Monday, October 24, 2005

Go, little blog, run wild, run free!

Ducks News
The Ducks reunited this weekend for two shows here in the Bay Area, one in Berkeley last night and one in Mill Valley. We couldn’t get a gig in San Francisco. Apparently, clubs are now booking six months out these days.

After a very pleasant pre-show reception at Dan Coffey’s brother’s house in Berkeley, we performed our humorous duty, and acquitted ourselves with honor, aside from a few dropped lines here and there. Oh, and Dan lost the keys to his rental car. They were found resting on top of the left rear tire.

The DVD is slowly moving its way to a store shelf near you. It was supposed to be there last week, but well- um- it wasn’t.

Funny Thing
Dan’s brother Pat had a clay sculpture diorama in his living room. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was. Then I realized it was a depiction of a horse pulling contest, in which draft horses compete in hauling great stone weights across an arena. It was a popular event at county fairs, and probably still is, though increased regulations regarding the treatment of animals have made the event more humane, and hence (of course) less popular.

Well, Leon had written a play about horse pulling contests, called HOSS DRAWIN’. I had actually performed in it myself. It turned out that this sculpture had been made by an artist from Cummington, MA, and was based on a horse pulling contest at the Cummington Fair, the same fair that had inspired Leon to write his play in the first play (Leon was raised in Vermont).
If that’s not synchronicity, I don’t know what is.

Plame, Miller, Rove, Libby, Cheney!
Despite following this whole scandal pretty closely, and reading every gossip and rumor-fueled blog that comes my way, I still don’t know if treason has been committed, and if so, by whom. But the whole thing just reeks of junior high school, doesn’t it? It’s like a big slumber party, with lawyers.

Ha ha! Her cover is blown!
New York Magazine: “… Matt Cooper, who testified without doing any hard time, keeping his sense of humor intact, [has] been telling friends he intends to write a comedy about the Valerie Plame Wilson affair. And Cooper, who does stand-up part time (sample joke: “ [John] Kerry’s idea of rebellion is having red wine with fish”), sees himself as just the man for the job. Cooper wouldn’t comment, even for a punch line. ‘The question,’ says a friend of Cooper’s, ‘is whether publishers are going to have the intelligence to want a funny book about this, instead of one that huffs and puffs about a crucial turn in American history and all that.’”

Eew. What if it’s Ashton Kucher?
From a recent New York Times article on our increasingly mediated lives: “Abandoning your own world for a made-up one is an ever larger part of adult life. For the futurist Ray Kurzweil, this is only the beginning. According to his new book THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR, we are approaching the age of ‘full-immersion virtual-reality.’ Thanks to innovations in genetics, nanotechnology and robotics, you'll be able to design your own mental habitat. You'll be able to sleep with your favorite movie star - in your head.”

Ray Kurzweil has also written: “Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity—technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light."

Ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light? We can’t even plan an exit strategy in Iraq! Maybe we installed the wrong software.

From Slate
“… Imagine if the town you live in transformed into one gigantic wireless hot spot overnight. You could feed parking meters with your MasterCard instead of hunting for quarters. Utility companies might read meters in real time and pass the savings on to customers. The next time you saw a pothole, you could instantly e-mail a camera phone photo to city hall….Firefighters would be able to turn traffic lights green as they race to put out a blaze. Police could tap into a bank's surveillance cameras to get a head start on cracking a heist. And emergency responders would be able to communicate during a natural disaster or terrorist attack, a need that became obvious in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.”

And we’d all spend every waking hour on the goddam telephone. The one installed in our immortal head.

What I want to know is: now that everybody has cell phones, and e-mail, and instant messaging, and chat groups, and networks, and blogs - how come nobody seems to listen any more?

From the Los Angeles Times: "
For 16 critical hours, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, including former director Michael Brown, dismissed the employee's [i.e. Marty Bahamonde's] urgent eyewitness accounts that the hurricane had broken the city's levee system the morning of Aug. 29 and was causing catastrophic flooding, the staff member told a Senate committee Thursday."

In other news….
According to Newsweek, the chronicler of vampires, Anne Rice, has promised "…that from now on I would write only for the Lord." Her new novel is told in the first person by Jesus, as a child. This is just my opinion, of course, but what Ms. Rice could use, more than faith, is a ruthless editor.


Blogger Marianne Mueller said...

Nanotechnology either is or isn't a valid science, depending whom you talk to and what they MEAN by nanotechnology (there be many tiny faeries), but you have to imagine the geneticists and people-who-make-robots
aren't really targeting mental sex with movie stars as their design goal.
Removing land mines is actually very big with robot people.

It's weird how everything has to be "sold" as having some personal benefit to the average Jill.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

One of the worries about nanotechnology, apparently, is that it could take over all matter, and everything would become a great gob of gray goo.
But if we can have sex with movie stars in our brains it's worth it!

9:59 PM  

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