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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Blogging for the Sake of Blogging 

Check out the collection of deleted Bloom County strips, courtesy of Platypus Comix. (Weird Harold is back!)

The main site has some pretty cool stuff, like the worst TV pilots ever made and MTV's top 20 videos of 1984. And of course there's one person in particular whom I know will enjoy the Japanese X-Men cartoon intro.

Pardon Me, I Have Nothing to Say

I really don't have a reason to blog today, other than it's been almost a week now. As I said last time, I've done little else besides read comics and play video games. I'm working my way through the Spider Man books Garrett lent me, and also reading a Star Wars novel. And listening to Eileen bark spastically whenever a truck drives by. (And since they're redoing the sidewalks, that's every five minutes.)

This is a sign from the universe: Our hyperconsumerism is incompatible with our habitat. One of them must be destroyed.


What could be better than the Belgian Farting Pig Cartoon? Any number of things, really. But thanks anyway to MonkeyFilter, which is also where I got the stuff at the top. And the SUV limo pic. Ehh, this whole post is just replicating MoFi junk.

Today I'm listening to: Lard!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm DONE! 

After more than five years and hundreds of hours of work, I have -- finally -- finished writing my novel Transmutation. In your face, everyone who said that I said every summer that I was going to finish!

When I finished writing the first three (a fantasy trilogy called The Spheriad, which I've never really tried to publish because it needs lots of revision and rewriting), it felt weird to be done. The project had been with me for half of my life (I'd started when I was in 7th grade), so I felt like I had a bit of a void in the back of my head. I'm sure I'll feel similarly here.

The image at right is from Barton Fink, the best film ever made about writing. The picture here is actually a composite; when Barton types "the end" on his screenplay, we don't see it all at once. What you see here is some masterful Photoshopping.

Now I'm going to celebrate by taking the day off, reading comics, and playing video games. Oh wait, I've done that every afternoon for the past two weeks.

An Analogy for Lebanon

I keep hearing over and over that Israel was justified in attacking civilian areas because Hezbollah was launching rockets from these residential locations, and Israel had no well-defined military targets to aim for.

Okay, imagine this: Ten people are having a party in a house. Police are tracking a criminal in the neighborhood. The criminal runs into the house party and fires at the cops. Are the police, then, justified if they chuck a load of bombs into the house?

During the American Revolution, British forces invited themselves into colonists' homes. Would American troops have been justified if they fired a cannon into such a home?

Obviously Israel is in a tight spot when Hezbollah uses civilian areas as launching zones for their rockets -- I condemn such actions in the strongest possible terms. But I won't abide Israel bombing those zones in return. This just makes the problem worse. (And it appears to have strengthened Hezbollah. And the Israeli soldiers haven't been returned.)


Orbital's The Box is a superb video. Watch it, quick -- before YouTube realizes it's copyrighted!

Today I'm listening to: Meat Beat Manifesto! (Especially Disc 1, Track 18.)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Hurray for Norway! 

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Agile, our latest viewer from across the pond. I've always been a big huge fan of all things Norwegian (for instance, my favorite of all royal dynasties is the Fairhair Dynasty), so it's thrilling to have a fan in the "land of the fjords". Cheers!

George Shadroui Is A Dork, But He Won Me My First Mention In Wikipedia

I was doing a Google ego search last night (TPCQ: "You get to work at 10:30, then you take a nap on the toilet, then you google your own name until lunch!"), and I came upon this startling tidbit: On the Wikipedia page Criticisms of Noam Chomsky, there is a link to George Shadroui's dork-butt article Dissecting Chomsky and Anti-Americanism. Then, right after it, someone included a link to my rebuttal, "George Shadroui Is a Dork".

So according to the most widely-consulted encyclopedic reference on the internet, I exist because I called a conservative commentator a dork. The system works! Thank you, Mr. Shadroui -- I guess.

More Fame News

I got a response from Ian Case! He liked it; he really liked it.
This is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. I'm as entertained as I am flattered.

