Saturday, June 30, 2007

Boing Boing: Google to HMOs: pay us and we'll defuse "Sicko":

Google's "Health Advertising Team" is trying to sell the health industry on buying ads to be shown opposite searches for "Sicko." The idea is to counter Michael Moore's amazing, enraging, must-see indictment of the health industry's grip on American society by running ads over search results for Sicko.

Another approach would be to reform the practices that Moore criticises in the film -- for example, refusing to pay for an insured individual's surgery because she didn't mention a 15-year-old yeast infection on her application; denying MRIs to patients with brain tumors; and paying medical directors bonuses for denying claims.

But why make your customers healthier -- at shareholder expense -- when you can just give money to Google to FUD and astroturf the issue?
Gothamist: Reverend Billy Locked Up:

"...even unaffiliated riders were ticketed as they approached the park. Reverend Billy and his partner Savitri D were reciting the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to the gathered police force when Lieutenant Daniel Albano, head of the NYPD's Legal Division, ordered the Reverend's arrest and detention at the 13th Precinct station. It is believed Albano is the public official Reverend Billy has been charged with harassing."

This brings up ongoing concern over protecting civil liberties and rights to free assembly and political action. However, it also draws attention to selectively enforced Parade Laws, drafted by the police and passed into law by the City Council earlier this year. The law criminalizes gatherings of more than 50 people that do not have permits. Something the press release points out is that "while the NYPD surrounded and intimidated last night's Critical Mass cyclists, a line of several hundred shoppers formed just across the street to purchase the new iPhone, blocking pedestrian traffic and forcing people to walk in the street."
Entrance Applause - Theater - New York Times:

In Japan traditional kabuki theater is known for kakegoe: shouting at actors upon their entrance, and throughout the performance. When an actor strikes a traditional pose along the entrance, audiences will shout out his yago — literally “shop name” or theatrical studio — or lines of encouragement like “You’re better than your father!,” referring to the tradition of passing roles down through the generations.

Kakegoe makes up for the nonexistence of curtain calls. “There’s a saying in kabuki theater that if you wait until the end of the performance, it’s too late,” said David Furumoto, who teaches theater at the University of Wisconsin.
Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate Jean-Michele's birthday with tequila and cupcakes after the show--you are the hope and future of the American Theater!


Entertainment | In debt, Northwest Actors Studio closes | Seattle Times Newspaper:

After more than three decades of putting on shows, the Northwest Actors Studio made its final curtain call Thursday. The Capitol Hill nonprofit is closing, its founder said, after falling $35,000 in debt.

The small theater is one of the few Seattle venues where low-budget fringe companies could rent performing spaces for as little as $100 a night.
Pequeños Placeres / Small Pleasures

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sorry Now?:

This term, Chief Justice John Roberts fully agreed with Justice Samuel Alito in 92 percent of the nonunanimous Supreme Court cases in which he voted. His rate of total agreement was 89 percent with Justice Antonin Scalia and 85 percent with Justice Clarence Thomas. (The stats are courtesy of the good folks at SCOTUSblog; here are some more.) Any hope liberals and moderates had that the Roberts Court would be modest in its ambition were dashed this week with the parade of 5-4 decisions (conservatives win, liberal-moderates lose). Roberts wrote today's decision to scrap two school-district plans that took race into account in sorting students among different public schools. Earlier this week, he wrote opinions that cut back on students' free-speech rights and gutted key provisions of McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform. He has also been part of the five-justice majority that upheld the federal "partial-birth" abortion law, told Keith Bowles that he could not bring a habeas claim to appeal his 15-year-to-life sentence, because he'd filed three days late—based on the say-so of a federal judge—and precluded Lilly Ledbetter from suing for discrimination because she waited too long to bring suit, never mind that her low pay was ongoing.
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I'm marking this down in public, because it bears noting.

In February I saw AntiGravity, an utterly insipid and vomitous exercise in fusing Superbowl halftime calisthenics with "art". I was on tour in Hawaii, and our host had some tickets. We were all mortified by it--it's crass, loud and utterly witless, an inane and obvious effort to infect arts centers with a thinly-veiled infomercial of bodies choreographed in pathetic, repetitive patterns. It was seriously one of the worst things I've seen in my life, and like any professional in the theatre I've seen a lot that's bad--it's soulless, meaningless noise that lowers the bar for dance and even spectacle. It's shit, backward and forward.

