Friday, September 14, 2007
iz ben haer.
but I've mostly been writing my thesis. I about 7 pages into chapter 1, about a 1/3 of the way for the outline for that chapter. It is not "due" for 2 more weeks, but i want to stay ahead of the curve on this.
ill be posting some stuff over on my thesis blog later this weekend
President Bush addressed the nation last night regarding his, I mean Petraeus', assessment of the Clustefuck in Iraq. The address was filled with the usual rhetoric, lies, and "if we leave Iraq your children will die" terrorism. But there was one section that made me fall off the couch laughing, and then frightened me. Here is the quote:
Earlier this year, I received an e-mail from the family of Army Specialist Brandon Stout of Michigan. Brandon volunteered for the National Guard and was killed while serving in Baghdad. His family has suffered greatly. Yet in their sorrow, they see larger purpose. His wife, Audrey, says that Brandon felt called to serve and knew what he was fighting for. And his parents, Tracy and Jeff, wrote me this: We believe this is a war of good and evil and we must win even if it cost the life of our own son. Freedom is not free.
President George W. Bush actually said, "Freedom is not free." while addressing the nation. That made me LOL. But what frightened me is the content of the letter he read: "We believe this is a war of good and evil and we must win even if it cost the life of our own son. Freedom is not free."
Think about that. George W. Bush: cocain addict, idiot, linguist, President has actually convinced people that
1) They ought to sacrifice their children to his war.
2) The Clusterfuck in Iraq is a "war of good and evil".
3) We must win. And that he, or anyone, has an idea of what "win" means.
Fuck "terrorists with a dirty bomb". This is terrifying. The fact that rhetoric is more convincing to people than facts, statistics, and historical precedent. The fact that someone who thinks "misunderestimate" is a word can also rhetorically convince a family to sacrifice their son to his war. And the fact that six years after 9/11 people are still head-up-their-ass terrified that the people who didn't attack us will attack us.
From Eurogamer's review of Heavenly Sword:
By default, the game encourages you to use the SixAxis tilt controls [to steer missiles], but although it feels rather fantastic when you wobble your pad to your target, it's horribly imprecise. After a few hours of struggling with it, we couldn't quite believe how much easier it was to control the direction with the analogue stick in comparison
WILL EVERYONE PLEASE STOP RELEGATING MOTION SENSITIVE CONTROLS TO "GIMMICK" STATUS?! Wii Sports has the controls pretty well figured out. They make you swing your controller to hit a tennis ball because that's how playing tennis works, and it all makes sense. Then in practically every other application they look at a situation where pressing A would perform an action and figure "hitting A is so last gen, this is next gen! Waggle a stick for massive damage! When it works it'll be just like hitting A, and when it doesn't work, it'll be exactly like not hitting A, and nobody will be able to predict which will happen! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!" Tilting a PS3 controller to aim a missile? Are you fucking kidding me? I'm going to make a game where you play chess by fucking blowing into the DS microphone. Nintendo Power and Play magazine will call it brilliant, and everyone else will wonder why god would allow me to blight the earth with my hopelessly imprecise gameplay.
I realize that I probably harp on this subject a little too often, but I don't bring it up any more frequently than developers whiz this nice little technology down their spindly legs.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
My pet fish died today. He had been my loyal pet for over 10 years. From his 10 gallon tank to his 30 gallon tank, from green and blue to black gravel he was always in his rectangle filled with water, moving his rocks and swimming spastically when spooked. In his life he had consumed various types of fish food, guppies, ghost shrimp, frozen shrimp, and on occasion bits of salmon. He once ate a corydoras sterbai, which is impressive because those little bastards have spikes on their fins.
I can think of no better tribute to my fish's life than this video clip of him moving a really big rock in his tank. A lasting tribute to his rock moving abilities.
So long, my rock moving friend. You won't be forgotten. And even in the end, you were never flushed but rather buried in a pile of the stones you so loved to spit.
Jessica Rowley is adorable. Jessica Rowley is a woman. Jessica Rowley is a Catholic Priest.
Rowley's ordination was approved by the, "Ecumenical Catholic Communion, a group of churches that decline to recognize the authority of the pope but see themselves nevertheless as Roman Catholic."
Think about that for a moment. They don't recognize the authority of the Pope but see themselves as Roman Catholic. How can that be?
Apparently the Old Catholic Church has been around since the First Vatican Council of 1870, where they took issue with the idea of "papal infallibility" and so took their ball, went home, and started their own little popeless Catholic Church. So it is not as if this is a new fight, but rather a very old fight which msnbc just noticed...or something.
