Jon Pack Approved!

I sent four concepts to Jon Pack's chopping block, and they ALL got approved.


A new study published today indicates that circumcision cuts the risk of contracting H.I.V. in half for men, and makes women who have sex with circumcised, H.I.V. positive men 30 percent less likely to become infected. These conclusions were drawn after clinical trials performed in Kenya and Rwanda. (Full article on NYTimes.com.)
Though I am generally opposed to the practice of circumcision, this may be a valid reason -- particularly in many parts of the world where AIDS is all too common -- to consider it a worthwhile practice.
I have to go to work. Tell me what you think.


This photo is the real deal. Elephant in womb.


Dum Dee Dum Dee Dum Dum Dee Dum Day

I miss New England, just a little.

I started a new job Thursday working for the State. In a cubicle, or "cube," as they call them these days. I have no windows. I have benefits. I am not supposed to use the internet.

I also just found out I had a whole bunch of comments that had never shown up, caught somewhere in the neverneverland between Blogger and Blogger Beta. So they're here now. Sorry if you thought I was dissing you.

The multiplex was pretty great. Freezing, but pretty great.

More on Flickr.


The Multiplex

Seriously, What the Hell is Wrong with Suburbans?

In Colorado, a woman living in a subdivision made a Christmas wreath in the shape of a peace sign. And apparently, this is "divisive," and she is going to be fined $25 dollars per day if she leaves it up. Good Christian that she apparently is, she isn't being badgered into taking it down, and will have to pay upwards of $1000 dollars by Christmas Day.

Now, seriously, what the fuck? Excuse my language, but how many Christmas hymns/carols include the phrase "Peace on Earth"? Don't any of these folks remember going to church on Sunday and hearing their pastor/minister/priest say "Peace be with you"? And how about that "turn the other cheek" rhetoric? Bah, humbug! Insignificant!
"'The peace sign has a lot of negativity associated with it,'" said Homeowners' Association President Bob Kearnes. Another neighbor who had used skis with peace signs on the end of them to mark his driveway was asked to take them down because "he was informed that residents were offended by the posting of the peace symbols 'while our country is at war.'" Yeah, wouldn't want to remind folks that we're at war. That maybe, just maybe, we ought to be making some more sacrifices, that maybe our cushy suburban existence is a little incongruous with the fact that hundreds of people are dying daily around the world. And heavens to Besty, you really don't want to be reminded of the fact that there's an alternative to being at war.
Even though I don't go to church now, the little Methodist church in Denton, Nebraska that I attended as a kid and that my mother's family founded taught me the importance of peace, love, and goodwill above all else. Do these suburban "Christians" even go to church? Or are their churches more about building expansions than teaching Christ's love? Hummph.


Multiplex Anticipation

I just received Taylor Baldwin's DVD of cricket videos in the mail -- I'm currently watching him eat an entire loaf of whole grain bread -- and I'm ever more excited for the Multiplex, which is only 10 days away.
I've been messing around with a project this morning, but as usual, I'm not wholly satisfied with what I'm doing and don't know where to go. Seeing amazing work by old friends and neighbors (or even just thinking about it) makes it all harder. The proverbial bar has been raised.


Robbie and I in Prague

I dressed up to have fancy coffee with Robbie in Prague.
Today, I've done well. I cut John's hair, had lunch while watching Curb Your Enthusiasm with him, got a call for a job interview, got some compression work for Dinger Associates, and even have a rough idea about what to do for the Multiplex.


Nice Drive

The show was wonderful, beautiful. My drive through rain and darkness and dead deer on the side of the road paid off upon getting a big hug from Rob and then surprising the members of Dearland with my unexpected arrival. I kicked myself for leaving my camera at Rob's house (and, come to think of it, I'd brought a digital sound recorder, too), but then relished enjoying the music unmediated after all. There followed a pizza-fueled sleepover at Rob's, a diner brunch at the Waveland Cafe -- where my cup featured a sassy pink cup&saucer saying "Honey, I'm steaming hot and bottomless" -- and plenty of soccer volleying in the parking lot/new car lot next to Rob's place.
We hit the road around 3 in the afternoon, and on this half of the trip I was fortunate enough to have Elvis as a travel companion and iPod-jockey. A very nice drive through western Iowa at dusk. We pulled into Lincoln around 8, ate at Oso (and were greeted by Mathias and Ashley, and Mathias's blog came true when he met the band), and the fellas fueled up with burritos for the middle of the night in the Sandhills. I wish them well.
In other news, I'm currently the featured artist on OneBeta. Take a look.


Going to See Elvis

Tonight, I'm going to do my damndest to drive to Des Moines to see Elvis Perkins in Dearland. I lived next door to a couple of these fellas in Providence. Beautiful, beautiful music. To echo the chorus of critical acclaim: "the new Bob Dylan/Jeff Buckley/Neil Young." I'd love some company, if anyone wants to join. Give me a call.


Ups and Downs

Thumbs up Lancaster County -- you sent 4 great new State Senators to the Unicameral in Amanda McGill, Bill Avery, Danielle Nantkes, and Norman Wallman.
Thumbs down to Nebraska statewide/district races -- you knew Pete Ricketts (or, as I saw in a manipulated yard sign today, Peter Licker) wouldn't be hard for the Benator to defeat, so why did we come so close with Kleeb and Esch and not that much farther behind with Moul and then Hahn, who were all fielded against such weak opponents, when with a little more work from the state party, we could have won these?
Thumbs up to Democrats nationally -- House and Senate, both. Wow. I think Jon Tester is my favorite new Senator.
And finally, via Crooks and Liars, a tribute to Donald Rumsfeld.


Go Vote.

Vote today. 8 am to 8 pm in Nebraska Central Time. And if there is anything suspicious going on, you feel disenfranchised, or anything of the sort, call 1-888-DEMVOTE.



With the election only 6 days away, I've had a couple incredibly hectic days of work -- the kind where you're working on one thing for 10 minutes if you're lucky before you have to turn to something else and then the phone is ringing and suddenly within the time that you're writing one e-mail there are 5 more in your inbox. A little stressful, no doubt.

It's also incredibly exciting, though, not only that our race is heating up but for all the races around the country -- there's an incredible feeling of momentum and a positive feeling about politics that I haven't felt since becoming frustrated after the 2000 election. At that point in my life, I had invested personally a great deal; I formed my whole rationale about college and the extracurricular decisions I made in high school based on my intentions to enter politics, with my ultimate goal being to become a U.S. Senator.

Things changed pretty quickly. After the unbelievably disappointing 2000 elections -- for which I'd spent hours and hours of my after-school time working for the Democrats while filling out my college applications -- I kept with it for the local elections of May 2001, right before my high school graduation. There was one great school board victory and a few surprising city council losses. I still left for Brown that fall thinking I'd study politics, but then one week in, hearing about September 11th and going that day to my Introduction to Modern Culture and Media class, my attitude toward it all changed dramatically. Through that semester, I became more and more entrenched in media theory, began to view politics as inextricable from culture and mediation. My political science class didn't do it for me, and two semesters later, I was full-on invested in the MCM department. Though I never became wholly disinterested in politics, it definitely took a backburner for the duration of my time in Providence, due in part certainly to the fact that I was living in a truly liberal climate for the first time in my life as well.

Now, however, I feel like I have come to a nice synthesis. I delight once again in being a bit of a political junkie, but yet I still retain the skeptical eye media theory has grown in me. I am comfortable with the discerning eye with which many fine liberal blogs view the media and politics. It's not perfect, no doubt, but it is wonderful to read the writings of people whose passions are politics and the media, rather than simply digest what is presented by those who make it their career, those often edited by others more concerned with advertisement and ratings.

The last 8 months have been one hell of a journey for me. From all the shooting scenarios I've encountered on the campaign trail to the confidence with which I've felt compelled to advise David Hahn and the receptiveness he's demonstrated in discussing decisions regarding media, politics and the future with me, I'm happy to say it's been a very rewarding experience.

