Friday, March 29, 2002


Hey cool, new Get Your Voltr On was posted yesterday! Sneak peak: "I'm still knee deep in Voltron up here!" As if there were no more quirkly islands of fun, indeed.

Thursday, March 28, 2002


Today, believe it or not, is the second anniversary of the birth of TC. (That archive link almost never works.)

Friday, March 22, 2002

Greatest Characters List

100 Greatest Characters in Literature Since 1900 [via via Book magazine]

An intriguing idea for a list. Let's face it though, some things just don't list well. First glaring ommission that leaps to mind: Jim McPherson, The Gold Coast, Kim Stanley Robinson. Worst cheat: someone's getting slighted by listing Nick and Nora Charles together as one character, not that I argue with their inclusion. Clunkiest entry: Big Brother, 1984, George Orwell. (C'mon, I would've taken at least three from Animal Farm first -- Napoleon, Snowball, or Boxer!) Wrong Action Hero: James Bond. I love the Bond books and movies, Simon Templar (Leslie Charteris's "The Saint") was "greater" though. (And along those lines, I still get choked up thinking about Norman Kent in The Last Hero taking one for the team. He ought to at least get an honorable mention.) There's plenty of crime fiction and melodrama (Scarlett O'Hara?!) on the list, so why no sci-fi? Maybe Jim McPherson is too obscure but how not at least one of Valentine Michael Smith, Johnnie Rico, or Lazarus Long from the Heinlein canon? Want more highbrow sci-fi? How about Latro from Gene Wolfe's outstanding Soldier of the Mist. I'm only giving this a few minutes thought so I'm sure I'm going to kick myself for forgetting some more obvious choices. (Keith Talent!) Do we really need all those Philip Roth characters? I can't believe I'm the only person he doesn't impress.


The New York Review of Books: The Blood Lust of Identity
"We should feel part of our countries, and of 'Europe,' or even the world. Religion must be personal and 'kept apart from what has to do with identity.' I'm not sure all this is possible. One can feel British or French and 'European,' but not quite in the same way, since Europe is not a sovereign entity; neither, of course, is the world. And religion is hard to detach from identity, since identification with a community of believers is part of the religious appeal. I also wonder whether the symbols of Coca-Colonization matter as much as some people think. For the places with the greatest troubles—Afghanistan, Chechnya, Algeria—are the least affected by American commerce. The Thais in Bangkok or the Chinese in Hong Kong are not up in arms against the West. Poor Pakistanis are, but they may never have gone near a Big Mac."
I'm not convinced by all of Buruma's arguments. I think, for instance, there's more to American commerce than Coca-Cola and McDonald's, there's the developed world's reliance on oil and all that entails for starters; still, the argument (and I'm rephrasing it to my understanding) that religion, nationalism, tribalism, or what have you are are such effective tools for angrying up the blood of the masses when wielded by those with power and influence (who are motivated by greed) to accomplish all the violence and hatred they need for their purposes (acquistion of territory, resources, and wealth) because of how badly people need to have an identity. The second part of his review is a hilarious tear down of one guy's manufacturing of an Irish identity for himself and his son.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Compare and Contrast

Sudan says that the slavery problem is not nearly as bad as Western activists make it out. It insists slavery has been wiped out in government-controlled areas, and now only exists in rebel-controlled territory. Talisman, which owns a share of the pipeline along with the national oil companies of China and Malaysia (see related story), points out the many good works it has done in Sudan and says things could be worse if it leaves. Those works include developing water wells, building roads and hospitals and providing an example of ethical Western corporate leadership in the war-torn south, it says. Sudan’s civil war has left more than 2 million dead. “If you eradicate poverty, you also eradicate one of the root causes of violence and human rights violations,” said Stuart McDowall, Talisman’s director general of Sudan public relations. “What we’re doing is addressing some of those basic needs.” [ABC News]

