Saturday, March 05, 2005


On a topic related to Chain, there's this interesting piece from the Observer on the growth of exurbia in the US:

From coast to coast, the United States is undergoing a historic shift in its century-old balance between town and country. A growing population is eschewing the old urban centres and traditional suburbs for the brave new world of exurbia. This is the cultural landscape of modern America: not the downtown conviviality of Cheers, but the soulless anomie of Desperate Housewives; not the urban chic of Friends, but the sprawling southern California of The OC.

This startling decentralisation constitutes as significant a dispersal of people and power as the march west of the 19th century. And it is a transformation with profound consequences for city, suburb and countryside.

Some of the consequences are political:

[E]xurbia is a deeply conservative place. Given the wide range of recreational interests shown by its residents, it would be wrong to characterise it as bland. There is more to it than the real estate and roses of American Beauty. But it is a profoundly individualistic terrain purposefully lacking the ingrained social fabric of class, race or clan. Instead, its churning cycle of new residents can live out the autonomous American dream. In Arizona, many of the master-planned communities that encircle Phoenix have refused to pay local school [taxes]. Wealthy, independent and introverted, these high-end communities weaken the tax base and gently undermine social capital. No wonder [David] Brooks celebrates exurbia as 'a conservative utopia'.

Such mobile, often newly married, residents were precisely the constituency which Bush's election strategist, Karl Rove, so successfully wooed. Great efforts were expended in fostering a Republican infrastructure, through churches and other conservative circles, within expanding communities devoid of the usual forms of civil society. The social spending required by cities was exchanged for family-friendly, exurban tax cuts. And it paid off. Those queuing late into the evening at spruce, suburban polling stations on election night were the eager new face of American conservatism.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, this conservative majority only looks set to grow still further. For one of the more remarkable facts about exurbia is its fertility rate. In a movement known as 'natalism', those decamping to the zoomburbs are choosing to buck the US birthrate by conscientiously raising large families. With close encouragement from the church, many residents are reviving the traditional evangelical emphasis on the sanctity of domestic life.

According to analysis by Steve Sailer in The American Conservative, the 19 states with the highest white fertility rates went Republican. John Kerry, on the other hand, carried the 16 states with the lowest rates of conception.

[Thanks, again, to "timc" on the J.G. Ballard mailing list.]

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/05/2005 03:38:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE



This, from the Guardian, looks interesting:

The full power of Jem Cohen's feature film Chain doesn't hit until the closing credits, which reveal that the movie's anonymous landscape of chain stores and highway interchanges was shot in seven countries and 11 American states.

Chain takes as its subject and setting the homogenised interzones of privately owned public space - shopping malls, hotel complexes, theme parks - that multinational corporations have remade in their own global-branded image, letting regional colour fade to a concrete grey. A hybrid of fiction and documentary, and a brilliantly discomfiting twist on the "location shoot", Chain is also something of a Ballardian horror story.

"I was trying to get a grip on the nature of globalisation, which is such a hazy, amorphous term," says the Brooklyn-based 42-year-old, who shot Chain on 16mm film over seven years. "The film is not about America, but there's no question that we're primarily responsible for how a lot of the planet ends up looking. So much of the world becomes a mirror of American business and culture and iconography." ...

Perhaps best-known for his music videos for REM and Elliott Smith, Cohen has spent much of his career compiling what he calls "city portraits", including This Is a History of New York (1987) and the extraordinary east-European travelogue Buried in Light (1994). With Chain, however, he has assembled a mosaic of the worldwide urban sprawl. "Whenever I would shoot places that I liked, often old neighbourhoods that were disappearing, I was always framing things out - putting McDonalds to my back or getting some billboard out of the frame - and I was starting to feel like I had to deal with the new stuff," he says. "In the mid-1990s, I started to collect these landscapes, and I found that I could travel anywhere in the world and shoot footage that you couldn't identify in terms of where it came from. I thought I could join all of that material together into a 'superlandscape'."


Chain's production was something of an underground operation. "You're simply not allowed to shoot in any of these places," Cohen says. "It had to be done in, let's just say, a very discreet way. The nature of the production ties in with the subject matter of the movie, because you're dealing with surveillance and security and the degree to which the corporate presence is embedded in the landscape and controls people's activity, including that of the film-makers.

