Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Debtors' Prisons

The best part about living in our panopticon, though, is how incompetent it is:

Wright came downstairs in his boxer shorts as a S.W.A.T team barged through his front door. Wright said an officer grabbed him by the neck and led him outside on his front lawn.

. . .

As it turned out, the person law enforcement was looking for was not there - Wright's estranged wife.

Of course, accidents like this must be allowed when S.W.A.T. teams are looking for public threats, right?

The U.S. Department of Education issued the search and called in the S.W.A.T for his wife's defaulted student loans.

Just call it a "learning experience."

UPDATE: Dale! Cristina! Where did your story go? Alas, much like an h in Cristina's name, we can pretend it was never there. Commenters at Randy Balko's blog found these two articles, though.

Thinking Corporately

I called attention to the phrase "think corporately" last post*, as I am obviously antagonistic to such an idea. Literally, the phrase can be benign, much like an enormous and unsightly growth protruding from your neck can be benign; you just might have to by slightly larger shirts. Anyway, here is a timely example of thinking corporately:

NBC lost about $200 million on the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and anticipates losing about $250 million on the 2012 Summer Games in London.

But that did not stop the new conglomerate of Comcast-NBC Universal from putting in a winning bid of $4.4 billion for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro; and the 2018 Winter and 2020 Summer Games, for which the host cities have not yet been determined.

*not really, but close enough.


In the middle of an article in the New Yorker about our wonderful panopticon, I see:

[General Michael Hayde, director of the NSA] then sent out an agency-wide memo, in which he warned that several “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow. . . .

Of course the decision was made "corporately." In 21st Century America, is there even an alternative to thinking corporately? Unorthodox vocabulary seems to be another trait of Men In Power (MIPs?):

Soon after he showed up, he says, Steven Tyrrell, the prosecutor, walked in and told him, “You’re screwed, Mr. Drake. We have enough evidence to put you away for most of the rest of your natural life.”

Mr. Drake will be a free cyborg, though. It is a tragedy, this failure of our legal system.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Never Happen Here

Things are happening in Spain, but I guess it is the summer semester, as BLCKDGRD keeps saying, so only a few people are on campus.

Me accepting me

Not sure why the clip cuts off so aburptly, but maybe it is just me. Via thecubsfan, I find a clip of Cassandro on a BBC morning show. Rihanna, minus her pants, was on Good Morning America this morning. Perhaps I should watch more television in the morning.

Clawing . . . Gasping

Drowning in rain or withering in heat, death is upon us. Bleached bones of a faithful servant, long past useful. Like a Georgia O'Keefe: New Wu-Tang Clan album coming out next month.

Monday, May 2, 2011


When some scary old guy is shot in the head, people have things to say and I wish I could also join in with something to say. Is it insightful to say "blah blah blah terrorism still?" I will, if needed. Some upper torso on the television was talking to a head. The two were discussing how the military (presumably they meant "soldiers in the military" but they said "military") felt about Osama's death, presumably unaware that the two of them were often referred to as "journalists" and have the entire information collecting apparatus of a large television network at their disposal. How is a rarely updated blog to compete?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rock Bottom

From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

A man seen in a YouTube video being beaten and sprayed with pepper spray by a St. Louis police officer has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

. . .

Joyce said what the video did not show was Ginger grabbing onto Ries's ankles and refusing to let go, even as Ries struck him on the legs with his baton. She said that is deserving of an assault charge, over resisting arrest.

"If you watch wrestling, that's a move that knocks people over," Joyce said.

If you watch wrestling, hopefully you know that the outcomes are predetermined, or as some would call it, rigged.

Dispatches from Beyond

Argentinian electoral politics are the new craze, and our only hope for the future.

Monday, April 11, 2011

If Only I Were a Poet

If I were a poet I could probably come up with some fitting verse about the beauty of this tractor, or maybe use the video to illustrate some point about the cruelty of our world. However, I am too busy for poetry, and too tired.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bears repeating

Really, it cannot be said enough that "our" government is speeding past the point of hypocrisy into a previously incomprehensible realm of pure contradiction.
On Wednesday, the Army announced 22 additional charges against Private Manning, including “aiding the enemy.”

The charge sheet did not explain who “the enemy” was. . .
I guess they know them when they see them. I await with some anticipation the new ground in legal thinking in which we are told that revealing the enemy aided will grant them further publicity, thus aiding them even more, so the prosecutor has a legal duty to not mention their name in court documents.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who was the first human being to look out a window?

I wrote this book for myself, and even that I can't be sure of.
- Roberto Bolano, in his introduction to Antwerp

Not having read anything but 2666 and a few short stories previously, I checked out a stack of Bolano's books a while ago, and just started reading them. Tragically, I seem to have chosen the best first. (it is the shortest)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2-line Movie Reviews #1: Monsters

Gareth Edwards's Monsters is definitely not disaster-porn, and does an excellent job depicting real, human reactions (alongside institutional reactions) to impending apocalypse. It is, however, emotion-porn and the main characters drag it down into the contrived almost too often to be enjoyable.