This rant was originally published on March 13, 2010 as part of the Cuckoo for Copyright Roundtable in Noah Berlatsky's blog at tcj.com, The Hooded Utilitarian. Big thanks to Noah for asking for the Poor Mojo's Almanac(k) stance on musical mash-ups.
Noah kindly asked me to list some of the mash-ups we like to listen to over at Poor Mojo's Almanac(k) and Newswire as part of the copyright roundtable. This isn't meant to be a comprehensive history, nor an exhaustive list, nor anything more than some of the form's developmental high-water marks cribbed from Wikipedia's Bastard Pop article and our personal preferences.
There was a time when mashups and audio art required relatively expensive and rare control rooms, a razor blade to cut recording tape montages together, and multi-track machines to lay them over one another. Frank Zappa borrowed from Edgard Varese's musique concrete. John Oswald examined the power of rock 'n roll and preaching — later he would prove a dab hand at deconstructing a king's pop.
In the digital age, the means of audio production became cheaper and more accessible with each passing year. By the late 1980s, hip-hop artists looped and dropped samples into their tracks with little difficulty, producing masterworks: De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising, Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet, and Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique. But the constant roar of James Brown's repeated screams came to a halt in a shitstorm of lawyers and bills for sampling rights.
Click to play video: Negativland—U2
Negativland's struggles defending the U2 sound-collage EP from the band U2 itself and its label define the difficult intersection of art and commerce, fair-use and copyright, parody and trademark. Happily, everyone involved eventually got over it.
Turns out that, if you are going to do this thing legit and clear the samples (and make money), you end up with weak raps over one monotonous bit of a song performed by one of music's least-deserving billionaires. Goofy and tame sci-fi football chants also perch atop the charts. The worthwhile and entertaining experiments in laying bits of songs over one another have mostly moved underground.
Here is the promised list of mashups we think you might enjoy.
"A lot of people just assume I took some Beatles and, you know, threw some Jay-Z on top of it or mixed it up or looped it around, but it's really a deconstruction. It's not an easy thing to do. I was obsessed with the whole project, that's all I was trying to do, see if I could do this. Once I got into it, I didn't think about anything but finishing it. I stuck to those two because I thought it would be more challenging and more fun and more of a statement to what you could do with sample alone. It is an art form. It is music. You can do different things, it doesn't have to be just what some people call stealing. It can be a lot more than that."
Now that the form, post-Danger Mouse, has solidified, mashups are mutating. Poor Mojo editor Morgan Johnson asked me to add, and this is apropos the final selection: "Honestly, with the whole remix culture thing, the line between remix and mashup has become terribly thin. Look at the Popular tab on Hype Machine, usually 50% of this most downloaded or listened to songs are remix/mashups."
Alan Benard is a frequent contributor to Poor Mojo's Newswire.
"Which one's Franklin?" She was white and chubby, droopy with age. Her nasal voice chirped out of aisle seven, with a hint of a laugh. The two women behind the counter, one old and one young, drolly smoothed hair gel and maxi pads across the red blinking light of the scanner, listened to her but did not move.
"You don't know which one he is?" The older of the two women shouted back at her, drawing out the 's'.
"Mmm, oh I don't know," was the response from aisle seven. Thick accented, a kind of Midwestern mutt. She was sitting on the floor, surrounded by cardboard boxes stuffed with little plush Charlie Browns.
"The list here says there's Charlie Brown, and Linus, and Snoopy, and Woodstock, and Lucy... hell, there's a Sally too, but Franklin? Mmm, I don't remember him. Was he the genius?"
"Genius?" The older woman behind the counter snorted.
"Yeah, the piano player. The genius."
"Mmm, he ain't no genius." Her gray hair was kinked, greased down to her head. Old brown hands took vitamins and condoms across the scanner and rang up the sale.
"Wa-a-a-a-ait, you sure? Franklin? I thought he played the piano while Snoopy danced."
"He ain't no genius." The older woman said it again. The customers dispersed for a minute and she stooped over the counter, staring down aisle seven. The other woman, beautiful, young, black hair thick with braids, her shirt tight around firm young breasts with a nametag that she penciled on "assistant store manager" over her name, "Clarrise", stood on one foot, the other foot resting against her ankle. She laughed, unsure of what was going on.
"What y'all talkin' about?" Clarrise is laughing, but also staring at a man, shifting her gaze briefly to the magazine stand near the front door. "Mmm, child, Peanuts. You never read a newspaper?"
"I read the paper!" Clarrise is briefly offended; then she rests.
"The comics, baby. The one with the little round-headed white boy and his dog. It's an older one, baby girl." The older woman laughs. "'bout as old as me."
"I don't know what y'all are talking about."
"That's all right. Susan there jus' stockin' some shelves. Hey Susan?"
"Wha-a-a?" comes the voice from aisle seven.
"You look real good at those dolls. Which one don't look nothin' like the others?"
"What're you talkin' about, Grace?"
"The other dolls, Susan. Which one look different?" A customer comes up. Grace traces his items—envelopes, a box cutter, a jar of almonds—across the scanner. She rings up his total and asks him for the cash. She places the items slowly, malcontentedly, into a bag. She's been doing this for more than ten years.
"I always thought Franklin was the one that played piano."
"Girl that ain't the truth. And where's Peppermint Patty?"
"Peppermint Patty? The little red-headed girl?"
"No honey, that ain't the same one. You never did see the little red headed girl. She was never showed. Charlie Brown loved her but she ain't never showed. I'm talking 'bout Peppermint Patty. She was in lots of them cartoons." Grace draws out the 'oo' in 'cartoons' as a sweet summer wind enters into the store as another customer walks in, setting off the sensors that open the folding front doors. "Susan honey, we gonna need you to print some photos soon."
"Well I got this list in front of me! I gotta set up these stuffed dolls for the holiday!"
"The ha-liday?" Clarrise seems indignant.
"Oh honey, the Fourth of July!" Susan emerges from aisle seven, aching as she stands up after ten minutes of sitting down, old knees popping loudly enough for customers to hear
"That don't need no dolls."
"Su-u-u-ure it does! They're wharin' flag shirts!" Susan tromps out of the aisle towards the counter, the list, printed up from headquarters, in her hand. "And it says right here that they go in the Seasonal Aisle, along with them napkins printed with firecrackers and the Frisbees and the tiki torches. That's where they go." She waves the paper up near Clarrise's face.
"Ga-a-awd, girl, I see it! I do!" Clarrise pushes the paper away from her and immediately inspects her nails. Susan laughs and walks back towards aisle seven before Grace calls her back. Warm summer air and no one at the counter but them.
"Susan now, you listen to me. Which one is Franklin?" Grace asks this pointedly, her nail reaching down towards the scanner, its red flashing laser beam beating, underneath the counter, like a heartbeat, waiting for another item to scan. Her long nail, nearly an inch in length, yellow and thick, taps a beat over the scanner, waiting for Susan's answer. "Which one is he?"
"Grace, honey, you know I think he's the piano player. Ain't he the blond boy, the genius?"
"That Charles M. Schulz is a racist." Grace says this adamantly, still leaning over the counter, her old back curved, the arch showing through the red polyester vest she has to wear, the nametag where she wrote 'Grace' ten years ago still hanging by an old safety pin over her removed left breast. "Bad man, that Charles M. Schulz."
"What are you talkin' about?" Susan asks, momentarily mystified. The list from headquarters rests near her right doughy thigh.
There's silence in the store for a minute, strangely. It's never silent. There's always the music, piped in. There's always the stock boys in the back, getting stoned and throwing boxes of tampons at each other until one gets somehow cut in the face and comes running to the front for Grace's help.
"Franklin's the black one, Susan." Grace finally says. "Ain't no others like him in that pile, I tell you what."
"Oh my god," Susan says, pausing between each word. "You right, Grace. That's right. Franklin, he's the black one."
"And Peppermint Patty?"
"Peppermint Patty what?" Susan asks this with just a touch of fear in her voice.
"Peppermint Patty, she the lesbian in the group."
"No, lawd, Grace, what you talkin' about?" Susan is still standing in the same position, the paper still there at her side. Clarrise is still disinterested, too young, looking at a magazine and periodically checking out who might be looking at her, which is no one. The store seems empty for a moment, and then for two.
"Marcie. You know who I'm talkin' about."
"Waaaah waaaah waaaaaaaaaah," Susan says.
"What that?" Grace asks, momentarily perplexed.
"The adults in the 'Peanuts' cartoons! They never talked, just went 'waaah waaaah waah waaaah waaaaaaaah waaaaaaaah'. That's how they spoke." "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about, Susan."
"That's all right, Grace."
The store is still empty, with no one checking out. Susan walks back down the aisle and begins stocking shelves.
Emily Dufton is a PhD candidate in American Studies at the George Washington University. She lives in Washington, DC.
I'm sure the fact that the guy isn't white isn't a factor at all, right?
Within minutes of plugging his electric Nissan Leaf into Chamblee High School, Kaveh Kamooneh said he looked over from his son’s tennis practice to notice a police officer sitting inside his vehicle, reports WXIA-TV.
“I noticed that somebody was in my car,” said Kamooneh. “I walked over and it was a Chamblee police officer who then informed me that he was about to arrest me or at least charge me with theft.”
Kamooneh said he charged his car for about 20 minutes from the exterior outlet – drawing at most 5 cents, or half of 1 kilowatt, worth of electricity. Don Francis of Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group, told WXIA-TV the estimate of 5 cents is accurate.
Chamblee police said it was simply a matter of principle.
“I’m not sure how much electricity he stole,” Chamblee Police Sgt. Ernesto Ford told WXIA.
Ford added it doesn’t matter. “He broke the law. He stole something that wasn’t his.”
“A theft is a theft,” he said.
. . .
Kamooneh said he tried to reason with police by comparing the incident to someone taking a drink from a garden hose or charging a cell phone or laptop at a public place.
"Who is the victim in this case? Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?"
Last month, 32-year-old Rasheen Everett was convicted of the 2010 murder of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a transgender prostitute. Prosecutors said Everett, who has a history of abuse, choked the 29-year-old Gonzalez-Andujar to death allegedly after he discovered she had male genitalia, bleaching her body and fleeing her Queens apartment with her camera, suitcase, keys, laptop, coat and cell phone. "He said he choked her until she wasn’t breathing," the prosecution's witness, Darius Ferguson, told the court.
But at Everett's sentencing hearing yesterday—at which he was served a sentence of 29 years to life—defense attorney John Scarpa caught the ire of the judge when he argued against the victim's character. "Shouldn’t that [sentence] be reserved for people who are guilty of killing certain classes of individuals?" he reportedly asked, adding, "Who is the victim in this case? Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?"
The Knockout Game is fake. The woman who started the claim was beaten by her boyfriend and pressured into making up the story by him.
