When I was about 10 or 12, the catch-phrase that kids habitually used to emphasize a person who had been disgraced was "face" or "facial" or "facial disgracial." As a bonus, there was the accompanying hand-sign of rotating your hand at arm's length, what you would do if you were rubbing a pie in the person's face.

Up until recently, they might say, "You got served."

Now the big thing is to put a pen in your mouth, let it droop precariously, and then point both hands in the shape of sixshooters at your victim.

Remember, when you point a finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you. (Six when you do it Lyndie-style.)


The Coming of the Post-Carbon Age
Cornucopianism, Resources Wars and the Low-Energy Future
An interview with Julian Darley aired on Unwelcome Guests radio is scaring me back into Y2K survivalist mode. Where will your food come from when there's no more fuel to bring produce to you? And it doesn't even have to get that extreme. Long before oil or natural gas run out, they will become more expensive as they become scarce. Where will your food come from when grocers start passing their rising fuel costs to consumers?

Darley is not really as alarmist as I'm making him sound. That's just me being alarmed. Then again, he does advise that everyone starts growing their own food, personally reducing our reliance on vehicles, consider how far we have to drive to get to work, etc. But he seems realistic. Get involved with community efforts in sharing resources and growing food locally, even local currency.

It all sounds obvious, but his talk is much more informative and inspiring and realistically frightening than I'm making it sound. Lots more info at


Seas of Let's Fiddle. Embryonic rpg game design about anthropomorphic objects in a universe that's gradually falling to ruin, which can only be prevented by the sexual energy generated when little cartoony spoons, doors, cars, toasters, etc making whoopee.


Halal Ammo. Israeli-made bullets bought by the U.S. Army to plug [no pun intended presumably] a shortfall should be used for training only, not to fight Muslim guerrillas in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. lawmakers told Army generals on Thursday.

Since the Army has other stockpiled ammunition, "by no means, under any circumstances should a round (from Israel) be utilized," said Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, the top Democrat on a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee with jurisdiction over land forces. (REUTERS)

To show proper respect, we should have similar rites performed over all our bombs and ammo and clusterbombs as are performed on halal meats and foods.
One last step in the evolution from hockey to boxing. Why watch players plinking around with sticks and goals when you can cut out all the crap and just watch fights? Coming soon on pay-per-view... Battle of the Hockey Gladiators. "Some of the meanest guys in hockey" fighting in full gear at center ice (according to their promo crap in the June 2004 issue of Amusement Business). Fights last 90 seconds, and apparently each fight starts with a puck being dropped, although it's not clear whether the pucks will be used for anything other than timekeeping symbol.

From the FAQ, we see that judges score gladiators on:
- amount of punches thrown and landed
- quality of punches
- showmanship
- crowd response
- general control of the fight
- whos knees buckle first


Officials hope to change processing of mentally ill

To their credit, these people are trying to reform a disgustingly failed system, but check out the terminology. In Adrian, Mich., they're trying to work together with local governments, police, hospitals, mental health and substance abuse treatment agencies to create a "jail diversion" program. Which is to say they're trying to keep jail from being the main destination for many people with mental illness.

I can't help but wonder if they couldn't look back in public records 10 to 20 years to see how things were handled before Republican Governor John Engler closed the last 9 out of ten remaining mental hospitals in Michigan.

Although the state had been gradually closing its institutions over several years and supposedly shifting emphasis to community mental health systems, they ignored warnings about closing too quickly. Engler's Director of Mental Health James K. Haveman Jr. said, "This is no different than what previous directors have done.... I am not naive enough to think that people won't fall through the cracks. But if you show it to me, I'll take care of it."

Great system of checks and balances there. Maybe all those local governments, police, hospitals, mental health and substance abuse treatment agencies can show their problems to Haveman and he'll "take care of it."

For some more perspective, here's a 20 July 2003 article from the Detroit News:
Critics: Patients moved out too quickly

Just to end on a high note, it's very nice to see a Republican in that first article who sees the status quo as a problem. Lenawee County Commissioner Richard Bailey, R-Adrian: "We're building a nice new jail that has padded cells to put them in. That's not the answer."


This American Life #267 (June 11, 2004). Ira Glass interviews an FCC lawyer about their recent rulings on swearing. The results sound embarassing for the FCC and anyone who believes the myth that swear words harm children. Do you really think Shakespeare or Einstein or Ghandi grew up hearing fewer swear words than you did, or kids these days? No amount of nuns or teachers or parents jamming bars of soap in kids' mouths has reduced the swearing that kids have done out of earshot from enforcers.

Never mind me. Ira does a better job of showing how absurd the whole thing is. Good on ya.


The Wish for Kings: Democracy at Bay.
Lewis H. Lapham on the 1991 Gulf War:
"The bombardment of Baghdad began on Jan 17, and within a matter of hours, the newspaper and television correspondents had abandoned any claim or pretension to the power of independent thought. It was as if they had instantly enlisted in the ranks of an elite regiment, sworn to protect and defend whatever they were told to protect and defend by the generals who presented them with 3 or 4 paragraphs of yesterday's news. The Iraqi troops were forced to suffer the admonitions of gunfire, but the American media surrendered to a barrage of propaganda before the first F-16 fired its first round at an Iraqi tank."