Saturday, December 31, 2005

Global Terrorism in Ann Arbor *UPDATE*

I have just received an exclusive fax from Hamas regarding a recent attack on an expensive late model car in Ann Arbor, MI. I'm not sure why they faxed it, but them and Islamic Jihad are the only reason we still have a fax machine at my house. Anyway, we also received a video from a robotic camel jockey that stopped by our house (on camel, of course). Mossad has asked me not to release it until tomorrow, so stop by then. It is some serious, serious shit.

While we are having trouble getting the video posted, I was recently able to interview one of the terrorists by phone.

A: So. Mr. Ibrahim. You chose terrorism. Why?
Muqtada Ibrahim: I wanted to strike back at the Americans. They are insufferable. Besides wearing garish clothing and driving expensive vehicles, they also see our women naked with their night-vision goggles.
A: How do they do that?
M: The night-vision gogles can see through clothing. They look at our wives fully clothed and are able to see see their biz and kus. This is disrespectful towards us.
A: I'm not sure night-vision goggles can do that....
M: They can! Whose side are you on?
A: Sorry, sorry. Well, have you ever thought about the possibility that your wives might want people to see their biz and kus?
M: No, I guess I hadn't. Wow. Maybe the Americans are really good people after all.
A: Well, I'm not so sure about that. What did you do to the shit-eating sharmuta Americans?
M: We were very angry, because, at the time, we felt that the Americans were looking at our wives and shitting in our mosques.
A: The Americans shat in your mosques?
M: Well, old Abdul would always say that. He said that they shat in the Mosques and wiped their asses bloody with sheets from the Qur'An.
A: The Holy Qur'An, the gift of the Most Bestest Lord in Heaven, through the Messenger Mohammed?
M: Yes, that's what Abdul always said. He said he saw it with his own eyes.
A: Are you aware that Abdul is a... Well, Abdul sticks his zabourah inside other men's... uh ...he's sort of.... a homosexual.
M: No... It can't be.
A: I'm afraid it is. Now, you can tell me--did Abdul ever stick---
M: NO! NEVER!!! I must go.
A: Ciao, Homo.

Friday, December 30, 2005


When those of the people who live in St. Louis return there at some point after the holidaze, I shall be hosting a super aspirin mask party. As my homeboy Marshall Sontag once said,

Wow, this is super! My girlfriend Brittany just made this and it's all over my face now. I Googled for "aspirin mask" before trying it, and came up with this webpage.

Everyone raved about it, so I decided to give it a try. Brittany says she's so lucky to have a boyfriend that likes doing facials with her -- what do you think?

I'm hoping this strange feeling I am having will be gone when I wake up in the moanin'.

Odwalla is nothing; how about

Below is the text of an email I sent tonight. It is the work of a troubled mind, I admit. I'm not really sure why I wrote, nor am I sure why I am posting it up here. It is a low-minded and nasty attack on one of the proletariat of the new knowledge-based economy, an "" moderator. At this moment I think I can understand why Rousseau wrote about framing that maid or whatever. Sometimes it's nice just to air out the smelly and nasty parts of our souls.

Fri, Dec 30, 2005 at 6:01 AM

Ms. Rosenberg-
The following is excerpted from your article titled "Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 Over Lockerbie":

"Though the flight held passengers from 21 countries, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 hit the United States especially hard. Not only because 189 of the 259 people on board were Americans, but because the bombing shattered America's sense of safety and security. Americans in general felt trodden upon by the unknown danger of terrorism.

Though there is no doubt of the horror of this crash, this bomb and its aftermath was just the most recent in a string of similar events.

As revenge for the bombing of a Berlin nightclub where two U.S. personnel were killed, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya's capital Tripoli and the Libyan city of Benghazi in 1986. Some people think that bombing Pan Am Flight 103 was in retaliation for these bombings.

In 1988, the USS Vincennes (a U.S. aircraft carrier) shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing all 290 people on board. There is little doubt that this caused as much horror and sorrow as the explosion on Flight 103. The U.S. government claims that the aircraft carrier mistakenly identified the passenger plane as an F-14 fighter jet. Other people believe that the bombing over Lockerbie was in retaliation for this disaster.

Right after the crash, an article in Newsweek stated, '[I]t would be up to George Bush to decide whether, and how, to retaliate' (Jan. 2, 1989, pg. 14). Does the United States have any more right to "retaliate" than do the Arab countries?"

First, there is major inconsistency in your titling of the incident: is it a crash, as you call it twice here, or a bombing? While, as you document in other parts of the article, parts of the plane did "crash" into the ground, the incident was eventful, not because of the laws of gravity which would seem to make these crashes inevitable, but because someone bombed the airplane. It is strange that you do not use the word when you are describing the pieces of the jet hitting the ground, but only when its use would seem deceitful: when you evaluate the reasons for the attack. The fact that you only use the word "Crash" when attempting to evaluate the morality of event is strange.

Second, I was under the impression that strives to be objective. Indeed, the ethics policy of the site says that objectivity is one of your guiding principles. But your question at the end of the above quotation seems to be unobjective: " Does the United States have any more right to "retaliate" than do the Arab countries?" Ms. Rosenberg, as a long-time customer of (I remember when it was called "The Mining Company"), I find this question to be offensive and unintelligent. One, it seems to group all of the "Arab Countries" into one group. This kind of thought has a long history, as analyzed by Edward Said in his seminal work Orientalism. Do all Arab countries now have the right to retaliate for any alleged crimes committed against the others? This implicit assumption seems simple-minded and racist. Because I am a citizen of the United States, do I now have the right to retaliate for crimes against "the Anglo countries"? Second, putting the word "retaliate" in quote marks is even stranger. Is "retaliation" a concept that doesn't have a defined use? It does, please consult your favored dictionary. Third, I'm not sure that people want an ostensibly objective source to pose these sorts of questions. It is not your job to evaluate questions of right. Instead, people come to to find objective information. Attempting to sound objective by posing a question does not count, especially when you must preface your comparison of the situation with a warning like this: "Though there is no doubt of the horror of this crash, this bomb and its aftermath was just the most recent in a string of similar events". If you write something that needs to be prefaced with a comment such as this, best to erase it. If you are attempting to be objective, that is. Objectivity is not the same as moral relativism, Ms. Rosenberg. As Nietzsche observed, the pursuit of truth is motivated by moral or perhaps supra-moral convictions. If you can't stand by them, then do us all a favor and do not claim to possess them.

Reflecting on this email as a whole, I think the last quotation remarkably apt. While there is no doubt of the bad writing of this email, this one is just the most recent in a string of horrendous writing. I apologize, it's late and I'm writing about events that trouble me, morally questionable events. I'm sure you understand.

Austin L. C. Thompson
Strange, huh?


Munich reminds me of something for which Harold Bloom argues in The Western Canon: Great literature may make you a better person or teach you something, but that is secondary to what makes it great literature, which is its aesthetic value. The same, obviously, applies to movies. And regardless of whether you agree with its message, Munich is a damn good movie.
I think in this case, however, aesthetic value is closely linked with the message of the film. If there's one thing this film says, it is that terrorism, war etc. have left us with a world with a lot of moral ambiguity. You can say that something is wrong, or that it's right, but the reality is this: most of the time you don't have time to decided if you're really doing the right thing or not. Which means that you might be doing the wrong thing alot of the time. Democracy is notorious for its 20-20 hindsight; on the other hand military and intelligence organizations are notorious for their desire not to look back. We need some sort of middle ground: we should seek to understand what has happened but do so with the knowledge that we'll generally know a lot more from an historical standpoint than we did in the history we're studying.
I think the movie also points out something else, which contradicts something I just said: terrorism didn't bring these questions into view. They've always been there and we're not gonna get rid of them. In the end, ambiguity is always going to be there. The question of whether or not the movie correctly portrays things is sort of bullshit: don't go to a movie for your historical fact, or, for that mattter, to learn anything, except for the Weltanschauung of the creators.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Top 10 worst Americans list

So there's been an American blog response to the recently posted BBC Top 10 Worst Britons of All Time list. See more on the lists here and here. I thought we could at least come up with a Worst Americans of 2005 list. Here's mine...

10. Tom Cruise- Easily the most annoying rich twerp on the planet, can find nothing better to do with his $1 million-an-hour time than make a complete ass of himself and everyone remotely connected with him. Sure, there are more unjust Americans out there, but Cruise is a stand-in here for all ridiculously self-absorbed, self-important, criminally overpaid Hollywood marionettes.

9. Ramsey Clark, Saddam's Lawyer- I'm not saying that it's a crime to represent Saddam, but Clark needs to learn how to pick his battles. When you've provided counsel for Nazis, David Koresh, and Slobodan over the years, you're just giving Americans and even lawyers a bad name.

8. John Yoo- The jury's still out on what Berkeley law professor John Yoo really thinks about torture and executive privilege, but we can all read the memos and formulate our own opinions. Along with Alberto Gonzalez one of the principle architects of all things screwy having to do with POW's and domestic spying. More here.

7. Noam Chomsky- I used to laugh at the notion that a tool like Chomsky could possibly influence that many people. But Prospect Magazine's Top 100 Intellectuals readers poll put him at number one with a bullet--he received almost twice as many votes as #2, Umberto Eco (?!) This is a hard one for me because I do admire Chomsky's eagerness to point out US hypocrisy. The only problem is that the US simply isn't a fascist continuation of the Third Reich, as he is wont to insinuate. For that, he is numero siete.

6. Bill Kristol- I don't expect to agree with Bill Kristol on anything. But I can't condone shameless excuse-making and blind, ra-ra cheerleading whenever Bush so much as changes his toilet paper roll. He's had a few intellectually honest moments in the past few years (calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, sticking by true conservative principles during the Myers nomination), but by and large he's a torture-approving, NSA-championing creep.

5. The Rev. James Dobson- There's a special place in my spleen reserved for the Religious Right, and the good Reverend has done more this year to deserve his place there than any other, and that's including Jesus-fellating loony Pat Robertson. Lessee--stem cell research, gay marriage, "curing" homosexuality, collapsing church and state, phone chatting with Karl Rove, opposing women's lib, attacking Spongebob Squarepants--this guy is a caricature of superstitious buffoonery and small-minded exurb tendencies; the only problem is, people fucking listen to him, including many of our highest elected officials.

4. Stanley Tookie Williams- Here's where the shit starts. I should state that I 1) oppose the death penalty and 2) appreciate what Williams did for educating children about gangs and ending gang violence after his change of heart. I guess more than anything I'm disgusted by the sense of cause celebre and apologetics that sprang up around this case. Williams killed four innocent people and started one of the most violent gangs in America. He deserved the utmost punishment, albeit not capital punishment. If you want to oppose his death, fine; if you want to support his life, his whole life, you have problems. His funeral was a disgrace, with gang members hobnobbing with rappers and other celebrities. I doubt that Williams himself would have appreciate the gang signs being thrown around in the wake of his death. What a fucking debacle for everyone involved.

3. Karl Rove- For all the usual reasons.

2. Jack Abramoff- This man's life reads like a ridiculous movie script, but he has somehow actually accomplished the astounding amount of scandal attributed to him. 1) Op-ed payola 2) DeLay connections and international golfing trips 3) SunCruz casino and the murder of "Gus" Boulis, the previous owner 4) Indictment for bank fraud 5) the Indian ("monkeys," "morons," "troglodytes") Reservation scandal 6) Connections with DeLay, Rove, Grover Norquist, Bob Ney, John Doolittle, Conrad Burns, all of whom will likely be fucked by Abramoff's plea bargain. 2006 will see who goes under thanks to this one lobbyist.

1. It's a tie! The entire Bush Cabinet! For Rumsfeld consistently shortchanging troops and distorting war costs, for Cheney fighting McCain to the end to allow for CIA tortue, for Condoleezza Rice and her embarrassing comments on rendition in Europe, for Alberto Gonzalez and his ankle-grabbing kowtowing to Bush's every whim, and to the Commander-in-Chief himself, for running the most opaque, misleading, religious-right-pandering, insular, wanton, treaty-flauting administration of our short lives, and probably of all time, or at least since Nixon, hallelujah and amen. (As a liberal, I'm not sure that I've ever given myself over to that kind of rhetoric, but it feels pretty good doing it just once.)

Thank you and goodnight.

99 Capitalist things I did tonite

Attn Huffy Crew-

I haven't seen a new post in days, so I'm just gonna spout some truth, gettin it how I live you know I'm sayin? Tonight's activities were a perfect example of capitalism in action- just look hya: Tonight was my boy Selden's 22nd birthday, so we gotsta celebrate, kna mean, so we head down to the local watering hole in my 1995 Toyota Camry, capitalist possibility #1, available only through the neoliberal international trade agreements between the U.S. of Goddamn A. and the ol' Japanesa man, gettin a drink at the bar, capitalist possibility #'s 1-35, the different beer combinations available to me via my pay from capitalist institution #345677, Vintage Vinyl records St. Louis, plus some cake from some capitalist venture or another, plus headin' downtown but decline capitalist rational interest choice #454652384923, whether or not to pay $10 to attend crappy dance club, then off to establishment 9584358a midtown bar where we partook in a $5 beer bust and drank more beers than each according to his need, kna 'm sayin, then I went home to use the non-state-sponsored interweb to let all y'all know and all I gotsta say is DAMN~! do I love the joys of not driving my shitty workers' made car to the local Communist civic center for propaganda hour and rationed portion of allotted spirits available to a good Party member, so FUCK COMMUNISM and long live big business and local business, BOO YAH. Peaz.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Night Owls

In the tradition of Thomas Hobbes:

[Blogger Nexus, what]
Whereas men (and women), spending long nights in front of the computer screen are prone, by nature, to post comments rapidly back and forth. In such cases, there is no seeming order of communication, and the persistent ANTICIPATION and pressing of the refreshe button produces warre amongst the posters. In such case these bloggers should, in accordance with the 8th lawe of nature, band together under contract in some "chat" bond, known henceforth as a BLOGGER NEXUS. This chat program, whether through Instant Messenenger or a chat room on the Internet itself, will foster communication in real time, bringing forth a state of peace and mutual communication.

Thus, can we join/form some chat?

Monday, December 26, 2005

What's happening to my body?

You haven't hit puberty until you can recognize the domination of the culture industries. I just received an anonymous e-mail with the subject: Re: culture industry--URGENT. I almost flipped myself out of the computer chair, now leather thanks to American Airlines, capitalism, and Beverly Hills, and loaded my pants. But it said URGENT! Was this the answer I had been waiting for? Or even better - was it the one they call Morpheus? - finally recognizing my work and requesting my help! Was it someone who believed in what I was saying?! It was neither of these:

"Firstly, you are wrong: the culture industry as domination is a myth. Everyone is different. Deal with it"

Enclosed was also a map detailing the steps in this prodigy's line of thinking:

The size of the fingers in relation to the map and the language of the letter meant one thing: this person had size, probably a penis over 6 inches and was using more than half of his brain. I called my mother, the psychologist, for further analysis:

Freudess: "Nice one. I mean, the "deal with it." It's classic. When I worked at Mayo there was celebrity after celebrity checking in, just one after the other, complaining that their lives were as bad as those with cancer. This is what they would say. They would check in and just holler at everyone about how bad their lives were. We gave them a test. It turned out they ranked their lives exactly as bad as our cancer patients. And you know why? Do you know why these people were so upset? Largess. This person has Largess."

Ben: "What does that mean, exactly?"

Freudess: "You don't want to know. You probably already do."

The rest of the e-mail was no better:

"even your brainwashed bebe buying,bar blonde chick IS UNIQUE, somewhere."

Momma does know best - this guy just get his kicks from putting others down,ruining people's lives, pretending he knows a lot about the world around him. Granted, this kid goes to Wash U so he must be pretty smart. But he should just stay in the books for the sake of others around him, for the rest of the human community. This reminds me of something:

"And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state, is either a bad man or above humanity; he is like the "Tribeless, lawless, hearthless one, "

Stay in your books......and away from the TV.

Guy Fawkes' Night Blogging; Happy Kwanzaa!

I was just reading MetaFilter , which I am increasingly convinced is a waste of time. The comments section, at least, offers some of the dumbest and illiterate political commentary available on the web. There's a post there about some stupid new playlist generator that will make you a playlist based on your mood or something (which is actually probably cool but I'm just too jaded and cynical and indie right now to deal with it). Anyway, the second comment just blew me away. I am reproducing it in its entirety right here:

It feels like there's something wrong here.
posted by interrobang at 11:01 PM PST on December 25

This comment is sheer genius, for reasons that I am not quite sure of. You just can't tell what the fuck this guy is talking about, but, regardless, you feel the need to empathize with him. There's something wrong for godsake. i feel the need to solve this problem. But what is it? When I break it down, I can conceive of exactly four options:
  1. Bad trip. I mean, any trip where you're commenting on a nerdy website is going to be bad, but this one just got out of hand entirely.
  2. This guy has read all the Delillo, Baudrillard, Lyotard, and Althusser available and can fucking see(with the help of glasses) the postmodern condition. And it's not looking good. This could mean that this guy is Fishstix. I will look for confirmation when we meet in LA.
  3. This is closely intertwined with #2. Motherfucker hasn't read shit. Instead, he can fucking feel the zeitgeist. This opens up two further options:
    1. I'm thinking that the internet may have become sentient, and has named itself "interrobang". Weird shit. Had to happen sometime, though.
    2. But if he's human, Cheney will find this guy and use him for all he's worth. This option is probable. Buy your Halliburton now. Sell Alcoa.
  4. It's a girl. There's a specific one I have in mind, and if it's her, then 4 and 1 are identical. She is on massive amounts of drugs. And she is depressed. No one understands her. She will have sex with you. I'm cancelling my flight to Texas next week. This could be dangerous.
What's for damn sure is that we have reached a major (perhaps epistemic) break in history. No onecan really know what the appropriate action is except for interrobang him/it/herself. I just went to the gas station, and bought one budweiser, one icehouse, and one pabst (all 24 ounces). And a hotdog. The lady working there told me that they were now getting their hot dog buns from Hostess. It was $5.26.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Daniel Pipes

Look, I enjoy a bit of orientalism as much as the next guy, but this is just amazing:

In contrast, the Turkish authorities, marching to a different drummer as is so often the case, rely on classical music to quiet their forces. The so-called "Steel Force" units, the baton-swinging riot police notorious for their tough tactics against street protesters, are forced to listen to Mozart and Beethoven in their buses on the way to operations as a way to calm them down.

