fuck snakes on a plane

So: word leaked in advance that a movie was going to be incredibly stupid and awful. Instead of having to go and see it and come out going, “man, that was awful, why did we waste our time and money?”, we know in advance, so surely we can just avoid it altogether as it will be shit?

The phenomena around it is weird only because the studio acknowledged its awfulness in advance, and was willing to get input from those who would otherwise mock and ignore it later.

I turn you over to the hopefully immortal wisdom of Bill Hicks:

ON BASIC INSTINCT

But you know I saw this movie this year called last year called er, ‘Basic Instinct’. Okay now. Bill’s quick capsule review: Piece-of-Shit. Okay now. Yeah, yeah, end of story by the way. Don’t get caught up in that fevered hype phoney fucking debate about that Piece-of-Shit movie. “Is it too sexist, and what about the movies, are they becoming too dddddddd.” You’re, you’re just confused, you don’t get, you’ve forgotten how to judge correctly. Take a deep breath huuh, look at it again. “Oh it’s a Piece-of-Shit!” Exactly, that’s all it is. Satan squatted, let out a loaf, they put a fucking title on it, put it on a marquee, Satan’s shit, piece of shit, walk away. “But is it too, what about the lesbian connot.. ddddd.” You’re, you’re getting really baffled here. Piece-of-Shit! Now walk away. That’s all it is, it’s nothing more! Free yourself folks, if you see it, Piece-of-Shit, say it and walk away. You’re right! You’re right! Not those fuckers who want to tell you how to think! You’re fucking right! Sorry wrong meeting again. I keep getting my days mixed up. tomorrow, it’s the meeting at the docks. Tonight it’s comedy entertainment with young Bill. Horrible film. And then I come to find out after that film. that all the lesbian sex scenes, let me repeat that, all the lesbian sex scenes were cut out of that film, because the test audience was turned off by them. Ha. Boy, is my thumb not on the pulse of America.

Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe it’s an overhyped piece of shit.

the moon and beyond

Went along to the free Crazy-ass Conspiracy movie at the Cross again. Less of a turn out than last time. This time it was about NASA (run by ex-SS baddies), and the moon and aliens and stuff. They managed to get freemasons and satanism in there, too. I didn’t know Buzz Aldrin was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite freemason when he landed on the moon, or that Neil Armstrong’s father was a 33rd degree mason. That was pretty weird. Though the makers didn’t seem to be able to make up their mind if the landings were faked – it seems NASA certainly had the means, what with the giant replicas and models they made – or if Aldrin and Armstrong did make it to the moon to perform a Masonic ritual claiming it for Lucifer 33 minutes after landing. But they really missed the point of Crowley and Jack Parsons (ah, hell, maybe they really are part of a satanic conspiracy) which does make me wonder a little about their discriminatory abilities, or what their implicit belief system is. So it goes.

There was lots of footage, from NASA and the soviets (ah, Mir, we miss you), of quite weird things flying around in orbit. Probably the highlight was the light that looked like a UFO coasting along, a BIG flash off screen, the light changing course and speeding away and a streak of light passing through where the UFO had just been, emanating from planetside. They argue it was a plasma weapon being used against UFO’s by earth governments. And there was a bunch of really strange lights gathering around spaceships footage. Definitely very WTF stuff I hadn’t come across before.

Since I reckon this sort of thing is worth supporting as a local social phenomena, here’s a plug. The nights are apparently being run about monthly, usually but not necessarily on Mondays, so look out for posters. So far they seem to have sourced their material from enigmatv. While I have my differences with some of the material they present and conclusions being drawn, it’s still more interesting than anything on TV. Get ye to your local pub and meet like/open minded peeps.

ungulate on del.icio.us

I have added a link to the undulatingungulate del.icio.us page under Information Sources.

There’s a lot more I read and find interesting on the web than what I end up blogging. For those who are keen, the del.icio.us links page will become a fair sampling of that, and probably fairly interesting reading in its own right.

