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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in gangstagangsta's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2005
8:13 pm
blog blog
starting an art-blog. going to try and update daily...
Wednesday, August 31st, 2005
10:11 pm
Friday, October 22nd, 2004
4:43 pm
cnn is a trip, they've been jabbering about bush's new 'scary' wolf ad. i'm kind of a cynical asshole. i thought that would explain how weak and flimsy the ad seemed to me, but they just showed it on crossfire and the audience was laughing. they keep saying it's going to 'scare' us, but it looks like we're laughing, even the automatons in the crossfire audience.

watch a bit of cnn, watch the ads. bp, progressive energy company, yeah ok. aclu patriot act, hm ok. then the usual kerry ads, bush ads, ok. then...hummer? kerr-mcgee and conoco phillips, oil drilling? jeez. and then my favorite: americans for balanced energy choices, an ad put up by a group of coal companies that shows a computer animated eagle soaring thru the polluted skies of america, 1970. then it shows the same cartoon eagle flying thru beauteous, mountainous blue skies of america today, thanks to clean coal technology america's skies are cleaner bla bla. if you see this ad, look at the bottom of the screen for a small disclaimer: "with new EPA regulations." yes, that means that the skies are cleaner ...according to the EPA's new, recently-lowered standards. they forgot to show the animated salmon marinating in mercury sauce.

don't tell me cnn is liberal media. i watch it. i watch the shit out of it.

and i was thinking about those horrid liberals. i mean who could support big, gay government? imagine, armies of IRS agents in leather bondage outfits, mailing us rainbow stickers instead of our god-given tax cuts? makes me shudder.
3:48 pm
what to get me
my birthday and christmas will be coming up soon and inevitably my parents will ask me what i want. i will tell them nothing, not because if i ask for something that they will surely buy me the next cheapest-sorta-similar item, but because it is something they refuse to give me.

and that's almost fair, see i won't give them what they want either. i won't have kids. i think, excuse me, i believe that having kids is the most selfish thing someone could do nowadays. the world you're bringing those kids into is shit. i don't need to get into details. your eyes would glaze over. but every day i look at the world in broad and narrow focus and see how it "could" become a better, safer, more efficient, more tolerant place. but greed and complacency and pride cause people to resist making the right choices. my parents vote republican, refuse to recycle, drive gas guzzlers and strongly maintain that they have every right to do all that and more. they make the wrong choices as far as i'm concerned. i challenge them on this, directly. i say, if you wanna do something for me, spend the five extra bucks a month and get all that shit you throw out recycled. to which my mom laughs and says 'well, we're just bad people.' how can i hope for that better world when my own parents don't give a shit about it? yeah, mom, i'm gonna have 5 fuckin kids so when they're 20 they can fight over water under a hazy orange sky. yeah, fuckin right.

i'm just gonna ask for a wheelbarrow of canned food and a shotgun.

hm, ventura just endorsed kerry. schwarzenegger is pushing for bush. all eyes are on carl weathers.
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
10:11 pm
cia names names ...but when? it's up to us
this may or may not have come to people's attention:

long story short, congress requested a report on the 9/11 attacks from the CIA. that report was completed since june. unlike previous reports, this one names names and is supposebly very embarrassing to the good folks who are running for reelection. so those folks have requested that congress not receive the report until after the election. i've emailed my NY congresspersons the following, and i suggest you do the same:

I've been reading about a CIA 9/11 report being delayed in it's submittal to congress until after the election as reported by the LA Times and others:
I'm sure you're aware of this situation. The article concludes "Unless the public demands an accounting, the administration and CIA's leadership will have won and the nation will have lost."
I am the public and I am right now demanding an accounting.
Thank you,
my name here

email your senators:
in massachusetts:

the house of representatives makes it a bit more difficult:
Monday, October 18th, 2004
11:46 am
on the flu shot
i have never taken a flu shot. i never intend to.

