Monday, March 31, 2003 

I hate needles, and this isn't helping.


Yes, but then again, no. On the whole, I think I agree with Lamey (and I like irregardless, dammit), but I think at least some of the frustration comes not from snobbery but because people should be taught how these things work, even if they are eventually going to decide they like the "non-standard" language instead.


Science once again confirms something that intuition has hinted at for years - people raised in different societies view the world differently. Some interesting facts, though.


Another fine article from the weekly Ideas section of the Boston Globe.

Saturday, March 29, 2003 

I hate humans.


"Shitty Mussolini" would be a good name for a punk band.


Oh, sure, this whole Iraq thing will go off without a hitch.


This should be a fim rebuke to those hysterical about cloning. I doubt it'll take, though.


Went to see Godspeed last night and picked up this. Not their best, but close.


Good article, but a shitty ending.

Thursday, March 27, 2003 

As I was just walking through the halls of one of our university's main buildings, I saw the normal clumps of students exiting classes and so on. Later, I also saw a solitary student. She was talking to someone I assumed was just out of sight, but as I passed I could see there was no one there. It was the most animated one-person conversation I'd seen in a while.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003 

But it's safe, really.


The Onion really thrives under big events. This week's edition is the best since their 9/11 "Holy Fucking Shit" issue.


"Goethe, Kierkegaard, Santayana, William James, Dewey, the later Wittgenstein, and the later Heidegger,"

I'm insulted on Goethe, Wittgenstein and Kierkegaarde's behalves, at least. They deserve better company.


I don't miss TV.

Monday, March 24, 2003 

I'm not sure whether I'd buy, or even like, this, but it certainly looks interesting.


"In a word," he wrote in his contrarian text, "I gave up African studies because I found it depressing."


This, thanks to TMFTML, is the closest I'll get to watching the Oscars.


I'm just glad they weren't detained - we're going to go see them this Friday.


It's a small world after all. Not quite as cool as Michael Moore's speech, but still pretty neat.

Friday, March 21, 2003 

I guess this is only funny if you remember the NES fondly, and don't offend easily.


Finally got my hands on the Remote Part today, although it's technically my editor's and I have to give it back Monday. It's great, of course.


I'm happy to hear about this. While I'm certainly against the exploitation of children, I had the feeling the massive number of arrests by UK cops would result in at least some false positives.


Power to the people, right on. Or, err, something.


A fascinating portrait of Saddam.


The computer works again!

Tuesday, March 18, 2003 

It's Sunday at the Church of Me again.


This is about "To The Finland Station" in the same way that "To The Finland Station" is about communism, but as the article itself points out, that's part of the appeal.


Speaking of Steve Albini, Tony alerted me to the existence of this, which looks like another reason to admire him.


Found this yesterday for 10 dollars. I'm a big fan of Albini ever since I picked up 1000 Hurts.


So my old Win98 install disc for my home PC has crapped out - but my friend Tony has a replacement. Hopefully I'll have at least net and word processing back tonight.


In regard to waging war, the traditional "just war" criteria are that the cause be just, the expected good of the war exceed the expected evil, the party waging war do so with proper authority, the party do so with "right intention," the party's aim be a proper peace, the war have a reasonable chance of success, and the war be a last resort.

It seems to me that the impending war satisfies only the pentultimate criteria, and maybe (although it is definitely arguable) the last.

Monday, March 17, 2003 

I heard the word 'assfuck' being used in a philosophy lecture this morning, and it's still not the most unbelievable thing I've heard today. We got to hear the whole thing on the radio here at work. I'm less scared but more angry than the last time the US invaded Iraq.


Thanks to BoingBoing for linking this, the best example I've seen besides visiting the place of the way beauty and ugliness tend to crowd together in Toronto.


This is even more depressing in the context of what's going on tonight. There's a strange sense of free-fall in the building tonight, with none of us being really sure how far this will go.


One of the lights downstairs at work has gone epilectic. It's not flickering, it's spasming.


Usually I only link to SA for humour, but todays update is wonderful. To give you a taste of why I really like Zach Parsons (besides he obsession with the funny side of WWII military technology):

"Let me digress a bit because I have never hated a figure in American politics as much as I hate John Ashcroft. From his hideous Christian piano CDs he puts out, to his flummoxed chubby face, to his almost zealous efforts to constrict and bind the freedoms of Americans. I'll come out and say it. The man is a cocksucker, and not just any cocksucker, he's the kind that gets his bully boys to grab Arabs off the street and lock them away in some secret dungeon. There they can drink iced teas on the beach with George Bush or have Department of Homeland Security agents use drugs and electroshock and needles on them. No bruises, maybe a fatal heart attack from time to time, but this is America! Democracy! We don't leave marks with freedom."

That doesn't excuse his unfortunate choice of terms later in the article (which is inexcusable), but aside from that I agree with him.


Sometimes, not even the AMG can help you avoid stepping on someone else's toes.


Interesting article on a topic near and dear to everyone's heart: masturbation


Mark Steyn has never particularly impressed me, and this article isn't going to help. The crack about Canada near the beginning got us off and the wrong foot, and his selective perception didn't make things better. For example: One of the main reasons the US has such a high replacement rate is because of all the immigrants that come in either from the south or elsewhere, so it's got essentially the same problem as Europe. The type of Americans Steyn's comfortable with are probably going to breed themselves out of existence just as fast as the French, and no amount of religion is going to help.

Sunday, March 16, 2003 

My girlfriend is a big fan of Bill Bryson, so hopefully she never meets this guy. I've never read Bryson myself, but I don't feel any particular urge to, either.


