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Thursday, February 26, 2004

A Thought
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
That's from Margaret Mead, and is quoted in The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- And What They Expect in Return, by Charles Lewis and The Center for Public Integrity (p. 478).

Monday, February 23, 2004

The music of chance in a world of ghosts

Here and here.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Six Clear Channels or a half-dozen NPR affiliates

Agenda Bender found an mp3, and it's allegedly from Belgium:
This school girl choral version of Teenage Dirtbag would certainly be a hit record if radio wasn't such a pit of Clear Channel despond. Then there is the separate but equal horror of public radio's World Cafe(teria), which is produced a few blocks away from where I type this. Piping tepid portions of international microwaved cuisine served up by board certified dieticians. Be sure to pick up the mug and totebag at the cafeteria souvenir shop after your meal. The totebag especially comes in handy when signaling your presence to fellow droids at the whole foods grocer, nosherie or coffee bar.

A malignant little dot on the smooth, tanned flank of California

Back when Ghost World was coming out in the UK, the Guardian visited its creator:
Since the early 1990s, Clowes has drawn his own odd, misanthropic world from the Bay Area near San Francisco, first in Berkeley and then, after receiving his cheque for co-writing the Ghost World screenplay, from a house in Oakland he shares with his wife, Erika, a PhD student at the nearby University of California. It's an optimistic, friendly part of the world. The air stays warm throughout the day, and a sign on a restaurant door says "Open, Informally". Even the bright, cream-coloured mausoleum, Chapel Of Memories, has a way of assuring any passing driver of a calming end.

With his eye for oddity, ugliness and dark humour, Clowes is a malignant little dot on this smooth, tanned flank of California. "You see a lot of that," he says when we pass a man in a dress strolling down the street in Berkeley. "Then there's the people here who walk around with birds perched on their shoulders. It's about the only place where you could have nine people in your neighbourhood with birds on them somewhere."

A lot of individuals he knows with his type of disposition like to live in "London-ish" locales. Clowes is gloomy enough: "I can't imagine what a place like that would do to me." So this former Chicagoan has exiled himself to a land of constant temperatures and sunlight, where residents enthuse over the foam atop their lattes ("I want to take a picture of it!" said one woman. "I don't even want to drink it") and plaster their cars with declarative bumper stickers: Free Palestine, Support Organic Farming, Keep Jazz Alive.

"I like the ones that don't make any sense at all," Clowes says later when we're in his car, stuck behind a Volvo with "Save the Esteros" on its bumper. "Everything is so dogmatically presented here. Kill Your Television, they say. Well, I don't want to. Don't I have free will? We used to have a sticker that read Who Are You To Tell Me To Question Authority? It was perfect."

Sunday, February 08, 2004

To whom it may concern:

For the last several weeks, lincoln cat (me and a few of my selves) and Elephant-Rabbits (a group blog, but still a gang of one) have been regrettably inactive. We were in the midst of a labor-intensive move, westward to Maryland. (So long, Belgium, and thanks for all the croquetjes.)

Since we’ve spent the past six years in Europa, and since things have become, of late, rather interesting here and there, the subject of Transatlantica will be making repeat visits to both of these sites over the coming months. For now, we’ll point ya’ll to a thread still spinning out of Davids Medienkritik about German and American culture. (Various other topics have also woven themselves in, and the kite has flown so high there are now three whole rolls of string beneath it: one, two, three.)

Meanwhile, Marc F. Plattner is saying that the EU is trying to get medieval on all our asses (via John Coumarianos).

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