The countdown begins now. Come have a drink or two with me at the election night party -- Haymarket Theater, 7pm - 1am ... free beer, karaoke, and more.


Some Cheap Monday Night Nostalgia

I remember a time when I listened to The Locust every day. Loud. Around this time, I also had short black hair full of pomade, wore tight-ass black jeans, and thought myself rather hardcore. This was around the time I picked up the nickname "Grindcore," which has, not surprisingly, garnered many friend requests on myspace from grindcore bands, and many jealous messages from naive facebook members who think it to be my "real" last name.

I remembered very vividly today being at a Lightning Bolt show at Ocean's Coffee on Waterman St. in Providence. People were hanging from the pipes on the ceiling, and it looked like they were going to come crashing down. Not exactly comforting in the same state that had the ol' Great White Station Nightclub Fire.

(I have decided, while writing this post, to detour momentarily from the dance mix I was making for no particular occasion to listen to some of the music I used to be pretty obsessed with. Right now, that's Le Shok. Wow, I really, really liked them. Still pretty amazing, but it kind of reminds me a lot of being 19.)

I remember getting a Providence accent when drunk. That really hasn't happened in quite awhile. Maybe if I drank a lot of whiskey? No, that's a bad idea ihregahdless.

There was the time at the end of my first year, when I boarded the Greyhound for my 36-hour trip home -- much to the trepidation of many of my Ivy League classmates -- on which I sat next to an enormous rapper from Brooklyn with whom I spent the overnight portion through Pennsylvania discussing the parallels between punk and hip hop. I remember running through Port Authority with two huge duffel bags, a backpack and a guitar -- my whole dorm room, practically -- climbing breathless onto the full bus, having him ask me if I'd sing him to sleep, and deciding this was the man to make friends with if I was not to be fucked with.

Amy (pictured) and Becky took me to Narragansett before my bus ride. They couldn't believe I'd grown up without ocean.

I miss the set-up at 72 and 72-and-a-half John Street. On a night like tonight, where I don't really feel like going out, I'd love to be able to walk across the yard and up the steps to hang out with Taylor, Mark, Ryan or Alex and while away the hours with Rolling Rock and video games. Those were amazing nights. A lot of what I miss about Providence is the spontaneity of it all. I feel like we hardly ever made plans, just kind of ran into each other or stopped by or people stopped by the cottage and we went from there. And the parties seemed different somehow, too. I think part of it was just that people had parties more instead of going to the bars, and then there was always the walking from party to party in large groups, forgetting the distance of the walk, the temperature, or how much your feet hurt or how drunk you were. Somehow you always made it there. (And then there was the Valentine's Punk Prom, where Darin carried me halfway up the hill because my feet hurt so much from wearing Katy's heels that I had started walking barefoot on the snow -- Darin heaved me up on his back and ran from Benefit Street all the way to the main gate at Brown. And speaking of the main gate, there was the time Alex Provan and I were standing in front of it, both of us freshly turned 19, drinking whiskey from a flask quite obviously, when a Providence Police car pulled up, the cop got out, asked "You kids Brown students?," and to our trying-to-keep-it-cool "yes" response replied "Have a good night.")

After Valentine's Punk Prom 2003, before bundling into really warm clothes, turning around and heading back downcity to catch the Greyhound to New York to take part in the major pre-Iraq anti-war protest, sleepless, freezing, wandering the city, drinking in Brooklyn.

I'll never forget the trip to Boston the night of the "Spring Forward" time change. Some of the group was going to see Milemarker -- and I took a detour just now, because I don't remember who I went to see, but no matter -- we all took the Greyhound up, went to our respective shows (I remember it was at the Middle East), got out of the show too late to take the T and so got a way too expensive cab because this is before we all had cell phones to coordinate that the other show goers had actually been waiting for us and were on a Night Owl bus, anyway, we all get back to South Station and realize that we have no idea when our 2:30 AM bus back to Providence will be leaving, considering that the time changed immediately from 2 to 3 that night. After an hour of us tired, smelly punk kids wandering around the station that no one else seemed to be in, shouting about our bus not existing, we found it would go at the new 3:30. An hour later, we all stumbled up the hill back to our dorms, groggy from a bit of bus sleep, wrapped up in our little emo kid scarves, our freezing chucks, our too-thin jackets, not at all suspecting that our "look" would, unbeknownst to us, be picked up by MTV and Seventeen a few years later.

(I've taken a bit of a detour during this last paragraph, looking back over an archive of my old blog from those years, trying to find out what show that was. Didn't find that, but did find a lot of other unbelievably cocky posts about how absolutely rad/sad bastard I was. So much of it, I can't believe I wrote. And now I just found it -- we had gone to see Tristeza and Interpol, right after Interpol's first EP dropped. February 23, 2002.)

There was a pretty great feeling to being 19.


That's a Wrap

Yesterday was the last shooting day for Coons, the USC film I've been working on. I had a really good time with it, and I certainly learned a lot.

It was funny how many times I was softly criticized for living in Nebraska, though. Even when I'd say I'd lived on the East Coast (i.e. I've seen another place, decided to come back), or explained the luxuries I have here (an inexpensive yet large house, the fact that I built a darkroom in my basement -- which, note to self, I should really use more), these all seemed to fall on deaf ears. (Part of the problem may have been that the local crew outside of me were all people who hadn't really "gotten out" yet; the "sell" to come to L.A. probably worked better with them.) And you know, it really doesn't make sense for me to be in L.A. If I want to film the landscape here -- if that's what inspires my experimental work -- then why should I leave? Sure, I may make more money if I unionize, but though I had fun gripping for a week, would I want to do that all day, every day? Probably not. And that's just the way L.A. seems to me: you get your track, and you stick in it.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like the best part of the Brown program for me was that you learned a little bit of everything, but weren't cordoned off into one area or another. As much as it's great that I can now tell a cardellini from a platypus clamp, a flag from a griff, a combo from a c-stand -- and as much as I value the beautiful images created by meticulously setting up a shot with several grips keeping bounces in place -- I'm so much more charged by the incidental image that occurs when hundreds of birds suddenly fly up from between the cornstalks or the magical silhouette of a church in front of the rising sun. And, call me a purist, but the true magic is when those things happen naturally, not when they're set up. Even when I don't have my camera with me, those are the images I'll never forget.

As my key grip/gaffer Ryan said as he drove the grip truck back in for the last time, beer in hand, "That's a wrap."



An ol'hand in "the business" called me Lizzie the Lil' Grippette today. And I'm living up to my nickname. The last three days, I've put in full-on work days on the set of a USC graduate thesis film shooting on gravel roads somewhere between Plattsmouth and Louisville, NE.

(more photos coming soon. bill, the owner of the rig and giver of my nickname, is sending me some he took.)
It's been cold and rainy on set, but that's actually meant I've learned a lot more about gripping/gaffing. Today, we set up the rigged truck and had to put up a 20' x 20' griff (big tarp but with a reflective white surface to bounce light) diagonally over the whole trailer to keep the rain off the actors, lights, camera, oh yeah, and so we could put up lights and reflectors to make it look like a sunny day. The movies, they are indeed magic.


She works hard for the $

This morning -- a bright, beautiful Saturday that I should not be spending in my office -- I got the grand fortune to chat with Robbie Wilkins online for a bit. Turns out he recently met Heather Matarazzo, the actress that played Dawn Wiener in Welcome to the Dollhouse. We also decided it would be great to make a music video where a group of people are watching Donna Summer on TV and trying not to masturbate.


I should write a damn post, not just put up links

I was going to write something about this a long time ago, and then I never really got around to it. Such is life at a hurry-up-and-wait job: plenty of time to do something on the side, but never enough of a guaranteed stretch to avoid breaking the flow.

