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April 7, 2006

rudy giuliani is not a new yorker anymore

Perhaps yesterday you heard that Rudy Giuliani testified during the penalty phase of the Moussaoui trial.  You see, the government has decided that the government can execute someone for what basically amounts to obstruction of justice, and in order to induce the jury to want to ice the sad bastard, the prosecution is having a couple weeks of 9-11 Multimedia Extravaganza.  Giuliani kicked things off yesterday.  Things?  Yeah, things like the prosecution and his presidential bid simultaneously.

For those of you that are not currently living in New York, you may be of the impression that Giuliani is a very popular man around these parts, being a two-term mayor and all.  Not so much.  He did manage to stay in office, but his governance was imperious and creepy.  He had no small regard for civil liberties, and he was bent on breaking the municipal unions, which is why you will be hard pressed to find a cop or fireman here in New York who is an unabashed fan.  As far as his "leadership" on 9-11, he did offer a comforting and authoritative presence on the TV sets while the civil servants of New York did the finest job evah in dealing with the aftermath.  Of course, what little good will had accrued was squandered when he offered to postpone mayoral elections and remain in office for an indeterminate amount of time.  That was a little too unitary executive for us New Yorkers.

Giuliani's unmitigated support for the little wars of the past four years have pretty much disqualified him as reflecting the belief of the rank and file citizen here.  For all the non-New Yorkers out there, as you line up behind the shiny forehead of Rudolph Giuliani, remember that all of the fucked up and evil shit that has been perpetrated in the name of 9-11 -- the wars, the presidential monarchy, the wealth redistribution -- that was your idea.  We didn't want a war.  We wanted to be left alone and to feel better.  We were pretty certain that we wouldn't like to see any more buildings fall down, wherever the building stands.  In fact, we wanted the administration that was responsible for the greatest intelligence failure since the Trojan War to be booted out of office.  But no, you Giuliani fans wanted to invade an unrelated country with ordinance that had "9-11" scrawled on its side.

So you see, it's a little galling when Giuliani hauls his ass out "on behalf" of our allegedly anguished city.  Giuliani was not testifying on behalf of New Yorkers yesterday.  He was testifying on behalf of either ex-mayors or putative presidential candidates, both of whom apparently want Moussaoui dead.  And, you know, if Justice wants the little insane man dead, he's probably dead.  But we'd prefer that you put the same amount of energy in apprehending those actually responsible.

While it may be crass and cynical to "own" something as vast as the events of 9-11, I say let Giuliani own it.  He is already crass and cynical; there would be no stooping.  Let him be forever the Mayor of 9-11.  Maybe someday it'll get him a series on VH1.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:43 PM

ellis again

Best headline to date on the Bush Days of Contrition:
Lying Fuck Sells Out Lying Fuck

Warren Ellis, naturally.  I won't link the post, as he's just pulling an excerpt from the NYTimes, but one of his sites is here.

I am glad to see that the President has brought dignity to the White House.  An old school dignity -- dare I say, a "Sicilian" dignity.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:14 AM

another IYI

It's been a big couple news days.  And I've spent them at things like basball games and birthday parties.  It would be "just my luck", as they say, to hit a "not feeling like writing, no, not at all" patch right when the President is about to get all "yeah I did it, and so what?" about blowing the cover of a CIA NBC WMD operative for political gain.  "Just my luck", inasmuch as luck is self-generated, etc.  Yes, this is a big bellyache, nothing more to see, but it's the bellyache that foments.  You know that.

Hey, as long as I'm indulgin in the public hand-wringing, you know what line from a movie I cannot get out of my head?  Frank in "Blue Velvet" -- "Don't you fuckin' look at me!".  Yes, that now occupies the brainspace that used to hold "I can't stand the quiet!" from "Simple Men".

Yep.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:36 AM

April 6, 2006

IYI 4.6.06

This is sad.  Looks like last night was hour zero, the point in time when the particular e-mail address associated with this site was sniffed out by some spambot.  How do I know?  Twelve or so e-mails in the inbox, all having something to do with the size of my penis, which, sorry, spambots, even if it was something I think about, would be one of the least of my problems.

Writing about penis-spam feels like making jokes about airplane food.

I say we all join hands in a cirlce and sing "The Greatest Love Of All" until the spambots decide to leave our solar system for greener interstellar pastures.

And then we can sing a song we actually enjoy singing, like "The Boys Of Summer".

Posted by mrbrent at 11:24 AM

April 5, 2006

password security

This is interesting.  I don't know when I became so interested in computer security.  Probably some combination of the influence of Cardhouse (who takes this stuff very seriously) and having read Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" years ago.

Anyhoo, if you were wondering exactly how impenetrable your password is, click this out.  To sum up, your newish dual processor PC can crack a five character password (one utilizing upper/lower case alphabet, numbers and standard symbols) in thirteen and a half minutes.

This is all hypothetical, of course.  I've never tried to hack a password.  I stick with the crossword puzzles, and lock-picking.

[Via the ephemera of DoubleViking.]

Posted by mrbrent at 2:28 PM

katie couric has ruined my day

After unrelenting will-she-or-won't-she media coverage of Katie Couric's dayjob, let me just say I'm devastated.  I'm devastated at the news that she is trading network TV bosses.  It will be so hard on her, trying to remember which network TV boss is her current TV boss, and which network TV boss is the old boss.

