Sunday, May 28, 2006

New computer diversions

"An activity that diverts the mind from serious or tedious concerns."

The new computer rocks.

I look forward to completely running out of server space again by uploading inane video projects. I won't suffer you to hear many of my Garage Band compositions (and yes it is supposed to sound vaguely like the theme from CHiPs). The super-secret podcasts are still unavailable for general public consumption and no doubt will remain so unless one of you who has them starts sharing them out. Expect the full wrath of Clintor of Omicron Seti 6 if that happens.

Shit I shouldn't have mentionecd the super-secret podcasts now should I? Shit.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Breaks

I think they finally get it: Salt Lake Tribune - Panguitch seeks national park of its own at Cedar Breaks. Cedar Breaks is a great place and I would hate to see it overrun as most National Parks are, but the plan seems solid enough and would do a lot for Iron County. As the western-most park of all the Utah parks it would carry tourists in the big loop that could start or end there and hit places like Zions, Bryce, Capitol Reef, and Arches. One would hope, however, that they don't decide to expand the highway up Cedar Canyon because of this, however, to make a connection to Bryce Canyon. Cedar Canyon is one of the most beautiful canyons in Utah. Its mix of forest and red rock are particularly spectacular and it has a grove of the oldest trees in North America. My mom's family has a deep roots in that area (hell there are a few geographical features named for them), so I get pretty charged up when folks start messing around with it.

(Note on picture: that's my uncle and my mom somewhere in Cedar Canyon in the 50s.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

[The land of lost notes] Note 26

[The land of lost notes] Note 25

"Not ripe for the session" or other mixed metaphors that die on the vine

Honeymoon's over, eh Jonny boy: "Salt Lake Tribune - House strikes back at governor?

The political fall-out of all this, of course, waps those who have limited capacities to help themselves literally right in the mouth:

In the end, Utahns on Medicaid and the public will end up paying the price for politics on Capitol Hill. About 40,000 elderly, blind and disabled Utahns could have gotten emergency dental care - teeth pulled and root canals, for example - with the funding. Instead, Mascaro says, they now will go to emergency rooms, seek charity care or will be treated in state prisons.
"We did not save $2 million by cutting this out of Medicaid," Mascaro said. "All we did was multiply that cost many times over and turn it over to the public to pay in catchall systems. The public is not being well-served."

So do folks really want to go back to the beggar culture that the progressive movement in the U.S. has tried to rid us of since the 1800s? Is having a place to park your fat cat Mitsubishi 3000 GT out of the snow really more important than the common good?

Sidenote: once again the Utah Legislature displays its fetish for everything automobile.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

de dicto / de re

"A nation's true values can be measured in how it treats the poor, the weak, the damaged, the unconnected. For more than 30 years, the answer of the U.S. power structure has been clear: You lock them up, shut them up, grind them down -- and make big bucks in the process." (Chris Floyd, CONTEXT - This Week in Arts and Ideas from The Moscow Times)

"'From the early days in the Tetons to the rebelliousness of Yosemite's Camp 4, every generation of climbers has had its run-ins with government regulations that attempt to restrict climber's freedom of expression.'" (Mike Jones, Utahnia, "Patagonia clothing company is lame")

WHAT, then, is the rightful limit to the sovereignty of the individual over himself? Where does the authority of society begin? How much of human life should be assigned to individuality, and how much to society? (John Stewart Mill, On Liberty, Chapter 4)

Someone who does not know that the morning star is the planet Venus, for example, could believe the truth, de dicto, of the proposition, "The morning star is larger than Venus," even though no one would believe de re that Venus is larger than itself. (Garth Kemerling, The Philosophy Pages de dicto/de re")

I was listening to the BBC Arts podcast this morning. They were engaging in a healthy debate on the "nanny" or "paternalist" state/government. Basically they started with the notion that from John Stewart Mill that an individual has the liberty to do whatever she wants to do to herself so long as it doesn't harm others in the process. Of course this is a very complex issue that doesn't lend itself to any easy solutions. Personal freedom or liberty without implication on others is a very difficult thing to achieve in that whatever we do as individuals seems to have impact on others. As Buddhism and a modern Christian philosophy, among others--is the label paticipatory sin, Kendrakoo?--suggest everything is connected and what I do ultimately has an effect on others. For example, if I purchase coffee from a vendor that exploits the people who grow/harvest the coffee I have a hand in that exploitation. Ultimately this seems like a reasonable connection to make and it seems like good personal policy to avoid buying products that have shady production standards and exploit fellow human beings so egregiously.

This personal or communal action, of course, does not make the product itself illegal (although governments seem to regularly consider banning such products.) For example, the folks (mainly the government) so hot-and-bothered by drugs and drug users make similar paticipatory connections. Pot smokers are seemingly responsible for Columbian drug lords and murders, child abuse, and rampant murders in the street. So the product they use and others akin to them are banned: production and possession of them is criminalized. The other side (in this case smelly, dirty hippies--had to make sure you were still reading!) then claims that their personal freedom is being abused by the government and works to undermine said laws etc claiming, among others, the benefits of such products (note the hemp movement). The Liberal notion of liberty (a la Mill), it would seem, is at the heart of the matter. Marx just a few decades after Mill, of course, came to the conclusion that Mill's "liberty" is just a bourgeois concept to exploit the proletariat. In other words Marx suggested that the bourgeois saw their freedom as paramount to the freedom of others; be free as long as you have the money to back up that freedom (sound familiar?) This, of course, is the basis of modern socialism; individual liberty is still seen as a myth invented by a specific class to give license to their personal actions and to exploit other classes and to profit from that explotation.