"You're not allowed to show logos, even in a documentary, which I find absurd because you can't film the world without showing logos. And you just can't shoot in a mall, any mall, particularly post-9/11 - everybody uses it as an excuse all the time."

Cohen has become an archivist of public space at a time when much of that space has been colonised - and de-historicised - by corporations and transient consumer desires. But the heavy hand of the American fear factor is a new and unwelcome influence on his material, as he discovered on a recent train journey from Washington, DC, to New York.

"I've been shooting from train windows for 20 years, and recently I was stopped on a train and surrounded by cops who actually confiscated my footage for national security reasons," Cohen recounts. "I was really freaked out. I was shooting with an old hand-cranked 16mm Bolex, for God's sake. This kind of crackdown imposes a police-state mentality that is useful for public control. It's incredibly disturbing and it's happening to a lot of people: artists, tourists, anybody. And it's strange, because this incident has the effect of politicising this lyrical landscape footage." (Chain's video footage of emptied-out office interiors takes on an added dimension when you discover the offices belonged to Enron.)

Since completing Chain, Cohen has taken his camera on the road with Amsterdam band the Ex, and is now "getting little whispers of the next big project", he says. "I have a pretty large archive of material of Times Square and 42nd Street, from the mid-1980s through the Disneyfication process to where it is now, and I'm starting to suspect that I could do a period feature film on the cheap by using that archive."

If his Times Square project comes to fruition, it would mark Cohen's return to memorialising lost corners of urban life. Chain, meanwhile, documents commodified spaces so bland and omnipresent that we hardly bother to perceive them. "I hoped that people would feel they were seeing these landscapes anew, because I find them so strangely invisible to us," says Cohen. "When I started Chain they were putting up a Wal-Mart about every four days, and when I finished it was about every day and a half. These places are so big, they're everywhere, but who really looks at them?"

[Thanks to "timc" on the J.G. Ballard mailing list]

More on Chain from the IMDB.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/05/2005 02:53:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Friday, March 04, 2005

Boiling it down

Josh Marshall does a good job of bringing the Social Security fracas down to the bottom line:

[Y]ou'll hear from me and others over the coming weeks and months all sorts of different jargon and policy particulars about caps and private accounts and add-on accounts and Trust Funds and rates of return and all the rest of it.

But the terms of this debate are actually pretty straightforward. The president and his supporters want to get the government out of the Social Security business by ending guaranteed benefits. It's really as simple as that. Not complicated. They'll put in its place some system of private accounts where you can save money on your own. And if it works out, great. If it doesn't, it's your problem.

Social Security is about spreading out the risk and the security by having near-universal participation in one program. That's what it is. You pay in through the course of your working years and after you retire you receive your guaranteed benefit every month for the rest of your life. It is that issue of guarantee -- which, in its nature, only a program like Social Security can provide -- which the president and his supporters are trying to do away with, either all at once or in stages.

So take away all of your policy particulars and computations and flow-charts and analyses. And set them to one side. That is the issue at the core of all of this debate. It defines what kind of society we live in. Its future rests in the hands of Senate Democrats. And all manner of honor or infamy is in store for the ones who make the difference.

This is what we need to continue to hammer on, over and over again, no deviation, no straying from the necessary talking points:

  • There is no crisis.

  • They want to do away with Social Security -- always have, always will.

Period. End of debate.

Frame it that way often enough, and people will begin to understand exactly what's going on, and they'll rebel. They're already doing that to some extent, but they're still confused: they're still under the misapprehension that there's a crisis, but they don't like Bush's solution to it, and they don't understand that the ultimate purpose of the "solution" is to eliminate Social Security.

We're about halfway there, but there's still a ways to go -- and Democrats must insist that their elected representatives and party leaders stay the course and not give in to the ongoing temptation to compromise and be "bipartisan" good guys. Don't give in to their reframing of the debate, don't accept the artificial "crisis" they've invented to give cover to their attempt to dismantle Social Security, and don't ease their way by creating compromise "solutions" which will only act as the kernel of the future death of the program.

Every Democratic official has got to understand that if they leave the reservation on this one, their days are numbered.

Ignore the taunting stupidities from the other side about "litmus tests" and so on. We know from experience that the GOP and the right-wing in this day and age (they're virtually coxtensive save for a few powerless Northeastern moderates) are nothing but litmus tests, the epitome of dogmatic ideology raised to a height not seen since the heyday of Communism -- so they're hardly in a position to point at us with disdain. (Except, of course, that they have no shame, and little honor.)

