Thursday, July 31, 2008

H B W  !!  (poke,..poke.......)
McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Hamlet (Facebook News Feed Edition).:

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it's annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet's annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet's father is now a zombie.
Green Peas
Magazine Preview - Malwebolence - The World of Web Trolling -

I first met Weev in an online chat room that I visited while staying at Fortuny’s house. “I hack, I ruin, I make piles of money,” he boasted. “I make people afraid for their lives.” On the phone that night, Weev displayed a misanthropy far harsher than Fortuny’s. “Trolling is basically Internet eugenics,” he said, his voice pitching up like a jet engine on the runway. “I want everyone off the Internet. Bloggers are filth. They need to be destroyed. Blogging gives the illusion of participation to a bunch of retards. . . . We need to put these people in the oven!”

I listened for a few more minutes as Weev held forth on the Federal Reserve and about Jews. Unlike Fortuny, he made no attempt to reconcile his trolling with conventional social norms. Two days later, I flew to Los Angeles and met Weev at a train station in Fullerton, a sleepy bungalow town folded into the vast Orange County grid. He is in his early 20s with full lips, darting eyes and a nest of hair falling back from his temples. He has a way of leaning in as he makes a point, inviting you to share what might or might not be a joke.

As we walked through Fullerton’s downtown, Weev told me about his day — he’d lost $10,000 on the commodities market, he claimed — and summarized his philosophy of “global ruin.” “We are headed for a Malthusian crisis,” he said, with professorial confidence. “Plankton levels are dropping. Bees are dying. There are tortilla riots in Mexico, the highest wheat prices in 30-odd years.” He paused. “The question we have to answer is: How do we kill four of the world’s six billion people in the most just way possible?” He seemed excited to have said this aloud.
Let's Play: If I Were a Right Wing Blogger:

If I were a right-wing blogger, and I found out that Barack Obama was wearing Ferragamo loafers that cost $520, I would spend about 50% of my waking hours making sure everyone knew this. I would mock him for being an out-of-touch elitist and make jokes like, "If you think that's a lot, you should see how much his purse costs " I would send the link to Drudge and wait for Instapundit to pick it up, and then watch gleefully as Fox News ran segments about how Barack Obama's $500 loafers vitiate his entire economic platform.

But of course, I'm not a right-wing blogger. And the $520 shoes belong to John McCain. And frankly, I don't think how much his shoes cost matters one whit for how he'd govern the country.
Listen to the silence
Experience: Last year I killed a man | Life and style | The Guardian:

At 9.45am on Saturday, June 23 2007, I killed a man. A perfectly ordinary man, on a perfectly ordinary summer's day. CCTV pictures show him entering the station, unremarkable among all the passengers going to the West End. He waited at the front of the platform until he could hear my train approaching, then he calmly stepped down on to the tracks and looked directly at me as he waited for the impact.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"It's alright, and it's nice not to be so alone.."
If happiness can last forever, I want a part of it even just a little bit..
Scrappy Jack's World-Wide Theatricals and Dime Museum: retro-polis:

Looks like the Bad Times are back.

Gov. Paterson is talking about massive deficits ahead for New York and Mayor Mike is just saying, "Yup.".

Cut service, cut spending, cut city jobs and then those who can will just cut out to the Hamptons, leaving the rest of us to scratch and claw and dance our way through it.

It's the early seventies all over again, without the music, which was the only good thing about the early seventies.

Nationally, we're looking at a criminal and seemingly deranged or at least divorced from reality President, we're stuck in a war we can't win militarily and gas prices are sky-rocketing.

Globally, everyone's mad at us but still wants to buy our jeans and watch our movies.

Taking a universal view, it's all still just a bunch of carbon and hydrogen and stardust.

And here in Rat City, we're all going broke.
Identifying Who Survives Disasters — And Why : NPR:

Since 9/11 the U.S. government has sent over $23 billion to states and cities in the name of homeland security. Almost none of that money has gone toward intelligently enrolling regular people like you and me in the cause. Why don't we tell people what to do when the nation is on Orange Alert against a terrorist attack—instead of just telling them to be afraid? Why does every firefighter in Casper, Wyoming (pop. 50,632), have an eighteen-hundred-dollar HAZMAT suit—but we don't each have a statistically derived ranking of the hazards we actually face, and a smart, creative plan for dealing with them?

