(My god, but it hurts though. I betrayed and destroyed something beautiful. If it were one of those brutal arbitrary acts of fortune (Sors immanis et inanis rota tu volubilis, status malus, vana salus, semper dissolubilis...) it would be easy enough to be fatalistic. The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame, and that other man who is carefully fixing a noose in the doorway is facing ultimate consequence because there is no one else left to blame.)
Just as I was reading section 3 (re. Twitter) of this 301 Mil Int btln assessment on various mobile internet technologies - as put into effect by notorious Terrorists A, B and C - this email from myself with the subject line "We have all data on you" dropped into one of the inboxes. Of course I clicked on it:
Re: We have all data on you
Saturday, 8 November, 2008 4:18 PM
[nice graphical link to online pharmacy pushing viagra, cialis, soma and tramadol removed]
About this mailing:
You are receiving this e-mail because you subscribed to MSN Featured Offers. Microsoft respects your privacy. If you do not wish to receive this MSN Featured Offers e-mail, please click the "Unsubscribe" link below. This will not unsubscribe you from e-mail communications from third-party advertisers that may appear in MSN Feature Offers. This shall not constitute an offer by MSN. MSN shall not be responsible or liable for the advertisers' content nor any of the goods or service advertised. Prices and item availability subject to change without notice.
2008 Microsoft | Unsubscribe | More Newsletters | Privacy [cleverly disguised malware links removed]
Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052
On the same theme, from the packet manager description of the Linux desktop game StepBill:
Ever get the feeling that nothing is going right? You're a sysadmin, and someone's trying to destroy your computers. The little people running around the screen are trying to infect your computers with Wingdows [TM], a virus cleverly designed to resemble a popular operating system.
then a flying saucer hits me and splits my ear right open. i feel nothing.
according to differing accounts it was a bottle, a plate or an ashtray. this is why i don't believe anything anyone says anymore.
it's not too bad but after looking in the mirror and seeing the big notch in my ear i realise it probably does need a stitch, if only for cosmetic purposes. i ask everyone for superglue.
concerned friends convince me to go to the hospital. after an hour i get sick of waiting (don't get me wrong, i was having a good time, talking to the nurse, and that nutcase with all the blood on his shirt), walk out to the petrol station and buy some superglue. this was st thomas, lewisham, by the way. home, we disinfect the ear with (paulette's...) cachaça and superglue it shut.
self-reliance, people. i can't believe they convinced me to go to the hospital. if you took the advice of all ten of them excitable babbling drunken gesticulating idiots, you'd end up with your eyelids superglued shut, a tourniquet around each leg, hobbling around in a circle with your foot bandaged tightly to a piece of wood which is nailed to the floor.
See the unedited interviews of the 42 fighters, take a look at a few... (Here are your 'international terrorists' you government twats...)
Half of them complain the government or the foreign troops have destroyed their opium fields, 80 per cent say they grow poppy... more than a quarter say family or friends have died in foreign air strikes...
Meanwhile the bigger picture; peace negotiations. Jason Burke has some idea over at Guardian. Some details he has wrong - or wait... actually he has no details at all... But it takes a certain audacity to write a non-story like that...
They deny everything, of course. But yes, people have been talking...
Fuck there are. These days they don't even have the dignity to fling themself from a window, like some men of honour may have done in '29, for fucking someone's fortune... The financial speculators of today will be laughing at their predecessors ("Can you imagine? They used to invest their own money... Hawhawhawhaaaw...") all the way to the Bahamas or Seychelles.
If one of them approaches you, you must immediately (and drill this so it becomes instinctive, so that you just throw it out without even thinking about it) say:
-¡E amigo, dame un cigarro! or
-¡Amigo! ¿Tienes 50 céntimos?
Very quickly they will understand.
The Euro is very strong against the Pound. In Spain, in effect, 1 euro is like 1 pound.
Meanwhile in the Stans
The mujahideen movements remain strong and committed, with heavily-won successes against international troops in Afghan, and routing Pak forces in several areas. Now everyone is talking about the "Haqqani network", but of course Haqqani and now sons has been one of the most important figures since forever (interview with Siraj, conducted by Rahimullah Yusufzai, such an nice and avuncular old guy... "Tell me, Siraj, what is the name of that gun you are holding?" - "What, this? This is Kalakov..." - "Is it a good rifle, Siraj?"...)
