Beth Lisick and I made a video. Should have added here awhile back…
Beth Lisick and I made a video. Should have added here awhile back…
A film festival programmer on cities, disaster films and why it’s OK to love Basic Instinct.
I wrote this for Jonn Herschend and Art Practical.
It is difficult to deny the rhetorical force and sheer rightheadedness of statements made by NRA spokesman Wayne LaPierre on December 21, 2012. He argued that the demands of our violent, video game loving and all around soft culture to make elementary schools “gun-free” zones has made those schools safe havens for the criminally insane.
While he suggests that we install armed policeman at every school, we remain skeptical that this truly represents “all that we can do” to protect our most valuable resource, our children.
Therefore, we propose to booby trap every school in the United States.
Booby traps naturally deter people from going to a place where they aren’t wanted, because you can die and stuff. We can hear you thinking (and we agree), “Land mines could do the trick.” But, land mines have the unfortunate downside of periodically killing innocent people and they are difficult to de-install. Also, we keep forgetting where they all are.
You may also ask, “Do emotionally distressed people make rational decisions about their own safety?” And, we answer your question with a question of our own, “Isn’t there only one way to find out for sure?”
We think crowd funding this important project is the best and most realistic way forward, since the federal government is too busy allocating money to purchase arms to protect people like the president. Why is he safe, while everyone else without an armed guard is less safe? Think about it. And, while you’re thinking about it, don’t think about any politician who’s been assassinated, because then you’ll be confused. Instead, just keep thinking about how your child doesn’t have an armed guard and the president does. Some of our state governments think it’s more important to fund education, including many teachers who haven’t undergone the weapons training that we think necessary, than it is to fund school safety. So, we are here to tell you that for the cost of a latté you can help to install dangerous and innovative traps in your child’s school! Or, are you just a selfish jerk who doesn’t care about kids?
Back to booby traps: you may be wondering, “Is my child actually more safe if we surround him or her with weapons?” Even though most studies would say no, that they are in fact less safe, we want to point out that facts are often biased towards reality.
Clearly, having a weapon makes you safer. It’s common sense. Don’t look up in a study what is so obviously true on the face of it. If someone tells you differently, argue incoherently about a hostile government takeover of society. Let’s band together and give the police more guns and create elaborate and frightening protections in our schools. Nothing says “learning” like having a guy with a handgun outside the door.
Additionally, booby traps can serve as a terrific educational opportunity for kids. What’s cooler than learning how to carve a punji stick, making a trap door or rigging trip wires?
Finally, if this doesn’t quite work out to curb violence in our societies, we will extend this booby trapping activity to a number of other contexts such as hospitals, post offices, malls, work places, etc., because the problem with our culture is not that it’s too violent, it’s that there are too many places that are safe zones for bad guys. We need to make sure that no place is safe.
Send checks to the NRA at it:
National Rifle Association of America
School Shield Projects
11250 Waples Mill Road Fairfax, VA 22030
It was cool that Mitt Romney decided to include Neil Armstrong in his nomination acceptance speech last night at the Republican National Convention. Armstrong was the first human being to walk on the moon and for that symbolizes a success of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Armstrong died on the 25th of August just a few days prior and Romney’s people probably didn’t see any political angle to exploiting his death. Ha. Of course, that’s just politics (necromantics), so no biggie there.
But, apart from the truly terrible phraseology Romney chose in presenting his legacy – “The soles of Neil Armstrong’s boots made permanent impressions on our souls.” Holy shite. Really? (reminded me of “There’s a Hidden Valley Ranch party in MY mouth!) — and, the conflation of Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, whose boot impression is the one we all know and made an impression on our, umm, souls, focusing on that event is a pretty unfortunate one. That’s because Romney’s platform vociferously disavows the historical impact and potential worth of governmental programs to spur private industry or move the economy forward.
The Apollo program, which brought the first human beings to the moon, was one of the most expensive research oriented governmental programs in history. The economic stimulus (for lack of a better term) provided for what would equal hundreds of billions of dollars when accounting for inflation.
Not surprisingly, throughout the years there have been many who criticized the space program as a waste of resources. The idea that someone could walk on the moon and that that could be in some way meaningful was perceived many as ludicrous. As Gil Scott-Heron so eloquently said, “I can’t pay no doctor bill, but whitey’s on the moon. Ten years from now I’ll be paying still, while Whitey’s on the moon.”
On the occasion of the closing of the space program, many pundits and economists debated whether the space program had an overall negative or positive effect on the economy.
But, what isn’t debated is whether private sector business received a net gain from the technical and scientific innovations of the program. They did. That is to say, many entrepreneurs benefitted greatly from the investment the government made into the infrastructure and research base of science and technology that the space program presented.
