"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

From The Archives: How To Combat Hipsterism

So, my mom tells me the other day:

leelatour: had dinner with ethan last night...think there may be ways we can hook up with him
leelatour: a great guy!
leelatour: when ethan made the connections to the "youngins" at the co-op that I was your mom...they said, "oh, josh, the hipster."
leelatour: told them i'd pass that along..lol
leelatour: and explained your disdain for such creatures

From my archives:

January 29th 2002: The Troubles

The troubles are with me strong. An abortive day. I made it all the way to Grand Central, eventual destination White Plains, when I got the call that the whole show is postponed until tomorrow. Then waiting around for the bike shop to open (need a new derailer) and it never does. Sitting in a trendy Williamsburg cafe, wanting not to look the part that I'm looking. Like a fucking hipster. In retaliation, I composed a list of ways to fight back:

  • Smile Lots (don't pout, whine, complain, bitch)
  • Love to Sweat (work, exercise, exert yourself)
  • Embody Raging Lumberjack Masculinity
  • Take a Western (as in west-coast) Attitude
  • Maintain Unbridled Optimism in the face of Total Narcissistic Cynicism

Also, reading "Sometimes a Great Notion" by good old dead Ken Keasy. He's from my neck of the woods, and his writing makes me miss Oregon something powerful.

Hard to believe that was Five Years ago.

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Best Use Of Cell Phone Yet

This is one of the many reasons to go to conferences. You might end up at your nominal competition's rented beach-house, watching drupal 5.0 release maintainer Neil Drumm open beers with a cellphone.

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Political Video Tonight

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Bob Dylan is a Cylon!

I loves me some Battlestar Galactica. Julia and I watched the last two episodes of this the third season and they did not disappoint.

My three favorite things about the show are:

  • Its embrace of the ability of science-fiction as a form to explore topics -- philosophical, moral, existential -- which are too abstract and heady for conventional drama.
  • Its specific implementation of the above vis-a-vis issues of politics and governance.
  • Its unrepentant postmodernism.

That and it's got a cast that looks good and can act. Not an easy thing to put together.

The show is at its finest when all three of the above are working in synergy. For instance, the opening of this season which re-purposed and inverted the conventional political language of the war in Iraq. Similarly, they managed to work in "serving at the pleasure of the president" in the last episode. That's some foresight.

My one quibble with the finale was that they made the Bob Dylan reference so damn obvious. There was a more subtle nod earlier, which I got and appreciated, but it sort of took the fun out of it when they made it all in-your-face.

Anyway, I'm glad that Zephyr bugged me about this enough to start watching it back in the dark days of December 2004. It's been a pleasure ever since.

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I took yesterday mostly off of work. My bestest friend who is a girl Julia is visiting our household for a couple days, and so we made Hungarian Goulash and then abducted Mark to see 300, which is awesome.

I'll have more to say about other things, but I want to put one thing out there. Anyone who sees that movie and doesn't want to grow a beard is a pussy.

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In Which Josh Discovers It's Actually Quite Plausible That "They" Have A "File" On "Him"

UPDATE: Even moreso, what Justin says:

And at that time, a number of collaborators seemed paranoid when they were nervous about infiltrators...we were asked a number of times how we would deal with agents provocateur. I'm happy to say that we didn't give in to that type of fear in our planning...but it's odd to realize that in our photos and videos from that week, there are probably a few faces we never saw again, once they returned to NYPD HQ.

In addition to feeling like our privacy was invaded and our loyalty questioned by this senseless spying, I also smile a little...our movement has such a level of transparency, what did these police spies think they were going to find that we weren't already advertising over every list-serve and blog that would have us?

This is a really important point vis-a-vis my Vanguard thoughts below. To the extent that there is organizing going on which has credibly "revolutionary" potential (sorry, the wanna-be Maoists aren't that), it's being done with an unprecedented degree of transparency. This is actually a major difference vs. most power-organizing schools of thought of the past, and beyond just being novel, may actually represent a major step forward in our capabilities to undermine, subvert, collapse or control entrenched and malign power-structures. Here's hoping.

