Saturday, August 30, 2003

A nice review of BBB in NYC says these four performers exemplify true collaborative and ensemble work. Of course they are talking about Gulag Ha Ha which won Best of Fringe last year in San Francisco, and has completed its run at the NY Fringe Fest. Dublin will be the next town to recieve the dark absurdity of Gulag, but in the meantime the Banana Bag & Bodice are debuting their new work "Sandwich" here in San Francisco next week. The SF Fringe fest, unlike the ones in Dublin and NYC, does not sell advance tickets; you have to show up 30 minutes before the show and buy them. I'll post more details here soon about all the Fringe shows that I reccomend you check out. I'll also be making an appearance in the fest this year with tHE nEO-sURREALISTS, hang on for more details.

Have you been to Attaboy's site lately?

Attaboy is a good friend of mine and a great artists, so occasionally I like to remind people to BUY HIS STUFF, to support his work and because it's great.
His website has stuff on sale And even some on pre-sale, available SOON: Axtrx, the first toy based on one of his characters, which is featured on the front page of; also Attaboys' 2004 Calendar, which will be on sale at Tower Records (but it's better to buy direct from the artist!!). Buy those and other Attaboy goodies (like limited edition, signed prints for only $20!) from his site.

Also, 5 Attaboy posters are up on which is a pretty cool site. Lookit Attaboy's Yumfactory for all of this and more (like KISS).

Monday, August 25, 2003

GWB's Rambo dialogue bears brutal fruit

From an editorial in Friday's Washington Post:

And consider our president's statement on July 2 in response to a question about attackers targeting our troops. "Bring 'em on," our president declared. "We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation." Mr. President, they're bringing it on.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Post 9/11 Manipulations Come to the Surface

I wish it was surprising. A 155-page report released late Thursday reveals that the EPA's post-9/11 air quality reports were edited by Bush's National Security Council

The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog says White House officials pressured the agency to prematurely assure the public that the air was safe to breathe a week after the World Trade Center collapse.

History will look back in disbelief that they got away with it. I think that we may be seeing the ultimate (to date) perversion of the vision of this country's founders. I don't think that's an exaggeration at this point. There has been incompetence and corruption before. But the willfull manipulation and the sheer greed for power and total control, this is the stuff of Saramon. Keep in mind that "they" (and this time "they" has a name, it's Karl Rove, who has taken it upon himself to become the svengali of the Conservative pro-business anti-tax at all costs and with a fundamental Christian bib on to boot) are trying to consolidate power in all 3 branches and in every department. This broad, coordinated strategy relies on the fact that the small set of people who pay attention, protest and publicize things like attacks on civil liberties, loosening of enviornmental protections, and undermining of programs to support those less fortunate (like, say, veterans!!!) can't be everywhere at once. It's unlikely that even a more competent and less complicit press would cover say 3 stories a week in that realm--overseas violence is much more Hollywood-style attention grabbing. The audience needs to have a context (either existing knowledge or be given one in the article), for each of these stories, and it's just too dry too often even for the serious newspapers (let alone the tv news, which has the massively larger audience).

Really our only hope is if we can get a big juicy scandal, ala Watergate or Iran Contra (we can't rely on them to do anything sexy, so that's right out). We need something that would go well as a tv movie or mini-series, something that frontline will cover. Oh dear, we really are so screwed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Tribunals breed some controversy

About 660 prisoners captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere are being held at Guantanamo without charges or access to lawyers — some since January 2002.

Britain is seeking to intervene on behalf of its two citizens who are being held at Guantanamo Bay. Some concessions have been made, including not seeking the death penalty. The American Bar Association has objected to some aspects of the tribunals. The ABA has published this report of recommendations regarding Treatment Of Enemy Combatants. Read more on the administration's treatment of detainees and their vision of a trial by tribunal, which includes eavesdropping on suspects' conversations with their lawyers.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Some political links

A selection of political bits I've chomped lately...

There is a breaking scandal (let's hope that turns into a double
entendre) regarding Pentagon players meeting with a notorious Iranian
arms dealer, an alumnus of the Iran-Contra skull-duggery:

While Rumsfeld said that the contact occurred more than a year ago
and that nothing came of it, his aides scrambled during the day to
piece together more details amid other reports that Rumsfeld's account
may have been incomplete.

Fred Kaplan's columns on Slate are consistently insightful inside scoops on military issues.
He's debunked hype on the past and current generations of
Patriot missile systems
, this Pentagon's flawed War Games, the coalition of the billing and
amongst others, not to mention calling the administration to task for wrong-headed (and contradictory) policy
toward N. Korea. I suggest spending some time with his archives, when you have a chance.

Kaplan's most recent
deals with (the latest) failure in the Missile Defense program.
This one *should* make it clear that is not a practical option any time soon,
and we should stop acting and spending like it was. Should, if
sane minds were in charge; if only sane minds were in charge...

Doonesbury has had some fantastic strips recently pointed toward the
SecOfDef, really nailing Rummy's rhetorical parrying technique and skewering it appropriately. There are about a week's worth of strips focused just on Rummy-speak.

A recent article in the Washington Monthly detailed the Bush administration's distrust & dislike of science and scientists.

The administration's stem-cell stand is just one of many examples,
from climate change to abstinence-only sex-education programs, in
which the White House has made policies that defy widely accepted
scientific opinion. Why this administration feels unbound by the
consensus of academic scientists can be gleaned, in part, from a
telling anecdote in Nicholas Lemann's recent New Yorker profile of
Karl Rove. When asked by Lemann to define a Democrat, Bush's chief
political strategist replied, "Somebody with a doctorate." Lemann
noted, "This he said with perhaps the suggestion of a smirk."

Now there is a formal Democratic inquiry (and website!): The minority staff of the House Government Reform Committee is
continuing to investigate the state of scientific integrity in the
Bush Administration.

We can thank Rep. Henry Waxman who is also the leading congressional watchdog on tobacco policy both then (1994) and now. Time and time again Waxman's name comes up to boldly question industry-oriented policy. More like him, please.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Pictures from FFF 7!

Scott Beale of Laughing Squid has put up online photos of FFF7 featuring Ralph Carney and Bucky Sinister. Check 'em out!!