In this Newsweek Article we learn that Jessica is a self-googler, "I personally have not received hate mail, although there are plenty of blogs that I have found online that like to slander my name when they get hold of information about my ordination and ministry. It’s unfortunate and sad."
So I thought it sensible to write a nice, not mean-spirited, blog post about Jessica Rowley in the hopes that she would come comment on her position in life, and perhaps shed some light on the theological means by which one can be Catholic and not recognize Papal authority. Also, how one can be Catholic and a priest and a female all at the same time.
And even if Jessica doesn't come post, she is damn cute. And she's a rebel. An Old Catholic Rebel. Being all "I'm not going to recognize your pope who I recognized growing up until he wouldn't let me be a priest so I went over to this other group who would let me be a priest AND wouldn't make me recognize the pope AND was still Catholic!"
So, go Jessica Rowley! You show him. Stupid Pope and his not letting Jessica be a priest. He's such a fallible doodie head.
If you haven't seen the "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" (It must be typed in caps) video then I assume you literally live under a rock in an area which does not have WiFi or cell phone coverage. And right now? I envy your lifestyle. I'm not going to link the video. If you really want to see it go to youtube. Or, at this point, just get online. The video is waiting for you.
In this two minute eleven second video young Chris Crocker, internet celebrity, screams into a camera and cries while he berates everyone, seemingly, for being mean to Britney Spears after her lackluster performance at the 2007 VMAs. Obviously he did not visit Everyone Is a Sith before making this video, or he would have made a calm exception during his ranting.
As I reflect on this situation what I struggle with is whether or not this is a good thing. I am tempted to say that without the internet Chris Crocker would have cried alone, so alone, so very very alone, in his room and none of us would have known of it. But that is not true. I don't think the "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" video can be assess in this way. Part of what led to the creation of this video is the internet, the Web 2.0. Without the blogs and forums and news sites and youtube there would have been no "mean" against which Chris could lash out. We cannot extract "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" from Web 2.0; "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!" is Web 2.0.
This is what Web 2.0 is about. Anyone can communicate anything. Anyone can have a blog or post on a forum or upload a video to YouTube. We can all be Chris Crockers, or we can all make mean-spirited posts in the comments section of Chris Crocker videos. And I think this shows the problems with democracy, freedom, and abandoning authority.
Martin Luther did not think that the authority of the Catholic Church was a good thing. Martin Luther thought that the people ought to be allowed to interpret scripture. And as a result of that we get "guilt free sundays" at WCC and "Be Real" Christian student organizations that have drinking nights. Wikipedia is based on the idea that we do not need authorities with regard to information, that information can be collected and presented by everyone, that truth is decided democratically. Youtube allows anyone, anyone, to upload videos, to communicate their ideas.
And if you think these are good things, that these benefit society, then please spend the rest of the day watching "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!".
Because that is our future. That is the path upon which we tread. Everyone has a voice. Everyone's opinion is counted. This is Democracy. This is freedom. This is liberty. This is the actualization of humanity's greatest desire.
It is truly as Oscar Wilde once said, "When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers."
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
So, that 20 year old woman who was tortured in West Virgina? The one who was stabbed, forced to eat feces, and called a Nigger? The woman who, "an assailant cut the woman’s ankle with a knife and used the N-word in telling her she was victimized because she is black, according to the criminal complaints."
Yeah, apparently her captors will not have hate crime charges brought against them.
She was not a random target.
So they did hate her, and they were racist, but they didn't hate her and act like racists in the right way.
Or, arguably, they were racist and hateful in the right way, because legally they weren't racist or hateful.
"But then whatever hand or eye I imagine, it must have some particular shape and colour. Likewise the idea of man that I frame to myself must either be of a white, or a black, or a tawny, a straight, or a crooked, a tall, or a low, or a middle-sized man. I cannot by any effort of thought conceive the abstract idea described above... But I deny that I can abstract one from another, or conceive separately, those qualities which it is impossible should exist so separated..."(George Berkeley, Introduction to "Principles")
I really like George Berkely. His argument regarding abstract thoughts, I think, very eloquently states why people do not have abstract thoughts, despite their ditch-fuckingly-stupid insistance that they do. Most plainly Berkeley explains his view with an example using triangles:
"What more easy than for anyone to look a little into his own thoughts, and there try whether he has, or can attain to have, an idea that shall correspond to the description that is here given of the general idea of a triangle, which is neither oblique, nor rectangular, equilateral, equicrucial, nor scalenon, but all and none of these at once?"(George Berkeley, Introduction to "Principles")
Human beings think in particulars, not abstracts. When one thinks of a triangle, a cat, an apple, one thinks of a particular triangle, cat, or apple. When one attempts to form an abstract of, say, "triangle", one does not in one's mind have an abstract thought. One may have a particular thought, or a collection of particular thoughts, but one cannot have in one's mind a thought of a triangle which is "neither oblique, nor rectangular, equilateral, equicrucial, nor scalenon, but all and none of these at once". It's not possible.
