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Showing posts from April 23, 2006

the treadmill of production

LI finds the shenanigans over oil recently extremely funny and sad. To question the oil-chemical complex in any way is to invite massive retaliation – remember, conservatism in this country has nothing to do with conservative ideas. It has everything to do with well financed expression of the industry’s interests. The G.O.P., and much of the Democratic party, simply exist to forward their interests. The parties are allowed to take up hobbies, in the spirit of Junior League – the Dems going out for reproductive choice and home decorating, for instance, and the G.O.P. taking up preserving the brain dead and biking. So, even when, for instance, a pundit like Michael Kinsley comes out for a windfall tax , he hedges himself about – for instance, by saying that taxes should never, ever be used as punishment. Heavens no. In the world of pundit economics, taxes can only be used as rewards – everybody must get prizes, you see. Why punish an industry for gorging on limited resources, spending

Elephant King - Go

LI’s future murderer, Seth Grossman, is showing his film, Elephant King, in the Tribeca Film Fest. There’s a showing at Sat 4/29, 3:00pm Regal Cinemas Battery Park 11, one Tue 5/02, 10:00pm AMC Loews 34th Street 14, and one Sun 5/07, 10:00am AMC Loews Lincoln Sq 5. Seth’s totally offensive sense of humor , narcissism, and ability to entangle himself with weirdos should certainly make him a fave for anybody who reads this site! He’s up for various awards, which range from 5-8 months at Rikers to aftercare with a sex therapist for at least 2 years under the supervision of his parole officer (chemical treatment and plethysmograph to be administered on court order). Here’s an interview with him , and of course, his site is listed on our blogroll . So a big shout out to NYC – check it out.

Let’s break the department of war.

“…having a great time here in Iraq." Why, it was the Iraq and roll show with our two fave liars, Condi Rice and Don “I fucked up Tora Bora and I’m fuckin’ proud of it” Rumsfeld, yesterday, and the zombies can beam. It turns out that Iraq is “a tremendous pillar of stability through the Middle East." Who knew? And volcanoes are very good ways to fertilize the soil. That’s why you should always try to farm active ones. The two can’t stand each other – this happens in a court society in which each player depends upon a differing mix of servility and arrogance to maintain position. Since Rumsfeld’s place in the Bush pantheon seems to be fixed – he’s part of the mission, and the mission is to make America pretty much toxic and unliveable for the next fifty year – Rice has to deal with him like the senile parent that you can’t move out of the house. Rice’s tremendous success in getting the Dawa party to nominate a man with precisely the same positions as Jafari to be P.M. can o

glorious dreams, miserable dreamer

Last night, I had a wonderful dream. In this dream, I am in the midst of a people who may be Bedouins. They are dressed in flowing white robes. These Bedouins, however, have something against LI. What did I do? Well, I can’t remember that part of the dream. However, I started running, and they were coming up close behind me. Suddenly – and this has never happened to me in a dream, ever – I leaped into the air and became an eagle. Even in the dream I was a little startled by this. Sagittarius to Eagle, is that cool? So I’m an eagle. If I were a Roman, I’d immediately know not to repeat this dream to Caligula. So now I am high above the mass of white robed people. And in fact, they no longer frighten me. Instead, I mount higher and higher until I am in the middle of a cloud. And in this cloud, I become electrified. It is as if I am both an eagle and lightning. I become a network of white, branching light. I light up… Well, I awoke and had to pee, god damn it. And when I got to bed, I co

building a monument of amnesia to Chernobyl

It was inevitable that the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl would be greeted by American papers drawing the conclusion from an accident putting territory out of bounds for the next six millennia that—improvements had been made! American built reactors are safer than ever! more nuclear power is environmental! Look at those Finns! So I wasn’t surprised that the NYT did not celebrate the anniversary by some story uncovering the scandalous record of the UN’s IAEA with regard to Chernobyl – its compliance with the Soviet coverup, its outlying figures about death, its attempt to use the massive social disaggregation following the Chernobyl accident (the increase in smoking, the increase in alcoholism, the increase in malnourishment – if you can’t drink milk that is radioactive and other milk is more expensive and you have considerably less spending money, you give up drinking milk – etc.) as an excuse to say that Chernobyl deaths are exaggerated, a result of radiophobia, in effect, using the m

