Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tiffany Lamp Gone Bad

Tiffany Lamp Gone Bad

Tiffany Lamp Gone Bad (2001)

May West liked good salmon.
Her bedroom had dark panelling

and lava lamps. Over her tables hung
racks of critics behind the bar

where bad service is largely blamed
on Texas. Her rental limo

was toothless and made me think of
camp. Such dim jerky tastes

survivalist or maybe all the songs
about trendy green plots gas up

through hanging smoke. Her hip
inquisitor makes a great square

room addition. I hear her voice
calling me claw-footed.

Her old man gives off a soft glow
low and sexless. Victorian.

Well cut by Jack like shards
of sour cream on a white plate.

~/~

This is a "Google" poem -- a found text pieced together by search hit syntax snatches from a Google search of the phrase tiffany lamp gone bad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Texas Fractal Massacre

The Texas Fractal Massacre

The Texas Fractal Massacre (1999)

"You have one choice, boy: sex or the fractal. Sex is, well, nobody knows. But the fractal, the fractal is family."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Anticipating Autumn

Anticipating Autumn

Anticipating Autumn (1999)

A melancholy mood settles like dreary morning fog. Summer's gone. Winter's pumped.

And where's the harvest? Debates in Congress and discussions in the media over whether the United States should honor the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

The fields are fallow. The farmers are insane.

I want the land that I love back -- green and fertile.

~/~

UPDATE:

Here's Paul Krugman going to motive:

So why is the Bush administration so determined to torture people?

To show that it can.

The central drive of the Bush administration -- more fundamental than any particular policy -- has been the effort to eliminate all limits on the president’s power. Torture, I believe, appeals to the president and the vice president precisely because it’s a violation of both law and tradition. By making an illegal and immoral practice a key element of U.S. policy, they’re asserting their right to do whatever they claim is necessary.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Court of Ptolemy

Court of Ptolemy

Court of Ptolemy (2006)

There are mumerous Ptolemys, but I'm thinking of Egypt's boy king. From the will it burn like the Library at Alexandria Wikipedia:

Son of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII of Egypt (80–58 BC and 55–51 BC), he succeeded his father in the spring of 51 BC as co-ruler of Egypt by his marriage and consummation of the marriage to his older sister Cleopatra VII of Egypt (51–30 BC). In October of 50 BC, Ptolemy XIII was promoted to senior ruler along with her, although Pothinus acted as regent for him.

In the spring of 48 BC, Ptolemy XIII and Pothinus attempted to depose Cleopatra VII due to her increasing status as Queen. Her face appeared on minted coins, for example, while Ptolemy XIII's name was omitted on official documents. Ptolemy intended to become sole ruler, with Pothinus acting as the power behind the throne.

They managed to force her to flee to Alexandria, but she soon organized her own army and a civil war began in Egypt. Soon their other sister started to claim the throne as Arsinoe IV (48–47 BC), further complicating the situation.

At this point defeated Roman general Pompey came to Egypt seeking refuge from his pursuing rival Julius Caesar. Initially, Ptolemy XIII and Pothinus pretended to have accepted his request, but on September 29, 48 BC, Pothinus himself murdered the general, in hopes of winning favor with Caesar when the victorious general arrived. When Caesar did arrive he was presented with the head of his deceased rival and former ally, but reportedly, instead of being pleased, reacted with disgust and ordered that Pompey's body be located and given a proper Roman funeral. Cleopatra VII proved more successful in winning Caesar's favor and became his lover. Caesar arranged the execution of Pothinus and the official return to the throne of Cleopatra VII, though she had never officially abdicated her marriage to Ptolemy XIII.

Still determined to depose Cleopatra VII, Ptolemy XIII allied himself with Arsinoe IV. Jointly, they organized the factions of the army loyal to them against those loyal to Cleopatra VII and the relatively small part of his army that had accompanied Caesar to Egypt. The battle between the warring factions occurred in mid-December of 48 BC inside Alexandria itself, which suffered serious damage, including (according to some sources) the burning of some of the buildings which comprised the Library of Alexandria.

The arrival of Roman reinforcements from Pergamum gave the victory to Caesar and Cleopatra VII, forcing Ptolemy XIII and Arsinoe IV to flee the city. Ptolemy XIII reportedly drowned on January 13, 47 BC while attempting to cross the Nile.

Ptolemy is often portrayed in historical movies as a chubby spoiled brat -- sort of a cross between Gary Coleman and Home Alone-era Macaulay Culkin.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Unattainable

Unattainable

Unattainable (1999)

An impossible self help question
will wait
check out
be home

unless you are a fan

of stupid networks. One of the tightest
going nuclear photographs cuts

waste and overlooks ad agency
ethics. To understand more

toast the Broadway stage with
handgun exits, silent designs

before clicking to play
shut the books
cool detachment
self protection

when the Coca Cola intelligentsia

stumble in household income
and brain drain your

favorite photos. Who is
that artist in the break room mirror

found in prison? I have a prop
like yours: a picture with problems.

~/~

This is a "Google poem" -- a found poem pieced together from syntax snatches uncovered in Google search results of the word unattainable.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Greater Satan

The Greater Satan

The Greater Satan (2001)

Where's Osama bin Laden?
--John Kerry
I don't know. I don't really think about him very much. I'm not that concerned.
--George W. Bush, Presidential Candidates Debate, 10-13-2004

The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.
--George W. Bush, Press Conference, 8-21-2006
What did Iraq have to do with it?
--Ken Herman, Cox News
What did Iraq have to do with what?
--George W. Bush
The attack on the World Trade Center.
--Ken Herman
Nothing...
--George W. Bush

~/~

UPDATE:

Keith Olbermann's remarks tonight deserve a wide audience:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Gone to Seed

Gone to Seed

Gone to Seed (1998)

From the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Will drug-producing crops end up contaminating our seed and food supplies? Our results suggest reasons for concern. In the near term, this may be the most important implication of our findings.