This, I think, explains the problems human beings have when they attempt to abstract; when they use the word "cat" or "triangle" or "terrorists". Human beings are trying to do something they cannot do. Human beings categorize things based upon abstracts, yet human beings are incapable of having abstract thoughts.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So.. as part of the inauguration celebrations of the new campus president, Second City is coming to perform at Hanover. In a pair of weeks, actually. Sept. 21, if anyone's interested in dropping by. it's 12 for a ticket if you're not a student, but that might be circumventable.
I'm posting this one, in case folks are interested in going... but two.. because this event has reminded me of so many things I hate. Like being surrounded by younglings. These moral deviants haven't even heard of Bob or Doug MacKenzie. They don't know Count Floyd or Ed Grimley. SCTV means nothing to them.
And it's not just one or two... it's the majority of people I talk to. The house. My classes. Everyone but my 35 year old Manager, I think. It's like I'm in Bizarro World. I'm waiting to discover that they're all Pod People, and Donald Sutherland will throw his head back all bug-eyed and point at me..
Younglings, man. There simply is no other term. It's not like Second City is obscure.. they only paved the way for Modern American Comedy as we know it, nothing big. Just started everybody's career in the 70's-80's.
On Patriot Day, 9/11, we're supposed to remember the 2,974 fatalities of the 9/11 attacks. We're supposed to take part in the media frenzy of rebroadcasts, interviews, and slide shows. We're supposed to read articles full of flowery rhetoric which tell us about the "greatest terrorist attack on U.S. Soil". And then, depending on the political slant of the author, we read either the token jab at the Iraq War, or the token pronouncement of how the Iraq War will one day rectify the situation.
But what strikes me on this day, what "topples my towers", if you will, is how we've really blown this entire thing up to be something far greater than it actually is.
Six years ago a group of crazy religous fanatics flew two planes into the World Trade Center. All told, 2,974 people died. And I think that instead of rebroadcasting the Today show from that morning, instead of hanging wreaths at Ground Zero, instead of dwelling on it, and instead of blowing up brown people I think we need to shut the fuck up and move the fuck on.
Even the non-assholes are being idiots about it. Olbermann's "this hole in the ground" Special Comment really fails to miss one important aspect of this whole idiotic obsession of our country: we need to move on.
It's been six years. People have told me to get over things that happened weeks, months ago. When I continued to obsess about a loss two years after the fact people told me I was being stupid. Yet now, here we stand, a country watching rebroadcasts of the Today show from 9/11/2001 six years after the fact.
Shut up, already.
This nation has suffered plenty of misfortunes in its history. On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. People died. And I really don't give two tugs of a dead dog's cock at this point. Shit happens. I think it's time to toss 9/11 onto that pile of historical indifference as well. Instead of being head-up-our-ass stupid and obsessed with the deaths of 2,974 people we didn't know maybe we ought to stop being stupid white people scared shitless at the realization of their own mortality and just go back to our normal lives instead of clinging to this tragety for the sake of politics, idiotic wars, and ratings.
Take the flag pins off your lapels. Stop being assholes to brown people with beards. Get those flags back to full mast. Bring our troops home. And for Fuck's sake somebody rip out Rudy Giuliani's god-damned larynx.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Now that Apple is successful at something there are ample outlets through which one can rip on their being stupid.
The iPod Touch does not allow users to add calendar entries on the go. Because the ability to do so would be useful.
Even when turned off the iPhone is not really off, which can lead to $4,800 bills if you take your iPhone on a Mediterranean cruise.
So, WCC or (Warsaw Community Church) is a local non-denominational Christian church. While driving home today I saw a new Billboard advertising WCC which said:
"Guilt Free Sunday Mornings!"
Now, if that's the hook for your church, the means by which you get people in the door, then I really have to question everything about your church. Because unless you skip all of the Old Testament and most of the New Testament there is no way to craft a message without in some way making your audience feel guilty for their fallen, sinful nature. I mean, fuck, the entire damn point of the book is that human beings are flawed and there is a greater being (God) who had a bastard son (Jesus) who came to earth to die for your sins.
How do you deliver that message in a guilt-free way? And why would you want your audience to not feel guilty? They're a bunch of sinners! You want to make them feel bad! If everything is keen and awesome and they're great and everything is fine there's no reason for them to be sitting in your building in the first place! I mean, the only reason they could possibly have to go in every week would be to hear that they are doing a good job, they don't need to change, and that they're going to go to heaven when they...
