And so.

Aug. 14th, 2011 01:08 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Did someone say mindless banter?)
I return! How are things with you, my English-speaking buddies?

I hope you all had a good summer, or at least a tolerable one. Mine was quite nice - four hours of language class and five hours of language homework every day, interspersed with calligraphy and tai chi. So really it was heaven, for some people. Okay, for me.

I'm trying to catch up on the summer news, but all this ~debt ceiling~ and ~ratings downgrade~ business just looks like so much posturing and political hooey. I wish the dudes who want to kill what's left of the American welfare state would just shoot it already, cut Social Security and Medicare now and be mobbed for their evils. They won't, tho.

London's news is at least real. Russell Brand, of all people, comes close to articulating a portion of my thoughts on the Jobless Generation:

"These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.

If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together."


But his proposed solution is for everyone to suddenly become Gandhi, so fuck him.

I anticipate, with drier detachment than I deserve, many more youth riots to come. Obama's taught us that our votes don't matter; that in the end all our hopey-changey political ambitions only enriched the banks, lost more jobs, and cut our parents' Medicare. What other outlet do we have?

Wow, that went downhill fast. Tell me something that happened in the last two months? I'm sure I'm missing much.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Popcorn.)
Johann Hari – the best journalist I'd never heard of. That I first heard of him in regards to Kenneth Tong was the only possible palliative to having to hear of Kenneth Tong at all.

He links in turn to Jack of Kent, an eloquent and interesting lawyer-type. His posts on Love, Actually and the War on Terror and the Goering testimony at Nuremburg especially have stuck with me.

P.S.: Tom DeLay got three years! Fuck yeah. Also, I love that he calls Travis County of Austin, Texas the most liberal county in America. Ha. HA.

Slam that jackass behind bars already. Do it now, do it do it do it.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
WikiLeaks versus the world.

Frank Rich: Gay-bashing at the Smithsonian.

New Zealand's rugby team, the All Blacks, may be losing its awesome haka. Depending whether the tribe that originated it successfully trademarks the chant.

American Monopoly: the race game. 1970 version.

And what the twenty-somethings are doing when we can't get jobs. If gradschool doesn't take me, well. There are other plans to be made.

Merry Christmas Eve, all. I'm off to go sketch the beach.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Karma will get you back)
Do everyone a favor, will you? Go on the World of Warcraft forums for a week. Under a girl's name.

Be a girl for a week. That's it. Seven days. You can afford to take that much vacation from being Mark Zuckerberg.

And then you may try to tell me we don't need pseudonyms on the internet.

You will never – ever – reach a full understanding of the life of someone who has to put up with this kind of shit every day. But you will get an inkling of the vast gap in your current awareness of human society on this earth.

Try it. Try being a girl for a week. Or if that's too threatening to your privileged psyche, try a Chinese name on for size. Try being anyone other than the white boy from Harvard that you are, and see how much of an issue your "identity" suddenly becomes to other people. See how badly it interferes with what you're trying to do, and who you actually are. See how inconvenient and yes, inefficient, using your real name can be if that real name is feminine or nonwhite.

Go on, try it. It's the internet – no one will know. At least, not until you have your way.

I read the Time feature, and frankly your vision of the future is revolting. An internet without strangers. Go on Amazon, and see only your Friends' reviews. Read webforums, and see only your Friends' posts. Stay within the same group of people, no matter where you go. Holy christ. If I had grown up reading only the books the people around me read, watching the movies the people around me watched, spammed entirely with the advertising Liked by my peer-pressure-mandated Friends?

I might have taken years to come out of the closet. I might have taken years to leave my hometown. I would never have gone to Sweden, I certainly wouldn't have gone to Tasmania. I might not even have made it to Japan. How long would it have taken, in your vision of the future, for me to find a gay adult who made it out okay? There wasn't one there in my existing social network. I had to get on the internet, and talk to strangers.

You're not pitching something new. You're giving us something we've already outgrown. You think everyone wants to have the same old people, the same old closed networks, everywhere, with us, forever.

Because it's all a very good deal for you and those like you, born into privilege, grown into power, surrounded forever by other Exeter boys who like what you like and do what you do. But for those of us who would like to move up a little, maybe change the class structure that you're so far into you don't even see, or maybe just those of us who want to go somewhere different and meet someone new, the internet is our best tool. You would take that away, and not even realize you were doing it.

Because of course you could go anywhere and meet anyone, with your passport and your skin and your name, and not feel the slightest danger or threat. So why can't we? I hear you cry. Why can't we use our real names for everything, online and off?

So I'm daring you. Be a girl for a week. Find out.


With all my heartfelt and pseudonymous contempt,

Lina D.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Dragon kitten!)
So the abacus is making a comeback in Japanese elementary schools! I'm really enjoying this; I truly truly hope it will spread back into common use because it busts wide open plenty of dumb myths about math being hard. Learning your times tables by rote is hard. Using an abacus - including a mental one - is easy. And hey, helping our kids focus and use their right-brains in math class? BONUS PLUS.

