Fume-Induced Divine Ramblings

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Osamu Tezuka’s “MW”

I finished reading it yesterday, I couldn’t wait to get to the end. The characters really got to me, I love a good anti-hero. There were several elements that reminded me of Lautreamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror, although I have to say I vastly prefer Maldoror. Maldoror is a horrible being, the shark scene and the God scene will be forever branded in my brain.

MW is a political work, Tezuka launches a serious critique of US foreign policy and a sort of call for Japanese sovereignty. This line of critique echoes Yukio Mishima in The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. Unfortunately, I also see condemnation of homosexuality in Yuki, Father Garai, the Lieutenant, etc. There always seems to a “girl” in a pairing. Ugh.

Filed under: comics, reviews,

Richard Ramirez: The Mentor

This is Ramirez’s response to a supposed 10 year old asking if he should stay in school (note the stationery):

More on the hilarious and creepy Billy Letters at Radar Magazine.

Filed under: curios, wtf

The Happy Newlyweds

The New York Times Magazine had a front page article about gay marriages. Most of the men were in their mid-twenties. It was sort of fascinating reading about things we’re going through. The case of the Brandons was especially relevant to our case. The article tries to make a big deal about how young gays have assimilated so much that we have more in common with our straight counterparts that our gay elders. We just want a nice house with a white picket fence. I think the author was a bit heavy handed with his argument. There is so much that is different when you’re a gay couple that being that heteronormative must be like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately, for all intents and purposes I’m married. Brian and I have been together for 3 years and we’ve lived together for like 2.5 of those years. What is missing is a declaration to our families that we are soulmates and wish to share the rest of our lives together. Brian’s family is much more supportive, it’s not that my parents are not supportive, they are. But although they like him and always ask about him, I think they would rather think of us as romantic friends. Although they don’t say it, it must come as a shock to them that their boy wants to marry another boy. There is that whole Catholic/Latin thing that makes speaking frankly about such things taboo. For older folk, my parents are really open-minded but they are private people and this talk of marriage and having a ceremony must come as a shock. This sort of thing would never have happened in their village in Mexico. Well, they’re not in Mexico anymore.

There is also another variable at play, my mom is the most careful person I know. It’s almost as if she’s been hurt, she’s so guarded. She’s always been the voice for moderation to the point where sometimes I just want to say: Live a little!

Filed under: advice, hmmm

Tufte Revisited

If all goes well, it looks like work is going to pay for me to take Tufte’s one-day course. When I realized he was coming the price was an instant obstacle, $380 dollars to see him speak? Sure, you also receive the books but what if you already have them? Not that I had all of them but still… He offered a student discount but I haven’t been a student for a few years now.

Now, my work is not creative at all, I’m basically an auditor. We have guidelines and our mission is codified in statutes and regulations. But I’ve somehow managed to be known as “the creative guy” at work. My supervisor’s boss has be design his presentations, posters, screensavers, etc. Mind you, it’s all still very constrained, I do work for the government but still… they see me as creative. It’s worked to my advantage, I’ve received bonuses for doing the most mundane things.So, I figured it would be worth a shot to send my supervisor an e-mail about the course. I copied and pasted what the course would cover and suggested two reasons why the course was relevant. I later learned that the three supervisors in my division and their boss had talked about my proposal and the big boss was very interested and wanted to send someone else as well. So, now one of the supervisors is also going. Life is good sometimes.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Why Do I Read Redstate?!

I suppose I do it to give me heartburn. But seriously, I read it to see if they have any good arguments, I like a good rational argument. Of course there would be a post about that incestuous couple from Australia. And of course they’d be saying that the matter of incestuous marriages will soon come up. Martin A. Knight says “from a legal standpoint, they’re going to win in any jurisdiction that grants recognition to same sex pairs on the basis of rights.”

I’m not a lawyer but isn’t there some interest to keep inbred children from being born? I can see the state making a compelling interest in not diluting the IQs. But what does my union with another man do to the state? We both pay taxes, we don’t bring into the world inbred children. Sigh.

