Sunday, July 31, 2005

On Juvenileness

In an utterly juvenile culture, how non-juvenile can any cultural criticism be?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Abuse of SOFT POWER*: U.S. Wages Electonic Warfare on South America, No One Notices or Cares

Our beloved government feels so threatened by the new TeleSUR network--a TV station financed largely by Venezuela, but also supported by Uruguay, Cuba, and Argentina--that it is paying consultants and contractors up to $300 million for a "diplomacy effort" to discredit it.

TeleSUR is seen in a few different lights: a competitor to CNN Latin, a potential unifier of South America, and, of course, an "anti-American, anti-freedom" (according to a CNN "source") publicity machine driving yet another wedge between us and our oil. On the internet, its critics have labeled it "EL Jazeera."

Now we all [should] know that America hates Hugo Chavez (VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT) because Hugo Chavez hates America. He also sits on 15% of our oil--no joke, because the Venezuelan government fully owns Citgo.

And Chavez, always sounding like a justifiably paranoid schizophrenic, is repeatedly lashing out about the U.S. trying to overthrow him. He should be, because we are. This week he warned us about waging "electronic warfare" on his country: "If the U.S. government makes this move, our government would have to respond somehow. To every counterrevolutionary action, we will respond by deepening our revolution.

I'm not sure how deep anything is going to get. The U.S. Joint Psychological Operations Support Element (actual name) will spend millions on pro-American satellite broadcasts, and, according to the Washington Post article linked above, investigations into beaming pro-American pop-up ads and text messages at Venezuelans! Not unlike a nation run by corporations to have already discovered all the loopholes in Venezuelan broadcast war.

But until the War on Drugs crosses borders from Columbia to Venezuela, or the War on Revolutions succeeds the War on Terror, there should be little to worry about--until pro-American pop-up ads start attacking your computer.

*SOFT POWER will be the adorably relevant title of the multimedia project created by me and brother cMike.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Boston Failure of the Day: Governor Romney Has No Idea What Subway Fare Is

From the Globe, as usual.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

There is Nothing to Read Anymore

Lately my brother and I have been agreeing on a lot of issues--so when he called last night and asked if I knew of any blogs worth reading, I wasn't surprised. I spent yesterday afternoon reminiscing (freakish!) about the internet in high school: People actually ran websites rife with relevant and humorous content! There was my own Imaginary Sanitation (portions of which are still available here. Martin Bell ran the wildly-popular-with-speech-and-debate-kids-everywhere Dead Sea Goat, now nowhere to be found on the internet. Yesterday I even turned up Maria Carrozza's INSTITUTION, kind of a little sister site to IS and DSG.

Now no one even has a website. I have one, but I never put anything on it.

I thought I invented blogging in high school. Almost every day, I would hand-code updates to a page called the Alarmingly Randoom Thought of the Day. People would then come every day to read it. It worked, but it was a lot of work.

Enter Blogger. You didn't have to do anything but think, and the magical site would transpose your thoughts to the internet. For a while people I knew blogged. Now they don't.

Regian Pat Carr had a pretty funny site, which disappeared in some hazy smog of legal and academic concerns. TUB O JOY alum Seth Kaufman had a blog, but he doesn't bother with it anymore. The aforementioned Mr. Bell recently started a blog which has proven to be a pretty damn funny link library. I don't know where he's hiding the Original Content, because I know he's got it.

In yesterday's pathetic quest, I even found the ostensibly abandone blog of Nick Gorski, who according to the site (and my brother) is now an alcoholic bus driver in Virginia.

What the fuck, people? I'm not saying I can't entertain myself, but...entertain me, damn it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Official TimeWarnerMediaEmpire John Roberts Jr. Graphixxx

From the CNN Homepage:

Draw your own conclusions.

For Unsubstantiated Reasons--Possibly They Have Something to Do with My Upper East Side Jesuit High School Education--I Feel Compelled to... this awful New York magazine article about rich Manhattan teenagers sleeping with old(er) men in pink polos:

Dead Kids for Cash!!!!

Look at any time of any day, and you will find at least one headline story about American's precious children being kidnapped, abused, murdered in Aruba, raped by priests, beaten, starved, or perhaps something worse. Rest assured that the availability of any product intended for mass consumption (e.g. news) is tightly regulated by America's marketing departments--so a lot of people must like reading about kids being threatened, tortured, and killed. If the stories don't affect you personally, you're supposed to enjoy them for their sheer reality (disgusting). And if they do affect you personally--if your toddler is eaten by an nun, for instance--you're supposed to get paid (even worse!).

