It seems we had a troll. Well, four clicks, and all that bile’s gone. All that wonderful sneering and stupidity for naught. He wasted his time for that?

It’s the mostest wonderfulest part of that Internet Culture I was talking about a few weeks ago, and reminds me of a place I visit to monitor memes. Because Meme Monitoring is our responsibility as global internet citizens, you know. There’s a chance to may still think cats who want to haz a cheezeburger is still au courant, when that tabby was beaten flat years ago. No, it’s ever-multiplying Rage Faces now, which are a form of heiroglyphic communication that distills complex situations into predefined outcomes and reactions. You can see innumerable examples here. (probably NSFW for language.)

But what really fascinates me are the comments. About 99.9% are written in English, more or less. The audience appears to be world-wide, but under 28 years old. There’s hardly an original thought in the entire parade - either due to the use of tiresome, worn-out cliches (“one does not simply . . .” “that awkward moment when . . . “ “Faith in (x) restored” or some such tic) or the vapid regurgling of every possible anti-US / anti-Western civ cliche you can imagine. We never landed on the moon, religion is for idiots, everyone in the US is fat and stupid. They are absolutely convinced of these things, because they read it on the internet and it confirms their own adolescent sense that the world is just wrong, and its innumerable falsehoods can only be penetrated by the keen intellects of damp, virginal gamers who think there’s nothing wrong with people of legal drinking age who get emotional thinking about Pokemon.

The internet is the most fascinating, complex, inventive example of distributed intelligence in the history of the planet, but you could lop about 37% off and we’d be none the poorer.



Not a day overly known for tremendous accomplishments. Decided to work at home, stay warm, do nothing. Don’t overtax the system as I’m wont to do - cold, pshaw, CHARGE, sally forth, do crap. Well, no. So it was quiet and lonely, with only the sound of the great bridge project for company. They’ve ripped up an old bridge several blocks away, and built great earthen ramps on which the giant cranes seem to rest uneasily:




I hear them pounding away with unvarying rhythm, CANK CANK CANK CANK, a charmless mechanical noise that seems imported from a great factory, or a calisthenics route for gargantuan war-robots. The kind you saw in “Sky Captain and the Increasingly Unsatisfying World of Tomorrow,” a movie that had everything I wanted but left me tired about halfway through. Should watch it again. In fact, maybe I should watch it right now. That’s what sickdays are for, right? Hot tea and giant robot movies.

BREAKNG NEWS: you can control your sneezes. If you are carrying a mug of boiling hot water, and you feel a sneeze coming on, it is likely you will be able to set the mug down before you sneeze, because even though the paroxysm cannot be denied, its progress can be tempered. Sneezing is the best part of a cold, provided it’s the dry kind and isn’t followed with snuffling muck.

All right, tea and television. Back later.


I’ve been watching some early 70s movies lately - not because I like the period, but because it’s an area of memory easily reconstituted by the right color, word, song, or ugly car. So I watched “The Hot Rock,” a wandering misfire altogether too pleased with itself. Robert Redford in a caper flick! As . . . Dortmunder. Completely wrong for the role. It also contains George Segal in his peak of Seventiesness. Nevermind the movie.

There's a helicopter ride through lower Manhattan:



It's jarring to see it again; it's always jarring to see it again. And it's odd to see it partially constructed; it's as if it was either there, or appeared overnight.


Housekeeping notes: still working on the RSS feed. Rolling my own, which is 127% beyond current skill. The current feed is undependable, but it works some of the time.

The social media buttons are gone, because who cares.

The calendar now works; I had it all linked up, but when I was futzing with the code I mistakenly elminated the huge chunk of <map> code that contained all the links. D'oh.


I use Spotify to find new musical acts, something that’s increasingly less satisfying these days. Even when I find something that sounds like previous eras I may have enjoyed, it either pales or annoys. This, for example, has roots in the 80s. The vocals, the dry bass, drums trying to sound like a drum machine - but it’s just as pretentious as hell, and you want to slap everyone in the video with a wet fish.



Hey, how about Coldplay? you say. They have a new album out. That they do. I gave it a spin; appears to be tune-free. This is always an interesting development in the career of an artist. Something that sounds like the usual stuff, but has no ideas whatsoever, and appears to be the result of someone programing machines to produce Coldplay-like sounds. Not that I’m a fan crushed by this turn of events, but I always wonder why no one in the band ever says: hold on, lads. There’s nothing here. This is thick sparkly gas.

You may say: oh, you’re wrong there, fella. I’ve listened to the album several times, and it yields many delights upon repeated listenings! I’m glad you enjoy it. But if I don’t hear a hook in the first two or three songs on the album, I figure they just aren’t passing out hooks this time around. It’s the stages of rock:

1. Put the BEST SONG FIRST because that’s what everyone wants

2. Put a REALLY GOOD SONG on second then a GREAT ONE on next, which makes everyone think wow, this just gets better!

3. Put crap on the first song and the best song third, so your fans relax and think “they still have it”

4. Give up and just put something out and tour behind the hits

I hate to listen to the same old stuff. But sometimes it repays: the other day I heard on the internet a version of the “Day the Earth Stood Still” opening soundtrack, Bernard Herrman at his most otherwordly, and there was a big throbbing discordant note - a bass theremin? Really? Went back to my version of the piece in iTunes, boosted the levels, and it’s down there, alright. It’s almost at the subconscious level. As if the music wasn’t unnerving enough, Herrmann put in something to make you feel even more uneasy, without knowing why.

Here’s the original master from the official soundtrack, which I bought years ago. One minute in duration, just for comparison purposes. You’re not going to hear anything, so don’t strain yourself. It’s there, but you won’t notice it. Click HERE.

HERE’s the remixed version. It’s at 55 seconds or so. It repeats twice. Switch back and forth, if you like. Once you hear it in the second version, you can hear it in the first one. Is it supposed to be there, or not? Did anyone hear it - or just feel it?









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