All across the nation we have snapped plates of armor onto our professional lifesavers. In return, we have very high expectations for these brave men and women. Only after everything goes wrong do we realize we're on our own. And the bigger the disaster, the longer we will be on our own. No fire department can be everywhere at once, no matter how good their gear.
Lucita'nın Düşleri

Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Parabasis: The Bechdel Test:

For those of you who haven't heard of it, the Bechdel test comes from Alison Bechdel's germinal comic Dykes to Watch Out For.  In DTWOF there's a character named Mo who will only watch a movie if it:

(a) Has two women in it who
(b) Talk to each other
(c) About something other than a man

What's so brilliant about this test is how eye-opening it is once you apply it.
Day 207 - 25.07.08 (2)
The Monotonous Melancholy of The Ocean
Groups to pray for lower prices at gas stations:

Two prayer services will be held at St. Louis gas stations to thank God for lower fuel prices and to ask that they continue to drop. Darrell Alexander, Midwest co-chair of the Pray at the Pump movement, says prayer gatherings will be held Monday afternoon and evening at a Mobil station west of downtown St. Louis.

Participants say they plan to buy gas, pray and then sing "We Shall Overcome" with a new verse, "We'll have lower gas prices."
Disloyal Opposition: Eight reasons even the innocent shouldn't talk to the police:

In one of the more engaging, convincing and easily understood presentations I've ever seen, Prof. James Duane of the Regent University School of Law explains why even angels devoid of the slightest moral blemish should never speak to police officers, tax collectors or other law-enforcement agents investigating crimes. Duane assumes no malice on the part of the police -- just human failings and motivations. In a 27-minute lecture, he details the legal pitfalls people can wander into even by telling the absolute truth.
walking towards the golden gate

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mead Hunter has me confused with someone else in this posting:

Wouldn’t it be grand to wield the power this writer ascribes to Literary Departments? If only, if only… Well, he jumps on a popular bandwagon. Pundits from Richard Nelson to Mike Daisey are pointing the finger at literary managers these days.

This is simply not true. I have not been "pointing the finger" at literary managers. My discussions on the state of American theater rarely delve into literary department hijinks--I spend more time thinking about economic development, artistic responsibility to community, and the creation (or noncreation) of artistic ensembles of all sorts.

I'm sure I occasionally say something about literary management, and I think there's a one-sentence reference in
this essay, but so far as I recall that's pretty much all I've said in the last year or so, while simultaneously saying a hell of a lot about the American theater as a whole.

Personally? I’ve lobbied for both the above-mentioned writers frequently in the past, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. I’m rethinking that now.

I just want to be clear that this public disclaimer is not to get back in Mead's good graces—I just can't be fighting every battle, especially ones I haven't established positions in, over things I haven't been discussing.

Mead, I believe I clarified some months ago that I'm not blaming literary managers in some freaky, hyperbolic fashion for the state of all theater—I think we talked about it via email. I have no idea why you're saying this now, but it continues to not be true.
day one eighty six. don't wanna break daddy's heart.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Talking Business - Apple’s Culture of Secrecy -

On Thursday afternoon, several hours after I’d gotten my final “Steve’s health is a private matter” — and much to my amazement — Mr. Jobs called me. “This is Steve Jobs,” he began. “You think I’m an arrogant [expletive] who thinks he’s above the law, and I think you’re a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong.” After that rather arresting opening, he went on to say that he would give me some details about his recent health problems, but only if I would agree to keep them off the record. I tried to argue him out of it, but he said he wouldn’t talk if I insisted on an on-the-record conversation. So I agreed.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is it. As I sit in the apartment, I've packed up as much as I can, and after finishing this post I'll head down to Woolly Mammoth to do the last two shows--an intense doubleheader--of IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING.

And then that's it for the show until September.

What's interesting is that with the extension, we're ending this run on July 26th, and the monologue was actually born on June 26th, one month ago this evening. It has been a very intense month, at times almost too intense—JM and I both had some breakdowns after weeks of long performances followed by 3 hours of notes the next day, followed by two hours of me implementing changes in the outline, followed by performance—rinse and repeat.

I actually burned out last week, the night we had a very important guest—after we talked after the show and he left, I felt nothing left inside of me. It was not depression, it was deeper. I was achingly hollow, and I was thinking how wonderful it would be if this would just stop—all of it, forever. No more monologues. No performing. Nothing. Not angry or self-piteous...just cancelled.

It was unsettling, but it's a good reminder that there are limits—I'm confident that in this process over the last 30 days we pushed right up against them. Today I don't feel that ache: I think getting through our loss in the family this week was part of what broke us, but now on the other side I feel almost rejuvenated.

