Tuesday, April 15, 2008

When no one was looking

I got an email this morning reminding me that my old Xanga site still existed. This was the site where I first "blogged." But I had no links to anybody, and I never told anyone about it, so as far as I know, one spammer trying to get me to chat with them was the only soul who ever read it.

But, given my tendency to anarchive, here's what you all missed out on!

It weirds me out that this was from 2005. Where have the years GONE?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living a life they loathe to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statutes can only increase, but never do away with, crime."
-- Emma Goldman, p. 59-60, "Anarchism."
From Anarchism and Other Essays. New York: Dover, 1969.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Latest grafitti on 10th Street: Death Before Dishonor.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Currently Reading A Hacker Manifesto, by McKenzie Wark
Reading online has its downside, but the content in this article is valuable:

(Article found on the fine Street Librarian site at http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Cafe/7423/ ). Love that old-school URL.

Interesting thing about Section 7, on the history of Coney Island: "The old social order was destroyed, but a new one was created based on profit and commoditized pleasure." Not only is that true, but if you read Charles Denson's fine book Coney Island: Lost and Found, you'll see what happened to Coney Island itself in the wake of it. With the shift to "profit and commoditized pleasure," even the place that helped introduce the paradigm shift became a victim of the paradigm shift. (Sorry about the buzz words, but I couldn't think of anything more apt on the spur of the moment). Someone like me can see the pictures of Coney Island and think it's something that should have been preserved, the historical and aesthetical value are so obvious. But the values of profit-motive favor novelty (ergo newness) and disdain intangible values like history and aesthetics as sentimental. (Not that I expect things to be frozen in time. There's a difference between organic change and wholesale economic destruction, as I see played out all the time here in the obscure Midwest, where some people seem to want to root anything that's not brand-new in the name of progress, whether its used or not, whether its making money or not, whether people love it or not. More unsubstantiated rants to come, I'm sure).

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Perhaps we're asking the wrong questions."
-- from The Matrix

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Currently Listening: Reefer Madness, by Various Artists

One of my hobbies lately is de-sanitizing the past. Check out the Buzzola music compilations (on sex, drugs, booze, and general breaking of the law) from the 20s-50s. There's also the great resources at Something Weird video. (www.somethingweird.com). I've already lived to see the 80s falsified. The 90s are next.

Friday, October 21, 2005

More fun with linkage...
...and further analysis...
Someday when we all have the Logan's Run chips in our hands, we'll remember the quaint old days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Currently Reading: Despite Everything, by Aaron Cometbus

It's funny how I'm usually all hard-nosed about ethics but at the same time I totally admire graffiti artists and outlaws, people who do their thing despite the law. But part of it is the underlying, and not the form. For example, if there's a grey ugly dirty concrete wall on an abandoned building that's falling apart, somewhere in a field of weeds up to your neck, I don't really understand how it's vandalism to paint a beautiful, colorful mural on it. To me, the illegality makes no sense. How is it destructive to bust out the windows of a building that's been left abandoned for twenty years? At least the venting of aggression on an unused, unloved, inanimate thing serves a purpose for someone. Or squatting. How can it be wrong to use things for a useful purpose when no one else cared about them in the first place? (Sort of like how so many people only seem to care about people once they're dead. But that's another rant.)

The people with money are like jealous ex-boyfriends, who don't want the thing, and dumped it in the first place, but they don't want anyone else to have it either. Or like the people from other generations than mine who think certain behaviors or things are disrespectful. But someone of my generation has never heard that there's respect or disrespect attached. Like the flip-flop furor...the girls who met the president with the wrong shoes on. What the hell do shoes have to do with respect? Nothing! I understand that people come from another time, when maybe certain things did have meaning, and I can respect that. (Uh, different use of the same word, sorry). But to me, respect or disrespect are internal states. Lots of people can say the right thing and not mean it. And the misuse of a symbol (to one person's eye) may just mean that the symbol doesn't mean the same thing to another. Or it may mean that respect and disrespect have to be earned by one side and given by the other. Then both sides have a responsibility. Which they sometimes don't want.

Freedom for the individual! And accountability for the accountable. What a boring slogan. That'll never catch on.

