February 01, 2006

Wednesday Fragments

Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Jabbar. The very name associated with dominance. In an interview in the LA Times which has disappeared he made some great points. What he says about the state of the game is very interesting - that there isn't really enough talent for 30 teams. It does explain a lot.

African Chemical Analysis
"The African origin of the slaves was determined by studying a chemical in their tooth enamel that reveals plant and rock types of their native land. The chemical enters the body through the food chain as nutrients pass from bedrock through soil and water to plants and animals. It is an indelible signature of birthplace, the researchers said, because it can be directly linked to the bedrock of specific locales."

Lord of the Halo
This is a brilliant parody of Lord of the Rings and Halo done with deft editing. If you didn't know either you might not get the joke, but there's a gut buster in the middle of it.

What a lovely bunch of coconuts. A bunch of short films, which while most are silent, are inimitably British. Lighthearted humor for a change.

Shutup Tavis
Tavis Smiley is one of those people who shouldn't get on my nerves but does. Why? Because he's country. But seeing as I don't really have to have a good reason not to like somebody, I don't see why I need to be so logical about it. On the other hand there's this: Tavis Smiley's 21 Things African-Americans Need To Do. Now, one of Cobb's Rules is that you don't second-guess blackfolks. You just take them as they are. You don't try to improve them, denigrate them or explain for them, you simply take them at their word.

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time
If you want some, buy some. Support your local troop. If you don't want to eat the calories, you can have them sent to the troops overseas.

Posted by mbowen at 08:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 27, 2006

Friday Fragments

Spence on NPR
Dr. Spence is getting broader coverage on NPR. Make sure that you catch the scoops at his new site.

Wilfandel Club
Kitty Felde was at a local anniversary party for the Wilfandel Club over on the top of Adams Blvd. I haven't thought about that neighborhood in months. Shame on me.

First of all, still digging on the driving videos, here is what it looks like to ride a motorcycle 200 mph. This Hyabusa is burning up the road.

Canadian BBoys
The sport is alive and well in British Columbia

Posted by mbowen at 07:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 19, 2006

Thursday Fragments

Rocketboom: Kitschy Synergy
There's nothing that exemplifies brain spew so much as the five minutes of funk that is Rocketboom. Sometimes they forget the brain. No flies on host Amanda Cogndon though since she's prime geek babeage. Next to Morgan Webb she's probably the geek's hottest hottie - not that I would know because I'm certainly not speaking as a geek now. Quite frankly I prefer the babes of Mythbusters.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Check it out. It's cheesy fun, sometimes. BTW, you can get it on Tivo too. It makes for extra cheesy television. So what is it? It's a video blog (I'm not Eastern European so 'vlog' comes off my tongue all wrong - don't ask me to say it.)

Wilson Pickett is Dead

Legendary soul singer Wilson Pickett died of a heart attack today in Virginia at the age of sixty-four.

The singer, who earned the nickname "Wicked Pickett" due to his fiery vocals and masculine persona, was best known for such high-energy soul hits as "In the Midnight Hour," "Mustang Sally" and "Land of 1000 Dances." As a performer and interpreter, Pickett was generally considered to be the equal of such great soul men as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Pickett's songs always remind me of parties my parents used to have in the old apartment.

Wynton Throws Down the Gauntlet

Yes, I always laugh when people my age complain about their college-age and teenage kids by talking about how much better we were. I laugh because I have absolutely no idea what my generation did to enrich our democracy. What movement have we been identified with that forced our elders to keep their promises…that challenged their failures or built upon their successes? For me, we dropped the ball after the Civil Rights Movement. We entered a period of complacency and closed our eyes to the very public corruption of our democracy.

As we have seen our money squandered and stolen, our civic rights trampled, and the politics of polarity become the order of the day, we have held absolutely no one accountable. From us, you inherit an abiding helplessness.

If you realize the unfortunate consequences of inaction, hopefully you will understand even more the importance of holding both your elders and your peers accountable when it comes to the rebuilding of New Orleans. Stay up on the facts.

I think it goes without saying that the only thing new in black politics since the death of the Panthers is the neoconservative movement. We could talk about it for a while, but I think somebody, sooner or later is going to tell us something rather simple and elegant about the first generation of black mayors and congressmen since Reconstruction. It probably won't be fun to hear.

Posted by mbowen at 05:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Tuesday Frags

It Still Hurts
I'm still not over the loss to UT. I'm not the only one. Here's the latest outrage to get my goat. Argh!

Zombietown Hall of Shame
I've been looking for this photographer's work for a while. When I first saw the Anatomy of a Photograph mini-documentary I was not so astonished as finally grateful to see how this kind of engineering is performed. As I have harped on against white liberals and commies who show up on King Day Parades in the 'hood, this is exactly what I'm talking about.

From the Whoa Thunk Department. There are ten times as many Cherokee living in the US now than there were during the 1800s. Having never paid much attention to the tales of genocide more than your average Joe, it comes as a big surprise to me that various bands of Native Americans didn't number in the millions. I'm definitely going to look into this.

Posted by mbowen at 02:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

Thursday Fragments

Racial Smells
I don't know why this sounds particularly funny, but I found it tangential to a set of searches I did this morning of the following type: "x people * too much". That came after I found this prejudice map.

Fear Da Tigers
There's something about the nexus of rap and hardball sports that make a powerful mix. If you could get a mix of fan enthusiasm, player spirit and rap star support, you can make irresistable mojo. The LA Raiders had it, and nobody has quite had it since them. But the Cincinnati Bengals have made a good attempt. Where did they go for inspiration? Bootsy! It didn't get them past the Steelers, but it was a good idea.

Two Plusses for Alito
On the first plus, he says that family members can designate relatives or friends to carry out their right-to-die wishes. Thank you. And for those who think Terri Schiavo is spinning in her grave, you're wrong. She can't spin. On the second plus, nobody can even find a mention of his name associated with CAP.

Posted by mbowen at 07:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

Sunday Fragments

I Want To Be Your Man
If you want to laugh your ass off for a moment. Do check out this amateur video. It's a homemade karaoke and it's hilarious. I have to say that the Dancing Baby has met its match.

Denzel Buys a House
While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build . He took his check book out and wrote a check for the full amount right there on the spot. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it touched their hearts.

Ratzinger on Islam

JF: Well, the thesis that was proposed by this scholar was that Islam can enter into the modern world if the Koran is reinterpreted by taking the specific legislation, and going back to the principles, and then adapting it to our times, especially with the dignity that we ascribe to women, which has come through Christianity, of course. And immediately, the Holy Father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said well, there's a fundamental problem with that, because he said in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it's an eternal word. It's not Mohammed's word. It's there for eternity the way it is. There's no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism's completely different, that God has worked through His creatures. And so, it is not just the word of God, it's the word of Isaiah, not just the word of God, but the word of Mark. He's used His human creatures, and inspired them to speak His word to the world, and therefore by establishing a Church in which he gives authority to His followers to carry on the tradition and interpret it, there's an inner logic to the Christian Bible, which permits it and requires it to be adapted and applied to new situations. I was...I mean, Hugh, I wish I could say it as clearly and as beautifully as he did, but that's why he's Pope and I'm not, okay? That's one of the reasons. One of others, but his seeing that distinction when the Koran, which is seen as something dropped out of Heaven, which cannot be adapted or applied, even, and the Bible, which is a word of God that comes through a human community, it was stunning.