that said, the news today shows long lines of old people in winter jackets and wheelchairs all over the country. now, anyone who knows anything about the flu-shot knows that it is not perfect. they know that scientists look at the influenza evidence early in every year and make an educated guess as to what strain of the virus is most likely to be widespread. some years they are right on, others not so much. so, since we have half as much of it, we have told all of our most susceptible people to congregate, in cold weather, for a flu shot they may or may not get, which may or may not prevent the flu that they are almost guaranteed to give one another. plus, under these conditions, is the virus they get more or less likely to be the one the CDC folks predicted?

my advice? keep your strength up by eating some real food, stuff that grows in the sun, no more assembly-line food, and no more of those dusty wal-mart boxes. and maybe MAYBE consider washing your fuckin' hands.

all the old-ass republicans should cross-check my advice against your small-government, self-responsibility values before you complain that someone let you down. i'm definitely angrier than i should be. being hammered with non-news has that effect on me.

Saturday, October 16th, 2004
1:15 pm
in case you missed it
do you enjoy the daily show? have you watched any cable news in the last year or two? got a brain that burns calories generating opinions? ever weigh the social cost of spitting on the TV in mixed company?

well then, the following link goes to the most satisfying 13-and-a-half minutes in television history:


Current Mood: what! no Glib?

12:44 pm
ok, so i have now been outsmarted by my own sarcasm. i went and updated my LJ interests today. Originally my interests were "mailing spiders and cheese," which is so obscure a joke that only i really understand it (yes, i'm using the public aspect of LJ for personal jokes, and the personal part of the LJ for public announcement type stuff, does my evasion of professional success make more sense now?). long story short, there's a sign at the post office here that lists the things you cannot mail, among other funny things, there is a prominent picture of a spider on a big hunk of swiss cheese. hilarious...to me.

Post Office Guy: When wid yer like yer package to git deer?

Me: Oh, it could get there whenever, whatever's cheapest.

Post Office Guy: Gat any spaiders er cheese in dis ere bax?

Me: Not after last time!

Me and Post Office Guy: HA-HA-HA!

so this morning, i typed in my new set of interests, intended to be a list of all the things good americans should like:

american idol, mtv, road rules, purchasing things at wal-mart, shooting things, buying nice clothes, putting cheese on things, ESPECIALLY beef, coca-cola, fake breasts, i really enjoy engaging in ignorance over a good lite beer and doing everything else that good obedient amaircans do! yay for me!

witty, right? ho-ho-ho. so i click the submit, and i look at the results: http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=gangstagangsta

LJ cross-references your interests with others in order for users to meet other users with the same interests. pretty cool idea, except that it flushes out all my sarcasm and reshuffles the remaining interests, adding hyperlinks to interests that correspond to interests other LJ users have listed. and yes, "buying nice clothes", "coca-cola", "fake breasts", and "shooting things" all have their interest groups and i'm not sure if the crooked smile on my face is from laughter or deep, deep disappointment.

Current Mood: blank

Friday, October 15th, 2004
1:36 pm
very much worth a read
What Derrida Really Meant
Published: October 14, 2004

Along with Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, who died last week in Paris at the age of 74, will be remembered as one of the three most important philosophers of the 20th century. No thinker in the last 100 years had a greater impact than he did on people in more fields and different disciplines. Philosophers, theologians, literary and art critics, psychologists, historians, writers, artists, legal scholars and even architects have found in his writings resources for insights that have led to an extraordinary revival of the arts and humanities during the past four decades. And no thinker has been more deeply misunderstood.

To people addicted to sound bites and overnight polls, Mr. Derrida's works seem hopelessly obscure. It is undeniable that they cannot be easily summarized or reduced to one-liners. The obscurity of his writing, however, does not conceal a code that can be cracked, but reflects the density and complexity characteristic of all great works of philosophy, literature and art. Like good French wine, his works age well. The more one lingers with them, the more they reveal about our world and ourselves.

What makes Mr. Derrida's work so significant is the way he brought insights of major philosophers, writers, artists and theologians to bear on problems of urgent contemporary interest. Most of his infamously demanding texts consist of careful interpretations of canonical writers in the Western philosophical, literary and artistic traditions - from Plato to Joyce. By reading familiar works against the grain, he disclosed concealed meanings that created new possibilities for imaginative expression.

