31 January 2009

Glen or Glenda?

I had no idea Bella Lugosi was such a talented surgeon.

Apparently, despite being a destitute drug addict at the time, he was able to perform a complex sexual reassignment surgery on Ed Wood which turned him from the totally ripped ex-Marine veteran of Guadalcanal and Tarawa into the foxiest glamour girl to hold the Medal of Honor.

Interestingly, the nickname for the Medal of Honor, which is the United States highest military honor, awarded for distinguishing ones-self conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States is called the "Blue Max", because the ribbon used is blue, and well, it's the maximum award a soldier can win. On doing a little research I discovered that once Wood recovered from the reassignment surgery, she petitioned the Department of Defense to allow her to refer the award as the "Blue Maxine", but because the medal is protected under United States law, this was not allowed.

Nevertheless, Glenda continued to proudly wear her Blue Max at haute social functions until her death in 1978.

30 January 2009

The Myth of Dispose "All"

The story says that the food scraps from cooking a meal, or from your plate after eating can be discarded into the "magic hole" in the sink and they will disappear forever. The implicit suggestion being that you can shove everything but the sink itself down there and forget about it. C'mon, it's in the name, dispose-all. Everyhting goes right!?

The thing that seems to have been forgotten is that you gotta toss all the big stuff in the trash, or preferably the compost, and that the sticky business, that which does not scrape off, is all that goes into the hole.

Nevertheless the myth that persists is that everything and it's mother can go in there. But I'd like to point out a few key facts that most people fail to realize when confronted with the theoretical concept of "Dispose-All".

1.) If you've ever stuck your hand down the fucking hole you'll find that it's not like a blender. There are not big jagged fucking razor blades down there ready to turn stones into powder. They are a scant few blunt, short little molars which really just churn the water around with a little grumble. It only sounds gnarly because it's metal grinding metal. They're called "impellers".

2.) If you rammed food waste down there every meal you'd pretty quickly find yourself with a fucking foul rotting kitchen. The impellers effectively churn the food, keep it moving until it can swirl through the drain screen in the disposal. If it can't fit, the impeller isn't going to chop it or force it. If it can't go through, and you put more in after your next meal, wash the dishes, add more... pretty soon you have a cesspool which can only be dealt with manually.
These instructions should convince you that you don't want to have to do that.

3.) If you take a look under your sink you'll notice the drain hose that comes of the disposal is pretty small, probably not much bigger than the diameter of a quarter. Not much room for an apple core is there?

4.) The only things that don't appear to be problematic are water soluble materials, food-grains like rice which when left in water will absorb it until effectively dissolving. Most food though is not water soluble, and things as seemingly benign as vegetable foliage or tea leaves can ruin your weekend.

5.) In places where composting services are available, such as metro-Seattle it doesn't make sense to be adding thing to the water that treatment systems are not designed to deal with (on a side not this is especially true with cat-shit which creates problems for treatment systems designed to cope with human shit.)

So the very nature of its perceived grossness precludes a simple understanding of the principles of the garbage disposal. It's deceptive name doesn't help either. But once you know, it shouldn't be as disgusting, and subsequently less of a problem.

27 January 2009

The Crawling Eye

It was a truly terrifying night. One of the worst I've ever experienced, and if I may say so, I'd rather become a swineherd in Upper Silesia for the rest of my life than to experience that again.

You could tell there was something about to happen because there was a great deal of tension in the air, things were somehow unnaturally still and quiet. The people you passed on the street, or at least the ones I saw, were all a little bit stiff and spooked, they looked back at you with the dumb fragility of an animal that can smell, but not yet see its doom.

That's a little bit ironic considering what happened next. Within about five minutes a crescendo of screams started pouring down Sunset Ave. from the west. Pretty soon we could see the source, a multitude fleeing, trampling each other, collapsing. Behind them came the most horrific thing we'd ever seen, an enormous naked eyeball, supported and dragged along by a flopping knot of tentacles around its base. The only way anyone got away from the thing was because of sheer numbers, like a school of fish it simply couldn't chase us all.

Those who got caught were done for before they knew what hit them. It was like fighting a million staring contests at once while your opponents slapped you in the face repeatedly with both hands.

Read my comrades spin on the same pulp-art postcard at Gone to Croatoan

26 January 2009

I Might Need Help

Following through I mean.
Sometimes I get ideas where a lot can happen, this is dynamic, this is good, something will happen, and then without dialogue, without input from outside, I gradually grind my ideas down into "unworkable" or "non-functional" spasms of misplaced fanaticism.

