Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Three Kinds of Men
There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

*** Gonzo mo:Blogged ***

Monday, December 20, 2004

Gonzo Marketing has gone to bed with Corporations, as it should be after a brief dating. This is a time for courtship and also a little bit of drinking and late night foreplay. Perhaps some hard core fucking and blogjobs. Corporations and Gonzo Marketing are now discovering each other. Each a bit shy during the day but willing and lustful at night. I think we'll see them going steady soon. For now just keep noticing their attaction to each other, isn't it beautiful?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Navel Gazing
The danger is in becoming infatuated with ones navel. Too much gazing degenerates into sitting on a red sofa masturbating in public.

*** mo:Blogged ***

Why Do We Blog?

It's not all about Gonzo. Sometimes a little navel gazing is good for the spirit. It can, I think, keep our Gonzo engaged.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Bedtime for Gonzo?
I'm just wondering, of myself as much as of anyone, where has the Gonzo gone?

Marek my long lost friend, consider this an encrypted echo back from the metaverse. Decode it, and untold peace and harmony will be bestowed upon some complete stranger.

*** mo:Blogged ***

Why do You Blog?

I don't know. Really I don't know. It's like I am sending these encrypted messages out there into the universe. The universe resonds sometimes. Sometimes not. I am sending signals. Hello, I say. Hello! and I just want to someone to hear my Hello! I don't even need a response back, I don't need the universe to talk back to me. I just want to know that it listens. It's like love I guess. It's love when someone just listens.

Paynter, you bastard!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Life Stealing

Someone is stealing your life
by Michael Ventura
(Excerpted from LA Weekly 26-Jan-90)

Most American adults wake around 6 ot 7 in the morning. Get to work at 8 or 9. Knock off around 5. Home again, 6-ish. Fifty weeks a year. For about 45 years.

Most are glad to have the work, but don't really choose it. They may dream, they may study and even train for work they intensely want; but sooner or later, for most, that doesn't pan out. Then they take what they can and make do. Most have families to aupport, so they need their jobs more than their jobs admit to needing them. They're employees. And, as employees, most have no say whatsoever about much of anything on the job. The purpose or service, the short and long-term goals of the company, are considered quite literally "none of their business" - though these issues drastically influence every aspect of their lives. No matter that they've given years to the day-to-day survival of the business; employees (even when they're called "managers") mostly take orders. Or else. It seems an odd way to structure a free society: Most people have little or no authority over what they do five days a week for 45 years. Doesn't sound much like "life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness." Sounds like a nation of drones.

It used to be that one's compensation for being an American drone was the freedom to live in one's own house, in one's own quirky way, in a clean and safe community in which your children had the chance to be happier, richer drones than you. But working stiffs can't afford houses now, fewer communities are clean, none are safe, and your kid's prospects are worse. (This condition may be because for five days a week, for 45 years, you had no say - while other people have been making decisions that haven't been good for you.) I'm not sure whose happiness we've been pursuing lately, but one thing is clear: It's not the happiness of those who've done our society's work.

On the other hand - or so they say - you're free, and if you don't like your job you can pursue happiness by starting a business of your very own, by becoming an "independent" entrepreneur. But you're only as independent as your credit rating. And to compete in the business community, you'll find yourself having to treat others - your employees - as much like slaves as you can get away with. Pay them as little as they'll tolerate and give them no say in anything, because that's what's most efficient and profitable. Money is the absolute standard. Freedom, and the dignity and well-being of one's fellow creatures, simply don't figure in the basic formula.

This may seem a fairly harsh way to state the rules America now lives by. But if I sound radical, it's not from doing a lot of reading in some cozy university, then dashing off to dispense opinion as a prima donna of the alternative press. I learned about drones by droning. From ages 18 to 29 (minus a few distracted months at college when I was 24) I worked the sort of jobs that I expected to have all my life: typesetter for two years, tape transcriber for three, proofreader (a grossly incompetent one) for a few weeks, messenger for a few months, and secretary (yes, secretary) for a year and a half. Then I stopped working steadily and the jobs got funkier: hospital orderly, vacuum-cleaner salesman, Jack-in-the-Box counterperson,
waiter, nail hammerer, cement mixer, toilet scrubber, driver.

It was during the years of office work that I caught on: I got two weeks' paid vacation per year. A year has 52 weeks. Even a comparatively unskilled, uneducated worker like me, who couldn't (still can't) do fractions or long division - even I had enough math to figure that two goes into 52 ... how many times? Twenty-sic. Meaning it would take me 26 years on the job to accumulate one year for myself. And I could only have that in 26 pieces, so it wouldn't even feel like a year. In other words, no time was truly mine. My boss merely allowed me an illusion of freedom, a little space in which to catch my breath, in between the 50 weeks that I lived that he owned. My employer uses 26 years of my life for every year I get to keep. And what do I get in return for this enormous thing I am giving? What do I get in return
for my life?

A paycheck that's as skimpy as they can get away with. If I'm lucky, some health insurance. (If I'm really lucky, the employer's definition of "health" will include my teeth and my eyes - maybe even my mind.) And, in a truly enlightened workplace, just enough pension or "profit-sharing" to keep me sweet but not enough to make life different. And that's it.

