Monday, April 30, 2007

Twisters

The Twister Forms

The Twister Forms (2000)

My dream starts to get strange
on The Plains. Blue balloons
drift over my town as rain mode begins
and gusts curve. In one fictive package
hot moves up when I swing my arms
demolishing clever word games.

Shuffled letters soon drown
and my notebook paper
returns
driven back into trees.

~/~

It's that time of the year again here in Arkansas...

Twister

Twister (2001)

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dali Earth

Dali Earth

Dali Earth (1998)

Have a happy Earth Day...

...while you can...

From Live Science:

Our planet's prospects for environmental stability are bleaker than ever with the approach of this year’s Earth Day, April 22. Global warming is widely accepted as a reality by scientists and even by previously doubtful government and industrial leaders. And according to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is a 90 percent likelihood that humans are contributing to the change.

The international panel of scientists predicts the global average temperature could increase by 2 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 and that sea levels could rise by up to 2 feet.

Scientists have even speculated that a slight increase in Earth's rotation rate could result, along with other changes. Glaciers, already receding, will disappear. Epic floods will hit some areas while intense drought will strike others. Humans will face widespread water shortages. Famine and disease will increase. Earth’s landscape will transform radically, with [my emphasis] a quarter of plants and animals at risk of extinction.

I read the report put out by the bureaucracy--G.W. Bush

In a report sent to Congress at the end of August, government scientists argued that the warming of the atmosphere in recent decades cannot be explained by natural causes but must include such human sources as energy consumption and deforestation. It's a conclusion that a consensus of the world's climatologists reached years ago but that Bush has ignored throughout his presidency.

When the New York Times quizzed Bush about why his scientists had shifted their positions on what caused global warming, he appeared entirely ignorant that they had. "I don't think we did," he said. When tipped off to the paper's coverage of the report, he added: "Oh, OK, well, that's got to be true." Maybe he really doesn't read the newspapers. His aides then assured reporters that, no, this report wouldn't signal any change in his policies around climate change.
Salon:
"Bush -- Global Warming is Just Hot Air"

[Cartoon by David Horsey]

Meanwhile, here's hoping a few, select, pre-cooked lizard brains spontaneously combust first...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Deconstructed Chick

Deconstructed Chick

Deconstructed Chick (2001)

Paging David Letterman. Here's a keeper for your series on Great Moments in Presidential Speeches:

If you've got a chicken factory, a chicken-plucking factory, or whatever you call them, you know what I'm talking about.
--George W. Bush, April 19, 2007

Actually...

I have no idea what you are talking about. But please don't go further off script and try to elaborate because...

HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD HEAD ON APPLY DIRECTLY TO--

The Anonymous Liberal stopped his head from throbbing and has a few thoughts:

Imagine for a second that you're an alien who just arrived on Earth . . . No, never mind. Not even necessary. Just imagine that you're yourself--from the year 1998--and that someone played this video clip for you and told you that the man in the video is the President of the United States, and he is trying to convince a hand-picked, fake-townhall audience to continue to support a disastrously ill-advised, horrendously unpopular, and seemingly unwinnable war in Iraq.

How totally unfathomable would such a revelation seem (above and beyond the whole 'seeing the future' aspect of it)? It's just really hard to believe we've come to this, that the most powerful nation in the world, at a crucial moment in its history, is being led by someone who is so obviously not up to the task.

Judge --and deconstruct -- for yourself:

Yes, death is terrible. I feel like I've been watching my country die for over seven years...

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Inside the Black Sun

Inside the Black Sun

Inside the Black Sun (2000)

Why is it I can remember the name of the Virginia Tech killer but none of his victims?

Could it be because of mass media blanket saturation of his so-called manifesto? How many more sociopathic "martyrs" can now see a clear roadmap to insta-fame in the camera obscura of YouTube?

I am disgusted. I'm not the only one.

Eric Williams:

NBC could have reported that they received a package from the killer. They could have told us that they turned it over to the authorities. They could have discussed in general terms what was contained in the package and whether those contents offered any insight into this tragedy. They could have exercised editorial restraint for the good of humanity. And, in the process, they would not have been fueling the morbid fantasies of the next murderous malcontents lurking in countless otherwise peaceful colleges. Or high schools. Or food courts. Or churches. Other fractured minds whose American idols are the killers from Virginia Tech and Columbine. Violent, gun-worshiping misfits who dream of emulating the "martyrdom" of their heroes, knowing that they too can get their moment in the national spotlight, with their faces, their sneers, their incoherent ramblings blasted on every television network and across every internet site, if only they kill enough people and leave behind a wicked MySpace page.

