"Man oh man, 'Dr. Menlo.' Now there's an alternative blog. Kindness to animals, Seattle anarchists, nudism galore, SubGenius, anti-Bush black propaganda, jeez louise, Doc, that thing sure is happenin'." --Bruce Sterling, Schism Matrix
by kirsten anderson Kirsten invented and runs the best art galleries in Seattle: the Roq la Rue and BLVD Gallery. abuddhas memes by tony tross Tony chases Eris and his own personal Buddha-kin from the icy outer reaches of the Yukon.
"Ye fucking gods!! Are you nuts!? Those Jesuit bastards will eat you alive!" --Hunter S. Thompson, to me, circa '93
Imagine how much stuff is on this very planet, in our very oceans, that we still don't know about! How many archeological digs are waiting to be unearthed? How many cures for disease are waiting to be figured out? How many aqua-bound giant squids or dragon-esque creatures are waiting to be found? How many plants are yet to be identified and categorized growing now in the rainforests?
What if we put together a global New Deal to go and find all that stuff out? Instead of building roads, we would go out and amass scientific information? Give everyone a job and build our planet's collective database! Propagate respect for science with hands-on experience by the thousands world-wide! Think of all the exciting discoveries they would make!
Idea number two for a positive globalization event: porn olympics.
When I become president (at least of a fiction novel), I will create and set up a new department: the Department of Visionaries.
So, I was watching the Democratic Convention tonite when I came up with this: how soon until the politiks hire the writers of sci-fi? Ron Reagan talks about becoming diagnosed with Parkinsons, getting some cells taken out of your arm, and then getting a cure. “The future of science,” he declared.
I don’t remember what it was that Theresa Heinz said that got me into a futuristic mood--perhaps it was her mastery of 5 languages, perhaps it was her life on another continent before being transplanted here, or maybe it was her early recollections of the birth of the civil rights movement in Africa and the subsequent jailing of Nelson Mandela (whom Dick “Go Fuck Yourself” Cheney voted against releasing from prison, which is indefensible, and one of the many questions I would like to see him asked by Edwards or anybody coming up).
But when watching Heinz and her langorous, sexily-exotic lilt, I suddenly imagined her talking about bridges of light . . . or somesuch.
Maybe it was all their talk of the future--I was craving the images to back that up, and who better to do that than our present day visionaries--also known as sci-fi writers?
So I imagined a Department of Visionaries, but immediately knew there would have to be some ground rules set up: number one, these visions will be based on imagination and science.
For it wasn’t the snakecharmer that invented air conditioning. And it wasn’t the anti-medicine sect that created the plane. And it wasn’t the bare-breasted-statue-covering-up-cult that gave us the Enlightenment.
When is it going to be politically feasible to get up in front of the American people and say that you don’t base your cosmology on ancient myths? I was thinking I would run for office if only to be the first politician who didn’t end every speech with “God Bless America.” If there is a God--which I doubt--why would he (he?) only Bless America? (As many others have rightfully pointed out?) “Our God has blessed us to drive SUVs and eat at Cow-Corpse King so starve and walk ya third world unblessed chumps!”
But back to the Department . . . who would be the architect? Perhaps the designer of this?:
Who would head it? Him?:
Who would populate it? Him?:
[for we need the poets, too!]
In the Department of Visionaries, everyone knows that religion is a metaphor--thus not based solely on fact. In the Department of Visionaries, there is only one race: the human race, and the betterment of everyone is widely understood to be beneficial for us all.
. . . ah, but this title doesn't do this article's contents justice--for it is really about how sexy and sex-crazed those beautiful Olympians are. Some choice quotes:
The further into the fortnight you get, the fewer people you have living under coach-policed curfews, forced to abstain from the bacchanalia. And once they’re done, watch out: thousands of young people with boundless energy and great legs are suddenly let loose.
"When you have 10,000 people walking around who are amped up on their own glycogen you can almost see the sparks flying off their skin," says BJ Bedford, the American backstroke gold-medallist at Sydney.
At the Albertville winter Olympics, condom machines in the athletes’ village had to be refilled every two hours.
