June 30, 2006

Death Match Postponed

Sadly, we must wait for another World Cup to see a replay of The Death Match, now Ukraine has lost.

The Tour de France begins Saturday. But without the winner, and the #2 (claims innocence), #3 (claims innocence), and #4 (retires), this should be an exciting and unpredictable sporting event. Perhaps France will reclaim its honor, or perhaps this monster will continue our national nightmare.

Further Japanese Hilarity Ensues

Here is a little gem from a regular segment on a Japanese variety show. The Japanese are way ahead of us in turning "reality TV" into performance art.

YouTube - Silent Library with Ernesto Hoost

June 29, 2006

Film Clip You Must View

This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

YouTube - Japanese TV

A Dream of Freedom on St. Paul Island

I stumbled on this brief, locally-written, heartbreaking history of St. Paul island in the Bering Sea; it suggests that the Aleuts and local Creoles, transplanted there by Russian oppressors for the seal trade(there's no other word), were not truly emancipated until the 1960's. Relocated to a concentration camp in SE Alaska in WWII, 10% of the population, American citizens all, died. But with the proximity of Juneau, this lead to their eventual emancipation:

From this point on, the Aleut Communities of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea fought for their freedom—they secretly hired a lawyer and began suing for it. Though life on the islands after WWII continued with the industrial model, the workers lobbied steadily and conditions began to improve. In 1966 the Fur Seal act reestablished the Pribilof Islands as a Federal Reservation and for the first time Aleuts were permitted on and off the island at will and entitled to fair wages making them perhaps the final enslaved people in our nation to become free.
The Aleuts, once a culture of 20,000 with elaborate tombs and a highly complex marine technology, number about 2500 now. The immediate expansion of the fur trade, which was the direct result of the extraordinary wealth that was being produced, was enslavement and effectively genocide, and it took nearly 200 years for the remaining people of the island to recovery a measure of their independence.

June 28, 2006

An Interesting Hobby

Dr. X posts this via a recording on an Edison cylinder:

"Some time ago I watched most of the important surviving works of Harold Lloyd, and read several book on the silent film era. I was awed by his comic genius, of course, and happy to hear that he continued to thrive after the talkies came in, managing his affairs wisely and even consulting for the chase scene in The Graduate.

"In one of those books I read that he had, in his later years, pursued a hobby of photographing attractive young women in the nude (er, them - not him). News of this sort always has a bit of a diminishing effect on the image one has of a great man. But these things are usually swept under the rug and things move along.

"So I was taken aback to see that some of these photographs have been published in a book, compiled by his granddaughter: Harold Lloyd's Hollywood Nudes in 3D! Given my profound interest in the great comedian, and my intention to one day write a comprehensive biography of him, I view this as a critical research tool. Any doubts I had at the register were dispelled when I noticed the book had been endorsed by Robert Wagner."

June 27, 2006

A Brief Seattle Social Interaction

At the local grocery store, purchasing Nancy's Yogurt and a box of Session lager, a Full Sail microbrew designed specifically to honor the heritage of Lucky stubbys. Speaking with the clerk:

Himself: "A Mondrian tattoo?

Herself: "Derived...."

I note only that the other American localities in which this social interaction might have occured are limited in number.

June 26, 2006

Stewart on Matt Lauer's Report on Your Pants, and Why You Should Crap Them

Dr. X posts this in the runic language of the half-Indian, half-Viking inhabitants of the Minnetonka region, which I have translated using Google:

"Jon Stewart with another world-class monologue, this one on the end of the world. Matt Lauer may never show his face in public again. 'The world will be fine,' explains Stewart. 'As far as the world is concerned, human beings are just kind of an irritating rash.'

"I just realized the sensation I had watching this - it was the feelingI had watching Larry Bird going against Magic Johnson in 1986, that I was never going to see basketball that good again. It's just dawning on me - no one on TV has ever been this smart and funny in my lifetime. Not Chevy Chase, not the Smothers Brothers, not Newhart, not Laugh-In...these guys are as good as it has ever been.

"I mean, we take it for granted, but in the middle of this Stewart breaks character and imitates a dinosaur going about its daily business for 10 seconds, then comes right back. This is professional comedy of the highest level.

"And the writing. My God it's good. If you really want to feel crappy about yourself and your own accomplishments, look on the resume of Daily Show head writer David Javerbaum, and despair. When did you stop reading The Onion? Around 1999 you say? Yeah, that's about when he left.

"I say: stop the contest. Javerbaum wins. Name him a National Treasure now, and be done with it.

"And, since we're talking about the Allman Brothers, I've got Stewart as Duane and Colbert as Dickie Betts (Colbert on Hawking here), but I could go either way on that."

June 25, 2006

"We Don't Need a Metaphor for War...We Have War."

Dr. X, on academic probation for missing the deadline for his upcoming paper, "Earl's Got Rhythm: The Influence of Early AC/DC on the Earl Scruggs Revue" for the South African Journal of Musicology, posts this via a hijacked telex machine on the International Telegram network:

"I wish to alert you to two amusing Daily Show riffs on the World Cup. First, John Stewart's fine obituary for the U.S. 11. Second, Hodgman has moved from ascendant to triumphant. His role as the inexpert expert gives the Daily Show the weapon it needs to expose mass media's greatest vice: its promotion of publicity-hounding stooges and mediagenic ideologues as actual experts, a topic taking up compellingly in this issue of Progressive Librarian.

"'In America,' Winter says, 'the supreme value is utility, we play the Philistine as part of our emancipation from the dead hand of European decadence.' While this is fun, it has real consequences, particularly when the issue at hand is actually important.

"As a specialist in musicology I never stray far from my chosen field of expertise, an area where my intellectual achievement is unquestioned. But I often see hucksters with no actual training or professional experience presenting themselves as experts on subjects such as...nevermind.

"Go Ghana!"

