Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fingering the finger

Like David, Steve and others, I'm an early purchaser of Faithful Interpretation, AKMA's latest book, which I hope will see some lively online conversation. I'm also intrigued by a remark by AKMA vis a vis something Doc said about gestures as expressions of intent, about unintentional gestures - in part because these seem to keep coming up in texts I never seem unpreoccupied by (Dante and Baudelaire, to name just two).

As much as the hermeneutic and theoretic aspects of the matter matter, there may also be practical and consequential situations in which the gesture and its intentionality are complicated beyond simple transparency of gesturer->gesture->interpretation.

For one:
"He's a lost soul," she said. "I hope he gets the help that he needs." [That would be Mark Foley, REP FL, disgraziato].

Beyond the scandal, the resignation suddenly puts a safe Republican seat in jeopardy. Democrats need just 15 U.S. House seats nationally to take control of the House.

President Bush won Foley's district with 55 percent of the vote in 2004, but Florida's election laws for replacing a candidate will make keeping the seat a challenge for the GOP.

The state Republican Party is likely to name a replacement for Foley next week, but the state Division of Elections said Friday it's too late to take Foley's name off the ballot. Under Florida law, any vote for Foley will go to the candidate named to replace him by the state GOP.

"A vote for Foley is a vote for the new guy, which is really going to provide another interesting twist to the election," said Division of Elections spokesman Sterling Ivey.
St. Pete Fecklessness*.
Voting, like gambling, is a gesture - a motion of the hand culiminating in a giant voxpop finger pointing to and thereby legitimating one electoral contest-winning political animal.

Pointing then can be a kind of act - not quite a speech act, but an act nonetheless: a gesture causes something new to occur.

Now factor in Florida's election law. The name (intentional object) on the ballot is and will be "Mark Foley." And no voter who points to Foley will be pointing to Foley. We don't yet know who will be the designated receiver of that gesture.

We are summoned, we make a gesture, the gesture is an act, yet within all that, the play of substitution makes any simple construction of gesture as intention somewhat less simple.
* "St. Petersburg Times reporters obtained the original e-mails last fall and interviewed two former pages, but didn't write a story."

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

squilla di lontano

"Every human being is involved in a desperate attempt to narrate himself into a safe place." ...

Narrative, then, is a primal reflex, a mode of action as integral to our species as the sandhill cranes' migratory programming is to theirs. "Consciousness is a storytelling machine," ...

What can it mean to think thoughts you can't recognize as your own? If such thoughts can only belong to "someone else," what's happened to the "me" you think you are? ...

When I brought up President Bush's statement to reporters on a visit to Panama last November, "We do not torture," in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Powers quipped, "He could be a character out of an Oliver Sacks book." ~ interview around The Echo Maker. via
Storytelling and programming the same thing?

[after an interval] Why do media and we not see that Bush has escaped from a Sacks book?

Bonus quote: "Are animals religious?" One might amend to: Are animals antireligious?

[quite a bit later] More Powers on enthusiasm.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Upside Potential of Voting Republican

We view CXW as a pure play on the detention of illegal immigrants. $

"We've had a lot of new shareholders coming into the stock, with a shift from value investors to growth investors."

The upshot for investors now: The current excitement seems justified, but it will likely ramp up near-term volatility. Those interested in owning a share of the prison business should be thinking long term and bracing for inevitable bumps.

There are several critical drivers that have drawn the attention of growth investors, starting with the combination of prison crowding and low penetration for private-jail operators. "It's as if they run high-occupancy hotels where people can check in but they can't check out," says Paul J. Rasplicka, lead manager of the $1.4 billion AIM Capital Development Fund, which first added the stock in 2003. "State and federal governments' need exceeds available beds, and the company has them."

Federal prisons are operating at more than 130% of capacity, and two dozen state prison systems are operating at 100% capacity or higher, according to government statistics cited by the company. At latest count, there were about 2.2 million men and women in prison, the Justice Department says.

Bulls believe that Corrections Corp., with a market value of about $2.6 billion, is uniquely positioned to benefit, given that the company has about half the private-prison market. Meantime, private-jail managers have ample room for growth, with less than 7% of the national prison market.

Significant demand is expected to come from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Under the new model for border enforcement, non-Mexican illegal border crossers are no longer set free while they await a hearing. People are now detained until their hearing, and Congress is being asked for funds to pay for more beds.

"ICE has been the catalyst that drove the stock and that broke down a logjam in demand," Jefferies's Mr. Hie says. Wallshite Joornal

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Your travel ad here

Friday, September 22, 2006

who's cool now

Speaking at a victory rally in south Beirut in his first public appearance since the war with Israel, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said his group still had over 20,000 rockets available.

Nasrallah joined hundreds of thousands of Hezbollah supporters who filled the devastated southern suburbs of Beirut on Friday with a sea of yellow flags to celebrate "divine victory" in their month-long war against Israel.

The Sheikh declined to give further details, citing a three-way media deal involving Time Warner, Sirius Satellite Radio, and CBS's Katie Couric.

"I would like to -- I am 'launching' on the 25th, and I am honor-bound to Mel, Dick and Katie not to comment on the story before that day," he said.

The assembled crowd, which Hezbollah's Al-Manar television said was in the hundreds of thousands, was swollen by Amal supporters waving the green flags of the sometime rival but more recently allied movement.

From L.A. where he was also holding a rally, US President George W. Bush, shirtless, called Nasrallah a "piece of cod." Sporting a half-face tat and slurring his words, Bush recited recent recruiting efforts by the State Dept. involving Latin American gangs.

"We've got Mara Salvatrucha, Mara 18 -- you wouldn't believe how much live ammunition those boys carry," said the President, adding, "bring it on. These fellas make their own rockets, and know what to do with 'em. We got pachucos that make Hezbollah look like Judy Garland before she hit the skids."

Burgeoning support for the President among brazen people of color is not new. Last November, former crack dealer 50 Cent expressed great admiration for the Republican leader.

"(The president) is incredible... A gangsta. I wanna meet George Bush, just shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

shirts on a plane

Amy Goodman and her brother David Goodman stopped in Florida during their 80-city tour. I passed up PhoneCon in order to hear their talk. It is not insignificant that they are packing houses even in sanity-challenged places such as the penile state.

I'm still thinking about the Goodmans. Their extraordinary energy, graceful presence, and witty use of anecdote to build emotional arcs of fact. They view nearly all USian media as government propaganda, past and present, leaving a sort of vanishing point upon which they stand, from which they critique. They use news stories as weapons to explode news stories. And do it every day, in an effort to help us avoid mistaking "the illusion of news" for reality, as David put it.

If a certain country had any balls, 299,787,667 people would wear the shirt

to work, at home, on the radio, on flickr, in Germany, on planes, on TV, wherever fine values are sold.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Some are better prepared than others.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Infallibly Richtig

The Holy Father thus sincerely regrets that certain passages of his address could have sounded offensive to the [morbidly twisted and vielleicht insane] sensitivities of the Muslim faithful, and should have [how dare they] been interpreted in a manner [asshats] that in no way corresponds to his intentions. (das ist, they screwed up.)

Indeed it was he who, before the (woefully misguided) religious fervor of Muslim believers, warned secularized Western culture to guard against “the contempt for God and the cynicism that considers mockery of the sacred to be an exercise of freedom” was RIGHT from the freakin' get-go.

In reiterating his respect and esteem for those who profess Islam, he hopes they will be "helped" to understand the correct meaning of his words. Gott in Himmel!

Friday, September 15, 2006

gaia 2.0

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

walking on air

# #

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the business of the west

"The logos for five generations of Americans now has been the mercenary writing on the wall that is commercial advertising - we're so deep into that most kids can't get to the idea of it not being an essential part of reality. Children are seduced by the marketers of things on television from before they're capable of coherent speech. Seduction is the business of the West." readthewholething

Crediting this sort of thing
"We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy -- but not without purpose. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam -- a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations. The war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation."
as something other than a tale told by an idiot becomes an illusion less easy to sustain when the masses are elsewhere:
ABC's controversial 9/11 movie drew a sizable audience of roughly 13 million viewers Sunday night, but that number was dwarfed by comparison with NBC's big showing for pro football, which seems to have drawn 22 million-24 million viewers on the eve of the five-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

W murdered sleep. Now he wears these

Friday, September 08, 2006

MetaAuratic cat's paw

The paradigm-shifting blogosphere has suffered its first, or at least biggest, defeat. After driving opinion, influencing public policy, and, quite possibly, altering the outcome of elections, bloggers could not transform Snakes on a Plane into a hit. dude1.

SNAKES ON A PLANE. To prove his point, Lance makes an amazing and insane leap of faith and equates a perceived weakness of all blogs in general with the failure of the miserable junk film Snakes on a Plane. dude2.
Triadic dude: Both previous dudes miss the point. It wasn't ever about the movie. See Walter Benjamin. Something is learning to toy with aura. (It isn't the movie industry.)

Pre-abduct, bat around, leave for dead. This exercise can be applied to lots of things. State of the Union addresses, e.g.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

couric antibody

For more on this breaking news from Jeneane Sessum, we turn to correspondent Christopher Locke.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

siren song of the mass

Because of the event

of this eye, this smile, this tilt of shoulder, this voice,


of the incisive mustache of this mucilaginous conversationalist


the organizing anchors of our trust are deep, sound, aligned.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


link via Ideant

Friday, September 01, 2006

budgeting peril

...there’s a strong possibility that giving the military a blank check is actually making us less safe. Surowiecki via LI