got to face reality," and the only "reality" acceptable to her is one in which no options for defense less than a firearm are valid.
There are certain points in which I agree with her. I do believe that everyone has a right to an armed defense. Many people have physical limitations that make this the only choice. However, when someone is morally opposed to the use of guns, they have other options of defense (TASERs, mace, martial arts, etc.) Heck, anyone that gets far enough along in something like Akido can nullify any weight/strength disparities. People should be comfortable using their preferred line of defense. We don't all have to support the gun industry. We are free to choose a defense method without being insane or stupid for not opting for the most lethal route.
It's all about covering your bases, folks. Preparing for all contingencies. Exercising caution and common sense. Being aware of the possibilities and living your life accordingly.I agree to some extent, but possibilities can be pretty infinite and no one can be prepared for them all. It's a lie to think otherwise. Guns are great in many cases, but they are in no way a panacea to crime. Amazingly enough, the presence of a gun can upset some people and it doesn't make them stupid or insane to want to live away from them. But don't expect to get through to Rachel, her mind is made up and she thinks she speaks for enough women that it's no longer about just her. A cause blinds as it binds.
For instance, As I rumble through the WWW, there's no denying that some kind of wake occurs. It may be imperceptible, but it's there. The same thing goes for the hidden cause of anyone running a website. There is a default cause that always lies in the background to whatever appears on the surface. It is the edification of the ego. If your website can't make you feel better about yourself at some level, then you best reconsider what you are doing. When we adopt other causes to fight for, we have to make sure there is some kind of balance otherwise we risk tarnishing them both.
I sometimes get involved in things when friends do. I can't always help it. I like to play along. Batgrl's interest got me to take part in blogshares and Eric got me to take a recent poll.
1)Do men make better political/war bloggers than women?Obviously, it's agenda driven. The last question begs for love. I'm assuming it's the result of jealousy over the popularity of blogger/journalists Glen and Andrew. Since she can't blame her own lack of professionalism (not saying I am a pro) she has to fall back on sexism. Take Mr. USS Clueless. You could assume that since he used to be a professional engineer he could make the transition to a professional writer. After falling asleep while reading one of his posts, (not that I'm not running up the verbosity limit myself) you'll probably concede the point out of weariness. Steven Den Beste is like David Sim in that it's pointless to try and refute his grand view of the world. They share a bit of misogyny too, but where Steven lacks in commitment to total wymin-hating is made up for in volumes of bile on war, military hardware, military strategy, hatred of pop culture, hatred of the a-list, and hatred of cultures other than those of the jacksonian tradition. (there's your unprofessional bit of axe grinding served up fresh and hot.)
2)Do you prefer blogs by males, females or you don't care?
3)Do you find that males and females write differently about the same subjects?
4)Do you have double standards? That is, do you think it's okay when a man makes sexual innuendos and curses in his posts but you are turned off by a female blogger who does the same?
5)Do you find that males or females tend to be more opinionated in their writing?
6)Do you find there is a lack of quality female bloggers who write about politics, current news and world events?
7)Do you find you enjoy male or female blogs in general (on any subject) more than the other?
8)Who is your favorite read for political/war/news commentary for male and female bloggers?
Getting back to the poll, it's interesting to see that after people saw the oh-so unscientific results, there wasn't much to comment about. So she began to sulk. It's sad and I totally understand how she feels. It's so bad she writes a fantasy commencement speech that's an attempt to be funny while essentially shitting on the kids' budding idealism. Yeah, not everyone gets everything they want out of life or achieves their desired degree of fame, but it's important to try as much as it is to avoid becoming old and bitter.
I have that same frustration. It's a common thread among all but a few webloggers. I can see it (or I think I see it) in her, because I know where she's coming from. Heck, who wants to calculate the percentage of their popularity that's entirely based on boobies? Sure, I haven't gone there myself, but I've been close. It takes an attention whore to know one. What I'm trying to say is that even as I call out people for there online transgressions, I am aware I have my own and I don't think I'm any better, but I am curious about how to get better.
I'm probably not a good choice for a conflict resolver - too conflicted. I do try to see areas of common ground, even if it's egoism. I remember one of my English teachers at Wheaton Central High School showed the movie The Breakfast Club to the class. We talked about it and then he got a little worked up on a point of disagreement he had with what he thought was the central tenant of the movie: that we were all alike underneath. "No! We're different!" and I wondered, "well, damn! How different are you then?" I've heard a lot of rumors since I left the school about him and I don't intend to out them beyond the fact that he was different enough to know that a group of people can't resolve all their differences in a matter of a day.
Maybe we should recognize that the labels we give ourselves are more a means to set up walls to understanding than to actually set realistic definitions as to what we are.
Director: What's the connection between narcissism and homicidal tendencies?
Charles Crumb: Well, when narcissism is wounded it wants to strike back at the person who wounded it.
-from the movie Crumb
So to avoid further wounds to the narcissistic among us (not Starvos - he's just drinking beer like I am now.) that may incite a high caffeine and rage state of nystagmus and its unsightly incoherent web rant results, I will segue over to the perils of interviewing rock stars.
NG: Do they want to see you still shooting up on stage? Or in make-up? Or in shades and leather?
Lou Reed: It depends what time they tagged into me. Some people are forever in the Velvet Underground thing, or the Transformer thing, or the Rock and Roll Animal thing -- someplace around there. They'd like it to still be that. But I was only passing through.
NG: It's "You're still doing things I gave up years ago"?
Lou Reed: (Laughs.) That's right. It is, isn't it?
