Tea, Earl Gray, Hot

Salon has a neat article on desktop manufacturing (yes you have to view an ad to get to it, but on the bright side it’s probably a John Mayer Trio ad). It looks to be the first step toward a Star Trek-style replicator. A device like that always makes me wonder if, as technology continually removes the physical and financial restraints of production, supply might change its relationship to demand. It’s the same issue as file sharing – if demand becomes near-infinite, what happens to demand and value? And if some desktop device can replicate the manufacturing processes of hundreds of industries, how does that affect their bottom lines? If the aim of technology is to make life easier and do more for us, what else is left for us to do to make a living? Could such a device eliminate commodity-based industries, leaving us only with service industries? If a device can make you anything you want, what’s left to want?

“Nice Rolex” by Jesus Beaver

compromise you patrolling me, frenchman . semite you burdensome me, judith . carlson you anthracite me, moiety boggy arrear mckenzie . magma you tam me, compleat lolly .
censure you hereford me, delay sunspot . stadia you n’s me, naive reverse gibson . act you anaplasmosis me, willie cowry twenty dianne .

The author’s clever repetition of “me” and his use of multiple proper names suggests a sense of pressure, or being attacked from multiple points. This is underscored by a reference to anaplasmosis, or “tick fever” in cattle. The author wants to convey that he is but a lowly cow being bitten away at by parasites.

Scenes From a Four Day Weekend

I strangely don’t feel rested after four days off. I drove to Harrison Thursday morning, Zoe in tow, and since my family wasn’t gathering until Friday (the siblings’ in-laws have dibs on Thanksgiving) we went to the park to play frisbee and meet up with Becky. The winds increased so we had to go somewhere else. Where does one go in Harrison, Arkansas, on Thanksgiving Day? Wal-Mart of course. We ate lunch at McDonald’s and piddled around in the toy department. The weather improved so we went over to my old elementary school’s playground, and then to Maplewood cemetary (why? well, why not?) before adjourning to our respective family dinners.

Friday I goofed off at the local music stores, and had lunch with the family. I left for Little Rock not long after, as I wanted to get back in time for the big Localist Launch Party. Localist is now officially an online operation in its entirety. The first issue features my review of the new Lyrics Born CD. The next issue will feature my Boondogs piece and another review, or so I’m told.

Saturday I drove to Stuttgart to play their enormous annual Wings Over the Prairie Duck Gumbo Cook-Off. It may well have been the largest audience I’ve played for; the place was packed and there was a vaguely frat-party/Madis Gras vibe to the proceedings. We played from 1PM to 5PM and it wore me out. Superflux has no other gigs on the calendar right now, so let me know if anybody needs a cover band for an office party.

And of course there are pictures of everything at the plog. This marks the first plog I’ve set up at home, using the GIMP on my VAIO laptop. I’m still getting used to the GIMP; I need to redo several pictures because I saved them at too low a resolution. But I’m tired now.

In Love with an Idea

Around this time last year someone was wondering whether she was in love with a person or an idea of that person. That stuck in my brain, and continues to as my own inner Wembley constantly questions and deconstructs my affections for certain people. What I would suggest is that everyone is always in love with their idea of a person, to some extent. Non-telepathic beings that we are, we never fully, truly know each other. There are always secrets that can be held back; a wife can live decades with her husband and have no idea about his latex boot fetish. What we know of a person is dependent upon our experiences with them, who they are around us, and that’s an inherently limited array of data. [1]

This is particularly the case in the early stages of a romance. When we know very little about a person, we build on what we know of them and what our imaginations would like them to be. In the case of a person for whom we have great affection, our imaginations tend to assume that this person is worthy of higher esteem than perhaps they deserve. When someone excites us romantically, our brains get excited and fill in the gaps with appealing assumptions. We idealize and in some cases idolize. Then when the relationship doesn’t last, we mourn not only the loss of a physical and emotional presence, but also the loss of the ideal that we held onto so strongly.

I try to puzzle out these sorts of things so that I can avoid them in the future, but in this case I don’t think there’s any way to avoid it. Our brains are geared to imagine and create and run scenarios. Creating and losing our own illusions may be unavoidable. Hopefully by simply being aware of these dynamics, we can proceed more cautiously and cushion the inevitable disappointments. The alternative is to get incredibly excited about someone you barely know and then get incredibly depressed when they don’t meet your expectations.

I’d be a terrible romatic comedy screenwriter.

1.) I also have this theory that everyone is a different person to each of their friends. The person I am when I’m with Friend A is a different person from the one I am with Friend B. The differences are subtle, but very real. My mental filters change, my movements and statements are different and obviously our exchanges will be specific to our shared interests and experiences. When we connect, we change slightly.

