“So, you spent Thanksgiving sharing criminal memories with your family? I thought it was bad enough when I read your diary entries about trying to get young men to buy you drinks, leering at nudie photos of their girlfriends, and fantasizing about blowing bus drivers. I hope you’ll be able to check this sad decline.” –Doug Skinner

It never occurred to me that the readers of this site would misinterpret or, worse yet, purposefully twist my words for comedic and even hurtful effect. However, that is just what one Mr. Douglas Skinner has done to me.

He has jumbled my words together and turned them against me! Does his cruelty know no bounds? Or, is it just stupidity? I hope, for his sake, it is the latter. I hope that he just misunderstood my meaning when he selected these points and ripped them out of context.

I cannot tell you how sad it makes me to see this long string of misquotes tied together like links of spoiled sausage. It tears my heart out. In fact, I am seriously considering drawing this little enterprise to a close. Not only has it not been the great financial boon that I was hoping it would be, it has now been subverted to perform in the service of this shadowy figure, Mr. Douglas Skinner. I refuse to sit back and provide him with more ammunition to use against me in this way.

So, in honor of this, my last posting to Al Gore’s wonderful tool for sharing, I will share with you the following meager scraps.

This, I am sad and ashamed to say, is what’s on my mind today.

leathery-faced moving picture actor does good

First, I saw it mentioned on BoingBoingthat once-handsome actor Robert Redford has an op-ed piece in today’s LA Times.

Here’s an excerpt.

“The Bush administration’s energy policy to date — a military garrison in the Middle East and drilling for more oil in the Arctic and other fragile habitats — is costly, dangerous and self- defeating… The benefits of switching to a mostly pollution-free economy would be considerable, and the costs of failing to do so would be steep. Prolonging our dependence on fossil fuels would guarantee homeland insecurity. If you are worried about getting oil from an unstable Persian Gulf, consider the alternatives: Indonesia, Nigeria, Uzbekistan.

If we want energy security, then we have to reduce our appetite for fossil fuels. There’s no other way. Other issues may crowd the headlines, but this is our fundamental challenge …American rooftops can be the Persian Gulf of solar energy… wind and solar power generate less than 2 percent of U.S. power. We can do better.”

I don’t usually like it when show people get involved in the public discourse, but in this case I thought that it was worth mentioning. I guess it has something to do with the fact that I agree with him… I find people are not nearly as obnoxious when they’re saying things that I would say myself.

He also used the word “Uzbekistan” in a sentence. That has to earn him some points, right?

(As for calling Mr. Redford a bad actor, I was just basing that on his recent film with Britney Spears. I actually liked him quite a bit in Mrs. Doubtfire, The Monster of Cannibal Island, and Three Days of the Condor.)

Someone in a BoingBoing forum attached to this Redford blurb linked to another story that some of you might find of interest. That article is about establishing solar farms on the lunar surface. It seems like a pretty nifty idea. And, it’s not like we’re using the moon for a hell of a lot these days. It may be an expensive proposition, but then again so is our upcoming war with Iraq (where, by the way, the UN weapons inspectors have still to find any trace of weapons of mass destruction).

how do you like it now that the total information awareness shoe is on the other foot

A few days ago, Matt Smith wrote an article in the San Francisco Weekly concerning John Poindexter, the head of the newly forming Office of Total Information Awareness, and his plans to track American citizens by tying together all electronic information concerning their activities, from video rentals and grocery purchases to credit card purchases and phone call records. He has a pretty novel suggestion as to how we first test this system of Total Information Awareness out. Here’s a clip:

…Here’s how: We’ll relentlessly pick on Information Czar John Poindexter. Long a hero to Republicans for avoiding prison on a technicality after being convicted of lying to Congress, Poindexter’s on his way to becoming a beloved icon with his project to re-Nixonize the United States. He says his personal-information-collecting idea is to look for patterns of potential terrorist activity. I say we all band together and look for patterns in John and Linda Poindexter’s personal activity.

Why, for example, is their $269,700 Rockville, Md., house covered with artificial siding, according to Maryland tax records? Shouldn’t a Reagan conspirator be able to afford repainting every seven years? Is the Donald Douglas Poindexter listed in Maryland sex-offender records any relation to the good admiral? What do Tom Maxwell, at 8 Barrington Fare, and James Galvin, at 12 Barrington Fare, think of their spooky neighbor?

…Call Poindexter’s home number, all of you, several times a day. If you get Linda, ask about her conversion from Episcopal priesthood to Catholicism; if you get John, ask why he needs our tollbooth records.

