Monday, July 28, 2008

If you were a fly on the wall during the making of "Diary of the Dead"

I think you would hear something about like this:

Production Assistant: Mr. Romero, this is the internet

George Romero: By Gum, there's pictures in them tubes!

Production Assistant: Yes anyone can put them there, even with just a cell phone

George Romero: I need to remake Night of the Living Dead! And comment at length about this new media environment!

(Outside the As The World Turns casting call)

George Romero: Its ok if you didn't get on the TeeVee folks! Come be in my Zombie Movie!

(In the writing room)

George Romero: More Exposition!

Writers: This movie already has more Exposition than Ghost in The Shell

George Romero: Exposition is the best vehicle for biting social commentary!

(During Filming)

Black Actors: Why is every Black person in this movie hanging around a warehouse with an M-16?

George Romero: You were at the International Black Folks meetin' when the Zombie Crisis struck!

Black Actors: ummm, sure...

(In My Apartment)

Me: What the fuck was that?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ok, And if that Other hit from Vancouver is Mr. Gibson

I understand about the Dorotea, I really do. I meet people like that all the time. They are annoying. We're not all like that!

(sigh) Great, now two of my favorite authors think I'm a tool. What a monday.

That or somebody with a proxy server is having fun with me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

If that Google hit from Torino

Searching for "Bruce Sterling," is in fact Bruce Sterling or someone affiliated with Mr. Sterling can I, um, mention that I really loved Schismatrix?

A lot?

Maybe my, um, tone was a bit harsh... sorry?

Academics love the Cyberpunk authors

But the cyberpunk authors HATE academics. Sure, William Gibson's occasional snotty remark about using us as his inspiration for the villain in Patter Recognition is one thing, but Bruce Sterling's blatant mis-representation of the argument being made in an, admittedly snotty but not unusually so, call for artwork is just mean.

Yeah, Bruce, cause there is nothing to the notion that creative professionals overlook the labor of the less-hip, less well paid, less visible workers who feed, clothe, and pick up after them. Nope, nothing to that at all.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What do you get...

When you cross Barack Obama's anglicization of "si se puede" with those ubiquitous cheezeburger craving kittehs?

Yes we can has


Sunday, July 06, 2008

The last four days

Have, for me, been all about taking part in a novel political experiment. The Get FISA Right group has been trying to find ways to push Senator Obama, and the rest of the senate, towards protecting our civil liberties and voting down the so-called FISA compromise. We've managed to stir up some attention. Obama's campaign had to issue a response to us, though the response wasn't quite what we wanted (he basically re-iterated previous positions). Now we've crafted an open letter in response to his response. I've included that below.

I'd like to encourage everybody on here to get active and speak out on this important legislation. Starting tomorrow, the Get FISA right group will be starting a phone campaign to put pressure on the Senate to fix this bill. Follow this link for easy action steps you can take.

An Open Letter to Senator Obama
From the 20,000+ members of the group
"Senator Obama – Please Vote NO on Telecom Immunity – Get FISA Right"

Dear Senator Obama,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to us with your post “My Position On FISA” dated July 3rd, 2008. In your response, you pledged to "listen to [our] concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn [our] ongoing support," and in that spirit, we would like to continue this conversation. We ask that you help transfer our passion and political activism into getting the FISA bill right -- now.

Senator, as a legal scholar who has done extensive study of our country's constitution you know that the FISA re-authorization bill currently before the Senate (HR 6304) threatens the rights guaranteed to American citizens in the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment.

One of the most troubling parts of this bill is its provision to provide retroactive immunity from civil lawsuits for telecommunications companies that may have assisted the Bush administration in violating the civil rights of Americans. You wrote in your statement that you “support striking Title II," which provides this immunity, "from the bill, and will work with Chris Dodd, Jeff Bingaman and others in an effort to remove this provision in the Senate.”

We ask that you back up your words with action by addressing your constituents on the floor of the Senate with the same oratorical power you used in Philadelphia to lay out your vision of a 'More Perfect Union.' The American people have just as much right to know of the dangerous precedent this Congress would be setting by granting retroactive immunity to those who "may have violated the law" and allowing spying on law-abiding citizens as we did to relearn of segregation and Jim Crow. The arm of government oppression reaches far and wide, Senator, and we must beat it back on whatever front we find it.