Harry Shearer:

Not so easy is the answer to the question: what is the possible journalistic explanation for splashing Cho's self-dramatizing poses and self-justifying bullshit over network and cable air? Did we learn anything useful during the spate of interviews of Charlie Manson years ago, except that he was one crazy motherfucker? Cho's pathetic outpourings deserved to be put back where they came from -- in a small room, with FBI guys sentenced to read/see and parse them. Instead, a hundred thousand self-pitying mentally ill young men (and women?) have just been shown the road to glory one more time. A society in which it's easier to become famous for killing people than for doing something useful or constructive is one remarkable place in which to live.

Tom Rosenteil:

There's an overriding public interest in trying to understand this young man and this tragedy. If the video is no longer telling you anything new, and it's just being run to keep you watching, then you are actually serving the need of this killer, who is trying to haunt and taunt us.

James Garberino:

Most of these guys like this, they're sort of looking for a way to make a statement. They're already suicidal, they're already depressed, they have a grievance, and one of the attractive things about doing what he did is you resolve everything at once: You go out in a blaze of glory and make your statement," he said. "The risk of adding to this and providing validation to me ought to sort of trump the educational value of it.

Michael Weiner:

Please stop now. That's all. If you can take [talk show host Don] Imus off the air, you can certainly keep [Cho] from having his own morning show.

And Cintra Wilson:

Cho's successful domination of the news cycles condones, justifies and rewards his behavior... and encourages it in others who suffer from this affliction. Infamy is the same thing as Fame, for the malignant narcissist.

Our current habit of obsessing over celebrity infamy and disgrace: e.g., the nonstop reportage on the likes of Britney, Lindsay, Paris, and the late Anna Nicole Smith -- no doubt confirmed, for Cho, that his plan was a good one.

He saw the two-headed calf of the New Celebrity: it is Death Worship.

[...]

Cho reached out in his videos, addressing many of his incoherent ramblings to future generations of disgruntled, schizophrenic losers who admire serial killers. Cho's brilliantly publicized rampage was his gift to future psychopaths, who will now have Cho as their new watermark, their new hero, their new rock star. As a student of killers, Cho probably knew exactly how many bodies he'd have to notch up to be the "biggest" killer in America. Future sociopaths will use his death-toll as a starting point.

The Virginia killer's "manifesto" -- and the media's willingness to dote on it like a catechism -- will be the reason for future killers to do what they already feel like doing: shoot everyone that makes them feel small. As the Columbine killers' impulses were fed by the rapt, prurient attentions devoted to previous serial killers, so Cho was emboldened by our worship of the Columbine killings.

[...]

With our collective attention, we have empowered those who get the most attention in the mainstream media: the worst of the worst. Cho, no doubt, will inspire future atrocities..... because in addition to killing 31 innocent victims, he made the media complicit in his crime. NBC was the Bonnie to Cho's Clyde. No legitimate psycho, now, will ever feel truly discouraged that his pathological need for attention will go unmet.

NBC must count itself as the invisible gunman in all copycat crimes resulting from the Virginia Tech massacre. They nailed Cho to the crucifix he so desperately wanted, and said, "Behold."

Don't get me wrong. I'm a realist. I understand the collective need to try to make sense or understand this tragedy. I even understand the news value of the killer's package -- and the reluctance of editors to screen what should and should not be shown in the (possible) public interest. And in a wall-to-wall wired age, there's no hiding from bad news or unsettling images. You can't stop a few million bloggers (like me?) from writing about such subjects. I understand all that.

But I resent giving this murderer so much pre-planned public attention. There's no light to be shed by carpet bombing the airwaves with his delusions and grandstanding. There's only darkness inside his black sun.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kyoko's Gardens

Kyoko's Garden

Kyoko's Garden (2000)


Kyoko's Other Garden

Kyoko's Other Garden (2001)

Today's images were based on remembering the friend of a friend's small gardens squeezed before the front windows of her tiny New Orleans apartment.

Kyoko described them as "my garden" and "my other garden."

And now they are my gardens, too...

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Your Aura

Your Aura

Your Aura (2007)

Feel at your worst when
a well lit room cleanses a fun quiz
that exercises punk names, carnivals.
You feel best when tangible

and Kirlian. You disagree
about sexuality inside polymer shells
or a multicolored cocoon. Why not project
your dissolving karma for all to see

like a layer
of your head seen through by psychics.

