The River

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The e-bay Show

From the curratorial notes of the e-bay show -- which uses artwork purchased on the internet to reveal the internet itself as a work of art -- at the Goatsilk Gallery in Missoula, Montana (a university borough, aging hippie enclave and all around cool mountain town, and where I lived from '91-'94):

We are unable to deny our unconscious involvement in the creation and development of our world. It is this involvement, as Henry Miller suggests, that is the art of the living. Living involves an act of creation. We do not live when we merely channel our "self" into creating material objects, we must, says Miller, become a piece of art that reflects the world:

The work of art is nothing. It is only the tangible, visible evidence of a way of life, which, if it is not crazy is certainly different from the accepted way of life. The difference lies in the act, in the assertion of a will. For the artist to attach himself to his work, or identify himself with it, is suicidal. An artist should be not only able to spit upon his predecessor's art, or on all works of art, but on his own too. He should be able to be an artist all the time, and finally not be an artist at all, but a piece of art.

The function and structure of this new type of on-line community involves artists who--in the context of this show--can be viewed as a kind of artwork in and of themselves. Engagement in the cyberworld is what creates and sustains them; what makes them live. The meanings inherent in the act which is the e-bay exchange are more pertinent than any of the actual art works procured. On e-bay, artists can enjoy a heightened sense of anonymity while at the same time depositing their individual work into the world. Their persona is abstracted, and it's easier for us to see how their participation in this realm is an active art. E-bay doesn't require that artists give all the right "wooing"answers. On e-bay, everyone begins on and maintains an equal social standing. Everyone has the same space in which to operate. E-bay is democratic, for no one has more powerful connections than another. Thus the selling of art on ebay can be seen as liberating since anyone who decides to make anything can find an audience and potential patrons. All middle-men are removed, and only those who are playing the same game, enjoying this connectivity and thereby understanding each other, are reaching each other directly. Despite the lack of meeting in the flesh, e-bay offers a very direct means of communication and, potentially, of transaction. In our experience, honesty was the norm, and we felt that the collective awe at the relative newness of the e-bay community fostered a strong sense of honesty which in turn strengthened reputations ("A real asset to e-bay, A+++ e-bayer!"), sales, and growth.

As E-bay fosters a freer environment by subverting the importance of the "individual" artist, we reflect this by selling the whole show as one work--as a symbol of one kind of healthy action, of a shared creative and connective idea.


via Subterranean Homepage News


Another great writer on the Net

Thank you, Vint, et. al. (Gore)

Peter Lee (Halcyon Days):

Thanks to the growing wariness of the American people and Congress, he [Bush] is hard pressed to deliver US financial commitments, even to Iraq.

Indeed, Bush is the temporary boss of an unstable autarky that is fiscally and militarily overstretched, and dependent on imported oil, manufactured goods, and capital.

Bush’s only trump card is America’s unanswerable and intimidating military might.

Just like the infomercial shills who claim their appliances can grill any meat or dice any vegetable, Bush rushes through Asia, touting his failed formula of escalating violence as a panacea. That’s pretty much all he has in his trick bag: arms, troops, and the threat that the United States can punish insufficiently supportive or warlike states by fomenting a military crisis anywhere it wants in the region.


via The Smirking Chimp

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


Again, we need to understand that this is the crux of our historical moment - that our corporate model is on a campaign of dispossession, for every thing of value it sees that we may possess - whether it be our quality of product or quality of life - it perceives as something it doesn't possess. And the Bush administration, this administration of the PNAC, is merely pursuing this agenda on a global scale.


Monday, October 27, 2003

Boogie Street

Appropriate music for a morning commute after a long weekend.

A sip of wine, a cigarette,
And then it’s time to go.
I tidied up the kitchenette;
I tuned the old banjo.
I’m wanted at the traffic-jam.
They’re saving me a seat.
I’m what I am, and what I am,
Is back on Boogie Street.

-- Leonard Cohen

Friday, October 24, 2003

In alternate universe, I'm Mark Morford and he's me.


This is what I get asked, all the time: What can I do? How can I fight this poisonous miasma of hate and violence and hollow BushCo smirks? Is this country really this blind? What has happened to us? Should I move to Canada? What the hell is wrong with Celine Dion?


I humbly submit, here is the first part of the answer: You sift. You filter. You refine your awareness and stay very attuned and educated, yet choose what you want to let in and what you want to reject and flush away as dangerous and scarring to your heart, and you work within your range of heat and breath and love. This is the only way. Take it all on and you will crumble and short circuit and implode.


Thursday, October 23, 2003

Where to start?

