Wednesday, December 17, 2008

can I offer you any more Kool-Aid? oh, I see you're already topped up


you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself, i guess. the toll for reading this post is having to look at Madame Blavatsky here on the right.

i've been sitting on this one for a week now, because i couldn't be sure. but it finally came to me what the animation looked like. that seemed to be the key to me, stylistically. it didn't say "Russian" to me, and I threw out the live-action portions of the video as irrelevant to my point. whatever it was at the time. but i got it.

the animation is straight out of Fleischer Studios. you may remember them from the classic Superman cartoons.

that's what didn't sit right with me. it was supposed to be "Russian," but all the animated bits screamed "American." LS was the only one who got close to this, but i think you're basically all drinking the Kool-Aid. he said it was bullshit because it was bullshit the Russians wanted us to buy. he was nearly there. it's bullshit WE wanted US to buy.

stop and think about the provenance of this video for a second. EC says he got it at a garage sale in south Florida. if you look at that wikipedia link, you'll see that Fleischer Studios had their own animation outpost in Miami in the 1940s, at the same time this video was dated and that GFK confirmed in his post. now unless you're crazy enough to think that there was a secret Russian enclave working at Fleischer in Miami in the 1940s, this has definitely got to be ours.

the thing that makes me stop and doubt a little about WHO had this vid was EC saying that it had an old stamp on it that said "SA [something]." that could mean a lot of things. maybe it's "standard animatic" or something to do with animation. but it just as easily could mean School of the Americas.

the SOA (SA) was founded in 1946 in Georgia, so it would make sense that they'd use training or propaganda vids from a close source. Miami is a short train ride. plus, you've got all the Cuban population in Miami. we were training junior dictators and insurgents from south Florida before Castro. you better believe we were roping them in to work for SOA, just as training. after all, we liked Batista's thugs, and those thugs knew how to keep a population down.

so remember the spore thing I talked about? the quick explanation is that this is a biochem war training manual. we're showing the worst-case scenario to our latin Americans to show them how to get their gas masks on when we "cropdust" the commie latin Americans. why else all the fucking gas masks?

the other quick explanation is this was domestic propaganda and counter-information meant to scare the shit out of anti-war reps in congress. stop and think about the security the US felt in 1948 or whenever this video literally claims to be from. you've got the US riding high on being the only country with The Bomb. but at the same time, you have China falling apart to the communists. you've got people in State who don't like Chiang and think Mao is the answer. how do you take apart those people in State? HUAC and McCarthy are one answer. the other is, show them something that takes the a-bomb out of the question

you guys point to the Russian animation vids as propaganda from "them", and maybe they are. but saying this film is the same thing as that is just assuming too. what if we were inspired by their propaganda, like the reanimation of animals thing? "hey, that's scary. let's make it scarier. to LAUNCH the appropriations budget for the Military Industrial Complex into the STRATOSPHERE."

BOTH explanations come back to the same thing. maybe we were training SOA counterinsurgents with the vid. maybe we were scaring congressmen. both direct back at America to make us promote the M.I.C. we have to make it bigger. it needs to have its control.

LS talks about cloud seeding. who wanted to weaponize that? the M.I.C.! they took a thing that helps civilians and wanted to make floods and monsoons. THEY have been researching chemical seeding from the start. do you really think they stopped at RAIN? you really think it was just the Russians that tested shit in the sky, just because of a video? WE made that video. those jets are so fucking generic to begin with. it starts with cloud seeding, it ends with crowd control.

i love the Russian propaganda as much as you all, but you're so focused on seeing THEM behind the scariest options that you don't see US. behind the things we document. the things we proved we'd do. you don't assume that this video is just us making us bigger, for us, for no reason, again.

edit: if nobody's gonna comment, I'm just disabling it. also adding the "you guys are lazy shits" tag, because you guys are lazy shits.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

hello? where the fuck is everyone?

seriously? we found this film, went on with some amazing conjectures about it, and now- no one has talked about it again for a week? did we hit a dead end? i have an idea, why don't we hit up a site to translate cyrillic into english and put what words the film did have into babelfish or any plethora of free online translators...


ok, i'll go first: споры is "Spores."

so maybe that balloon is filled with anthrax? eh?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blogger Error (Again)

Hi, guys. It looks like the Blogger code error that happened to LS before happened to me this time. What I posted yesterday was eaten up, and I know Max couldn't add any content anywhere. I don't know if I have the heart to rewrite my post, but I left a brief comment on LS's most recent post just so he'd have a reply after his apology. I've written to the Help Center, but their solution seems to be, "Delete whatever creates a problem." It's an easy fix, but that's like setting your house on fire because the roof leaks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Devil's Advocate

No, for once I'm NOT talking about the FINEST movie Keanu Reeves ever made. I want to toy around a little bit with what you "gentlemen" have posted so far.

First up, thanks again for filming and uploading these, EC. Second, thanks again for writing up some smart speculation about what these films could mean, G.

Third, I think you're both wrong.

If there's any one thing we've FAILED to learn as a country from the Cold War, it's that an idea of a threat can be as powerful as the the threat itself.

If we'd had an ounce of sense on September 12, we'd have said, "Ok, a bunch of useless whackjobs did this, and whoopie for them, they just killed off a third of their own manpower. They're a sad and lonely bunch of crazies who have to hide from society because of how much everyone else in the world thinks they're fucking dogshit. They punched us. It hurt. Who gives a fuck? We're bigger and badder than that, and we're going to rebuild, and they can go fuck themselves."

Instead, we fueled the idea. We made them supermen. We made them a thousand times more powerful in our nightmares than they ever could be in reality. A handful of totally twisted broken people with a severe inability to fucking DEAL WITH IT ("it" being the rest of the fucking world) became a monster in every shadow. We closed our eyes and saw them there too. When they probably weren't enough people to storm and wipe out half the fans of a southern high school football game.

The thing is, we ALWAYS do this, and we're ALWAYS wrong. Think back on Kim Philby and Team B and HUAC and McCarthy. We've got the worst track record on this shit. Every time we figure out that we were wrong, we say, "Well, we're never going to overreact like THAT again!" And then the next crisis comes along, and we go all, "WAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGH FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!" and freak the fuck out and act like a bunch of totally unforgivable pantswetting spazzes.

What's worse is, I think you guys are doing it again here. When, if anybody SHOULD know much better, it's you guys.

So what...?

Okay, first of all, let's accept that everything GFK said about the date of this video is true. Well, what's that tell you?

Look at the time period. The Soviets weren't stupid. They could see what was going on in America. Fuck, getting a subscription to the New York Times wasn't hard. They watched as we reported on our own paranoia. HUAC was a sitting committee starting in '45. Every time the communists made a gain in Europe, we flipped the fuck out. Meanwhile, look at it from their perspective:

1. They need nukes and don't have them.
2. They know even if they crack the nuclear code and start making nukes, we're way ahead of them.
3. But we'll believe anything we read, see, or hear, so...
4. What the fuck's it matter?

Instead of racing to close the distance between us on nukes, why not say, "Fuck it"?

I know what you're going to say: "Fuck it! Yes! That's your answer. That's your answer for everything! Tattoo it on your forehead! Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski! The bums lost!"

Seriously, though, follow me here. If we were so credulous we'd just buy ANYTHING, that meant they didn't have to sell anything real. Just invent something that would make us shit our pants. Sure, we had nukes, but all they had to do was claim they could seed the sky with something that would set the world on fire. Who needs nukes when they have that? BOOM, right there, it doesn't matter if there's a gap in nukes, because nukes are on equal footing with SKY FIRE.

