One five star:
Arun hosted a house concert, Caroline Cotter... an amazingly cool thing to do. I got these 3 songs:
- Home on the River - probably my favorite
- I Am Satisfied (Caroline Cotter) - this was her closer, and a sing-a-long for the audience.
- Pollyanna (Caroline Cotter) And I always like songs that engage... well, if not mythological figures, cultural ones.
- Why Your Feet Hurt (Rebirth Brass Band) JP Honks youngest player thinks we should arrange and play this... he's not wrong...
- Sousamaphone! (Riot Jazz Brass Band) "I got a sousamaphone, sousamaphone... that's why the girls won't leave me alone..."
- Pretty Ugly (Tierra Whack) man, why is this only a minute?
- Juice (Lizzo) So much sass and energy.
- Wolf Totem (The Hu) Heavy metal throat singing.
- Touch a New Day (Lena) I dunno how many USA folk know her from her Eurovision triumph Satellite but she's kinda great.
- The World We Made (Ruelle) I think an HBO trailer had this as background music, and damned if it doesn't sound just like How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer's cover of "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"
- Be OK (TIAAN) Gentle healing song
- I'll Listen (Radio Edit) [feat. Ana Criado] (Armin van Buuren) Another song with a theraputic vibe, Gowen mentioned, about how to be a good listener.
- Kinko the Clown (Ogden Edsl) Ooh boy. This is definitely on the bubble of being removed - it's a novelty song about a "kid loving clown". Oh, the 80s. I only new it because someone wrote the first few lines on a chalkboard at school. For some reason I thought a better lines 3 and 4 would be "Kinko is as Kinko Does, None to Rearrange".
BECAUSE matrimony is like an electric battery, when you once join hands you can't let go, however much it hurts; and, as when embarked on a toboggan slide, you must go to the bitter end, however much it bumps.
BECAUSE I have other professions open to me in which the hours are shorter, the work more agreeable, and the pay possibly better.
BECAUSE (like a piece of rare china) I am breakable, and mendable, but difficult to match.
BECAUSE I do not care to enlarge my menagerie of pets, and I find the animal man less docile than a dog, less affectionate than a cat, and less amusing than a monkey.--Unearthed via Dr Bob Nicholson - that thread has more interesting stuff. (via)
Just watched Hitchcock's Vertigo - maybe the first film to use computer graphics, albeit in a mechanical kind of way!
"Vomiting is not celebrating."
"...Yes it is."
Death is not without its silver lining, I guess.... (smbc)
I could listen to Peter Mayhew as an rough English accented Chewbacca yelling at Han Solo (placeholder dialog) all day:
If tacos can fall apart and still be delicious and worthy of love, so can you.
When he is falling into a bottomless pit to his death, Mario says "waah" - whereas Waluigi says that constantly. Waluigi is constantly, painfully aware of his own mortality and he deploys that awareness as both lament, cry of defiance, and justification for his actions.
Part of Trumps diabolical talent in marketing is coming up with catchy nicknames for his adversaries- I feel his history in reality tv and the recent tax-record revelation of his unparalleled financial losses is an opportunity... "Biggest Loser" Trump has a nice ring to it. (Or maybe "billion dollar baby"? eh, not negative enough)
"First, words. We want words that are about Venus, words that'll tickle people. Make them sit up. Make them muse about change, and space, and other worlds. Words to make them a little discontented with what they are and a little hopeful about what they might be. Words to make them feel noble about feeling the way they do and make them happy about the existence of Indiastries and Starrzelius Verily and Fowler Schocken Associates. Words that will do all these things and also make them feel unhappy about the existence of Universal Products and Taunton Associates.""The Space Merchants" is a sci-fi novel from 1952 projecting culture's course if Madison Avenue continued to run the place - they missed a few things, assuming only that ads would just get louder and more obnoxiously attention grabbing and ignoring the current concerns we face about privacy and tracking, but overall it's quite prescient.
He was staring at me with his mouth open. "You aren't serious," he finally exclaimed.
"You're on the inside now," I said simply. "That's the way we work. That's the way we worked on you."
"What are you talking about?"
"You're wearing Starrzelius Verily clothes and shoes, Jack. It means we got you. Taunton and Universal worked on you, Starrzelius and Schocken worked on you--and you chose Starrzelius. We reached you. Smoothly, without your ever being aware that it was happening, you became persuaded that there was something rather nice about Starrzelius clothes and shoes and that there was something rather not-nice about Universal clothes and shoes."
