Monday, September 24, 2007

funny videos

Steve Ditko

Try Powerthirst or go to hell!

Commenter Business Meeting 2
Iz on ur computr, captioning ur videeowzz!

Internet Commenter Business Meeting
This is what happens when corporations change pwn3rship.

Scary Mary
Mary Poppins trailer remix. Just a spoonful of sugar.... WILL KILL YOU!
scary mary poppins recut horror movie remix thriller spoof preview Julie Andrews redone trailer comedy teaser

Video for Negativland's "My Favorite Things"

musick videos

Lush - Sweetness and Light

Dj Manga Final scratch 2 with Traktor 3 Studio 3

Scratch Mix over Dead Prez, Beatnuts, Eazy E
Hip Hop video mix n' mash with lots of video scratching. Done with Virtual DJ, and DM2 midi scratch deck.
For the ghetto youth.

Goldigger + Beethoven's 5th Video Mashup

Some animation software my 12 year-old son and I

Some animation software my 12 year-old son and I
can learn together and apply in revolutionary ways.

Please scroll down and wait 10 seconds, at most.
Then jiggle your cursor over the comment space.

CrazyTalk - Demo of Haunted Lady

CrazyTalk -Demo of Yamaha Rhino Polaris RZR

CrazyTalk - Demo of "Poor Wandering One" as sung by an animated face.

CrazyTalk Media Studio Tutorial
This unusual program (Crazy Talk 4) allows you to import a photograph and quickly have it talking to you.

CrazyTalk Media Studio Tutorial
CrazyTalk Media Studio is a program where you can use a photo and animate it by making it speak, blink, expressions etc. This is my tutorial how to use the basics.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Best Optical Illusions

Best Optical Illusions - Funny bloopers R us
Best Optical Illusions

Best Optical Illusions Awesome Mad Images Pictures Video Clip Mona Lisa Funny Cool Best Great Hot Nice

Friday, September 21, 2007

09 21 07 TEST: small medium large Slideshow: BLAM_BLAM_BLAM>avatars>avatar3 still emigre

09 21 07 small BLAM_BLAM_BLAM>avatars>avatar3 still emigre


medium test 09 21 07 from BLAM_BLAM_BLAM>avatars>avatar3 still emigre


09 21 07 large test BLAM_BLAM_BLAM>avatars>avatar3 still emigre


Nice Early Rotoscoping lucy in the sky with diamonds yellow submarine william shatner

Henry Rollins Band Liar

psychadelic william shatner colouful peace lucy sky diamonds

Cure for Snakebite from Motor Psycho
Alex Rocco gets help after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

09 21 07 TEST: small medium large Slideshow: BLAM_BLAM_BLAM>avatars>avatar3 still emigre

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dystopian Novels: THE TOMORROW FILE by Lawrence Sanders

Dystopian Novels
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dystopias are sometimes found in science fiction novels and stories. Please see the article dystopia for discussion of definition. Note that there is no one definition of dystopia that is agreed upon by all, as the term is usually used to refer to something much more specific than simply a nightmare world or unpleasant future.

Entries should only be added to these category if their article clearly states that they are dystopian.

See also: Category:Utopian novels.

There are 2 subcategories in this category, which are shown below. More may be shown on subsequent pages.

[+] Atlas Shrugged


[+] Nineteen Eighty-Four

Pages in category "Dystopian novels"

There are 123 pages in this section of this category.

* 1985 (novel)


* 334 (novel)


* Acidity (Novelette)
* All Tomorrow's Parties (novel)
* Alongside Night
* Among the Brave
* Among the Enemy
* Among the Free
* Among the Hidden
* And Chaos Died
* Anthem (novella)
* Ape and Essence
* Atlas Shrugged


* The Baby Squad
* Bend Sinister
* Brave New World


* Camp Concentration
* The Castle (novel)
* The Children of Men
* Children of the Dust
* Chung Kuo
* Cloud Atlas
* The Cold Cash War
* Count Zero


* Dayworld
* Dayworld (1985)
* Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
* The Domination


* Elvissey


* Fahrenheit 451
* Fatherland (novel)
* Feed (novel)
* Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
* The Foundation Pit
* A Friend of the Earth
* Futureland


* Gathering Blue
* The Giver
* Graffiti Christ
* Gridlock (novel)
* The Guardians (novel)


* The Handmaid's Tale
* Headhunter (novel)
* Hello America


* "If This Goes On—"
* In the Presence of Mine Enemies
* The Iron Heel
* It Can't Happen Here


* The Jagged Orbit
* Japan Sinks (novel)
* Jennifer Government


* K is for Killing
* Kallocain
* Kazohinia


* Lanark: A Life in Four Books
* The Lathe of Heaven
* Left Behind (series)
* New Babylon
* Level 7
* Limes inferior
* List of dystopian literature
* Logan's Run
* Lokenath Bhattacharya
* Lord of the World


* Make Room! Make Room!
* The Man Who Japed
* The Man in the High Castle
* Memoirs Found in a Bathtub
* Mona Lisa Overdrive
* Moscow 2042


* Native Tongue (novel)
* Neuromancer
* Never Let Me Go
* Nineteen Eighty-Four


* Oryx and Crake


* Parable of the Sower (novel)
* Parable of the Talents (novel)
* The Penultimate Truth
* Perdido Street Station
* A Planet for the President
* Planet of the Apes
* Player Piano (novel)
* The Plot Against America

P cont.