Today, Ginia Bellafante files this review about the same show, now playing in New York:

AntiGravity: The 2007 Tour - Theater - Review - New York Times

No, it's not a rave--but it's coolly positive. Perhaps Ms. Bellafante enjoys the fact that the performance aspires to nothing and has nothing to say--that it is up front about being nothing but style and energy that signify nothing. That would jibe with her track record, which has been progressively more dismal--while intelligent, she has no empathy for the performances she watches, preferring instead to see shows of small ambition that match very particular criteria she has for what the performance should be--she usually sets this forth in the opening paragraphs of the piece.

She's not a total loss in my opinion, and that's what makes this so painful--she can write, and when a piece she's reviewing doesn't have an emotional heart she's adept at working through the whys and wherefores of her experience in the theatre, something many other reviewers struggle with. She is clearsighted when she isn't missing the point entirely, and I'm not being facetious--that really is something, and I believe she could even be a good critic someday, with some attention to the "human problem."

But this review of AntiGravity, for me, is beyond the pale. It calls into question her basic competence, and her ability to process what she sees as a theatrical critic--it is the kind of garbage I would expect from a stringer on a paper much less important than the Times. It is the kind of review that makes me remember that her work before the theater section was confined to fashion and television reporting: many pieces of flash and sizzle devoid of the complexities of human psychology.

I know AntiGravity--and if Ginia can see that work and not know it as the cheap, stuntacular garbage it is, she is a total fucking moron. The sad thing is I know that she is not a moron, so I believe instead that she likes and enjoys cheap, stuntacular garbage--it's flashy, has pretty bodies and perhaps reminds her of the joys of not thinking, not grappling with ideas, emotions or life. I can only pray she returns to reviewing fashion shows and television as soon as possible, where I think her skill set will be put to better use . . . though after this incident, I would actually prefer someone more perceptive and empathetic review the new Marc Jacobs fall collection or write a 900 word epistle on the meaningfulness of Scrubs.
Rush - Theater in Brief:

"Great Men of Genius" -- Four one-man shows by Mike Daisey, dealing with P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla, L. Ron Hubbard and Bertolt Brecht, bring a bizarre and wonderful sort of solo theater to Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage. Daisey, who blends hilarious recollections from his own life into blisteringly funny tales of these geniuses, plays the story of each character Wednesdays-Saturdays, and does all four pieces on Sundays. Closes July 1.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Boing Boing: One day left to fight the US national ID card - ACT NOW!:

Tomorrow, the Senate votes on creating a national ID card, an internal passport that we will have to use to identify ourselves to the government at all times. Two amendments to the REAL ID bill will defuse it, but you have to contact your senator now to make them happen:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 the making of: Huge Props:

I'd like to say I felt that sensation again, but to be honest, the new sixth floor galleries are so high, and the beautiful skylight overhead was so open, Serra's once-overwhelming plates felt a bit quaint and conceptual, the idea of awe instead of awe itself. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe it's not so much the work, but my own spatial nostalgia, the kinaesthetic memory of it, that I'm loving so much, that thrill of paradigm-shifting discovery when you're young and stupid--and your paradigms are due for several hefty shifts. Maybe Richard Serra's works are not just shapers of space; after you've encountered them once, they become manipulators of time, too.
Gone Missing - Theater - Review - New York Times:

Developed by the company from man-on-the-street interviews, directed and written by Steven Cosson and featuring an eclectic cavalcade of witty pastiche songs by Michael Friedman, this revised and expanded version of “Gone Missing” is fresh, breezy and very funny indeed, pretty much a perfect summer entertainment.

Which does not mean that it has nothing to say. Underneath its wry surface lies a mournful acknowledgment of the transience of life’s pleasures, symbolized here by any number of cherished possessions that somehow fell into a black hole, leaving behind an aching void in the shape of a bit of jewelry, a PalmPilot or a stuffed animal.
Cal y Canto

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First Look: Test Driving the iPhone - Newsweek Technology -