In any case, it's not about litmus tests, it's about not betraying the core of what it means to be a Democrat -- and Social Security is about as close to that core as you can conceivably get.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/04/2005 08:53:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


The Producers

The musical version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels just opened on Broadway, and, according to the Internet Broadway Database and the reviews in Variety (only partly available online) and the Times, the show has more producers than there are actors in the cast:

Produced by Marty Bell, David Brown, Aldo Scrofani, Roy Furman, Dede Harris, Amanda Lipitz, Greg Smith, Ruth Hendel, Chase Mishkin, Barry and Susan Tatelman, Debra Black, Sharon Karmazin, Joyce Schweickert, Bernie Abrams / Michael Speyer, Barbara Whitman, Weissberger Theater Group (Jay Harris, Producer), Cheryl Wiesenfeld / Jean Cheever, Clear Channel Entertainment and Harvey Weinstein; Produced in association with MGM On Stage / Darcie, Denkert & Dean Stolber

By my count that's 26 producers, compared to 13 in the cast (26 if you count swings, standbys and understudies).

A this point, it's hard to recall that in the old days (as recently as 25 years ago), producers like David Merrick could put up a major musical without any other producers being listed. (Which doesn't mean that there weren't other people putting up the money to mount the show -- they were just called "angels" and weren't listed on the program as producers.)

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/04/2005 03:49:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE



I put this in an update to a previous post, but I thought that this, from The Green Knight, was interesting enough to highlight again:

It's been noted before that red staters are generally less physically healthy, are more reliant on federal handouts, and are just generally worse off than blue staters in all sorts of social ways: abortion rates, crime rates, welfare rates, unemployment rates, and so on. Yet they vote for Bush, despite failing to live the socially conservative, financially independent lives that the Republican Party supposedly champions.

Most analysis of this from lefty bloggers tends to stop at "what a bunch of hypocrites." But isn't it possible that there's something deeper going on here? Refreshingly, Unfutz offers these acute thoughts:

I don't know if things in the red states are bad, so that people look around them and feel the need for a stronger moral authority to put things right, or, on the other hand, if the desire for a strong moral authority has created the lousy situation in which teens have more kids and more marriages break up. I suspect that the answer will turn out to be a complex interaction between the two, a feedback situation where one reinforces the other.
The Green Knight suspects that Unfutz is on exactly the right track, but suggests the following additional thought. Perhaps the phenomenon has to do with branding, the process by which corporations, and, now, political parties, sell their image to people.

Perhaps people in the red states vote for conservative-brand politicians for the same reason that people buy certain products: because the brand promises to fix what's wrong with your life. In fact, it identifies not only the problems you really do have (high divorce rates, grass stains on your shirt) but also invents problems you didn't know you had in the first place (flag burning, ring around the collar). Then, the brand presents itself as a cure for the problems it identified or invented. And it does so by creating an image of you, the consumer, as a better, freer person for having bought or voted for the right brand.

But, of course, the brand fails to help or possibly makes things worse, so the response is -- buy more! That is, after all, the logic of consumer culture. So people keep buying the more expensive laundry soap even though it's the same damn stuff as Brand X, and keep voting for Republicans even though they never ever really deliver in the culture wars.

I think there's a lot of truth here: branding, positioning and re-framing are all major elements in the success of the right-wing in the past decades -- which means that what's most important is not the content of Democratic policies, but the ways in which they're sold.

Marketing is the key, so let's stop the wearisome internal debates about "moving the party to the left" and becoming "Republicans lite" and concentrate on how to better sell what we've got.

Addendum: In another post, TGK looks at the big picture.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/04/2005 01:54:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


The Great Renaming

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
Philip K. Dick
"How to Build A Universe That Doesn't
Fall Apart Two Days Later" (1978)

On Backporch Beer, jank picks up on what may be the beginning of the coming trend in right-wing re-framing of terms: public schools are now to be called "government schools."

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/04/2005 01:17:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Up next...

Coming up next week: a return engagement of David Gordon's Dancing Henry V at Danspace Project, right here in NYC.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/04/2005 12:00:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Teenage pregnancy, redux

A couple of days ago, I put up post (which several sites have linked to) which showed a strong correlation between a state's percentage of votes for Bush in 2004 and its divorce rate -- the higher the vote for Bush, the higher the divorce rate. Also included was another graph which showed a correlation between voting for Bush and the percentage of a state's births which were to teenage mothers.

