morning 04.02.16

View From Space Hints at a New Viking Site in North America. This deserves its own post, but it’s a busy morning.

The site is on the southwest coast of Newfoundland, about 300 miles south of L’Anse aux Meadows, the first and so far only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, discovered in 1960.

Pynchon in Public. A podcast devoted to Thomas Pynchon!

Turkey moves to rebuild San Stefano Russian Monument in Istanbul. After the blowup at the Syrian border, Russia and Turkey are attempting to repair relationships by rebuilding monuments from their conflict during World War I. That seems… backwards.

Clinton aides unite on FBI legal strategy. All four Clinton aides in the State Department being interviewed by the FBI have hired the same lawyer (Beth Wilkinson) and each are paying a flat fee. Politico says that the aides must think there must not be much of a case, because they’re not in fear of one person turning on the others, which would made the lawyer’s job difficult. My theory is that they have a plan as to who is going to fall on his sword to protect Hillary. They are the firewall. This is all about coordination. All they have to do is protect Clinton, hope she is elected, and whoever is the fall guy gets the same treatment Scooter Libby received.

My hero: Flann O’Brien by John Banville.

NASA Satellite Images Uncover Underground Forest Fungi.

Rover reveals puzzling sand dunes on Mars. Some of this is only now catching up with the crazy speculation from orbiter photos from the late ’90s.

Possibly one of the last recorded interviews with Dan O’Bannon.

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Anti-languages. The cants of the persecuted and criminal.

The Temple of Bel should not be rebuilt.

Hillary is more than a hippypunching addict

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What’s really going on here?

The incident feels semi-staged. Hillary was waiting to unleash one someone challenging her from the left- anyone. Activists have been asking her the exact same question for months. It wasn’t something she’s not heard before.

Clinton loves to play victim. When the heat turns up questioning her integrity, it’s rote for her to howl in rage and point the finger at anyone other than herself. Sometimes it’s someone who’s guilty of something just as crappy as her or worse. Sometimes it’s a non sequitor to attack someone she just feels is a threat. Although Sanders isn’t a serious threat anymore (unless the internal polling for the upcoming primaries are worse for her than we know yet,) Clinton resents that he’s given her as much trouble has he has.

The problem is that Clinton is horrible at this. Who is her intended audience?

Clinton fans love it. She’s hippypunching! Yay! Punch those hippies who don’t know how good they have it!

Sanders fans hate it. Most of us planned to vote for Clinton. No matter how disgusting she is, as the alternative is worse. However, she’s doing that Karl Rove thing is attacking an opponent’s strength as his weakness. Sanders beats her in integrity by a mile. Only her most partisan supporters believe otherwise. Does she really have to grind our nose in shit? She’s coming off as a sore winner.

Republicans laugh at this nonsense. Right or wrong (almost always wrong) on every other issue, they’ve been hip to the Hillary is an entitled kleptocrat story for a very long time.

The undecideds at this point will remain undecided for several months, if they vote at all in the general election. What do they care about the primaries? Will they even see this video?

Maybe Clinton is feeling the pressure of her upcoming FBI interview and misplayed her little stunt. Sanders campaign is lying? It’s Hillary Clinton and her aides being interviewed by the FBI. It makes more sense that Sanders refused to discuss the emails. Clinton would love to tar him somehow as being the reason why she burns. This is the real reason why Sanders has stayed in the race, not because he believes that he can win 58% of every state this point on or a silly superdelegate strategy. Hillary cannot stand that and will attempt to destroy anyone so that she can be the only alternative to the abyss.

morning 04.01.16

It ain’t right that I’ve never read Delany. Dhalgren has been on my To Read list for well over a decade, closer to three. LA Review of Books has an essay devoted to Delany and Paris Review has an interview with him.

Knights Templar win heresy reprieve after 700 years. The Vatican publishes the original trial documents. Thanks, Jeremy.

Alan Lomax archives now online. No time to dig through at moment.

An exhibition of John Dee’s books invites his rehabilitation as a mathematician. What happened to that giant mechanical beetle?

Bill pointed out to me that the creator of the #BernieMadeMeWhite tag is from Baton Rouge. I had an awkward exchange with someone who didn’t understand what the tag meant, only to be lectured that Hillary dominated the Southern States and Washington is indeed very white. Uhhhhh…. yeah…. Thanks.

Architect Zaha Hadid dies at age 65. She was unfamiliar to me but her work was immediately recognizable.

Heydar Aliyev cultural centre in Baku, Azerbaijan.


Homo floresiensis died out 50,000 years ago?

Humans (Homo erectus most likely)  colonized Flores a million years ago. This is 120,000 years earlier than previously estimated, based on the dating of volcanic sediments covering stones tools found at Wolo Sege.

There’s also a new study that insists that the dating of age of the Homo floresiensis is incorrect. The floor of Liang Bua eroded unevenly. They put the age of the oldest Homo floresiensis at 60,000 years old, with the last of their style of tools at 50,000 years. According to this study, modern humans and Homo floresiensis didn’t coexist for any length of time, with modern humans quickly driving them extinct.


Ahab might finally get his white whale

The rumors of the number of FBI agents working on the Clinton private email server investigation went from 150 to 147 to less than 50 to 12. Some people were chortling about how the entire investigation has been blown out of proportion, that it’s quite a minor investigation. Perhaps.