I guess without any specific information that Gulbuddin's HI is just holding and running its areas like a giant mafia syndicate of sorts, with desultory operations against international and govt forces. And the Taliban of course. Well, there is obviously at least one major political divide in the Taliban proper, right now, between northern and southern (Peshawar and Quetta) shuras... but it gets complicated after that... here a letter where Haqqani elder seems to challenge Mullah Omar's supreme authority...
Things to look out for: the first nuclear suicide bombing against international targets in Afghan, as soon as someone gets their hands on a missing nuke in a destabilised Pakistan.
Critic and writer Ishmael Smith is caught in a dilemma in his newest semi-autobiographical work, a writer's meditation on whether to write a novel about or whether to live the adventure that life has forced on him, when there is no choice but to make a choice, one way or another.
He waxes acerbic at boring length about the English island mentality, in his newest article in a linguistic journal, pointing out that "desde el extranjero means from overseas. Only in English do auslander, ulkomaalainen, khoreji, or what you will, translate as over seas".
Goodbye, and please do join us again
I have abandoned the Great Work, of transmuting personality by smelting with the Alchemical Fire. Transmuting into what... that is immaterial the ability to change is what matters. I have abandoned the Great Work, and hence suffer, cursed...
I spend too much time reading Wikipedia. I really love it, immersed in information, bathing in knowledge. The browse history is a meandering highway through ecleptic mindscapes.
I am easily more addicted to Wikipedia than to any internet pornography, and think how many endless hours of wonderful degradation you can instantly access through redtube or some such...
But am I somehow, unthinkably, psychically metabolising it into some sort of self-secreted drug? Am I hypnotising myself with it, or am I feeding some sort of strange autistic disorder?
But think of the voracious appetite to know so many things: the distance to the horizon, the sidereal year and an integer that counts the day on the Julian calendar since lunchtime, Monday January 1st in fourthousandsevenhundredwhatever before Christ... ah there you go, it didn't even stay in your mind...
But that is just an arbitrary number, why memorise such? What else do I remember... Maybe for that existential angst combined with a sense of urgency there is no (temporary) cure like heroin. (And the permanent cure for heroin is death.)
Hmm. What sort of a man can Samuel Beckett have been?
I'm sure there were many more thoughts... Hmm, I forget... Tomorrow we return with the pragmatic question of how to monetise/rationalise this Wikiobsession. An encyclopedist I shall be, no longer an alchemist... an encyclopedophile, yes....
-Tio, es totalmente loco... Semana pasada, tomó un martillo y clavos, y ¡bam! bam! bam! Cerró la ventana, para siempre... porque... shhhh... Vienen...
We now have a plan to push him over the edge. As he wanders and peers, whenever he passes, a whisper:
-¿Como? No, yo no dije nada...
-Juliancito... es tu abuela...
-¿Julian, estas bien? No, no he oído nada...
-Julian... soy Vladimir Putin... tengo una misión urgente y muy importante para tí...
Slowly but surely we will drive him over the edge. To what end, I am not so certain, although it was my idea to organise a golpe de estado in the oficina... Breakfast tickets for everyone!
But perhaps I should explain Lazy's position here a little. It is an institute which does intensive immersion English courses (among many other short courses in an eclectic variety of subjects) for young people from all around Spain. They have classes from morning to evening with only breaks for meals, but in order to immediately put into practice what they have learned in class, they do not even get a break then, because Lazy - as I keep calling him but shouldn't as it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy thing - eats lunch and dinner with them and engages them in (sometimes reluctant) conversation.
Both meals are generally three-course and extras affairs with coffee after lunch and too much wine to drink at dinner. The majority of the students are always girls, for some reason. Oh, and he has to twice a week organise informal English activities for the students, which can involve wandering around the old town or getting drunk til the small hours. This is a salaried position, the meals obviously covered, plus those all-important tickets for breakfast.
The main requirements for the position are:
-the ability to show up at an appointed time and place a total of 12 times per week for one hour, 10 of which are meals, 5 of which are evening meals that can stretch much longer than an hour what with the wine and sobremesa and that
-the ability to drink the same Señoría de Iniesto with dinner every night. now you think this is a joke, but this is a very red, very heavy, cloudy and tannin-rich wine, and it is destroying digestive system
-the ability to absorb more or less the same large, rich, meat- and seafood-heavy meals, on a weekly repeating menu
-the ability and inclination to actively engage Spanish mostly girls in conversation, in English, over meals and drinks
This, of course, is rather a healthy routine in the circumstances, and Lazy's brain chemistry is probably markedly improving. It leaves him a lot of time for the other writing stuff, which I will now try and make him finish.