Hey, how about that ... here's an example of the good done by corporations. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, corporate fanboys, you can probably tell I'm setting you up for a fall because we all know what scum sucking liars directors general of public relations are ... here's the sound of the other shoe dropping: Canadian Oil Company Ordered Ethnic Cleansing in Sudan.
The memo, issued on May 7, 1999, reported that "… fulfilling the request of the Canadian Company (Talisman)… the armed forces will conduct cleaning up operations in all villages from Heglig to Pariang." ... Two days later, a major offensive was launched and villages from Heglig to Pariang were destroyed. A Canadian Foreign Ministry report described how civilians were killed, homes and whole villages destroyed, foodstocks looted or burned, humanitarian aid forced into flight. It is estimated the attacks reduced the overal population in the county by 50% -- all so that oil could be more easily extracted ... The complicity of oil development in the ongoing destruction by the radical Islamist regime in Khartoum of Christian, moderate Muslim and animist Civilian populations in Southern Sudan has been chronicled by Amnesty International, the UN, the Canadian foreign ministry, Human Rights Watch, and Christian Aid (UK).
Ironic that we're having such a hard time fighting the War on Terror, the bad guys being so hard to find and all ... when it seems they're actually quite easily found listed on the NYSE [TLM].

When allegations against Talisman first began to surface, large institutional investors ignored the outcry falling back on the tried and true mantra of "capitalism ... value for shareholders ... investments based solely on financial merits" and many refused to even consider divesting. Turn a blind eye as long as the money flows, that's the capitalist way. Anyone who sees things differently is a tree-hugging hippie commie dirtbag. The blatant fucking hypocrisy of those same people getting all misty-eyed and patriotic over the War on Terror makes me so fucking sick. I'm all too familiar with stories of workers being fired for things they've written on their weblogs, so I'm going to practice some self-censorship ... but I can't help but notice that some big name mutual fund companies still list Talisman among their top 10 holdings in large cap funds focusing on Canada or the energy industry. I'm trying to imagine how I would react if I saw the manager of one of those funds driving around with an American flag plastered to the left rear window of his SUV. I'd like to point out to him how his fund is profiting off genocide and slave trading, then curb that motherfucker like in American History X. (Caveat: I'd never actually curb anybody, no matter how much they deserved it. Just venting a little repressed rage there.)

Drunk Blogging

What kind of Tuesday night would it be if ol' C-Dog didn't share his drunken tales of inebriation? We won $50 playing trivia at the bar last Tues. but only 3 of us could make it tonight to spend the boodle. Me and Bill and Kenny put down 6 1/2 pitchers and 40 3 Mile Island Hot Wings in a 3 hour span and managed to get virutally no trivia questions right. I think we pissed off our waitress by changing tables 3x. Once 'cos someone felt "crowded", once 'cos we were near a heater and I was sweating my balls off, and finally for reasons I can't recall. I won a Heineken T-Shirt, but forgot it at the bar, which is fine because I wouldn't wear that shirt anyways. Our waitress chased us out to the parking lot because she only saw the top gift cert. and thought we'd stiffed her, when if fact she was generously tipped. After clarifying the tab/tip situation, we tried to talk her into joining us for a round at a bar down the street where, we assured her, there were far fewer scumbags and degenerates than the shithole she toiled in ... she wasn't convinced though. Somehow we lost Kenny trying locate either Shannon's or Sha-Na-Na's, our 3rd bar of the night. I'm sure he'll turn up.

Sunday, March 17, 2002


Don't get caught, like me, wondering what the hell this salvia fuss is all about. "Dude, it's like shrooms, only better." And still legal.

Sorry Nhan-O

UConn beats NC State 77-74, advances to Sweet Sixteen. My game diary here.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Pride of the Yankees

Yank who swiped Jeter's stuff doesn't understand all the fuss: 'I haven't killed anybody'

Can this be? Yanks in disarray and turmoil as players steal from each other and former players getting booted out of rehab, possibly in danger of falling afoul of Selig's new enforcement of the debt/asset value rule? All the while the Bosox having the least tumultuous spring in recent memory? Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs ....

Fightin' Words

I originally tried to make this a comment to this post over at Temple Tantrum but it was too long, so I'm going to post it here instead:

You've been back in touch with Glenn Parent, Bobby Boggs, and Frank Boudreau?! Holy shit! How are those guys? ;)