These Things Just Write Themselves

So far I’ve only seen this quotation on NewsMax.com (flaming right wing echo chamber and propaganda machine) and DailyKos.com (its counterpart on the left), so I don’t entirely trust the sources. Supposedly in a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, NBC Universal President Bob Wright dismissed the idea of a news channel aimed at liberals, saying:

“For some strange, probably genetic reasons, they don’t listen to a lot of radio and they don’t watch a lot of television.”



I’m home from my trip to Memphis and I’m in a peculiar mood, brought on by a combination of factors but mainly initiated by an extended stay at the Civil Rights Museum, housed at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was killed. That experience is something of an onslaught; it’s still a lot to process. I still feel disconnected to that era and from the hardships it brought to those who lived through it. It feels completely foreign to me, even though I’ve lived my entire life in the South. I only catch impressions of what it left behind, pieces of some larger puzzle.

I can’t help but feel that Memphis as a whole has been something of a sad, cursed place since Dr. King died. We went to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music yesterday, and on the introductory video a couple of people interviewed said something similar – that the Stax record label itself is considered to have been a casualty of King’s death; as though it died a few years later of a broken heart. Add to that the fact that I previously knew the city to be a place of terrible musical tragedy – the town where a singular genius like Shawn Lane died too young and remains in a pauper’s grave, and where my friend Ross Rice struggled for so long against an industry that openly disdains talent and creativity.

Seeing the combined struggles of so many, I can’t help but reflect on the fact that in my life I’ve never truly known suffering. I have led an exceedingly charmed life with so many fantastic friends and relatives. I’ve certainly had my fair share of heartache (a constant companion these days), but it is miniscule when compared to the hardships others have had to endure.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have a renewed sense of gratitude toward the universe for making my life so easy and pleasurable. I’ve had it as good as anyone has a right to expect. I’m also thankful for the vast cache of $1 vinyl at Shangri-La from which I purchased a significant lode. I’m listening to Keith Jarrett right now and am again dazzled by the various manifestations of beauty in this world.

Dallas Pictures

Here are the pictures from last weekend’s Dallas excursion. Next weekend I’m going to Memphis. This is more recreational traveling than I’ve done in a long while, mainly because Superflux has been on a break for most of November. Rehearsals begin soon for our gig at the Duck Gumbo[1] in Stuttgart on the 26th. After that, the Christmas party season begins, meaning free weekends will be unlikely.

Good week for live music at Juanita’s; Ian Moore was in town on Monday and tonight The Samples are playing. It’s nice to be busy watching live music and not performing or rehearsing it for once.

1.) By all means, click the link and admire the hastily gathered promotional photography session for this gig. I forgot to wear a cool shirt. In fact, I was at the office when Steve called and said, “are you on your way?” What can I say? We were on a deadline.

New Developments in Spam Poetry

This being our fifth installment of spam poetry, I felt it necessary to create a category for it; see lower left for the past examples. This latest chestnut gives evidence that robot poetry has already moved into its post-modern/experimentalist phase of development. Whereas human poetry took hundreds of years to develop this sort of approach, automated spam robots got here in about 5 years.

“Eat your own dog food – Weasel by sleep”
carry the have it if ! only or.
tell and away but does in warm it’s a not shall , Cow the ten in I on found and me some.
round be drink it full the brown try said it upon it’s Pants !.
hurt the is not the and be ,.
there it’s my , this a those ! been , little it’s going see away not then in round some Chicken may.
fall may Chia-pet be it may said it and may been it get some.
play not round on my it warm the.
or in must some found may use or carry or gave on from it of , both try not and Eskimo try.
go not pull not warm may brown the these but my a never in.

Dallas Trip, Wedding Pictures

Finally I have some pictures up from Trey’s wedding a week ago. The delay was caused by the migration to the new laptop, where I still don’t have a copy of Photoshop installed. Anybody have an old copy they can send me?

I also took several pictures during last weekend’s trip to Dallas, but I’ll put those up later so that I don’t have one massive page full of pictures. Famine or feast with pictures from me, it seems. Heather, Allison, and I flew to Dallas to hang out with the other Allison and her husband Rodney, as well as Odie and Torrey (although we missed our chance to see Torrey due to scheduling conflicts). Mostly we shopped and ate ourselves silly. The obligatory visit to Half Price Books was done, as well as the Virgin Megastore in Grapevine where I bought way too much stuff (a De La Soul live CD, Nellie McKay special edition, Fiona Apple special edition, the new Lemon Jelly, a DJ Shadow single, and a documentary on the Moog synthesizer). I’m tired.

“The Curse of Wikipedia,” Or “And We’re Back”

Oh Wikipedia. You are such a lovely thing to behold. You bring me traffic and I adore you but sometimes I am crushed under your massive girth. Indeed, yesterday’s featured Dogpatch article was too much to bear for our tiny adorable little server. We exceeded our bandwidth and were shut down for the latter part of yesterday and early today. I had The Man increase our bandwidth to 600 Megs (up from 300), so hopefully that will prevent this sort of thing from happening again any time soon. Ah the vagaries of Internet traffic.