fog me

I can’t see Mt Victoria from my window cos of thick low cloud over the city.

day out of time

Apparently yesterday was the Mayan Day Out Of Time. The day left over which doesn’t fit in a 13 month lunar calendar.

Between the hours of 2pm and 6am I was certainly having a Day Out of Time. Fun and interesting.

canadian psychotherapist permanently barred from the US

Under heightened security provisions for the “War on Terror”, Andrew Feldmar was stopped at the border as part of a random check. A Google search by the border guard turned up an article in which he admitted taking LSD decades ago and his musings on its applications to therapy.

Because of this he is now permanently barred from the USA.

The process to get a waiver would cost $3500 each year he would want to visit the USA, where his children live. The process to challenge the decision legally would bankrupt him.

When Feldmar looks back on what has happened, he concludes that he was operating out of a sense of safety that has become dated in the last six years, since 9-11. His real mistake was to write about his drug experiences and post this on the web, even in a respected journal like Janus Head. He acknowledges that he had not considered posting on the Internet the risk that it turned out to be. So many of his generation share his experience in experimenting with drugs, after all. He believed it was safe to communicate about the past from the depth of retrospection and that this would be a useful grain of personal wisdom to share with others. He now warns his friends to think twice before they post anything about their personal lives on the web.

“I didn’t heed the ancient Alchemists’ dictum, ‘Do, dare, and be silent,'” Feldmar says. “And yet, the experience of being treated as undesirable was shocking. The helplessness, the utter uselessness of trying to be seen as I know myself and as I am known generally by those I care about and who care about me, the reduction of me to an undesirable offender, was truly frightening. I became aware of the fragility of my identity, the brittleness of a way of life.

“Memories of having been the object of the objectifying gaze crowd into my mind. I have been seen and labeled as a Jew, as a Communist, as a D. P. (Displaced Person), as a student, as a patient, a man, a Hungarian, a refugee, an émigré, an immigrant…. Now I am being seen as one of those drug users, perhaps an addict, perhaps a dealer, one can’t be sure. In the matter of a second, I became powerless, whatever I said wasn’t going to be taken seriously. I was labeled, sorted and disposed of. Dismissed.”

Yup.

(via american samizdat)

status

Finally finished reading through USD 2.0 for the second time. Have been rewriting as I go, and making notes for rewriting trickier/more substantial bits. So from here is typing up the changes and redoing a few scenes and adding a few. Nothing too major. Hopefully just a couple of weeks or so. Then it will be ready for readers.

It’s a bit weird to have spent a year and half or thereabouts on one piece of work that no one has seen any of and I haven’t really told anyone much about. A mix of elation and terror at this stage. I’ve enjoyed reading it but I’m too close to it to judge. But at least how to fix things has seemed pretty clear.

Saw “These Girls” at the film fest today. Pretty amazing and affecting doco about homeless teenage girls in Cairo. Somehow I feel like I should have something more to say about it. See it if you ever get the chance, it’s pretty extraordinary.

what does it mean

Just to introduce something I added to my links at the side: what does it mean, which seems to be a reeally useful daily updated news aggregator covering most of the world. Not entirely sure where the people running it are coming from – there’s a paranoid flavour about some of the site – but the links to news are up to date and fascinating.

If you want a one page picture of what’s happening right now in the world, check it out.

oh, what a blow that phantom gave me!

is a book by Edmund Carpenter which I bought yesterday.

In New Guinea, when villagers ignore their leader, the government may tape-record his orders. The next day the assembled community hears his voice coming to them from a radio he holds in his own hand. Then they obey him.

The phantom of the title is the media we experience.

Carpenter was an anthropologist and media theorist who collaborated uncredited on McLuhan’s Understanding Media and edited Explorations with him. Oh what a blow… so far seems to be a really extraordinary construction exploring the effects of media by contrasting different culture’s experiences of media and juxtaposing all sorts of narrative elements to achieve effects, including many of his own anthropological notes.

The connection between symbol and thing comes from the fact that the symbol – the word or picture – helps give the ‘thing’ its identity, clarity, definition. It helps convert given reality into experienced reality, and is therefore an indispensable part of all experience.

If this seems like your idea of good times, it is online free here.

health freedom 2

I think I saw a snippet of news last night which said that this bill to regulate vitamins, supplements and so on failed. If so, yay.

the internet destroyed my will to live quicker than usual today

apparently this is real

apparently this one is not

(via tatjna)

Poll # 6: silly/scary

Poll: which of the below is best evidence that the world is getting really silly and scary at the same rate?

1) Iranians arrest 14 squirrels for spying

Islamic Republic’s intelligence agents allege rodents were carrying advanced Western spy gear.

2) Found: the giant lion-eating chimps of the magic forest

3) Robot Air Attack Squadron Bound for Iraq

The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It’s outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there’s no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

4) Joe Pesci says everything that can possibly said with his head on fire.

5) insert your own

I made my radio DJing debut today, playing ambient/downbeat/odd stuff on VBC’s morning wake n bake with Duke Daryl. Was actually pretty fun hanging out playing music. The idea that a bunch of random radios somewhere around about were playing this vibe into their surroundings was kinda weird. Power, eh? Imagine if the world listened to every damn word you said. That would feel so bizarre.

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