|Upper Left Hand Corner
"I hate it here." -- Spider Jerusalem
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Democrats "should not exaggerate the facts," but merely state and restate them. "They lied to get us in. They don't know how to get us out," he said. "How did they not know the country wasn't divided? How do you commit 150,000 troops with no plan to get out? All we have to do is remind people of that."
... and much more about the coming campaign. Worth a look now that the dems seem to be
waking up and fighting back a bit.
posted by greg | 12:54 PM
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Enough people have lauded the writing of this jewel -- that's not the point here. I read the trade paper back editions and hunted down the last 12 single issues (49 to 60). So the only thing that slowed down my page turning was access to the works.
Yes, sixty issues. I can not even imagine the agony of getting in on the ground floor of this masterpiece. One painful month at a time, slowly, ever so slowly, 5 years of yearning, hanging onto the damn cliff that Ellis sadistically suspended his readers from.
Here, in this case, the early bird gets "skinned by a bunch of mid-town body purists". And i don't give "two yanks on a dead dog's dick" what you comic book geeks say, you're scum anyway.
Just a reminder:
(all quotes ripped off from Spider)
posted by greg | 8:52 AM
not heard said...
"Hell i don't have anything against single moms. Shoot, i really think they need all the support we can give them. They're raising the next generation. That's not the point! The point is that a lot of people do! I mean, lets face it, single moms are a great scapegoat. Everyone wants to point fingers. Everyone needs someone to disdain, it makes them feel better, superior in some way -- you know. I just give 'em what they want -- it's politics man! What's reason, fairness, and justice got to do with anything? This isn't about doing the right thing, it's all about the numbers. Risk/benefit ratios based on the polls."
"Sheesh! I thought you'd of figured that out by now boy."
... but probably could have been.
posted by greg | 8:10 AM
Friday, July 18, 2003
Open Letter to My VetMy cat, Mittie, died this week. She was nineteen years my beloved companion. I have had many vets in that time because i do not seem to stay in any one place for very long. But in the last years of Mittie's life, as her health yeilded to old age, i was lucky enough to have a remarkable vet.
This is an open letter to her as a way for me to do two things; greive, and acknowledge the value i found in this relationship between me, Mittie, and our vet.
Dear (name withheld):
With the loss of Mittie, and subsequent emotions, it occurred to me just how important our relationships with our pets are. These relationships take on an importance that would seem disproportionate upon examination. However the experience of the emotional attachment, and currently the pain of the loss, are very real. I am not sure why this is, and I do not really want to examine it at this point.
I bring this up because you, as a veterinarian, find yourself in the middle of this remarkable relationship between our furry companions and us. I just want to let you know that you have done a remarkable job in fostering this relationship. I could always look to you with trust, and act with confidence when the life of Mittie was in the balance.
Thank you very much for that gift.
posted by greg | 11:44 AM
Are there limits to liberty?
Most would agree when your actions cause harm.
If it is, then who is to do the required calculus that would project or declare harm?
Are the world's forests, wildlife, aquifers, rivers, lakes, soils, and air to be considered the commons?
Or is it ok to dump toxins in a place if it is deemed "yours"? How can there be any real ownership of the commons? Who decides? And is it wise to draw boundaries of ownership or control over the land that knows no such things as borders and territorial waters?
Why is the imperative for growth such a dominant world-view? It is insane to think we can grow at 2% per year for very long, unless of course you can't do math, or don't want to.
Why does the struggle to get on, to provide consume our lives? Does this not lead to a self-interested myopia that spells eventual crisis? Does it not detract from the ability to think of, and address bigger things, and bigger problems? Have we given too much power to organizations in the midst of this struggle for fear of not having enough?
Why is it that we build, demand, and gladly purchase ever increasingly complex and feature
packed televisions when the programming is getting ever increasingly base. I mean, do we
really need a 72 inch, HDTV, surround sound, TIVO enhanced television to watch another
season of Fear Factor?
posted by greg | 11:14 AM
Pundits can harp from the sidelines all they want about clear thinking and what is a reasonable way to proceed. However, like all sidelined players, they are just warming the bench. Nobody is calling on them to intercede. Unless, of course, the advocacy of the pundit supports the agenda)
Full disclosure: this is the bench i occupy most of the time, not that i am a pundit with any credentials. Any foray into the field of debate or substantive issue has unfailingly been met with disappointment.