* Prayers for the Assassin


* Radio Free Albemuth
* Random Acts of Senseless Violence
* Resurrection Day
* Return from the Stars
* The Running Man
* Running Out of Time (novel)


* A Scanner Darkly
* The Secret of the League
* Shade's Children
* The Sheep Look Up
* The Shockwave Rider
* The Simultaneous Man
* The Sleeper Awakes
* The Sound of His Horn
* The Space Merchants
* A Spectre is Haunting Texas
* Stand On Zanzibar
* Stark (novel)
* A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder
* Suicide Circle: The Complete Edition
* The Supernaturalist
* Swan Song (novel)
* Swastika Night


* Terraplane (novel)
* This Other Eden (novel)
* This Perfect Day
* The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
* The Time Machine
* Time Out of Joint
* The Trial


* The Ultimate Solution
* Ultraviolet (novelization)


* V for Vendetta (novelization)


* The Wanting Seed
* We (novel)
* When Heaven Fell
* When Smuts Goes
* Wind on Fire
* The World Inside
by Lawrence Sanders
Key Phrases - Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs): (learn more)
genetic rating, artificial enovulation, natural brandy, pharmacology library, pleasure pill, film spindles, slave factor, political drug, stroked palms, government servers, palm stroke, heavy analysis, pure glycerol, checkered cap, botulism outbreak, new dollars, inflatable splint, commercial mail, ashen hair, assistant deputy directors, readout screen, ultimate pleasure, somber eyes, lip rouge
Key Phrases - Capitalized Phrases (CAPs): (learn more)
Chief Director, Paul Bumford, Angela Berri, Art Roach, Grace Wingate, Maya Leighton, Mary Bergstrom, New York, Tomorrow File, Department of Creative Science, San Diego, Seymour Dove, Department of Bliss, Phoebe Huntzinger, Seth Lucas, Operation Lewisohn, Angela Teresa Berri, Leon Mansfield, Project Phoenix, Arthur Raddo, Burton Klein, Louise Rawlins Tucker, Chevy Chase, Deputy Director, Die-Dee Doll
Text Stats
These statistics are computed from the text of another edition of this book. (learn more)
Readability (learn more) Compared with books in All Categories
Fog Index: 8.4
17% are easier

83% are harder
Flesch Index: 64.5
27% are easier

73% are harder
Flesch-Kincaid Index: 6.2
15% are easier

85% are harder

Complexity (learn more)
Complex Words: 13%
42% have fewer

58% have more
Syllables per Word: 1.6
44% have fewer

56% have more
Words per Sentence: 7.9
5% have fewer

95% have more

Number of
Characters: 1,176,554
93% have fewer

7% have more
Words: 197,297
95% have fewer

5% have more
Sentences: 24,944
99% have fewer

1% have more
a terriffic read, January 28, 2006
By Joseph T. Colagreco "cojaysea" (cliffside park, nj United States) - See all my reviews
a mostly unknown gem from 1973 by the author who became known for THE FIRST DEADLY SIN and THE MCNALLY CAPERS . when i read this novel back in 75 ( the first paperback edition) i did not want to see the year 2000! SANDERS' look at the immediate future is horrifying. predicting the future is always risky business but SANDERS fills his futuristic tale with the most incredible plot twists and memorable caracters. welcome to a world where many people are born in a test tube with genetic ratings ( those who were born naturally are known as OBSOS for obsolete) the dept. of health and welfare is now known as the dept. of public happiness or the dept. of bliss. almost all drugs are legal. people drink vodka and smack and smoke marijuana as readily as we drink vodka and tonic. pot is legal and sold by the government . one brand is called BOLD. when you have sex with someone that person is known as a 'user". if you enjoyed the sex then it was "profitable".( martha and i used each other last night , it was quite a profit". money is called LOVE. ( sorry nick but theres no love in this project lets move on to something else) . food and drink as we know it is almost all genetically engineered from petro or oil.people eat "petroveal" and "propeas" and drink wine that tastes like fuel. occassionally you can find a real bottle of wine made from REAL grapes that will cost a fortune.( what do you want to eat tonight nick, fake italian or fake french?) an artificially inseminated male with a grade a genetic rating is catogorized as a AINMA-A. the government controlls all genetic ratings and if you dont have an A rating you cant have children. the united states is a huge corporation heading towards leading a corporate world. known now as simply THE US ( the u.s. of america was dropped ) any nation can join the US. costa rica and purto rico where the first to join. england is thinking of joining the us at the time of writing. medical and genetic engineering are racing ahead with startling and frightening rapidity. the govt. absolutley rules everything. nicolas bennington flair is the main carachter whos job among other things is to protect and keep alive a dying obso social genius named hyman lewishon. he comes up with the most frightening and horrifying idea i think ive ever read in any sci fi or social fiction tale that i wont even hint at to avoid spoiling it for those who havent read it yet. his friend and user is paul bumford . also his understudy . they work directly for angela lee berri, the director of the dept. of bliss. the reader is taken on a ride with so many plot twists and turns and surprises through the machinations of corporate power and political leaders that after a while nothing is as it seems. who is screwing who?? right up to the final line of the book the suspense is just incredible. a tale of futuristic social and governmental workings that is sometimes funny,always frightening and endlessly fascinating. SANDERS imagination must have been working overtime on this one. never again did he rise to this level. never again did he write anything like it. the first part of the book is titled "X". the second part of the book is titled"Y". the third part is titled "Z", the final chapter ,only one paragraph long is titled "A". see what i mean about different? ive read this book 3 times and will probably read it again. dont miss this almost unknown gem.