I'm not even half-sure about the weblog thang anymore. Talking about random stuff is fine, but talking about random folks is fraught with danger in stirring up anger, AN-GERRRR! And I don't always like me when I'm angry. It cuts down on the comedy. Oh, can't you see what this weblog's been doing to me? Gonna find a beer now. Gonna make it clear now It's a buddy's birthday! Gotta go to mirth Hey!
Happy Birthday Bud! (The old Amiga owners live on eh? And here's more proof I can put up more than just pictures of myself.)
I'm down to my last five brain cells. They're not even my favorites. I had to cut the number in half to save on inhead costs. You know, with the economy being what it is. So I took a page from the GOP playbook - follow the winners my friend - and I eliminated the social service cells; sympathy, empathy, flirty, forky and networky. Of course, lack of neural guidance does not stop me from attempting such behaviors. This is also wonderfully illustrated by certain prominent members of the GOP, but in no way limited to them. Clinton felt a lot more than people's pain and that has certainly left a stain on a number of things. And to those gray survivor's? Well, they are a bit shy even being as full of themselves as they are. Cells will be cells and these neurons still have some fire left in them. Despite their stature, they think big.
It's the big thoughts that can lead the body down some perilous paths. But which thoughts should I share today? Heck, what's stopping me for sharing them all?
Who would guess there's enough to say to fill a whole column on the do's and don't of including your personal interests on your résumé? But here you have it. In a job market like this one, it's worth obsessing over even the smallest mattersthough job search experts say this one isn't as small as it might seem.
First off, you need to know that your personal interests alone won't get you the job, so include them at the end of the résumé. And don't write a bookone or two lines will do.
- Patricia Kitchen, How personal should your résumé get? (printing on May 14, 2003 in the Chicago Tribune)
What if you combined the two? What would happen if you stuck the far too personal weblog confession with the far too personal résumé? How about skating the edge? Izzit an art?
John R. Namest
Address: Somewhere in Illin-noise
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (the spam magnet)
I'll sum things up in the fashion fitting to this new format, which may only resemble a summary in the sense that it won't leave out anything but the truth. First things first though. Meet my parents...
My life began in the usual way. It was not immaculate from what I've been told and I've not exactly cleaned up my act to this very day. Over the many years, I've received a lot more than my genes from them, but of all the things I want to give back to them my genes are something I'd like to keep. I believe I got my sense of humor from my Mother as well as her curiosity, her overt kindness, and poetic prowess. From my Father I got a fondness for figuring out religions without ever totally accepting them. He also instilled a firm understanding as to the value of things and a sometimes overbearing desire to do things a certain (right?) way.
There's a long list of family and friends that have added much to my life in terms of joy and sorrow, but I wouldn't trade any of them. I miss quite a few that faded into the foggy depths of memories.
I never attended any kind of pre-school, but went straight into an 8-year elementary school called Haugan that still stands on the north side of Chicago. I got into my share of fights and was suspended at least twice for them. I was usually well liked, but I went through times of isolation there, which I've gone into more detail elsewhere on this site. I've had bouts of insubordinate behavior as early as the 6th grade, which I'll go into more detail in another entry. But I never picked a fight with another student or went against a teacher without good reason and I can honestly say I left that place with no ill will towards a single person there.
I racked up a total of two first place and one second place medals for science fair studliness. This picture is from '82.
It was about this time that I was introduced to scouting. At the time it was the Cub Scouts and I was involved in it all the way. They are fond memories. But even then, I exhibited a certain degree of subversive leanings.
I may be confusing times and places. The picture above is from an Arrrow of Life ceremony in '84. But the subversive streak, which may be more accurately described as "mischevious" at that period was growing.
There was a large Camperall of the scouts, which is like a big pow-wow thingy of all the area troops. At some point everyone was gathered at this stage that was separated from the area where all the tents were set up by a line of trees thick enough that you couldn't see past them. The quest speaker was Mr. T. He was known for BA Barracus of the A-Team during that time too. I liked that character, but Mr T got a little too preachy in person as far as I was concerned. So it didn't take long for me to get bored when he started talking.
Now as I've said. I was very much into scouting and I rose through the ranks and got just about every thing-a-ma-bob you could get as a Cub Scout and Webelo. I was probably at some level up the leadership chain at that time so when I sneaked away I was not alone. We made our way to the campgrounds and had the nifty idea of passing the time by downing tents. Nothing was damaged. It was more of a way to surprise folks and pass the time. Well, we had gotten quite carried away and realized we had downed every tent in a large radius surrounding our own tents. We weren't that stupid to make it so obvious and reluctantly downed our own camp. Then we made our way back to hear the end of Mr T's sermon and no one was the wiser.
In resume-language, I learned a whole lot from that experience. You know, stealth, leadership, quick thinking, and the ability to keep a secret until...well, now. But that's not all that I learned in scouting, because I was soon on my way to advancing to Boy Scouts at the same time that I began reading Mark Twain.
I could easily write the Boy Scout Adventures of John Namest, but this remains a weblog/resume summary. I was a part of Boy Scout troop 916. I managed to rise to rank of First Class before I lost interest in pursuing the old farts that were qualified to sign away to my knowledge of this or that. It's just another example of where I didn't let the fact that there were few teachers available interfere with my own learning. The Scoutmaster's words still echo in my ears, "I don't care what you do, just don't get caught." You'd think we were training to be executives at Enron and you might think that'd be where some of us were headed. I found the freedom refreshing. More importantly, it taught responsibility for oneself and discretion. "Be prepared" might not have stuck as well as those points, except in the sense that you should be ready for anything. The only thing that meant to me was that it was important to nurture the imagination.