Tonight, using data from the Alan Guttmacher Institute ("The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world. It is to support their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights, safeguard their health and exercise their individual responsibilities in regard to sexual behavior and relationships, reproduction and family formation."), I charted not percentage of births to teenage mothers, but pregnancy, birth and abortion rates per 1000 women aged 15 to 17, and the results were quite different:

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/03/2005 11:25:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


A bloodless civil war

Digby's got a good one today:

The difference between Republicans and Democrats isn't about who cares more for the people. All politicians say they care about the people and the people are always justifiably skeptical. The difference between us is how we believe the good of the people is best achieved and liberals have a fundamentally different philosophy than the Republicans. Government is our preferred method to advance progressive ideals. Capitalism cannot substitute for a democratic government that answers to all the people. The invisible hand doesn’t give a shit if children starve or old people have to work until they are eighty or if half the country has to work at slave wages to support the other half. Only government can guarantee its citizens the equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We believe that progress toward that end requires that the government be active and engaged in delivering those things.

We are at parity, politically speaking, but liberalism is clinging by its fingernails to a vague definition of itself as a collection of policies favoring light regulation, balanced budgets, the last vestiges of the New Deal and certain individual rights. The American conservative consensus is not far away if we continue to abdicate our responsibility to forcefully articulate the role of government in a meaningful and understandable way and convey in no uncertain terms the danger to average Americans when they put their faith in free market evangelism and phony appeals to patriotism and religion. Laundry lists cannot substitute for inspiration.

There is no consensus right now about anything. In fact, we are engaged in a bloodless civil war. But the terms of the debate are being set by people who were not so long ago considered so outside the mainstream that they were nuts. We need to get back in the game with big ideas. I suspect that the ghost of the American consensus still wanders the country and that it won’t take much to bring it back to life. It is, after all, the consensus that oversaw the greatest period of economic and social progress in this country’s history.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/03/2005 07:32:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

An exoskeleton of books

One more reason to like Jonathan Lethem:

Every room I've ever lived in since I was given my own room, at eleven, has been lined with books. My employment in bookstores was, and is, continuous with my private hours: shelving and alphabetizing, building shelves, and browsing -- in my own collection and others -- in order to understand a small amount about the widest possible number of books. Such numbers of books are so constantly acquired that constant culling is necessary; if I slouch in this discipline, the books erupt. I've also bricked myself in with music -- first vinyl records, then compact disks. My homes have been improbably information-dense, like capsules for survival of nuclear war, or models of the interior of my own skull. That comparison -- room as brain -- is one I've often reached for in describing the rooms of others, but it began with the suspicion that I'd externalized my own brain, for anyone who cared to look.

The simpler, and perhaps deeper, truth lies in the comparison more obvious to others: that the empires of data storage make up a castle or armor or hermit-crab's shell for my tender self. My exoskeleton of books has peaked in baroque outcroppings and disorderly excesses at times of lonely crisis. After my mother died, I acquired a friend's vast paperback collection, and the overflow shelving in my room consisted of books balanced on planks unfixed to any wall or support, so that no one apart from me dared lift a book for fear of calamity. Between marriages, I've reached such fevers of acquisition that I twice resorted to sleeping on mattresses laid not atop a box spring but on a pallet of cartons, the only way to disguise the excess without resorting to storage. Moving the books off-site would have been tantamount to putting my arms and legs in hock.
Jonathan Lethem
"The Beards"
The New Yorker (2/28/2005)
[not available online]

Lethem's new book, The Disappointment Artist, (a collection of essays, which may well include "The Beards") is due out on March 15.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/02/2005 08:13:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

More New York stuff

On MyDD, Chris Bowers, a blogger who views I generally give a great deal of respect, rants a bit about local legislation (which has zero chance of ever being put into effect) which would have New York City secede from the rest of the state. He frames it in national political terms (Kerry vs. Bush) whereas commenters rinzinNYC and JohnS are absolutely correct that the impetus is completely local and totally economic in nature: NYC does not get back from the state as much as it puts in in taxes, which means that the (Democratic) city is subsidizing (less Democratic) upstate. It's got little or nothing to do with anything else, and Chris' attempt to analyze it that way is a non-starter: his rant is not appropriate, in my opinion, and (unfortunately) displays a real lack of understanding of local politics (no matter that he spent his first 24 years living upstate) that's completely atypical for him.