Ashley DePew, 23, and her boyfriend Justin Simms, 25, were charged Friday with falsifying a police report. The pair had claimed DePew was the victim of a random attack outside a St. Louis bar last month, police said.
Police now believe she was actually injured by her boyfriend and the pair fabricated the “knockout game” story as a cover for her injury.
Dotson said the damage false reporting causes is widespread.
“We had to spend a significant amount of resources unraveling the lies they told,” Dotson said. “That’s resources that could have been spent on other crimes and it damaged the perception of the city. I hope these two individuals get help in their relationship.”
DePew told police she and her boyfriend had gone to The Trophy Room early on Nov. 17 to pick up a friend who was intoxicated, but became separated in a crowd. She said she had been punched in the eye by a group of young men outside of the bar.
Following up, as we were one of many, many, many blogs that posted and re-posted with absolute declarative certainty that Israeli agents had poisoned Yasser Arafat using Polonium.
Also, this is a pretty scientifically interesting situation--and damned if Arafat's widow is not a remarkably classy person, putting her trust in both science and international law despite such extraordinary circumstances.
Teams of scientists from three countries were appointed to determine whether polonium played a role in his death in a French military hospital in 2004. Palestinians have long suspected Israel of poisoning him, which Israel denies.
After a 2012 report that traces of radioactive polonium were found on Arafat’s clothing, Arafat’s widow filed a legal complaint in France seeking an investigation into whether he was murdered.
. . .
The French experts found traces of polonium but came to different conclusions than the Swiss about where they came from, finding that it was “of natural environmental origin,” Suha Arafat said.
. . .
Arafat’s widow and her legal team attributed the difference to the potential role of radioactive radon gas around the burial cloth and body in the tomb. Its presence was detected and measured by both the French and the Swiss. Radon, which is found naturally, transforms into polonium in a naturally occurring process.
Arafat and her lawyers reached the conclusion after consulting private experts to help them understand the French report.
. . .
(thx to Ari Kohen for pointing out this article and this hardly open-and-shut death)
Everyone is coming out of the woodwork to praise Mandela--and rightfully so--but it's important to realize that not so long ago some very awful parts of our country routinely demonized him. And the ruling class in South Africa made it a crime to even possess a photo of him.
Look at your Twitter feed, your blog feed, your television channels, your radio, and the front page of every newspaper and magazine tomorrow and remember: it was once illegal to have a picture of Nelson Mandela in your home.
Narrative landscapes can be messy, and they vary from country to country, but there was a time when having a picture of Nelson Mandela in your home was against the law.
We watch too much TV, but there is Mandela on your TV in your home, and there is the old archive footage of him walking hand-in-hand with Winnie Mandela, and there was once a time when he would have had no right to be there, but there he is, there — smiling, present, patient, and sharp and emphatic in his rhetoric and delivery.
There is no such thing as too much media saturation when it comes to Nelson Mandela’s life and Nelson Mandela’s memory, because there was once a time when his image didn’t exist, was illegal. As the moments pass after his death, we see a raised fist — Mandela's fist — finding the screen and breaking through. Ngiyabonga.
Don't trust anyone who says snark is useless, that bad reviews serve no purpose. The purpose of a bad review, of snark, of sarcasm is to attack false sincerity, false authority--to attack smarm.
It is reacting to smarm.
What is smarm, exactly? Smarm is a kind of performance—an assumption of the forms of seriousness, of virtue, of constructiveness, without the substance. Smarm is concerned with appropriateness and with tone. Smarm disapproves.
Smarm would rather talk about anything other than smarm. Why, smarm asks, can't everyone just be nicer?
The most significant explicator of the niceness rule—the loudest Thumper of all, the true prophetic voice of anti-negativity—is neither the cartoon rabbit nor the publicists' group nor Julavits, nor even David Denby. It is The Believer's founder and impresario, Dave Eggers. If there is a defining document of contemporary literary smarm, it is an interview Eggers did via email with the Harvard Advocate in 2000, in which a college student had the poor manners to ask the literary celebrity about "selling out."
In reply to the question, Eggers told the Advocate that yes, he was what people call a sellout, that he had been paid $12,000 for a single magazine article, that he had taken the chance to hang out with Puffy, and that he had said yes to all these opportunities because "No is for pussies."
. . .
This prominent Republican official slipped ambien into a woman's drink while at a Republican fundraiser and then raped her. Police urge other women that he has attacked to come forward.
Sources told several news outlets last week that Robert Kerns had gotten drunk and assaulted a woman following a GOP dinner in October.
On Tuesday, Kerns was taken into police custody and charged with rape of an unconscious victim, rape of a substantially impaired person, sexual assault, aggravated assault without consent, aggravated assault of a person unaware penetration was occurring and 8 other forms of assault.
He also faces charges of possession of an instrument of crime with intent, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence.
At a Tuesday press conference, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said the Grand Jury found that Kerns had “delivered a controlled substance and sexually assaulted a woman multiple locations.”
According to reporter Carl Hessler, authorities said that Kerns had drugged the woman by putting the insomnia medication Ambien in her drink during a Republican Party dinner. He then allegedly raped her multiple times when she lost consciousness.
According to WXII, deputies believe that 27-year-old William Monroe Simmons’ daughter was in a playroom unattended when the other 3-year-old shot her with a .22-caliber rifle that was left in the room.
The girl was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where she had surgery and was recovering from the bullet that apparently hit her arm and then traveled into her abdomen.