By Louis James "LUXXCORP" (Tampa, Florida, USA) - See all my reviews

The best book I've ever read 3 or 4 times.
Let's keep it a secret until I'm finished the screenplay adaptation.
Should I make it a mini-series for TV or a trilogy like The Matrix?
Comment | Why no voting buttons? We don't let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others.

my all time favorite book, June 22, 2005
By S. Gold "bookher" (minneapolis,mn) - See all my reviews
This is the only book that I've read 5plus times. It is truly amazing, especially in that it was published 4 years before I was born. Way ahead of it's time, I look forward to reading it again!!!!

Biological Time Bomb went off back n 1973, October 31, 2002
By "tzia" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
To get full impact of The Tomorrow File, try digging up The Biological Time Bomb and comparing with Huxley's Brave New World and Brave New World Revsited.

The read it again -- The Tomorrow File, that is.

I first read The Tomorrow File and The Biological Time Bomb [sorry, can not recall that author's name] in 1973. MAYBE even 1972.

And by 1991 when the paperback re-issue was added to a bookstore across the street that is no more, well, I was seeing evidence every day that folks reading it for the FIRST time in 1991 were already LEFT BEHIND on what's real in "sociology."

Can't fault YOU, Larry. Or Aldous or Julian or even H.G. Welles and Upton Sinclair.

You warned them hard enough. Not that any bodies with the good old "It Can't Happen Here" attitudes ever paid attention.

Nicholas definitely pushed his luck too far. So far, even though thoroughly mind-diddled my own great love and I have stayed relatively free and happy with only the following chatter to show for going on 11 years...

Addresses Bill Joy's questions before he asked, March 18, 2000
By Len Delunas (Seattle) - See all my reviews
Several years ago this author suggested that our country will create a new branch of government - the scientific branch - for the purpose of identifying technolology that should not be pursued...and advising the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government to put that technology into the "tomorrow file" - essentially buried for a future time, when society might be better suited to absorb the consequences.

Excellent concepts.Appropriate material to help consider Bill Joy's observations.

Good weekend read;plenty of present-day parallels., September 3, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
Sanders probably isn't writing sci-fi as much as he is using the future setting to avoid libel claims. The focus on youth, intelligence, and information as a source of power are no future stretch. Government's/industry's job is to keep people happy by carefully managing the flow and spin of information, to maximize the benefits,not to the public at large, but to the executives, politicians and bureaucrats. This is best accomplished in a society where most people don't give a rip, unless their own boat is rocked. For parallels,one need only look to the current impact on market indices or consumer confidence measures of a tiny tick in a government-produced labor or inflation statistic, or to the impact on our perception of public safety produced by a favorable crime statistic. Is Nick Flair that much different from Bill Gates/Clinton, in his early appreciation and clever use of the power that derives from control of information? I guess I read this as satire.

Realistic, innovative science fiction., September 27, 1998
Reviewer: A reader
A book far ahead of its time, quite uncharacteristic of Sanders but still innovative and compelling. Nick Flair, the protagonist, gives the reader a view of the future from a 1970's perspective. There is no supercomputer controlling the world, just the basic ingenuity of mankind. Think of it as Brave New World and 1984 produced for daytime TV.

An excellent book, apparently overlooked by all, March 27, 1998
By K. Smith "Ken of Brookeville" (Brookeville, md USA) - See all my reviews

An amazing and chilling tale! Should be classified as Science Fiction and thus, it is unlike any other Sanders book - not a mystery or a sex-fest, though it has those elements in spades.
Obviously, Sanders had fun with his premise, which (I think) is: What would happen if the Government set about to make its citizenry happy? And at any cost, including active manipulation of individual lives. Imagine Brave New World, with an entertaining mystery, modernized, and taken to the next degree.

Sanders cleverly renames common terms, for example: Males are EM's, females are EF's, sex is "using." This extends to the government - the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has evolved into the "Department of Bliss." (Couldn't happen? - remember the Dept. of Defense used to be called the War Department.)