In this way, many businesses that appear to us as stand alone ventures, completely self-reliant and pioneering are like Neil Armstrong himself, an individual trailblazer whose status as a pinnacle obscures the massive edifice that necessarily supports his individual glory. Was Neil Armstrong a unique individual, a maverick even? Probably. Could he have made it alone? Of course not. This statement isn’t intended to take anything away from Armstrong’s achievements. He was a pilot, an astronaut and an aerospace engineer. By all accounts an amazing person. But, he worked in a system and his success would not have been possible without the decision of the US government to sink billions of dollars into an industry purely for the purpose of innovation.
Just as a digression: It is very rare for a person to literally as Romney put it, “build a business with their own hands.” In fact, for my own part trying to imagine it – a person building a business with their hands — is difficult. A business is a somewhat abstract entity. It’s based on the monetization of products, labor or an idea. People can make products with their hands. But, a business requires the process of getting those products into a marketplace. And, much of that process relies on our shared infrastructures — of communication, transportation, power and money among other things. Those infrastructures have been built up in common. And, that doesn’t account for the natural resources of land, water, air, metals, timber or whatever else might be needed to create this fictitious business. Many people are great at building businesses. It’s a terrific skill that I do not mean to underplay. But, it is by its nature a social exercise. To deny that deliberately misleads.
Later in his speech Romney made fun of Obama for wanting to “slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet.” It seems absurd of course to imagine a man standing in front of the ocean and quelling it with nothing more than his sheer will. And, I laugh too when I think of an Obama-hippie meditating of the planet healing. But, I wish that either Romney or Obama, someone! would take on a seemingly impossible, yet vital task. And, while some might debate whether rising sea levels are in part a man made problem (they are, knucklehead), it would be difficult to argue that rising sea levels aren’t an important problem facing humankind.
Could a literal turning of the tides be our next president’s Apollo program?
In addition to the many private sector business and scientific innovations the space program brought to the nation and world, it also helped to galvanize the public and spark the imaginations of our nation as a whole. Isn’t that what Romney means when he says (lamely) says that Armstrong’s sole impression is on our souls? We need someone to stand up and say, “Fuck it. Let’s do the impossible!” Let’s stop global climate change. Let’s turn back the oceans. Let’s create plastic eating bacteria. Let’s cure cancer with nanotechnology. Let’s create an economic system that is based on equality. Let’s make sure that every person who gets sick can get the attention they need to get well. They government will commit itself to this project and we are doing it in five years!
Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Like a guy walking on the fucking moon. (Or a grown man speaking condescendingly to an imaginary president in an empty chair in front of thousands of people.)
This will help you to make decisions about how to protect your face.
Only the minority of these ostensible curly fries would qualify as “curly.” The rest are just bent or arcing. I took photographs of french fries today.
Just to show that I am not above being wrong, I open with something that one could say, I guess, is curly. But, it’s really mostly straight-ish, and then has a little pig’s tail. What’s more curly than a pig’s tail you say. I say, fuck, I dunno.
By far, most of the fries that come in a batch of curly fries look like this. Half moons. Curly? Hell, no! I said, curly fries not muthafuckin half-moon fries, beyotch! This style makes up 63.2% of most curly fry orders.
Also a common site (checking in at 23.1%) , but still technically not curly. If you are on a date, you may (prob not tho) get a laugh by wearing it as a bull ring in your nose. BUT, no matter what, don’t eat it after your little “joke.” Trust me on this.
I know what you’re thinking — a curly fry! Since when are we calling a ring “curly?” One curl is not “curly.” The only good thing to say about the “O" is that it is the least common type of fry found in curly fries, a mere 2.39%.
I will agree that based on technicality this constitutes a “curl.” Two loops. If you looked at this and said, “It curled,” I wouldn’t need to donkey punch you in the kidneys. But, is it “curly?” This two looped ring is rare — 3.0%. That’s a good thing, becuase it is the most controversial of all the curly fries. And, who likes controversy?
Let’s take a break to acknowledge that detritus is inevitable in the production of potato-based foods. This kind of weirdness litters the bottom of all curly fry batches. It’s cool. I know you’re not trying to hold up this cartographer’s nightmare while saying, “Look how curly it is!” No harm done here.
This is what is meant by curly fry. Come on guys, can’t we get the percentages up for actual curliness? Making up 12.79% of curly fries, that this actually curly thing is as rare as it is is practically criminal. And, when curly fries are outlawed, only outlaws will eat curly fries. See what I mean? Me neither.
This last curly fry made me weep and gives me hope for the future.
Black Sabbath Paranoid x 6
I don’t usually post stuff I didn’t make, but I really wanted to share this as I couldn’t find it on youtube. I saw this film years ago and always remembered this bizarre scene. Please enjoy before youtube deletes it.