The show is in spectacular shape, and I'm so thrilled at the rest of the national tour we have lined up: now is exactly the right time for this monologue to be flowering, and I'm glad we put the work in now to make that happen.

I also can't emphasize what a joy it has been working with Woolly Mammoth. A company of consummate artists, they challenge a lot of the conventional wisdom about American theater, and the fact that they are thriving says something deep and rich about the absolute necessity of following your vision at absolutely any cost.

The fact that they are the first (and at this point, only) regional theater who will have us perform HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA indicates a commitment to real discussion and self-examination that I think is absolutely hopeful. None of us is perfect, but I've seen wonderful things at Woolly over the last few weeks that really make me feel a light shining in through the window.

All the shows are sold out today—it's been absolutely incredible to receive such a warm reception in a new city. I can not wait to come back in six months and work with these fantastic audiences again in January.
The Ettes - Crown of Age Promo Photo 2008
Washington City Paper:- ‘If You See Something Say Something’:

There may be no metaphor in security, as Daisey astutely notes, but he certainly injects metaphor (and simile, and irony, and synecdoche, and peripetea, etc) aplenty into this series of monologues–stories, really–which he weaves with enthralling dexterity of voice, tone, gesture, and expression.  The show is billed as the story of the Department of Homeland Security, but much of the focus is on the history of the atomic bomb.  The piece is obsessively researched, and by interlacing the straight history with his own anecdotes and observations, Daisey is able to infuse a somewhat sterile topic with a folksy, around-the-campfire sensibility.  In some of the most disturbing but memorable moments, Daisey is even able to turn the monologue into something of a ghost story–one minute you’re laughing at the foibles of Bernard Kerik, the next minute Daisey is describing in unsettling detail what would happen if Cohen’s neutron bomb were detonated above the theater, and you feel just a bit sick for joking around only moments earlier.

Daisey is one of those people (I’ve seen him before) who can make anything scintillating, so even if you proclaim to be uninterested in neutrons and bombs and the Cold War and deserts and Tom Ridge and that kind of thing, go if only to spend some quality time with Daisey.  It’s like taking one of your favorite nonfiction authors–I’ll use Ian Frazier but you can fill-in-the-blank–crossing him with your favorite stand-up comedian–let’s say, oh, I don’t know, Robin Williams–and hunkering down in a bar for a few hours to discuss a subject about which he’s read every book possible.
The Bauer of Suggestion:

The most influential legal thinker in the development of modern American interrogation policy is not a behavioral psychologist, international lawyer, or counterinsurgency expert. Reading both Jane Mayer's stunning The Dark Side and Philippe Sands' The Torture Team, I quickly realized that the prime mover of American interrogation doctrine is none other than the star of Fox television's 24: Jack Bauer.

This fictional counterterrorism agent—a man never at a loss for something to do with an electrode—has his fingerprints all over U.S. interrogation policy. As Sands and Mayer tell it, the lawyers designing interrogation techniques cited Bauer more frequently than the Constitution.

According to British lawyer and writer Philippe Sands, Jack Bauer—played by Kiefer Sutherland—was an inspiration at early "brainstorming meetings" of military officials at Guantanamo in September of 2002. Diane Beaver, the staff judge advocate general who gave legal approval to 18 controversial new interrogation techniques including water-boarding, sexual humiliation, and terrorizing prisoners with dogs, told Sands that Bauer "gave people lots of ideas." Michael Chertoff, the homeland-security chief, once gushed in a panel discussion on 24 organized by the Heritage Foundation that the show "reflects real life."
What obligation? Maximise what? — Crooked Timber:

And, of course, the long term is a terribly difficult thing to forecast. It would, we can presume, be pretty bad for the S&P500 index if the Antarctic ice cap melted and we all drowned. Conversely, if the continent of Africa were to develop a billion consumers in a first world economy, that would be pretty good for the share prices of most companies on the stock exchange. There is a general long time interest of all humanity in doing good (that’s why it’s called “good”) and corporations and their shareholders do, in fact, share in this general interest of humanity. If you want to argue in any particular case that an act of corporate philanthropy isn’t connected tightly enough to a specific benefit which can be appropriated by the company and that this is wrong, then go for it but don’t expect the courts to agree with you.

