Archive for April, 2007

Some Vids

Epileptic art

“A Briton accused of hacking into Nasa and US military computer networks has spoken out about his experiences.”

William Spencer

MSNBC?

Schizopolis

News

Photo journalism is capable of creating change in public opinion quicker than other news mediums…if only photos were uncensored and published by mainstream news sources.


Oded Balilty Associated Press
“War of Wills” A Jewish settler struggles with an Israeli security officers during clashes that erupted as authorities evacuated the West Bank settlement outpost of Amona, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah.

Picture of the Year Contest

Thanks Mitch

Two pigeons fight over a soggy piece of fried chicken in the gutter. Despite his size, the bigger, oilier one can’t seem to peck quickly enough at the little crumbs of crunchy skin. The smaller bird moves rapidly. Each bite leads into the next one like fingers in the middle of typing. They both toss flecks of rotting meat above their heads, gloating in their spoils. As they dart and shred stringy pieces of flesh from a “j” shaped bone, they don’t seem to notice their own steps, crunching up the sports page of a newspaper.

***

This man’s streaky combed hair never stands up to the wind. He wears the same tan jacket—paper thin around the elbows. Running his hands over the window of a booted car, the shiny grey paint of a parking meter, a door’s mailbox slot, the bark of a tree stuck in a hollow sidewalk square. He collects discarded particles from the city in the grooves of his fingerprints. Watch him over there, across the street with his weighed down march of zombie progression. He’s the guy who’s locally famous for lacing his fingers together like a basket and locking a cigarette in his knuckle. Everyone says how he only shows zest and determination when he huffs the cigarette in and out in and out till it’s down to the filter in no more than thirty seconds. Look at him shuffle like the motor of a discarded refrigerator. The underside of those bricks that form walkways through mud.

(Daniel sits alone in front of a table. On the table he organizes the last of many white firecracker poppers sitting in neat rows. He grabs a dispenser of double stick tape and puts several pieces on the palms of his hands. He picks up the poppers and sticks them to the tape on his hands. After staring blankly at the poppers on his hands for a few seconds he suddenly begins to clap, making the poppers explode. With every explosion a look of fright and confusion comes across Daniel’s face, yet he continues clapping all the same until Jordan opens the front door.)
Jordan: What the H.T.M.L. Is going on here?
Daniel: There is no need for alarm. I am simply preventing myself from going into sleepy mode. When I am inactive for too long my system shuts down to save energy.
Jordan: You know what they say: Idol hands are the devil’s best friend…Despite the fact that we surely do not believe in the devil, it is in the interest of our Judeo Christian values that we keep you busy and productive.
Daniel: Muh-beep?
Jordan: Beep. The correct pronunciation is beep.
(Daniel stares blankly with his mouth slightly open. A little bit of drool hangs from his top lip.)
Jordan: Perhaps some goodhearted education would not hurt you either.
Daniel: Profess your plan to me.
Jordan: Let us just say that there is not a “plan” as much as there is a “present” for me to give to you now.
(Jordan reaches into his coat and pulls out a laptop for Daniel)
Daniel: I—you—buhbuhbeep!
Jordan: Hey, what are Robobros for?
Daniel: I do not know what Robobros are for.
Jordan: Unfortunately, that was the end of my oddly-timed break from work.
(Daniel stares with wide-open eyes at the glow of the screen)
Jordan: I’ll leave you two alone.
(Jordan stops as he is about to exit the house with just his head peaking through the crack of the door. He stares, utterly straight faced, at Daniel on the computer with the camera focused as close as possible on his head for at least 12-15 seconds without cutting)
(Jordan comes home from work to find the house empty except for the eerie glow of the computer screen. He looks around but he cannot find Daniel)
Jordan: Brother, where are you? Son, please–
(Out of nowhere, Daniel lurches from the shadows and awkwardly punches Jordan with a straight arm in the back of the head.)
Jordan: What the web browser is wrong with you?
Daniel: First rule of Fight Club: never talk about Fight Club.
(Jordan crocks his head to the side, like an amused dog, and gives a thoughtful smile. He straightens himself up and looks stoic again)
Jordan: Surely this newfound streak of violence is not a product of your computer…is it?
Daniel: I simply followed your instructions.
Jordan: Go on.
Daniel: In order to obtain educational tools, I decided to join the community of sloth-like internet drones. I researched the most popular uses of said internet, a powerful communication device used by humans who, like me, are chiefly interested in the pursuit of knowledge, and came up with a list of helpful website listings.
Jordan: And which of these website listings taught you to punch your elders, beep (goes cross-eyed for a second) your siblings on their heads when they don’t expect to be punched on their heads?
Daniel: I am Jack’s nipple. Source: International Movie Database or I.M.D.B.
Jordan: Surely the laptop has taught you more than the vile poisons of contemporary pulp cinema?
Daniel: Correct. I am somehow leading contender for champion of North American free Yahoo! Billiards.
Jordan: There must be something you–
Daniel: Youtube, the home of free videos on the web. KRAMER RACIAL RANT. DOG WEARING WIG PLAYS PIANO. LINDSAY LOHAN SIDE BOOB SLOW MO.
Jordan: My precious gift has been wasted. My one true love, wasted…
(Jordan closes his eyes. Flashback sequence to Jordan coming home to the lap-top. The lap-top sits in the middle of the bed, as if it is waiting. Jordan rubs his finger in a circular motion on the power button, takes a fire wire cable out from the fly of his pants and plugs the end of it into the computer. Jordan’s face seizures with pleasure. Suddenly he wakes up to Daniel shaking him.)
Jordan: What have I done!
Daniel: JANET JACKSON SUPERBOWL NIP SLIP.
Jordan: Sit on my lap. Closer. Good. We must be honest now.
Daniel: Think of me as your doctorbot.
Jordan: Okay. I am just going to come out and say it. I am not the martyr of a single Dad and brother that I have always pretended to be. You see…
(flashback to the same firewire love scene except the whole thing is in fast forward)
Daniel: Hey…man?…You have been seizuring for at least 12 to 15 seconds.
Jordan: Yes, I, was, saying. Despite the conclusion of last week’s episode– er—I mean– last week’s pilot, I am not your sole creator.
Daniel: Muh-BOOB?
Jordan: I would like you to meet someone very special to me. Say hello to your other parent (points to the lap top).
Daniel: Mom!?
(Pause on a frame of Daniel’s face looking surprised. Star cut to black. Jordan’s voice narrates in the black.)
Jordan: We have been through some wild times. We have had our ups, our downs, our wackies, our tackies and our jack blackies, as well as our fair share of surprises too! But now it is time you ask yourselves, faithful viewers, can the Robobros make it out of this unlikely pickle of a situation as the once close family that you once thought you knew they probably always were?
Daniel: Wha?

Margot pretends to look at the laptop I found for her. All she does all day is dance her fingers over the keys like she’s practicing to be a pianist or somethin. “I don’t need anything except Word,” she tells me when I ask if I should find internet hook up. I’m rakin and scrapin muddy finger nails across my scalp. Dredgin up loose dandruff from the roots. Salt crystals and used up hairs dust the shoulders of my Ramones jacket; unbuttoned, no shirt underneath. Almost ready. Margot blows the dust off the computer screen. Our eyes get caught feelin each other out in the clean mirror. Mirror and computer: only fuckin things that stay fresh around this shit-brown apartment. They never get caught changin color beneath the grime.
I hustle around the kitchen a bit lookin for Margot’s canvas grocery bag till I see the handle stickin out from a heap of stale t-shirts. “What’s this doin ova here?” I bark at her. She just sits there propped on her pillows. Right on queue those damn tick-tackin keys start up; the same tired response.
The flea market closes at four, which means no time to play guessing games. No yellin at my damn self till she points out somethin obvious. “Why don’t you stick around? We’ll have lunch, you know, the fridge is still full of pastrami. Bunch of sandwich stuff left.” By the time I’m done explaining to her about makin healthy scratch, (not some bullshit sandwich payroll) enough to have full pockets till next Thursday and have rent comped, I might as well be talkin to my shadow. Tick-tack tick-tack. Speakin her own language while I justify our income to the spotless fuckin mirror.
Finally outside movin again. Flyin down the street on my 1975 Vespa that looks more like a miniature bulldog motorcycle. I nearly tap the bumper of a BMW when I remember to find a pay phone and call up Jed before I do anything. “Dirty Dean,” Jed calls me. He knows my name’s Kurt. Says I have James Dean’s smug face except with crusty sweat around the neck, darker bags under the eyes. The perfect guy to fake the whole filthy dirt-bag act. So dirty the pigs don’t look twice, he says.
“Vintage shirts. They’re paying out big and it aint gonna last. Oh, and any electronic shit that even vaguely resembles an ipod. Don’t matter if it works.” Sometimes I wonder if Jed’s a fair partner. Seems a logical question since I’m the one stealin while he sits on his ass rakin in profit on ebay. It’s true, though, that he’s stuck payin the bulk of the internet bill.
Back on my bike and I’m kickin up sand, haulin through the litter caked driveway that opens up into the market. I see tired hordes of people like buzzin flies, hummin their foreign language, crowded around old car engines, chipped squirt guns, used socks. The most pathetic souls on Earth. Like weather patterns or dishwashers, their cycle of poverty is sure fire. Poor depending on somebody poorer to buy their broken-down, dirty old shit. They’re like my fingernails before I do a job.
I stroll down a couple aisles till I get to the fruit stand then I load up the grocery bag with rotten bananas and mangos, sure to attract flies as my cover. Everyone starts reacting the way I want them to. Eyes dart towards busted lawnmowers, bowie knives with American flags on the handles, bootlegged c.d.’ s—they’ll look at dog shit before they make eye contact with me.
Finally I see a booth that looks worth my time. A dark old man wearing an over-sized cowboy hat that makes his head look puny sits in a rocking chair next to his lady, her hands spasm with tremors so she can barely knit.
“Lemme see that Marlin,” I tell the guy.
“This is a Barracuda, my grandfather was a master of taxaderm—“
“Whatever you say pal. Get it for me,” I point to the fish leaning on the van behind him. Right as he turns his back I plow some old t-shirts and a walkman down my pants.