Look yonder F
Sporadically down that column of my front page, see that picture that says Dungeons & Dayjobs? That's the cover of my first book! A collection of stories, recipes & a novella from this site plus six stories never before published.
Preview it & buy it!
170 pgs, 6x9" paperback.


Friend of mine asked me to put up this info because he doesn't have a website but wanted to address some confusion.

The Radcliffe Project by Robert Levi
Summary: Audio commentary to second Harry Potter movie, in which the narrator describes the hidden messages planted by Chris Columbus, J.K. Rowling and Time Warner to prevent Mr. Levi from marrying the star of the film, Daniel Radcliffe.
Some people have alluded to the possibility that this is some kind of "slash fiction" in the form of an audio commentary. This is obviously way off base on the face of it, because
A) I am not fictional
B) there's no graphic description of fictional characters making love
C) that whole phrase is loaded with derision, and this commentary is serious.
Please stop labelling it with that phrase when you pass this audio file to friends. If you have downloaded a copy from a torrent or elsewhere on the web, please check if it has the word "slash" in the album or artist info and remove that word. Thank you for your help.
Robert Levi

Click here to download the full mp3 commentary (mono, 48kbps).


"When Belushi died, rest his soul, everybody stopped. All the drugs stopped. I always got such a kick out of that."
-Joe Piscopo quoted in Live From New York, attempting to swallow both of his feet at the same time.


Dirty Bomb Suspect Padilla Indicted
"...[A]bsent from the indictment were the sensational allegations made earlier by top Justice Department officials: that Padilla sought to blow up U.S. hotels and apartment buildings and planned an attack on America with a radiological "dirty bomb.'' '

The Not Ready for Dirty Bombing Players, starring Jose Padilla! Funny stories about what he was planning to do, written by the US Justice Department! It's so hard to believe that the Bush administration would exaggerate accusations against "enemy combatants." Just ask James Yee about the wild material they wrote for him! (His book For God And Country.)


Bush Cheers Mongolia for Pushing Democracy
Here's the buried lede: "Mongolia's force of about 160 in Iraq makes it, with its population of just 2.8 million, the third-largest contributor per capita to the coalition."


'If you can give me a shred of credible evidence that the US military is "protecting" the nation by bombing and shooting Iraqis, I'll gladly answer the letter I got from the army recently to sign back up at my old rank in my old MOS. I mean, defending our homes is important… that's what Iraqis are doing.'
--Stan Goff


MIT Media Lab: $100 Laptop
"The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children. To achieve this goal, a new, non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created."

Click around their site for more images and FAQ. You may have seen this in recent months, but now they have working prototypes. For some reason this gets me all hot and bothered. I know they won't sell them directly, but even if companies started producing knockoffs for double or triple that cost (which you know they will), it would be an awesome thing and comparatively cheap. It has a fucking turncrank so you don't have to plug in! It's designed for ebooks and video, with open source operating system! And their whole intent was to make them as educational tools. They need to do like some of those companies selling turncrank radios, where middle class chuckleheads like us can buy them for a certain price, and it includes the cost of another appliance being given away to an orphan somewhere. It would be like Sally Struthers rewarding your charity with an awesome tech-geek "premium".

...oops. Then I read some of the FAQ. "The biggest hurdle will be manufacturing 100 million of anything. This is not just a supply-chain problem, but also a design problem. The scale is daunting, but I find myself amazed at what some companies are proposing to us. It feels as though at least half the problems are being solved by mere resolve." I hope they prove me wrong, but that sounds like a preface to VAPORWARE.
The cover of the Nov 21, 2005 Weekly Standard has a little ribbon across the side advertising "THE REAL LIES ABOUT THE WAR, William Kristol - Stephen F. Hayes."

That's the title of the article? No, I couldn't find those inside. Kristol had an editorial titled Bush Fights Back. Hayes has an article titled Where Are the Pentagon Papers?

Hmmmm. If that's not a title, maybe it's a description of what they're writing?


School district pulls slave-era folk song from concert - 11/14/05
'The song's lyrics included "Jump down, turn around, pick a bale of cotton. Gotta jump down, turn around, Oh Lordie, pick a bale a day." '

Unless their version of the lyrics differs substantially from Leadbelly's version, I don't see what the cotton-picking problem is. My white late mother-in law picked cotton when she was a kid in the Thirties or Forties. She probably hated it, and she might never have sung or liked that song, but is it offensive just because it describes something that happened in slave-era?

The offended people seem to be reading stereotype into the song, assuming that anyone singing about a person picking cotton must be making fun of slaves.

They should have kept the song and discussed the context if they felt necessary. It's not even elementary or middle school, we're talking high school. Not like the kids are going to be traumatized by hearing it or wondering what it meant back then, what it means today.

I'm not the typical reactionary to people calling out what offends them, but this one is too far. I can almost see if they were singing, "Shoo fly, don't bother me, Cause I belong to somebody." Even then I'd say sing the song and discuss it afterwards. But this one is off base. What's next -- "Chain of Fools" can't be included because of the imagery of bondage?
"Motherfucker Texas is the best state in the world...its not a bunch of fuckin hicks n shit in dallas, and texas is the best fucking place in the world, you stupid fucking new yorker or whatever the fuck you are...why dont you go get in your caa

"fuck your kind bitch"
-- written by "texas 4 life", latest entry in my guest book for F-TX.