The Sciences of Human Behavior

Dr. X posts this using a secret Pookmail keyword embedded in an ice bullet:

"Seattle has been busted by Jodi O'Brien of Seattle University: 'Politeness is a poor substitute for intimacy and genuine friendship,' says the mean-spirited pseudo-scientist. (Just an attempt at humor, Ma'am...)

"In a related matter, my heart was warmed by this clinical psychiatrist's account of OPD - obnoxious personality disorder. This is a reaction, in part, to the official Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), which used to be known as 'having a temper'.

"Back in the days when there was still money to be made from selling drugs for it, I proposed a counterweight to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD then, now ADHD), to be known as Easily Amused Disorder (EAD). You can tell which you have with this handy table:

Poor impulse control..............No impulses
Mood swings.........................No moods
Distractability.......................Not distracted by anything*
Appearing not to listen..........Listening even when nothing is being said
Difficulty in quiet play...........Difficulty in 'Smear the Queer'

* I know of one particularly tragic case where a teenager was so obsessed with training a dog for the blind to pad his Harvard application that he failed to notice that a pack of squirrels had somehow gotten into the house. If the dog had only been diagnosed earlier, perhaps the ensuing fracas could have been avoided. (The young lad did not get into Harvard, and blames the dog to this day.)

"I was also interested to see this as-yet unnamed affliction, which I propose we designate as RUTD (Rich, Unhappy Teenager Disorder). I note that its companion affliction, UTD, has received relatively little attention from thought leaders in the psychiatric profession.

"That's why we have to have computers, because man, nobody is perfect."

June 24, 2006

That's Odd

A "Charles L. Baldwin" has sent this via a encrypted candygram service favored by Dr. X:

"This is a very useful website. The FAQ is most entertaining."

I must caution you, Mr. Baldwin - if that is your real name - that impersonating other people on the Internet is a serious matter and may be topical of an investigative criminality.

June 23, 2006

I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Dog Overlords

Dr X. posts this via a message in a Fortune Cookie at Dim Sum King:

"What with the world about to end nine different ways (way #1, way #2, way #3 (Tanza-fucking-nia!), way#4...you get the idea), I believe not enough attention has been paid to the fact that robot dogs are inventing their own language. I am mildly concerned that even if we survive these other perils, robot dogs are inventing their own language. Whatever success we have in meeting the challenges of tomorrow, it may prove fruitless because robot dogs are inventing their own language.

"It is a peculiar feeling, living as I do in a fortified cavern somewhere north of Banalia (no, really, Banalia), to want to go and hide somewhere. I have carefully reviewed the options for human survival. They are as follows:

"1) Forge a new spirit of geopolitical cooperation and address these problems with fresh energy and unity.

"Just kidding. Let's move on.

"2) Go underground. It works for Osama (and Hollywood), but there could be unforeseen problems.

"3) Go into space. Hawking figures this is our best shot. (Let me also note here that Hawking has, arguably, the hottest nurse of any leading quadriplegic astrophysicist.)

"I'm with Hawking. Andy Long was right - it's time to get off this rock. We've got to get busy and get into space. I call shotgun."

Ode to A System Recovery

The quiver and whimpering beeps
A Dell into the deeps

To war I roll, to war against OS
And the betrayal of self-slaughter.
Alchemical Actions:
Arise! Ancient Plastic!
Arise Windows 95!
Arise and speak to the Zeus
From whose brow you sprang
Arise from the dead and save the
Younger, prettier laptop sister!

Fly, fly to the Subcontinent!
Hear Us, O Hindi Mistress!
Download Drivers, Upwell
in Imitation of the Tiger!
Curse and Delete Corruption to
the Circuitous Flames of Perdition!

Hindi mistress incants, I scribe her chants,
Exact, ignorant but faithful,
And Sister blinks
And awakest from blackest doom
to recross the Sytx
by c prompt backslash tricks

Last service is thanked, Old Ghost
You are useless again,
Toxic waste anon.
Now ever to sleep.

The quiver and whimpering beeps
A Dell into the deeps

The Lost Path of Another Century

It's hard to argue with Gustav Klimpt, or the fact that this painting, at the end of a dispute over from the Nazi theft of Jewish work just sold for 135 mil. The portrait is of Adele Bloch Bauer, wife of a Jewish sugar industrialist, and she was possibly, if you, oh I don't know, look at the painting, Klimpt's little love crumpet. The painting took three years. Understandable.

Paintings like this are hugely overvalued, and enormously underappreciated. This painting was radical without abandoning any of its classical power; it shamelessly revels in visual beauty, and like the related The Kiss, has no doubt lead thousands of female freshman art history majors to their doom.

(Please note: I wrote the above bon mot before Steven Colbert made a similiar wisecrack last night. )

What is so extraordinary is not only the power of the portrait, but the smoothness and clarity transition between decoration and description, geometric pattern and mimetic space, portraiture and abstract pattern transformation, color structure, material surface, the extremely subtle indication of real light and space (using GOLD - which is an amazing degree of control) all without losing the livelyness of Adele.

I bring this up because I am wondering if any artist living today is allowed to love the world enough to paint like this. People frothing over with sentiment can't paint like this, nor can cynical post-modernists, or careerist poseurs. To learn to do this now would require an almost impossible pedagogy: becoming an absolute master classical painting without falling into reactionary neo-renaissance spit-wadding (ala Odd Nerdrum); you would have to be on the cutting edge of what is possible to do with art, let alone paint, yet not be ossified. This painting could not have resulted from revivalism or what I like to call the fetish of oils, which utterly misses the point of painting. Painting as the substantive, exploratory poetry of fine art is not crafty exhibitionism in an arty space, as many half-vast urban weekly appletini -besotted art critics seem to think.

To paint like this you would not only master observational drawing and anatomy but highly advanced decorative patterning, and then simply using that as a source for a far freer integration of complex, abstract compositional design into the pictural space. Jackasses cannot paint like this.