Compare this to what my employer gets: If the company is successful, he (it's usually a he) gets a standard of living beyond my wildest dreams, including what I would consider fantastic protection for his family, and a world of access that I can only pitifully mimic by changing channels on my TV. His standard of living wouldn't be possible without the labor of people like me - but my employer doesn't think that's a very significant fact. He certainly doesn't think that this fact entitles me to any say about the business. Not to mention a significant share in ownership. Oh no. The business is his to do with as he pleases, and he owns my work. Period.

I don't mean that bosses don't work. Most work hard, and have the satisfaction of knowning that what they do is thiers. Great. The problem is: What I do is theirs too. Yet if my companion workers and I didn't do what we do - then nobody would be anybody's. So how come what we do is hardly ours? How come he can get rich while we're lucky to break even? How come he can do anything he wants with the company without consulting us, yet we do the bulk of the work and take the brunt of the consequences?

The only answer provided is that the employer came up with the money to start the enterprise in the first place; hence, he and his money people decide everything and get all the benefits.

Excuse me, but that seems a little unbalanced. It doesn't take into account that nothing happens unless work is done. Shouldn't it follow that, work being so important, the doers of that work deserve a more just formula for measuring who gets what? There's no doubt that the people who risked or raised the money to form a company, or bail it out of trouble, deserve a fair return on their investment - but is it fair that they get everything? It takes more than investment and management to make a company live. It takes the labor, skill, and talent of the people who do the company's work. Isn't that an investment? Doesn't it deserve a fair return, a voice, a share of the power?

I know this sounds awfully simplistic, but no school ever taught me anything about the ways of economics and power (perhaps because they didn't want me to know), so I had to figure it out slowly, based on what I saw around me every day. And I saw:

That it didn't matter how long I worked or what a good job I did. I could get incremental raises, perhaps even medical benefits and a few bonuses, but I would not be allowed power over my own life - no power over the fundamental decisions on which my life depends. My future is in the hands of people whose names I often don't know and whom I never meet. Their investment is the only factor taken seriously. They feed on my work, on my life, but reserve for themselves all power, perogative, and profit.

Slowly, very slowly, I came to a conclusion that for me was fundamental: My employwers are stealing my life.

They. Are. Stealing. My. Life.

If the people who do the work don't own some part of the product, and don't have any power over what happens to their enterprise - they are being robbed.

And don't think for a minute that those who are robbing you don't know they are robbing you. They know how much they get from you and how little they give back. They are thieves. They are stealing your life.

The assembly-line worker isn't responsible for the decimation of the American auto industry, for instance. Those responsible are those who've been hurt least, executives and stockholders who, according to the Los Angeles Times, make 50 to 500 times what the assembly-line worker makes, but who've done a miserable job of managing. Yet it's the workers who suffer most. Layoffs, plant closings, and such are no doubt necessary - like the bumper stickers say, shit happens - but it is not necessary that workers have no power in the fundamental management decisions involved.

As a worker, I am not an "operating cost." I am how the job gets done. I am the job. I am the company. Without me and my companion workers, there's nothing. I'm willing to take my lumps in a world in which little is certain, but I deserve a say. Not just some cosmetic "input," but significant power in good times or bad. A place at the table where decisions are made. Nothing less is fair. So nothing less is moral.

And if you, as owners or management or government, deny me this - then you are choosing not to be moral, and you are committing a crime against me. Do you expect me not to struggle?

Do you expect us to be forever passive while you get rich stealing our lives?

Monday, August 16, 2004

Worst Practices, Best Ads

Grant Henninger thinks Wells Fargo holds the title for "Best line in any ad. Ever." He may be right. I just heard the ad that prompted Grant's excitement, and it does rock out loud that Wells has its lemonade-and-free-checking hawking youngster explain, when asked if she can print out statements, "I'm not allowed to use the computer since I got sued for downloading music."

Wells has strong competition though from the Co-Op Network for credit unions, which promises (on its billboard at the 405/110 interchange, and elsewhere) ATMs "Out the Wazoo!"

[Cross-posted from B&B]

Friday, June 25, 2004

Resuming Normalcy As Once We Knew It

It seems apparent that the firestorm over the temporarily lost blogs has calmed to the point of only being a partially smoldering reminder of its former self.

Some of us moved to other blogging clients, other hosting services. Some of us just waited it out and resumed blogging at the newly created facility which seems to be the heir to, that being, a site run by Rogers Cadenhead.

Some had already abandoned their blogs, and this either awakened them and prompted a rennaissance, or clarified and reiterated their status as deadblogs.

Then there are those of us who created a fauxblog in a personally hosted space, and who are still waiting to see what else shakes out (hello,, et al!!).

My take: continue to use the fauxblog, simultaneously post the same items on the blog, and see what the near future may bring.

One more important note: the backup facility, to get one's entire history up to and until the pages went dark, is working. Like a charm, I might add.

