"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Deja Vu

It happened again. For the second time this week, US troops fired on a crowd of Iraqi protesters, this time killing "only" two. They were protesting the killing of 14 protesters on monday night, who were in turn protesting -- interestingly enough -- the quartering of US Solders at a local school, shades of the third amendment and the Boston massacre.

Again our troops make the claim that they were fired on, and the locals dispute that claim, though they were throwing rocks.

Maj. Michael Marti, an intelligence officer for the division's 2nd Brigade, said soldiers in a passing convoy fired on the crowd after rocks were thrown at them and a vehicle window was broken by what was believed to be automatic weapons fire.

I don't quite know what to say about this except we've got to stop. We've got to do something different than we've been doing because this is going to get cyclical real quick. Right now the mayor of Fallujah has asked troops to stay away from sensative areas. They are "considering" the proposal. If these two incidents are anything other than serious strategic screwups that are being dealt with swiftly and from the highest level, we are deep in the stinky stuff. That this war was the brainchild of the Likudnik wing of the Pentagon makes me even more nervous. The last thing we want is our own Gaza the size of California.

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Notes on The Note

ABC's The Notepad, which features messages direct from each democratic campaign, continues to be of interest, though I doubt the content they summon forth there will still seem engaging after a few weeks. Leiberman's message is almost laughable. Dean's looses points for being a bit too cheeky on the most recent Kerry spat. For people to honestly try and disagree with the satement "we won't always have the strongest military point" is laughable. It's a fact. Our dominance cannot last forever, though it will likely continue for some time yet. From a political-elitist point of view you can make hay from this by citing the fact that American voters don't care about the future. I think that's debatable. The point is that we must be prepared for a day when we are matched or overmatched in military strength -- again, in the fullness of time this is inevitable and to seriously think otherwise is hubristic folly -- by building a world free from wars of impunity.

Actually the biggest surprise for me was Sharpton's entry. Not because it's all that revolutionary, but because it's actually well written. Then I realize it's attributed to the Rev. himself and not some campaign flunky and I understand why, but it strikes me how poor the written communiques for all the other candidates are and makes me think I wouldn't mind working as a speechwriter for someone. I don't know how you get that job though. Probably a lot of dues to pay. Oh well.

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Life, Love and Leading

Long winding conversation with Sasha last night, in spite of me being not quite comfortable in my skin. The turnover has prompted the long-comiing love page update. Go forth and burrow in the sortid details of my pretty little life, you beautiful gossip monkeys you. I'm also writing a revealing little story to tell tonight at axiom about my 23rd b-day and Watkins.

Right now I positively feel like I'm living the dream: sitting in my backyard with the wireless internet connection running strong, exercising my right as an adult to have a gin and tonic after lunch. It's good to be alive.

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The Truth is Out There

I didn't see the program, but apparently last Friday on Nightline, anonymous Team Bush sources more or less admitted that the case for making war with Iraq was a sham, that many overstatements (some would call them lies) were made for emphasis, and that the real purpose for the war was to display American force to the Middle East, combatting a perceived post-9-11 weakness.

The Bush administration decided it must flex muscle to show it would fight terrorism, not just here at home and not just in Afghanistan against the Taliban, but in the Middle East, where it was thriving.

So this really was about "showing them who's boss." Not the Iraqi's per se, but them. Nice to see we've got our best and brightest at the helm in these troubled times.

Elsewhere, ABC's "the Note" is running a section with messages from the various Democratic campaigns. Dean's delights, showing both humor and savvy: his is the only with hyperlinks.

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Hymns

Music is a main weapon in the struggle against apathy and sloth and disinvestment. Poetry is another, but it's still pretty fringe. If poetry ever becomes mainstream again, maybe through hip-hop -- still currently a bit overdominated by ego and sex, like the early rock'n'roll scene -- that will be a good sign. In any event, the rhythm and imagination common to both of these forms of expression make them powerful media for putting new memes on the market, and when they're put to use in the service of Truth, good things tend to result.

Right now we've got a lot of musicians making alt.politix songs. Thank goodness for that, but they're not getting a lot of airplay thanks to the Patriotic Consensus which keeps the highly risk-averse music conglomorates in check, to say nothing of openly conservative elements like Clear Channel. However, artists are continuing to pump up the volume. The latest entry into the fray is former Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha with his well-tuned DJ Shadow collaboration, March of Death. I used to spend some early-teen years grooving to the leftist mind-control sounds of Rage (fuck you I won't do what you tell me...), and so for me this is a welcome addition to the field.