Just look at the instance of the three poor (in both senses) sons of Camden, NJ, who famously suffocated in their aunt's semi-abandoned Toyota last month. According to our friends at CNN, the family--which probably had little previous experience with the media other than being told to buy fried chicken and Pringles--now has the AP working as their de facto spokes-service, intimidating the city police towards the unmentioned possibility of a settlement for not finding the three victims fast enough.

According to the AP article, "The question of when [the boys] died is crucial, in part because of the possibility of lawsuits against officials." The article notes that no complaints have been filed. But according to one lawyer, "responsibility for the deaths is now 'squarely on the shoulders of the police.'" The article goes on to say that the lawyer, Peter Villari, was hired "in part to see if police or anyone else may have been responsible for the deaths."

Why bother? The answer strikes me as immature as it would have nine years ago, when I began my website to rant about the inequities and abominations I saw every day during my ridiculous high school experience.

Get money from Toyota because the trunk lid fell closed. Get money from the already-impoverished city because the police (law-enforcers, not trunk-searchers, last time I checked) didn't find the kids soon enough.

Cold as it may sound, the only people who should be paying a fine are the parents, for storing an unregistered vehicle on their front lawn.

When I was reading and writing my way to becoming a Fulbright reject, I stumbled upon a book called ARCHIMEDES AND THE SEAGLE by David Ireland. In it, a thinking dog walks the streets of Sydney, Australia marveling at the highly animlaistic stupidity of the city's human citizens. Archimedes remarks with great consternation that humans accept money as compensation for the death of loved ones--why? While we could take care of our loved ones, the media makes it seems as if we can get paid not to. As long as you can stand the pain of loss and the initial legal costs, you can eat yourself to death at the Sizzler with your settlement money.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

After Four Heart Attacks, U.S. President Fit to Lead

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Boston Failure of the Day: More European Junk for the MBTA

After wasting $250 million on Italian-made Green Line Cars that lterally can't travel more than 15 mph without falling off the track, the "T" yesterday pulled 15% of its bus fleet out of service at the height of Friday evening rush hour! This after steering problems appeared to make the brand new buses drive into tunnel walls and moving cars. All of affected the buses were new, Dutch-made Neoplan models. Good thing the new Blue Line cars are coming from France...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

NYC Releases Awesome Plan for Downtown Flushing; Queens's Remaining 'White People' Plan to Flee City

Check out this rendering of Flushing Commons, a newly announced plan for the Downtown Flushing neighborhood of Queens: . If they actually build it, it will replace the parking structure where my mom and I would leave the car to go shopping when I was small. With the combined influence of Asian and Asian-American business and architecture, plus the City's support, Downtown Flushing will soon surpass Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City (that's in Queens) as on of the City's premiere business locales, third only to unsurpassable Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Manhattan.

If the City's tandem plans to build a new Mets stadium nearby and develop oil-drenched scrapyards along the polluted Flushing River come to fruition, beautiful waterfront parks will unite Flushing and Corona. The Hispanics and Asians, the clear heirs of the city, will be geographically united for the first time. Terrified of change, more white people (including my parents) will flee crying to the suburbs (including Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maine).

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Plight of the _________?

Talked with cmike (middlebro) for two hours yesterday. He is coming to similar realizations about our collective background and doomed futures. Referring to our ironically named, working class and collegeless home 'hood of College Point, he writes, "We discussed out unique identities as the educated working class...we do not fully belong to the point because we are educated. We do not fully belong to the college elite because we are from the Point." Few in any literate and educated audience will/would ever understand our similar but nonconventional views on work and family. In a purely nonfictive contest--even at the level of ordinary conversation--our views are only accepted by interlocutors as contrived, exaggerated, and "funny." This is a perpetual insult at the hands of countless readers who wish to rewrite the author into something more comfortably and familiarly palatable.

We must learn how NOT to waste time educating our audiences. We must get our job(s) dones as quickly, efficiently, and fucking awesomely as possible.

Boston Failure of the Day

"To this day, Boston remains the only major city without a business improvement district. New York City has more than 50."

From this Globe article on the creeping failure of Downtown Crossing.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

rbellinger news service

Saturday, July 02, 2005

mt vernon ill.

is a shit towne of about a dozen motels. it's where we are, saturday morning. so much has been happening that it's impossible to write it all down in a timely manner. while we drive to va, here's another chance to see how much boston sucks.