HH: And so, is it fair to describe him as a pessimist about the prospect of modernity truly engaging Islam in the way modernity has engaged Christianity?

JF: Well, the other way around.

HH: Yes. I meant that.

JF: Yeah, that Christianity can engage modernity just like it did...the Jews did Egypt, or Christians did to Greece, because we can take what's good there, and we can elevate it through the revelation of Christ in the Bible. But Islam is stuck. It's stuck with a text that cannot be adapted, or even be interpreted properly.

Posted by mbowen at 01:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 03, 2006

Tuesday Fragments

Ordinary Balls
Over the break, there was a story about a 16 year old kid who took off to Iraq to see it for himself. He was apparently working on a term paper about the war, so he bought a plane ticket to Baghdad. Just like that. I like this kid. Instantly, I like this kid and it gives me inspiration to think that there are young Americans who possess the grit to face mortal danger. I suspect that everyone will call him crazy, but he's not. He's perfectly logical.

Kwanzaa Poem
I was going to write a long Kwanzaa Poem and after the 12th stanza I realized it wasn't worth it. Not because the poem was bad, it's just that I haven't written a poem that long since OJ, and this whole deal is really overblown. I'm at the point where I say, fuck 'em, and slap myself for playing Encyclopedia Brown. I need to stop writing down to people 'for the sake of history'. It makes me dweebish, and I'm just starting to recognize.

Go Trojans
The trash talk is in full swing. Today it has already begun. USC vs Texas. I don't know how to break it to Texas fans, but yall are going to go home crying. Sorry. That's the way of the world. Eat drink and be merry tonight, for tomorrow the dreams end and the nightmare begins.

Biggest Prediction for 2006
This is the turning point year for John McCain and for the GOP. If the Republicans get their poop together and back McCain, then they will be great. I'm trying to figure out what objections people would have to McCain-Rice because I think they are unbeatable. Short of that, I'd support Mitt from Mass, but quite frankly I don't think he's the kind of leader I want. IE I think his electability would rely too much upon a 'democratic illusion' with regard to the idea of getting a Kennedyesque fresh young face. I've had enough of that. If the GOP goes with anyone else who isn't as wonderful a surprise as was Chief Justice John Roberts, then politics will no longer be fun for this writer.

Half Life Again
The game has gotten even deeper and more interesting. There's a whole universe there which is, I must confess, more compelling than the Halo Universe has proven to be. I'm on the lookout for fictional dimensions and finding a lot at Wikipedia.

Posted by mbowen at 06:02 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

November 16, 2005

Wednesday Fragments

Holy smokes, can it be that the Congress is showing some spine? Have Republicans suddenly remembered that the founders knew what they were talking about when they separated powers? Could it be that political capital only goes as far as Pennsylvania Avenue? Heavens sakes, for a minute it seemed so. But now, the President is fighting back, like a jilted lover. So will we let him stalk us? Time will tell.

A monthly status report on Iraq is hardly worth pissing and moaning over. I'd appreciate it. Even Clinton gave us chalkboard talks on Bosnia. What I wouldn't give for a wartime president who could actually swagger. Well, W tried.

I've just discovered a couple new things about Google which helps clarify stuff that they are doing. It's exciting.

The first item is Google Sitemaps. There's no way I can describe it better that Google does, but it looks like this is the thing that can put all the free webcounters out of business. It's clearly aimed at geeks like me who run websites, and as soon as I get out of my office and configure a bunch of it up, I'll tell you if my enthusiasm is well placed. I suspect that there will be a bunch of side benefits which will include telling me what are the most popular pages in my sites as well as some referring information. But that may be a bit much to expect. If Google has the audacity to do that kind of stuff, we may be in for a real treat. Of course they have more than enough capital and brainwidth to subsume all of the NetGenesis clones out there.

The second thing is Googlebase. I don't see much of what the point is, but it has got some folks thinking a revolution in database tech might be afoot. I'm skeptical, but I'm not betting a huge amount against Google.

Posted by mbowen at 05:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 04, 2005

Tuesday Fragments

  • Despite the 'failure' of public education, Americans still win Nobel Prizes.

  • Sun + Google are going to be announcing something today. What could it be? What do I hope? The Google Operating System.

  • Nick Cage is great in 'The Lord of War'. Excellent grownup movie. Firefly DVDs are flying off the shelves.

    Posted by mbowen at 06:43 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
  • September 04, 2005

    Sunday NOLA Fragments

    The economics and geopolitics of why New Orleans must be rebuilt. It is a port of tremendous significance to the American economy. And guess what, it's not about the oil.

    Archpundit speaks common sense about the practicalities of evacuation. Apparently, everybody who keeps thinking that Nagin could have materialized busses for the overflow at the Superdome have never been on an overbooked plane flight. The same class of logistical problems kept the National Guard from getting *to* New Orleans. Similar details are at American Digest.

    An excellent timeline is available over at Rightwing Nuthouse. I'm following this to verify my gut that Ray Nagin is not a goat but a hero of these trying days.

    I've pulled the story about Good Samaritan Hospital. It was submitted by a friend but there are some corrections to be made.

    An all-purpose broadside at the local officials can be found in withering detail at From the Swamp. Mindbogglingly, the Governor asked for a grand total of $9 million in Federal Aid, and the Nagin Motor Pool is posterized. No plan survives contact with the enemy.

    Posted by mbowen at 06:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    August 25, 2005

    Thursday Fragments

    Stop, WikiTime
    I'm going to try and create a Wiki over at VisionCircle. This should be good. I'll probably be building one for my colleagues and also one at the Cubegeek Blog. It's time to jump into this.

    TCB Portal
    After that relatively easy thing is done, I should be prepared to go with Wordpress or some slashclone and build TCB's portal. I've been promising to do this for a long time, and it looks like my time is freeing up so that I can actually do so.

    Cass Tech Portal
    Then I volunteered (for the sake of a hella e-mailing list) to put together a portal for Cass Tech Alums. This could be a nice part-time gig to fill up the coffers of Metro Decisions before I let that domain go dark. Considering the 800 bones I paid the State of California to keep the corporation in effect, I ought to be funnelling more cash through that.

    China + Africa = Serious Business
    I'm trying not to go off on a rant before I settle down, but NPR keeps getting on my nerves with this "China wants oil and doesn't care who it does business with... African despots...blah blah". The deal is that China can do some rawdog capitalism and you don't have to pretend you're Martha Stewart to do business with them. Wouldn't it be ironic if Africans start associating China with their economic progress instead of America. Seems all we do is Oxfam them every four years. Hmm. Is Chester Crocker behind this? Is Condi Rice?

    Speaking of which, now with Colin Powell at KP and Condi Rice eventually retiring, I want to know how they start making connections to the future Good Africa. That's a business I'd like to do business with. At any rate, some of my well-informed readers are paying attention to this in vivid detail when it comes to Ethiopia, and I think they're right to be up in arms about Trade, not Aid.

