Friday, July 21st, 2006

Daily Archive

Events continue to interrupt my attempts at an ostrich-like existence sitting inside and reading or listening to records. Maybe I should just stick to the book when I decide my stomach hurts because it requires a sandwich, not because I've been drinking coffee for several hours and not burning any of it off, but the usual practice is to watch a little television for the ten minutes or so I dedicate towards nourishment. Now, I've been off the grid and out of the loop for a good while now which causes a strange sense of deprivation to descend during these five minute intervals of cultural barrage. I've usually been the one that was up on the news, read the paper, watched the reports and even if I didn't have anything insightful or interesting to add I could at least keep up with the conversation. Now I feel

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pretty lucky when I catch Jeopardy and pretty stupid when I get things wrong. I still try and catch my English broadcasts of DW-TV and earlier I was even around for the News Hour on PBS but typically these only serve to show the extant of my ignorance as to what the fuck is going on around here. I'd heard somehow about the NSA data-mining a while back and it didn't really strike much of a chord emotionally or anything. I mean, what else did you expect, free ice-cream? It helps, of course, that I'm hardly anyone's idea of a terrorist and if my scant phone conversations warrant any attention by way of keywords it's only me and my friend down in Phoenix talking about how he works for the Taliban which really just means the coffee shop run by a couple Egyptian guys. I'm not prone to long distance calls, let alone international ones, so the Taliban thing probably just floats around in a tank full of ones and zeros. That's not the point– I'm supposed to care about things even when they've got fuck all to do with me. Racial profiling? Bad shit, even if it's never going to be an issue for me personally because I'm as white looking as an Alabama Protestant. Immigration reform? I'm not immigrating anywhere but I've still my little opinions about the matter. So when the US government is collecting phone conversations (indescriminantly or not) I'm supposed to be incensed and I am when I remember that I'm supposed to be incensed. That's all well and good and now a bunch of middle-class college kids are fighting the man and eventually the spooks can go back to spying on people without it being a topic of discussion just like it's always been. What irritates me more than the fact that people have to file suits against the government to have the matter out in the open is that I learned of that while reading MRR on the pot. So I sit and eat this rissoto I've just spent an hour and then some making flavorless on the stove and the news has a newzbite about ATT, the company paired with the NSA in the data-mining lunacy, selling actual phone calls to major companies like my bank to have the data, eh, mined for (I assume) marketing purposes. Let's imagine that ATT is a single entity as is the NSA and big bad Mr. NSA comes and asks a favor. ATT's a little nervous about it because ATT knows full well this is not gonna make ATT a very popular kid on the block. Big bad Mr. NSA could probably beat the shit out of ATT and get whatever he wants but being a class act who happens to wish to remain nameless instead introduces ATT to some other single entities like BofA, Merril-Lynch or whoever the fuck and suggests everyone make a deal. Did that make sense? I don't have time to edit or check facts or even really thing at the library here but it makes me a little suspicious that the NSA coerced ATT by promising that the collected data could be sold to other companies for more American activities like calling me about my fucking mortgage. I suppose Safeway kinda does the same thing when I use my mom's club card to get fifteen sense off that brick of cheese and that jar of pickles but they've never bothered calling about anything. Some people don't trust the government and invest their faith in free market business while others don't trust free market business and invest faith in the government while most people, I would hope, can't really tell the difference and spend their days reading and listening

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to records in hopes of avoiding having to deal with either. So my little head has had its normally scheduled programming interrupted for a contextually raw news item and when I try to lock the world out by watching a movie I land in The China Syndrome which is a cute little chick-flick about a nuclear power plant, a nearly catastrophic event and how big money attempts to usher in shit under the noses of the feds and make bigger money at the risk of making Southern California even more uninhabitable than it already is. Despite some poorly made choices pandering to the action oriented appeal of such movies it was pretty good and I would recommend it if you ever wonder what it must have been like when Three Mile Island had a little melt-down imediately after theatrical release. Which also made me think about the book “Toxic Sludge is Good for You”, specifically the chapter about infiltration into anti-nuke groups by industry spies. The point I recall is that the government has to subsidize the insurance at plants because no one else will and that's tax money. Then you pay for power and pray you don't die, I guess. -Q&D

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Quote of the Week:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

 A stately pleasure-dome decree:
 Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
 Through caverns measureless to man
 Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And here were gardens bright with sinuous   rills
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
 
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
 
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
 Floated midway on the waves:
Where was heard the mingled 
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 From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
 A damsel with a dulcimer
 In a vision once I saw:
 It was an Abyssinian maid,
 And on her dulcimer she played,
 Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her 
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symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 't would win me
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Kubla Khan

I’ve been thinking about Xanadu a lot the last couple of days.

No, not this Xanadu.

Xanadu1

Not this Xanadu, either.

Rather, this Xanadu.

Real Xanadu

As the world order seems to be dissolving or rearranging or ovulating (reference any major newspaper for details) I would like to order a new world, with chili sauce on the side. This is costly, so costly I can’t afford it.

I read in the news that Justin Timberlake does drugs. Maybe if I gradually insert myself into his life I can be around him while he’s all high and stuff and take his ATM card.

I’ll pick up where this *NSYNC pantywaist left off

and pay the cosmonauts to hook me up.

It will be me and a big space tank of ol. It will take a long time to get to Xanadu, but it will be worth it. I’ll take my tank of ol and pour it into the rivers of liquid methane and ethane carving Earth-like features into Titan’s landscape. I will still Moonshine.

I will sit still and pet a dog with a fishbowl on his head and look back towards the sun and the world I left behind. I wonder if at that distance the sun will be blinding, or if I could just take it in like an extra big star?

The Earth will be too small to see, but I can look closely at Saturn, which will surely dominate the night sky way out there. It must look five times the

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size of our moon. It seems like it would always be night.

And then I’ll be blindingly drunk all the time, staggering around beneath enormous rings of particles.

I’ll be much closer to the edge of the solar system, and every time I look up, wasted, beneath that bizarre and unfamiliar sky, I’ll get a feeling like vertigo, or a door opening behind me at night.

If I jump I’ll feel like I might just drift into space.

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