Definitely will make you glad your government is as inept as it is - after reading TF, you will never ask again for a government that knows what it's doing!

Hard to understand, October 1, 1997
By Chris ( (Florida) - See all my reviews
Lawrence Sanders is one of my favorite writers, the book, The Tomorrow File, is not worth TRYING to read. I finally gave up.

A near future when kids get MUCH smarter, much younger.
, March 27, 1997
Reviewer: A reader
Sanders, in a change of pace, chillingly limns a future when fast maturation and blazing intelligence are available to young teens, gradually forcing the older leaders and movers of society into unwanted retirement.
Excellent characterization, pace, and imaginative projections of current trends in computer science, media (think MTV election specials), and sports forcing for the Olympics make this a novel that you will think back on often, and wonder if you'll be replaced by a ten-year-old with a 200 IQ...


Dystopian Novels: THE TOMORROW FILE by Lawrence Sanders

Monsanto Westinghouse's NEWS RECAP OF THE NEW YORK TIMES & THE LOS ANGELES TIMES Sept. 20, 2007

Monsanto Westinghouse's NEWS RECAP
Sept. 20, 2007

A Note to Our Readers

We have ended TimesSelect. All of our Op-Ed and news columns are now available free of charge. Additionally, The New York Times Archive is available free back to 1987.

A Minister’s Public Lesson on Domestic Violence
A domestic violence case involving a television evangelist has left some questioning her credibility.
Published: September 20, 2007
ATLANTA, Sept. 19 — The attack in a hotel parking lot here last month was remarkable not only because the victim, Juanita Bynum, is the most prominent black female television evangelist in the country, who is pals with Oprah, admired by Aretha, and who recently signed on to campaign for Obama.
It was shocking, especially to legions of women who had latched onto her message that only chastity and self-respect would bring true love, because the attacker who choked, stomped and kicked her, Ms. Bynum said, was her husband.
"I made a right decision that went bad. If you choose a Cadillac, if two years later someone runs into you and tears it up, it wasn’t a bad decision to buy the car."
JUANITA BYNUM, a black televangelist, on her marriage.

In Egypt, a Rising Push Against Genital Cutting
Circumcision, as supporters call it, or female genital mutilation, as opponents refer to it, was suddenly a ferocious focus of debate in Egypt this summer.
Female Circumcision Slideshow
At Tanta University in Egypt, the backdrop for speakers at a symposium in August read, "The Beginning of the End, No to Female Circumcision." The Egyptian government, religious authorities and activists have united in an effort to end the tradition, which is so common that a survey in 2005 found that 96 percent of Egyptian women had undergone it.
Victim Tells Police of Possible Motive for Abduction
Published: September 20, 2007

The authorities provided new details yesterday of the ordeal and a possible motive in the case of the 20-year old West Virginia woman who they say was raped and tortured at a ramshackle trailer about 30 miles south of Charleston.
Skip to next paragraph
Transcript of Police Interview With Victim (Warning: Contains harsh and explicit language.)

In an interview with the police at the hospital after her rescue on Sept. 8, the victim said she believed that Bobby Ray Brewster, 24, with whom she had a romantic relationship, thought that she had led the police to seek an arrest warrant for his mother, Frankie Lee Brewster, 49.

“He said I had put a warrant out on his mom,” the victim told the police, who then asked what type of warrant Mr. Brewster believed had been issued. “Attempted murder,” the victim said, adding that she had not, in fact, gone to the police.

Mr. Brewster and his mother are among six people charged in the case.

The victim, who was in court on Tuesday to face charges of writing bad checks, described in the police interview being tied up with duct tape in a shed, being forced to eat animal and human feces and being guarded and kept away from the telephone to prevent her from calling for help.

“He was drinking a fifth of liquor that he stole from 7-Eleven,” the victim said, describing one of Mr. Brewster’s fits of rage, during which he reached onto the trailer’s roof and grabbed a butcher knife.

“I tried to get away but he charged at me,” she said, adding that she passed out while Mr. Brewster kicked her in the head. When she woke up, she had five stab wounds in her leg and was lying in a pool of blood on the trailer’s bathroom floor, she said. Mr. Brewster then came into the bathroom and forced her to lick her blood, she said.

. . .

Mr. Brewster and his mother were the ringleaders of the abduction, the police say. When he was 12, Mr. Brewster shot and killed his stepfather at the mobile home and served time in a juvenile detention center. Mrs. Brewster, convicted of voluntary manslaughter, served five years in the fatal 1994 shooting of an 84-year-old woman who the police now say was her mother-in-law.

In fact, court documents indicate that all six of the accused have extensive criminal histories, with dozens of charges among them filed by the authorities over the last 10 years.

