Archive for September 7th, 2003

Total Recall, All the Time


Universal Studios Sufferage


Here’s a radical yet logical idea. Since we are seemingly
doomed to be bombarded with all of the bombast and banality of the California
election, we should all be allowed to vote in it. Given the preeminent
role of California in our national media, entertainment and economic
life, the office of Governor has tremendous influence in all of our lives,
and so we should have some influence in his election. We are all Californians,
in a way.

OK, so maybe we shouldn’t have as much say as people who
actually LIVE in California, but maybe they could give the rest of us
a half vote each. We could vote over the internet, making it easy to
keep track with real-time, on-screen graphics as the titanic struggle
comes to a head and a national audience votes the pretenders off the
island, leaving only the one true Governor standing.

There are plenty more clever ideas where that one came from, designed to encourage
renaissance of participatory democracy. Next week I’ll tell you about my idea
that all shrink-wrapped
copies of the Windows OS should include a certificate for one share of Microsoft
stock, so any user who wants can vote in the annual shareholders meetings!

And I Thought MY Bathroom Was Busy!


Hindu holymen participate in the last auspicious bath of the Kumbh Mela
(sacred Hindu pilgrimage), at Trimbakeshwar in the Nasik district, 180
km (112 miles) northeast of Bombay, September 7, 2003. Hundreds of thousands
of Hindu devotees attended the month-long Kumbh Mela which ended on Sunday.
The Kumbh Mela occurs four times every twelve years at four different river
bank locations across India. from REUTERS

Bloodsworth Less than Semen


Thanks to a DNA semen test, Kirk Bloodsworth
celebrates Friday with his family on the porch of his Cambridge home after
learning that someone had been charged with the crime that he had spent
nine years
in prison
Incredibly.Bloodsworth grew close in prison with the inmate now charged
with the crime, who once slept in a cell one floor down from him. "The
answer was right below me, and I never knew it."

the Associated Press

Rock ‘n Roll Will Never Die, Just go to Japan


In Japan, derivitive fanatacism with American popular
culture has combined with an age-oldl honoring of old age
to make the place a sort
of "elephants burial ground" for the pop giants of yesteryear, know in
the trade as Rock Dinosaurs.

"Neil Young once sang, "It’s better to burn out than to fade
away." With
all due deference to Mr. Young, the Japanese taste for aging foreign
rock stars suggests that some things improve with age."

the New York Times

And the people bowed and prayed to the neon God they made


How does a crass, commercial outdoor advertisement morph
into an inspirational local landmark and
then further evolve into an improtant art installation.  Well, check
out the CITGO sign in Kenmore Square, Boston (around the corner from
Fenway Park and Boston University.)

According to Sam
Allis in today’s Boston Globe
, "since 1965, when it
acquired its current look, the sign has been distinguished for its simple
elegance and mesmerizing kinetics. As installation art, it is surpassed
only by the sinewy grace of the Zakim Bridge."

Now, however, the sign needs help. "The CITGO sign looks like hell.
The Boston landmark atop a building owned by Boston University appears
have been in a dogfight. The view from the Fenway Park side of the sign
— the only one that matters — reveals big holes in the blue of the "G" and "O."  Read
the fix in the Globe

Nazi Wine Leaves Bad Taste


As reported here Friday, the German government has asked
Italy to investigate whether wine with labels depicting Nazis
Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler violates European
Union anti-racism rules.

German tourists are importing the wine from
Italy and also able to purchase it on the Internet. A prize to the first
reader who sends in the ordering URL.