During my travels and airport delays, I was able to keep up with my e-mail, negotiate my way around the downtown, get tips on the city from an old friend whose number I don’t normally have handy, check the weather conditions in New York and D.C., monitor baseball scores and blogs, listen to an early Neil Young concert and amuse myself with silly YouTube videos and an episode of “Weeds,” all on a single charge before the battery ran down. Now, just about all those things could have been done by devices that are already out on the market. But considering I’d had the iPhone for just a day, and never taken a glance at a manual, it was an impressive introduction.  In contrast, I’ve had a Motorola handset for two years and am still baffled at its weird approach to Web browsing and messaging.  What’s more, with the exception of learning to type on the iPhone, which requires some concentration, doing all those things on that five-ounce device was fun, in the same way that switching from an old command-line interface to the Macintosh graphical user interface in the mid-1980s was a kick.  And when I showed the iPhone to people during that trip and in the days afterward—especially people under 25—the most common reaction was, “I have to have this,” sometimes followed by a quick, if alarmingly reckless,  consideration of what might need to be pawned in order to make the purchase.

And there it is: one of the most hyped consumer products ever comes pretty close to justifying the bombast.
The state of the ninja. - By Grady Hendrix - Slate Magazine:

Ninjas are everywhere. Ninjas are in movies, ninjas are on TV, there is probably a ninja clinging to the bottom of your desk right now. With their roots in the battlefields of 14th-century Japan, ninjas were assassins who practiced the art of ... oh, who cares? It doesn't matter where ninjas came from. All you need to know is that ninjas can totally kill you without even thinking about it. In fact, ninjas are so lethal that it takes an enormous effort of will for them not to kill you. You are only alive because a ninja is trying very hard not to shoot a blow dart through your neck right this minute. Ninjas are being kind to us and yet we haven't returned the favor. Even so, ninjas have stealthily taken over the planet in the last few years and no one over 30 saw it coming.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vox Pop: Have you tried outsourcing your life? | 43 Folders:

A lot of my friends have been reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, and, to varying degrees, several of them have started trying on some of his more audacious ideas, such as checking email once a week, finding an “income muse,” going on an extreme information diet — a few people I know are considering outsourcing pieces of their personal and professional lives.

For reasons I can’t fully explain — and will, for now, just write down to Tim’s engaging style — I also found this outsourcing idea weirdly fascinating. You identify the tedious tasks in your life that don’t represent the best use of your time, and assign them to an overseas worker who can complete them for a few bucks an hour. This apparently can be virtually any kind of mundane task, from booking a dinner reservation to doing research on a company to — heck, why not? — answering your email.
Uros Petrovic - Forest to Cloud
Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace:

The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other "good" kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college. They are part of what we'd call hegemonic society. They are primarily white, but not exclusively. They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.

MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, "burnouts," "alternative kids," "art fags," punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn't play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn't go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. Teens who are really into music or in a band are on MySpace. MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracized at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Interpreter: Has a remote Amazonian tribe upended our understanding of language? : Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker:

Everett, who this past fall became the chairman of the Department of Languages, Literature, and Cultures at Illinois State University, has been publishing academic books and papers on the Pirahã (pronounced pee-da-HAN) for more than twenty-five years. But his work remained relatively obscure until early in 2005, when he posted on his Web site an article titled “Cultural Constraints on Grammar and Cognition in Pirahã,” which was published that fall in the journal Cultural Anthropology. The article described the extreme simplicity of the tribe’s living conditions and culture. The Pirahã, Everett wrote, have no numbers, no fixed color terms, no perfect tense, no deep memory, no tradition of art or drawing, and no words for “all,” “each,” “every,” “most,” or “few”—terms of quantification believed by some linguists to be among the common building blocks of human cognition. Everett’s most explosive claim, however, was that Pirahã displays no evidence of recursion, a linguistic operation that consists of inserting one phrase inside another of the same type, as when a speaker combines discrete thoughts (“the man is walking down the street,” “the man is wearing a top hat”) into a single sentence (“The man who is wearing a top hat is walking down the street”). Noam Chomsky, the influential linguistic theorist, has recently revised his theory of universal grammar, arguing that recursion is the cornerstone of all languages, and is possible because of a uniquely human cognitive ability.

