morning 05.24.17

Still no Twin Peaks for me, old or revival. I passed out right after Kat took Elijah to bed. The weird shifts, insomnia, and back pain over the past week were draining. I even passed out for 15 minutes in the middle of yesterday.

ICE is using Stingray tech and Senator Wyden wants answers. He’s not going to get them. Stingray technology is rapidly becoming normalized. All law enforcement will have access to some form of it and will use it for the most spurious investigations.

Beneath New Orleans, A Coastal Barrier Island. Pine Island Trend. I knew about this , but completely forgot. Putting it into human habitation in the past 4,000 years very much was a missed connection. Need to hunt around for some Big Oak-Little Oak Islands papers. I was on a tangent about the Tchefuncte tribe recently, bummed out about the shell middens that were on the site that is now Fountainbleau State Park.

A Digital Database for Threatened Archaeological Sites in the Middle East and North Africa.

Perlstein is teaching me how to hate Nixon far more accurately and purely. Fuck. Nixonland hits a lot of material that I thought I was familiar with, but gives it context and nuance that reveals Nixon as a monster Hunter Thompson always swore he was. HST never conclusively proved to satisfaction as Perlstein does. BTW, I had no idea Perlstein is so damned young.

Giving the future to the past. I missed this review of the collection of Umberto Eco’s columns. It looks like it’ll be fun when it eventually turns up in English translation.

Blight at the Museum. Yay, capitalism? Some of this shit infected me in my youth, causing me to believe well into adulthood that capitalism aided the progressive arc of history far more and longer than it did. Silly me.

morning 05.23.17

Admitted neo-Nazi stopped in Keys wanted for making explosives at home, cops say. Thorium and americium were found and they called themselves “Atom Waffen.” Americium is used in fire detectors. There’s no telling how much this guy actually possessed. The only reason why this was uncovered was because one claims to have converted to Islam (doubtful) and murdered his roommates. How many other cells are out there working on terror plots?

7.2-million-year-old pre-human remains in the BalkansGraecopithecus freybergi. Common ancestor to humans and chimps.

Lower back pain and little sleep. Six days straight of work that kept aggravating the condition (repeatedly stacking and unstacking pallets, moving extremely heavy tables) has me pretty foggy.

morning 05.22.17

‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Is at It Again with the Strange Dimming. KIC 8462852. Unexpected. I took this topic off alerts only days ago because of the amount of useless spam stories it was generating.

Archaeologists uncovering ancient peoples’ widespread use of mountains. Early habitation of Wyoming’s Wind River Range, the Tetons and Montana’s Beartooth Plateau. Relates to Anzick child genetics.

Psephology in Free Fall. Sam Kriss. Christ- That Brianna Keilar and Michael Cohen had fallen down the memory hole already. Anyway- Doom. The elite don’t want to give up manufacturing consent by cooking up numbers to obfuscate.

Twin Peaks. I forgot what the hell my followup was going to be. I’ve yet to see the new premiere and don’t have Showtime yet. There’s no hurry. Rewatching the original for the first time in possibly over 20 years has been a genuine pleasure. Back in the day, my friends’ and my silly fandom probably saved us from disappointment, because solving a mystery seemed secondary. We were essentially LARPing the show, only to have it overlay itself into reality. Everyone wrestled with a dweller on the threshold and most lost the fight. The piece reminding that the show was a meditation on grief and trauma seized at the truth beneath our embrace of the camp and cool style. I was truly ignorant how much this series laid the groundwork for the next decade in that circle of friends.

morning 05.20.17

It’s long past time to jot down that for months, many having observed that the film Burn After Reading is a defining document of these times. I’ve always liked that movie more than its former reputation, but the only reference I seem to made to it before was to someone referencing it to Petraeus’ fuck-ups. That’s so quaint and small now.

Roger Ailes Was One of the Worst Americans Ever. Matt Taibbi. Take note of anyone mourning Ailes’ death or calling him a friend. That’s someone who should never be respected or trusted. (Rachel Maddow.)

Scientists decide to bury 5,000-year-old lost city in Pakistan. Mohenjo Daro. Harrapan. Indus Valley. I respect the hell out of this decision.

Why Twin Peaks is not the series we convinced ourselves it was. I began rewatching Twin Peaks, not realizing the revival was almost upon us. I thought I had a few weeks. Now I burn through a few episodes a night when I wake around midnight from insomnia. The pilot almost turned me off entirely because I forgot how to watch it and questioned what the fuck I was thinking back in 1990. It wasn’t until Dale Cooper arrived that I adjusted. Everything fell into place.

Hopefully I can throw a few more reactions and memories of Twin Peaks up later, nothing unique or insightful. Its significance seemed to ebb greatly over time, but it affected me more profoundly than I understood. 

morning 05.19.17

Climate change is turning Antarctica green, say researchers. Oh dear.

Researchers find a tiny moon around a large unnamed dwarf planet. 2007 OR10.

Cave dig shows the earliest Australians enjoyed a coastal lifestyle. Boodie Cave on Barrow Island. 51,100 and 46,200 years ago.

