Monday, December 16, 2002

Absurdity at it's worst

Thanks to a braincrash engineered by Hollywood meets Washington, the Iranian democracy movement has had a useful tool, an American Free Radio forum for young Iranian protestors is now the same old shit-pipe vomiting Whitney n' J-Lo and 10 minutes of headlines an hour. If they had to change it (which they didn't) why couldn't they at least have made it a metal station?

Tentacle Session #37

Erik Davis gave a fascinating Tentacle Session presentation on Philip K Dick last night at Spanganga. Check out Erik's website for more on him and his book Techgnosis.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

The punk party was incredible. And speaking of incredible, the amazing furtographer has already uploaded images he took at the party to!! For those of you who were there, you can order prints from shutterfly. Actually, if you weren't there you could order pictures, too. I guess there is some blackmail potential.

The night was great. The bands were hot, especially our punk karaoke backing band THE CRAP CHUTES who rocked out both in karaoke mode and in a variety of impromptu backup roles. Mongoloid not only fronted his Devo-covering band of the same name, but also played drums with a couple bands and gave us an inspired, in-your-face version of Holiday in Cambodia. Chicken read the punk traditional Saint Sid Christmas poem and showed us a little piece of GG Allin. Aaron Seeman played Minutemen & Dead Kennedys tunes on an old punk-rockety accordion and then destroyed it. V Vale broke the fuck out of a royal commemorative plate, said a few words, and sold some excellent books at lowlowlow prices. Barb Traub performed an incredible tribute to the Talking Heads & Patti Smith. Darren & Sarah were incredible hosts as always--consider 21 Grand for your next wedding, bar mitzvah, or convention of attack ponies.

The clothes modifications and collages were a big hit. Thanks to Giles & Tryntje, respectively, for leading each of them.

My favorite quote of the night, by me, of course:

I'm not going to take that from a woman herding stuffed monkeys into an accordion shop!

...or maybe you had to be there. It was a lot of fun, thanks to everyone who came, and all of you who helped make it happen!

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Any Minutemen
fans out there? While doing "research" for the punk rock party I
hit a mad fat vein of Minutemen websites. The ones worth noting
are which features
live audio & video from the various Mike Watt bands. You can download
entire concerts in mp3 format (192kbps) and see concert footage of the
Minutemen in the day of their hey. And also Watt's own home page, or href="">hoot page he calls it--and he now jams econo with Quicktime VR. Lots of
great real-live-it's-still-going-on-punk-rock-spirit PUNK ROCK CHANGED OUR LIVES!!. I love that guy. Maybe sometime soon I'll post about the time I met Mike Watt and why I think he's so cool. Not now though.
Garry Trudeau, author of Doonesbury, did a rare interview on Ted Koppel's Up Close program. I missed last night's show, but I'll be sure to tape the one tonight.

Monday, December 02, 2002

The Punk Frickin' Christmas Show is this Friday (12/6). Details are still being finalized.
It will include Bring Your Own Band which is a chance for anyone who wants to go onstage and have a band
for the night to do it. Play an original or your favorite cover. Just because your band only exists for a night doesn't mean
that it shouldn't need to be immortalized! We'll have a flyer making table and digital band photos taken on-site by the furtographer. There is a fine tradition of making flyers for bands that don't exist.
Plus there will be a table with clothes you can rip, pin, mark and emblazon with your favorite bands' names (including your own).
In addition to the BYOBand, there will be other performers [DETAILS SOON!]. It all goes down at 21 Grand Gallery in Oakland. It starts at 8:30pm this Friday. All Ages are welcome. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Tonight, my view of the Ocean from my office window is drawn from an angry pallette.
They look like War Clouds. [I can't find a decent online webcam, and now it's too dark to see
anyway, and there's no archive of today's sunset, and who is reading this at 5:43 on the
day before Tgiving??]. That's the first thing that comes to my mind, honestly, looking
at them. I hope that isn't an omen. Peace and give thanks for youse n' yerz. mikl.

Monday, November 25, 2002

From this picture I just had a sudden horrible flash of what Tom Ridge was like in highschool (college, whatever). Probably exactly the same as most of the current professional politicians--Young Republican, ROTC, afraid of women (which fits nicely with aspects of the right wing christian agenda), able to get drunk and lecture to everyone's annoyance and then hurl green vomit at a single beer. I knew a half dozen of those type guys. I guess there were young Democrats, too. I also knew a few of them. They were easier to get along with generally. But then they'd start drinking & womanizing [I'm serious!], and they were still politics nerds. They were high on their own speeches (to the SGA!?) and heavily concerned about the importance of their every move. These guys don't do acid well.

Maybe it's just cuz I'm reading Distraction right now that I'm on such tangents. Have you ever read Strawberry Statement? I loved it. It's all about the sit-ins at Columbia during the 60's. About the SDS and such. It's written by a guy in the midst of it, and it's a story that I totally relate to. He gets into it cuz it seems like a good cause, but he soon sees the 'leaders' of the side he's on (the student leftists) so into their own spiel and power-politics nerds, who ultimately lose the view of the people they are supposed to represent. Actually, I'm starting to be down on the whole theory of Representative Democracy after living in it for 30+ years, cuz no one has ever represented me well. Anyway, the guy in Strawberry Statement justs wants the girl. And he just wants to hang out with her and he gets really down on Jr. Commander The New Left guy and his cronies. I liked the hell out of that book. Anyone seen the movie? I haven't, but I have the soundtrack on cassette. Or, as I said before, Maybe it's just cuz I'm reading Distraction.

Anyway, let me be the first to say FUCK PUNK-ASS TOM RIDGE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY!!!! There. I probably beat Boondocks by like 2 days.

Friday, November 22, 2002

The Republican controlled House refused to extend unemployment benefits before they recessed for the year. So about 1 million people by the beginning of 2003 will lose their benefits. That sucks.

Scott Beale of Laughing Squid took digital pix of the I Hate Cartoons show!

By the way, if you need web hosting the business side of Laughing Squid has really good deals and starving artist (and non-profit) discounts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

We had really one of the greatest all-time weekends. Friday & Saturday were a stunning start: throwing the IHateCarToons2 party on Friday
[which is covered in SFWeekly's Nightcrawler] and on Saturday attending an incredible party for the lovely Maid
Marian's 40th birthday. Sunday was diverse double-decked action: hosting a very enjoyable Punk Brunch in the Punk Morning (1pm-6pm) in preparation for mikl-em's Punk Frickin' Christmas the next FFF, and then going to the final dale of the Beyond The Pale festival at the DNA.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Nowadays I work at the University of California San Francisco in the Library. Specifically I am a document indexer for the Tobacco Control Digital Collections. What I do is review internal documents from the tobacco industry and assign metadata to them so that they can be searched in more diverse ways than simply by keyword. In other words, I log information such as Author, Title, People Mentioned, Companies Mentioned, and so forth. It's a good cause and of course I see some scandulous and fascinating documents flit across my computer screen. Another part of the library's tobacco-related holdings is the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL). This is a massive collection of millions of documents which are available due to the settlement of that big lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
If you are interested in this subject this a powerful resource. But even if you don't particularly consider yourself a Tobacco Control Activist, you may be interested in browsing our "Popular Documents" page, which tends to feature a few particularly scandulous examples of the tobacco industry's internal dialogue. Like the proposal for Fat Boys brand cigarettes aimed at "the inner-city Black smoker", or "Plans for positive exposure in women's magazines"

Monday, November 11, 2002

on a lighter note:

ALL HAIL the feline zeppelin maritime animation society!!
Here's a story about a veteran from the last action we took against Iraq: John Muhammad. It's an interview with his ex-wife, whom he'd threatened to kill.
He told her that black soldiers had been discriminated against. One incident in particular left him seething. After he was accused of tossing an incendiary grenade into a tent, Muhammad was hog-tied, arms and legs cuffed behind his back, he told his wife. When a siren sounded to alert the troops to a possible gas attack, no one gave him a gas mask. By the time he learned it was a drill, he had been humiliated in a manner that he never forgot, she said.