"Face down lying dead in the bloody snow... What a life wasted, that could have been spent drinking on street corners..." I wrote in some hypnogogic haze the other night. It seemed like some sort of an insight or epiphany at the time. I have a vague memory I was dreaming about the stories of Red Army soldiers linking arms and singing songs as they trudged all in a line abreast towards Finnish lines to clear the minefields in '39 or '40...
But my God, how bleak, how dark, how desolate, that voice inside...
Thank God I now have a reason to get out of bed in the mornings (everyone needs one, y'know...). That reason is breakfast. I get breakfast tickets to one of the nicest hotels in town as one the perks of my position, and I have to be out of the door by 9.30 or 10.30am at the absolute very latest to make it there for breakfast time. If that seems not at all early to you, may I remind you of the former morphinist's chronic and crippling insomnia.
Funny how the little things can make such a difference. Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning or you may as well shoot yourself. Maybe tomorrow it will be driven by the desire to throw myself into some great work, or sheer joie de vivre to see the beauty of another day, or que será. But for now, mine is breakfast, which is as good a goddamn reason as any.
She mumbled something and went to check with her manager. No good, it didn't have an ID number on it. "No tenemos numeros en Inglaterra..." I said indignantly.
O todavía no... Hello, England, say no to the goddamn ID cards! Riot, riot if you have to!
But wonderful as all the bizarre legal idiosyncracies, opportunities for bureaucratic and financial obfuscation and manipulation, and ability to avoid governmental interference in the UK there are, they still don't make the average lifestyle that much better...
Still, God save the Queen. I got drunk on gin and tonic (the Empire's drink: quinine for the malaria, lemon for the scurvy, alcohol for the violence) but still couldn't sleep til six, even with the help of Morocco's finest and a few mild sedatives, my right leg twitching and tapping away all by itself. And I wake a couple hours later shivering and covered in cold sweat.
It's such an old story, you've heard it all before...
"What I want to know is how you fit in with these people?" he asked suspiciously, looking at the Pak and Afghan stamps in the passport and the cropped hair and more-or-less neat clothes, and the usual questions: where from, what do, how can I classify you in my scheme of things?
Jesus, what to say? It's no good being flippant with these people. I told him I'm a journalist (which I am when I'm not being a PR flack - maybe this is one of the sources of the schizophrenia?) and blah blah blah. He told me they were obviously concerned because these are like dangerous countries, but conversely, maybe I could help them with anything, if I keep my ear to the ground out there...
Of course, officer, I would be delighted, most delighted... He actually shook my hand, and we are through and soon having a quick reefer on the deck of the night ferry. France flashes by in a haze again (France, to me: nice motorway rest stops) and it is night again by the time we are pulling through into Spain. ¡Viva!
They dropped me off in Valladolid in the middle of the night and carried on to Portugal and I started to make my way a little further south through warm Spanish night. I don't remember how, exactly, but I arrived. Yes, Lazy did. The town is pretty, the women are beautiful, the weather clement and the food is good. I can see how ones have fallen in love with this place. Here and not going fucking nowhere, puta madre.
I have a strange hazy memory of arriving in London in the hot June of 2000, and specifically remember telling people I'd be around, well, for a couple of weeks.
Eight years pass quickly. Shockingly so. With nothing to show for it. Well, an almost-profession, which is good for paying the bar bills. And all the other stuff. You probably know, anyway.
And really, I was never for the cold and protestant north. Never I was. And what I do for money, honey? I can do it anywhere, whatever it is. Putting words together. But it so saddens me I have stopped writing for the pleasure of it (was there ever such?), or doing it for the need to put it out, what was inside, somehow.
Look, maybe I will keep writing here. Or point you to somewhere else interesting on the web.
It will all add up to something, one day.
ONE DAY I WILL KNOW WHAT THAT GODDAM MADNESS SCRATCHING ALWAYS AT THE EDGE OF MY MIND IS, AND CAST IT OUT WITH THE GODDAMN DEMONS!
Y... ¿que mas? Mejor aqui, mejor aqui, sin duda, ninguna puta duda. But I have to remember, I have to remember, remember. something.
