Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Vacation tips

I copied the below list, the whole thing, from Daniel Kalder's The Lost Cosmonaut website.. The Lost Cosmonaut is also the name of his book which I ordered from Amazon.


(Excerpts from the resolutions passed at the first international congress of Anti- Tourists
at the Shymkent Hotel, Shymkent, Kazakhstan, October 1999)

As the world has become smaller so its wonders have diminished. There is nothing
amazing about the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, or the Pyramids of Egypt. They
are as banal and familiar as the face of a Cornflakes Packet.

Consequently the true unknown frontiers lie elsewhere.

The duty of the traveller therefore is to open up new zones of experience. In our over
explored world these must of necessity be wastelands, black holes, and grim urban
blackspots: all the places which, ordinarily, people choose to avoid.

The only true voyagers, therefore, are anti- tourists. Following this logic we declare that:

The anti-tourist does not visit places that are in any way desirable.

The anti-tourist eschews comfort.

The anti-tourist embraces hunger and hallucinations and shit hotels.

The anti-tourist seeks locked doors and demolished buildings.

The anti-tourist scorns the bluster and bravado of the daredevil, who attempts to

penetrate danger zones such as Afghanistan. The only thing that lies behind this is

vanity and a desire to brag.

The anti-tourist travels at the wrong time of year.

The anti-tourist prefers dead things to living ones.

The anti-tourist is humble and seeks invisibility.

The anti-tourist is interested only in hidden histories, in delightful obscurities, in bad art.

The anti-tourist believes beauty is in the street.

The anti-tourist holds that whatever travel does, it rarely broadens the mind.

The anti-tourist values disorientation over enlightenment.

The anti-tourist loves truth, but he is also partial to lies. Especially his own.

I found this on 3 Quarks Daily, where I find something fascinating every day. Link

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jews, you're out

I post these two paragraphs from this Jerry Falwell article "A GRACIOUS CORRECTION OF THE JERUSALEM POST" as a heads up for my Jewish friends.

Earlier today, reports began circulating across the globe that I have recently stated that Jews can go to heaven without being converted to Jesus Christ. This is categorically untrue....

...While I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and dearly love the Jewish people and believe them to be the chosen people of God, I continue to stand on the foundational biblical principle that all people — Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc. — must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to enter heaven. ...


The voting game

My county (Monroe, Pennsylvania) has decided to lease computer voting systems to be in place for the primaries.

So, why bother voting?

Is there any reason not to assume that the machines are programmed to deliver predetermined results, subtly crafted to closely mimic local expectations and perhaps raise eyebrows, but certainly not outrage.

It’s the new American reality game. After the results are determined, we vote, go home feeling good, wondering about the turnout, the campaign successes and other delusions. We wait excitedly for the results. Marvel at how wrong the exit and pre election polls can be and then saddened by yet another defeat, we mourn, regain our resolve and commit to trying harder next time, patriotically confident that our system is the best in the world and God smiles on us.

Our beloved betters at play

“The Gridiron's Betters, Skewered With a Butter Knife” is a fun filled article in Sunday’s Washington Post, the article gives a glimpse of our plutocrats at play. These dandies of all political stripes, out of sight and earshot of those of us down here in the wad, cavort away with biting satire, yucking it up over such hilarity as rendition, torture, domestic spying and other funnies from the real world.
Tim Russert, making his first appearance as a new member, decked out in a blue dress and a shiny blond wig as one of the cable news bunnies. But there were also some true clunkers. Singing about torture, subbing "rendition" for "tradition" and borrowing the "Fiddler on the Roof" song was not funny at all. The chumminess of the politicos and the press corps can be cloying.

They’re all one big happy family folks, our beloved betters loving their tax cuts for the rich, sharing the wealth and feeling smug about the unstated understanding that anything that keeps them all at the feast, journalists, congressional reps, and Bushistas alike is a good thing. LINK

We are so screwed.

via eschaton