Another article: an interview with the man who helped them buy the car in NJ. Far from an accomplice, he just thought he was helping a couple people who were down and out. Here's one more article about Muhammad's smuggling of Malvo out of Antigua.

On Veteran's Day I shudder at the rhetoric of our president (not elected by me), as he turns a blind voice to our past "mistakes" of the past when he threatens outlaw regimes that seek and possess the tools of mass murder. Who bully or ignore the voices of the international community? Who are the only ones to have actually used the ulitmate weapon of mass destruction and, while keeping their own, seek to thwart others from developing the same technology (and thus having a tiny fraction of the destructive force that our nation holds? not to mention our conventional weaponry)? Who have been cited by Amnesty International for actions which are contrary to their own Constitution? And while an American could never be guilty of a war crime by definition, it turns out that we can sue terrorists in civil court it turns out. Absurdity is alive and sick and well. Here's more from FindLaw on the ICC issue.

Look in the mirror W. It's your own fucking mirror, but the rest of this country (should) belong to all of us.

NOT IN OUR NAME is a new anti-war group, which I know little about, except that they got the name right. That's exactly how I feel. Except also powerless to stop it at this juncture. GWB and cronies have waged an effective domestic campaign, though a somewhat sloppy one in international quarters, but they've gotten enough sign-off from the UN and even a partisan group of millionaires (i.e. Congress) that they can now put the ask for forgiveness not permission doctrine in effect for any atrocities to follow.

I work for the state these days, so I have today off. And I give thanks and pay tribute to all the veterans, whether war time or not, for their sacrifice and strife. I don't necessarily feel so generous toward the men who have ordered them about.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

The truth about blogs from today's Doonesbury!

It's good to hear my pal Morford is appreciating Boondocks and at least trying to get into Doonesbury. I had the same problem with Doonesbury for years. It's placement on the Editorial page of many papers is telling. I was like isn't it always about Watergate?

The key, I found is to pick up old Doonesbury books in used bookstores, and slowly catch up. They are easily digestable and each are inextricably set in their moment in time. Skewing hypocrisy and harassing the politicos (pardon the redundancy). Whether it's Frank Sinatra or Al Haig or USA Today or (recently) David Geffen, or... okay there really is a LOT on Watergate & Kissinger.

Uncle Duke is a good point of entry, esp. for folks who already have a thing for Hunter S. Thompson. Duke has been ambassador to China, GM of the Redskins, a Zombie in Haiti, and an Enron bagman; versatile, incomprehensible, stoned. If you really want to bone up on the cast history (the strip has been running for 31 years, so it's not surprising if you get a little lost), the website has a section of cast bios. I just realized, he started the strip the year I was born.

Gary Trudeau is really something special. I could go on. But I won't. Here's an interview from '99 in Salon which I haven't read yet. Blogs can be good for bookmarking. :)

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

News on the memorial to murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. An interesting story and what sounds like a cool artwork.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

First Frickin' Fridays #2 tomorrow night!

Tomorrow is the 2nd Installment of First Frickin' Fridays.
It's a chance to voice your yawp at the trough with anyone else who (shows up and) cares about
the underground nightlife in the Bay Area. I'll conduct focus groups and surveys, plying you with
likker and prying out the deepest darkest details of your art scene opines.
DETAILS ARE HERE. Also checkout photos from the first
FFF, and both recap of the whole show and recent developments on the
topic of post-9/11 humor. Plus Mike Dingle's list of alternative news sources.

The show is tomorrow (Friday 10/4/02) at 21 Grand, fine
underground art and performance in Oakland. Catch it if you can.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Check out details on the First Frickin' Friday (from last month) including panelist Mike Dingle's links for getting informed by independent news sources. There are also photos of the show thanks to Scott Beale .
Details on NEXT WEEK's show are forthcoming. Everything is coming together I just haven't put the details on the homepage yet. :-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Flagee & Ribbon are back!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Breaking Up in Public

Sometimes, the day after an event, I wake up and am
sorta surprised
that the world is still the same. It's a happy (and disorienting)
side effect of participating in some of the amazing goings-on in this
amazing city. Sunday night I went to a show & party thrown by two friends to officially end their relationship. Can you believe that I still had to work the next day!?

As you may know m.i. (aka michael) blue and katy bell have been an item (couple, pair, duo, horizontal jogging partners) for about 5 years. They produce the outlandish dadaFEST every year and have been very active in the arts in the Bay Area individually and in collaboration. On Sunday, September 24, 2002, they officially dumped each other.

SPLITTSVILLE was the way that blue & katy wanted to go out. I mean wanted their going out to go out. I mean that they decided to break up and it followed directly that they would do it as an... "event". These things that we do when we are happy. And when we are sad. These social gatherings of artists and strange ones. Loud and brightly garbed, fiery, tatooed, shouting, drinking, friends and family that you can barely call an audience, because half the time they end up on stage, too. Anyway, Splittsville. And what happened weren't quite like no other event never. Heart touch & wrench side-by-side.

The crowd, as alluded, consisted largely of friends,
but also of others responding to the publicity--fireflies drawn by the glow of
the big relationshipal bug zapper, noting the similarity of the
magnanimous bzzzapp and explosion of the breakup of blue &
bell to the controlled burn & glow of their own asses, perhaps from
some long ago or some recent romantic shipwreck. And a woman who is
making, I think, a documentary on breakups. She filmed the whole
thing, as well as doing interviews with each of them. She heard
about it on the
or somewhere and called them up and asked to film.
They of course said yes. It was a pretty packed night at Spanganga.

There we were. Gathered not exactly sure for what.
For love of blue
and katy. For some weird kind of roast of their relationship? For
the shadow and echo of our own lost loves, trysts gone awry, and
amorous mistakes of the past? Were we supposed to laugh? Or

Some (like me) have only known them since they've
been dating. So, of
course, on some level we want a miracle to happen. We all shout at
the tv screen, wanting to change the ending of a story that has
already been written. We do this in our own lives, why not when
we're looking at others. But they are breaking up. And that's okay.
Because it has to be. Because it is. Because they go on living, and
each of our animal brains ultimately wants to live and is equipped to
do so as long as our anatomy functions to serve as pipeline. It
doesn't matter if your mating and nesting instincts or your superego
or your libido gets twisted to shit and wants to go back THAT way,
respiration drives, keeps the wheels on the road. target="ubu">One man drives while the other man screams.

