fredag, december 23, 2005

"a short war, with the lads home by christmas"

Just saw that Rumsfeld announced troop reductions in Iraq. What a timing. Peace on earth and merry christmas, dude.

I feel a strange mix of condradictory thought and emotions whenever the Bush adminitration makes one of those totally surreal things that would makes your eyes roll back and sigh "duuuuuh" in even the most over the top, totally turkey Hollywood blockbuster.

Lame and tacky one-liners like 'mission accomplished', 'let freedom reign', 'slam dunk', 'mushroom cloud smoking gun', 'dead or alive', please don't kill me'*, 'bring'em on', flightsuits, surprise turkey to the troops. So cramp, so kitsch, so corny.

You feel disbelief that they bet so many of the US citizenry are such idiots they can get away with it, awe at the outlandish brazenness, comtempt for the bottomless bad taste, amusement at the ridicule cartoonishness, the creeping fear that at least some of them really believe it.

In an essay (don't remember if it was one in Testaments Betrayed or The Art of the Novel), Milan Kundera described how the kitsch of social realism was not an arbitrary style, but a central tool of the totalitarian propaganda of the Eastern Bloc, and this is exactly what I see whenever there's such a moment in the news.

When trying to find that essay online (which I failed, sorry), I found that Matthew Ygglesias and Timothy Burke share my thoughts about the tawdriness of the Bush admin., so go read them, especially the latter's first-hand comparaison of the respective lack of class of the Zimbabwe's and the US government.

Does this mean the US is no longer a democracy? No. It has is a quite a bit to go until you reach the Putin's Russia's level, much less that of a fully-fledged dictatorship.
And although the risk has never been higher since George Washington was offered dictatorial powers, I think all the scandals (torture, extraodinary renditions, the Fitzgerald investigation, the massive warrantless eavesdropping of communications, and probabably more) are building up to an extent that the judiciary system and Republicans (not the Bushist fundamentalist/neo-con movement that has hijacked the party) can no longer tolerate. But it'll be a slow process, and there'll be a lot more of those shoddy shennanigans. Have some pop-corn & enjoy the show!

* although non-scripted, a bad guy line worthy of a Bond villain.

Crossed-posted at Tacitus; for comments please follow this link

torsdag, november 24, 2005


Your Blog Should Be Green

Your blog is smart and thoughtful - not a lot of fluff.
You enjoy a good discussion, especially if it involves picking apart ideas.
However, you tend to get easily annoyed by any thoughtless comments in your blog.

söndag, september 04, 2005

A door to the future?

Again, an incredibly nifty Japanese gadget. Watch the video!

categories: fun, sci

söndag, augusti 21, 2005

Major Scientific Breakthrough Proves "Theory" of Gravitation Wrong

The Onion reports: Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory

It is now just a matter a time before narrow-minded 'scientists' proponing such 'theories' realise that the truth is that the world was intelligently designed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Hat tip to Davinci.

tisdag, augusti 16, 2005

Martial Day Blogging Inauguration

Cadmus is on hiatus no more!

From now on, every Tuesday will be about subjects under the influence of Mars and Tyr.

Now introducing our première installment, hosted at Tacitus:

Bases in Kurdistan: an Alternative to Withdrawal?

onsdag, april 20, 2005

Cadmus on Hiatus

I think that writing is just not a habit of mine. Yet. I had never written anything (well, at least not on my own volition; stuff you gotta write cuz somebody sez so don't count.) before I began with Cadmus six months ago.

A major problem of Cadmus is that it is a bit of all things to all men, besides a test-bench to develop my writing, ranging the whole gamut from retro/intro/extro-spections to fun links, interesting factoids, to essayish comments on war, science, or whatnot.
Also, a blog implies a certain regularity, be it daily, bi-fortnightly, or whenever. So, since I can't achieve neither focus nor regularity on Cadmus, it'll be on hiatus until further notice.
This, however, not in the least means I've quit blogging; I'll probably continue to post here sporadically when I feel I just have to, and I'm considering starting another blog(s) with a narrower focus and/or only for my friends.

Ce n'est qu'un au revoir...

torsdag, februari 17, 2005

Apocamon Now!!