And to his credit, Rogers is reactive to the discussion group, and responds to user questions. He and Dave have been using in somewhat of a beta capacity, and that's fine with me. I am glad to see the blog have other uses, productive ones, at that. I'd posted some questions in the Discussion Area and in e-mails; some were how-to questions, some were what-if questions, and others were general queries. Almost all have been addressed, and some of them seem to require some analysis or development time before an answer can be offered.

This is a welcome and appreciated method, with open communication and a sense of there being goals and all parties involved having some input. Even the tech-challenged, such as yours truly.

The period of days during the firestorm, at some points reaching peaks of rage and hostility, seems to have revived the spirits of some of the bloggers. I addressed this in my open letter di scussing the return of DeanLand via the fauxblog my son and his pal created for me. I was fortunate in having my tech-savvy son there, ready to put together a band-aid solution for me. After 4+ years of creating what one friend properly characterized as "my brand," my most pressing concern was to get back on the blogosphere, maintain the ability to post, and have a forum in which to do so.

Not every blogger using had that luxury.

It was a discomfiting time, but things seem to be mellowing out, returning to something that approximates Normalcy As We Once Knew It. If, indeed, ever we did know such a thing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Unveiling the Islamic train

The amazingly polylingual Iggy at Blogalization offers a work in progress translation of an Al Jazeera text which, says Iggy, "reads something like an Islamic Cluetrain Manifesto."

The original text, entitled The Islamic Internet: Where are its flaws?, by Khatib al-Mu'tazz, can be found here with Iggy's translation.

A few snips:
Different standards apply in this virtual world than in its real counterpart, which was once ruled by intimate ties of human consanguinity. This virtual mathematical realm puts each individual into contact with the entire world, granting him access to the ideas of every philosophical and religious tendency. It is this that dissolves established social and educational roles, detracts from the exercise of moral guardianship, and undermines thought founded upon one authoritative source.

Indeed there is a fundamental social symptom that we can attribute directly to the Internet: the tendency toward "uncovering and unveiling." On the Internet, the naked face of every person is on open display, together with their similarities and their subtle differences.

...although the Internet is considered a product of modernity and of the Western intellectual tradition, we discover that Islamist (and especially Salafi) discourse continues to view the present from the point of view of an imminent end of the world in its evaluation of the world, so that the Internet becomes equivalent in their eyes to what they call the mere "wisdom of the moment," a mere "gathering at the marketplaces", an "ephemeral coming together," the "circulation of trade," the "dissemination of immorality," the "rise of usury" and the "cornucopeia of lies."

If the world has indeed contracted into the tiny, intimate "global village" which modern thought regards as one of the great accomplishments of globalization, then that change itself is viewed by the Salafi as "a clear sign that we are living at the end of time,"...

The piece goes on to explore other views, in which, instead of shrinking the world (which has "monstrous" implications for the cultural view described by al-Mu'tazz), the Internet is described as a new world that has opened new territories. From this perspective, al-Mu'tazz offers a memorable description of "the old school," which, he memorably says, "tends to approach the Internet like a man screaming in a canyon."

The piece moves toward sketching a vision of a more complex view of the Net and how Islam can approach it. It's a good read.

Monday, June 21, 2004

OK already

Been gone so long, I know - but I have a valid excuse. Really.

Found this site about two months ago...been incapable of coherent thought since.

New template full of minty freshness. I like it.

Now back to the pickles.


That's POSSE, not PU....


Gonzo Enraged

Listen, gonzo engaged participants, what is, is. Stop jumping up and down. Now, another new template is in place. Sorry the other one was so sucky, but I'm in the middle of 25 other things over here, and I gave it a shot.

If you wish to continue posting to Gonzo, please update your blogger profiles within the next week. Otherwise I'll assume you don't want to post to the blog anymore and will delete your ass completely. Reason being, it's kinda nice the way blogger has set up the "Contributors" section of the template to pull your blogger profile info, which shows ALL the blogs you post to, as well as things you probably don't want readers of gonzo engaged to know, like your email address and town of residence.

Ah well, another day...

Stay out of the template for now. Or consult your local posse before entering.


Paraphrased from myself some time ago -

I'm not sure when things will pick up significantly here. Reaching for roots. Questing about for that gritty realism that makes the words feel valuable rather than mundane. As I read here, I find we've become so mundane that even I'd delete us from my blogroll.

I've got an excuse. Yeah I know changing career paths and moving across the country is a feeble fucking excuse, but it's an excuse. Where the hell are the rest of you motherfuckers? Did you all drink the fucking koolaid and slip into a stupor? I'll be alive again (and enraged, outraged, engaged), but some of you all seem to have gone into stasis. Maybe it's time to start yanking plugs out.

Our collective writing of late has been de-fucking-plorable.

Read Scoble from a year or two ago and read Scoble today. Is this what we've all become. Shoot my ass.

I've hosted you for free for all these years and this is what I get?

FIRST of all, epeus, you came along and whacked the sidebar. Well fuck. That sucks. I went and found everyone's blog and made the blogroll and now it's gone.

AS for the typeface and template, well you are correct. It does suck. Bad. Especially now that the SIDEBAR is gone.

Look, I don't want to write an entire essay on this, because my feeling is, people really don't read essays.

