Ask Willa!

The chipper white Aryans (be a feerd of furiners!) at Family Security Matters have an anonymous CIA operative who will answer your questions—and help fan the flames of paranoia that keeps the Dems cowed and Bush on top.

Here's what I decided to Ask Willa:
Is it possible for Islamic Fascists to wreak havoc by planting explosives in produce?

Given how widespread potatoes are in this country, it seems to me that vegetable bombs pose a significant threat.
Join the fun!


Them Heavy People

Because it's just that kind of day.

Firefly Wisdom Monday

ZOË     Captain will come up with a plan.
KAYLEE     That's good. Right?
ZOË     Possibly you're not recalling some of his previous plans.


How to Make a Buffoon

Inflate bag with gas, let bag leak slowly in front of a microphone.

The homophobic Rev. Ken Hutcherson showed up at the Microsoft company meeting to threaten the corporation if they continued to support gay rights. Box Turtle Bulletin has the video and details.

When it was later pointed out to Hutcherson that 97% of the shareholders supported Microsoft's policies, Hutcherson made noises about getting different shareholders, i.e. taking over the company. As Box Turtle points out, at $34 a share, Microsoft has a market capitalization of around $318 billion dollars.

If anyone was shaking in their boots, it was from laughter.


It's All Explication de Texte

Isn't this piece from today's Writer's Almanac

Beside the Point

The sky has never won a prize.
The clouds have no careers.
The rainbow doesn't say my work,
thank goodness.

The rock in the creek's not so productive.
The mud on the bank's not too pragmatic.
There's nothing useful in the noise
the wind makes in the leaves.

Buck up now, my fellow superfluity,
and let's both be of that worthless ilk,
self-indulgent as shooting stars,
self-absorbed as sunsets.

Who cares if we're inconsequential?
At least we can revel, two good-for-nothings,
in our irrelevance; at least come and make
no difference with me.
       —Stephen Cushman

really just a gloss on this Dickinson poem:

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us - don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Maybe I have an associative disorder that resolves everything to Dickinson. Well, there are worse universes to be trapped in.


"This Is What a Police State Looks Like"

...or at least being on the road to one. From a notice posted on Seattle Indymedia:
At 3 PM, on Friday, November 2nd, the landlord of the building which houses the Pitch Pipe Infoshop received a call from a Tacoma PD lieutenant. He told her that the Infoshop and the Anarchist Bookfair which it is holding this Saturday and Sunday is a homeland security threat and will be monitored by police for the entire weekend. The landlord then approached residents of the building and threatened eviction. As of now, no one is threatened with a sudden eviction.
God forbid someone reads a book. More about the Pitch Pipe Infoshop Collective.

It's impossible to know if this is Federal pressure or just local cops being thuggish and stupid. I'd bet on the latter, but these days it's not paranoid to consider the former.

Meanwhile, there's some Althusser, Marcuse, and early Marx in my basement that might find its way south to that lending library.


Resistance Is Futile

Or, as Žižek would have it, "Resistance Is Surrender." The argument is, in part, that most forms of resistance to global capitalism are determined (and thus compromised) by that very global capitalism. Most—but not all.

Not necessarily Žižek at his best but Žižek at his always interesting. And if you're wondering who the heck is Žižek, Routledge has a splendid introduction to his work and thought.


Commuting Tip of the Week

Don't listen to the Twin Peaks soundtrack on a windy day that makes the traffic lights swing ominously against a gun-metal sky. Just don't.

This has been a Library of Babel Public Service Announcement.


Firefly Wisdom Monday

MAL     If anyone gets nosy, just, you know... shoot 'em.
ZOË     Shoot 'em?
MAL     Politely.



LAPD's Maps

The LAPD is mapping Muslim areas of the city to find areas that might produce/encourage terrorists.

And they wonder why folks think they're racist.

Given that the majority of terrorist acts in the U.S. are committed by right-wing Christians (Tim McVey, clinic bombers, etc.), perhaps they'd be more effective mapping Evangelicals?


Firefly Wisdom Monday

MAL   My work's illegal, but at least it's honest.



"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic."

And with Pete Martell's phone call to Sheriff Harry S. Truman, I knew I was back in the overwrought and weird world of Twin Peaks.

The new, complete release came out last week and last night I sat down and watched the pilot. I wouldn't call it fun, exactly, but it was hard not to put the next disk in.