Last night news broke that the investigation is near complete and interviews will begin in the coming weeks, possibly within days. It’s suggested that Comey himself may be interviewing Clinton.

It would make sense why the number of FBI agents involved kept dropping is because they were reassigned after the grunt work was completed. 150 agents does seem excessive. That number does seem absurdly high in retrospect. The new Time article sticks with 20 to 30 agents. The journalist who reported 12 agents yesterday also happens to be a former employee of John Kerry. Yep… no agenda there.

The Time article reminds that Comey was involved with in the Whitewater case in 1996:

In 1996, after months of work, Comey came to some damning conclusions: Hillary Clinton was personally involved in mishandling documents and had ordered others to block investigators as they pursued their case. Worse, her behavior fit into a pattern of concealment: she and her husband had tried to hide their roles in two other matters under investigation by law enforcement. Taken together, the interference by White House officials, which included destruction of documents, amounted to “far more than just aggressive lawyering or political naiveté,” Comey and his fellow investigators concluded. It constituted “a highly improper pattern of deliberate misconduct.”

I still have no opinion on Whitewater, by the way.

morning 03.30.16

The intent was to blog a ton of shit today, since Elijah had to go to the library in Amite. However, Kat got a flat tire. We swapped cars and I need to sort this out before it’s time to go in for the night shift.

How Cerebus the Aardvark explains Trump. Jeet Heer outdid himself here. Immediately people began mocking his tweetstorm, as Heer tends to do. The mockery was hilarious too, but they know damned well they are just jealous they didn’t come up with it first. Serious? Timely? Incisive? Irrelevant. It’s fucking funny.

Paul Bowles in Morocco: The Lost Recordings. Brian Eno threw a link up to this last night.

double horn group

Relive the Punk-Rock Scene of 1970s Los Angeles. It’s a slideshow of photos from the old Slash magazine.

The number of FBI agents investigating the private email server of Hillary Clinton is actually less than 50, not 147. However, that’s likely more than 8 agents, which is some other disinformation that’s been floating around.

Another judge is allowing Judicial Watch to take sworn testimony from officials in relation to Clinton’s email server setup. Ugh. Did Clinton do shady, illegal shit. Hell yes. Is Judicial Watch going to act with integrity in the pursuit of justice? Absolutely not.

Extinction, Gilgamesh, Miyazaki’s Wolfchild, etc. (A Riff). Biblioklept on fire here. I doubt if I have the strength to read Dawson’s Extinction: A Radical History, but damn… i’m tempted.

The Bohemian Caverns are closing again. Bullshit.

Drone footage to the damage at Palmyra.

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Curator Forced to Kill Out-of-Control Bio-Art Exhibit. Was this intended to end any other way?

Turkey might be killing journalism but they’re embracing their Byzantine heritage after many years rejecting it as Greek. Yay? By the way, I see mention today that the government has installed someone from an allegedly radical Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit as the new editor in chief of Zaman.

In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA. Let’s just stick to that headline. Maybe in some small part the Syria conflict is a proxy war between elements of the United States government? Nahhhhhhhh……

New edition of Marcel Duchamp: Boîte-en-valise. Only $195?! I’ll take two.

The age of human remains and associated fauna from Zhiren Cave in Guangxi, southern China. Jaw of Homo sapiens in China 100,000 years ago. Chew on that, Out of Africa 60k or whatever bullshit.

Novel collagen fingerprinting identifies a Neanderthal bone among 2,000 fragments. 50,000 year old Neandertal bone found at Denisova Cave. It has a fingerprint on it?!

Yeah, yeah…. some of this deserved to be broken up over several posts. However, it’s this or nothing.

1993 can’t be the right year for the birth of Chicago’s indie scene

This Pitchfork piece on Chicago in 1993 is lackluster. This is pre-internet, so I don’t recall that much firsthand from that time. Zines and mail order catalogs were the best way to find out anything. What sticks out though is there seems absolutely no mention of Drag City. All one has to do is search Drag City and 1993 to see a show put on that summer at the Lounge Ax (which at least snags some photos) with the line-up of Pavement, Royal Trux, the Palace Brothers, King Kong, Silver Jews and Smog. Nope. Not noteworthy. Not natives, I reckon.

Instead Pitchfork decides to talk about what will become “indie rock” through the lens of Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, and Urge Overkill versus Steve Albini. Even that doesn’t make sense because 1993 wasn’t the year everyone figured out Smashing Pumpkins weren’t “indie rock.” That was determined from their first album Gish back in 1991. The arguments about Caroline Records being a fake indie was my very first exposure to that silly debate.

I never knew what to make of Liz Phair. I didn’t enjoy her music. The people who hated her were obviously raging misogynists and the people who loved her came off as creepy fawning obsessives.

It was cool that Pitchfork mentioned Gastr del Sol, but that needed more focus. It’s still surprising how massively key it was in providing the architecture to the ’90s. That’s a missed opportunity.

I had no idea Cynthia Dall died in 2012.

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The other extreme seems to be the documentary Parallax Sounds. The people interviewed hinted it could be amazing, but between a review (don’t miss the comments!) and the actual trailer, it seems opaque and obtuse.

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I knew fuck all about Chicago. Damien’s childhood friend Troy would occasionally pop into town to fill everyone’s heads with stories about austere, intense projects going on up there