This is the harbinger of something -- something beyond my powers of science to discern.

I feel like a small boy whose father would not let him keep the most beautiful baby copperhead he's ever seen -- whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Oh wait -- sorry about that.  It's the harbinger of way too many journalists having way too much time on their hands.  It wasn't that hard to discern after all.

Who the fuck was Katie Couric, anyway?  Game show host?

Posted by mrbrent at 9:51 AM

April 4, 2006

um, i said, rich kids unite

I don't get it.  I wrote last week about the odd sign that appeared on a NYTimes photo accompanying a story about the situation in Durham, NC, with a bunch of rape-y Duke lacrosse players.

I was a little bit shocked to see that no one else really noticed the sign, and no one thought it was weird.  I mean, dude, run it down in your head:  the (almost entirely white) Duke lacrosse team has a party, invites a black stripper, allegations of sexual assault come forward, followed by pushback against the stripper.  Amidst the pushback, taped to a porch with such other signs as "Innocent until proven guilty", is a sign that says "RICH KIDS UNITE".

This sign appears in a national newspaper.  And is then forgotten.

The Duke campus is experiencing a little class/race wake-up call right now, and, as usual, the entrenched majority has been behaving in a creepy manner.  And some smug prick slips in the "It's-just-jokes-man!" assholery of "RICH KIDS UNITE" into the national subliminality and gets away with it?

Isn't not-getting-away-with-it why they created the Internets?

Don't fail me, Internets.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:44 PM

resignation is not enough

I'm supposed to be cheered by this?  By the admission that Tom DeLay intends to resign?  The fact that Tom DeLay is a coward and a hypocrite is supposed to make me smile?

Tom DeLay was a primary architect of the Republican power grab in the 90s.  He is the father of the so-called "K Street Project", which is just a bit of jaunty nomenclature for the practice of forcing lobbyists to only do business with Republicans.  The K Street Project blossomed into a web of graft and patronage that rivals Tammany Hall.  Tom DeLay did that.  The K Street Project, along with a couple of partisan off-schedule redistrictings, enabled the Republican Party to choke on their own greed and corruption while eviscerating the social safety net that had installed by leaders that remembered that we are no stronger than the weakest among us.  The economy is overleveraged, the infrastructure is older than I am, and our foreign policy is the fevered revenge fantasy of some withered bureaucrats who got sick of getting rich wanted to do something with their lives, like in those Clive Cussler novels they read.

Tom DeLay is the author of this world, and yet he smiles and brags.

When the history books reflect this, then I will smile.  I will do a little jig when schoolchildren Remember Tom DeLay as the Boss Tweed of the late 20th Century, and when they remember the Republican Party as the party of Tom DeLay.  And Duke Cunningham.  And Jack Abramoff.  And those to be indicted later.

But now, no joy.  Resign all you want.  Claim victim, boo hoo.  You're a two bit thug and a thin-skinned bully.  Keep your head up, bugman.  Now fuck off.

I'm busy.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:26 AM

April 3, 2006

when future happens slow you can't see it

I've been lately trying to catch myself up, tech-wise.  Not easy, for a guy who basically learned BASIC many years ago (I learned how to program a ball bouncing across the screen! with Math!), and then only a little more recently taught himself HTML.  So basically, the car that best represents my relationship with tech is the one made of stone, with the bottom cut out so my bare feet may propel it.

It's not just vanity that's nudging me along in my search for technological adequacy.  Though there's plenty of vanity there.  I been spending way too much time reading the works of futurists, and I'm pretty much convinced that the next will be spent with collective head-scratching at the utility of space-age information technology advancements.  As in, now that I can fit my entire collection of New Yorkers and my 1,500 CDs of post-punk music onto a device as big as my hand, then, now what?

Advancements only in information technology?  Sadly, yes.  Maybe genetics in general and medical science in specific is advancing, but so are the viruses.  And if personal locomotive tech had advanced as fast as information tech, we would be driving our flying cars around the moon on a lark by now.  Instead, we have an oligarchicly restrained R&D concerning your basic locomotive advances that has left us still shackled to an inefficient and destructive internal combustion engine.

Meanwhile, information technology has hummed along at such a rate that you phone has more computing power than a room-sized Cray super-(at the time)-computer thirty years ago.

Bla bla bla.  So why is it that I care enough about the avalanche of advances in information technology?  Because of this story here.  It doesn't seem like much -- five of the seven major motion pictures are cooperating in launching an online delivery services for their big releases -- but it signifies yet another industry to be beaten about the head and shoulders by utilization of the Internet.  When the earthquake happens in slow-motion, you can hardly apprehend it.  In five years you'll remember your television set, with its hook-up to cable and a DVD player much like you now think of a rotary phone.

It's a lot to learn.  I'm sure that failure is an option I'll have to be prepared to accept.  It's scary, trying to learn a whole new language not even based on words, but at least I'll have scary company.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:02 AM

April 2, 2006

pervert 081805 -- last word

Last word on Pervert 081805

Except for this one:

"Asshole."

Posted by mrbrent at 7:18 PM