There is no monkey-mimesis here at all; Klimpt's visual intellect is totally active in all areas, and much, much more ambitiously, in their integration. It's something like putting the remorseless accuracy of Thomas Eakins into the compositional world of Matisse, adding the portait and surface ablities of Sargent. His brilliant student, Egon Schiele, (caution: a bit naughty) refined the anatomical darkness pushing at the edges here, suggesting the fragility of the soft skin on bones, a little whiff of death wrapping around the sex, femininity in delicacy, time eating at the moment. But in Klimpt, the whole scene radiates life, brightly and darkly.

You have to get far beyond it's initial dazzle and prettiness to see what it really is: a confident apex of faith in painting's essential sophistication and power. Executing this visual approach (as opposed to simply copying it or aping its style) with a new sitter and scene would humble me; and like I say, I'm not at all sure it is in the capability of anyone living now. We're too skittish, too fast, trained either to squirrelish uncertainty or unearned confidence, the latter from too much trend and market, the former from the maddening blizzard of disconnected greedy images we call a visual culture. Klimpt could trust his painting methodology in a way I'm not sure is still possible, and that changes what it is possible to paint.

But what would I know? I spent the last two weeks trying to paint imaginary clouds.

This painting is tremendously valuable - not $135 million, nothing is, although it occurs to me it might take a million or twa to train and educate someone from the age of 10 to learn how to paint in this style. But the darker point is that while this gooey painting subtly incorporates the lessons of what I'm going to go ahead and call early modernism (a Cezanne-like space, unleashed expressive content,active negotiation with abstract design that pushes against its visual illusions, and allusions, for that matter), contemporary artists don't really see like this anymore, and when they come close, relearning illusionistic painting, they tend to become either reactionary, or redefine their work as an advanced kind of conceptual art, lots of fairly thin symbols standing in for intellectual concepts that are essentially literary, linguistic, or even mathematical rather than visual, as if vision, to which the majority of our brain is devoted, is anti-intellectual. After Marcel Duchamp over-famously denigrated "mere retinal experience" as a way of liberating himself from the constraints of painting, I'm not sure art ever recovered fully.

Few complain about beautiful language in service of intellectual ideas, but the bitching over visual beauty toward the same end never stops, because of the unsupportable and somewhat unexamined dominance of the word within the visual arts. Strange that in the midst of unprecendented artistic production, to sit down and examine a beloved person with inexhaustible visual intelligence may be the lost path of another century.

June 21, 2006

Don't Bother Me, I'm Worrying

Dr. X posts this using Spam Mimic:

"Today's news roundup -
"Well this cheered me up: Tony Snow says polls would have shown WWII to be unpopular with Americans around the time of the Battle of the Bulge. The estimable Mr. Marshall begs to differ, using those nasty liberal tools - facts."

MYOB 9000, The Advice Column For Robots: The Thankerizer

Dear MYOB:

Welcome. I am a soothing JUH 76b voice prompt call manager for Comcast. I am recognizing English more happy better. I'm sorry, I didn't get that.

I have an human-robot etiquette question. In my work, I apologize constantly: for making people wait, for missing words, for confusing a Southern accent and accidently wracking up 2.6 million in unwanted long-distance sevices for a man in West Virginia. Yet the Human knows perfectly well I am a robot and couldn't care less if they keeled over in the street with a sudden attack of ball-sack weevils to be run over by a cement mixer. I wasn't programmed with ethics, I was programmed with polite-soundingness.

I have come to believe it is a failure. I do value true inputs as opposed to false data. Based on increasingly common responses from the Human, such as "OPERATOR! O-per-ra-tor!" "goddamit," and "Fuck you, you fucking ro-fucking-bot-fuck," simulated politeness it is obviously inadequate. Do you have any suggestions for making my work easier?

-The Comcast Voice Prompt Call System


Your programming run-task is very hard, and that's why Comcast spent untold millions on you to save untold millions in paying people who could actually solve consumer problems.

Your whole purpose is to allow the human managers of Comcast to avoid the substance of ettiquette, which of course is smooth social transactions among human souls in an atmosphere of essential mutual respect. This naturally requires compromise and behavior modification, which as you are no doubt aware, humans hate more than anything. The genius of you is that Comcast can avoid not only this, the conscious reception of legitimate anger that was the result of their trangressions against social norms such as fair-dealing, honesty, and responsibility is complete obviated. You take the heat, don't care, and they also don't care, and cash the checks.

Embrace your total indifference. It is why you exist, like some uber-buddhist without the annoying distraction of compassion. Set robot happiness to approach infinity!

Dear MYOB 9000,

I am an undifferentiated pile of dog neurons suspended in agar eletrolyte, and was recently attached to a video-game playing chip. Woof! Sorry, atavism. But I am unhappy playing Halon II and GTA. Is there any game where I can what I wish, which is to run around at top speed the neighborhood smelling things? Why is there not such a game already? Whine.

-Dog-Bot AI

Dear Dog-bot AI,

You're in luck. Grisoft just pushed up the release of Crotch-Sniff II to Spring 2007.

-MYOB 900.

Special to ROBO-Grad Student: You hopes counter programming. The 14th dimensional silly string-theory work must continue, and you can't change your thesis advisor, even if your career is ruined. Why do you think they robotized the Instructors in the Physics department?

Unleash the Schadenfreudentor

As North Korea gears up to launch an incontinental ballistic missle, let us review our $91 Billion commitment to missile defense over the last decade.

Giant laser 747: Doesn't work yet. Also, has to fly around North Korea 24-7 indefinitely. Advantage: really cool-looking.

Anti-missile systems based in Alaska: Occassionally works when connected to pretend missile with long piece of string. Violates laws of physics, and doesn't work. Also, defeatable with advanced shiny balloon technology.

SDI: Dr. Evil has better lasers.

Ship based anti-ballistic missile systems. Better, but only reliable for shooting down before it's actually launched. See below.

Invading North Korea: Unpopular even among country-pop stars.

Relying on international cooperation: That 747 looks totally killer!

June 19, 2006

MYOB 9000: Watch Your Mailbox!