"I never read the ads," he said defiantly.
I grinned. "Our ultimate triumph is wrapped up in that statement," I said.
"I solemnly promise," O'Shea said, "that as soon as I get back to my hotel room I'll send my clothes right down the incinerator chute--"
"Luggage too?" I asked. "Starrzelius luggage?"
He looked startled for a moment and then regained his calm. "Starrzelius luggage too," he said. "And then I'll pick up the phone and order a complete set of Universal luggage and apparel. And you can't stop me."
"I wouldn't dream of stopping you, Jack! It means more business for Starrzelius. Tell you what you're going to do: you'll get your complete set of Universal luggage and apparel. You'll use the luggage and wear the apparel for a while with a vague, submerged discontent. It's going to work on your libido, because our ads for Starrzelius--even though you say you don't read them--have convinced you that it isn't quite virile to trade with any other firm. Your self-esteem will suffer; deep down you'll knew that you're not wearing the best. Your subconscious won't stand up under much of that. You'll find yourself 'losing' bits of Universal apparel. You'll find yourself 'accidentally' putting your foot through the cuff of your Universal pants. You'll find yourself overpacking the Universal luggage and damning it for not being roomier. You'll walk into stores and in a fit of momentary amnesia regarding this conversation you'll buy Starrzelius, bless you."
O'Shea laughed uncertainly. "And you did it with words?"
"Words and pictures. Sight and sound and smell and taste and touch. And the greatest of these is words. "
Overall that passage wasn't as memorable for me as much as this one about trial/interim marriages and especially the urge of landing a romantic partner with achievements that you can kind of show off - borrowed valor so to speak - but overall a remarkable book.
(Also a few months ago I quoted "...should each human being's vote register alike, as the law books pretend and as some say the founders desired? Or should a vote be weighed according to the wisdom, the power, and the influence--that is, the money of--the voter?")
On my dev blog "man, what I really wish I could do is have to jam my finger HARDER into this flat piece of glass"?
All Trump ever wanted to do was make engaging television, and by that standard it's been a wildly successful presidency.
http://somervilleartscouncil.org/somervilleporchfest/ My standalone version of the Somerville Porchfest map is live! Probably a few seasons overdue for a visual makeover, but still gets the job done - lets people plot their afternoon without crashing the SAC site. Proud to chip in with that a little, especially now that Somerville is my city :-D
Now that have missile-mounted knives I want to see a missile with a big boxing glove.
We turned out to be superficial to the core.
Nothing's been quite right since John Lennon got shot.
the more i think about it the more deeply ironic it seems that the act of declaiming "virtue signaling" (ie implying insincere lip service to what one's tribe feels is correct) is itself one of the most blatant kind of "virtue signals"
I'm a tuba player, and I don't know if my affection for bass springs from that, or if it's a special case of how I like things that are easy to "read" without paying attention to nuance. Research supports the idea that Bass makes you feel powerful, so I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say bass-y head phones (especially combined with my "Psyched" mix at work) is a form of self-therapy. (More on our love of and response to bass.)
We should pass a Woman's Heartbeat law: if a woman has a heartbeat, you can't tell her what to do with her goddamn body, ever.
The world is a den of thieves, and night is falling. Evil breaks its chains and runs through the world like a mad dog. The poison affect us all. No one escapes. Therefore let us be happy while we are happy. Let us be kind, generous, affectionate, and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world.
Sasha goes up to another man and says, "Don't I know you?"
The other man says, "No. We've never met."
"Just a minute," Sasha says, "Have you ever been to Minske?"
"No," the other man says.
"Neither have I," says Sasha, "Must have been two other fellows."
Consider the fact that, in a few years, I shall be dead. This fact can seem depressing. But the reality is only this. After a certain time, none of the thoughts and experiences that occur will be directly causally related to this brain, or be connected in certain ways to these present experiences. This is all this fact involves. And, in that description, my death seems to disappear.
It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that.
Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
It's weird when little bits of your childhood come together- I was first amused by the concept of "Go-Faster Stripes" as a collectable motorcycle accessory in "Action Biker", a Mastertronic computer game from the UK. Also, as a kid I had a book of "Old Boot's Private Papers", UK comic strips about a sheepdog and the kids he runs around with. Anyway, today I found out that book was from a comic called The Perishers, and that book either invented or popularized "Go-Faster Stripes" as a term.
