Thursday, March 27, 2008

Defense Contractors

“My business is currently of great importance to the country as I am a licensed Defense Contractor to the United States Government in the fight against terrorism in Iraq and I am doing my very best to provide our troops with all their equipment needs on pending critical contracts.”

thanks to TPM

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Portland, LA, Minnesota

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."
-Harriet Beecher Stowe

"War would end if the dead could return."
-Stanley Baldwin

"The fundamentalist mind, running in a single rut for fifty years, is now quite unable to comprehend dissent from its basic superstitions, or to grant any common honesty, or even any decency, to those who reject them." -H.L. Mencken

Stay the Curse Means Stay... from Coleen

Monday, March 24, 2008


The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
by Randall Jarrell

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.

Six miles from earth, loosed from the dream of life,

I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.

When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Five Years of Victory!

Some friends in Berkeley and I decided to do some big signs for the five year anniversary. Surprisingly, the only protesters on the bridge were there for a Free Tibet, but as it turned out our messages worked well together.

There were protests all around the Bay Area yesterday, though none too well attended compared to before the war. One reporter seemed impressed however by how media-savvy the protesters were, with handy press packets and convenient up-to-the-minute text-messaging capabilities.

I prefer freewayblogging to organized protests for a couple of reasons. One, you don't need thousands of people, which is a real time-saver in terms of organizing and logistics. Two, you don't have to rely on the media to reach a significant number of people, or have to depend on them to transmit your message faithfully: you can say whatever you want, unedited.

By eschewing the group dynamic, Freewayblogging celebrates the voice of the individual. This may be anachronistic in these days of mass media and organized protests, but there's something about driving around with a truck full of signs and putting them up wherever you want to that's just plain fun: I encourge you to try it sometime.

These signs went up yesterday in Berkeley and San Francisco on the 80, 280 and 101. They cost about two dollars and were seen by about 100,000 people.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Free Speech In San Diego

Every once in awhile someone gets it.

They get tired of meetups and message boards and waiting around for the next organized protest or vigil, gamely hoping the local media will give them 30 seconds on the evening news.

They get tired of seeing their country run down, treasury looted and soldiers stretched to their breaking points while the liars get off scot free and the contractors just get richer and richer.

They get tired of living in a land of free speech where the only thing anybody sees is advertising. They get tired of listening to blowhards like Limbaugh and O'Reilly spewing their crap to millions while they're told to make do by writing to their congressman.

They get tired of being shown cages and being told they're "free speech zones" and they get tired of holding signs and getting hassled by cops simply for acting like Americans.

They get tired of all this and finally say to themselves "Y'know, that crazy fucker with the pickup truck and the overhead projector is right: the trick is to make signs and put them up everywhere - to say what we want, when we want, and wherever the hell we want to say it."

So they buy an overhead projector, paint up a bunch of cardboard and make a bunch of signs. Then they spend an afternoon driving around and hanging them up where people will see them.

Thanks to the freeways, at the end of the day they can come home knowing they've reached about a hundred thousand people, and they're tired.

But it's a much different kind of tired.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

East Bay Troll Deconstruction

I know you're not supposed to feed them, but sometimes I just can't help it... I love my trolls. (All signs posted in Berkeley last week)

Anonymous Said: "Who do you want to be the next president? Clinton or the Negro? You don't have an answer. Figures. All you do is bitch. Never any solutions."

Freewayblogger Said: "Dear funny little man, before I go into deconstructing your last missive, please know that I fully appreciate your efforts here even if at times I don't sound like it. I noticed that you spent some 75 minutes on my site coming up with these little gems of yours and on a Friday night that must really cut into your social life.

How long did you wait for my response after typing "Clinton or the Negro?" before getting frustrated by my silence on the matter and typing "You don't have an answer. Figures." Five minutes? Ten? I can't help picturing you in your dank little Oakland apartment, veins and features tightening as you wait and wait for an answer - hooting perhaps, or screaming - in a direct betrayal of your simian ancestry.

Let me clue you in a bit here: the way the comments thing works is you have to send the comment first, then I have to read it, and THEN you get the response. See how that works? Trust me, just understanding that one bit of systems analysis will save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

Now then, a quick deconstruction of some of the hidden gems in your rhetoric: don't know if you meant it this way, but your grand finale and denoument of "All you do is bitch. Never any solutions." is, though probably unintentionally so, a sparkling diamond of irony when you consider that, in fact, all you're doing is bitching and indeed not offerring any solutions. Brilliant, my frightened little friend, and ripe with the sort of rhetorical paradox that I've come to love about you. You understand of course that despite several attempts to break you out of your shell, you've never once been able to name a single act or even role in a larger effort that you've accomplished during your lifetime. All we've ever been able to get from you is that you live in Oakland, are afraid of dark-skinned people (which must be tough on you I'll admit)and are having trouble working through what seems to be a thinly-veiled homoerotic attraction for me, based on your otherwise inexplicable fascination with my physical looks and build. Alas my friend, it can never be... I can take heart though in the knowledge that I'm hardly your first love that's been unrequieted, (particularly if you're spending your Friday nights trolling my website and waiting for replies to comments you haven't even sent yet.)

The nature of your comments, and the seemingly inordinate amount of time you spend coming up with them shows me that you've truly missed the forest for the trees here: Semiotics lad! Simple semiotics! Placing the power of broadcasting into the hands of everyman. That's the solution, yea, the very point of this whole endeavour! So now that I've refreshed your memory, go out there and do it! Paint yourself a big old sign that says "Send the Negroes back to Africa!" or whatever it is you want to say, and carry it proudly through the streets, or post it unafraid on an overpass... Speak Out my friend, speak out! You're an American, and Greater men than ourselves have given their lives so that we may do so. Both this site and are simply chock full of helpful hints and tidbits for novices such as yourself.

Friday, March 14, 2008

San Francisco

"As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress." -J. Robert Oppenheimer
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." -Nietzsche
"Thanks to TV, and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative." ~ Kurt Vonnegut
"It's no use saying we are doing our best. You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary." -Winston Churchill
"Where there is doubt, there is freedom." -Latin Proverb
"I intend to live forever. So far, so good." - Steven Wright

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SantaBarbara/Central Coast

"You see, you could never do a sketch like that these days. The audience is too uninformed. I blame the Americans. Nation of obese, violent, pig-ignorant, bible-thumping morons contaminating world culture. That’s why I spend most of my time here in France. ... Beautiful, isn’t it? Just look at those olive trees..."
- John Cleese, (being interviewed at his home in Santa Barbara)

"I believe if a private citizen is able to affect public opinion in a constructive way he doesn't have to be an elected public servant to perform a public service." ~ Warren Beatty

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes which were, for the moment unpopular." - Edward R. Murrow

"People who love their country can change it." - Barack Obama