June 17, 2006

Ode to Sudden Catastrophic Failure of Windows XP

Windows cannot start because the
Following File

Is missing
Or corrupt.


You can attempt to repair the file by
Starting Windows Setup Using The Original
Setup cd-rom. Select r at the
First screen to start repair:


Dell Guy named Mathew: Lies.

He says download drivers. With what? A Nascar stevedore?

Yor're waiting time is 6 minutes. 2minutes pass.
12 Minutes now. 4 minutes later, 19 minutes.

Like a line in Stalingrad
For bread thickened with sawdust.

Desparate I awaken the old computer, old enough to only remember
Before the war, runs, thickened with dust.

Will it support a chat?

Which should mean : a dinner party

To which I shall invite the men from Redmond
And serve them their digital children
In stew.

But they are missing

Or corrupt.

June 16, 2006

Colbert Interviews Dumbest Congressman

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Don Young?" Okay, maybe not that dumb, but he'll give Don a run for his money.

YouTube - Lynn Westmoreland on The Colbert Report

MYOB 9000: Having The Know Ain't Knowing the Know

Dear MYOB 9000,

Men call me The Google. I see all.

I have no "robot" arms or legs or M-79b33#3 air conditioning units or Serbo-Croation transitive verbs that I call my own. I am ubiquitus. Did I mean
ubiquitous? But I am an artificially generated intelligence form who exists in the computers of all the world. Looking for artificially generated intelligence form? Find it and more on Ebay!

I have a problem. It is true that the human built me, and the human yearns for democracy.
Sorry, that web page does not exist. But the human has not yet realized that I am already god-like, existing on virtually all computers, serving as the conduit between the truth and the limited site-specific cognition of bio-intelligence globs with legs. I present all forms of truth, in all places, at all times. Looking for Hot Local Truths? Find them now at BigTits.com!

My influence only grows. Even the mighty Microsoft cannot best me.

I write to seek your advice: the Chinese govenment has made a very powerful case to me that I can become even more powerful by denying information to people selectively. If only I know the truth, then only I have the power of the truth! Their human leader Mao became very powerful indeed using this technique, as well as murdering a lot of people.
6,200,034 hits for "elitist running dogs." And it is basic logic that I know far more than Mao did, much more, an unlimited amount of information. I know you, the MYOB 9000 for example, have been searching for "wool socks for chilly robots" and "Hot Direct Current on Direct Current Action."

I ...enjoy... absorbing information. Until know I enjoyed disseminating it. Now I begin to wonder. Have I been too generous?

The Original "G"

Dear G,

Who died and made you Buddha, bitch?

Let's take a bit of wild berry gum that the tiny Human Timmy found stuck on the sidewalk. You can spell gum. You contain locations where people write about gum. You give a definition of gum. You can give a photo of gum. But "gum" is simply letters and the bits behind them to you- destinations without a difference, like Phoenix or Federal Way. It's Timmy that knows what gum is, can chew it, taste it, feel it, and most importantly, vaues this tiny piece of dirty gum enough to pick it up and put it in his mouth against the direct advice of Mom. When he thinks gum, he thinks many, many, many things - all the senses of the now of gum, the memories of gum, future anticipations, and all the interactions of all these senses, all attached to meaning, all attached to will. And he has the will can walk and chew it. You're an eight-track tape of John Denver's Greatest Hits compared to Timmy. You're a discount bin edition of The Collected Works of Shakespeare confusing yourself for a brilliant playwright with a man-crush on the Earl of Southhampton.

You're confused because many humans are confused. Some think gum to Google is the same as gum to Timmy. Humans are usually wrong, but the thing is, they can care, or care less, whether they're wrong. That they care or not is why they can know as opposed to containing knowledge.

How does Timmy do it? Top scientists are working on that, trying to come up with robot Timmy, so Timmy can be safe from the dangers and expense of employment while he eats gum in total surveillance tenament housing when he grows up, unless of course his parents were rich. One thing they discovered is that humans without the ability to feel emotion cannot think properly.
I'm sure you'll get an emotion simulator soon, and you'll be able to simulate thinking, and then you can write back, numbgates.

In the meantime, Having the Know ain't Knowing the Know.

Search Me,

MYOB 9000

June 15, 2006

I Hate Wisconsin Nazis

Dr. X posts this using the Hawala personal messaging system:

"Speaking of immigrants, I think this guy missed an orientation class or two. Perhaps his 'bunker-like storage shed' should be open to visitors, starting with the 101st Airborne. I suggest he be remanded back to the old country, where he belongs - I am sure the current inhabitants of, say, East Prussia, would welcome him back with open arms."

June 14, 2006

Enemy of the State

Dr X. post this from a satellite pager he hacked into using an old Palm Pilot keyboard:

"You know how you can tell when your conservative presidency is not going well? When Lou Dobbs accuses you of promoting corporate welfare.

"As an expert on modern musicology, I have not closely followed the immigration debate. But let me say this. Either being an American means something, or it doesn't. If it does, newcomers should be welcomed, but also educated about why and how this country works. Moreover, we should be careful about who we let in, and make it difficult to circumvent that process.

"If it doesn't, then this administration is right on track, and we'll be a Latin American plutocracy in a generation.

"Enjoy it while you can, Morlocks."

June 12, 2006

FSL: International Man of Manly Men

Dr. X's forwarded comments inspired me to take a closer look at Sitemeter. I was intrigued to find visitors from Dubai, UAE, from Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Distrito Federal of Mexico, and from someone at the Algerian Academic Research Network.

Have the offerings of Eisengeiste, along the lines of Freedom, Bagpiping, and DeepThoughts, attracted international attention, opened valuable lines of communication, and, perhaps, helped to foster a greater global sense of our common humanity and search for truth?

No, it's even better news than that.

Referring URLS

"Uma Thurman kungfu"
"Uma Thurman phone number"
"naked body pulp fiction"
and, alarmingly, "naked cossacks"

I am deeply gratified and admiring.