Oh, I see now.
The Republican Presidential Debate on Fox News reran this weekend. And since I really, really hate myself I watched part of it while consuming food. I had the great fortune of tuning in during an abortion question to see Mike Huckabee make the single most retarded pro-life argument in the history of stupid fucking pro-life argments. Here it is, in all it's splendor:
"The reason this country has been extraordinarily interested in what’s going on with those miners out in Utah is because even though we don’t know them, they represent us in the sense that they are human beings, and we don’t know their faith. We need to show the same kind of respect for life whether a child is in the womb or whether in a coal mine or in a long-term care facility. It’s about the fact that in our culture the greatest testament that we can give is that we have a(n) undying respect for every human life as having intrinsic worth and value."
Did you tense up when you read, "those miners in Utah"? Cause I almost threw up. Because you know what's coming next.
Not only is he using the Utah Minor disaster as a delightful rhetorical point to support has asinine view of human life, but he also thinks that this:
is not only a person, but is also just as valuable as those trapped miner in Utah. Hell, put a little headlamp on that zygote and Huckabee probably couldn't tell the difference between it and a 50 year old father of three who died trapped underground in a pitch-black coal mine of dehydration and starvation.
"Respect for every human life," indeed. Too bad those dead miners weren't available for a photo shoot.
For our friend Mike Huckabee.
Now the comparison makes sense, you dim-witted chucklehead.
Does anyone know how to get this http://www.ode.state.oh.us/GD/DocumentManagement/DocumentDownload.aspx?DocumentID=23330
into a spreadsheet with
Any ideas? copying and pasting has made me loose my mind.
Posted by Andrew at 12:17 PM
Sunday, September 9, 2007
In the past three and a half months that EoIAS has been around, we have gone a good job avoiding blogging about dumb celebrity shit. This evening i break with that. Sorry.
Tonight was the MTV Music Video Awards. I will not dip into the "MTV plays music video" joke bag because i don't fucking care that much.
However i came across this story by the AP. begins:
LAS VEGAS — Somewhere, Kevin Federline is laughing. An out-of-shape, out-of-touch Britney Spears delivered what was destined to be the most talked about performance of the MTV Video Music Awards _ but for all the wrong reasons.
Kicking off the show Sunday night with her new single, "Gimme More," Spears looked bleary and unprepared, much like her recent tabloid exploits on the streets of Los Angeles. She walked through her dance moves with little enthusiasm. She appeared to have forgotten the art of lip-synching. And, perhaps most unforgivable given her once-taut frame, she looked embarrassingly out of shape.
Now, lets look at this picture, it was included with the story. I don't know a lot about anything, but if Britney Spears is out of shape, that means i must be the fattest man in the world. Hell - She makes Jay look like a fat ass. She is a mother of two, been in and out of rehab. She looks pretty fucking good.
This week i used the example of Britney Spears in class to teach my students about how the media (or any Ideological State Apparatus - to use Althusser's terminology) creates faults binaries as a way of constructing ideology. Obviously Britney Spears is a disgusting pig because is no longer the sweet 17 year old girl in 1998. She made "awful" life choices. She married a loser, drinks, made some babies. Now she must pay for her 'crimes.' She has become a negative exemplar, an object which can be used to teach people how not to act.
Despite the fact that she still weighs 110lbs and is in better shape than most americans she is coded as out-of-shape. Not because she is, but as a way of reinforcing an ideology message: that to be like Britney Spears is to be a slut, an unfit mother, and less than human.
This news story could of began any number of ways. It could of began by talking about the winners. It could of began with MTV's struggles to find an audience. It could of began by talking about the uneven state of the pop-music industry. Instead someone made the decision to open with 150 words about how much Britney Spears sucks.
here are two other pictures for a little bit of comparison
this is from 2004
This one is from 1999
I found this video on YouTube and I can't stop laughing. It's a video someone made of their pet Sugar Glider.
It's the combination of the song, the awesome fades / transitions, and the completely confused look on the face of the sugar glider.
"What about the nature of the substance injected [truth serum]? If it is relatively and creates no significant health risks, the only issue would be that it compels the recipient to do something that he doesn't want to do. But he has a legal obligation to do precisely what the serum compels him to do: answer all the questions truthfully." Alan Dershowitz
Dershowitz, Alan M. "Torture Should Be Legalized and Regulated." Is Torture Ever Justified? Ed. Tom Head. Detroit: Thomas Gale, 2005.