We ask you to reconsider your current position on the bill as a whole and strongly oppose a bill about which you said, "I know that the FISA bill that passed the House is far from perfect. I wouldn't have drafted the legislation like this, and it does not resolve all of the concerns that we have about President Bush's abuse of executive power." In your statement you also wrote, “In a dangerous world, government must have the authority to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people. But in a free society, that authority cannot be unlimited." We agree. Our nation just spent the holiday weekend in celebration of our independence from unlimited government authority. America in 1776 wished to be strong and free. Much has changed in 232 years but Americans will never consciously abandon freedom.

Senator, while you wrote that not passing this bill would result in the government “losing important surveillance tools," these important surveillance tools are in fact blanket surveillance programs already underway solely due to the passage of the Protect America Act, which you rightly opposed and voted against. This is only one example of how, even without the provisions for retroactive immunity, this bill is still dangerous to the civil liberties of American citizens.

As we understand it Senator, your oath to uphold the Constitution requires you and others in the Congress to vote against HR 6304.

We appreciate your willingness to continue the discussion. We represent a large and vocal part of the movement you have nurtured and that has nurtured you during this campaign season, and include many of your most active and ardent supporters. As you have said time and again Senator, "we are the ones we have been waiting for," and we are here, working to bring about real change in Washington. We have grown to over 20,000 strong in the space of just a few days. We are lobbying our representatives, and working to get our friends, relatives and neighbors to do the same. We are organizing support for removing the immunity provisions for telecommunications companies and building opposition to this dangerous bill in its entirety.

Working together, we have a better chance to assist Senators Dodd and Bingaman, and can achieve what your commitment to us, your supporters, has been before your recent change in position. Together, we can protect our civil rights and continue to keep America safe. Please join us and let's work together to Get FISA Right.

If you would like to join us, please call your Senator, join the group on myBO and Facebook, and help get the word out!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Speaking Out Against the FISA "Compromise"

Barack Obama has run a campaign based on the notion of "bottom up" grassroots political action enabled by the internet. Now some of us are trying to hold him accountable to his grassroots supporters using that same technology. Its an interesting experiment, and someday I'd like to write up my observations on what is happening in detail.

For now, I'd like to recommend that you all go here and read some of the letters that have been written to the Obama campaign expressing discontent with this decision. Some of them are really quite persuasive, others quite moving. If you have a blog, linking to that page will help us raise the visibility of the folks speaking out.

If you want to do more about this issue, a wiki has been set-up with a lot of useful suggestions. Remember folks, Democracy isn't a noun, it's a verb!

Garrison Keillor Continues to rock

If you had to sum up the disasters of the Bush presidency in one paragraph, the last one here could hardly be topped:

A ballgame is a great place to get to know somebody. You talk sideways during the interludes of which baseball has many, and since the game itself is so orderly, you can converse in non sequiturs, and after I told him about my 10-year-old girl, who loves to swim, and we agreed on what a great age 10 is and what intense pleasure a kid is capable of, we got to the grim business of What Do You Do For A Living. He said he was a cop. I said I was unemployed. (You tell people you're a writer and they tend to clam up.)

"Tough times," he said. I nodded. We might've gotten onto politics then, but we got onto music and Ireland and so forth, but I thought, "Here is a guy the candidates have to talk to this summer." A cop is a realist and he knows where Rockwell leaves off and surrealism begins, and here is his girl taking a big lead off third base and he loves her so beautifully and unabashedly and wants the world to be there for her when it comes her time to fly.

I'm 65 and have a good life and can't claim that the Current Occupant has done me much harm at all. It's when I think about 10-year-old girls I start to get hot under the collar. This clueless man has dug a deep hole for them and doesn't seem vaguely aware of it. He has spent us deep in a hole, gotten us into a disastrous war, blithely ignored the long-term best interests of the country, and when you think of the 4,000 kids who now lie in cemeteries, and for what? -- you start to grind your teeth. For the sake of the girl with the beautiful swing, I hope we get a better president than the disgusting incompetent we've wasted eight years of our national life on. Think twice about who you put your arm around, Sen. McCain.

Read the whole piece, its got some great baseball writing.

What are folks up to for the fourth?