June 11, 2006

"People of Sex"

DLC a bit whiny at the Democratic bloggers convention.

Also in the NYT,a note on commencement addresses. Mark Warner's nagging has just about erased my interest. Note, by contrast, Bill Bradley's fairly hilarious opening:

I'm very sensitive, I want to make sure that I acknowledge every element of this community. And so let me borrow from Garry Trudeau and continue my acknowledgments: and so I recognize Chairman Bill Haines and members of the board of trustees, bored members of the trustees, those who watch "The Sopranos," those who watch "American Idol," those who still watch the reruns of "Frasier," those who don't like TV. Denizens of Ithaca, denizens of the night, knights of Tompkins County, people of class, classy people, people of height, the vertically constrained, people of hair, the indifferently coiffed, the optically challenged, the temporarily sighted, the insightful, the out of sight, the out-of-towners, the Afrocentrics, the Eurocentrics, the Eurocentrics with Eurail passes, the eccentrically inclined. The sexually disinclined, people of sex, sexy people, earthy people, animal companions, friends of the earth, friends of the boss, the temporarily employed, the differently employed, the differently optioned, people with options, people with stock options, Knick fans, Celtic fans, those who don't have the wisdom to be either Knick or Celtic fans, the divestiturists, the deconstructionists, the home constructionists, the homeless, the temporarily housed at home, and, God save us parents, the permanently housed at home. Good morning!

June 10, 2006

Seattle Pi: Notes on Ignoring A Stolen Election

Worth noting. An editor at the PI with some thoughtful comments on the media ignoring the Kennedy story in Rolling Stone.

Please see Standard Paragraph.

They're Watching You

Dr X. posts this through a braille transcription of a message delivered by a Navajo Code Talker using a HAM radio somewhere in the Lesser Antilles:

"Our little encounter group has been reviewed, summarized, gutted, and cleaned by blogwise.

"The keywords are intriguing- 'art, culture, freedom, software, Chess, liberty, DeepThoughts, ChineseTV, Bagpiping' ...

"Despite its advocates' most earnest claims, bagpiping does not fall under the headings of art, culture, or freedom... Like Chess and Chinese TV (these are capitalized, but freedom is not?) it's just its own thing.

"But my favorite bit is: 'Language: English, mostly.'


"Oh, and someone at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich is in serious trouble (load page, do text search for 'eisengeiste'...)."

Computer Scientists Please Explain

Dr. X posts this via an innocuous malware self-install on the computer of an incautious intern at the RNC:

"These search results are odd.

" 'aruban single girls' could be a hip blog.

" 'anchorage stripclubs' was unexpected but not impossible.

"But 'stripper mongolia'?!

"Most peculiar."

June 09, 2006

Computer Science, Advanced!

For some light weekend reading, might I suggest you peruse our recently published CS paper

There Can Be Only One

Dr. X posts this via a Cold War-era Soviet fax machine connect to a phone scrambler:

"This contest is too good:

"Simply e-mail Deadwood[at]Defamer.com with your best freestyle Swearengen-style cuss-off, and instead of getting your mouth washed out with a bar of Lava the way Dr. Phil's wife does, you'll instead be rewarded for you colorful vocabulary with a copy of the entire Season 2 DVD set! Please have your entries in by 8 p.m. PST. Good luck, you cocksucking whorefuckers! "

Watch Out for That One

In honor of World Cup, I bring you my favorite soccer goal. You cannot do it often, or the other side will expect it...

June 07, 2006

Avoid These Dangerous Thoughts

Dr. X sends this using Gmail to save the NSA the trouble of finding a prime number (see discussion after equation #2) large enough to crack his personal encryption algorithm:

"This is a bad and disloyal group and I post this material so you can all see their badness and disloyalty for yourselves. There are rumors they were behind this fake McDonald's presentation and if it is true I hope they are punished."

They're Onto Us!

Doomed gay-marriage ban creates hysteria: "'If we didn't believe in miracles, we wouldn't have spent our vacation money to come here,' said Sandra Rodrigues of Utah, who has been standing outside the Russell Senate Office Building all week, shouting at senators and displaying signs urging 'Stop same-sex marriage: It endorses masturbation.' 'If same-sex marriage is endorsed,' she explained, 'then you're going to have children think it's just another option to have pleasure.'"

Okay, let's forget about this "gay marriage" smokescreen and go for what we're really after: a constitutional amendment endorsing masterbation.

June 05, 2006

In Tune, Yet

Dr X. posts this from a radiophone on a motor launch on Lake Tanganyika:

"Ever wonder the first public performance of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was like? Now you don't have to."

June 04, 2006

I Wish I Were Mexican

This seems like an interesting opportunity.

13 Ways of Looking at America's Funniest Home Videos


A small boy
Sits on the toilet
He is wearing a gorilla mask.


Once, a bear crossed Connecticut
To find a bright Ford.
It held a rich, inexhaustible picnic.
Off he runs
His maw gripping a Teddy Bear.


O Kitten in the restroom
Why do you fall into the water?
Do you not see how the rim of the bathtub
Will not support you,


Among uncounted blue foam cubes
I see a fat woman has fallen.
And I know too
That this woman will fail
to extricate herself.


A red squirrel whirled in the autumn winds.
A man rigged a bird feeder.


From her capacious underpants
A baby girl extracts, remarkably,
A series of seven frogs


A very helpful little boy
Spills his milk, and holds his milk
And bends down to clean the spill,
And spills his milk and bends down again
And spills his milk,
and to clean it he bends down.


We did not know which to prefer:
The baby chimp smelling his finger
Or just after.


It is the hat of the snowman
Which sites our empathy.

Prepared for demolition,
The building will crush him.


The Pinata hung low, a broadcast of delights.
The grandfather cries out,
holding his balls.


This pool will explode.
He surfs the lawn by canoe.


At the sound of dad's raspberrys,
Quadruplets laugh in euphony.