Simmons and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Melisa Ann Mumpower, were both charged with three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, one count of felony child abuse and one count of failure to properly store a firearm to protect minor. Randolph County deputies said that the misdemeanor child abuse charges were related to living conditions in the home.
Mumpower was in the home cleaning at the time the shooting occurred.
Two months after being published in the UK, Morrissey's autobio is due out in America. Only now with all the bits about his bisexuality removed.
Dahlia Lithwick is a national treasure. There is no one better at covering the Supreme Court and calling them on their shit.
There is almost no way for the Supreme Court to analyze the Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims or the First Amendment claims raised in the two challenges to the birth control mandate without contemplating the prospect of corporate personhood. Certainly the two religious families that own the businesses challenging the birth control mandate argue that the law’s bar on government efforts to "substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" applies to corporations as well as people. Hobby Lobby operates more than 500 arts-and-craft stores and employs about 13,000 people. It operates "in a manner consistent with biblical principles." (It’s closed on Sundays, for instance.) Conestoga Wood Specialties is a Pennsylvania woodworking firm run by a Mennonite family that employs almost 1,000 workers.
At least some appellate courts have been more than open to extending the corporate personhood metaphor as unfurled in Citizens United to include religious convictions as a component of corporate personhood. As the appeals court judge in the Hobby Lobby challenge explained in his majority opinion: “We see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation’s political expression but not its religious expression.” Because there is no way for the courts to assess which religious convictions are heartfelt and which are merely opportunistic, there can be no limiting principle here. If for-profit secular corporations have religious beliefs, companies run by Christian Scientists can be free to limit medical treatment and those run by Jehovah's Witnesses could object to paying for blood transfusions. Artificially created constructs that exist to shield owners from lawsuits will be able to shield owners from compliance with basic civil rights laws.
Meanwhile, and in a completely different context, the legal metaphor around what constitutes “personhood” has been stretched beyond recognition in another direction: Across the land, the personhood movement has been attempting for several years now to confer the status of legal personhood to fertilized eggs, granting them all the same civil rights as actual people, and thus effectively banning abortions and some forms of birth control. The federal version of the proposed personhood bill would grant a “one-celled human zygote” all of the “constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.”
The first video in the series is pretty good, too.
Using tax money to mislead people about healthcare, what could go wrong?
One effect of the liberal blowback: Traffic to the GOP’s site has increased tenfold in the past couple of days, CA GOP Assembly communications director Sabrina Lockhart told us. Geez, the site wasn’t getting much love at all when it first went live in August. And yes, it was created with taxpayer dollars as an informational site by the GOP.
“Assembly Republicans have made no secret of their concerns about the new law,” Lockhart said. “We’re just passing on information.”
The recent flurry in interest around the GOP site is “manufactured outrage on the Internet,” Lockhart said, “that is distracting people from the real problems” with the health care rollout. Like this.
Manufactured or not, the outrage Tuesday from the progressive Courage Campaign was pretty loud:
“It’s outrageous that our elected officials in California are using taxpayer dollars to intentionally mislead their constituents and divert them from CoveredCA.com,” said Dr. Paul Song, executive chairman of the Courage Campaign and a practicing oncologist. “Our state’s website is a model for the nation and single-handedly signing up more Americans for quality health coverage than all the other states combined, yet Republicans in Sacramento have wasted taxpayer dollars building a fake website in an attempt to sow confusion and fear, in a futile attempt to discredit the law.”
Last month, Attorney General Kamala Harris shut down 10 fake “private health insurance websites that misled Californians by imitating Covered California.” The GOP website was not among those listed among the “imitation” websites.
Snowflake PDF instructions at the link.
Of course the cop says he only broke the guy's arm because he was pulling out his wallet to exchange insurance information.
The officer, though, told authorities that the Mini Cooper driver had been the aggressor.
Walther Weiland, 64, said Officer Kevin Mansourian cut him off Feb. 17 on westbound Highway 24 in Orinda as the lanes merged near the Caldecott Tunnel.
After Weiland tried to pull around Mansourian, the off-duty officer rammed his Infiniti into Weiland's Mini Cooper, causing moderate damage, said the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland.
Weiland alleged that when he got out of his car to exchange insurance information, Mansourian screamed, "What the f- are you doing? I'm an off-duty police officer!"
Weiland asked to see his police identification, but Mansourian refused and slammed him to the ground, holding him there until a California Highway Patrol officer arrived, the suit said.
Weiland suffered a broken arm and was never charged criminally in the incident, said his attorney, Michael Haddad.
"Any time someone breaks another person's arm in a road rage incident, there should be consequences," Haddad said. "We're concerned that just because he's an officer, that he might be getting away with this."
"She said we weren't real Alabama fans because it didn't bother us that they lost. And then she started shooting," Shepherd told The Associated Press.
Shepherd said she and her sister were invited to the party by a mutual friend who also invited Briskey. About two dozen people were on hand.
Shepherd, the mother of three, was shot to death in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover and the women did not know each other before the party, Coker said.
Court records were not available to show whether Briskey has a lawyer. She has only had a couple of speeding tickets in the past, records show.
San Francisco State linguistics lecturer Jenny Lederer said the word "techie" may have started to pick up a set of inferences, which can make a benign, neutral word sound negative - so "techie," like how it's used in the song, may now conjure up ideas of gentrification and entitlement more than, for example, the terms "software engineer" or "tech worker" do.
Adding further insult, Lederer said: "The 'ie' suffix can sound belittling, like 'groupie' or 'yuppie.' The 'er' suffix in English is agentive, as in 'hacker,' thus sounds stronger."