"The Germans are the worst my school was literally a concentration camp terminally over-educated but a lot more fun." This quote brought to you by the Julie Burchill Random Recycler. And who, you might ask, is Julie Burchill?

Saturday, March 15, 2003 

I've never been partial to blondes, myself.


I love Filthy, and you should too. His Willard review is great.

Friday, March 14, 2003 

A friend from high school directed me to these. They're fun, but they're actually from Airtoons.


Oh, how the mighty have fallen.


Life just ain't fair, eh?


No my computer is not fixed - but apparantly Blogger is working at my hom PC again. This popped up on AL Daily a while ago, but I still think it's worth it: Expert testimony may not be scrupulously true. Other shocking news to follow.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 

That's all for a while, folks.


Unlike the last article I linked to on Huxley, this one seems convinced he's still timely.


BoingBoing links to something that's actually pretty scary, but kind of neat as well. I'm known for using the phone more than most of my friends, so I think I could adapt. But at the same time, the idea of being reachable 24 hours a day does not appeal.


When I heard about the 'freedom fries' thing, I thought it was ridiculous. Now that it's spread to the government, I'm just scared. That level of petty prejudice is never going to lead to anything good.


And (to segueway from the first article I linked to in the last item), speaking of Communist Russia...


Great, so neither side can be reasoned with.


This week this is the last night I work. I've got a debate to attend tomorrow and the night after it's paper time. I'm doing something that uses the Trolley Problem, albeit in a slightly less absurd form than the joke I linked to.

Monday, March 10, 2003 

One of the ways, unfortunately, that I've been imitating TMFTML has been been in the paucity of content here recently (our computer is broken - he's just got a job). But there's some good stuff up today, foremost a promise to give us a list of ten good, overlooked authors. I wouldn't say his taste is impeccable, but it's close, usually.


Church Of Me time again. I've heard "The Seed" (my sister got me Phrenology for Christmas), and I thought it was weirdly good.


Despite what this review says, the only grounds I can see writers disliking OK Go for is non-musical - and what he calls "monster power chords, obtusely ironic lyrics and anthemic send-up chorus as a blueprint for the kind of 21st century arena-rock most people knew we didn't need", I call "glorious, intelligent pop". Now, it's certainly going to be a personal thing, but which of the two of us do you think is having more fun?


I'm not sure whether I'm impressed, or just annoyed. There's plenty more to go through, so I won't bother linking it all.


Lots to catch up to on AL Daily. To begin with, Daniel Dennett on the dangers of postmodernism, relativism and why we philosophers might need a Hippocratic Oath.


My computer at home is going to take 14 discs to back up before I can clean it up. So not until after next paycheck, then.


Don't believe the hype; this may indeed be good, perhaps one of the best albums to come out of the synthpop revival, but it's not exactly life changing.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003 

The fuck? (via boingboing)


Although this is definitely an aquired taste for the most part, 'Tom The Model' is one of the best torch songs of the past ten years, and (almost) warrants purchase all by itself.


Yes, I'll probably link to The Church Of Me every time it updates. But this one is about Dusty Springfield, and why would you not want to read about her?


I think I want this.


This week: Fight the man with the Onion


I thought I put this up yesterday, but apparantly I didn't. In any case: Galactus formed a big impression on me as a kid, so it's kind of creepy to find out that Jack Kirby drew Siddharta as resembling him.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003 

A good reputation is worth, apparantly, 7.6 percent in financial transactions. Yay science!


Oh, wait, sorry, that last item wasn't so bad. Now I can truly say I hate people. Both links courtesy of Warren Ellis' newsmine Die Puny Humans, cheers.


I hate people. Not individual people, but people in general.


Slow news day? Yep. But, while I may not agree with the New Criterion often (almost never, really), they do have a good article on jokes up.


Working on the phone winds up giving you a very different perspective on talking to people. You hit ten buttons and wham - you're talking to someone hundreds of kilometers away. The feeling of disconnect is constant.

Monday, March 03, 2003 

I knew I was speaking too soon. I loved Mr. Dressup too, of course, but I think I liked Mr. Rogers a bit more. That Get Your War On has the best response to his death that I've seen is a bit weird, but that's okay.


And that's it for the night. I long for the days when I can update this at home. The ol' PC was Scandisking when I left home: It should almost be done by the time I get back.


Yeah, I didn't like it either. As previously mentioned, however, I have to disagree about Farrell's worth. Bullseye was always one of my favorite villains, and he's not nearly as one-note as Farrell played him.


Only Marcello Carlin could make me care about David freaking Cassidy (it's the March 3 entry, if you're tuning in late).


After getting Ed Harcourt's first album from the school paper to review last year, I am very much looking forward to his second. Especially after this. Harcourt's strength on his first was in his anachronistic focus on the song, rather than the feel, and it sounds like he hasn't changed a bit.


Ha. Ha. Ha.


It's a pity this sort of thing didn't attract wider attention before.


I've always liked Huxley (although, like many, my first and primary exposure to him was in high school english class) and this, despite some authorial predjudice showing through is a fine overview.


More AL goodness to follow. This, for example, is worth reading just for the opening paragraph on translation.


Two interesting and timely warnings, courtesy of AL Daily. They concern fundamentalism and pseudoscience.


Any reviewer (of anything) who says they never do this is lying. The key is to do it very, very rarely.


My computer at home has come down with some digital version of tetanus. First it just couldn't do some things - its jaw locked and it had cramps. Now it's progressed to full-scale paralysis, lying there stretched out stiff as a board. The only cure: reformat. That's going to have to wait until I have the money and time to back up all of my data again, though.

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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