We have colonized the Oriental superego. They pacify their wild, animalistic urges with our clever music. That's some serious Manchurian Candidate shit.
From Daniel Pipes.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I say godDAMN it feels good to be an atheist!

I am blogging to report a momentous occasion. My parents and brother just left for the Christmas Eve service and I, for the first time in 20 years, am not being dragged along with them. Everyone is kind of pissed - my brother thinks it's not fair, my dad thinks I'm being selfish, and my mom is kind of hurt and disappointed because it's important to her. Now, normally I feel really guilty if I upset my parents, especially if the situation is avoidable. And I'll probably start going with them again next year just because it means more to my mom that I go than it does for me not to go. But I'm giving myself this one year of freedom from the Christmas Eve service, and let me tell you, I feel so fucking liberated that I'm about to cream my pants. My parents have been pounding my asshole with the proverbial giant cock of Christianity for as long as I can remember, and I have always resisted. My lack of spirituality has probably been the single biggest point of contention between me and my parents and it just feels so fucking good to have finally reached the age when I am allowed to make my own decisions about whether or not to participate in any sort of religious activity. I have dreamed about this day for almost two decades, and now that it has arrived, it may be one of the few things I've ever experienced that is actually better in real life than I ever even imagined it would be. Aaaaaa-MEN brothers!

Rival Blogs

Let us give thanks tonight for this blog and all the joys it has brought: a sense of community, friends for me, some discourse, and some knowledge. This blog is important to me. But there is a major cause for concern. A rival blog has been set up by Mark Kaplan: He attempts philosophical discussion similar to ours, indeed he even mentions Jameson's Archeologies of the Future and is really into reading.

Last night at the Thompson-Cottingham Household: A Play

Austin and Alex in the spare bedroom/Mom’s study.

(Austin is laying in bed, trying to set up his laptop. Alex is using the internet on Mom’s computer).

Austin: Great, I have to listen to this shitty music. Christ.

Alex: Oh, so Beck is shitty music now.

Austin: Yeah.


Austin: Did you think that I didn’t know it was Beck? Or did you think that I didn’t know that Beck was shitty music?

Alex: Jesus fuckin’ Christ. Can you just leave me alone, I’m just trying to write an email. A relaxed Email.

Austin: Yeah, I’m just going to put my earphones in so I don’t have to listen to this shit.

Alex: Goddamnit Austin. Just fuckin leave.

Austin: I can’t just lay down on my own bed and use my computer?

Alex: Just leave, damnit. You’re a real fuckin asshole.

Austin: What the fuck is wrong with you? Why didn’t you say you wanted me to leave before I set up my computer? Who are you?

(Austin leaves, walks down hall)

Alex(heard screaming from in the room): Goddamnit, I can’t even fuckin write now. Jesus fucking Christ. You’re a fucking asshole..

(Austin puts in headphones in living room. Smiles)

What makes this night different from any other night?

The independent posts the 12 questions of christmas. One of them tells us that Charles Cheek from my high school football was right. Jesus was blacker than the night, or at least as black as King Kong. This is the weirdest thing I have ever read in a newspaper:

The "black/white" argument is easily settled if one follows the American test of whether someone is racially "black". Under the " one-drop rule" if any person has any black ancestors he or she is considered "black" even if they have pale skin colour. Under this rule, Mariah Carey, LaToya Jackson and Jesus would all be classified as " black".

No further comment.

Down to the Elite Eight

Here is the official tally for the reading club as of 12:30 PM, December 24:

McEwan- 3
Fowles- 3
Rushdie- 2
Kolakowski- 2
Smith- 1
Ishiguro- 1
Jameson- 1
Wilentz- 1

If everyone wants to give voice to their opinions one more time, that should be enough to decide the final winner. Then the great reading shall begin!

Silencing the poets

A major question in Plato's Republic is whether or not it is at all possible to found the ideal state in the real world. Well, it's happening, or at least some aspects of it. Just see this and this from Arts and Letters Daily (heads up: link 2 is from Daniel Pipes, a notorious Orientalist, but there's interesting stuff there). Our old pal Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is at it again, it seems. He wasn't the first, though. Check out this quote from the Ayatollah Khomeini:

"If their music does not dull the mind, they will not be prohibited. Some of your music is permitted. For example, marches and hymns for marching. . . . Yes, but your marches are permitted."

Socrates similarly allows for certain odes and choral marches in Books 2 and 3, but tragedy, Homer, Hesiod, comedy, and even representative artwork are verboten. In Platonic studies, one sometimes loses sight of just how prohibitive and totalitarian the guy can be. But when we see just what extreme Platonism "looks like" in the real world, as certain college professors would have it, it's pretty fucking freaky.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Unabashed political correctness

So everybody knows how the original King Kong had unsettling racial overtones about bringing the black "Other" out of the jungle and into civilization, where he runs amok on account of a beautiful blonde white girl, right?

Weeeell, in 2005 we ain't faring much better. I treated myself to Peter Jackson's 3 hour monster last night, and while it was excellent, I was hung up on some of the weird cultural undertones. The great thing is, they've turned the Kong-girl relationship from a bi-racial to a bestial one, which is more fucked up but less offensive. Then there's the islanders, the tribe on Skull Island. I'm not sure if blacks have ever been so viciously depicted. The fucked up thing is, the island is supposed to be off the coast of Singapore, but there's not a Chinesa man among them. They're black as asphalt, and they spend all their screen time rolling their white eyes and doing this weird tribal "shake dance" thing. The trick, of course, is to even this bit of racism out by making the first mate the noblest black man ever. He's the only guy on the ship dressed like a self-respecting gentleman, and he constantly hammers home how he was in the army and quotes from Heart of Darkness (what a useful and strangely intelligent Negro!). Has anyone else seen the film or noticed this yet?

(I also anxiously await the actual bestial porno that will inevitably come out of all this: Ding Dong. Other suggestions for topical porns: Bareback Mountin', Mammaries of a Geisha, Layin' the Bitch in the Wardrobe)

To illustrate a point

I am no longer a Marxist, but believe in him. The problem is that Marxism makes me unselfish and communal and I need to be the opposite in this place if I am going to survive. So I can not call myself a Marxist, though I believe in him.

So I am a Libertarian, but am really a Marxist.

This is because, as everything has become commoditized and contradictory, I can adopt whatever I want to satisfy my identity needs. So in order to satisfy my identity needs, I am a libertarian and a marxist. The only problem is that someone may point out the contradictions and then my identity will be contradictory. But, in keep with transvestities or transsexuals, who retain their hairy chests yet have vaginas, I am still allowed to be whatever I want, even if they are contradictory. I will act like a libertarian, but deep down trick myself into thinking I am a Marxist.

The ridiculousness of this stage of history.

Walter: A Name most Popular in the 1910s

In this somewhat clumsily written, though otherwise quite intriguing biography about Walter Lippman, I've been struck by a few things about both the subject's college career and the Progressive era in general that I think might be of interest. From my understanding, Lippman was your typical New York upper middle class Jewish boy, well educated and well fed. He was smart --far superior to his average colleagues at Harvard (you can't forget that Harvard at the time was just beginning to come out of its long tradition of championing the athlete over teh intellectual, the drunken aristocratic over the minority do-gooder) -- and he decided to become a Socialist, giving his outsider status (Jews couldn't join the eating clubs or many other fraternal organizations) some directed political meaning.
Lippman was a great writer and a strong thinker, according to the biographer. Yes, yes, all true. You can't become the most prolific and powerful American journalist of the 20th century without being these things. But check out this sentence Lippman wrote that was apparently so shocking and awe-inspiring that William James went to the 20-year-old Lippman's door to congratulate him and begin a tradition of afternoon tea and philosophic conversation:

"The simple workingman ... has gone on genially producing houses he will never enter except to repair them, producing food while his own children go to school unfed; building automobiles so that fashionable ladies may take their Teddy Bears out for an airing in Newport."