Just as a footnote: in comments to John’s post, somebody raised the hypothetical case of whether a corporation would have a fiduciary duty to use slave labour if it was legal to do so. Actually, this isn’t a hypothetical case at all – in Nazi Germany it was legal for industrial companies to make use of slave labour (this is the plot of the film Schindler’s List). Some companies used it, some didn’t. The Nuremberg trials did not recognise the fiduciary duty to maximise profit as a defence.
dc 2
Slashdot | PRO-IP and PIRATE Acts Fused Into New Bill:

"Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) have just sponsored a new bill, the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008, which would combine the worst parts of the PRO-IP Act and the PIRATE Act. The basic idea is pretty simple: expand the Federal government to create something like the Department of Homeland Security for IP. The Copyright Czar then polices the internet and clogs the courts with thousands of civil lawsuits against individual infringers so the RIAA doesn't have to. Feel free to contact your representatives with your feelings about this bill. Right now, they believe the bill (PDF) will 'protect jobs.'"
What Does Rupert Murdoch Want?:

Nobody has captured Murdoch's methodology in fewer words than the Atlantic's James Fallows, who wrote in 2003 that "some aspects of News Corp's programming, positions, and alliances serve conservative political ends, and others do not. But all are consistent with the use of political influence for corporate advantage."
This Weekend at the Movies | Slog | The Stranger | Seattle's Only Newspaper:

I loved the shit out of that show, so don’t get in the comments and start doubting my geek. Among other qualifications: I wrote a fan letter to Gillian Anderson in approximately 1995 (I was 14 or 15) and received a personalized signed photograph in return, attended not one but two X-Files conventions, and scored an invitation to the set in Vancouver from Sheila Larkin, who played Scully’s mother on the show but was actually the mother of a kid young enough to be in a Centrum theater camp with me. Unfortunately, her son saw through my greedy opportunism and quashed my fondest dreams. Oh, and I wrote some fan fiction once and posted it on ye olde Usenet newsgroup I think I was 16 at the time. It’s probably still floating around the internet somewhere.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sail Cats
Philip Greenspun’s Weblog » Fannie Mae bailout: Taxing America's poorest citizens to help the richest:

In Roman times the employees of Fannie Mae would be decimated, i.e., they would draw lots and 90 percent of them would beat the unlucky 10 percent to death with clubs. What would be a modern equivalent? At the very least taxpayers should have the satisfaction of seeing the highest paid 100 Fannie Mae employees fired with two weeks of severance pay (it can’t be that hard to find replacements given that the current staff’s primary achievements have been accounting fraud and then insolvency). The newspapers say that it is important for foreigners to have confidence that the U.S. will pay its debt. Let’s pay foreign bond holders in full then, using tax dollars as necessary. After all, a guy in China could not be expected to understand that a bunch of crummy houses in Cleveland were not worth $250,000 each. Let the domestic shareholders get 10 cents on the dollar and let the domestic bondholders get whatever the bonds are actually worth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

___|______________ | HDR

Midnight Honesty at Noon: I have met the Enemy:

For my money the biggest reason specifically actors aren’t stepping up (outside of the fringe) to positions of leadership on the organizational side is that we’ve trained them to do as they’re told.

In American theater most people come to the business via education. They discover it in high school or college and are trained in either pre-professional or conservatory programs. That training is largely carried out by lapsed or current professionals who teach their student to operate in the system and the hierarchy they know.

That system is of course the current system, and that hierarchy is the primacy of the text, then the director, with the actor doing as they are told.

And they are listening.
How a Commenter Became the Online Bogeyman of New Brooklyn -- New York Magazine:

To be fair, reading through the Brownstoner comments, you won’t just find animosity. You won’t just find acrimony, aggression, name-calling, neighborhood-bashing, exotic new curse words employed in inventive combinations, race-baiting, and naked hate. You will also find fear. It’s the drumbeat beneath the symphony. This fear is expressed in different ways, on many different topics. This fear, like a resilient parasite, attaches itself to a variety of hosts. There is fear that your old neighborhood is changing. Fear that your new neighborhood is unsafe. Fear that you waited too long, or got in too late, that you bought at the peak, that your savings are worthless. Fear that your school district is substandard, your block on the decline, your choices were the wrong ones, you can’t go back and fix it now. Fear of roving packs of kids, or rolling herds of strollers. Fear that this isn’t turning out how you thought it would.
HBW !  number two................
203/365 birds of a feather
Parabasis: RE: HTFA IV Priorities (Buildings and People):

From the comments:

