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Showing posts from November, 2005

the importance of culture

"Git yer haggis, right here. Chopped hart n' lungs. Boiled in a wee sheeps' stomach. Taste's as good as it sounds."
- groundskeeper willie

random acts of intimidation

according to the associated press, the miami police will be staging random acts of force to make terrorists aware of their ongoing presence.

call me crazy, but i'm guessing that whatever terrorist cells they have populating miami at the moment have probably been advised by their shadowy higher-ups that there are, in fact, police patrolling miami. they do not need to go swarming old ladies headed into the bank to cash their old age security cheques (while the government is still writing them) in order to show that they are there.

if they want to find real criminals, perhaps they might consider staking out the local republican headquarters.

good hair day

those of you who know me know that i've basically had the same hairstyle for about the last hundred and fifty years, with very few exceptions. a few of you may also be aware that the last time i tried doing something different with my hair, it basically backfired and scared me out of changing it for a long time. well, i went to see sergio today and made a change. he's a hair genius, so i pretty much knew that there wouldn't be any "what have i done?" moments... et voila... kate with bangs...

people have pointed out that i generally like to hide in my hair. now i can do so all the time. and it's even cut so it shows my favoured eyebrow. (yes, i have a favourite one.)

your secret inner self revealed

this site is both an archive of music history (guess that's why it's called "this day in music") and a sort of reverse prophet. on it, you can look up the song that was number one on the music charts on the day you were born, as well as what they call your life's theme song- which is apparently the song that was number one on the charts on the day you turned 18. here are my results.

birthday song (u.s./ u.k.): baby don't get hooked on me- mac davis/ how can i be sure?- david cassidy
life theme song (u.s./ u.k.): can't live without your love and affection- nelson/ show me heaven- maria mckee

as far as i can tell, these songs have one thing in common: i've never heard any of them. apparently, i started out in life ignoring pop music and precious little has changed in the intervening years.

thanks again, bill

in honour of the holiday (one day late) to the south of us, here's william s burrough's thanksgiving prayer, courtesy of reality studio. they also have a video of him reading it, but the site received so many hits in the last two days that it crashed...

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986
William S. Burroughs
For John Dillinger
In hope he is still alive

Thanks for the wild turkey and the Passenger Pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts —

thanks for a Continent to despoil and poison —

thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger —

thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin, leaving the carcass to rot —

thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes —

thanks for the AMERICAN DREAM to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through —

thanks for the KKK, for nigger-killing lawmen feeling their notches, for decent church-going women with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces —

thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" sticke…

in the right light, he's really adorable

pedigreed chinese crested sam, three times selected as the world's ugliest dog passed away today as a result of heart failure. i would venture to say that a few hearts have failed when they laid eyes on him as well... nonetheless, proof that there's enough love in the world for everybody, even if your beauty is well beyond skin deep.

i'm thankful i don't have to eat it

as if elizabeth hicock's scale model of san francisco cast in jello weren't enough, here's an appetizing (?) thanksgiving non-dinner made from, you guessed it, jello. personally, i find jello creepy at the best of times (i think it has to do with the way it moves... food should not jiggle), and it's a toss-up whether i find it more unnerving as a food-like substance or a sculptural medium.

courtesy of boing boing

bit(torrent) by bit(torrent)

i'm trying to get the hang of bittorrent (with a significant amount of help from dave). all i can say is, for the amount of frustration i'm having appending their little text blah and creating the files, this had better give me access to the controls of the universe.

the ultimate purpose of this is to provide nice little mixes of things for people to listen to and, possibly, to read. now i'm spending quality time trying to make the music files and the text file get along and then trying to get everything else in the sequence to recognise that the files are there and that they have a right to exist.

i've finally found something that makes waiting in the queue at slsk seem like fun.

blast from the past, part 2

went out to see front 242 friday, a stone's throw away from where i'd seen bauhaus two nights earlier. this is another band who were a real influence on me in my younger years. they weren't as dear to my heart as bauhaus, and i had actually seen them before, but they put on a pretty good show. their stuff is still superior to the cookie-cutter ebm (a genre they basically invented) that's put out now.

unfortunately, for the second show in a row, my favourite track got left off the song list, which was a little bit of a disappointment. (to be honest, it was more of a disappointment with bauhaus, since i was kind of expecting lagartija nick and it was one of the only singles they didn't hit in their set. i wasn't really expecting 242 to play rerun time, since it's a) old and b) not very well known.)

as far as electronic shows go, 242 put on a pretty energetic one (it helps when you have two band members unencumbered by keyboards). they're exceptionally ti…

like a fine old world wine

some things really do get better with age. apparently, contrary to what i might have thought, bands can be among them.

i took in the bauhaus show at koolhaus (that's way too close to rhyming for comfort) last night, figuring that at the least, i could say that i'd seen them, rather than pouting over the fact that by the time i'd even heard them for the first time, they'd already broken up. and i figured that at the least, they'd sound like a decent bauhaus cover band.

how very wrong.

if anything, the band has gotten better and tighter with time and their live show, while not what you'd call energetic, was captivating. everything about their preseentation reeked of cool precision, from the perfectly controlled feedback to the monochromatic lights. peter murphy, looking kind of like a cross between lenin and vincent price (but still not bad), is as spot on as his old recordings, even on the trickiest parts of their undead anthem bela lugosi's dead.

seeing…

recommended viewing

ok, i can't really recommend it, because i haven't seen it yet, but i will venture out on a limb and say that wal-mart: the high cost of low price is probably going to be worth the time it takes to sit down and be utterly horrified at the machinations of the world's largest corporation (yeah, that's right, not merely the largest retailer, but the largest corporation).