After all that, I entered high school at Lane Tech. Unfortunately, I was not to stay for more than 2 years before my family moved out to Wheaton. But before that I had gotten my first job as a camp counselor at a local Park district. I was not much older than the boys I was supposed to watch. It all ended when I engaged in gossip and it came back to bite me on my ass. I said something stupid and was stubborn about it. I left on bad terms. I learned a lot about the perils of gossip, honesty, and decency, but not until much later when I had a chance to really think about and understand what had happened.
Wheaton was a place I could never fully appreciate. Especially, since it I had to leave all my friends behind to start my junior year as a total stranger in one of the most stuck-up and cliquish hellholes in the Midwest, Wheaton Central HS. At least, that's how I saw it at the time. I tried to hang out with my friends back in Chicago as much as I could, but distance can be a big strain on such things. It also didn't help that our frequent trips to the Naperville Riverwalk to engage in our favorite pastime of trying to start stuff with the ample population wannabe suburban gangbangers ended up with the Naperville police banning my friends from the place. If you can't pick on suburban punks, the suburbs can be very dull and soon my friends couldn't justify coming out and I was left to my own devices.
Since my parents were pretty damn smart about most things, they managed to get a computer when I was ten. Sure, back then it was all about the games, but you do learn a thing or two, especially about interfaces. I went from the bare bones Commodore Vic-20 to the C64 to the C128D until I finally found an interface that changed how I looked at computers. This was the Geos OS, the first GUI for that system. It wasn't long before I was longing for an Amiga 500 and my Grandmother, God bless her, decided to buy it for me.
That Amiga not only opened up the world of computer graphics to me, but it was my connection to the world through my BBS. It was called Inferno, I was HaVoK, and quite the little pirate.
If I ever get the Temple of Pong (A tribute to an Amiga BBS of that name) site going again, you'll see that the piracy side was an excuse to try before you buy in an age before downloadable demos. But even then, I bought plenty of games before I tried them out of shear impatience. I was fiercely loyal to a large number of companies and bought everything they published and dreamed of someday designing my own games. Actually, the large percentage of pirates that I knew either hardly ever played the games (running the BBS was the fun part for them) or bought almost as many as I did (which isn't so much bragging as it is admitting where all my money went during those years). But aside from the illicit trading going on, there was a whole microcosm of society operating in the loose constellation of BBSs. A BBS is a much more intimate precursor to the Internet. You were actually dialing up someone's computer directly and it was a rare thing for someone to have more than a couple lines (The Inferno never grew beyond one). I miss those guys and gals of the Chicago Amiga BBS scene. We had our fights over technology, (AmiExpress vs. CNET or Hayes vs. HST) awkwardly fun gatherings, and crazy little escapades of love. It was like a small-town version of what happens today on the Internet.
When the BBS scene began to give way to the burgeoning Internet, I dropped all online activities for some time out of a sense of loss for what had been. This dovetailed with the decline of the Amiga as a platform and was like a knife to the heart. I hear about how some people love their Macs and I understand it all too well. I promised to never "love" an OS again and the best way to insure that was to adopt Microsoft Windows as my new OS of choice. I can safely say, I shall never love that bloated, buggy, overpriced, sorry excuse for an OS.
You can add this in to the mix with the death of the Grandmother that decided to get me my first Amiga. I can see now why I found it hard to make friends at Wheaton Central. They were probably a lot nicer than my memory will allow and I have to admit that I did meet a lot of very wonderful folks there, but I was carrying a rather large chip on my shoulder during those years.
I only attempted to date one girl during my entire two years there. We both worked at Franks grocery in Wheaton, which no longer exists. The relationship never developed into anything and I don't remember why.
It was the summer before my senior year. And I went to the park with my brother to hit baseballs.
I've talked about it before. It's the kind of thing that gets you to start asking those existential questions. I truly believed I was going to die. It's the kind of thing that I did not fully come to terms with for many years afterward. But it's a part of me now: from the scar that marks the spot to the sketchy feeling on the entire right quarter hemisphere of my head to the titanium plates that maintain its shape. It has -slowly- given me a sense of perspective to our tenuous grasp on life. It is all a game until someone gets hurt, but the game goes on and you got to get back in it. I hope you can understand if I avoid getting back into that particular game of baseball. I got the hint. I suck at it. I like biking, volleyball, and so many other things that it's not a big loss.
After graduating HS, I went to Illinois Benedictine College for a full semester. I wasn't any good at applying for scholarships and my parents were not in a financial situation to help out and still support my two other brothers. I opted for switching to the College of Dupage and working to pay my way though it.
I had originally started at IBC with a computer engineering major. I backslide to a computer science major at COD. After one machine language course (probably a big mistake to base my decision on that class), I changed it to communications. I justified it since I had shown promise as a writer and I have passion for all things involving the imagination. My little brother had even told me that some people had nice things to say about a few poems of mine that made it into the yearbook. Unfortunately, the teachers at COD are hit or miss and when it's a miss, it's a miss. Lucky for me, I had a few hits. The biggest one was Miss Jordan who I probably impressed after completing the workload of a 10 week class on 3D Studio (Well before MAX) in a week or two. I never really got to thank her properly, but she changed my life or at least, sent me off to quite an adventurous, if short-lived, career in Virtual Reality.
Claudine Jordan suggested I go interview with Adams Consulting. I did. I came there with my hair tucked in a ponytail because I wore it long at the time (yeah I'll produce the photos at some point) and they showed me this little program called Superscape VRT. They proceeded to trust me with a copy for about 2 weeks in order to go over the tutorials. I ate that thing up and got hired. It was a job that will likely remain the best time I'll ever have as an employee. It's hardly surprising considering the small and wonderful group of people that comprised our company.