Filed under: politics

How We Lost Our Moral Authority

An absolutely vital story from Vanity Fair titled The Green Light: Politics and Power. I’m so often amazed that these horrible actions in the government come to light. God bless the USA and the Freedom of information Act. Besides the usual monsters that we know of, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Addington, Haynes, etc. You also get apparent heroes like Alberto Mora:

On the morning of Wednesday, January 15, Mora awoke determined to act. He would put his concerns in writing in a draft memorandum for Haynes and Dalton. He made three simple points. One: the majority of the Category II and III techniques violated domestic and international law and constituted, at a minimum, cruel and unusual treatment and, at worst, torture. Two: the legal analysis by Diane Beaver had to be rejected. Three: he “strongly non-concurred” with these interrogation techniques. He delivered the draft memo to Haynes’s office. Two hours later, at about five p.m. on January 15, Haynes called Mora. “I’m pleased to tell you the secretary has rescinded the authorization,” he said.

Filed under: politics

Barcelona, Toulouse, Donostia y Bilbao

I’m pretty excited about our upcoming trip to Spain (and a sliver of Southern France). I’ve already contacted some friends regarding their favorite places in Barcelona. Stephen sent me the following (I hope he doesn’t mind me putting this up here):

1) Barcelona’s Cathedral – When I tried to visit Sagrada Família I was put off by the long line, but the Gothic cathedral was easy enough to get into and a whole lot cheaper. You can take an elevator up to the roof and you get a great view of the entire city (including Sagrada Familia). I don’t think anything inside the cathedral was particularly amazing on its own, but the view from the roof is worth the entry.

2) Museu d’Història de la Ciutat – I think this is the best museum I’ve ever been to, just because I really liked its organization, but also probably because I’m into all the topics it covers. You enter and take an elevator down several stories and walk through an excavation of Roman ruins of the city, and ascend through exhibits back up to the modern era.

3) Espai Mallorca – This is a bookstore/market/art gallery/cafe that specializes in cultural and culinary products from the Balearic Islands. I was really impressed with it. If you go make sure to taste some herbes (tasty liquor from the islands).

4) El Xampanyet – This is a bar near the Picasso Museum that only serves cava to drink. It’s very atmospheric and tiny and the decor is from the 19th century, i believe. I remember when I went that it opens at 7pm in the evenings. My friends and I got there a little early and decided to walk around and got back at 7.15 or so and it was already packed with people and we had to stand awkwardly, so if you do go, just wait until it opens and then grab a table.

I think those were my favorite things by far. I enjoyed walking around a lot in the old city, just wandering and seeing where I got to. I never got to a lot of the modernista stuff, but everyone loves that generally, so that’s probably worth seeing.

I hope all this helps!

– Stephen

Filed under: travel

The Reconquista Will be Televised?

Strange Maps links to an LA Times piece about Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign in Mexico. Is it anti-American? It was a dumb move on Absolut’s part, all sorts of jingo gringos are already calling for a boycott. The thing about this sort of thing is that it always seems to bring out these ad hominem attacks with racial undertones. It’s hard not to get defensive and divisive. It’s hard to watch Lou Dobbs and not feel animosity even if he is not talking about you specifically, after all, I’m a citizen. But the tone of the immigration debate and the comments of some people when reacting to this ad campaign is just sickening. It’s hard for me not to get defensive and angry back.

But it does play with a Mexican sensibility, we still can get over the Spanish Conquest and the ceding of the territories to the US. I guess it was ceding them or total annexation, right?

It’s all good, right Lou Dobbs?

There is a pretty lively flickr discussion, I laid down my wise words.

Filed under: curios, images

Remixing Radiohead

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I’m a huge fan of Radiohead’s “In Rainbows,” the whole album is just a joy to listen to. I even listen to Amplive’s remixes of some of the songs. If I had any remixing skills Radiohead is one band I’d love to play with and re-contextualize (Cocteau Twins is another). Well, apparently Radiohead also wants us to play with their music because they’re offering the song “Nude” in stems for us to play around with in Garageband. It’s a little pricey for one song but I’m in such a good mood that I’m going to overlook that right now.

I can’t wait until I get home so I can buy them off iTunes!

More from The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Filed under: wants

John Yoo’s Memo

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march14memopart1.pdf

march14memopart2.pdf

Filed under: politics

Apollyon

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
April 2008
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