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Journal Journal: Christgau syntax challenge

Found this old thread in an unrelated search. I'm not sure if it's interesting to someone who doesn't read Xgau. It's not a Xgau-bashing thread, tho bashers pop in.

(Search page on "Momus" for an interesting tangential overview.)

Summary: Xgau writes in a shorthand that's only comprehensible to someone who regularly reads Xgau plus at least some other V. Voice rockwrite. Thus the writer, whose stated intentions are (were?) democratic, becomes an "in" scene, to diminished usefulness.

Forced Exposure used to receive similar letters (1980s, print only) about Byron Coley, whose capsule reviews were much more obscure. However, once you figured him out, you could read 200 album reviews and compile a good shoppin' list in a single afternoon.

Personally, "20 dense words, then move on to the next subject", works fine for me, especially w/ Xgau since most of his subjects don't interest me much. His prose influenced mine a lot.

Richard Meltzer, with whom (like Coley) I agree more, had terrible logorrhea (sp?), giving me time to wonder "Why am I wasting my time on such subject matter?"

This is me being Sielwolf-on-Ebert.

Damn I just found good stuff in my junk folder. First time that's happened in a couple years.

User Journal

Journal Journal: now playing


I'm taking TRB the Tom Robinson Band - Excellent, Intelligent, Angry and Relevant! off my hard drive, and just had to copy it back in because the last person with a complete seed split before you could finish.

Could you please keep this one open for a week or so in case someone else discovers it? I'm pretty certain it's gonna die soon, but I'd feel better if that didn't happen today.

Heard some speculation about Chief Justice Clarence Thomas this morning and I'm very bummed. Listening to old jazz records and trying to imagine a time when america created things of beauty.

was XMMS-ing: Gato Barbieri, Berliner Jazztage Nov 1972

now XMMS-ing: John Fahey, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK, 1999-09-30

As I type this I'm waiting for a client to drop by for some beginner's computer lessons. Her HP Pavillion laptop doesn't seem terrible, but if she asked me or anyone I knew, she'd have gotten an iBook. Her schedule permitting, I'll also be

  • installing OpenOffice
  • running updates, and
  • making her an email account on a local freenet.

Unless I've missed another Daylight Saving Time change, she's an hour late. I don't mind tho. I may practice some Dvorak typing until she arrives.

Best typing tutor I've seen that isn't Mavis: Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor. Unfortunately the demo version stops when you've learned 1/3 of the keyboard. $25 complete, works on Mac and Linux KDE (and probably X).

Currently using dvorak7min, which isn't nearly as fun (tho I have "Nastiness" turned on). I currently test at 80wpm QWERTY (tho that figure relates to real world typing like an EPA gas mileage rating to real driving). Hopefully, after a couple months I'll be faster in Dvorak.

So angry at my stupid country.


Journal Journal: Nirvana publisher shuts down torrent site 1

  • 2005-04-07 18:28:34 Nirvana publisher shuts down torrent site (Your Rights Online,Music) (pending)

Yesterday Easytree shut down abruptly in response to legal threats made to their ISP (not to Easytree) claiming "massive copyright violations". According to their home page: "... they had received a few letters from a couple of lawyers. They requested EZT to be shut down immediately, otherwise we and the hosting service would be sued."

Today they found out the culprit:

"The offender was torrent # 30630, NIRVANA 08/30/1992 Reading Festival Complete PRO Shot DVD. In particular the title 'Smells like Teen Spirit', rightowner: Universal, claimed through Universal Music GmbH, Germany, and pro MediaGmbH (exclusive partner of IFPI in Germany)."

EZT has been the leading music torrent site. Tho not limiting their torrents to "taper friendly" bands, EZT are (were) meticulous about deleting subject matter by "banned" artists. It is easily more cost-effective for an artist or publisher to request a ban than to initiate legal action.

"To our knowledge this is the first time anyone has done an end-run around us to our hosting service and the first time there's been a demand to stop the entire operation."

Updates will be posted to EZT's Yahoo! group (registration required).