But like all good things, it couldn't last. I saw the Superscape VRT fade into obsolescence shortly after we decided to get purchased by Asymetrix Learning Systems. They were gathering assets as an IPO loomed closer. Unfortunately, it was too many changes too quickly. After the IPO, the stock dropped significantly and they were forced to make cutbacks. It wasn't too much longer before they decided to layoff a good portion of the Chicago office. They changed the focus of the company as well as the name to Click2Learn.com.
They did what they had to and it's a damn shame that things happened the way they did. I was struggling to find my place there anyway. The transition from a small company of no more than a handful of people to one of several hundred that were spread over several cities took a little getting used to for me. I was under the impression that I could send emails to anyone and ruffled a few egos for bypassing the chain of management. Oh, I learned quite a bit from that one. Still, I harbor no ill will to anyone there nor did I sense anything like that directed back at me. In some situations in the office, I was the person that befriended everyone and acted as a go-between when people were reluctant to confront others head on. Unfortunately, I'm not the best at networking and I haven't talked with anyone from there since I left.
This brings me to a bit of my anxiety towards the imminent expiration of this domain. I was at Asymetrix when I purchased it and put them down as my current employer. I later discovered that Network Solutions/Verisign took that to mean that Asymetrix had a legal claim on the ownership of it. So since then I've been wondering how I could transfer the domain from Verisign to a more competent company without having to bother the folks at Asymetrix (Click2Learn now). Yes procrastination is one of my weaknesses. This I know all too well. On the other hand, I'm not entirely certain whether I care if this prevents me from keeping the domain somehow. I am driven by a growing need to make a living off of my writing and I'm convinced that Linkworthy.com is not the answer. It has introduced me the many fine folks, but it's not exactly a cash cow and I'm not willing to change it to something more commercial. But I digress...
I worked as a freelancer for a month to finish off a project. I also screwed up a promised appearance to teach some class on Virtual Reality for a training conference. I made some stupid excuse that was only part of many reasons, the biggest was that I was scared about money.
Lucky for me, a former client of Adams Consulting was still doing Virtual Reality stuff. So I managed to land a job at Searle. It was not easy. I had to learn a lot about Java, Java3D, and mysql. It was a lot of fun too. That should have been a sign to me that our days were numbered. Sure enough, Searle merged and became Pharmacia. Soon the whole building was going to be phased out and that included our little VR troupe.
The next leg in my journey is best summed up in the song parody that I wrote at the time, The Ballad of John Namest. Once again, my networking skills are shown for the shoddy things that they are and I couldn't tell ya what became of everyone. I certainly hope everyone is in a more stable situation than I. I did send off a email at one point, but I have yet to hear anything. I'd really like to send them something more than, "still searching, how about you?"
Well, I'm fast approaching the present. I've done numerous odd jobs since leaving Seattle behind. I've read extensively and now I'm writing more and more. I have not found something to completely dive into yet. I've cast my line into the job search sea countless times and I can count the number of actual worthwhile nibbles on one hand. I'm nervously waiting on one right now. The prospect sounds as challenging as it does exciting, but I can't help the feeling that it's not going to happen and I'm fighting that larger shadow that is casting doubt over my chances in the field of writing in general. But I've really got no choice, because I stirred up something inside of me and I feel the need to write like never before. I'm trying to work that into writing something more than the chaotic stuff that finds it's way on this site.
These sites are so like those delicately manicured agonized-over résumés. They are all the hopes, dreams, facts, and images of ourselves that we think are fit to share. "Hey notice me! Hire me! Love me!" It's repeated over the globe in endless variations. And some imagine themselves free to believe and say things consequences be damned. Are they stupid or right? OK, well...some are stupid. But damn, there is viciousness out there that wants to hang us by our words and forever condemns us for our past. Who can stand to be fully truthful when lit up by the attention of the world? Who's so fucking squeaky clean? I've hurt others. Others have hurt me. I did drugs and liked it! I suffered greatly when loved ones did them and got hurt because of it. I've held irrational views and I'm probably blind to the ones I have now. I've attacked the irrational views of others. I've loved. I've hated. I've master-fucking-bated. And I've waited so long for so much. I've wondered how to accept that some people won't change, when I'm all about change. And I wonder how some people live the way they do when the most common phrase on too many lips is, "can you spare some change?" And sometimes I know that answer and it's because I'm hurting too much to let them in. So we close the doors and set the locks. We shut our mouths and watch our clocks. We tune in one thing to tune out the rest. And we're never done and never sure if it's all a test that we're all failing, even though it's an open heart one. 'Cause it's safer to keep it locked up these days for that storm that they promise is coming. But life feels more true when you're riding it through.
These are some of my lies couched as a part of some truth still lit up in memory.
I took a ride on the Peshtigo. It's a name of a river, but was also the name of a logging town that was destroyed in the Deadliest Fire in American history. It happened on Oct. 8, 1871. This was the same day as the great Chicago fire that claimed some 300 lives. The fire in Wisconsin killed somewhere in the realm of 1500. Due to the magnitude of the destruction, it was not widely known for some time. It's another case of where something happens can be more "important" than the number of people it affects.
Spooning may lead to forking
The semi-lazy might actually be engaging in sporking...
Before educators, corporations, and policymakers can narrow the new gender gap, they will have to understand its myriad causes. Everything from absentee parenting to the lack of male teachers to corporate takeovers of lunch rooms with sugar-and-fat-filled food, which can make kids hyperactive and distractable, plays a role. So can TV violence, which hundreds of studies -- including recent ones by Stanford University and the University of Michigan -- have linked to aggressive behavior in kids. Some believe boys are responding to cultural signals -- downsized dads cast adrift in the New Economy, a dumb-and-dumber dude culture that demeans academic achievement, and the glamorization of all things gangster that makes school seem so uncool. What can compare with the allure of a gun-wielding, model-dating hip hopper? Boys, who mature more slowly than girls, are also often less able to delay gratification or take a long-range view.