So just hold on and I'll try to fix the problem myself, because I doubt a posse of men will come along and do it for me.

People just love to jump up and down.

I miss the old template

I fixed the author thingy, but this one really is very ugly, and you blew away our technorati claims too.
I'm all for moving with the times, but how about picking one of he templates that looks less like it forgot what we learned about onscreen typefaces in the last 15 years?

I went and did this because I could.

Some things look different here. That is a good thing. They also looked different previously. Now, they look more different than before. BUT then.

Did I ask you? No, I just did it.
Did I mess you up? No, you hardly ever write here, and you still can!
Did I brighten your day? Absofuckinglutely.

I have a problem though. All is not working well. We have a missing doodadder. The little doodadder that might tell our generous readers which blogger has posted which post is missing from the footer of each post. I think there is some kind of profile container tag-like thing, which would include the poster's name-and-link-to-blogger-profile, that must be inserted into the template, if I could figure out how to do it.

It might have been there once. It might be gone now. I have no clue.

I am going to go ask on my blog for someone to tell me where into the template to insert what HTML doodadder that will indicate, in the footer of each post, who the poster is. Or whom. I'm too tired to think it through. Not the template. The who or whom thing.

ALSO, my dear and esteemed colleagues, I have not a damn clue who writes over here anymore besides the folks on the right. If you're not listed and you plan to post before the year 2010, email me and I'll add you. If you're not on the team and would like to be, email me and if I don't think your email is spam, I might possibly read it and add you in, say, within one day to one week, depending.

I would say sometime after July 1st, but someone beat me too that this week.

Oh, love to all.


Friday, June 11, 2004

pit of my stomach

can't tell, really, whether it is the latest conference, the garlic ravioli, or the mix of night time medicines I've taken that has tied a knot in my stomach. I think it's the BlogOn conference, but it might be mixing Levaquin and Celexa, or it might be the cheese Ravioli from Bergamos. What do you think? I think it might be the conference. Whatever it is, it hurts like hell just now, and I'm lying on my side typing for lack of a better way to handle it. Dearest brethren. I take wing when I read how much you care about what we say, what we do, who we are. You still care. I care too. Except the words. They too make knots in my stomach. Every day something ties knots. Everyday I try to write them free. I used to be able to write them untied. But now I can't seem to untwist the double-knots. It's not every day I read about a BlogOn conference, nor is it every day I have to take Levaquin at night, and this is, after all, the first time I've had Bergamos ravioli. So, I'd like to think of this most recent pain as an anomalie. But it's been coming. Little knots, tighter knots, all trapped up inside this editing window, this screen.

I used to see inside the screen. I used to see beyond the white and blue to a new world outside of any familiar dimension. I used to see you and you and you. I used to see everything--every single thing--and nothing, and both had meaning.

Now I see pixels and letters and words.

Yes, it is probably the Ravioli.

I think you're right.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Write Now

Dear Jeneane,
You have my vote for sticking a fork in blogging and calling it done. The post mortem will probably show the time of death as somewhere about the time I started blogging. certainly it was dead by the time of the bizarro Blogger-Con, that event where creativity, authorship, and the craft of writing were subordinated to the ego and get-rich-and-powerful fantasies of the Big Gouda himself.

Recently, when Gary Turner's Memoria Technica went white-screen, I stole a good line from somewhere and suggested that "not blogging is the new black." By this I meant of course, that if Gary Turner was (not) doing it, then it was high avant fashion.

I like these little on-line spaces that people have labeled blogs. They're a convenient place to hoist first drafts into the light of day. For some, they're a medium and for others they're an intermediate step to the final product. Regardless, they really beat the ruled pad and the number two pencil.

I have been so happy to hang out with a set of genii and excellent writers, people who basically get what I'm saying when I say it and are fairly accepting of much of my more nonsensical and outre utterances. I don't think community necessarily dissolves as boundary conditions shift. But I could be wrong. Look at the cities, the suburbs and the motor car.

For now, thank you Nina June. Thank you for the reminder that it is really about the writing. After a few years anywhere we get so stuck with cliches and commonplaces rattling around our brains that we need a good shake or an ultrasound treatment to chip them loose. High time I took the old cranial unit into the hygienist and swept out the dusty corners of my (don't call it a blog!) online publishing space.

Bada bingo... best regards from the spill-chucker,


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Blogging is Dead. Long live Writng

Dear J.
I received your email. Much thanks. Much love to you.
Blogging is dead you say. Yes, we buried Blogging a long time ago. Fishrush was one of the first who buried blogging. Others followed. Most are still trying to reinvent blogging. It will not be so. Blogging is dead. There is no going back.

Writing is alive you say. Yes, we are writing again. Writing about dreams and fears and spanish guitar sounds and moss covered trees and sex and love and loneliness and angst.

Solution is poetry. It remains so. It's always been this way. Is poetry solution?

Somewhere in between there is resignation, cynicism and love and hope. All practical and completely impractical things that humans have always done and will continue to do.

