World. Party.

One of the songs that was a soundtrack to some of my best wanderings, listened to again tonight, with a tear and a smile and a clutch of beers.

Episode 3 [.mp3, 4Mb] in the ‘bottle weekly song sharing festival of randomness. As usual, I’ll leave it up for two days. Enjoy.

The Waterboys – World Party

Well it’s got nothing to do with anything that is real

You just believe in it and it’s true

You can sooth like an angel or sigh like a saint

You can dream it and see it through

You will live to see a sea of lights

Sparkling on the face of a pearl

Climb your own peak

Find a new streak

Get yourself along to the world party (party!)

Now you’ve been building for yourself a cool place in the sand

You’re thinking that it’s mighty fine

You’ve got dust in your eyeballs, you got mud in your mouth

But it’s your head, it ain’t mine

I’ve got a madman of my own to contend with

Cursing in the cave of my skull

Turn the other cheek

Find a new streak

Get yourself along to the world party (party!)

Well I heard a rumour of a golden age

Somewhere back along the line

Maybe I dreamed it in a whisper or

Heard it in a spell

It was something to do with the sign of the times

And the only thing that I remember

Is a summer like a pretty girl

Who shimmers and shines

Moving in time

shaking to the beat of the heart of the world

Party (party! party! party! party!)

Recent Korean History

A reasonable summary at Mother Jones of the events leading to the current situation on the Korean peninsula. Two things are notable, at first read, by their absence, though.

1) “(from 1994) …for three years the Clinton administration stalled on implementing the agreement, hoping that the highly militarized North Korean regime, its people suffering from starvation, would simply collapse.”

This is true, and it’s also true that more than 2 million Koreans died in the meantime. How inconvenient!

2) “In June 2000, the president of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung, acting on his own initiative and without consulting the United States, undertook a historic journey of reconciliation to Pyongyang, in an effort to eradicate the last vestiges of the Cold War on the Korean peninsula. His visit produced a breakthrough, and won him the Nobel Peace Prize.”

His visit and ‘breakthrough’ came, in typical Korean fashion, as a result of a bribe of several hundred million US dollars paid by chaebol Hyundai to the DPRK regime. Not all that deserving of accolade, perhaps.

This conclusion, near the end of the piece, is one about which I am very uncertain, to put it mildly :

If President Roh were to ask American troops to leave South Korea altogether, with perhaps only a treaty promising an American “nuclear umbrella” in case the North ever did use nuclear weapons, I believe a reconciliation between the two Koreas might come very speedily.

If the Americans leave entirely, I’m on the next plane out, too. Whether or not I think they ought to be here, they need to be here, at least until Kim Jong Il and his regime has collapsed, as it inevitably will.

Lakoff A La Carte

Some context for the George Lakoff article recently noted here and elsewhere around the traps : a one-hour discussion from NPR [realaudio, 52 minutes] with him, rooted in linguistics, on metaphor as core to our cognition, and why he thinks that neuroscience has proven philosophical method to be flawed. Useful perhaps in understanding where he was coming from with this.

Special SuperCaliFragiLinguistitastical bonus audio : Steven Pinker on Words and Rules [NPR realaudio, 56 minutes]

You like that? Hmmm, you liiiiike it? You want more, baby? OK, here’s the motherlode. Enjoy.

I AM THE GREATEST!

Last week every second thread at the ‘filter seemed to have at least one mention of Neal Pollack, and how he’s tastier than pre-sliced cheese and better looking than that guy on the infomercial, you know, the one with the hair, and may or may not be America’s Greatest Living Writer. Me, I had no idea who this guy was.

So using the all the tools at my command, at great personal risk and expense, and by the grace of GOD, I tracked down his own Personal Website.

And he’s a pretty funny f–ker, you know?

Going Dark?

Shelley’s mentioned that she’s not going to be able to renew her lease with her webhost after the end of this month, so I guess it’s time I talked about it too.

Over the last year and more, even with all the financial chaos and stress she’s been experiencing, the Burningbird’s also been generously hosting the Empty Bottle, and when her weblog goes dark, that means mine will too.