Now where the hell am I going with all this? Nowhere, other than I wish to explore the topic/idea of personal freedom. I never really understood, for example, why Reagan got people so worked up in a lather over "liberals" when he and the conservatives seemed to be talking about are Liberal notions--i.e. personal freedom, free market, etc.) Maybe "Liberal" sounds worse than "Socialist" does, so he chose that word to pick on? Or maybe "socialist" was a dead horse that they couldn't beat any more? Nevertheless it seems that the socialist notion has been accepted by the modern conservative movement in that personal freedom is not really possible--one could site various examples of this, but I grow weary of this topic. Yes, it seems those who throw around the F word (freedom) are often the ones who try to restrict the freedom of others the most and then label "liberals" as freedom-haters.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gallery Stroll

Gallery Stroll
Originally uploaded by Theorris.

Gallery stroll was quite nice this month. Old friend Adrianne has a show currently at good old Cup O' Joe in good old SLC. The picture is not of Cup O' Joe, but the crowd hanging out in front Pierpont where SLUG ( is now located. From the left are I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, Mariah, I don't know, Greg Nelson, Late JC, and I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Jaya! Jaya!"

Rama lay on his face upon the earth and kissed it; Lakshamana and Sita did the same. They climbed back into Sumantra's chariot and he bore them away toward the inscrutable future. (Ramayana, Book 2, Chapter 17).
More on the Ramayana later--maybe. If you haven't read it, I suggest getting the prose translation by Ramesh Menon. I'm sure purists would have a fit at his manner of translation, but I kind of dig it. I can finally understand why they make all those great Bollywood epics the way they do. Although no one has broken out into song and dance in the Ramayana yet, if they did it would fit quite well.

All in all it beats the daylights out of any religious literature I've ever read.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


See what happend when you aren't paying attention: a fellow former blogger's film (Way of the Puck) wins a Gold Remi. Congratulations, Sleepy E!

Hey! I've been busy:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Four day neck ache

1) Ok--the neck ache is fading--slowly, but it is still there.

2) J'refuse!

3) I highly recommend the Dandy Warhols "The Last High." I shall listen to it about 20 times tonight.

4) Utah Power and Light needs an enema and an introduction to how to be a real business in the our modrun age. By the way didn't Newt Gingrich promise I was supposed to have utility competition by now? If they can't pull it off in Utah, then they can't pull it off anywhere.

5) Neck aches are really distracting.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What would you say if I sang out of key?

Well I'm glad that political mumbo jumbo of yesterday is over. Did I tell you how much I dislike politics? I'm dealing with a bunch of politics right now in my professional life and have developed a two-day neck ache. "What is a two-day neck ache?" you ask. It is a pain that starts deep in the middle of my right shoulder and travels up the spin to my right ear. The right side of my face seems strained by it as well. So I've found another reason to be a misanthrope: people literally are a pain in my neck.

Word of the day, in case you missed it: misanthrope. MISS-AN-THROPE. In case you don't know it means, a misanthrope a person who has a general dislike for human beings.

I've put it on Insipid. You remember Insipid, right? You should really join up.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Umm pah pah

Quite a few folks have hopped on the Ashdown band wagon:

Why I Support Pete Ashdown For US Senate- Obiter Dicta By Steve
Why I support Pete Ashdown- Gary Thornock
Senator Pete goes to Washinton- The Utah Amicus
Pete Ashdown for U.S. Senate- One Utah
Fat Pete Ashdown: Quote of the week- The Utah Amicus
I'm with Pete- Formaline
Mr. Ashdown- Utah Democrats
Pete Ashdown- Innisfree
A Senator from Utah for Utah- Jeremy's Jeremiad


Mr. Wiki Goes to Washington

Let's face it: I'm not the most politically interested person in the world. Politics are important, of course, but politicians mostly just end up turning me off as self-important blowhards who get a hold of power and are quite reluctant to give that up. I prefer a government of interested citizens rather than a government of political hacks. (Ok, yes I am a bit idealistic when it comes to government, but idealism is the basis of democracy, after all.) My preference to see new folks taking on important government positions is the main reason that I'm supporting Pete Ashdown's campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Orrin Hatch (Arn in Utonic) has been in D.C. for as long as I can remember and his atttitude of entitlement to the job (write to him on an issue he opposes and you will get a fine dose of Hatch snottiness) seem the opposite of Ashdown's more approachable and public-minded sytle. I am particularly interested in how Ashdown has made use of a wiki to define his campaign issues (unfortunately vandals have hit it regularly so that it is more "locked down" than other wikis). For those of you who don't know (is there anyone left?) a wiki is basically a community-based database/encyclopedia/whatever in which everyone shares in the authoring. For a politician the wiki becomes a way for the community to define issues and discuss those issues. By making his basic information source on his site a wiki, Ashdown shows his commitment to involving his potential constituents in developing his positions on the issues.

Now, of course, like any politician who serves far too long, Ashdown could develop the attitude of entitlement that Hatch displays. One would hope that unlike selfish Hatch, a Senator Ashdown would realize that our goverment works best when we have a diversity of voices.

Other folks are supporing Ashdown too and writing about it today: Ethan over at SLCSpin is the only one I have at the moment, but since he is the one coordinating this blogalicious campaign experiment, you might be best to visit him.