But hey, wait a second! I've never known them when
they weren't dating. I might not LIKE them as individuals!! I
demand a recount!

blue & katy started off by reading emails from the
very beginning of
their relationship and then over the course of the last five years.
Mostly happy, pet-namey, odd & creative, passionate & playful, very
sexually explicit (which is what they are all about), a few problems
show through here and there. Rumbles of thunder, minor chords in the
background. Foreshadowing. Then they read emails from the last
week. You've been through it, I'm sure. "These are the same
people?" you ask yourself, and one of them has the same name as you
and seems so amiable and care free.

The one and only Hal Robins
conducted a breaking-up ceremony, an un-wedding, like only Hal could
have scripted it. ("You may now kiss anyone but each other."). They
answered audience questions; blue kept asking for hard ones, and
someone finally asked them what the most painful thing the other had
said was. That was a tough one, for all of us. But really
incredible to play by the rules they'd laid out for themselves. Do
it in public. See it through. No one would have complained if they
had refused to answer that one, but they did answer it anyway.

After intermission, other people performed upon the
theme. I got drafted at that point to take over as MC. Which, like
everything else that night was a weird bittersweet honor. That's
what it felt like to be there and witness it. It was really fucking
brave it was. I mean to let me MC and all.

Carol Queen
writer, activist, educator, offered up a tale of herself as a
burgeoning young lesbian working in a smalltown diner, with an
ungrateful lover chowing down on vienna sausages back at home. The
Hand Shakes (Pete and Buffy) got into one of their usual embarassing
arguments on stage, god bless 'em. Mark Growden sang a very
appropriate inappropriate song in the fine dramatic fashion for which
he is known. Then a musical number by Aaron & Cherry, and for the
finale "Faith" put a real, formerly live, heart on my head to put an
end to the night. Also I did this little thing where I channeled
(and plagiarized) Henry Rollins, but you wouldn't want to hear about

Anyway. So it turned to mayhem, these things
happen. Just ask Rod Serling. But in the first part, what katy &
michael did was incredible. I hope you get a sense of that.
It's going to ruin their careers, mind you. They'll be the poster
children for breaking up forever now. Just wait til the movie comes
out! The but seriously in the next paragraph....

The fear of pretension, I believe, often keeps us
from dicussing real (by which I only mean "serious") social or
political issues in an art scene which is so fundamentally centered
on social interactions. That is that a lot of our art is conducted or
celebrated at parties. In fact, I believe that Burning Man era San
Francisco will be remembered as the birthplace of the party as art
form (aka "event"). [There. I finally said it in (web) print. I
owe you a long treatise on this issue. Just try and collect.]

And fearing pretension is admirable. But we also
yearn for depth, which is, in a poorly constructed metaphor, the
precipice on which we dangle over the abyss of pretension. See?
JUST LIKE THAT! God that was awful.

The result is that we can often only get toward
depth in an exaggerated or absurd form. And this event had just a
couple absurd elements. Okay, quite a few. But there was no makeup,
and no fake blood. Okay, there was, but not on stage. Two real
people feeling real pain, and other emotions and confusions. And
real relief I'm sure is in there somewhere, too. I guess that really
we're at the heart of the absurd here, right? My pain. My pain?!
How funny! And everyone in the audience could relate to it. We've
all been through it, or something like it better or worse. And we
love you. And we love ourselves. And we all ultimately make it
through the shit, no matter what. Unless we do something really
stupid. We land on our feet and proceed. Oh, occasionally we write
long drawn out webposts about it but... we are frail creatures.

Anyway, I had a GOOD TIME at Splittsville. I want
to thank the individual michael blue and also thank the individual
katy bell each separately very much for doing it, together and alone.
I can't believe you're still reading this. target="new">Go somewhere else now,

Saturday, September 21, 2002

The latest installment from Get Your War On features Lost Cartoons from the 1980's

If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out the site owner's page about Mine Detection and Clearing in Afghanistan which is where he donates all of his author royalties from the 'toon. Even in describing it he maintains his dark sense of humor and colorful vocabulary.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Danielle and I are just back from Portland, where we spent a lovely long weekend celebrating the marriage of our old friends Aaron and Va. They were married two Valentine's Days ago in a civil ceremony in London, and for rather practical reasons it happened on short notice. So this was the long-awaited opportunity for all of us to celebrate how happy we are that they're together!

It was a weekend of card tricks, cheap beer, Chinese Gardens, video games, caesar salad, long card games in the park, reunions with college cronies, another mykle who spells his name all funny, and some beautiful weather from sometimes stormy Portland. And of course books. And of course coffee.

Aaron I've known since college radio days, when he was the first techno dj in rockingham county. Seth sews his own beer cozies. 6rady thinks he's a Soprano.

I'll post more about the weekend later.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Go to the Fringe Fest! This is the final weekend! shows every night!! See Gulag Ha Ha! See the Neo-Surrealists! See Microclimates! See My Son the Mummy!! See Woods for the Trees!

This will become the stuff of urban legend, but I guess it's true. The New York Lottery winning numbers yesterday were 9-1-1. No word yet on how many people won.

My new series First Frickin' Fridays is all about hosting, about me preparing a place for a gathering each month; creating an atmopsphere and event for just a single night which is welcoming and comfortable and on some level rewarding. Each show will take on a different form. Shape shifting, yet aspiring to engage in ways which will delight and surprise. Bringing contemporary artists & performers into a benign focus amplifying actual voices and spotlighting individuals, no remixing and no airbrushing. Amplifying voices and viewpoints from the epicenter of low level and underground arts in San Francisco and the surrounding.

Some images from the first First Frickin' Friday courtesy of Scott Beale. Scott, if you didn't know, is all about hosting himself.

Saturday, August 31, 2002

I'm starting up a new performance series!

...I know what you're thinking: this is the worst possible time to start a new art series thing, in the middle of a Recession, a war, and a Burning Man

And you may be right. But as usual, I aspire to swim against the tide, not go with the current. So everyone, please meet and welcom

mikl-em's First Frickin' Fridays

coming to an East Bay Venue near you on Friday September 6th.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

[continuing...] a scary thought about the current administration

what if this is the new formula? President Lightning Rod who smiles
and talks stoopid and charming and seemingly... well it's pretty tough to
say "benign" in regards to Dubyuhck. While in the background, behind
the screen a Grand Wizard of greed (like DICK) pulls the real strings, not of
the President puppet, that's just spectacle it means nothing, it's a DIVERSION.
The closed door meetings, and things not uttered from the White House press-conf.
pulpit. Dick Cheney's undisclosed location is where our government is being
run from. Our government is undisclosed.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

So Republicans were thrilled to hear the vice president tell a worshipful crowd of white, wealthy people at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last week that he would be willing to run with the president in 2004.


Like a buoyant Dr. Evil holding a napping Bush Mini-Me in a Snugli, Mr. Cheney seems to relish running the world alone. Consider how primary the secondary man is.

From the New York Times Op-Ed page. I have more to say on this, but not the time to right now. more later.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Why is my MP3-sense tingling?

oh OF COURSE Winamp3 has been released!