I couldn't get away with playing your song on C2C (they keep a tight control on the music) but I could play it on my local show and I will.

I talk to Duke all the time still so I'll tell him about this. He'll think it's hysterical.
Well, thanks to you, Mr. Case.. er, Punnett. You're a better person than Ellis, who never said one word about the remix I did of her song "Freedom" even though I'm not hurt by it and I don't think of her as a hideous demon-child now despite the deep scar in my soul where her silence grievously wounded my creative spirit.

Concrete Example

They're ripping up big chunks of the sidewalks around our neighborhood -- and not a moment too soon! There's nothing more important for Madison to spend its time and money on than these slightly-unlevel bits of pedwalk. I'd like to give a big hug to whatever genius made this happen. I love the sound of jackhammers in the morning. It sounds like.. Well, like those bad albums I released on cassette in the mid-90s.

Kiss It Goodbye

Don't get used to this frequent blogging of mine! I've gotten rejuvinated from a summer of rest (and the youth elixir I bought in Paducah, Kentucky), so I've got energy to burn right now. But school starts in two weeks, so I'll be back to the slack by early September.

Meantime, I've got work to do on the book (two more sections to go -- if all goes to plan, I'll be finished on Wednesday), and that Barton Fink thing I've been working on. Stay tuned!


Big Bag is really stupid. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Today I'm listening to: Canibus!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Snake 'N' Bacon On A Plane! 

Had a brilliant idea whilst walking home from the local ETAN meeting tonight -- a new movie starring Samuel Jackson: Snake 'N' Bacon On A Plane! (Click to see the full-size poster.)

"I want this mother[CENSORED] snake -- and this mother[CENSORED] bacon -- off this mother[CENSORED] plane!"

"Yes, they deserved to be wiped with a towel to remove excess grease! And I hope they burn in hell!"

Ah, fun. Hey, did you notice that the actual poster is impossible? The middle section obviously belongs to the snake whose head is on the right; which means that one of those snakes is twisted up like a little weiner package near the bottom.


Thanks, Diane, for happening to watch Yo Gabba Gabba while I was making this post.

Today I'm listening to: The Perceptionists! ("Where are the weapons of mass destruction? / We been lookin' for months and we ain't found nothin' / Please, mister President, tell us somethin' / We knew from the start that your ass was bluffin!")

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Got Stuff 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, too long without a post. Much too long without a SynCast. Well, I'm on vacation, so piss off!

Aren't these ants cool? You'll recognize it, of course, as an animated verion of a famous MC Escher image. I got it from Escher for Real, via our friends at MonkeyFilter.

The writing's coming along! 4/5 of a chapter left! I should be done by next week.

Speaking of cool stuff to look at, check out these insect closeups. Eww!

And how about ten strange monuments? I really like the last one.

Did you know Stephen Baldwin -- you know, the guy from The Usual Suspects -- is a born-again Christian?
But on Sept. 11, 2001, Baldwin became a born-again Christian. He gave up smoking, stopped drinking and started showing up at US President George W. Bush's campaign events.
He's currently trying to block a planned sex shop in Nyack, New York.
The town's residents are used to celebrities and hardly even noticed him. At least not until two years ago, when Baldwin began posting large signs bearing scripture on his front lawn. ... Baldwin told a reporter with a local paper that he planned to photograph each of the porn shop's patrons and their license plates. The photos, he said, would be offered to newspapers or posted on the Web.
Kinda gives a whole new meaning to: "There's nothing that can't be done." (Sorry, it's the best TPCQ I can remember from TUS.)

I think Josh was the one who linked us to the Ted Steven Tubes Remix. Thanks, J.

Hey, look -- I found Ian Case! I hope he likes the Your Crayons Are Squeaking! Remix.

Okay, enough. I have stuff to do. Have a good rest of the summer, everyone!


The Powers of Ten is a really cool video zooming out from Earth, and then zooming into the human body. Awesome stuff. And don't forget The Simpsons' version!