On a slightly less serious, but maybe more personally satisfying note, some dance DJ has lifted quotes from Howard Dean's speech at the California Democratic Caucus and made a remix. As you may have gathered from the little banner on your left, I'm endorsing Dean at this time out of the Gang of 9 Democratic hopefuls. I plan on putting together a page explaining this and adding my polemic to the mix, but that's hasn't happened yet. Feel free to ask me questions though.

Finally, for more music (anti-war and otherwise) you won't hear on stations that are controlled by Bush donors, check out the listings at protest-recorts.com. There's also a lot of stuff coming out of international outlets. It seems that paradoxically (or not so), we radical Americans must look overseas for our inspiration, internal media crackdowns and chilling effects creating a real -- and I must admit at times exciting -- samizdat atmosphere. What's samizdat, you ask?

On the wonk end of things, I've been reading excerpts from The Unconquerable World in Harper's Magazine. Dense and academic, but really really good and real in a way that nothing I've read in a long time has been. This, the bus ride down from Boston, everything is giving me shivers of possibility.

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This is Science

Posting and checking email from the Science Museum here. We just saw a little play about the life and times if Nicola Tesla and a planetarium show on the edges of space and time. Big thoughts. So my mind is crackling with notions of nature, design and the way it aught to be. Taking over the world a so forth.

Boston is nice. Quaint and historical, a bit metro-lite to this New Yorker -- cops coming to break up the quietest party ever and a transit system that seems like a toy -- but oozing with old American charm nontheless. Madeline's show was amazing. My mother purchased a big canvis entitled, "Welcome to the Monkey House," which contains portraits of many of my hippy-fam friends (and me in the corner!). Lots of beautiful work.

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Boston-Bound

I'm off to Boston on the Fung Wah. It's a bit of an East Coast Monkey Rally, and I'm bringing up Sasha to show off. Blogging will be minimal to nonexistant until Monday, but I love you all.

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More on Tim Robbins

Looks like my man Tim Robbins is still getting the shaft. Here's some documentation of what happened a couple of days ago on the Today Show. Reminds me of how MSNBC axed Donehue and of the fact that GE owns NBC.

Full Disclosure: I once shared a theater space w/Mr Robbins (I was putting up Nitewerk and he was teaching a master class during the daylight hours) and apparently pissed him off by having my lighting guy rewire some things.

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This Time It's Personal

Fellow New Yorkers, as you may or may not be aware the Republican National Convention for the 2004 Election is going to be at Madison Square Garden. It's just been announced that they are moving the convention back to September in a transparent attempt to cash in again on the memory of 3,000 dead. You will hear more from me about this in the future, but for now here's the theme for the opposition:

Republican National Convention NYC 2004: This Time It's Personal

I have had enough of this shit. If these corrupt clowns think they're going to come and have their pep-rally in my town and not catch some serious beef from me and my people, they've got another thing coming. Bonus points to anyone willing to get a haircut and volunteer to work the convention so they can throw stinkbombs or something. As far as I am concerned, these people are not welcome to masturbate over 3000 dead in my backyard, and I intend to let them know that.

Or, as Frank likes to put it, "those funky bastards are gonna pay."

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Pattern Recognition

Started in on the new Bill Gibson (Pattern Recognition) last night, then stumbled across this blog of dubious authenticity chronicalling the travels of a young woman on the run from her powerful family today. The anonymous nature reminds me of restlesslord an anonymous blogger who purports -- not that I doubt his authenticity, but you never know -- to be an older british man with a 20-year-old American girlfriend (and was also the first person to blogroll me). Parallels with "the Footage" in Pattern Recognition are developing rapidly in my mind, getting me cooking on the future of life, the internet and culture (as always). That man is tapped in to something fierce.

I like the new book. It's got the cadence and quixotic/specific sensual description that are Gibson signatures: "the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm." Unlike his previous work it's present-day and not, as of yet, really about saving the world. I'm in awe of his facility with language. Dog Solitude. Long Chain Monomers. The Sky Was The Color of Television Tuned To A Dead Channel. Beyond style, what I've always loved about Gibson beyond style is his ability to project human emotion and ideosyncracy into rather inhumane surroundings, with interesting narrative and metaphysical results. I hear he used to be into acid -- though now like many vetrans, he sends a cautious message. Strange how so many of my interests, idols and literary heroes seem to intersect. Here's Gibson and Burroughs. Here's Gibson and Keasy (and Cassady). Somtimes this makes me feel banal -- just playing the bohemian version of six-degrees -- other times hopeful, like there's an actual throughline to all these things I appreciate and am interested in.

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