Work pressure. Life pressure. Political pressure.

I’m under pressure. Doon doon doon do da looong doon.

Where would I be without music? Bmoeasy did this great stream of consciousness thing. So thought I’d try that. My consciousness has been streaming lately, afterall. Thinking about blogging as an activity and as in what am I going to say today? Gonna say, I’m going to Lexington Kentucky this weekend. Takin the whole family to visit friends who moved there last Summer. The whole family is wife and two girls, 4 and 22 months. So blogging is my pressure release valve. Cause, ya know, trips cause pressure too. Will it go ok? Will it meet expectations? What will we forget to pack and how much anguish will that cause? Nah. I’ve got a better attitude these days. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold, yeah. I know. But damn, it is one beautiful fall here, and I’m here and you’re here, and ain’t that something? It is. I’m doing what I can. I’m blogging. I’m pointing out criminality of the Bushies. The slide of America into ever more violent and fascist ways. I’m not the only one. There’s a mini publishing boom covering the horrendous U.S. administration. Of course, they all stop way short of calling for the jailing of these criminals. Oh yeah, and there’s a horse racing track in Lexington. Keeneland. Built in the 1930s and built right. They tore down Longacres, they want to screw with Fenway, but if they ever try to harm Keeneland I may have to get in front of those bulldozers. And there goes the stream, back to politics. Rachel Corrie in Palestine. She did her part, and gave her life for a noble cause. I should be working. Some high-priority white papers, the CEO is personally involved. And here I am, thinking about blogging, horse racing and politics. Ha. My passions. But why is it easier to imagine taking action for a facility and not for a concept – freedom, justice. Sorry, true freedom, true justice. And what is that? I don’t know, but we should all come to it together. It ain’t imposed by an authoritarian government. Yeah, both – the track, good government – have tangible benefits for my fellow wo/man (wo-man? Man and woman? Woman and man?) but one is so huge we can’t seem to get a grasp. History might help, but I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve found it dull. I was weened on television. A terrible teacher, but one that outstrips traditional education by many miles. I hate the victim, blame game (which is endemic), but I can see the trajectory. I’ve been struck, when watching the documentary Berkley in the 60s, at how the whole countercultural movement was so involved in government, how they knew how our government should work, and how they tried to hold it to that high standard. Hippies, free love, all that, yeah that was going on, but it was just the personal expression component (kinda like blogging). There was the activist component. So intelligent, passionate. Such belief in good government. And this is to say, all of it, that I’m sorry, Mike, but I just don’t know what to do about this country. Constructive action, yes. But, you see, that’s become obsolete. Or has it? I think we need to concentrate on our little corner (and reach out, communicate, say what needs to be said in blogging and other ways) and make ourselves what we want to see in the world. I’m tryin Mike. I tend to get caught up in how awful it is, but that’s not the answer. I’ve got to see the beauty. And if I keep blogging about these SOBs, it tends to cloud my vision. Yet there seems to be some vortex that keeps pulling me down into that morass. This blogging thing is odd. Something about writing in public like this that makes you want to shake people and say, see? It’s so fucked up. But then that’s all you see. And there’s so much more. So much.


A team of professional landscape architects and devoted amateur garden lovers maintain Keeneland's 907 acres of rolling Kentucky Bluegrass. The park-like setting was designed in the late 1930's by the landscape architecture firm of Innocenti and Webel to reflect the philosophy of Keeneland: to meet the needs of horses and Keeneland's guests by providing a relaxed park setting excellent for picnicking and enjoyment of horses.

All the trees and bushes on Keeneland's property were planted with April flowers and fall foliage in mind, with horse safety and comfort being a top priority. Many of the trees are indigenous to Kentucky, and all have been selected for their ability to thrive in limestone-rich soil. For the horses' hoof safety, there are no large bulb-producing trees on the grounds, and privet hedges are placed along pathways to the track and sales pavilion to limit the horses' view of the many guests.

The most recognized trees include dogwoods, crabapples, Yoshino cherry, sycamore, Chinese elms, Pin oaks and maples. An impressive allée of Autumn Blaze maples usher patrons down the long clubhouse drive, while the parking lot, with its rolling acres of long grassy strips punctuated by row after row of soldierly columns of Pin oaks, has been described as the most beautiful parking lot in America.

Trees shelter patrons in the paddock, provide shade for horses encircling them in the saddling ring and create shady spots for picnicking and socializing throughout the grounds. Trees frame the panoramic views of the surrounding Bluegrass countryside, dotted with tobacco barns…

And I can't wait for breakfast with the works.