A few weeks ago, Nate Young and I went to an expositional screening of films from TIE, the International Experimental Film Festival that accompanies Telluride each year. This collection was their anniversary reels, a catalogue of highlights from the past 7 years of the festival. It also included a couple premieres, including a film from South America that had been intentionally water damaged, resulting in beautiful coloring.

It was an incredibly rainy night -- pouring, really -- and at times during the screening, during silently screen reels or during the deliberate stretches of leader placed between films to give the viewers time to process the imagery, the rain on the metal roof of the theater offered a texture to the viewing that was irreplaceably special.

Though all of the films did something for me in one way or another, upon reflection, I'll bring up the ones that really hit hard. There was a beautifully ambient documentary called Den of Tigers, shot in India. The interplay of sound and image is very nice -- it is non-sync, with resonances occuring naturally, never too deliberately. It fit very much into my ideal of experimental documentary -- a film that transports you in either time, place, or both, gives you some explanation/informantion, but mostly just sends you into another world. Beautiful. Aesthetically, it was often like a well-shot travel home-movie; it was truly the editing and the soundtrack that brought it to a higher level of being.

The program included a Martin Arnold film (Passage a l'Acte) that I saw the first or second week of film production classes with Leslie Thornton, the screening that made me want an optical printer like it was nobody's business. This film takes a tiny clip from an old sixties film -- a scene at the breakfast table where the kids are about to leave for school -- and incessantly plays with its frames, repeating anywhere from a few to one frame several times in a row, then slipping to a set-up a few frames later and pursuing a variation on the effect. Hypnotic, funny, and all done on film. Amazing.

Alpsee, another Austrian film, made me write the note "film your childhood" on my program. Highly psychosocial, color-coded, and with the kind of attention to detail that once again just transports you into another place, another perspective.

My favorite film of the night by far was A Fall Trip Home by Nathan Dorsky. This one layered imagery of leaves and forests, football games and cheerleaders, a family in the yard -- all interlaced in varying ways on top of each other, all to a low and sparse pan-flute soundtrack. It was unbelievable. Slow and beautiful. It really did move me to tears, with the sound of the rain on the roof only heightening this effect. I couldn't shake this imagery out of my mind for days afterward -- I made my entry to the Middle of Nowhere Film Festival based on seeing this film -- and I would love to see it again. It could have gone on far longer than it did; it was just so lovely.

The last piece in the program was The Dante Quartet by Stan Brakhage. For this, he painted on IMAX -- 70mm film -- and we saw a 35mm print. This is the kind of stuff you just can't rent the DVD for, and seeing it on screen, projected was quite an experience.

Which brings me, finally, to the TIE manifesto: FILM ONLY. It says on their website:

Why Film?
For over 100 years, film has been the standard that other mediums have striven to achieve. Unlike it's electronic contemporaries, the finer nuances of the format have remained unchanged. Film speaks a language all its own, and when combined with an artist's vision, images are given a life that only film can provide. In a world dominated by new moving image technologies, when we see film, we know we are taking a special voyage.

And they're right. It is special to be in the presence of projected film. I felt that instantly when I was in the theater, and was intensely reminded of it the next day when I began my digital editing. It is not the same to work with video. Practical, yes. But more than anything, I left the screening with a drive to shoot on film again, to force myself to deal with the cost. I'm now also on the lookout for a Steenbeck flatbed editing table.


oh how i love stairway to stardom...


Kleeb makes the front page

...and the people swoon.

NE-03: The Cowboy Candidate
by mcjoan
Mon Oct 02, 2006 at 01:58:50 PM PDT

Several weeks ago I wrote about rumblings in the West, a potential rural revolt in what have traditionally been very Republican, very conservative parts of the West--eastern Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana.

Judging by the success of a political newcomer, Scott Kleeb, it's time to add Nebraska to the list. Like Jon Tester in Montana and Peter Goldmark in Washington, Kleeb has well-established, native roots in Nebraska as well as a masters in International Relations and a PhD from Yale (he wrote his dissertation on the history and economics of cattle-ranching in the West). What's more, he's an authentic cowboy, a fourth generation rancher.

Not just a cowboy, but in fact a bull-rider. I have to admit that fact jumped out at me immediately from his bio. I've known a few bull-riders, and have to admit that they were among the craziest and wildest of the ranchhands I grew up with. You have to question the judgment of anyone willing to hop on to the back of a ton of twisting, bucking, Brahma rage. But one thing you have to say for these guys, they're fearless. And fearless is what you need running as a Democrat in the sixth most Republican Congressional district in the country. This is an open seat for Nebraska's third district, a seat that has been held by a Democrat in just two of the last 70 years.

But fearlessness is paying off.

A new poll conducted by national polling firm Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates September 20-21 shows that the 3rd District congressional race is up for grabs as we enter the last six weeks of the campaign.

When asked who they would vote for "if the election were held today," 41 percent of definite voters said they would vote for Adrian Smith and 37 percent said they would vote for Scott Kleeb. The margin of error for the entire sample is ±4.87%.

With echoes to the Larry Grant campaign in Idaho, his GOP opponent, Adrian Smith, has been almost entirely funded by the Club for Growth. Which is an ironic choice for the Nebraska GOP, since this is one of the top-ranked agricultural districts in the nation, where cattle probably outnumber people. The Club for Growth is virulently anti-ag, wanting all price supports to farmers and ranchers eliminated. Smith has also had to call in Dick Cheney for fundraising support. That's nice company he keeps, and it's not appealing to all the district's GOP voters who've been holding fundraisers for Kleeb.

"I feel pretty strongly that Kleeb is the better of the two candidates," Gene Koepke said. "When you talk to people about this, they say, `You're a Republican?' `Yes,' I say, `a lifetime Republican.'"


"What disturbed me the most in the primary," Kearney businessman Tom Henning said, "was that Club for Growth gave Adrian Smith $325,000. They (Club for Growth) are in favor of eliminating the USDA. I'm not certain what Smith's motive was."


Another Republican from Kearney listed as a host, businessman Brad Kernick, said he "doesn't want to be painted as a turncoat," but he is worried about long-term economic prospects in rural Nebraska.

"The most pressing issues are survival of smaller communities, which is directly linked to agriculture," Kernick said. He said water shortages and water disputes also worry him.

The reality for people living in the rural West, and really all of rural America, is that the GOP has failed them. That's why candidates like Scott Kleeb, whose understanding of the challenges and the needs of farmers and ranchers is bred in the bone, are so compelling in their districts. Kleeb has positions on some issues that are frankly not going to be as compelling to the Daily Kos community, on abortion, on Iraq, on a number of issues where he's been tagged a "Nelson Democrat." The important thing to remember--Nelson Democrats can win in Nebraska.

Kleeb appears to be a Democrat who can win there. He's going to be the downticket beneficiary of a strong DSCC-finance GOTV effort for Nelson. He's been more than competitive in the money race, he's young, energetic, and has been covering the district like crazy for the past year. He even has some creative and compelling ads (see, in particular, "Listen").

NOTE: Given the extraordinary events of the last few days, I would have postponed posting this a day or two. But as I was finishing up this profile, I found out that Scott had devoted some time to diary here today for the first time. Instead, he's going to live blog with us in the comments. Welcome, Scott!

Scott's Website


Evil Villain Now Hiring

Reply to: job-206749217@craigslist.org
Date: 2006-09-13, 12:25PM EDT

Currently looking to fill the position of henchmen,and beautiful female accomplice.

Must be willing to take orders and be able to work weekends and nights as well. Please note you will be working in a hollow based volcano which is a hazardous environment, so there will be some risks involved. Please attach resume with former henching experience. Experience with lasers a plus, but not needed. Will train the right individual.

Beautiful Female Accomplice
Ideal beautiful female accomplice, must be willing to take orders and sit, stand or otherwise be beautiful, essentially you will be an object for me to admire. Some special tasks may also be involved. Martial arts and modeling skills are a plus. You will have a facade that you are truly evil, but inevitably the good inside you will turn you to my arch-nemesis. Please send resume along with pictures to be considered for interview.