The fact is, sometimes I get riled, envigorated charged, and I'm full of ideas, then without context, that is, without outside input or feedback, my ideas gradually grow stale, over-dissected and dead.

I don't need or expect you to jump up and stomp around with me hurling invective, all I want is some honest but not overly analytical feedback. Pragmatic (not pessimistic) possible prognosis.

So Fishermen's Terminal is under attack, again. What can I do? A couple ideas:

Drop flyers and signs at Ballard businesses. Flyers say something like, "Fishermen's Terminal employs X number of people in Ballard and generates X number of dollars in the neighborhood economy, this represents a native economy that is worth fostering as opposed to the much smaller number of Yacht and Condo owners, who want high class boutiques anyway. Stand up and support the FT by purchasing fish from them and offering discounts if possible to fishermen. In addition post this sign in your window saying "_______ Supports Ballard Fishermen."

Flyers stating facts and benefits of local economic revenue and job source in economic hardship/local food source/gas price times like these. Flyer goes on to state what a person can do to find out moreor help. Flyers placed in newspaper machines in window spot, etc. public advert spaces.


Support For Fishermen's Terminal

Some of you may have seen some mutterings in the local Seattle news about some things going on down at the Fishermen's Terminal here in the Ballard Neighborhood.

Once again, after over 50 years of hostility the Port Commission is once again applying not so subtle pressure on the Fishermen. After declining to fulfill numerous public promises and improvements and infrastructure required by public charter, the Port of Seattle is trying to strangle this historical cornerstone of the Seattle economy, increasing the pressure in the hopes that the Fishermen will break, and resistance to their policy of toxic high-stakes encroachment will go belly-up.

The latest scheme to effectively evict Fishermen from the net shed is just another act of economic piracy which clearly shows an inclination toward the high priced luxury boating and real estate industries; short term investments that make a lot of money quickly for a tiny handful at the expense of the livelihoods of a great many more hardworking people.

I can't urge you enough to help keep the Fishermen's Terminal operating and going strong. At a time when increasing suspicion is directed towards foreign health standards governing imported food products, fuel prices are on the rise again, and the global economy is in a shambles, it seems like shooting ourselves in the foot by kicking out a local source of quality food, and a big source of local jobs and income is a downright idiotic idea.

Pete Knutson, one of the Fishermen and an activist for the Terminal has a business website for his two-boat fishing operation Loki Fish Co. where you can find out about his business and where to get his tasty products (my workplace The Ballard Market being one) Under the Scrapbook tab at the top of the page you can get news about the Fishermen's ongoing struggle. And they need our help, Pete has written an excellent Position Paper which clearly details (see chart above) what is going on and the positive impact of the Terminal, as well as the negative policies and impact of the Port Commissions shady dealings. A short documentary on the issue was also made and can be watched HERE for free.

After you read up on it and watch the video, here are a couple of simple things you can do to support the Fishermen:

Write a letter of support citing some reasons, and send it to the local press, with a carbon-copy sent to the Port of Seattle and another copy sent to Pete himself (via the Loki website). Make sure you include your full name, address and daytime phone-number for verification otherwise they won't consider it for publication.
Seattle Post-Intellegencer: editpage@seattlepi.com
Seattle Times: opinion@seattletimes.com
Seattle Weekly: Seattle Weekly Letters Window
The Stranger: editor@thestranger.com
Ballard News Tribune: bnteditor@robinsonnews.com.
Queen Anne and Magnolia News: qamagnews@nwestlink.com
(you can follow links on the Q-A Mag News page to other neighborhood papers)
Port Of Seattle: Port of Seattle Contact Page

Buy fish straight off the Fishermen's boats moored down at the Terminal, or at their stands at various local farmer's markets.

Keep abreast of the issue (keep checking the Loki website "scrapbook"!), elections for 3 Port Commissioner seats are coming up in November! Watch the papers and news for new developments, and when they happen, give some feedback to the media.
Make noise and pass this info on to other people who care!

24 January 2009

The Golden Amazon

Man, this lady is excited. Amazons got their name from the Greeks, and the Amazon river got it's name from those fierce ladies of legend who definitely didn't run around with laser guns, but don't tell this lassie that, she'll crack you across the jaw with that shit.

For that reason I guess it sortof makes sense that she's referred to as The Golden Amazon by her pals. Look at that hair, she wears it loose, tossing hither and thither while she blasts baddies. You would think that her prowess as a warrioress, and her, um, athletic physique would be the reason she was dubbed Golden Amazon, but that's simply not the case.