She was not surprised that the terms "nerd" and "hacker" have become more popular.
"What we see with 'nerd' is amelioration, a word with a formerly negative connotation becoming more positive."
Next to a long line waiting to order at Sightglass, Drew Lyttle was at a table drawing.
"I do work at a startup, but I don't identify as a techie, no," said the 32-year-old Lyttle, who works as an illustrator for a gaming startup. "In this city, 'techie' is like 'hipster' - even if you are one, you don't want to identify."
"People talk about 'techies' with such disdain, like 'Oh, it's this thing that's swamping the city,' so of course the word's gotten negative."
He was sketching cartoon creatures for a new computer game - "I got called a yuppie the other day. And people in the Financial District would probably look at me and say, 'Oh God, another techie.' "
As always, it's workers who end up suffering the most.
At one point in Rhodes’ hour-long reading from the bench, he warned lawyers for the city that he will not “lightly or casually” approve cuts to pensions in the final bankruptcy resolution deal. At another, he said emergency manager Kevyn Orr “did mislead the public about the status of pensions in bankruptcy.” But those gentle reprimands will provide little comfort to the city’s 20,000 retired employees who lost their last buffers against health care cuts that begin early next year and pension cuts that are likely to be severe. If the city’s retirees are to avoid cuts, it will be because of charity rather than the legal system.
The basketball team's chartered plane broke down, so Delta bumped a bunch of people off their flights and sent them to other airports--by bus--to fly home. Those bumped people missed important events--a FUNERAL--while the ballers got to their game a day early.
At the expense of other travelers.
Delta, according to a report in the Gainesville Sun (via Gawker), told passengers on flight 5059 out of Gainesville that their flight was canceled thanks to maintenance issues on their plane. That’s when a few passengers saw the Florida basketball team boarding the plane instead. A Delta spokesperson told the Sun that “due to operational need and aircraft routing requirements as a result of the busy travel holiday,” the airline chose to cancel the commercial flight.
The flight was originally scheduled to leave Gainesville at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Florida’s game against UConn didn’t tip off until 7 p.m. Monday. So while the Gators landed in Connecticut about a day before their game, some of the original passengers weren’t so lucky. According to the Sun, one missed an appointment with a moving truck during a cross-country move. Another was a student who had to drive to Atlanta to make a required event. Yet another missed a funeral.
Delta’s spokesperson said all the passengers were booked on new flights. Some of those flights, however, originated from other airports in Jacksonville (80 miles away), Orlando (130 miles), and Tampa (140 miles), and at least one of the passengers had to wait until Monday to catch a flight. The airline also provided the passengers with vouchers for future flights, though it did not disclose the values. Delta is required by federal transportation law to compensate passengers who are bumped from flights, up to $650 if arrival is delayed by one to two hours and up to $1,300 if arrival is delayed longer. The Department of Transportation fined Delta $750,000 in June for violating laws regarding the involuntary bumping of passengers.
This school would rather have parents line up their cars on the highway than have a parent pick up his kids on foot.
So, when dad Jim Howe showed up on foot to retrieve his kids after school was out but before the line of cars had done its thing, he was told he had to wait in line like everybody else; never mind that he wasn’t driving a car. When Howe asked for his kids to be released to him, the deputy sheriff apparently took it as a challenge to his authority and, to make a long story short, handcuffed Howe and put him in the back of a law enforcement vehicle.
These people were monsters.
"Do you regret screwing your friend out of billions?" is an easy question to answer. It's a shame so many sociopath CEOs get it wrong.
When asked if he has any regrets, Spiegel did not provide the correct answer ("Yes, I regret imperially fucking over a close friend"), but instead stated, under oath, "I regret giving him so many chances ... He exploited my attempts at generosity." So there's your takeaway. Soak it in. Maybe he'll let you ride in the Ferrari someday.
Screenshots of ARCHER with "texts from last night" added.
If you're going to deep fry a turkey in a home-made frier, watch this videos to see how NOT to do it.
(This is yet another repost from my Snip, Burn, Solder Blog.)
So, I continue to write a column for the Ann Arbor Chronicle, this month focusing on Miss America 2014, the Miss America Pageant Organization, and local media (the 2014 winner, Nina Davuluri [she's the one on the right], is a U-M alum and was in Ann Arbor on Nov. 1 for a business conference, where I interviewed her).
The column begins by asking why I was the *only* member of the media who showed up to report on this--U-M, who hosted the event, had sent several different branches of its own internal and alumni media to cover the event, but no local paper or blog was there, nor were the Detroit Metro area papers. The column ends with me pointing out that the job of the media is to show up places and tell us what they see so that we can draw reasonable conclusions about the state of the world. In the middle, we have about 16 pages of Miss America history and analyzing Ms. Davuluri's business and marketing tactics, as well as American "diversity."
Anyway, here's a nice two-up of reactions to the column:
The upper tweet is, obviously, Miss America. The lower tweet is from someone who writes for the local paper I called out for not showing up.
Man, I don't know where to start with this. First off, what's with using the passive voice, Ace? The column wasn't twisted by some unknown force; I twisted it. I wrote the damn thing. See, that's the second line of the job description at the Ann Arbor Chronicle. The first line is Show the fuck up and the second is tell us what you saw.
