June 30, 2003

To know inauthenticity is not the same as being authentic

There's an SUV ad with the tagline "Go climb a driveway." It means, "We know that you know that you're never going to use your SUV to climb a mountain like in those other SUV ads. But you want the SUV anyway. That's cool."

The point of this form of irony is to disarm the audience; to remove the need to pass judgement by making fun of yourself. The catch being that you never actually own up to anything.

Anyway, Zoe Williams has a great Guardian article on irony in general and this point in specific:

"So, you take a cover of FHM, with tits on the front - and it's ironic because it appears to be saying 'women are objects', yet of course it isn't saying that, because we're in a postfeminist age. But nor is it saying 'women aren't objects', because that would be dated, over-sincere, mawkish even. So, it's effectively saying 'women are neither objects, nor non-objects - and here are some tits!'"

This reminds me to reread The Fall at some point wherein Camus admonishes the existentialist set for being such dicks.
"I was wrong after all, to tell you that the essential was to avoid judgement. The essential is being able to permit oneself everything, even if, from time to time, one has to profess vociferously one's own infamy."

Well, yeah, the thing is you're not supposed to like the guy who says that.

June 29, 2003

To do this week

Find someone at work to tell me why I'm #5 for on a search for "shit showers".

Surely, I can make it to #2.

June 28, 2003

Bible Trivia

DragonRaid: "In DragonRaid, the participants role-play Christian characters in the land of EdenAgain, where they are known as LightRaiders. LightRaiders are members of the TwiceBorn who, together, courageously follow the call of the OverLord of Many Names and go into the Dragon Lands to combat and defeat evil." (via Fe�rag)


A recap of things that happened while I was sick:

  • Yo la Tengo at the Fillmore: You've not heard "Little Honda" until you hear it build into a noise-feedback climax only to drop back down into the next verse of "It's not a big motorcycle, Just a groovy little motorbike."

  • A drunken lover's spat in my backyard at 5am: Not sure which of my crazy neighbors were involved. It was hard to place the low, droning male voice who slurred for 15 minutes, "You're not going to hit me anymore. You're NOT going to HIT me anymore."

  • Winged Migration: This movie's French, yo. Gotta lot of good-looking bird photography. The soundtrack's got various bird-inspired tunes that sound like the soft-rock offspring of Rush and SpinalTap.

  • Santa Cruz: I got to be the guy who gets to the front of the parking toll booth line and realizes he has no money (I'd gotten a pass that apparently wasn't good for anything).
    I'm really sorry ... but what do I do now?
    [Angry stare] You leave.

  • And, I feel as a result of sleeping oddly, I had a dream about being abducted, strapped face down to a massage chair and forced to suckle its hairy nipple headrest.

June 19, 2003


The producer behind the X-Men movies is looking to make a live-action Transformers flick: "The feature film will tell the story of an intergalactic war between two races of robots: the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons. When their fight comes to Earth, the future of humanity inevitably hangs in the balance."

I see Vin Diesel in the role of Grimlock.

June 17, 2003


From the Brazil DVD box set, I learned that the whole Buttle/Tuttle device was Tom Stoppard's idea and basically defined the structure of the movie.

From K5, I learned that: "a glitch in US airport security is causing headaches for men named 'David Nelson.' For some unknown reason (supposedly if 'they' discussed the matter it would breach security) security computers give a 'no fly' or 'potential terrorist' warning whenever someone named David Nelson attempts to board an airliner."

Matrix Re(x3)loaded

So, this past Sunday I saw The Matrix Reloaded for the third time at the Coronet Theater. I'm still incredibly impressed.

And worried about the sequel. I'm sure that whatever the Wachowskis have planned for Revolutions will be great. But I feel it won't be as mind-bendingly wonderful as I initially thought.

Specifically, I now have a $1 bet with Jason Sutter about the trilogy's conclusion. He is of the "nested matrix" camp - those who think that the reason Neo can control the sentinels at the end of the movie is because the "real" world is, in fact, another matrix. I believe that Neo has this real world ability (no quotes) because he is now part-machine. The natural resolution in this scenario is that machines and humans realize their inter-dependence and must combine as the yin and yang to advance together (translation: big fight with Agent Smith).

Anyway, Scott Manning has some great things to say on this topic.

June 13, 2003

Chicken Apple

I used to be a hotdog technician. On a hot and muggy afternoon in St. Louis, I tended to the sausage needs of overweight suburbanites as they rested from digging through discount software bins to snarf on free snacks. If you want to get people to spend $50 on add-on floppies to Strip Poker 7, you need to provide some snackage.

That was the first time I almost died. Sweating my heart out over an open grill in the St. Louis summer and trying to field absurd hotdog requests from the thrifty . "I want mine completely black on one side but raw on the other!"

Jason Sutter eventually took pity on me, but hotdog jokes have followed me to this day. To wit, Lane's recent portrait.

I'm sporting my old favorite sweatshirt in those photos. I still love Themselves. But now I'm rocking the Blogger hoodie.