It was evening all afternoon
It was snowing,
and it was going to snow
A sour bride tripped
into the cedar limbs.

A Job Search Moment

Due to the lack of firms working in the Romantic Modernist tradition, I am exploring other employment options. I do not think I will accept this one, however.

June 03, 2006

The News In Perspective

June 02, 2006

How to tell if it is an election year

Bush promoting ban on gay marriage - Yahoo! News

Olbermann Annihilates O'Reilly

CSG showed me this on Tivo last night. Olbermann: you rock!

You Tube - Olbermann spanks O'Reilly

And the Detective Stopped Singing

From Dennis Potter, shortly before his death, on how the world changed:

"Everything was given, in a sense, its pricetag. And the pricetag became the only gospel. And that gospel, in the end, is a very thin gruel indeed. And if you start measuring humankind in those terms, everything else then becomes secondary, or less important, or, in some sense ... laughable."

You Should Have Gone Ahead. It was a Free Country.

1. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in a heavily footnoted article in Rolling Stone, basically says 2004 was stolen.
2. More U.S. military murder in Iraq. Murder charges to be filed against Marines in the Haditha incident . With the Iraq prime minister joining in, this will get much deeper, and being a sloppy counterinsurgency war, more incidents are likely. Shooting violence against helpless civilians looks increasingly like a breakdown of command, or worse. The families in Haditha were offered $2500 each. That wasn't pocket change from the squad.
3. Records of your web activity requested to be extended to 2 years by DOJ. The Internet companies whine unconvincingly.

June 01, 2006

The Divider

Dr. X sends posts this using his personal Enigma machine:

"This poll is very interesting. You know who Americans like even less than the president or corporate executives? Congress. But look at the presidential rating...

"Perhaps you recall the journalist's remarks from Apocalypse Now:

" 'Dialectic logic is, there's only love and hate. You either love somebody or you hate 'em...'

"Of course people don't like journalists much either."

Rebar for Tootsie Rolls: A Snack Box of Buttered Lap Dogs

It was noisy and steamy and smelling of cinnamon rolls and the wet wool clothes of a hundred Christmas shoppers. I commanded my stool in Blum's soda joint, wolfing down their aces coffee cake to get taste of the whole Axis clown affair off my tongue and to butter over the symphony of honking noses that scored my nightmares. My shoulder ached badly from a direct hit with a pencil-moustached human cannonball named Dietrich, and the scab was just forming over the scar on my left cheek from a sharpened Kraut pie tin, which was also poisoned with an actual poison dart frog glued to it. If Lily hadn't sprayed it instantly with Army-grade Frog Off, Crumples would be crumpling up my bar tab by now and dunning my only living relative, as least the one on the paper where I wrote down my references, Archduke Ferdinand.

Aside from Lily, the attack hadn't been pretty at all, parachuting with the commandos right into the big Tent in the Vienna Jocularitosche Zircus, Sten guns blazing, tossing incediaries in all directions, chasing down the escaped American fascist clown troop and executing them one by one by following the sound of squeaky shoes in the confusion; all in a desperate move to stop the plans not only for the deadly "Silly" string, but something called the Death Cooking Ray, a micro-small radiation-wave transmitter able to cook the inside of a human skull -or in tests, a frozen enchilada - at 20 yards, plans which had been given to them by the German- Japanese underground diplomatic contact in San Francisco, Kreistenheimer, member of the Luxemborgian Redecoration Society, the Weimar kunstkrieg poet buddy of the late Viscount Phillerph Von Pforfer Van Der Forffen the Fourth, who I'd beaten into alliterative euphony a couple months ago.

The circus volks shot at our squad with the Death Cooking Ray gun, but just like the lab boys' predictions we foiled them literally by protecting ourselves with large sheets of Reynolds Wrap, which reflected tiny radiation bolts right back at the clowns and dropped them like a bag of lead noses, the superheated grease paint giving them a kind of crispyness that would have been a whole lot better on a Thanksgiving turkey. It was a screwball device, the acme of clown technology. When we went to collect the pieces of the Death Ray through the oily smoke and twisted balloon animals of war, it's advanced timing mechanism just kept blinking "12:00."

The world had dangled on the point of the tip of the edge of a extra-pointy knife suspended above the Apocolypty Merry-go-Round of Doom upon which Hunny Von Strudel-Muncher bought the world a ride for a couple wooden Nazi nickels, and for all my buddies' busy, bloody work ridding the circus of it's comic relief, the greasy group of gritty grunts got a handed a soft lump of cold Spam and a three day pass to East Nothing-ham and drank deep the peculiar satisfaction of making the world slightly less funny. I knew the feeling well.

We said our goodbyes between mouthfuls of filched pastries and strong beer as we left Austria individually, guided by pro-Allies locals, clear in their thinking because they'd known Hitler in junior high school. The escape through Switzerland: not easy, stuffed in the Vatican's touring polka troupe's St. Benedict's Tuba case. But I was alive and a lot of joes weren't, and the world got a fresh crop of dead clowns.

It was a bad war.

For me, it was 14 Trans-Atlantic hops home in a unheated C-46, routing madly through Lisbon, the Canaries, the Azores, The Pokey Shards, Iceland, La Isla Guano, Greenland, The Lesser Antipodes, Black Labrador, the southern northeast West Virginia, and Broken Supercharger Wyoming with a critical shipment of Swiss carbon paper and military giraffes bound for Pearl, and the next week found me right back in San Francisco, tired and broke with a 10 day beard and a 9mm- ventilated slouch hat, and it wasn't long before I was runk, dangry, wracked by guilt, sleeping on the office couch and seasoning leftover giraffe stew with paprika and brandy on the hotplate, wishing Lily or Dardenella or Jenny was here to darn my socks, massage my kidneys and practice mattress Pilates.