    Posted by mbowen at 06:23 PM | TrackBack

    July 21, 2005

    Thursday Fragments

    clinton_sanandreas.jpgHarry, Unspoiled
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is by far, the most dramatic episode yet. Rowling took greater risks than I thought she would, and it has been a most entertaining few days listening to the audio recording. I was wrong; it wasn't Hagrid who died.

    Whadda Yuan?
    I'm not sure who these people think they are that they can try to force China to recalibrate their entire financial system in order that Americans with static business plans can be more profitable. The nerve. I hope this loosening of the currency shuts off their political momentum. The markets have reacted with a big jump in the bond yeild curve, which is rather expected.

    Congressional Whoring
    Clinton and Grand Theft Auto. Here's yet another nitwit trying to make a market safe for our pansy children. And what a surprise, there's a backdoor in the software. Well of course there is. There's always a backdoor, and I hope that the company gets off the hook for any legal liability. There's no deception of the ESRB here. For my dollar, I'd reissue the downgraded version with Hillary as the ho-face as an expression of free speech. On the other hand, just open it up and call it the director's cut AO rating and all. Still, I think most people will agree that we don't want any senators poking around in our videogames. Yuck!

    For some reason I feel emboldened to go hang out on lefty blogs and take potshots. Don't know why. It just feels like the right thing to do somehow. Let's see how it goes.

    Posted by mbowen at 08:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 14, 2005

    Tuesday Fragments

    On Lynching
    It is said that it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission. The Senate's recent mea culpa for not making lynching a federal crime is, of course, too little too late, and hardly worth mentioning. If there's money to come for the families of victims, I could see it being worthwhile, but from my little point of view this is hardly a big deal. When it comes to harsh anti-racist action, people of color have come to expect nothing from the US Senate or any other government body. No love lost here.

    On Jackson
    Somebody called me on the phone yesterday furiously saying that the system doesn't work. It was a wrong number. I've only had two tiny thoughts on the matter in recent weeks. The first is that Tom Sneddon has been made a complete fool, poor sap. The second is the gobsmacking hauteur and irony that can be taken from Michael Jackson's latest recordings. Three songs in particular ought to be ire-inspiring: 'Unbreakable', 'Threatened' and of course 'Cruel Man'. You probably won't hear them on the radio.

    On First Impressions
    Cobb has been getting a bit of extra publicity and recognition recently, and I must say that I'm fairly embarrassed by my lack of recent inspiration. Part of this is that political activism has simply left me flat uninterested for the past few months. This is a consequence of a combination of things, not the least of which is my increased reading on technical subjects. Yet I am not entirely inclined to do much about it. I know my writing will pick up. I know that people are accessing the wide body of work here at Cobb. I've attracted some good attention at my technical blog, and there will be August. So, like any middle aged man, I am aware that I'm not looking particularly attractive at first glance. Stick around.

    Work Sucks
    Well, it has been about 90 days on the job and I have finally had my first series of very bad days. I am weary with toil and realize that crisis mode has got me working stupid. The worst thing you can do to is make someone solve a crisis when they are supposed to be designing. I have yet to flush the crabs from my mind. At least the servers are cranking these days.

    Posted by mbowen at 06:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    June 03, 2005

    Friday Fragments

    John McCain
    I haven't said it much when the time was right, but John McCain is my kinda Republican. I really hope he is getting set to run in 2008.

    Olympic Deadline
    Today is the last day for NYC to get it's ass in gear and approve the building of an Olympic Stadium adjacent to the Javits Center. I say f the Madison Square Garden and move forward into the future. We want the 2012 Games in America and we want the WTC to be rebuilt by then. Get it together New York.

    Leadership Lessons
    The other night I was surfing through the Tivo captures of the week trying to find something to watch in the wake of missing the season finale of Alias. I had five episodes of Charlie Rose waiting. The thought alone was daunting enough, so I skimmed. I did find a great program of his, and it was very surprising to me that I have been inspired by a chef, of all people.

    In the interview Rose showed a couple clips in which this master chef took a bite of his students' food and then literally went outside and threw up. Unforgettable. But he said that if you want to learn from the best, it's hard. I think I'm going to learn how to be a more patient hardass.

    So far I've beed directing all the hardassness to myself and in writing, but as I take command of the things I've always wanted to do, I can see how being a hardass on others is going to help them.

    Joe Hicks vs Michael Eric Dyson
    Joe handles Dyson well. I caught the last 15 minutes of Airtalk this morning and it really fired me up. Surprising that. I always feel the need to connect with Joe Hicks because he's my kinda brother. So I just might head out to EsoWan this evening at 7pm to throw a few skewers at Dyson and pub up the Brotherhood.

    I got one of those boardwalk artist charicatures of my three kids done in pastel chalk. It was just what I wanted. I'm going to frame it and take down the current picture over my desk. Sorry Spivey. Yeah and I bought myself a new XBox.

    Posted by mbowen at 09:16 AM | TrackBack

    May 19, 2005

    Thursday Fragments

    Friedman v Dyson
    I am astounded at the cheek of Thomas Friedman. For the first time, I saw him on Charlie Rose last month and I hardly imagined that anyone could blurt so many buzzwords per minute. But it isn't that his rehash of things many in our profession already understand (after all, we conceived and built the tools that are the infrastructure of the practices which. It's that he uses all of this in a half-assed attempt to slap around GW Bush. It's really pathetic that smart people use all of their powers in such trivializing ways.

    I believe that you have to accept when people do the right things for the wrong reason, and it is in this spirit that I welcome the hype to be associated with Friedman's 'vision'. It was clear that he's doing what I've been doing in generating an ontology for things I observe to be true. But at best, all Friedman can do is guess where these concepts will lead, and in that regard, considering the depth of the thought of the people and institutions who generated the artifacts of his 'flatism', Friedman is wasting his prescriptions on Bush and gives up too easily.

    I would like to point out one thing that I believe may be very influential in the short term and I hope gains favor here and elsewhere, and that is Dyson's Utopia.

    Now you look at a mind like that of Freeman Dyson and you have someone who clearly can visualize the world in a novel way, but doesn't waste it all for political cookies.

    Oil Storm
    The Peak Oil meme has made it to Hollywood. Hopefully, it will give the Greens something more constructive to talk about than global warming. Please understand the extreme irony of the situation. It's got to be one way or another. Either we run out of fossil fuels in the next 50 years or not. If we run out, there's no way we can heat up the planet appreciably. So please spread the news of the dualism.

    24 Moments

    This week's episode of 24 was pretty decent. Finally somebody said 'torture' instead of interrogation and they managed to get some gay pimpslapping into it. I really am astounded, however, by the kneejerk associated with "the public's right to know" in the case of a disaster. Do people think a missile launch could go so undetected?

    Posted by mbowen at 06:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 17, 2005

    Tuesday Fragments

    Off the Road Again
    I am finally off the road, which has wrecked havoc with my avocational trains of thought. I have no idea what is transpiring in the news, and have been focused on getting my company to the next phase in a fat aerospace contract. That's looking good by the way. We had a fantastic meeting yesterday. Now I can breathe.

