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Category: empire in decline

the lost colony

[flowplayer src=’’ splash=’’]   “When we discover that there are several cultures instead of just one and consequently at the time when we acknowledge the end of a sort of cultural monopoly, be it illusory or real, we are threatened with the destruction of our own discovery. Suddenly it becomes possible that there are just others, that we ourselves are an “other” among others. All…


how do you look at it?

  The book: A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide The author: Samantha Power One piece of the picture: a bizarre and destructive mental state in which people are able to know, and at the same time not know, about something evil that is happening An example: Power describes an official in the United States government. In 1942, this official had a…

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it’s none of your business


the story is that a bunch of workers were offered one denarius for working in the fields. some of them started at dawn, some of them started at around ten, others trailed in toward the end of the afternoon. then the landowner came out and paid everyone the same exact thing.

one read of the story is that life is not fair. okay. that’s basic.

second way to look at it is this: it’s the landowner’s right to do whatever he wants to with his or her own money. he/she doesn’t really care if you got up at the crack of dawn. someone else can come in at three-thirty and pick one grape. landowner pays them, too. shut up. it’s none of your business.


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weirder is gooder

[flowplayer src=’’ splash=’’] pan-seared scallops . . .

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things of the future



April 5th—I am almost devoured by ennui. Pundit is the only conversible person on board; and he, poor soul! can speak of nothing but antiquities. He has been occupied all the day in the attempt to convince me that the ancient Amriccans governed themselves!—did ever anybody hear of such an absurdity? —that they existed in a sort of every-man-for-himself confederacy, after the fashion of the “prairie dogs” that we read of in fable. He says that they started with the queerest idea conceivable, viz: that all men are born free and equal . . . Every man “voted,” as they called it —that is to say meddled with public affairs—until , at length, it was discovered that what is everybody’s business is nobody’s, and that the Republic (so the absurd thing was called) was without a government at all.

Edgar Allan Poe, from “Mellonta Tauta”


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marty . . . bobby


“The actors, whether by technique or accident, gave you pieces of their lives, which is certainly the ultimate generosity of the artist, and they did it unabashed. You were the witness to a final intimacy. These artists spoke to your secret self, the one you hide. They offered you more than cleverness or technique. They gave you the genuine thing, the thing that hurt you as it thrilled you.” Elia Kazan


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no logo my ego



“ For one thing, the suggestion that true popular power lies in choosing between Mars Bars and Fry’s Chocolate Cream bars suggests a certain decline in the democratic ideal from the days of Thomas Jefferson, not to speak of the Athenian city-state. Freedom now lies in deciding which particular set of grubby little deceptions to resist. ”

—Emily Dickinson

— Terry Eagleton, in his madly mad review of On Brand by Wally Olins

This is a nice logo, a peaceful clean logo. Is it really evil? Am I my soap? And what is a Fry’s Chocolate Cream Bar? Terry must be British. Twix, Milky Way, Kit Kat, Snickers. That’s what I’m talking about. Hey, speaking of logos, that was wack what Snickers did with their logo. Changing up the words . . . that was like the American Revolution or something. What do you mean I am not free?

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potentially offensive releases


“The women demanded  a standardized ratings system, with specific symbols to be used to identify ‘profanity, violence, suicide, or sexually explicit lyrics. . .Further ratings would identify albums that glorified drug use and alcohol abuse or that featured lyrics about the occult.”

Steve Greenberg, “Where is Graceland? 1980s Pop Culture Through Music”


the outskirts of black rock city

from the SFGate, August 30 2007

A Burning Man participant was found dead this morning, hanging from the inside of a two-story high tent, according to Mark Pirtle, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Land Management.

The apparent suicide would be the festival’s first in its 21 year history, Pirtle said.

Pershing County coroners are investigating the scene and preparing to remove the body. Pirtle said the man was hanging for two hours before anyone in the large tent thought to bring him down.

“His friends thought he was doing an art piece,” Pirtle said.


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Fascism was not simply a conspiracy—although it was that—but it was something that came to life in the course of a powerful social development. Language provides it with a refuge. Within this refuge a smoldering evil expresses itself as though it were salvation. Theodor Adorno. 1964


dust in the vaseline

“After a day or two of riding, our troops were terribly saddle sore, to the point of serious disability. To ease the friction, we sent in a hundred jars of Vaseline. But in Afghanistan the dirt is a fine dust and it’s everywhere; it lingers in the air and covers you from head to foot. This fine dust collected on the Vaseline; instead of helping,…


henny penny cabaret

  “Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, pandemics, cosmic radiation, gamma bursts from space, colliding comets, and asteroids – these catastrophic events have become a common part of our culture. Are natural calamities now more probable, and more frequent? Are things getting worse? Are we part of the problem? If so, what can we do about it?” This is the Amazon description of a book, The End:…

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