Mr. Derrida's name is most closely associated with the often cited but rarely understood term "deconstruction." Initially formulated to define a strategy for interpreting sophisticated written and visual works, deconstruction has entered everyday language. When responsibly understood, the implications of deconstruction are quite different from the misleading clichés often used to describe a process of dismantling or taking things apart. The guiding insight of deconstruction is that every structure - be it literary, psychological, social, economic, political or religious - that organizes our experience is constituted and maintained through acts of exclusion. In the process of creating something, something else inevitably gets left out.

These exclusive structures can become repressive - and that repression comes with consequences. In a manner reminiscent of Freud, Mr. Derrida insists that what is repressed does not disappear but always returns to unsettle every construction, no matter how secure it seems. As an Algerian Jew writing in France during the postwar years in the wake of totalitarianism on the right (fascism) as well as the left (Stalinism), Mr. Derrida understood all too well the danger of beliefs and ideologies that divide the world into diametrical opposites: right or left, red or blue, good or evil, for us or against us. He showed how these repressive structures, which grew directly out of the Western intellectual and cultural tradition, threatened to return with devastating consequences. By struggling to find ways to overcome patterns that exclude the differences that make life worth living, he developed a vision that is consistently ethical.

And yet, supporters on the left and critics on the right have misunderstood this vision. Many of Mr. Derrida's most influential followers appropriated his analyses of marginal writers, works and cultures as well as his emphasis on the importance of preserving differences and respecting others to forge an identity politics that divides the world between the very oppositions that it was Mr. Derrida's mission to undo: black and white, men and women, gay and straight. Betraying Mr. Derrida's insights by creating a culture of political correctness, his self-styled supporters fueled the culture wars that have been raging for more than two decades and continue to frame political debate.

To his critics, Mr. Derrida appeared to be a pernicious nihilist who threatened the very foundation of Western society and culture. By insisting that truth and absolute value cannot be known with certainty, his detractors argue, he undercut the very possibility of moral judgment. To follow Mr. Derrida, they maintain, is to start down the slippery slope of skepticism and relativism that inevitably leaves us powerless to act responsibly.

This is an important criticism that requires a careful response. Like Kant, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Mr. Derrida does argue that transparent truth and absolute values elude our grasp. This does not mean, however, that we must forsake the cognitive categories and moral principles without which we cannot live: equality and justice, generosity and friendship. Rather, it is necessary to recognize the unavoidable limitations and inherent contradictions in the ideas and norms that guide our actions, and do so in a way that keeps them open to constant questioning and continual revision. There can be no ethical action without critical reflection.

During the last decade of his life, Mr. Derrida became preoccupied with religion and it is in this area that his contribution might well be most significant for our time. He understood that religion is impossible without uncertainty. Whether conceived of as Yahweh, as the father of Jesus Christ, or as Allah, God can never be fully known or adequately represented by imperfect human beings.

And yet, we live in an age when major conflicts are shaped by people who claim to know, for certain, that God is on their side. Mr. Derrida reminded us that religion does not always give clear meaning, purpose and certainty by providing secure foundations. To the contrary, the great religious traditions are profoundly disturbing because they all call certainty and security into question. Belief not tempered by doubt poses a mortal danger.

As the process of globalization draws us ever closer in networks of communication and exchange, there is an understandable longing for simplicity, clarity and certainty. This desire is responsible, in large measure, for the rise of cultural conservatism and religious fundamentalism - in this country and around the world. True believers of every stripe - Muslim, Jewish and Christian - cling to beliefs that, Mr. Derrida warns, threaten to tear apart our world.

Fortunately, he also taught us that the alternative to blind belief is not simply unbelief but a different kind of belief - one that embraces uncertainty and enables us to respect others whom we do not understand. In a complex world, wisdom is knowing what we don't know so that we can keep the future open.

In the two decades I knew Mr. Derrida, we had many meetings and exchanges. In conversation, he listened carefully and responded helpfully to questions whether posed by undergraduates or colleagues. As a teacher, he gave freely of his time to several generations of students.