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

I got up early this morning to greet Dick Cheney at the Farimont Hotel. He was there doing a song n' dance for about $30-100 members-only Commonwealth Club address. I never saw the real thing, but this fake dick looked familiar.
Oh yeah, he's Ed Holmes, that guy from the San Francisco Mime Troupe, who has played Dick Cheney in the last two SFMT productions and moonlights as Bishop Joey of TFCOTLL. Five people got arrested for interrupting the actual speech. Those of us outside just got herded around a bit by the SFPD and their constantly-pooping equine transport. There's sfgate coverage of the speech and the picture on their website's front page right now.

It was fun and funny. But I have to also say that I'm in for the theater and the loud garbled statement. I don't think anyone has ever said anything articulately or effectively via a chant. It lets them know you are there, and allows you to give a broad yay or nay vote. But I don't think it is possible to communicate complicated ideas, nor certainly solutions in that form. Though I also think it's valid as an outlet for people's anger (there were a lot of people there with anger). I think it's important to have fun, maybe meet some kindred spirits, and to have a presence there to tell clearly that not everyone in San Francisco will stand for the Bush admin's brand of executive control democracy. Especially an executive who himself is controlled.

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

The Guardian's Best of the Bay issue is now out (and you gotta wonder with all the web designers out of work, why their online version sucks rocksalt). As usual I can happily point at a few friends in the pages Hal Robins, The Seemen, and ATA. Other longtime favorites get recognition like Cafe Abir and Naked Eye video. And happily there is much that is news to me like Lord of Balls Lounge, because this is such an incredible city.

The homegrown wonder that is Craigslist gets mentioned amongst both the Reader's & Editor's picks. And though Craig Newmark's creation (now much bigger than he alone--with a staff of 14) has much to offer to every citizen of this geeky city--online listings to help the job hunt, apartment hunt, love hunt, or just selling stuff--today I wandered down the left-hand column of the homepage and clicked to read the last couple personal dispatches from the man who made the list.

One regards a California financial privacy law that's worth voicing and voting for. The other pertains to a lawsuit that Craig & other users of ReplayTV in conjunction with the EFF have filed against the tv networks and major studios to protect their (i.e. OUR) rights to use "time-shifting" and "space-shifting" technology. Go Craig!

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

More live music:

Caroliner play live August 8th at GAMH (also appearing is KROB of Odeon fame). If you think you love dada then Caroliner will bite you. Here's some more evidence.

Oh, and Dread Zeppelin are playing out again, too. I knew you'd want to know.

Never mind the Pistols, Camper Van Beethoven is having a reunion tour--3 shows just finished in NYC, and an upcoming one two in SF & one in LA! They also just released their remake of Fleetwood Mac's TUSK (extra credit for the jackalope album cover).

Other die-hard Camper Fan Trivia: Victor Krummenacher is now Art Director (and sometimes writes and interviews) for the SFBayGuardian; early Camper member Chris Molla now makes music for children; and David Immergl├╝ck (ex-Monks of Doom) now plays with Counting Crows!?

Jonathan Segel & Victor's record label has news and releases by related projects [and a quote from's Lore Sjoberg!]. I must highly recommend VK's Out in the Heat for great songwriting and beautiful dusty arrangements featuring pedal steel, mandolin, and accordion. Written during a "dark phase" with the eloquence which that can entail.

I am disappointed because I was hoping to link to an interview with Johnny Rotten that I'd read (maybe in BAM) where when asked what he had to offer an 18-year old Green Day fan he answered:

A big willy.

but the interview is unfindable.

Two cool shows on comics on now in San Francisco.

mikl's freshly coined phrases department:

when the Half-and-half goes whole

Monday, July 22, 2002

reviews are in on Phil Donahue's return. And, from the same column, did you know that Enron & the NYTimes had a financial relationship?
there's a new giant squid in town. if you live in Australia, at least.

Last night the Women of SRL put on a great show in Tentacle Session #35. It was an inspiring night of true tales of women who weld (amongst many other talents). There were 7 SRL members on the panel, which was moderated by Maribeth Back. From these 7 women we got to see the diversity of the people (male and female) who volunteer with Survival Research Labs, the self-assuredness that they have gained from the experience (not that they were bereft of it to start), and their general fondness for fire & explosions.

There were stories of first shows seen and worked on, a look at how things get done in the SRL shop, culture clashes in Japan (where it's apparently a taboo for women to fix things), and a bit about what happens when things go wrong. There was a demonstration by The SRL Science Department on turning household products into a sloppy-glop called GAK; another by Karen on telerobotics (tales of VRML and the SRL Protocol). And finally a review of "special effects" SRL-style ('why would you want to blow shit up?'). We also saw footage of SRL's LA performance two weeks ago. There was artwork up from several SRL women.

For the whole list of women on the panel and the complete list of ladies who've worked with SRL over the years, well you know where to look.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

At last. makes it easy for me to know (and tell others) that my music is best.
Also in Paris, the Socialist Mayor plays social engineer: creating low rent housing in the midst of the posh.
Ah. The beaches of Paris. Wait. The beaches of Paris!?

Saturday, July 20, 2002

an update:

The 100+ Chinese carnivorous fish that can walk for short distances on their fins found in a Maryland pond have been given a death sentence. No sign of an appeal, but neither details on when or how the extermination will be done. Here's the latest from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Rest assured, we (who am I kidding? It's just I) will keep close tabs on this story and link like mad if anything develops.

How far reaching is this issue? They're worried about it in Wisconsin. An early report on the CBS News site includes a video (its before they realized there were so many); I like the part where they are stapling up Wanted posters. In more idiosyncratic coverage The Washington Times manages to bleed patriotism from a Chinese fish with this passionate and whining editorial about Good Old Amurican fishes whooping up on the "oriental character" and making it "wish it stayed in Asia".

I'm sorry, but I just love the hell out of this story. One delightful aspect is that the fish has a "primitive lung", which I have learned from the Mice Models of Human Cancers Consortium arises from the foregutl, if it's anything like human lung development (and who ultimately cares if it is, it's enough for me just to encounter the word foregut for the first time). Somehow it's fitting to me to discover this in such close proximity to things dada.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Luddite-line: The U.S. Senate

In 1997 Mike Enzi asked if he could bring his laptop to work in the US Senate. They said no. To be more precise, according to USA TODAY:

The Rules Committee deliberated over six months, held three hearings and delivered a 47-page report. The judgment: no laptops on the Senate floor.

Last month Enzi asked again. The Committee on Rules and Administration said they'd take it up at the next meeting, though they don't have a meeting planned. The chairman of the committee is Chris Dodd and the Ranking Member [sic] is Mitch McConnell.

Note the story cited above is primarily about another technidiot rule of the Senate, which is that a Senator's official website cannot be updated within 60 days of primary and general elections.

Meanwhile, the Senate just started it's transition from cc:Mail to a Microsoft email system. Fortunately they have policies in order, so that their cutting edge technologies won't be abused: "[Gopher] is only be used for official purposes". *phew*! :-)

Following up on this I took a look at the House's site to try and discern where they stood on laptops on the floor (or didn't. you know what I mean!). The House also doesn't allow them on the floor, but according to this April 2001 report they seem much more tech-savvy (mentioning a planned Blackberry 'pilot project/test', for instance). Another document on the House site (which is undated and frighteningly unattributed) mentions that 35 of the State legislatures DO currently allow laptops in their "Chambers". But [see page 24] the document also points out some valid differences between the States and the US Congress (like the USC's lack of assigned seating[!]). Okay, enough of this. !!!!!!!

stocks hit their lowest mark in almost 4 years :-(
[the day of one-line entries continues]

The International Spy Museum just opened in DC.

