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friday favourites 30.11.12

image of the week
i've come to the realisation that the hallmark of humility is when you continue to have a voice inside
you that whispers "you have no idea what the hell you're doing" when you open your mouth to say something impressive. today, i had to talk a senior person in a far-flung country about which i know precious little; i could find it on a map, name its capital and perhaps a couple of other cities and tell you
 that i have no idea how to pronounce anyone's last name. that's seriously about it. i might be able to name a noise artist or two from there. i'm sitting there, talking this person who's much more experienced than me, through a plan to bring something to market and all the time i'm just hearing that voice: "woman, you are just making this shit up as you go along." of course, the upside is that as i've gotten older, i've realised that most people have that voice and that most people really are just making shit up as they go along. whether or not they're effective at it has more to do with how confident they seem and how much trust they inspire than anything else.

call it "the obama factor". seriously. that man's greatest strength is the fact that he's able to make us all believe that he knows what he's doing, but when it comes to world finance, the middle east and planning thirty years in the future, the fact is, everyone is making up shit as they go along.

i just thought i'd say that. i have no idea if the woman i was talking to bought into what i was saying, or if she just sat there thinking "sure it worked in canada, but who the hell do you think you are?" kinda hoping she doesn't happen across this blog post.

so, when i wasn't wallowing in existential angst over my own capabilities, this is what was bringing a grin to my face...

good news :: stuff i can't make up from around the internet

serbian town warns that its local vampire has returned. don't worry, once he sees what twilight has done to his people, he'll go back to his grave and roll over in it.

isn't it awesome that the feminism of the 1970s overcame all those barriers that women were facing and created a new, completely egalitarian society? isn't it?

when i was a teenager, i babysat a couple of times for a professional taxidermist. it was creepy. but probably not as creepy as this.

"what do you like to do in your spare time, mr. mayor?"
"sell drugs."
"uh... we're gonna go to commercial now, kids."

musical notes

this time of the year always makes me think of cocteau twins. i have no idea why. but seriously, wouldn't it be amazing to think that your parents wrote this song for you as a lullaby?



follow-up and shameless self-promotion

it's caustic lounge week! that's right, mr. dna and i will be rocking the casbah at le cagibi this wednesday night. you can come and point at me and laugh, because i have an incredibly busy week at work and i am likely to be indulging in some pre-regret. which won't stop me from enjoying myself, but hey...

as always, feel free to contact me or leave comments here if there's anything you'd like to see on the blog. unlike during my dj sets [generally], i do sometimes take requests.

kitteh of the week

another great "brotherly love" photo for you. seth is really amazing at taking care of the others and keeping them in line.




fyi, this week's image of the week comes to you from the internet genius of george takei.

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as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …