Kirk Israel's commonplace and blog. Quotes and links daily since 2001.
5 star:
Maybe (Dan Reeder)
Another 5 star! Thanks to Andrew Mills for pointing this one out to me... just a very plain spun and elegant recollection of experiences with death, and a humbly skeptical view of the chances of an afterlife.

4 star:
Futurama Theme (Ben Morfitt (SquidPhysics))
An extended cover... at one point I got 1967's Psyché Rock with its clear influences (especially the chimes) but the Modem-noise aesthetic of it was too grating so I got this.
Wake Me up Before You Go - Go (Scary Pockets & Swatkins)
Scary Pockets makes these fantastic funky covers...
Don't Let It Bring You Down (Annie Lennox)
I finally got to rewatching "American Beauty" - obviously a problematic movie in a few ways, but also interesting to see in going through middle aged struggles in American suburbia. Anyway this lovely, richly orchestrated cover was in it.

3 star:
Shave 'Em Dry II (Lucille Bogan)
The most raunchy imaginable old song!
Planet of the Bass (Kyle Gordon)
You've Got Your Troubles (Re-Recorded Version) (The Fortunes)
there was a question on the "Strong Songs" podcast about the haunting counterpoint in the last part.
Ned Nostril (And His South Seas Paradise, Puts Your Blues On Ice, Cheap At Twice The Price Band) (Ray Stevens)
Ray Stevens turned into a conservative putz but I had a tape or two of his, he could be kind of funny!
The Universe Is Weird (Hank Green)
Coffee (beabadoobee)
Hell Is Round the Corner (Tricky)
Interesting song based on that Portishead piece...
I Got It from My Mama (
23 (Projekt Atma)
Nookie (GH Version) (Limp Bizkit)
Public Service Announcement (Interlude) (JAY-Z)
Happy Hour (Ray Stevens)
I'm In Love Again (Fats Domino)
Because (Elliott Smith)
We need to talk about tongues more. Dextrous. Moist. Littered with the normal types of skin receptors and also its own unique receptors for its own Bonus Sense. Hides in its own dark cave of bacteria and biological rocks. Peak muscle.

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There were two heroes in this case. One was the child, and the other was the book.
Judege in a case where Harris + Emberley's It's Perfectly Normal helped a child tell her mom about sexual abuse she had received.
Good point for people who want to ban book from libraries.
I like the music listened to by Hispanic people in their late 40s and early 50s... not afraid of challenge or victory.
From "Duck Tales" in some dream I had.
(Wonder if it could be related to the Roslindale Parade - my street band (on a float) had to compete with loud Latino music - this one car with a truly ridiculous amount of speakers on top, spread like moose antlers...)
I Love Lucy, Multi-lingual "telephone"! Delightful to watch.
if you like every single person in your community, it isn't big enough


By analyzing the beliefs of nearly 5,000 people in the United States and Sweden, he found that atheists and theists share a number of moral values: Both groups fervently believe in fairness, liberty (including freedom of belief), and the importance of protecting the vulnerable, and both groups hold surprisingly strong bents toward rationality and evidence-based knowledge.

Where they differ is revealing
  • Theists are likely to support morals such as reverence for authority, loyalty, and sanctity, which all fuel group cohesion (versus individuality).
  • Atheists tend to decide whether or not something is moral by the consequences of a behavior, rather than the morality of the action that caused it (for instance, the common atheist bent that sex acts are fine as long as they're consensual and no one gets hurt).
Ståhl suggests that this duo of differences may fuel the widespread stereotype that atheists lack a moral compass: They do, in fact, have quite strong morals, but fail to show reverence for the authority and holiness that believers hold dear, while evaluating morality case by case based on consequences. "They are less inclined than religious people to view [these] as relevant for morality," said Ståhl in a news release.

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Last 4 are from Daveed's 60th Birthday party, quite the shindig!
ChatGPT was able to point me to a half-remembered 2008 Wired feature article "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. (ironically enough I think that's a pay-walled link, but I am a long time subscriber to the magazine, grew up with it and the internet)

Now, I have little respect for what Elon Musk did to Twitter: Twitter was invaluable as THE breaking news source, the place to follow individual subject matter experts, a fun place to try and go viral with the perfect bon mot, and a way for ordinary folk to talk back at companies out in the open, where the company's reputation was a bit at stake. X is barely any of those things, and has tacked from medium left to hard right in a lot of ways.

But - I think Elon Musk right, that the way "free always wins" (free as in beer, not as in speech) has really hurt our society. I'm not surprised: no one in their right mind feels comfortable with a meter running. It's nice to dream of an Internet where promoting endless binging wasn't the norm and where the ad folks had less sway, but I don't see anyway we get to that from where we started, and I think Wired laid that out clearly 15 years ago.

(I do like Stewart Brand's line: "Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. ...That tension will not go away.")
Pre-modern forms of slavery, in Africa and elsewhere, were not typically as brutal as chattel slavery. In the early modern period, a uniquely brutal, industrial form of slavery developed within the plantation economies of the Americas and Portuguese Atlantic islands. Together with West African states, these Atlantic colonies built an international system of human trafficking for the purpose of slavery that was, likewise, uniquely brutal and industrialized. All parties involved bear responsibility for these horrors.
From this summary of why chattel slavery (as seen in the triangle trade) was uniquely bad in history - sometimes conservatives will try to defend the USA by saying "hey, there's been a lot of slavery historically" but honestly it interfaced with capitalism to make new unprecedented scale of cruelty. Much like we view the holocaust as uniquely awful without giving a pass to other genocides.
I'm thinking of buying a monkey. Then I think, "Why stop at one?" I don't like being limited in that way. Therefore, I'm considering a platoon of monkeys. So that people will look at me and see how mellow and well-adjusted I am compared to these monkeys throwing their feces around.
Robert Downey Jr
You know it probably took me a little too long to notice Robert Downey Jr and Morton Downey Jr were different people.
it's been said before and i'm sure said better than i can phrase it. but really, really - if you like making "i'm going to kill myself" jokes, please try switching to being ironically conceited instead.

anytime something goes wrong, say things like "ah well at least i'm beautiful and charming and everyone loves me." when you forget something, try "my big huge brain is so smart and thinking about too many other very big wizardly thoughts you wouldn't even *understand*." when you're frustrated by one of your symptoms, start talking like you're in My Immortal. "Life has come for me but my eyes are beautiful pools of gorgeous fire and my hair is amazing. I stuck my middle finger up at life and told it to fuck off and it did."
Melissa liked this. They go on to tell examples of friends even joining in.