Saturday, January 30, 2010

There's a blog for that.

Pimped
For some reason, I’d never watched the actual “gotcha” video created by James O’Keefe III, when he stung the folks at ACORN. He captured ACORN staffers on tape giving unethical and possibly illegal advice. Shortly after these videos were released, Congress cut ACORN's federal funding.

I still haven’t seen that footage, but in the wake of Mr. O’Keefe’s arrest for attempting to do something or other with the phones in Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, I have seen stills of Mr. O’Keefe in his pimp outfit.

Now, at the time of the ACORN sting, I found myself irritated by the whole thing. I wondered if this is what conservatism had come to: rich white brats badgering overeager and underpaid grass roots organizers. Don’t frat boys have anything better to do, like haze freshmen, or beat up townies?

But having seen Mr. O’Keefe’s pimp outfit, I’m starting to question whether anybody was actually convinced by his schtick, or if folks were just playing along with the crazy white boy. After all, despite all the brouhaha, no ACORN action was taken on the “pimp” and “whore”’s request for help in filing taxes, buying a home, and turning it into a brothel.

In any event, to be frank, he is not an convincing pimp. The guy was born in 1984, and went to Rutgers, so I suppose it’s understandable that he hasn’t had a lot of contact with prostitutes and those who run them. But you’d think you’d do a little more research than just watching STARSKY AND HUTCH reruns.

Why was anybody taken in? In this latest “sting,” he wasn’t even convincing as a telephone repairman. Clearly, if he’s opting for the MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE lifestyle, he might want to acquire some rudimentary acting skills. Maybe he can take some classes in prison, or – if he’s lucky - at his Mom’s house. Hopefully, the ankle bracelet won’t be too much of an impediment.

RIP JD Salinger
I’m a little mystified when Salinger is called “reclusive.” He wasn’t a hermit, was he? He went to the store, probably, had friends over for dinner. He even had an affair, if Joyce Maynard can be believed. Maybe more. Okay, he didn’t like strangers coming around. Who does?

He decided not to publish his own work. That’s what made him weird. What kind of writer is that?

Well, a writer who can afford the luxury of not-publishing. He was lucky. Most writers are not published at the whims of publishers, not their own.

Meme
If you enter the numerals ” 241543903” in your Google search engine, you will get a bunch of photographs of people sticking their heads in freezers. I’m not recommending you do this, I’m just saying.

The economy might be continuing to go to hell, but it’s nice to know there are still folks out there with time on their hands.

Scientologists in Haiti!
Sylvie, a Parisian Church of Church of Scientology ‘volunteer minister’ told the AFP: "We…use a process called 'assist' to follow the nervous system to reconnect the main points, to bring back communication. When you get a sudden shock to a part of your body the energy gets stuck, so we re-establish communication within the body by touching people through their clothes, and asking people to feel the touch."

AFP: “One US doctor, who asked not to be named, snorted: ‘I didn't know touching could heal gangrene.’”

NYT
“Slightly more than 1,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2008 because they got distracted and tripped, fell or ran into something while using a cellphone to talk or text. That was twice the number from 2007, which had nearly doubled from 2006, according to a study conducted by Ohio State University, which says it is the first to estimate such accidents.”

NYT Again!
“’If the First Amendment has any force,’ Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, which included the four members of the court’s conservative wing, ‘it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.’”

If a corporation is a person, can it be killed?

Jaron Lanier Q and A on Amazon. YOU ARE NOT A GADGET is his interesting book.
The original turn of phrase was "Information wants to be free." And the problem with that is that it anthropomorphizes information. Information doesn’t deserve to be free. It is an abstract tool; a useful fantasy, a nothing. It is nonexistent until and unless a person experiences it in a useful way. What we have done in the last decade is give information more rights than are given to people. If you express yourself on the internet, what you say will be copied, mashed up, anonymized, analyzed, and turned into bricks in someone else’s fortress to support an advertising scheme. However, the information, the abstraction, that represents you is protected within that fortress and is absolutely sacrosanct, the new holy of holies. You never see it and are not allowed to touch it. This is exactly the wrong set of values.

The idea that information is alive in its own right is a metaphysical claim made by people who hope to become immortal by being uploaded into a computer someday. It is part of what should be understood as a new religion. That might sound like an extreme claim, but go visit any computer science lab and you’ll find books about "the Singularity," which is the supposed future event when the blessed uploading is to take place. A weird cult in the world of technology has done damage to culture at large.

Terrorists Trials
For God's sake America, grow up! Put these people on trial and get it over with! You can do it at my house, if you want to. No doubt it will be a propaganda heyday for Those Allied Against Us, but I can live with that.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merle Kessler wrote:
If a corporation is a person, can it be killed?

"Corporation" implies attaining a body doesn't it? (Which gives a whole new dimension to "Avatar" interpretation, I suppose.) So, perhaps the next question is what rights we should give the disembodied entities that will have their existence in the cloud-world of the Internet, and beyond....

-D.E.

3:19 PM  

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