Local govt's fund Capital Campaigns in ways that neither they or any other pot of money funds artists. I'm sure that makes sense to elected officials, cuz even if your company goes under, they'll still have a new building and increased property tax revenues going forward. It's almost a no-lose give for them. Artists are more like consumable foods - once eaten, the money spent is off the balance sheet (so eat an artist slowly).
day 149 - 23 july 2008 In bathrooms and bad motels?
Steve Jobs' Diet Secrets -

And while Apple employees eat healthy, Jobs takes it to an extreme, one employee says, eating dark green vegetables such as broccoli and asparagus, grilled or steamed. Jobs has been a vegetarian for years but his enthusiasm for green may have taken on an extra dimension since his brush with cancer. Jobs has surgery in 2004 to treat pancreatic cancer, and, again, earlier this year, according to The New York Times, to address "a problem that was contributing to a loss of weight." The veg-heavy diet, however, likely will not help him pack on any pounds. "No wonder he's cranky all the time," one Apple insider says.
selene luna at the rock n roll strip show 2008
MacNN | MS reorg focuses on Windows, Apple rivalry:

Microsoft on Thursday said it was undertaking a major restructuring of the company that will help it return focus to its core Windows software. The company's broader Platforms & Services division will now be split into a dedicated Windows & Windows Live division and a separate Online Services division, both of which will report directly to company chief Steve Ballmer. The effort is publicly described as making Microsoft more nimble and should help the company move more quickly fight off rivals in the "very competitive arenas" of operating systems and the web, according to Ballmer.
Sheng Vue
Times Higher Education - All the privileged must have prizes:

In the first meeting of my first seminar of my first year, Kushner's son Jared entered my classroom and promptly took the seat across from mine, sharing the room, so to speak. I was drawing an annual salary of $15,500 (£7,700) and borrowing the remainder for survival in Cambridge, in order that he might be given the best possible education. Jared later purchased The New York Observer for $10 million, part of which he made buying and selling real estate while also attending my seminar. As publisher, one of his first moves was to reduce pay for the Observer's stable of book reviewers. I had been writing reviews for the Observer in an effort to pay my debts.

Most of the students I encountered had already embraced the perspectives of the rich, the powerful and the unalienated, and they seemed to have done so with appalling ease. In keeping with the tradition of the American rich they worked exceptionally long hours, they were aggressive in exercising their talents, and on the ideological features of market capitalism they were unanimous. Their written work disclosed the core components of the consensus upheld by their liberal parents: the meaning of liberty lies in the personal choice of consumers; free competition in goods and morals regulates value; technological progress is an unmixed good; war is unfortunate.

I asked each of my seminars whether they had so far encountered a teacher they genuinely appreciated. If so, what aspects did they most admire? Invariably they said good teachers made them "feel comfortable". To sense the sterility one had only to listen: "shopping period" was the name of the week they selected their classes. Once, when I proposed to teach a junior seminar entitled "Anarchist cultural criticism in America", I was instructed to go ahead only if I first changed the title to "America and its critics". Here was the same method of cultural hygiene that has transformed Harvard Square from a bohemian enclave into an outdoor mall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday July 23, 8:00 PM

THE BRICK THEATER, Williamsburg Brooklyn Admission: $10

Best Ten Dollar Suit Pictures presents a TK film * starring Mike Daisey, T. Ryder Smith, and Paul Williis *
director of photography Lila Javan * theme song performed by Joseph Mahan *
written & directed by Lawrence Krauser * designed & edited by Larissa Tokmakova
Stravinsky Gets His 'Rite: Remixed' : NPR Music:

In an interview with host David Garland, Greg Saunier of the forward-thinking indie-rock band Deerhoof admits that he's been borrowing ideas from Igor Stravinsky. So it's hard to imagine a better pairing than this Wordless Music Series concert combining Deerhoof with a wild re-imagining of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring by the Metropolis Ensemble. The unlikely playbill was recorded live by WNYC at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn, N.Y., as part of Celebrate Brooklyn.
Suburbia Sleeps
Permission granted by Mr. Pierce to repost here:


I just read your interview in Dramabiz magazine and was intrigued.  I am the director of a professional regional theatre company in Columbus, GA, a city of 200,000. I’ve been here for 20 seasons and I’m, ahem, 55 years old.

I am in absolute agreement with your basic thesis and I’ve been preaching this gospel for years.  When the American Little Theatre movement morphed into the American Regional Theatre movement something absolutely essential was left behind – an intimate connection with the community.  In fact, I believe that when local artists ceased being able to participate in THEIR theatre, the fabric of the community was loosened just a bit more and hastened the unraveling that we see today.

