Second – S. Clay Wilson bashed his head (badly), got pneumonia and spent a bunch of time in ICU in November (via BB). He’s out now and there are some benefit concerts coming up for those on the west coast. If you don’t know his work already, Wilson is one of the greats of underground comix – his stuff is not for everyone – the amount of sex and violence is way high, but he’s a favorite of mine.
Third – this map:
has been getting a lot of notice on the web (here, here and here). I find myself firmly in the pointing and laughing camp – New Hampshire and South Carolina? That’s beyond “he’s smoking something” and well into industrial strength CIA hallucinogen testing protocols. Georgia goes to Mexico? *shakes head*
COOP’s posted another bit of musical goodness – check his mix page for the whole list. At the moment, I’m very partial to Ghetto Organ and Bloodclot. Bloodclot has one of my desert island tunes on it – Ark of the Covenant – love it!
I know it’s been all over the web, but I don’t care. I’m posting this picture because it’s just so friggin’ amazing:
The Mars Reconaissance Orbiter takes a picture of the Mars Phoenix Lander as the Lander parachutes down. I wish I could find the Arthur C. Clarke quote about 2001 coming true (except for the monolith pieces), but not being noticed because the principal players were/are all robotic.
The Phoenix Lander has a Twitter account – the latest tweet: “Looking forward to moving arm today. Will bend the wrist and flex the elbow. It’s been stowed for 10 months so I’ll move it slowly/gently.” (@marsphoenix)
Two worthwhile posts from James Wimberley having to do with the high places of Asia: a suggestion for a China-tweaking name for the world’s second-highest peak and some excellent thoughts on Tibet, occasioned by the continuing multi-venue farce that is the torch relay.
I’ve been getting a lot of hits on searches for Gabrielle Drake – something I find myself taking a perverse pleasure in. I thought I’d use the google and see what was coming up; before I got anywhere near DoaMNH, I encountered this essay, Crash! Full-Tilt Autogeddon, on the Ballardian. Yes, Ms. Drake appeared in a 1971 short titled Crash!, opposite some guy named J.G. Ballard. Click through and read the essay – meanwhile, I’ll just continue to shake my head in amazement.
Indeed, the egocentric popular culture of today, the all-invasive media landscape in which the private becomes public — the Myspace glossolalia of intimate, private space projected onto a global screen — can perhaps be understood in these terms, a result of what Ballard sees as ‘the shared experience of moving together through an elaborately signalled landscape’.
Mild warning – the film is titled Crash! after all…
My guess is that the Olympic torch relay will continue to be newsworthy today when it hits San Fransisco (now that’s going out on a limb). As we watch things unfold, allow me to recommend a couple good posts on the torch and the Olympic movement, such as it is nowadays.
In contrast, the wider political message of the modern Olympics is vapid. The torch in particular, lit at Olympia by pretty girls dressed vaguely as priestesses in skimpy chitons, is a pseudo-religious fraud. The torch relay was actually invented by the Nazis for the 1936 Olympics; its tainted origin lies in the racist propaganda immortalized by the twisted genius of Leni Riefenstahl. No black, Jewish, or disabled athletes needed to apply then. Paradoxically, the public legitimacy of the protests depends on a measure of acceptance of the fraud as a symbol of a real value which the Chinese and the IOC are betraying; rather in the way the Church of England grew from its origin in cynical politics into a genuine religious tradition.
The current debacle though seems to mark an important change in the politics of the Olympics. As best I understand it (I am open to corrections if wrong), in the past, Olympics politics have involved inter-state rivalry, and have been driven by decisions on the part of traditional political elites. The US boycott of the Soviet games in protest against the invasion of Afghanistan in 1980 resulted from a decision by Jimmy Carter, and the tit-for-tat boycott by the Soviets and their allies of the LA games in 1984 resulted from a top level decision too. The dynamic driving the Beijing Olympics seems to me to be rather different; what we are seeing is that the politics of boycott is being driven by mass-publics, and most recently by protestors, rather than by political leaders.
Some people (me) post GPS data from lame little trips on Rte. 128. Others – see here – post data on bar-hopping. In this case, the bars are floating on the igarapé do Tarumã Açu (a tributary of the Rio Negro), just west of Manaus. I’ve got radio towers and he has peacock bass – don’t know about you, but I’d rather be there.
I’m working on converting Mr. Lawrence’s track data to something that’ll show a path in Google Earth – so far, I’ve gotten waypoints and that may be where it ends – we’ll see.
Two new blogs I’m going to add to my Netvibes RSS feed: Diego Rodriguez(metacool)’s Unabashed Gearhead Gnarlyness and Mister Jalopy and Mark F.’s Dinosaurs and Robots. I hope I don’t need to explain Mr. Rodriguez’s new place to you; Dinosaurs and Robots says about itself, “Rather than focus on the newest trend, we will seek authentic, handy, rarefied, disgusting, illuminating, delicious, mysterious, intoxicating, commonplace, historic, intensely personal, entertaining and enlightened objects, both priceless heirlooms and exquisite trash.” Sounds good to me. Uniting both new blogs – a certain, shall we say, augmented, Ford product.