Beyond that, this article didn't *twist.* It isn't like I started out *OMFG IM SITTIN WITH A BATHING BEAUTY!!1!* and then in the final graff pulled this wicked 180 and stabbed you in the back. I started out saying "Hey local media: Get off your fucking duffs and come see what's happening!" and then ended up saying "Hey local media: You are violating your contract with the readers by not showing up to report what's happening!"
I the last week I've thought about this a lot, because it's been a good week to reflect on how far new media has drifted from The Job (i.e., "showing up and saying what you see"). 50 years ago a barrier-breaking US president was murdered in Dallas. The reporters who showed up to watch his parade, they could not have expected a story: There was no speech scheduled for the damn parade route; it was just a dude cruising by in a convertible. But they showed up--because that's The Job--and something so terrible happened, something that fundamentally shook this country like nothing would until a clear-skied September morning in 2001.
No one knew that would happen--even Oswald must have had his doubts that he'd pull it off--because none of us know what is going to happen. That's *why* there's a job that consists of showing up and saying what you saw, because who knows what will happen where. Like a Boy Scout (incidentally, JFK was the first Scout elected PotUS), we must Be Prepared.
Likewise, no reporter could expect there to really be a *story* at Oswald's funeral: Assumed murder goes in box, box goes in ground. But they showed up, 'cause that's The Job--and several of them wound up being pall-bearers, because the funeral was so sparsely attended, and the attendees were almost all women and children.
That's a remarkable, weird, gonzo story. And it's a human story. And it is a story that allows us to reflect on what it means to be American and human, and to live in the age in which we live.
That's the result of doing The Job, and it is why The Job is a sacred Job, just like preaching and teaching and standing next to the bed for someone's beginning or end.
And I was the only one who showed up to do The Job--but not because our town and our county and our region lack for people paid to do something very much like The Job. It's just that the media has abandoned The Job, because they think they already know all the stories there are to tell, so why bother showing up? Why bother seeing what you see if you already know what you are going to write about it?
Incidentally, it's worth reading the comments to my column, too, because a Miss America volunteer wrote in with a counter-narrative. See, even though I did The Job, I still fell down--because I'm human, and because I'm living in the same 21st Century as all the other media people, the ones I excoriate for abandoning the Faith, and because I struggle under the same constraints of time and money and energy as every other ink-stained wretch since the dawn of the damned printing press. Just like the rest of the media, I retold a story about Lenora Slaughter--an early Miss America reformer--and racism in the pageant, a story that I'd gotten from *other* media folk. I parroted this line--because it was just *too* good not to repeat--without chasing down primary sources for verification and without digging deep enough into what I had to realize the limitations of what it really said. And so I missed one more really interesting facet to this story, and failed to give you all one more bright shard of what it means to be American then and American now.
But still, I did The Job, and despite the title of my column, I didn't do it for the money; I did it because it's what I owe you for agreeing to take The Job at all. You do The Job because, in the absence of The Job, this shit is just words, words, words, full of sound and fury, but signifying fuckall.
My favorite part is how he blew his half of the inheritance and is *just* about to blow his little sister's half, too.
He gets excoriated in the comments.
The Bitcoin boom has been wonderful for some people, obviously, but I am really struggling. Last year my father passed away (my mother passed away from cancer many years ago), and my sister and I were left with a large inheritance. I am 23 and my sister is only 17 (parents had us when they were somewhat older. The inheritance was placed entirely in my control to be split between my sister and I. He did not want her to have access to the money until she turned 21. I am tasked with assisting her with college payments, etc. I chose to liquidate the majority of the assets and was left with around $750,000. I am bitter about this because I was ripped off by a shifty individual taking advantage of my ignorance on some things. I should have gotten much more than I did.
I discovered Bitcoin a few years ago. I today greatly regret that the moment I liquidated the inheritance I didn't place the entirety of it into Bitcoin. With Bitcoin on the verge of making it very, very big I began performing arbitrage six months ago. The rising adoption has created volatility which makes it very good for arbitrage. I know of people that have made A LOT of money doing this, but I have now lost A LOT of money.
I am consistently misjudging the movement of the markets. I buy in and sell, not holding any long term positions. On the 19th, I bought 250 coins at $800; it was quickly rising and I was worried I would not be able to buy in at that price ever again. Immediately after my purchase it began tanking. I tried to hold my position hoping it was just temporary and would return to $800 and increase from there. After hitting around $600 it began to increase again, I viewed this as reaffirming my projection. It rose again to around $700. I held my position into the 20th, it dropped to $500 and that was my sell point hoping to minimize my losses. I lost $75,000 in an almost 24/hr period. This was my fastest and almost largest single trade loss. If I had continued to hold I would be able to sell right now with minimal losses.
I have "made" money on trades, but overall the losses have kept me in the red. As of today, over the past 7 months I have lost a total of $410,000. The inheritance was supposed to be split between my younger sister and I, giving us each $375,00 half of the house (not worth much, rural area, etc).
However, I don't have a legal obligation to provide her with half of the money, that was a verbal contract between my father and I, the in-writing legal stuff allocates it all to me. I made the mistake of telling her that I invested the money in Bitcoin; she has read the news etc on it, so she is under the assumption that there is a lot more money than there actually is. Regardless, I have already paid her first year of college tuition in cash anyway, this was around $30,000. I also bought her a used car to take to college ($5,000). We later found out they don't want freshman to have cars?? So we might sell it and I can give her that money. Ultimately, in addition to other living expenses, bills, car, etc I have around $280,000 left which is currently all liquid.