    I'm almost finished 'My Life as a Quant' and I'm trying to figure out what kind of person Derman is. It is a curious matter that eludes me. He's there and yet he's not. As I have embraced my inner geek over the past several years (by dint of humility and fascination) there is a certain bit of personality I have exchanged. I am now wondering exactly where the ego of someone like Derman resides. Mystery.

    Jill Stewart

    The big news is that Jill Stewart is going to help run Pajamas Media. This is revolutionary. You wouldn't think it, but there is a serious possibility that the real endangered species in MSM is going to be the alternative weeklies. Jill will add a great deal to this effort and I'm really proud of what we should be able to accomplish.

    Pontiac G6

    I rented this hooptie from National the other day, and I've got to say, that's a spirited ride. I expected a lot and I got a lot. I got what looked to be the standard model. It had chrome five spoke rims and a Monsoon stereo system. It was the four door but didn't have the fancy sunroof. Even so, the right was very tight. The interior was sporty, and the power was pretty nice.

    The auto-stick took some getting used to and it slipped a couple times on the upshift during hard accelleration, but the ponies kicked in when you needed it. It's really a level up in driving expectations, and the performance is clearly there.

    Oddly enough, I rented a new Malibu just yesterday and the interior is clearly done by the same guys. Nowhere near the power.

    Posted by mbowen at 05:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    April 08, 2005

    Fresh Treasure

    Unusually, I'm going to spend some time reading other blogs that are more than two degrees of separation to the center of my universe. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. Watch this post for updates all day.

    But first I need to tell you about Duane Brayboy who is the latest addition to the Conservative Brotherhood. His site, The Black Informant has a sweet cocoa design and is chock full of informative links to black organizations nationwide. His recent blogging about the role of black churches in domestic politics is just the tip of the iceburg of a blog of unusual depth covering matters of black and general concern. You get the idea that Brayboy's an advanced, yet thoughtful news junkie. I want to see what he sees.

    Next on the menu is a real treat. Latigo Flint, the fastest gunslinger alive, takes you on adventures through Los Angeles and the imagination of the Old West. What with flying spiders, fake cell phone conversations, a biting sway-back steer, swinging backhands by Kid Relish and inapporiate touching of Helena Bonham Carter, what's not to like? Check him out. I guarantee a knee-slapping good time.

    Brooklyn Moon Deciphered
    Or you can get not just knee-deep, but totally deep:

    You have to make sure your bullshit sounds better and is more concretely impregnable than anybody elses. You don't want to be in the cipher, or on stage at the open mic and say some non-sense people can call you on. NO! You want to finish with your poem (cuz deep people write, but we'll get there) and you want somebody, who obviously didn't understand anything you said but not smart enough to realize you didn't either, to say, "that was deep!" This is your goal.

    McSizzle for Shizzle
    Who is the best rapper for McDonalds? Hmm. Check out the live-blogging battle over at Pandagon.

    Posted by mbowen at 10:40 AM | TrackBack

    April 01, 2005

    Friday Fragments

    Dog Island
    I've been thinking about what to do with Seven, our old black lab. He's going on 11 years and has been slowing down as of late. The vet says he's arthritic and we can tell. I mean he's just as friendly and jumps around when we get that soggy old tennis ball, but you can tell he's lost a step.

    I've been telling the kids not to make him run after the ball all the time. Now he's pretty much restricted to chasing after the flashlite beam in the house. I don't know what it is about that light that gets him. Anyway, when I was last at the dog park over on 190th I spoke to the woman with Twin. Funny I don't know her name or her dog's real name, but we call him Twin because he looks just like Seven. She recommended that we put Seven out to Dog Island instead of having him put down.

    Golf Cross
    There's a big development going on in El Segundo. I've been wondering what they are going to do with all the land across from the refinery. The tore down some of the oilfield stuff that seemed to by an outlier on the east side of PCH. It turns out that they're putting a Golfcross course there. Can't wait.

    Ova Prima
    There's some interesting research going on at the Ova Prima foundation.

    For the last twenty years, Ova Prima has been an active partner in education with professional educational organizations, schools, and teachers, working to integrate ovaprimatological studies into the curriculum of primary, secondary, and continuing education. We offer a series of prestigious Teachers' Workshops, maintain a on-line databank of lesson plans, and offer an exciting curriculum for seniors in conjunction with Olderhostel. For more information on Ova Prima educational outreach, see our Education page.

    Water on Mars
    Finally, incontrovertable proof.

    Posted by mbowen at 10:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    March 23, 2005

    Wednesday Fragments

    Red Lake
    People forget about Columbine. Good. One of my favorite lines about such matters came from an episode of CSI. Quoth he, "The same sewers run under your neighborhood too." It is entirely possible that in a nation of 300 million, that every year some nutcase goes berzerk. Such things cannot be prevented, nor is insisting on a cure going to make us more civilized.

    The Shield
    Captain Acevedo is certainly the most powerful and complex latino character ever on TV. This season, even though he's on his way out of the precinct, we get even deeper into his sickness. His manipulations and suspicions are superb and he's sticking it to his rivals with devastating precision. I think there has never been, in any cultural production I've witnessed, a more compelling or painful portrayal of a rape victim, much less a male victim. The Shield is off to a bangin' extraordinary start this season. Will Vic and Shane showdown? Anthony Anderson is showing his chops too. Whoda thunk?

    G-Rated Alan Moore
    I have to tip my hat, even though I don't do hat tips, to Alec Muffett at Dropsafe who suggests that the Disney-Pixar 'Incredibles' might be loosely based on the legendary comic novel 'Watchmen'. Whoa. Anyway, somebody has got to do the real version. That would be killer.

    UN Restructure
    I've always admired Kofi Annan, but I think he runs an organization in dire need of restructuring and mission review. I'm not sure that what he proposes is the right direction. It seems to me that expanding the size of the Security Council and adding more permanent & semi-permanent members is a bold excuse to counter the American veto. On the other hand, a larger security council means that those resolutions will unexcusably be 'international opinion'. I dunno.

    Posted by mbowen at 09:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    March 18, 2005

    Friday Fragments

    Assad The Lesser
    If the question of Syria can be reduced to one or two factors, then Joe Klien's interview with Charlie Rose provided a good portion of the clue. Bashir Assad is getting pimpslapped around by area leaders as well as elements within his own country and government. As a president second guessed by his own government, suddenly Syria doesn't seem so dangerous. On the other hand, it becomes a bit less predictable. From now on, assign few calculated moves to Syria.

    Powell The Lesser
    It seem remarkable how seldom we've actually heard from Michael Powell these past 8 years. Now that he's heading out of the FCC, he can surely have just about any job in the world.

    The Fabulous McCartneys
    Notariety is a bear, but rarely have I seen such grace under pressure as that evidenced by the McCartney sisters in their NPR interview Wednesday. There's something about them which makes me think about English speakers as a civilization rather than as a bunch of disparate people around the world. It occurs to me that everyone's English has improved dramatically in the past 50 years, or at least American reporters are doing a better job at finding foreigners who speak well. Be that as it may, they exemplify with great precision the attitudes this White House has most certainly expected from Iraqis.

