Just in case you were having some difficulty visualizing the dollars involved in the production of Curious George Goes To War, this may help you understand how important Iraqi Freedom really is†.
†Not f–king very.
The Samsung ladyphone : just one of those occasional excrescences of Korean weirdness into English, not just cognitive dissonance-inducing mistranslation, but a brief glimpse into the whirling void of cluelessness that yawns at the core of this nation of loveable doozers.
There’s more than just those 32 chips of cubic zirconia (wow, that’s class!) and a built in make-up mirror. Much, much more! Check out these just-for-her features!
Excellent! A phone with Menstruation and a Fatness Index! I don’t know what a Pink Schedule is, but I want one! I’m in gadget heaven, and I’m not even a woman!
A little Iraquiz, nicely footnoted, just to help you keep your eye on the ball as more Americans die, and the evil wobbly old f–ks in Washington start casting about for ways to clean the poop out of their drawers :
While reading this post from Burningbird, this song from one of the greatest punk bands of all time (and one of my all-time favorites) Vancouver’s DOA, was playing on Winamp, appropriately enough. Not poetry, far from it, but good political hardcore rarely reached such lofty heights way back then, 20 years ago and more, and we rarely noticed, as busy slamming and pogoing and sinking oceanic quantities of cheap beer as we were. I do recall taking very seriously one of the band’s many mottoes, though: TALK – ACTION = ZERO.
I used to know the answer to that question, two decades ago, when I first heard this song, or thought I did. I marched in protests, I talked to everyone I could corner in bars and hallways, I told them to fight the wave of corporatist christian contrakiller bullsh-t flowing out of America and lapping around our ankles.
Today, I don’t know the answer anymore. I am almost certain that there is no good answer, actually, no answer that’s any damn good at all, other than the one that comes by following the urgings of your own sense of right and wrong.
So I’m going to go get drunk, and be nice to some people, and try and avoid getting in any fistfights with Americans. Not much, but it’ll have to do, you know?
Like Joey sh-thead said, you gotta know who your enemy is.
Kim Jong Il’s livejournal [via El Filtro] is just what I needed this morning, as the Land Of The Morning
Calm chaos gets all in my face once again. People are dying over in Iraq, I know, I know, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a chuckle at the expense of a funny looking Korean despot, right?
Also, I am victorious!
Feeling a need to feel like a kid again, if only for a few minutes? Do this now!
I’ll give you an example of that. There’s a condition in combat. Most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to it’s absolute peak and maximum, can’t take any more input. The nervous system has either snapped or is about to snap. In the first world war that condition was called shell shock. Simple, honest, direct language. Two syllables. Shell shock. Almost sounds like the guns themselves. That was 70 years ago. Then a whole generation went by. And the second world war came along and the very same combat condition was called battle fatigue. Four syllables now. Takes a little longer to say. Doesn’t seem to be as hard to say. Fatigue is a nicer word than shock. Shell shock…battle fatigue.
Then we had the war in Korea in 1950. Madison Avenue was riding high by that time. And the very same combat condition was called Operational Exhaustion. Hey we’re up to 8 syllables now! And the humanity has been squeezed completely out of the phrase now. It’s totally sterile now. Operational Exhaustion: sounds like something that might happen to your car. Then of course came the war in Vietnam, which has only been over for about 16 or 17 years. And thanks to the lies and deceit surrounding that war, I guess it’s no surprise that the very same condition was called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Still 8 syllables, but we’ve added a hyphen. And the pain is completely buried under jargon. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I bet you, if we’d still been calling it shell shock, some of those Vietnam veterans might have gotten the attention they needed at the time. I bet you that.
But it didn’t happen. And one of the reasons is because we were using that soft language, that language that takes out the life out of life. And it is a function of time it does keep getting worse.
Give you another example. Sometime during my life toilet paper became bathroom tissue. I wasn’t notified of this. No one asked me if I agreed with it. It just happened. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue. Sneakers became running shoes. False teeth became dental appliances. Medicine became medication. Information became directory assistance. The dump became the land fill. Car crashes became automobile accidents. Partly cloudy became partly sunny. Motels became motor lodges. House trailers became mobile homes. Used cars became previously owned transportation. Room service became guest room dining. Constipation became occasional irregularity.
