Wednesday May 21, 2003

The synonym of spirit for the elite of tomorrow.
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Monday May 19, 2003

Paul McCartney is to provide the plane fare so a chimpanzee, smuggled from Africa 23 years ago and forced to perform in a Chilean circus, can live out his days in a Zambian wildlife orphanage(AFP/File/Patrick Kovarik)

Sunday May 18, 2003

I Need Some Money by John Lee Hooker.

Many people download lots of songs from me every day. (yes. primco radio is a success.) but I think you should make special effort to download this song and make it real quiet and stop for a second. Just stop that shit. Now sit down and listen to John intently. It's a song you might have heard by the Beatles but they sound like blathering fools compared to this rendition. At first he's just introducing the idea that he needs some money. But then he elaborates on it. He needs it "right away" for example. He puts in a little pluckin-a-single-string-over-and-over solo and then he gets back to the subject of him and his need of money. But then he starts to whisper. Just the last two lines. In his classic vamp, but it creeps me out. It's super intimate. "What I want." Blam.

Thursday May 15, 2003

There was a palpable, today-we-got-a-substitute-teacher buzz in the air as people feverishly scrambled for a seat. They were just getting warm after a couple hours out in the blustery cold of Geary street and a good portion were coming on from the liquor and pot they'd ingested in the parking lot. All of it spun up into a craze by the speed at which they were rushed into the theater. The line moved so fast because as people handed off their tickets they broke into a sprint for the seats. Kevin ran at full speed, skipping the stairs and I tried to keep the group from coming apart. We duct-taped off a row of seats and someone came back from the snack bar with the largest soft drink container I've ever seen. Two popcorn tub and commemorative two liter cup combos with guaranteed refills. Everyone was new to me. I'd bought them some Jameson and howled with them in the ticket holder line, but now, suddenly with the arrival of the soft drinks, our rabid consumption was overwhelmed. The people in shiny latex posing for pictures and the news cameras got little more than a glance. Clothing was peeled off and suddenly people were leaning over backs of seats and yelling instructions to cohorts. But the drink was the thing. I didn't know what to do with it at first and then some freaky dude that was from Alabama grabbed it and looked down the straw and said, "Look at this thing. There are people that have never even tasted soda pop and look at what we got!" and he took a big pull of Sprite. Dude hit it for me. Just then, a guy that was sitting next to us came back to his date with a mini snack combo. Flimsy little bag of corn and a paper cup that you could almost get your whole fist around. I chided him, (in the ironic spirit of the moment of course) and said, "Look at your puny little soft drink. We have flagon of infinite refills. A White Tower of drink with showers of green digits raining down the sides -- a drink that is more drink than all of us drinkers put together." And within moments he was returning from the snack bar to his now approving girlfriend with a disconnected look on his face but a drink that he had to hold with two hands.

There was an endless litany of blockbuster trailers, all of which was met with derision by the hardcore audience (except for T3 -- some things are inviolate) and then Matrix Reloaded started. That's where most of the fun ended. I mean, it was hilarious at points. But generally I have to give it to the San Francisco fans for generating far more spectacle than all the CGI hackers in Marin can dish up. Opening night (or the night before opening night I guess) and a capacity crowd of 1200 is a thing of beauty. No movie could compare with it. The scene in line, out in the Coronet parking lot, is what I remember. It's what I want to share. People offering you Coors, you offering whatever you had, others eating pizza out of the box standing up, the smell of pot being ripped past your face by 40 mile per hour winds. Kevin running around because it's finals week and you can't calm down when you're supposed to during finals week, especially if you'd fronted for 23 tickets to the Matrix Reloaded and you're trying to organize it and people want to know where the liquor store is and what time it is and what happened to the scarf they had. There's a guy that's all alone, stepping out of line to smoke, when everyone is already smoking in line. Sometimes when you're alone and there's people all around yelling and commingling saliva via shared bottles of whisky and realize that your love of Sci-Fi has pulled you into a "popular" event, you gotta get away. A few people, tired from work are just hoping to get into the movie so that they can pacify their boyfriend and get warmed up. A few draped in sleeping bags, laughing stiff-necked. Some willing to give interviews, everyone with an opinion. There's the screamers and the waiters. NOBODY talking about the movie.

