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This Content From 2003 (or earlier) see index

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  August 2002: For Those About To Rock...  

In Process

Working on some site updates here. Won't be squirting much out for another day or so I think. In the mean time, more good news about technology and the world: pedal-powered wireless internet to give access to Laotian villages. These people are doing the right thing. I gave them money. I will also buy their coffee when it becomes available.

August 31st Good News (for a change)

This weekend's NYT Magazine features an article about a growing cultural underground in Iranian society, trading outlawed mp3's and exchanging email with western cyberpals. In a country where dancing is illegal, freedom of electronic expression is turning out to be quite subversive, fostering real progressive grassroots culture. The conservative theocracy is largely to un-clued to involve themselves and there are few corporations or large bodies which dominate the Iranian net, so the field is wide open for the kids, and it seems to be having an effect. Is speading free net access a key step in breaking up the "axis of evil?" I suppose it's too optomistic to think about kids here in the US getting this creative, setting up their own recording studios and taking the making of culture back into their own hands. Still, it's a nice idea.

I rode in NYC's Critical Mass last night, which was a real good time. I have photos and thoughts to put together later... maybe finally debut my Politics section. Afterwards we went and drank at Grassroots, which is one of the few good simple bars left in the city, and I found myself attracted to one of Jeremy's co-workers. That was especially fun, as I've not been attracted to anyone in quite some time. Not sure if I should let myself get excited or not.

August 30th In Search of Peace

Seems like things are getting more and more tense and hairy. Altercations on the bridge, baseball strike looming, war with Iraq. It's not a pleasant time to be. Still necessity is the mother of invention. In an effort to ease my mind, I made this my desktop background. Thanks to Nick for taking all those photos of central Oregon beauty.

Do the right thing

I'm a little shaken up tonight. See the latest BridgeTrip note (on the left there). Sometimes New York City is a fucking bitch. I want to do the right thing. But fuck.

August 29th Cycles

On the personal tip: things seem to be entering a period of transition and/or growth. The summer is drawing to a close here... outlandishjosh needing some new design, some feature-implementation. For the moment, here is this:

non-consumer culture orphan
I don't really subscribe to consumerism as a means of understanding my place in the world, and this is very hard. By refusing to identify myself and indow my life with meaning via products I purchase, I essentaily drop out of mainstream culture. Not in the sense that I dissappear or an subsumed in some counter/sub-culture, but in the sense that I don't belong. Most sub-cultures are also highly consumeristic or at least object-fetishistic (e.g. Punk Culture, Hipster Culture, etc) and I've yet to find a real counter-culture I can subscribe to.

While I appreciate and adore the Oregon Country Fair, and I want to check out Burning Man, they seem a bit too Pirate Utopia for me. The concept of Pirate Utopia as a social construct was based on real pirate enclaves from the 16th Century and floated by a lot of people, notable William S Burroughs. The notion revolves around setting up a "free zone" where you can essentially live by your own rules. In practice, they're pretty isolationist, exclusive and conservative since they don't want to be snuffed out by the dominant majority (mainstream culture). Anyway, I made the decision somewhere along the line that going off to do your thing and leaving the rest of the world to rot was not a trade off I could make.

So I'm faced with what Mark and I term "the crisis of meaning," the nagging existential conundrum that flourishes in one's heart when there are little to no external sources to draw from in determining what is important in your life. Community is of great value in combating this postmodern malaise, but that's a tough nut to crack as well, because culture and community have a chicken and egg relationship. How to grow a relavent community of active, participation-minded individuals?

August 26th Back to the Grindstone

There was a really lively discussion on slashdot this weekend about how television might work without traditional advertising as a primary revenue source. I missed out, but there were a couple of ideas that got my mind cooking.

My work with The Quick Fix has more or less convinced me that advertising is a cancer on the mind. Advertising basically functions by creating feelings of inadequacy, doubt or longing in the viewer, and then offering a product as the gateway to resolving these feelings. The terrible thing is, the feelings are often successsfully created over time, but the action of purchasing very rarely resolves them.

Automobile ads almost all feature the themes of freedom and power ("Lexus: stronger than the gods!") and yet what do you do with most of your time in a car? Sit in traffic. The desire to be free is replaced by the realities of monthly payments and crowded streets: no wonder so many people have road rage. Even more sickening are the ads aimed at adolescents' sense of self esteem and parents' sense of devotion to their children. Advertising picks on people's weak spots without mercy.