It's not even that implausible when you consider 1946 is when cloud seeding was invented. We'd already just figured out that we could control the weather by dropping shit into clouds, so why couldn't the Soviets control the apocalypse by doing the same? Hell, WE tried to weaponize cloud seeding anyway, so we were already thinking perfectly along the lines they'd need to promote a propaganda weapon. WE started chemically altering the sky itself, so who could even say that they couldn't do it with the right compounds, ones we hadn't even found yet? Hell, just stop and think of the images in the film. Why are ALL their troops wearing gas masks? What is this stuff coming out of the plane? What could the Piemaker be making?

CHEMICALS. Or so we'd be totally willing to believe because we almost NEED to believe shit like this.

We set OURSELVES up. All they'd need was a punchline. One filmstrip leaked to the west later, and suddenly there's "proof" how they're going to fight American nuclear armament. A little push here with a cartoon and some Higgins motherfucker, and we'd shit our pants for them and create our own fears.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jigsaw Post #3

EC, God help me, what you posted was disturbing and, to steal from Scotty's word vault, awesome as hell. I don't know whether to feel elated or unsettled. I know what my stomach feels like: it feels like about half a bottle of the Jamey. And it feels like the other half should be coming soon. I wish you'd gotten that video out before I'd got tossed out of my head, but I can't stop watching it. I really doubt I'll be able to contribute all that much, but it's just amazing to me. Where did you say you got this again? Promise me you'll remember better and tell us more.

Okay, okay, we should look at some of the frames of this, because the individual pictures reveal probably more than the video as a whole, insofar as the choices the director made are animated ones (at least partially) where he could pick out the themes of violence he wanted to evoke, irespective of consequence.

This is an amazingly menacing image, because you've got the rat behind bars. I can't tell if this is immediately a capitalist metaphor, the predatory animal that eats and steals from others. It would seem to be the well that any good Soviet video would go to. This thing creates nothing and yet prospers due to exploitation and theft from the creative and generative class. Better that he be locked up. What happens to him is anyone's guess. I can't tell what's killing him, but his stabbing/strangulation seems almost lusciously vindictive and bloodthirsty.

Given how much the "Higgins" (cf. Scotty's post) character is lecturing or directly narrating at the camera, this substance seems to be a critical element (but is it an element?—the notation suggests it is not) in the dramaturgy. But not knowing what it is obviously means that we can't really say anything informed without venturing into putting on airs or, if you like, Asshole Territory.

If you remember, our earlier inclination was to say this was an anti-nuclear film — as if to say, "Here are your horrors. You would not want them yourself. But what could they do to us?" Perhaps it was the USSR drafting a westerner ("Higgins") to warn us about the dangers of our overreaching militarily and damaging the balance of power or the planet itself. But given how threatening or frightening the rest of this clip becomes, I don't feel comfortable anymore with this being cautionary. It could be an aggressive warning. I don't know what the substance is, but my first guess is that it's highly radioactive particulate matter. Something that shows the west that their weapons have direct harm.

Can you weaponize exposed soils? If teh Soviets had access to low-density soils exposed to an atomic blast, maybe they might offer them up as condemnation (in this video) of western action, or maybe they might offer them up as a threat. Remember that balloon from the earlier clip? Perhaps they could be saying, "If you poison our soils, we will drop your poison on you."

I could not get a clear screenshot of any of this, but there is a sustained sequence involving burning bodies and fires within a city. My guess is that it shows the horrors of a deliberate strike and the breakdown in social order. But I don't know if this is a passive or active statement. Food for thought.

This is another complete puzzle. This plane flies, and after it we see stalled boats and driftwood, which seems to signify the arresting of conflict. I don't know if this is a propagandizing gesture or a descriptive one. Is what's within this plane a metaphor? Is it an actual, named weapon? Is the word an acronym or a representation of something else?

This shot is a very poor one, but I'm having trouble getting my fingers to hit the keys at the same time I'd like. What I was trying to get is the people going by in gas masks. Again, I don't know what that signifies. My quick guess would be "Fallout Protection." Going off my earlier guesses, if this animation sequence is immediately post-war, that means that the Soviet Union did not then possess nuclear capabilities. They didn't get those until the Cambridge Five brought them the necessary scientific shortcuts in the later 1940s. If my dating suppositions are accurate, then it would make this video the product of an era of total and extreme paranaoia. It would make sense that they'd broadcast to the world both nuclear horrors and how those horrors could be turned back on the aggressor: how the seeds he'd planted with his bombs could taint the soil and grow into death and malignance for himself as well, how ripe the death could be for everyone who tilled that murderous field. How crappy poetry he could write if he were drunk. Sorry for writing all dramatic like this. Gross.

Here's where the warning stops being implicit and starts getting explicit. But I don't think this amounts to any such thing as a declaration of war. Although, I'm not naive. It just as well could be. However, as I've said, the dating of the video seems to be from a very praranoid time, so you can see this violence as retributive. If there is an atomic age that the USSR isn't part of, you can see them conceptualizing nuclear violence as something that beats back and bloodies its user just as hard and just as well. I don't know. I feel like I'm almost arguing against myself and better judgment at this point.

And here's where I'm starting to freak the fuck out looking at it. Because you can see the spread of this "CNOPbl" element cast across the North American continent and rise up into this Death's Head. Obviously, it's easy to incorporate this in my earlier thesis: this is the Soviet fright manifesting as a cautionary tale for the Americans. "Use this," it says, "and the death you bring is death across your own territory too. It doesn't get localized. Nuclear terror is global. Even for the user." On the other hand, there's something not at all "friendly warning" about skulls skipping across a continent and getting huge until they blot out the screen.

I feel like I started out wanting to believe one thing about this film and now almost want to believe the exact opposite. My problem is that I still think the dating of the film is on-target. If that's the case, it just makes it more confusing and difficult to deal with. If this is a pre-nuclear Soviet film, the threats it makes are all threats WE created. If it's post-nuclear (and I don't think it is), then the threats are clear. And it's an aggressive and confident document from early in their nuclear career. If it's not nuclear and not passive, it's just a bizarre anomaly that's hard to reconcile.

I have to quit now because I'm just drunk enough to be starting to write really crappy prose-poetry, tilling that field of sounding really sappy. And I need the rest of that Jamey.

Thanks again, EC.

Also, Boston College sucks completely and couldn't even come close to the spread. Assholes.

(I'll add links in the morning.)

(Hell, who am I kidding? I'll add links in the afternoon.)

(Links added — 12/7 8:09 p.m.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

finally got more footage up

(not just talking about the footage in my pants)

okay guys, i have had a HELL of a saturday...all according to the gf's evil plans to steal all my weekends from me forever...and i am uploading this thing and sprinting for a bar

i wish this sucker answered more questions than it makes me ask...but it sucks that it doesnt. that film is really looking bad. there are bits that seem like theyre gonna break off at any second, so i tried to film a bit that looked like it was going to be pretty good...there were a lot of false starts in there. i figured you didnt want to hear me yelling at shit breaking or watch clips that were 11 seconds long. this is the best stretch

theres a lot of that Higgins guy again

we open with the spruce moose, then a lake i think...

about 25 secs in theres a FUCKING COOL scene with a rat

CNOPBLI! its what plants crave...a ton of people on fire...BAPNN -- you get it from planes

some dude gets OWNED with a flagpole in the FACE after getting seriously fucked up by someone

get this though...its a SOVIET flag...and the flag dude has a GAS MASK

after that the CNOPBLI spreads across america like death...VERY creepy

i hope this is enough for you guys to sink your teeth into because getting any kind of long clips off this reel is going to be hard...its just falling apart depending on where we are on it, and i cant sit and refeed it forever to try to get it going again. tell me you guys can get stuff out of this much because im not sure how much more i can get out of the reel without fucking up something really cool that we might not get to see again...also, i do you think im off base not taking this in somewhere? do you have a guess if its valuable??

