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Confounding the calumniators and apostates
For those of you with SBC DSL, you can now use RSS to put Eisengeiste on your Yahoo! homepage, right next to your stock quotes, weather, and hot singles in your area. A new day dawns.
A commentator on the radio pointed out that Vietnam service has been a negative for political careers:
Let me start by saying I don't know next to nothing about no internal Chinese politics. But the NYT reports something that's been bothering me for a while: where is the simmmering people's revolt in oppressive capitalist-communist Asian governments like China and Vietnam, with that magical combination of all of the economic oppression, and none of the political freedom? Apparantly, small revolts are breaking out all over, just the sort of violence against that human spirit that people tend to make poems and songs and paintings start breaking windows over - a "lowly porter" beaten by a government official for muddying his wife's clothes.
"What are you looking at, bumpkin?" Mr. Yu recalls Mr. Hu saying.
Mr. Yu is mild mannered, with a slightly raffish grin stained yellow from chain smoking. Mr. Hu, wearing a coat and tie and leather shoes, looked like he might be important. Mr. Yu said he should have let the moment pass. He did not.
"I work like this so that my daughter and son can dress better than I do, so don't look down on me," he recalled saying. Then he added, "I sell my strength just as a prostitute sells her body."
Mr. Yu said he was drawing a general comparison. Mr. Hu and his young wife, Zeng Qingrong, apparently thought he had insinuated something else. She jerked his shirt collar and slapped his ear. Mr. Hu picked up Mr. Yu's fallen pole and struck him in the legs and back repeatedly.
Perhaps for the benefit of the crowd, Mr. Hu shouted that it was Mr. Yu, sprawled on the pavement, who was in big trouble.
"I'm a public official," Mr. Hu said, according to Mr. Yu and other eyewitnesses. "If this guy causes me more problems, I'll pay 20,000 kuai" - about $2,500 - "and have him knocked off."
Those words never appeared in the state-controlled media. But is difficult to find anyone in Wanzhou today who has not heard some version of Mr. Hu's bluster: The putative official - he has been identified in the rumor mill as the deputy chief of the local land bureau - had boasted that he could have a porter killed for $2,500. It was a call to arms.
Mr. Hu's threat, spread by mobile phones, text messages and the swelling crowd, encapsulated a thousand bitter grievances.
As a child my mother foisted Wodehouse upon me. My parents were not much on strict cultural direction, but an exception was made for Wodehouse. It was purposefully placed in my hands. I have not regretted this, and, it turns out, neither has Hugh Laurie (bet you didn't know there was a Russian Wodehouse Society).
During the last the five years women had found him more or less cold. It was the nature of his profession that had largely brought about this cooling of the emotions. To a man, like George [or to Wodehouse -DrX], who has worked year in and year out at the composition of musical comedies, woman comes to lose many of those attractive qualities which ensnare the ordinary male. To George, of late years, it had begun to seem that the salient feature of woman as a sex was her disposition to kick. For five years he had been wandering in a world of women, many of them beautiful, all of the superficially attractive, who had left no other impress on his memory except the vigor and frequency with which they had kicked. Some had kicked about their musical numbers, some about their love-scenes; some had grumbled about their exit lines, others about the lines of their second-act frocks. They had kicked in a myriad differing ways - wrathfully, sweetly, noisily, softly, smilingly, tearfully, pathetically and patronisingly; but they had all kicked; with the result that women had now become to George not so much a flaming inspiration or a tender goddess as something to be dodged - tactfully, if possible; but, if not possible, by open flight.Of course George does fall in love, and lives happily ever after. After some hunting, Wodehouse did too.
This NYT article suggests what happened at NOAA's Hawaii Tsunami Warning Center.
Old Seattle Times and new Seattle PI columnist Art Thiel is an excellent sports commentator even for us marginal fans. He somehow writes around and through the cliches, and here stands up for occassional Seahawks goodness, when greatness is not quite available, in this case in Dilfer's stand-up guy performance last Sunday. Thus, we may yet, however tenuously, refer to the existence of a Puget Sound area professional football team.
Here's a good economics blog by an actual economist. This fellow observes that few serious economists of any political stripe are in senior Bush administration jobs. There's a reason for that - the same reason Bush's Treasury Secretaries are objects of scorn and ridicule: the mission of the administration (i.e., borrow immense amounts of money in support of an ideological agenda) is diametrically opposed to what a Treasury Secretary's goals ought to be. They didn't like the last one, they don't like Snow - time to bring in Chimpy, the ideologically-appropriate Treasury Secretarying lemur...