Another bit of UK ignorance: the two UK football teams I have an extremely mild and vague fandom for are Arsenal (thanks to Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch") and Tottenham Spurs (thanks to a fan of the club I went on a few dates with.) Yesterday I was informed this is a bit of an embarrassing combination to appreciate because they are rivals - sort of like someone from another country saying "I like the Browns and the Steelers" or "I dig the Lakers, and the Celtics".
Also I learned how the Champions league semi-final matches are actually two games - a home game for each club and then they add the points up. (The final is a single game, at a neutral or at least pre-selected location, similar to the Super Bowl.)
YOU CAN'T type "Mos Eisley" without the space bar.
This made me laugh:
I'm not saying Melissa hasn't watched Game of Thrones in a while but she was distraught when I told her hunky Khal Drogo / Jason Momoa died many seasons ago (in her defense he shows up a lot on social media quizlet type stuff still)
Part of the journey is the end.
I'm not saying I wouldn't be a better and more accomplished person if I moved my personal interior needle closer the growth, to embrace practicing things that don't come easily to me and trying to be more observant of places where I have seen change and growth, despite my intuitive skepticism about how likely that is (seriously, if self-change were so easy, me and like half the people I know wouldn't be like 10-20lbs heavier than their own ideal for themselves.)
I guess when I think of real change, I look for some sort of externally recognizable shift that doesn't take a daily or weekly application of willpower to keep going. I guess I have some of that in my growth as a tuba player - my skills were sort of still there despite decades of non-use, and I'm better at some things (especially playing by ear) than I was when I picked my horn back up. And all of that because, or despite, not practicing much, just my old tradition of being reliable in a lot of bands...
In joke at work...
The truly rich are those who enjoy what they have.
Thank you, God, for this good life
and forgive us if we do not love it enough.
I probably started at nearly the same place as him: just getting online in the last great days of Usenet (he references the September That Never Ended) and, not coincidentally at the same time Wired magazine was starting up. It reads like he had a lot more ambition and less fixed mindset than I do, pushing into higher levels of less hands-on activity while I've been content in my role of making small things (and sometimes helping others make things) without needing to decide what everyone should be making. The article is a love letter to people who were building stuff on the early Internet, back when everyone needed their own "homepage".
It also points to how the techno-utopian vision didn't pan out. In particular some of the challenges in terms of inclusivity people trying to climb on this gravy train face:
I keep meeting people out in the world who want to get into this industry. Some have even gone to coding boot camp. They did all the exercises. They tell me about their React apps and their Rails APIs and their page design skills. They've spent their money and time to gain access to the global economy in short order, and often it hasn't worked.I think his attitude is good, and I hear him echoing this quote from Neal Stephenson's 1992 work Snow Crash:
I offer my card, promise to answer their emails. It is my responsibility. We need to get more people into this industry.
But I also see them asking, with their eyes, "Why not me?"
And here I squirm and twist. Because--because we have judged you and found you wanting. Because you do not speak with a confident cadence, because you cannot show us how to balance a binary tree on a whiteboard, because you overlabored the difference between UI and UX, because you do not light up in the way that we light up when hearing about some obscure bug, some bad button, the latest bit of outrageousness on Hacker News. Because the things you learned are already, six months later, not exactly what we need. Because the industry is still overlorded by people like me [...]
It was, of course, nothing more than sexism, the especially virulent type espoused by male techies who sincerely believe that they are too smart to be sexists.Anyway. As my own blog gets to the end of its second decade, Paul Ford reminds me of how lucky I've been, and continue to be, coming into techie adulthood during such a time of flourishing new ideas.
It reminds me of that old Douglas Adams thought-
That's where I am! Lets see how I manage to surf a rising tide of ageism - kind of hoping to scrape some kind of retirement together to coast into shore by that point.
- everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal;
- anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
- anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
Oh hey terrific. Striking down the Voter Rights Act, breaking the constitution by by holding a Supreme Court seat til conditions were favorable, Gov Brian Kemp "overseeing" an election he was running -- there's a bunch of landmarks to see while GOP gets set for decades of white minority rule.
Oy. Came down with something flu-ish. Is it kind of weird that I'm a grown-ass man who doesn't know if fever reducers like Tylenol and Advil will significantly delay recovery? I mean, a body doesn't set up a fever for its health - err, except in the literal sense, I guess - so if I can tough out some shivers and aches by just lying here, is that the best path, don't mess with the body trying to to sous-vide its way to health?