Breeders Cup is this weekend too: link

Some cool recent acquaintances: chlora form; bmoeasy

Monday, October 20, 2003

Kent Southard is good

Scientists have performed an experiment where a male butterfly was offered the choice of a live female butterfly or a cardboard female butterfly that was much bigger than any real butterfly could possibly be. Reportedly, the male jumped the cardboard butterfly every time.

Explains a lot, doesn't it? From SUVs to silicon implants to Arnold Schwarzenegger?

continue reading yet another excellent essay by Southard

Friday, October 17, 2003

All My Friends are Going to be Strangers

Thursday, October 16, 2003


My hometown paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ran the bellow piece yesterday. One of the best things they've published all year.

If Bill Clinton were an addict, here's how Rush might spin it

By Bill McClellan

Somewhere in a parallel universe, where we are the same people but things have happened in slightly differently ways, Rush Limbaugh greets his loyal listeners this morning.

"Lots to talk about today. You all know already that Bill Clinton, our former president, has admitted an addiction to prescription drugs.

"It's interesting to see the way the liberal media are playing this. I'm looking at a copy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Saturday, October 11th, edition - the day after the big announcement. Well, the story is on Page 2, and right next to his photograph, in large boldface print, is the following quote: 'I take full responsibility for this problem.'

"That's interesting, folks, because if you look at his actual statement - not what the liberal media say he said, but what he really said - you get a different take on it. First, he says he's got back problems. So he's blaming it on that. Then he says he had surgery, but the surgery wasn't successful. So he's blaming it on the doctors. Then he says the pain medication was addictive. So he's blaming it on the pharmaceutical companies. Folks, he blames it on everybody but himself! But as long as he puts in that obligatory line about taking responsibility, that's what the liberal media are going to grab: Clinton takes full responsibility! [more]

UPDATE: Apparently this has been widely blogged and otherwise circulated. McClellan has more on that here.

Thanks to technology I do not understand - blogs and links - Monday's column attracted a wide audience. I have received e-mails from all over, including such exotic locales as Ireland, Austria, Canada, Japan, South Korea and California.

Fraud Traced to the White House

A great report by Katherine Yurica. It starts with: "This story begins with the California energy crisis, which started in 2000..." and concludes:

This story ends as it began: with unrequited lies, deception and fraud. Three sentences inserted into the National Energy Policy report reveal: 1) the White House knew the California crisis was man-made; 2) knew the power companies were manipulating the market in California; 3) and knew these facts at the time the people of California were being fleeced by the scam; 4) yet the Bush White House did nothing to stop the fraud.

A special prosecutor should be appointed by Congress to investigate this whole matter as well as what Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney knew and when they knew it.


In between she lays out, through their own policy papers, including PNAC and the National Energy Policy, the truth behind not only the California "energy crisis" but also the ugly adventure to establish control of Middle East oil. Every one of these neocons should be in jail.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Morning Edition

Hello, I’m Bob Edwards, and this is Morning Edition

Later on the program we’ll have report from the central front in the war on terrorism, Iraq.

But first, with me in the studio today are two bloggers. Blogging – the practice of maintaining a regularly updated journal on the Web -- has been the subject of much attention in the media lately. These reports have in turn been blogged, with the major theme being that the reporters don’t get it. So we decided to go to the source.

First of all gentleman, what aren’t we getting?

How much time do you have, Bob?

He’s just kiddin. He listens all the time. Big fan.

I especially get a kick out of the reports on TARE-ER-ISM.

Don’t blame Bob. Nobody gets it.

Bob: You mean nobody understands blogging?

Blogging, terrorism. Nobody gets either one. One’s real, one isn’t, but most people have it backwards.

GWOT are you talking about?


Bob: GWOT?

Global War on Terrorism, Bob.

Bob: Are you saying it’s not real?

Well, no, Bob. Not as presented.

Bob: But Blogging is?

Well, it’s “as if it’s real.” And that’s as close as you can get nowadays.

Bob: But you’re saying GWOT is “as if it’s real”

True, Bob. True.

GWOT? I’m so confused.

Hehe. Good. That’s a prerequisite.

GWOT the hell.

Yep. GWOT—The Hell.

Of our own making.

Bob: Wait a minute, gentleman. You’re here to talk about blogging. It’s a hot media trend that has the digerati talking. Is this the future of communications?

Damn Bob. Is that, like, automatic? What’d you do, hit reset?

No Bob. It’s right now. The future? Who knows, we might not be here tomorrow.

Yeah, what if we lose the GWOT? You ever think about that, Bob? I know, unthinkable, especially with our technology.