When I was a little kid if I got sick they wanted me to go to a hospital and see the doctor. Now they want me to go to a health maintenance organization. Or a wellness center to consult a health care delivery professional. Poor people used to live in slums. Now the economically disadvantaged occupy sub-standard housing in the inner cities. And they’re broke! They’re broke. They don’t have a negative cash flow position. They’re f–kin’ broke! Because a lot of them were fired. You know, fired. Management wanted to curtail redundancies in the human resources area. So many people are no longer viable members of the work force.
Smug, greedy well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It’s as simple as that. The CIA doesn’t kill people anymore, they neutralize people, or they depopulate the area. The government doesn’t lie, it engages in disinformation. The pentagon actually measures radiation in something they call sunshine units. Israeli murderers are called commandos. Arab commandos are called terrorists. Contra killers are called freedom fighters. Well if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it to us, do they?
And some of this stuff is just silly. We know that. Like when the airlines tell us to pre-board. What the hell is pre-board? What does that mean? To get on before you get on?
They say they’re going to pre-board those passengers in need of special assistance …cripples! Simple honest direct language. There’s no shame attached to the word cripple I can find in any dictionary. In fact it’s a word used in Bible translations. “Jesus healed the cripples.” Doesn’t take seven words to describe that condition. But we don’t have cripples in this country anymore. We have the physically challenged. Is that a grotesque enough evasion for you? How about differently-abled? I’ve heard them called that. Differently-abled! You can’t even call these people handicapped anymore. They say: “We’re not handicapped, we’re handy capable!” These poor people have been bullsh-tted by the system into believing that if you change the name of the condition somehow you’ll change the condition. Well hey cousin … doesn’t happen!
We have no more deaf people in this country. Hearing impaired. No more blind people. Partially sighted or visually impaired. No more stupid people, everyone has a learning disorder. Or he’s minimally exceptional. How would you like to told that about your child? ‘He’s minimally exceptional.’ Psychologists have actually started calling ugly people those with severe appearance deficits. It’s getting so bad that any day now I expect to hear a rape victim referred to as an unwilling sperm recipient!
And we have no more old people in this country. No more old people. We shipped them all away and we brought in these senior citizens. Isn’t that a typically American twentieth century phrase? Bloodless. Lifeless. No pulse in one of them. A senior citizen. But I’ve accepted that one. I’ve come to terms with it. I know it’s here to stay. We’ll never get rid of it. But the one I do resist, the one I keep resisting, is when they look at an old guy and say, “Look at him Dan, he’s ninety years young.” Imagine the fear of aging that reveals. To not even be able to use the word old to describe someone. To have to use an antonym.
And fear of aging is natural. It’s universal, isn’t it? We all have that. No one wants to get old. No one wants to die. But we do. So we con ourselves. I started conning myself when I got in my forties. I’d look in the mirror and say, “Well…I guess I’m getting …older.” Older sounds a little better than old, doesn’t it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. I’m getting old. And it’s okay. Because thanks to our fear of death in this country I won’t have to die. I’ll pass away. Or I’ll expire, like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital they’ll call it a terminal episode. The insurance company will refer to it as negative patient care outcome. And if it’s the result of malpractice they’ll say it was a therapeutic misadventure.
I’m telling ya, some of this language makes me want to vomit. Well, maybe not vomit …makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill.”
[edited from transcript found here.]
Who’s organizing pro-war (and what an idiot word that is – ‘pro-war.’ Yeah, ah’m pro-war. I kinda like all that killin’ and burnin’ and shootin’ – makes me feel like f–kin’!) rallies in America? The Bush-friendly ClearChannel crapradio near-monopoly, apparently. Neat!
Edit : Now that Fetamilter’s back up, here’s the thread there, with some additional info.
I need a drink. A large one. Whose round is it?
[Note in Big Friendly Letters for the Intelligence Impaired : The piece below was recently reproduced in toto (which is intensely annoying in and of itself) at Indymedia by someone, and characterized as actually being in support of this corporatist misadventure of a war. It’s not, damn it, and that might have been clear if my unknown copy-and-paster had actually bothered to read beyond the first paragraph, or scrolled down a post or two. Disappointing.]
You know, I’m starting to get behind this whole War thing. I feel it in my belly now, I feel the twist down deep in there, down where the root of my cock would be, if it had a root. I feel the warm throb with each heartbeat thrum and flash of ordnance.