(Only yesterday did I realize, if I took some fever reducers, I shouldn't then be relying on a thermometer reading as a gauge of how sick I am...)
I feel that even a person of faith could look at, say, Psalm 139:13 ("For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb") or Job 10 and accept that there's uncertainty if souls are jammed in there - KAPOW! - when sperm meets egg (in which case, I guess a 6 week old thing the size of a snowpea could carry one along?) or if forming a soul/molding a person is something God + mother's do over time. Since there's potential ambiguity even for people who are convinced the Bible is the protected Word of God, principles of letting the people who bear almost all of the cost of molding decide - i.e. women and respecting their bodily autonomy - needs to win out.
I'm not convinced of the feasibility of changing anyone's heart and mind - and that of their tribe - through words on a screen, but a strict "My Body, My Choice" line is going to be talking right past believers (or even humanists) who counter "Abortion is Murder!!!!" - who might not be realizing they are implying they KNOW that the soul or personhood is an instantaneous appearance vs a process that can be stopped before life / soulness has been achieved. "Souls get knit, they don't just pop" might have more traction, or at least acknowledge that abortion banners think they're heroically saving people.
Sorry if this is too much of a "both sideser" style argument. To be clear I am firmly pro-choice. But when people do attempt to examine the assumptions behind their firm beliefs, I think that's the only way progress can be made.
(I am also not sure it's reasonable to grant benefit of the doubt to people breaking legislative procedure to make these bills happen, that they are solely (or soul-ly) motivated by "saving kids")
You can go to BekerBots.com and for $10 download "The Bot Folio", which is just the comics plus some director's commentary, and a few bonus drawings...
You can't make an omelette without hurling eggs at full force into a metal pail placed 8 feet awa-- wait, how do you make omelettes again?
As I approached the elevator I heard voices. I stepped back, but as the door opened it was empty. When i got in I discovered that this was because a spambot had called the emergency elevator phone and was earnestly trying to sell it something.
"WhaaaAAAT the fuck," I said.
"I'M SORRY! I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THAT LAST PART!" yapped the bot.
"ARE YOU INTERESTED IN LOWERING YOUR RATES? AND DOING THE BEST THING FOR YO-"
"Oh my god cancel cancel cancel cancel jesus christ cancel you robotic shitbezel"
"OKAY, THANKS! HAVE A GOOD REST OF YOUR DAY!"
I have seen the future. It's AIs trying to sell each other various horseshit across the blasted, fungus-ridden shitscape left behind by humanity.
Fever dreams provided me this "Shower thought":
You're indirectly touching every item you've known that's not currently airborne--
a chain that passes from you through your clothes to the furniture to the floor to the yard to... everything. The shoulder of your first love. Your elementary school. The grave of your great great grandparents. Whatever existed in whatever form it still exists.
The consolation of mortality: we can rest assured that finally - finally - upon death our personal knowledge of the big problems of the world will descend to meet our personal ability to fix the big problems of the world.
Courage is knowing it might hurt and doing it anyway.Compare with:
Stupidity is the same.
And that's why life is hard.
There is a fine line between genius and insanity; I play hopscotch.
"The unborn" are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don't resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don't ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don't need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don't bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn...You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.
Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn.
And I'm as old as you! [...] Tuba - it's like the fountain of youth, but you blow into it, because that's how brass instruments work.
The back story: my parents are officers in The Salvation Army, which (in parallel with its emergency and charity operations) is a church; a denomination called "Salvationism", a near offshoot of the Methodists that took the idea of waging a war against sin to heart, and modeled itself after a military - churches are called corps, members are called soldiers, pastors are called officers and there are uniforms, with tunics and hats and everything.
As in the military, officers get assigned to live wherever the 'Army feels their skills will be put to the best use, and so "OKs" (Officer's Kids) have to be braced for moving every few years.
So, looking back, here's roughly how I viewed the structure of authority:
I'm perched on top, the most precarious place. I am taught how I should live - and then, told WHERE I will live - by my parents. (Here represented by a home) But my parents are supported by The Salvation Army. It has the authority to tell them where to go and what to do, and they comply. The Salvation Army, then, was anchored on and drawing its authority from God. From God! Can't get much bigger than that!
I'm sure the whole "parents are your minister and representative of God" thing is another topic for therapist fun, but right now I'm thinking more about the top 3 levels; when you combine it with the Good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one attitude I think I inherited from my mom (where our personal needs should not be ignored, but weighted in the general balance for choosing best course of action), you get an especially acute sense of "the group will ask sacrifices of you, and you must make them."