- Michelle Conlin, The New Gender Gap
In the fight for equality, there are going to be instances of a shift in the other direction. It's hard to tell how far the education advantage has swung and if making the changes in schools suggested in the article will have any effect if other contributing factors at home are not also addressed. I find it hard to believe that boys are especially less susceptible to their body-thoughts than girls. I thought all children had energy and needed recess. But as suggested in the article, this is not a zero-sum game and we really ought to not "leave any child behind." It's not about encouraging boys to be aggressive. The aggression may have some biological basis, but its manifestation is aided when a boy's natural exuberant energy is tied down and chastised. But if we teach the boys to be a bit calmer, shouldn't we teach the girls to be a little wilder (or is there a fear they are going to be staring in those videos at an earlier age)? And if we address the male/female dichotomy, do we only make it harder for those that don't fit into typical gender roles? Those body-thoughts are not always defined by external sexual characteristics, but how could an educational system cater to students on such an individual basis and yet retain that student's privacy? It's bad enough feeling all confused as a kid then to be stuck with a label and a matching education.
This is giving me more incentive to advance Pinker's The Blank Slate on my reading queue. The denial of human nature going on in some schools may be a contributing factor to the seemingly arrested development of some rappers (so if you've read the title of the link, we can say that it's appearing in the music culture first and may erode into the workplace. So the issue becomes whether one gender's success should be a result of the decline of the other - a more insidious thing than affirmative action). They can rap about whatever they want, no doubt, but when their videos hit MTV they are going to be watched and they are going to influence children (and I'm just going to neatly sidestep the issue of who should be looking over what children watch for now). I won't pretend for a moment they are "the problem." Their popularity is more of a sign that the problem exists and thrives. Even as they pander to their audience, they didn't create it. The saddest thing is that rappers like Nelly tend to be a product of the problem and then glorify it.
One pound for the house, that's all we need baby
Just one for the house.. c'mon
[Chorus] Pimp juice - ohohoh
I think I need to let her loose (might think I need to let her loose)
Let her loose, let her lose
She only want me for my pimp juice (that's all she want me for f'real)
Not my pimp juice, I'm talkin no pimp juice
I think I need to cut her loose (it's time for homegirl to recognize)
Yes I do, yes I do-ho
I'm in that, seventy-four, Coupe DeVille
With the, power seats, leather, wood on my wheel
One-touch sunroof, but leave it alone
Ho's see it can't believe it - "It's goin back on it's own"
Oh, shit, that's how we do it baby
"Every day like this?" Seven day-ays
I tell you three-sixty-five
Winter spring and fall, in the summer we ride
You actin like you never seen it befo'
Like them country boys ain't got no dough
Bitch please - get in - but don't you slam that do'
Dust your shoes off - befo' you touch that flo'
Cause you wanna put your feet on my rug, don'tcha?
You really wanna put your feet on my rug, don'tcha?
You're in a hurry - slow down - and I might letcha touch it
You ain't from Russia, so bitch why you rushin'?
Now I'm - clean as a whistle (yeah) sharp as a razor (uh-huh)
In anythang from Timberland to Gaines
Now listen - I play the haters (ooh) like they should be played
And uh - I love the ladies (ooh) like they should get laid
That's why I - I got my fade everybody had braids
And now they - switch to fades and I'm thinkin 'bout braids
Just an example of hoochie-less jackin
If we were hoopin, I'd be yellin "They hackin"
I see you momma, in my Dolce Gabbana
Gucci and Prada baby I gotta lotta
The lucciana ain't a problem for poppa
That's all you want then baby girl I'ma holla
Cause you wanna put your feet on my rug, don'tcha?
You really wanna put your feet on my rug, don'tcha?
You're in a hurry - slow down - I don't like how you actin
Treat you like you're from Milwaukee, send you Green Bay Packin
(I think I just need to take this time and explain to 'em exactly what the pimp juice is)
Uh, hear me out now
Now your pimp juice is anything, attract the opposite sex
It could be money, fame, or straight intellect
It don't matter! Bitches got the pimp juice too
Come to think about it - dirty, they got more than we do
They got mo' - juice in they talk, got mo' juice in they walk
They got mo' - juice in they pants, Oh god damn!
I tell you man it's a cryin shame
How people use, the juice in vain - you hear me mayne
Pimp juice is color blind
You find it work on all color creeds and kinds
From ages 50 right down to 9
The Mayor of Nellyville and I won't resign, watch me recline
Cause you wanna put your feet on my rug, don'tcha?
You really wanna put your feet on my rug, don'tcha?
You're in a hurry - slow down - bitch I got all night
Matter fact, stand on my left boo - I know you ain't right
Nelly, Pimp Juice
"Charles and I talk quite a bit about things."
"We don't talk that much."
"Yeah, we do."
"We hold aloof from each other for the most part. You spend all your time watching television and doing your crossword puzzles..."
"I don't watch television. I turn it on because it puts me to sleep."
"...and I spend most of my time in my room reading books."
"It's a good way to get to sleep."
"We're two recluses living in the same house...You do most of the talking in the relationship Mother, there's no doubt about that. You told me that even though you take medication, you still feel depressed."
- from the movie, Crumb
Sitting in the dark with strangers while watching the light dance...
If the first Matrix movie's question was, "What is reality?", then the 2nd movie is asking, "What role does mankind have in determining reality?" This leads to only more questions concerned causality, choice, fate, and how to cope under these belief systems.
