morning 03.31.17

Yesterday I ran the roads on errands for work, a true oddity. It gave time to listen to the Radio War Nerd that has David Forbes talking about fascism in science fiction. That episode alone is worth subscribing for. I could have listened to Forbes and Dolan talking sci fi forever. If only his book The Old Iron Dream wasn’t just an ebook… it’s probably not worth regretting nearly every Heinlein book I could get my hands on in my youth, because it didn’t do too much lasting damage. I was ignorant of what a right-wing, racist reactionary Niven is, so it’s just as well that I never got around to Ringworld, a series a dead friend adored. It’s now hilarious to see what Lucifer’s Hammer really is, as a high school English teacher I detested tried pushing it on me. (I thought it no more than an asteroid disaster novel.)

There’s a new Valeria Luiselli book, Tell Me How It Ends. Essays on immigrations. I want ut,

I gave Rachel Kushner and The Flamethrowers a pass for reasons I don’t recall- probably her being American. Her blurb for Communism for Kids has me reconsidering:

“Communism for Kids is in fact for everyone, an inspired and necessary book especially now, a moment when people feel that we are on the verge of the destruction of the world, and without any new world to hope for, or believe in. Have two hundred years of capitalism brought us freedom? Or just more inequality than has ever been experienced by humans on earth? Global capitalism is not human destiny, it merely is. To think beyond it, with the help of Adamczak’s primer, is to take a first step toward freedom, at least the freedom to imagine other worlds.”

The Tribe of Black Ulysses. I forgot about this book. Black labor movement in Bogalusa, Louisiana. It feels that I stumbled onto it before, freaked out, and then promptly went off on another tangent.

Heiltsuk village in British Columbia on Triquet Island is now pushed back in date to 13,613 to 14,086 years ago.

Early Americas girl ‘Naia’ may have been young mother. Oh yeah! Naia. 13,000 years old. Fell into the Hoyo Negro aka the Black Hole in the Mexican Yucatan. There was early speculation that her ancestors came to the Americas via a Southern route.

2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports. This Russian conspiracy stories are not going to save us, but this shit is pretty entertaining. Seeing people throw around “obstruction of justice” is some pretty ironic shit, because that’s one of the two things that Hillary was almost certainly guilty of (with perjury being the other.) Yes, yes, please run with the cover-up, not the crime trope. That works. With Flynn offering testimony for immunity and Trump urging him to go with that, this bonfire should go very well indeed.

 

morning 03.30.17

Weather giving bad headaches.

The Subtle Radicalism of Julio Cortázar’s Berkeley Lectures. This is the good shit we all need,  Literature Class. 

The hidden artist of the Soviet space programme. Galina Balashova. Lots of thought into the aesthetics of the insides of their spacecraft that I hadn’t considered and certainly not understanding that it was the vision of a single woman.

Mummy of Ancient Egyptian Nobleman Discovered Along Nile River. 3,800 years ago. Qubbet el-Hawa. Name is Shemai.

Decorated bird bone suggests Neanderthals had eye for aesthetics. 40,000 years old. Crimea. Zaskalnaya VI site.

morning 03.28.17

I spent too much time arguing with a lifelong friend about Russians as well as the competency and motives of the Deep State this morning. The friendship might not weather this. I’m fucking mad. Ironic distance has never been a strength of mine. Neoliberal meritocracy is as toxic as Trumpism.

Ancient palace complex discovered in Mexican Valley of Oaxaca.

Silicon Valley would rather cure death than make life worth living.

Trump presidency ‘opens door’ to planet-hacking geoengineer experiments. Pst. The military already did this years ago and it seemed to fail. That’s what started the chemtrail phenomenon. But hey! It’s a conspiracy theory! No such thing! They were just ordinary contrails.

Trump administration weighs deeper involvement in Yemen war. Seemingly inevitable and depressing. 100,000 people turned out on Sunday in Sanaa to protest the second year anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition invasion. Too many people have already died and it’s going to be many, many more.

Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas. Just a wild guess and hopefully I’m not jinxing it…. never going to get off the ground. It sounds like make-work nonsense and Kushner comes off as quite dumb. He might as well put Kushner in charge of a space exploration program.

Trump was ranting on Twitter about Hillary, Russia, and uranium. Liberals rushed to the ramparts to debunk, throwing out Politifact and Snopes saying it’s an outright lie. Anyway, it’s true:

Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

The Clintons are shady as fuck and that’s another good reason to stay away from all of this Russian conspiracy bullshit. It’s a morass. All of the ruling elite are amoral criminals hellbent on amassing more wealth and power, only using nationalism when it’s convenient. Ignore Trump’s accusations to focus on policy like Medicare for All.

morning 03.27.17

Uh oh. Bannon mixed up Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy  Does this means he’s not a Russian agent now? He’s a fascist, a cokehead, and a slob,  but there’s something funny in the way that journalists and pundits go out of their way to cut him down for faux-intellectualism. Remember when Obama was reading Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, & Crowded? Obama also was a fan of that stodgy old fraud Franzen. His most recent reading list included Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, which he called “really powerful.” Yes, please tell me more about Bannon’s faux-intellectualism. I hate the man, but there are quite a few more people who are middlebrowed hacks who have been lauded as brahmin-scholars who walked the halls of power very recently.

Let’s not even get into Hillary and her clan.

Only a stray thought- Every so often I remember why I respect Orhan Pamuk. Chapo Trap House loves to riff on Erdogan and oddly, Turkey has become of vital interest in international politics in a way that I couldn’t foresee. His last few books have bored the shit out of me, but back in the day, I loved his work. He’s why I started following Turkish politics in the first place. That Pamuk stood up to acknowledge the Armenian genocide and the mass murder of Kurds still resonates. Even American progressive Cenk Uygur won’t do that.

Scientists marvel as Kamchatka volcano erupts for first time in 250 years. Kambalny volcano.

Zero Books talking Mark Fisher ruminating on George Lucas and the slow cancellation of the future.

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.