    Posted by mbowen at 08:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    March 08, 2005

    Tuesday Fragments

    I seem to have exhausted my capacity for delayed gratification and my rants are only spurts.

    Little Brother
    How many digital cameras have we sold in America? We've created an army of finks. Even tow-truck abuse makes it to the web.

    Sixo Sick
    Almost nobody clicks on 607, so I am demoting that icon down the page. I tried to pub up my music, now y'all got me self-conscious about it. Fine. See if I care.

    King James
    I've been to several online sources and two books in hand and I am shocked to find inconsistencies between various versions of the King James Bible. It's not enough to disturb the faithful, but it's clearly a problem for my Master Security Ontology. I'm obviously going to have to pick another book. I wonder if the Koran has this problem.

    GoogleBar 1.0
    So far so good. I like the new desktop search thing in my quickbar, but isn't there some way I can get it to search other drives than C:?

    Daddy Duty
    So Saturday I helped the Brownie sell more Girl Scout Cookies. This time, unlike last year, we did a lot of door to door. It's a strange but interesting way to meet neighbors. I should have taken advantage, but it was really all about the girls, so I didn't. Does that make me anti-social?

    Posted by mbowen at 12:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    February 11, 2005

    Friday Fragments

  • For some reason, I believed that North Korea was a physical island. I had no idea that Koreans could literally walk across a border and be in China, or Manchuria.
  • I have decided that most perfect rock & roll song ever is Little Wing as performed by Stevie Ray Vaughn. I have two versions. The second most perfect song is Django as performed by John McLaughlin's group. I just thought you should know.
  • My daughter has click-clacks. Do you remember click-clacks? These have straight plastic tethers instead of just string, so it takes no skill to make that annoying noise. At least she won't bonk herself in the head...right away.
  • Here's a simple way to express that Americans have many liberties but take advantage of few. Vanilla milkshakes at McDonalds. I have never had one. Have you?
  • Ten from the iTunes:
    Fugee La - The Fugees
    Dirt off Your Shoulder - Danger Mouse
    Can't Hide Love - EWF
    Crepescule with Nellie - Branford Marsalis
    I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross
    Insensatez - Jobim
    Cheezit Terrorist - Blackalicious
    Afternoon in Paris - Sonny Stitt
    Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Jacques Loussier Trio
    Magenta - Sixoseven

    Posted by mbowen at 02:23 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
  • February 10, 2005

    Thursday Fragments

  • BugMeNot doesn't bug Salon.com. That bugs me.
  • Blogcritics isn't taking my trackbacks. That bugs me.
  • I'm actually fed up with XBox. For now.
  • It has taken me 9 days to recover from a disk failure. It was one of those Maxtor 250GB dealies with that I had to specially partition in order for XP to recognize the whole thing. Nevermore. Thank the gods of programming geekery for RecoverMyFiles. Good job guys.
  • I know lots of people have asked privately, but I'm responding publically. No, I am not going to send you a copy of the three episodes of 'Eyes on the Prize' that I took for my own personal use. It's a venal sin to download, it's a major sin to redistribute. Don't ask. More on this later.
  • Suddenly I'm hot. Recruiters are all over me this week. I don't understand why. Must be the economy is coming back.

    Posted by mbowen at 05:43 AM | TrackBack
  • January 28, 2005

    Friday Fragments

  • House of Flying Daggers
    Everything is about China these days, even Chinese movies. The other night, I checked out the latest from the director of 'Hero'. Who knows, one day I might even remember his name.

    This particular flick can be seen as an astounding allegory for China. In my frame of mind, it is hard to be much of anything else.

  • Mac Mini
    Things just keep getting better. The new Mac Mini is going to be a hit. This is just what I could use. Take it to work, use a two port KVM and boom, you've got a really nice little system.

    Interestingly enough, I think there's one thing that's keeping me from using Mac on the regular, and that's Microsoft Outlook. If I knew a nice way to synch MS Outlook with all that iCrap on Mac, I might just go for it. What I really want is OS X, because I hear that it runs a nice WinXP emulation, and it's the sane alternative to Linux crap.

  • Error Message Generator

  • Negro Bar

  • White Supremacy Today
    I don't talk much about white supremacy these days. There's a couple reasons for that. One is that I've done it to death over at the Race Man's Home Companion. The other is that I've found it very difficult to hold a decent conversation about race once you throw Walter William's monkey wrench into the equation, which is that the significance of race is ever declining in the US.

    Most folks I've encountered (but then who am I) find it difficult to talk about race and class at the same time. It's generally either or. So that's my punishment for studying race so long, I understand the shortcomings of purely racial discussions. Be all that as it may, it's often refreshing to jump back into the moshpit of race and have at it. One of my commenters yanked me back into that reality, even though I was really heading in a completely different direction.

    As for myself personally, the constrictions of race are rather like the constrictions of face. I look in the mirror everyday and I like what I see, so I don't pay much attention to the people who don't like my face. I don't long consider who might be doing what behind my back because of what I look like.

  • Computer Words
    The most fun thing about computing are the words. Sometimes they are acronyms, sometimes they are abbreviations, sometimes they are invented words, sometimes they are old words given new meaning.

    I'm thinking of verbs in the last class:
    elided, deprecated, expunged, truncated, prefixed.

    And other stuff:
    cyc lenat etaoin

    Posted by mbowen at 11:46 AM | TrackBack
  • December 27, 2004

    Fragments for EOY 2004

    I need to say a few things all at once to catch up on blogging business.

    • RIP Reggie I am not going to mourn the loss of Reggie White. I'm sure he was a great guy and a fine father, but his brand of leadership belongs in the Second World. Sorry, but us University types don't buy it. I heard he played football or some such...
    • Kobe Beef Speaking of which, somebody please slap the crap out of Kobe Bryant. I hear there's a line, like that scene in 'Airplane'. I hearby rescind all reprimands to Laker Haters. Hate on.
    • Apple Mac Daddy Another year has passed without the introduction of a premium Windows hardware platform. Aside from Alienware's quirky demographic and the lovely Shuttle, nobody is really paying attention. Understand this, the Apple Stores rock. Nothing else comes close. Not that they couldn't, they just don't try. What's up with that?
    • Chill on China I am finally getting chills around my toes about the prospects for me in China. I've slacked off my language lessons for two weeks, opting instead for history and contemporary studies of the place. I so desparately am going to need an assistant / valet.
    • My Terabyte My home network, with its 6 computers, Tivo, 2 game consoles and assorted peripherals now stores more than a Terabyte of data. I recall seeing last week some perspective given on the size of the searchable web in comparison to this burgeoning 'dark' area of all digital data. This glut is a staggering opportunity.
      Posted by mbowen at 11:03 AM | TrackBack

    October 02, 2004

    Saturday Mosh

    Oakley's Mad Scientists Do It Again
    MP3 Eyewear. It doesn't get more radical than this. I like it.

    A Few Measly Hundred Bucks
    They Rule is a fairly interesting website, all nicey with flash animations, that searches various databases to tell us things about the boards of directors of various American corporations. I've spent quite a lot of time observing the political donations of various individuals before, and it's surprising how far a little bit goes.