"In the past, deficits this large have always led to a currency plunge. True, one hears arguments to the effect that the rules have changed, that this time is different. Those arguments were presumably what Mr. O'Neill had in mind when he dismissed concerns about the payments deficit. Alas, it would be easier to take those arguments seriously if they weren't so similar to the arguments people used to justify the high dollar of the mid-1980's, just before it started dropping.Nice one, Paul.
"More ominously, I heard exactly the same arguments especially the claim that rising productivity justifies a strong currency — used to dismiss concerns about Mexico's current account deficit just before the 1995 peso crisis, and again in Asia two years later."
Non-Gov. Elect Rossi makes a fairly absurd plea for the Democratic Legislature to give him a do-over; more importantly, he's claiming no legal action at this time, with more time studying "options." Any legal move after this will have lost political momentum, severely trying the state's and the court's patience. Technically, he has until Jan 22nd to contest it, but Gregoire will have been inaugurated already.
There is an excellent new book out (from which I read extensively today while loitering at Barnes and Noble) on the comedians that came of age in the 50's and 60's. It has a good chapter on Nichols and May, another on Newhart. The chapter on Woody Allen looked good, too. Also covers Tom Lehrer, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and many others.
Questions are being raised by Sen. Snowe about NOAA's Hawaii (and Alaska) Tsunami Warning Center's information distribution actions after the quake. The concerns, either real or scape-goating, involve the problem of who was contacted after the quake was registered.
The new version of Pirates has become a lot more fun....
I'm sitting in an internet-enabled coffee shop, Coffe Talk, in Honolulu. We've been driving around the island for the past couple of days, shopping, babysitting, mom-sitting, etc. We're expecting a big storm tomorrow night. On Saturday, we head for Maui.
Stephen Fry demonstrated another potential weapon of mass destruction. When asked whether he had any sharp objects at Heathrow airport, he replied: "Only my tongue, sir."
What I meant to say is that Al Qaeda was responsible for the plane "shooting down" to the ground very fast when those heroic Americans wrested the controls away from the terrorists, causing it to "shoot down" to the ground, very fast. The hopes and dreams of those on board were "shot down" at the moment of natural impact caused by an over abundance of gravity and not an F-16. When I say "shot down" I in no way meant to imply that the plane was "shot down" in any physically, explosive, destructive, boomy sense.
Teraoka is a contemporary Japanese-American artist who sources from these guys, yet paints about AIDs and email- I met him very briefly at an opening once. An amazing, serious, hilarious artist.
I talked with the Laird last night, and he is enjoying Hawaii, passing the time (near as I can tell) by playing GTA San Andreas from dawn to dusk and chowing down on room service. God I wish I were him. Anyway, we got to talking about tsunamis and I remembered the tale of the Halawa Valley in Molokai, evacuated permanently after tsunamis in 1946 and 1957.
Our man Eisen was an artist, but not just an ordinary artist. He was a leading light of the "decadent" period - yes! He had particular skill in depicting (ahem) ladies, including erotic prints in his repertoire. And, perhaps fitting with our modern culture, he might have done a little pimpin' on the side (no word on whether bling bling was involved).
“Should the Taiwan authorities go so far as to make a reckless attempt that constitutes a major incident of ’Taiwan independence’, the Chinese people and armed forces will resolutely and thoroughly crush it at any cost,” it said.
Speaking of the bones of American music, the twists and permutations of the blues, here, in aboriginal Alaskan hip-hop, continue to impress. Is this good? Of course it is. American music is at its best when it speaks to the lonely and the lost, and the joy that arises from despair.
I've long been a fan of Hiroshige's Tokaido Road prints - the Corresponding Secretary General General and I went and studied them when the Asian Art Museum ran a special exhibition a few years ago. For those of you not familiar, the road from Tokyo (then called Edo) to Kyoto had 55 stations, and the artist Hiroshige made a woodblock print for each one. This is pretty cool, it really gives you a window into another world.
Since my son has decided to memorize the name of every animal in the world ever, I'm reading up on African creatures. Not a pretty picture, with poaching, encroaching civilization, and the occasional human war messing up the habitat.