Some day, we’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when…

Bob: So bloggers are thinking about GWOT?

Nah. Most think about technology.

Yeah, it’s nerd city.

But one man’s nerd is another man’s fascinating hobbyist.

And one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. To draw the obvious parallel.

People are crazy and times are strange.

Really, Bob, though, what do you think about this war on terrorism?

Bob: I can’t say. I’m a journalist.

Well, see, that’s why blogging is interesting. We don’t check our feelings at the door. We can’t repeat an administration line, like the one you used – Iraq as the central front of global war on terrorism – without laughing our asses off, so to speak.

Or crying our eyes out. Depends on the day.

It’s rough out there, Bob. High water everywhere.

Think about it, Bob. They say this war won’t end in our lifetime.

Which is one of the few truths to escape their mouths.

Right, how could you possibly stop oppressed people or victims of faceless violence for mercenary ends from reacting violently? With more oppression and violence?

Madness, no?

Bob: Gentleman, you’re here to talk about blogging.

Hell, Bob. Blogging is writing on the Web. What’s to talk about? You either do it or you don’t. You either get it or you don’t.

The main thing is, it’s raising your voice in public. Even if the public that hears it is very small. It’s every bit as meaningful as when one of your journalists broadcasts a report.

I would say moreso.

Well, with the exception of a few real, courageous journalists out there.

Yeah, well, everything’s micro these days. You have your monolithic institutions – corporations, the media. Ya got a populace jacked into that mindset. Unthinkingly adopting boatloads of official doctrine as they ply a worn-out trade. Then you have your individuals, working to throw off the BS.

And a lot of them have landed in blogland, Bob.

Yeah, it’s just eels oozing up to the bar.

Bob: Eels oozing up to the bar?

A line from one of his poems, Bob.

Bob: And what does it mean?

I don’t know Bob. Neither does he.

And that’s the beauty of it, Bob.

Yeah, just feel it, Bob.

How does it feel?

To be on your own?

To have a blog of your own.

With no direction home.

We love Bob, Bob.

So belly up, Bob. Have a drink.

Yeah, start a blog. We kid ya, Bob. We know you can’t do it in this forum. They’d have Ray Sanchez in here in a heartbeat. But we’d love to know what you think.

You might even surprise yourself.

Nectar of the Gods, Bob, nectar of the Gods.

Pixilated. But still.

(Cue Elvis Costello: As I walk through this wicked world searching for light in the darkness of insanity. I ask myself, is all hope lost, is there only pain and hatred and misery….and each time I feel like this inside, there’s one thing I wanna know, what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding, Ohhhhhh what’s so funny about peace, love and understaaa-aannnding [fade out on ringing guitar])

Friday, October 10, 2003

People, get ready

It’s all too much.

How can members of the media face themselves? Or for that matter, any citizen who has aligned with Bush and GWOT (Global war on Terror) (Inc.)

If you’re making money, that’s all that matters, I guess. Us and them, us and them, us and them. We’re winning; losers suck. We’re special. Smart. Modern. Glamorous. Thomas Friedman still believes it.

The terrorists use violence. So do we. But only to bring peace (cough). And freedom. Something we will grant. Ridiculous.

No one says it. It’s all too much

They can lie. Nobody seems to care. Nobody seems to notice.

Tis Rome, not I.

Still, here I am. In the belly of the beast. Can I jump free? Can you?

Prepare yourself for four more years. An orgy of violence. Only a revolution will stop this. Internal. Slaves awakening. Saying no.

Time for life off the grid. Start our own economy. Give and receive. Fair. Equitable.

In here: Home schooling. No TV. Warmth. Love. Creativity. Organic whenever we can get it.

Out there: Four more years. The rise of the machines. A horror show.

Until…refuse. Sorry. Not part of that. You have no power here. You can’t steal my fire.

Thought police can’t win. Will is stronger than guns and steel.

Where there’s no foundation, there’s no future.


I have bricks. I have mortar. (Tools too. Everything. They came to me. Or I found them, where they always were.)

And soul and spirit. Uncowed. Unbound.


Allies in blogland. And beyond.

Someday, even the soldiers will stand with the people in front of the tanks.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Rush the racist drug addict.
Arnold the girl-groping Hitler admirer.
Traitors in the White House and Press Corps.

What a circus. I'm outta here. Have a good weekend.

ABCNEWS obtained a copy of an unpublished book proposal with quotes from a verbatim transcript of an interview Schwarzenegger gave in 1975 while making the film Pumping Iron.

Asked who his heroes are, he answered, "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it." [emphasis mine]

He is quoted as saying he wished he could have an experience, "like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium. And have all those people scream at you and just being total agreement whatever you say."