I guess it must seem like I'm just adding images in my posts to spice them up now, but I really DO come across a lot of good ones at work. Here's today's winner:
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[livejournal.com profile] hezul turned me on to this excellent card-game-to-be entitled Cards Against Humanity, which I went ahead and backed because, Apples To Apples for horrible people? Hell yes. You should back it! I want my special print copy of this stuff and so do you.

While I was dinking around Kickstarter, which is a neat use of the internet if there ever was one, I came across this stroke of genius and was very tempted. My only obstacle: I don't have an iPod nano. I WOULD ALMOST GET ONE JUST TO HAVE IT AS A WATCH. it would be faster at playing my tunez than my PHONE, anyhow. Rrgh.

Today's post was brought to you by the word concupiscence. There is really nothing like translating art film reviews from Japanese that got there by way of Czech.

The NYC Commission On Human Rights is apparently investigating Continental. That's the 5 shots for $10 bar at the mouth of Astor Place, the one you always saw and thought 'oh hey, cheap booze' but never went into because it was too early in the day, or it looked skeezy, or the bouncer gave you the evil eye for no good reason. ANYway, they're under the microscope for accusations that they turn folks away at the door on account of being black. And/or Indian. In Astor Place, New York City, twenty-first century.* There's a protest before the bar tonight, waving signs, chanting slogans and raising awareness; organized by Answer Coalition. (Looks like a bunch of students, all geared up and ready to Stop War and End Racism!! Well... godspeed, kids.)

Maybe 30-40 noisy folks were staring down the bouncer across the wide sidewalk? Not even blocking ped traffic - in fact, making a friendly effort to direct spectators not to! - but definitely drawing attention. Also 3 or 4 NYPD out behind the parked plain car, behind them all in the street. All these were big white guys, couldn't help but note.

I asked after the commission's report, and the organizer said I could find it on their website; can't seem to find a listing there, though. Or even a good idea of what it will do, should it come out negative.

*I'm absolutely aware that there's racism in the 21st century. What boggles me is these people seem to think they can get away with a particular and very visible type of segregation that went out of style and out of favor decades ago. They should have the report come down on their asses for being racists, but they should get extra penalties for being dumb as new shit.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Gremio faceless)
A man on the 6 train in a plastic mask and butterfly wings followed up one of the MTA announcements in an imitation of the officious voice: "Ladies and gentlemen, backpacks and handbags are subject to random search by the police." And what he said, in fair mimicry of the Official Message intonation:

"Ladies and gentlemen, search of your bags and backpacks is a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Don't be distracted from the way corporations are buying out our civil liberties, one at a time. Please, talk about it with your friends and neighbors. This is not a conspiracy theory; it's the truth. Thank you for riding MTA Public Transit, and for listening to this slightly creepy message, regardless of whether it came from a strange guy in a wolf mask and butterfly wings. Be safe, stay alert, and have a good day."

He got a little applause. After day after day of the same recycled speech from the vagrant and homeless, it was unexpected, and that added to its charm. A new form of public discourse? Always building on the old.

I liked also that he wasn't yelling it, wasn't demanding the attention of his captive audience. He was just being utterly deadpan, which I suppose comes with the premise of making subway speeches while clad entirely in your shopping from The Halloween Store.

---

Anonymous is coming to the aid of Wikileaks with a voluntary botnet unleashing a series of attacks known collectively as Operation Payback. I do like the idea of Anonymous as our unstoppable force to keep information free, our watchdogs against large, corporate assholes who are "misusing the internet."

---

p.s., what the hell, San Francisco?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Why don't I live here already?

Dude!

Sep. 19th, 2010 09:46 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Kitten Teddy!)
Who wants to book a bus and a hostel to Washington DC with me on October 30th?

10/30/10. Rally to Restore Sanity: a Stewart/Colbert stunt. Because politics is farce.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

At this point I am near convinced: there is no particular character trait for survival. There is no unique or rare drive that pushes a particular person to live through crisis. There is a natural determination to continue, a desire as much for whatever ideal status quo one adheres to as for life itself, that's common to all of us. There's physical strength and fitness. And then - predominantly - there's luck.

I'm just about to the point of rejecting survival by emotional merit. For every strong kid who makes it there's stronger, more stubborn, arguably more virtuous little bastards who don't.

These authors are talking about the kid characters in their survival stories as clearing the levels of their "real-life" video games. (Present-day fiction.) Press the right buttons, jump with the right timing, and ding! You survived genocide. +10 charisma.

Annoyed. Yes.

Other hand! When they start talking about what they know, i.e. storytelling & its naturally-occurring multiple mediums, and how getting stories through video games and movies and comics is not somehow qualitatively inferior to reading books, as an absolute, they're not utterly hopeless. I suppose.

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Jesus saves)
I'm pretty sure you can be theocratic, or you can be ecumenical... but not both at once.