> > >

Armed Guards in Iraq Occupy a Legal Limbo
Recent incidents in Iraq have revealed large gaps in the laws applying to armed contractors.
Iraqi Report Says Blackwater Guards Fired First (September 19, 2007)
U.S. Contractor Banned by Iraq Over Shootings (September 18, 2007)

For Some, Video Incident Raises Questions About Mangini
Some in the N.F.L. community believe Jets Coach Eric Mangini breached an unspoken code of honor among coaches by allowing his team to turn in his former mentor.

For Jay-Z, Inspiration Arrives in a Movie
Jay-Z, the rap superstar and president of Def Jam Records, has quietly returned to the studio to record an album of new songs inspired by the forthcoming movie “American Gangster.”

Will You Marry Me? Say Cheese!
Now, not only can men tell friends and family about the circumstances of their engagement, they can show them, too, thanks to a candid shot of the proposal.

The French Revolution
As President Nicolas Sarkozy assumes the role of Europe’s most dynamic leader, smashing the American taboo has stripped away paralyzing French hypocrisy.

THE AMERICAN TABOO Enthusiasm for the United States was unacceptable for a French political leader because it was always interpreted as an embrace of “Wild West” capitalism, “Anglo-Saxon” hegemony and vulgarity. De rigueur attitudes held sway: patronizing contempt in Paris met macho derision in Washington. Communication suffered. Sarko’s New Hampshire vacation, enthused American dreaming, iPod-accompanied jogging and in-your-face style cleared the air.
THE MONEY TABOO “To live happy, live hidden” goes a French saying. Few things were more hidden than contacts between presidents and the rich. François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac had well-heeled friends, but, knowing that the French tend to think that wealth equals theft, or something close, they kept those ties quiet. Sarkozy, with his Rolexes and penchant for the yachts of millionaire friends, has broadcast that money’s O.K.
THE CULTURAL TABOO To run France, you had to be cultured. Mitterrand’s bookish references and Delphic utterances (“A president must know how to be bored”) positioned him as too clever to contest. Chirac had a recherché passion for Japan. Culture — like cows but on a different level — connected the president to the Gallic eternal. Sarko, an American movie buff, is more at home with Johnny Hallyday than Jean-Paul Sartre.
Sarkozy, forthright in his support of Israel, declares that “an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran” may be the terrible choice looming;
Later, Chirac suggested “neo-liberalism” — unfettered market forces — was as much a danger in the 21st century as totalitarianism in the 20th.
THE WORK TABOO Working hard to get rich was un-Gallic. Working less — a 35-hour week — to feel happy (in theory) was French. Sarkozy now praises those who “get up early.” In the land of “I think, therefore I am,” his finance minister declares: “Enough of thought! Let’s roll up our sleeves.” Sarkoland’s slogan: “I work, therefore I am.”
The French Revolution

Published: September 20, 2007

Skip to next paragraph

Roger Cohen
Go to Columnist Page »

The French Revolution of 2007 has not seen heads roll but has involved the destruction of 10 taboos as President Nicolas Sarkozy assumes the role of Europe’s most dynamic leader.

THE AMERICAN TABOO Enthusiasm for the United States was unacceptable for a French political leader because it was always interpreted as an embrace of “Wild West” capitalism, “Anglo-Saxon” hegemony and vulgarity. De rigueur attitudes held sway: patronizing contempt in Paris met macho derision in Washington. Communication suffered. Sarko’s New Hampshire vacation, enthused American dreaming, iPod-accompanied jogging and in-your-face style cleared the air.

THE AGRICULTURAL TABOO No French president could seem uncomfortable patting the backside of a cow. This gesture, at the annual Paris Agricultural Fair, communicated a leader’s link to the land and to deepest France. But the only cows known to Sarko, city dweller par excellence, are on cheese packages. The vache political credential is dead; French urban politicos no longer feel cowed.

THE MONEY TABOO “To live happy, live hidden” goes a French saying. Few things were more hidden than contacts between presidents and the rich. François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac had well-heeled friends, but, knowing that the French tend to think that wealth equals theft, or something close, they kept those ties quiet. Sarkozy, with his Rolexes and penchant for the yachts of millionaire friends, has broadcast that money’s O.K.

THE CULTURAL TABOO To run France, you had to be cultured. Mitterrand’s bookish references and Delphic utterances (“A president must know how to be bored”) positioned him as too clever to contest. Chirac had a recherché passion for Japan. Culture — like cows but on a different level — connected the president to the Gallic eternal. Sarko, an American movie buff, is more at home with Johnny Hallyday than Jean-Paul Sartre.

THE MIDEAST TABOO Strong French ties and traditions in the Middle East dictated coolness toward Israel. Chirac let slip that an Iranian nuclear bomb might be acceptable, before saying he’d misspoken. Now Sarkozy, forthright in his support of Israel, declares that “an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran” may be the terrible choice looming; his foreign minister says the world should “prepare for the worst” in Iran, meaning war. Iran is no Arab country, but these utterances betray a changed politique Arabe.

