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Monthly Archives: May 2006

Populist punditry  §

Don’t blame the companies that hire cheap labor. Don’t blame the companies that outsource jobs or move manufacturing overseas. Blame capitalism and the investor class and the “American way.” Publicly traded companies rely on investors and sales. Investors buy stocks that produce the best earnings. Customers by products that are available at the lowest cost. The best earnings are produced by companies that follow cheap labor. The lowest cost is offered by companies that follow cheap labor.

On both counts, investors get rich, labor (both cheaply employed and newly unemployed) gradually gets screwed.

People who throw tantrums about companies that outsource or move jobs overseas, and who a breath later support free markets and capitalism… don’t get it. The “companies and the public should be more patriotic than that” argument is not only stupid, it’s simply infantile and naive. Capital is not patriotic, nor is hunger.

Welcome to globalization, you dumb f*cks.

Something is off…  §

…and I’m not sure what. But it’s off. I’m sitting here trying to work and I just don’t know. I don’t know. Everything is dim and odd… and… broken…

Is it a mid-life crisis?
What is it?

I miss my youth.
I miss the people that used to be mine.

Now, everyone, even the people “closest” to me, are distant, even when we are in the same room. Different problems, different careers, different lives. I can’t understand them and they can’t understand me and all of us are lonely.

And of course they are not in the same room.

Isolation is so complete in modernity… I think the last time I really didn’t feel alone, deep down at the core of things, was sometime before I entered my twenties. Maybe it goes farther back even than that, to high school, or even grammar school.

Am I trying to crawl back into the womb?

But then, is it so strange that people should want to be known, to be understood, to be able to share at least some small part of their life aside from drinking, eating, and pissing, with people that they can count on to be around and have things in common with them?

I’m not sure there’s anyone on earth that can say ten accurate things in a row about me right now. The essence of me exists in a vacuum, without external knowledge—reflecting no light, because there is no light to reflect. No one exists who is not known and understood.

Modernity is broken. Or rather, modernity is a fracture.

Gaaaaaaah  §

Okay.

I’m trying to work, and the type of work I do these days consists primarily of clicking and typing and every now and then having a thought. In between thoughts, I need some sort of amusement to keep me from getting bored and wandering away from my keyboard and out into the street.

Point: MY GOD, this has to be the worst TV day in all of history. There’s nothing on the tube other than a whole bunch of karate flicks, TLC specials, and soldiers in uniforms marching all over graves. Dozens of channels and not a single sitcom, drama series, worthy documentary, or non-combat flick.

I’ve been trying to get decent TV for hours as I work. No luck. Watching this sleeping dog as I type is more interesting.

thinking thinking thinking  §

Is NYC really the right place for this person? On the other hand, is any place really the right place?

Memorial indeed  §

It’s one thing to refuse to fight as an advocate of peace. It’s quite another to relentlessly advocate and support military action without being willing to put your own life on the line.

This memorial day, while you consider the morality of the Iraq war, consider also how to “remember” those who have fought hardest to make it happen, but who have fought nowhere else (thanks to the Kos):

President George W. Bush – scammed his way out of active duty
Arch-evil Advisor Karl Rove – did not serve
Vice President Dick Cheney – did not serve
Assistant I. Lewis Scooter Libby – did not serve
Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice – did not serve
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist – did not serve
Speaker of the House House Dennis Hastert – did not serve
Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay – did not serve
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt – did not serve
Majority Whip Mitch McConnell – did not serve
Hawkish Senator Rick Santorum – did not serve
Conservative Icon Rush Limbaugh – did not serve
Conservative Icon Sean Hannity – did not serve
Hawkish Talking Head Pat Buchanan – did not serve
Bratty, Vacuous Bitch Ann Coulter – did not serve
Hawkish Talking Head Ralph Reed – did not serve
Hawkish Talking Head Bill O’Reilly – did not serve
Hawkish Talking Head Michael Savage – did not serve
Hawkish Neocon Theorist Bill Kristol – did not serve

These people want to trade your babies and your lives to line their pocketbooks. They aren’t willing to die to make their profit, but they’re willing to have everyone else die.

Basically, they’re evil.

Oh, and Ann Coulter’s a bratty, vacuous bitch.

… II  §

They say not to post all of this stuff on your blog, much less under your real name.

Only I can’t see stopping being a person just because it’s more convenient for the economy.

I can’t believe other people do.

  §

Okay, so something is off. I’m sitting here and I should be frenetically working or enthusiastic as hell or at least scared or lonely or whatever, but instead I’m blank. I’m blank and slightly down and have the deep sense somewhere underneath the floorboards that I’m wasting time, but I can’t quite see my way through the spider webs to do anything about it.

No doubt this is where the doc prescribes prozac or ritalin or something, except that there is no doc and really drugs shouldn’t be enough anyway, I mean there should generally be something underlying your life, shouldn’t there?

I’m entering my third decade of about six or seven. I’m about to go back to school but I’m not quite sure why, except that it’s the best idea I’ve had so far in a very large universe of rather desperately flat ideas.

I don’t feel empty or sad so much as absolutely spiritually and inspirationally bankrupt, like there really is a soul train only I took it to the mall instead of to Africa, and now there’s nothing left to do but watch Jake & the Fat Man and eat veggie burgers out of cardboard boxes.