And we constantly rediscover ourselves. Gain answers. Loser answers. Search for answers. Curse that we ever found those answers. Then found out the answers were not the answers to find. Then found out there are no answers to have. Then found out that the answer about the answers was not the answer to have as an answer, which begets more questions. But as long as the music is on we dance. And we dance. And we dance.

...solution is poetry the solution is poetry the solution is poetry the solution is???

Signal. Signal. Sendig Signal.

Ba Ba Bidi Bi Blocks.
Bird changes Gold Cage's Golden locks
Birdy, bi, ba bada bi bi!!!!
You got got got a new gold key.

For you new golden cage, age age.
Ba Ba Bidi Bi Ba.
Keep on changing keys keys keys
Bada bi bis bis bis

Peekaboo! to you all.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Letters to Brethren, Part 1

Dear Ones,

I have been receiving the emails. I understand the passion, the mission, and who it is we should piss on. The problem, really, is this: meaning.

I understand.

To make meaning of the agony, something beyond/outside/other than/more than/for him/her/them// untangling the mass in the gut and splitting it up, like a cheese pizza, to share with you and you and me.

We eat off one another, soul food, relaying what we can one from the next. SOS. Watch out. I don't want this for you. My brothers. I don't want this for you.

I want that for you--hot sun turns your forearms brown, browner still, sea salt and mountain trails new with rain.

The point of it is that when we come this far--to the place where only our pain holds meaning, we unfold.

Show that. Write that. Tell that.

Show yourself. Let her see you.