But small things are the measure of the man. In 1986, my family and I were in Paris and Mr. Derrida invited us to dinner at his house in the suburbs 20 miles away. He insisted on picking us up at our hotel, and when we arrived at his home he presented our children with carnival masks. At 2 a.m., he drove us back to the city. In later years, when my son and daughter were writing college papers on his work, he sent them letters and postcards of encouragement as well as signed copies of several of his books. Jacques Derrida wrote eloquently about the gift of friendship but in these quiet gestures - gestures that served to forge connections among individuals across their differences - we see deconstruction in action.
11:20 am
again, i dunno if anyone sees these, but i got my first poster printed. it's kind of a big deal:

Thursday, October 14th, 2004
1:03 pm
on mccain
i just watched bush and mccain on airforce1 giving an impromptu press conference. while mccain was talking bush winked and wiggled his eyebrows over mccain's shoulder.

mr. mccain, i hope you realize just how much respect and credibility your support for bush has cost you. your bipartisan respect comes from your strength, your military experience, and your ability to maintain your principals, regardless of party affiliations. but by standing beside a man who personally proved to you in 2000 that he has none of these, you have spent this valuable capital, no matter what political gain has been promised to you. the man next to you right now has disrespected vietnam vet's records, after avoiding going to vietnam. he doesn't even deny it. standing next to you is a man who uses stand-up comedy before contractually-obligated audiences to replace honest campaign speeches.

standing next to you is a man who was lobbed softball questions by his golf-buddy bob schiefer, about "do you love your wife," and "how much do you love god," while the two importantly intertwined issues of energy and environment gather more dust. mccain-lieberman global warming bill? i'm sure you've heard of it. i'm sure the man standing next to you wiggling his eyebrows was quite opposed to it.

the man you stand against, your friend mr flopper? he came home from a war and spoke what he felt was the truth about that war. whether the young flopper was right or wrong, the man next to you could probably learn from that action, rather than just ridicule it.

it's logical to think you are looking at the presidency in 08. i'm looking for someone with honesty and principal, and you are teetering on a very high pedestal. i hope that awkward kiss on the forehead was worth it. you may or may not undertand that you have traded the admiration of independents like myself, for the admiration of mr bush. unfortunately, he proved to me today that he has little or no respect for you, regardless of your political sacrifice. please return to nonpartisan politics where you are possibly the most respected man in the world, this public politicking can and will diminish that respect.

Respectfully yours,
Derek Ring
super wicked extremely independent voter
Wednesday, October 13th, 2004
4:24 pm
Sunday, October 10th, 2004
9:39 am
on the debate
so, the most progressive modern decision that the supreme court has made, that our president will publicly agree with, is against slavery. i thought that was pretty bad.

but see, what's worse is that i kinda... don't believe him.
9:09 am
open letter
dear scifi channel higher-ups,
i don't want to get anyone in trouble, but someone at your network produced a movie called Frankenfish.
would you believe me if i told you i watched your scifi channel presentation of Frankenfish? i'm not sure i believe it myself.
some might say that they may feel stupider for having watched Frankenfish, i believe watching it made me feel like the smartest person involved in the affair. unfortunately, i DID feel stupider for having CHOSEN to watch Frankenfish.

and while he may agree that the chicks were hot, jim henson would be furious to find that you used puppets to make people stupider and not smarter. is that any way for your Farscape co-creator to feel? hm? and, no. Frankenhenson is not a good idea for a film, so don't even think of it.

Derek Ring
Seneca Falls NY

ps: i was thinking, if you make Frankenfish 2, it would be cool if i was the Frankenfish.
Friday, October 8th, 2004
11:53 am
and so i turned on the CMT country music mtv station. i was really floored by the isolationist ignorance and hatred being propped up there as american values. as a northern liberal, i must ask the question: Why do they hate us?

and as always, the answer to that question is: They hate our freedom.

i wonder if those terrible mosks are so different than our fundamentalist christian churches? i mean it's all there, the poverty, the guns, the piety, the rejection of science, the preachers turning a blind eye to the violence being bred into the youth. Is the only difference the language and the hats?