We rarely ever acknowledge that those passionate amateurs of the 1920’s, ‘30’s and ‘40’s built the superstructure of our current American regional theatre.  Loyal audiences and facilities were built and sustained.  Even very small towns were raising money from local businesses and individuals for THEIR local theatre.

Once the ivory tower institutions emerged with their giant facilities, executive payrolls and imported personnel, the link was broken with that community and they began to look toward the national foundations, NEA and big corporate givers for support.

So, I’m with you, my friend.

Now, let me tell you something you might find interesting.  I run annual budget of $2.1 million. I’m operating in the black. My audience grew by 17% last season, by 13% the season before and by 9% the season before that.  And catch this – the growth audience is young. My audience is skewing younger every year.

Here’s how we’re doing it.  In addition to our mainstage, studio and children’s series, we also run a Theatre Academy with 750 students (k-12) and an educational outreach program that serves 16,000 children a year.  We created a full voting position for a Theatre Academy student (this year, an 11th grade actor) on the board of directors.

Eleven years ago, I hired an incredible actor/director/playwright/teacher from First Stage Milwaukee as my associate artistic director and made him the director of the Theatre Academy as well as the director of the Children’s Theatre.  By doing that, we removed the “silo” that education programs usually occupy at regional theatres – separated from the main mission of the company.  Today, I have 750 young student actors who are in my building year-round. I also know their parents and those parents have begun to take leadership roles on the board of directors.  Local youth has a SAY in our theatre and we listen.

The emergence of this youth movement over the past several years has had a more tangible impact – more tangible than even audience growth.  We are now six months into a capital campaign for the construction of a Teaching Theatre and Education Center. We already have 5 studio classrooms and we’ll add five more with this project. But, before you react to the capital campaign as more monument-ism, keep two things in mind. One, this education center is all about building audiences for the future. And, two, half of the campaign goal is for just the type of endowment you suggested in your interview.

With this campaign, we will be able to hire resident artists for our main program who will act, direct, write and teach right here in the community year-round.  They will receive an annual salary, health benefits and 401K. They will be a central part of the identity of the theatre and an investment in its future growth and success.  This endowment will also support programming and help us diversify our work by not having to go commercial when the economy turns as it has recently.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is currently doing a study on the impact of our youth education programs on audience growth.  With the graying of audiences nationwide, the Knight Foundation is working hard to identify “best practices” in audience building and, possibly, develop a model that other regional theatres can use to invigorate their programs and re-connect to their communities.

Come see us sometime.  I’d enjoy showing you what we do.  I hope I can see your show soon. It sounds wonderful.

All Best, Paul

Paul R. Pierce

Producing Artistic Director

Springer Opera House

103 10th Street

Columbus, GA 31901
Inside the Bohemian Grove (Spy 1989):

The jokes fit right into the Grove's Ayn Rand R&R mood. "My grandmother always said, 'You can find sympathy in the dictionary,'" a guy with a cigar said, walking on the River Road. I'd made it in that day for breakfast at the Dining Circle, the most lavish meal of the Bohemian day, an experience redolent of moneyed western ease. The rough wooden tables were piled with perfect fruit. As I sat down a great glistening arc of melon was slid before me. Today they were offering Alaskan cod, sautéed lamb kidneys, eggs, French toast, bacon, sausages. The encampment's rules about dealing with waiters reinforce the heartless but egalitarian values of the Grove. Tipping the help is strictly forbidden, but so is reprimanding them. It's easy to imagine that many early Bohemians started out as laborers and had to remind more aristocratic visitors that social mobility was a cherished ideal. In the Grove's Club Med-like plan, the meals are covered in the fee for the encampment, which, judging from schedules I'd seen from two years back, ran about $850 on top of annual dues.