In love, dear brothers,


Tuesday, February 24, 2004

geatest story ever sold

Mel Gibson's first serious foray into splatter genre cinema, The Passion of the Christ, opens on thousands of screens worldwide today. As if you didn’t know. Named by one US critic as “fetishistically violent” and by dozens of biblical scholars as anti-Semitic or just plain historically wrong, there’s no escaping a vanity project the auteur himself once identified as a potential “career killer.”
This spiritual Ishtar, financed by Gibson, seemed at one interval doomed to fail. It contains no stars, it’s not in English and the likelihood that it would be anywhere near as good as the book was always remote. Yet, media observers are predicting that Passion will enjoy enviable success in its opening pre-Oscar weekend.
"People think I'm crazy, and maybe I am," Gibson said in September 2002 at a news conference in Rome prior to commencing production. "But maybe I'm a genius.”
Whatever the case, modest Mel, who wrote, directed and produced this hulking gore-fest, is set to make a profit befitting a mastermind.
Why!? By many accounts, this product is difficult to endure. If ten minute long flagellation burlesques don’t send you home annoyed, there’s a good chance that dealing with the sound of a rather guttural dead language as interpreted by someone with a face-full of Special Wound Effects make-up will.
Passion should not be an easy product to shift. Yet it is poised to turn a remarkable profit. Marketing graduates of the future will almost certainly study the success of Gibson’s cultural warfare and agree that this is the Greatest Story Every Sold.
Gibson's film company, Icon Productions, may have given exemplary lessons to students of guerrilla marketing.
Last month a widespread and persistent rumour arose that Pope John Paul II was so moved by the flick that he uttered "It is as it was" after credits rolled. This was later denied by the Vatican. The Holy Father, said a secretary, did not give this nor any other feature the two Papal thumbs up.
Icon has eagerly welcomed large group bookings made by clergy. Its Australian website states that the company will liaise “with cinemas on behalf of individual churches” to ensure seating. Gibson’s mass-to-grass approach has also seen many preaching for the film worldwide from virtual pulpits. Emails, websites and faxes overflow with filmic faith and fury.
Investigation of the film’s merchandise reveals a natty “Nail Pendant” . Just like the ones Jesus wore at Easter. Made of pewter and available in two sizes, each with Isaiah 53:5 inscribed on the side, they will set you back $12.99 and $16.99 respectively.
Classiest of all, perhaps, was the appearance a Chevrolet at the 2004 Daytona 500 featuring a special Passion paint scheme.
“I got a kick out of the NASCAR stock car hood. I always suspected that Jesus loved hot rodding, and this only confirms it” says freelance journalist Christopher Noxon from his in-laws’ home in Los Angeles.
Noxon’s interest in publicity strategies deployed by Gibson for Passion is quite personal. For the better part of a year, Noxon himself has functioned as one of Icon Productions most successful marketing implements.
Noxon’s role in the relentless promotion of Passion is curious and complex. This is the guy who first shed a little light on Mel’s faith, Catholic Traditionalism, and the Gibson financed Malibu Church, The Holy Family. He rose to national prominence last year when he shed a little more light on the peccadilloes of one of the Catholic Traditionalist movement’s more vocal commentators, Hutton Gibson.
The freelance journalist, to use Mel’s own analogy in his recent conversation with US journalist Diane Sawyer, is the very same who first tried “to drive a wedge between me and my father."
In stirring up publicity for Passion, Mel has been eager to make enemies. (Of American columnist Frank Rich, Gibson was reported as saying, "I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick. ... I want to kill his dog.".) Noxon can lay legitimate claim to being the first “enemy” accused by Mel of attempting to discredit his faith and his film’s pro-Christian message.
Just how was Noxon initially drawn into playing Lucifer to Mel’s marketing martyr?
“My Dad retired a few years ago and bought a house in the countryside near LA. He was out hiking one day and he saw some surveyors’ stakes” says Noxon.
“(Dad) is part of a local neighbourhood group that looked at new developments, mainly big tracts of mini-malls and such. (He) set up a meeting with the developers and found they were called the A P Reilly Foundation, a non profit group. He was curious about it and asked some questions …. They said it was (run by) ‘a very spiritual figure on the world’s stage’. They wouldn’t name the benefactor.”
“I ran the tax information about A P Reilly…and it turns out….. A P Reilly is the name of Mel Gibson’s deceased mother.”
Noxon learned that Gibson financed a church that “didn’t seem like Garden Variety Catholicism.”
“At the time I thought ‘that’s an interesting celebrity titbit’ but it really wasn’t anything I was inclined to write about.”
Then, “news of the movie percolated out of Italy and then I found out about Hutton Gibson while poking around on the internet.” Noxon felt he had the makings of a story and successfully pitched to the New York Times.
While Noxon was preparing the article for press, he attempted contact several times with Mel Gibson via publicist Alan Nierob. Repeated requests for interview explained that the article sought to explore Mel’s faith within the context of his Passion movie project. Noxon requested that Mel discuss his faith “explicitly so there’s no misunderstanding. They ignored that letter. So I just went about interviewing people. Then I located Hutton Gibson down in Texas and he invited me to visit him. I spent the weekend with him. … I went down, I interviewed him and clearly it was pretty explosive stuff. I came back to LA and wrote a letter saying that I had spoken to Hutton, other members of the Traditionalist community and that I had attended a service at Mel’s Church.”
Noxon interviewed Mel’s father early in 2003. With doddery zeal, Papa Gibson questioned the veracity of the Holocaust, denied that Al Qaeda hijackers had anything to do with the September 11 attacks and called the Second Vatican Council ''a Masonic plot backed by the Jews”.
“I wrote to Mel’s people and said I’ve interviewed the father and I wish you’d weigh in. I included some quotes from the father expecting to get a public statement if not a direct interview. Instead I got an eight page single spaced letter threatening to sue me. This came From a guy named Marty Singer who is a notorious journalist suppressor here in LA He is used by Schwarzenegger and J Lo and others who are mainly trying to stop stalk-a-razzi. I think he charges $400 an hour.” Singer, as it happens, is sometimes known as Mad Dog.
None of Noxon’s investigations had been published when the cease-and-desist novella arrived on his doorstep.. After initial shock from the legal volley wore off, and he was assured by the New York Times that his “ass” would be covered, Noxon resumed work on his piece.
A week or so later, Noxon turned on FOX News program The O’Reilly Factor only to find himself being directly addressed by Mel Gibson.
This, says Noxon, “was the first big public explosion. It was insane. I was sitting at home in my pyjamas gob smacked. There was some horrified screaming and jumping around. I couldn’t take it in.”
Noxon, his piece still unpublished, was called by anchor Bill O’Reilly a “slimy hit man for the left”.
“I really wanted to put that on a t shirt” Noxon says.
During the interview, which became fodder for future news programs,. “Mel looks into the camera and he raises his eye brows and says ‘watch out!’ It’s so cheesy.”
One has to wonder about the upshot of a threat, however theatrical, made by Mad Max himself.
“It was deeply surreal. It was very strange. But also kind of cool.” Says Noxon.
The story Is The Pope Catholic…Enough? appeared in the Times. Noxon “kept waiting for the summons to arrive.”
It didn’t. A year on, Noxon is not too anxious, figuring “ there’s so many targets that I’m just one amongst them.”
On the eve of the film’s release, Noxon observes that “the primary reason the movie is going to open so big is all the publicity. So much publicity and so much controversy and now everyone wants to know what the big deal is about. Every evangelical minister in the country is publicising from the pulpit.”
Noxon is ambivalent about his own role in fanning the flames of debate. He is uncertain if Gibson’s reaction represents radical paranoia or acute marketing savvy.
So, is Mel a genius, or is he crazy?
Noxon is unsure.
“I should make the point” says Noxon “that I didn’t ever intend to write the story “Mel’s a loony Christian”. I don’t believe that all Catholic Traditionalists are necessarily insane. I don’t even know that Mel Gibson is insane.”
Perhaps, theorises Noxon, “all of this has been a pre-planned publicity stunt. And if so, it was a master stroke.”

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Random Technospeak

"Developing enterprise-scale applications today requires an approach to software architecture that helps architects evolve their solutions in flexible ways. This approach should permit reuse of existing efforts in the context of new capabilities that implement business functionality in a timely fashion, even as the target infrastructure itself is evolving"

Badabing World! The Struggle Continues! For Clear Communication! For Life! For Breath of Fresh Air! For badabing and BadaBing! For Peekaboo Moments of Clarity! For Love.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

What if the eyes can't see?

"   Lear.   

O, ho, are you there with me? No
eyes in your head, nor no money in your
purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your
purse in a light: yet you see how this world

I see it feelingly.

