mid-morning 03.26.17

Legion isn’t as good as people think. I still enjoy the show immensely, but the criticism presented is reasonable and persuasive. Without a doubt, it favors style over substance. However, I’m not yet on board with the argument that the rape is glossed over as just backstory. The story isn’t over yet and there seemed a resonance with the parasite consciousness of the Shadow King residing in the mind of David Haller. I relied more on Sean Collin’s criticism of the show, but even he’s drawing away from it as the series progresses, doubting its ability to keep its viewers questioning what they’re seeing and Hawley’s less imaginative use of music than in Fargo. (Unfortunately, I can only read the excerpts he puts on his site, as I used up my 10 free NYT articles weeks ago.) Recently he’s the same one who groaned in annoyance that some obsessives were using Legion as a puzzle to be solved like Lost, an ultimately futile exercise. The problem might be that I genuinely liked Lost and still do. These critics have higher expectations than I do. Besides, it more fun than Westworld and The Young Pope and probably cheaper to make. I’ll take more flawed shows like Legion please.

Oh yeah- Legion owes more to Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol than to any iteration of Marvel’s Legion comic character. Probably someone else pointed this out, but I haven’t seen it yet. That Angriest Boy in the World storybook is a direct call-out to the first Morrison Doom Patrol story arc referencing Struwwelpeter and Little Suck-A-Thumb.

morning 03.26.17

I still think Bannon is more than a generic Art of War guy, unlike a lot of leftists I follow on Twitter who roll their eyes at Bannon’s pretensions. It might have brought me even greater joy than them to see him get rolled on the AHCA failure.

“This is Fucking Bullshit.” PissPigGrandDad isn’t happy about how his story has been adapted for Hollywood without his knowledge. This fits with my interpretation of the CIA angle. PissPigGrandDad is for real. Some of the people promoting and profiling him are the psy-ops lobbying for American support for operations in Syria. Even changing an ardent communist into an anarchist fits that.

It’s baffling why some liberals are crowing about Flynn being a goner for talking to Turkish officials about renditioning Gülen. One, the U.S. has established several precedents on renditioning people to other countries. Obama signed it into law in 2011. He kept those renditions rolling too. Gülen isn’t even a U.S. citizen as far as I’m aware of, not that it would be much of a hurdle. What Flynn did should be illegal, but the people insisting that this is what lands Flynn in jail and topples Trump seem delusional. Two, Flynn has already gotten away with dumber shit more than once and now Trump’s president.

Yesterday afternoon, rumors and speculation swirled about Flynn flipping to cooperate with FBI against Trump. It’s wasted energy. It should have been the day to roll out Single Payer.

Don’t Fight Their Lies With Lies of Your Own. Masha Gessen.

Bob Dylan Q&A with Bill Flanagan. Not read yet. Apologies.

Ty Segall profile in Esquire. Damn it. I’m two albums behind on him and he’s already planning another one with 17 songs.

Also feeling pretty out of touch because only now have I bothered to look up what other bands Kyle Thomas of King Tuff was in. My kid had a near unhealthy obsession with him for awhile. I didn’t know shit about Happy Birthday. He’s doing a few shows with old bandmates. Maybe this will inform the sound of those new songs, because I prefer the earlier sound to the slicker Black Moon Spell.

 

morning 03.24.17

Strange behavior of New Zealand quake suggests higher chances of ‘Big Ones’ elsewhere. Faults affect each other. Surprise. No surprise.

Earthquakes could cause Los Angeles area to sink abruptly: study. The ground itself could sink a meter.

7,000 underground gas bubbles poised to ‘explode’ in Arctic. All of this thawing permafrost is quite the phenomenon. It seems unprecedented in human memory.

Egyptian ritual images from the Neolithic period. 4,000 BC. Qubbet el-Hawa near Aswan. Hunting an ostrich. A lot of modern interpretation here, but nifty.