Most people will tell you they pay little attention to advertising. This is precisely what allows it to function so well. Try watching television for an hour and giving each advert your full and undivided attention. It will likely be a highly irritating exercise. However, if you merely allow the images and ideas to filter in half-noticed, they will over time affect the way you feel and think. To believe otherwise -- to believe that you are immune to the power of repeated imagery and above the basic human desires to be accepted, to reproduce, to care for your offspring -- is an extreme conceit. Advertising does not function to convey information about products. It is not logical. Most advertising exists to manipulate people emotionally by playing on basic desires, influencing their decition making process on a pre-cognative or sub-conscious level. That's why I think the impulse behind it is evil.

The sum total effect of living in an environment saturated by that kind of media is plain to see: rampant cynicism among the intelligent, and blind consumerism among the less congnizant. Almost every negative trend we see in society today is assisted and increased by advertising, from the breakdown of community to the objectification of women to the decay of public education.

August 25th Small Sunday

"History will be an unkind judge for those who prefer to do business rather than to do the right thing."

Do the right thing. That's a worthwhile suggestion to give yourself every day or three. Head is bursting with stuff, and I think I'm going to have more coffee, push it as far as it can go.

August 24th And My Mind Start Roaming

We're all getting restless here in the house, dressing up in costumes, starting to get a little of the old cabin fever. The oppressive swelter of the dog days is mercifully relaxing its iron rule and, as individuals at least, we're finally getting a little traction. We want to get out and run with the glands, be young men for a bit, while we still can get away with it.

I'm being oblique. To be blunt, we're lonesome. A somber wanting tribe. I should have tried to drag everyone out to see Cindy's show (I always did love her) but the thought never occurred to me. Just cought up in the politics of dispair I suppose. High time to start instigating again.

August 23rd Low and Noble

Finished The Immortal Class today. Good to the last drop and inspirational to boot. Cully inhabits the modern hypocritical tarpit we're all ensnared in with deftness and insight. Gives me hope here in 2002, the twenty-third year of the '80s. That link, by the way, is to the webs most massive wikki. I want to try and use that format to try and build some non-linear narratives, represent a "cloud" of ideas like an ideology/philosophy or political platform. We'll see if it happens. I'm going to start it out on my home machine and maybe migrate it to the net once I've got a good base build up.

Still enjoying trips through my not-to-distant past in music. Jane's Addiction led me back to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, music for spiritual, sensitive, politically conscious geeks from the Northwest that Rocks. Making me want better speakers. Recalls the good old days of fieldburning. One of the primary exports of the Wilamette Valley (where I grew up) is grass. Not grass, but grass, like on lawns. The seed we're using to try and rehabilitate our backyard here in Brooklyn is from Tigard Oregon.

Anyway, when I was a kid they used to have no restrictions on field-burning, which is were grass-growers torch the remnants of their crops to enrich the soil and keep weeds at bay. It was good for their crops, but it would turn the late August air smoky and dank. Kind of post-appocalyptic, really. The music of the day was a good soundtrack to those turgid skies; anthems to nature, crime, rot, survival, growth, desperation, ruggedness, violence and love. It is a recently settled part of the nation, still wild, and without many institutions.

Yesterday in good old Portland people protested Bush's new timber policy as he raised funds with Gordon Smith, the Republical Senator. They were summarily doused with pepper spray and rubber bullets. Read more on indymedia, or CNN if you prefer the partyline. Draw your own conclusions.

August 22nd Movement

I'm beginning to thaw. I feel a swing beginning to occur. The weather has largely ceased to be abysmal, which definitely impacts my mood. I'm opening. Frank slapped me with a book to read, the memior/manifesto of artist and Chicago bike messenger Travis Hugh Culley, The Immortal Class which is helping a lot. I will buy my own copy. I'm not done with it yet, but it's got me psyched to hit up next week's critical mass. In doing a little google search to see what's out there on the book, I don't think many people see it the way I do.

To me, the real selling point of the book isn't the pro-bicycle rhetoric (preaching to the chior here) or the adrenaline/sex appeal of the messenger world, but the rampant urban romanticism. Culley's rhapsody of avenues, skyscrapers, streetlights and traffic returns me to my first days in New York City, when the mere throb and pulse of the organism was the most exciting and beautiful thing in the world. His prose refreshes my vision, and it's causing me to fall in love with the City again, putting me back on the pulse.