What, art mad? A man may see
how this world goes with no eyes. Look with
thine ears: see how yond justice rails upon
yond simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: change
places; and, handy-dandy, which is the justice,
which is the thief? Thou hast seen a
farmer's dog bark at a beggar?"

William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act IV, Scene VI:

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Where in Amerika is Captain Brierly these days?

' "Ay, sir, Captain Brierly will be remembered here, if there's no
other place on earth. I wrote fully to his father and did not get a
word in reply--neither Thank you, nor Go to the devil!--nothing!
Perhaps they did not want to know."

'The sight of that watery-eyed old Jones mopping his bald head
with a red cotton handkerchief, the sorrowing yelp of the dog, the
squalor of that fly-blown cuddy which was the only shrine of his
memory, threw a veil of inexpressibly mean pathos over Brierly's
remembered figure, the posthumous revenge of fate for that belief
in his own splendour which had almost cheated his life of its legitimate
terrors. Almost! Perhaps wholly. Who can tell what flattering
view he had induced himself to take of his own suicide?

' "Why did he commit the rash act, Captain Marlow--can you
think?" asked Jones, pressing his palms together. "Why? It beats
me! Why?" He slapped his low and wrinkled forehead. "If he had
been poor and old and in debt--and never a show--or else mad.
But he wasn't of the kind that goes mad, not he. You trust me.
What a mate don't know about his skipper isn't worth knowing.
Young, healthy, well off, no cares. . . . I sit here sometimes thinking,
thinking, till my head fairly begins to buzz. There was some reason."

' "You may depend on it, Captain Jones," said I, "it wasn't
anything that would have disturbed much either of us two," I said;
and then, as if a light had been flashed into the muddle of his brain,
poor old Jones found a last word of amazing profundity. He blew
his nose, nodding at me dolefully: "Ay, ay! neither you nor I, sir,
had ever thought so much of ourselves."

- Chapter 6 from "Lord Jim" by Joseph Conrad

To think so much of yourself never to be able to just be yourself, the way you are, the way you are not. Cheating life of its opportunity to let you know that life itself is your greatest partner in what so many times seems to be a bloody fight of mere daily existence.

Yet the formidable opponent is but a cloaked friend for should you ever know his true nature you might want to stop your daily toilings and give up, and then cheat life itself from the opportunity to be engaged with you.

Let the mystery stand then. Let the blood be spilled and to the end keep giving up the desire to know. In not knowing there is a space to breathe and continue the conversation.

So, don't be like Captain Brierly my friend, that narcissistic motherfucker.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Quixote and Sancho Conversationalists

Hello all Conversationalists of Planet Earth
(yes, it's still called planet Earth but known only as such to poor children of Ethiopia. To the rest of us known as Underdeveloped Land with Real Estate boom potential)
Anyway, the following from Terry Castel about Cervantes in The Atlantic. and I repeat it here for you, all you conversationalists thus attempting to save us from the lunacy of shared barren landspace of Amerikan Kultural Landscape.

"Cervantes had a faith in conversation, in paying attention to others, in bonding with strangers, in speaking, reading, and writing across all kinds of human barriers. The sharing of stories—stories of real life, not the fabrications of romance—had the power, he grasped, to assuage madness, loneliness, and pain. Quixote and Sancho are great, life-saving conversationalists. Their friendship lives on and dilates in the absurd, meandering, yet touching debates they have with each other. At bottom both seem to want to prolong their chivalrous adventures precisely in order to prolong the pleasures of listening and speaking, speaking and listening. And in turn they speak—and listen with attention—to every "noble stranger" they meet on the road.

In the fantasy of shared authorship Cervantes would seem to allegorize a broader vision of human fellowship. Hearing another voice, taking in another's story, is the essential thing—the humanizing component in an otherwise bleak landscape. It saves us from our lunacy and pride, both personal and cultural. "

Let our BadaBing save us from the personal lunacy and our Peekaboo! from our Cultural Lunacy and Stupid Pride.

Monday, January 26, 2004

What's practical about Love?

I fell in love. - There I was minding my own life. Scratching my ass from time to time. Caughing. Eating. Sleeping. Having Sex. Jerking Off. Some more eating and some more sleeping and some driving to work and back from work and going to the store and paying my bills and listening to music and reading books. All this time not knowing why I had such a hard time falling asleep. Not wanting to get up in the morning. And then I fell in love. So impractical. So impractical.

I fell into an impractical life. Being in Love type of impractical life. Worst Practices Type of Impractical Life. - Yes, definitely worst practice and did I mention how impractical? So impractical.