Disappointment mainly in myself, as i seem to be unable to negotiate dialogue. We, as human beings, seem genuinely unable to have a meaningful exchange of ideas that leads to a consensus understanding of where we stand in our knowledge, both of what we know and what we do not know, on any significant issue facing us in these (and possibly all) times.
David Appell states, ".. for the enormously complex and serious problems that now face the world--global warming, loss of biodiversity, toxins in the environment--science doesn't have all the answers, and traditional risk assessment and management may not be up to the job. Indeed, given the scope of such problems, they may never be." And his focus is shifted away from the social problems of poverty, conflict, hunger and the like. Certainly it could be agreed that many significant problems face us today.
What might not be agreed is the need or urgency to solve them. And again here, we come back
to the issue of our apparent inability to have a meaningful and fruitful exchange of ideas.
This problem in itself is so huge and overwhelming that i do not know where one would even
posted by greg | 10:21 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
"Analysts are conditioned to emphasize worst-case scenarios, but something else equally governs such instances. Notice what each involves: an information system that is at the service of the preexisting desires and assumptions of those in authority. Intelligence assessments moving up the chain of command have a way of confirming presuppositions at the top."
I found this interesting because of the symmetry it has with individual cognition. It led
me to wonder about the nature of organizations and the possible fractal implications.
However, it is just a bit bigger than i can think right now. So, it is posted here as a
reminder to myself. As i work through Bohm again these things keep popping up -- or should
i say, selected to fit the "preexisting desires and assumptions of those in authority"?
posted by greg | 1:53 PM
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
the weight of my own life
not that it is heavier than any other, it's just that i think i bear it more awkwardly. I do not have any doctrines or formulas that explain everything for me -- but i have a driven need for explanation. And never find suitable or lasting answers. Perhaps the wrong questions? Or there are no answers.
Many are those that welcome relief from the burden of their lives -- they have answers, perhaps given answers, or ... no questions.
Oedipus must have been a Pink Floyd fan:
Long you live and high you fly
Hence, i too, may conclude that "all is well". My hope and longing has been stranded among the rocks of the assured meaningless of the great indifference. And there it will remain as testament to my revolt and my passion for a life lived well.
posted by greg | 11:21 AM
Monday, July 14, 2003
there are shards
And glints of these reveal their presence in the fabric. What once seemed whole and undifferentiated yields up, to the perceptive mind, an illusion.
These words rattled in my mind while contemplating the absurd and the nature of abstraction.
At the heart of this non-sequitur is a search for meaning in the face of the absurd. At the
same instance it is recognition of the fabrications of thought -- selecting, organizing, and
categorizing from a continuum, both from the physical realm as well as the realm of ideas.
Ideas crystallize and if they provide some sense of order or peace, then we seize upon them
as they glint and reflect back out of the chaos of undifferentiation. Eventually they
yeild, and are seen as the illusion that they are.
posted by greg | 11:13 AM
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
eat the rich
What is it about these Lexus driving, Armani/Gucci wearing, Rolex watching, perfectly coifed shoppers in the upscale boutiques that pisses me off? They walk around sipping their lattes insulated from the reality around them. As if the contents of those cute little bags with the string handles and minimalist logos contain the contentment to completed their lives
How can they commandeer and appropriate tens of city blocks to their pursuits? They can walk around all day from one quaint cafe to another talking on their cell phones, heavy gold bracelets hanging from their skinny bronzed wrists, and never have to deal with the rest of us. Sipping champagne between bites of their bruschetta.
Even the wind is icy in there, like the black glass and brushed stainless steel doors, the polished marble facades, and heavy white table cloths on the sidewalk bistro tables.
Used to be dusty warm and industrial. All gone, turned into million dollar condo lofts, with private gated parking, and mountain views. Halogen track lighting and 15 foot ceilings. Used to have the rich earthy stink of the brewery, now it stinks of designer perfume.
It's visceral contempt. I don't get it. Why should i even care? You know, i really don't get it. Must be hardwired, some belief so deep i can't get to it. It's not like i prefer the junkies that piss in my yard, rattle their shopping carts as they rummage through the garbage at 3 a.m., and pass out in the flower bed on my side of the river.
Hell if i know, maybe i just need something to piss me off, something i can
sneer at and let the pleasure of contempt purify with self righteous
abandon. Sell myself short, and refuse to see it. Nothing quite so fine
and validating as gerrymandered reality to keep you going. Ahhhh, it is good
to be human. Keep the facts and theories to yourselves, i don't need 'em.
posted by greg | 12:26 PM