April 23, 2014

"You can’t expect a language that well-traveled to be regular."

February 25, 2014
"Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums."

From Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of this Snowden-released Powerpoint presentation, evidently used to train intelligence agents how to use principles of stage magic to infiltrate online communities and shape internet discourse.

There are photos of UFOs in there.

Photographs. Of UFOs.


February 5, 2014
"Scott and his men never made it back to England; they died of starvation and exhaustion on their return trip. Though they reached the South Pole, they were second to Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team, who brought five times more cocoa."

Outside extols the manly virtues of hot chocolate.

January 17, 2014

Before 1914, the world belonged to everybody. Everyone went where they wanted to and stayed as long as they pleased. There were no visa, and I am still amazed by the awe of young people, when I tell them that before 1914, I travelled from India to America without owning or ever having seen a passport. (…)

Everywhere countries defended themselves against the foreigner. All the degradations which once were created for dealing with criminals, were now used for normal travellers before and during their trip. You had to let yourself be photographed, from the right and from the left, in profile and en face, the hair cut so short so that your face could be seen; you had to give fingerprints, first only the thumb, then all ten fingers; you had to present credentials, references, helth certificates, invitations and the addresses of your relatives; you had to bring moral and financial guarantees; you had to fill in forms and sign them in three or four copies; and if only one sheet of all this paperwork was missing you were lost. (…)

If I count how much time I spent filling in forms, the hours spent waiting in administration offices and being searched and questioned, then only I feel how much human dignity has been lost in this century, which as young people we dreamed of as one of freedom and world citizenship.


Stefan Zwieg, The World of Yesterday, 1941.

January 16, 2014
Jumble Gym, with its 17-year-old creator, Andrew WK. 
found via Andrew WK Week, celebrating Phillip Crandall’s 33 1/3 book, I Get Wet.

Jumble Gym, with its 17-year-old creator, Andrew WK.
found via Andrew WK Week, celebrating Phillip Crandall’s 33 1/3 book, I Get Wet.

January 7, 2014

Gabriel Brown and His Guitar, “I Get Evil When My Love Comes Down”

What Zora might have been listening to in that last photo.

January 4, 2014

He kept in touch with Tucker, who was working at a Georgia Wal-Mart and struggling to get by. A few decades before, she had been hobnobbing with Andy Warhol and his coterie of oddballs and artistes at his Manhattan Factory. She began visiting Kostek in Stuart – as did Jad and David – and the nucleus of what would become 50 Skidillion Watts was formed.

The gang would hang out in town and hit the downtown record store, Confusion Records, right off “Confusion Corner” – the roundabout that even locals used to just close their eyes and gun it through – and visit with John Clements. Half Japanese became regulars in Stuart, even rehearsing and playing a gig at Confusion. “It was almost a democratic thing,” Clements said. “If there were 20 guitars on stage, no one would have stepped in and stopped them. David was like Elwood in The Blues Brothers – dancing bizarrely and punching the air.”

It was a wild scene for a sleepy town. “I just couldn’t believe they had an act like that,” Clements said.

Jad Fair remembers those times – and the weather – fondly. “I’m not very keen on wintertime,” he said.

And, of course, there was Jillette, who was starting to make a name for himself with his irreverent take on magic. He was a Half Japanese fan, too, and in 1987 he fronted the money to start a record label for Fair and the gang to release records. Jad called it 50 Skidillion Watts – a made up name for as many zeros as would fit on the label – and it rose out the Fairs’ previous label. It wasn’t the first time the name had been used, but maybe it was the first time all those zeros were attributed to an actual number.


Why South Florida is the crossroads between the Velvet Underground, Half Japanese and Penn Jilette.

From Hey Darren [via Mr. Emmett].

November 22, 2013

"New Alliance for Progress Bossa Nova" by Sing Along With JFK
Never forget.
A legacy worth treasuring.

October 28, 2013
Lou Reed, tai chi practitioner.

Lou Reed, tai chi practitioner.

July 29, 2013
"We can relocate our mysteries and monsters to outer space or other dimensions or, at a push, to the bottom of the ocean or the wilds of Antarctica - but it’s no substitute really. On dry land at least, The Unknown is no more, and that spine-shivering sense of adventure that began when mediaeval cartographers first scrawled ‘here be dragons’ across their charts has finally been extinguished, leaving only these foggy tales of rampant brontosaurs and unconvincing ape-men as a final memorial."

— Ben Haggar, on the lure of the lost-world-explorer film in Breakfast in the Ruins.

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »