Friday, February 18, 2000
how shall we be?
"All systems -- that is, any theoretical, verbal, symbolic, semantic etc. formulation that attempts to act as an all-encompassing, all explaining hypothesis of what the universe is all about -- are the manifestations of paranoia. We should be content with the mysterious, the meaningless, the contradictory, the hostile, and most of all the unexplainably warm and giving."
Thursday, February 17, 2000
kids who got up and left and the letters to them from their parents.
October 19, 1998
We are so happy to have had the chance to visit you and to know that you are well. Those hugs will probably have to last us for a while. We hope you will let us know if you need anything, or just write or call to say hello.
We also enjoyed visiting with the other brothers and sisters. Please thank them for their kind hospitality. It was interesting to learn more about your every day lives and of the many talents that all of you have ---may they be used for the Glory of God. You are all in our prayers more than you know.
Bob, we love you very much and we are here for you if you need us.
With much love,
Mom and Dad
Wednesday, February 16, 2000
dead souls by nikolai vasilevich gogol
Before, long ago, in the days of my youth, in the days of my childhood, which have passed away like a dream never to return, I felt happy whenever I happened to drive up for the first time to an unfamiliar place: it mattered not whether it was a little hamlet, a poor little provincial town, or a large village, or some suburb, the inquisitive eyes of a child found a great deal of interest there. Every building, everything that bore the mark of some noticeable peculiarity - everything made me pause in amazement...
Now it is with indifference that I drive up to every unknown village and it is with indifference that I gaze at its vulgar exterior; there is a cold look in my eyes and I feel uncomfortable, and I am amused no more, and what in my former years would have awakened a lively interest in my face, laughter, and an uninterrupted flow of words, now slips by me without notice and my motionless lips preserve an apathetic silence.
Tuesday, February 15, 2000
anarchist bob black's response to jeremy rifkin's "the end of work"
Rifkin wonders how the system can deal with vast numbers of newly superfluous people. As he's himself disclosed, it's had plenty of practice. The creation and management of an underclass is already a done deal. The brave new world of techno-driven abundance -- if by abundance you mean only more commodities -- looks to look like this:
1. THE ALPHAS: A relatively small number of tenders of hightech, allied with essential tenders of people (entertainers, politicians, clergy, military officers, journalists, police chiefs, etc.). They will continue to work -- harder, in many cases, than anybody -- to keep the system, and each other, working.
2. THE BETAS: In lieu of the old-time middle class and middle management which, as Rifkin explains, are obsolete, there will be a social control class of police, security guards, social "workers", schoolteachers, daycare workers, clinical psychologists, with-it parents, etc. It merits special attention that the more robust and aggressive members of what used to be the working class will be coopted to police those they left behind (as one Gilded Age robber baron put it, "I can hire one-half the working class to kill the other half"). Thus the underclass loses its leaders even as it's distracted by the phantasm of upward mobility.
3. THE GAMMAS. The vast majority of the population, what Nicola Tesla called "meat-machines", what Lee Kuan Yew calls "digits," what Jeremy Rifkin is too embarrassed to call anything. They cannot be controlled, as the other classes can, by work, because they don't work. They will be managed by bread and circuses. The bread consists of modest transfer payments maintaining the useless poor at subsistence level as helpless wards of the state. The circuses will be provided by the awesome techno-spectacles of what, in the wake of the Gulf War, can only be called the military-entertainment complex. Hollywood and the Pentagon will always be there for each other.
Gammas form a mass, not a class, a simple aggregation of homologous multitudes, as Marx characterized the peasantry, "just as potatoes in a bag form a bag of potatoes." They enjoy certain inalienable rights -- to change channels, to check their E-Mail, to vote -- and a few others of no practical consequence. Wars, professional sports, elections and advertising campaigns afford them the opportunity to identify with like-minded spectators. It doesn't matter how they divide themselves up as long as they do. As they really are all the same any differentiation they seize upon is arbitrary, but any differentiation will do. They choose up teams by race, gender, hobby, generation, diet, religion, every which way but loose. In conditions of collective subservience, these distinctions have exactly, and only, the significance of a boys' tree-house with a "No Girls" sign posted outside. Gammas are essentially fans, and the self-activity of fans is exhausted in their formation of fan-clubs. They are potatoes who bag themselves.
