Wednesday, April 25, 2007

open note to Yasser Seirwan II: Pulling off to Nowhere

Before I leave bullet chess [0/4= 12 sec to start at ICC so that 2:52 (-) for 40 moves, or 3:32 for 50 moves, avoids silly mouse craze] for my run (believe it or not, far less for fitness—I am a lifelong runner, truly—but to help my sleep), let me note, somehow we had a horrid housing environment a month ago, a slowing economy immanent to occur, an adverse fed, and raising oil.

Now we have China pulling the train, multinational oil to pull the market up, DAX and FTSE pulling, benign long interest rates, a purported neutral fed, M&A craze they say that can go on for a long time (Goldman and Morgan provide what are called, ‘strategic relationships’, ‘advice’ on pricing strategy, and ‘access to markets’, and imprimatur and gravitas and the sanction of their making legitimate vast fees for service…), and

the powers that be such as not only financial Colossae and underwriters and investment bankers, but TMT, technology, media, and telecom all having every incentive to tell us and install belief that all is well again, so they can sell more Pepsi, offer more mortgages, buy the sub-prime lenders cheap but not so cheap as to embarrass their total failure to see it, sell more advertising slots on television, at higher prices. Wew. Too bad the bees are telling us either by toxins or disruptive ELF radio waves or high frequency waves, to their tender sensors, are now making our planet inhospitable to them, so that once pollination stops

we can go into a white death of deforestation, famine, and burn up in a flame of inspired white heat, merging eventually with the Aurora Borealis, which, thankfully, just as Thoreau says:

“thank god they cannot cut down the clouds”, is one big asset that ‘they’ cannot monetize, unless it be fear, in somebody selling movie rights to be made about immanent eco-collapse paralleling social decay and dis-Integration in a hyped up, glamorized spectacle watched indoors in cool theatres eating popcorn.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Henry Rollins, On BRAVO

I just saw Henry Rollins, Uncut in Israel. He is amazing. Articulate, hip, and forceful, he is a person to be reckoned with. Here is a link to his video, Letter to Ann Coulter, posted on YouTube.



'Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud
Says America is for him a maximum-security prison whose walls

Are made of Radio Shacks and Burger Kings and MTV episodes
Where you can’t tell the show from the commercials;

And as I contemplate how full of bull I think he is,
He says that even when he’s driving to the mall in his Isuzu

Trooper with a gang of his friends, letting rap music pour over them
Like a boiling jacuzzi full of ballpeen hammers, even then he feels

Buried alive, captured and suffocated in the folds
Of the thick satin quilt of America.

And I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain,
or whether he is just spin-doctoring a better grade.

And then I remember that when I stabbed my father in the dream
last night, It was not blood but money

That gushed out of him, bright green hundred-dollar bills
Spilling from his wounds, and --this is the weird part--,

He gasped, “Thank God--those Ben Franklins were
Clogging up my heart--

And so I perish happily,
Freed from that which kept me from my liberty”--

Which is when I knew it was a dream since my dad
Would never speak in rhymed couplets

And I look at the student with his acne and cell phone and phony
ghetto clothes, And I think, “I am asleep in America too,

And I don’t know how to wake myself either”
And I remember what Marx said near the end of his life:

”I was listening to the cries of the past,
when I should have been listening to the cries of the future.”

But how could he have imagined 100 channels of 24-hour cable
Or what kind of nightmare it might be

When each day you watch rivers of bright merchandise run past you
And you are floating in your pleasure boat upon this river

Even while others are drowning underneath you
And you see their faces twisting in the surface of the waters

And yet it seems to be your own hand
Which turns the volume higher?'

---Tony Hoagland
Printed with permission of the author

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I can tell you exactly why, not only has much heat come down on Imus--*and I am VERY glad*--but-why so many advertisers are pulling out: he is a boob. A real jerk. What is a jerk? A jerk is someone who delights in upsetting others, someone who is mean. Simply put, someone who is NOT nice.

And that so much opinion has shifted so fast, only proves that this was a latent tendency all along, or in the last few years, set like a trigger, simply only needing a catalyzing event. Hubris comes to roost.

I never understood his fame or his popularity. A real curmudgeon. He is negative, self centered, and full of it. I have watched him minutes at a time in the last year, on late night television, and have been at times fascinated at how this guy is so popular, and what it says about us! His is the sort of person who, like Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke as explained by Director Kevin Costner in the New York Times interview or on BRAVO's Inside The Actor's Studio with James Lipton was it--I cannot recall which it was, or similar to Humphrey Bogart, has assumed power by not acknowledging or approving of anyone, looking at his own toes, leaving other, lesser persons craving his attention because they so copiously refuse to lend any of it. Fascinating if you watch him do it--his major modus operendae.

And the rapidity of this fallout, with overlapping ownerships and business relations among advertisers, broadcasters, and big sponsors only underles or underscores the nepotism and cronyism of large media.

This is a big event, his undoing, because he A. deserves it, B. we have worshipped such an acerbic and caustic and destructive person, and, perhaps most important of all, C. large media has quickly perceived a chance to monetize his mishap, to their advantage, terminating contracts, pulling advertising dollars, and similar.

Now all we need to do is see if he is quickly snatched up by SIRIUS Satellite, for what would be, in the end, more money and more fame in a perhaps less regulated market embodying severe cultural decline, if not incipient ecological dissolution, in the last gold rush here in our country, where the hill is left barren afterwards, and all the minerals taken offshore for reinvestment elsewhere.