Wednesday, June 15, 2005

So there I am, it’s 8.40 and I’m watching back-to-back reruns of Law & Order, scratching my feet and reflecting what a thrill-packed 36 hours it’s been, what with MJ not guilty; Katie Holmes turning out to be a total idiot, 4-year-old Daudi Bamuwamye dying on the Mission: Space ride at Walt Disney World after pulling 2G, and Gov Arnold’s sneaky special election, (and how come the cops figure they have the right to confiscate protester’s banners?) and then – Pow! – the Emergency Broadcast System cuts in with a tsunami warning!

"Say what?" I cry. But the EBS warning is so fucked up, and the audio so garbled, it offers no information except that the warning is timed from 8.30 to 8.45, and it then cuts back to that cheese commercial with the black and white talking bovines before it’s even complete. I look at the cat and we both sit there. I know that a hundred foot wall of water bearing down on one is nothing to fuck with, but I’m at something of a loss. I had been wondering about a possible shake after hearing about the big weekend jolt in Chile. I believe these thing are all highly interconnected, but (like the Spanish Inquisition) no one expects a tsunani. Do I call a cab and drive the pair of us to Mulholland? The cat suggests I switch channels. Channel 9 is running news, but the weather woman with the large breasts seems to know nothing about any imminent inundation.

By 9.05, I’m starting to wonder if I imagined the whole thing, and it isn’t until the 11.00 news that I learn the tsunami warning was indeed issued, as a safety measure after a seven point something off the coast up by the CA/OR stateline. Full marks for the seismic alert, but the EBS really doesn’t fucking work, despite all those irritating tests. Americans have this fetish for being kept safe from everything known to man, but the warning was nothing short of a cluster fuck tailored to create either panic or disbelief, and if the wall of water had materialized through the French windows the cat and I would have been fucked to Bakersfield. Being drowned and turned to flotsam is not what I call homeland security.

CRYPTIQUEFailure is no success at all.

The secret word is Tectonic

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Michael Jackson walks, and do I worry? Actually I’m kinda glad. I spent too much of my youth listening for the ominous bellow "get the weirdo", so I could take to my heels to avoid a beating from the more conventional youth of my village. (Although much of my time, I had a dog with me large enough to deter the neighborhood Nazis.) Certainly the joy of persecuting the freak seemed to ooze from prosecutor Tom Sneddon each time he showed up on my TV, so, all in all, I’m kinda relieved that such sentiments didn’t apparently factor into the verdict.

Over the weekend I read the NY Times and once again realized it’s a tad scarey that, in all the mainstream media, one has to wait for Frank Rich to write what ought to be fundamentally obvious, viz, viz and viz... (on Deep Throat)

"The fundamental right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate and criticize the workings of our government is under attack as never before" was how the former Nixon speech writer William Safire put it on this page almost nine months ago. The current administration, a second-term imperial presidency that outstrips Nixon's in hubris by the day, leads the attack, trying to intimidate and snuff out any Woodwards or Bernsteins that might challenge it, any media proprietor like Katharine Graham or editor like Ben Bradlee who might support them and any anonymous source like Deep Throat who might enable them to find what Carl Bernstein calls "the best obtainable version of the truth."

"The attacks continue to be so successful that even now, long after many news organizations, including The Times, have been found guilty of failing to puncture the administration's prewar W.M.D. hype, new details on that same story are still being ignored or left uninvestigated. The July 2002 "Downing Street memo," the minutes of a meeting in which Tony Blair and his advisers learned of a White House effort to fix "the intelligence and facts" to justify the war in Iraq, was published by The London Sunday Times on May 1. Yet in the 19 daily Scott McClellan briefings that followed, the memo was the subject of only 2 out of the approximately 940 questions asked by the White House press corps, according to Eric Boehlert of Salon.

"Though Nixon aspired to punish public broadcasting by cutting its funding, he never imagined that his apparatchiks could seize the top executive positions at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Nor did he come up with the brilliant ideas of putting journalists covertly on the administration payroll and of hiring an outside P.R. firm (Ketchum) to codify an enemies list by ranking news organizations and individual reporters on the basis of how favorably they cover a specific administration policy (No Child Left Behind). President Bush has even succeeded in emasculating the post-Watergate reform that was supposed to help curb Nixonian secrecy, the Presidential Records Act of 1978."

For the whole story...

My eye was also drawn to the following...
"And in Tennessee, Dr. Daniel D. Roberts gave up his ordinary practice not long ago to handle a growing workload at 10 jails across the state, nearly a third of whose prisoners, he estimates, have ravaged teeth owing to methamphetamine."
Which kinda means that one in three people doing time in Tennessee are speedfreaks. A sobering thought and a noisy jailhouse.

The secret word is Lemmy

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Smoking marijuana rather than ranting about it, one I cannot help thinking. I just watched Kevin Spacey in Beyond The Sea, the Bobby Darin story, and enjoyed it immensely, especially as Spacey was having since a good time wearing the tuxedos and doing his own singing, but there were moments when, in his Bobby Darin makeup, Spacey’s face morphed into that of an older Lee Harvey Oswald, which was cause for pause – especially as I may have the only one seeing it.. It does, however, give me a fine segue into some thoughts about what exactly our President is up to.

I’m a reasonably well known paranoid in paranoid circles, – see previous paragraph – and all my antennae are up and quivering. I seriously don’t like all the promotion of Patriot Act II, that’s going on, and how little is being said about how it one dangerous movie to play. This is the sucker with all the Gestapo clauses, and everyone should be very afraid of it because, once the Feds get these powers, it’s a hell of thing to pry them back again, and everyone, from Act Up to the Aryan Nation needs to be nervous of zealous overloaded, armed-for-bear law enforcement. Have the fundamentalists forgotten Waco so quickly? While Bush is out selling the deal on TV, we get all of these weird-ass news reports about rounding up Al Qeada "sleeper cells"and "sympathizers", plus "what-if" horror scenarios about terrorists poisoning school dinners (although I thought McDonalds had that well in hand), and a whole bunch of other demented War On Terror shit, that sounds a fuck of lot like round-up-the-usual Ay-rabs, and maybe we’ll have ourselves a lot of little Reichstags and a lot of little Rosenbergs while Bush attempts to once again ride his approval ratings from the depth of the crapper on amorphous fear.

And, on the subject of the antics of the current administration, kaymo sends us the following...
"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believe you can do these things. Among them are... a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." – President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

He includes a provenance for when Ann Coulter calls it a phoney...

Citation for those who believe that this quote is too perfect to be true: Eisenhower, Dwight D. Personal and confidential To Edgar Newton Eisenhower, 8 November 1954. In The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, ed. L. Galambos and D. van Ee, doc. 1147. World Wide Web facsimile by The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission of the print edition; Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press,1996

He also sends an H.P. Lovecraft link for those who like that sort of thing.

The secret word is Arkham