The APOCAMON is nigh; are you unaware it's coming soon and that you must prepare for the rapture? It will come even sooner than in the ungodly, but yet cool & funky '70s. So learn how to be a good christian, so that you won't been Left Behind (now sold in over 10 million copies! get it for for your kids NOW, and the future shall belong to us!); but beware of false prophets!

onsdag, januari 12, 2005

Second Face of Janus

If you're one of the people that can be counted on one hand that have read Cadmus sporadically since its birth, you may have noticed a certain evolution, like for instance, the links on your right.
Also, that productivity has increased, though I haven't yet reached my target of posting daily, hence the gap between the faces of Janus. Guess I'll just have to improve the structure of my procrastination.
Typing* faster might help a bit, but it's really marginal. Having much more impact on my efficiency is the fact that I am prone to meandering (like that dvorak footnote), and I often end up with at worst three or four browsers windows with a couple of dozen tabs open in each. Well, it might be bad for my efficiency, but it's good for my effectivity, as it as I get inspiration not only to mere footnotes but also while new posts through surfing around.
As you may have noticed, Cadmus needs a new tagline. "All your message are belong to us message is an interesting memetic hybrid, but like most mutants, it feels a bit sterile.
"This** is dragons' teeth beeing sowed", which I had until last week, was a way of pointing out that blogs are a medium in their own right, just like cinema or radio or newspapers or novels. I find the Cadmus myth very compelling, but it feels redundant to refer to McLuhan in both the title and the tagline.
So, if you got something, by all means write in the comments; even if it's half-assed write it anyway, it might not be as bad as you think. And think! If two people post a comment, they could have a discussion!! Like on a real blog!!!***

*Anyway, if I am to learn typing seriously, I'd much rather learn dvorak; qwerty is standard purely and solely because of the panda's thumb effect; I'll change my keyboard to dvorak as soon as I'll start to write enough to make a difference.

** the word "this" was supposed to be a link opened to be a link that opened Cadmus in new window, like this, but that kind of tag doesn't work in Blogger's tagline window. I also wanted each new window opened through this link to get progressively smaller in a Fibonacci series, and each new window placed in a nifty golden spiral.

*** In the blogosphere, to have comments is de rigueur is you want to be 'a real blogger', unlike those famous people that just happen to have a blog. Some are congenial communities, such as Obsidian Wings or Tacitus, where debate between commentators is just, or even more, enjoyable as the blogs themselves.

fredag, januari 07, 2005

First Face of Janus

It's been a short year for Cadmus, only four months, so there ain't that much to retrospect. Still, I'll hang on the fine tradition of re-runs, so here are my favourite posts of 2004:

September: Hard to kill in the Dead Sea

October: War & Blogging

November: Thirteen Minus Nine

December: Subconscious Check

I won't wish peace on earth, I think I'll wait till '08 or '09 for that, but I hope that everybody will retain the integrity of their bodily fluids and achieve purity of essence in 2005.

fredag, december 31, 2004

Hearts & Minds of Injun Country

The Economist has an article from an 'embedded' reporter of the American army's anti-insurgcency tactics and behaviour towards the Iraqi civilian population. Well, it's not really news; they're have been many other stories about this, and they all tell the same tale: a behaviour can be summarized in one word as jackbooted. In fact, even senior British army officers in Iraq have accused their colleagues of viewing Iraqis as 'untermenschen' (of course, when they don't even listen to their own officers back in Washington...)

Arbitrarily rounding up people and sending them en masse to prisons where many are tortured is more characteristic of a South American Junta than of an open and free society, the goal supposed to be achieved in Iraq. Such flouting of basic human rights are supposed to be the price yo be paid to enforce 'law and order'. Yet, Iraq is now one the most crime-blighted countries on the planet: Baghdad is the capital with the highest murder rate in the world, twice that of second-runner Bogota (76/100,000 vs 39/100,000); and if kidnappings were a cottage industry in Colombia, they are on a Fordist scale in Iraq.

Against that, US PR efforts such as painting schools or handing out frisbees, laudable as they are, seem pathetically inadequate when such demands about basic state functions and due process are unfulfilled; case examples for the State Failure 101 course.

Furthermore, those tactics are directly counter-productive in military terms: total lack of human intelligence for the Americans, rampant infiltrations of collaborators by insurgents, resulting in events such as the Mosul suicide bombing.
Considering how casually American soldiers talk about most of Iraq as 'bandit' or 'Indian' country, the 'fort in the Far West' mentality seems to have get so entrenched that talking about them digging themselves deeper into trouble is not a metaphore but literally true...