    Tivo is Cool
    I know I'm about 3 years late to the Tivo party, but I've got to say in true fact that it does change the way you watch television. It also give truth to the old saw about 300 channels and nothing on. But in fact there are a lot of real interesting things on television that you're probably never going to find unless you have Tivo mining the data. Best of all, it saves you time. I will never again feel stupid for falling asleep on a good program or staying up to some ungodly hour just to see that one piece of something I missed.

    On the Rip
    Going through some CDs: No Sell Out:I found the Keith LeBlanc CD on Tommy Boy from 1983. Branford Marsalis - Random Abstract. Chick Corea - Piano Improvisations #2. Toto - Best of. Wynton Marsalis - Marsalis Standard Time Vol. 1. Kenny G - Best of. Tschaikowsky - Romeo Und Julia.

    And a real classic from my days of obsession with the ON-U sound: Pay It All Back Vol. 2 with Prince Far I, Eskimo Fox, Mark Stewart, Singers & Players, Lee Perry & Dub Syndicate, Barmy Army and of course African Head Charge. Man those were the days.

    Panopticon Update
    I swear, that if I don't get live video of Mt St Helens' big explosion I'm really going to freak. Right now the USGS has ordered the evacuation of everybody within a 5 mile radius of the mountain. There's supposed to be fresh magma under there, and so it's going to be more than steam. Oh yeah - here's the liveblog.

    Gale Snore-tin
    Gale Norton is such a monotonous speaker, she can even make talk about potential volcano eruptions boring.

    Posted by mbowen at 11:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    August 17, 2004

    Mo' Fragments

    Orkut is Dead
    So is Friendster. Long live Multiply. I guess.

    Ball Sweat
    My favorite energy drink is Sobe Adrenaline Rush. Some customers are near Starbucks, some customers are near 7-11. This customer has its own kitchen and so when I need to wake up from slaving over a hot laptop, I know there's a fridge full. I wondered if I was getting the maximum kick, so I found this site to have a lot of good subjective answers. But I like the taste of SAR.

    Protecting Parker Center
    Patterico has discovered an old black political tactic. Don't trust the newspapers when they defend cops. I know he doesn't trust the LAT on general principle, but he's exhibiting the kind of behavior, which in blackfolks, often brings hoots of derision. It's not easy being a skeptic, especially when it involves the murders of rap stars. I'm sure I wrote some delicious stuff about this way back in the day, but I can't find it in the archives.

    Started Retarded
    I know that I'm not the only person who noticed that there are (at least) two versions of that Black Eyed Peas song. Suddenly during the NBA finals, the rest of the world outside of the tighter hiphop sphere learned.

    UK In Da House
    The recent New Yorker highlights Dizzee Rascal & The Streets. Even though I knew half of them were thuggin' I always had a soft spot in my critical vision for French rappers, especially those and other Euros under the influence of Jazzy Jay. To wit {IAM, SLEO, Lucien (of course), Solaar (of course), and the just salty enough Raggasonic}. I haven't heard these new kids, but let's give them a shot.

    Litmus Dumps
    Somebody asked me what it is about me that thinks I'm Conservative. I'll agree that there's got to be a fairly shortcut way of describing it. My kneejerk is RTFM, what do you think I've been writing about for the past two years? But I suppose I can aggregate a dumbed down manifesto. Here's a first axiom: Youth Culture Is Stupid. Stay tuned. Oh, by the way Gay Marriage Is Oxymoronic.

    Phil Agre Goes Crazy
    I've been subbed to RRE for a couple years. It's more of the research feeds I browse and archive for no good reason other than that I am a packrat. He really started barking up the wrong tree the other day with the following grafs:

    Liberals in the United States have been losing political debates to
    conservatives for a quarter century. In order to start winning again,
    liberals must answer two simple questions: what is conservatism, and
    what is wrong with it? As it happens, the answers to these questions
    are also simple:

    Q: What is conservatism?
    A: Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

    Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
    A: Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and
    civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality
    and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the
    modern world.

    Here is a man who obviously travels in small circles. That may be his definition of Conservatism, but I think that he's got a dictionary Jones. Sniff the empirical Phil and leave the strawman theories for your undergrads.

    Posted by mbowen at 04:40 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

    July 30, 2004

    Friday Fragments

    Just for the hell of it, let's imagine for a moment that Eurocentricity still works in the sense that whatever the world evolved from Europe before, a new emergent generation can evolve again, independently. In that spirit, I offer this tidbit of a guide to English Schools.

    Kubrick's film is still not cheesy after all these years. I have discovered a trick on my PC that allows me to play DVDs on the desktop. Every window above it is translucent. A film like 2001 makes for perfect realtime wallpaper. So much of the film is slow and beautiful. It's rather like a new genre and way to enjoy video.

    Power Law Distributions Again
    Clay Shirky is rehashing this idea in the latest Wired magazine. Perhaps because it gets more readers than his online writings. This is a fundamentally big idea. It's something I make use of in my consideration of markets, semiotics and organicism. The question is what is the nature of shifts that create and destroy fame? This relates to the Fungibles and the problem of giant sucking sounds.

    It looks very good. A lot better than when I first tried it 3 years ago. Which reminds me. I haven't heard anything about Chandler lately. I think it's dead.

    Posted by mbowen at 07:27 AM | TrackBack

    July 24, 2004

    California Dreamin'

    We're sending 531 Americans to Athens. Yee Ha! Lots of Californians. I'll especially be watching for Dain Blanton to capture an unprecedented second gold in beach volleyball. As well, Californian Natalie Coughlin is going to be awesome to watch.

    Be For Real
    This morning I was listening to Harold Melving & The Blue Notes. Man, they just don't make romantic music like they used to. I wonder if any rap defenders have anything in their arsenal which has songs that express the simple emotion, I miss you baby. Still can't match the Old School though. Yesterday I was listening to all of my favorite rap, includind De La Soul, ATCQ, Black Sheep & Black Eyed Peas. Dres, as a lyricist stands head and shoulder above them all, and interestingly enough he was the only one who used phrases like 'black empowerment'. I wonder if contemporary rappers actually do anything like that. I also lament in passing other native tongues who fell off: Leaders of the New School and Handsome Boy Modeling School. BTW Who is Dante Ross, and now I know what happened to Chi Ali (typical).

    Bourne Supremacy
    This flick had absolutely nothing to do with the book of the same title. I wonder how they got away with that. Nevertheless the action was pretty superb. It lacked the heart of the first installment and suffers a bit of over-editing, but it delivers some heart pounding drama as Bourne meets someone who can actually take him out. It's closer to the spy's personal paranoia as he wears his own skin with confidence and resolve. This time Bourne is pure Bourne. The double dealing and plot manipulations are toned down and all the focus is on Bourne's relentless talent. I give it a solid B+ for including the most rock-em sock-em car chase this side of Ronin and Bad Boys Two. In a way the chase was a bit reminescent of George Cloony's effort. BTW, this is the first spy flick in memory that makes the computer dweebs seem exactly like that. CSI, and 24 fans, eat your hearts out. It's all about the man on the ground.