Evil Villain is an EOE and will not discriminate.

•Job location is undisclosed active hollow volcano
•Compensation: Healthcare, Matching 401k, Dental, Paid vacations, Holiday Bonuses.
•yes -- OK for recruiters to contact this job poster.
•no -- Please, no phone calls about this job!
•yes -- You may contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
•no -- Reposting this message elsewhere is NOT OK.
•yes -- OK to repost to Job Developers for Persons with Disabilities.



Last night, despite a strained and incredibly stiff neck, I rolled the best night of bowling ever: 171, 148, 172.
This morning, I found out that Saturdays are now required working days for paid staff.


I feel like this right now

(p.s. i don't want to be one of those people. those cat video people. you know what i'm talking about. these are the dire straits i'm in, folks.)


More YouTube Interesting People

Don't Try This At Home

From the Daily Record

30 August 2006

A PRIEST has died after trying to demonstrate how Jesus walked on water.

Evangelist preacher Franck Kabele, 35, told his congregation he could repeat the biblical miracle.

But he drowned after walking out to sea from a beach in the capital Libreville in Gabon, west Africa.

One eyewitness said: "He told churchgoers he'd had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus.

"He took his congregation to the beach saying he would walk across the Komo estuary, which takes 20 minutes by boat.

"He walked into the water, which soon passed over his head and he never came back."



Some of the wonderfully euphemistic (or just plain stupid) names of PACs giving money to the Fort

Jeffrey Lane Fortenberry (R)*
Every Republican is Crucial PAC $10,000
Future Leaders PAC $10,000
Keep Our Majority PAC $10,000
Promoting Republicans You Can Elect $10,000
Rely on Your Beliefs $10,000
Cmte for the Preservation of Capitalism $5,000
Democracy Believers PAC $5,000
Freedom Project $5,000
Freshmen PAC $5,000
Majority Initiative-Keep Electing Repubs $5,000
People for Enterprise/Trade/Econ Growth $5,000
Superior California Fed Leadership Fund $5,000
Texas Freedom Fund $5,000
Together for Our Majority $5,000

That time...

People are going back to school again, and I'm not. The weather is getting cooler, and I'm happy about that. Yes, it's always a bit sad to see summer go, but I love sweaters and jackets and snuggling up under blankets. Don't think that'll ever change.
Last night, Becca and I were talking about taking walks in the snow, and I told her about one of my most cherished memories. I was probably about 6 or 7 years old, and there was a lot of snow on the ground. I had already gone to bed, but my dad woke me up, bundled me up, and took me to the part of the MoPac trail (then quite new) that was in the East Campus neighboorhood (near our house). My dad and I took a long walk on the bike path with snow falling. I can remember the color of the sky, the street lights on the snow, and the absolute quiet on that bike path. I remember looking at my dad's smile. I remember feeling like he was thinking this was special, too.


Triangle Forest in Wavelength

aug, 2006: article
Triangle Forest
Filed under:

* Bands

WL 327 - Sunday, Aug. 20 – 10pm
Purveyors of: smart synthesized sounds make sexy cyborgs smile

When Roger Williams first began to settle Rhode Island in 1636, he would never have guessed that in 370 years Providence would have formed “sister cities” with Phnom Penh, Florence, Riga and Santo Domingo, let alone his land once decreed as “God’s merciful providence” spawning an evil corporation fornicating and fighting under the band moniker Triangle Forest. Tyrone Warner came up with a list of demands and those corporate bastards did their best to comply.

Please introduce your band, alphabetically if possible.

Alexandra Kleeman, CCO, CKO, utilizes keytars and synths for bass production, likes poetry and brain functions. Benjamin Britton, CFO, CPO, exploits the use of octopad drums, enjoys photographic machinery, whiskey, and pastoral sunshine. Brendan Britton, CEO, CTO, controls plastic guitars, synthesizers, and vocals, likes general relativity and astropornography.

Tell me, what is the coolest thing in the whole world?

Do you mean in the metaphysical sense? Well, in that case, the coolest thing is probably Neptune’s moon Triton, which has an average surface temperature of 38K. But actually, that’s more like the coldest thing: the coolest thing is actually watching an alien gangbang on Triton from the Hubble Space Telescope.

If your band was a flavour, what would it taste like?

Imagine a deranged monster lording over you that places a tiny pill of mescaline on your tongue and waits as your saliva begins to moisten the conductive crystals. He then allows a high-voltage triangle waveform to enter your brain by means of the conductive mescaline. Well, that deranged monster is us and that voltage signal would constitute our music, the mix-down of our collective instruments, and that taste would be the taste of Triangle Forest.

Why did Triangle Forest become a band? Why do you keep making music?

We are a corporation utterly without conscience who will break any international law in order to bring you the most infectious musical diseases. We formed in the summer of 2005 to grow as large and as powerful as possible, to distribute more effective hi-NRG jams to the world, and to reap as much profit as ruthlessly as possible.

Tell me about the instruments Triangle Forest plays.

We are an all digital band that produces consumer-ready, ass-thumpin’ triangle waves using a variety of musical devices. Ben plays a Roland SPD-20 Octopad beat machine. Alex plays an Alesis Micron Synth and a Yamaha SHS-10 Keytar. Brendan plays the Casio DG-20 (a revolutionary plastic guitar) and a Novation Supernova II. Each of these instruments has been fine-tuned to blow an audience member’s brains out through their ass.

Do you think calling your style “80’s music” is fair?

This happens occasionally, and I’m not sure what to say… I’d say we are more like 2000’s music because the music we are making is now and not from any other time. For instance, many bands in the 80’s had homosexual haircuts. You will notice from our glossies that no one in our band makes use of a homosexual haircut… although we reserve the right to in the future, should we get better stylists. Maybe part of the problem is that so far there was only really one decade where bands using synthesizers existed, and that was the 80’s.

Is there any sexual tension in the band? People love to hear about that stuff.

Alex likes to straddle her keytar like a horsey. Ben has ultra sensitive pads and likes to beat off. Brendan enjoys stroking his guitar shaft. Sometimes we take MIDI dumps on each other, and this tends to lubricate the creative process. But mostly we have sex with our secretaries at work, like chief executives in any corporation.

How many times have you seen a normal human brain blown out of someone’s ass?

Usually after one of our sets someone will stumble up to the stage and just repeatedly point to their messy bottom while stammering “d-d-dudes, mindless!” It’s difficult to watch, but hey, that’s the cold-hearted nature of capitalism.

What’s with the evil?

As a corporation, we are inherently evil. That’s the cold-hearted nature of capitalism.

By Tyrone Warner


Democrat saddles up for a red-state ride

Article about Scott Kleeb in the Chicago Tribune. Watch this race, folks. It's the heart of what I believe in.

By Jeff Zeleny, Tribune national political correspondent, recently in Nebraska
Published August 21, 2006

HASTINGS, Neb. -- The man running for Congress begins by making a joke.

"I'm a Democrat and I'm a bull rider," he says on a recent summer afternoon, talking to a few dozen folks who have taken their seats near the shuffleboard table at a tavern off Main Street. "Now which of those two things do you all think is more difficult to be in Nebraska?"

The easy answer, of course, is a Democrat. There are plenty of bull riders--or, in truth, plenty who wish they were--across the central plains and western Sandhills of Nebraska.

Scott Kleeb, a budding politician wearing Wranglers, is both.

While Hastings is known for such things as being the birthplace of Kool-Aid, it seldom draws much notice for its politics. But this year, campaigns are percolating in unlikely places, underscoring a potentially tumultuous road to November.

Across America in August, candidates for Congress have fanned out into their territories, campaigning with little fanfare or attention in the majority of the 435 districts. Only a handful of the most competitive seats ever attract much notice beyond their own boundaries.