THE RUSSIAN TABOO Moscow was France’s offsetting power to the United States. For many cold-war years, the French left struggled to decide what was worse: Soviet totalitarianism or American imperialism. Some of the French right was undecided, too. Later, Chirac suggested “neo-liberalism” — unfettered market forces — was as much a danger in the 21st century as totalitarianism in the 20th. Weak-kneed moral equivalency often placed Paris in a halfway house between Washington and Moscow. Sarkozy is clear: American democracy beats Russian authoritarianism, just as U.S. freedom beat Soviet enslavement.

THE WORK TABOO Working hard to get rich was un-Gallic. Working less — a 35-hour week — to feel happy (in theory) was French. Sarkozy now praises those who “get up early.” In the land of “I think, therefore I am,” his finance minister declares: “Enough of thought! Let’s roll up our sleeves.” Sarkoland’s slogan: “I work, therefore I am.”

THE FAR-RIGHT TABOO For decades, Jean-Marie Le Pen’s xenophobic National Front prospered on an untouchable flank. Sarkozy has undermined this bigoted party with some bigotry of his own about French national identity and a campaign to deport illegal immigrants. At the same time, he’s been franker than the left about France’s problem with immigrants and named Rachida Dati, the daughter of a Moroccan laborer and Algerian cleaning lady, as justice minister.

THE NATO TABOO There’s talk of France rejoining the integrated military command of the alliance, unthinkable since Charles de Gaulle hauled the country out in a huff in 1966.

THE IVY LEAGUE TABOO The passport to government office was always attendance at the École Nationale d’Administration, where future ministers acquired the mind-numbing skill of saying they had seven points to make and remembering all seven without notes. Sarko loathes such Ivy League clubbiness. He prefers an egghead-lite government.

The bulk of this taboo-smashing is positive because it has stripped away paralyzing French hypocrisy, opened the way for unfettered French-American discussion and cleared a possible path to tackling chronic high unemployment.

The calculated use of anti-immigrant rhetoric is troubling, and I’m worried by the loose talk on Iran. But I’ll go on embracing Sarkozy while waiting to see if he’s a revolutionary in action as well as in words.
Film still clicks with professional photographers
They use digital out of necessity but go old school for special tasks, a Kodak survey finds.,0,1169487.story?coll=la-tot-entertainment&track=ntothtml
Film still clicks with professional photographers
They use digital out of necessity but go old school for special tasks, a Kodak survey finds.
From the Associated Press
September 20, 2007

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- -- Photojournalist Chris Usher usually relies on digital technology. When he wants something special, though, he reaches for a film camera.

"I shoot just as much digital as the next guy out of necessity," Usher said. "I use film probably a third of the time, on personal projects 100% of the time. There's a richness and a depth of field that becomes more prevalent when you're shooting film as opposed to digital. It has a tangible feel to it."

Even as the digital revolution is transforming photography, more than two-thirds of professional photographers in a survey released Wednesday said they still preferred using film for certain tasks, praising its ability to add an almost organic quality to pictures.

Eastman Kodak Co., which surveyed 9,000 U.S. photographers who earn their livelihoods freeze-framing news, weddings, nature, fashion and other worlds, will draw some comfort from its findings.

Putting the finishing touches to a drastic, four-year digital makeover, Kodak is still betting that film, its cash cow for a century, will continue to generate enough revenue to see it through the most painful passage in its 126-year history. Kodak's workforce will fall to 34,000 at year-end, half what it was five years ago.

Even while its chemical-based businesses shrink, Kodak remains the world's top maker of silver-halide film, and the storied product -- which George Eastman launched in 1889 -- retains an ardent following.

"If a client gives me the choice, I'm going to shoot film," said Matthew Jordan Smith, a fashion and celebrity photographer in Los Angeles. "With digital, there's this whole thing of, 'Oh, it looks good enough to get by, it's fine, it'll do.' You didn't have that with film. Was it good enough? It was great!

"Digital will continue to get better and better and better," Smith said. "Maybe film will become an art thing, who knows? But there will always be those who want to shoot film."

The survey was mailed in mid-August to more than 40,000 of the nation's estimated 64,000 full-time and part-time professional photographers, and 75% of the 9,000 who responded said they would continue to use film even as they embraced digital imaging.

Sixty-eight percent said they preferred film over digital for a variety of applications. Many cited its superiority for shooting larger-format and black-and-white images, the adaptability of color film to a wider range of lighting conditions, and film archives being far easier to store than electronic ones.

Usher, a freelancer who covers the White House for Newsweek and Time magazines and is coming out with a book illustrating hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, isn't surprised that his colleagues have a lingering loyalty to some of the old methods.

"Film by its very physical nature is layers of grains of different colors," he said. "It's hard to describe, but it does actually have a micro three-dimensionality that you can see in that weird way."

By contrast, he said, "digital pictures look very flat, and even the prints. . . . Digital looks literally cut-and-pasted.

"Probably the biggest disadvantage of digital -- I think if you ask most photographers, at least the ones that are honest will admit this -- is you end up spending more time behind the computer than you do behind the camera. If you're shooting raw, you still have to go in there and adjust the images, tweak 'em, tone 'em and get everything just so. With film, there it is."