This song has been fucking beautiful to me from the first I ever heard it. Here with subtitles to help with Gogol Bordello/Eugene Hütz's gutter Italian/Russian.
Oh, the gutter again. I always liked that Oscar Wilde phrase - we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. But I've been lying here stargazing for so long now...
-Why the hell?
Because you will spend a lifetime writing complete drivel, scratching on the great toilet wall of the internet, howling across empty fields, and then even as the clock counts down the last minutes to your execution, you will write the perfect poem, the beauty of which will move souls in centuries to come...]
5 minutes is plenty.
And what is the meaning of this? you will ask...
Poets, bloggers and other scribblers with over-developed senses of melodrama need a suitably melodramatic reply when interrogated by that sinister looming monster, futility...
the last time i tried looking luke rhinehart up on the internets (that was years and years ago - internet years, at least) he still seemed like the j. d. salingerish reclusive author, like not much hard facts or anything, but in the last few years he seems to have discovered the net and now he actually seems to have a myspace and everything.
That doesn't begin to detail the scope of it: more than 600 public bodies have the power to bug citizens, and the report listed 1,088 cases where the rules were broken in a 9 month period.
Daisy88 at 0842 today
Do you think MI5 is reading this blog, and this comment by me?
liberati at 0847 today
Unlikely. I only got as far as the first sentence
JaneT at 0853 today
How can you feel qualified to comment on something you haven't even read, liberati?
liberati at 0902 today
That's funny. Is this your first time on the internet?
JaneT at 0907 today
Don't patronise me, you wanker
SPECIAL- RELATIONSHIP at 0917 today
I'D JUST LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO THE INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS WHO MONITOR US FOR OUR OWN PROTECTION
GCHQopcom #21399# at 0921 today
MaxPersons at 0925 today
It's a difficult balance - our privacy is important, but of course the intelligence services need to be able to do their work without being hindered.
GCHQopcom #21399# at 0929 today
SixKindsOfChris at 0936 today
It's clear we've completely lost sight of any "balance". Wiretap evidence isn't even admissible in court, and yet we're spying on litterers.
JaneT at 0948 today
GCHQ - are you really monitoring this blog?
GCHQopcom #21399# at 0954 today
Sort of. It's my lunch hour, so I'm listening but I'm not really paying attention
Daisy88 at 0957 today
Hanging is too good for litterers, IMHO
BigDorrit at 1002 today
Eating lunch at 10am are you mad!!!!!!!!!!
GCHQopcom #21399# at 1011 today
I'm on a weird shift - late night Facebook duty. I get hungry at odd times.
ElSmell at 1019 today
I think the security services are doing a great job, but then I feel like I have to say that or I'll be put in jail.
Daisy88 at 1024 today
Yeah, that's why I said that thing about litterers - keep them guessing.
MaxPersons at 1028 today
There are already legal protections in place. The question is whether they are sufficient, and whether they are enforced
JaneT at 1033 today
The question is, what is the best protection against having your phone tapped and your emails read by the govt?
liberati at 1045 today
JaneT at 1052 today
You're safe then
comments from 'A Government That Listens' on Guardian blogs
oh dear what's happening?
i find every present moment so endlessly entertaining... life is so funny i'm going to laugh myself to death one day...
but i just don't feel like telling the internet stories about it any more.
i would like to contribute to the net somehow, though. give me a cable to hold or something.
what, you don't need me? -don't worry, we've got loads of experts on the job. we've got a couple experts to every foot of internet cable, all the way down the line to you...
(and then everything just falls apart after that...
"Look... I can tell when it's the voices in my head and when it's them doing it...")
on saturday it was a real effort to force that glass of wine down before eating anything other than breakfast. although if i'm all so yogic and everything now one might ask why i had felt compelled to dose myself with temazepam and valium and tramadol in the morning, no kidding, but it's really not the rule these days... but once it was down, that glass, my god, the next one and the one after that felt so right... got in touch with my inner self who turns out to be a fucking alcoholic...
i didn't really feel like drinking that left-over wine but some demon drove me... i didn't really feel like going out, but the malung's band was playing nearby... i didn't really feel like talking to that girl but some demon drove me, hissing but isn't she fucking deliciousss, preciousss? in my ear like some demented fucking gollum... fuck yeah of course she is, cafe latte skin and perfect tits, and then she vanish sometime in the morning-after with a phone and a credit card and some money and 40g of high-grade maroccy from the desk.
so we have a very contrite Lazy sitting with coffee under a hung-over and mournful sunday sky. jesus fuck, what can i do? set my psycho friends to hunt her down? police?