Journal Journal: Fwd: Bush team in "meltdown" mode

from the rumours-on-the-Internets Department

This is circulating on a couple listservs. Someone I barely know vouches for its accuracy. Incidentally, there is no Mark Mehlman; it should be Ken Mehlman. (Names censored by me.)

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 15:27:08 -0500
From: [he who cannot be named]
Subject: Fwd: Bush team in "meltdown" mode--check this out

The person who sent this to me is a reliable source, but I can't vouch for his sources. Still, an interesting and fun read...

---------- Forwarded message ----------

I can't say where I got this from but suffice to say it's someone at a major metrolpolitan newspaper (and it's not Clark or Lois). Let's hope they're right! Guess we'll know soon--maybe.
>> To: Class of 1976 discussion group.; Class of 1976 discussion
> group.
ok, got a call on my cell phone this am while taking my son to hockey. my friend in the kerry campaign spoke late last night with mark mehlman of the bush team. mehlman was a roomate of my friend when they were both at the harvard law school. they are at opposite ends of the politcal spectrum, but are very good friends. mehlman says the bush team is in "major melt down" because their polling has them losing in ohio and florida, so they are in a mad dash to pull something out in the upper midwest. michigan isn't really in play. he called it a "head fake". wisconsin is slipping away, bush spoke in green bay today to less than 5,000 people (kerry drew 80,000 in madison on thursday). iowa has the numbers potentially but they've focused on it way too late, after the dems had a massive absentee push, so iowa is unlikely. they can't win with minnesota alone and even that state doesn't look good.

mehlman says that there is incredible discord at the top. cheney is absolutley livid with rove on the overall strategy ("we peaked too soon you bastard") and with karen hughes for not adequately preparing bush for the debates ("he looked like a g** d***** mental patient"). cheney is apparently a "real monster". the rnc doesn't know what to do because they can't get any clear direction from the top. mehlman says that bush's slide in their polls began about three weeks before the debates when kerry when into attack mode with major foreign policy speeches at nyu and at a national guard convention, the day after bush spoke. the slide accelerated big time after the debates, "everyone was as bad as the first with no let-up in free fall" according to mehlman. cheney freaked during the first debate, convinced that bush "'lost the f****** election in front of 65 million people". Now they simply don't have the numbers to win in Florida, have not got their ducks in a row to "deflect" the massive number of early voters and are having real trouble maintaining the base in Florida and elsewhere ("our people are just turning away"). in ohio they've been simply overwhelmed with the new voter registrations and have been unsuccessful in court challenges. bush's number actually go now when he visits ohio after Treasury Secretary Snow's comments in the state that job losses were a "myth". Additionally many repubs are pissed about the financial proligacy of Bush and Cheney and their incompetence in Iraq, so a lot are simply going to "take a pass", read not vote. bush apparently has been totally "out of it" believing Rove and Hughes that everything was fine and that victory was assured, but is finally and slowing catching on that he might lose this thing. yesterday morning when made aware of the bin laden tape in nh, simply said. "It's over." maybe all this can be chalked up to mehlman having a tough week. Jeff


Journal Journal: blatant Google whack

links from Doonesbury's illegible "Honest Voices Reading List"

article on web server overload caused by same. Explains "Slashdot Effect" to readers.

This will do no good. There is no hope. The voting machines are rigged. The electorate is stupid, scared, fiercely christian. The monstrously funded GOP propaganda & election fraud machine makes Slobodan Milosevic's campaign look like a "Vote Mondale" button. America is dying. It's all over.

Darfur news on the radio. Soon our white christians will take up their machetes, and with beautific smiles, commence hacking the rest of us, bringing god's kingdom to America.


Journal Journal: Robert Quine links

I'm not fond of RIP JE's, but here's some raw data.


If you weren't aware of him, it's too late now. Fans of 70s Bowery punk & Lou Reed might fill you in.

WFMU tribute (MP3 & Real streams):
http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/11514 Selection isn't what I'd pick exactly.

