Best protest sign ever

Spotted at the Power Shift march in Washington DC a couple weekends ago:


What a joke

This has got to be my favorite piece of political commentary so far this year:
One of the many reasons why it's amazing that Haley Barbour is supposed to be taken semi-seriously as a presidential candidate is that he's basically the governor of a failed state. (Among the other reasons are his appearance, voice and career history.)
Supplied by Alex Pareene, writing for Salon.

All jokes aside, though... Oh right, we're talking about Haley Barbour. You can't really put all jokes aside when talking about Haley Barbour because that dude IS a joke.

Seriously, Mississippi is the poorest state in the US, has the highest poverty rate, and has the lowest quality of life. The state also has a horrendous child welfare system. According to Mother Jones:
The child-welfare system was so broken, advocates said, that it all but ceased to exist. Barbour and the appointees overseeing the child-welfare system, the suit alleged, "knowingly allowed [Mississippi's] system to collapse, leaving Mississippi's most vulnerable children defenseless."
So it was hard not to appreciate the irony when Barbour recently bragged: "Americans United for Life, I am proud to say, named Mississippi the safest state in America for an unborn child."

Hahahaha. What a dick.

Once they're out of the womb, Barbour could give a shit less about the children of MIssissippi. Why? Because then they are no longer useful to his culture warrior approach to politics. No solutions, no vision, no leadership — just exploitation of cultural wedge issues like abortion. Why actually govern when you can just play off of people's basest fears and frustrations to get elected? That's how Barbour clings to power, and that's how the entire Republican Party clings to power, as well. They're all a big fucking joke. Too bad the joke is on every single one of us who live in America.


Fly to Jesus, brother

Lost one of my best friends a year ago today. Wherever you are, buddy, hope you're having a better time than you did here on Earth. Miss you.

Good god

That's gotta hurt.

©AP/Domingo Botan--Spanish matador Julio Aparicio is gored by a bull during a bullfight in Madrid. (He survived.)

Note that you can actually see the bull's horn sticking out of the dude's mouth. Yeesh.


Implied spaces

I saw this video today and thought it was pretty interesting:

The article on NPR that introduced me to the video says, "Brains, you may not realize, make arbitrary assumptions to keep our world intact. Sugihara knows exactly where those assumptions pop into place."

This reminded me of Implied Spaces, a really terribly written novel by a fellow named Walter Jon Wiliams that has stayed with me nonetheless. I was fascinated by an idea presented in the novel: The titular "implied spaces," which are portions of manmade planets where ecosystems or types of terrain give way to one another — or, more accurately, the liminal zone in between these different spaces. There is no code to tell the planet what to put in between spaces, just what goes in the spaces themselves, hence you get the "implied" spaces.

Williams doesn't really explore these implied spaces in much depth, he just describes them as mostly empty, barren or jarring features of the planets and uses them as a metaphor for the corresponding liminal zones in the technologically-tweaked brains of a post-singularity humanity who can come back from death by simply uploading their latest mind-dump to a new body. There are thus many liminal zones in people's memories, and even in their very existence — the time between their latest backup and a particular body's death, the time between death and rebirth, the time between rebirth and the next backup of their brain, etc. But the book mainly deals with how a sinister force exploits those gaps in people's super advanced techno-minds to brainwash a bunch of people, and the intergalactic warfare that (I'm sure you can imagine) is provoked by these nefarious actions.

I say this knowing exactly how nerdy it will sound: I'm real into the idea of liminal spaces, ever since I first learned about them in a book of literary theory. I like that Williams' novel was about someone exploiting liminal or "implied" spaces in a future people's brains, just like in this video Sugihara exploits the liminal zone — the no-man's land between perception and reality — in our modern brains.


Can't wait for the Mist Giant vinyl?

The debut EP from Silent R Ecords recording artist Mist Giant drops April 1st.

What's that? You can't wait that long? I know how you feel, the 12" vinyl is going to be pretty sweet, especially with the cool laser etching on side B. I hear there is going to be a limited edition run of clear vinyl, too!

Well, you don't have to wait to hear the tunes, thank god. You can get them right now over at MistGiant.bandcamp.com for the low, low price of whatever the hell you want to pay.

Can't wait to see Mist Giant live? You're in luck! (At least, if you're going to be in SF on March 7th or at SXSW.) There are Mist Giant shows coming up here in SF and at SXSW.

Full disclosure: Mist Giant is my band, in case you couldn't tell.


Robert Reich's assessment of Obama is right on

Former labor secretary, current UC Berkeley prof Robert Reich was asked by the NYT what he thinks of Obama's economic policies so far. Reich's response includes what I think is one of the most concise and accurate assessments of the current state of American politics I've read:
[T]he public is being sold a big lie — that our problems owe to unions and the size of government and not to fraud and deregulation and vast concentration of wealth. Obama’s failure is that he won’t challenge this Republican narrative, and give people a story that helps them connect the dots and understand where we’re going.

I think the article is pretty poorly written, as if the writer couldn't decide if it was a profile of Reich, a feature about liberal economists' criticisms of Obama's economic policies, or a report on the state of the broader national economic discourse, so he just did a half-assed job writing all three at once. But it's worth reading: "Obama the Centrist Irks a Liberal Lion".


Look who it is!

Yes yes, that's me and my very own band, Mist Giant, in a feature profile video on my very own local music site, WiretapMusic.com. Shameless? Perhaps. Do I care? Not at all.

We definitely did not try very hard to look "cool" for this video. Oh well. This is definitely who we are. Enjoy!


Riggins wisdom

Keep your guard up. Stay angry.


Figgins wisdom

No monkeyshines
No lollygagging
No sassback