Now, if you took the time to read all of that, thank you, sorry it was so long. What I am looking for is advice on how to trade. How can I guarantee that I earn high returns? What are good resources on how to trade Bitcoin? Are there any good books to read on trading? General information I may be missing?
. . .
(This is reposted from my Snip, Burn, Solder Blog--'cause I figured Mojonauts might be down with this project, too.)
The Magazine--a really excellent digital periodical--is doing a Kickstarter to fund an annual print edition. You should *really* consider kicking in $30, like, immediately to get a copy. Barring that, $15 is a great deal--gets you a one-year subscription at about 40 percent off--and even a buck or five helps.
That annual print edition--which is really the brass ring on this one--is gonna be a big, fat hardcover with 130 of the most-notable articles, color glossy pictures, the whole shebang. Here's a layout preview--which happens to feature the first article I wrote for them, about the world's greatest aftermarket "lens" for doing old-school pinhole photography with catching-edge consumer-grade digital cameras. Backers who come in at $30 or more (as of this writing) will get the hardcover, plus DRM-free digital editions of the book. (You can back at a lower level and still get some pretty sweet swag, though. For example, if you come in at $15 you get a one-year subscription, which normally retails for ~$20--and costs, like, $24 if you buy it monthly, like I do, because I'm a damn rube).
If you're one of this "I Give a Damn About the Future of Long-Form Journalism and Think Pieces," then you should be backing this project; The Magazine is basically the only forward looking periodical I've come across. They pay well, and the editors are meticulously ethical, extremely scrupulous, and great to work with--every story becomes the best possible version of itself.
Also, *DISCLOSURE* if this project funds, I'll get a reprint payment of a couple hundred dollars. They don't *have* to do this--not with the contract I signed; they've already paid me for the work. They are *choosing* to do this because it's the right thing to do. Like I said, if there's a future in this non-fiction thing, The Magazine is that future.
The ObamaCare rollout is going really well in Kentucky.
Now it was the beginning of another day, and a man Lively would list as Client 375 sat across from her in her office at a health clinic next to a Hardee’s.
“So, is that Breathitt County?” she asked Woodrow Wilson Noble as she tapped his information into a laptop Thursday morning.
“Yeah, we live on this side of the hill,” said Noble, whose family farm had gone under, who lived on food stamps and what his mother could spare, and who was about to hear whether he would have health insurance for the first time in his 60-year-old life.
This is how things are going in Kentucky: As conservatives argued that the new health-care law will wreck the economy, as liberals argued it will save billions, as many Americans raged at losing old health plans and some analysts warned that a disproportionate influx of the sick and the poor could wreck the new health-care model, Lively was telling Noble something he did not expect to hear.
“All right,” she said. “We’ve got you eligible for Medicaid.”
Places such as Breathitt County, in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky, are driving the state’s relatively high enrollment figures, which are helping to drive national enrollment figures as the federal health exchange has floundered. In a state where 15 percent of the population, about 640,000 people, are uninsured, 56,422 have signed up for new health-care coverage, with 45,622 of them enrolled in Medicaid and the rest in private health plans, according to figures released by the governor’s office Friday.
If the health-care law is having a troubled rollout across the country, Kentucky — and Breathitt County in particular — shows what can happen in a place where things are working as the law’s supporters envisioned.
The superintendent of school, two teachers and the coach were arrested on a host of charges stemming from their attempt to cover up football players gang-raping a teenage girl.
This brings to six the number of people the grand jury has indicted after two students were convicted in March of rape, DeWine said.
Superintendent Michael McVey was the only one of the four to be charged Monday with felonies: a count of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice. He also is charged with two misdemeanors: making a false statement and obstructing official business.
In March, Steubenville High School football players Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays were convicted of the rape, which authorities said took place at a party in August 2012. Photos and videos of the incident made their way onto social media and attracted national attention.
A grand jury then began probing whether others should be charged. In October, it indicted William Rhinaman, 53, the director of technology for Steubenville City Schools, on charges of tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, obstructing official business and perjury.
Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correctional facility. Mays got two years. If convicted, Rhinaman could be sentenced to four years in prison, which is longer than the two teens convicted of rape will serve.
Oh Wise Giant Squid,
Is the rumor true that, following your regrettable but necessary relocation from Cincinnati to Detroit, the three remaining covert whale sushi bars in the former city did go bankrupt and close their carefully hidden doors forever?
Most obsequiously your,
Somewhere in Southern California
Dear Luminator Thelms,
Whenever I happen to become acquainted to a new "average Joseph"—especially an average Joseph who is investing in one of my many endeavors—there comes a point when that person abruptly refuses to believe I am real. Despite my physically imposing presence, despite my ornately crafted supra-mersible walking suit, despite my complex laboratory and life support system, they believe this—which is to say "I"—am all a joke. Faced with the terror of my presence they curl back their upper lips, put hand to hip, swagger and make jests. They hear my voice and imagine there is a barrel-chested Brian Blessed hiding in a cupboard, shouting into a microphone. They look upon my all-too-brief presidency and say, "That certainly was an odd prank," and then blame Jon the Steward of Stephen Cold Bear for such puckish political japery.
During this initial phase—one that I have labeled "Denial"—inevitably one of three words is uttered. Rob and Molly once printed Bingoing cards, distributing them among the office hands, so that when investors came to visit we could make sport of their reaction.
The most common word surely is "Calimari." I have addressed this at length previously and have no desire to explore it again here.
Secondly, the word "sushi" is presented like a child handing a worm they found half-buried in the mud to a distracted parent. And thirdly they mention "whales." I am tired of talking of whales.