Richard Hell on Quine: http://www.richardhell.com/cgi-bin/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=6409


Journal Journal: Andy Richter, goatse troll 7

.troll should be a new TLD

I'm watching Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and during guest Andy Richter's segment they joke about a ficticious NBC series called "Goat Sex!". That got me suspicious. Then Conan goes into how Richter, who used to be the staff fluent-with-computers guy, would sneak onto uptight staff members' PCs and save a horrific web image to people's desktop wallpapers.

The rest of society is seeing this thing. A decade (or three) from now it'll be referred to on nostalgia TV. Maybe even depicted.


Journal Journal: Ibuprofen tripping / Giordano Bruno 4

How I goofed off today.


Everyone at the office is exhausted from last night's Dining Out For Life effort, so my services are hardly needed today. I could learn some new programming skill or plan the next week's work networking our new office; instead I slurped coffee and web surfed all morning.

Read someone's unofficial (Xiph decided not to link to this) Vorbis comments standard (I love Vorbis), then onto Mozilla 1.3 new features (I love Mozilla) and Slashdot comments on same that could've all been rated (-1 Redundant). Started loving the resize graphics feature, and went to APOD to try it out immediatedly. Before long, I fell in love with the planet Neptune, which unfortunately only has a small, somewhat pixilated pic. What a great color tho. Whaddyou call that kinda pale blue?

Anyway it seems I was on an emotionally manic phase, probably cos this morning the extreme pain from my bike accident is mostly gone and life is beautiful. I find myself stopping entranced to look at things like a small lamp glowing in someone's darkened cubicle.

Looked up Giordano Bruno, an early believer in Copernican theory -- that earth revolves around the sun -- and a contemporary of Galileo, who publicly recanted Copernican beliefs so the Inquisition would spare his life. Bruno did not recant, and was put to death. Burnt at stake he was.

Bruno's other claim to fame is taking Copernican theory this far:

Innumerable suns exist; innumerable earths revolve around these suns in a manner similar to the way the seven planets revolve around our sun. Living beings inhabit these worlds.

Here's an unofficial Catholic spin on Bruno's execution; their take is Bruno was killed for "theological errors", basicly denouncing church doctrine (big stuff like Christ being God's offspring) and adopting (mostly inventing) other mystical & philosophical beliefs. (No record exists stating the reason for the execution.) They also go on about Bruno being a foul person -- other writeups on Bruno suggest he did have poor interpersonal skills -- and a bad employee -- Bruno was a Dominican monk in a time when only the church provided education to anyone not born into wealth.

More Bruno links:

Wish we had the web when I was a kid. I coulda whipped out school reports in minutes this way. Instead of not doing any. Actually on 2nd thought I probably still wouldn'a done 'em.

Today's playlist:

  • VU 1969 Live
  • Vangelis Heaven & Hell (side 1 only)
  • King Crimson The Power To Believe
  • Soft Machine (s/t 1st album)

Quoth the Softs:

Why, why, why
Why are we sleeping

It's more impressive when you hear it.

Big kiss if u read this far!


Journal Journal: fancying a new computer 2

So I'm pretty fried and wanna take a coupla weeks vacation, late Jan or early Feb. I'm thinking this would be a good time to put together a new PC. Whatever else it'll be, it'll be Microsoft-free, and have Linux. Tho technically incompetent, I am a zealot.

My old motherboard died a few months ago, probably from flood damage occurring many months prior. It was an AMD 400Mhz job with a pre-ATX case; I'd like to replace it with something spiffy & modern, moving the old floppy & hard drives, but little else. This leads me to all kinds of indecision.

Here are some computers I could use:

  • A little computer to play with, mostly for music playback and web-surfing, with some programming practice. GUI all the time. Might be serving TV/quasi-Tivo duties if I get crafty enough.
  • A central file server containing (minimally) all my music files. I have a 3Ware IDE RAID card waiting for this purpose, but not the drives. I have 200GB of music files (most Vorbis @ q6, mostly ripped from albums I own) squirrelled away on various hard drives, plus when this gets going I'd like to host some Shorten online for some deprived comrades. I also intend to run some PostgreSQL experiments. Even with the database, this could be a pretty low-powered machine.
  • One for Mom, who probably just needs a new modem, so this computer probably won't get made. I'm only thinking of her machine cos I'd like something I could remote adminstrate -- she has no one to help her when it goes wrong. She's probably better off staying in Windows, however -- it's all she's ever known and she's not eager to learn new compu-stuff. Also she uses the GUI client for Juno's free mail (which I've only seen it briefly and could use more info on). Wish I could get her something like WebTV and be done with it, but she needs a printer, and besides WebTV is now MSN-TV (and must die).