Moreover I think his point, in as much as he has one, is far more advanced and fundimental than preaching against urban sprawl and the waste of automobiles. He's addressing the way in which (post)modern living and culture separates people from existence. Maybe I see this in the book because it's one of my great "things to change" about this world: the way in which people are not really inhabiting their lives, their actions, their choices. A quote from the book:

"I am going to win the top prize. The prize that says I LOVE WHAT I DO! I don't want the other prizes. You can keep the award that says I made a good living. You can keep the bronze medal that says I have done what was expected. That is not what I am here for."

I'll finish it soon, and write a full review. For now, it's serving to accelerate the thawing out of my soul.

The cycle is coming around. I am a big believer in an underlying wavelike nature to experience. Notwithstanding change, progress or disaster, I notice patterns in my own life. From my personal journal about a year ago:

August 27th, 12:25am 2001 - Intrigue
I felt it early last night, yesterday as the sun was dipping low I knew that (to cop a phrase) the wild was rising. It's something unquestionable, but not a thing you can use as evidence in any logical argument. It's a feeling, a sense of emminance, a notion that things are pretty much primed and that the time has come to start throwing matches at your gasoline-soaked trashpile. Sometimes all your aspirations flutter out in the perennial crosswind, but sometimes you catch afire - WHOOM! - and you've got a popping, happening, inky black smoke-making event on your hands...

Yeah, cycles. I wrote the above the morning after meeting Yuliua.

August 21st BILL CLINTON - Great Prices on eBay - Click Here!

That's the textad that came up on a google search for "Bill Clinton Homepage." Didn't know you could buy politicians on eBay yet, but it seems like the next logical move. Innarestingly enough, the top search result is still whitehouse.gov, followed by whitehouse.com, a porn site (gotta love the internet!). Why was I searching for Bubba's home on the net, you ask? Well, I've been sharpening my political wit, preparing a new section of the site here for that sort of thing. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out just when "liberal" became a dirty word. It has been for about as long as I've been politically conscious, but my reading of history suggests it was not always so. Or maybe it was.

Anyway, hard to sleep last night. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn't really get back down. Peter and I have a little showdown at Everett today, and I have to hop on the train at 8:15, so at 6 I just decided to get up, make coffee and barrel on through. In accordance with my one-year goal of no longer living hand to mouth, I need that partnership to start paying off better than it has in the past 18 months. Maybe we'll convince the powers that be to back our play and we'll score some work. It would be good to have a lot of neat, clearly defined tasks for a change. I've been feeling a little too scattered for my own taste.

New downstairs neighbors are in and the building is now fully occupied. I think they're going to work out ok. It would be a shame to loose the loose, friendly, open-door atmosphere we've got.

August 20th Dr. Thompson Says

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

Right on, Duke.

August 19th More of the Same

Checked out the hipster bluegrass tonight. Goes down every night in Williamsburg at the Stinger. The first band was better, more authentic twang. The latter band had too much lead-singer ego. Plus they played lots of traditional spirituals and you got the sense that the dude singin' wasn't really a religious fellah, just in it for the pathos, another phony. Great fiddle though. Made eyes with somebody's girlfriend in next booth over and talked with Frank about our respective works, his parents and my class prejudices. Returned home and made a mint julep to ease the evening along.

Starting with the politics already. From a NYT article on the recently discovery of Al'Quida video archives by a CNN reporter:

Asked why the C.I.A. failed to obtain the archive before CNN, Bill Harlow, the agency's spokesman, replied, "There are more of them in Afghanistan than there are of us, and they are paid better."

Nice to see we're all on the ball over there at Central Intelligence. When did government become synonimous with half-assed jobs and beureaucratic bloat? We don't need smaller government, we need more committed government.

Pessimistic question for the day: why are people seemingly more willing to manipulate others than to communicate? What do we really have to loose?

Optomistic observation (balance that ying, brah): the hungrier you are, the better the meal.

August 18th Cooking, Biking, Telling the Truth

New content: finally finished the old Ren Fayre writeup. You can jump to the Final Installment, or start at the beginning. I reviewed the piece as a whole and made a few editorial corrections. In general, the style is a little too superficially diary-like for my taste. It either should delve more into my experience there, deeper, more personal, or else it should rise above me and my petty existence, be more about the event and what it means independent of me. I'll keep that in mind next time.