"There’s a lot of sex going on. You get a lot of people who are in shape, and, you know, testosterone’s up and everybody’s attracted to everybody," says Breaux Greer, a shaggy-blond Californian who competed in the javelin at the Sydney Games.
Cathy Rigby, a gymnast who took part in the Games of Mexico City and Munich, once told a reporter that gymnasts’ bodies are so aesthetically pleasing they should be forced to perform naked.
"Women compete better after orgasm, especially high-jumpers and runners," one of the doctors claimed. The German team physician endorses sex for male and female athletes, saying: "Sex does not cause any loss of strength."
He may be right. This year, a Russian psychologist told a German newspaper that neither gender should abstain. "It’s simple," she said. "More sex means more gold."
Wow. Talk about Naked Utopia . . . While we bathe in the images of those beautiful Olympians pursuing pleasure, let's take a minute to look at this: 5 Reasons Sex is Good For You! Includes: getting a great workout, boosting immunity, increasing levels of happiness, reducing stress, living longer and looking younger! Hey, those are some great things, huh? So science and common sense and even the Olympians say good health = good sex! Who woulda thunk? Can I google this?
. . . so if sex is good for you, why are photographic representations of sex so vilified? A War on Porn? On what grounds?!--we cry, only to come up with, once again, those crazy fucking religious fundamentalists. Hey, if I were Prez I'd not only make actual education a priority in America, I'd also make mythology ala Joseph Campbell mandatory: learn to discern what a fucking metaphor is you stupid literalists!
Of course, there also some feminists who vilify porn . . . we here at drmenlo.com and Sensual Lib prefer, instead, to emulate the Toys in Babeland model: pro-female and sex-positive! . . . and that's SLA's basic stance on sensuality and sex . . .
I also created SLA to try and harness the power of sex on the net and point it toward some progressive aims: "See Some Nudes/Save the World!" i.e. Since I founded SLA in 2000 (SLA was first mentioned here, in Exquisite Corpse), this meme has been a popular one, and for this we are extremely pleased. Some examples:
Troops, returning home with untreated and little-understood mental health issues, put themselves and their families at risk for suicide and domestic violence, experts say. Twenty-three U.S. troops in Iraq took their lives last year, according to the Defense Department — an unusually high number, one official acknowledged.
On patrol, however, all that is available is talk.
"Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill," Hall says. "It's like it pounds at my brain. I'll figure out how to deal with it when I get home." [more]
Big thanks to Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing for linking the last Simpsons spec script first act and calling it "very funny." (I went right out and bought his book after that, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom--is that bad?) . . . (I did like the book; it was light and fun. I imagined the central character's older friend the whole time as Rip Torn . . . but I probably liked the idea of easy near-future immortality the best . . . )
"A couple of years ago, we were the only band on Warped going, and I'll be blunt, 'Fuck George Bush and fuck politicians who like George Bush,' " says charismatic bassist-singer Chris #2, calling from a sunbaked Phoenix tour stop. "That time was so bizarre for us. We had people inside the punk movement, that we considered friends, giving back our T-shirts, sending back our records, and totally buying into the nationalism movement. I don't know if they thought George Bush had suddenly taken genius pills, but people who'd previously been demanding a recall were giving him their blind faith."
That's not the case today, and not just because Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has given Americans something to seriously think about. As the casualties--and the wartime atrocities--mount on both sides, a whole lot of people have become outraged at what's transpired in Iraq over the past year.
"We've been saying all along that on September 10 George Bush was an asshole and on September 12 he was an asshole," Chris #2 says. "This year on the Warped Tour there isn't a band that's not saying that same kind of thing, which I think is awesome. I'm glad that popular sentiment on the tour is a progressive one." [more]
The ruling by the International Court of Justice in The Hague that the ”security wall” Israel is building in the West Bank is illegal marks a major victory for Palestinians.
The ruling is not binding. Officially it is termed only an ”advisory opinion” offered by the court. Israeli officials briefing media while the court was delivering its opinion declared the judgment would find its way to the ”garbage can of history.”
But the ”advisory opinion” marks a major moral and diplomatic win for Palestinians. And it further weakens the diplomatic case both of Israel and the United States.