Grassy beginning for earliest Homo. Ledi-Geraru jaw.

Contrary to Popular Belief, the Blues Were Not Born on the Mississippi DeltaThe Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville. Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff. Southern black vaudeville circuit.

The Young Black Activists Targeting New Orleans’s Confederate Monuments. Take ‘Em Down NOLA.

Joe Lieberman might be FBI director. Really. It feels weird to link Yglesias. Think i’ve only done it once or twice before. Matt Stoller tweeted this yesterday.

Yeah! Thank that Radical Center for holding it all together. Lieberman lost the Democratic Party, yet Lamont barely had any support while the Democratic establishment wanted Lieberman running as an independent to win. Every damned detail turns out to be relevant in why centrism has failed to protect us from fascists. BTW, Lieberman works for a law firm since 2013 that has represented Donald Trump, since 2001.

 

morning 05.18.17

Keeping up with the Trump mess is impossible without being glued to Twitter. This morning, I’m against impeachment, if only because accelerationism seems the best way out of this morass. Let the Republicans stand by their leader. Let them all drown in this ocean of shit. Let the Democrats be the party of the right and organize an opposition from the left. The folks who have been saying this for years have convinced me. It’s a fucking fantasy, but so is pretending that Pence will restore the integrity of the nation and be a fair and just leader. We are so fucked.

Chris Cornell. Facebook is going to be a mess today. I genuinely hated his voice, although “Black Hole Sun” is a pretty good song that I never ever need to hear again.1 Cornell inspired some of the most dreadful music of the ’90s & hearing some of those songs again is cringe-inducing. When grunge began to blow up, I admittedly threw myself into it. Thankfully that didn’t do any lasting damage to me, but the rest of the decade was a wasteland of po-faced, turgid yowling for mainstream America.

For over twenty-five years I’ve been haunted by a crudely drawn comic strip in a zine out of New Orleans depicting the video of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike”. Everything time I’m reminded of Cornell, that half-remembered joke someone probably scrawled out in 5 minutes pops into my head for another moment of amusement.

 

  1. Kim Thayil’s guitar was only aspect of Soundgarden I was into. I was still breaking myself of the metal habit leftover from the ’80s. []

morning 05.17.17

Trump revealing classified material to Russia regarding ISIS was unsurprising. He has dementia after all, and is so stupid, arrogant, and insecure he would have done it even before his decline. Hillary’s private email server still matters incidentally. Trump’s fuck-up is now more important, but if we’d admitted no one is above the rule of law when she committed perjury and obstruction and justice, the 2016 election would have been very different. This is where we arrive when laws are selectively enforced according to how powerful people are. Now we’re in a full-blown constitutional crisis and even if Trump is removed, it’s a line of right-wing zealots who will succeed him.

It looks like Pence will be president in a few months. I take absolutely no comfort in that. We are so fucked.

By the way, I’m no law and order person if that’s not apparent. My hang-up on rule of law is that it’s pretty fucking clear that it only matters when crushing the dissenters and the disenfranchised. The architects of the 2003 Iraq War were never prosecuted. The architects of the 2008 financial crisis were never charged with any crimes. This is where that path led inevitably.

…and i wrote that yesterday morning- never getting around to posting because my folks came over with a mower to help with the grass. Now Comey has revealed he has notes of Trump pushing him to shut down the Flynn investigation.

This morning the Republicans seem to be holding fast against starting impeachment. Good. I worry that impeachment would blow up in the idiot Democrats’ faces. Pence would put a more polite face on the exact same evil shit Trump is doing. The Democrats would run around patting themselves on the back for Trump’s removal and not push any domestic policy that helps anyone. 2018: the angry Trump voters would be further mobilized and hold Congress for the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton officially launches ‘resistance’ outside group. Oh, do fuck off, Hillary. I have to concede that Indivisible has done some great work with packing the town hall with disgruntled voters with legitimate questions and the former Clinton staffers in these other organizations could be some sincere people. However, how many fucking times has it been demonstrated- do not give money to a Clinton. Eve Peyser (one of those anomalous good Vice people) lists organizations to donate to instead of Onward Together.

Larry Krasner wins Democratic primary for Philadelphia District Attorney. If only New Orleans can shed itself of Leon Cannizarro…

NASA Has Detected Hundreds of Unexpected Flashes Reflecting Off Our Planet. Atmospheric ice crystals. It’s almost too obvious now that it’s figured out.

These Cave Carson covers by Mike Oeming, Matt Wagner and Bill Sienkiewicz are cool.

morning 05.15.17

Well-traveled tool shows early humans covered vast distances. Obsidian tool found in Syria’s Sifta Valley dating from 30 to 40 thousand years ago originated from a volcano in central Turkey 700 km away.

This is what emboldened white supremacists look like. Part of me felt that some of the nonsense about what is going down in New Orleans over the Confederate monuments is over-the-top. Not anymore. What happened in Charlottesville, North Carolina is pretty fucked up. As many pointed out, when black activists march with their hands up to protest being gunned down indiscriminately, they’re tear-gassed and shot. When a bunch of white nationalists show up wielding torches in direct homage to the Ku Klux Klan, cops keep anyone from getting near them. Be vigilant.