It's the Art for Drugs scandals that really steam my pork bun!

Thursday, July 18, 2002

The Senate gave its anti-Ecstacy bill the acronym R.A.V.E.. Are they H.I.P. or what? Probably not. I bet they were thinking of F.I.S.T. or C.H.U.D. when they did it. Fortunately, the A.C.L.U. is getting involved: "[the ACLU attorney] argues that while there is no constitutional right to smoke crack, there is, in fact, a right to dance. Music and dance are protected forms of free expression, he said. By extending the crack house law to dance parties, the RAVE Act would discourage promoters from sponsoring this kind of art, he said."

(quoted from the Washington Post article)

Here's the petition to which the article refers. The Electronic Music Defense and Education Foundation ("EM:DEF") is trying to defend "innocent professionals in the electronic dance music business" victimized by The War on Club Drugs--here is their page opposing the Senate bill. The ACLU steps in again to oppose a California state bill, and once again helps to protect the rights of ravers.

Now here I am making a big fuss about ravers, when my buddy Sean Kelly hates them so much. And I should say that I like a lot of electronic music, but I have never been into the rave scene (and the stuff I like is not generally the type played at raves). Still I consider them an important sub-culture and they are citizens of the U.S.A which used to mean something. *weep*!

Monday, July 15, 2002

I'd like to take this moment to recommend to you the SF Gate Morning Fix email newsletter by Mark Morford. A blatant warping of all of the news that is fit to warp by already being warped already in regard at least to all that should be right in the world, as MM sees that it should be and is glad to tell us. I won't go into a long and poetic gesture at encapsulating his style (in some cases "writing about writing" can be as silly as "dancing about architecture" [btw, here's a fascinating page that I just found on the search for the proper attribution of that quote], but merely point you to the archives/sign-up page which has a couple choice quotes. Suffice to say he has a viewpoint that I think well represents and will tend to delight the intelligent cynical San Francisco resident who would really like to be an optimist if the world didn't suck so bad. He also likes lube. It's Politically Incorrect meets The Daily Show at News-of-the-Weird's house, and there's a sex columnist moonlighting as Cultural Weather Man. And he's not a fan of Dick Cheney. I'm doing it, aren't I? I'm just going to link to the archives again.

The Morning Fix comes out 3 times a week and is waaaaay to long to read all of everytime. But whenever you focus on it, it will bring you joy.

Today he asks Why Is No One Talking About The Walking Meat-Eating Fish? referring to a a very real newswire story about a carnivorous fish from China that has been released in a pond in Maryland. There were two of them 2 years ago, now there are at least 100. It wouldn't be so much a concern if they weren't cable of [walking] short distances on their fins in search of food. Morford also points in today's installment to an article on the Phil Donoahue's new TV show, which I feel like doing, too. Morford is not related to Morford, so far as I know, but I'm sure the conversations, if they ever had any, would be fascinating.

Ever wonder what's in Steve Martin's art collection?

Checkout my Dadafest performance!

DADAfest went fantastically well over the weekend! More on this hot issue soon, including a few mp3s of what I did for it.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Just a crazy little post about how DADAFEST is going on this weekend--I'm performing and I made collages which are up in the gallery. Also there's a play at The EXIT theater running this month which is based on the life of one of the only women in the original Dada scene Elsa von-Freytag Loringhoven
(whom I first discovered in an amazing anthology by Jerome Rothenberg which also included Jackson Mac Low and the cubist poems of Kenneth Rexroth amongst many others. an incredible anthology, I'll link it later). The play is a solo show performed by Christina who is the EXIT's artistic director. The show runs all month on Friday nights. Here's a review.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Wow. I just found out where the New York Dolls got their name!!! Thank you memepool!

yeah, you need more accounts of 9/11.

But it's impossible to resist reading them, isn't it? It's like pressing on the bruise, it's like listening to Smiths songs when your already depressed, reading her love letters after you've broken up, sticking your neck out the window golden retriever style to see the subject of the ambulance's flashing light. I'm not quite being flippant here, in fact I'm being a bit confessional--I have a post 9/11 condition myself, of news-addiction. I flinch briefly before checking the news sources several times each day. First thing in the morning is usually the worst, or when I've been away from it for a while. Checking multiple sources is almost requisite (one might be missing it, maybe it just happened). Things like the LAX shooting are darkly pleasing fulfillments of that wannabe psychic impulse that made me check the news just... THEN. Like hitting re-load to see if the headline has changed and something traumatic has occurred. NOW! no. NOW! no....

Anyway, it's not as bad as last fall. I was out of the country when it happened, so I was news-deprived and language-challenged as far as keeping up with developments. The International Herald Tribune was a godsend, btw. I believe that in the future they will call this nervous news-minding something and cite statistics on it. For now I'm just a dork.

Friday, July 05, 2002

mikl's socca madness is over

Okay, it's almost 2 weeks since my last post and nearly a week after the World Cup final, so I should give this some closure. The World Cup tournament has been held (almost) every four years since 1930. In 72 years and 17 tournaments only 7 nations have ever won the cup. This year after a tournament full of upsets and strong showings by teams with relatively little experience in the World Cup (South Korea had played in 5, including the last 4, but never made it past the first round; Turkey & Japan were in their second Cup ever; Senegal was in its first--all of them had very impressive showings), the final featured two of the biggest traditional football powers: Germany and Brazil.

Brazil defeated Germany 2-0. Brazil won (congrats to 6rady whose a 6razilofile) despite my enmity for them and the fact that I was doing that I'm crushing your head thing the entire time through all of there games. It really undermines my sense of omnipotence. drag.

Turkey & South Korea played a great game in the consolation match--one of the most enjoyable games to watch of the later rounds of the tournament in my opinion. It featured the fastest goal in World Cup history--Hakan Sukor scored for Turkey 11 seconds into the game. At the end the Korean & Turkish players linked arms and bowed to the 4 corners of the stadium, that was really something. The Korean & Japanese people were incredibly into the tournament, especially with the success of their teams. The Koreans, who made it all the way to the semi-finals developed a particular reputation. Anyway, I had a great month of watching it. The 2006 tournament will be held in Germany--the hours of the game will thus be a bit more manageable than the 11:30 and 4AM start times this year.

I've started kicking a soccer ball around myself again, for the first time in years. Though in the pickup game I was in on Sunday (after watching the new San Francisco Mime Troupe show in Dolores Park) I was schooled a bit; I guess if you don't play in 10 years or so it tends to affect your form.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

mikl's socca madness con-tinues

...but frankly at a less intense pace. The US and England were elminated in one evening. And since Ireland was already knocked out, that means that I have gone from 4 of my favorites being in the final 16, to 3 in the last 8, to only 1 in the final 4. That last was Turkey who are out now as well. :(

Thursday, June 20, 2002

The USA's other World Cup honor

Referee Brian Hall from Gilroy, CA officiated two games (Italy v. Ecuador and Nigeria v. England) as one of 36 referees who were chosen to do the job in this year's World Cup. That number was narrowed to 16 for the tournament's final 8 games, and Hall made the cut again--not certain that he will actually work any particular game yet, they announce the referee only shortly before match time. [Here's a brief interview with him] That is a signal of great respect, and a big boost to US soccer credibility (especially when a lot of the officiating has been coming under fire).