Steven Pinker, the Harvard cognitive scientist, calls Everett’s paper “a bomb thrown into the party.” For months, it was the subject of passionate debate on social-science blogs and Listservs. Everett, once a devotee of Chomskyan linguistics, insists not only that Pirahã is a “severe counterexample” to the theory of universal grammar but also that it is not an isolated case. “I think one of the reasons that we haven’t found other groups like this,” Everett said, “is because we’ve been told, basically, that it’s not possible.” Some scholars were taken aback by Everett’s depiction of the Pirahã as a people of seemingly unparalleled linguistic and cultural primitivism. “I have to wonder whether he’s some Borgesian fantasist, or some Margaret Mead being stitched up by the locals,” one reader wrote in an e-mail to the editors of a popular linguistics blog.
Owl Eyes
LitDept: The Chairman for the NEA tells it like it is at Stanford:

There is an experiment I'd love to conduct. I'd like to survey a cross-section of Americans and ask them how many active NBA players, Major League Baseball players, and American Idol finalists they can name.

Then I'd ask them how many living American poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, architects, classical musicians, conductors, and composers they can name.

I'd even like to ask how many living American scientists or social thinkers they can name.

Fifty years ago, I suspect that along with Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, and Sandy Koufax, most Americans could have named, at the very least, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder, Georgia O'Keeffe, Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Not to mention scientists and thinkers like Linus Pauling, Jonas Salk, Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead, and especially Dr. Alfred Kinsey.

I don't think that Americans were smarter then, but American culture was. Even the mass media placed a greater emphasis on presenting a broad range of human achievement.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thanks to everyone who has been writing in on the photo linking issue--I am hoping to have something in place after the tour ends in two weeks, which will be my first downtime in quite awhile. Fixes may come before then, but no guarantees. Footers have been changed on the page to at least clarify that almost all images and text are not mine.

Off to the theater. In the physical world, the run has been going splendidly--fantastic audiences who are seeing two, three and even four of these shows, often all in one day. It's inspiring that live performance can be riveting in a direct way, for both the audiences and for me--because it's their attention and presence that makes the work possible, and I'm often more amazed than anyone at the connections and juxtapositions that happen in live performance.

If you're in the Bay Area, you may wish to get your tickets now before the last shows slip by--because when they're gone, they're gone. Details are in the sidebar.

Be seeing you,

A Blue & Green Moment
Gothamist: Jury: JT Leroy Creator Liable For Fraud and Breach of Contract:

A note to anyone writing under a pseudonym: Don't let the pseudonym become larger than life. After deliberating for a couple hours, a jury came to a verdict in a film production company's lawsuit against Laura Albert, who wrote novels under the name JT Leroy. A tipster at the Federal Court just gave us the scoop:
GREAT MEN OF GENIUS was reviewed today on National Public Radio's THE ARTERY, an arts program--you can listen to the review here.
The stars at nite are big and bright deep in your eyes....
Daily Kos: To Bush, black people = "the help":

It's so classy, how Bush tells the black musicians to clean up after the politicians.

I want to thank our Chef, Paul Prudhomme, from New Orleans, Louisiana -- one of the great chefs in America. Thanks for coming, Paul. (Applause.) I thank Tony Snow and his bunch of, well, mediocre musicians -- (laughter) -- no, great musicians. Beats Workin, thanks for coming. (Applause.) Kermit, come up here. Kermit, we're proud to have you.

MR. RUFFINS: Well, thanks for having us.

THE PRESIDENT: Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers, right out of New Orleans, Louisiana. (Applause.)

MR. RUFFINS: Thank you. Thanks for having us. We're glad to be here.

THE PRESIDENT: Proud you're here. Thanks for coming. You all enjoy yourself. Make sure you pick up all the trash after it's over. (Laughter.)
Examining Black-Latino Relations, Gently - New York Times:

Earlier this spring, in train stations and subway cars across the city, advertisements began appearing for a play that was to begin a limited engagement at Florence Gould Hall of the Alliance Française. This might easily pass without comment, were it not for the matter of the show’s already quiet if substantial success. “Platanos & Collard Greens” was first produced in a tiny Midtown theater — 70 seats — in 2003 and has moved gradually and intermittently to larger spaces since, with virtually nothing but conversation to endorse it.

Though the show’s creator, David Lamb, had taken out a few spots on urban radio over the years, he relied primarily on his audiences to do his promotional work for him. The show functions without a press agent; until a few weeks ago it had no Web site. The cast is entirely anonymous, in the purest, hoariest sense of the term. The production notes for “Platanos & Collard Greens” may be singular in the world of New York theater for featuring not one actor whose credits include an outing on “Law & Order” or its subsidiaries.