You may come away from this movie with the vague and wary hope that some answers will be attempted in the final movie to some degree of satisfaction. Of course, you may have to see it a couple of times to pick up all the words if the answers are going to come from The Architect character. I had to decompress and repeat his words in my head in order to digest them properly. He's not quite as fast as the Micro Machines adman, but close. You won't get much of a clue from the teaser trailer for Matrix: Revolutions that plays after the credits either.
The movie begs for repeat views in order to catch quite a number of plot details and special effects shots. On the surface, the final fling in Zion seems like nothing more than proof that in the future there will be raves with drum circles and poorly covered nipples, but no glow-sticks. But it could be a parallel with how all the fears concerning the Y2k bug found release in spectacular New Year's Eve parties. And how as a society we've fetish-ized this Armageddon scenario to justify any kind of action we could imagine.
We're constantly forced to revise our global holocaust time tables. The cultists have to re-synchronize their DeathCon clocks. The hysteria machine is forced to latch on another threat (loose nukes? How about Meteors again? I love killer rocks from spAAAAAce!) The possibility that no one knows the whens, whys, or hows is part of a massive denial system for a large portion of the population. If the Oracle, the prophet, or the scientist don't know, then maybe God's just gonna send everyone a courtesy call on the morning of the day, "Hi this is the CREATOR, the weather for today calls for skies raining hellfire and oceans of blood. Dress accordingly. Have a nice Judgement Day!"
What about the other themes that seem to be running rampant in this summer's crop of big movies? What about the love/hate relationship with our creations, those machines of technology?
Xmen takes a more human-centric approach. It suggests that the byproducts of technology may have acted as evolutionary accelerators and triggered homo-next's (superior) arrival. It's clear that neither species is ready to handle the responsibilities of super-powers. The inherent imperfections of the typical psyche are not removed through mutation. It's like the advance of computer's processing power in comparison with the slower (if at all) advancing software that runs on it. The fear is that we will never achieve mental growth in the face of more visible physical improvements (We may see similar threads in The Hulk and maybe The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
Terminator 3 has the machines making the decision for us. It is a cold, final solution that saves the patient by killing it. It is possibly the most alien and frightening vision of them all. There is no chance for dialogue. It is all or nothing. It is the horror of fanatically driven machines that can't go beyond their programing.
The Matrix approach is more symbiotic. The lines between operator and tool are blurred. When machines gain intelligence, they suffer the same lapse in logic (and denial of that) of their human creators. So the Matrix is created to turn Man into a tool for learning and a resource to be exploited. Humans can't be eliminated because they are still the original source of intelligence and deserve the same type of study we perform on the animal world today.
The question is turned backed to us in the sense that in the first movie it was said the majority of humans rejected utopian versions of the Matrix. So maybe only the radical few could live in utopian societies. Maybe the superhero abilities of those like Neo are necessary "pressure valves" to maintain the full dynamic of human society. We can't all be Bruce Almighty nor all even want to be the President of the United States of America.
Maybe we "can't handle the truth." The dark images and thoughts within the id may not be meant for a full public perusal. Those that do go spelunking risk losing themselves to the depths or risk being rejected for bringing certain unwanted truths to light.(Oh, this is not meant to be a review, of any of these movies. They all have their flaws and people love to point those things out in popular movies as a way to feel superior to the masses. I have done it many times. Go check out my Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon review as proof. But if you must know, I admire the Matrix movies for their ambition and style. Anyway, it's pathetic to pick on these movies and all the hard work that was put into them when all attention should be put into seeing that these movies don't get made)
I hope that somehow revealing the truth about myself is somehow helpful. I hope it is. But I have to do it. Maybe I shouldn't be allowed. Maybe I should be locked up and my pencils taken away from me. I just don't know. I really can't say. I can't defend myself.
I was with my daughter Sophie watching "Good Fellas" on videotape. The violent part horrified her so deeply she started getting a stomachache. I shut it off, I wouldn't let her watch it.
Although I think it was a great movie, truthful movie. I got a lot out of seeing it, but obviously not for a kid. And sometimes certain harsh realities of life - yeah, you know - you've got to protect your kids a little bit from that. They don't understand a lot of things yet. Not everything's for children. Not everything's for everybody.
-Robert Crumb, from the movie Crumb
It could stem from the desire to identify common strands among the gender pool. For those surfing the single selections, one should be aware of telltale warning signs of a serious psychosis. It doesn't help that all interactions create bubbles of transient stress that may manifest as any number of discernable symptoms of conditions not at all present. Patience is required and first impressions would seem to be somewhat less important, but time is on whose side here?
I've found that online it's hard to get much feeling gathered for anyone in a short while. I have pretty much ruled out the online matchmaking services for a variety of reasons. The first of them involves the difficulty in maintaining any spark to conversations interrupted by chasmic gaps in response. The second involves how a lengthy email I send gets a two-line response. Its actually an extension of the first point, but its frequency makes me wonder how the hell I'm coming across. Am I like some raver at high loon? Probably...lately I have been like a ship tossed about in a sea of ideas. If I actually start up writing, I have trouble cutting it short. Maybe they just don't buy my words. Maybe failure has set up certain expectations. The anomaly of a decent sort seems a lie. Understanding individuals; a pipe dream. Maybe we've been lied too for so long and so often honesty is made suspect.
True story: Don't ever ever play the Kevin Bacon game with Sarah if you find yourself next to her at a party. She cheats and will swear loudly at you if you try to bend the rules. I'm just saying.
Other than that, she's a lovely human being.
"Meredith Baxter Birney."
"Oh, too easy. Michael Gross, Steven Keaton was in Tremors with Kevin. Jaeesh."
"Oh yeah, with those Grabasses."
What? What are you talking about?"
"That's what they decided to call them in the movie. Grabass."
"You were drunk."