It gets me hot.
I’m getting excited about the killing. I wasn’t too thrilled with it at first, you know, cowardly america-hating lefty cheese-eating appeaser blowhard anti-warblogger f–kwit that I am. I was tremulous and girly, but now that the blood is flowing, and the guns are shouting their wordless chants, I’m starting to like it. I want to see more! I want the news to turn bad and then worse. I don’t want your brave boys or mine to come home, wrapped in glory and squinting through a cake of Euphrates dust – I want them to stay and fight and die, for me, yes for me, and for glorious freedom. I want them to stand there arch-backed and unbowed in the sand with the grieving sun behind them – erect – and clutching a flagpole, with old glory streaming out behind. And then I want to see them blown to pieces.
I want a conflagration! Firestorms! God damn it, if it’s war then let it be war! Let’s rub our noses in it, roll in it like a dog in its puke, let’s stare at ourselves red-eyed in the mirror and think about what we really are, and what we love, and who we fear. Let’s take it to the next level! Let’s roll! No pain no gain! Just do it! Semper fidelis! Give me the shrieks of the wounded, the gentle Protestant sobbing of heartbroken heartland mothers, and the keening of those strange burkha’d women gathered around the corpses of their sons, too.
I like this war. I want more of it. I want Iraqi Freedom now, and I want it without pickles or mustard, you minimum-wage retard. I want Iranian Freedom too, with some Freedom Fries on the side, and then I want some goddamned Korean Freedom, served up sizzlin’ hot, with kimchi-fart afterburners switched on as the walls fall down around me. Free the world, George! Free us all! We want to be free! My huddled masses, they yearn for some down-home, Texas-style freedom! Freedom from care, freedom from want, freedom to shop, freedom from thought, freedom from life. Free us from our lives, America, free us all. Fight for peace, because peace is almost as good as freedom!
Void where prohibited by law.
It’s completely unimportant, but I wonder if the sh-tstorm of war-driven infantile hatred and apoplectic misspelled vitriol howling around everyone’s favorite Metafilter will be enough to finally kill it off. Matt’s wondered in public what to do with it on its upcoming fourth anniversary, and one of the options was to just pull the plug.
I’m ambivalent, to put it mildly. It’s like watching someone you’ve loved with all your heart for years, warts and all, become an incoherent, piss-reeking, crack-addicted ass-peddler, through the crusty scrabrous shell of which you still see the occasional glimpse of the dear friend you once had. You still love that friend, and you can’t stop yourself in trying to intervene and turn the poor bastard from the abyss, but sometimes you just as much want to put a freakin’ shotgun to his head and end his pain.
You know, not to be excessively melodramatic or anything.
*shrugs, goes back to Metafilter*
I have received an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, imploring me to sign a petition (warning : that’s probably an email harvester). This email came to my private, supersecret, jealously guarded email address, at which I have never (yes, never) received a spam email. It’s clear that someone I know provided my email address so that I could receive this message.
Please do not do this, even with the best of intentions. It makes me very angry. I will receive any mail sent to (any address) at serendipity.mailshell.com, and this allows me serverside control of what gets through and what gets blocked.
Update : Dumb f–ks. I just got a spam email to [address at serendipity.mailshell.com], and have edited the above for clarity and to remove the ‘@’. One thing you can always depend on is stupidity.
*blocks that address*
Now is my time to step into the newest combat zone. And as a young man raised on the films of the Vietnam War, I want ammunition and alcohol and dope, I want to screw some whores and kill some Iraqi motherf–kers.”
–excerpt from ‘Jarhead – A Marine’s Chronicle’
I said this, before :
You f–king primates. Kill each other until you’re all dead, grind each other’s bones to make your bread. Swing the infants by their heels and shatter their tiny skulls on the doorjambs of your hovels. Kill! Hate! Let it never end! Swear blood feuds, and carry on the senseless slaughter of your fathers’ fathers, and their thick-fingered simian fathers, too. Bathe in the blood of your enemies, before they have a chance to caper like children in arterial gouts of yours. Cleanse the world of your hated foes, yes, that’s it, ethnically cleanse. If there are any women left alive, don’t forget to rape them, and rape them hard. Slitting their throats after you’ve spilled your filthy warrior seed is optional, but recommended. Kill! Lay waste! Wreak havoc! Defend the honour of your people, sink your hands deep into the warm entrails of those you would destroy as they cough out their last curse! Kill!
