Saturday, January 28, 2006

Look at All the Love We Found

My first music purchase of the New Year was the Sublime tribute CD, Look at All the Love We Found. I am a huge Sublime fan, I love all of their music and own most of it. This CD is an outstanding mix of covers from a variety of bands and genres. Jack Johnson starts it off with Badfish & Boss DJ. Both songs are outstanding efforts. The CD keeps getting better as you listen your way through it. My favorite cover is the Los Lobos version of Pawn Shop – outstanding.

A quote from inside the cover:

“Art alone can turn those thoughts of disgust at the horror or absurdity of existence into imaginary constructs, which permit living to continue. These constructs are the SUBLIME as the artistic mastering of the horrible and the comic as the artistic release from disgust at the absurd.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, 1871.

The CD Contains:

1. Jack Johnson "Badfish/Boss DJ"
2. Michael Franti & Spearhead w/Gift of Gab "What I Got"
3. Fishbone "Date Rape"
4. Bargain Music "Get Out"
5. AVAIL "Santeria"
6. No Doubt "DJ'S"
7. The Ziggens "Paddle Out"
8. Mike Watt & Petra Haden w/Stephen Perkins "Work That We Do"
9. Filibuster w/Half Pint "Get Ready"
10. G. Love "Greatest Hits"
11. Greyboy Allstars "Doin Time"
12. Camper Van Beethoven "Garden Grove"
13. Ozomatli "April 29th, 1992"
14. AWOL One/Abstract Rude/Josh Fischel/Transducer "Waiting For My Ruca"
15. Pennywise "Same In the End"
16. Pawn Shop - Los Lobos

Buy the CD - it is well worth it.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Art or not - you be the judge

I saw this painting on display at a UOP campus in Tempe Arizona a few days ago. I was attending an ISO 27001 implementation seminar (translated as “an exceedingly boring IT security training”). During breaks, I would stroll the art festooned walls of the UOP Tempe campus. I was trying to figure out if the art on display was commissioned by real artists, or submitted by student. The campus had about 50 works of art on display, with most in the amateur to talented amateur category. This painting was stationed near the men’s room, so I saw a lot of it during my time at the campus.

My gut reaction – I hate it.

It reminded me of the ongoing Christian struggle to link their faith to our National heritage and our Nation’s future. This is of course, a struggle that I appose. In fact, it is a struggle that I find abhorrent. I wanted to tear the painting down and burn it. I thought to myself, “It could not possibly be art”. Of course, I was wrong. Even thought I classified the painting as the work of a talented amateur, the painting is art. It evoked a real emotive response in me, it made me think, it made me angry, but, in the end, it made me happy. I was 400 miles from my home, lonely, and attending a seminar with my restless mind on full overdrive – I would normally waste my extra mental energy trying to solve some puzzle or problem, but, this week I spent my extra mental buzz on art criticism.

I would appreciate comments on this painting. I would like to hear what you think.

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Ford is having problems - I think I know why

Ford might just think we’re all stupid.

I found this in my rented Lincoln Zephyr while on a business trip to Phoenix this week. My traveling companion, John, was unconvinced by my impassioned plea that he climb into the trunk to see if the emergency trunk release thingy worked. It turns out that John’s a pretty smart guy.

So let’s just pretend I’m in the Irish Mob and I want to kidnap a rival gang member, throw him in the trunk of my Zephyr, and then drive the poor bastard out to the desert so I can feed him to a cactus. Being a smart Irish mobster, I would DISABLE the emergency trunk release. I mean, wouldn’t you?

A message for the Ford engineer who designed this thingy – stupid people might think the graphic means run away from open trunks.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

NBC Drops 'Daniel'

It turns out that Daniel was not controversial as Christian media activist groups tried to make us believe a few brief weeks ago. Daniel was just bad TV - boring in fact. I watched two episodes, NBC decision to drops Daniel is a good one.

Daniel was hard to watch. I tired - but, like many TV drama's these days - it bored me silly. I identified with none of the characters, I thought the plot line was puerile, and the humor low-brow. Daniel, despite its controversy, was bad TV. When Jesus appeared – which was three or four times per show, I was left scratching my head. I don’t really know what the producers/writers were thinking.

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Japan Scientists Find Million-Year-Old Ice

I love it! Japan Scientists Find Million-Year-Old Ice and then use the ice to make martinis. The scientist’s ultimatly sell the million-year-old martinis on ebay for $10K per glass. Mr. Umezaki , the chief scientist, needed to raise money in order to pay for his ski holiday/scientific experiment on the summit of Mt. Fuji. I understand that the eBay live auction set a record for world wide bid volume.

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Why don't they show her breasts?

I caught this billboard in the desert outside of Palm Springs. For $7K, a women can get a new rack - seems like a deal (if you're on crack). I love the actual patient picture – what the hell does this picture have to do with breast argumentation? Would a normal women see this and think, if I have augmentation I’ll look like her?