What Mike says:

It wouldn't surprise me to find MFA, myself, or people I know in those files. Sometimes thinking about where we're at as a country can get a little abstract... this article today hit me a lot harder than a blog or article about the latest administration scandal ever could.

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$240 Worth of Pudding

All the way home.

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Overheard at Drupalcon

A few quotes from a an interesting couple of days:

"This [the registration table] is nice: it's all really nerdy guys and really hot girls. I like the future... Let me at this corporate campus." (franz)

robertDouglas: "I was doing so much underpaid work, like 'let me do this whole website that takes six months... for $300' type stuff."
moshe: "I remember those days. You can't even talk to me now for $300."

"I am not able to code everything. There is too much to do." (chx)

"You need that charismatic leader... Chant! Chant! Chant! Drink. Die." (jjeff)

It's been a good time here. Corporate campus and Sunnyvale aren't as much fun as a University campus (more open) and Downtown Vancouver (less driving), but the level of attendance and intensity is up.

It feels like the End of the Beginning. I do believe this is the year that things will tip and change quite a lot.

Also, if you're in college and you want to spend the summer getting paid by Google to write Drupal code, you can apply here this weekend.

...Later on, back at the Zack shack:

Farsheed: So what goes on at these things?
Zack: I imagine drugs, sex, stripping; things like that.
Farsheed: What? That's the opposite of what I thought! I thought it was a bunch of guys sitting around with laptops and pizza!
(everyone confused)
Me: Oh! You're talking about Super Happy Dev House; they're talking about the stripper-party.

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The Progressive Intellectual Vanguard

The political season has begun heating up, and I do a lot of back-and forth at Future Majority these days. However, it's a pretty nuts and bolts kind of website. As Mike says it's not as sexy as Revolution!, but not insignificant either. I tend to agree, but I still miss the sexy part.

One of the things I've been considering for a while is the notion of Vanguardism, especially in relation to how I and others foresee potential social change as a result of the increasingly globalized and decentralized flow of information (to wit: the internet). There's a sense of Revolutionary spirit in this, if not always Revolutionary action, and this R-word gets kicked around by all sorts, some in a sort of square business context, but by many others in a more heartfelt and (quasi)radical way.

It's not just me either; check Markos:

On our own, bloggers can do little. But by educating and motivating grassroots activists, we can truly help effect change. The real change is on the ground -- the heroes of this battle were those Democrats busting their ass for their party -- the precinct captains and party volunteers.

Sounds a lot like the task of a Vanguard to me, complete with rhetoric saying that the "real heroes" are the proletariat, or street-level grassroots activists. I don't mean this in any way as a dis. In fact, I agree wholeheartedly.

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Made It Down

I'm in the Bay, circling the wagons with my work gang. The new office space is actually pretty sweet. It's a good lofty spot right on the new Muni line, pretty classy (nice elevators, good-looking neighbors, etc) and located near some good eats.

The space is still coming together. Tyson, the master tenant, is an architect and interior designer, is building a pretty kick-ass conference room, and has big plans. As with most big plans, it'll take some time, but the room is only a day or two's labor away from fully workable with acreage to grow into.

The aftermath of St. Paddy's day wasn't as bad as it might have been. We started off with some excellent Irish Breakfast, moved on to Guiness and Espresso, and then a delicious Corned Beef dinner with some friends in Town, and then the downtown strip. I enjoy a good turn as the Wild Rover, and got to see some sights -- girls in green and all that -- and carouse the scene.

There's something to be said for ramblin' around with half your forebrain tied behind your back. It gets you down to a level, removes some of that social armor. It made me feel a touch more native, especially going out late on my lonesome after Mark and Zya crashed out. Nice.

On the minus side, someone stole my iPod from my truck, but they didn't steal my bike (which they could have), so I guess I can't complain.

It makes me think. I'm just now starting to feel settled and strong in the HC, but looking at 1000 square feet, I can't help but get the feeling that I should spend more time occupying my share of them. I'm sure this will work itself out, but it's kind of funny. Always on the go, it seems.

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