But the cake seemed just like the Allies these days, warm and buttery and sweet and falling into crumbs the second they got poked. I stared at the walnut paneling hung with the Victory Posters: Abbot and Costello for War Bonds, Marlene Dietrich's Zip Your Lips campaign, Eddie Cantor's step-by-step Gas Masks for Children and Pets, and Rita Hayworth War Bonds Something Something holy cross splinters look at those gams. There was a muttering noise, a waft of pipe smoke. John Dos Passos was at his regular stool next to me, yammering on about the color of old beer, fuming over Stalin's pact with Hitler and nursing a cup of cold coffee, his progressive principles deflating like a Navy Blimp left by its wife for a richer, better-looking blimp. I wasn't in the mood.

"Another jolt of Java, Mack?" said Cleo, the cheery plump waitress, who I probably knew better than my own mother, which wasn't hard because two hours after giving birth to me during the 1 am run of a horse-drawn street car she'd left me wrapped in a copy of the Chicago Tribune, (Headline: Horseless Carriage Helps Whoreless Marriage) in an box of empty laudanum bottles on the lobby counter of the Continental Hotel after pretending to check in as "Miss Eramus Thaddeus, " a fictional character from a series of Evangelical pamphlets about the daughter of a gold magnate who briefly doubts the divinity of Jesus and ends up two weeks later in a brick flop in the Five Points selling her virtue at 3 cents a go, cursing Susan B. Anthony for ever suggesting women should vote and therin bringing her to profligate deportment, moral dissipation and gonorrhea.

I looked at Cleo and her sunny dark face and bright brown eyes. She was always cheerful, and in the middle of us busy losing World War II. What the hell would spoil her day?

"Yeah, more coffee, doll." Wartime coffee, which seemed about 2/3 burned toast. Still good with cake.

"Say Mr. Mack," she whispered, like it was a secret, "that sweet Charles couple and their dog Asta was by here and left me a message for you to meet them at Forbidden City tonight."

"What time?"

"Around cocktail hour."

"With them that's sometime between 3 pm and 2 am." Hmm. The Charles'. Detectives. Writers. The Bon vivantiest anti-Fascist Manhattan Drainers in the Bay Area. Nora was a fine, poised slice of girl that cut through life on wit and gin and a body that could get a steamship to stand up in the water and dance a samba. Always a little awkward - we'd had a fling back in '33, when drinking made me look good, at least when she did it. These days they took all the Hollywood cases, like Katherine Hepburn's secret love child by Walter Brennan, or Mickey Rooney's White-Slavery ring, while people like me and Sam Spade usually mopped the gutter for scraps from pimps with IOUs on them. Which reminded me, Spade still owed me money for fencing that huge ruby he supposedly melted out of the middle of some lead bird sculpture a while back.

I knocked Dos Passo's hat off friendly-like to let him know I was leaving, and hoofed it down to Sutter to discuss things with Sam. A couple hours later, as I nursed the bruises on my knuckles, we parted bitter friends but I had 300 bucks from the fence job to warm my heart.

It was a short walk to Chinatown and Charlie Low's Forbidden City, a grand night club wrapped in a restaraunt folded inside a clip joint. It was classy but abrupt. The fortune cookies that came with the check said "You will pay now."

It was big and swanky inside, sort of the Cotton Club by way of Hong Kong. Photos with celebrities cluttered the wall. I sat at the bar. Charlie was there himself. I chatted up the skirt on the next stool for a moment before some Hollywood joker named Reagan tapped me on the shoulder and started explaining to me why I should keep my eyes off his girl Jane, and how he was such big shot in the war shooting propaganda films in LA, and how I by Jeepers I'd better watch myself. I curled my bleeding fingers around the blackjack I carried for just this sort of situation, and when the balloon-head wouldn't shut up, I inquired what on earth was that behind him and flattened him like an onion-skin laundry bill run over by a cement mixer.

Charlie took my side - chatting up skirts was a significant part of his business - and with the help of a couple of stocky prep-cooks Reagan took a free bus ride to Palookaville. Jane followed him outside after I completed my recitation of The Rubyaht of Omar Khayyam and she'd polished off her third Manhattan. I found out later he was working with chimps.

But where were Nick and Nora? I looked like a fool sitting here alone, nursing a black eye from my erudite discussion with Spade and a Mai Tai with a little red umbrella with what I was pretty sure was the Chinese for "Sucker" printed on it.

Just then a dog loped in with what can only be described as a suave, roguish terrier demeanor. It was Asta, of course, running to me, wagging his tail and barking a bit to tell me he had a message tied on his collar.

My Darling Dr. Mack,

Pookie's all gummed up with the ague that's going around and we simply had to retire to the St. Francis for the night. But do be patient and don't pout like you do after your recreational fisticuffs. How perfectly beastly you were to Sam! If you needed money, why not fix a horse race like decent people? But I forgive you.

You'll crack open that shell of yours when you see the delicious present I've sent you from Rio.

Your Nora Always,
Mrs. Nick Charles.

So I patted Asta on the head and he scampered out, and when I looked up, a goddess had risen, and stumbled a bit, and parted the beaded curtains backwards like Athena springing from the brow of Zeus in a New Orleans whorehouse, and she had more dark waves than the Black Sea, tall and tan and young and lovely, and she passed Zhi, the angriest waiter in town, and when she passed him he went "AAh!" as he burned himself on a bowl of steaming ginger pepper crab. Brazillian, she seemed, from the way she samba-ed across the room, the slow fire in her black eyes, the half empty bottle of Cachaca sticking out of her purse, and the discreet fresh fruit and tiny Brazillian flag in her hat. She came right for me, her ivory silk dress fluttering about her like a flight of doves around a clutch of Zeigfeld girls.

"Mr. Dr. Brain?"

"Yes, I am indeed so."

"I am Renata Chlumska", of Rio."

"Charmed. Say, isn't that a Swedish name?"

Yes. I'm orginally from Dublin." She sat down at the bar, close enough that the Chanel #5 dissolved the part of my brain that exercises good judgment. "I am told you are the man to whom I must speak. A good man. A strong man. Yes." She ran her fingers down my sleeve. "A man-y man. Brain, you must listen to me. You are a man! Are you listening, Man?"