For those of you revolutionaries with private investigator friends, ask for even more sensitive information on Reagan’s former national security adviser. I’d be glad to publish anything readers can convincingly claim to have obtained legally.

If enough Californians do thorough background checks on Mr. Poindexter, then use the information to jam his personal life in every possible — legal — way, perhaps Republicans will become annoyed enough to get rid of us once and for all. Perhaps if we phone residents of Poindexter’s Rockville neighborhood often enough, the idea of California independence will become a goal of Washington insiders.

In the SF Weekly article, in addition to putting the information ‘hit’ out on Poindexter, Matt “Soprano” Smith prints his home phone number, as well as those of his neighbors, and encourages his readers to call them in order to find out what they can. (I was too scared to print it here and thereby flag my Total Information Awareness file, but you can find Poindexter’s number by following that link.)

Others have since picked up on Smith’s lead and they’ve set about using the life of John Poindexter as a test-case for how Total Information Awareness (TIA) might play out.

Here’s a good example, complete with satellite images of Mr. Poindexter’s neighborhood.

This is the kind of stuff the net is good for. This makes me happy in a way I have not been made happy in several months.

On this same subject, Wired magazine recently ran a story on TIA. Their angle wasn’t quite as deliciously evil, but it was, nonetheless, persuasive. In general, Wired says that the plan won’t work for a variety of reasons. Among those are the facts that the project wouldn’t be able to attract good programmers, would cost too much (for what it gives in return) and couldn’t escape or work around the bad information it would constantly be fed. The article can be found in its entirety here, but if you don’t want to look, here’s a little taste.

Hawken is skeptical about the project’s ability to attract top industry names. He said he knows other people, including those who have worked for the National Security Agency, who refused to work on it for ethical reasons. “I don’t know how you profile resentment and anger, but I don’t think you do it from how many times someone goes to Wal-Mart,” he said.

do priests like abercrombie & fitch ads?

OK, I’m reluctant to go into this topic as my knowledge on the subject is cursory at best. This, however, is the internet… With that in mind, I will soldier on and further test the limits of uneducated punditry.

(That intro blurb, “Do priests like Abercrombie and Fitch ads?” is my new way of saying “yes” by the way. You can use it. I just need for you to give me credit.)

“Boston Archdiocese Bankruptcy Said to Be Likely”

That’s the headline that pissed me off this morning. While the congress just voted to make individual bankruptcy more difficult (I think that happened right before Thanksgiving), it’s apparently still a viable option for a religion with heaps and heaps of booty. And, if anyone has the resources to pay for their misdeeds, it’s the Catholic Church. They make Microsoft look like a lemonade stand.

I HAVE BEEN TO ROME AND I HAVE SEEN THE BOOTY! I’ve seen the fancy hats, the silk robes, and the solid gold containers full of plundered relics and shards of bone.

I know they aren’t saying that the entire church would go bankrupt, but it seems to me as though this is a scam to get out from under the potentially huge award settlements against the Boston Archdiocese.

The system which perpetuated these crimes against children did not begin and end in Boston though. It’s a systemic problem that has its roots in the heart of the church. And it makes no more sense saying that the Boston Archdiocese should accept all the culpability than it does to say that one Denny’s should be held responsible for a repeated, chain-wide history of discrimination against blacks.

I don’t intend to get political very often, but it pisses me off when exceptions to the law are made because of political privilege, religious standing, wealth, celebrity, etc. I don’t like seeing OJ Simpson getting away with murder and I don’t like seeing the US authorities sitting on their hands while the Catholic church talks of policing itself, like it’s some secret society that doesn’t have to play by the rules that the rest of us do.

The whole thing just pisses me off. I hate it when shit happens here in the US that proves, in spite of all the progress we’ve made, we’re still living in the dark ages. As Americans we like to look down our noses at places like Afghanistan, with its tribal warlords and nutty religious bullshit, but how are we any different? We allow our so-called “holy” people to fuck with kids and then to hide behind the mantle of religion. Why are we even sitting by listening to the Catholic church as it debates whether or not to enact a “zero tolerance” rule when it comes to child molestation?

Why do they get one free child molestation? Does everyone get that? Can a city employee fuck one kid at work? Can a dentist? How about the scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop? Are the Boy Scouts considering a “zero tolerance” rule when it comes to molesting kids?