A waiter in a red jacket dropped an uneaten chunk of the bright red cod into a waste bin, and the Bohemians at my table talked about presidents. It looked as though Richard Nixon would once again not show. One old-timer said that Nixon was feuding with the board of directors. He was waiting to be asked to give a Lakeside Talk, but the club wasn't going to invite him until he had shown them the respect of visiting Cave Man camp for a weekend or so. In my informant's opinion, there was bad blood; Nixon's resignation 15 years ago had offended the club's honor -- it had been so un-Bohemian. The feud was unfortunate because Nixon and the club went back a long way. In 1953, when he was vice president, Nixon led a ceremony honoring Herbert Hoover's 40th year as a Bohemian. It took place at the Waldorf-Astoria, in a room piled with redwood bark and branches shipped to Manhattan from the Grove. In 1971, when the press corps forced him to cancel his speech at the Grove, President Nixon had wired the club to say, "Anyone can be president of the United States, but few have any hope of becoming president of the Bohemian Club."
Fence - OM1 Fomapan
Filling in a Few Blanks in an Old Brooklyn Real Estate Mystery -

Dust has settled on a generation of clutter: bills, egg cartons, newspapers and a vintage scale that provides both a horoscope and a weight for 5 cents. A sign advertises goods that are “fresh today,” the coffee, apples, cheese and sausage that no one has delivered in years. Through the milky glass front window, tins of maple syrup and jars of vitamins are visible, improbably paired on wooden display shelves.

The shuttered pharmacy could be a location in a film about some mysterious cataclysm — killer spores? aliens? — that emptied a 1950s town, or it could be a scene from a blighted city, the commercial casualty of a Main Street abandoned by shoppers and hope.

But it is neither, just a store in the heart of Carroll Gardens, a thriving Brooklyn neighborhood. The store, closed for about a dozen years, sits at the corner of Henry and Sackett Streets, opposite a lively cafe and cater-corner to a trendy new dumpling house.

The store, with its 1920s details and promise of farm-grown goods and specialties from Vermont, might well have been popular with members of the neighborhood’s brownstone-renovating set.

Instead, it is a curiosity. The longtimers seem to know more about the place than they let on, about the eccentric homeopath, Mark Stein, who owns the building and is still seen visiting. The new residents peer into the windows and move on, knowing little about the puppeteers who helped run the place; or the gunrunner who worked as a clerk in a pharmacy that occupied the space before; or, in much earlier days, the British gentleman-thief with a taste for diamonds who lived upstairs. No one seems to know exactly why it shut down.
Chiuso per ferie
He's Up and Atom -

In his show "If You See Something Say Something," having its world premiere as part of the Capital Fringe Festival, Daisey tells the story of the birth of nuclear weapons in the New Mexico desert in 1945 and how he believes the possession of that terrible power changed America, and not in a good way.

Daisey traces his obsession with nuclear weapons to childhood. At age 10, he says, he read "On Thermonuclear War" by Rand think-tanker Herman Kahn. "I was a very unhappy child," he says. "It sort of fit in with the rest of everything that was going on. I was fascinated, in an unhealthy way, I'm sure, with the apocalypse."
The Entrance!
Zittrain's "The Future of the Internet" -- how to save the Internet from the Internet - Boing Boing:

The DRM wars have shown us that motivated attackers can always break code-signing trusted hardware platforms, given enough motivation. Tethered appliances are designed to allow remote parties to enforce policy on them without the knowledge or consent of their owners -- they're designed to treat their owners as attackers. So while it's possible to torque a PC into attacking its owner with spyware, it's even more possible with tethered appliances, because once you figure out how to slip inside, the whole device is designed, from the ground up, to stop the user from interfering with the "authorities" who have the keys.

Take CALEA, the law that forces phone-switch manufacturers to build in back-doors that allow cops to snoop on voice-traffic without physically accessing the switch. It's pretty implausible that the "police override" built into phone switches has never leaked outside of the police force. After all, the police leak all kinds of "confidential" information (ask a private eye, off the record, how easy it is to get a cop to look up a license plate number). All it would take is one leak to organized crime and the bad guys would have the same off-site phone-monitoring capability as the folks in blue.

I think that Zittrain takes the security claims of appliance vendors at face value, and that this really undermines the argument. Appliances are neither generative nor secure, and it's likely that appliances will be broken in more interesting ways by more creeps as they increase in value as targets. The backlash against PCs will be quickly met with another backlash against everything else, and no one is going to be able to opt out of the system altogether.
secret one
Bravo Asks: What Is Art? | The A.V. Club:

While a challenge like, "This week, create a sculpture that shows who you are as an artist. You have 4 hours and access to everything in the Glad Family Of Products Creativity Bin," sounds about as exciting as "Design a hotel room around one of the four elements," the show does have some possible entertainment value. American Artist, more than any of the other profession-based series in Bravo's increasingly crowded reality-competition thunderdome, has the most potential for legitimately insane contestants. When Pip, a Shock Art acolyte, shows up at Judges Gallery with yet another bedspread stolen from the Atlas apartments smeared with more of his mother's menstrual blood that he brought in a jar from home (show him where in the contract it says he can't bring a jar of his mother's menstrual blood, okay?) repeating, "Being on this show is my art," it will make Christian Siriano's endless chirping of "fierce" seem all the more tame.