From here, via Media Whores Online.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

So, I ask the collected media here: is it not the responsibility of these contacted journalists to divulge the names of those who broke the law? What journalistic maxim is being protected here? This is not the Pentagon Papers. This is not someone risking their career to tell the media of something that the public needs to know. As best I can tell from the current reporting, this was an act of pure spite. acted out against Joe Wilson, with the intent to deter future people from revealing information deleterious to the administration. Is the idea of protecting one's sources so mindlessly adhered to that we cannot distinguish between the beneficial and the malevolent? Is it not time for a reassessment of the anonymous source when the media is being used as a tool of intimidation? A crime has been committed here, that is clear. There are at least six people who know who did it. It is, I thought, the job of the media to inform the public, not to protect lawbreakers in our government. What do others think?"


Fanatical Apathy:

Transcript of Call to Bob Novak, 7/13/03
[phone rings.]

NOVAK: Bob Novak.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. Novak. I have some information you might find interestable.

NOVAK: Who is this?

CALLER: My name is not important. You can just call me, uh, "Lovelace." Heh heh. I'm calling from inside the White House. From a round room.

NOVAK: What can I do for you, Mr. Lovelace?

CALLER: No, it's what I can do for you, Mr. Novak. It's a story about Joseph Wilson, yellowcake, deception... and murder.

NOVAK: Murder?

CALLER: Well, not murder.

NOVAK: Look, what do you want?

CALLER: I'll ask the questions here, Mr. Novak.

NOVAK: Okay.


CALLER: Er, okay - you can ask a question.

NOVAK: What are you trying to say?

CALLER: I wonder if you'd take Joseph Wilson's story so seriously if you knew that the work he did for the CIA was tainted.

NOVAK: Tainted?

CALLER: His wife, Mr. Novak. What would you say if I told you that his wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative?

NOVAK: Okay. But how does that relate to Ambassador Wilson's findings?

CALLER: Exactly.

NOVAK: What?


via MWO Watch Watch Watch Watch

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Electronic Vote Tampering: A scandal for all political persuasions

Will the 2004 Election be Stolen With Electronic Voting Machines? A BuzzFlash Interview with Bev Harris, Who Has Done the Groundbreaking Work on This Issue.

BUZZFLASH: Electronic voting machines, including touch-screen voting, have been touted as the salvation of a fair voting process. Your tenacious research over the last year has shown that this idea may be the Trojan Horse of voting machine reform, allowing elections to be stolen more easily than in the past. What are the basic reasons that you argue that electronic voting machines pose a threat to democracy?

BEV HARRIS: Four reasons:

1. Secrecy: What has always been a transparent process, subjected to many eyes and belonging to all of us, has very recently become secretive and proprietary. This happened when voting systems, which should be considered part of the "public commons" were turned over to private companies. These companies now assert that the process underlying the vote must be held secret from the voters.

2. Ownership: When a system that belongs to the public becomes secret, it becomes doubly important to make sure we can completely trust those who run it. Voting machine companies are not required to tell us who owns them. Two of the top six firms have been foreign-owned:, owned by the Saudis until an acquisition by Accenture recently, and Sequoia, now owned by DeLaRue (Great Britain). Three of the top six firms have owners and/or directors who represent vested interests:

-- Election Systems & Software, the largest company. Main owner is a company owned by Senator Chuck Hagel's campaign finance director, Michael McCarthy. Hagel has owned shares in both the voting company itself and in the parent company run by his campaign finance director, and Hagel was the CEO and Chairman of the voting machine company while it built the machines that counted his votes.

-- Diebold, the second largest voting machine company. CEO is Wally O'Dell, who recently visited George W. Bush at his Crawford ranch along with an elite group of Bush supporters called the "Rangers" and "Pioneers.” Days later, he penned a letter to Ohio Republicans promising to help "deliver the votes" for Bush. O'Dell sponsored a $600,000 fund raiser for Dick Cheney in July. Diebold director W.H. Timken is also a Bush Pioneer.

-- VoteHere, the company striving to get its cryptography software into all the other companies' machines (already has a contract with Sequoia), has as its Chairman a close Cheney supporter and member of the Defense Policy Board, Admiral Bill Owens. Former CIA director Robert Gates, who heads the George Bush School of Business, is also a director.

-- Voting companies also have a somewhat incestuous group of key players -- Todd Urosevich and Bob Urosevich founded ES&S, but Todd now is an executive with ES&S while Bob is president of Diebold Election Systems. Sequoia and ES&S share software and optical scan machines.