4. THE DELTAS: This set-up will engender its own contradictions class societies always do. Bill Gates to the contrary notwithstanding, frictionless capitalism is an oxymoron. There'll be plenty of potholes on the information superhighway. Every class will contribute a portion of drop-outs, deviants and dissidents. Some will rebel from principle, some from pathology, some from both. And their rebellion will be functional as long as it doesn't get out of hand. The Deltas, the recalcitrants and unassimilables, will furnish work for the Betas and tabloid-type entertainment for the Gammas. In an ever more boring, predictable world, crazies and criminals will provide the zest, the risk, the mystery which the consciousness industry is increasingly inadequate to simulate. VR, morphing, computer graphics -- all very impressive, for awhile, but there's nothing like a whiff of fear, the scent of real blood, like the spectacles nobody did better than the Romans and the Aztecs. The show they call "America's Most Wanted" -- that's a double entrendre. Societies don't necessarily get, as some say, the criminals they deserve, but nowadays they get the criminals they want.
Monday, February 14, 2000
i got this shockingly disturbing story from jack who got this from juan.
One morning, around 5am, 22 year old Susan DeLucci of
Kittery, Maine, woke up with a painful need to
urinate. At first, she thought she had diarrhea, but
when she stood up out of bed, she realized that it was
urinary pain. It was very similar to the feeling of
having diarrhea, just out the wrong hole. She
wobbled to the toilet and upon sitting on it, her
vagina erupted into the most horrific messy farting
noise anyone has ever heard. In paralyzing pain, Ms.
DeLucci, for the next few minutes, continued to push
and squirt out of her vagina a burning tide of wretch
and filth while she gripped the sides of the toilet,
She was screaming wildly, and the neighbors called the
police. When medics arrived, they found Ms. DeNucci
unconscious lying on the floor of her bathroom wearing
nothing but her bath robe. Running down her leg, was a
stream of brown and green syrup. The medic had to
transfer her to a stretcher, so he grabbed her left
leg which was bent crossing her other leg, to
straighten her out. She was lying there all twisted
up. When he lifted her left leg to straighten her
body out, he exposed her vagina, at which point a
creature, no larger than the tip of a finger wormed
its way out of her genitals and landed on the floor
with a wet popping sound. Shocked, the medic stared at
the creature that was lying on the tile bathroom floor
in a casing of mucous. It was a tiny mud shrimp, and
it sat there on the cold floor gasping for water while
flipping itself back and forth.
The horrified medic turned to the toilet as he felt
the nausea setting in. When he put his face down into
the toilet to puke, what he saw was so horrific that
to this day he cannot look into a toilet without
convulsing. The entire toilet bowl was boiling with
baby brown mud shrimp flipping and splashing at a
If you think that is bad - wait until you hear how it
happened: Ms. DeLucci's official death was the result
of a combination of shock and severe head trauma. She
stood up over the toilet in pain and when she saw what
she had done, she went into shock and fell, smashing
her head on the toilet and then on the floor.
It is believed by medical police that on two nights
before the accident she had purchased a live lobster
at a fish market. While lying in a tub, she gently
inserted the creature's tail into her vagina to derive
pleasure. At that point, she held a lighter under the
creature's face causing it to flip its tail in a
violent snapping motion. The medics found a lesbian
XXX video in the VCR and the TV was positioned on a
table in front of the tub. The lobster was found in
the kitchen garbage can wrapped in a paper bag.
Traces of Ms. DeLucci's DNA were found on the lobster
along with pubic hairs that had wedged themselves
between the lobster tail joints. The lobster's face
was lightly burned with the same fuel used in
lighters. The lobster's digestive track and colon were
found to be full of mud shrimp egg casings.
Doctors believe that the lobster had eaten them (they
are common in the water at fish markets and are
usually harmlessly boiled to death) and the lobster
had crapped them out into Ms. DeLucci's vagina when
she was torturing it. Maine mud shrimp only take two
days to gestate and Ms. DeLucci was only four days
away from getting her period. Doctors believe that at
that point of her menstrual cycle, her womb was the
perfect PH balance to grow these mud shrimp which are
a much larger version of the popular "Sea Monkey"
pets sold throughout the US.
Over night the eggs had hatched and the mud shrimp
began doubling in size every ten minutes. You can
imagine the pain she was in when she woke up that
morning and gave birth to well over 1,000 mud shrimp
in her toilet.
Sunday, February 13, 2000
a note on the fremen
The gun-toting traditions of Yemen's drug-chewing tribesmen are on a collision course with Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president, who has called on his people to kick both habits in order to secure the country $500m in foreign aid.
Among a series of reforms is a ban on carrying guns in public, and moves to curb the consumption of qat, a mildly narcotic leaf which is chewed for hours at social occasions. The qat industry represents nearly half the country's gross domestic product of $5.7bn.
Saturday, February 12, 2000
i feel like i've just moved into a pre-fab commune - a free, public, utopian housing project.
Friday, February 11, 2000