Last night a languid slide into luxuriant American excess. After biking with Frank through some not entirely unpleasant summer rain to get supplies, we made huge tasty steaks and drank mint juleps in the back yard, talking about guns and war and other manly things. Later on, we went to the Lyric so as to get out of the house and experience the neighborhood. It's a nice bar with a good pool table. The manager, Carrie, is friendly and energetic. It was a party for some friends of her's, so they had DJs with some interesting tunes. A well timed "Mountain Song" prompted me to bang Gnutella and unearth Jane's Addiction today, confirming ever more my sensation that today's music industry is a stew of mediocrity, and there was cake and food to go with beer too. We drank Brooklyn Lager, Jeremy and Wes made funny inside-joke drawings on napkins, and I peered around the room in a lazy lustful haze, reflecting on the differences between this summer and last. So far, food and bike have been done. Now for truth.

Stone Lonely (I've been here before)
Perhaps it's the burden of maturity or the loss of innocence, but lately my prospects of love and sex have been at a depressingly low ebb. I talked with Frank a little bit ago about one night stands. He just broke up with his most recent special lady. He realized, he says with uniquely Frank-like candidness, "that I wasn't in love with her," so they parted and the rebound has been on his mind. Frank and I come at things from pretty different points of view. He's more capable of simply doing things than I am, less caught up in his head, less self-involved. He's a good guy. Not that I'm not, but he's just more forgiving and open than me, generally speaking. Less quick to write people off. And now he's single. I turned him on to romp.com to keep him busy.

Anyway, we did agree that when it comes to random hook-ups, it's really difficult to strike a positive balance. You both really need to only be in it for the now so as to avoid those unpleasant emotional vectors, but at the same time you both have to care/trust enough to make the moment worthwhile. That's a tough souffle to keep from falling. We both agreed that having an external force limiting the term of the involvement is a great help: hence the ease and beauty of vacation-booty. Even in that respect I've mellowed, because the truth is there are opportunities. I just don't want to get laid that badly. I find this lack of passion more disquieting than anything else. I prefer simple horny lust to just plain nothing.

Last summer I was kind of getting out and stretching my legs, so to speak. I didn't have a lot of relationships in college as I didn't have much experience or the free time/energy to garner that experience. I also generally maintain a pretty high standard for who I get involved with. Obviously, compromises have occurred, but overall I'm still kind of demanding, mostly in the personality/brains department. But I figured I aught to go with things more often, get out there and run with the glands. Since making that decision I've had four more or less disposable rendezvous, only one of which didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth, a handful of make-outs -- fun stuff that doesn't usually leave a mark on the soul -- a couple of longer relationships that didn't ever really achieve takeoff and a few livewire sparks and dreamy hopes, but never anything that ever developed or evolved. Lately things have been pretty dry.

In fact, despite the classification of this year as "a guilt-free 2002" I've not had a lot of sex. Only one fling as I recall.

The alarming thing is not the lack of booty, but the lack of prospects. I remember what it was like to constantly have 2 or 3 crushes cooking at any given moment. It was good. These days things are a bit more isolated, a bit more barren. I begin to doubt if what I'm looking for exists, though I think the problem might be a lack of self-love/esteem more than anything else. I don't know, really. Revisiting recent relationships and getting a wistful remembrance and strong doses of scorn only makes the spirit more tentative.

Anyway, it's an old dilemma. Wish I could solve it though, might help me move on to bigger and better things. As Julia and I often lament, you waste so much damn time looking. I sometimes fantasize about what it might be like to have some kind of ideal mate, be a part of an outsider-intellectual power couple. On one level it's really hard to imagine sharing that much of myself with anyone else, which I suppose is part and parcel with the problem I'm mulling over. On another level, anything less seems like a waste of time. Whatever caused it over the past five years, something has taken a lot of my every-day ability to be open away from me. I'm less than comfortable in my own skin lately, and nervous as ever when it comes to engaging with people I'm honestly attracted to.

I've learned to be a pretty cool customer, but under it all I'm really pretty clueless. Even in high school I used to get comments that I "seemed to know what I was doing around girls." These folks clearly didn't know me very well. I don't talk about it much, so people don't often know the real deal. I'm very comfortable around women in general, just not around women I'm actually attracted to. To tell the truth, somewhere in my mind the crippling idea that she doesn't really want to have anything to do with me hides fungus-like under some dark psychic rock. Gotta shine the light in there; first love is self-love, natch.