All of this despite my determination not to buy in & sell out.

Everyone’s pissed off at me or at least frustrated and bored with me, and really I just don’t care.

Blank.

Eh.

I feel like a cynical American.
I feel like I’ve never seen anything that wasn’t a pose.
I feel like nobody’s qualified.

“Qualified for what?”

I don’t know. F—. Qualified for anything.

Wacky weather and global warming  §

Days ago news came down the pipe that the tropical zone around the equator has expanded north and south by over a hundred miles, meaning that Salt Lake City is now on the verge of being categorized a sub-tropical zone by temperature and precipitation statistics.

And it has been hotter in recent years, with less wintertime snow, than I remember as a child. On the other hand, we’re also getting more instances of weird weather. Like today… it’s cold and it’s raining, and the weather people are saying the snow line is going to be around 6,000 feet, which means that we may have snow on the east side… at the end of May…

Oh well, whatever. The scent of the weather is incredible and to be enjoyed, regardless.

An illuminating link  §

For all the women in my life who:

– Wonder whether people can be beautiful as they age
– Wonder whether the famous w/$$$ cosmetics + plastic surgery really look younger

(basically these days seems like all of the women in my life)

Here’s Madonna posing for a Max Factor ad. Note the differences between the originals (pre-Photoshopped) and the actual ad (in which she looks a dozen years younger at least). This is what capitalism is doing to sell you those Max Factor products—making you feel insecure about yourselves by showing you impossible human fakes so that you’ll “need” their product, the irony being that the most famous who model for them don’t actually tend to use it.

I have to say that I prefer the real shots and think they’re more attractive. They’ve got more mystery, more ethos, and more personality to them, and in some undefinable way, she’s just prettier when she looks more human.

For those who haven’t managed to see it yet, there’s also this classic shot from a rather famous photo designer/retoucher. She doesn’t have ten kinds of work done, but she’s sure useful for the hard sell to get your daughter/sister/mother/wife to get ten kinds of work done and make industry $$$$$ in the process. Grrrrrr.

And more to the point, I prefer a world in which our insecurities aren’t exploited by cynical corporations in order to make a few dollars (on the backs of young girls getting anorexia and older girls getting crappy rock-hard fake boobs). But that’s me.

Ummmm…  §

Is it football season yet?

I have to admit that tonight, of all the things in the world there are to want, what I want most is for it to be football season.

Last brick in wall  §

Any corporation that cooperates with the government is now excused from fair or honest accounting or disclosure.

In short, so long as you quietly support the dictatorship, you are welcome to commit any fraud you want and never be caught for or questioned about it. We are now the Weimar republic in every way.

America is over. This is now a fascist state, by textbook definition.

On biofuels  §

Okay, I’m as much for burning cleaner fuels as the next guy, but we cannot allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security about biodiesels or ethanol. To do so is both bad science and bad public policy. A switch to these fuels must **still** be coupled to a reduction in overall consumption (i.e. much tighter regulations, alternative multi-head transportation, higher fuel economies) or we will have twice the disaster on our hands.

World demand continues to rise. At least with fossil fuels our collateral damage is somewhat limited in nature, scaling (discounting secondary effects) linearly with consumption. Not so with biofuels. Imagine a world in which we don’t curb demand—every last rainforest clear cut, food crops for the world’s hungry being stamped out by fuel crops, which consume 10 times the amount of water and provide little nutrition in comparison. Soil erosion, a complete disruption of biodiversity as nearly the entire surface of the planet is reformed into one of two topologies: the road ecosystem and the fuel growth ecosystem. There will be nothing left. Nothing. No water, no fertile soil, no oxygen production infrastructure, nothing. Our wars will not be fuel vs. nations, but rather fuel vs. food and water—in short, the wealthy (among whom one will find the fuel growers of the future like ADM) will destroy the planet utterly on the backs of the poor at a much greater rate than they do today.

Biofuels are better than fossil fuels, true, in terms of raw cleanliness and immediate sustainability. But to switch to biofuels entirely without also implementing the strongest of conservation policies around the world as demand continues to rise exponentially is to bring about a level of devastation that fossil fuels never could (since we would have run out) as every “emerging market” across the globe gradually seeks to reach the one-car-per-person superindustrialization that we in the US enjoy.

I’d rather have the food, the water, the oxygen, and the forest than a planet whose entire surface is dedicated to the ultrarationalized industrial growing of corn so long as we can sustain it (and if we don’t preserve the forests and conserve water, we won’t for very long). But that’s me.

All we’d have to do is switch back to bicycles… which would also solve the metals/mining problem, the obesity problem, the greenhouse gas problem, the rapidly escalating global corn allergy problem (do you know how many products, from paper to portable computers, are dependent on corn byproducts today?) and probably a dozen other problems, too.

Conserve, please—don’t just get excited about corn-based fuel and switch problems.

Trend  §

Every time I fight with the girlfriend, I have strange, disturbing dreams.

Also, I seem more and more like S—e, at least to my own eyes. Gotta fix that. :-/

Why does she do this?  §

Why do so many of the women I’ve known have an innate need to damage people as much as possible, most importantly those that they care about?

Everything is a fucking power game. I hate power games because to win them you have to destroy the opposing party, something people who care about each other have no business doing.

The scent  §

of rain is the best thing on the planet. God bless summer rain.