(Later in the day)

Currently Listening: Authentic New Orleans Jazz Funeral, by Magnificent Seventh's Brass Band

How's this for great? I'm so glad somebody's put this online...
"The Anti-Sit Archives":
I especially like the one that's a cross of spikes.
And this country pretends to be Xian.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

From Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities:

"The social structure of sidewalk life hangs partly on what can be called self-appointed public characters. A public character is anyone who is in frequest contact with a wide circle of people and who is sufficiently interested to make himself a public character. A public character need have no special talents or wisdom to fulfill his function -- although he often does. He just needs to be present, and there need to be enough of his counterparts. His main qualification is that he is public, that he talks to lots of different people." (p. 89-90, 93)

Obviously a good job for a librarian. Although, unfortunately, "Efficiency of public sidewalk characters declines drastically if too much burden is put upon them."

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Reasons to distrust technology # 6,000,000:

My computer seems to have dropped dead with no advance warning, like a perfectly healthy person who suddenly has a massive heart attack. Only this is trapping all sorts of data inside. I've been emailing some of my documents to myself, and others are saved on disc ... but frankly, until I know if the stuff can be saved from my hard drive, I'm too nervous to bring the discs to the library to try out. If they don't work, or anything goes on, I will become hysterical in too public a place.

It SEEMS like books and CDs disappear in my apartment, but they actually don't evaporate into thin air. Data on a computer can. The words can just disappear, and the backups can fail, and it's gone forever.

And this is the way we truly want to go?

Of course, in my case, the computer has been a useful tool that allows for such easier editing. The thought of those people through the centuries who had to revise lengthy novels without cut and paste: unbelievable! And yet, with that convenience comes massive insecurity. My puny documents are probably no loss to anybody but me. But the big push for the panacea of digitization makes me nervous, because of that built-in insecurity factor.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Currently Reading: Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th, by Peter M. Bracke

Another day, more yadda-yadda on the Patriot Act. Let's all enjoy our Constitutional freedoms while they're still there. Makes me want to stand on a soapbox somewhere and make a speech -- uh, no, I guess that wasn't allowed before. In theory, in the town where I live, we can't read our poetry in public places without those places having a "cabaret license." Of course, we do stuff like all that time. Sometimes we even advertise. I guess as long as poetry is considered a victimless crime, the law isn't being heavily enforced and I'm not considered a criminal. A group can't gather in a public place without a parade permit. Freedom of assembly? Freedom of speech? Freedom of religion?

And while we're talking about the war on terror, get out your old deck of Iraq playing cards, since they're starting to release people from it that they arrested with much fanfare and hoopla. (I guess Dr. Germ wasn't actually in the deck, but Mrs. Anthrax was. I remember my sister saying they all sounded like Superman villains). The accompanying news report says that the U.S. has no authority over Saddam Hussein now that he's in Iraqui custody. What will happen to the war on terror if he's found not guilty? How crazy would that be?

Normally I've given up on the national news because it makes me so depressed. It does seem like there is nothing to do but enjoy my bread and circuses. But if they're going to throw press conferences while I'm enjoying my morning coffee, they're going to force me to think. This isn't something anybody wants.

Hopefully I'll soon be back to my battles in the world of customer service.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Currently Listening: Soldier, by Iggy Pop

"Everybody oughtta love his job, and live his life, and keep his pride, indisputably happy with the one you love, with an exciting future on the fat of the land. I want more than an ordinary grind..." -- Iggy

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Currently Reading: Must You Conform? by Robert Mitchell Lindner

The answer to that question is ... NO!

Published in 1956 by the psychologist who coined the term "Rebel Without a Cause," this book predicts that the post-war pressure to conform would lead to an epidemic of psychopathic behavior. Why? Because he believed it is actually impossible for people to conform and not have rebellious impulses, and the attempt to do so can only lead to psychological damage to the person and society.

Interesting note ... some people believe that Lindner was the therapist of Paul Linebarger, a.k.a. science fiction writer Cordwainer Smith. Since Linebarger was an expert on psychological warfare, it certainly would have made for an interesting meeting of the minds.

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