I’m treating it as a research dump/snapshot of the present/historical compilation rather than an adjunct to this site per se; basically it is so I don’t have to lose my bookmarks every time I switch computers 🙂

The first burst may be a little huge as I upload my present bookmark file, but from then it should be updated as I surf.

On Pluto, planet or otherwise

This business of Pluto being “downgraded” from planet status provides an instructive look at the workings of the human animal, particularly when you consider the way people have reacted.

Pluto seems like a chunk of icy rock floating millions of miles away in space. No living human has been there or seems likely to in our lifetimes. Most people probably go through every day life with nary a thought for Pluto.

What we call it in no way changes what it is, out there in space.

What we call it only changes what it is in our heads.

(Of course, your head is in your head…)

Yet we argue about this, despite having little or no idea what a planet is, or why, beyond what we have been fed in the past 48 hours, or what we were told as children. (The astronomers in the audience probably excepted.)

We argue because we fall in love with our maps and models of reality. Those who have grown up thinking “There are 9 planets, Pluto is a planet”, want to keep that map. Gurdjieff calls this process identification. We become identified with our ideas about reality, and lose our ability to experience that reality. Robert Anton Wilson, following Korzybski, frames it as the tyranny of Aristitolean either/or logic; something either “is” or “is not” X, not allowing for any other possibility.

To see what I mean, surf some of the reactions.

If you yourself have exercised an opinion on this matter, ask yourself what you missed while doing so, and what else you could have used that time and energy to achieve. Then become aware this sort of thing is going on all the time. It does not matter a damn what we classify a big chunk of rock millions of miles away from us as. The peculiarity of our concern, and the illusions we spend energy on, seem clearer in this instance than with more earthly affairs, where equally we argue about words and conceptions which do not change what is; the phenomena in themselves remain the same. For example, people being killed can go by many names, but their deaths remain whether we call them collateral damage, innocent civilians, human shields, or whatever words du jour used to veil reality. The only change is in our head, in our belief, and reaction to the phenomena.

Language can be filter and a veil. We forget the word points at the thing, thinking the word the real part. We need know nothing of the reality of the phenomena once we have a word in place to assuage us. We need to become conscious of our mental processes and their effects on our experience. We need to get beyond words, beyond representation itself, and into direct experience of what is, without preconception, filters or veils.

This ain’t so easy, even once you know.

———

Huh. As a nice parallel to this post, here is an anecdote about Korzybski, copied from the link above:

One day, Korzybski was giving a lecture to a group of students, and he suddenly interrupted the lesson in order to retrieve a packet of biscuits, wrapped in white paper, from his briefcase. He muttered that he just had to eat something, and he asked the students on the seats in the front row, if they would also like a biscuit. A few students took a biscuit. “Nice biscuit, don’t you think”, said Korzybski, while he took a second one. The students were chewing vigorously. Then he tore the white paper from the biscuits, in order to reveal the original packaging. On it was a big picture of a dog’s head and the words “Dog Cookies”. The students looked at the package, and were shocked. Two of them wanted to throw up, put their hands in front of their mouths, and ran out of the lecture hall to the toilet. “You see, ladies and gentlemen”, Korzybski remarked, “I have just demonstrated that people don’t just eat food, but also words, and that the taste of the former is often outdone by the taste of the latter.” Apparently his prank aimed to illustrate how human suffering originates from the confusion or conflation of linguistic representations of reality and reality itself.

Fallujah doco

7Pm tonight and tomorrow at the Film Archive, there’s a documentary made by a team of investigative journalists and videographers about the US assault on Fallujah. ($8/$6.)

If this is anyone else’s idea of a way to spend part of their weekend, I will probably be at the showing tonight…

surely you'd wait till the wake?

Stripping banned at Chinese funerals

“Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai’s rural areas to allure viewers,” Xinhua agency said.

“Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honoured.”

black box search

This is neat. Black box search allows you to search using Google, Yahoo or MSN by proxy, so they don’t record your IP information. It’s now my default homepage in Mozilla. I like Google, but I like anonymous Google better.

And a special hello to the two people who found their way here looking for “extraterrestrial royalty”. (I guess my secret is out??? 🙂 )

on israeli war crimes

War Crimes. “Article 51 of the first additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions … outlaws attacks that ‘may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life’ which would be ‘excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage'” (The Economist, July 29, p.44). That would describe actions that have “cost 10 times as many Lebanese lives as Israeli ones and ravaged the country” (The Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 10, p.1). Lebanon’s acting foreign minister, Tarek Mitri, made a telling argument to the UN: “We have heard ad nauseam that in war mistakes are committed. When mistakes become a pattern of behavior they then deserve another word; they qualify as crimes” (The New York Times, Aug. 1, p.1).

Mitri was attempting to revive a high-profile statement by the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour: “The scale of killings in the region, and their predictability, could engage the personal criminal responsibility of those involved, particularly those in position of command and control.” She was supported by the International Red Cross, which stated, “Israel violated the principle of proportionality provided for in the Conventions and their protocols” (The New York Times, July 20, p.11).

After those statements, a clearly marked UN post well known to all – it’s been there for 57 years – was blasted to hell by the Israelis, with four UN deaths. Broadcast news covered this as another “mistake”; print news was more specific. “No Hezbollah activity was reported in the area,” and while the UN “protested for 6 hours,” the site was “subjected to 21 strikes, 11 of them aerial bombardments and at least 6 artillery rounds” (The New York Times, July 27, p.14). That’s no mistake. In addition, after Ms. Arbour’s statement, UN observers were subjected to “145 ‘close firings’ … with several patrol bases taking direct hits” (The New York Times, July 27, p.14). “Although [UN observers are] in constant contact with the Israeli military, informing them of the movement of their convoys, they have not been spared from the onslaught” (The Christian Science Monitor, July 20, p.6).

The United Nations got the message. If it didn’t want unarmed UN observers to die, best shut up about Israeli war crimes. It shut up. I’ve seen no further official UN charges. As for the International Red Cross, every news outlet has reported clearly marked ambulances blown off the roads. The Red Cross, too, has gone mum. But some brave souls are still talking. An eyewitness study by Human Rights Watch observer Peter Bouckaert concluded, “In many of these [Israeli] strikes there is no military objective anywhere in the vicinity. Day after day we are documenting these strikes where they clearly hit civilian targets” (The New York Times, Aug. 3, p.10).

from Michael Ventura‘s Middle East notebook, kind of a must read column.

Pirate Party launches "darknet"

The Swedish Pirate Party – an interesting collection of jokers, if ever there was – have launched the world’s first commercial darknet.

Its function is to allow totally anonymous untracable file sharing and communication on the internet.

“But there are much more fundamental values at stake here than copyright,” Rickard Falkvinge [their founder] says. “The new technology has brought society to a crossroads. The only way to enforce today’s unbalanced copyright laws is to monitor all private communications over the Internet. Today’s copyright regime cannot coexist with an open society that guarantees the right to private communication.

“Until we have changed the laws to ensure that citizens’ right to privacy is respected, we have a moral obligation to protect the citizens from the effects of the current routine surveillance,” Falkvinge continues. “This is our technical means to do just that.”{moose’s emphasis}

It will be interesting to see how this flies.

It will be really interesting to see how they do in the Swedish elections, too.

straight outta Planetary

So, did Guglielmo Marconi, famed as inventor of radio (and infamous for stealing it from his friend Nikolai Tesla), fake his own death on his floating superlaboratory yacht, then flee with a hundred of the best scientists of the day to South America to create an underground science city accessed in a dead volcano where they worked on solar energy, cosmic energy and anti-gravity, all under the banner of world peace, and launch trips to Mars and the Moon?

Maybe.

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