Yet here in the largest geographical district in the nation--not counting states with just one representative such as North and South Dakota and Wyoming--Kleeb has become an intriguing curiosity as he logs thousands of miles on his White Chevrolet Silverado extended-cab pickup truck that serves as both office and bedroom when he's on the road.

Kleeb is joining a long list of never-before-politicians taking their first stab at running for offices up and down the ballot.

Earlier this year, Democrats rushed to recruit soldiers who had just returned from Iraq to run for Congress. In Illinois' 6th District, for example, war veteran Tammy Duckworth is vying to fill the seat of Rep. Henry Hyde, a retiring Republican. And, among others, military lawyer Patrick Murphy is challenging Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).

Republicans also did their fair share of persuasion, persuading Hall of Fame football star Lynn Swann to run for Pennsylvania governor.

Still, for all these new names on the November ballot, Kleeb stands out.

It's not simply that he was a bull rider on his college team at the University of Colorado.

It's not simply that he received a doctoral degree from Yale. (That is a run-of-the-mill achievement among those who walk the halls of Congress.)

It's not simply that he's 31 or that he grew up in Turkey and Italy, where his parents taught English to children of U.S. military families. (He spent summers in Nebraska, living with his grandparents near Broken Bow.)

No, it is the topic of his dissertation that makes him unique.

Could he be the only congressional candidate on record to write a dissertation exploring the history of Western ranching and the cattle industry, focusing particularly on British and Scottish influences on the business during the 19th Century?

It was that subject that helped spark Kleeb's interest in running for office. He, like so many other nascent politicians, believes he can make a difference.

"I believe government has an important role that it can and should be playing in people's lives," he said. "It can be a powerful, positive force for good."

To conduct his research, he drove through 22 Western states, he said, "including each state west of the Mississippi except Louisiana." He interviewed farmers and ranchers and spent a good deal of his time just listening to conversations in cafes and coffee shops.

Not surprisingly, he concluded that frustrations in the country are high, with an unusually heavy dose of animosity aimed at Washington. He believes the Democratic Party hasn't held up its end of the bargain, either, which is why he moved back to the ranch and decided to run for an open seat in Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District.

Never mind that Western Nebraska hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress since 1958.

But is a Democratic resurgence slowly creeping across Western states?

Wyoming, Montana and Kansas--a trio of so-called red, Republican states--have Democratic governors. And Democrats there have fielded an unusually high number of competitive candidates in Senate and House races this year.

Here in Hastings, Kleeb realizes he is running upstream in a Republican district. When you ask him why he's a Democrat, he begins by pointing to the year 1947, when his grandparents got power on their Nebraska ranch.

Then, he fast-forwards to the future.

"We need to get back to talking about finding ways of expanding wealth for more people," Kleeb said, driving over to the Adams County Fairgrounds. "That's what electricity was all about. That's what all of FDR's reforms were about."

So how can a Democrat run for Congress in one of the reddest states in America? (He is running against Republican Adrian Smith, 36, to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Tom Osborne, a Republican, who is leaving Congress after losing his bid for governor.)

"We're hitting it as many times as we can that we're a different kind of Democrat. If it's a throwback, that's great," Kleeb said. "But this is a very independent-minded district. They want to look you in the eye, which is why I don't wear sunglasses. They want to size you up and see who you are."

At the same time, he doesn't hesitate reminding folks of just one more thing: The other day, he suited up and went to the rodeo.


Who's Lovin' Your Momma?

Kennedy = Dream Daddy

Tonight: No Coast Roller Derby Girls, then

Huskernaut, Her Flyaway Manner, and Man's Last Great Invention at the Chatterbox (R.I.P. Triangle Forest's van)

Tomorrow, early: Going to Grand Island (neither grand nor an island) for the Democratic Party's State Convention.

Sunday: Making and eating gazpatcho with my momma, then a film premiere in Omaha for a film I did some camera work on but really know nothing about.


'Saved by the Bell' actor, woman tussle in hotel



The man who played the geeky Screech on the 1990s teen TV favorite "Saved by the Bell" alleges that he was bullied in an Omaha hotel room.

Comedian Dustin Diamond, who performed at the west Omaha Funny Bone Comedy Club Thursday through Sunday, said an Omaha woman broke into his room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel early Monday morning.

Diamond told a Tampa, Fla., radio station that the 28-year-old woman stormed his room about 3:40 a.m. looking to steal some valuables. Diamond alleges he had a skirmish with the woman, who was armed with Mace. He said that after she took some video games, he was able to pin her with the room's door, at which point she hollered, "Rape."

Diamond, 29, said he then held onto her pants until police could arrive.

The woman told police that she didn't attack Diamond and that he assaulted her.

"It's a case of he said, she said," said Sgt. Teresa Negron, an Omaha Police Department spokeswoman.

No charges have been filed. No more details could be released, Negron said.

The phone number Omaha police had on record for the woman was disconnected this morning.

During his radio interview, Diamond, who was on "Saved by the Bell" from 1989 to 1994, laughed off the incident.

"You've got to love Omaha," he said.


Today, you should

go to the United States Post Office nearest (or dearest) you, and send a SASE to the folks who distribute Chaise Magazine, an outstanding DVD collection of digital art in all sorts of media. It's worth it for the World Canine Freestyle Organization alone, and for many many many excellent film, video, and digital processing works. Do it.

For the lazy:
Chaise Magazine
119 Ingraham Street #209
Brooklyn, NY 11237

Chaise Two fits in a 6 × 9 inch envelope snugly, a slightly larger envelope padded for damage resistance is ideal. Put at least $1.75 on your SASE. Include a little note, if you wish, or a slip of paper with your email address and how you heard about us. It's that easy.


The best way to combine set of 3 angles

I can't wait for Triangle Forest to take Lincoln by storm on the 18th. Mark Montalto's video is excellent, particularly the sunglasses. Ande made a sweet flier,

and so did Brendan "B-Lite" Britton, for the whole tour.


Bavarian Cowboys

Today, I've been researching the German obsession -- and, more specifically, the Bavarian obsession -- with the Wild West. And I have discovered:

Pullman City, a Wild West theme park, where "Hobbyists in costume are admitted free."

Bavarian Cowboys, a collective of US/car enthusiasts that have an excellent video on their site.

And, The Art of Being German, a series of photographs by Peter Grasner depicting Germans who dress up as "Westerns."

This article pretty much sums it up.


A Leading Indicator of Legitimacy?

Lincoln now has a craigslist. Gasp! Are we getting there?

Bulleted list of trip highlights:
* Apple, Blue Cheese, Artichoke, and Garlic Pizza from the Big Tomato in Des Moines
* Hours of Kill, Fuck, or Marry
* John trying to prove he's a nice enough guy to be Marika/Elisabeth's "Marry" choice
* David picking "drunk" over "mother"
* John's imitation of Dot missing us
* Breakfast in Toledo, particularly plugging the jukebox
* Birch water and John's wild raspberries in Central Pennsylvania
* Being picked up and spun around by both Taylor and Mike while Cordey urinated in the street
* Sicilia's
* Breakfast at Brickway
* Standing on Thayer Street for at least an hour, just talking
* Big meal at Apsara for 8 people, only $45
* "Christopher Walken" versus "Wisdom"
* BreAnne's mojitos
* Bagel Gourmet on the MCM Green
* True Providence BBQ
* Lightbulb jokes
* Julian's
* Amtrak along the shoreline
* NYC barcrawl 'til 4 AM
* Watching the World Cup finals in Mark Montalto's crazy Upper East Side housesitting flat
* Hours queued up for Upright Citizens Brigade tickets
* Random people from Brown also in line
* Seeing Horatio Sanz and the rest of the UCB crew up close, for free
* Brooklyn Lager
* J-Vass's handlebar moustache
* Gianna's veggie Philly cheese-steak
* Pumpkin surprise visit
* TV Carnage over and over
* Philly dive bar, where you just order "lager"
* The "threesome"
* "Different Places!"
* The Gayborhood
* The beautiful horseshoe curve in the Alleghenys
* Wandering around Pittsburgh with all our luggage
* Finally sleeping on the train to Chicago
* Track 11
* Cold, delicious beer right away at Fran's
* The view from Ken's office, Chicago Loop
* The original Marshall Field's
* Chicago Style architecture, up close
* Sunset in Iowa
* Pulling into Lincoln in a new way for the first time
* My parents at 2 in the morning
* Seeing Dot again




I have loaded several photos from the trip onto flickr. nocoastphotos. Enjoy.