So here are the computers that turn my head, not necessarily fitting the above slots:

  • Just any nice big case plus 4 120GB drives for the music server. This is already more $$ than I wanna spend at the moment, but it would become my primary all-purpose computer for at least a year, then turn into a general file server. My tendency is to then wanna over-specify it with dual-Athlon, SCSI, and the like -- a fun and pointless way for me to spend lots of money. How can I afford this? Can't really. What use is all this CPU power? I don't even game. None really. It's like wanting a really mammoth penis -- you crave it, you're fascinated by it, but once you get this thing it just hurts.
  • An Apple! I've not compared, but I'm told Terrasoft Apples configured to dual boot into Yellow Dog are no more expensive than regular 'pples, so I'd probably head there. Probably an iMac, preferably with a 17" screen (tho I see none available at Terrasoft). A technically challenged friend of mine uses an iBook, so increasing my familiarity with Macs would help her in the long run.
  • A Shuttle Mini. I lean toward this cos it's so cute, and I want a computer I can love, albeit for superficial reasons. Obviously these leave me with little flexibility for unforeseen future expansion, but it's supposed to be unobtrusive & easy to move, something to tuck away wherever, so future expansion is contrary to its mission.

Journal Journal: XP patch disables reading SACD?

I don't have enough SACD's to test this, but I ripped Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet on this computer about a month ago. Now both neither optical drives reads this disc. This is the 2002 SACD reissue, Abkco 95312.

The machine involved in my office PC, Windows XP. I just let it autoupdate routinely. No idea exactly where this started happening.

Windows patches as listed in "Add or Remove Programs"

Windows XP Post-SP1 Hotfixes Is there a better place to look for these?


  • Pioneer DVD-ROM DVD-116
  • Plextor CD-R PX-W1210A

I usually rip using the CD-R, usually in dBpowerAMP.

Some Windows XP laptops are coming in this month. I'll see if they can rip before/after updating. If so, Microsoft can be blamed. And that's what it's all about!

If I learn more I'll report it somewhere & link it from here.

N.P.: David Cross Exiles, violinist leveraging his 70s King Crimson membership. Adequate wanque-prog with hardish (c.f. 70s Crimson as metal) parts and acoustic breaks for woodwinds & violin (midway 'tween Kenny G & Canterbury). I imagine Cross wishes he could just have the acoustic. Guest spot by (among others) Robert Fripp. As a Fripp completist I'm kinda satisfied with this, but I wouldn't need it otherwise. Best record I've yet heard on Cleopatra (not counting their Purple Pyramid sublabel).


Journal Journal: Cage estate paid for silence

Another submission, duplicated here for posterity.
  • 2002-09-23 19:42:23 Cage estate paid for silence (articles,music)

Mike Batt and The John Cage Trust have settled out of court. The case was over whether Batt had infringed on the infamous Cage piece 4'33" (composed entirely of rests) by having a silent track ("humorously" credited to Cage) on his album.

Reported on Slashdot here. Batt's take here.


Journal Journal: friends & foes lists used for Score modifiers

Was gonna reply to a day-old, off-topic comment, probably from someone's troll account, and decided it was less foolish as a journal item.

Well, the main reason is that you can assign a modifier to posts. (such as +2 to friends -2 to foes)

Unfortunately others can view whose "friends" & "foes" lists they're on (under "fans" and "freaks"). Some narcissistic personality (1)[ ?] type has been downmodding my every post (-1: Overrated) since he found himself in my foes list.

It would be a pretty good feature, but as implemented it enables more damage to the moderation system.