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

NASA - track a satellite

I'm kind of a science geek (well... a little anyway) this site allows users to view the position of satellites, the space station, and the space shuttle. It's very cool and the interface is quite nice.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

So "West Side"

I was walking along a street in Santa Barbara recently when a young man flashed the "W" West Side hand sign at his friend. I looked up in exasperation and saw this palm tree lined vista. it is in the 70s, not a cloud in the sky, beautiful people everywhere I look, mini-skirts and halter tops (or whatever those navel-showing shirts are called) abound. I'm on the West Side - and I like it here.

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I take pictures like this one out of the self deluded believe that one day I will, buy a copy, make a copy, steal it, comment intelligently on its design, smash it with a hammer, install it in my home, make fun of it...

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Old TV and yellow wall - Carson

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Sony graffiti advertising

What the hell is Sony thinking?

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Industrial Sunset

I walked out of my office at sunset last night. I was in a foul mood until I saw this sight. LA is the place to be - even if this was shot in Carson.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

I have this test

At least that is what Rev. Lonnie Latham is trying to sell to the press and his congregation at the South Tulsa Baptist Church. Latham probably rationalized that before he could actually minister to a gay man, he needed to test his pickup to determine if he is actually gay or just pretending. Latham would not want to waste is anti-homosexual rant on a straight man. So, a test is necessary… (I’ll leave the test up to your own imagination)

If his first story does not sell, Latham can always try “I was in the area pasturing to police” (oh wait, he did). Let us deconstruct his explanation… I was in the area (a dark hotel parking lot and known gay pickup area), pasturing to police (undercover gay hookers) and invited a one back to my room for coffee (ahem… invited the undercover gay hooker back to my room for oral sex). Of course, this is moral hypocrisy at its finest. I am sure Latham will be back in front of his congregation preaching the word by the end of March.

I have a friend who tells me that any time you see an anti-drug sticker on the bumper of a car, you can be assured that the driver is a drug addict. I wonder if the same concept applies to amoral homophobic Christian pastors?.

Unscrewing the Inscrutable as a good tread going titled Moral Oral. They express hope that Latham will come out of the closet and “leave all that manufactured Christian guilt behind”.

My pastor friend Brad will leave some crass comment on this post saying that I am picking on Christians again. Brad needs to consider that my news filter almost never picks up "famous Atheist picks up hooker".

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It's all about Jesus these days

My news filter is full of stories about Jesus for some reason. For example, a new NBC series called The Book of Daniel has been "pulled' by affiliates KARK in Little Rock and WTWO in Terre Haute. The reason.... sensitivity to viewers. The affiliates are afraid the depiction of Jesus will be blasphemous.

Now, step into the way back machine... Monte Python releases The Life of Brian in 79. The Catholic Church said watching the movie is a sin, small town movie theaters ban the movie, my Pastor lectures us on the evil that is John Cleese, ect, ect, ect. Of course, The Life of Brian goes on to become a comedic masterpiece. It turns out The Church was a little hasty calling when it called the film obscene. time passes, nobody cares.

Flash forward to 2006... Normal citizens view The Book of Daniel and laugh (or not). Time passes.... nobody cares.

The real question is "Why is Jesus off limits?" We make fun of everybody and everything these days. What makes laughing at a delusional version of Jesus vulgar? What we are really seeing is the visualization of prayer through the eyes of a madman. Jesus is answering back. I always thought that qualified you as being crazy. Maybe I'm wrong, but then again, I have not prayed in a very long time.

It appears that both side are intractable, why am I not surprised?

But the American Family Association said the series was another sign of NBC's "anti-Christian bigotry." Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, an anti-defamation group, called the series the "work of an embittered ex-Catholic homosexual."

The show's creator and executive producer, Jack Kenny, said he drew on the emotionally guarded family of his male partner for the series. He said his goal was to depict how "humor and grace" help a flawed man struggle with his faith and family. He said the writers never meant to mock religion or Jesus.

Of course, there is a blog supporting the show.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Italian court to decide if Jesus existed

I have to file this one under completely crazy, an Italian court is to decide if Jesus existed. The EU is crazy enough already. I remember when they passed a ban on loud concerts because somebody filed a claim that their ears hurt. In this case, two polarized people, one a priest and the other an Atheist, are in a baffling legal battle to prove the existence of Jesus. It would appear that Luigi Cascioli has a beef against the Catholic Church, who Cascioli calls the bearer of obscurantism and regression.

I’m going to keep my eye on this case.

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An interesting movie

A friend sent me a link to website for the movie “The God who was not there”. The trailer looks interesting and the supporting documentation catches my interest. I would like to watch it, but the only place it is playing in California is up in Berkeley. I am going to have to buy it; at about $30 bucks it isn’t cheap. I’ll post a review when after I’ve seen it.

The website makes this claim: In this provocative, critically acclaimed documentary, you will discover:

  • The early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus
  • The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults
  • Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion
  • Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing Jesus will return to earth in their lifetimes
  • And God simply isn't there

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Time's Photo of the Year

Time magazine has their Photo of the Year up, it is well worth the time to look at these outstanding photographs.

I like number 13 – it is titled "Venturing Back". I don’t really like viewing pictures of violence, they are very unsettling. I prefer pictures that tell of story of hope.

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