DVICE: LED dress gives tech fashion a good name:

Designer Mary Huang says, "Integrating technology into a wearable piece can often be cumbersome, so in a successful piece, the design must outshine the technology." We couldn't agree more. Her lighted fashion line, aptly called Rhyme & Reason, also includes an LED scarf. Both run off either battery power or a wall outlet, meaning they can double as lamps when you're not wearing them. Let's see your raincoat do that.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cassettes still a multi-million dollar industry... in prison - Boing Boing Gadgets:

For one thing, unlike CDs, the money in cassette tapes is not plummeting because of audio downloads. According to Bob Paris, owner of North Hollywood's Pack Central, a mail-order business exclusively dedicated to selling cassette tapes: . "[Five years ago], people thought I was nuts when I invested tons of money in analog prerecorded music on tape." Now? Paris' business steadily brings in a million dollars a year.

But who is buying Paris' cassettes? America's 2.3 million prisoners. Which brings us to the second advantage of tape over compact disc: a tape can't be broken apart and used as a shiv. Prisoners are allowed to have them. 60% of Paris' business is in cassette tapes.

Paris' excited conclusion: "[By selling cassette tapes] I have dodged every conventional bullet that has hit most music retailers," Paris says. "I don't have to worry about downloading, legal or illegally. The beauty of it is that prisoners don't have Internet access and never will."
It's never as simple as it seems
The American Scholar - The Disadvantages of an Elite Education - By William Deresiewicz:

It didn’t dawn on me that there might be a few holes in my education until I was about 35. I’d just bought a house, the pipes needed fixing, and the plumber was standing in my kitchen. There he was, a short, beefy guy with a goatee and a Red Sox cap and a thick Boston accent, and I suddenly learned that I didn’t have the slightest idea what to say to someone like him. So alien was his experience to me, so unguessable his values, so mysterious his very language, that I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in a few minutes of small talk before he got down to work. Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League dees, and there I was, stiff and stupid, struck dumb by my own dumbness. “Ivy retardation,” a friend of mine calls this. I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.

It’s not surprising that it took me so long to discover the extent of my miseducation, because the last thing an elite education will teach you is its own inadequacy. As two dozen years at Yale and Columbia have shown me, elite colleges relentlessly encourage their students to flatter themselves for being there, and for what being there can do for them. The advantages of an elite education are indeed undeniable. You learn to think, at least in certain ways, and you make the contacts needed to launch yourself into a life rich in all of society’s most cherished rewards. To consider that while some opportunities are being created, others are being cancelled and that while some abilities are being developed, others are being crippled is, within this context, not only outrageous, but inconceivable.

Monday, July 21, 2008

It's whispering its truth, not mine
A Textbook Case of Intolerance:

Here, for example, is a multiple-choice question that appears in a recent edition of a Saudi fourth-grade textbook, Monotheism and Jurisprudence, in a section that attempts to teach children to distinguish "true" from "false" belief in god:

Q. Is belief true in the following instances:
a) A man prays but hates those who are virtuous.
b) A man professes that there is no deity other than God but loves the unbelievers.
c) A man worships God alone, loves the believers, and hates the unbelievers.

The correct answer, of course, is c). According to the Wahhabi imams who wrote this textbook, it isn't enough just to worship god or just to love other believers—it is important to hate unbelievers as well. By the same token, b) is also wrong. Even a man who worships god cannot be said to have "true belief" if he loves unbelievers.

"Unbelievers," in this context, are Christians and Jews. In fact, any child who sticks around in Saudi schools until ninth grade will eventually be taught that "Jews and Christians are enemies of believers." They will also be taught that Jews conspire to "gain sole control of the world," that the Christian crusades never ended, and that on Judgment Day "the rocks or the trees" will call out to Muslims to kill Jews.

These passages, it should be noted, are from new, "revised" Saudi textbooks. Following a similar analysis of earlier versions of these same textbooks in 2006, American diplomats immediately approached their Saudi counterparts about the more disturbing passages, and the Saudis agreed to conduct a "comprehensive revision … to weed out disparaging remarks towards religious groups."

Quincey loves strawberry popcicles!!!