Some of what you say kinda hits home; some of it makes me bristle ('never to amount to anything'); some of it I don't know what to make of at all. As far as "dismantling the good things religous groups and corporations do", I don't think that's what I'm after (and I can only speak for myself, other Crypters may have other agendas) ... it's dismantling the shit they do I'd like to see done. For the record, I'm totally pro-religion and faith, only in a completely non-organized, non-Christian way. I can hardly ignore the fact that I get a paycheck every week because I work for a giant fucking family fiefdom dressed up as a corporation. Myself and lots of folks like me can afford to eat and stay warm because of corporations. I just happen to think that if society were organized differently more people could live comfortably (fewer in poverty and fewer in craptacular posh splendour -- ideally nobody in either category) and that people need to talk about their vision for society in order to get more people to see the possibility for a more just and equitable way of living in a society. Part of that is tearing into conceptions people hold that are in a direct opposition to what they profess are their own morals. Wrong is wrong. If it's wrong to lie, cheat, steal, and kill ... then it's fucking wrong all the time for everybody regardless of what benefits we enjoy as a result -- fuck omelets, eggs of the world unite, I say. Still we (or, more to the point, our culture as expressed through the mainstream press) celebrate liars, chiselers, and murderers. Where your comments hit home is in that I'm hard pressed to think of a single thing I've made better on a scale outside of myself and perhaps my immediate circle of friends and family. I guess I just feel like if everyone was outspoken in critiqueing blatant fucking hypocrisy, we'd all be better off. But when CEOs mouth bullshit about doing what's necessary to increase profits for shareholders as if that was the only objective of workers in a capitalist society, while not being accountable to shareholders themselves -- through practices like getting their stock options repriced so that as their bloated salaries restrict the growth of their companies and force cutbacks amongst the rank and file they can continue to make godawful amounts of money --- and people still think CEOs are fucking heroes! It makes me wanna puke! Seriously, we need a goddamn wave of monkey controlled giant robots to start tearing this mother down.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

I Await Our Monkey Overlords

Monkey Moves Cursor by Thinking (

Much as I dislike borrowing links from the Drudge Report, had to point out that my dream of a world ruled by giant robots controlled by capricious monkeys has moved one step closer to reality.

Troll Bait

Republican of the Year Candidate Unable to Attend Ceremony

This is actually stale news ... but I feel like engaging in a little Republican baiting.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

How Dare You, Sir

I called a few weeks ago for seaon opener tickets to Fenway. I told the ticket broker I wanted lower bleachers. He said, disdainfully, "We don't deal with upper bleachers." As if I'd implied he ran some kind of jamook operation. I'm pretty sure I heard him adjust his monocle. My tickets came yesterday. They're section 39. You tell me, are they upper or lower bleachers? Yeah, that's what I thought. Upper. C-Dog gets punked again.

Thursday, March 7, 2002

Do Prisoners Have A Right To TV?

New York Times: "A Sentence of No TV? Unusual, Yes, but Cruel?"

Cruel? No. Like you get any important news on TV anyways. What a crock. Listen to the radio, read a newspaper, go online and check out alternet if you're starved for news. They actually argued denying this felon the 'right' to watch TV violated his 1st Amendment rights?! Come again?

Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Crypto Quiz

We've all seen them, we've all taken them. Let's face it, they're crap. The "Which This or That Are You Quiz?" phenomenon is what I'm on about. One was clever(ish). Two was overkill. The rest are a bane. What've you learned from 'em? Nothing. Now, I present you with a quiz that is either the most useful ... or useless. The apogee of the quiz arc ... or its nadir. In any event, after what you learn by taking this quiz, you'll never have to take another. They're effin' done, folks. Done. So go find out "Which Cryptonaut/Cryptocommenter Are You?" As if you cared.

Dubious Theory

Finally saw Ghost World this morning. What struck me most about it was that it's almost the same movie as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Seriously. Obviously, they're entirely different with regard to setting and style; still though, Enid and Seymour are Jen and Dark Cloud in different clothes and circumstances. For just one example, look at the endings: Jen's leap from the bridge is the same frustratingly difficult 'resolution' as Enid's hop on the bus. I'm trying to think of another example from literature or film of two movies, produced entirely independently of each other, drawing (presumably) from markedly different cultures and perceptions, making use of different conventions and idioms, and the one (again, presumably) not having a direct influence on the other, yet telling virtually the same story. They're like twins separated at birth. Now I've got to update my 90 Great Movies list to make room for GW.

Sunday, March 3, 2002

Kevin Smith Short

[Kevin Smith's new short film: "The Flying Car"] Stars Dante and Randall and is utterly predictable, but Kevin Smith fans will enjoy. QuickTime required. (via Ultimate Insult / also check out Fatmouse when you're there)
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