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Friday, September 29, 2006
FUNNIEST ONE-LINER IN A WORK OF SCIENCE FICTION
posted
10:06 PM
...that Howard Waldrop didn't write. Ladies and gentlemen, Eugene Mirman's
Video From The Future

THE STREET FINDS ITS OWN USES FOR...
posted
12:20 PM
Treadmills!

Thursday, September 28, 2006
AN ARTICLE I'D LOVE TO READ
posted
9:27 PM
If I were legally able to, that is.

"NSA in the Cyberpunk Future: A Somewhat Educated Guess at Things to Come" (1996)

Sunday, September 24, 2006
CAMS
posted
10:37 PM
Set

Saturday, September 23, 2006
JOHNSON BROS.
posted
2:46 PM
“That green jacket we gave you in New York,” said the old man, walking around Tito, who had just put on a new black hooded sweatshirt that Garreth had given him.

“I still have it,” Tito said.

“If you wear that, over the sweatshirt, with the hood down, you’ll look a little more like you belong there. Nicely random piece of texturing. The lawn care reference doesn’t make any particular sense, but can be assumed to be from a previous job. You wouldn’t wear the hat from the previous job, though. Wear this.” He handed Tito a paint-flecked blue baseball cap with “VANTERM” embroidered across the front. Tito tried it, took it off, adjusted the plastic sizing device at the back, and put it back on.

“That’s good,” said the old man, after Tito had gotten the jacket out of his bag and put it on. “Who’d deliberately wear a bright green jacket that says Johnson Brothers Turf And Lawn across the back, in yellow, on their way to do what you’re going to do?”

FOUND POETRY OF ALIEN PHARMACEUTICALS
posted
12:04 AM
Including Milgrim's Rize 5mg .

Mover Tablets 100mg
Pazucross Injection 500
10mg Horizon
Dantrium 25
Gaster 20mg
Dogmatyl Capsules
Conan Tablets 20mg
Liquid Thrombin

Thursday, September 21, 2006
AUTOMATIC JACK AND I
posted
9:17 AM
...love the Open Prosthetics Project .

Wednesday, September 20, 2006
FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCREEN
posted
9:39 PM
Milgrim was feeling better. He’d asked Brown for a Rize, in the little park, and Brown, engrossed in whatever he was doing on the laptop, had unzipped a pocket on its bag and handed Milgrim an entire unopened four-pack. Now, behind Brown’s upright screen, Milgrim popped a second Rize from its bubble and washed it down with the tea-water. He’d brought his book in from the car, thinking Brown would probably work on the laptop. Now he opened it.

He found a favorite chapter: “An Elite Of Amoral Supermen”.

“What’s that you keep reading?” asked Brown, unexpectedly, from the other side of the screen.

“’An elite of amoral supermen’,” Milgrim replied, surprised to hear his own voice repeat the chapter-title he’d just read.

“That’s what you all think,” said Brown, his attention elsewhere. “Liberals.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006
I WANT TO THINK MORE ABOUT THAT...
posted
8:46 PM
Lonelygirl16 piece in the Washington Post, but don't have time for it now. I'll come back to it.

AWKWARD
posted
7:30 PM
Hollis thought he looked a little like William Burroughs, minus the bohemian substrate (or perhaps the methadone). Like someone who’d be invited quail shooting with the vice-president, though too careful to get himself shot. Thin steel spectacle frames, his remaining hair neatly barbered, a seriously good dark overcoat.

They sat facing one another in one of two worn metal chairs that might once have done duty in a church hall. His legs were crossed. He wore shoes that made her think of old French priests, bicycling. Black toecap oxfords, polished to a dull glow, thickly soled with black rubber.

“Miss Henry,” he began, his voice reminding her of an American consular official she’d met in Gibraltar, when she’d been seventeen and had had her passport stolen. “Pardon me. You aren’t married?”

“No,” she said.

“Miss Henry, we find ourselves in an awkward situation.”

Saturday, September 16, 2006
VOTING: THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO IN CYBERSPACE
posted
8:39 AM
Princeton computer scientists analyze a Diebold voting machine, demonstrate ridiculously simple hacks.

Salon says: "Diebold has repeatedly disputed the findings then as speculation. But the Princeton study appears to demonstrate conclusively that a single malicious person could insert a virus into a machine and flip votes. The study also reveals a number of other vulnerabilities, including that voter access cards used on Diebold systems could be created inexpensively on a personal laptop computer, allowing people to vote as many times as they wish."

Thursday, September 14, 2006
SET DIRECTION: "EAST VAN HALEN"
posted
9:11 PM
The poor man's Tatlin .

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
VANTERM
posted
7:56 AM
When she’d reached her left, onto a wide, north-south street called Clark, she was past the fancy infra-bits and into a more low-down, more careworn architecture, a lot of it clapboard. Non-franchise brake repair shops. Small manufacturers of restaurant furniture. At what she guessed was the foot of this wide street, suspended against distant mountains, some truly kick-ass Soviet Constructivist project had been erected, perhaps in belated honor of a designer who’d earned himself a one-way to the Gulag. Vast crazy arms of orange-painted steel, canted in every direction, at every angle.

Sunday, September 10, 2006
SERE
posted
9:38 PM
Tito watched the old man fold the copy of the New York Times he’d been reading. The light was going. Fading above this other ocean, the Pacific, which Tito had never seen before.