I don't know how true it is, but that might make it a little scarier when you consider how foxy and fierce this awesome woman looks in her billowing cape and matching space boots. I mean she looks like she's really in control, really civilised even though she's going buckwild with that blaster, you know she's got a plan, that exploded spaceship behind her was not a fucking accident ok?
No, she got called Amazon because she eats human flesh, y'know, like the tribal cultures way the hell out there deep in the Amazon jungle? The first time somebody saw her do it, they said, "Damn, that chick is totally Amazon." The Golden part is because of her hair though.

Read my co-conspirators piece inspired by the same pulp postcard here: Gone to Croatoan

Dream Diagram 4

This is the last one I had planned, it's a dream I had years and years ago. What I find most frightening about it is that something so acutely sexist could come out of my brain. The choice of images probably adds to that.

That said I'm not entirely satisfied with the outcome of the artwork, it has some reallu good panels, and some not so good ones, but I'll live with it for now.

The fourth installment in the Dream Diagram Series.

20 January 2009

Loves of a Girl Wrestler

Loves, they weren't loves.
It would be too easy to call it nymphomania, people like to lay heavy labels on women who like to fuck. We all like to fuck, it's a man’s world that doesn't want 'em to like it. Naw, her addictions, or fine, loves if you aint buying my line of thinking here, they're pretty standard, especially if you consider what she came through.

The postwar years weren't easy, especially for they guys that did the fightin', but their families had it pretty rough too, they had to deal with ruined husbands and dads, quiet suppers where mom knew not to ask questions when dad sucked her days hard work down almost as quick as the scotch. Days when dad sat out in the garage with his tools, and just sat.

Kids, even girls, lose more than a little something when a home is more like a perpetual wake for somebody nobody ever met. It wasn't her daddy's fault what he went through, but guilt don't need a good reason to wreck a man.

Anyway, what she had wasn't loves, it was more like empties. She didn’t have no love, and she kept on tryin’ to fill it up every time she hurt somebody in the ring, but especially every time she loved somebody, or at least, thought she was lovin’ ‘em.

Read my co-conspirators piece inspired by the same pulp-postcard here: Gone to Croatoan

Noam Chomsky on Gaza

Now here is a brief excerpt from the new article by Noam Chomsky which was forwarded to my via e-mail from the Z Magazine website. The link to view the whole article online is here: http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/20316
I know some of the few readers who come hear to read my babblings are not fond of political crap, but nevertheless, I think it bears reading for the simple fact that it probably going to be the best researched piece you'll read on one of a very important issue. Whatever side you take, the outcome of this conflict is going to have social repercussions all over the world. Will it make carefully PR managed genocide an acceptable policy, or will we actually practice what we've been preaching about human rights and compassion for so long? That said, I gotta go and read the article.

"Exterminate all the Brutes": Gaza 2009
January 20, 2009 By Noam Chomsky

On Saturday December 27, the latest US-Israeli attack on helpless Palestinians was launched. The attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months according to the Israeli press. The planning had two components: military and propaganda. It was based on the lessons of Israel's 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. We may, therefore, be fairly confident that most of what has been done and said was pre-planned and intended.

That surely includes the timing of the assault: shortly before noon, when children were returning from school and crowds were milling in the streets of densely populated Gaza City. It took only a few minutes to kill over 225 people and wound 700, an auspicious opening to the mass slaughter of defenseless civilians trapped in a tiny cage with nowhere to flee.

In his retrospective "Parsing Gains of Gaza War," New York Times correspondent Ethan Bronner cited this achievement as one of the most significant of the gains. Israel calculated that it would be advantageous to appear to "go crazy," causing vastly disproportionate terror, a doctrine that traces back to the 1950s. "The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day," Bronner wrote, "when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza." The tactic of "going crazy" appears to have been successful, Bronner concluded: there are "limited indications that the people of Gaza felt such pain from this war that they will seek to rein in Hamas," the elected government. That is another long-standing doctrine of state terror. I don't, incidentally, recall the Times retrospective "Parsing Gains of Chechnya War," though the gains were great.

The meticulous planning also presumably included the termination of the assault, carefully timed to be just before the inauguration, so as to minimize the (remote) threat that Obama might have to say some words critical of these vicious US-supported crimes.