there are plenty of sites detailing the ravages of wal-mart on the world. i won't bother to recap them here. have a look around and see what you can turn up for yourself. it'll be far better than anything that i could say anyway.

i will tell you that i have had the joyous experience of working for a supplier of wal-mart and will be happy to go through the rest of my life never repeating the experience. it's a very hard game to win. once you start down the slippery wal-mart slope, you are locked into a cycle of providing them with "more for the same or the same for less" every year. t…

in memoriam

jhonn balance 16 february 1962-13 november 2004

note to self

i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.
i will not let the hand washing pile up.

better left unsaid?

walter benjamin wrote that before we had the capability to create copies en masse, that an original work of art maintained an aura because of its status as the unique and singular piece and that the ability to reproduce art and distribuute it eroded the status of the original.

i mention this because i went to see a book launch for canadian artist floria sigismondi and i'm convinced that you could develop a parallel theory about artists. sigismondi's work, even the pop music videos she's produced, has a dark and dusturbing quality to it, without being overt, that appeals to me. seeing her speak, however, seems to undermine this.

for starters, her speaking voice, both in tone and inflection, is almost a dead ringer for madonna's. it's a comparison i couldn't get out of my head the entire time i was listening to her. i kept thinking she was going to start plugging her new album...

secondly, her answers, while honest, are strikingly ordinary. which is probabaly t…

sale of rare religious artifact

all proceeds go to charity.

say your prayers every night before bed

Our spaghetti
Who art in the colander
Hallowed be thy sauce
Thy serving come
Thy strands be wrung
On forks as they are on spoons
Give us this day our daily meatball
And forgive us our starchiness
As we forgive those who are starchy against us
And lead us not into Kraft parmessan
But deliver us from Chef Boy Ardee
For thine is the garlic
And the onion and the bay leaves
For ever and ever.
Ramen

thanks to james for that one

**for those of you who are unaware, last night's round of elections dealt a serious blow to the campaign to teach the theories of the flying spaghetti monster's creation of the world in american public schools. voters in pittsburgh defeated their school board, who wanted to force teachers to include the theory of intelligent design as an option equivalent to evolution and replaced them with candidates who do not favour its inclusion in school curriculum.

if george says it, it must be true

the more i read the words that come out of his mouth, the more i become convinced that george w bush might be losing his mind. i've passed a certain threshold, because it's no longer even the incoherent, inadvertently hilarious stuff that catches my attention. what concerns me now is what i think he really is saying, where he's not making mistakes.

the cbc today ran a piece on his comments in reaction to a story that the cia is running secret military prisons and refusing to give highly suspect organisations like the red cross access to them, so that the public can rest assured that there is nothing shameful taking place.

you can read the whole story, but i thought that i would treat you to my favourite line (inserts mine):

"Anything we do to that end [protecting the american people from terrorists] in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture."

there is no evidence given, no attempt at even a modest amount of openness, we're ju…

the only way to commit suicide

according to the helpful folks at energy fiend, it would take a little over 60 cups of coffee to kill me. unfortunately, it doesn't specify over how long a period of time and i am not really at a point where i'm ready to play around until i get it right.

of course, given my usual intake, 60 cups doesn't even seem like too great a stretch. a stretch, yes, but not an impossibility.

i feel like i should be up to the challenge, given that i apparently once drank what should have been a lethal dose of verveine tea without realising what i was doing. (as a testimony to exactly how anxious i was, the tea didn't even put me to sleep. come to think of it, it was probably my massive regular intake of coffee that saved my life.)

believe the hype

Go see Jarhead.

Go see it at the next available opportunity, don’t waste time thinking about it. That’s an order.

I didn’t actually go out with the intention of seeing jarhead tonight. I had meant to go see Good Night and Good Luck, which I still intend on doing. As it happens, I made a typically lazy decision. Good Night wasn’t playing at a theatre convenient to where I was at that specific moment in time, so I opted to go see the other movie I was interested in, Sam Mendes’ Jarhead. It wasn’t really a close second, because I tend to find movies about being in the army a little alienating. It’s like watching a room full of the people I used to hate in high school from the safe side of one-way glass. Kind of entertaining, but the people inside still seem vaguely dangerous to someone like me.

I guess this change in plans is what one would call providence, because Jarhead is one of the best movies I’ve seen in years. I am going to have to see it again, because I’m still marveling at…

the sky is falling the sky is falling

most of you kow that i'm not what you'd call a fan of microsoft corporation, but what can i say? they're finally (belatedly) trying to use their power for some good.

so, while there's more work to be done, good on ya, microsoft, for (belatedly) getting the proverbial ball rolling.

i feel unclean even typing that.

you did a heck of a job, indeed

if former fema director michael brown wasn't acting like such a pompous ass, i think i would be starting to feel sorry for him.

today new orleans congressional representative charlie melancon published a number of emails sent by brown during the crisis following hurricane katrina in order to illustrate exactly how much of a tool the guy is. the emails are stupid and boorish, with him asking questions about the appropriate attire for his television appearances and how he could "tweak" his organisation's disastrous response.

the emails are very effective in proving that brown was tragically wrong for the position, although they hardly do a better job of discrediting him than he's done himself. here's the issue that i have with publishing them, though: most of us occasionally say and do things that are inappropriate. if we're smart, we keep these comments off email, but even spoken comments can be overheard. i like to think for myself, and for others, that w…