Tuesday May 13, 2003


According to the National Electric Code (NEC) a plenum is a "compartment or chamber to which one or more air ducts are connected and [which] forms part of the air distribution system." To qualify as a plenum, the space above an acoustic tile ceiling would have to extend above other rooms in the same building or be open to ducts connecting it to other parts of the building. The concern is that during a fire, if there is burning material in a plenum air space, smoke and fumes can travel through air ducts to the whole building. For this reason, there are codes to restrict the types of materials (such as wiring) that can be placed in the plenum.

Monday May 12, 2003

Wow, never read this one back in the day but this is very good. In Praise of Evolvable Systems by Clay Shirky from 1996 is kinda technical but so right on about why "the internet", which is what we call a bunch of web servers, is the way it is.

Also, interesting and more current, is his analysis of why, in the world of weblogs, where there was supposed to be not 500 channels but 500,000,000, it turns out that there are less than 5. Read Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality and find out why nobody reads this blog. (I'm not complaining. I'm now fully aware of the power laws at work.)

Thursday May 8, 2003

So, I was going to tell you about the little eagle with a mohawk and nicely developed pects that will fit on the end my little finger. But then, while looking for crap from the web that would help me explain what I just said, I found this Hindu anti-defamation website that is sad and funny at the same time. It mentions my "Handy Hindu" and says, "This is another insult to Hinduism and its followers, the Hindus. Hindu gods as finger puppets is indeed making a mockery of Hindu beliefs and sentiments." Try out other western bo-bo's at Hindu Focus and tell me if they aren't ridiculous.

Here's a straigt up insult hurled at the Hindus: I love my Handy Hindu Garuda. Nay, I WORSHIP it.

Some company in Seattle made toilet seats that have Hindu gods on them. Hindu's love their iconography but not the same ways as westerners do. They (and I must admit that I've got to believe what I've been told about this by Hindus) actually think that the icon is the thing. In an undiminished way, little cast porcelain gods are capable of receiving their devotion and putting their spiritual deposit in the big karma bank. This makes almost no sense to westerners who have been told repeatedly that god cannot be rendered in physical form and any attempt to do so is a blasphemy. Ok, whatever. You can argue about Virgin Mary and Swastikas and all that. What's really going on here is that POP culture is the new god of the west and these Hindu guys do not see the humor in losing a holy war to POP.

What is POP, after all but applied postmodern aesthetics and philosophy? Hindus have woefully inadequate tools to fight this holy war and they will lose. Their attempts at defense are sad, and in the end, laughable. And I do not feel sorry for them.

The little finger puppet I have, and which I truly love, is Garuda. It's a Hindu god and the national symbol of Indonesia, an Islamic state. Hella long ago Indonesians got a dose of early Hindu mythology and really got into the Garuda dude. Way more than the Indians, I'm guessing, because they liked birds a lot. So, when they were conquered by the Muslims in the 15th century, the Muslims had to keep all the symbols that the people got off on, even though Muslims generally don't dig deified icons, so Garuda stuck around. Then, when Indo went indie in 1945 they gave it a western coat-of-arms and made it the national symbol.

Why do I mention this? It's old news. Because I don't know how to lecture on semiotics and it's the best I can do. Basically, we got a whole new understanding of how signs and symbols work in the 50's and 60's that caused western minds to bend away from the strict representational view of the world that these Hindus are in. In POP art icons became almost completely divorced from the things they represented so that the symbols themselves were the things they signified. Reciting from the holy Baudrillard on the successive phases of the image:

  1. It is the reflection of a basic reality. - Hindus
  2. It masks and perverts a basic reality. - Muslims, Jesuits and Iconoclasts
  3. It masks the absence of a basic reality. - Sorcery, Astrology, Occult
  4. It bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum. -- POP

Baudrillard "quotes" from Ecclesiastes:

The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth--it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true.

These upside down ideas are catching on. A lot of people under 40 already understand and accept them implicitly. They even co-exist in the same person with old-world representational ideas like love of sports teams and rock and roll. That's one reason why I live my Handy Hindu and why I won't take it off my finger.

Sunday May 4, 2003

Well, because of some stupid ass shit on my Linksys router, I was unable to run primco radio for a few months but now all that stupid ass hard work has paid off and the thing streams 80k without rebuffering. Our first tune from the randomly shuffled memory banks of my computer is Guitar Slim "Hello, How Ya Been? Goodbye" -- a tasty number. It's not always going to be on but I'll try to leave it on when I don't need the extra bandwidth. Oh, and no stream ripping. Ok?