For the rest of the article please visit - http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/20316

Eggs for Breakfast

After Aaron and I discussed this breakfast dish at school today I wanted to find out more because we had both heard different names for it. I always found myself a little bit disappointed by this dish because the toast always seemed a bit flavorless. I think the problem was that it hadn't been treated separately before the agg was added. That is, it should have been toasted and buttered beforehand, and anyway, are eggs ever good when they're served solo? I want some cheese and green chile on my hole-in-the-bread-eggs, maybe some bacon too, I guess that kindof makes it into a breakfast sandwich, which, now that I think about it would be way better anyway.

(The following text was copied verbatim from Wikipedia)

"Egg in the basket or egg in a window (egg in the hole & "pirates eye" in Commonwealth countries and toad in the hole, Rocky Mountain toast, eggy toast, hobo toast, cave entrance, yolky pokey, o'johnnies, egg in a frame, nest egg, toaster spurtals, egg-holey-o, submarine egg, or bird's nest in many parts of the United States) refers to a chicken's egg fried in a hole of a slice of bread. It is a common comfort food, and is known by many names in various countries. For example, this dish is sometimes referred to as one eyed jack when the cut out section of bread is fried and then placed back on the yolk, like a pirate's eye patch."

19 January 2009

New Mexico Commune

Art Kopecky is the author of a couple of books about living in the New Buffalo commune in Northern New Mexico during the late 60's and early 70's.

18 January 2009

Just Can't Let it Go

I spent my time in the darkness of fashion vanity. Even when I tried so hard not to be fashionable, when I was "punk", I was as much a victim of it as ever. Un-fashion is still fashion and costume is an social umbrella term.
I know that I can't expect everyone to be pragmatic and frugal, the antitheses of fashion, but nevertheless, I'm still capable of being a judgmental snob, and one thing I don't think I will ever understand is the current popularity of a particular kind of footwear called the Ugg.

What is it?
Uggs are a soft boot popular among women between the ages of 15 and 35, suede on the outside and furred on the inside, rising anywhere from low calf to almost the knee.
This metaphor is going to be a stretch I know, but I'm trying to create a word-picture here. Y'know how people pick up their dog's poop with a plastic baggie? The way Uggs crease up around the ankles looks to me like bags of dog poop. Stiff but saggy sacks of shit around the ankles.

Perhaps a more benign and somewhat less vitriolic label would be "Smurf shoes". They look like damn smurf shoes, which brings me to another point of fashion shame, one that I know by the name of Tam, a baglike knitted hat. Normally used in Afro-Carribean cultures to hold dreadlocks when the person doesn't want them getting in the way, but in Seattle at least, worn by emaciated white women as an empty sack hanging loosely on the head for no fucking visible reason. (I wear a baseball cap, often for no fucking visible reason either I'll admit but it doesn't look like a macrame head scrotum) The rub is that it looks like a Smurf hat, and in conjunction with Uggs serves to form a mental precondition for extremely harsh judgement.

Finally I'd like to point out some other pieces of clothing and behaviors common to the Ugg demographic. The first of these is the necessity of tucking the pants, whatever type into the top of the Uggs.
This could mean two things:
a.) The Uggs have to be on display otherwise they are pointless, i.e. they are strictly for fashion
b.) When covered by pants the Uggs, which are padded, so they're rather thick, look stupid. The pants are tight around them and they look like what one might call an ankle diaper, which brings us back to the poop word-picture.

But I'm not done with pants yet. First, sweatpants and Uggs, sweatpants are just sloppy, first thought articles of clothing which in itself contradicts the concept of Uggs. The second is tights which, although they might get you noticed by men, only serve to enhance the smurfy turd-bag look of the Uggs (see above image). Although men may be checking out your ass in those tights, I suspect that Uggs are not really part of the patriarchal sexist fantasy. Among those I surveyed, I did not encounter even one man who liked Uggs, maybe that's why both of them are my close friends.

In conclusion, I really don't care what you spend your money on, although I will look hypocritically down my nose at your vanity and pity your lack of personailty and individuality, but whatever you do don't ask me to endorse your wearing of glorified slippers.

I'd also like to say a thing or seven about the popularity of the كوفية‎ in American urban hipster culture once again.