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jigsaw Post #2: I think it's teddible you are not taking me vetty seriously

Now that we got the less critical analysis out of the way, it's time to look at this a little seriously. You know, use the brain device thing to do brainwork. I said I'd actually THINK about this stuff, and I will keep my word. Word is bond. Straight up. You feel me? Also, big ups to Biggie. Love you, dawg.

Something Max said in the comments on Post #1 got me thinking. He asked,
have you considered whether this could be anti-nuke propaganda? if the dates are as right as you think they are, then that would put the film in a period where the russians didn't have nukes, so this might be their attack on them to discourage other nations from using them or condoning them.
He raises some good points. Combined with G.'s comment that, "Something about him doesn't sit right with me at the moment," I spent a while thinking about this guy before I made my other post.

Here's what I think the problem is: he looks too bourgeois.

Look at that picture. Three-piece suit. Desk blotter. Pen set. Nicely wood-paneled room. Maybe some sort of exotic bird in a cage next to him.

The entire thing sets off alarm bells with me that this guy is not an engineer, and he's not a proletarian. He seems un-Soviet.

If you think about most of the videos we wind up looking at, you usually see some dude in a jumpsuit or a white coat. Something that really brings out the SCIENCE+WORKERS! element of the Soviet Union. Either that or you get some jowly commissar with a bad haircut and bags under his eyes. By comparison, this guy looks like he lives in some nice digs. He almost seems like a banker. Maybe even a British banker. Like any second he's going to get a teacup and saucer and say "oooh, lovely!" and then say
Oh, by the way, I can't believe I forgot about this; I really would lose my head if it weren't attached to my neck! I'm so bloody forgetful. But, the thing is, and this is really quite a tedious point to make, chaps, but the thing is there's this new bomb that can obliterate life on earth. Cheerio! Toodle pip!
THAT'S what makes me think Max might be onto something here. What better way to send a message to democratic governments than with someone FROM there? He can talk to us because he looks like us. If you think about it in those terms, he looks more like a professor than a banker, so maybe he can tell us about the GRAVE THREAT of nuclear weapons.

You know who he really reminds me of? The English guy from the reanimation of animals video that EC linked way back in this post. You know, this dude:

I'm too lazy to go back and read when they did that video, but I remember he was a British scientist who got discredited because people thought that the USSR was using him as a mouthpiece to front for propaganda. The thing was, a lot of the stuff he was talking about WAS real, but it just seemed a little fishy that here was this guy who was just perfectly willing to shill for Soviet science. Maybe it's a loose connection, but if years before or years later or whenever it happened the Soviets were willing to go looking for a westerner to talk to a western audience, maybe that's an idea they would have had before or gone back to after. Does that make sense?

I'm not saying I have any real reason to go with this idea, but this is just what I came up with. Like GFK, something about this guy was just bothering me in my gut, and I couldn't tell what it was. This explanation quiets my gut down, and it would make sense given the dates this is probably from.

Somethings's gone really wrong with blogger all of a sudden. Arrrrggghghghghghghg fuck blogger!

My first post from today - which was AWESOME - for some reason is totally fucking up our blog's main page and making it not load. I figured out it was that post, but I don't want to delete it because maybe someone at blogger can fix it.

We can get around it for now though by making every post its OWN PAGE. I know it's sort of a headache to have to click if you want to go back and read GFK's post or something, but it's better than not being able to see it at all.

Scrimshaw Post #1: Mutual ASSured Destruction, Prying Open the Truth and Cracking The Code

NOTE: I rewrote this late last night when the kid woke me up. It's sort of like the post Blogger - FUCK BLOGGER - deleted. I had a shell of it in a Word doc but had to rewrite a bunch anyway. Whatever. If you guy's think it's dumb to have it follow the serious post I technically wrote after writing this, go ahead and backdate it. I don't care.
- LS, 12/6/08

GFK has done a wonderful job of breaking this film EC found wide open and probing inside, but anyone who thinks that's where all this ends is fooling himself. After plunging off an intellectual waterfall, skiing slopes of meandering thought and snaking dynamically through the subterranean text waiting to be mined, indeed, it's time to admit: we walk from here.

What my man G. cannot tell you is critical and vital to understanding this video, and what he can't tell you is very simple. Who the fuck is El Baldo of the Professor Institute of Knowing Things?

Thankfully, I can, b/c I hold advanced degrees in Awesomeness, a Bachelors in Being Rad and a minor in Doing It With Ladies. The man in the picture is none other than Galactic Rear Admiral Chester F. Buttocks, and he's not even a man at all b/c he is 10 million times older than the Earth itself, if you're one of those people who believes in the literal word of bible (which he wrote, to troll everybody).

Over five billion years ago, after losing an apocalyptic battle of fission thumb-war with Superman - who's actually a massive DICK - the Admiral was exiled as punishment. Superman dispatched him to the outer boundaries of the new galaxy that had come into existence after the Admiral had punched him so hard in the stomach that his anus dilated like it was trying to say "Whuh-oooooooooo-OOOOOOOwwwwww" and Superman literally sharted out the new creation - much of which never changed form at all and later became Texas.

After failing to wrest control of the oblong brown prisoner transport vessel he was locked in, the admiral instead fled via escape pod after overwhelming the security forces controlled by Aquaman - proving once again that Aquaman isn't worth a tenth shit-all of FUCK outside of the water. Also, the escape pod looked a lot like like a bomb being carried by a balloon. The bomb was later worshipped as a godhead in part of a cargo cult in the year Andre 3000.

Superman's forces opted not to fire on the escape pod even after it was jettisoned, b/c sensors indicated no life forms were aboard. This is because the Admiral had changed physical form to that of an ambient gas to evade detection - like one of the angry gods of a foreign world in Star Trek. Or a vampire. Later, some of Superman's stormtroopers examining the landing area on the ground would find clues that were inconclusive.

"Look, sir! Admirals!" said one to his supervisor, while holding up a navy cap with gold-thread "scrambled eggs" on the brim.

"You're a goddam idiot," said the other. "That's just a fucking hat."

Superman's forces combed the earth, trying to track down the escaped Admiral, flying crisscrossing search patterns in airplanes that looked remarkably like Spruce Gooses. Each craft was capable of carrying 200 passengers from New York's Idlewild Airport to the Belgian Congo in 17 minutes, but almost all of them crashed due to crewmen knocking over their own jars of urine on the instrument panels and causing the craft to plummet and then augur hundreds of feet into the ground - which, if you weren't dead, you could look to the left side of the aircraft and see out the window. But you were, so fuck you.

Special note: Wonder Woman coulda totally helped out with the search party, but she didn't. Why? Because Wonder Woman is a stone bitch. The other reason is because her plane's all invisible or whatever, you can look up in the sky when she's passing over and notice what a fat fucking ass she's got now that she's all old and shit. Girl's ass so big, they call the strap of her thong the International Ain't Gettin No Date Line. Seriously, Superman told her she had to stop flying in front of the sun b/c her assclipses were scaring the shit out of all the Maya. Bitch fat, that's all I'm sayin.

Anyway, Superman eventually gave up and fucked off b/c he wanted to investigate whether somewhere in the galaxy there was a Planet of Impressionable Gay Boys Who Looked Tense and Could Use a Massage. The Admiral was left to wander the entirety of the earth in solitude for billions of years. After one billion, he settled on a static visage of himself as some kind of grayhaired suit-wearing version of Higgins from "Magnum, P.I." Either that or one of those dads from the 80s tv shows about white dudes adopting young telegenic black kids. I don't know which one. I don't have a degree in Looking Up This Gay Bullshit. You know what I do have, though? I have a doctorate in Eat Me, Look It Up Your Damn Self.