By the end of its run at Gould Hall in September, though, about 90,000 people will have seen “Platanos & Collard Greens” a figure that exceeds the number who have taken a seat at “The Year of Magical Thinking” on Broadway by close to 20,000.
How to dump your cell phone contract for the iPhone | InfoWorld | News | 2007-06-21 | By Grace Aquino, PC World:

For some cell phone fanatics, the iPhone is love at first sight: a cool touchscreen, a slim design, promising simplicity. The only thing standing between you and that dreamy device is your contract with another carrier. Is there a way to break the relationship without paying a penalty of $150 or more? Yes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Slashdot | When Does Technolust Become An Addiction?:

"According to a CNet article, an incredible one in three people aged 16 to 24 in the UK would not give up their mobile phone for a million pounds. 'The phone-centric survey, called Mobile Life, was carried out across the UK and questioned 1,256 people aged 16 to 64 on a variety of topics ... So young people really like having a mobile phone and we all love buying gadgets. But before you dismiss this research as stating the bleeding obvious, think about this -- if someone had told you even ten years ago that people would be taking out second mortgages to buy flat screen TVs, would you have believed it?' Is this just the result of deliberately skewed marketing dressed up as research, or is this another indication of western culture's obsession with communication and technology? How much is too much tech?"
A Sexy Pride Guide / 10 Ways to Get Lubed in SF:

San Francisco is a sexual wrinkle in the space-time continuum. There are many theories on why we seem to be the epicenter of all things bawdy, naughty, dirty and just plain sexy. Some cite history: the famed Barbary Coast days, when the streets boasted ladies in breeches and inexpensive company of all flavors, and sailors were, um, sailors. We had the biggest red-light district in the world for at least a decade. The term "mack" even originated here: French pimps brought girls here by the literal boatload, and the French word for pimp (or "broker") -- maquereau -- became shortened on our fine shores to "mack." As in, San Francisco is your Mack Daddy this weekend.
How children lost the right to roam in four generations:

When George Thomas was eight he walked everywhere.

It was 1926 and his parents were unable to afford the fare for a tram, let alone the cost of a bike and he regularly walked six miles to his favourite fishing haunt without adult supervision.

Fast forward to 2007 and Mr Thomas's eight-year-old great-grandson Edward enjoys none of that freedom.

He is driven the few minutes to school, is taken by car to a safe place to ride his bike and can roam no more than 300 yards from home.
In the interests of full disclosure, I got called on the carpet today for posting images to this site without attribution--this was my response, which I'm posting here, because it concerns this site and could perhaps be productive.


Hey ****,

I've wrestled with this, back and forth--you're totally right that I'm certainly not a newbie of any kind.

A couple of years ago the blog began to morph into what is more or less its current form. Basically I wanted to make a blog that serves as an image stream and repository for images I see on the net that inspire/interest me, and articles that do the same. I've always imagined it being a remix product that puts lots of different pieces in close association with one another that may not have happened otherwise, and it also serves as a clearinghouse for this and that, like press on the shows, stuff like that.

Articles have never been a problem, as there is always a natural link back to where the article's extract is from. Images are more difficult: ideally I'd like the image to float free of text, and wanted the images to be able to sit next to one another, or against article extracts. I'll totally admit the issue is from my court half aesthetic, half technical and half laziness--I should have come up with a system that creates links I can live with, but I haven't implemented that. I use ecto and blogger on OS X--I need to monkey with the templates until I can create something that doesn't annoy me, like making the image itself serve as the link to the rest of the work, but don't really know how to do that.

Whenever someone requests I remove anything, or that I add links to work, I do. The issue that people might think I take the photos is more problematic--I've always assumed that the wide range and number of images would prevent that from happening, but I should put a clear disclaimer, perhaps in the footer of the page, that makes clear that this is not the case.

As for how the reposting of my writing or work without attribution would feel for me, that's an interesting question--I work onstage exclusively orally, composing live from an outline, so that the performances themselves dissolve the moment their created--no two are ever the same. So I'm used to the idea that my work has no permanent state, and I expect that anything I do, especially things I post on the web, will have their own life beyond me. When I've seen my work elsewhere unattributed I've either done nothing, or I've contacted the person running the site about it and they've always been eager to link back or attribute things, but most of the time I just let the work go.