Oddly enough, one of Chris' supporters in the comments, NYCO, presents this map as "proof" of Chris' contention that upstate New York is not Republican territory:

Now, I'm perfectly willing to agree that upstate NY is in no way as red as, say, Kansas is, but, as the map (which breaks voting down to the town level) makes completely clear, upstate New York without the city would be a swing state, probably tilting GOP. With the city, of course, New York state is solidly blue.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/01/2005 08:48:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


It's who isn't on that matters

Chris Bowers on one of the secrets behind the success of The Daily Show:

Because the Daily Show is foregrounded as "illegitimate" news, it is immune to the long-standing right-wing attacks for "balance," which in reality mean total domination of news coverage. You will never see the Heritage foundation on the Daily Show, and that alone guarantees it is the best source of news on television.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/01/2005 08:29:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


The Apple's core

Here's a piece of trivia of interest only to New Yorkers (and probably not even most of them):

The Middles of the City

Q. Where is the geographic center of New York? I did a Google search of the phrase and came up with claims to the title from Woodside, Long Island City, East Williamsburg and Shea Stadium. For that matter, where is the population center? The Mets' Web site claims that's Shea Stadium, too.

A. There are two kinds of centers that demographers and city planners use. Imagine a flat plate in the shape of the city's boundaries, placed on a needle at the spot where the plate balances. That's the geographic center. Now pretend the plate is weightless but still flat and rigid. Put about eight million tiny equal weights on the plate representing where each resident lives, and find the point of balance again. That's the population center. Neither of them is Shea Stadium.

According to the Department of City Planning, the population center lies in Maspeth, Queens, near the intersection of Galasso Place and 48th Street, near Maspeth Creek. The geographic center is in Bushwick, Brooklyn, on Stockholm Street between Wyckoff Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue.

[red star = geographic center; yellow star = population center]

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/01/2005 12:48:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


The Russia House

Billmon does a one-to-one comparison between Bush's and Putin's press corps.

It seems as if Bush looked a little too deeply into Putin's soul, and liked what he saw.

Ed Fitzgerald | 3/01/2005 12:08:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE

Sunday, February 27, 2005

More on Democrats and the South

Digby has more, and he's right.

BTW, how much money did Bush spend on trying to win NY, CA, MA, DC? Virtually none, I'll wager. No he gave up those 102 electoral votes without thinking twice about it, because Rove knew it was throwing away money to try to win them. That the Democrats did the same thing in other states, unwinnable to them, was not in any way a strategic error -- although the choice of which states to forego could well have been a tactical mistake. By all means, let's correct that in the next election, by going after border states where more resources could well make a more competitive race, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater by deciding that the only was to win is to contest each and every state in the union. That, most assuredly, is a sure way to lose, by cutting off money that could do some good somewhere else, just to flush it down the toilet of some state that's not going to go for whatever Democrat is nominated.

Southern Democrats just have to take their lumps, I'm afraid -- and if the south is all that winnable, than it shouldn't be hard for them to raise money locally and win locally, no matter what the top of the ticket does. That they don't, just belies their contention.

Ed Fitzgerald | 2/27/2005 10:34:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Dump Joe

Here's a place to start.

[via Matt Yglesias]

Ed Fitzgerald | 2/27/2005 09:54:00 PM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Counting the cost

Susan at Suburban Guerilla takes a look at the official casualty figures for the war in Iraq, and concludes that something isn't right.

[via Rook's Rants]

Ed Fitzgerald | 2/27/2005 02:48:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Divorce, red state style

Here's another interesting correlation. I think this has been noted before, but I'm not sure that it's been presented in exactly this way:

The clear correlation is that the more a state voted for Bush, the higher its divorce rate was likely to be.

So much for high moral values being of supreme importance in the red states.

[Voting data is from 2004, from Dave Leip's website. Divorce data, from 2001 (the latest available), from the Census Bureau (pdf). Numbers from California, Colorado and Indiana were not available.

It's worth noting that Nevada is a red state (it went for Bush with 50.47% of the vote), and is a well-known place to go to get a divorce, but that eliminating it doesn't change the correlation. In fact, its divorce rate of 6.8 is only slightly higher than that of two other red states, Arkansas (6.6) and Wyoming (6.1).