The dilemma is a classic case of what we'll call "separating the art from the artist". Can I really watch a Mel Gibson movie even though he's an anti-semite?
Or in the case of keffiyeh, can it be a fashion accessory without having to symbolize Palestinian solidarity? (or "terrorism" if you're an ignorant Westerner who gets all your news from FOX)

And the answer is yes, it can be, but it will still have deeper implications to some people. Feel free to wear whatever the hell you want. To some people white hoods and a burning cross are going to have more meaning than just "hat and campfire", so it might behoove you to know these things before you choose to wear them. Unless you want your book to be judged by it's vain ignorant cover, or are actually wearing it in solidarity.
Symbolism is a very important part of human culture and the context a symbol is used in is equally important. Consider the appropriation of negative symbols like pink triangles which the Nazi's used to mark homosexuals, much like the star of David for Jews. Although perhaps eclipsed somewhat by the rainbow (which I'll admit, I don't really get maybe you can clarify the symbolism of that one for me), the pink triangle has been appropriated as a symbol of Pride and solidarity in the face of oppression.
Think before you wear.

But please, don't wear your keffeyeh with your tam and Uggs, I will go absolutely fucking nuclear.

I know it'll all be replaced by something else soon anyway, but I just can't let it go, yet.

17 January 2009

Reefer Madness

Reefer Madness is the little known cousin of Cabin Fever which affects people who live in log cabins for too long.

Like Cabin Fever, which is caused by gaseous emanations seeping from the wood of the walls and affecting the brain, Reefer Madness is caused by coldness, a little understood fluid which is secreted by the air.
Coldness has been studied for many years, but is still not well understood because those intrepid scientographers who shut themselves into refrigerators to research it for the edification of mankind usually succumb to that invisible creeping death-child of the air, coldness, which inexorably breaks their minds, reducing them to the state of chattering shit-hurling bonobos.

Though little is known about the process by which Reefer drives people to madness, it is relatively easy to protect ones self from it's effects. The Center for Disease Control has issued a statement suggesting that it can be avoided by spending as much time as possible closed up in your log cabin out of the cold air.

Read my co-conspirators piece inspired by the same pulp-postcard here:Gone to Croatoan

14 January 2009

Go, Man, Go!

He and his pals drive around and around in ridiculous circles as fast as they can until they get sick as dogs, green as the rotten metal on some of those old junkers and then they hop out, staggering like landfallen sailors through the mud toward a bizarre collection of half-aware girls in tight trousers and unbuttoned shirts.

His sticky hands wiped again across slack dripping lips clumsily squeeze her soft breasts and run the contours of a generous hip. Regularly convulsing with self induced vertigo he smells the saccharine scent of her hair, spluttering clinging threads of bile across the inky curls. The supple give of her soft flesh, unstable and quivering, wobbling back and forth like pink-tipped swells beneath his dumb fumbling only makes him sicker and more determined to ride the cold sweating waves.

On and on they go, heaving, retching and groping like first time necrophiliacs half aroused and half inside-out, a collection of nympho-nausea-maniacs torn between self-disgust and high risk hedonism.

Read my co-conspirators piece inspired by the same pulp-postcard here: Gone to Croatoan

13 January 2009

Crap DVD

For the sake of output, that is, actually producing something even if it's not pretty I'm trying to just write whatever might be on my mind.
At the moment that is the problem of screening movies. For the sake of Kung Fu Grindhouse I have to watch a lot of kung fu movies, probably about 3 a week or so most of which I have of late been from a popular online rental service. Sadly much of what said online service has on offer in the KF genre is released by less than savory DVD producers.
What seems to happen is, a company picks up the rights to release a dirty copy of an old kung fu movie (or two, they like to release double features) on DVD for very cheap and for whatever reasons, choose not to clean it up at all, the print remains dirty, faded, scratchy and often with old,lousy subtitles and muddy dubbing. Buy cheap, sell cheap, cheap product.
It sucks because it's almost impossible to tell if the movie you're going to get is going to be any good unless you're looking at the case, something which obviously isn't part of the online home rental service. The only redeeming feature is that I can generally skim through the film in 30 or 45 minutes and decide if it's worth tracking down a quality copy of the movie.
Watch out for these releasing companies, they are some of the main culprits of crap-fu DVD's.
Martial Arts Theater (an imprint of Tai Seng)
East West Entertainment
If you know of any more please let me know so I can make a more comprehensive list of garbage peddlers.

10 January 2009

The Cat Creeps

You've heard people say, "There's more than one way to skin a cat" right? I mean, not really anymore, but you have heard the expression? Meaning something analogous to "everybody has their own way of doing a particular task", but I'm about to tell you that that's bullshit.
Consider for a minute the concept of child prostitution. Selling a child's body to an adult for sex. Pretty abhorrent right? Not really an OK thing to do, at least as far as we're concerned, you and I. We've agreed that child prostitution is morally repugnant right?