Maybe one could argue that people who create a Foes list lack sufficient judgement to moderate.


  1. I throw this phrase around too much to mean "inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable anger in reaction to minor stimuli" -- basicly borderline personality disorder without the suicide attempts (which would be an improvement). What I hate most about internet is how destructive it allows such people to be.

Journal Journal: CDC restricts AIDS Service Organization websites

  • submitted Friday, 07 June 2002 -- since I was an Anonymous Coward, I can't see the status, but I doubt it's still pending

Got a phonemail message this morning asking if we needed to take the agency website down. The CDC is extending the 1992 requirements for HIV educational materials (Section 5, subsections 3 & 4) to now include websites published by organizations receiving CDC funding, even in situations where the site in question is not CDC-funded.

Formerly the requirement only applied to materials purchased or distributed with CDC funds -- they may not "promote" sexual activity (heterosexual or homosexual) or injection drug use, and must be locally acceptable. The chilling effect on written AIDS Education materials is widely believed to have hampered prevention efforts in the US.

"Community Standards" in the form of Program Review Panels will now be required to audit information published on the web by any CDC-funded organization, at the risk of losing funding. Very few AIDS service organizations will risk losing funding over speech issues as they are occupied with providing direct services to clients.

Bold and italics as in the original fax, links and brackets are my enhancements:

April 29, 2002

[name and title removed]
Procurement and Grants Office

Dear CDC Funding Recipient:

This letter is in follow-up to our reminder of the requirement that all HIV educational materials supported with CDC funds must be approved in advance by your Program Review Panel (reference letter dated August 23, 2001, from John L. Williams). As provided in the guidelines published in the Federal Register on June 15, 1992, the term "HIV educational materials" includes written materials (e.g. pamphlets, brochures, fliers), audio visual materials (e.g., motion pictures and video tapes), and pictorials (e.g. posters and similar educational materials using photographs, slides, drawings, or paintings). When the requirements were developed for community-based review of AIDS materials, the Internet and the World Wide Web were not used by the general public as a major source of information as it is today. Because of the prominence of the web in the information environment, materials placed on the web can be accessed by anyone with Internet capabilities. Recognizing this information environment, it is necessary to notify Internet web users of the nature of information they may be encountering on a website containing HIV/AIDS-related materials funded through CDC grants/cooperative agreements.

For all current and future CDC awards and/or modifications, we require that a web page notice be used by funding recipients who maintain websites to alert individuals who may be searching or browsing the web, this web page notice will apply to (1) those recipient websites funded in whole or part with CDC funds that contain HIV/AIDS educational information subject to the CDC guidelines referenced above; and (2) those recipient websites containing HIV/AIDS educational information subject to the CDC guidelines referenced above, even if the website itself is not funded by the CDC. Proposed language for the recipient to use for the web site notice is enclosed.

You will be receiving a revised notice of grant award within the next two weeks, which will incorporate this web notice responsibility and constitute your agreement to comply with this and other requirements explained on Content of AIDS-Related Written Materials, Pictorials, Audiovisuals, Questionnaires, Survey Instruments, and Educational Sessions , published in the Federal Register on June 15, 1992. Included in the revised notice of grant award will be a certification that should be signed and returned to the Procurement and Grants Office. Not complying with these requirements will result in restrictions or disallowances of funds related to the use of the unapproved materials and related staff activities. You can obtain a copy of these guidelines from the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/forminfo.htm.

If applicable, the placement of this notice on your website should be completed no later than June 14, 2002. Please contact your Grants Management Specialist with any questions about this new requirement or your grant.

Sincerely ...[snip]

Republicans in Congress have targeted prevention materials (link reprints an expired LA Times article), and the Bush Administration's opposition to sex education while favoring "Abstinence-only" programs is much documented.

In case you're wondering what a sex-positive presentation might look like, here's one website not targeted at the Abstinence Community (you've clicked on links worse than this, but not for the timid anyway), from the AIDS Committee of Toronto.

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"Luke, I'm yer father, eh. Come over to the dark side, you hoser." -- Dave Thomas, "Strange Brew"