Thanks for writing me about this--I've been remiss in dealing with the ramifications and that's not cool. If you have advice, aesthetically or technically, on how I can achieve more information without text links everywhere I am totally interested, as I'd love to implement a solution that makes everybody happy.




So that's the long and short of how things came to be the way they are now--if readers of this site would like to suggest alternatives to my current system, email me and let me know what you think. In an ideal universe I would have a system that is as swift as my current system (a combination of ecto, 1001 and custom bookmarklets in Camino) so that I can generate links and images the way I do now, so that it takes very little time at all. All suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

East Bay - Arts & Entertainment - Genius Tales - Storyteller Mike Daisey offers four addictive monologues on noteworthy men.:

Having buzzed through with his autobiographical solo shows 21 Dog Years and The Ugly American, storyteller Mike Daisey returns to Berkeley Rep with four new biographical monologues called Great Men of Genius, gathering such unusual suspects as P.T. Barnum, Bertolt Brecht, L. Ron Hubbard, and Nikola Tesla.

Sitting at a wooden table on an otherwise bare stage, the storyteller pauses only for audible chapter breaks as he bounces back and forth between biographical tidbits about historical oddballs and embarrassing personal anecdotes of his own. Directed by his wife Jean-Michele Gregory, Daisey works from an outline rather than a script, so details may vary.
Casa Mila La Pedrera - Patio
It's An Odd Name For A Skateball Team, Don't You Think?:

We rented Solarbabies.

Solarbabies is about an orphanage in the future where Earth has post-apocalyptically burned off all its oceans, and so as a consequence, the orphans spend their time playing roller hockey. The Solarbabies play a bunch of meanies called the Scorpions, who CHEAT! And occasionally Adrian Pasdar shows up, displays no emotion, and communes with wild birds.

Then Lukas Haas finds in one of their roller caves--look, I didn't make this fucking thing, but I'm just saying that I suppose roller hockey makes sense in light of a nuclear-ravaged world that also happens to be paved with convenient roller paths every single place you go--a glowing ball named (it has a name!) Bodahi. Having made a new friend with glowing sentient ball, Haas does the logical thing and stuffs Bodahi into a storage trunk.

BUT! He can't keep that secret for long! Not from his roller hockey buddies in the orphanage, which is run by the "E-Protectorate" (the E is for Eeeeeeeeaaaawesome!), whose warden is Charles Durning, but who is ordered around by some terrible asshole in a truly amazing giant blue vinyl fascist zoot suit. He's mostly around to sneer. Adrian Pasdar wanders around some more, and some more birds land on him for some reason (it was clear I needed to step up my drinking early, so things get hazy).

Anyway, the gang discovers Haas' amazing lo-tech glow ball, and there's a truly humiliating Soundball moment (any actors out there?) where they spend joyous moments passing the ball around to each other while Maurice Jarre synths torture the audience. Hey, can you guess what happens when the single black orphan gets Bodahi? Yes . . . he sort of breakdances. It is the breakdance equivalent of Lou Diamond Phillips' speech in Young Guns where he delivers the standard-issue "the squaws were cut down in the night by the army marauders," which is to say, uncomfortably horrible and deeply embarrassing.
Porte d'Orléans
Travolta Hospitalized With Critically Low E-Meter Reading:

"Mr. Travolta was in extremely serious condition when he was brought in, but fortunately, he responded well to emergency touch-assist treatment and quickly began making rudimentary wins," Citarella said. "It's just lucky that his emergent condition was discovered before he completely went out of affinity with MEST."

Travolta, star of Perfect and Staying Alive, was at home at approximately 10 a.m. when he reported feeling faint. A subsequent Electropsychometer audit by his personal physician revealed an alarmingly low tone, and he was assigned a condition of doubt and rushed to the hospital.

Doctors are still uncertain as to what caused the longtime Clear's condition to deteriorate so rapidly.

"It is quite a puzzle," UCLA Medical Center chief of staff Ronald Offerman said. "Mr. Travolta's reactive mind could be inhibited by an engram, if not secondaries and locks as well, throwing out the correctness of his computations. But how an engram or even a chain could have entered the reactive mind of an Operating Thetan like Mr. Travolta is hard to explain."