I’ve only thanked Shelley indirectly in the past, because I believed that was what she’d prefer, but I’d like to very publicly offer a heartfelt thank you to her now, for her help, her encouragement, and her friendship.

Thanks, Shell, for everything. If you hadn’t noticed me a few years ago and been possibly the first to *gasp* actually blogroll me (I remember that cherry-poppin’ thrill, I do) and unexpectedly sing my praises (back when I had no idea that there were actually other people out there doing this stuff, before I knew that these random Neato Sites I kept running across were run by people who knew each other, personally or virtually, some of whom were allegedly part of cliques and denied it and some of whom weren’t and claimed they were, and that the web was primarily a social place, and that this was all going to explode into something miraculous and unexpectedly important to me) I might not be the Master of Time, Space and Dimension I am today. Or something like that, anyway.

Thank you.

And now, if the ranting is to continue, it’s hat-in-hand-time for me again, I guess.

Continue reading ‘Going Dark?’

Two Lips, Two Lungs and One Tongue

Here’s your obscure kickass Song of the Week, folks [2.7 Mb, mp3]

(installment #2 in an unannounced new feature on the ‘bottle (and praying that my ISP doesn’t notice)) :

NoMeansNo – Two Lips Two Lungs And One Tongue (Wrong, 1989)

He kept trying

He kept trying

But he couldn’t find out

Why he couldn’t stop crying

Only so many songs can be sung

With two lips, two lungs and one tongue

She kept praying

She kept praying

That he would understand

What she was saying

Only so many songs can be sung

With two lips, two lungs and one tongue

He kept dreaming

He kept dreaming

Of the day they’d realize

What he was feeling

Only so many songs can be sung

With two lips, two lungs and one tongue

Only so many songs can be sung

With two lips, two lungs and one tongue

Hanoi Ed Rocks!

Ed has said some interesting things about the latest conversation we find ourselves blogging our way through, including this :

Given the peremptory perception of a post and the false sense of importance behind an entry, people are loath to actually express what is on their minds. Popular weblogs are disinclined to state anything about politics or war other than the neocon hard line, something else that can be filed under the rubric of “oblique” commentary. And thanks to the extension of our cult of personality to weblogging with terms like “A-list,” referrals, the intricate brownnosing and insularity seen at events like SXSW and Fray, it has now expanded to a level that sometimes negates the socializing and collective innovation that these events are supposed to be about. The Leo Buscalgia-like need to be liked, linked, or befriended, to be noticed as if the whole personal writing gambit or sense of weblog being was some spineless, drug-free answer to Studio 54 and the strange Bush-NATO idea that “an attack on a person’s writing is an attack on a person” (tell that to a libel expert and he’ll laugh you out of his office), causes people to pull punches or take things far too seriously. And it corrupts honest expression.

which is excellent and with which I agree quite emphatically, but to which I must reply ‘Not the wonderchicken, muthaf–ka!’

Meaty, Beaty Identity

[This post contains adult content (in a sophomoric container)]

So I had this brilliant idea that I’d find some cheesy 50′s-style text pr0n, and search and replace the names with, you know, like Saddam and George and Dick and so on (reminds me of the Carlin joke from a decade ago about the first Gulf War : “…with Dick Cheney and Colin Powell in charge of this war, a Dick and a Colin – you know someone’s getting f–ked up the ass!”) and it would instantly become Comedy Gold and secure me my place in the weblogger Hall of Fame for all eternity.

Five minutes later, that seemed like a really dumb-ass idea, as these things usually do. But in the intervening time, I’d gotten all hot and bothered and plugged the nearest INPUT with ‘hot rod +rammed +quivering‘, having cast my mind back for keywords I could lift from the amusingly goofy dime sex-novels I remember finding in my grandfather’s basement when I was about 12. God bless the Googlebot.

That search took me here in short order, where all sorts of textual sucking and grunting and thrusting and other activities of a carnal nature were taking place.

Distractions happen to me almost continually – (I blame a period of recreational Ritalin use a while back, in the days when judgement was, if not entirely fled, at least in short supply) oh look, a shiny thing! – and I found myself wondering what sort of site might lie at the root (no pun intended) of the URL. Kinda bloggeresque domain, after all – myboringlife.com. [Warning - this URL will try and install an ActiveX control (which may or may not be kosher) and may contain nudity. Not that the latter is such a bad thing, really.]

