Monthly Archives: July 2003

Flowers

Over the next forty-five minutes you'll probably see me swapping my avatars around like nuts… It's not just a reflection on my extreme narcissism; I'm rewritting some of those routines in order to, well, make them work.

I planted this rather chaotic flowerbed for Rachel a while ago. It's not very “good” aesthetically; a little too mixed up and diverse. But seriously, I really enjoyed setting it up and look forward to doing more.

Well then…

So Jessica Lynch is back home… Even though the military has admitted that she got lost, drove into hostile territory, crashed her truck when a firefight broke out, and that her life was saved by Iraqi doctors who were later roughed up by US troops “rescuing” her, she's been decked out with purple hearts and bronze stars, and her hometown of Palestine now wears a proud new sign… WELCOME TO PALESTINE: The Home of Jessica Lynch, ex-P.O.W.… (more, more, more):

"It no longer matters in America whether something is true or false. The population has been conditioned to accept anything — sentimental stories, lies, atomic bomb threats."

- John MacArthur
Publisher, Harper's Magazine

"Every war needs a hero. She's the hero in this war. The facts don't particularly matter."

- James Roberts, 77
Palestine, West Virginia

"I've seen a lot of guys in the military get hurt and I've also seen a lot get killed and they didn't get the acknowledgement or heroism she's getting... There are a lot of women now who have no husbands and a lot of kids have no fathers and it's not right for one person to be singled out and the rest ignored."

- David Klein, Veteran

Jessica Lynch t-shirts are selling extremely well, available in 2XL – 5XL only.

The part that really gets me is that she needs a walker to move around and is facing years of rehabilitation… and guess what — the army has said “too bad for you” and while they did shower her in medals, she had to pay for the rennovations to her home (such as a handicapped-accessible bathrooms) herself — luckily the media attention has drawn significant contributions.

This will make a great movie.

In other news, the British have said that using testimony obtained from torture is something that they will and do use, including using “name your accomplice or you'll get another shock to your balls” type crap in order to arrest more Muslims (more) — or Hindus (more):

"Go back to Iraq!" the young men shouted as they beat and kicked the pizza delivery man in the face, breaking his jaw in three places.

They bound his thin body with rope, stuffed a sock in his mouth to muffle his screams for help and used the back of his neck as an ashtray. They stuffed him into the trunk of a car, where he managed to set himself free -- only to be stabbed.

The victim of this Massachusetts attack was neither a Muslim nor an Iraqi but a Hindu from the central Indian city of Indore. He tried to make this clear to his assailants but his entreaties fell on ignorant ears.

"They didn't even know the difference between India and Iraq," Bhalerao, his jaw wired, told Reuters.

Oh, and Ashcroft says if anyone says anything bad about the Patriot Act, they're definitely lying (more) and that there's a conspiracy in the news to suggest that unlimited police powers are a bad idea… oh yeah, and if you hear anyone say otherwise, please be sure to let the Department of Homeland security know.

PS. Finding Iraq's WMDs may take 200 years (more)

Beautiful skies

Just a quick note; BMEshop now has a toll-free order number for Canada and the United States, so now if you are using call-in credit card (just pick it when you go through check out and it'll all be explained; it's really easy) you don't have to pay for the call. The number is included in all the ordering emails.

I've started work on the integration of the new online billing system as well, but we've of course got to jump through various paperwork hoops to get that all out of the way, but it's no big deal — definitely that'll be in place by the end of this coming month.

Also, with great shame I realize that I totally forgot to give out the coupons for the top contributors from last month's newsfeed. Here are the top contributors:

  1. rebekah – 151 stories
  2. codebleu – 21 stories
  3. glider – 15 stories

I'll give my coupon away in the sponsorship forum since I've got mine paid up. I should note that while it may seem like Rebekah is the unbeatable juggernaut of the newsfeed, there's a battle heating up this month between her and Ribibe who is catching up fast.

Anyway, other than that, I just had one of those “I must run out and take a photo of that sunset, even if it means a hundred mosquito bites!” moments… Here's what it looked like, for all of thirty or fourty seconds — it's such a momentary phenomena…

On the train home, it was very full. As always, a bunch of business men with truly sad lives… It broke my heart to look at all the laptops with backgrounds set to pictures of their children and realizing that these men with good jobs were sacrificing four hours of their day to transit.

Anyway, when we got on the train, every seat set was full — with one person and one empty seat. No seats for couples… As is typical, when Rachel and I sat across from one another, not a single person offered to move to allow us to sit together. Whenever I'm on the train by myself I always make an effort to exercise common courtesy and help couples sit together, but it's a very rare drive it seems.

The guy sitting next to me — reading an article in some business magazine (didn't see the title; the guy in front of me was reading “American Banker”, which seemed the norm) about how laws that restrict dating between 35 year olds and 16 year olds are repressive. Yeah, who gives a damn about corporate oppression — let's just make sure that old dudes can get fresh meat.

Anyway, he couldn't get his wine bottle open (trains here serve beer and wine), wheezing away at the screw off top. I offered to help him with it. He insisted that “it was really stuck”, but it opened for me without any difficulty. Choose your own moral of the story. There are many…

wanna be on Boston Public?

I just spoke to a writer over at the TV show Boston Public and they're looking for people with split tongues to appear as extras in a scene that they're filming in a few days. I don't know the context of the scene, but on the whole the show handles issues exceptionally well and it's one of the few media events I'd actually recommend (and I'm sure it would be fun).

Like I said, it's filming in a few days in the Los Angeles area (not Boston), so don't contact them if you can't get there. I assume there's some minor pay, but not enough to travel. If you're interested contact Leo at 310-727-2900 and if you can, also email a pic to him at sbirdsill@youstinka.com.

They've already got three people with split tongues for the scene and are looking for three more, so it'll be totally fun I would think.

Morning

Looked over all the docs for BMEshop's new payment system. All of the current stuff (mail in money order and call-in [talk about secure!] credit card) will still work, but in about three weeks you can also expect a fully integrated online billing system. Also, expect our new toll-free number to be up within a day or two at most.


Other than that, I've been doing more research into my “school rules on piercing as social control” article… like I said, the goal is to illustrate that the age restrictions on piercings along with the rules against piercings at school are singularly related to one goal and no others: social control.

Came agross this quote from the Senate Committee on Education, who in 1888 (as the US school system was being instituted), wrote,

We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes.

At that point in history, schools were local and decentralized, and in many ways still built on the guild-concept of education (ie. learn by doing), versus our “modern” method of learning by “memorization”. In addition, because the US had rejected international copyright law, classic literature and European literature was inexpensively available, so even the lower class children tended to be better educated by the time they were 12 than an 18 year old produced by the current education system.

(And when the lower classes become educated, they don't want to be the lower classes any more!)

How many times have you heard that the school system is there to mold? The governments who run the school systems realized that they needed to slow down the education process to create individuals that could be controlled by the state, and wouldn't redefine it as they saw fit. William Harris, the US Commissioner of Education, wrote,

Ninety-nine out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

Anyway, I don't want to give away too much, but Eminem notes something very important in White America. To quote,

Surely hip hop is never a problem
In Harlem only In Boston
...See the problem is I speak to suburban kids
Who otherwise
Woulda never knew these words exist

When I was in public school it was no big deal to have a mohawk and stretched ears and whatever else I wanted. I was the “one kid out of a hundred” — just like the education system wasn't created until the lower classes started to rise up, and punk wasn't attacked till it went mainstream, and rap wasn't attacked until it went white, piercing wasn't attacked until it started to challenge the mold-making process of education.