sunday, february 17
That the entire world without exception had dreamed of this event, that nobody could help but dream the destruction of so powerful a hegemon -- this fact is unacceptable to the moral conscience of the West, and yet it is a fact nontheless, a fact that resists the emotional violence of all the rhetoric conspiring to erase it...

...Countless disaster films have borne witness to these fantasies, and the universal appeal of the images shows just how close the fantasies always are to being acted out: the closer the entire system gets to perfection or omnipotence, the stronger the urge to destroy it grows....

...Terrorism is immoral. The occurance at the World Trade Center, this symbolic act of defiance, is immoral, but it was in response to globalization, which is itself immoral. We are therefore immoral ourselves, so if we hope to understand anything we will need to get beyond Good and Evil. The crucial point lies in precisely the opposite direction from the Enlightenment philosophy of Good and Evil. We naively belive in the progress of God, that its ascendance in all domains (science, technology, democracy, human rights) corresponds to the defeat of Evil. No one seems to understand that Good and Evil increase in power at the same time and in the same way. The triumph of one does not result in the obliteration of the other; to the contrary. We tend to regard Evil, metaphysically, as an accidental smudge, but this axiom is illusionary. Good does not reduce Evil, or vice versa; they are at once irreducible, the one and the other inextricably linked. In the end, Good cannot vanquish Evil except by declining to be Good, since, in monopolizing global power, it entails a backfire of proportional violence....

from: L'Esprit du Terrorism by Jean Baudrillard
Harper's Magazine, February 2002, pp. 13-18
originally appeared in the November 2 issue of Le Monde
The google translation is amusing.

I'm transcribing just a snippet of the only vaguely understandable thing I have read by Baudrillard. I don't have the audacity to reprint entire articles from Harper's in the name of fair use, although, I have no hesitation linking to such articles.. More about this article later.



thursday, february 14
There's no deadline mentioned, but I'm assuming it approaches... Race ya to the finish the current "Cryptic Couples II contest of Archie McPhee. Loving you...



wednesday, february 13
Lynn Crosbie makes this great quote in this week's column on the magazine scene in which she tackles a handful of Canadian literary journals:

Publishing poetry in Canada is comparable to singing at a karaoke bar: The audience's response, however generous, is rigged by virtue of their own need to get up and interpret The Wind Beneath My Wings. Poets, in effect, preach almost exclusively to a choir of other poets

Well-versed in more than just Margaret and mascara
By LYNN CROSBIE
Globe and Mail
Wednesday, February 13, 2002 Page R2





monday, february 11
Yesterday, Ghengis and I drove through the countryside. On our return in the late afternoon, we passed a number of farm fields that were just filled with crows. Many many many crows. Fields of crows. Doing nothing... waiting? It was disturbing. You couldn't help but thinking of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. A fear cliched.

Sometimes we forget that the reason why a cliche exists is because it's true. I read the passage below as I sipped my morning coffee.

SOCIAL STUDIES
A DAILY MISCELLANY OF INFORMATION BY MICHAEL KESTERTON
Globe and Mail
Monday, February 11, 2002 Page A18

"Ravens. In November, Michael Stocks was gutting a deer in the Alaska wilderness when his bride Tiffany accidentally discharged her rifle, injuring him in the leg so badly he later required an amputation. "I could hear her screaming for help [on the radio]," Mr. Stock told The Juneau Empire. "I just kept grabbing snow around my leg to see how bad I was bleeding. The worst part was the ravens. They came from everywhere, it seemed like," adding ravens can bring bigger predators."

If you know any trivia at all, you know that a group of crows is called a 'murder'.
And now I know why a group of ravens is called an 'unkindness'.



sunday, february 10
Today is the end of Rain Barrel as a web-log. Now, it is officially a BLOG.

Sigh. Too bad this transformation is late for Rain Barrel's third birthday.



I'm preparing for the plunge...



saturday, february 9
I haven't read Bowling Alone yet but I plan to. I'm becoming more aware of some of the community institutions of my youth will not be around for much longer. I'm thinking about such things as Legion Halls and - something that recently crossed my mind - Girl Guides.

Oh yes, I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide and a Pathfinder to boot back in the day when we would wear the almost military uniforms of brown, blue, and green. When I think back at it all, I can hardly believe that I loved it all for a time. I've forgotten so much about it already... I can't even remember what pack I used to belong to (elves, gnomes, fairies, kelpies etc for Brownies; daffodils, daisies and robins and orioles for Guides)

What I think got me hooked were those damn badges.. It made for such a strange dynamic: small children following orders, learning about camping and 'being prepared' and performing community service just for badges. And then there was that strange Christian and military subtext to it all.

I wonder how much longer Guiding will last...



saturday, february 2
Will someone please explain to me why "Austin Powers in Goldmember" infringes on the copyright of James Bond while "Austin Powers in the Spy that Shagged Me" is not?

(link from boing boing)



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