I have also seen the end of my life tonight. It was very impractical. Perhaps more impractical than falling in love. The end of my life was that it wasn't there any more. I died. There I was no more. Very impractical way to be, no? So maybe falling in love is much less impractical than being dead. I think I will stick with falling in love. Falling by itself is impractical too. Standing would be more solid, more practical but when you keep on standing the view never changes around you. It's like being dead. So falling in love may be the opposite of being dead, the opposite of standing. Anyway, I was just amusing myself with these impractical notions of putting words together, word after word typed up in a string of letters with spaces. Yes. I did fall in love. So impractical.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Reusable Construction Materials for Humans

I have already posted a couple of quotes from Joseph Conrad's "Notes on Life and Letters" and having read the volume (online, thanks to Project Gutenberg I would like to quote one more passage if you allow me. This passage sums up for me why I love writers like Joseph Conrad, not only because he was born Polish, like me; not because english is his second language, as is mine; perhaps because in this passage taken from the author's introduction to this volume of scribblings from 1898 to 1920 one can not help but to see a man fully aware of the passing of life, fragile skeleton we all build with our relationships to others, the others' skeletons of life; and then to know that our constructions were only a mere temporary housing for the humanity we only have had glimpses of, and perhaps some of our pieces of construction material and methods shall be used as building blocks for others that will come after us to afford them better glimpses of humanity within themeslves, chance will tell.

"This volume (including these embarrassed introductory remarks) is
as near as I shall ever come to DESHABILLE in public; and perhaps
it will do something to help towards a better vision of the man, if
it gives no more than a partial view of a piece of his back, a
little dusty (after the process of tidying up), a little bowed, and
receding from the world not because of weariness or misanthropy but
for other reasons that cannot be helped: because the leaves fall,
the water flows, the clock ticks with that horrid pitiless
solemnity which you must have observed in the ticking of the hall
clock at home. For reasons like that. Yes! It recedes. And this
was the chance to afford one more view of it--even to my own eyes"

~ get the text at

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Brothers in Arms. Sisters of Avalon. Get to Work.

"Work is the law. Like iron that lying idle degenerates into a
mass of useless rust, like water that in an unruffled pool sickens
into a stagnant and corrupt state, so without action the spirit of
men turns to a dead thing, loses its force, ceases prompting us to
leave some trace of ourselves on this earth." The sense of the
above lines does not belong to me. It may be found in the note-
books of one of the greatest artists that ever lived, Leonardo da
Vinci. It has a simplicity and a truth which no amount of subtle
comment can destroy.

The Master who had meditated so deeply on the rebirth of arts and
sciences, on the inward beauty of all things,--ships' lines,
women's faces--and on the visible aspects of nature was profoundly
right in his pronouncement on the work that is done on the earth.
From the hard work of men are born the sympathetic consciousness of
a common destiny, the fidelity to right practice which makes great
craftsmen, the sense of right conduct which we may call honour, the
devotion to our calling and the idealism which is not a misty,
winged angel without eyes, but a divine figure of terrestrial
aspect with a clear glance and with its feet resting firmly on the
earth on which it was born.

And work will overcome all evil, except ignorance, which is the
condition of humanity and, like the ambient air, fills the space
between the various sorts and conditions of men, which breeds
hatred, fear, and contempt between the masses of mankind, and puts
on men's lips, on their innocent lips, words that are thoughtless
and vain."

~ Joseph Conrad on Tradition

There is work to be done. An Honourable Tradition. A BadaBing work of Entropy Reversals.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Writing & Blogging

"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of -- but do it in private, and wash your hands afterwards." -- R. Heinlein

Friday, January 02, 2004

On Action and Voice

"Action in its essence, the creative art of a writer of fiction may
be compared to rescue work carried out in darkness against cross
gusts of wind swaying the action of a great multitude. It is
rescue work, this snatching of vanishing phases of turbulence,
disguised in fair words, out of the native obscurity into a light
where the struggling forms may be seen, seized upon, endowed with
the only possible form of permanence in this world of relative
values--the permanence of memory. And the multitude feels it
obscurely too; since the demand of the individual to the artist is,
in effect, the cry, "Take me out of myself!" meaning really, out of
my perishable activity into the light of imperishable
consciousness. But everything is relative, and the light of
consciousness is only enduring, merely the most enduring of the
things of this earth, imperishable only as against the short-lived
work of our industrious hands.

When the last aqueduct shall have crumbled to pieces, the last
airship fallen to the ground, the last blade of grass have died
upon a dying earth, man, indomitable by his training in resistance
to misery and pain, shall set this undiminished light of his eyes
against the feeble glow of the sun. The artistic faculty, of which
each of us has a minute grain, may find its voice in some
individual of that last group, gifted with a power of expression
and courageous enough to interpret the ultimate experience of
mankind in terms of his temperament, in terms of art. I do not
mean to say that he would attempt to beguile the last moments of
humanity by an ingenious tale. It would be too much to expect--
from humanity. I doubt the heroism of the hearers. As to the
heroism of the artist, no doubt is necessary. There would be on
his part no heroism. The artist in his calling of interpreter
creates (the clearest form of demonstration) because he must. He
is so much of a voice that, for him, silence is like death; and the
postulate was, that there is a group alive, clustered on his
threshold to watch the last flicker of light on a black sky, to
hear the last word uttered in the stilled workshop of the earth.
It is safe to affirm that, if anybody, it will be the imaginative
man who would be moved to speak on the eve of that day without to-
morrow--whether in austere exhortation or in a phrase of sardonic
comment, who can guess?"

From "HENRY JAMES--AN APPRECIATION--1905" by Joseph Conrad.