"This is more serious than mere overts and withholds," UCLA's Dr. Randy Ferber said. "While more tests still need to be done, I suspect that an immense entheta implant, R6 or worse, has knocked Travolta down the bridge. It may even be possible that this occurred far back on his time track, and I don't have to tell you the shocking implications of that."
From Beyond...
Larry Lessig is shifting the focus of his work away... (

Larry Lessig is shifting the focus of his work away from IP and copyright issues and toward tackling what he calls corruption. "I don't mean corruption in the simple sense of bribery. I mean 'corruption' in the sense that the system is so queered by the influence of money that it can't even get an issue as simple and clear as term extension right. Politicians are starved for the resources concentrated interests can provide. In the US, listening to money is the only way to secure reelection. And so an economy of influence bends public policy away from sense, always to dollars."
Get on the ship, Let's start our journey !
Changing Stories: The Shrinking 'New York Times' - Gawker:

Last July, Times executive editor Bill Keller sent around a memo detailing the changes that would be occurring. He started by saying that the NYT's printing plant in College Point, Queens would be adding another high-speed press, and the Edison, N.J. plant would be "subleased"—i.e., closed. He also said that "when this consolidation is complete—in April 2008—The Times will adopt the narrower format that is now becoming the industry norm."

Of course, the move to narrower pages is happening in August 2007, not April 2008. And yesterday's memo also said: "a large number of press mechanics will changeover prepared presses at College Point, Edison and national plants on Sunday to be able to print at the new size." Curious! Why would the Times go to the (expensive!) trouble of getting a new press for a plant they're about to close? Why not wait until the original appointed date, next April, to make the change, when they're going to be closing the plant and putting all those people out of work anyway?

It also seems as though either the size changes have turned out to be more significant than Keller originally thought, or else he has deliberately downplayed their significance to his staff.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tonight, for one night only is a show Jean-Michele is directing: WANDERLUST, created and performed by the talented Martin Dockery. I'll be there, and hope to see you at the show.



Written and Performed by Martin Dockery
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory

A piece about an office temp who leaves everything to travel to a far-off place and there demand an Epiphany. Any Epiphany. Some proof that though we may be temporary, we're more than mere temps.

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Tuesday, June 19th @ 8pm. Tix are between $8-$12.

The Marsh is in the Mission at 1062 Valencia Street (near 22nd Street) in San Francisco

Ticket Hotline 800-838-3006 | Info 415-826-5750
Or to buy tickets online, go to:
To go to the Marsh website, go to:

MARTIN DOCKERY is a frequent performer in New York City’s storytelling scene, appearing on the stages of The Moth, Speakeasy, Talkingstick, Mouthpiece, The Liar Show, and others. His hilarious and thought-provoking stories—often about his solo backpacking adventures which have taken him to over sixty countries and 6 continents—have made him a five-time finalist in The Moth’s bi-annual Grandslam Storytelling Championship. Dockery received his B.A. in English from Kenyon College and his M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University.  He was a co-creator of the play C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E, which is now running on Broadway as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. His play Oh, That Wily Snake! is being read by university students as part of a McGraw-Hill anthology textbook on literature. The New York Times has called his writing “fey and fantastic,” Backstage West has called it “deliciously enjoyable,” and the L.A. Weekly has deemed it “compelling . . . entertaining . . . divinely inspired.”

JEAN-MICHELE GREGORY is a New York-based director who works with solo performers and writers to create works based on autobiographical material. She is currently directing Mike Daisey in Great Men of Genius at Berkeley Rep and will be directing Suzanne Morrison in Yoga Bitch this August at London’s Theatre 503. She’s had the good fortune to stage original productions at The Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, Intiman, ACT Theatre, Performance Space 122 and others, but she’s especially happy to be working at the Marsh with Martin Dockery on this thrilling new piece.
The Daily Dish:

The Supreme Court Justice cites Jack Bauer and the Hollywood torture show "24" as relevant background for constitutional jurisprudence:

"Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. ... He saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Judge Scalia said. Then, recalling Season 2, where the agent's rough interrogation tactics saved California from a terrorist nuke, the Supreme Court judge etched a line in the sand.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Judge Scalia challenged his fellow judges. "Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so.

"So the question is really whether we believe in these absolutes. And ought we believe in these absolutes."

Earth to Justice Scalia: Jack Bauer does not exist.
MJR2007 Critic's Art:

Center Theatre Group runs three theaters (including the Taper Forum, where 13 premiered) and boasts an annual budget of $45 million. Past premieres by the company include Biloxi Blues, Angels in America, and Children of a Lesser God. This is no minor theater company, even by world standards.

