spaceship no future

politics

silly season

One of the most vexing things about election year politics in the Bush era is that the only defensible stance is that Bush or his ilk must not win; it becomes impossible to criticize the opposition candidate without being accused of fifth columnism. And if that was true in 2000 and 2004, when the Democratic Party was offering up dull lumps like Al Gore1 and John Kerry, it’s likely that things are going to be especially fierce this year, now that the Democratic candidate actually possesses considerable appeal and charisma….

another year for me and you

In which fhazel and c.libre hurtle themselves five years back into time to save the world.

behind the scenes

“Working at his desk in the Oval Office, President Bush reviews the State of the Union address line-by-line and word-by-word.”

mouse 7, us 2

The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionalilty of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Copyright protection in the U.S. originally covered creative works for a ‘limited time’ of 14 years, striking a balance between the need for financial incentive to create original works and the need for a rich public domain. Congress has since extended copyright lengths a number of times; the current copyright term lasts for 95 years. It’s not unlikely that copyright duration will be extended again as lucrative works threaten to fall into the…

I always feel like somebody’s watching me

Turn me in, I’m overdue

in the interest of equal time

Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by Incapacity. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction. When thou seest an Eagle, thou seest a portion of Genius. Lift up thy head! Exuberance is Beauty….

A message from a very special guest columnist

Be careful not to parade your religion before others; if you do, no reward awaits you with your Father in heaven. When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; they love to say their prayers standing up in synagogues and at street corners for everyone to see them. Truly I tell you: they have their reward already. But when you pray, go into a room by yourself, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in…

One Thing We All Agree On

“Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,And the Catholics hate the Protestants, And the Hindus hate the Moslems,And everybody hates the Jews. But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week, It’s National Everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood Week.” In 1965 Tom Lehrer made people laugh at the type of cosmetic solutions with which we try to combat bigotry and hatred. Unfortunately, it’s usually the truth behind a good satire that makes it funny. Almost 40 years after Tom Lehrer’s ode to getting along and 14 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, we’re…

Happy Loyalty Day!

A patriotic celebration of May Day, as well as a joyful reminiscence on its origins.

je ne me rendrai jamais, où, travaillez jamais

On hating work and learning from the French

Let slip the hogs of war

Now that the brave men and women of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines have all but vanquished their foes in Afghanistan (with modest assistance from the Northern Alliance), we’re all dying to know who we can kill next. Where else has evil been rearing its swarthy, freedom-hating head? A new CNN poll is asking this very question. It looks something like this: Who should our next adversary be in the war against terror? Them Them Them Them Take note, Benedict Arnolds, there is no fifth…

It’s about us

John Walker, 20-year old Talib discovered recently in the aftermath of a prison uprising in Northern Afghanistan, has become a nexus of contention in rhetorical-political space. Less than one week after Attorney General John Ashcroft’s “Shut Up, You Traitors” appearance before Congress, and in the light of recent op-eds somehow linking American liberalism and the young Walker, its become apparent that the treason-jargon has expanded to reveal a pattern of severe dissociation. Walker is being made into a symbol, and before we know anything about his context. But - this…

My monoculture can beat up your monoculture

Here in the U.S., when we’re not marveling over F-16 fighter footage, squinting at grainy green-tinted flashes of light over the Kabul skyline, or counting anthrax victims, more and more of us are spending our time in our parlors and our drawing rooms pondering the superiority of our culture. (I’m rather fond of Western post-Enlightenment culture myself, at least bits of it; I especially like video games, cartoons, gangster movies, and Chinese food.) So all the pundits are holding forth on the culture clash between “modernity” and “Islam,” and…

“I fear no evil, for You are with me.”

“They are buying your happiness. Steal it.”

A Democratic senator from South Carolina and lobbyists from the entertainment industry are planning to introduce a bill that will require manufacturers of computer equipment to embed federally “certified security technologies.” According to Wired, the bill, called the SSSCA (the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act), will make it a felony offense to distribute copyrighted materials with security measures disabled or to even attach a computer with disabled copyright protection to a network. Creating, selling, or distributing “any interactive digital device” (read: hardware or software) that does not utilize…

We all lost.

Okay, so Bush didn’t win yet, as we previously reported, but the writing’s on the wall, and now we just have to wait helplessly, thumbs twiddling,* while the American version of democracy sorts itself out. Whatever happens, no one is going to be happy. Now is as good a time as ever to consider how events might have played themselves out if the U.S. electoral system were not quite so flawed. Take a look at these articles that discuss various alternative voting systems: The first article, at discover.com, is…

Bush won.

More or less final results are in, and America’s favorite frat boy won the presidency while the Republican Party retains its control of the House of Representatives. Already the press is blaming Nader and the Green Party. How to respond? Where to begin?Personally, I blame God.At any rate, it’s really too late now to point fingers. What we all have to do at this point is to come up with a suitable course of action now that we are all fucked. Good luck, America. Maybe the music will get better,…

what is this stupid no future?

Why you should vote for Nader/LaDuke. And FLUFFY BUNNIES

Some of my sniveling liberal friends are simply aghast that I plan to vote for the Green Party. “A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush,” they say. To which I usually reply, “I hate you. Fuck you and your mother, you mimsy reformist sellout pantywaist. Also, fuck you.” In my more lucid moments, though, this is my response: If the Green Party gets 5% of the total votes this year, then next time around they qualify for beaucoup federal funds. If you live in a state where…

FLUFFY BUNNIES

Who hasn’t fantasized at least once or twice of snuffing out the FLUFFY BUNNIES with a handheld rocket launcher? I know I have, and high tech American ingenuity will one day make that dream a reality. In the meantime, though, there’s Political Arena, a brilliant Quake III Arena mod that pits all four y2k Republicrat candidates against each other in a pitched battle to the death. Or capture the flag. Whatever. In a refreshing change of pace for the online game dork community, the web site really tells it like…

MPAA, DeCSS, CMU Dr., &!, &!, &!… U R SOL

salon has a lovely interview with david touretzky about judge kaplan’s ruling in the MPAA vs. 2600 case. david touretzky has a gallery of CSS descramblers which aims to illustrate the absurdity of not affording source code first amendment protections. he gave a deposition in the case to that effect. the interview is short, illustrates the main problems with the judge’s ruling, and is a good jumping-off point for people who haven’t been the following the case. most americans won’t blink an eye when you tell them their rights…

MPAA begins bold new prior restraint initiative against sites linking to DeCSS

recently the MPAA got a ruling against 2600 magazine preventing them not only from providing DeCSS for download, but also preventing them from even *linking* to sites that have it available. this is akin to not only making it illegal to use drugs, but also making it illegal to even talk about drugs. an apt analogy, considering drugs shouldn’t even be illegal. DeCSS is no different- a legitimately reverse engineered utility that allows you to watch DVDs on linux systems (there is no commercially available DVD player for the Linux…