For a while, he wrote a series of totally incredible romance novels and, ashamed that they weren't his best effort, buried them for millions of years in a ditch in England, where they were eventually found and published under the name Barbara Cartland. After people were invented, he'd randomly leap into their bodies and try to help them with the aid of an invisible cigar-smoking former child actor. But the Admiral could never leap home and died. He died 1,478 times actually, regenerating every single time. Why? Stick-to-it-iveness. Also, heart.

Sometimes he'd pretend to be a god just to see if he could get a couple million people to kill a couple other million people over invisible bullshit. He would never have done this if he could have gotten drunk while watching television. Once, he got so bored waiting for Philo Farnsworth to show up and invent TV that he just invented it anyway, but it turned out it was useless b/c nothing was on. He thought about inventing Lucille Ball to have something to watch, but he knew with a flash of incredible perception and prescience that Lucille Ball would be an annoying overrated harpy that no one born after 1970 would ever sincerely like but would profess was a genius anyway b/c that's what a bunch of assholes always said.

Then he decided to invent the hot ladies from "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie," and they spent ten straight years having totally hot unnatural sex. Why unnatural? Because one was a witch, the other a genie, and the other a billion-year-old goddammed immortal gas being vampire god who shart-punched superman. That's just how they do. They'll do whatever the fuck they want. I don't slap the dick out of your mouth and tell you how to do your job, so you just listen to the goddam story and stop being all snippy about why this and why that. Bitch.

Sometime in the 1940s, after spending years carving a mile-wide glacial frieze of a veiny and erect uncircumcised penis to impress Jodie Foster, the United States' atomic tests roused the Admiral from his languor. Fearing the vengeance and return of his SuperNemesis, the Admiral captured the world's leaders and imprisoned them in back braces intended to prevent scoliosis and made them watch a color broadcast of his warning to the globe.

In it, he showed off the totally badass desk he'd stolen from an old person who smelled like powder and death and on it displayed the special white mask he wore to protect himself from the haunted vapors that could be projected out of his ass. The mask rested on a canopic jar. It contained the brain, nose and ilium of Austrian empress Maria Theresa. For luck. The Admiral demanded the world cease all nuclear research and production or else be leveled by his stunning flatulence.

Undeterred, American general Carl "Tooey" Spazz ignored the threat and made more nukes. The Admiral made a face like Magnum had forgotten to let Robin Masters' dogs out. That was it. Fuck you if you thought he was just going to stick around and wait for that George-Lucas-hair-having twink bitch Superman to tie him to some half-cylinder justice dome and cram a fat man suppository up his little boy and blow him up forever. Fuck that.

Both sides in the Cold War thought they could dress everyone up in gas masks like a Wilfred Owen poem on acid and ride out the coming apocalypse in trenches, but they were wrong. the Admiral "called down the thunder" and "dropped the bomb."

It was over. The blast killed Superman. This is what happened to his face:

The Admiral was fine b/c he was dressed like a ghost. Only Americans survived b/c they led the world in being fatties and cutting ones. The rest of the world is just an illusion maintained by the Admiral to give them busy work.

Later the admiral returned to his self-imposed exile, fleeing to his White Castle of Fear in the Colorado mountains in a vintage WWII T-34 tank that he'd generated by re-arranging matter around him with the power of his mind. There he lives in seclusion and sleeps in a speedboat with a dog that can mix drinks and use a toilet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jigsaw Post #1

I couldn't think of a good post title, so I just went with the name of the puzzles that annoyed the bejesus out of me as a child. Since we're basically trying to piece together just what the hell EC found, it seems appropriate.

First up, I don't have a Russian dictionary/Cyrillic type pack installed on this computer, so can anyone translate this? The same goes for the text that opens the film. I have a feeling both could be of enormous help.

I have an overall impression of the film, but I want to get there after making note of a few things.

1. This looks to be fairly standard WWII-era tank; the profile looks pretty much like a T-34, so going off the other cues/clues from the film, let's just assume it's that.

2. This scene shows a soldier running down a trench. Also, all the soldiers seem to be wearing gas masks. While there was significant entrenchment in Stalingrad and the siege of Leningrad, these images really seem like throwbacks to WWI — especially since they're combined. On their own, they don't signify much, but together they seem like artistic choices deliberately meant to evoke a memory of Great War-style warfare.

3. That said, while the first two pictures ground us in WWI and the early years of WWII at the latest, this image establishes that this video can't pre-date 1945.

4. The presence of the balloon, though, makes me reluctant to date this much later. And this is a significant reach on my part, so feel free to call me on it. The thing looks like it's delivering a bomb payload, but why? Balloons are incredibly unreliable, and the bomb could wind up anywhere. No country is going to go to the balloon (pardon the totally inappropriate metaphor) well if they have access to supersonic jets; the value you get out of a balloon is so much less than a jet delivery of a bomb. So that makes me want to date this no earlier than 1945 but no later than 1948 — 1949 at the latest.

5. This actually looks like a souped-up B-29 or an end-of-war prototype for a super-fortress style bomber. Actually, what it really reminds me of is the Spruce Goose, only with four fewer engines. The important distinction here is that it's very reminiscent of American bomber designs. That's actually helpful, because it only helps further anchor this film in the immediate post-war period. If you'll recall, both Lend-Lease and our open allied partnership with the USSR from 1941-1945 saw American arms shipped to the Soviet Union en masse. There was no shortage of Douglas and Lockheed aircraft in the Soviet Air Force and Army support, so it would make sense for Russian artists to go with what they knew. What they knew was a lot of American designs. It would make sense to date this video in a period before the two Air Forces significantly diverged.

6. I literally have no idea what this guy is doing, but I've been watching a lot of Pushing Daisies lately, so every time I watched this video (which was about a round ten, trying to figure it out), I thought, "Meanwhile, The Piemaker...." So that's who this guy is: The Piemaker.

As I've said, I don't see any reason to date this later than 1949 at the very latest, and because of the balloon technology and absence of jets, I really want to date this film to 1945-6. Remember the old adage: generals always fight the last war. Consumed with the desire to correct the mistakes they made last time, they make mistakes by ignoring the new details of this time. Artists make the same mistakes. They always have difficulty envisioning the next conflict (the few who don't are the real geniuses), and because of that they tend to describe what they just saw. The presence of WWI-era gas masks and trenches and WWII-era tanks and propeller planes date this as the product of the Second World War or its immediate aftermath. The presence of an atomic mushroom cloud gives us a hard date of 1945 at the earliest.

I have no idea what this video is for, just yet. Anything I say would be wildly off-base and just what I want to hear. Right now, though, the only supposition I feel comfortable with is that this is either:
a. A recap of WWII, in instructional form, maybe meant for the civilian populace's education/entertainment.

b. An immediate post-war video meant to show the Soviet Union's continued mobilization for war and readiness for national defense.
Of course, a lot of that speculation hinges on what this guy is here for:

Right now, I don't know. Something about him doesn't sit right with me at the moment.

Either way, that's my speech. What do you guys think?

