Friday, August 29, 2008

A match made in...well....

Really, to appreciate what a special team McCain and Palin are, you need to see them together. Gaze, mortals, and tremble....

Meet John McCain's Vice-President...



Hint: she's the one with the glasses.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh...pooh!

"The Republicans can't seem to get a break when it comes to August and when it comes to the weather," said Rove, a FOX News analyst. "I know this is being thought a lot about in Washington and at the White House and discussed and I suspect they will monitor it carefully and figure out what to do."

Goddamn, these stupid hurricanes! Here Katrina went and fucked up Bush's vacation and McCain's birthday last time! Now Gustave and Hana look to cause more...inconveniences. What's the deal here?

Why does God hate America?

Room Full of Mirrors


When you're really good, man...when you're really, really good...color's just someone else's hangup, dig?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let Them Eat Real Estate

There comes a defining moment in every presidential campaign where a candidate says something not only profoundly stupid and tin-eared but indicative of who they really are, which, for their opponent, is the political equivalent of a flat, slow pitch dead center over the plate. The kind your wood cracks so solidly that the thwack can be heard across the stadium, and the cover peels from the ball, and one long string unravels and floats down over the back wall, followed by the yowp! of a falling pigeon, which hits the ground with a stomach-churning shlupping sound, bounces, then gets run over by a garbage truck in front of a troop of Girl Scouts who have just emerged from a field trip to a petting zoo.

This is called a "gaffe."

An example of this would be if, at the height of the current mortgage crisis, when people are literally fighting to keep their homes, one of the candidates, perhaps an older man, pressed to answer how many homes he owns, fumbles, can't remember, and tells the reporter to check with his staff for the exact number. This means the candidate not only is richer than anyone you probably know but is so unconcerned with his economic status that he can't bother to keep track of these things. That or he's senile...take you pick. And that's exactly what happened to John McCain today:

I own...what was your question?

For the record, the answer is: ten.

In other words: Hey! You kids! Get offa my lawns!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Okay...

...I thought about it, and I've decided I won't accept Obama's invitation to serve as VP. I know I should have told him directly, but, shit, I'm busy, man. Why? It would totally screw up Halloween. No way.

I mean, you gotta keep a certain perspective.

SP

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Welcome to the Farmhouse


So, uh, I wrote this weird play called "Farmhouse" where one of the characters is a soldier who's had his mind all twisted around with psychedelic drugs and may be fighting with cyborgs and is getting his brain scanned and soldiers are fighting psychic wars and...pretty crazy stuff, eh?

Ah. Then I ran across the following article today.

I think I'm afraid.

Steve

--------------

Future wars 'to be fought with mind drugs' Future wars could see opponents attacking each other's minds, according to a report for the US military.

By Jon Swaine
Last Updated: 6:22PM BST 14 Aug 2008

It is thought that some US soldiers are already taking drugs prescribed for narcolepsy in an attempt to combat fatigue Photo: EPA
Landmines releasing brain-altering chemicals, scanners reading soldiers' minds and devices boosting eyesight and hearing could all one figure in arsenals, suggests the study.

Sophisticated drugs, designed for dementia patients but also allowing troops to stay awake and alert for several days are expected to be developed, according to the report. It is thought that some US soldiers are already taking drugs prescribed for narcolepsy in an attempt to combat fatigue.

As well as those physically and mentally boosting one's own troops, substances could also be developed to deplete an opponents' forces, it says.

"How can we disrupt the enemy's motivation to fight?" It asks. "Is there a way to make the enemy obey our commands?" Research shows that "drugs can be utilized to achieve abnormal, diseased, or disordered psychology" among one's enemy, it concludes.

Research is particularly encouraging in the area of functional neuroimaging, or understanding the relationships between brain activity and actions, the report says, raising hopes that scanners able to read the intentions or memories of soldiers could soon be developed.

Some military chiefs and law enforcement officials hope that a new generation of polygraphs, or lie detectors, which spot lie-telling by observing changes in brain activity, can be built.

"Pharmacological landmines," which release drugs to incapacitate soldiers upon their contact with them, could also be developed, according to the report's authors.

The report, which was commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency, contained the work of scientists asked to examine how better understanding of how the human mind works was likely to affect the development of technology.

It finds that "great progress has been made" in neuroscience over the last decade, and that continuing advances offered the prospect of a dramatic impact on military equipment and the way in which wars are fought.

It also explains that the concept of torture could be transformed in the future. "It is possible that some day there could be a technique developed to extract information from a prisoner that does not have any lasting side effects," it states. One technique being developed involves the delivery of electrical pulses into a suspect's brain and delay their ability to lie by interfering with its neurons.

Research into "distributed human-machine systems", including robots and military hardware controlled by an operator's mind, is another particular area for optimism among researchers, according to the report. It says significant progress has already been made and that prospects for use of the field are "limited only by the creative imagination."

Jonathan Moreno, a bioethicist and the author of 'Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense', said "It's too early to know which, if any, of these technologies is going to be practical. But it's important for us to get ahead of the curve. Soldiers are always on the cutting edge of new technologies."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Okay...

The new piece is called Bluer Than Midnight. It has to do with The Blues, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Afterlife. Just another ordinary, average drama.

S

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wham!

Jesus. The first draft of the new play is finished. How the hell did that happen? At some point, it just took off like a rocket, and it was all I could do to keep up with it.

The working title is still "A Great Fear of Falling" but I'm not quite satisfied with that. In the vernacular of the play, I caint be satisfied. It's a weird sucker. Not that my plays usually aren't, but this one's...a weird sucker. And it involves my long unrequited love with music (the blues, in this case).

Will it work? Damned if I know. I'm just riding the buzz right now, and that's good enough. As Hemingway said: a place you'll never know. (Unless you're a writer, of course.)

S

Friday, August 1, 2008

Glacial Progress is Still Progress...or Butchering the Classics

So July is, mercifully, over. I knew it was going to be one of those months, given that I'd be wrapping up the End of the Pavement festival and participating in JAW. I did not know I'd being going half-mad and buying a guitar, but these things happen. The good news, for me--maybe not for the world at large--is I'm writing again. It just seemed like a few lines scribbled here or there, but I took stock today and realized I've written 40 pages on a new play, tentatively entitled "A Great Fear of Falling"; plus I started work on another, for the moment to remain secret, project.

The lonesome guitar strangling continues apace, but I'm happy to say that I've practiced every single day since I bought the damned thing, mastered a number of chords (even if I haven't mastered changing smoothly from one to another), and last night I very tentatively played the lead line into the Stones' "No Expectations." That was satisfying. I love that blues-slide shit. It'll even be more satisfying when I can actually play it.

Less satisfying but fun was playing perhaps the worst version of the Stones "Respectable" ever put forth. If you can imagine "Respectable" with psychedelic phase shifting played to a country beat...well, please don't. But at least I hit all the chords and it actually sounded like the song, even if the song was never meant to sound that way.

That's originality, right? Innit? Hello? I'm having much better luck playing the blues, which is what I bought the thing for to begin with. This week's addition of an effects pedal has greatly broadened the palette of sounds with which I have to play, and I can now make godawful screeching noises that could paralyze cats and cause sparrows to stiffen and fall from the trees.

Like I said: progress.