Today I'm listening to: Zero Crossing! (A good album, but I wish every track were as excellent as the Intro.)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Diane = Famous! (Again) 

If you were watching ABC's show Good Morning, America today (and I'm quite sure you were), then you got to see another appearance of hottie Center for Media & Democracy researcher Diane Farsetta as she discussed a new video making fun of Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. (The video looks like a slacker basement project, but it was actually produced by DCI Group, a PR firm representing -- among others -- ExxonMobil. You can read all about it on the CMD "Spin of the Day" site.)

Go D!

They're Scanning Me

The people at the coffee shop have been reading my blog. I can think of no other explanation for the fact that on two separate occasions this morning -- after weeks and weeks where the bell has been silent -- in which customers and children of customers rang the little bell over and over and over.

This is my theory: The Man has found out about the brilliant and subversive novel I'm writing, and in an attempt to corrupt the magnificent quality of my writing (especially the cleverly bad-on-purpose chapter in progress, which will lend the work a tremendous mass appeal), He is sending people into my workspace in order to screw with my head.

I'm onto you, The Man!


This actually is a TimeInvestor™: Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land, an 80-minute documentary about how the media covers (and doesn't cover) the Middle East. Includes interviews with a wide variety of folks, including Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk. I can't remember where I heard about it.

Today I'm listening to: The fan next to my desk!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Word on Discipline 

Listen up, parents! Many of you already know this, but I'm here to repeat it on behalf of the Annoyed People Of The World Who Must Deal With Misbehaving Children™: When you set a limit for your child, you are thenceforth responsible for enforcing and maintaining that limit.

I was in the coffee shop this morning, working on the novel. (Two chapters left -- I'm gonna do it! In your face, Josh!) Here comes a woman with her kid, who immediately seizes the little bell on the counter, to be used for getting the clerk's attention. (TPCQ: "My name is Chet!")

Mom said to Junior: "You can ring it once. Just once, okay?" Junior rings it once. Mom says: "Okay, now put it back." Junior rings it again. And again. Ring ring ring. Ring in your ears, mister writer guy in the next room. Ring ring! Ring ring ring. Hope you weren't right in the middle of a paragraph or anything! Ring ring ring. "Okay," Mom says. "That's enough. Put it down." Ring ring ring.

Here's the way this should go: "You can ring it once." Ring. "Okay, that's it." Mom takes bell and puts it back. "But why can't I ring it, Mom?" "Because," Mom says. "We're in a quiet place. And when you're in a quiet place, you need to be quiet. People are working and reading, and we have to respect that. The bell is here to get the clerk if s/he is away from the counter, not to be used as a toy. When we get home you can ring your own bells all you want."

There's no need to be nasty or blindly authoritative -- kids respect logic, they really do -- but you have to hold your ground. Being lenient so that your kid will think of you as Their Pal is stupid, and it's bad parenting. That's a value judgment, and I'm making it.

I know classroom discipline is different from parenting, and I know it's much more stressful to have to be a parent all the time. (After class, they're out of my room for 23 hours and 10 minutes.) But I also know that if you waffle on what the rules are or how we're going to act as humans, you let the kid push the boundaries until what you say doesn't matter.

Then what happens when you tell the kid not to worship Satan?

The Life of the Mind

The chapter of the book I'm working on now is a mixture of five different styles -- romance, detective, etc -- so basically I'm writing pulp. Purposefully bad pulp. The first bit is the romance section, so basically this morning I turned out nine pages of wretched syrupy puke. I actually got bored with it as I wrote it. A direct quote: "His eyes met hers, and everything else around her vanished. Her heart raced as his oceanic gaze penetrated deep into her. Time stood still and her mind swam with euphoria." Blaurrgggh!

My greatest fear is that someone will read that section someday and tell me: "Hey this is good. You should write romance novels."


Thanks to Diane for linking us to It's Jerry Time! Highly polished cartoons about Jerry and his wacky true-life adventures. Check out his trouble in Gettysburg.

Today I'm listening to: Autechre!