"No, I was on mescaline."
"Bullshit. You've never taken mescaline."
"Well, I imagined I did while I was watching that moved. Believe me, it helped."
"Can I shoot you now?"
"No, man you know I never touch that stuff. I will have another beer though."
"I'm going to imagine I have a gun now."
"What's going to happen when you're fifty? You got to grow old with somebody." "I'm going to be arrested for throwing an orgy at ninety-nine and I'm not growing old with anybody. What a gruesome thought!"
-Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle
Q: What kind of pie makes a part of you shrink with every bite?
Are you interested in sponsoring the clearance of bad mimes on Earth by printing out a limited-edition (check your local printer) print of the most insane page in mock book history? Clickthen hit the print button on your browser.
"Is it really necessary to tear down another writer in order to defend your own aesthetic?" Almond queries, painfully earnest. "Does disapproval require such flamboyant malice?" I suppose not, but it sure is more fun to read.
"Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in."
- The Godfather: Part III
Oh The Hypocrisy
Brooke, who is back by the way, writes:
there was an anthrax scare here in eugene today (thursday).. at the 13th ave police sub station. i'm glad it wasn't anything serious, but i, very vocally, expressed my views about karma and the eugene police. over the past months in eugene they have NOT been nice. they have scared a lot of innocent people due to their military type reactions to things. i hear one woman in my neighborhood, an innocent woman, is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder due to their actions. so, i figured what goes around comes around. they scared people and today they were scared.But screw all of us who have suffered with post traumatic stress disorder for a year and a half, those responsible should be left in peace and not bothered by the US, because we're mean Americans and they're just terrorists who needed to express themselves. Screw all of us who lived through more and a dozen anthrax scares, because we just don't count. And yeah, screw the police, because they put their lives on the line every day to protect those who march around naked to make a point not remotely connected to nakedness, because they are police. Disgust would be an understatement.
John Ashcroft Says "Use caution when dismounting a high horse. Then report it to the proper authorities. The life you save may be equine."
I am yet another reader who is getting tired of your crass and crude style, and your need to use profanity and teenager-mentality gutter language in your magazine. The only people who condone your style are those who themselves use profanity freely, and therefore see no harm in it. Is that your style? Looking to fit in and "be cool"? One dirty pig does not call another dirty pig dirty, does it?
I used to be impressed with your magazine, and looked forward to getting each new issue, especially the CD with the software! However, I just can no longer justify putting up with, and tolerating, the filth. There are plenty of other, more professional quality magazines out there. Do you understand what professionalism is all about?
I shall be letting my subscription expire, and am starting one with PC Plus. For comparison, you can see how a magazine can be published without the trash. You need to grow up, but I'm sure that your magazine groupies, who sound like radical, "cool dude," teenagers, do not agree with me.
- A letter to Maximum PC (minimum BS), from the May 2003 issue.
Car Names You'll Never See
Aston Martin Lawrence
Audi Auditor Special IRS Edition
Audi AughtaBoghta Sativa
Chevy Tail Chaser
Chevy Alimony (available for leasing)
Dodge Ramit RR
Dodge Dictator Limited Edition
Dodge Law Special Wall Street Edition
Dodge Tax LX (LX model is the only model that works)
Ford FARK GT
Ford Execution Special Texas Edition
Ford Firestone STBO
Honda Fonda Special Hanoi Edition
Isuzu Joe Millionaire
Jeep Bush Mangler EL
Jeep Freeper FRF
Jeep IndyMedicated LLL
Lincoln Mark 9 Verse 11
Lincoln NegroHater (from the Mason Dixon Line)
Mercury Mullet Mook
Mitsubishi Dancer DDR
Nissan Getyur MNFTIU
Rolls Royce Ricardo Ridiculo
Toyota IttyTittyBankCock Special Disney Edition
Toyota BuyaBluz OWF
Volkswagen FarFagMovin Special Sanctorum Edition
Winnebago Culture Vulture
Winnebago Rollin Casino
Crying over spilled milk that looks a lot like blood.
I'm feeling one of my periodic bouts of knee-jerk anti-intellectualism coming on, during which I customarily have a tendency to gibber and howl, slap my belly and dance and drink and sweat and swear and look at pornography, so if the next little while amongst the bottles is characterized by determined, single-minded stupidity and you, dear reader, find that to be either annoying or contrary to the Loftiness of Blogocratic Discourse and the general air of 'I'm-smarter-than-you'-iness we occasionally see around the blogs, I invite you, o kind and gentle soul, to either crack a beer and play along or, you know, go away and come back a little later. It's party time!
When Camwhores ATTACK!
As to all her idiot friends who threatened to *sign me up* for porn portals and other such stuff, well THAT'S HARASSMENT. You have an IP and it can be traced back to you. arwen might want to delete her own comments to protect your pathetic asses from the fact that you made these threats, no? But what do you think to accomplish with that? Send more hits to my site? Force me to change my e-mail address? How do these threats really affect me anyway? It is, however, telling as to the mentality of arwen and her buddies though, isn't it?
And to her other moron friends who are killing themselves to link to me *to piss me off*, read my rant, assholes...linking to me is NOT my problem...but if you like my site so much that you'll endorse it, go for it...that includes you, arwen you idiot...endorse away. I enjoy being a goddess of design and I thank you heartily for letting everyone know that MY SITE ROCKS!! I am a web goddess and I'm glad you think so too....you, however, might want to do something about your own cookie-cutter design. tsk tsk. And dear, none of this would have been an issue had you just accepted that some people may not want to be involved in your little projects and RESPECTED their requests to be removed without having to add your little *fuck you world* FAQ bullshit.
- The Anti-Social Bitch under assault by...