OK, but in some cultures, hey, that's pretty normal, maybe even expected that a child have sex with an adult for money. Now does that make it any less repugnant? I mean you could argue "what is the defined age of childhood" right, but for clarity's sake here let's say 8 years old. How can we countenance selling an 8 year old for sex in other cultures when we don't allow it in ours? Do we as "morally elevated" people take it upon ourselves to change another cultures tradition? That's kindof like cultural colonialism right? But to not do something about it is moral relativism right? "It's not OK for me to fuck kids, but you can because you have a special cultural "clause", the pedophile clause.” And hey, I'm a totally PC guy, and I respect cultural diversity right? Bullshit.

OK, I used too many words and I took the long way around, but I think the point I’m about to make will be a lot more striking beacuse of that.
Look, I’m sorry if you do it another way, but there’s ONLY ONE GODDAMNED WAY TO SKIN A CAT. You’ve got to set up some creepy German silent-horror movie style underlighting and scare that furry motherfucker right out of its skin.

Read my co-conspirators piece inspired by the same pulp-postcard here: Gone to Croatoan

c.a. 2003 CE

Let's revisit the annals of Seth, the ancient catacombs of Goodkind. Some 6 years ago,...

Own the originals of these vintage Vietnam War illustrations for just $50 each! Contact me at eatenbyworms(at)hotmail.com

07 January 2009

Culture War and Zombie Film

Here is a draft of this amazing paper I have been brooding upon since I read a shortsighted essay in Z Magazine some months ago. I responded to that essay (It's Not Just Vietnam Dude) but the whole episode brought on thoughts of another subject. Why do zombie movies in the US seem to cluster around particular periods of history. My general thesis is that they are an aesthetic response to a perceived cultural threat. I have since typed several overly verbose outlines of this essay which I don't like.

Lets be straightforward and simple.
Why did these movies come out? Because the antagonists embody a perceived cultural threat.

What is the cultural threat? What is perceived as being attacked by this threat?

Post WWI – The cultural threat is to white hegemony. The beginnings of National self determination had given the European powers and Americans a scare. Particularly in America where “colonies” were supposed only to be of economic interest, and after the treaty of Marseilles which was supposed in theory to dissolve the colonial world. Additionally, after years of suppression under Jim Crow, Afro-Americans are starting to agitate against mistreatment (Booker T. etc.). The War has given them the opportunity to prove themselves capable, which they have, yet they are denied expected recognition.

(It might not hurt here to explain why WWII did not lead to a glut of zombie films, y’know, just as counterpoint.)

Post Vietnam – The cultural threat is to American moral superiority. We’ve proven ourselves in WWII, and theoretically in Korea as well. We’re at odds with the Communist mentality, a war of ideologies, The Cold War. Us vs. them. Plus, we’re technologically the most advanced nation in the entire world, and we’re the free-est right?

The idea is that freedom (as defined by Capitalism; freedom of consumption) is perfect, look at all the freedom we have, assembly, religion, speech and all that, as compared to anything else, especially communism, who would want that. Therefore, it’s our duty, as free and freedom loving people, to help save others from restriction of freedom.
Why didn’t this work out? They don’t want our freedom, for various tenuous reasons, nevertheless, they demonstrated that they didn’t want the American version of freedom. Our political/economic ideology was rejected in form and function. Instead, in addition to the existing threat of the Eastern Bloc, we now have an outright refutation of our claim to ideological righteousness.
And, on top of that, the people who rejected it are not industrialized, and do not fight conventionally. They successfully fought and (effectively) defeated the richest most advanced nation on the planet with simple guerilla perseverance and nationalist fanaticism. Ouch.

Iraq/Afghanistan – The cultural threat may once again be moral superiority. I don’t seem to have gotten this far in my previous attempts to articulate this idea. (A good reference may be the BBC documentary Power of Nightmares) Essentially, we’ve done something that offends these people to the extent that they want to kill us, on our own ground, without an overt act of (traditional military) war having been committed. Something about capitalism here again, but not having to do with political ideology more with economics, the final rebellion of the impoverished or something (sounds too apocalyptic) but this is about Americanization, not about Democratization. This is about cultural hegemony, cultural colonialism, the culture of repressive consumptive hierarchy. Sociopathic decadence and amoralism backed by military and economic might. Ultimately the physical death and agony of war is not the threat here, but the loss of cultural identity. That is the core. Cultural colonialism? (there is no direct economic threat here aside from the creeping compulsion (via advertisement) to be more Western/American/consumptive)

Part 2 - How does the zombie of this era represent the cultural threat? What is the representation of the protagonist?