Tim Heidecker Talks with Adam Curtis. Listening this morning. Curtis isn’t quite right in asserting that nothing has changed. Rage and hate in the hinterlands has been unleashed in ways I haven’t seen quite before in my lifetime.

The Rise of the Hard Left. Cute. That’s not the Hard Left. (Robinson’s dandy style comes off as moddish. This tickles me.) His move to New Orleans in 2011 is a little telling. I enjoy pieces in Current Affairs, Chapo Trap House, ect. but there is a lot of entrepreneurial spirit going on in these Dirtbag Left projects. Daily Show and Colbert Report redux. There is nothing wrong with these ventures. They provide some good entertainment and put me onto some people and ideas I was previously unfamiliar with. It’s not artisanal whiskey and chocolate thankfully. I continue to consume.

The kid has been asking for more music again. It was great to discover more live performances we’d not seen before.

Thee Oh Sees playing “Withered Hand” at Woods Stage at 2016 Pickathon.

Thee Oh Sees playing KEXP February 2017. The double drummer line-up was cool, but this line-up seemed excellent to me.

Boss Hog’s Punk Rock Revs Up as It Hits Middle Age. At first the piece gave me a start, thinking Boss Hog had been making albums for years without my knowledge. I never was much into the band, but longevity surprises. No, it’s the first album in 17 years. The domesticity is amusing. Also a Quietus piece.

 

mid-morning 03.23.17

The new wave Russian “revelations” has me depressed. Nothing good or constructive can come of this from what I can see.

Baudelaire’s notebook of aphorisms and maxims, My Heart Laid Bare (Book acquired, 27 Feb. 2017). This looks good. I was ignorant of Baudelaire commenting on communism. That’s already lead to a few bits on Walter Benjamin reacting to Baudelaire that I’ve never read… not that I’ve read any Benjamin at all previously to my memory.

U.S. Raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen Led to Laptop Ban on Flights, Officials Say. Absolute bullshit is my guess- phonier than the intelligence on Saddam’s WMD program. It’s an efficient lie. It ties together two clusterfucks, the failed raid in Yemen and the Muslim ban. Other articles noted that this electronics & airline strategy had been hanging around for awhile. Convenient.

Democrats weigh deal to let Gorsuch through. Shit like this is why I quit. Filibuster this extremist. If the nuclear option is used and the filibuster is destroyed, it wasn’t going to be worth anything in the future anyway. Having yet another polite agreement isn’t going to do shit except prolong illusions. If the Democrats think this is going to preserve their prestige in some way, they’re mistaken. Their constituents will hate them and anyone up for 2018 re-election will suffer from decreased turnout. The Russian conspiracy bullshit won’t be enough to sustain them.

The new Damaged Bug album, Bunker Funk, is more my thing than the last two Thee Oh Sees albums. I went back to check the first Damaged Bug album. It still doesn’t connect quite as well as Thee Oh Sees. Liking the progression.

morning 03.22.17

still not feeling it.

How a 400,000-year-old skull fragment hints at ancient ‘unified humanity’. Huh. I thought that I was missing something in that there seemed no mention of which human species the skull from theGruta da Aroeira site in Portugal is. Nope.

2,000 year old reindeer antler armor is offering for Siberian bear cult. Ust-Polui.

A visual guide to the demons that spooked the Jews of Babylon. Nifty.

Neil Gorsuch and the “Frozen Trucker”. Fuck Gorsuch. It was obvious he was ideologue and a trash human, but he’s a damned monster. Denying context to strict adhere to text is bad enough, but in  case in which the plaintiff clearly had his life endangered by his employer? Fuck that. Gorsuch should have no place in interpreting law at any level.

morning 03.21.17

Lots of stuff that I want to edit for comments later. No idea if that will happen. 

The US Has Banned Laptops And Tablets On Flights From Major Middle Eastern Airports. Carry-ons to cabin more specifically. This feels under-planned, with possibly far greater impact than just deterring travelers from countries with predominantly Muslim populations.

Newly Obtained Documents Prove: Key Claim of Snowden’s Accusers is a Fraud. Russians! Except not really. 