Dig me, I caused someone to turn their comments off. What an amusing way to wake me up this morning. Hey, I'm a crazy lady!
You know, it's long been said that people need to stop taking themselves so seriously. But damn, it amuses the fuck out of me when people take ME seriously.
But, I just gotta know... which one of your twits used random caps? Ew, ew, ew.
At the risk of pissing off half of the people who read this site, too ... pfft, Americans. *rolls eyes*
A joke has a measurable life expectancy after it's been revealed to an audience. Of course, not all audiences are created equal and a comedian must adjust lengths accordingly. A nation-wide study was conducted on audience reactions to a typical stand-up routine. We discarded high/low results where audiences had high concentrations of members extremely above or below the average HQ. This eliminated all New York and Alabama audiences respectively. You can read the full report in The Journal of the Ha Ha Funny.
I will leave you with one result of the system when applied to a recent episode of Saturday Night Live. According to our calculations the average length of a skit before joke runoff should be 12.45 seconds. This does not include TV Funhouse animations, which tend to skew the results upwards.
"Peace to you, small lady. You've won a twisted poor modern knight, to wear your favor on his sleeve. But it's a twisted poor world we were both born into, that rejects us without mercy and ejects us without consultation. But at least I won't just tilt at windmills for you. I'll send in sappers to mine the twirling suckers and blow them into the sky."
-Lois McMaster Bujold, Mountains of Mourning
Samuel Johnson said that re-marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. I'm running low on quixotic, self-serving, self-aware, self-righteous sentences and I have to point to a post (but I can't because the links assigned to it don't point to it-sigh) that left me rather breathless for it's honesty. And I hesitate to quote as only so recently my highlighting of someone's post degraded into something detestable, even for me. But the fact remains that her short post illustrated the pain of trying to maintain a marriage as people grow at different rates. It shows how the struggle to hold things together fights the idea that maybe it's better to let another person go in order to fulfill the need for having someone with a mutual passion for life and one another. And that it was worth it to have tried, because things fall apart, but they don't always destroy everything in their wake.
While the subletities of it all are too great and varied for me to go into here, I can say that neither one of us has truly done anything wrong; two wrongs don't make a right but two lacks of wrong don't especially make a right, either. I feel as if I were sold a bill of goods and it's not entirely anyone else's fault, because I helped sell that bill by my willingness to take something said at face value: To trust. Again. To take someone at their word because they are good and earnest and think they a) mean it and b) are sure of what they are getting themselves into. I am beyond the point of being embarrassed that I've now been married three times and am probably creeping up on ending marriage number three. Is that sad? Funny? Desperate? Or is it reasonable and sane?
In the hope I have sense enough to make change for two, I'd have to say what it means to me. It is that you have more love and faith in others than I've ever managed myself. I've met, imagined a relationship bloom, prosper in procreative glory, and then fade into the twilight of each taking a different fork of the road. I used that to stop the trip short. You've gone ahead with both eyes open and made a life for yourself and brought more life into the world. So maybe I should stick my thumb out over the road and hope to get picked up by someone cruising the Infobahn. Or maybe I should let this post be my goodbye to the online world.
It's a damn fine thing times have changed. And we can play our heart strings wild and free. And we can say, "I was in love. It was that simple." And we cry and laugh with you at all the right times. And I could be the jolly green giant trying to spread his benevolence during a visit to the village, but knocking it down with an ill-timed sneeze. And I'd tumble the pies from the windowsills with a hearty laugh meant to share my joy and not as some anti-baker ploy. And maybe all the comedians are just insane and laughing is how from crying they refrain.
I fell asleep last night, as usual these days, behind a combination of coffee, Tylenol PM, and Ativan. I'm trying to kick the meds and it's a bitch, so I'm taking it slow. It seems to be working so far. But then again, how would you know? How would I? I often ask myself what I mean by "working." Is such reflection a sign of returning health, vitality? Or merely reflex? A self-conscious knee-jerk reaction to what we term, for lack of better, existence? I've found that a sense of humor helps in these considerations. Thus the title slug.
Anyway, which I just learned this morning is a significant transitional marker in speech act theory -- I mean the word "anyway" -- I fell asleep watching Bringing Out the Dead after reading Baudrillard's latest on impossible exchange. Jesus Christ. If you said I deserve whatever I've been getting, and richly, for engaging in this sort of behavior, you wouldn't be far off the mark. The mark, the john. Endless web of interdependent co-signifiers. You aim too, please. See what I mean about a sense of humor? Though of course any sense that this might be shared outside the confines of one's own skull -- thus my recent preoccupation with solipsism and autism, the latter an exciting "find" -- presupposes, in this case, that one a) is a man, b) thus urinates in an upright posture, c) at least on occasion undertook this activity in the toilet stalls of redneck bars while hugely intoxicated, and d) could read.
- Rageboy, Honk If You're Borderline
Many psychologists entered the profession to help identify their resident neuroses. Some people like to DIY and buy the books. I'm eyeing Freud so I can slip with the best of them.
My ownership of the linkworthy.com domain expires in June and I plan on finally getting the Network Solutions/Verisign back-monkey put to death. I have been entertaining thoughts of letting the domain go too. I have become sickeningly aware of how The HHOE has spread within the confines of this webspace. How many times can I judge others and not suffer a full reckoning?
I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my remarks may have caused you, or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat such a slander at any time in the future.
- John Cleese, while being dangled from a window by Kevin Kline in the 1988 film "A Fish Called Wanda."
It's not just to the webloggers, but to those writers, government workers, and company employees I've painted with broad strokes. You all know what parts I've said were true and those parts not about you. Reason took a holiday and rage ruled for many a post and a deep look inward is the new modus operadi for your host.