Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Hypocrisy

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How can Republicans possibly call Sotomayor racist?

Have they forgotten what racism looks like?

Foot In Mouth Disease

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To quote Erick Erickson, editor of Redstate.com:

I dunno, Sotomayor. Considering white males engineered Western Civ, you’d think they’d have a handle on things to be able to make decisions

Man. The fact that white males engineered western civilization is proof enough that white males are not qualified to run anything alone, ever.

Things not to put on your resume:

“Engineered Western Civilization – see Fascism, Communism, Capitalism, Catholicism, the Crusades, mustard gas, the atomic bomb, concentration camps, Health Maintenance Organizations, carpet bombing, colonization, strip malls, compound interest, Agent Orange, cash crops, derivatives, wage slavery, mass propaganda, infotainment, Phrenology, neoconservatives, Prozac, corporations, the East India Company, Manifest Destiny, pyramid schemes, napalm, credit cards, Scientology, Feudalism, Totalitarianism, commodification, spam, Eugenics, Evangelism, pharmaceutical companies, News Corp, institutionalized racism, obesity epidemics, heroin, Banana Republics, consumerism, proxy wars, global war, reality television, insurance premiums, state terrorism, suburbia, Global Warming, sex tourism, McDonald’s, smog, corn syrup, car bombs, ethnic cleansing, soccer moms, the Working Class, the World Trade Organization, AIDS and late-nite infomercials.”

Manifest Destiny

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I wonder how deeply the commentators of this Times article on China’s handling the Uighur old city of Kashgar feel in their sense of liberal humanism.

I mean, on the one hand, it’s smack dab on the forefront of China’s reputation of bulldozing (oftentimes quite literally, at least when it’s not bombing them) the traditions and institutions of its ethnic minorities, most evidenced by making every city, town and village straight to Kazakhstan look like Newark, NJ. After all, Kashgar’s known for having a lot of Uighur dissidents to the Chinese Community Party.

This seems to be a lot of what the commentators seem to note, taking the architectural loss to be a parable of the destruction of the culture. But they keep heading back to the topic of tourism, and that irks me; like they care for the Uighurs only in the sense that their “habitat” might not be there for future visits – for them to look and leave.

It may be an unfair picture I’m painting of the commentators, but they first struck me as somewhat bourgeois humanists – like how the environmentalist movement was started by people who drive everywhere and run air conditioning, this movement to preserve the cultural and architectural heritage of these aboriginals is run by people who live in modern apartments. I did a double-take as Kituwah to read Americans decrying China for Manifest Destiny.

The story in this, to me, on the other hand, is not so much the loss of the architectural layout of the old city, but the inadequate compensation for its citizens. This isn’t an anthropological parable; this is a public advocacy piece. Cities get renewed constantly: Italy, as a first world country, has been trying to save its cultural heritage as well, what with a recent earthquake, but its people come first. The story might as well be set in Newark.

I’m not saying so much that the Chinese government is necessarily working in good faith with the Uighur citizenry – indeed, this sounds like an excuse to develop on cheap land – but at the same time at least they’re building apartment buildings, if boring ones, which is more than I can say for this government.

“Put Up or Shut Up”

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“yer blockin’ traffic, asshole!” Shove.

I should not be grinning as much as I am right now.

Console Wars

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PC wins, because on Microsoft didn’t add a secret killswitch on my computer.

Never mind that the mere existence of such a self-destruct script gives conspiracy theorists spontaneous orgasms what with their unprecedented confirmation or that it highlights just the very sort of neo-feudalistic contempt large corporations have for the consumer, just think of the consequences!

It’s only a matter of time that someone reverse-engineers a box or makes a hacked box to run said script over the M$ Live network. For the individual, it’s an “everybody gets bricked I win” button. For the Halo server host, it’s a “boot, ban and brick everybody we don’t like” button. Hell, anyone would get an instant hard-on on the mere possibility of bricking the entire Live network at once.

Now that would be the thing to have on a résumé for Sony. Console Wars, indeed.

To go back to the bile this brings in me for consumerism, I’m reminded of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and the movie adaptation: He didn’t write the ending bit about the credit card companies’ headquarters blowing up, but said that he quite preferred it to his own.

“A Gift to Bicyclists”

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I may not know everything in the world, but I know that this is most decidedly NOT a “gift to bicyclists”, and furthermore I have lost respect for the reporter of the NYTimes who did THIS cockup:

On second thought, lets just make drivers walk their cars across Times Square.
On second thought, let’s just make drivers walk their cars across Times Square.

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