Monday, December 1, 2008

pink floyd goes to war all fucked up in russia

ok, so heres the motherbitch...i cant believe it took me this long to get it up (all up in your blog).

i dont even know what to tell you about this. its like watching The Wall high as shit, only its not The Wall, and ive never seen it before, and its actually kind of fucking scary if youre in an empty office with the projector going clickclackclickclack over and over alone

i KNOW what you guys are going to bitch about though, so let me get this off my chest RIGHT NOW. i threaded the film in the projector and started going and realized id left my camera downstairs with the gf.

so i have NO idea how far into the strip we came in

i was running around downstairs trying to find her...i found her on the back porch, but she said shed left the camera in her bigass purse by the i had to find that. that was a HUGE help considering her purse is BIGGER THAN GOD...i spent another minute just throwing away wads of tampons and an old EXTRA CELL PHONE before i got the camera that i guess she managed to cram at the VERY BOTTOM OF THE BAG. i got it and went upstairs and fired it up and started recording

trouble is, this film is OLD. i got about a minute recorded before it NOT get on my case for this. i had no idea...i thought i had the camera with me at the time...and i really didnt sweat missing a few seconds because i thought theyd be all credits

fire away...its late and i need sleeeeeeeep

UPDATE: i added 2 stills i snapped with my point and shoot....the embedded video quality blows...

happy thanksgiving, this is fucked up

not sure i had the best holiday, hope your guys' was better

its nice to see family and get together with them, but this one was a, dogs, parents everywhere. i dont know all the little kids names, and i dont know all the dogs names, so i couldnt tell who was yelling at who. i think there might have been a dog and a kid with the same name, because otherwise there was a dog with shitty table manners or a kid who wouldnt get off a rug

i tried setting up the projector in an office and getting a quiet 5 minutes but FUCK THAT, that wasnt happening...the door kept flying open and whiting out the movie, and i had to chase 2 or 3 cousins out every time i turned around. plus you could hear these kids screaming and bashing shit over the sound of the PROJECTOR. andy was a trooper and tried to quiet everybody down for a quick luck

i tried conning andy into letting me have the projector and going home with it, but he said the fam that was staying with him wanted to watch old reels together and it had to stay with him. it meant i had to stick around until all the kids were put down for the night and everyone else left...which meant i was stuck hanging around during CLEAN UP, meaning i had to help scrub about a billion dishes and wipe up the kids table and sweep their area and all that bullshit. i mean, i didn't HAVE to...but if youre gonna be there and asking for a favor, you cant sit around just reading a magazine waiting for everyone else to stop working so you can goof off...unless youre my gf. tyvm for all the help, lazy broad

i FINALLY got to shoot the film upstairs waaay late, and believe me when i tell you this shit is FUCKED UP. i dont know if its some kind of goof or serious propaganda or what, but it looks cool as shit, really wanna upload it.......

except i left my firewire cable at work

i got home and realized i cant upload from my camera, so ive been sitting on this vid since thurs night just waiting to get to work and show you guys this shit. its AMAZING. i googled a bunch of stuff and jumped around youtube and couldnt find anything like it, so i hope this is something new

as a matter of fact, i got SO excited, i got to work and realized i left my camera AT HOME

fuck fuck shittity fuck shit fuck rihkerwghp98h3jgksdbnkdshgu34hdskjbsdkfbjlsoipwg

so this shit doesnt happen to me again only in reverse, i already crammed the firewire cable in my bag and took my bag out to my car, so even if i forget EVERYTHING ELSE, at least ill be going home with it. hopefully ill upload it tonight. you guys are going to love this

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Polygon (Firing Range) Полигон

i cant believe this was made in 1978, but it reminds me of newer computer animation that is stylized to look like handdrawn animation....

a scientist bent on revenge makes an artificially intelligent tank that targets fear, and of course it turns on him in the end...great story barring the cheesy flashbacks, but just watch it for the animation...i cant even imagine how long it took them to airbrush each frame...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Russian Prez: 'Putin Could Serve 2 More Terms'; Me: 'We Don't Actually Hate Russians'

MOSCOW – Russia's constitution will be amended by year's end to extend the presidential term to six years, lawmakers promised Thursday — a move that could pave the way for Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin.

It would be the first change to the Russian constitution since its adoption in 1993. A six-year term could mean 12 more years as president for Putin — the current prime minister — who has not ruled out getting his old job back.

President Dmitry Medvedev, a Putin protege, had suggested raising the term from four years to six Wednesday in his first state of the nation address.

Pretty much everything GFK was worrying about in his post a couple months back is coming true. Medvedev basically just gave a speech a few days ago saying, "We're back. We're going to kick some ass. Fuck you if you can stop it." Now Putin may wind up back as president for 12 more years due to his handpicked errand boy changing the rules for him.

Gosh, you know, I LOVE Democracy. And I LOVE Authoritarianism! Both have such great tastes, but where can I get both of them together, like in some kind of fucked-up government version of a Snickers bar??? Oh, the president of Russia. Great! Wait, if democracy is the caramel, and authoritarianism gives you peanuts, what's the nougat? DUH - the secret intelligence services!

Putin will probably get away with it because of them. I can't imagine what it must be like to be an opposition leader right now. It's probably like having bowel control issues and going on a roller coaster called THE ELIMINATOR. You probably can't even stand up without your asshole closing to the size of a pinprick. How can you organize anything that might change the government when you could be infiltrated or subverted or hurt?

This probably all sounds mean. Looking back, it looks like we really hate China and Russia. Look, for anyone Chinese or Russian who might ever read this (HA!), we don't. Seriously. Chinese people, chinese food, chinese basketball players, chinese culture (except the music, sorry, I can't take it) rule. Every Russian I've met socially has been all class and really cool to meet. Russian music rules. Russian literature OWNS. And both your countries are so beautiful it's sick.

But here's the thing, obviously we aren't a gang who loves authoritarianism. It's bad. And frankly, your bosses scare the shit out of me. Probably the same way our boss for the last 8 years scared the shit out of you.

When you think back to you having watching a gang run our country without anyone holding them accountable, watching them rewrite the rules to suit themselves and ignoring all the ones they didn't want to bother with, heading out into the rest of the world and fucking with other people however they pleased to win the WARAWN TEAR, maybe you have an idea what it's like for us looking out now.

We've got nothing against the people in either place, and hope they don't feel like we do. Just bear in mind dealing with your bosses frightens the fuck out of us right now. The last couple years couldn't have been a cakewalk for you either, so please just be patient with us if we start running drills about hiding under desks again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wham, Bam, Hologram

So the big news yesterday was something about america's first black president being covered for the first time ever by the first female hologram to ever appear on CNN.(way to try to upstage history with such a dumb and trivial stunt guys)

But if you are a crazy person, this would actually be like the millionth time a hologram has been seen on CNN... don't believe me? lets roll the tubes...

Exhibit 1- WTC destroyed by missile disguised as a plane using a holographic projection
i dont even know what to say about this one. these people are such assholes...this brilliant theorist posits that a gleam of light coming off the plane as it hits the building and explodes is a 'scalar flash...' ok. sure. what? i'm tempted to send this guy a video of someone lighting a fart and telling him that it's evidence of a 'positronic vector-based replasmatation..."

Exhibit 2- Shapeshifting journalists working for the reptilian conspiracy
ok before i go into this i just need to say, please don't annotate your vids with captions in comic sans and knock it off with the fucking techno...i can only imagine paul revere warning us that the british were coming while wearing tevas and waving one light stick by land and 2 if by sea...for fuck's sake, if the world is really in danger, try to make us take you seriously...
so, some people believe that a race of reptile humanoids from space or hell or the center of the earth are conspiring to eat us..and they even walk among us despite having slitted pupils and millions of razor sharp teeth and hideous scales. how? holograms, duh. bush? reptile. cheney? do you have to ask? the royal family, cindy mccain, fox news reporters, cnn, they're all in the tank for the conspiracy. but every now and then, one of the truth seekers out there gets a little too close to their tv while wearing a foil hat and fucks with their've seen digital artifacting before...a digital transmission lags for a minute and then you get pixels from multiple frames over time overlapping and the image starts to look really funky...i saw it used to pretty good effect in a Presets video once... but that explaination sounds a little too convoluted doesnt it? more likely is that these people on tv are experiencing a glitch in the holographic field that keeps them looking as lovable and mammilian as elizabeth hasselbeck.

Exhibit 3- Kate Moss as a hologram for Alexander McQueen
i dunno, she's in a pyramid, thats like freemasonry or ancient aliens right? pyramids. yeah.

Michael Chrichton Dead

From here:
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Michael Crichton, who helped create the TV show "ER" and wrote the best-sellers "Jurassic Park," "The Andromeda Strain," "Sphere" and "Rising Sun," died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, his public relations firm said in a news release.