I would never dispute that this is a fine sentence. But i'llbedamned if this same sentence wasn't uttered daily by every liberal woman in the country, and every male intellectual or worker who was somewhat persuaded by Marx. Am I just jealous that my Cadenza articles don't keep Gerald Early up at night, and that William Gass hasn't been banging on my door anytime soon for a squash match and a conversation about Superintendent Frank Spaulding? You're damned right I am.
After all, the rest of the Lippman Harvard years don't seem so different from our own. Yes, he was a formal debater (what happened to these people?), and yes, he was involved with several political journals, editing a few. But he stayed up late in the night with beer and Nietzsche, too. And what's more, the most difficult French theorist he ever had to read was de Toqueville. Fucking H.G. Wells was considered the greatest living novelist!
I contend that if Lippman was born today he would be the equivalent of a Slate writer: fine with the pen, sharp with the intellect, but unworthy of a 650 page biography. What makes him so special is that he achieved his fame in the Progressive era, a time when all 15 Americans with a college education were dominating decision-making at every level. I went into this biography looking for a kind of "monumental history" but so far have come out just feeling rotten. I would move on to some of the non-fiction suggestions listed by Scranton, but their average page numbers top 1000 (the European history and democratic genealogy, especially). Which leaves me with only one choice: "SA-TUR-DAY"!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blog Revenue

This may seem really weird, but I'm thinking about signing up for google adsense. This would probably make us a trivial amount of money, but maybe we'll be big someday and it'll actually mean something. Or maybe it would make enough money for us to have a bloggers-only dinner party before graduation. Who knows?
Adsense would be part of a greater plan I have for the blog, and that I think the rest of you would enjoy as well. We are all very intelligent people; that's why you're here. We have interesting ideas, and our lives are interesting in different ways as well. All of this is going to increase in the next six months. Fishstix and Mardre will still be at Wash U, and their posts will remind us of our former lives and tell us how our alma mater has changed. Scantron will be continuing his (probably lifelong) stay in academia. The rest of us will be working(if we can find jobs) in some form or another.
All of that means that our perspectives will be changing in significant ways. It's an opportunity to really write good stuff. No matter what you plan to do for the rest of your life, writing is going to be really fucking important. Sure, reading is fun, and so is a lot of other stuff. But no other activity forces you to think as hard. You have to make decisions about whether you're saying what you're actually thinking, whether what you're thinking is correct, whether your audience will understand what you are writing in the correct way, and so on. Moreover, any profession that any of us will pursue will require writing. This blog provides us with a place to express ourselves freely, in a thoughtful and useful way.
As we have seen from the increased audience that we have recently received, our writing has a wide appeal among the people we know. At some point, if our stuff is good enough, people we don't know will start coming here. The more intelligent, funnier, and more insightful that our writing becomes, the more we have the ability to spread our writing among increasingly large amounts of people. For those of us who really like to write, that means we will increasingly able to gain attention for our writing. If you don't really like writing for a large audience, the posts that concern our own social group will still be interesting for others to read: people want to know how people like us interact with eachother. Thus I don't think any of the things we have now from the blog, i.e. the ability to share our thoughts with our best friends, will be harmful to this newer form of the blog or vice versa.
I want to write, I want to read, I want to learn, and I want to spend my life doing all of these things. One way to do this is to go into academia. Another is to become a professional writer. A new form of writer has emerged with blogs: the writer who can blog professionally. None of these things are mutually exclusive. I am working on some ideas for much longer posts in the near future.
For example, Sherief and I just agreed to collaborate on a post about the relation between the "marketplace of ideas" and the new phenomenon of online journal publishing services. A set of companies has come into being that makes money of off charging for access to journal articles. I think this is not a good trend, but I also think that it can be prevented from continuing. The idea that this upcoming post could actually be academically interesting thrills me. Without having to work through the whole journal/professor/institutional bullshit, we have the ability to create ideas and disseminate them.
This is what I'm talking about when I say I want to take the blog big-time. But I want to emphasize that it's not just about intellectual or academic writing. The fact that we are good writers and intelligent people means we can write about anything and make it interesting. So there is no need to really change anything about the posts we are writing now. Instead, I just want to help lead a charge towards new, more essay oriented posts that can be intellectually stimulating in a more significant way. That means drafting, revising, even doing a bit of research. We aren't just students, we are intellectuals. Plato didn't need a PhD to write the dialogues, and Machiavelli wrote the Discourses on Livy and simply sent them to a friend. Machiavelli's is the example I want to follow: we are a community of friends sharing our ideas on a number of subjects. We write because we want to, not in order to get tenure or wage partisan warfare.
What does any of this have to do with putting ads on our blog? The following:
I think it would help us recognize that the blog is a pretty big deal. When we're all living in different places, we can continue our friendship in a very interesting and stimulating way through the blog. But if this just consists of stale old in-jokes, we won't be communicating in any meaningful way. We need to recognize that authentic and original content is essential to maintaining this venue as a place for continuing authentic and original friendship. My push to become more serious includes adsense because of this: all of the proceeds will go to activities for us as a group. Whether it be going to dinner or throwing a party, we can transfer intellectual domination of the blogsphere into a useful tool in maintaining our friendship. Having a communal income sounds tricky: will people get bitchy about who brings in the most traffic or who isn't writing anything? I hope not, but if they do they can go start their own shit and it would be perfectly fine with me, and I predict, everyone else. But what if this site really does make it big? We could use the money to all go to a cabin somewhere as a group, buy weird t-shirts with nicknames on them, or donate it to a cause that we all agree is good. In the end, it is a big experiment. I am not encouraging this as a way to enrich us as individuals, but instead to form a communal fund that could provide us with interesting ways to explore the friendship that will be changing in important ways after college.
Let me know what you think. In the end I don't think this small change will really make us feel that much differently towards the blog. But small changes are the best way to go big time.
AT Money

New Site

Who among us here does not love NASCAR? Moreover, who among us today does not love political theory? If there are any, I imagine they would rather feign good taste than reveal their lack of knowledge, or, even worse, desire for knowledge, about the systems that organize our lives. Thus I am adding a link to the "political theory daily review" to the side of our site. It is the aldaily of political theorists, and seems to contain links to diverse streams of thought while maintaining an appropriately high level of discourse.
By the way, I would like to invite suggestions for further links we should put there. They should be sites that would be of interest to most of us, but also, specifically most of us. Thus the Onion or New York Times is not really appropriate, as most of those who come here (hopefully) all ready digest those fine foods for the intellect (cf. Augustine). Holla at me, via email or comments.

Huffy Crew Non-Denominational Class Hiatus Period reading club

Hello everyone--

In honor of Kwanzaa/ Christmas/ Hannukah/ Solstice/ Just another Sunday/ Saturnalia/ My doing some serious movie-watching over the break and not thinking about thesis/ My doing some serious masturbating over the break while possibly thinking about my thesis/ Iraq elections (hooray for religious Shiite factions!)/ The end of transit strike/ Seating/ Gargoyles/ Psychics/ Ivory combs/ Looking glasses/ Journals/ The Coronation of Charlemagne in 800 on Dec 25 (courtesy Wikipedia)/ The Christmas truce of World War I/ The loss of the Mars space probe in 2003 (courtesy BBC)/ And the NSA, which is currently reading this ever since Sherief linked to Al-Ahram...

I propose the official ballot for the 2005 Non-Denominational Class Hiatus Period Book Selection. We should keep our minds sharp during our leisure time and come back ready to discuss one of these books. Thus I unveil them:


Ian McEwan, Saturday
Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
Umberto Eco, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
Zadie Smith, On Beauty
Salman Rushdie, Shalimar the Clown
John Fowles, The Magus (in honor of his death)
Classic pick: Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain


Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy
P.W. Singer, Children at War
James T Patterson, Restless Giant
Fredric Jameson, Archaeologies of the Future
Alain Badiou, Metapolitics
Tony Judt, Postwar
Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story
Leszek Kolakowski, My Correct Views on Everything

Amazon 'em, add your own, vote, etc. I don't expect everyone to participate or read some of these monsters in their entirety, but anyone who wants to work on one with me, let me know. Peace, from the Last Man in the Arc.