    Posted by mbowen at 11:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    July 22, 2004

    Fragments for Today

    9/11 Commission Report
    Just downloaded the PDF. Just reading the TOC makes me think, man those radical Islamists have no idea what a can of whoopass they've opened.

    Sandy Berger
    I don't understand his motivation, not that I've been paying much attention.

    XRepublic + Deme
    It looks like we have a winner here.

    Homeland Security Investing

    The need for up to the minute information in the Homeland Defense and Security sector is a pressing concern in today's variable global environment. Not only are events shifting at a rapid pace on an international level, but closer to home, it is becoming increasingly important to recognize the companies who are striving to protect us now and in the future.

    To invest in these companies, is most certainly an investment in the future. HomelandDefenseStocks.com has been ranked as one of the top Internet deliverers of information providing the public with news, research, homeland security links, featured and exclusive articles and information on companies who are driving at security and technology solutions. Some of the top areas covered by the site are: Airport Security, Biodefense, Biometrics, Defense, Internet Security, Integrated Security, Military, Border and Port Security.

    Posted by mbowen at 03:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    July 21, 2004


    Philippino Diplomacy
    There's a phrase which ought to take on a life of its own. A punch in the nose to them.

    Foothill Fire
    Firefighters are doing an extraordinarily outstanding job. I find it miraculous that nobody has lost a house. My hat's off.

    Divac Back To LA
    That's great news. We love you Vlade! Suddenly I don't like or respect Kobe Bryant any longer - as a player. He's just so over.

    Sandy Berger, Pilferer
    Will somebody finally tell all these partisans to shut the hell up? I can't believe this is more than an honest mistake. This happened to an FBI director a couple years ago, no?

    Shreiking Florida Congresscritter Censured
    I would have added a bucket of cold water, but then again I suppose that every opinion needs to be heard.

    Girly Men
    Anyone who complains about somebody being called a 'girly man', is by definition, a girly man. I am mortified by the reporting on this - it's not even meaty enough for its own blog post.

    Posted by mbowen at 07:30 AM | TrackBack

    July 15, 2004

    Pinoy Punks

    There are so many hugely important things going on in the world that I simply don't have time nor the inclination to discuss at length. And yet I must at least take a poke at a few... Today I'm on full jingo isolationist snark.

    The Philippinos are punking out of Iraq. Yeah, sorta, and so what anyway. On the one hand, we've turned over sovereignty to the Iraqis and now the country exactly resembles any tinpot joint just after a coup. Provisional government cracking down. The only difference is the US Army is there en masse instead of a few hundred military advisors and CIA types. What people seem to be forgetting (and I almost did) is that the US Army means that many thousands are not being disappeared, raped, pillaged and burned as is usually the case in such tinpot situations. So ordinarily we'd all be outta Dodge, but GWBush is bound and determined to prove he's a kind and gentle type Emperor, which he is. So we're saving ordinarily disposable lives. Yeah it's thankless, yeah we'll go back to the Powell Doctrine, bomb and split.

    On the other hand, I mean who needs 'em? Part of this whole coalition fever makes mountains out of molehill countries. Their participation in this nation-building exercise only props up false notions of international agape. But that ain't real, execpting that it's real expensive. What a horrible way to stumble into the 21C, with a non-mandated president pulling geopolitical mandates out of the CIA's ass. An international coalition is a clever figleaf for mollifying the internationalists, but I guess we've done that too many times. Now they're taking themselves seriously.

    Who runs them islands anyway? Aquino? Are we out of Subic? Don't they have their own Islamofascists too? Hmm. There's the backstory, maybe we failed somewhere on that WOT front. Jimaa Islamia...

    Posted by mbowen at 11:03 PM | TrackBack

    July 14, 2004

    Haps & Hazards

    Tour de France
    I'm looking forward to extended coverage of the Tour de France as July rolls by. Like everyone else, I'm rooting for Lance Armstrong to win an unprecedented 6 tours in a row, solidifying him once and for all as the greatest the sport has ever produced.

    ESPN has a great interactive to keep track of standings. This is going to be great.

    Groupthink Requirements
    Ideological Coherence, Small Groups, Established Institutional Identity, Loyalty
    Discussion that takes place in the context of assumed consensus.

    Free Solaris
    I downloaded the images for X86. Love that memory model. I don't even have a machine to load it onto. Hmm. Maybe I should find another cheap off-lease Dell. You can never have too much compute power, unless your wife makes you buy a new vaccuum cleaner.

    IBM P5 Servers
    Wow. IBM is really taking on demand computing seriously. If I read their blurbs right, they now have a dynamically partionable Regatta. That means if you are allocated a virtual 2 processor machine on a 10 processor box, and you suddenly peg your two, you can get four automatically, like within a second. That's just awesome.

    DDX: Darts of Death
    Mach 7.5 50 megajoule rail gun projectiles. Sounds like something straight out of the minds of Id Software. Nope. It's gonna be real on the next generation of Navy destroyers. Ships are going to be cool again. I guess this replaces the MOAB as my favorite weapon of mass destruction.

    Posted by mbowen at 09:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    July 13, 2004

    Books on Oppression

    Darkstar reminds me that things I used to say are still in the Google Archive. I've always hated Welsing, but I said some other pretty interesting things to - back when I was futzing with identity and being post-modern. If you get bored, there's a rap on the next page.

    (from the archives - june 1993)

    Welsing is an idiot and a racist, so I won't even bother with that book.

    I have read three weighty tomes by Sowell and I doubt seriously that he
    has anything new to say. What kind of economist is he anyway? The problem
    I have with Sowell is that he views culture entirely too narrowly and
    sees most cultural values in economic terms. Thus he has been supportive
    of arguements against cultures whose highest priorities are not thrift.
    In short, Sowell promotes a merchant class. As I have Confucian philosophical
    leanings I find most of his advice utterly barbaric. Be that as it may,
    it does not lessen his appeal to Americans (and immigrants to America)
    who adopt unreconstructed Puritanism as their guiding principle. But
    since I understand that black progress in this country is achieved in
    spite of and often in opposition to the Puritan work ethic I found little
    use for his work then as now.

    Schlesinger is an old man who ought to just shut up and go home. I'm
    sick and tired of the voices of World War II. As far as I'm concerned,
    he's a dodo. Interesting in a Jurassic Park kind of way but long past
    leadership. I throw a David Halberstam and a Kennan at the old feeb.
    As for what he has to say, I beleive he is simply an alarmist who is not
    beyond stooping to dirty politics. But all bluster aside, I believe he
    has aligned himself very much like Dinesh D'Sousa (or Digun GaDinza
    depending on if you've learned Japanese by Spring) on the losing side
    of a battle that should never have taken place. If he had the wisdom
    and courage of his 'opponents' (like Skip Gates) in this row, perhaps
    I might consider his viewpoint more seriously. But as he said in his
    letters to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal(!) on the issues
    of curriculum in the State of New York, "I'm afraid.." and "I'm alramed.."
    Not the voice of reason for my 11.95

    Nathan Glazer. I don't even know why his name sounds familiar.
    What are some of his other books?