Crichton also invited controversy with some of his scientific views. He was an avowed skeptic of global climate change, giving lectures warning against "consensus science." He later took on global warming and the theories surrounding it in his 2004 novel "State of Fear," which attracted attacks in its own right from scientists including NASA's James Hansen.
Look, just because all his doctors said that he had cancer didn't make it so. In fact, that probably made it LESS so.

Stop and think about this.

There's a lot of money in cancer.

*holds up back of hand, rubs fingers with thumb*

Laaaaaaaaatta money in it. So what do you think those doctors' diagnoses are going to be? That's right: cancer. See, what happens with this sort of consensus science is these guys don't like to be wrong, so they tend to back each other up with diagnoses and cause-and-effect, because they know doing so makes their jobs secure. They also like to make money. And if they can just keep agreeing with each other, they can keep the funding flowing.

Stop and ask yourself this question: How many years have the global cancer doctors been telling you the reason people die of cancer is "cancer," and how come there's no cure for it yet? They've been fighting it for decades, and cancer's still here. Maybe because... when we realize there's no such thing as cancer, the government checks stop showing up?

The fact is that cancer doesn't exist, and even if it did, it would only be caused by three things:

1. Cancer volcanoes.
2. Cancer spots on the sun.
3. An intergalactic overlord of the Canceroid League named Skip Geech who would come to earth and shoot cancer into people with mind lasers because he heard their bodies stored fresh muffins.

Follow the money.


I'm so fucking drunk right now.

Nothing will ever be like 2004. When Foulke flipped it to Mientkiewicz, I was pretty sure I heard every person in my neighborhood and for three neighborhoods over totally explode in joy. But this was pretty fucking incredible. I think I heard at least ten surrounding buildings. It probably would have been louder but I bet each network called things at slightly different times.

Who cares? I just went on a parade with about ten other people over about half the city. It was like we were doing kick return coverage or something; we kept running into tons of people dancing and running around, but we kept this wedge formation going on. Maybe we were protecting the booze. Nobody's going to work tomorrow.

I have to go to bed, but a toast before I go. I shouldn't, but one more Jamey isn't going to kill me. No toast to HOPE — too vague. But as the scion of old ward heelers, as the great-nephew of a fixer and a crook and a man so twisted they're going to have to screw him into the ground at the funeral, fuck it: to no longer being scared shitless by my government.

Tomorrow, when I make a cell phone call, I'm just going to stop whoever I'm talking to at the moment so I can say, "Hey, you, crusted photophobic NSA golem listening to every fucking word of this. Start rewriting your resume, you crypto-fascist shitfuck."

Friday, October 31, 2008


OK...i just stumbled across the best soviet-made cartoon i've ever seen... apparently in 1985, the US managed to slip lsd into their water, that's all i can figure...

i'm pretty frustrated that this one has no subtitles, because i don't even know enough russian to make sure not to order elk balls at a restaurant. so, i'm going to try to give a synopsis of what i think is happening at the risk of getting it completely backwards....

First, the film is called Контракт....i'm going to guess that this means 'contract...' because thats sort of what the word looks like to me, and also this dude is waving a contract around in another dudes face halfway through....but i'll get back to that later...

so, this cosmonaut is shooting space demons on the surface of some mars-like planet...i'm guessing that he is a colonist, for a corporation or state called "Sezan" or "Sezam." It was a little hard to make out and neither word seems to mean anything on babelfish... so, this colonist is suddenly surrounded by more space-dinos than he can handle and out of nowhere comes a robot that looks suspiciously like a golden cash register (they really know how to beat you over the head with heavyhanded symbolism...). Magic cash register robot joins the colonist under a forcefield he has made around them to keep the dinos out...i think the robot is telling him they should go back outside, but the colonist is like no way, dude.

'trust me, i'm a metaphor!'

so then the robot shrinks the aliens and safely stows them inside his stomach. ok. sure. crisis averted. the colonist disengages the forcefield and starts walking. then i looked away for a second and when i looked back up, a rubiks cube was unfolding into like a chair and a home entertainment console...

on the tv is a guy with the word SEZAN or SEZAM behind him...he's the typical banker/fatcat oligarch type...even has a monocle (c'mon, wasnt that dated even in the 40s?)... the robot hands the colonist a bill...i don't read russian (still) but i think it's for 'dinosaur removal and storage.'

the colonist/spaceman seems pretty pissed about this...i'm guessing because he's a recon guy for the corporation and here they are charging him for the tools he needs to keep himself out of harms way and to do the job he was hired to do....sort of like when you get hired as a waiter at a restaurant and they make you buy the apron and shirt you're required to wear (dicks).... ok, maybe marx was onto something there.

moving on, the corporate fatcat holds up a contract and is like (in russian) "you should have read the fine space print in this space contract, spaceman!" and he's like no way dude! so they send the big head from Zardoz to blow up his robot...

from this point on, i don't know what the fuck is happening...he tears up the contract, he fixes the robot and it starts laughing maniacally and then sky literally falls in....capitalism is a madness that will lead us into nuclear winter? is that right??? did i get it?

but we arent done yet. i mean that's where i would have ended this thing, but they go and top that movie where bruce willis was dead the whole time.... the camera pulls wide, and then wider, and then holy crap, the planet was actually a flower the whole time.

happy halloween...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anti-Booze Pill Sold with Viral Soviet Vid

A friend of mine who knows I like old Soviet junk got really excited telling me all about this video a few weeks back. She was convinced it was some seriously cool real-deal stuff and started searching online for some way to buy it. (She drinks.)

(It's not like it's a huge problem or anything. She just goes out probably two or three times per week and usually has a pretty bad hangover the next day.)

(It's not like she's some raging wino, either. Although now that I think about it, I did once see her drink a bottle of scotch that had a pirate or sea captain on the label, but we've all had one of those nights. She's together. She's got a good job and a good relationship. She has a lot of good relationships. It's part of the reason why she goes out a couple times per week.)

(Ok, I just looked up the stats for what constitutes "binge drinking" if you're a woman, and I guess that means she binge drinks, which I guess makes her an alcoholic, but she's really obviously NOT an alcoholic, which I guess means that my point is that whoever comes up with the limits for bingeing and being an alcoholic seriously has no one to hang out with and must live in a place with no nightlife and winds up barfing like an SNL skit after half a glass of sherry.)


Because she was fired up about finding the pill in the video, she did her best to track it down online and figured out pretty quickly that the video was just part of a viral campaign. I wish I could tell you which one, but she hasn't answered my email, and googling the video's title isn't turning up a product name. I'm guessing the video's been rehosted since, which is why it's not pointing me at whatever they're selling.

Bottom line, though, the effort is pretty good. I like that they've distorted the film to make it look old. The uniform looks pretty authentic, and the scenery doesn't leap out at you as obviously being in Northern California or anything like that. Plus, it's interesting. I watched it all the way through, and if my friend hadn't told me about what her googling turned up, I probably would have googled myself (NO, NOT LIKE THAT, PERVERTS) and wound up finding the product too. By those standards, it's a good campaign. I get exposed to the product and have a decent time doing it. Plus, I did this all at work and got paid for it. Triple word score.

The video's got a few problems though.

First, I can't really tell if there's a cut scene or a wipe happening, but it seems like the soldier gets drunk INSTANTLY.

Second, the doctors had to be giving him PURE alcohol, which could always potentially just make him puke. If they wanted a control group, wouldn't they inject alcohol directly?

Third, they distorted the video pretty well, but the band on the right side is really regular. I think it's supposed to look like the ragged edge of an old film, but it seems like someone just slapped four photoshop filters onto the side of frames 1,2,3&4, repeat. It's cool, but kind of slick. Or maybe I'm talking out my ass.