"God damn them, god damn them everyone"

Yeah, yeah, Christopher Hitchens is a neocon shill and a nasty old limey lush. But damn if he doesn't make my day every now and then with his delightfully ornery anti-religious tirades. This man, who almost certainly lives off a constant diet of alcohol, nicotine, and vitriol, somehow denounces Cindy Sheehan and Howard Dean and in the same breath rails against Joe Scarborough and the nuttos over at Fox News. I suppose being atheistic and neoconservative is nothing new (helloooo, Irving Kristol, Harvey Mansfield, et al), but gee willickers is Hitchens on the war path this week. He'd spit on W's Christmas Card if he got one, I'd bet. Enjoy.

Arabic aldaily-esqe site

Al-Ahram Weekly is a weekly supplement to one of Egypt's leading papers of the same name. I always find that they've got intelligent commentary and a good pulse of the Arab journalistic scene / street.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fuck Christmas, Part Deux

Since when did going home after finals become more stressful than finals themselves? I'm staying here another night (Wed. the 21st) and I'll be working in the library for a while. I'm not sure who's left, but if anyone wants to get a drink later, holler please.

hemingway, brokeback, and the true ideal of adventure

Brokeback Mountain's success lies in its Hemingwayesque depiction of its characters. When you look at these two gay cowboys you see that their tragic flaw is that they are unable to think outside of their own silly little worldviews. This is epitomized by one scence in particular: when Heath Ledger's character, Ennis Del Mar, starts talking about his paranoia of being seen for what he was. He tells Gyllenhal's character how he walks down the street and starts thinking that everybody knows that he's queer. It never crosses his mind he shouldn't give a fuck what people think, or that he should maybe get the hell out of small town Bible belt America. Like old Anselmo in For Whom the Bell Tolls, he takes a stoic view towards life and just holds on as hard as he can to the only life he knows.
Clearly Ang Lee, Larry McMurtry and E. Annie Proulx (who wrote the short story the movie is based on) know what they are doing. This is a comment on the way most people are in America or anywhere else. There's a very small amount of people in this world who are willing to demand change from the world or who are able to abandon the life they're used to. Ennis Del Mar epitomizes the average American, who lives within 50 miles of where he was raised. Del Mar won't even leave shitty ass Wyoming for the (barely) greener pastures of Texas.
But this is not neccessarily a negative comment on normal folks; instead, it is reality. You'd think being a cowboy, especially a gay one, would be a big fucking adventure. But Brokeback Mountain shows us how fucking boring it is. Del Mar doesn't speak a fucking word, and although I like him because he's a badass, I can't imagine spending five minutes with him. Perhaps that's the point: if you had to spend all day with someone who just didn't speak a word, or at most two sentences in barely incomprehensible cowboy-soeak, you'd fuck them too just for some excitement.
It the final analysis it comes down to this: Brokeback Mountain doesn't try to enforce some weird postmodern worldview on its audience. It portrays life as it is, at least for a lot of people. Sometimes it's nice to get past all of that Magnolia and Eternal Sunshine postmodern "what does life mean anyway?" bullshit and watch a movie about real people. It's not just about rural america or blue collar people, anyway; it's about the fact that we all have weird issues that we can't get past and how they end up fucking us in the end. That's greek tragedy shit.

Just one more thought: Ang Lee also directed The Hulk and Running Dragon, Crouching Tiger or whatever the fuck it was called. Does anyone see any continuity here? This guy must be unstable.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Let's go the Movies!!!

I hardly see the point in moral/ad hominum squabbles when there are so many movies out to talk about! While Austi5000 and D'mardree are currently discussing going to see "Good Night, and Good Luck" I would like to reiterate my utter distaste for this film. This is not to say that it is a bad movie. I would of course feel no need to build a case against it if it had not been receiving such fabulous accolades. But because of this acclaim, I am forced to bring it to its knees.
It is a dangerous movie, in some ways. Claiming to blast the media propoganda machines that Edward R. Murrow fought against, the film engages in the worst of hypocrisies. Who could argue this movie is not propoganda, flashing before our eyes a gross caricature of McCarthy? Who would argue that Hollywood was not a bastion for the Communist left, and that Hollywood possessed and possesses the most profoundest of tools of indoctrination and propoganda? I write partly in gest, though to some I degree I mean what I say: I have never seen a movie that champions its heroes and villifies its villains with such uncritical gusto. What ever happened to nuance? What ever happened to realism? To depicting people as they actually are? This is the great flaw in the film. It tries to convince us that these men don't exist outside of the newsroom, outisde of their noble muckraking professions. I'm not suggesting I would have liked to have seen a sequence of Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly taking huge shits, or sloppily fucking their wives. I love the movies partly because I don't have to see these things. Some sort of panoramic perspective, however, would have made me at least more satisfied.
To add insult to injury is that there have been so many other great movies this season that have done exactly what "Good Night, and Good Luck" fails to do. Capote is one such movie. Brokeback Mountain is another. What is completely lost to this Slate reviewer of this "Gay Cowboy" movie -- maybe just "Cowboy" would do, but I don't have such a problem with the qualifier -- is that "Gay" simply does not equal "Angelic" or "Perfect" or "Holy" in this movie. This is true of GNGL (replace "gay" "courageous investigate journalism") but not in Brokeback. Look, just because they have sex on a mountain, "above" the lower forms of sexual intercourse that happen in lesser altitudes, doesn't mean we're dealing with a "Holy Union." If you watch this movie (and I highly suggest it), you'll notice that Heath Ledger is an asshole. He's violent. He's a bad father. He's an unsympathetic friend and lover. He's a nuanced character and a goddammed good one. Another thing stinky Slate man gets wrong: this movie is not "something of a chick flick" at all. I saw the film with three boys and three girls. The girls disliked it, the boys liked it. I'm not suggesting this is my complete empirical evidence. It merely supports what I believe to be true. Why? Because there's a lot for a woman (and a man) to not like about this movie, much of which I agree with. For one, it's not very emotionally powerful, nor lovey-dovey (two characteristics of "chick flicks"); the two women characters are pretty weak and pathetic; and the two male protagonists, as expected, want very little to do with women -- from their girlfriends, to their wives, to their daughters. As Austi-5000 said upon exiting the film, "that's the manliest movie I've ever seen." Quite right, and good night.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Rules of

(If you are unconvinced of any of these rules then picture a shirtless, sweaty Brad Pitt explianing these to you. It is futile to resisit.)

1st RULE: You do not ever remove a blog posting.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT ever remove a BLOG POSTING.
3rd RULE: If someone says "stop," goes limp, or concedes an intellectual argument the blog-battle is over.
4th RULE: Only two guys to a blog-battle (aka. No girls… they blog on emotion as opposed to ration).
5th RULE: One intangible concept criticized at a time.
6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes, no blogging. We require proper attire at this blog.
7th RULE: Blog-Battles will go on as long as they have to.
8th RULE: If this is your first time on washav.blogspot, you HAVE to post.
9th RULE: Fuck all of the god-damn hippies that are making fellow bloggers retract their postings. (I HATE hippies! I’ll kill you all!) You granola-eating crunchies are no better than the pathetic, family-values-supporting, sexually starved Middle Americans who write letters to CBS because they felt uncomfortable with the gross sexual content on the latest episode of “Becker.” My advice to those people: CHANGE THE FUCKING CHANNEL!!!

My advice to anyone who gets offended by shit on this blog: GO TO A DIFFERENT FUCKING WEBSITE! There are plenty of sites on the world wide web that will only agree with the views that you support. Go there and cry with the other pussies. This way you can be happy! Oh, and fuck you, you dirty hippies! Take a bath and get a fucking job! (God I hate hippies! Especially the college-know-it-all hippies. They are the worst!)

But seriously, if you get offended easily, you have no place here. We present a diverse marketplace of ideas. If you hate us then you hate diversity and you are a racist.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The purpose of this blog

Is partly to entertain, mostly us, those blog it, and to a certain extent, those who are unfortunate enough to read it. Thus: if you feel that your feelings will be hurt by any comments contained herein, just get the fuck out of here. Although I have made light of my role as creator of the blog in the past, I did start it and I think those who have been invited to post or visit here must understand that the intent of this blog is to supply me and my friends with a forum for radical self-expression. I can't write a post when I'm worried that I'm going to get in trouble for it or suffer some sort of social consequences. If you'd like to critique what we say or are offended you are welcome to comment. But it is unacceptable for people to come here looking to pick a fight or evaluate our content from an ambiguous standpoint. We are creators of new ideas, and new ideas only come when we are free to say whatever the FUCK we want to. I'm not sure who spoke with Fishstix or how his post came about, but I don't want to see apoligies become a regular event here, nor do I want to see people only posting things that won't offend anyone. This is not a resume-builder, this is not a politics only blog, this is not a social life only blog, this is not anything but a place where we can write things down and allow our friends to see them, with the hope that you may be entertained, but also with the expectation that you will leave the nastiness of normal political/social life at the door when you come here.
There are very few areas of life where a man can express himself as he sees fit. The workplace and school are now (and perhaps have always been) places where the appropriate discourse is very limited. The social sphere is polluted by idiots who have no sense of humor or real morality. This blog represents something new. It is public in the sense that anyone can read it if they know its address. It is private in the sense that you should understand the content as created by and for free spirits. I, at least, do not write here with the intention that everyone I know will read my posts.
I can express my self very freely in my own apartment, but I will be moving soon and want to continue that free expression here. But if people cannot give us our breathing room this will fall apart. I think the main point is the following: sometimes I may say something here that conflicts with my public persona or the morality that you may think I possess. Sometimes those things will be in jest, but sometimes they may not be. I can't grow as a person if I'm constantly restricted to expressing those ideas which I'm sure others will find appropriate. So if you're bothered by something on this blog, think twice about using the language of moral criticism against me. Otherwise, I will not be able to explore the truth as I see it, which is the ultimate point of free expression.