At least the athiests are having fun.


Sat and listened to tales of Abbie Hoffman today. Is individual influence on political thought truly a thing of the past? Now that revolutionaries are not forcibly silenced, only marginalized to obscurity.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Cuba policy change!!


\o/!!

Decent start! Thanks, dood. Reminding me why we elected you.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Justice for all)




I'm catching up on Get Your War On again. It's a bit like taking a punch to the gut for every one you see delivered to the horrifyingly insane bastards in power for the past eight precious years of our lives.

Pity all their videos are screwed up. Huffpost.com redirects everything, most annoying.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Gremio faceless)
Yeah. I'm sick.

Yick.

In better news, meet the new Attorney General.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
OBAMA.

|D

fuck, I want somebody to celebrate with.

PS: via catsprite. )
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Reading up on Chris Buckley resigning from the National Review (his dad's rag! holy crap?) after his 'Bam endorsement over on Tina Brown's blogsite. Buckley was brilliant on the Daily Show, must say. But uh. Resigning? Obviously if reader reaction was half as harsh as he says then it was the calm and cool-headed thing to do, yes. But!

"Were his pup still alive, Buckley said, "what my dear old dad probably would have done is taken out two pages and had me roundly denounced, carcass tossed out on the sidewalk. It would have been journalism. It would have been interesting." "

WaPo article

And it would have been something I would actually want to read. Honestly, what does it say when the news ABOUT the writing is more interesting than the news IN the writing? If NR wanted readership, why not have sparkling, sparking writership? Journalistic segregation only makes the entire exercise boring. I don't want to read the NR. I want to read about the way the NR reacted to dissent in its ranks.

(Come to think of it, Joe Lieberman and John McCain, in days gone by, were interesting for just the same reason. Of course, this was before either of them sold out, sacrificing the actual dissent for the chance to leverage their newfound appeal into ultimately cheap political capital.)

Maybe after this election we can have a rag or a show with legitimately different voices again, maybe even engaged in actual productive debate. The NYT's barely cut it for the former, and just doesn't have the space or inclination to manage the latter. As well it shouldn't: it's supposed to be largely about the actual news.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Maya love!)



it... it's so beautiful. |D
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Geez. That actually describes kind of a fair amount of Japan at the moment. The last couple decades have seen the firm entrenchment of a system that pulls up the venerable and experienced without making much allowance for those new to the workforce. Now the top class of employed is retiring fast and people in middle age have gotten discouraged and disillusioned with a system that's kept them in the same line for twenty years, and don't see much personal benefit to stepping directly into their oppressive forbears' outdated shoes.

OR SO I THINK.

I'M DRUNK

Sep. 7th, 2008 01:02 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Hello My Name Is)
so this may not be NEARLY so brilliant when I look at it tomorrrow

but FOR YOUR EDIFICATION, here is Lina's drunken ramblings on the state of Japanese politics.


[12:52am] DK: Well, I guess they have their own political ISSUES at the moment
[12:52am] Arkstar: YEAH
[12:52am] Arkstar: just a BIT
[12:53am] DK: Didn't the head of the government resign or something
[12:53am] Arkstar: YEAH
[12:53am] Arkstar: not that this was a NEW thing
[12:53am] Arkstar: but it was kinda, 'jeez what NOW, you crazy old men'
[12:55am] Arkstar: and also 'okay, so our ruling party is kinda made of senile dumbasses. What's the alternative?'
[12:55am] Arkstar: 'uh... we never had one.'
[12:55am] Arkstar: 'uh, humn. well. Did we actually need a prime minister?'
[12:55am] Arkstar: 'idfk, what does one do'
[12:55am] Arkstar: 'NOT MUCH'
[12:55am] Arkstar: 'then I guess NO'
[12:56am] Arkstar: there you go, that's Japanese politics right now
[12:56am] DK: wow
[12:56am] Arkstar: there's a play written but the actors are all retired.
[12:57am] Arkstar: yyyyep.



ps I have a bruise on my thigh the size of two quarters. Go me. Fuck you, bike accident, even if I am glad you weren't even serious enough for me to fall all the way over. And NO, I didn't bike while DRUNK, this was this afternoon. >///

Palin!?

Aug. 30th, 2008 11:52 am
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Sarah Palin!? Are you fucking kidding me. How dumb do they think women are.

I'm looking at this, and looking and looking, and all I can see is that this is a move based on an assumption of the fundamental stupidity of American women voters. You can't have Hillary, so why not vote for an anti-choice woman with wayyyy less experience than Obama? SHE'S GOT THE XX, LADIES, VOTE FOR HER. Never mind that she's apparently being investigated, currently, for abuse of power of the governorship. Jesus.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, now, I woulda been worried. KBH would have been a fucking scary choice for a McCain win. But Palin? She's not a VP. She's barely a VP candidate. Are they even thinking about what happens if (god forbid) they get to the White House? Because all this looks like is a move designed to feed the polls.

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arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Arkster

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