In other News
I've been writing a lot lately. Working on that economist bit got me back in the mood of playing with language, and I started writing some fiction and more articulated cultural/social criticism. I might eventually get to that manifesto, and I have a bunch of ideas for little features I want to do for this site. Stuff like all the strange jobs I've ever worked, my opinions on a lot of different matters. More essay-like entries to widen my content base, to win site visitors and influence people.

Yes, I've decided to re-embrace politics. After watching Fox News, which I do now and then to keep myself on my toes, and seeing the propaganda that's passing for news, I don't see any other choice. There are some people right now who are at least in part running this country who are really wrong about a lot of things, and aren't interested in listening to anyone about why they're doing things wrong. The people who are supposed to be stopping them are too dirty from playing the game to have a leg to stand on. Things are polluted, and unless we get some new blood into the mix, we're going down. It's time to go back to first principles, back to the constitution and what that document stands for. When people talk about exporting American values, they used to mean freedom and democracy. As it stands, McDonalds does more to spread Liberty, or at least the sensations you'd associate with it, than our government. Its about time the country got its act together.

August 16th Declaration

I hereby declare this weekend will be a weekend of creation. It's been too long, and I could use some free entertainment.

August 15th Equal and Opposite Reaction

I got a great response to yesterday's pessimism from Alex. Turns out he's optimistic about America and our generation:

Everything is a cycle, in my opinion. America right now is going through a down time in terms of culture and "itness." There's just corporate bloat and force-fed ideas of what "cool" is. Well, that may be true, but it can't last forever. The current time reminds me most of the 1950s. Everything looked prim and proper and wholesome on the outside, but underneath, things were coming to a boil. We saw that boil explode in the 60s. Revolutionary change is still possible, but it takes a critical mass for it to happen. Right now, most people in the country seem dumb and happy and willing to go along with anything as long as it doesn't rock the boat. Despite that, I've seen far too many people our age pissed off. The current unemployment (and underemployment) isn't helping things. Just like some great things happened during the recession of the early 90s, I think that may be a few years down the corner.

That's what I hope happens. Good to know I'm not the only one. In other news, I finished my entry into this competition. I don't think I can legally publish my final entry since by entering it I've given up copyright, but if I don't win I'll put it right up here 'cuz I'm proud of the essay no matter what those snobs thing. Nice to put the old mind to work making senseful persuasive thoughts.

August 14th Infected

Picked up some kind of upper-respiratory ailment. Resonant coughing, sinus pressure and phlegm-a-plenty. It's forced me to slow down, which is probably good. Anyway, here's what I've been thinking about lately.

Cultural Problems Have Cultural Solutions
When I was back home this summer Mark and I had an interesting discussion about our future plans and such. One of the things that came up was the notion of "jumping ship," leaving the United States and retiring to some pirate utopia somewhere else to lead a better life. We're both pretty disgusted with this country, not just because our leader is an acknowledged half-wit who's being manipulated by a war-mongering interests, but because we're fed up with the culture, the constant presence of advertising, the total lack of community, and so on.

Whenever I contemplate this I'm strongly conflicted. On the one hand I really like the idea of America, the notion of liberty and opportunity for everyone, and I don't want to give up on it. On the other hand I don't know if I'm strong enough, smart enough, charismatic enough as a person to make use of that promised opportunity to change the things that I so despise about our culture.

The number one thing I come back to though is the notion that cultural problems have cultural solutions. To borrow some marxist terminology, living in a mass-cultural society, the means of cultural production and the majority of cultural capital are held by a few hands. One of the things I love about the internet is that it potentially creates an almost infinite metaphysical space for culture to develop. Everyone can be a participant, which gives rise to some interesting fantasies about how things might be different.

But what is the cultural silver bullet to cripple the monstrously crass and obese ogre that's running the show now? Fuck if I know. My friend Emily and I developed the idea of a manifesto based on three ideas: Cooking, Biking, and Telling the Truth. The idea is that if you can get people to do these things at least once a week (cook a real meal for themselves and their friends, bike to work or otherwise use the body, and tell the fucking truth about something) we might just make it.