~/~

Something new from Fractal Zplot and teleported into Photoshop.

The poem is a found text seen emanating from glowing phrase strings of a Google search of "your aura."

Detail of: Your Aura

Upper right corner detail of Your Aura

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Spring Day in Hell

A Spring Day in Hell

A Spring Day in Hell (2001)

The editors of my state newspaper must need Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion for their chapped lips hands from all the pom-pom waving for BushCo lately. They sure show a lot of team spirit for someone who has no team.

Last week it was a weighty (as in ton of bricks) editorial entitled "Attaboy Mr. President" praising Our Leader for trusting his wrong-way gut over the homegrown evil empire of those who prefer "surrender" in Iraq. On Sunday, the editorial cartoon featured Nancy Pelosi leading a pack of dopey donkeys in planting a white flag -- in a pose mirroring the iconic Iwo Jima scenario -- on the Capitol dome. Get it? Advocating withdrawal obviously means you're a pro-surrender cheese-eater. Sorta like surge really means escalation, I guess. Or enhanced interrogation techniques are doublespeak for torture.

Anyway, today's front page lead story featured John McCain, wearing a sport shirt (and a podium microphone?) "strolling" around Maui -- er -- Iraq. The Headline: MCCAIN VISITS, SAYS CRACKDOWN WORKING. To be fair, the story did note that the congressional visitors "wore body armor," but, understand, it was just a precaution -- you know, probably like wearing a mouth guard while playing chess. McCain once boasted to gambling Bill Bennett that there are "neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods today." And there, splayed out for the undiscerning, was St. John standing in what could have been a golf course in Pebble Beach.

Except it wasn't. Here's a shot of the stroll:

Head On.  Apply directly to the forehead...

I bet these shades will cut the glare from those IEDs and debris from hovering chopper rotors.

[Photo seen on the new, improved Shakesville.]

And St. John wasn't exactly Sir Gawain either -- forging out alone on a hazardous quest. No, here's what my state newspaper / propaganda organ forgot to mention to the gentle readers of Arkansas. From Think Progress:

NBC’s Nightly News provided further details about McCain’s one-hour guided tour. He was accompanied by “100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead.”

Roll that beautiful full of beans footage:

I'm as snug as a bug in one of Lindsey Graham's rugs.

The zinger of the day belongs to NBC Iraq correspondent Tom Aspell who observed with the massive security contingent surrounding McCain that

even Paris Hilton could ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province.

But the sadder -- and more cutting -- reflections come from many Baghdad merchants themselves. From the New York Times:

“What are they talking about?” Ali Jassim Faiyad, the owner of an electrical appliances shop in the market, said Monday. “The security procedures were abnormal!”

[...]

“They paralyzed the market when they came,” Mr. Faiyad said during an interview in his shop on Monday. “This was only for the media.”

He added, “This will not change anything.”

At a news conference shortly after their outing, Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, and his three Congressional colleagues described Shorja as a safe, bustling place full of hopeful and warmly welcoming Iraqis — “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime,” offered Representative Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican who was a member of the delegation.

But the market that the congressmen said they saw is fundamentally different from the market Iraqis know.

Merchants and customers say that a campaign by insurgents to attack Baghdad’s markets has put many shop owners out of business and forced radical changes in the way people shop. Shorja, the city’s oldest and largest market, set in a sprawling labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, has been bombed at least a half-dozen times since last summer.

At least 61 people were killed and many more wounded in a three-pronged attack there on Feb. 12 involving two vehicle bombs and a roadside bomb.

[...]

Told about Mr. McCain’s assessment of the market, Abu Samer, a kitchenware and clothing wholesaler, scoffed: “He is just using this visit for publicity. He is just using it for himself. They’ll just take a photo of him at our market and they will just show it in the United States. He will win in America and we will have nothing.”

Perhaps Mr. Samer will actually soon have less than nothing, since McCain's visit could well make the market a more inviting target for insurgents.

Not that St. John, late of the Straight Talk Express, will care. He'll be off to his next fund raiser and photo op where he'll hype surges and bitch slap all talk of surrender. And his surrounded-by-a-private-legion-with-heavy-air-support open air market stroll will just be a memory...of another spring day...passed through...like a whistle stop...in someone else's...hell...

~/~

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