"what you gonna tell them? i slept with an underage girl and then she stole my phone and drugs?" says arofish. ha ha. fucking funny guy, that arofish.
it only takes a very short time to find the necessary attitude-adjustment switch in my head and then everything seems funny as hell again. the real moral of the story is not to tell anyone on this goddamn street anything or everyone will know by lunchtime. "but what should we do if we see her again?" asks too many people. "ask if she'd meet me again and i'd love to buy her a drink," is the correct glib response, and why the fuck do you care? "i heard about what happened... i'm sorry about that..." they actually say. what the fuck are you sorry about? i'm not. what did you do to me that you're sorry about?
i can't even feel angry at that dumb whore. she was just a slutty opportunist with a lovely ass and a pretty face, adventurous and totally non-sentimental; i can't hate anyone for those qualities. but the gossiping twittering i-don't-have-a-life-myself's, on the other hand, put me into a cursing murderous rage.
how completely absurd to commiserate with someone who has just learned a valuable lesson about this or that, like maybe basic pharmacology. that's what it often is, you know, these things that happen when god leans out of the sky to whack you over the head with some inexplicable thing, pay attention, you fucking idiot... and fuck you all, i'd do it all again anytime...
then there are all those people who click through from google searches on 'chemical torture' (realgem is still at #1 as of this posting...). they read this through in a couple of minutes and most don't look at anything else here but click straight through to the Atlantic Monthly article or then to ishmael smith's profile. i wonder what they make of that. some of these come from very strange IPs, .mil servers, or searches on 'how to tie an afghan scarf' from security corp addresses.
but to the first group above, i suppose a thank-you for keeping an eye out and an apology for the recent erratic copy-and-paste posting is in order...
take care & take control
Fuck Buttons at ICA, in Big City Redneck: "A friend recently informed me that the dark ambient rubric has now become known as “Illbient”. Fuck Buttons are bona-fide positivists, in both attitude and sound so it occurs to me that they/their sound could be described as “wellbient”. That’s not to say that darker, more intense moments do not exist in Fuck Buttons music...
...to me, anyway, this bodes well for an electronic/experimental/industrial-influenced outfit in terms of the “I believe in coincidence but I just don’t trust it” perspective...
Normally, this kind of positivism would make me want to pull my teeth out with pliers, their seeds of love falling on the stony ground that is my dry, blackened soul. But despite the fact that these boys are to my battered old psyche possibly too young to have experienced any real distress in their lives, there is a genuinely uplifting aspect to them both as people and in their music." (text Dr Otter, photos Lazy as always)
[[[[Fuck Buttons myspace]]] (playing a few gigs in Austin, Texas mid-March you Texas visitors might want to know)
She’s starting to see things out of the corners of her eyes. It’s one of the first symptoms - I remember when it happened to me. Painful dilation of the mind occasioned by the insertion of an unusually large new idea.
Shako was standing facing the wall with his back to them. On the wall he had daubed a strange cruciform symbol using the blood from the cut on his arm. The lights flickered back on by themselves. The evil had evaporated from the air.
“Are you okay?”
He stood with his back to them, ignoring them. As they gathered around him, he slowly turned to them, with his head tilted back and a strange lopsided half-smile on his face. His eyes had turned an unnaturally icy blue-white, which focused not on them but on something in the distance – listening eyes. The ice gripped them all again.
Shako’s features were shifting – something was struggling under the skin. Ulrika realised with a chill that he was swallowing the demon.
The feral children have somehow unwittingly invoked ancient alien war gods.
GIVE. SYMPATHISE. CONTROL.
Keep that corpse stumbling forward until it lies down for oblivion, eventually for the last time.
Yes, it is a ghastly vision of life. Sometimes the light just hits the ground at the wrong angle, you know. You grate your teeth and see right into the core of things, but a core that is loathsome and humans should not know. Sartre called it the Nausea; I suppose at least that he was talking about the same thing. It is that moment of sickening realisation, that moment that I think Burroughs' title Naked Lunch refers to - that naked "frozen moment when everyone sees what is at the end of every fork".