June 12, 2003

4th Wall

"I don't know who I am anymore," Chris said in a panic. "If this doesn't stop soon, I'm gonna end up being for the war."

Who would've thought that a rock n' roll concert could go so far off the rails. The New Pornographers show started out with just a few generic problems. A bad soundcheck that left the vocals basically inaudible during the first song. A too drunken keyboards player who was occassionally way out of sync and would snap his fingers arhythmically when not playing as tho' he was trying to convince himself that he'd found the beat.

But then the band noticed the kid in the Rush t-shirt at the front of the crowd who was playing air guitar along to every song. "Hey - c'mon up here, kid," they told him. And up he trundled to hop around stage playing air guitar during the next tune.

At the end of that song, his friend came up to play air bass. Then their lady friend played air drums on the song after that. Eventually there was an entire shadow band pantomiming the show, spewing plumes of chugged beer in mock rockstar glee. It was a nightmare.

The two albums that the New Pornographers contain only amazing songs so it was still fun to see them played live. But I get a little nervous when the accepted standards of performance are so blatantly flaunted. Audience in the crowd, band on the stage. It's the natural order of things.

June 11, 2003


Aaron Fagerstrom is a master of flesh and bone.

And MattB has got a brand new blog full of tales of Midwest bawdry. Plus great non-blog stuff from his LoFi days.

In short, Sutter's online empire is on the move.

June 09, 2003

Bus Lightning in a Jar

I'd been warned, but I waited for the 22 Fillmore anyway. Very foolish.

20 minutes later I jumped in a cab. The cab driver explained to me that the Union Street Fair had messed up everything. He also explained that he was from Tunisia and that he's sick of hearing tourists complain about the cold summers in San Francisco and that he moved here to get away from the heat. I liked him immediately.

"I hate the heat, too. And Tunisia, that's like desert hot," I said.

"Nah ... the desert's further south, Tunisia's more Mediterranean."

I felt bad for being another American completely ignorant of world geography. But I looked it up later. Where this dude's from may be all riviera'd, but the Sahara's definitely in that deal somewhere.

Passing Dolores Park, we saw a paddy wagon being stocked up with homeless people who'd been sleeping near the tennis courts. The cabbie said he used to run in the park but stopped because he was afraid of all the homeless who slept there.

"Do they have a lot of homeless people in Tunisia," I asked.

"Nah ... when they find people living on the streets they just put them in homes or take them to the doctor if they're sick."

"Wow! That's nice that people get taken care of there. How's it work that Tunisia can do that for its people, but we can't do that here."

"Well, Tunisia's a more socialist country than America. Here, you've got to rely on yourself which is what makes it great."

"Yeah, I guess so. But still it'd be nice if we took care of folks."

"Yes. Some people are like dogs and need to be taken care of like dogs are taken care of."

A Tunisian true believer of the American Dream. Well, I'm the one who thinks I know where the desert is because I saw it on a map.

June 08, 2003

Treasure Wart

Just got back from driving around Treasure Island with Jason Sutter. What a fucking misnomer. Treasure Island is what happens when the Navy decides to float a suburban turd in the middle of the San Francisco Bay.

Also, it's largely abandonded. The Fleet Admiral Nimitz Convention Hall? Not that happening. Good place to film a zombie movie, however.

After returning home, I remarked to my diminutive friend that I was feeling pretty worn out. He wondered why that was. So I turned to my new/current employer for advice.

I'm still tired, but as a result of the Feeling Lucky hit, I found this helpful info about Myo-Blast CSP3. Sounds great:

"Well guys, ive been using this for a while now and although i have had seriously satisfying pumps at the gym i have found that i have diveloped large warts around the crack of my arse and in between my now muscular toes. Sadly as a result of this i am no longer having satisfying dumps in the can since it stings and this sensation never stops hurting me. Does anyone else suffer from these symptoms?"

June 06, 2003


Pulling up the rear of the employment wagon, I finally joined my cohorts in full-timey Google status. Come Monday (the day of my beating-in) I get a new shiny badge, a bucket of rocks and everything. Woot!

June 05, 2003

Snow Crash

Wired News: "Mike Gontelli, a late arrival to the game that evening, said that when he arrived in Shadowbane 'there were hundreds of tombstones. New players were being beaten and tortured. Newbie blood was flowing like a river. I knew it wasn't real, but it was oddly terrifying.'" (via lil' Goldtoe)

June 03, 2003

Why I don't buy pornography

Just picked up a bottle of Crisco and a 4 pack of batteries from Walgreens. Crisco always seems dirty on its own, but the C cells suggested some additional level of depravity. Does vegetable oil conduct? Some sort of auto-electro-lubricatory ridiculousness?

Good lord, my mother reads this. And me not only buying Crisco and batteries but also with a rented copy of Secretary secreted away in the pouch of my hooded sweatshirt.

So, yes, for all of this. And because the internet gives it away for free.