The decision will bring a significant setback to the United States in the Arab world; a U.S. judge was the only one among 15 who delivered a contrary opinion. [more]
. . . of course, Israel won't listen to the "International Court of Justice" . . . Israel listens to no one but it's own fundamentalist belief in their own God, who also tells them it's OK to murder Palestinians and keep stealing their land because they're sub-human anyway, right? God's chosen people can murder and steal all they like--that's the problem with those fucking religious fundamentalists: they are and always will be a cancer on the body politic--most especially when they have guns and nukes in their hand. (When an old homeless man walks down the street muttering about being talked to by God, he is dismissed as crazy; when the US and Israeli presidents talk and act like it, both with armies and nukes at their disposal, they are given moist french kisses on the ass.) As I've said often before: religious fundamentalism is the true enemy of mankind. And Israel today is the most blatant and unapologetic example of that (with the possible present exception of Sudan, in numbers and not hubris). How much land will Israel have to steal before they're done? How many Palestinians will still be alive--if any--before Israel has killed enough? Since it is obvious that Israel bows to no one--including, most obsequiously--the United States, why is it so absurd to wonder who really wears the pants in the Israel/US relationship?
Please update your bookmarks and links, Ladies and Gents!
Big thanks to the thistle for our brand-new design! (It works great in Safari but a couple people have said that they have problems viewing it in Explorer--any feedback would be appreciated in the comments section to this post.)
Over at the new url shortly, we will have all new stories, pictures and links! We will also put on a 'Friends' list of everyone who so kindly permalinks PSS! (Also note: the PSS archives will still be up here with all the old comments, and over at the new domain we will be trying out the new blogger comments, so don't be surprised if all the comments seem suddenly wiped clean over there.)
Just before the weekend, the Rainbow Warrior docked in Wellington, New Zealand, at the end of our trip to the Tasman Sea. It was strange arriving back, after all those weeks at sea. We hadn't seen land in three weeks. As the harbour pilot guided us in, we watched planes take off and cargo ships coming alongside us. As the sun set, car headlights twinkled in the distance, and lights came on in the warren of office buildings that face Wellington's seafront. [more]
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 8—Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists released new evidence that the Bush Administration continues to suppress and distort scientific knowledge and undermine scientific advisory panels. The number of scientists calling for an end to these practices and restoration of scientific integrity in federal policymaking now totals more than 4,000, including 48 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients, and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences. [more]
Now, I would call that last sentence the most winning one in this new UCS endeavor . . . so, if you take a conservative paper like the Seattle Times and look at their slant on it, you will see that they bury that part about this UCS report being signed by more than 4,000 scientists including 48 Nobel laureates, etc. in the last paragraph. Plus, unlike the New York Times (id: drmenlo, pw: samizdat) or the LA Times (registration required), they don't even use the word 'Scientist' in their title: they say 'Group' instead, no doubt to diminish the effect of the accuser--'group' could be anybody, while the word 'scientist' still carries some credibility today . . . (not that the NYT or LAT are not necessarily conservative . . . )
Dogs Attacked With Fireworks: "Six puppies were killed, apparently by fireworks placed in their mouths, shortly after teenage boys were seen carrying Roman candles in a north Tulsa neighborhood."
George W. Bush Killed Frogs With Fireworks: "Old family friends talk about how Dubya, as a kid, used to stick firecracker up inside frogs, then toss the frog into the air and laugh when it blew into a ball of red and green pieces."
Young Dr. Frist Sliced Up Cats: "He had some advanced ideas about a medical breakthrough, and they'd run out of cats to dissect at the medical school, so he'd go to animal shelters, make goo-goo eyes at a cat at each shelter to get them to let him adopt the shivering strays, take them home, and then perform experimental surgery on them."
"They say he's a sociopath because they don't know what else to call him. He has some of the characteristics of what they call a sociopath. He has no remorse or guilt at all. And he had the first and worst sign - sadism to animals as a child." - Thomas Harris, Author of Red Dragon
The reason for optimism lies in the biological fact that it keeps you happy and busy, whereas pessimism just leads to lying around and bitching. I'd rather keep happy and busy than lie around bitching, but I know this will not convince those who really like lying around and bitching. As Nietzsche said that optimism and good health always go together, and so do pessimism and morbidity, in the medical sense of the word. [more]