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"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work terribly important."
10/12/05: iPod critique pt. 4 (Melville)
" 'This is all part of the shift from mass media to personalized media,' says Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster and director of the Institue of the Future. No doubt this is true, but is it, I wonder, a good thing? For all the cachet and control implied by the iPod, the laptop, the BlackBerry, the digital camera, and wi-fi, in the end what seems to be on offer are particular kinds of distraction and avoidance, and a peculiar kind of 21st-century digital loneliness."
10/10/05: iPod critique pt. 3 (Melville)
"iPodistas like to talk up the social benefits of iPod-jacking: Total strangers swap iPods for a moment to listen to each other's selections. Well, okay. The utter hell of having to listen to strangers' music collections while standing close to them without talking in public notwithstanding, such an idea proceeds from the premise that it is the iPod that has offered this epochal opportunity for social interaction. It was, I am given to understand, entirely possible even before the iPod to approach a stranger on the street and attempt to swap words, names, or even ideas in a form of "tuning in" known as a conversation. A celebration of the joys of iPod-jacking seems a final acceptance that the possibility of actually communicating is gone for good, and we are left with a pale facsimile: You play me yours and I'll play you mine."
10/08/05: iPod critique pt. 2 (Melville)
"Unlike listening to (good) radio, which could infuriate and surprise you in equal measure, the iPod jukebox protects you from the shocks, both highs and lows; it offers you a safe experience that flatters, because every good track is one you chose, every familiar song reminds you of an emotion or memory: yours. Never did I think I'd find myself sounding so much like that old Fankfurt school philosopher-grump Theodor Adorno, but his argument that pop music and its predictable structure deliver back to the user a cheap thrill because he or she recognizes how it will end seems to work for the iPod."
10/06/05: iPod critique pt. 1 (Melville)
"Legal scholar Cass Sunstein has a theory about the Internet that he calls "The Daily We." The argument is that rather than broaden our access to information, ideas, and experiences, the Internet, precisely because it offers such dizzying, disorienting choice and possiblity, reinforces the tendency to filter out what is unknown, stick to what you like, and congregate with others who like the same thing."
10/04/05: Poverty Is Flawed
"If you're poor, you must not be smart. If you're smart, then why are you poor? According to out dominant culture, poverty confirms a personal flaw."
09/29/05: Broken Cross? Say it ain't so!
"Just recieved my order I placed with you guys late last Saturday and hey presto its arrived at my hell hole today (Thursday). Fuck me the new Jelvins CD is a blast, the Virus 100 CD (I have it on vinyl but no player...) is so fucking cool sounding and the jackets better than i thought it'd be. Well you can guarantee that ill get a few looks from people. "Oh my broken cross, how UNchristian" *snore*. Anyhow I thought Id say a big thanx and another for the free poster.
Be cool. Paul."
09/18/05: Rare glimpse of right wing honesty
"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."
- Rep. Richard Baker (R-LA) to
lobbyists, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal
- Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, news conference, Sept. 3, 2005
-First Lady Laura Bush, twice referring to a "Hurricane Corina" while speaking to children and parents in South Haven, Mississippi, Sept. 8, 2005
- Former First Lady of the US, Barbara Bush, 9/5/05
"First they came for the Muslims and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Muslim.
FEMA in 2001, New Orleans Times-Picayune & PBS in 2002, FEMA in 2003, and National Geographic in 2004 are just some of the entities which reported extensively on the problems with the New Orleans levees. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is part of the US federal government, currently situated in the Department of Homeland Security.
"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay.