Saturday, February 06, 2010


This will be the last post ever, after TV stations everywhere predicted the end of everything because of a snow storm heading straight for _______ (fill in name of wherever you live), resulting in _____ feet of snow (insert ludicrously large number of feet). It's SNOWMAGEDDON!

So, to fortify against the icy death that looms, I rifled through the Spam Poetry Folder. This one, so distinctively Eliotian, is called:

I love this, and strong men - are you?

Hello - I like you did not say - 
Do you remember,
When we made love three?
Who you like more? 
 "I am a Russian girl with blonde or America?"

Waiting for an answer - 
If you like - 

Friday, February 05, 2010

As Much Caffeine As Eight Cans of Coke

That's Buckfast in the photo, being reached for on the top shelf. Buckfast, in case you did not know, is an expensive single malt Scottish whisky is a nasty, vile, cheap booze favored by old homeless winos in Scotland, and also, perplexing to Scotland's political leaders (who get drunk on better stuff), by hordes of bored and dangerous teenagers.

Buckfast, as a New York Times article points out, contains 15% alcohol and "as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke." The piece points out what to my many friends in Scotland is blindingly obvious: Scotland has a drink problem. So does England, by the way. And in Ireland... already notorious worldwide for being unreliable, feckless swillers, Irish people managed to increase the amount of booze being bought by 40 percent in the decade 1990-2000.

{WARNING TERRIBLE TRANSITIONAL QUIPS COMING UP] After that statistic, I need a drink. In fact, I came across other stats out of Scotland which make for sobering reading show that perhaps the Times piece was watered down on the mild side: Scots spend £5 billion each year on booze...Alcohol accounts for one in four men and one in five women who die between the ages of 35 and 44...

And about the Buckfast, the New York Times noted its special place in all this dysfunction:
Buckfast does not seem to help. In a survey last year of 172 prisoners at a young offenders’ institution, 43 percent of the 117 people who drank alcohol before committing their crimes said they had drunk Buckfast. In a study of litter in a typical housing project, 35 percent of the items identified were Buckfast bottles. And the police in the depressed industrial district of Strathclyde recently told a BBC program that the drink had been mentioned in 5,638 crime reports between 2006 and 2009 (the bottle was used as a weapon in 114 of them).
And hence, the photo above...

Interestingly, one of the changes made to try and stop crazy drunken criminal and anti-social behavior a few years ago was the extension of pub opening hours in England and Scotland to 24-hours a day: a bar can, if the owner wishes, stay open and serve drinks all day long and all night through. This was supposed to stop the rush to drink as much as possible before closing time at midnight, before drunk mobs would spill outside into mayhem. Apparently it has not worked so well...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Randomized Images

American English! I've always like the adding of -ized to create words which often are used to carry the meaning of a longer phrase. Consider 'mirandized,' meaning, in the context of cops and crims: To inform (a suspect) of his or her legal rights. And so, for this posting, I have randomized some images.
When riding the Tokyo subway, do not sit next to the knitting cow.

Nor should you play golf with eggs and an umbrella.

At times do you pine for the Eighties? Don't.

At the beginning of time, imagined by the Russian-French, but ultimately Jewish, artist, Mark Chagall. He illustrated sections of the Bible, copies are on sale in any decent book store. Above, a whirly-gig moment as God builds His Creation during the early chapters of Genesis.
These kind of turbulent times we live in, it's good to check in on History. This book I have never read cover-to-cover, but dipping in over the years gave me perspective on our world and our lives, and confirmed that the activities of men and women over many generations created the world we live in: societies are the shape they are because they grew organically. There's no prior reason for the outcome to be this way, no blessed Judeo-Christian West enlightening the world with market capitalism.

There's a time and a place for goofy humor. I came across this above yesterday. You might also like Yoko Bono.

There are times I wonder what to do next. Not any more. Keep it a secret, please: I have my future career all figured out (above).

There was a time when new 1G digital memory cards for cameras were newly available, but would easily crap out and become corrupted. Above, one surviving image from a 1G card, hundreds were lost.

And there was a time when the New York City subway looked like this...

Strange Exhibition of Nude Images Sort of Defaced by Stalin

It sounds too crazy not to be true: a set of 1940s photos and drawings of naked Russian men in heroic or athletic poses go on display in Moscow in late 2009, with each image scrawled on by Stalin, apparently linking the men to long-dead political rivals and foes.

"Ginger bastard Radek, if he hadn't pissed against the wind, if he hadn't been angry, he would be alive," is one typical comment. Experts say this is clearly Karl Radek, the red-haired former head of the international communist organisation, the Comintern, believed to have been shot dead by Stalin's secret police in 1939.

Experts also confirmed that the handwriting is Stalin's, and that the images were kept by the Russian leader's family and body guards. But there appeared no clear link between any of the men in the images, and Radek and other dead former comrades whose names were scrawled with somewhat lewd remarks by Stalin.

Was he barmy? Did he have homosexual leanings? No one knows for sure!

(F)Atlah's Fatwa Continues

Up in Harlem, it seems the Internal Revenue Service has not been doing its job fast enough in tackling Lenox Avenue loudmouth Pastor James Manning.

Out of his "Atlah" so-called church outfit, Manning continues to blare bizarre anti-Obama "sermons", a smorgasbord of familiar ("Obama is not a U.S. citizen") and not-so-familiar ("Obama's mother was a white whore") nonsense.

Manning started broadcasting his wee rants over the Internet because -- and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong -- because the chance to be seen and heard all around the world is simply irresistible for an otherwise unimportant fat Manning with nothing to say, except: "Look! At! Me! Me! Me! Meeeeeeeeeee!"

The IRS started looking into Atlah in August/September 2008, after a Manning sermon on YouTube was widely splattered around the Internet with the help of that well-known Friend Of All Black People and Honorary African American, Lush Rimbaugh.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, Atlah Ministries is exempted from paying taxes, but must abide by certain rules: Manning should not express overtly political opinions which include neither endorsing nor opposing candidates for elected office. Is this a political opinion?
[Obama's] African-in-heat father went a-whoring after a trashy white woman. He was born trash.
Well, yes, it is. According to the New York Times, the IRS has struggled to draw up new guidelines where web sites, churches, 501(c)(3) status and religious nonsense all intersect, even, in one memo, discussed "electronic proximity — including the number of ‘clicks’ that separate the objectionable material from the 501(c)(3) organization’s Web site.”

I can see where the nuances and niceties of laying down new rules would cause the IRS to move with great caution, in a societal realm where two long-established American principles are already mere inches away from colliding, the separation of church and state, and freedom of speech. If Atlah were to lose its tax exemption, the only thing louder than his howl of joy would be his screech of bogus indignation over the government stomping on his important thoughts on Obama's father and mother.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Commute NYC

I first came across this web site in June 2004, when things like blogs and especially photoblogs, seemed gorgeous and exotic. This photoblog, Commute NYC, is or was about the daily commute in New York City via subway. For some reason, the subway system and its maps attracted considerable attention in the early years of blogs and blogging (remember