There was an outbreak of cannibalism 10,000 years ago in Spain. Hm. 

A decorated bone spatula, what’s in that picture? Göbekli Tepe.

South African San adopt code of research ethics. John Hawks.

A NASA Scientist Has Been Imprisoned in Turkey for 8 Months. Accused of being Gulenist and CIA.

Ancestral Climates May Have Shaped Your Nose. I’ve been abusing this news in dumb race science jokes. 

Harvard Scientists Call for Better Rules to Guide Research on Embryoids

Odd Entrances and Weird Exits: In Conversation with Thee Oh Sees’ Ryan Moutinho

In Memoriam: Mark Fisher.

What Happens When You Stare at the Sun? Sam Kriss.

People aren’t supposed to write about their dreams. Boring and self-indulgent. Anyway- one of the major themes from last night was a woman who repeatedly transformed into a huge serpent, not a true snake but like a legless Gila monster, with colorful patterns of scales. She lived in a deep pool of water. I’ve been up about an hour and the images are still with me. It’s only now popping into my head that this is vaguely similar to the Rainbow Serpent. Damn. I haven’t thought of that myth is quite awhile.

 

morning 03.20.17

Newly discovered Matariya colossus is probably of King Psammetich. AKA Psamtik I. He’s the one who Herodotus claimed had children raised without language to see what the first word they would say would be, to determine the oldest language.

Study of ancient skulls suggest there may have been multiple migrations into the Americas. Nothing much to see here except someone positing one wave that entered the Americas earlier originated in Australia.

Air Force’s Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Nears Orbital Record. Shit. I knew that there are military space drones, but I cannot fathom why they’re staying in orbit for so long.

Laibach’s Opening Act: A Man Chopping Wood with an Axe. Someone at Dangerous Minds also has a peculiar feeling that Laibach is relevant again.

morning 03.17.17

Tricky blogging with a three year old squirming in my lap, having me to explain the use of a space bar and asking when he can go swimming.

Rex Tillerson Rejects Talks With North Korea on Nuclear Program. North Korea threatens nuclear war. Poor Japan. This is terrifying because the Trump administration really is stupid enough to attempt regime change using Seal Team 6. Fall out won’t bother them because it would put China in an extremely precarious situation. Likely nothing too extreme will come of this. I wrung my hands for years in worry over maneuvering against Iran during the second Bush administration.  Still… Cheney wasn’t stupid and seemed to have a faction in the administration working against him. No such restraint here.

Trump’s NASA budget cancels Europa lander and Asteroid Redirect Mission. Reckon it’s not worth getting too worked up, since we’re in load more trouble. Odd that there was no mention of changing priority to the Moon over Mars.

Lakes on Titan may fizz with nitrogen bubbles. Cassini.

It wasn’t just Greece: Archaeologists find early democratic societies in the Americas. “Western civilization.” Ha. Tres Zapotes. Tlaxcallan. Mexico. Very, very interesting.

Collective governments do tend to rise and fall in cycles, Blanton says. In Oaxaca, the political pendulum swung between collectivity and autocracy every 200 to 300 years, judging from shifts in the layouts of dominant sites and histories recorded by colonial chroniclers. “Democracy isn’t a one-shot deal that happened one time. It comes and goes, and it’s very difficult to sustain,” he says.

Fresh look at burials, mass graves, tells a new story of Cahokia. Mound 72.

“When the Spanish and the French came into the southeast as early as the 1500s, they identified these kinds of societies in which both males and females have rank,” he said. “Really, the division here is not gender; it’s class.”

Earliest Depiction of ‘Fiery Serpent’ Found in Medieval PaintingDracunculus medinensis. Guinea worm. 15th century.

Interview with Alan Moore, by Dominic Wells. I still haven’t cracked open Jerusalem.

The Sheffield Tape Archive is a Post-Punk Demo Treasure Trove.

How Sebastian Gorka Catapulted From Far-Right Obscurity In Hungary To The White House. Thomas A. Saunders III is a name previously unfamiliar.

morning 03.16.17

Playing with Play-Doh this morning.