Although "digital is here to stay," Usher expects film's fortunes will someday brighten once more.

"In fact, now that the honeymoon and the infatuation is starting to run its course," he said, "I think that in the next five years you're going to see almost a retro backlash because of the things that film gives you that you can't get with digital."

Coming May 2009
Clash of the 3-D Epics

"Ice Age", "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "Avatar"

The album: Obsolete to whom?
By Philip Freeman
Despite declining sales, they're not going anywhere -- as an object or an idea.
The album: Obsolete to whom?
Despite declining sales, they're not going anywhere -- as an object or an idea.
By Philip Freeman
September 20, 2007
Back in 1979, rock critic Greil Marcus asked a bunch of his colleagues to answer the ultimate music fan's question: What one album would they want to have if they were stranded on a desert island? Just over 25 years later, I offered the same challenge to a new generation of music aficionados. Nineteen music writers, bloggers and scholars were up for the task -- indeed, they leaped at the opportunity to pick a favorite and gush about it at length. Weirdly, though, I kept hearing from doubtful outsiders that the project didn't make sense because the album was dead, that it was all about downloads and iPod playlists, that people didn't listen to music "that way" anymore. Those doubters are wrong.

Yes, album sales for the first half of 2007 were down 15% compared with the same period last year, and the record industry has entered what seems like a perpetual state of panic. And yes, most music that's being downloaded legally is bought a la carte, song by song. But that doesn't mean albums, or even CDs, are doomed.

Certain genres -- pop, hip-hop, dance music -- have always been, and will always be, about the perfect song. Albums are more contemplative, presuming and demanding both commitment and patience on the listener's part. But for those of us who love the idea of being permitted into an artist's world for an hour or so, that's how it should be -- and these are good times.

Ambitious, personal music, frequently in lavish packaging, whether by arty metal acts such as Sunn O))) or rap mega-stars such as Kanye West, is reaching the fans it's meant for. Last week's new-album showdown, pitting West's "Graduation" against 50 Cent's "Curtis," is a prime example of how albums can still make a mass-market splash. (West, with 957,000 sold in one week, beat 50 Cent's 691,000, according to Nielsen figures, and 50's now muttering about possible retirement.)

Beyond such stunts, though, the album lives because of what it delivers. There's more music available than ever before, and no matter what panicked record executives say, people are still grabbing it eight and 10 songs at a time, exactly as the artists intended.

For a few years now, it's been possible to download leaked copies of new albums days or weeks before the official release date. That's worrisome to pop performers and the label execs backing them, who, like the producers of big summer movies, live or die by opening-week receipts. For more indie-minded artists, though, this sort of samizdat circulation of their work has become a valuable, even crucial, marketing tool because real fans treat a download like a test drive or a listening booth in an old record store. MP3s posted on blogs and message boards may get the word out, but as long as the music is good, serious fans will still head to their favorite record stores, in person or online, and lay out cash for something they can take home, hold in their hands and examine as they listen.

Furthermore, many albums posted and downloaded aren't new. They're old and frequently out of print, abandoned by labels that didn't see a profit in keeping them commercially available. So they're shared, fan to fan, among small virtual communities obsessed with '60s avant-garde jazz, obscure '70s hard rock or regional hip-hop from the '80s. Ever heard an MP3 crackle like vintage vinyl? Or one in which the sound wobbles like a cassette on the brink of unspooling? I have: It's the sound of the album preserved.

The album remains vital because musicians make it so. Shuffling -- the juxtaposition of songs at a computer's whim -- offers its own pleasures; hearing Ornette Coleman, then AC/DC, then Big Daddy Kane can really liven up a morning commute. But artistic intent deserves respect. If it's safe to assume your favorite band sequenced their latest batch of songs the way they did for a reason, then common courtesy demands that you listen "in order." The anonymous music fans uploading at websites mostly exemplify this respect; when downloading from a blog, you almost always get a zip file containing a whole CD, not an individual track. Some sites even offer scanned cover art and PDF files of liner notes.

Finally, the album as physical object isn't going anywhere. Media types frequently fixate on "early adopters," their own unacknowledged class biases allowing the actions of the ultra-hip few to overshadow the slower progress of the poorer, less tech-savvy majority. Even in the U.S., not everyone has an Internet connection fast enough to permit downloading of albums. I still see more Discmans than iPods in my New Jersey neighborhood; vinyl retains hipster cachet; and outside the U.S., especially in Africa and the Middle East, a whole lot of music continues to be sold on cassette. Ultimately, albums will exist as long as artists, and fans, want them to.

Philip Freeman is editor in chief of Metal Edge magazine and the editor of "Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs."

Trent Reznor on CD prices

Ninyear_zero_album_cover I don't know what his contract with Universal's Interscope Records provides, but I suspect that Trent Reznor doesn't hold the copyrights to his band's latest album (Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails). So I'd be surprised if he could legally authorize fans to "steal it," as he instructed attendees at a recent concert in Sydney, Australia. But he does have a certain moral authority on the subject. It is his work, after all. And he has a legitimate beef about the price of CDs Down Under. HMV sells Year Zero for a stunning AU $32.99, which converts to about $28 here. You can blame the lousy exchange rate for part of the sticker shock, but not all of it.