Coming Soon!

Previous versions available on request. The point is not that this is not a final product (can’t you tell?) but a working version in which previous drafts may have also included important information and thought not included here. What I’m trying to do with this draft is to boil it down to its core questions, and to some extent, the overarching answers I’m trying to grasp at.

WWI Terms for Research

Mostly this is just me looking a little further into some of the things that were brought up in Aaron's and my WWI class today. As I mentioned to him, our professor is a pretty good lecturer, dynamic, funny and frankly engrossing if a little odd. It makes sense that I just poke into these things a little more because frankly they are pretty goddamned interesting, to me. Perhaps if I continue doing this it might help chronicle some of the things I'm learning and provide a record both for myself and for others of the development of my ideas on history and philosophy (have I mentioned I'm now torn on whether to minor in philosophy or sociology? Have I mentioned I don't even know what I need to do to "minor" in something?).

John Stuart Mill- "(20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century." The Liberal philosophy of which Mills was a proponent believed essentially that men should be free to do whatever they wished so long as it didn't interfere with the right of others to do the same. Nevertheless, English liberals of the time believed that certain state responsibilities trumped personal rights. This philosophy led to the decline of class distinctions as far as hereditary career paths went, talent and desire dictated a persons choice of vocation. "Mill's On Liberty addresses the nature and limits of the power that can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. One argument that Mill develops further than any previous philosopher is the harm principle. The harm principle holds that each individual has the right to act as he wants, so long as these actions do not harm others. If the action is self-regarding, that is, if it only directly affects the person undertaking the action, then society has no right to intervene, even if it feels the actor is harming himself. Mill excuses those who are "incapable of self-government" from this principle, such as young children or those living in "backward states of society"."

Edmunde Burke- "12 January 1729 – 9 July 1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher who, after relocating to Great Britain, served for many years in the British House of Commons as a member of the Whig party. He is mainly remembered for his support of the American colonies in the dispute with King George III and Britain, which led to the American Revolution, and for his strong opposition to the French Revolution. The latter made Burke one of the leading figures within the conservative faction of the Whig party, which he dubbed the "Old Whigs", in opposition to the pro-French-Revolution "New Whigs" led by Charles James Fox.
The Wiki entry, at least as far as I read didn't elaborate more on how Conservatism played out in the WWI era, but I just need to follow the Conservatism thread...

1889 Dockworkers Strike- "The London Dock Strike was an industrial dispute involving dock workers in the Port of London. It resulted in a victory for the strikers and established strong trade unions amongst London dockers, one of which became a nationally-important Union. The strike is widely considered a milestone in the development of the British labour movement, symbolizing the growth of the New Unions of casual, unskilled and poorly-paid workers, in contrast to the craft unions already in existence. The strike helped to draw attention to the problem of poverty in Victorian England and the dockers' cause attracted considerable public sympathy."

Syndicalism - "Is a type of movement which aims to degrade capitalist societies through action by the working class on the industrial front. For syndicalists, labor unions are the potential means both of overcoming capitalism and of running society in the interests of the majority. Industry and government in a syndicalist society would be run by labour union federations. This emphasis on industrial organization was a distinguishing feature of syndicalism when it began to be identified as a distinct current at the beginning of the 20th century. Most socialist organisations of that period emphasised the importance of political action through party organizations as a means of bringing about socialism. Although all syndicalists emphasize industrial organization, not all reject political action altogether. For example, De Leonists and some other Industrial Unionists advocate parallel organisation both politically and industrially.

Allow me to make a quick connection via excerpt from Wiki again:
"This milder version of syndicalism was overshadowed by revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism in the early 20th century."

Irish Home Rule - "The Irish Home Rule bills were bills introduced in the British House of Commons during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, intended to grant self-government and national autonomy to the whole of Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and reverse parts of the Act of Union 1800."
This goes on to have relevance for "The Troubles" between Protestant majority N. Ireland and Catholic majority (the rest of) Ireland. The Ulsters, Protestant Irish who wanted to remain a part of England refused to be ruled by a Catholic majority, the English Parliament could hardly send the Army against loyalists, nor could they attack a country they were about to give independence (of a sort). This dilemma was postponed for WWI, but was picked up again as we know and carried on into our generation.