Lastly (and this is the biggest one), they're running a test. A test where they get someone royally fucked up. A test where they get someone royally fucked up while he's standing behind a big wall. Then they hand him LIVE GRENADES. And ... stand there???

Maybe I'm not a good judge b/c I went into this one knowing it was fake, but even without knowing that, I think I would have still thought, "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO STANDING THERE FOR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" You've got a drunk who could pull the pin and drop the grenade, or pull the pin and pass out, or pull the pin and throw the grenade into the wall. The whole POINT of this exercise is that you've made this guy almost totally incapable of functioning AT ALL, and you've GIVEN HIM THINGS THAT BLOW UP.

If they'd just hopped back behind a blast barrier or something and watched through a slit where we could see them, it would have "sold" the video about 100x better.

As it is, though, it's still pretty cool.

The other two videos aren't nearly as good. The second one goes by in about 15 seconds, and the third one is about four minutes long and really boring. This one seems to be the one that really hit all its marks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

army units on american soil for "civil unrest"

i really hate getting lumped in with the paranoid gun nut crowd, but this whole situation is pretty unbelievable

here are the quick & dirty bits:
An initial news report in the Army Times newspaper last month noted that in addition to emergency response the force “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.”

"Any military force has the inherent right to self-defense. And if the situation was inherently dangerous, then potentially the Secretary of Defense would allow them to carry their weapons, but it would only be for self- and unit-defense. This force has got no role in a civil disturbance or civil unrest, any of those kinds of things."

"Colonel Boatner talked about this unit, what it’s trained for. Well, let’s look at what it’s trained for. This is the 3rd Infantry, 1st Brigade Combat unit that has spent three of the last five years in Iraq in counterinsurgency."

"The whole question here about what the Pentagon is doing patrolling in the United States gets to the real heart of the matter, which is, do we have a democracy here? I mean, there is a law on the books called the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act that says that the president of the United States, as commander-in-chief, cannot put the military on our streets. And this is a violation of that, it seems to me.

"President Bush tried to get around this act a couple years ago in the Defense Authorization Act.... the President isn’t supposed to be using the military in this fashion, and though the President, true to form, appended a signing statement to that saying he’s not going to be governed by that.

"National Security Presidential Directive 51, that he signed on May 9th of 2007, Amy, this gives the President enormous powers to declare a catastrophic emergency and to bypass our regular system of laws, essentially, to impose a form of martial law.

"And if you look at that National Security Presidential Directive, what it says, that in any incident where there is extraordinary disruption of a whole range of things, including our economy, the President can declare a catastrophic emergency. Well, we’re having these huge disturbances in our economy. President Bush could today pick up that National Security Directive 51 and say, 'We’re in a catastrophic emergency. I’m going to declare martial law, and I’m going to use this combat brigade to enforce it.'

"...Now the Pentagon is doing sweeps of areas before, you know, a political convention? That used to be law enforcement’s job. That used to be domestic civil law enforcement job. It’s now being taken over by the Pentagon. That should concern us."

the domestic spying is bad enough. the president just signing whatever he wants to bills passed by congress, saying "thats nice but i dont care" -- THATS bad enough. but i dont know if i can take the idea of "the army is just here for your own good if things get out of hand. and they have tanks and tons of ammo." if its just for training exercises, do we need the ammo? the tanks? the force multipliers? the non-lethal suppression shit like tasers and who knows what else? (i cant believe im saying this, but -- microwaves? ELF? anything???)

if all its about is preparation and training for coordination with a bunch of different agencies, you can run sims for that. you can dry run over and over. its not like we dont have tons of airbases and national guard units all around the country that can respond and also be trained. why add a bunch of ARMED COUNTERINSURGENCY TRAINED active duty soldiers??? it doesnt make sense for preparation. you can prepare in sims. the air force does it all the time

i think i might ignore all this if it wasnt for one thing. in a month, the hardcore conservative candidate might get totally waxed by a democrat. a black democrat. a black democrat the conservatives keep trying to call a secret muslim. and i think a lot of black people and a lot of unarmed liberals are going to vote for that black democratic candidate. and i think if he loses by some funny means, theres going to be serious shit happening on the streets. serious shit that cant fight back against a fucking army counterinsurgency force

i know, i know, i sound so fucking paranoid

i dont even know where i heard this before, maybe it was this blog, but i want you to think of something:

think of a country, like a banana republic somewhere

the son of the countrys old intelligence chief runs for presidente. only it looks like hes losing. then his brother who runs a province on the outside of the country makes sure that a bunch of votes dont get counted for the other candidate for presidente. then a bunch of judges who got appointed by their father and their father's bosses sign off on not counting the ballots. so youve got the former secret agency chief and his judge buddies signing off on his one son throwing out some ballots so his other son can win the presidency

only that's not a banana republic. that's florida. and the bushes. in 2000.

jeb bush, the son of a former president and CIA chief, had his secretary of state katherine harris purge thousands of people from the voter rolls and prevented a recount of thousands of ballots. there were reportedly also lots of police in poor areas of miami stopping blacks and hispanics and putting them through security checks and keeping them from getting to the polls before they closed. (minorities vote democrat in much higher numers). then a supreme court that was stacked with republican appointees signed off on it. we lived through it, so it doesnt seem so weird. its america, right? we're not really crooked. but if that happened in even MEXICO, wed think that was the most corrupt fucked up shit wed ever heard

but we were okay with it. and maybe wed be okay again. maybe it would sound totally natural for the polls to get fucked up in LA and THE ARMY come in and reestablish order and OOPS the black guy lost in a last minute SHOCKER

i dont know anymore. i feel like fucking crying aabout being worried like this. we know how much those buzzwords from the bush admin meant. compassionate conservatism meant "FUCK YOU" to people who werent conservative and "FUNDING CUTS" to anyone who wasnt. "youre either with us or against us" stopped being about the rest of the world in about 10 seconds, and suddenly it was about anyone who didnt buy their shit 100% and dared to ask questions. "enhanced interrogation" is FUCKING TORTURE

so i guess when i hear "civil unrest and crowd control" you have to just give me a pass for a second for thinking "occupation force" because its not like they havent given me example after example after example to believe that theyd be that ballsy and cynical and fucking evil

Thursday, October 2, 2008

cold war, hot air

normally i call bullshit on 'swamp gas' and 'venus' type dismissals of ufo sightings...i mean i don't know the last time i saw venus change from green to orange and then bifurcate into a fleet of smaller orbs before speeding off at mach speeds in the afternoon... but anyway, i digress. my point is that in the classic gallery of culprits, the weather balloon may be plausible and probable more often than not. especially in the 50's.