I'm really not sure whose hats looks sillier, pardon my freedom.
Thursday, October 7th, 2004
10:40 am
Still not a giant fan of Friedman, but he says things that need to be heard:

The Battle of the Pump
Published: October 7, 2004

Of all the shortsighted policies of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, none have been worse than their opposition to energy conservation and a gasoline tax. If we had imposed a new gasoline tax after 9/11, demand would have been dampened and gas today would probably still be $2 a gallon. But instead of the extra dollar going to Saudi Arabia - where it ends up with mullahs who build madrasas that preach intolerance - that dollar would have gone to our own Treasury to pay down our own deficit and finance our own schools. In fact, the Bush energy policy should be called No Mullah Left Behind.

Our own No Child Left Behind program has not been fully financed because the tax revenue is not there. But thanks to the Bush-Cheney energy policy, No Mullah Left Behind has been fully financed and is now the gift that keeps on giving: terrorism.

Mr. Bush says we're in "a global war on terrorism.'' That's right. But that war is rooted in the Arab-Muslim world. That means there is no war on terrorism that doesn't involve helping this region onto a more promising path for its huge population of young people - too many of whom are unemployed or unemployable because their oil-rich regimes are resistant to change and their religious leaders are resisting modernity.

A former Kuwaiti information minister, Sad bin Tefla, wrote an article in a London Arabic daily, Al Sharq Al Awsat, last Sept. 11 entitled "We Are All Bin Laden.'' He asked why Muslim scholars and clerics had eagerly supported fatwas condemning Salman Rushdie to death after he wrote a novel deemed insulting to Islam, "The Satanic Verses,'' but to this day no Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden for murdering nearly 3,000 innocent civilians, badly damaging Islam.

Building a decent Iraq is necessary to help reverse such trends, but it is not sufficient. We need a much more comprehensive approach, particularly if we fail in Iraq. The Bush team does not offer one. It has treated the Arab-Israeli issue with benign neglect, failed to find any way to communicate with the Arab world and adopted an energy policy that is supporting the worst Arab oil regimes and the worst trends. Phil Verleger, one of the nation's top energy consultants and a longtime advocate of a gas tax, puts it succinctly: "U.S. energy policy today is in support of terrorism - not the war on terrorism."

We need to dramatically cut our consumption of oil and bring the price back down to $20 a barrel. Nothing would do more to stimulate reform in the Arab-Muslim world. Oil regimes do not have to modernize or govern well. They just buy off their people and their mullahs. Governments without oil have to reform to create jobs. People do not change when you tell them they should - they change when they tell themselves they must.

The Arab-Muslim world is in a must-change human development crisis, "but oil is like a narcotic that kills a lot of the pain for them and prevents real change,'' says David Rothkopf, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Where is all the innovation in the Arab world today? In the places with little or no oil: Bahrain is working on labor reform, just signed a free-trade agreement with the U.S. and held the first elections in the Arab gulf, allowing women to run and vote. Dubai has made itself into a regional service center. And Jordan has a free-trade agreement with the U.S. and is trying to transform itself into a knowledge economy. Who is paralyzed or rolling back reforms? Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran, all now awash in oil money.

When did Jordan begin privatizing and deregulating its economy and upgrading its education system? In 1989 - after oil prices had slumped and the Arab oil states cut off Jordan's subsidies. In 1999, before Jordan signed its U.S. free-trade accord, its exports to America totaled $13 million. This year, Jordan will export over $1 billion worth of goods to the U.S. In the wake of King Abdullah II's reforms, Jordan's economy is growing at an annual rate of over 7 percent, the government is installing computers and broadband Internet links in every school, and it will soon require anyone who wants to study Islamic law and become a mosque preacher to first get a B.A. in something else, so mosque leaders won't just come from those who can't do anything else. "We had to go through a crisis to accept the need for reform," says Jordan's planning minister, Bassem Awadallah.

We have the power right now to stimulate similar trends across the Arab world. It's the best way to fight a global war on terrorism. If only we had a president and vice president tough enough to fight this war.