The lowest rates in this dataset are from the District of Columbia (2.3) and Massachusetts (2.4), which also happen to be the two areas which gave Bush the lowest percentage of votes (9.34% and 36.78%, respectively).]

Update: Here's another look at the state of red state moral behavior:

So, once again a correlation: the more a state voted for Bush, the higher the percentage of births in that state are to teenage mothers.

I should note that I, for one, have absolutely no clue about which is the cause and which is the effect here. What I mean is, I don't know if things in the red states are bad, so that people look around them and feel the need for a stronger moral authority to put things right, or, on the other hand, if the desire for a strong moral authority has created the lousy situation in which teens have more kids and more marriages break up. I suspect that the answer will turn out to be a complex interaction between the two, a feedback situation where one reinforces the other.

[Sources as above.]

Update: The Green Knight comments:

The Green Knight suspects that Unfutz is on exactly the right track, but suggests the following additional thought. Perhaps the phenomenon has to do with branding, the process by which corporations, and, now, political parties, sell their image to people.

Perhaps people in the red states vote for conservative-brand politicians for the same reason that people buy certain products: because the brand promises to fix what's wrong with your life. In fact, it identifies not only the problems you really do have (high divorce rates, grass stains on your shirt) but also invents problems you didn't know you had in the first place (flag burning, ring around the collar). Then, the brand presents itself as a cure for the problems it identified or invented. And it does so by creating an image of you, the consumer, as a better, freer person for having bought or voted for the right brand.

But, of course, the brand fails to help or possibly makes things worse, so the response is -- buy more! That is, after all, the logic of consumer culture. So people keep buying the more expensive laundry soap even though it's the same damn stuff as Brand X, and keep voting for Republicans even though they never ever really deliver in the culture wars.

Update: See this post for additional -- somewhat contradictory -- information about teenage pregnancy, birth and abortion rates.

Ed Fitzgerald | 2/27/2005 01:04:00 AM | | | | GO: TOP OF HOME PAGE


Ed Fitzgerald

Clowns to the left of me,
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John Solomon (WaPo)
Margaret Spellings
Kenneth Starr
Randall Terry
Clarence Thomas
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Donald Trump
Richard Viguere
Donald Wildmon
Paul Wolfowitz
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
John Yoo
All the fine sites I've
guest-blogged for:

Be sure to visit them all!!
recent listening
Smash Mouth - Summer Girl

Poulenc - Piano Music

Pop Ambient 2007
John Adams
Laurie Anderson
Aphex Twin
Isaac Asimov
Fred Astaire
J.G. Ballard
The Beatles
Busby Berkeley
John Cage
Raymond Chandler
Arthur C. Clarke
Elvis Costello
Richard Dawkins
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Kevin Drum
Brian Eno
Firesign Theatre
Eliot Gelwan
William Gibson
Philip Glass
David Gordon
Stephen Jay Gould
Dashiell Hammett
"The Harder They Come"
Robert Heinlein
Joseph Heller
Frank Herbert
Douglas Hofstadter
Bill James
Gene Kelly
Stanley Kubrick
Jefferson Airplane
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
John McPhee
Harry Partch
Michael C. Penta
Monty Python
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Prisoner"
"The Red Shoes"
Steve Reich
Terry Riley
Oliver Sacks
Erik Satie
"Singin' in the Rain"
Stephen Sondheim
The Specials
Morton Subotnick
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Tangerine Dream
Hunter S. Thompson
J.R.R. Tolkien
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
Kurt Vonnegut
08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003
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03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008
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09/21/2008 - 09/28/2008

search websearch unfutz

Bullshit, trolling, unthinking knee-jerk dogmatism and the drivel of idiots will be ruthlessly deleted and the posters banned.

Entertaining, interesting, intelligent, informed and informative comments will always be welcome, even when I disagree with them.

I am the sole judge of which of these qualities pertains.

All e-mail received is subject to being published on unfutz without identifying names or addresses.

I correct typos and other simple errors of grammar, syntax, style and presentation in my posts after the fact without necessarily posting notification of the change.

Substantive textual changes, especially reversals or major corrections, will be noted in an "Update" or a footnote.

Also, illustrations may be added to entries after their initial publication.
the story so far
unfutz: toiling in almost complete obscurity for almost 1500 days
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the proud unfutz guarantee
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.

If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.

(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)

Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.

original content
© 2003-2008
Ed Fitzgerald


take all you want
but credit all you take.

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