So I shall talk of sushi. It is a word that irks me. Often the office will plan lunch outings. Typically this is on Tuesdays. I desire peace and quiet when I craft this column out of electrons and sweat. (Note: I do not sweat. I am a cephalopod, not a mammal. I use the term "sweat" here in a purely figurative sense.) These lunches, which should by occasions of repose, instead seem to only create strife. My hidden microphones pick up the sounds of complaint, the nasal whine of injustice, the gruff tones of surly indifference. I am given to understand that the first lunches went off swimmingly, but as time progressed fights erupted over locales in which to dine. Now they operate on a rotating schedule: Molly chooses the location on the first Tuesday of the month, Rob the second, Devo the third. On Fourth Tuesdays they bring guests along, like Mr. Leeks from accounting, or my typist Jarwaun and his smaller brother Trael. Whereas once they had chosen together a place to eat, now they have factioned and balkanized along partisan lines. Rob always chooses the Coney Isles, desiring their tasty, widening gyros. Devo almost exclusively demands they pay fealty to Mexican Town's savage Xochimilco, the Sleeplessly Dreaming restaurant from a Dimension Behind Time. And Molly, Molly craves novelty. Each month she seeks out a new cuisine in the suburbs of this crumbling necropolis, much to her mealmen's ongoing pique and whinge.
In April, Molly chose a sushi restaurant. Her eat-mates were uninterested.
"I don't like raw things," Devo explained, "Or seaweed-based things—basically anything that belongs in a little styrofoam cup next to a tackle box."
"Yeah, and Sake gets me too fucked up," Rob muttered, "I think 'cause when alcohol is hot—like heat-hot—it skips your liver, like, fuckin' entirely and goes straight to whatever organ makes you wanna punch a dude for wearing a little fucking paper hat and grinning."
"Spleen," Devo opined, "That's your spleen; sake makes you mad-splenetic."
"True," Rob nodded, "True that."
"So don't get the sake. Get a, I don't know, Sapporo or Asahi or something." Molly wheedled. "And Devo, the Japanese have been eating sushi for centuries. Maybe millennia. It's totally safe, despite what you maybe saw on the Simpsons."
I have an allergy to factual errors which causes swelling of both my spleen and gall bladder, and thus felt the need to chime in. "THE WORD SUSHI DOES NOT REFER TO RAW FISH IN JAPANESE. THAT IS A COMMON AMERICAN MISCONCEPTION. IT REFERS INSTEAD TO THE PROCESS OF WRAPPING THE MORSELS IN RICE AND NORI PAPER—WHICH IS INDEED CRAFTED OF SEAWEED, DEVO. THERE IS NO REASON IT NEEDS TO BE SERVED RAW."
My staff claimed I was being pedantic, to which I pointed out that I have no feet and so by definition I could not and never would be pedantic.
"You have crazy screwed up that etymology," Devo opined, "pedantic is Greek-rooted, not Latin; the word has the same root as pedagogue, which comes from paidagogos; see the ped- isn't like the ped- in pedal, it's from paid-, which meant boy, because—"
But my point was made. Sushi, as a word, is incorrect and wrong, a mote in my eye as surely as the sophomoric stylings of a David Spade or a Carroted-Top.
But I digress. I never ate at these establishments you speak of, if they truly did exist—I asked Jarwaun to research them; although he too could find no answers, he later had the haunted mein of a man who has seen too much, all too much, on the Google Image Search. This is why the good Google has chosen to give unto us the SafeSearch, and yet do we activate it? No; such is our enduring folly.
What is most important is this: Whale meat tastes terrible. Human flesh may be fatty and loaded with carcinogens, preservatives, cornified syrups, and disease, but it is widely known that eating the flesh of man—or lady—gives one heightened senses, great strength, an alacrity of body, and an overall sanguine spirit. Likewise, squid is known the world over as the most delectable meat one can eat, a potent aphrodisiac, a palliative panacea, an efficacious hair-tonic, and a deliciously fat-free personal lubricant. I am proud of this fact. I am beautiful to the tongue. Whale, dear Mr. Thelms, is bilious: it tastes of hate and anger and pain, of the cheating at crosswords and the leaving of sub-sufficient gratuities. It is like eating a flesh made of ashes and regret and cheap, ignorant snobbery.
Whale sushi is a myth, a dare, a bad idea. Their meat—like their—culture is worthless and vile, even when dipped in the ranch dressing.
The Giant Squid
Love the Giant Squid? Buy his first book.
For as long as I sing;
You do not weep nor listen to the beat of my heart...
Just glisten while I weep
For sorrow is my soul mate;
A mating damp in my loin.
Worries are nothing but the captain of my ship
A ship coupled in lust and love,
Lust and love?
I am a captain of their enigma
Wondering when my urges will differentiate between them.
The same urges that left me wet last night,
The same love that quenched my ugly urge,
I wonder how many of you
Have had their hearts decorated before
I had mine decorated before;
A red ribbon round the hem,
Purple to show my kindness,
Pink to let you know I care,
Upon all I toasted it with love for you!
But then you shredded my heart into pieces,
You pierced it before the sun
And tattooed it before my adversaries
Like a virgin's night out...
You broke it
I am gone;
From your warm bosom built with chisels.
But I wonder who will mend this heart.
But as you hear my story, do not cry.
Just glisten while I cry!
Onyenezi Chika Victor still lives in Nigeria, writing from the cities of Owerri and Enugu. He is an editor for AuthorMe.com.