Thursday, 30 November 2006

Memes in the making - "Corpse Graffiti"

Corpse Graffiti - "Corpse graffiti, a form of emergence, is created by building a character with a clever name, i.e. "Mailbox" and dropping dead in a contextually-appropriate location, i.e. a mailbox in a high-traffic area."

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

A Time of Romans - "The New American Militarism", Andrew J. Bacevich

Right, this is where we start into the anti-American slander and vilification. Oh, the fun we shall have, my children!

Or perhaps not. I'll try to restrain my knee jerk temptation to assholism.

One of the worrying things about America as viewed from the outside is the militarisation of the assumptions, discourse and (to a lesser extent) culture by comparison to the communities we find ourselves in. I have no idea how a German would judge it, but there seems to be a strong streak of Prussianism glowing in the chaotic glare with which America displays itself to the rest of us. Think I'm kidding about what's displayed or our reaction?

We've been there and seen that. At best, it results in every problem being seen as a nail and a Big Green hammer being applied. At worst, well, we all, in our hearts, know that fucking answer.

Up until now, I hadn't had the chance to examine the domestic history behind it. Cue Andrew Bacevich's book.

The point is not to deprive George W Bush or his advisors of whatever credit or blame they may deserve for conjuring up the several large-scale campaigns and myriad lesser military actions comprising their war on terror. They certainly have taken up the mantle of this militarism with a verve not seen in years. Rather it is to suggest that well before September 11, 2001, and before the younger Bush's ascent to the presidency a militaristic predisposition was already in place both in official circles and among Americans more generally. In this regard, 9/11 deserves to be seen as an event that gave added impetus to already existing tendencies rather than as a turning point. For his part, President Bush himself ought to be seen as a player reciting his lines rather than as a playwright drafting an entirely new script.

In short, the argument offered here asserts that present-day American militarism has deep roots in the American past. It represents a bipartisan project. As a result, it is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, a point obscured by the myopia and personal animus tainting most accounts of how we arrived at this point.

There are some weaknesses in the book that will take a second reading to articulate clearly, but it's well worth a read. Call it 7.5 out of 10.

Dykes to look out for

So the very first real post will be... a plea for money! But not for me.

Ruth Lewis is a fine woman and librarian with an extremely caustic sense of humour. She is also, alas, gay, unaccountably forgoing the pleasures of the muscular half of the human species simply because she's already found her partner among the better smelling half. There's no accounting for taste.

In the pursuit of stereotypes, we have found this worthy cause being touted around certain parts of the New Zealand library community. If you think you might like to put a bit in towards children's cancer research, feel free to visit. Or not - I'm sure there are charities closer to home as well which could use the support.

Myself, I've lost a good friend, one of the few, and two other friends to cancer. Cancer research and the local hospice are two charities I try to support from what few funds I tend to have left these days.

The Devil opened up his case and he said "I'll start this show"...

With more than a decade on the Internet, I've never had a blog. This places me behind approximately 90% of the Western World, 25% of the rest of the human species, 400 miscellaneous artifical intelligence projects, a couple of dozen animals, and one entity that may or may not be a rather advanced slime mold with a connection routed through an abandoned server in Prypiat. And the slime mold has been linked to by Glenn Reynolds.

Since I've spent so much time annoying various members of the liberal community by clogging up their comments pages and hijacking their carefully crafted discussions, I thought it only fair to give them the chance to do the same. I've moved into a new place, with a better connection, so I have a chance to get a post off two or three times a week - assuming I ever have anything to say. This is likely to be a work in process for a few weeks to come, and you may expect the layout and details to change.

The layout is not crude and hackneyed - it is classic minimalism. That's my story, and I intend to stick with it until I figure out how this works. And then we'll bring in the dancing bear gifs and the extensive clown porn collection.

And as for me - well, there's not much to say about me and that's the way I like to keep it.