Just a friendly reminder, have you seen Fuck Texas lately? Same old shit really, I just thought there might be a few passersby who haven't noticed that page. Better yet, go straight to the best part, 48 pages of F-TX guestbook entries.
Check out this page my cat Songlian made about Scooter and the baby sasquatches.


Basie! Interview with George McGovern
On red states vs. blue states.
"George McGovern: I have trouble remembering from one day to the next what 'blue' and 'red' mean. They used to call us Democrats 'reds' because they thought we were too liberal, too pink. I’m glad the Republicans have assumed that label now."
Students Arrested at Powell Speech Protest Accuse Police of Racial Profiling

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Aman Mehrzai, as you reflect on this weekend’s protests through, from last week, what lessons have you learned as a journalism student, as a person who was outside at the protests?

AMAN MEHRZAI: The biggest thing that I did learn is that profiling does happen. Before, I did hear about it many times, but this time I was an eyewitness to it myself. There was a point where towards the end, as I said, where things got violent. The police just pushed everyone out of the way, and apparently they were supposed to give a warning, but many reporters who were there didn't hear a warning at all. I, myself, was hit by an officer with his baton in my ribs, and I was pushed through the bushes, and they pushed us across the street on the other side of the street, and I met up with my wife over there, and we thought that everything was over, but they crossed the street and they were -- it looked like storm troopers crossing the street....

Do you think he meant stormtroopers like you can get in your Burger King kids meal right now, or Stormtroopers Classic?


Vincent Price as Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984.
It's an Australian radio play, but I keep trying to tell you what weird and awesome stuff you're missing if you don't check out these old time radio plays. Alan Ladd trying to play Rick in Casablanca. Edgar G. Robinson as Sam Spade in Maltese Falcon. Bogart and Bacall in their own radio series, "Bold Venture" set in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Most of the Lux Radio Theatre productions are abridged versions with voices provided by the same stars from the original movies.


Tonight's lesson in slapdash cuisine:
When making beef stew, don't expect butternut squash to make an effective substitute for potatoes.
"Kansas, preparing young minds for the high tech jobs of 1652."

[emergency room dialog in Kansas of the not-too-distant future]
Patient: Doctor, my heart is attacking me.
Doc: Well, it must be haunted.
Patient: What do I do?
Doc: Pray.

-- Randi Rhodes


I was just looking up "semicolon" in wikipedia to see whether I was using it correctly. Near the bottom of the entry is this tip, which prompted me to skip it:

"If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college." - Kurt Vonnegut


A wild-eyed leftist refutes common Republican talking points:

"You encourage democracy over time, with assistance, and aid, the traditional way. Not how the neocons do it."

"This [invasion of Iraq] was said to be part of the war on terror, but Iraq feeds terrorism."

"There may have come a time when we would have needed to take Saddam out . . . But he wasn't really a threat. His Army was weak, and the country hadn't recovered from sanctions."

...[This guy opposed to Bush policy] does not believe, for instance, that the signs of a democratic awakening in Lebanon are related to the Iraq war. He sees the recent evacuation of the Syrian Army from Lebanon not as a victory for self-government but as a foreshadowing of civil war.

-- Brent Scowcroft, wild-eyed leftist and former Natl Security Advisor to GHW Bush, quoted in the New Yorker, Oct 31, 2005.


Some audio fiction I've been listening to lately:
Sermons on Little-Known Gods, a novel by Lauren Merritt
"Thanks to faulty judgment and a bit of treacherous help, the creator god Karik has lost the First Ones, the handcrafted forebears of humankind (yep, that's them on the cover). Worse still for Karik, he is deprived of his seductive power over human women, which in times past has made these little ones worth all the trouble."

The Great Old Pumpkin, short story by John Aegard.
"As you are no doubt aware, I am the issue of solid Dutch stock--the prosperous Van Pelt family of St. Paul. Mine was a comfortable and happy childhood, and I spent much of it in the devoted service of the Great Old Pumpkin. For him, I cultivated and annual pumpkin patch. I also evangelized him in the community, relating the tale of how, every year on Hallowmas Eve, the day when the spiritual most strongly encroaches on the substantial, this mightiest of gourds would rise to revel across the world with the most sincere of his adorers...."

12-PAGE GUIDE TO WOMEN'S SEXUALITY... Town & Country magazine????


Dear Dr. Schwarz,

I can't afford to skip work today to protest against the war, so I decided to write to you instead. I realize that you have supported the invasion of Iraq, but I hope that you will seriously consider the information that has been coming out about the Bush Administration fixing facts around policy when they wanted to go to war. I believe that George Bush and many of his administration should be impeached with the information we now have. I hope you will also push for further investigations into why our "intelligence" was so wrong about Iraq. How did Uranium get into the President's State of the Union speech after the CIA warned him that the claims about "yellowcake" were untrue? Did Bush and his speechwriters intend to deceive Congress and the American people, or were they merely sloppy by forgetting or ignoring the warning from the CIA? How many of their other decisions are based on sloppy information?

Please search out the truth and make sure that our leaders are brought to justice if they have violated the Constitution.

Thank you.
Rob Northrup