I thought that I should interject something here, before you run off, never to return to this site again. Please believe me when I tell you that this site doesn’t usually make a practice of religious persecution, regardless of the amount of booty a given religion has stolen, how fancy the dress of its priests, or how much terrorism it advocates.

Usually this site is about odd and wonderful things, like poop-touching and fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. I swear.

Today, if not for this damned tangent, I’d be writing about the Giants of Guadalcanal. They apparently live in underground cavern systems, occasionally coming to the surface to either breed with, or eat, a human native. The evidence (a poorly drawn sketch of one of these half-man cannibalistic sex-machines) is actually quite compelling. (Thanks to the great and backstabbing Douglas Skinner for passing along this little bit of Fortean fun.)

And they’re tax exempt to boot! What the fuck is that all about? It’s a fucking scam. These are corporations.

Where’s the political uproar that I remember so well from the last time I lived in Washington, DC (when the whole Monica Lewinsky thing was happening)? People shit their pants on the floors of congress, having lost use of all of their faculties in the face of so egregious a crime as oral sex. I remember the calls for impeachment. You’d have thought that the President was directing pre-teen snuff films in the oval office. Where are those people now?

-you have now reached the end of the rant-

radio

I got sad on my way home from work last night in the snowstorm. I was flipping around the dial and I decided to stop when I heard Eminem’s voice. It was a pop radio station. Anyway, after Eminem, I stayed with them and listened for a while. After one more song, the DJ came on, reading from some lame script about a contest that the station was running. It was called, the “Breast Christmas Ever.”

The deal was that a flat-chested young woman could win breast augmentation surgery for the holidays, if she was attractive in their eyes and could benefit from having bigger boobs. After doing the pitch to have women send in photos, the DJ segued into the next song, a song with a chorus of “You are beautiful / No matter what they say / You are beautiful / In every way.” I didn’t get the sense that he was aware of the irony.

Before cutting completely over to the song, he said “99.5, your augmentation station.”

The whole thing just felt sad. The slow song about not worrying about what other people think of you set an odd scene, as did the falling snow outside. I just sat there and began to feel more and more sad. I felt sorry for the DJ who had to read the words and I felt sorry for the people in the advertising and promotion departments who had to bring this thing to life. (It is, essentially, an ad for the breast surgery doctor who will be doing the free surgery.)

I’ve heard Howard Stern doing this same thing in the past and it never made me feel sad. But now, now that it’s here on a pop music show with a young demographic, I just felt kind of ill. I suppose there’s no steering clear of it. The boob job jeanie is out of the bottle.

The night before last, I saw an ad for a new TV series called something like “Extreme Makeovers.” On this show, we were told, people would be getting boob jobs, implanted muscles, face-lifts and liposuction. People would be competing to recreate their faces and bodies, and therefore, you’re led to believe, their lives.

It occurs to me that once everyone has size-D breasts, it doesn’t mean anything to have size-D breasts. Isn’t that some kind of tenant of Zen?

What comes next? What will we become as a species? I’m picturing 8-foot tall blond women pushing their super-sized breasts on some sort of elevated gurney.

further guestbook woes

I thought that I had things set with our new guestbook, but there’s a glitch. It’s something known as a “technical problem” and there doesn’t seem to be any way around it. So, it’s back to the drawing board for now. I need to draw on my extensive list of industry contacts and see if someone else comes through, someone willing to share his or her guestbook with us.

I was really hoping that things would have worked at obesityhelp.com (judging from the photos I’ve been sent recently, I really think there would be synergy between their membership and the readers of markmaynard.com), but they require registration before you can leave a message and I don’t want to put you guys though that.

So, follow the above link if you’re morbidly obese and feel as though you would benefit from the support of other morbidly obese folks. Otherwise, though, keep waiting. I swear that I will find a suitable guestbook somewhere on-line for us to share.

migraine

I wanted to post last night, but I had one of my “I want my life to end” migraines. They’re fucking terrifying. The pain isn’t the bad part though. I can live with the pain. What I can’t live with though is my field of vision being cut to ribbons by long, curving, vibrating lines of bright yellow and purple light.

Like every time this happens, I have set out today, the day after, to turn things around. First off, I gave up coffee and chocolate. We’ll see how long that lasts.

OK, my favorite TV show, 24 is getting ready to come on now, so I have to go. As usual, I’m sorry about the weak post. I’ll try to do better in the future.

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One Comment

  1. iRobert
    Posted February 1, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I just saw this! Wow! I wasn’t aware of the history here.

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