So Monday night, after some of the most stupidly hot weather ever, a great group of people met at a park in the North Bottoms to play kickball. One special rule: second base is a cooler of beer and two players are allowed on that base. My team, Team Bird, pulled out a secret weapon in the 7th inning stretch, namely a basket full of water ballons that were promptly launched at the pitcher while one of ours was at bat. This is the Summer of Awesome.
After kickball, I drove Patrick and Adeline Wilkens home, and after the little lady went to bed, Patrick and I had a wonderful extended conversation about Lincoln, and particularly this summer/last six months. I will miss him.
(Addendum: Yesterday, after work, I saw Patrick driving by at an intersection. It made me smile.)

Forthcoming: A bulleted trip summary.


Back from the East

I'll have to write about my trip and get some photos up as well, but for now, here is what I accomplished at work today.



Governor Heineman Announces New Task Force to Study the Effectiveness of Task Forces

Dave Heineman, the state’s Republican governor, announced a new state task force to study the effectiveness of the myriad of task forces created by the governor and his predecessor Mike Johanns to delay any real action on solving Nebraska’s problems.

“No longer can my critics, like Democratic candidate David Hahn, sit back and criticize my complete lack of leadership and my inherent inability to enact any sort of practical statewide policy,” Heineman said. “This new Task Force Task Force will thoroughly investigate the effectiveness of the task forces created by me and my old boss, Mike Johanns.”

Heineman said some of the task forces the Task Force Task Force will investigate include the Water Policy Task Force, the task force investigating the overburdened case workers in Nebraska’s Health and Human Services Department, and the task force created to investigate the viability of bringing high speed broadband Internet access to rural Nebraska.

Heineman added that the Task Force Task Force will create the air of accomplishing tasks in a forceful manner while delaying the necessity for decisive action. The Task Force Task Force will also have a sub-task force designed to decide where Governor Heineman stands on various important state issues the governor has not yet revealed his standing on including immigration, the state spending lid petition and broadband Internet access for rural Nebraska.

“It’s important that the governor waits to see opinion poll results before taking any real action,” said Jangly McSpanglepants, Heineman’s appointed leader of the Task Force Task Force. “What if the Gov’ made a decision and took action before learning how popular that decision was? Anarchy, I tell you – total anarchy. And most of this stuff isn’t even our problem. Remember when the Governor said immigration was a federal issue? That means he doesn’t have to deal with it. Unless the people want him do. But if they don’t, then we don’t want to touch it. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Heineman said he won’t decide on how effective the Task Force Task Force is until a Task Force Task Force Task Force can be formed to investigate the effectiveness of the Task Force Task Force.

“As Nebraska’s by-default governor, I’ve made one thing abundantly clear: My administration is a wait-and-see administration. Eventually there will be enough waiting and enough seeing that we can see our way through the storm of waiting,” Heineman said while visiting a local proprietor of frozen confections.

When asked by the cashier if he’d prefer chocolate or vanilla, Heineman asked the cashier to keep both machines running while an Ice Cream Task Force was formed to investigate whether chocolate or vanilla was more delicious.

Meanwhile Hahn said he’s already made his own stances clear.

“We need a barrier on the Mexico border and we need the companies that take advantage of illegal immigrant workers to pay the cost of granting the workers citizenship. I’m against the state spending lid petition, as I said weeks ago, and we need to get rural Nebraska high speed Internet as soon as possible instead of sitting on our hands to appease the big telecom companies that aren’t interested in the area in the first place,” Hahn said.

When asked by the cashier whether he wanted chocolate or vanilla, Hahn requested butter brickle.


Jawohl, mein Kater!

Lovely afternoon delights courtesy of Hitlercats. My personal favorite (he's definitely going to take over the world):


And Then..

I promise you, this is not your average "take a quiz" link.

Please, I beg of you, yes, you, not to sign the spending lid petition

It is an utter shame I haven't posted in a bit of a bit. I assure you, I've barely had time to read blogs, let alone update my own.
I'm going to take a chunk of space here, however, and repost some of Kyle Michaelis's excellent political analyis. Today, he writes:

Heineman in Hiding: 17 Days and Counting

Paid, oftentimes out-of-state petitioners have now been on the prowl for more than a month in the push to get a Constitutional state govermnent spending cap onto the November ballot. The opposition has organized, challenging the petitioners at every turn with efforts to make Nebraska voters think twice before lending their signature to such an amendment.

Democratic candidate for governor David Hahn declared the petition "irresponsible butchery" weeks ago, even challenging its lead proponent first in a series of Letters to the Editor and then in a live radio debate. In today's Omaha World-Herald, even Dave Nabity - the odd man out in this spring's Republican gubernatorial primary - registered his two cents on the amendment.

But, guess who we still haven't heard from.....yup, Governor Dave Heineman.

It has been at least 17 days since the World-Herald reported:
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman had not decided if he would support the petition because he has not had time to review it in detail.

Well, I say the game is up. Heineman has had all the time he's needed to read the petition, take a look at the facts, and make a decision as to where he stands on this important issue facing the state of Nebraska. Yet, forsaking any claim to leadership, he maintains his cowardly silence because he knows this issue can cost him politically.

By speaking in favor of the petition effort, Heineman would basically be admitting that he's too incompetent and spend-happy to be trusted with the people of Nebraska's money. By opposing the effort, however, he'd be alienating the right-wing fringe whose support proved so essential to Heineman's victory in the Republican primary. Of course, he could just claim neutrality and say it's a choice to be left to the voters of Nebraska, but people would see right through that convenient line from a mile away.

Choices, choices - that's what life's about. That's what leadership's about. Still, Heineman refuses to take a side.

In a local battle between school districts this spring, Heineman was only too happy to jump in unprovoked in a brilliant (though destructive) stroke of political opportunism. But, here, where we're talking about a matter that would directly impact every function of the state government he supposedly heads, Heineman has nothing to say - at least, not until the polling data comes in clearing the way for his having an opinion or the issue just fades away by petitioners not gathering enough signatures before the July 7th deadline.

Either way, this has been a pathetic display of how Heineman operates and what he holds as his truest priority - not the interests of the state but rather his own political career.

This petition is terrible. It will ruin Nebraska. Please don't sign it. I'll sit down and tell you all about it, if you'd like.


Cox Blocks Craigslist: And You Still Haven't Called Congress about Net Neutrality?

Heard of Craigslist? They're a free classified ad listing site on the web. Apparently, Cox Communications decided to block this site through its security software. (MyDD's Matt Stoller lays it out here). Curious, because Cox has its own classified site. This is why Net Neutrality is so important. Call/e-mail now. Here, you can find information for your representative.


The Compulsion to Clap

Last night, I went to Jonathan Demme's new film, Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Though typically I'm uninterested cinematically in concert films, I was in awe of this film's ability -- at least with the audience that joined me in the theater -- to break the fourth wall. Yes, people all around me felt compelled to clap at the end of each song! The film's cutting aided in the illusion by placing the film theater audience in a sometimes perspectivally impossible yet decidedly positively aligned position with the Ryman Auditorium audience within the film. Indeed, even in the few shots from upstage cameras, though we can see the silhouettes of a few audience members against the stained-glass windows at the back of the theater, they are in total darkness and therefore don't break the simulacral auditorium that we as film goers have been forced into by Demme. Furthermore, the camera that leads us into the auditorium then sits in the orchestra seating, a fact of which we are reminded when someone in front of "us" rises for a standing ovation.
I'll admit, I was a little disappointed that this was not a documentary (a fact I did not know going into the theater). However, had the film cut back and forth from concert to interviews, I don't think the compulsion to clap would have existed as it did. So for that, I suppose I am satisfied.



