Wednesday, January 30, 2008

us troops vs. iraqi teens

guess who won?

the sinister tone of the " narrator " 
is disturbing & obviously forced... but fitting..

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Modern day poet, songwriter David Berman who records records under the the title Silver Jews wrote this song which was eventually made into a video assembled from various footage from the Planet of the Apes films. I'll tell you it's brilliant right now just in case your senses are slow. Toulouse Lautrec!

I'm sort of embarrassed by the effect it has on my emotionality (lump in throat, etc.). So of course I had to drop it off here, dear readers (harhar)


Silver Jews, The - Punks In The Beerlight

Where's the paper bag that holds the liquor?
Just in case I feel the need to puke.
If we'd known what it'd take to get here,
Would we have chosen to?

So you wanna build an altar on a summer night,
You wanna smoke the gel off a fentanyl patch.
Aintcha heard the news? Adam and Eve were Jews.
And I always loved you to the max.

I love you to the max (x3)

(Cassie) If it gets really really bad, if it ever gets really really bad...

(David) Let's not kid ourselves. It gets really really bad.

Punks in the beerlight, burnouts in love.
Punks in the beerlight, Toulouse-Lautrec.
Punks in the beerlight, two burnouts in love.
I always loved you to the max
I love you to the max (x5)
I love you to the...


Monday, January 21, 2008

Renegade Science: Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897 – November 3, 1957) was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.

Reich was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure, rather than on individual neurotic symptoms.[1] He promoted adolescent sexuality, the availability of contraceptives and abortion, and the importance for women of economic independence. Synthesizing material from psychoanalysis, cultural anthropology, economics, sociology, and ethics, his work influenced writers such as Alexander Lowen, Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, A. S. Neill, and William Burroughs.[2]

He was also a controversial figure, who came to be viewed by the psychoanalytic establishment as having gone astray or as having succumbed to mental illness. His work on the link between human sexuality and neuroses emphasized "orgastic potency" as the foremost criterion for psycho-physical health. He said he had discovered a form of energy, which he called "orgone," that permeated the atmosphere and all living matter, and he built "orgone accumulators," which his patients sat inside to harness the energy for its reputed health benefits. It was this work, in particular, that cemented the rift between Reich and the psychoanalytic establishment.[3]

Reich, of Jewish descent and a communist, was living in Germany when Adolf Hitler came to power. He fled to Scandinavia in 1933 and subsequently to the United States in 1939. In 1947, following a series of critical articles about orgone and his political views in The New Republic and Harper's,[4] the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation into his claims, winning an injunction against the interstate sale of orgone accumulators. Charged with contempt of court for violating the injunction, Reich conducted his own defense, which involved sending the judge all his books to read, and arguing that a court was no place to decide matters of science. He was sentenced to two years in prison, and in August 1956, several tons of his publications were burned by the FDA.[5] He died of heart failure in jail just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.[6]

Read the rest of the Wiki entry here.

Those interested in Reich might visit the Wilhelm Reich Museum homepage, here.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Drive In Saturday, 1.12.2008

Kraftwerk/Trans Europe Express

PIL/Public Image

Eddie Kendricks/Girl, You Need a Change of Mind

Stars of the Lid/Sky to Earth to Sky

Blur/The Universal

Friday, January 11, 2008

cat's paw

The Cat's Paw Nebula

This week's theme: Whose what? (animal edition)

cat's paw (cats paw) noun

1. Someone used as a tool by another.

2. A kind of knot used to connect a rope to an object.

3. A breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area.

[The first sense of the term comes from the fable in which a monkey uses a cat to pull roasting chestnuts from a fire. The monkey gobbles up all the nuts while the cat is left with a burnt paw. See Edwin Landseer's
1824 painting Cat's Paw:

The second sense refers to the supposed resemblance of such a knot to a cat's paw:'s+paw+knot

The origin of the third sense is unknown.]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus:'s-paw

-Anu Garg (words at

"Prime Minister Tony Blair was reprimanded in the British parliament for
his willingness to be the cat's paw of the U.S."
Craig R. Eisendrath and Melvin A. Goodman; Shoot First, Talk Later;
USA Today (Washington, DC); Jul 1, 2004.

The above was sent to me via the email service A Word a Day (the third meaning of the term cat's paw is quite nice and is one I'd never heard before). Anyone, I believe, can subscribe for free for this service here:

Once one subscribes one is sent a word a day and it's definition, organized under a weekly theme. I recommend it highly.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

David Simon Replies

Image from The Wire.

In an to us somewhat interesting and perhaps useful exchange, David Simon (creator of the HBO series "The Wire"), has resonded in the comments thread to a post by liberal commentator Matt Yglesias, blogger for The Atlantic. Yglesias takes exception to "The Wire" on ideological grounds; Simon's reply is here excerpted:

"Writing to affirm what people are saying about my faith in individuals to rebel against rigged systems and exert for dignity, while at the same time doubtful that the institutions of a capital-obsessed oligarchy will reform themselves short of outright economic depression (New Deal, the rise of collective bargaining) or systemic moral failure that actually threatens middle-class lives (Vietnam and the resulting, though brief commitment to rethinking our brutal foreign-policy footprints around the world). The Wire is dissent; it argues that our systems are no longer viable for the greater good of the most, that America is no longer operating as a utilitarian and democratic experiment. If you are not comfortable with that notion, you won't agree with some of the tonalities of the show. I would argue that people comfortable with the economic and political trends in the United States right now -- and thinking that the nation and its institutions are equipped to respond meaningfully to the problems depicted with some care and accuracy on The Wire (we reported each season fresh, we did not write solely from memory) -- well, perhaps they're playing with the tuning knobs when the back of the appliance is in flames.

Does that mean The Wire is without humanist affection for its characters? Or that it doesn't admire characters who act in a selfless or benign fashion? Camus rightly argues that to commit to a just cause against overwhelming odds is absurd. He further argues that not to commit is equally absurd. Only one choice, however, offers the slightest chance for dignity. And dignity matters.

All that said, I am the product of a C-average GPA and a general studies degree from a state university and thirteen years of careful reporting about one rustbelt city. Hell do I know. Maybe my head is up my ass.

If The Wire is too pessimistic about the future of the American empire -- and I've read my Toynbee and Chomsky, so I actually think a darker vision could be credibly argued -- no one will be more pleased than me as I am, well, American."

The post can be found here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Endemic Surveillance Society

Privacy International has issued its year-end national privacy ranking for 2007. The US is classified (along with China, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and the UK) as an endemic surveillance society--the worst ranking posssible. The full report can be viewed here.