see, if it wasn't greys and reptillians plotting our demise from atomic spaceballs, it was the us and the ussr doing it with balloons... not that we were trying to figure out how to rain death on each other with balloons or nuclear carrier pigeons exactly...but the us in particular was going nuts trying to understand what they were up against. the russians were, as churchill stated, "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

and so, under the guise of 'scientific research' and being 'enthusiasts of cloud photography,' we started sending out balloons over the soviet union to take pictures. this went swimmingly until the soviets started catching them with their own planes using the same hooks that we put on the balloons so that we could easily retrieve them on returning...smooth move team america. anyway, check out the article...its a bit more interesting than i care to be this evening...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

new weekend sort of a drag, new film found

my friday night was dead dead dead because the gf had another "bargain hunt" planned. this time we were driving to sarasota...but i could sort of get behind it because supposedly afterwards we were going to go to this really nice beach and get some daquiris and just fun in the sun and shit...sort of like we did a few months back. if you tell me friday night is dead and cannot be BOOZED, im going to be an upset boy...and if you tell me its because we have to drive to another town to go to garage sales, im going to be pissed... but if you tell me theres going to be beaches, bitches, bikinis and BOOZE, i will put up with it

the gf had the trip-tik thing going on again. i swear she had 11 different places marked, and we had to get down there by 10 to cruise all of them. uuugggghhhh. still it wasnt so bad. sarasota used to be a place for wealthy people to retire, and over the years as one wealthy neighborhood kind of gets crapped up, a new one springs up, so you can basically hop from neighborhood to neighborhood every couple of years as the old people in each one start dying off in groups

this makes me seem kinda sick, and i swear im not THAT guy. its just that this town really DOES have a lot of cool stuff on the cheap. i remember going into a local goodwill and finding four crystal champagne saucers (like the ones you see in movies about the 20s) marked at $10. i dont think anyone knew they were crystal. so guess what i drink my cristal out of now? hell yeah

i feel bad about the families who let this stuff go on the cheap. they miss out on a lot of the money value. their moms and pops probably kept the stuff out of sentimentality, but unless youre going to keep the things for the same reason, getting rid of really awesome plates or knife sets for pennies just because "you already have a knife set or some plates" is really dumb. if youre going to sell off everything about your mom, get something for it, for fucks sakes

so anyway, i was picking around this one sale in a house that was probably amazing 25 years ago. neighborhood isnt much anymore, and i know the gf knew that, because thats where you get some really great deals, and she was seriously bloodhounding all over the place. i bitch, but i have the complete Who, Floyd, Beatles (american releases) and Zep on vinyl because of these things. so they arent all bad. but like i say, iwas picking around, and i found this HUGE film canister

i saw it and wanted to buy it because
a. it was about twice as big as the old reels ive mostly seen, not like some family cassette or something, it looked like it had some movie junk in its movie trunk
b. it was 5 dollars and
c. it had a cool label
i didnt even expect it to have shit in it. but it did, so i picked it up. what the hell

the label was sort of yellowy but it looked like someone had written it with a typewriter with big ROMAN letters all in caps. just this cool looking SA-149B. or 186B. or something. im not looking at it now. i just remember the SA. i dont remember typewriters stamping that big, but i guess i dont remember a bunch because apparently this dude remembered everything, there was a STACK of boxes about four wide, six longh and about six high and they were just newspapers. i coulda had them for a buck, but it would have cost me about ten bucks just to drive them to a recycle bin

the gf kept poking around for basically forever. i got bored and actually found two really nice picture frames. i don't know why they were selling them actually, because you don't get these anymore. they look carved and totally serious. but i got them for five bucks, and thankfully that takes care of birthday presents for mom and grandma this year

the moral of the story is: LS, dont let this happen to you...set boundaries...the kid is already setting them for you. have limits. and GFK, if you ever wind up not being a sexless dork extraordinaire, dont let this happen to you either. im not worried about max...hes too drunk to get a girl pregnant

ill let you know about the film whenever i get it worked out. for now remember to get daquiris if you can. daquiris on the beach with your girl in a bikini is the way to go if you have to go shopping

Monday, August 11, 2008

Russia & Georgia (Will They Ever Hook Up?)

You asked, I felt like I should answer about Russia.

Also I'm going to preemptively head off any complaints about being eggheaded by saying you asked for this.

There are only two problems facing Russia, and they're Putin and indifference.

Let me tell you about the indifference. Right now, Russia is going through one of its biggest economic expansions ever. If not the biggest. (You don't even have to include the boost organized crime contributes to the economy, especially the pirating of western media.) And God help you if you don't report that condition favorably.

Since Putin took power, about 20 journalists have been killed in Russia. While that's not quite Columbia-level numbers, that's astronomical for a western European country. There's just no excuse for it. But a common thread running through the deaths and the spontaneous raids of radio and TV stations is that these people were following the money. The Putin regime has never really seemed to care if you report on their human rights abuses or their lack of transparency or the really boundless executive power. Once you get into the kleptocracy stuff — once you ask, "How many billions does Putin have in Swiss bank accounts due to just seizing energy companies?" — that's when you're going to get disappeared.

Because ultimately I don't think a lot of Russian citizens care too terribly much about a lack of transparency at the top. When America was doing all right economically, you probably couldn't find even 5 people in 10 who really gave much of a damn about unchecked executive power. Iraq or Katrina or tax cuts for the wealthy... sure, they might have cared about that. But the principle of balanced power and oversight of the executive is too abstract to care about.

Putin's a smart guy. It's the economy, stupid. He's kept people better off than they were under communism and under the panics of early democracy, and for that they repay him by not caring enough to ask the hard questions. "Who cares if he's a strongman? We have iPods."

It's also partially what happens, I think, when a people have almost zero experience with democracy and whose moments of freedom almost always couple with economic panics or social dislocation. Russian democracy was a messy business, and it hurt an awful lot of people because there were no built-in safety nets anymore. In the rush to tear down communism, they tore down the stuff that bailed out people in tough times, and the only people who knew how to build those safety nets only knew how to do it with a communist instruction manual.

So because freedom was so scary and uncertain, a lot of people treated it as "the time you steal everything not nailed down because you never knew when the next crisis would come and it would all disappear." But since that kind of cowboy capitalism creates crises and destabilizes the economy and social order, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. You want to get out of a crummy system, so you choose freedom; but freedom creates chaos and another kind of crummy system. So at some point you throw up your hands and say, "WE NEED ONE MAN TO SOLVE THIS, BECAUSE DEMOCRACY DOESN'T WORK!"

I think that's sort of what's happened in Russia. Historically they've always kind of see-sawed between flirting with more liberalism and then trusting in an iron-fisted figure to solve the problems facing them. To a certain extent, I think they looked at Putin and said, "You. Fix this." He did, and in response they turn a blind eye to many things.

One of those things is the sudden aggression toward neighbors. Georgia today. Ukraine and Belarus recently. To a certain extent, there are probably a lot of Russian citizens who enjoy this. After being down and out for the late 1980s and 1990s, it feels good to kick ass and be the big kid on the block again. (You know America loved Gulf War I for the same reasons: Vietnam was such a bummer. But now — we rule again!) But for the most part, this seems like Putin's thing.

You can take the KGB away from a man, but put him in charge of the country, and he'll just recreate it with a new name. Which he has. Putin's an unregenerate Chekist, and he's rebuilt the same spooky secret state apparatus he used to be a part of. And with that comes the aggression, because otherwise what's the point?

As to what that aggression means, I don't think it's part of a plan for global domination. As my namesake George Kennan pointed out in his famous Long Telegram, Soviet expansion post-WWII was really just a realization of all the 19th century land grabs the Russian Tsars pursued. It was this paranoid reach for security in the guise of a century-long national dream.

I don't think this aggression is as grand, but I think it indicates Putin and his band of Chekists are going back to the recent past. They want those satellite states that the USSR had. They want their old Socialist Republics back — Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus. They want to have the glory of the old Soviet dream back. Just without the communism and with the billions and billions of nakedly stolen petrochemical dollars and hijacking of private industries.

It's funny that we picked the name that we did for this place, because at the time, it couldn't have been more of a winking joke. The world wasn't really like that anymore. Now it seems prescient. The movement toward opacity, mendacity, ornate deceptions, arms increases, elective wars and wars-by-proxy — the sort of stuff we lived through in the Cold War — were all sort of coming back after 2001. But to take it seriously enough to call looking at it "Kremlinology" would have sounded like pretentious self-indulgence. Yet in just the last year, all those tendencies have ramped up to an absurd degree. It's not funny anymore. It's not even remotely funny.

And, at least in Russia's case, it looks like Putin and his joke of a picked successor will get away with it. In part because most of the people are too indifferent to really ask what's going on and challenge the responses they get. And in part because when people do do that, more of their bodies are dropping on St. Petersburg streets than Marlo Stanfield dropped on West Baltimore.