Blog Hurts Feelings

I have to apologize to all for my anti-libertarianism rant. Apparently, a member of the blog notified the Libertarians of the existence of the post. I promptly exchanged emails with these people last night. We both agreed to cut off contact between us. I have lost dear friends.

I also have to apologize to those who takes phrases like "jerk my dick chicken" and "CHING CHONG SOUPY" a little too seriously. I did not mean to hurt any feelings.

I also must apologize to those who think when I made the generalization "libertarians don't care about feelings" I meant this as a complete and utter fact in all cases.

And to those who think the portrayal of Nozick as Serigo Leone and libetarianism as a spaghetti western was a valid analogy.

To those who can not mock themselves I say take your insecurities and invest in some balls.
I expect to be mocked, and I expect to be made fun of. I expect others on the blog to expect the same(deena with her fatass comments, austin calling me a pussy). Everyone is constantly berated by anti-semetic remarks and demeaning comments. Our strength comes from our ability to work around this and not get emotional and nasty, to not cross the line, to maintain the dialogue and to invent it and twist it in new ways. And I expect everyone to not break down and cry unless something posted is really inappropriate or cruel. However, "CHING CHONG SOUPY" does not fit this model. The whole post was a fucking joke.

Tis the season

Read this. Laugh. Or don't laugh.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Whoa, Deena is funny! Who knew?

PS - don't tell her I said that...


You saw it on national television, but now you can experience the devestation yourself:

Katrina, the Ride

Next time you're in New Orleans, why not go on a scenic tour of the devestated areas? Now that the poor people are gone, this will mark the first time that affluent white tourists actually see these parts of the city in over 100 years. Here is my list of ideas for other tours, open to the public but I reserve rights.

-Beachside cabanas on Tsunami-devestated Banda Aceh province made from the debris of people's former shanties. The house special is the "Rushing Flood Water," a drink made from Coconut Rum, pineapple juice, and misery.

-Guided tours of the cancer ward at BJH. See tradgedy and its aftermath face to face! Allow skilled tourguides, guaranteed to have at least a B.A. in the life sciences, to show you around the various cancer patients at St. Louis' own luxurious Barnes Jewish. Each tour includes a trip to the radiology department to witness an actual chemotherapy procedure, and a souvenier lock of human hair. Please don't feed the patients! Haha, kidding! (Not kidding, Patients digestive systems are unable to cope with regular solid food)

-Come see the world's (current) largest pile of mangled human bodies! If ever you're in Pakistan, you won't want to miss visiting Muzaffarabad's pyramid of earthquake casualties. Enjoy some specialty "super-scrambled eggs" and a Shaken Vodka martini at the neighboring theme restaurant, and then see if you can scale the mountain all by yourself! Keep those cameras ready, Mom and Dad!

I feel ill.

Blog THIS, fatass

Apparently my tardy entry to the blogosphere has not gone unnoticed! Austin falsely believes that I waste my hours pacing back and forth in my trailer in my thrift store kimono, chain-smoking, thinking about celebrities and eating the occasional microwave burrito. This is not the case! I rarely chain smoke. Admittedly, I have been hesitant to post since many of the articles I find intriguing can be found on Mefi, BBC, NPR and ALDaily - sites that I know most of you visit with some regularity. Rather than rehashing news stories we've heard about eleventy billion times or prattling on inanely about personal grievances, I wanted to bring you all something very special. Instead I bring you this article, whose relevence springs from my deep concern for the morbidly obsese. Do you realize that 3000 Americans die each year from obesity related causes such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke? Those of you who are keeping up with the charming online cartoon "Achewood" know that Ray Smuckles himself is fighting obesity-induced diabetes. The saddest part is that although we have access to plastic surgery that make us trimmer, liposuction does nothing for your arteries. On the other hand, plastic surgery can go horribly wrong, and you'll be left looking like America's favorite drunken ho, Tara Reid, who has an undeniably grotesque stomach. And while we're on the subject of plastic surgery, I'd like to add that America's favorite US Representative from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas may be implicated as well. Check out his weird nostrils.

That is all, thank you.

What Africa needs

Yet another post lifted from ALDaily, this article comments on what the author believes the real problem is in Africa. I sort of want to believe it, but am not sure if that is because it conveniently alleviates the blame from me.


This is the weirdest thing I have ever seen:

Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte!

Wha be tha carl tha riske is hals wolt
Fro is allye leve?
Konne ye?

Wha be tha carl wha wolden flee
Whan peril bene all aboughte?

Alle clepe tha carl ane badde mooder-swyver
Speken of Shaft bene I.

He be a man konne unnethes
Namo save is mayde konnes im.

Compare to original:
Who's the black private dick
That's a sex machine to all the chicks?
Ya damn right!

Who is the man that would risk his neck
For his brother man?
Can you dig it?

Who's the cat that won't cop out
When there's danger all about?
Right On!

They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother
I'm talkin' 'bout Shaft.

He's a complicated man
But no one understands him but his woman

People's Mujhadeen for Israel

I hereby declare that all members of this blog shall now and forever support Israel. I would lay down my life to protect that small, noble country and I expect the same from my blog-tenants. You are nothing but serfs who have yet to acquire the mass form that we call the proletariat, and thus the revolution has been squelched. The Mujhadeen moved against Robbie late last night, armed with massive discursive power. The battle was fought and won decisively by me, Austin-5000. I have confined myself to Jewish authors for almost half a year, reading almost exclusively of Strauss, Bellow, Levi, and Roth. I have thus, in a sense, "out-jewed" the rest of the people on this blog and therefore possess the power of Yahweh on my side. Our combined forces are such that we can simply speak your name to alienate you from your fellow man, yourself, and your labor with a single stroke. We control the blogosphere.

Two things

One, I am hereby admitting that I urinated off the front doorstep of my apartment building. I would like Sherief to document this using his photocamera. It will be frozen in the morning, which will provide him with the perfect opportunity to do so.
Second, I recently spotted some Irish cheddar cheese in our refigerator. Although some would argue that I am already out of shape, I was forced to ingest the whole thing. I will now become much fatter than ever before. Accept the inevitable.

This is my blog

This is my fucking blog, fuckers. I am the one and only administrator of this here blog. Therefore, if Deena does not post in the next 276 Hours I will remove her as a blogger. This is not because I do not like her. Instead it is because she has not yet blogged and therefore has not entered the blogosphere.

Voting machines

Look, I gave up on the 2004 election long ago; my dad kept donating money to the effort to recount in Ohio. I really hate it when people make a big fuss about election results, and therefore have reasons to despise him besides typical Oedipus shit. Just give it up! But this article sort of pisses me:

But when Ion Sancho, Leon County's Supervisor of Elections, tested the Diebold system and allowed experts to manipulate the card electronically, he could change the outcome of a mock election without leaving any kind of trail. In other words, someone could fix an election and no one would know.

Look, I think democracy is flawed as much as anyone else does. But I am committed to it as a process, because I think people will get what they want in the end, no matter what. Fucking with election results, however, is just not cool. Fuck you, Bush, kiss my motherfuckin schlong.

PS. I am aware that this post probably doesn't make sense. Kiss my dick bitchers, I'm drunk. Deal with it. I blog for me and no one else. I am a self-motivated blogger. I made this blog and it is mine.
PPS. Because this blog is mine I am allowed to do whatever I want with it. Therefore I am adding Blake Abrash to it. But don't ask me to add anyone else. I don't care if you find a new girlfriend, she can post in the comments. This is the seal of the bloggers. I am the king of this blog.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Libertarian Salad(Lettuce Alone)

In this post, I hope to successfully toss the libertarian's salad and eat their peas. Are these people for real?