I have no idea what to say about this

Young Republicans celebrate global warming with beach parties

(Thanks to Nate for this one) Little Red Aliens found in India

This man has found all the answers to life's little problems.

And, never forget, the devious tactics of Republicans:

"Parks, libraries, and swimming pools are things that the GOP's fat cat contingent, who have their own libraries and swimming pools and large properties, don't want to pay for, which is why they are always marked for cutting by GOP pols. But the party also needs to dupe many of it's own supporters who use those things into supporting them, so they often equivocate about it, or try to distract them ("The library is closing because, um, LOOK! GAYS GETTING MARRIED!!!!!")

by jmcl89 on Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 06:31:48 PM PDT" (from Daily Kos)



Providence Missing Syndrome, that is.
This morning, I've been struck with some major pangs of desire for Providence. I will admit that this may be related to the Sonic Youth song Providence, and might be heightened to a level of tears by the Godspeed You! Black Emperor song Providence, which shall soon be filling my headphones.

I joined Man's Last Great Invention onstage last night armed with my 16mm projector, several reels of my own creation, and a short piece about infant development in baboons. The show was in an incredible backyard -- huge pond, lots of vegetation, a projection screen -- and there were happy, summery people of all ages milling about.

My baby brother is 20. I've been listening to a lot of Blonde Redhead. I helped with haying. I was asked to come in to work early, and now I have no idea why, since, if I have time to do this, I'm clearly not needed for other work-related things.


Reminder to Read International Presses

"Natürlich gibt es genug Leute, die im Kino genau das sehen wollen, was sie eh schon im Kopf haben. Aber ist es nicht eigentlich die Aufgabe von Kunst, eine spezielle Perspektive auf ein Thema zu öffnen? Glaubwürdigkeit alleine reicht dafür nicht aus. Die Frage, was an Bord der United 93 geschah, kann jeder Abschlussbericht beantworten; die Chance eines Spielfilms dagegen liegt genau darin, neue und ungewöhnliche Fragen zu stellen. Ist der 11. September ein Thema, zu dem es keine offenen Fragen mehr gibt? Oder sind die Fragen zu beunruhigend, weil es keine Antworten gibt? Gerade erst musste sich Steven Spielberg gegen heftige Kritik verteidigen, nachdem er in „München“ darüber reflektierte, ob Gewalt die richtige Antwort auf Terror sein kann. Greengrass dagegen will mit „Flug 93“ weder polarisieren noch anecken. Er entzieht sich einer schwierigen Debatte, indem er nichts als die „glaubhafte Wahrheit“ zeigt, und läuft damit ins Leere. Denn wie glaubhaft seine Wahrheit auch sein mag, am Ende steht ein nichts sagender Film."
Die Zeit

My translation:
Naturally, there are enough people who want to go to the movies to see what they already have imagined in their heads. But isn't it truly the duty of art to open a special perspective on a subject? Believability alone does not achieve this. The question 'what happened on united 93' can be answered by any final report; the opportunity of film, in contrast, is to be able to ask new and unusual questions. Is september 11th a subject in which there are no longer any open questions? Or are the questions too upsetting, because there are no answers? Steven Spielberg had to defend himself against heavy criticism when, in "Munich," he reflected upon whether aggression can be the proper response to terror. Greengrass [director of "United 93"], on the contrary, wants neither to polarize nor offend with "United 93." He removes himself from any difficult debate by showing nothing but the "believable truth" and therefore runs into emptiness. For no matter how believable his truth may be, at the end is a film that says nothing.


My Friend RW/HW

Robbie Wilkins, born Herbert Wainwright, was born circa 1978. On his quest for awesomness he has come to realized that through travel, false death hoaxes and genuine friendships he is able to pull off just about anything. Under the notion that pooled free thinking can generate harmonious and self assured creative skill, this visionary is well on his way to suprising himself on a regular basis.


Your Next Dance Party

Yesterday at the Goodwill, among other things I procured the soundtrack to my next party. Or yours, if you're lucky. The cassette tape is entitled D.j. Mix vol. 2 '97, a mega-mix courtesy of MC Mario.

Side 1

DJ Mix '97 Vol. 2 Theme
Freak Nasty - Da Dip
Angelina - I Don't Need Your Love
Amber - This Is Your Night
Funky Green Dogs - Fired Up!
Althea McQueen - Heartbroken
Boris D'Lugosch - Keep Pushin'
The Original - I Luv U Baby
Pump House Gang - Bang Bump

Side 2

Joi Cardwell - Soul To Bare
Outhere Brothers - La La La Hey Hey
RuPaul - Snapshot
La Bouche - Be My Lover
2 Live Crew - Do The Damn Thing
Lina Santiago - Feels So Good (Show Me Your Love)
Maxi Priest - That Girl
Camp Lo - Luchini aka (This Is It)
SWV - It's All About You

So, who wants to dance?


Two brief quotations from yesterday

E: Sometimes I mix things up.
A: Sometimes I mix things up, too. Sometimes, I forget that rain is not yellow.

E: I need some fresh air.
J: Should we open the windows?
P: No, there's no fresh air outside.

We celebrated a lovely 60th birthday for my mother, including lattes at the Mill, a stroll around the farmer's market, making lunch at my house, then going on a walk that mysteriously ended up at Bella, where we had massages, facials, wine and cheese (homemade by Krista Dittman, no less), a totally packed screening of The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which you should go see this week at the Ross, a reception with local food thereafter, and then a gathering at the farm with snacks, sangria, and mojitos that had a lovely staging of arrivals of guests, making me stay much longer than anticipated.


Ad Douche Episode Zwei

Not quite as good as the first, but nonetheless a nice read. N.B. the reference to Nebraska; I'd like to assure you that this non-coastal self is a confident reverse migrator.


Keep 'Em Comin'

Jean Rohe, a brand-new graduate of the New School, gave this fantastic speech just before the keynote John McCain:

If all the world were peaceful now and forever more,

Peaceful at the surface and peaceful at the core,

All the joy within my heart would be so free to soar,

And we're living on a living planet, circling a living star.

Don't know where we're going but I know we're going far.

We can change the universe by being who we are,

And we're living on a living planet, circling a living star.

Welcome everyone on this beautiful afternoon to the commencement ceremony for the New School class of 2006. That was an excerpt of a song I learned as a child called "Living Planet" by Jay Mankita. I chose to begin my address this way because, as always, but especially now, we are living in a time of violence, of war, of injustice. I am thinking of our brothers and sisters in Iraq, in Darfur, in Sri Lanka, in Mogadishu, in Israel/Palestine, right here in the U.S., and many, many other places around the world. And my deepest wish on this day--on all days--is for peace, justice, and true freedom for all people. The song says, "We can change the universe by being who we are," and I believe that it really is just that simple.

Right now, I'm going to be who I am and digress from my previously prepared remarks. I am disappointed that I have to abandon the things I had wanted to speak about, but I feel that it is absolutely necessary to acknowledge the fact that this ceremony has become something other than the celebratory gathering that it was intended to be due to all the media attention surrounding John Mc Cain's presence here today, and the student and faculty outrage generated by his invitation to speak here. The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded. Not only this, but his invitation was a top-down decision that did not take into account the desires and interests of the student body on an occasion that is supposed to honor us above all, and to commemorate our achievements.