I'm in a pessimistic mood lately though. I read the news and the President of Iran is talking a lot more sense than our guy. The UN says the Sierra Club wasn't lying and world is definitely going into the crapper unless we change a few things. Strange people are stealing other people's babies. It all feels quite overwhelming, yet I cannot escape the sense that there's something I can do about all of these lies, all of this evil, all of this bullshit that's poisoning our world. But I'm not a very powerful person. I don't wield much influence. I don't know people in high places and I certainly don't have a lot of money. I'm lured by romantic fantasies of magical realism and escapism, but I can't blind myself to reality. I'm certainly not the captain, but if this ship goes down it seems I'm going with it.

We need something to believe in, quick.

August 12th Lost Weekend

Fun times and decadence a-plenty. Happy birthdays to my sis and to Frank. I did some fun things, have been thinking some fun thoughts, will have fun later coalescing them into written words for sharing with everyone.

In the mean time, should you be bored, you can read the next-to-last installment of my 2002 Ren Fayre experience (3 months old, but still hot).

This weekend we did a number of things. We got blind drunk. We went to a Yankees game. We met our downstairs neighbor's twin brother and said goodbye to his hot sister. We fell in love with the film Amelie, which we'd resisted seeing simply because everyone else had liked it so much and we wanted to be different. We painted pictures with a young artist and tried to tell him some things about the world.

We found joy in stringing our back yard with a few christmas lights and watering the newly planted seeds. We found intricate peace playing on the internet at making connections and in applying our mind to things. We saw a group of proud Dominicans who sang songs and carried their flags and children with them on the subway. We hear tales of mental breakdowns and a lack of artistic community. We thought about communism. We made time to think about a lot of things. We left the headphones at home when riding the bicycle, just in case someone were to see us and call our name. We felt romantic. We watched people fight and break up, and no one fell in love.

We watered the lawn and sat looking up and the airplanes flying overhead, wondering which one was carrying a lonesome brown haired girl we dreamed about but have never seen. We spent money. We cooked food. We made a big mess and did a little cleaning. We felt fleeting moments of immanent glory but more often than not just felt a little out of shape. We were anxious for the good times to come back. We wondered what love is. We walked a long way to buy beer. We resisted the urge to compulsively clean. We didn't buy groceries or do the laundry. We were happy for a time, and a little bit sad too.

August 9th Corrupting the Youth

My roommate's young cousin (16-year old) is here. We got him drunk and he showed us pictures of the girl he slept with. Fantastic. No one is honest like a 16-year old.

August 8th Giving up Dominion

In an unusually poignant link from slashdot, I found this PBS frontline report about cable television in Bhutan to be almost heartbreaking. Especially the second video clip. Listening to monks talking about television making them forget their prayers, the foreign minister saying, "people are realizing that there are so many things they desire which they were not even aware of before." That's heavy. It just gives more resolve not to march to the consumer drum, a resolution that carries it's own set of problems and issue. But more on this later -- started a separate piece of writing based on some revelations I had this morning and last night talking with Mark on the phone.

On a synchronistic note, as I dozed late this morning -- a new alarm clock is needed as the current one has a faulty off/on switch that will sometimes disarm itself when the groggy snooze-button slap comes at 7am -- I dreamt that I was a terrorist planting bombs somewhere in the US. I had two cohorts, and we moved around by leaping between the elevated super highways that connect various parts of the world. This is a recurring "fun" dream theme of mine: stopping short of taking flight I leap enormous distances with great speed. Quite an exhilarating sensation. Anyway, me and my terrorist buddies planted a cyanide-gas bomb in someone's basement, and barely escaped with our lives and avoiding detection. The house was that of an advertising executive and, convinced that we were striking a blow for freedom, and returned to our remote base to receive praise for what we had done. Later, feeling guilty, I returned to the house where there was some sort of family reunion going on. Apparently our bomb didn't kill anyone, and it was a big party so I hung around. Finally, I felt the need to confess and the family's highly articulate toddler son forgave me and I wept. IT was a potent little image, receiving absolution from a child. Then there was some confusing bit about a business trip to Miami, something about corporate infighting. The last thing I recall before waking and realizing that I should have been up hours ago is Lisa Simpson (the cartoon character) asking me, "But don't you realize, the impulse behind advertising is evil?"

Strange stuff. On a final note, while I'm potentially offended by everything they stand for, I'm quite taken with the Fantanas, especially pineapple girl. Check out the fantana audo section for some real quality radio-play-style laughs. "Teacher, teacher, Plato's dead. Have a Fanta clear your head." Who can resist the way they say "Fanta?" With that sexy extended "ah" sound instead of the flat old hard American "a"? Super hot.

