People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction. – By George Saunders – Slate M

Ξ August 30th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

    A press release from PRKA.

    By George Saunders - Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004

    Last Thursday, my organization, People Reluctant To Kill for an Abstraction, orchestrated an overwhelming show of force around the globe.

    At precisely 9 in the morning, working with focus and stealth, our entire membership succeeded in simultaneously beheading no one. At 10, Phase II began, during which our entire membership did not force a single man to suck another man's penis. Also, none of us blew himself/herself up in a crowded public place. No civilians were literally turned inside out via our powerful explosives. In addition, at 11, in Phase III, zero (0) planes were flown into buildings.

    During Phase IV, just after lunch, we were able to avoid bulldozing a single home. Furthermore, we set, on roads in every city, in every nation in the world, a total of zero (0) roadside bombs which, not being there, did not subsequently explode, killing/maiming a total of nobody. No bombs were dropped, during the lazy afternoon hours, on crowded civilian neighbourhoods, from which, it was observed, no post-bomb momentary silences were then heard. These silences were, in all cases, followed by no unimaginable, grief-stricken bellows of rage, and/or frantic imprecations to a deity. No sleeping baby was awakened from an afternoon nap by the sudden collapse and/or bursting into flame of his/her domicile during Phase IV.

    In the late afternoon (Phase V), our membership focused on using zero (0) trained dogs to bite/terrorize naked prisoners. In addition, no stun guns, rubber batons, rubber bullets, tear gas, or bullets were used, by our membership, on any individual, anywhere in the world. No one was forced to don a hood. No teeth were pulled in darkened rooms. No drills were used on human flesh, nor were whips or flames. No one was reduced to hysterical tears via a series of blows to the head or body, by us. Our membership, while casting no racial or ethnic aspersions, skilfully continued not to rape, gang-rape, or sexually assault a single person. On the contrary, during this late-afternoon phase, many of our membership flirted happily and even consoled, in a non-sexual way, individuals to whom they were attracted, putting aside their sexual feelings out of a sudden welling of empathy.

    As night fell, our membership harboured no secret feelings of rage or, if they did, meditated, or discussed these feelings with a friend until such time as the feelings abated, or were understood to be symptomatic of some deeper sadness.


Ads to go: US drivers ease fuel costs with car-wraps – Independent Online E

Ξ August 28th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Misc |

    To some people a car is just a set of wheels, but to an increasing number of Americans - especially those pinched by high petrol prices - it's also a mobile billboard, an opportunity to rake in advertising dollars by touting the virtues of Coca-Cola, Nestlé or Citibank.

    Car-wrapping, as the concept is known, has been around for the past five or six years, but with petrol now selling for well north of $3 (£1.50)a gallon in many parts of the United States, and many vehicles remaining obstinately inefficient in their fuel use, it has grown into a full-blown trend.

    In cities like Los Angeles or New York, it's not uncommon now to see the latest drama serial from HBO, the prestigious cable television station responsible for The Sopranos and Six Feet Under, being advertised on people's private cars. Quite what gets advertised on which vehicles depends on the habit of the individual driver and the demographic the advertiser is trying to reach.

    The leading pioneer of car-wrapping, an LA-based firm called FreeCar Media, interviews each would-be car-wrap volunteer. A suburban "soccer mom" who ferries her children to school and sports games might be induced to advertise laundry detergent, say.

    Sometimes FreeCar Media will install a GPS tracking device on the advertiser's car. Occasionally it will supply the vehicle for the advertising campaign (a hearse for Six Feet Under, say). More often it will fork out several hundred dollars a month in exchange for the bodywork-rental rights.

    The client - who could be anybody from a national brand name to a local business - pays for the concept, the advertising exposure and the car-wrapping itself.

    FreeCar Media says it has a database of about a million would-be car-wrap volunteers. It estimates around 150,000 vehicles across the United States now carry advertising - of which it is responsible for about 7,000.

    Some of those vehicles, of course, are city buses or commercial vehicles, both of which have been carrying advertising for more than a decade. FreeCar Media, though, has been instrumental in expanding the concept of niche advertising on vehicles since it was founded in 1999.