Current Mood: dorky
Monday, October 4th, 2004
1:52 pm
i think i am going to use this
even if just for interesting thing i come across... http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/041001/481/par10510010300

Current Mood: dorky
1:27 am
new new new
Hey, I don't know if anyone reads or checks me journal, I've updated it 2wice in 3 years. Nice job, huh? Sorry I'm more visual than typetory.
I've been having a hard time maintaining an artistic identity of my own, since so much of what I do goes directly for others' purposes. I've needed a LiveJournal for pictures. THUSLY I've found a CafePress style website that lets me upload as much art as I can come up with, and they offer it publicly on shirts, posters etc. Mostly shirts, but I really like that format. I've gotten some shirts and the quality is dynamite. I'm not begging folks to go and buy my shirts, but if you're interested in my "LiveSketchbook", you can bookmark it and every day you'll have new reasons to publicly discuss my well-being.

Oops. How's about I post a link...

Current Mood: busy
Sunday, August 1st, 2004
11:33 am
stoopid survey 04
Album I bought this year that I thought I loved but only listened to once: Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell, Flaming Lips...meh.

Oldest movie I saw this year: Original Manchurian Candidate with Sinatra...dynamite. the new one opened yesterday...we'll see.

Oldest album I revived from the collection and listened to altogether way too much: octagonecologyst

Painting or photograph I really dug: green portrait done by a high school student on display at the bijou

Biggest purchase: G4 laptop

Happiest purchase: same

I couldn't help myself, but I took this foolish risk: moving into the Real World: Seneca Falls

Fall in love? every day STILL, and not for any of the reasons my dopey girlfriend thinks i do

How about fall in love with your local postal worker, waitress, supermarket
cashier, or the like? not here, in upstizzy NY. plus, i think the post office guy hates me. most of the people working places are pretty ornery.

Item which has endeared itself to me most this year: my bike

Hardest drug (prescription or other, you degenerate): zuzu coffee.

Disapprove of a friend or family member? "conservatives" who vacation in P-town?

Coldest water I was in: hiked into taughanock falls in january (http://abnormalbrain.bizland.com/nicattaugh.jpg)

Hottest water I was in: i feel like there may be a knock at the door at any time

Weirdest thing I ate: onion parsley peanut butter

Weirdest thing I refused to eat: while considering this question, i realized that i never refuse to eat weird things, but i do refuse to eat really really "normal" things, ie. steak, mcdonald's, chef boyardee etc.

Right now my TV is on channel: msnbc, why, i have no idea.

This year I created or invented (including recipes or methods): spicy chicken pizza

Hardest loss: My grandmother, Yolanda Lemay

Biggest surprise: not a lot of surprises this year

Someone I already knew that impressed me way beyond what I expected: i like gabe being serious about moving to canada, nicole's knowledge and skill grow every day it seems

Best gift and who it came from: probably the chili pkg from my dad

Biggest waste of money: where to start. how about 3357 state rte 89, maybe the abbrain shirts, maybe the work done on my currently dead saab, etc etc etc etc

Oldest article of clothing I still wear: beef pit shirt, i was just informed that my sgwp shirt needs to be retired

Oldest article of clothing I still save and why: kishkir shirt still at the bottom of the drawer

Number of times I was arrested: Zero, sarry.

You sissy.

Furthest traveled: Buffalo, Hyannis

Fastest book read: Boys from Brazil, Ira Levin

Gift I bought for someone else that I actually wanted for myself:

Largest or most expensive item I threw away: liquidated over 1/2 my toy collection for about $50

Craziest thing I saw online (and the URL would be nice): http://www.peakoil.com/

Thing I saw on tv that made me the maddest: outfoxed

Last thing you do before bed: bebop, i am an old old man...watching cartoons

Yeaah, right.

This year the food or drink I consumed most was: old cOoffEEeEee

What's on my computer right now behind this survey: IM with gabe, upload for frightcatalog images, mp3 of elton john's I'm Still Standing

This year's guilty pleasure: toss up between milkshakes and carry on wayward son

At the end of this year my best friend will be: fully recovered, hopefully working, hopefully living someplace new and interesting.

Then send this to at least one person you really shouldn't.
Monday, January 15th, 2001
4:35 pm
I put it in twice, I'm new. Fuck alla ya.

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