The Fascist and the Preacher: Gerald L. K. Smith and Francis Parker Yockey in Cold War–Era Los Angeles. Yockeyism has been throw around a lot through the years. I’ve read about Yockey before. It’s insane this shit has almost made it mainstream now.

The Autocrat’s Language. Masha Gessen. Trump isn’t the first to do this obviously, nor is Gessen making that argument. It’s how corporations talk though. When a company starts talking about its culture and throwing around buzzwords, you know you’re about to have the rug pulled out from under you.

The crushing idiocy of Donald Trump. I like the piece and completely agree- but… this tsunami of brutal stupidity serves an agenda that obscenely rich and powerful people support. Even the Democratic leaders are for the most part on board, only quibbling that they’re not getting their desired share of the booty and how gauche and obvious the actions look.

Kill All Normies Is About the Alt-Right But the Left Ends Up Looking Worse. I’ve been looking forward to Angela Nagle’s book, but this review makes a peculiar assertion. It plucks a single tweet with an asshole gloating at the death of Mark Fisher, to pivot to an indictment of the left. That’s a curious thing to do. Nearly every reaction I read online in reaction to the death of Mark Fisher was sincere mourning and urging everyone to read his writings. Maybe it’s just a shitty editor making a traffic grabbing headline, because the actual point made by Nagle & Kiberd in the article isn’t unfair.

Still Not an Activist. Someone on Twitter remarked that the Resistance as a bipartisan, capitalist movement is nothing anyone who desires justice and equity should want to join.

El-P’s Fantastic Damage turns 15 today—too bad you can’t find it anywhere. I didn’t have a clue. I thought it was okay at the time but was far more into Cannibal Ox The Cold Vein. A few weeks ago I threw it on after revisiting Company Flow, which I’d previously brushed off altogether. Odd.

morning 05.12.17

Jeff Sessions Rolls Back Obama-Era Drug Sentencing Reforms. “Moral & just.” Sessions is a real sack of shit. Part of why I’m on board with Comey firing shitfest for the moment is that I want to see Sessions burn. I hate every member of the administration with a passion, but seeing that hateful shit disgraced and ousted is a little dream of mine.

No, I don’t miss Eric Holder. Fuck that guy too. Had he taken down the banks for their crimes, there would likely have been far less chance of a Trump presidency. Fuck his weak response to Ferguson and all of his other less than aggressive actions on civil rights.

Zeynel Bey Mausoleum has been moved to higher ground from Hasankeyf. It bums me the fuck out that this is still happening. I’d lost track of the Ilisu Dam project in the chaos of the past few years.

Turkish police confiscate 2,170 books from Belge Publishing House. Ongoing war on the Left in Turkey.

Fossils from Ancient Hot Springs Suggest Life May Have Evolved on Land. Hot spring pools really. Western Australia.

Never saw this video before. Completely forgot the song until this morning. It’s been ages since I put on Crushed Velvet Apocalypse. I forgot just how Barrett ran through them. Sitting in the dark drinking shitty wine out of a box in a rotting house full of rats, snakes, and black mold- this was part of the soundtrack.

morning 05.11.17

Comey infuriated Trump with refusal to preview Senate testimony. My feeling is that Trump himself ain’t covering up shit. He’s a dumb. petty man with dementia. Probably someone else vulnerable to an investigation on Russian ties, Sessions possibly, took advantage of Trump’s vengeful stupidity. Trump himself probably thinks he’s invulnerable.

Let’s All Celebrate These College Graduates Raining Boos Upon Betsy DeVos. Heroes. Civility is a tool to oppress. No one should treat anyone in the Trump administration with an iota of respect. It was insulting DeVos was invited to speak, no matter if Trump walked back his comment about black universities.

More secrets of human ancestry emerge from South African caves. John Hawks on the new Homo naledi discoveries.

Tegan O’Neil on Star Wars. I reckon I need to go back to read the eight previous installments. Tegan is far more into the prequels than I ever could be- but her closing argument is persuasive, much in line to my own affection for the series. I’m not proud.

The Dirtbag Left at Harvard: An Interview with Chapo Trap House. Slow to take off, but there are a few gems further in. Brendan gets in a good bit:

If there’s one spirit we’re raging against, it’s the Aaron Sorkin mindset, that politics is about rationality, and debate, and decorum. Any anger that’s in that type of art or metaphor is a false anger, an anger out of people not being nice enough or rational enough. It’s not anger that actually comes from your gut, that’s concerned with humanity.

Slowdive was never one of my bands. The new stuff sounds quite good, but dream pop and shoegaze were for other people. It’s weird to think back to a friend who had a radio show on KSLU in the late ’90s who played almost exclusively bands like Slowdive, but even then, he seemed a man out of time. (Our interests intersected on Spacemen 3.) OTOH my wife is probably going to love Dead Oceans. She’s been a big fan of the Horrors in recent years.

The new LCD Soundsystem songs aren’t blowing me away either. I’m grateful they exist and eager for more, but they’re not fulfilling at this time.