Cattle grazing on pastures that were on an ecological knife edge could have pushed the Sahara onto the path of desertification. Eh, it was probably going that way anyway, although the research already done and the research planned is good and eagerly anticipated. Probably just an eager news writer eager to make a point on human impact on climate change.

Sebastian Gorka’s membership in Vitézi Rend should affect his immigration status. It won’t. Also remember that this is someone who tried to bring a loaded gun through an airport in 2004. More of the people who ICE is grabbing up and throwing into detention centers have a better legal argument to be here. The difference is that Gorka is white and has money.

Mythophysics of the new normal. Warren Ellis discussion.

morning 03.15.17

Norman Thomas di Giovanni obituary. I feel inadequate to write anything substantial about his passing.

Discovery of widespread platinum may help solve Clovis people mystery. The relatively high concentrations of platinum at sites 12,800 years ago could be from a strike by an asteroid two-thirds of a mile across that would have triggered the Younger-Dryas period. No impact crater can be identified but the asteroid could have exploded in the atmosphere or struck the glacial ice sheet.

Silk Road was shaped by ancient nomads and their herds 4,000 years ago. Well, duh. 4,000 years is a conservative estimate.

Did ISIS inadvertently uncover the secret to the “lost” Hanging Gardens of Babylon? The Hanging Gardens of Nineveh, build by Assyrian King Sennacherib.

There is no such thing as western civilisation. Somebody tell that rotted pigheaded freak Bannon or that Nazi bootlick Gorka.

Steve Bannon in College: Grateful Dead Fan, ‘Jerry Brown Liberal,’ ‘Ladies Man’. When I started college in 1989, every single Deadhead I met drove a BMW and was an unrepentant racist. We traveled in the same circles because many of my friends smoked pot. Those were the first modern “libertarians” I met.1 I’ve lost track of most of them as they were all cretins and louts, but I’ve no doubt they’re now establishment conservatives who stroke themselves at the thought of a race war or a clash of civilizations. Have I mentioned that I never could get into the Grateful Dead?

American Citizens: U.S. Border Agents Can Search Your Cellphone. Yes, yes- but here’s the point that people need to wrap their heads around.

Data provided by the Department of Homeland Security shows that searches of cellphones by border agents has exploded, growing fivefold in just one year, from fewer than 5,000 in 2015 to nearly 25,000 in 2016.

This increase happened under Obama. That said, at current rate of 2017, the Trump administration will more than double the 2016 number.

Sunday I picked up used vinyl of Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians’ Element of Light. It’s never been one of my favorites of his, always liked and enjoyed, but not loved. Checking eBay, it turns out that it’s a pretty common record that I might have found even a dollar or two cheaper. It’s by far the most available Hitchcock vinyl on there. I’ve already played it at least six times. I already own most everything Hitchcock did until around 1995 on CD (and 1996’s Mossy Liquor on vinyl,) but I pay more attention when I have to flip the record. As many others have insisted, it’s less a format fetish than a listening ritual. This shouldn’t be another tangent I wander down, but it probably will.

Shannon Hurd Got a Life Sentence for Stealing $14. Then He Died in Prison from Untreated Cancer. Evil. This is evil. Jefferson Parish in Louisiana.

Liberals and diversity. Matt Bruenig.

Report: Trump voters in Michigan like economically populist Democrats. This plus Bernie’s town hall in West Virgina on Monday night should tell the Democratic Party something. No. They’ll keep pushing shit about Putin, the emoluments clause, and chasing tax returns.

Sunday Comics (A riff on FX’s show Legion). Legion is better than it has any right to be.

 

  1. I had an old school, hardline civil libertarian guy as a teach for 6th through 8th grade. He was eccentric, but I still remember him fondly because he taught the Louisiana Reconstruction era very critically and would urge everyone to join the ACLU in the early ’80s, holding up his membership card in a classroom of kids with parents in the KKK. []