Why, then, the insecurity? Something of an answer came the next night from John Lahr, senior theater critic for The New Yorker. Speaking before an audience that included notable movers and shakers of the L.A. theatrical world as well as journalists from far-flung regions of the country, Lahr declared:

“If it’s not in The New Yorker, it doesn’t exist in the culture.”

To be sure, Lahr has written about theatrical events in Los Angeles and elsewhere for The New Yorker; his is certainly the most broadly studied and thoughtful voice in American theater criticism today. But the implication of his assertion was nonetheless clear: The majority of important theater happens in New York; and you can tell it is important because it is the theater most often covered in The New Yorker.
Jesus Tatoo #2
Hack Attack: 13 book hacks for the library crowd - Lifehacker:

From your local library to the classroom to the bookstore, there are a lot of tools available to help you save time and money when it comes to the bound world of information. Today, in the interest of lifehacking your bookshelf, I'm rounding up my favorite 13 "book hacks" for getting the most from your bound literature. :: View topic - Pixar + Patton = Ratatouille:

The fact that most of the chefs are ex-criminals with murky pasts. "If you can make a cake, you can make a bomb". Pixar had originally staffed the kitchen with all French characters but, after doing research in actual kitchens in France, found out that kitchen staffing is one of the last true meritocracies left in the world. Their ONLY criteria is whether or not people can cook. It's a skill that cuts across all divisions of race, religion, sex, creed, economics -- and criminality. Read Anthony Bourdain's first book about the drug-crazed, false passport-wielding lunatics he's worked with, and Colette's throwaway line about "pirates" will make a lot more sense.
Something Beautiful
i wonder
The iPhone Inaugurates a Dangerous New Era for Apple Boss Steve Jobs -- New York Magazine:

“I think that Google is going to buy Apple,” this person says. “It would be a victory for Apple; they’d get major-league partners, money, and engineers. And it would be a victory for Steve—a huge win that lets him leave the stage.”

The speculation about Google has a ring of plausibility. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is now on the Apple board; engineers at the two companies are collaborating on Google Maps for the iPhone; and then there’s the YouTube deal for Apple TV. But is there any reason to think that in such a merger Jobs wouldn’t wind up as CEO—or, at least, chairman of the board?

No, there isn’t. If anything, it seems to me, Jobs’s vaulting ambition, his sense of omnipotence, have only been enhanced by his recent triumphs—and traumas. He has beaten back death, literally and metaphorically. He has returned to his first love, repaired the broken marriage, and made the bond more intimate than ever: Jobs and Apple are one, indivisible. Now, with Gates soon retiring from Microsoft, and with Grove and so many other Valley potentates of his generation having left the scene, Jobs stands alone atop the high-tech heap. This is the position he has longed for all his life. The likelihood of his surrendering it voluntarily is vanishingly close to nil.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Marathon Man:

Daisey is, of course, a powerful, hilarious, touching monologist. His face is an elastic ball of expressiveness. He has a great way of building each segment of his story to a climax. He makes us laugh. There's also something very gentle about him too. He never takes the obvious route with his stories or goes for the predictable laugh. His take on each of the four "geniuses" on the program - Tesla, Brecht, Barnum, and Hubbbard - made me wish I'd had him as a history teacher at high school.

Instead of making obvious links between the historical subject and the details of his own life, Daisey allows us to draw our own conclusions. This is subtle and sublime. And sometimes the non sequiturs are startling. At one point during his piece about Barnum (my personal favorite of the quartet) Daisey went from talking about a group of his wife's friends learning how to rotate the tassles on pasties on their breasts (depending on whether your arms are up above your head or down by your waist you can make the tassles rotate in different directions) to discussing Barnum's most famous employees.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Schneier on Security: Portrait of the Modern Terrorist as an Idiot:

The recently publicized terrorist plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport, like so many of the terrorist plots over the past few years, is a study in alarmism and incompetence: on the part of the terrorists, our government and the press.

Terrorism is a real threat, and one that needs to be addressed by appropriate means. But allowing ourselves to be terrorized by wannabe terrorists and unrealistic plots -- and worse, allowing our essential freedoms to be lost by using them as an excuse -- is wrong.