Saturday, December 20, 2003


I have never been a big fan of the idea of being disassembled into my component sub-atomic particles, beamed or otherwise transmitted somewhere else and then reassembled, so when, last week, a think tank in Birmingham, England, predicted – a little rashly I thought – that in a hundred years computer capacity would be such to make such a thing so, I was forced to re-analyze why I was firmly against the whole business. The first time I encountered the idea was in the Dan Dare strip in The Eagle when I was about five years old. The Treens on Venus had a device called the Electro-sender which beamed Dan Dare and his lower class sidekick Digby (this was England in the 1950s) from somewhere near the Venusian flame belt to the northern capital of Mekonta. Even this early, a hint that all might not be right with such a system was implanted when Digby came through somewhat disarrayed. Then The Fly was released with all its help-me, help-me, Vincent Price consequences. (Which were repeated twice with Jeff Goldblum and then Bart Simpson getting the insect head.) Finally I watched all those decades of Star Trek with only Dr. McCoy treating the transporter as a potential hazard.

For most, the fear is seemingly that one won’t materialize in the same physical shape as one left, but this has never worried me. Any kind of travel involves risk, and all one can do is play the odds and hope for the best. My distrust of the transporter is far more metaphysical. I wonder if the “you” that arrives at the destination is really the same “you” that left the embarkation point. Okay, so it’s identical in every detail, atoms, molecules, mannerisms, memories, but is it really "you"? What’s to guarantee that it’s not an entirely new entity, an exact replica in every respect, but a different being, while, meanwhile, the original “you” is dead, gone, finished, croaked, deceased, and otherwise tuning up with the Choir Celestial. By this reasoning, a whole stadium full of James T. Kirks could have died riding the transporter in Star Trek, and no one really ever gave a rat’s ass as long as the replicas were seamless and perfect. Even the replicas wouldn’t know the difference because, according to their memory, they would have gone through the process unscathed. They swear blind that they're the original. (They only find out to their eternal cost, the next time they are beamed up or down.) In other words, no one cares whether it’s the real “you” are not. As long as it’s a close enough facsimile for rock & roll.

Friday, December 19, 2003


Munz informs me that The Death of Joan Vollmer Burroughs: What Really Happened? by Uncle Bill Burroughs' long-time friend and trustee of the writer's estate, James Grauerholz, can be downloaded from

While HelgaLA forwards the following – “JACKO FINDS ISLAM: The King of Pop is restyling himself as Jacko X. Michael Jackson last night became a member of the Nation of Islam - and sources said his religious changeover comes along with a shake-up of his personal staff. High-ranking members of the Nation of Islam have been working to bring Jackson into Reverend Louis Farrakhan's flock - and Jackson's conversion is now well-known in the Nation Of Islam community. Exactly why Jackson converted was not clear to sources. But Fox News' Web site reported yesterday that Jackson's brother Jermaine, who converted to Islam in 1989, has been seeking to win favor with his more famous sibling, and has brought Farrakhan's chief of staff, Leonard F. Muhammad, into Jacko's inner circle as a "bodyguard." That's just one of many changes under way in Jackson's inner circle, sources said.” Which I guess is as good a way as any to remind the world that he’s one more black man up on a possibly bogus rape rap.

While the lovely natalein offered a link to a funny, Bush-bashing cartoon that should maintain morale among the troops. –

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Blog? You gotta a problem with that? Yeah, I’ve started to blog even though my dislike of the word kept me away from the whole process for quite a while. I mean, blog wasn’t even on my spellcheck. (But then again neither is “spellcheck.”) Finally a very dear friend dared me – on penalty of my techno-pride – to I check it out. And, in the course of a single weekend, I took to the process like a duck to water. Or maybe Daffy Duck walking off the cliff (but he only falls when he looks down.) Obviously blogging is a seductive lure for us egomaniacs who believe their every thought is of such immense fucking significance that needs to communicated to the world. I was also attracted to the fluidity and ease of the system, and that, in a weird way, it rather resembled an advanced and more lucid version of Uncle Bill Burroughs cut-up fixation, plus blog-time tended have the appearance of running backwards, something that would obviously have its attractions for me. Also I like the transitory, message-in-bottle feel about it. Is anyone out there actually reading this?

After running for a few days on a simple blogspot template, Rich Deakin of Funtopia came into the picture and customized the whole thing which made me very happy, and I’m now free to start thinking, gathering, cutting, pasting, and generally keeping a non-linear internal diary and scrapbook, with links, lures and all kinds of good stuff -- plus the usual errors and typos -- and hopefully something new at least every couple of days. The admiring and the pissed off are welcome to email me at...

...but be warned that relevant communications may find themselves posted. The friend who got me started also told me to talk to Rich about activating a comments device, but that is obviously something for the future. Assuming, of course, that there is a future.