A domain like this, and one kind of expects kitty pics and posts about how annoying that guy down at the laundromat is, although I should really try to be nicer to him, ’cause everyone’s beautiful in their own way, you know, a beautiful and unique individual. Well, no. Except in the loosest possible sense of ‘kitty.’ Get me?

Turns out that it’s the site of a camgirl, or in this case I suppose camwoman, named Karen, who is apparently a widow and lives in Hollywood, and who is given to favouring the world with displays of her mammalian appurtenances. You know, her boobies.

What amused me, in light of recent bibliotic thought and talk about who we are, and how we write those selves into existence, and who those selves are, and all of that, was this :

me.jpg

No prevarication, no qualification, no veils or ambivalence, just one word : me.

I wish Karen no ill, of course, and intend no mockery, despite my smartass tone. When it comes down to it, aren’t we all attention whores to one degree or another, we webfolks? Sometimes I think there’s really not much difference between a camgirlwoman and your average blogger, even bloggers as admittedly excellent and erudite as those here in my virtual neighbourhood, wordy storytelling bloggers like me.

Except that Karen’s breasts are clearly much nicer than mine.

[Update : Penisblog. QED. via Mefi]

Promises

I have promised, in roughly chronological order, to write about

(apologies to anyone I missed.)

I’m not sure how many of these, if any, I’ll get to, but I’ll try. I suck at digging out from under the results of my own laziness.

Stop The Madness, Darn It

Now I know the Patriot Act (quite possibly to be extended indefinitely, is the word on the streets) is Bad, and the Bend Over And Feel Our Power Act (also known as Patriot II – The Second Coming) is Worse, but this, friends and neighbours, this is Insupportable.

In Fairfax, VA to be precise. The police there have decided that getting drunk in a bar is an arrestable offense worth enforcing. You don’t have to be starting trouble, getting in a fight, or climbing behind a wheel — the simple act of drinking in a bar gives them enough probable cause to harass and subject you to tests. And if you actually have the gall to have more than a couple beers while in that bar, you’re going to jail and getting fixed up with a nice criminal record.

[more...]

Courtesy of the excellent Modern Drunkard Magazine.

Whales

My mother recently found one of the journals I kept during my wanderings in the 90′s, buried at the bottom of one of my old tin trunks that had been sitting out beside the woodpile at the lodge for a few years, and mailed it to me. Reading it has flung me back into the sweet mad whirl in which I lived for so many years, and brought back a peacock fantail of good and bad memories. Here’s an excerpt :

December 28 1992

Latitude N 21°50.51

Longitude W 105°52.89

After an overnight cruise south from Mazatlan, the shakes from the exhaustion after 2 or 3 hours sleep are chased away momentarily with a little caffeine.

At sunset, we had 5 sails up in a vain attempt to catch what little wind there was – jib, stay, main, mizzen staysail (which was actually the old chute from Taiping), and the mizzen. We must have looked magnificent in the fading light. But as the sun went down, the flukey light winds said ‘f–k it’ and went to bed. We dropped everything except the main and mizzen, tried in vain to get some speed, then gave up and sheeted them in tight and turned on the engine.

About three in the a.m., orange dots began to show up like measles on the radar. A veritable flotilla of fishing boats, all overlapping their nets in continuous lines miles long, raking everything alive out of the water. Miserable bastards. No running lights to speak of, of course, and the few there were obeyed no patterns, so we had a few tense hours winding our way amongst the boats, hoping like hell that we wouldn’t hit any of their nets. At least the sun-bright squid boats with their spidery armatures of lights pointing down into the water were easy to avoid.