August 7th Just Give me a Reason

Confusing time. As the Clash say, "A lotta people won't get no supper tonight. A lotta people won't get no justice tonight." But what to do about it? Try this petition link, which is worth it for the Dubya rollovers. Entering a period of deep self doubt as of late: unsure about the world, my own desires and impulses, my choices. Worried about being self-centered, which is in and of itself a self-centered act. Vicious cycles.

In consumer news, I finally purchased new shoes. Red lowtop converse again. Hopefully they will last me 18 months like the last pair!

August 4th *unk* Time

List of all my Mp3s that match the search term "unk".

Clash City Rockers -- The Clash
One More Time -- Daft Punk
I'm Not A Punk -- Descendents
We Want the Funk -- George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
American Woman -- Grand Funk Railroad
Search And Destroy -- Iggy & The Stooges
Papa Was A Rodeo -- The Magnetic Fields
The Death Of Ferdinand De Saussure -- The Magnetic Fields
Love Is Like A Bottle Of Gin -- The Magnetic Fields
Erotic City -- Parliament Funkadelic
Flashlight -- Parliament Funkadelic
Renegades of Funk -- Rage Against The Machine
Drunk On The Moon -- Tom Waits
Ape Shall Never Kill Ape -- UNKLE
Rabbit In Your Headlights -- UNKLE
Chaos -- UNKLE
Rabbit in your headlights -- UNKLE
Be There -- UNKLE with Ian Brown
The Hipster Be-Bop Junkie -- William S. Burroughs & Gus Van Zant
Lipps Inc. -- Funkytown

That's my kind of playlist.

August 1st Fuck all, I'm pulling the trigger

Ingesting a lot of French culture. Caught la'femme Nakita on IFC just now (heartbreaking and breathtaking) and am listening to Air while I type this. So stylish, soulful, sexy and silly, those gallic people, and also in some ways utterly loathsome. My mom is a big francophile, but I don't really get that into it. I would love to see Paris again though.

It was a very rough day at the office. I mean, my room. Yeah, it's getting a little cramped here in this little space where there's a million and one things to do but sleep. I've realized I really need to step up my work life such that I don't have to deal with any client that comes my way, can take a pass on those that give me a bad feeling.

On the plus side, I got Dave to kick me some graphic design which I adapted for thequickfix.com. I've been making follow-up calls to colleges that might book us and the new website will (I hope) help the sales process.

Also on the plus side, Laure from outoftheboxonline, an internet marketing company that the aforementioned Dave shares office space with and with whom I'm trying to develop Lire to better track swahili-imports, sent me some really fantastically sarcastic NYC poems. Usually I don't go in for cynicism, but these are just too well done (played to the absolute hilt!) to pass up. These are by a bloke named Joe Chassler:

Despair is a vortex
sucking all things into the self
Love is a light illuminating
all things from within.
The fact is
you have to get up
and go to work.

Don't think of it as deferred gratification.
Think of it as immediate

If guilt you wear as armor
And hoist self-pity as your lance,
You'll be a drag at parties
And not be asked to dance.
So don a mask of merriment
Though your heart feels like a tumor
Disguise yourself with alcohol,
Hard drugs, and false good humor.

It takes a small man
to run a small business.

Back in time to July: For a Better Tomorrow

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Trips in Space and Time 8/02/03

Big Wheels in Berkeley
I scored a set of west-coast wheels today at the Ashby BART station flea market. It's a very tall schwinn road bike, black, deceptively heavy but smooth-riding. Thirty-five dollars to boot. I oiled and cleaned the works, dialed in the bakes and took it out for a shake-down cruise immediately. Nice riding on a beautiful saturday, realizing how out of shape I am as I wheezed my way though the hilly area behind the Berkeley campus.

After about an hour I started to get the swing of it. Made some minor mechanical adjustments (including a free wheel truing at the bike collective on Shattuck), drank a few liters of water and started finding my groove, cruising up and around and ending up with a beautiful view of the whole bay. The roads here are not kind to the speed inclined -- too many stop signs and crosswalks and lights -- but it was good to get out and proj for a while. This changes my summer dramatically.

...older trips...


Smother Me With
Filthy Lucre