The Libertarian does not care about people. He simply cares about his salad. He does not care about massive inequality. He does not care that some people will starve and others will flourish. He does not care about the opportunities of children born into poverty. For him, they are stuck where they are. And this is more than ok - it is "moral." Libertarian morality is like a spaghetti western - derived from a foreign land it pretends to represent intuitive decency. All appears normal until you find out the movie was made in Italy. An American tradition manufactured by an Italian. A moral compass built, not on intuitive senses of morality, but from hell.
Nozick himself recognized the Sergio Leone he was becoming, forcing him to recant some of his views:

"Nozick himself later recanted the extreme libertarian views he had earlier expressed in Anarchy, State, and Utopia in one of his last books, The Examined Life calling those views "seriously inadequate.""

The Libertatis Equilibritas is symbolic of the concept that materialistic concepts like money can coexist in harmony with spiritual and philosophical concept like the Yin-Yang.

This is not a joke. Money and the ying-yang? Jerk my dick chicken - maybe for the rich. It's like having wonton soup from Shnucks, Jap tiramasu from fucking Norway. The food is the same but the faces don't match("WAZUP B, CHING CHONG SOUPY"). How or "HOW". Speaking of Geranamo, Nozick's theory of initial acquition is seriously flawed(Everyone is entitled to right's over one's self and one's property and you can not unjustly take that property by coercion) Sorry Nozick, but throughout history most of the natural resources came to be someone's property by force. Did the use of force make the initial title illegitimate, in which case current title if illegit? Sorry Nozick, but if that's the case, then the government is not morally bound to not redistribute property. Or can we redistribute these forceful injustices by reparations of some sort? But this leads to all sorts of problems.

But it doesn't matter. The Libertarian does not eat food. Nor does he have emotions. He is as good as Data on star trek - pale dorky android. If you pour water on their heads it messes up their circuitry(*Alert* sounds were heard throughout Kevin Vallia's home porno). Libertarian, don't make me get the hose! I give you life! Now keel!

Open Thread

Because the last comments section was just too damn full.

Israel: The Axis of non-nearsighted Jews with a nuclear chip on their shoulder

When I was a sophomore at Community High School in Ann Arbor I took part in an interesting experiment: I enrolled in a class in which we used the internet to model relations between the major stakeholders in the Israeli-Palestinean conflict. I was to play the role of Mohammed Khatami, the recently elected, progressive president of Iran. At that time I didn't take the project seriously at all, and I engineered an attempt at restarting the war between Iran and Iraq with the help of my friend Greg Wilbur, who played the role of Ayatollah Khamenei. I think it ran into some difficulties with the authorities running the project, who suggested that we act more 'realistically' and take the game more seriously. I pretended to do so in order to get an 'A' in the class, but still attempted to slight the bastard infidel Iraqis whenever possible.
The ironic aspect was, of course, that Khatami was the most reasonable president Iran has ever had. He advocated peace and attempted to normalize relations with the outside world, although this was largely thwarted by Ayatollah Mohammed Mutha-Fuka Khamenei. The president can't do shit in Iran unless the Man (AKA religious fundamentalist wackjob mothafuckaz) says he can. Thus, no shit was really undertaken.
I was hoping some sort of progress in the most recent election, but that was not to be. The religious leaders prevented a lot of more moderate people from running and the fact that Khatami had been largely ineffectual because of the Man's influence meant that the people felt they needed to elect someone that could work with the religious fruitcakes in charge. But instead of doing that, they elected Ahmidinejad, who is a bigger fucking wackjob than the other guys. In addition to denying the holocaust and threatening Israel, he likes to spend his time masturbating to pictures of Mohammed's* wife and failing on his election promise to replace the mafia at the head of the Iranian Oil Ministry by going through three nominees before choosing the old second-in-command. What an amazing man.
All of this Fruchterish blabbing and plagiarizing isn't not not for nothing. I'm here today to tell you that major shit is going to go down in Iran if they don't back the fuck up. Why, you might ask? The jews are pissed, that's why. Just like Josh hates it when a guy robs a jewish bank, the Israelites don't like it when you assert your country's Allah given right to nuclear powered weapons. Israel is preparing to fuck up Iran if we don't stop them from getting nukes:
If a military operation is approved, Israel will use air and ground forces against several nuclear targets in the hope of stalling Tehran’s nuclear programme for years, according to Israeli military sources.

This is going to be fucking awesome. Josh, Ben, or Robot: tell the elders of Zion I'm ready to assist in any way.

*Mohammed: King of the Mohammedans.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

stupid mongoloid fuck

Here is an interesting news article that I found online:

“ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- A college student from Ohio who was elected president of his class at Lehigh University has been arrested on charges that he robbed a Pennsylvania bank. Authorities say 19-year-old Greg Hogan handed a note to a teller at a Wachovia Bank Friday afternoon in Allentown. The note indicated he had a weapon and wanted money. Hogan faces robbery and theft charges. Police say he got away with nearly 29-hundred dollars. Police picked up the sophomore at his fraternity house Friday evening. He's being held on 100-thousand dollars bail. His father, the Reverend Gregory Hogan, is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Barberton in suburban Akron. Gregory Hogan also has served as a city councilman in Seven Hills near Cleveland.”

(This Gregory fellow is my friend’s fraternity brother at Sig Ep Lehigh. Moreover, Gregory has large gambling debts to pay off.)

What does this story show us? That gambling can force people to make poor life decisions? No. That fraternities perpetuate a culture of violence, excessiveness, and perceived superiority over one’s fellow man? Hardly so. That Gregory watches too many movies, lives in a fantasy world, and is a stupid mongoloid fuck? Yes… but for the sake of the point I'm about to make, no.

This article proves once and for all how fucked up a kid can get from growing up in an overbearingly religious household, especially a Christian one… and never in a Jewish one. When was the last time a Jewish teenager robbed a bank? NEVER! That’s because my (chosen) people make our money legally and honestly: by overcharging hard-working, church-going Christian folk for legal, medical, financial, and entertainment-based services. My people have been literate since Christians were still fucking their first-cousins!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a penis to circumsize.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hava Nagila

It's a big day for the music industry. I imagine you'll all be relieved to know that David Darnell Brown, better known as rapper 'Young Buck', and member of Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's G-unit rap crew, has finally gotten his comeuppance. Charged with stabbing Jimmy James Johnson at last year's Vibe Awards, the Buck has pleaded 'no contest' to assault likely to produce great bodily harm. His sentence includes 3 years of probation and 80 hours of community service. While I think we can all agree that the stern punitive action taken by Superior Court Judge James Brandlin against Brown serves as both an appropriate punishment and an adequate warning to all the other Young Bucks out there headed down a path of violence, haven't we overlooked a greater injustice here? I implore you, let us not forget that it was only after Jimmy James Johnson punched - nay, assailed! - the illustrious Dr. Dre that Young Buck rushed to aid and avenge his mentor. Johnson's felony assault earned him a mere year in jail and 3 years probation; I want to know what caused the once-honorable standards of our legal system to degenerate to such vulgar injustice. Where is our loyalty to one of the most influential creative forces of the past 15 years? Young Buck is a martyr for the dying tradition of knowing, respecting, and acknowledging your "roots." Dr. Dre represents the roots of modern day rap -- a plague on Jimmy James Johnson and his family!
Visit this link for the full story: A Young Buck in Heat

In other news, grab your Manischewitz and say "L'Chaim!" because it is no longer just 50 Cent who you'll find "In da Club." At a recent "Mitzvahpalooza" (New York Daily News), a 13-year-old Jewish socialite made her transition into adulthood in the presence of Kenny G, Steven Tyler (and fellow Aerosmither Joe Perry), Tom Petty, Don Henley, Stevie Knicks, Ciara, and up-and-coming DJ AM (ex-fiancee of Nicole Richie). The star-studded mitzvah took place at the Rainbow Room, and attendees walked away with $1000 goodie bags stuffed with digital cameras, iPods, and other digital delights. This lavish ceremony is just part of a growing trend which aims to expedite the initiation of young Jews into a life of die-hard social climbing and materialism.
For more info, visit: Ram's Horn

Planning a blow-out bar or bat mitzvah for your child? Check out the 'Challah Fame' at for suggestions on popular musical performers, or DJ playlists for the more limited budget.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Scaling the Ivory Tower

This country is wild.

But most of the intellectuals and artists are missing the whole show.

Sitting in the subsidized ivory tower of academia, the intellectual theorizes on hyper-theoretical postmodern superstitions, jerking off to dreams of one day becoming recolonized by Europe. Even if they could reconnect with Ameircan life they could only see it terms of formulas lamenting the bourgeoise. Their gestures of revolt are stale.

Academia has become little more than a game. The "theory" is like a commodity to peddle. Intellectual knock-offs like Stanley FIsh and Judith Butler don't give a flying fuck about capitalism , basking in six figure salaries and paid speaking tours(Fish drives a jaguar and can be identified from afar by his super-expensive scarf). These "anti-capitalists" are just as concerned about status as any member of Wall Street.