“I remember proofs of a CIA interrogation manual, something we’d been sent unofficially, for comment,” the old man said. “The first chapter laid out the ways in which torture is fundamentally counterproductive to intelligence. The argument had nothing to do with ethics, everything to do with quality and depth of product, with not squandering potential assets.” He removed his gold-rimmed glasses. “If the man who keeps returning to question you avoids behaving as if he were your enemy, you begin to lose your sense of who you are. Gradually, in the crisis of self that your captivity becomes, he guides you in your discovery of who you are becoming.”

“Did you interrogate people, yourself?” asked Garreth. The three of them were seated in the back of an open jeep, the black Pelican case under Garreth’s feet.

“No,” said the old man, “I only reviewed the product. It’s a terribly intimate process. An ordinary cigarette lighter will cause a man to tell you anything, whatever he thinks you want to hear. And will prevent him ever trusting you again, even slightly. And will confirm him, in his sense of self, as few things will.” He tapped the folded paper. “When I first saw what they were doing, I knew that they’d turned the SERE lessons inside out. That meant that we were using techniques the Koreans had specifically developed in order to prepare prisoners for show trials.” He fell silent.

Tito heard the lapping of waves.

Saturday, September 09, 2006
M/V JAMAICA STAR
posted
9:49 PM
He saw the bottom of the bridge, high overhead, as the Zodiac ran under it. Brown was steering to the right now, where Milgrim saw more marinas, the city, a seaplane lifting out of the water, several large ships at varying distances, their hulls bisected with black and red paint, and beyond all this what he guessed was a port, giant orange arms craned in the distance, above a shoreline seemingly solid with the visual complexity of industry.

To their left, on some opposite, more distant shore, stood rows of dark tanks or silos, more cranes, more freighters.

People paid to have experiences like this, he thought, but it didn’t cheer him. This wasn’t the Staten Island ferry. He was bouncing along at some insane speed on something that reminded him of a creepy folding rubber bathtub that he’d once seen Vladimir Nabokov proudly posing with in an old photograph. Nature, for Milgrim, had always had a way of being too big for comfort. Just too much of it. That whole vista thing. Particularly if there was relatively little within it, within sight, that was manmade.

They were gaining, he saw, on what he at first took to be some kind of floating Cubist sculpture in muted Kandinsky tones. But as it grew closer he saw that it was a ship, but one so burdened, pressed so far down in the water, that the red of its lower hull was submerged, only the black showing. Its black stern, though, stuck up ship-like enough, below the absurdist bulk of boxes, revealing it for what it was. The boxes were the colors of railroad freight cars, a dull brownish red predominating, though others were white, yellow, pale blue. He was almost close enough, now, to read the writing on this ship’s stern, when he was distracted by his discovery of a smaller ship, draped with black tires as if for some eccentric designer’s runway moment, pressing ardently against the tall black stern and churning out a huge V of foamy white water. Brown swung the Zodiac’s wheel suddenly, sending them bouncing double-time across the white water. Milgrim saw the tug’s name, LION SUN, then looked up at the much taller letters on the back of the ship, their white paint streaked with rust. M/V JAMAICA STAR, and under that, in slightly smaller white capitals, PANAMA CITY.

"HE WOULD FIRE THE NEXT PERSON"
posted
2:03 PM
Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid, retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps, on thinking outside the Rumsfeldian box during the run-up to invading Iraq.

Friday, September 08, 2006
LONELYGIRL15 = FOOTAGE?
posted
1:41 PM
And if can't get Blue Ant, CAA will certainly do in a pinch.

Thursday, September 07, 2006
INTERNAL TERROR CELLS, FLEMISH EDITION
posted
10:53 AM
Somehow I doubt you'll see this cited on Fox as an example of our present grave danger.

Monday, September 04, 2006
YVR
posted
11:22 PM
Hollis started to remember something, but then the difference in the air struck her, after Los Angeles. It was like a sauna, but cool, almost chilly.

They went up a ramp, into a covered parking lot, where he used a credit card to pay for parking, them led them to his car, an oversized Volkswagen like the one Pamela had driven. It was pearlescent white, with a small stylized Blue Ant glyph to the left of the rear license plate. He helped them stow their bags and her cardboard carton in the trunk. He dropped his half-smoked cigarette and crushed it with an elongated, elaborately distressed oxford that she supposed went with his suit.

Odile opted for shotgun, which seemed to please him, and they were on their way, something half-remembered scratching fitfully in Hollis’s head. They cruised past large, airport-related buildings, like toys on some giant’s tidy, sparsely-detailed hobby layout.

***

Hollis saw tungsten-lit industry beyond the bridge’s railings, a concrete plant. Her cell rang. “Excuse me,” she said. “Yes?”

“Where are you?” said Inchmale.

“In Vancouver.”

[Hollis, Hollis Henry, has probably appeared previously in one or two of these draft fragments, but as "P.T.". That meant Pretty Temporary, though.]

YOU CAN BET IT'S BEEN ONE LONG YEAR
posted
11:13 PM
From Louisiana, photojournalist David Burnett's Aftermath series.

Sunday, September 03, 2006
BANKSY!
posted
1:12 PM
And Paris!

Friday, September 01, 2006
LIVE FROM THE PLAYA
posted
12:51 PM
Very best wishes to everyone at Burning Man !

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