Sunday, October 30, 2005
Oh, would you look at that? Eileen had to get one of those stupid-looking lampshades around her head, because she wouldn't leave her stitches alone. What a silly puppy. (Pic by RobotArmMonkeyBrain.)
The whole story is in this week's SynCast, which also showcases...
My good friend Jesse was kind enough to feature my work on The Technocracy, WSUM-Madison's 91.7 college radio station (although apparently I wasn't cool enough to merit a link on their page, much to the contrary of what the host said on the air). Anyway, I thought I'd do some turnabout as fair play.
Therefore, this week's SynCast features the following Jesse songs, all from his 1996 album Myths and Metaphors:
Check out this Very Cool Illusion. I love stuff like this.
Today I'm listening to: Jesse!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
By popular request, I am today making available six of my best-loved dance tracks:This album is only being sold through huge corporate behemoth superchains like Blockbuster Music and Best Buy so if you see it for sale at an independent locally owned shop or advertised on the Internet you know it's a cheap bootleg knockoff. "Trip Funk" is from my as-yet-unreleased-but-I-plan-to-get-it-out-there-any-day-now INS release Chilled Water Plant #3. And the last three are from my latest hit CD (as heard on Madison's WSUM 91.7FM) The Citizen's Guide to Sonic Defense.
I hope the person who requested these appreciates all the hard work I had to do in order to prepare them in time.
Oh yeah. Garrett sent this along to me. (The part in italics.)
10 years ago it was 1995, and I was:
Starting my third year at New College. That year I became an RA in third court (the best court), and Dallas, Nate, Paul and I did our best Final Analysis work ever. I think that was also the year of Data Psychle. What a steaming load that was. But it was also the year of "Waiting for the Worms" if I'm not mistaken.5 years ago it was 2000, and I was:
Moving in with Christie and Garrett. I was getting a taste of the first of the Truly Evil Winters. And I began to hope in earnest that maybe if I played my cards right, a certain East Timor activist I knew might go on a date with me.1 year ago it was 2004, and I was:
Looking forward to spring semester, when I would finally get my first-ever creative writing class. It was as magnificent as I thought it would be.Yesterday I:
Took my dog to the vet, since she had ripped open the stitches from her cyst-removal surgery. Now I've got a BrundleDog. (The vet said it would do no good to sew her back up. More on this tomorrow.)5 Songs I know all the words to:
5 Things I would do with 100 million dollars:
5 places I would love to visit:
5 things I would never wear:
5 favorite TV shows:
5 bad habits:
5 biggest joys:
I pass this along to you, ARoot! And any CW students who may be looking in..
SoccerTime. How very strange.
Today I'm listening to: GunFlower!
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The Interminable Horror of Blank America
I love my students -- I don't say it often and (because) I feel cheesy when I do. But it's the gods' truth. Anyone who's been in my class (or seen the sweat I pour into it) knows and will admit as much. I know that teaching the young is why I am on the planet, and I believe there is no one who does it better than I. I get an indescribable joy from being with -- and bringing truth to -- my students.
And yet some days I find myself adrift in the backwash of what we might call Blank America: The America of Meh. Land of the bored and home of the whatever. Some days are overshadowed by a few exchanges whereby one or two people express their desire to be forever invisible: I dunno. I don't care. Leave me alone. I'm stupid. I heard a quote today that I wish I could post here.
Paulo Freire stressed the need for dialogue. He insisted that educators work with students to proceed together toward an ontology of developing humanity. But what do you do when the student not only refuses to engage in dialogue -- but insists that neither you nor he will gain in any way from it? How can the educator overlay experience with perspective to produce a combined narrative of purpose when the individual in question refuses to accept that any of his experience is worthwhile?
I don't have trouble working with the hardcore gangsta-types, or the students with learning disorders or what have you. But when I come face to face with the existential horrors of a society which convinces its young that they don't matter -- that they might not even exist, for it's certainly as well that they don't -- my mind reels with infinite dread.
Sure, I'm only dealing with a handful of people here; I don't have any illusions that this problem is indicative of the Future of Our Society or anything. But the existence of the possibility simply crushes me. I am an empathetic person -- I always and immediately and forever imagine myself in the souls of others. And my flesh cracks when I position myself in such a mind, drained of imagination and dulled to only the most abject of impulses.
Never mind about how such a soul fares on the standardized test -- what about the much more important cost of living an existence without meaning? My inclination is to shrink away, to say "Well, it sucks, but ultimately it's up to him." And of course, it is. But how can I sleep with the notion of my own reticence? Isn't this hesitation at the core of our civilization's woes? Isn't the struggle about some sort of wakening?
Can you force-feed someone red pills?
Tiny Plaid Ninjas Part III. I haven't even watched it -- I'm too bummed out. The other ones were pretty good.
Today I'm listening to: Babbletron.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Hold on to your nostrils, people -- because this week's SynCast is going to knock your septum off! We're featuring material from:
I've added two new blogs to the list on the right:
Speaking of good sites, check out the graphics (and, if you're a Go fiend, the text) on ChiyoDad Learns Go. And everyone should take a look at Baka no Itte -- especially if you're a fan of Hikaru no Go.
Thanks to Diane for the Wired article about the Lego™ lovers in Arlington. Be sure to peep Homer Simpson.
Speaking of The Simpsons, how about an Islamically-correct version of the show?
With Omar as Homer, and Badr substituted for Bart, The Simpsons is now playing on Arab television ... [and] he has swapped Duff beer for soft drinks.Durka durka!
I know we've all thought about this, but it's nice to see an article which puts it in black 'n' white.
A whole set of international volunteers and rescue teams were set to rescue pets from areas being lashed by Hurricane Katrina that hit the U.S. in August. This high professional team was moving quickly to be able to save as many dogs and kittens as they can in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. . . .But those people are less important than our pets, because we're Americans and .. we don't need to care about you -- we just need you to care about us! And our pets. (Actually, the poor people in New Orleans had to wait five days for help from the US government, but the point still holds.)
What, you want more? Okay, how about a teeny-tiny, silent, 8-bit Star Wars? And thanks to Matt for linking us up to the ASCII Star Wars. (Careful -- this one's Java and it takes a minute to load.)
Today I'm listening to: Groove Salad!
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I know this site has been essentially dead for two weeks (thanks to our Anonymous Benefactor for getting us back online), but is it really necessary to overcompensate with a half-hour Deviant VidCast? Even with DSL, it's a 20-minute download!
Well, enjoy it. This week we feature:
Saw A History of Violence this weekend with JB. My reaction? Meh. It does some things well, and for where it goes, it's a good ride. But it just doesn't go very far.
My beef with The Machinist was that -- unlike Fight Club and Usual Suspects and other movies with a warped-reality twist -- there was no other story to follow whilst trying to decipher the mystery. The same is true about History. In Cronenberg's best films, the violence is a means to discussing other things (technology, television). Here, though, it's just kinda there -- and unlike, say, La Haine, the story doesn't really delve deeper than: "What goes around comes around."
(Side note: Did you know they're planning to make another Fly?)
Still, Ed Harris and William Hurt give good performances (Vigo just sorta gawks the whole time).
UNICEF bombs the Smurfs? What the Smurf!? via MoFi. Watch the video.
Today I'm listening to: Zohar!
Monday, October 10, 2005
We're sorry, but due to:
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Sunday, October 02, 2005
No SynCast today. I've been lying up on the couch with a wicked headache all day. Hopefully I get something together tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by!
MadWomen for Peace (incl. Diane)