HOWEVER there are still some like, say, oh, I don't know, maybe THE BBC who lampoon us for playing soccer.
And this I guess is the equivalent of us doing a bad cockney write-up, eh wot?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

The Webbies was okay. I found that this year I knew many people working the event (some as volunteers hosting and others there as entertainers) than I did in the audience and potential recipients. There were net celebs: I recognized Howard Rheingold; Stewart Brand was there, I heard tell. The press has not been positive about the event, and neither is the pulse on plastic. The 5-word acceptance speeches are always good for a chuckle.

Survival Research Labs put on a show to close the evening. SRL had a giant Tesla coil, a gracefully lumbering machine called Running Man, a thing like an unfolded idiot box out of water that flip-flops along (I would call it Jacob's Elevator Shaft, but I doubt they thought of that) with some anime-esque illustration on one side and something I don't recall on the other, and another behemoth of some sort. At any rate it was a lot of fun. About halfway through a forklift brought forth a steaming barrel and poured it into a giant junk petri dish. What came out was a molten flesh-colored substance that inside sources say is a homemade version of "silly putty", the recipie for which is available on Nickelodeon's website, rumor has it. All the machines (except the Tesla Coil) gathered round and dipped what woulda maybe been their probiscuses in the hardening goo. much fun was had by all.

For me there was an exciting contrast with the first time I ever saw an SRL show (1995's Crime Wave) which was right after I moved to San Francisco. That was a much bigger show--this was after all just a small demonstration for the wanna-be Oscars of the internet's first post-boom year--and I was very excited to be there, having heard SRL's legend long before moving to this city. And I was okay getting the few glimpses that I did amongst a gigantic crowd for the event. Last night I had ringside seats, hanging out with my friends that were working on the show. Being amongst it, not just spectating. This town is an incredible world.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

an update because I haven't posted in so long. I am still obsessed with World Cup. And in fact I'm pretty pleased with
how the round of 8 has shaped up--pretty much everyone that I wanted (including the US, England & Turkey) have made it to the quarter finals.

tonight I am going to the webbies which is kinda weird, and hopefully will be fun. The last time I went was as part of bianca in 1998. I had different hair back then.

Monday, June 03, 2002

An update on Brazil's drama that caused the last red card in the game against Turkey.

I stayed up late tonight watching the world cup live.
Yes, I'm indulging in the time benefits of being unemployed.
If you don't know the Cup is being played in Korea & Japan this year and so most of the games start at 2:30AM or 4:30AM. Tonight one started at 11:30pm (Mexico vs. Croatia), so I started watching it and kept on to the next game (Brazil vs. Turkey).

I have found BBC's coverage to be very helpful, where New York Times was, not surprisingly, a bit wanting. SO I went BBC which has a full profile on every player of every team. It would be nice if they listed the player's jersey numbers, so that I could look up who I was watching without waiting for them to turn around so that I can see their names. Oh, did I mention that the only channel I can watch the games on (since I don't have cable) is a Spanish language one? It's fun when someone scores a goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal, but in general it's pretty uninformative for mono-lingual me.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about the Brazil vs. Turkey game which is on as I write. The Turks are really impressing me. Playing with a lot of heart against one of the most talented and high profile teams in the entire World Cup finals. The BBC coverage while the game is in progress makes it sound much more one-sided than it has been.. Turkey has played them eye-to-eye in a very rough and tumble game. They have not been intimidated and have had the stamina to play Brazil step-for-step, never letting up.

Their goal keeper's play in particular has been terrific--he is a solid unflinching competitor. What mistakes he has made, matters of instants and inches he has the benefit of a long frame and quick reflexes to recover from. A real pleasure to watch. The ref on the other hand has lost control of the game a bit--and Brazil is all too eager to tell him how he should call the game and subvert his authority when he doesn't strongly exert it.

*sigh*, case in point, just now, with a couple minutes left there was a red card and penalty in the box called on Turkey which was completley bunk--the ref just kinda took Brazil's word (and acting) for it. They scored and that's a shitty way for this game to be decided (it's now 2-1, Brazil will surely win).

O shit. And it just got even worse. with another red card. You will probably read about it. I'll link it tomorrow when there's a chance. Really not a classy way to win for Brazil against a worthy opponent.

Turkey will have a difficult time now making it to the next round (not sure how good China or Costa Rica are). They should protest the ref's calls, if they can, that was nonsense. I look forward to watching Turkey play again; they can play a tough game. Brazil has some great players who want to win at any cost, but I hope that they have referees with a bit more backbone and skepticism in the rest of the tournament. And I hope they get knocked out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile another game is about to start and I am NOT going to watch it. G'nite.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Congress gave the FDA the gift of conflict of interest as it expanded the "user fee program" with little fanfare, as a rider on the bioterrorism bill.

The drug and biotechnology industries pay about $160 million yearly in user fees to the FDA, but that sum would jump to $260 million yearly in 2007 under the proposed expansion. The new money would not only allow the agency to hire more staff but also to upgrade its technology and improve management at FDA headquarters. In return, the FDA would commit to maintaining its speedier pace for new drug reviews and to more quickly move applications for new uses of older drugs. In addition, it would begin pilot programs to further speed review of certain fast-track drugs.

Meanwhile, Salomon Smith Barney committed to the same structural changes that Merrill Lynch announced earlier this week, in an effort to make their research analysts separate from their investment bankers. The two brokerages have more in common than that: SSB has been subpoenaed by the same NY Attorney General whose investigation and threat of criminal charges caused Merrill to make those changes. A juicy summary of ML's crimes and concessions.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Lester Bangs died 20 years ago. He was a rock critic guy. If you're like me (if you're like my age, or were at least in 1987) then maybe you heard of him for the first time at the end of side 2 (they had sides back then!) of REM's Document album, immediately preceded by "Lenny Bruce and...". Or if you were less obsessed with the mumbly boys from Athens than I (who still recall planning for the day in August, I think, when the new album would come out and buying it on cassette at Plan 9 Music, but I digress like a madman or a big dog), then you didn't hear of Mr Bangs 'til the video for "It's the End of the World as We Know It" came out. Or else you're older, were listening to Iggy, Lou Reed & the Velvets before Lester hisself was, you've gone through 4 iterations of love/hate for Bangs, you're tired of it, and you think I'm an idiot for not being hipper sooner, and you hate me. Or you're younger, you're only aware of Lester Bangs because he shows up in a recent film, and I think you're an idiot and I hate you.

Anyway, it was right about '87 that time that Psychotic Reactions and CarBuretor Dung was published collecting for the first time Lester's wild & wide writings from years writing for Rolling Stone, Creem & Village Voice. The book is startling, loud and contradictory as the letter fuck. It's full of drugs too, which is kinda how Lester died, besides having the flu. It was in 1992 that Bruce Sterling dis-interred Lester for a post-autopsal blind marriage by short fiction with San Francisco cartoonist Dori Seda who expired in a startlingly similar manner and likewise with plenty of potential in the bank.

