December 31, 2012

Warren Zevon (live, with Jackson Browne), “Desperadoes Under the Eaves”

Contender for best end-of-everything song, based on one verse:

And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing
Until I’ve paid my bill.

That and the wordless outro… these things can carry one through some big changes.

January 17, 2012

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States cooperations — corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.


— President Eisenhower, 17 January 1961. The whole speech is worth a read - or a listen (audio at the link). Especially the bit about government contracts becoming a replacement for intellectual curiosity.

January 12, 2012

Mulling over this question a few days ago, I started making a list of the more obvious features of the story in which we find ourselves at this point in the turning of history’s wheel. I encourage my readers to follow along, and see whether or not the answer that struck me occurs to them as well.

  • We live in a world dominated by a vast, slowly decaying empire that gets quite literally superhuman powers by feeding on what we may as well call the blood of the Earth;
  • That empire is ruled by a decadent aristocracy that holds court in soaring towers and bolsters its crumbling authority by conjuring vast amounts of wealth out of thin air;
  • Backing the aristocracy is a caste of corrupt sorcerers whose incantations, projected into every home through the power of the blood of the Earth, keep the populace disorganized, deluded and passive;
  • Entire provinces of the empire are ravaged by droughts, storms, and other disasters caused by the misuse of the Earth’s blood, while prophecies from the past warn of much worse to come;
  • Meanwhile, far from the centers of power, the members of a scattered fellowship struggle to find and learn the forgotten lore of an earlier time, which might just hold the secret of survival…

It was more or less at this point that the realization hit: we have somehow gotten stuck, all seven billion of us, inside the pages of a pulp fantasy novel.


- John Michael Greer is concerned about the magical implications of our dependence on petroleum and high finance.

[found via]

November 14, 2011

The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, “Eterna (Concerning the End of the World) (Ps 30:9)”. Long name. Obscure religious references. Embracing the end of the world. Exultant, wall-of-noise chorus.

File under “I wish I’d written.”

August 8, 2011
Meanwhile, London riots have spread to Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham, BBC reports.

Man, I didn’t much care for the 80s the *first* time around, you know?

Meanwhile, London riots have spread to Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham, BBC reports.

Man, I didn’t much care for the 80s the *first* time around, you know?

November 11, 2010
The Cthulhu Mythos, as Imagined by Kids

(Source: jessnevins)

November 1, 2010

- “Mercury,” by Chris Walla and J. Robbins. Part of NPR’s “Project Song”

October 27, 2010
So, about those oil dispersants....

September 7, 2010


The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said the planned burning of Qurans on Sept. 11 by a small Florida church could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort. Gen. David Petraeus said the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes…. “It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort,” Gen. Petraeus said in an interview. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.”
Jones told the AP in a phone interview that he is also concerned but wonders how many times the U.S. can back down. “We think it’s time to turn the tables, and instead of possibly blaming us for what could happen, we put the blame where it belongs — on the people who would do it,” he said. “And maybe instead of addressing us, we should address radical Islam and send a very clear warning that they are not to retaliate in any form.” … “It’s hard for people to believe, but we actually feel this is a message that we have been called to bring forth,” he said last week. “And because of that, we do not feel like we can back down.”

August 9, 2010
John Aylesworth, R.I.P. (and saaaaLUTE!)

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