The BBC sometimes shines, here in edited reader posts from people all over the Indian Ocean.
I am only 70 pages into this book and it's already the best thing I've read this year. It's a bit of autobiography by a man who's made a career of studying baboons (PhD Neurology Biology Stanford Kenya blah blah blah). But it is also very bright, funny, and full of harmless adventure.
(Also see the comments appended to the Car post, below).
Thomas Hammes is a Marine Colonel who has written a book on insurgent warfare vs. superpowers. From Chapter 1:
In what is becoming an annual ritual, I sat my Chinese in-laws down and had them watch The Blues Brothers last night. This film is so rich in meaning, so deeply layered (no, really!), I find I always notice new things in it.
Washington Supreme Court rules for counting the other King County ballots: this will probably put Gregoire up an additional 70 or so votes.
Even weirder than Vietnam in some respects. NPR's coverage of the Battle of Tentburg is beyond weird. You know you've entered the Twilight Zone when the shaken correspondent's report from the front begins "I was standing at the spaghetti bar when..."
Time magazine has named Newsom to its list of "People Who Matter," a roster that included John Kerry, Ariel Sharon, Kobe Bryant and Martha Stewart.
I've been playing the new Sid Meyer's Pirates game and I came across one of the weirdest bugs I've ever seen in all my 25+ years with computers.
Every year, the law firm my wife works at participates in the "Mind Games" fundraiser for CSS's Immigration and Refugee Services. I believe it consists entirely of a Cranium tournament.
New US poll shows record disapproval of Bush's handling of Iraq, rapidly falling approval rating, and a significant majority who think invasion was a mistake.
The quiet solitude of Peterson Arena was abruptly and suddenly shaken by multiple explosions. The resulting fire made ice skating interesting and broomball downright hazardous. Said eye witness: "This is the most horrible act of suicide Zamboni bombing that I've ever seen."
Allow me to recommend a game. There is a board/miniatures game called Space Hulk, and a free open-source implementation for Windows. It's great - simple, atmospheric, well-balanced, hard-to-win, and unforgiving of mistakes. In the boardgame the Marine player has a 30-second time limit for his moves - I don't suggest this if you want to retain your sanity.
Meet your AFC West Champions, the San Diego Chargers! The Chargers are now on an eight-game streak. Drew Brees threw a dazzling 4 completions - dazzling because it was snowing like hell, andthe 4 completions were good for 85 yards (14 YPA) and a touchdown, with no interceptions.
I've read up a bit more about traditional archery, and it gets more and more appealing.
(This story was told to me by the bus driver in question at a Holiday party Friday. )
Spent a couple of hours with the DA yesterday, basically answering his questions about the deliberations and giving him advice on the retrial.
One bright spot: "Nationwide, Democrats added more than 60 legislative seats, reversing the 2002 results that gave Republicans more state legislators than Democrats for the first time in a half century."
You've probably heard that about the ACLU's suit against a Georgia school board that required "warning" stickers on science textbooks. The stickers read: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."
NTSB is begining to hone in on a possible cause of the Selendang Ayu disaster - just hours from the massive Aleutian storm that eventually drove her aground, the Captain TURNS the still nominal engine OFF.
I had not heard this tale. Riffling through some old AirCav Vietnam photos I ran into an outfit of Cobras ("air artillery) called the Blue Max. They were apparently famous in-theater for their skill and courage. They took awful casualties in 1972, essentially dive-rocketing enemy tanks with unguided munitions.
An interesting show on the English Longbow lead me to an English traditional archery shop (the same featured on the History Channel) where yew wood unrecurved longbows are under $500, and DIY kits are available for less than $200. A quick check lead to a fair list of in-city, outdoor archery ranges. I may have to investigate further.
From this week's Dr. Z's Power Ranking:
So after a mere 11 weeks of enduring Jury selections, trial and two weeks of deliberations it's over and I am allowed to talk about it.
Hop on over here and tell the House Judiciary Committee to hold full hearings on the 2004 election and the problems of disenfranchisement, voter machines, and possible fraud. Rep. John Conyers, our patron saint of fair elections, is trying to get one opened and he needs our support. Personally, I'm working on a love letter to Congressman Sennsenbrenner, the committe chair.
Could there be a worse name for a voting machine company than Triad?