A few years back Bangs' essay on Elvis' expiration was stapled into the front of a picturebook on the King's early years; Lester likens EP's latter-day rep to that of The Pentagon, "a giant armored institution nobody knows anything about except that its power is legendary", and then calls him the "perfect cultural expression" of the Nixon years, and thsu opines that "we might all do better to think about waving good-bye with one upraised finger". There really is no other voice like his. [pauper's hint: rip off amazon--yeh, that's right I even linked to 'em when I said it!--and read his entire intro on the sample pages they provide without buying the damn thing. Don't worry, there are legions buying it for the subject and not the author, very much in spite of LB in fact].

Here's a great restrospective article on Lester, which includes some curves I'd never heard before. Of course I haven't [yet] read the book on him. And wait, there's more...


[gone fer so long and then back with this...]

mash it up! mash it up!

[...] But, suddenly, the recording changes course when, instead of the gravelly voice of Kurt Cobain, the smooth R&B harmonies of a Destiny's Child hit appear on top of the grunge music. As the recording moves on, it is clear that the song is neither fish nor fowl; it is a crossbreed that neither band ever intended, or even dreamed of.

[ snip ]

Songs like this one, which combine different hits without adding any original music, may represent the first significant new musical genre to be lifted out of the underground, developed and then spread, mostly via the Web. The songs, called mash-ups or bootlegs, typically match the rhythm, melody and underlying spirit of the instrumentals of one song with the a cappella vocals of another. And the more odd the pairing the better.

I'll call 'em mad versions as a tip of the chapeau to the old Jamaican sound system scene, where versions were releases of new vocals over the same rhythm track, which happened very frequently (albeit with the originator's knowing the rules of the game--but then none of them xpected to be millionaires, in some countries as a musician you can expect to be employed, but not rich. Kinda like teachers in America. doh!).

Monday, April 15, 2002

Well the reading tonight went well! More details soon. And kudos to 21 Grand on their great new space!!

Friday, April 12, 2002

Okay, I have to say that Boy swallows 87 condoms of heroin is the most striking headline I have ever seen.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Reading this Sunday (4/14/02)!

The Text Collective (including mikl-em)

This will be a really fun reading, as part of a writing group I've been working with called The Text Collective at 21 Grand [note the gallery's new location--here's a map it's 2 blocks from the old one, within marching distance].

I'll be reading new stuff, there are 6 other talented writers to choose from, and there will be fun participatory aspects to the show. More details are here.

In internet search news.... an article on Google in the New York Times touches on how cool they are, but we knew that.

Meanwhile from (yeah, pretty stupid, huh? "" no, they didn't get bought out or nothing. it's just branding. ugh.] HP will push the pay-for-click search services of Overture Inc. (f.k.a. on their new machines.

iPod gets hacked to greater functionality from WiredNews.

Monday, April 08, 2002

From The New YorkerBack in Egypt after 30 years; thoughts on how the country has changed and interesting observations and reflections such as this:
"The humiliation so many Arabs are experiencing now reminds me of what it was like to be from Dallas after Kennedy was assassinated. For years people hated us, even though Dallas had nothing to do with the killing of Kennedy."

I ask myself...
What do I think about this?

a moment of my restless political mind:

I oppose George W Bush attacking Iraq--and I've suspected from the start that (after he was done ignoring the California energy crisis) it has always been tops on his to-do list. But
today's piece by columnist William Safire in the New York Times both makes me question whether Iraqi intervention of a sort (increased support for the Kurds) is advisable after all and reaffirms to me that Bush is not after what's best for the innocents in Iraq (duh.). The article details a suicide attack aimed at Kurdish leader that occured while US diplomats were in the area, and how the Kurds captured one of the attackers and thus learned of the existence of "sixty Islamic terrorists, trained in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden," who are currently in Northern Iraq as "guests of Saddam Hussein." According to Safire, they intend to attack Kurdish leaders in an action similar (his parallel) to that which took out Afghan opposition leader Massoud on 9/9/01. Safire comes off as 1) a decided anti-Iraq Hawk, and 2) criticial of Bush for not giving meaningful support to the Kurdish opposition (frankly, the 2 is the only reason that I gave an ear to 1).

So what do I think about that?

I'm trying to figure that out. I think that Saddam is dangerous, but I don't think that an overt US attack is a good idea--I don't trust Bush, his cabinet, or his advisors in their motives or their capabilities. And I feel certain that we will not get the blessing of any Arab state to carry out such an attack both because it is a frightening precedent to set and because they are indignant over our complicity in Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. So any attack would damage our relations with the Arab world in general which seems like an awful thing to do right now.

shocking confession #x: You know, I only ever knew Safire's notorious On Language column, I never knew his deal (which is kinda weird), and I've (seen but) never read his editorials before today. In situations like this, I often turn to the hyper-catalog of knowledge that is From whence I get a brief bio and a spooky letter never sent. So, the background of the author explored, now how do I feel about the op-ed written by a former Nixon spin-meister & decorated commander of the English language? I feel spun. Again. And tired of it. It has been on my mind since 9/11 that we are like Risk tiles, with stars n' stripes on our backs to help keep score easy. We're like tops, too. Bleah. I have no witty or wise wrap-up to this, just leads me toward favoring personal isolationism from National politics. And wanting to get back to creating things.

UPDATE [4/12/02]

well now that I've read another of his columns it's clear that Saffire & I are on different planets (or at least different poles). But I do have to agree that the point about not having more active support of the Kurds seems a valid critique--at least in as much as they are an analog of the Northern Alliance. But then such analogies are the stuff of which persuasion (and manipulation) are made. How many new Hitlers have we had? Comparison is a powerful and imprecise method of communication. It can be used for great poetic effect, but in the communication of facts its... somewhat like a sieve. But not exactly.

Friday, April 05, 2002

I went to the Saint Stupid's Day Parade on Monday (4/1). It was incredible, as always. A great turn out. A stupid time.
I also made up some signs for it. These signs! I'll have a proper page up there sometime soon. Right now it's just a directory listing of the images. Thanks again to Bishop Joey of the First Church of the Last Laugh for giving us divine Stupidity each and every year and the year before that.

I missed a couple in there, but this is either the fourth or fifth St Stupid's Day that I have paraded in. And I was there for last year's inaugural parade and I very, very nearly read my inaugural character poetic assassination. Here is photo-aspic evidence that I (and BIGFOOT!) were at that parade.

There's something different on this page.

I've added some new sets of links to the left sidebar:

This is the beginning of me putting more music content on the web (both on this site and others in my dominion). Comedy links and my original humorous writings will follow, too.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

certain things are not certain.

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

I had a great day while browsing for books at thrift stores last week: I picked up Catch-22 (the film of which I had just seen again a few weeks ago, and I'd been planning on re-reading it), Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. and The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry (oh look, I found the first chapter online!) whose novels I have been am pushing on anyone who will listen. All that plus I scored a Greg Bear book, just as I was nearing the last 100 pages of Eon which has been blowing my mind. I'll write an entry on that book soon, as it really did grab me.