    Its managers specialise in "out of the box concepts" that have included, down the years, using cement mixer trucks to advertise Coca-Cola's Full Throttle drink, putting advertisements on port-a-potties, and helping companies recruit their own clients to carry their logos. The drivers are known as "brand ambassadors".

    The concept has now spread to many more companies. A job recruitment firm in Phoenix, Arizona, called, offers its own employees bonuses if they agree to carry the company logo on their private vehicles. The company has a strict policy of good driving behaviour. One employee caught speeding had his car unwrapped before it could cause any unwelcome publicity.

    Drew Livingston, the head of FreeCar Media, predicted this would be the wave of the future. "Employees want to make more money," he told an advertising trade paper.

    Sweet festering baby jeebus: "brand ambassadors"?! Dignity whores, more like. It's one thing to embrace the emasculation of your individuality and your intellectual slavery; it's entirely another to be garish about it. Ick.


Global Dimming

Ξ August 27th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

    "We are all seeing rather less of the Sun. Scientists looking at five decades of sunlight measurements have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface has been gradually falling. Paradoxically, the decline in sunlight may mean that global warming is a far greater threat to society than previously thought.

    The effect was first spotted by Gerry Stanhill, an English scientist working in Israel. Comparing Israeli sunlight records from the 1950s with current ones, Stanhill was astonished to find a large fall in solar radiation. "There was a staggering 22% drop in the sunlight, and that really amazed me," he says.

    Intrigued, he searched out records from all around the world, and found the same story almost everywhere he looked, with sunlight falling by 10% over the USA, nearly 30% in parts of the former Soviet Union, and even by 16% in parts of the British Isles. Although the effect varied greatly from place to place, overall the decline amounted to 1-2% globally per decade between the 1950s and the 1990s."

    Watch now or read the programme summary

    If you have children ("But mommmmmyyy, you promised I could get a camel for Christmas if I was good!") you may want to get them to watch this, so that they can plan their education and lifestyle based on the world as it could well be when they are grown up. If you live near the coast (or say, you know, only a few metres above sea level) you may also wish to invest in a boat. If you live in a region with a warm climate, well... ya probably don't need to bother. – Americans Are Brainwashed – 26 – Female – Washington DC – ww

Ξ August 27th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society | – Canada – Quebec police admit agents posed as protesters

Ξ August 24th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

From the page: "Police said the trio's cover was blown when they refused to toss any objects."

No, their cover was blown when they tried to infiltrate a bunch of middle aged union folks (Mr. Coles confronted the QPP men as soon as they attempted to join his protest. He told them to get away -- that his was a peaceful protest, not the place for violent confrontation. "This is our line," he shouts, "this is for old guys, grandmothers grandfathers. This is our line.") protesting peacefully in cardigans and casual wear, while dressed as 'anarchists' (personally, I prefer Gucci bandanas--It is possible to overthrow the state and look good at the same time, people!) and carrying rocks.

Possibly the second worst excuse of the year, after of course the Republican chappie who claimed that the reason he offered to pay an undercover police officer 20 bucks to give him (the officer) a blow job was because, and I paraphrase: "some blacks guys done gone scareded me!". Presumably he was invoking that well known primaeval survival instinct fight or fellate to explain his reasoning. Although hey, perhaps that's just the way these right whingers are wired. God knows, you won't find a bigger bunch of suckers...

Ξ August 20th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

Free your mind and your ass will follow get admiring glances from people you would like to fornicate with!

[ Jia Lu » ]

Better edumacation through piracy.




Ξ August 18th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Humour |

"Meet a new breed of Nissan..."

[ Estelle Hanania ]


by | the | sea | #3 – by Uwe Bachmann [aspectator]

Ξ August 18th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |

[ Uwe Bachmann ]

    drove me through the mountains
    through the crystal like and clear water fountain
    drove me like a magnet
    to the sea
    to the sea

    [ live ]


Falling by Maciej Boryna

Ξ August 18th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |

[ Maciej Boryna ]

    We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.

    They are representatives of abstract forces who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.

    There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

    The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.

    --William S. Burroughs


*** by maciek duczynski [lonely_wolf]

Ξ August 18th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Arts, Photography |

[ maciek duczynski ]