the age of auto/erotic fatality

... This is one of those modern instances, beloved by magazine writers. When the first study came out in 1985 that showed that there was a growing ozone hole over the Antarctic, Nasa went over its data from 74 onwards from its Nimbus 7 satellite. The satellite had never showed an ozone hole. They discovered the reason for that. The Nimbus 7’s computer was a smart computer, and it was programmed to reject certain data as evidence of faulty instruments. Among the data rejected was that showing excessively low levels of ozone. Which brings LI to George Monbiot’s interesting column in the Guardian comments are free blog. Monbiot writes that he has become a convert to the hydrogen power cell idea – which has appealed to LI’s Popular Science side since forever. He outlines the problems with the natural gas supply – especially the stranglehold it potentially gives to Russia – and the probable solution of the Blair government – nuclear power – and the increasing energy use per household in

the win-win war

Three stories about Iraqi business, today, give LI that hopeful feeling when the wind of freedom – the wind they call Moriah – sweeps through Iraq, just like our President, God bless him, has been saying. First, all LI readers will be thrilled to know that, once again, defense industry firms (and please, let’s not call the Death, Inc.) are beating forecaster estimates for another banner quarter! We are raising our screwdrivers in a patriotic salute: According to Reuters: “Lockheed and Northrop shares hit their all-time highs on Tuesday as fears of budget cuts have receded, and the Pentagon's latest strategic review, released in February, gave the green light to all kinds of expensive weapons.” Further: “The results follow a sharp profit increase for tank and submarine maker General Dynamics Corp. last week, as arms spending shows no sign of slowing down and the U.S. sets aside more money for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other two top-tier defense contractors, Boei

flotsam

For some reason, LI's comments section isn't showing all comments. Here's a comment from Mr. Rojas, the Naked Gaze blogger, re the last two posts: "Roger, This also ties back in nicely with Derrida's "Specters of Marx" theme, in the sense that it was precisely the development of artificial light during the nineteenth century which revolutionized the possibilities for the creation of ghostly apparitions (through projections, etc.), thereby informing, perhaps, Marx's fascination with spectrality." LI's far flung correspondent, Mr. T., sent us a nice anecdote about his own reading/lighting experiment: "I speculated at one point that it might be best to read things like The Brothers Karamazov and The Kreutzer Sonata and The Idiot by candlelight. What was this? This was a hope for purity, for a pure moment, a hope to encounter the author, that so much dead flesh, that foreign language, that religion....all of that that was not in the r

more light on a dark subject -- 2

Note: blogger was being uncooperative today, so I had to split this post into two posts. Sorry for the reading inconvenience. Anyway, if you want to read this all the way through, you have to scroll down to the first post, more light on a dark subject -1. Anyway, Nordhaus throughout his article is seeking, first, to quantify changes in lighting both in terms of the power of illumination and in terms of service, and then to extrapolate his results to a model for pricing technological change in general. He estimates that there was an improvement in lighting of a mere 0.04 percent per year from the Babylonian times to the nineteenth century – a period encompassing improvements in candle manufacture, but also significant decline in lighting technology and service after the fall of the Roman Empire – but that there was an increase by a factor of 900 between 1800 and 1992, with the increase coming out to 3.6 per year. And yet, he finds by traditional neo-classical pricing methods, the p

more light on a dark subject - part 1

LI has has a good time reading some of the contributions to the Spivak fest being hosted on LS. In particular, if you have time, the Naked Gaze blog (another we have to totally put on our blogroll – we are totally behind on that project, sorry sorry sorry!) gives a nice history of the triangle, Spivak, Derrida, Marx (not exactly as cinematic as Jules et Jim, but what the hey). NG does one of those Derrida things, which Derrida got from listening to five year olds on swing sets – he repeats a set phrase over and over. In NG’s case, the phrase is: "Writing at speed". As the five year old discovers, this is a good way to induce vertigo – to disturb the rigid separation of sound and sense. And it works best with words that are odd words anyway, like your name, or the name of the sister you are trying to torment. Which is the point, although exemplifying that point treads a thin line between art and bugging the shit out of the reader. That I bring in kids to talk about decon