As an "OK", less than average of your material life is actually owned by your family... the quarters- the assigned house (or apartment over the church in my case) - will be mostly stocked with its own furniture. Utilities and reliable transportation will be arranged for and life will otherwise be frugal, and your parents are potentially on call at all kinds of hours - especially during that Thanksgiving-Christmas "Red Kettles" season. I'm not trying to bellyache, there are plenty of worse environments to grow up in - but still, the sense of authority and chain-of-command was strong, and The Salvation Army was a calling, not just a job - for example I had a precocious and impeccable "business" phone mojo going when answering the shared line, evn as a pipsqueak elementary schooler - my folks would be commended on their extremely polite secretary.
(My family was graced with longer appointments - I was especially lucky by "OK" standards of the time to be in mostly the same place for most of middle and high school. But I was bummed about the move from Western NY to Upstate NY before third grade, and had so much adolescent resentment moving to Cleveland after sixth that I switched to going by my middle name Logan as a form of existential protest. (err, before I knew it was a "Wolverine/X-men" reference))
So, too much backstory, here is the point, and the small epiphany: So I had deeply ingrained sense of the importance of the group. Imprinted on me: Groups are manifestations of greater goods (even when they don't claim to be prayerfully reflecting God's will) and so can expect sacrifices of you. And not only of you, but of loved ones you're with! People who probably won't be directly involved with the group on a regular basis, and who may have only had been partially aware of the strength of your commitments
(and being reliable isn't just import to me in terms of my concern for my reputation in the group, but my integrity as a person - a group being angered with me for not being dependable would be awful mostly as a signpost towards me not being a dependable person. (I think. Causing someone or some group strong bad feelings because of my own "selfish" needs also does poorly on "greater good" scale, so there is a social aspect of it - not just the objective judgement of God of me, the individual potential sinner.))
So, I need to remember that groups - mostly brass bands for me these days (which actually are also kind of a gift from The Salvation Army for me, come to think of it) - aren't just asking sacrifices from me me, but of me and my presence and energy that might otherwise by my partner's. I need to be more cognizant of that.
Bonus content: it took me years to notice there was a pun/metaphor in calling the printed offering envelopes "cartridges" - these are roughly the ones I grew up with
I remember the "If you are absent, remember the Corps expenses go on just the same". The admonition was watered down a bit from this antique one of the 1800s that has further instructions in a militaristic vibe.
Ever wake up from a nap, and kind of disoriented? Your inner monologue is like "Ok... I think... I'm on a planet... called Earth? And it has... gravity? And sometimes frogs?"
Today at the Friendshipworks Walk to End Elder Isolation - a lesson in photographic perspective, and why you usually put the tuba player and the horn behind the arc not where it angles around... it kind of towers over everyone!
Well, in a sense, Hairy One, fire is everywhere. Rather than being an object, say, like your sharp stick, it's really a process, so it can't really be said to exist anywhere. In a sense, fire exists in its own imaginary, virtual space, where we can only talk about what is not fire and what might become fire.I'd also highly recommend his "Judge John Hodgman" (I just found out about it but it has been around for almost a decade) where he and "bailiff" Jesse Thorn do a kind of People's Court thing - both hosts are so funny, kind, insightful, and well-spoken, it's a real treat.
The most insane acidentally bought a brick of heroin story you will read this week.
There's one anecdote I'll always keep with me... (in part because I noted it in my Palm journal) I was commuting on Memorial Drive one Tuesday morning in 1999, not far from that weird rotary at the end of the BU bridge, and was furious, letting myself get all road-ragey over the halted conditions. (In some ways I find it cathartic to let loose during that kind of situation, try to burn out all the irritations and frustrations of the day, but there's some real anger at the scene there as well.)
Anyway, I was ranting and raving over another driver who had pushed in to the lane by tailgating the car in front of him -- *CLEAR violation of the "alternate feeding" guidelines!*, the ones that I had faith were key to letting us all get through this mess.
The driver, who looked a bit like Detective Yemana on Barney Miller, regarded at me in his rear view mirror, took note of my fury, placed his hands on either side of his head, stuck out his tongue and waggled moose antlers. (A favored gesture of my dad, come to think of it)
I was completely disarmed. It was a perfect wordless Zen Koan, a reminder of just how seriously I should take the world and my current place in it.