Just hurry it up, already. I’m waiting to dance on your unmarked graves, you cheeseheads.
I’m too f–king weary to get as worked up as I was when I wrote that little rant about some-f–king-war or other, so transliterate if you must, my friends. Turgid, purple and mildly embarrassing, sure, but better than nothing, right?
Better than embarrassed, embattled, uncertain silence. Better than a sad and defeated realization that no matter how intense the outrage born from a meaningless commitment to steer one’s course by what seems ethical and right, the stupidity and hatred and killing will just keep rolling on.
Not a worst case scenario, actually. Not at all. I can think of worse, but if I concentrate on it too much, I feel like ripping the throat out of the next person who annoys me. Especially if they’re American.
Chicken little (but not inaccurate) quotable quote :
My friend John has made something very good. A way, one hopes, to make a statement of some kind, a statement like ‘Ahhhhhh, sh-t,’ for example. An easy, lazy way, sure, but better than whipping up bad photoshops and typing out apoplectic rants, which have been the main thrust of my statementation so far. And easy, lazy stuff is the way of the future, people keep telling me. So get on the bus! Next stop – somewhere else. Hopefully.
I am often inclined to think, all Sturgeonesque, that 90% of everything is crap, and that goes double for poetry. Which would mean, of course, that 180% of poetry is crap, which may be overstating the case somewhat, but that feels like a comfortable number to work with, so I’ll let it stand.
A case in point is this Harold Pinter poem rescued from a slightly-less-than-customarily-dumbass (at least recently) Metafilter thread. Harold Pinter is apparently some Poet of Significance, about whom I know very little, as I ain’t got me mucha that there book-larnin’. Anyway, have a read :
Now, I don’t disagree with the sentiment expressed here, as you might guess. Yes, America and their God are doodyheads supreme, and a force for death and evil in the world today. That’s a given, isn’t it? And, hey, I like the loping metre – badum badumdum boop. It’s bouncy, yet martial! Just right, as Goldilocks might exclaim.
What amuses me is that this Great Author’s Poem falls in quality somewhere between lame old Satan-cheering Iron Maiden lyrics, say, and a quote from Cannibal Corpse [warning : rather icky, but may assist in understanding American culture] . You know, I wouldn’t take issue if Pinter’s tripe weren’t meant to be Art, High and Holy. No one listens to Cannibal Corpse (or at least, I wish no one did) expecting a literary artgasm, I don’t think. But oor Harold?
Well, stuff like “The riders have whips which cut. Your head rolls onto the sand Your head is a pool in the dirt Your head is a stain in the dust” goes quite nicely alongside other stuff like
Quick now, was that Harold, or the merry pranksters from Vomitory? And does it matter? Admittedly Mr Rundqvist, Vomitory’s wordsmith, has a few problems with getting those nice bumpedyboop rhythms going, and may in fact have a few problems with english as a second language, but I’m willing to bet there are a whole lot more people chanting his songs than dear old Harold’s.
Which may not be the point. You tell me. 250 words or less, due by Friday. Heh.
I wonder, as an aside, how many of the foolish young soldiers going to risk their lives for f–king nothing in Iraq listen, teeth gritted, to mutant scum like Cannibal Corpse and their grindcore ilk? That might be an interesting statistic.
Thanks for the help with the redesign candidate a few days ago, friends, but true to contrarian form (well predicted by Fishrush), I think I like this brand spanking new idea I’ve been fiddling with even better. Even though it looks best on IE (transparency is a wanky but purty) and at resolutions higher than 800×600, it still looks reasonable on the latest Mozilla and doesn’t totally derange Opera, at least.
That said, I may well change my mind again tomorrow, but it’s bedtime for now and my eyes hurt. Comments are welcome as always. But please keep in mind that this is an early prototypy thing, and I am aware that it imposes some limitations as a result of design decisions (like supporting 800×600). I’ll probably end up just implementing the skinning doodad I was working on a few months ago as monica suggested, so you’ll be able to choose your (persistent between sessions, with cookies) look and feel thanks to the Magic of PHP, this current design included.