Well, that's it for todays sidetrack research into WWI class keywords, or at least terms that caught my attention. See you next time.

06 January 2009

High School Hellcats

The situation she was getting in was far too hairy to be entered with abandon, much less without a sidearm, but the warm feeling in her belly and the warm breath on her neck had lowered her guard just enough. No doubt she would soon be practically comatose, not because of the drink, but because of the beating she was about to receive from the cadre of thugs who stood around leaning against the wall in their own hazy wobble.

There was no doubt left, this was really the way it was going to have to play out, a quick and dirty scuffle, the sound of meat hitting meat, and the heavy scrape of kneesocks on concrete.

The next morning wasn't as bad as she'd expected, though it took some time to wash the blood from her hair. She'd have a hard time explaining the scabs on her face and the broken bra strap to her mother, unless she caught her after a few Long Islands, but really that didn't matter anyhow, now that it was over. All the preparation and desperation had been worth it.

Read my co-conspirators piece based on the same pulp-postcard here: Gone to Croatoan

03 January 2009

Teenage Caveman

In the otherwise banal year of 1954, the relatively ignored and conservative field of paleontology experienced a tremendous upset when heretofore unknown research assistant Richard Fanoogian at the Institute of Heretical Sciences in Dayton, Ohio made the first of a series of history making finds in the recently discovered Indigent Deposit.

What Fanoogian had initially believed to be portions of a prehistoric apelike creature turned out to be nothing less than the first ever, and earliest known find of a species thought to have develop millions of years later, well after the warming of the earth since the last ice age.

That year, Fanoogian would begin his meteoric rise to fame when, during an expedition to Indigent, he first stumbled across what appeared to be some sort of preserved cloth. Intrigued, Fanoogian dug on, revealing first one protruding curve, then another until he had before him an almost completely intact fossil specimen of a prehistoric “hot chick”, clad in a close fitting cloth suit.

Within a month the H.I.S. had assembled a crack team of bone-diggers, and by years end had uncovered what would come to be a the earliest known settlement of Paleolithic beefcakes and chicks, upending the entire palentological world and making Fanoogian a playboy nerd almost overnight.

Read mu co-conspirators piece inspired by the same pulp-postcard here: Gone to Croatoan

02 January 2009

Peggy Cummins

Whatever, it's just a drawing in a book, it doesn't have to be perfect. That's why it's a sketchbook right, it's just for practicing and ideas, not perfection right? I hate how every time I finish an illustration, no matter how hard I've looked at it and tried to get it just so, as soon as the ink is dry, shit, something is wrong.

01 January 2009

Gaza and Failed States

I've been hearing the reports on the radio and seeing them in papers since it began and I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said. Frankly I am not in a position to make precise judgements on specific events, I haven't studied the diplomacy and history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. I have read a few things by people that have studied those events and seen firsthand what is going on.

Though what I'm going to say has undoubtedly been said before, and better, I figure it can't hurt to add another voice to the chorus, (even though practically nobody reads this blog) for the simple reason that the more dissent and disapproval of an act there is, the more likely it is to cease, even though in this particular instance that has not yet been the case.

Regardless of Israels justifications for bombing Gaza, justifications which are refuted by secular
Gazan leaders as well as top UN human rights investigators (Hard To Justify Deadly Attacks), Operation Cast Lead, the campaign of bombing which began on Saturday December 27 is nothing less than an act of genocide.
Israel has repeatedly claimed that it has resorted to violence reluctantly, as a last resort, that all it wants is peace. Pure rhetoric. Israel has repeatedly consistently and willfuly violated this most recent truce, and previous ones on a level comparable to US violation of Treaties signed with American Natives, a travesty regarded almost universally as genocide.

The fact is, Israels human rights violations and war crimes are widely documented in American and European press, and deplored, protested and condemned worldwide. Nevertheless it continues. So are the crimes and atrocities of Hamas and other militant Palestininean organizations. That's the whole point, it is pure hypocrisy to condemn a government, or in this case, a splinter group of terrorism if you yourself commit similar acts. Particularly so if you intentionally provoke them. The same applies to the United States and Great Britain among others. It is pure and simple a double standard.
If you want to hold others accountable for their actions, then you have to be held accountable for your own.

Any denials or justifications put forward by Israel or her apologists (Israel Engages In Self Defense) are crocodile tears, shed by a power drunk criminal state which is unwilling to grant to others the very same rights that it so violently demands for itself. Israel is a failed State.

My primary source was Noam Chomsky's Failed States