Friday, March 19, 2004

Mr. Mike's Link Party!

As I noted below, I'm woefully behind in my bookmarks. I've got tons of stuff I meant to blog on that sat fallow while I've been in The Grey Lands. Most of it was time sensitive, where if you don't blog on it right then everyone else already has and you're old news that no one cares about any more. I still haven't found a way to reconcile wanting to blog on the topics of the day and being laid low on a regular basis by depression. I may have to accept it, I guess, and blog on anyway.

Anyway, instead of a whole lot of short posts, I'm just going to do this Insta-style.

* The New York Post (Link works today; you may have to backtrack after that.) has an item, for some reason buried in the Gossip section, on a Details magazine story about "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS." Fascinating stuff, and controversial. Folks who can remember that far back recall the hysteria the media promoted about how AIDS was going to devastate the "straight" community, not just gays and drug users. Never happened. Unfortunately, the Details story isn't online, but I found another site that quotes more from it. Go read.

No surprise to learn that it was all a bunch of hype by folks looking to promote an agenda or get government money. I never believed that the hetero population was as sexually active as the gay male community. Very few het men have the same number of partners that most sexually active gays do. And, as the article points out, het sex just doesn't involve as much potentially porous tissue and unprotected areas as anal sex. I remember an article somewhere that showed few women allowed anal sex, so that plays a part as well. It was all about getting "breeders" to care by scaring them into believing it could happen to them as well. Turns out you're more likely to get hit by lightning, by an order of magnitude, then to catch AIDS. Go read both posts.

* All the gay marriages happening in San Francisco have brought a celebrity couple out of the closet. Very logical.

* Just stumbling arund the Web, I came across this essay, entitled "If Jesus Had Never Been Born." It's a look at the kinds of changes we might have seen in history in a Christianity-free world. Turns out, not so different, unless you jump off from the essay and think about some of his extrapolations. While there, take a gander at some of the other essays by John J. Reilly. Chewy stuff.

* We're already hearing piffle about how this is a "negative" campaign and how it's going to be down and dirty. Pooh. Our modern elections have nothing on 19th century politics. Try reading about the 1884 campaign. It started with a Presidential assassination, reached its zenith with revelations that the main candidate had a bastard child, and featured secret meetings, party defections and multiple conventions. Now that's politics!

* Motion-induced blindness! Whee! Try this test to see. All three yellow dots are always there, but your eye and mind lose them every once in a while.

* Fans of Homestar Runner have been waiting for Strong Bad's 100th email. It wasn't here, like most folks thought, but was secretly moved here. Was it worth the wait? Holy crap! YOU BET!

Note to newbies: Like all Homestar Runner Flash animation, wave your cursor around the screen to find the Easter eggs. Lots of them on the last screen, including a special message from Limozeen!

* I hope to post more about the Madrid bombing and the resulting election of the Socialists later, but for now, Oliver Kamm, a disaffected member of the English Liberal Democratic Party says it more eloquently than I. Go and read, especially the comments. Sample quote:
In the circumstances, it is a bizarre misalignment ? more like a category mistake - to suppose that Islamist terror is designed to influence the policy complexion of western states. The restoration of the Caliphate and the destruction of the Jews are not aims of the same type as that of getting 1300 Spanish peacekeepers withdrawn from Iraq. Bin Laden ? supposing he is alive, as I doubt ? doesn?t care whether those troops are in Iraq or elsewhere: he just wants them, and us, dead.

I labour this because some of the commentary today from those like Andrew who supported war in Iraq elides the distinction between these incommensurable goals. That?s a significant error on two grounds. The lesser ground is that those who wish for the defeat of world leaders favourable to President Bush?s strategy thereby have a perfect opportunity to affect umbrage at the notion that to be anti-terror requires one to vote in a particular way, and I?d like to deny them the pleasure of righteous indignation. The more substantial reason is that it implicitly concedes a case to the anti-war campaigners that ought to be withheld. If policies carried out by western governments can be predicted to provoke the murder of our citizens, then there is a seductive and utterly wrongheaded argument that those policies ought to be calibrated so as to minimise such provocation.

* I'm not sure how many of you are Spalding Gray fans, but he was a monologist and actor I enjoyed. His movie Swimming to Cambodia was all about his experiences making the movie The Killing Fields. Swimming was nothing more than Spalding, a table with a glass of water, and a chair, on a stage for ninety minutes, but it was competely enthralling. He painted such pictures with his words that you were transported. Sadly, back in January, he went missing. Suicide was feared. You can read this interview to learn a whole lot about the guy, including some battles with demons. It's worth your time for the view into neurosis and mental illness. Then came the news that his body was found. He will be missed.

* Last one! Got dreams of being a rock and roll star? Think again. Musician and record producer Steve Albini lays out the reality for you. It's not pretty. Basicallly, the record company makes out like a bandit and you get the bill.

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