While defending Christmas and preaching conservative moral values to us, the Fox Network runs this incredible dreck. Kill your TV.
This is a great achievment comrade. Medals for everyone.
President awards Medal of Freedom to 3 Yoinks. What the Hell. I'm so appalled I am nearly incontinent. This must be "Let's See How Ill We Can Make Eric Day".
We've forgotten another Democrat killed as a result of a suspicious plane crash, Ron Brown, a staunch political ally of Bill Clinton and head of the Department of
...but not Joe Scarborough!
Liquitex liked my use of their new paint so much, a paint which allows me to build 3-d sculptures out of wire and paint, and unlike most sculptural materials preserves the direct gestural mark of an abstract painting, that they asked me to appear in a 50th anniversary ad as the subject of an interview, plus a bunch of free paint. I'm sharing the bill with 4 other artists, including Jamie Wyeth, which makes for a 2/5 Jamie to others ratio.. It's a back door route to get my work in Art in America or something like it, but lecturers can't be choosers.
It is one of the very few times I've been called an intergalactic bucking bronco in public.
Jamie’s studio is near the old Ballard neighborhood of
After completing an MFA (2002) at the
We first met Jamie at a College Art Association convention when he convinced us to give him a pile of Liquitex Super Heavy Body paints. The range was a few weeks away from formal launch, and this slightly scruffy, highly likable character told us, “With this stuff, I can do things that exist, right now, only in dreams.” How do you say ‘no’ to that?
Jamie followed up with us a few months later, and we found out that he was, indeed, for real. And he was doing things with Super Heavy Body colors that we hadn’t dreamed of.
“It’s amazing how a little tweak, a little change to the nuance of the materials, can open up completely new opportunities,” he said on the phone. “I’m really interested in the way movement and gesture can translate across space. So, I was intrigued by how this paint can hold shape. I then found that, not only does it hold shape, but it’s light enough to stand on top of itself in a way that oils can’t. So, I started playing with how I could actually build objects that are derived from forms that I’ve developed in my paintings.”
That’s sculpture, right?
“No, I don’t really think of these as sculpture. They’re more like ‘painting objects.’ I can actually get the paint to hold a painterly mark or a gesture in space.”
We had to see what he was doing. We went to Seattle, drank coffee, felt the rain on our faces, talked a lot, told jokes about Republicans and conceptual artists (not suitable for re-print here) and, after seeing how he was pushing the materials in some unique and compelling directions, it was obvious that he absolutely, positively had to be included in the 50th anniversary interviews.
The studio was dominated by a large, central easel that held a painting of an in-progress, highly ethereal, arctic landscape…
JB: I like the juicy.
So, the sensual quality comes up not so much from pleasure of painting – which, of course, is a lot of fun -- but from a more intellectual process. I think. While I’m painting and building the surface, I’m thinking. I’m trying to figure out how this goo and this colored mud relates to the idea. And the more carefully I think about the goo, the more accurately the idea comes into being.
That’s why I get very frustrated by conceptual art -- it’s very often just a literary idea that has no body. And it bothers me that there’s an assumption that the use of materials and paint is not a serious intellectual process. In fact, there’s forty thousand years of physical evidence of painting to contradict that notion. Paint is pretty interesting stuff.
More and more, we’re seeing lots of artists getting frustrated with clever conceptual stuff and going back to a materials-based process.
But, basically the art stuff was gnawing at me. It just kept gnawing at me. I had a little money saved up, so I decided I wanted to take a plunge and get a motorcycle and go to
So, I’m not making any money. But I’m doing exactly what I want to do. Very few people can say that.
We have fun, and then I come back here and work in the studio. It balances out.
The other thing is that this is a peculiar path to spirituality. I’m not a religious man, but I very much believe that things that aren’t in touch with the sacred (are) unimportant. And there are things that art touches that are full of the sacred.
I’m frustrated, in this day and age -- with technology breathing down our neck – that, of all people, artists should be holding the (humanist) line. I guess I still believe in revolutionary liberation.
Liquitex: So what’s is your biggest challenge?
I teach drawing the figure more or less the way I teach drawing a tree or drawing the things around the tree. You can use a few (visual) tools to measure and to clarify things, but the goal is to train yourself to process, recognize, and record the fundamental relationships within what you’re seeing.
Liquitex: Kind of like life.
JB: Yep. Kind of like life.