What is interesting and bizarre about this whole situation is that Senator Mc Cain has stated that he will be giving the same speech at all three universities where he has been invited to speak recently, of which ours is the last; those being Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, Columbia University, and finally here at the New School. For this reason I have unusual foresight concerning the themes of his address today. Based on the speech he gave at the other institutions, Senator Mc Cain will tell us today that dissent and disagreement are our "civic and moral obligation" in times of crisis. I consider this a time of crisis and I feel obligated to speak. Senator Mc Cain will also tell us about his cocky self-assuredness in his youth, which prevented him from hearing the ideas of others. In so doing, he will imply that those of us who are young are too naïve to have valid opinions and open ears. I am young, and although I don't profess to possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that preemptive war is dangerous and wrong, that George Bush's agenda in Iraq is not worth the many lives lost. And I know that despite all the havoc that my country has wrought overseas in my name, Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction.

Finally, Senator Mc Cain will tell us that we, those of us who are Americans, "have nothing to fear from each other." I agree strongly with this, but I take it one step further. We have nothing to fear from anyone on this living planet. Fear is the greatest impediment to the achievement of peace. We have nothing to fear from people who are different from us, from people who live in other countries, even from the people who run our government--and this we should have learned from our educations here. We can speak truth to power, we can allow our humanity always to come before our nationality, we can refuse to let fear invade our lives and to goad us on to destroy the lives of others. These words I speak do not reflect the arrogance of a young strong-headed woman, but belong to a line of great progressive thought, a history in which the founders of this institution play an important part. I speak today, even through my nervousness, out of a need to honor those voices that came before me, and I hope that we graduates can all strive to do the same.


Separate Piece

I am so proud to be a part of this incredible work. Patrick Wilkins is not to be missed. Come down to the Loft at the Mill Friday or Saturday at 7, drink some wine, hear some music, and be in the presence of a phenomenal actor and person.


Doesn't this look nice?

A lovely map, where favorable approval rating majorites for Mr. Bush are red. Blue is and stays my favorite color. Note also that my beautiful Nebraska is red no longer!

Reading Group Open Invitation

Anyone who'd like to join on to reading Kafka on the Shore is welcome; just post a comment and I'll fill you in on the details!


A Good Way to Devour Time I Think I Don't Have

I walked to the neighborhood library this evening, and picked up Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. It is the first novel I've read in a very long time, and Brett and I are reading it together. After the first few chapters, I've already been reminded why I spent entire Saturdays holed up in my room as a child, why I loved being able to go to the library during school.
Though the jacket on the right is the same as the one I have, I love, of course, the black cat on the latter one. A Japanese Kater Mikesch, perhaps? (Mikesch, the name of my parents' cat and the first truly important cat in my life, takes his name from a Czech fable similar to Puss in Boots. He is very clever, walks on his hind legs, talks, and is even so good at Math that he proceeds to tell his young friend that he doesn't understand why children think Math is so hard, for, clearly, 1+1=11.)

It Never Hurts to Ask a Ninja

Is there something ironic

about listening to a program on Freud whilst doing several different things, not ever fully paying attention to it and allowing it to seep into my ears, dare I say, subliminally?

This week, I'm gearing up to do lighting design again, this time for Patrick Wilkins and his one-man show, Separate Piece, which opens Thursday at the Loft at the Mill. I'm also waiting on audio equipment, hoping to get the final word on hiring crew for advertising production, and attempting to finalize plans for my mother's sixtieth birthday.


If I'm going to use a Net, it better be Neutral

Save the Internet: Click here

This issue has been brewing for quite some time now, and it's about time for me to jump on the ol' bandwagon of freedom. Basically, it would be incredibly easy for companies who work in telecommunications to link up with the rest of corporate America and block, restrict, filter, or redirect your ability to access content on the Internet. Capitalism meets the Marketplace of Ideas, if you will. That's total bullshit. Don't let it happen.



I just went bowling (at Hollywood Bowl, for the first time), got drunk, and rolled some terrible scores.


Vote, You Lazy Sack of ____

Go vote today. For my recommendations, see the post below. Here, you can find your polling place. If you've moved since registering to vote, no worries: just go to the polling place in your new neighborhood and tell them that.
Polls are open from 8 AM to 8 PM CDT.


Savage Burns Cities, Countless Dead

Last night, my friend Jillian Savage decided that if she ever committed an act of arson, she would be unstoppable, prompting today's headline. Interestingly enough, this coincides with the anniversary of the Station Nightclub Fire, a morning on which I was awakened by several phone calls from nervous friends hoping I hadn't decided to see Great White in a bout of irony.

Tomorrow is primary election day here in Nebraska, and so here on the Non-Coastal Simulacral Extravaganza, I'm providing my very own VOTER GUIDE. My endorsements, presented in completely non-journalistic fashion, are provided below.

Governor: (this one is obvious) David Hahn

The man is smart, articulate, and can definitely clearly explain his position on any issue, no bullshit. Plus he drinks PBR.

US Senate: Ben Nelson

Sure, he may vote with the Republicans some of the time, and sure I'm a lot more liberal than he is, but do we really want Pete Ricketts (son of a billionaire, named after a disease, uses comic sans) representing us? (By the way, if you're one of those shits who has changed parties to vote in the GOP gubernatorial primary, who are you voting for in the Senate race?)

Constitutional Amendment
Vote FOR raising the Legislature's annual salary. I mean, c'mon. They haven't had a raise in years, and how can you expect progressives who aren't independently wealthy to hold public office on a meager salary?

Bond Issue: Parks and Recreation
Vote FOR a bond to create parks and a bike trail along the beltway. Yay for bike trails! Yay for trees! Yay for greenways!

US House District 1: Maxine Moul

US House District 2: Jim Esch

He's young and attractive, and hired Archrival to do his superb website and branding.

US House District 3: Scott Kleeb

Young, attractive, rancher/cowboy with Master's and PhD from Yale in Western Agriculture.

Secretary of State: Don Eret or Jay Stoddard, advantage to Eret

Nebraska Unicameral Seats

District 26: Amanda McGill

I work with her, she's great.

District 28: Mark Munger, Rick Poore

Munger is a solid choice, and I work with his daughter. Poore is more liberal, and I like that. Bill Avery is also a Democrat. Basically, Dist. 28 has a tough choice to make.

District 46: Danielle Nantkes



This is a very special day

Just in case today was not exciting enough, what with people graduating and Cinco de Mayo AND both of my art openings, it is, in fact, NO PANTS DAY


Crash/Burn, Crash/Burn

So today has been a lovely rainy day. I was afraid, at first, that the rain was on my parade, as I had scheduled a three-hour film shoot with David at his home this morning, and was hoping to stage it on his deck. Rain kept me inside, however, and this was likely a fortunate turn, for I am sure my sound recording was far better indoors.
David and I had a wonderful hour of Socratic filmmaking, with ample references to texts ranging from Foucault/Eco, to Global/Local to John Neihardt. He is so articulate, yet so natural. And, dare I admit, just as I was moved to tears driving through the Sandhills last week, so too was I moved to tears listening to him talk about the beauty of them.
I left David's, and met Nate Young for lunch. We ended up at Holyland Cuisine, and enjoyed delicious food, freshly prepared, followed by Arabic tea and complimentary baklava. The owner was so nice, he nearly had us leaving without paying for our meal, which of course we would not allow him to do. During our meal -- and particularly over the tea we were so elegantly served and given a wonderful description of how it is enjoyed in the Arab world -- we had a great and inspiring discussion, mostly about film and film theory, but also about culture and our current metaphysical conditions. Nate's a great guy.
Then I came back to the office, only to find out that the video I've been working on for the Morrison-Exon Dinner next weekend will not be shown, seeing as though the Party would rather have two more tables of guests than set up a projector. Now, I don't know what kind of projector they were planning on using, but they sure didn't ask me before making this decision. Apparently, they might still be able to put the video on televisions in the hallway or lobby of the hotel. So I guess Barack Obama won't be seeing my artistic brilliance after all.

The Visual Screening is in Omaha TONIGHT at 7:00PM (doors at 6:30) in the UNO Art Building.