Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Depress freedom

On the occasion of the Convention on Modern Liberty currently taking place in the UK, Times Online published a column by novelist Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass) on the surveillance state and the erosion of civil liberties in Britain.

Or rather, it briefly published this column and then, apparently, withdrew it. At the time of writing, the original link led to an error page — though the column was still listed in search results for the Times Online site. The Google cache of the page was scrubbed.

Continue reading ‘Depress freedom’

Also

Ahem. Giggle.

Arrested Development News

Not that I believe Cera was seriously holding out, BUT. Note the thread of favorite lines of the rabble in the previous link and compare with more highly minded love in our very own.

Sketchy Sketch of the Politico Timeline

They debut to denunciations of Drudge-ry and Note-ism (accurate), noted by Talking Points Memo and anyone with two neurons trading action potentials.

During the primaries and election, Talking Points Memo amplifies and inflates countless Politico “scoops” because TPM decides to be exclusively “horse race” in their coverage. TPM gets some deserved scorn from The Daily Howler to the sound of one Pinko clapping. Nobody bothers to notice. Nobody bothers to Deep Thought “I wish Josh wouldn’t link The Politico so much.”

Post-election, Talking Points Memo has swung back to issues of policy, as Josh Marshall (and the rest of us) is rightly crapping his Memo pants over the ongoing economic lava attack. In doing so, they have rediscovered the fact that The Politico is just terrible.

How did we end up with this 900 pound gorilla fart under the covers? Politico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fear of Blog

I feel like the web log is a carpet scuffing pair of giant bathroom slippies trying to shock my exposed and hunting and pecking finger when I approach the keyboard to post.

Therefore I leave this in trepidation as I dip my toes into the carpety static.

Also some people said some stuff I didn’t like and it made me mad and in my own mind I wreaked mental havoc upon their poorly considered ideas. Also, I taught myself the use of firearms in a Celeb Dream Cameo of quality.

Where does that highway lead to?

At the Overman hearings in the Senate, which had resumed on February 11 [1919], the government was calling witnesses, all of them former or current government officials who described heinous scenes in which Bolsheviks committed unconscionable atrocities. The Bolsheviks had caused indescribable chaos in Russia, said the witnesses. One man who had spent time in Petrograd1 testified that many of Russia’s misfortunes were due to the influx of Jewish agitators from New York’s Lower East Side.

“How would you describe these Bolshevik forces so that the average man would understand them and their composition?” a senator asked one witness.

“Like a mob of Captain Kidds with the exception that they operated by land instead of on the water,” the witness responded.

Another witness claimed with the utmost certainty that there were at least three million people in America, mostly of Russian origin, who were Bolshevik sympathizers, and among those, many were spies. And, he added, [President] Wilson seemed to be doing nothing about it. Yet another described the free love policy in Russia: all girls and boys upon reaching the age of eighteen become property of the State and must register at the Bureau of Free Love, which orchestrates forced, arranged matches once a month out of which come children who will then be government property. “Everything that makes life decent and worth living is in jeopardy if this thing called Bolshevism is allowed to go ahead,” testified a former U.S. Department of Commerce employee in Russia.

— — Ann Hagedorn, Savage Peace: Hope and Fear in America, 1919 (2007), p 129.

In a depressingly real sense, the Marxist glorification of work for its own sake, coupled with the naive assumption that as long as everybody is working hard, all sexual “problems” will disappear, i.e., reduce to a pastoral (and suspiciously bourgeois) vision of respectful, shy, young working men getting up the nerve to propose to respectful, shy, young working women, who must get up the nerve to respond, quiveringly, “Yes” (both, finally, taking courage from the fact that they are serving the state—the Marxist equivalent of “doing it for Old Glory”?), is historically, if not archetypally, one with the nineteenth-century industrial mythos: “Keep the proles working hard enough and they’ll be too tired to break out into the orgies of lust, rapine, and [incidentally] economic devastation [the absent text supplies for this term, "looting"] we know seethes just below the surface of every prole soul. Under industrial containment [read: exploitation/exhaustion] their sex [read: aggression] can be limited to the most conventional and tepid of expressions.” The entire template, Marxist and Capitalist, is a pre-Freudian disaster area which Freud’s own inability to distinguish between sensuality, sexuality, biological gender, and sex role socialization has done as much to perpetuate in the West as his basic discovery of the unconscious, sexual repression, transference, and infantile sexuality have prepared the groundwork to alleviate.

— — Samuel Delany, “Of Sex, Objects, Signs, Systems, Sales, SF…” (1975) as collected in The Straits of Messina (1989), p 55, all brackets in original.

Same as it ever was.

Continue reading ‘Where does that highway lead to?’


  1. i.e. St. Petersberg/Leningrad. Soviet-era joke: Where were you born? St Petersburg. Where did you grow up? Petrograd. Where do you live? Leningrad. Where would you like to live? St Petersburg. [back]

The Saga Continues – Gregor Samsa Stinking Up this Blog Since 2006

Wellington, 30 December 1912: Before Ms G. Cola, S.M., at the Magistrate’s Court this morning, Mary Joyce, Edward Taylor, and Hugh Gunn wore each fined 20s for drunkenness, and Donald McLean was mulcted in the sum of 10s. Forty-eight hours’ in gaol was fixed in default of payment. John Redmond O’Donoghue was sent to Rotorua Inebriates’ Home for a period of one year.

Great Great Uncle Samsa pleaded not guilty to using obscene language in a tent on Willis-street. Evidence showed, however, in the Opinion of the Magistrate, that the offence had been committed, and a fine of £2 was inflicted, with Courts’ costs (8s). In default of payment, Samsa was ordered to go to gaol for seven days….

Why’d they leave the beer?

REEFTON, August 8, 1895. A report is to hand of a sensational atrocity which has taken place on the Upper Matakitaki.— Two men, Hargraves and Great Great Uncle Samsa, had been drinking at May’s public house on Saturday night. A row ensued, during which they put May on the fire. A man named Mitchell succeeded in getting a wire off from Murchison for the police in spite of the danger he was exposed to, as Hargreaves openly swore he would shoot anyone who attempted to go to the telegraph office. All Saturday night the place was in an uproar. Guns were being fired continually, and the store was stripped of everything, with the exception of a little beer. After taking May off the fire they burned all his clothes. He is very badly burned, but not quite cooked. He cannot leave his bed but is expected to recover. A constable went up from Lyell at 3 o’clock on Monday, and found it necessary to swear in four special constables, as Hargraves declares he will not be taken alive. This occurred in what is known as the Lost Tribe district. There is great excitement in the neighbourhood over the affair, and fuller particulars of the incident are eagerly awaited.

For a variety of reasons I don’t think this is the best cross selling idea.

wegmans

Gregor’s Top Ten Smells

1) Tomato stems
2) Candle burnt pumpkin
3) Burnt tortilla
4) Creosote after a rain
5) Puppy breath (small doses only)
6) Leather baseball glove and wet grass
7) Frito feet
8) Mount Lemmon Marigolds (begone smiley!!!)
9) Sandalwood
10) Turmeric
11) Patchouli!!!!1