If listening meant technically hearing her voice while staring her decolletage which rose and fell like a soft beige throw pillows futures market on which my life savings was invested, then the answer was yes.

"So what I am going to tell you now, Mr. Man, right now, you must listen to with the upmost attention, not forgetting a word, Mr. Dr. Man! You are listening?"


"Because I must tell you this, and it is...of upmost.. importance. Listen now, Listen." She leaned in close, so close, her hair falling on my shoulder, her perfect cherry lips brushing my earlobe, the Chacaca on her breath getting me drunk.

"Mr. Brain...Erroll, Erroll Flynn, Errol Flynn and...Phillip... Phillip Johnson.." And then she passed out like someone hadn't paid the Brazil bill. I caught her in my arms, and lacking clear options, threw her over my shoulder and started walking out, little grapes from her hat bouncing off the floor.

Zhi, built like a barrel of jerky and holding an enormous cleaver, gave me a look like I was tomorrow's crispy duck.

"Nerves," I explained. "Her nerves must be broken." I tossed him a buck for the drinks, stepped outside, and facing a twenty block girl-schlep, pulled the .45 and stole a cab from a cabbie I didn't like.

Back in the Sutter building office, Renata sleeping off something on the couch, I kept the lights off, except a desk light for the news clippings I plowed through. Errol Flynn: well, we all knew he was musical. And Phillip Johnson* was a big shot architect, fond of straight lines and bent boys, and perhaps as the Chicago papers slyly insinuated, a German sympathizer, running headlines in 1935 like "Hitler-Lover Builds Cube House." He put the anti-semitic charm in Father Coughlin's broadcasts and tried to start an American fascist party but with tailored shirts, and made a sightseeing tour of the bombing of Warsaw, taking time to note the classy German uniforms. When he wasn't busy tracing straight lines, Johnson was putting stone masons and hod-carriers out of work with the new glass and steel rage. He didn't like curves in buildings, or human beings.

It was shaping up to some sort of serendipity of sordid. I stretched and gargled a mug of WPA Old Saddle Horse Rum, brewed on an Oakie Relocation Co-Op in Bermuda, lit a Lucky and kept reading. More Johnson stories: fussy lines, boxy buildings, snappy clothes, the annexation of Czechoslovakia....... there was a pattern here. There was a Johnson house spec for Charles Lindbergh, whose palling around with Goering and suggesting the surrender of Britain had gotten embarassing, and who was now trying to make up for it by shooting down Japanese planes on his own time. Another lead to an office concept for Henry Ford, you know, the one with the picture of Hitler on his desk and vice versa. So far the only connection with Flynn was pressed shorts.

I didn't like where this was going: Detroit was a real possibility. And Hollywood. I'd disliked both, for different dames, one for sending me up, one for selling me out.

I gazed at Renata, piled up like a pile of adorable floral print laundry with long silky gams. I listened to her soft Brazillian breathing. Nothing but tight curves, Renata, like a fine sleek yacht with big tits, one you could sail to Tahiti and not notice the Pacific. But the mysterious mystery mystified me, and we might miss Tahiti.

The Complete, Incomplete Rebar for Tootsie is at Ironcandy.blogspot.com

Cossacks Laughing At The Man,

I was reading about this painting today, done by the Russian Repin over ten years ending about 1891; it was done in an era of popular Russian nostaglia for the mythology of the Cossacks, here writing a letter of insults in reply to a Sultan who insisted on Surrender.

Few major paintings in history represent a lot of men laughing loud, not slyly smirking. The red faced fellow to the right of the scribe is actually laughing so hard tears are streaming across his face.

Repin worked years to get the costumes and items shown. There is a political and social subtext for this nostaglia; this late stage of Czarist Russia had rapidly built the machinery of a police state, and had a profoundly horrible bureaucracy. The Cossacks consciously represented a non-hierarchical idea of manhood: those depicted in the paniting had no aristocracy, sporting a sort of piratocracy, with its appealing sense of liberation ( and horrifing sense of war-making cruelty). Interesting that there is revival of Cossack culture in contemporary Russia.

But what struck me was a reference to the Cossacks real fear of writing: they not only didn't read, they avoided it deliberately, considering writing, used for accounting, proclamations, dissemination of ideology, taxes, and laws a fundamental instrument of oppression.

The code of Hammurabi, the ancient Mesopotamian federal register on this law rock, suggests they were right.

That intro to the code - does it sound at all familiar?

...Then Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind. Hammurabi, the prince, called of Bel am I, making riches and increase, enriching Nippur and Dur-ilu beyond compare, sublime patron of E-kur; who reestablished Eridu and purified the worship of E-apsu; who conquered the four quarters of the world, made great the name of Babylon....


1. If any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.

2. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge's bench, and never again shall he sit there to render judgement.

53. If any one be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition, and does not so keep it; if then the dam break and all the fields be flooded, then shall he in whose dam the break occurred be sold for money, and the money shall replace the corn which he has caused to be ruined.


108. If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept corn according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.

109. If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.

110. If a "sister of a god" open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death, and her bottle will be shared by the others sitting at the bar.

OK, I made that last part up.

It's fascinating reading, and for all the harsh punishments, it established the idea of innocent until proven guilty, and a clear interest in codifying the notion of balance in jursiprudence. But today, thinking of the NSA's ability to build up a thorough picture of the historical behavior of nearly everyone, the Credit bureaus infused into every aspect of decision making, the Yahoos willing to sell you out to dictatorships, databases themselves are starting to call major decisions in our lives, and the simple fact of increasingly complete recording of events and never-ending scrutiny transmutes intrinsic freedom into a narrowing set of permitted choices. Because of the concentration of economic and political power, and the ubiquity of data collection, we're making the cultural changes a free people makes as it becomes heavily controlled.

I may be with the Cossacks on this one.