If academics truly believed what they said they would forget the academic norms and concerns of status, forget the politics of the University and get their hands dirty.

Salman Rushdie and Strauss

Salman Rushdie has a good, but inconclusive column about multiculturalism at the Times of London. Speaking of Rushdie, and of course, his notoriety, reminds me about the Satanic Verses affair. This guy has death threats on his head to this day for his 'sacrilege' in that book. Does this not seem to justify Strauss' argument to a certain extent? Our own society is much different than others that have existed before; we view the right to say anything as sacred, while others saw it as a means to an end. But if a British author has to fear for his life because of trampling on others beliefs, I think it is fairly reasonable to say that many philosophers have worked hard to create ambiguous meanings. While I probably wouldn't take this hypothesis as far as Strauss himself, it does seem to make good sense.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

*UPDATE* Damned Hippies

The following is a transcript of an email I sent to the Odwalla natural juice corporation after I saw this little bit of "socially-responsible" tripe on the back of a wrapper:

"GMOs Go Home! GMOs--genetically modified organisms--are techniques that alter organisms by means that ar enot posisble under natural coniditions. We avoid using GMo's in our products through a superior sourcing system, which ensures we use nature's best foods."

Incensed as I was, I quickly found their email address and penned a reply. However, I also found that this paragon of natural virtue was bought by the Coca-Cola corporation recently, perhaps in part because their all natural, unpasteurized juices led to one death and several debilitating injuries in children from e-coli poisoning. With no Further ado, here's my rant:

To Whom it May Concern,

On the back of your “Odwalla Bar!” product you state the following:

“GMOs...are techniques that alter organisms by means that are not possible under natural conditions.” However, if this is truly your reason for shunning GMOs, should you not by the same token avoid doctors and medications? Do not they also alter organisms in ways not possible in nature? Should people suffering from any number of debilitating and possibly fatal diseases shun treatment by virtue of the fact that the therapies and medications given them are not possible under natural conditions? I hope not. Additionally, is it not the role of the architect or the builder to alter the natural world, in ways it could not be configured under “natural” conditions, to suit human habitation?

There are a countless number of human activities which are impossible under natural conditions—and may even require the alteration or transformation of supposedly natural elements—yet aim at and end in a significant good for humankind. True, humans should not seek to dominate the relationship between themselves and nature, as it is clear how much we as a species are dependent on a certain degree of peaceful coexistence with our natural surroundings. This, however, is perfectly reconcilable with a certain degree of control over our natural elements, whereby we allow ourselves to flourish and better our own condition.

Genetically Modified Foods have the potential, as part of the latter means of benignly changing nature to help mankind (oftentimes in cases where ‘nature’ itself has failed to be able to provide such respite), to make a significant increase in quality of life around the world; blind opposition to them on a weak argument for what is and what is not “natural” seems callous in the face of the current suffering and immiseration of a large proportion of the world’s population. Granted there are some reasonable objections to GMOs, but none of them have any categorical strength. They are as follows:

1. GMOs are untested and have the potential to create new and virulent plant diseases by cross-pollination. They may also have negative effects on human consumers of the crops.

2. GMOs such as ‘Golden Rice’ provide little benefit beyond their natural counterparts

3a. The companies currently promoting GMOs are merely profit-driven

3b. Farmers in impoverished areas will not have access to the new plants or be charged unfairly for their use

With regard to (1), which worries about the danger to the environment and people GMOs might pose, this is only a valid argument assuming that testing is not properly carried out. Clearly this is not specific to GMOs, but in all cases where there is a new invention/product there need be significant research and testing to ensure that it will not result in detrimental or dangerous effects. Any reasonable person would agree that GMOs should not be rushed, untested, to market; no reasonable person however would argue that because something has potential dangers it should not be examined or even tested when we stand to gain significantly if it is a success. Furthermore, just because one incarnation of a technology or procedure has a potentially harmful side-effect does not mean that the course of inquiry should be completely abandoned. Though the atomic bomb was a horrific consequence of research, the peaceful and beneficial results of research into the atom and atomic energy have improved and even saved millions of lives with little detrimental effect. (2) is also a weak position. Even if it is the case that current GMOs have little benefit above and beyond their unmodified counterparts, this does not preclude further development of GMOs and indeed it does not mandate that GMOs are in any way bad. The first airplanes were wholly impractical machines, but with further development they have become a useful, if not indispensable, part of modern life. Virtually all scientific development has proceeded from the originally impractical.

Perhaps the strongest position is (3), but on examination it is not actually a critique of GMOs but of corporate culture. The problem herein is one of motivation, wherein the benefit or appeal of a product becomes merely a rationalization of future profit-making. This sort of reprehensible action is not restricted to large pharmecuitical companies; your company itself engages in a similar profit-seeking motivations. Despite whatever seemingly altruistic motives of providing wonderful pure food or whatnot, Odwalla is in a position where it must make money, extract profit, and engage in the selfsame corporate culture (why else would the company have allowed itself to be bought by the Coca-Cola corporation?). GMOs clearly need to be liberated from the system of corporate ownership and control if really significant benefit is to be seen from them, but whether or not they are does not form an argument for or against their ‘goodness’.

In sum, I think that your stance on GMOs is no more than the belief in and perpetuation of fear-mongering eco-tourism. Such a position capitalizes on people’s concerns over a new idea and does so for the primary goal of making profit, at the expense of promoting potentially life-saving and life-promoting development. This casual lionization of an abstract notion of what is “natural” is narrow minded and callous, catering to a supposedly liberated group of conveniently affluent first-world consumers with trivial concerns over the environment. I would encourage you to think before you act in the future.



And their response:

Thank you for writing to us. It is imperative that we listen to what our
consumers have to say or ask about our products and our brand. Consumer
feedback is essential to our business.

If you have any questions, please call us at 1.800.ODWALLA or visit our
website at

Thanks again for checking in with us and have a great day.

Voice of Odwalla


I am fundamentally a liberal, in the old sense of the word, on most issues. While I stretch this on economic issues, my position on free speech can only be described as a radical worship of it. That's why this Reason article pleased me so much. I completely support freedom of religion, and I do not really distinguish between any religion insofar as it does not seek to suppress the rights of others. But when it does, whether it be fundamentalist Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism, I dislike it and feel that I cannot really see those who follow it as anything but enemies of everything I hold dear. This does not mean I seek to suppress them. Instead, I think they should be given the rights everyone else has so that I may ridicule the silly things they say. See, for instance, the latest issue of Harper's for a fatwa from a Saudi Cleric condemning soccer:

3. If a player falls during the game and breaks his hand or his foot, he shall not say 'foul' and hsall not stop playing because of his injury. The one who caused his injury shall not receive a yellow or red card but rather the case shall be judged according to Muslim law. The injured player shall exercise his rights according to the shari'ah, as stated in the Koran, and you must testify together with him that so-and-so tripped him intentionally.
4. Do not set the numbers of players according to the number of players used by the Jews, the Christians, and especially the vile America [no one really plays soccer in America, you fool!]. In other words, eleven players shall not play together. Make it a larger or a smaller number (26)

Here is a further translation. These fucking people are crazy. This fatwa caused three players to quit from the Saudi National team. But would I want to suppress their speech? No, thank you. You see, even if you don't support free speech and other rights on principle, you can see that they enable all of the best things in life. Sometimes I think to myself, "Gee willakers, if only those unhappy muslims would just have one night of dancing or drinking or reading non-Islamic literature or sledding or ice skating or skiing or horeseback riding or hiking or good conversation, they would stop being so angry at everyone,". Whether this is true or not, the point is that fundamentalists cut themselves off from all joy in life. What was the most fun and free-spirited night of your life? Did it involve earnest conversation between men and women with humor and music, or singing, or dancing , or kissing, or hugging, or a drop of alcohol, or anything immoderate? Fundamentalists, Christian, Islamic, or Jewish, sustain their radicalism by cutting themselves off from emotions or thoughts that run counter to their beliefs. They depend on an a priori rule against these thoughts or emotions and live by this rule while condemning those who do not.
This is why it is so important that we not only allow them free speech but allow ourselves free speech as well, and utilize that freedom in order to force thoughts that aren't allowed. Is this domination? Perhaps. But it is the kind of domination that forces you to dominate yourself--it forces the mind to consider something that doesn't fit in its enclosed worldview. It is not evil because it allows you to think about the idea as you wish, and generally you are able to prevent exposure to these ideas by remaining away from the public sphere. But within the public sphere we cannot fail those who should be allowed to think thoughts not enclosed by structured religion.
We should seek to provoke new thought and force others to think about the world from new and foreign perspectives. This is the aim of art and literature and science and everything else in the world of ideas. We cannot let this go.