In the process I found an interesting correlation that I had never noticed before, in regards to judging books based on their cover--beware any novel where the AUTHOR'S NAME is printed larger than the title [whoops! I reversed that initially! It's correct now--hope I haven't disappointed my MILLIONS of fans.]
. Pay attention next time you are passing Safeway's book racks. Or maybe I should give Mary Higgins Clark a chance? Nah.

Sunday, March 31, 2002

want some good news?


two articles to exercise your rubberneck and gnaw at your faith in human nature.
just what you needed, huh? don't mention it.

Something fishy about Salomon

This will give you someone else to hate besides Enron & Anderson--Salomon Smith Barney advised Worldcom employees to buy WCOM shares on margin (borrowed from SSB) and to hang on to their shares even as the market plummetted. I like this article because it gives the names of the 3 brokers responsible, so that if you see them in the street you can kick them.

Television and the Pentagon are strategic bedfellows

This article is about how the Pentagon consults on certain TV shows and how we WILL get a glimpse of the War Tribunals, after all, "Actors Portrayal" style. The show is called JAG (Judge Advocate General) and apparently it's been on for a couple years (I don't watch tv much, sorry if this is old news to everyone).

Here's a quote from the JAG's creator:

"I want to show people that the tribunals are not what many people feared they would be, which is that they would be nothing more than a necktie party, that they would have no foundation in law, that this was a way of taking these people and killing them," Mr. Bellisario said. "I wanted to show that we still have a system of justice." Personally, though, he said he believed "they should all be taken out and blown up."

and from one of the show's writers:

"War is terrible, conflicts are terrible, but somebody has to do it and so it's necessary — maybe not completely honest, but necessary — to imbue those things with glory," he said. "I don't shrink from it."

For him, soldiering is about comrades supporting each other, and writing a heroic script is his way of doing that. "I'm missing the conflict," he said. "This is the only way I can really contribute."

none of this is ANYTHING like propaganda, is it?

[note these are both New York Times articles, so you need to register to read 'em. I think you should, cuz it's free and pretty low stress as these things go. BUT I've just noticed that if the articles are more than a week old you have to pay like $.88 to read 'em, which is bogus and I don't think you should do. If you're reading this more than a week after I posted it, sorry about the incredible expiring links. But I bet there's more bad news today on their front page if you want some.]

happy easter.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Great things upcoming

Engrave these into your unsuspecting calendar

Hope you can make them. Actually, we'll make them, you should just show up!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2002


Two bits of great news and two very sad:

Robin Williams Is Making a Run for It, on a Rare One-Man Tour which sounds fantastic! Steve Martin takes a turn at a 90+ year old German Comedy.

In the sad news department make a little room in the afterworld, Dudley Moore has passed away. If by chance you don't know Dudley beyond 10 or Arthur (1 & 2), then for laughter's sake, seek out his film and British Television work with Peter Cook such as Bedazzled or Not Only...But Also!

What can you say about the death of the great Uncle Milty? Milton Berle, we're gonna miss you. 93 years? It hardly seemed like 92.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

This THURSDAY: Absurd Night Live does Spiegelmania

After a successful run as part of the EXIT Theater's Classic Absurdism festival, ANL appears at Spiegelmania with a mix
of material from the EXIT show plus BRAND SPANKING NEW funny-bits and a special guest star!

Boredom Beware!

This Thursday, at Spanganga, Absurd Night Live and Spiegelmania join forces to battle the dreaded UNCOMEDY. Spiegelmania is a heroic weekly comic juggernaut, built of stand-up comics & sketch comedy, boldly entering the darkness that is Thursday night carrying the unrefutable light that is Hahahahahahahaha! Hosted by the only Mike Spiegelman officially endorsed by his Mom.

This week mikl-em's Absurd Night Live rides shotgun with Spiegelmania. After a sold-out run as part of the EXIT Theater's Classic Absurdism festival, ANL appears at Spiegelmania with a mix of material from the EXIT show and BRAND SPANKING NEW funny\
-bits with special guest star: Aaron Treat of Banana, Bag & Bodice and Popcorn Theater fame--he's in town for ONE NIGHT before returning to NYC. Also on the bill are comics Kevin Avery, Lee Levin, Steve Mazan, Dan Crawford, Bob Johnson!

Together Spiegelmania and Absurd Night Live will make the night unsafe for the UNFUNNY, at least at Spanganga from 10-11:30pm. If you are anywhere else at that time you may be bored, sad, or, worst of all, exposed to blatant John Ashcroft. Please, for all our sakes, come to Spiegelmania and get the hahahahahahahaha that you deserve!!

PS super-discount-info: if you tell 'em that 'the Squid List sent you' you will get in 2 for 1 on the already low-low $5 door price. so do that and spend the savings on drinks!

Saturday, March 02, 2002

For fans of the soundtrack to Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, a great story about the singer of Po' Lazarus!
It turns out the song was recorded while he was in prison in 1959. TThey just tracked the singer down (who was unaware of the movie, and barely remembered the song) and gave him his platinum record and his first royalty check!

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Okay, we have now had 2 performances of Absurd Night Live and the show is going very well.

There are only two shows left!! Word on whatever street it is that I listen to says that the last show, this Saturday (3/2) is
very close to sold out, and I know that a fair amount of tickets have been sold for Friday night as well. If you want to buy them
in advance on line you
can, but you can also just phone in and reserve them from the EXIT
and then you don't have to pay the service charge and you pay at the door. The advantage to getting the ticket online is that you
definitely have it. If you only reserve it then they will sell it to folks on the waiting list at 15 minutes before the show starts.

Come out and see it! It's funny! (if I do say so myself) It's weird! (and that counts for something!) It's MINE! (which
is no fault of your own. And of course I share responsibility/blame with a talented gang of cohorts.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Campaign finance reform may be at hand. A huge setback will possibly occur to the ease of influence on American politics (which is what passes for government) by those in the dough. An enlightening profile from the Washington Post of the Republican whose name is on the bill, who is not making any friends from this. So soft money might take a hard hit. Which means that the only the rich who run themselves up the polls. Meanwhile, how bored are you? Do you want to just read a lot of dirt on a lot of politicians? It's enuf to make you wish for anarchy, ain't it?

Monday, February 11, 2002

Absurd Night Live

coming up February 22-23 & March 1-2 as part of

The EXIT Theater's Classic Absurdism Festival!!!

mikl-em (veteran of Banana, Bag & Bodice and Popcorn Theater)
has assembled an impossible cast and inevitable special guests
to help engineer an intersection for a car crash of sketch comedy
and Absurdism. Borrowing from the rich and giving to the absurd,
he pulls from sketch comedy archetypes and Absurdist forefathers
to hatch sketches like you've never seen and will never forget.
What sounds like words you've never heard before? How many
licks does it take to get to the center of a comedy sketch?
Ask not for whom the stethoscope and I'll see you in Poland!
Your smileage may vary. With guest hosts Ed Holmes (2/22-2/23)
& Donald the Nut (3/1-3/2).

You can get tickets from ticketweb, but there are only so many--so hurry!! There are a lot of great shows in the festival, so maybe you should get an all festival pass!