    Anyway if his book is about Affirmative Action, I'm hardly interested.
    I don't think most progressive blacks give a rats ass about Affirmative
    Action. I know I only talk about it to piss folks off. Few, (believe me
    very few) Americans could write a halfway decent approximation on how
    any good Affirmative Action program is supposed to work anyway. Having
    written manpower systems, I know the math and I know how limited its
    economic potential is. Bottom line is the only white people a decent
    Affirmative Action plan hurts economically are the incompetent ones. The
    rest is a bunch of symbolism, and empty symbolism at that. As I said
    before, black progress is not, in the main, a Puritan thang.

    All backlash against Affirmative Action, in my view, is just white people
    trying to tell blacks how they should earn their money; and all die hard
    Affirmative Action wonks are just black people trying their damndest to
    jump through the right hoops. And I mean those racial terms figuratively.
    On the outside, a few Affirmative Action supporters just like to flaunt
    the idea that this, the weakest of many possible empowerment schemes, actually
    succeeded in Amerikkka.

    You are almost close in dishing the dose, but you miss the most as you
    diagnose. The oppression of blacks, although economic is so much more
    cultural therefore it's comic to hear the suggestions of those who might
    cure the entirely wrong ailment therefore I'm sure if you follow the path
    of those in the know and stop fiddling with math (it's no puritan game show)
    You'll see in due time the dimension of crime perpetrated by those 'gainst
    the spirit of brothers and sisters

    against the spirit of brothers and sisters
    against the spirit of brothers and sisters

    who were thought to have none
    and so they offered us money.

    looking for ghettoes, what shows up on the map.
    is the absence of this and that bourgeois crap.
    and they look around their own dream house
    and covet.
    or give if their liberal
    (don't you just love it?)


    by their own definition
    pre-defining the respectable
    (why Jesse's position
    is deemed 'unelectable')

    even what race we are has to be certain
    so have and have nots can be split by a curtain
    or sheet if you will
    some clan fills the bill
    when zero sum demands that *some* must be hurtin'

    the fact simply stands that america must
    be led by a few and the rest ground to dust
    especially those whose art makes the test stick
    'against all enemies foreign and domestic'

    But what makes the black people enemies here?
    Is it black agression or simply white fear?
    Maybe now we hit on the question
    that raises to issue more than a suggestion.
    Those who seek reform from the foot on her neck
    is justice most noble and evil's harsh check.
    And those who suggest such morality's whining
    Are diners while others still hunger for dining.

    And all their pronouncements and all their decrees
    their arguments, politics, wit, and degrees
    their windbaggy sermons about disuniting
    their scoffing at activists who keep on fighting
    (and writers who write despite critics trite smiting
    and rappers who rap on while suckers keep biting)
    their sunday morning diatribes
    their frontin' and posin', their Toms and their bribes.
    Will all come to nothing but much wasted time

    Their grandsons well say "Now it's 2009
    You're talkin' bout years ago, now we've progressed"
    but still the same voices will shout in unrest
    Theres no way around it; until it's addressed
    directly, precisely not put off in jest
    as long as the people know they are oppressed
    There can be no stopping, there will be no rest.
    May times many ways, still you can attest
    No justice, no peace, just like open chest.

    Did you ever play that game back in school?
    you get fired on if you're not vigilant, fool.
    A lesson learned early for kids in the hood
    that no one is safe until everyone's good.

    And so it will go in the place of my birth
    this city this county this country this earth
    as with small strokes great oaks are soon felled
    the spirit of my people will not long be held
    we'll do what we must and do what we can
    this shit's gettin corny i'm outta here, man...

    What stops that rap from radio airplay? What limits the tap to those who
    read Thackeray? The white middle and upper classes wish (still in their
    insecurity) to make blacks pale comparisons of themselves, themselves
    pale comparisons of unimpressed High Europeans who have long dug our jazz.
    Money is merely currency.

    dig further.

    dig further:
    James Weldon Johnson- The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
    Charles Wright - Absolutely Nothing to get Alarmed About
    & Sula.

    Your suggestions make it seem impossible for a black man with a good
    job to have any legitimate complaint. But I am not Puritan.

    mbowen@panix.com harambee!

    Posted by mbowen at 07:31 AM | TrackBack

    July 12, 2004

    RIP Isabel Sanford

    What a voice she had. Unforgettable.

    I don't think anyone realized how old she was. I thought she was absolutely marvelous in 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'. Her nuance was right on track. Remarkable even.

    Posted by mbowen at 03:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    May 09, 2004

    This Week's Fragmentary Thinking

    The New Fiction
    Now would be a good time to begin evaluating where we are culturally in the post nine-eleven era. 24 and Alias are two new dramatic TV shows that demonstrate how far we've evolved our sense of disciplined paranoia. Looking back to 'The X-Files', it's amazing how naive and ridiculous it was. On the other hand, looking to Dick Marcincko, we sure did ignore a lot. This week Spencer Abraham shocked the nation with news that it would reduce the number of nuclear storage facilities in the nation, excluding long-time joints like Sandia and Lawrence Labs.

    Chickens Come Home to Roost
    Just what we need, more corporate mismanagement. Air America learns a lesson about corporate incompetence the hard way. Good for them.

    The Rookies or 'Just Following Orders'
    I just heard someone on NPR say that nobody who has read the statements and papers relating to the torture at Abu Ghraib can come away with any logical conclusion other than that everything done there was sanctioned by Military Intelligence.

    It's Settled. This is How We Think
    A funny list.

    P Diddy Grows Up
    '"A lot of listeners have no idea what this play is about," said Ms. Info, who calls "A Raisin in the Sun" one of her favorites. "They just know that P. Diddy is in a play. But it's not about music, there are no Bentleys, it's not gangster, so some people might be disappointed."'

    Kinsley & Davis: Mikes Makeover LA
    I don't read the LA Times very often, oddly enough. I get pretty much all I need to know from the blogosphere and from the NYTimes. Besides, the Times' articles are entirely too exhaustive and end up being somehow editorial. But that's an old familiar criticism. Kinsley's addition to the staff might pique my interest. He will be reading Mike Davis' 'City of Quartz' to familiarize himself with the terrain. Davis, an old socialist from way back has penned the reference book on serious Los Angeles. Has nothing been written since. 'Southcentral' Los Angeles as a metaphor and paradigm of inner city blacks was started by Davis. Is there no way out of this impasse?

    Sine Qua Non of Racial Stigma
    Jayson Blair is in the news. Sorta. His book flopped. It's one year later. Nobody really cares. Only dainty people with gripes against Affirmative Action really care about Jayson Blair. He signifies race, period. End of Story. Case Closed. (but its 2004!)

    On The Other Hand, Funtown Is Now Open
    In ways that MLK couldn't see or predict. Though it serves us well to mark his words.

    It turns out that I've been economizing on McCalories the wrong way. According to the Washington Post Fast Food table, Download file, an order of fries is less costly than a fish entree. I just generally assumed that a Filet O Fish couldn't possibly be too dangerous. You learn something every day. Now the question is whether or not I could get some idiotic idea proven in a mockumentary and get Disney to distribute my film. Hmm.

    Posted by mbowen at 12:28 PM | TrackBack