Agricultural biotechnology is entering a new age. No longer are researchers concentrating only on inserting genes that result in plants with traits like herbicide and insect resistance that make crops cheaper or easier for farmers to grow. Now they are inserting genes to create plants that produce drugs and industrial chemicals--in essence turning the crops into biological factories. The developers of the new pharmaceutical-producing "pharm" crops especially promise compelling benefits--new drugs that would otherwise be unavailable and decreased production costs leading to lower consumer drug prices.

Corn is the crop most commonly engineered to produce drugs, but other food and feed crops including rice, potato, soybean, tomato, and canola are also being used.

The production of drugs and industrial chemicals in corn and other food crops presents obvious risks. If genes find their way from pharm crops to ordinary corn, they or their products could wind up in drug-laced corn flakes. In addition, crops that unintentionally contain drugs or plastics could also be harmful to domestic animals that eat contaminated feed; to deer, mice, birds, and other wildlife that feed in pharm crop fields; or to organisms living in the soil.

[...]

The likelihood that seeds would become contaminated with genes from pharm crops is difficult to assess. It depends on how seed contamination occurs -- by physical mixing or outcrossin g-- and a number of other factors, for example, whether fields for seed production or seed increase for food and feed crops are located close to areas where pharm crops are grown. More study is needed to understand how often seeds are contaminated and where in the seed production process contamination occurs. At this point, we do not have the information to be assured that pharmaceutical genes have not already moved into our food system.

So Special K doesn't just taste like plastic. It is plastic...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Portrait of Donald Rumsfeld

Portrait of Donald Rumsfeld

Portrait of Donald Rumsfeld (2004)

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.
--Herman Goering

Either you are with us, or you are with Hitler the terrorists.
--George W. Bush, September 20, 2001

Although a recent Newsweek poll notes that 63% of Americans disapprove of the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld suggested last week that the majority of Americans are the equivalent of Nazi sympathizers. From CNN:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday accused critics of the Bush administration's Iraq and counterterrorism policies of lacking the courage to fight terror.

In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration's critics as suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion" about what threatens the nation's security.

Addressing several thousand veterans at the American Legion's national convention, Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failed efforts to appease the Adolf Hitler regime in the 1930s.

"I recount this history because once again we face the same kind of challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism" he said.

Here's Keith Olbermann channeling Edward R. Murrow on Donald Rumsfeld:


Talk about the either/or fallacy slapping you upside the head. Let me see if I got this straight:

You have everything to fear including fear itself.

With us...

[Image seen on Bad Attitudes]

When you say that anything George Bush has done is akin to what Hitler did, you make the Holocaust into nothing more than an example of partisan excess. -- Jonah Goldberg

Against us...

[Book cover seen on Amazon.com]

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pollen Hunt


Pollen Hunt

Pollen Hunt (2006)

Something new. You know this story. If not, wander away from this screen and meander around your yard. You'll have a front row seat.

From the CC Pollen Co. site:

Pollen is the male reproductive spore of the plants. Flowers produce pollen to fertilize other flowers. But for this to happen, pollen must get from the flower of one plant to fertilize the flower of another plant. How does it happen? As everyone knows, bees do the work, depositing pollen from flower to flower. When bees visit flowers, they fertilize them by spreading the pollen that they collected from previous plants. This simple act, repeated over and over again, becomes the force that re-starts the life cycle of our planet every spring. It is the genesis of the food chain.

This is obviously an important service for the plant, but how does the bee benefit? Bees collect pollen for food. The lifespan of a worker bee is only 7-8 weeks. Bees accomplish a tremendous amount of work during that short period of time, and their metabolisms run at very high levels. Just as a racecar needs more powerful fuel to run well and fast, bees require a high-intensity diet to satisfy their nutritional requirements. Besides honey, which provides calories to burn as fuel, bee pollen is all that bees eat. In the evolutionary process, pollen that bees collect has evolved into the richest fuel possible. Pollen provides the nutritional building blocks needed to nurture the young and grow the population of the hive. In the spring, when bees start to bring pollen back to the hive, that is a signal to the Queen that she can start laying eggs.

That's the buzz. No stinger attached.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gladiator Bot

Gladiator Bot

Gladiator Bot (2005)

More from the Classics Technology Center on Roman gladiators:

Gladiators were paid each time they fought. If a gladiator survived three to five years of combat they were freed. Gladiators fought in arenas, the most famous of which was the Colosseum built by the Flavians. When one of the opponents in a contest was wounded, the crowd would typically shout “habet, hoc habet,” he has had it. An opponent who felt he was defeated would raise his left hand with one finger extended as a request for mercy. It is not clear how the vote of life or death for the defeated opponent was decided though it may have involved the thumb.

If the decision was for death, the defeated opponent would ceremoniously grasps the thigh of his conqueror who would slay the loser by stabbing his sword into his neck. The dead body was removed by costumed attendants, one dressed as the ferry man Charon, and the other as Mercury. Charon struck the dead body with a hammer and Mercury poked the body with a hot iron disguised as his wand to assure the loser was dead. The winner would receive a symbol of their victory, such as a golden bowl, crown, or gold coin, along with a palm leaf symbolizing victory.

Stupid hu-mans bluuuuurk reading quoooooo this reeeeeee thumbs-down blog. Are bliiiiip you whiiirrrr not braaaak entertained?

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