Michael retired before we were through (a little worse for the beer I suspect) but we managed, Dale and I, to steer us through. Iron Mike, the autopilot, did most of the work – but we watched damn close, adjusting every minute or two. Came within a few hundred feet of a couple of them, which out on the open water felt close enough to smell their farts.

sh-t! Whales – I almost forgot. Not only was there a humpback in full breach not 200 feet from us as we approached Mazatlan a couple of days ago, which was my first glimpse, but shortly before sunset last night, while I was steering under sail, two more humpbacks surfaced and blew about 100 feet off the starboard beam. Curious, they turned to approach. The sheer size and majesty of those magnificent bastards terrified me. They came within about 20 feet of the rail, then, sounding, dove. Michael worried aloud that they’d ‘fall in love’ with the boat and bump it a little, rub against it some. They do that sometimes, he said. Maybe he was just messing with me. But they were at least as big as us, and we’re 71 feet LOA. I was all over the compass, heart pounding.

The whales surfaced again about half a mile off the port beam, having dived beneath us, then turned north and headed towards Mazatlan. We sailed on, slowly, sniffing for winds.

Wet Noodling

Gary Hart, as everyone knows by now, has his very own weblog thingy. This in and of itself is moderately interesting, I suppose. An indication to the starry-eyed that Blogging Really Does Matter (*cough*bullsh-t*cough*), a sign to the less credulous that political PR fluffsters are working every damn angle they can (possibly having studied the RagingCow Episode and powerpointed up a clever way to avoid the halfwit faux-hip clankers that fell like blue-ice jet-toilet turdmeteors in the wake of that one). I stopped by Gary’s site for the first time today, and was…uh, underwhelmed.

If this is the kind of rhetoric we can expect from the defanged and image-managed yawnocrats that roam free-range across the political landscape in America these days, we may well be in deeper sh-t than we think. Ten out of ten for linking to Metafilter on the blogroll, Gary, but minus several million for meaningless, pandering empty-talk like this :

Bruce asked what kind of non-violent cause or causes might unite America and why Democrats have not proposed it. I can suggest at least three: homeland security, energy security, and national productivity. Americans should be enlisted in an urgent national effort to secure our neighborhoods against terrorist attacks. We can volunteer for training in emergency medical response in case of mass casualties and assume auxiliary police and fire duties. Our people would also rally around a national project to make us sufficiently energy efficient that no American need die for foreign oil in the future. And we can all participate in shifting our economy from one of consumption to one of saving, investment, and productivity.

Yeah, right, that’s it. And, as a wise man once said, monkeys will fly out of my butt.

That said, though, this entry is somewhat less tepid, and briefly fans aglow that deeply buried spark of hope I still carry around in the skull of a goat (wait, no, that was Quest For Fire, wasn’t it?) that all is not lost.

Oh, It's All So Icky

So I heard some people are averting their eyes, avowing that they’ll Blog No More about all the War and Death and Ugliness and Ickiness; telling us that they feel they must disengage from the angry and divisive back-and-forth bayonette to the guts wartalk flying back and forth across the blogosphere lately. It’s just so taxing. Too much, too wild, too real, too damn disruptive to quiet contemplation and coffee consumption. The voices who shout out against war are all but indistinguishable in their stridency from the voices who cheer the Forces of Freedom, darn it! I thought all that fact-checking of their asses would be fun! It’s all so easily parsed, too obvious – I know the forces of Good are the Forces of Evil, sometimes, silly, and the Evil Doers are still there, darn it, and the Doers of Good are semi-plus unbad, well, at least sometimes, and I weary of explaining it all to my loyal readers, and besides all this typing is making me tired already, especially when some random Googlenaut winds up at My Personal Website with a search for “America Number One” +pussy -cheeselogs and leaves a comment that makes me feel like my carefully chosen words are all pearls-before-swining themselves, and I just can’t do it any more, I need to find my happy place….

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I’m thinking you can go f–k yourselves, you lame sh-tmorsels. Grab some anger [mp3 - 2Mb] and ride it into the dirt, or step the f–k back.

(If this is unfair to those who have made a firm stand against making a firm stand, well, tough sh-t is all I can say to you this evening, my friends.)

Lost

Lostintransit.org is a new site written by expatriates of which I’ve been asked to be a part, and for which I look forward with great anticipation to writing faux-intolerant screeds about Korea (and other Lovely and Welcoming Exotic Locales).

Once I get this pickaxe out of my forehead, that is.

An interesting and diverse group of people there, nicely rounded out by the presence of some Miraculous Poultry, if I do say so myself…