Reznor's eagerness to share the record with fans hasn't been confined to Australia, however. To promote the album, he leaked three tracks as MP3s, fully intending them to be passed around online. At the time he said the freebies were an attempt to boost sales, not crater them. Although his comments in Australia go further, they are in line with his previous remarks about the labels' greed and separation from music fans. In sum, his attitude speaks volumes about the growing problem for labels as established acts join newcomers in craving ears, not dollars, for their CDs.

Granted, it's a lot easier to part with CD revenue when you're capable of filling auditoriums at $75 a head, which is what it cost NIN fans to get into the 3,500 seat Hordern Pavilion. Nevertheless, a business model that trades CD revenues for ticket sales makes an increasing amount of sense even to veteran acts as the slide in CD sales deepens. No wonder Warner Music Group honcho Edgar Bronfman is so keen for "360-degree contracts" that would cut his labels in on tours, merch and other pots of revenue they don't share today. (A tip o' the hat to the Lefsetz Letter for drawing my attention to Reznor's comments, and to Coolfer for Bronfman's.)
September 19, 2007 in Music | Permalink

I'm not much of a NIN fan, but $28 is outrageous in Australia. Good for Trent for mocking the ridiculous markup. Production costs have gone down tremendously over the 20 years of CD production but prices have barely dropped. Still I admit, I go to my favorite record shop in Westchester to buy CD's nevertheless.

Posted by: NorthofRight | September 19, 2007 at 06:15 PM

Well, Trent has a valid point about CD prices given the likely "income" of the purchaser. Bronfan makes an even more valid point about tour proceeds not trickling back to the label iin the idea of the "360 revenue." HOWEVER, that is both the labels and the artists unions faults - the contracts are what they are. So, the revenue sharing point amounts to empty whining which does not justify the price of the CD.

How does over-charging the retail price of CD to recoup so-called "lost revenue" justify pricing a CD so high that it will actually harm its sales? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Posted by: more or less | September 20, 2007 at 09:23 AM

I remember back in the 80's when the whole "Home Taping Is Killing Music" thing was going on. Now, there's those saying file sharing is killing music. Actually, it's just forcing the music industry to evolve and modify the way it does business. The biz has become a top-heavy bloated dinosaur anyway, where executives have been taking a lion's share of the profits while the artists continue to toil at what amounts to a low-wage job. It's about time the power gets put back into the artist's hands.

Posted by: Chris | September 20, 2007 at 09:48 AM

I've been saying this for 10 years. I'm an independent solo artist based here in LA and my previous band was signed to a label which I shall absolutely not name. We would walk into stores and see our little baby band's CD on "sale" for 15.99!! How is a kid that we just played for going to consider spending his hard earned cash (or allowance) on something so expensive when he's not even sure if he's going to like it??
CDs should be $10 flat. They are making money hand over fist on the backs of artists and they know it. They're not freaking out over piracy and downloads because it affects the overall money. Artists have almost historically not made that much money in comparison to the companies. They're worried about their own bloated cash flow and their own lifestyles having to change. They simply don't get it. The fact that ol Edgar Bronfman is so callously calling for 360 degree contracts (what a dopey name) is just another indicator as to how embarrasingly desperate and grotesquely non-artist friendly labels have become. It should come as no surprise that these royal arses spend millions of dollars on private jet fare when most artists drive their own vans.
And yet, they worry about profits. Kudos Trent.

Posted by: Chance | September 20, 2007 at 09:55 AM

Trent is right. The music industry, not the bands, are so out of touch with the consumers it's unbelievable. I only buy CDs now because I make enough money to do so. When I was working for minimum wage I was just burning them from my friends. It's become an exclusive business and music, of all things, should be much more accessible to the fans.

Posted by: ChimairaLady | September 20, 2007 at 10:54 AM

it doesn't matter, NIN really blows. Trent is a poser

Posted by: Tommy | September 20, 2007 at 12:26 PM

@Chance: CDs should be $10 flat? I'll give two reasons how that could lead to big problems. First, brick-and-mortar retailers would have less incentive to carry CDs. They'd be forced to give up floor space for more profitable products. The second relates to the first: It is unlikely that sales would increase by an amount that would offset the lower wholesale and retail prices. If retailers and labels could count on an appropriate increase in consumer spending, dropping prices would be a great idea.

Ironically, the New York Times had an article today about artist fan clubs and their ticketing practices. Nine Inch Nails was mentioned as one of the bands that gives is fan club members access to special ticket pre-sales. It's no big secret that most people sign up for fan clubs just to get access to pre-sales. I wonder if Trent objects that his fan club charges people *just for the right* to buy these tickets. After all, the fans would have have the same right to those tickets in the absence of the fan club.

Better watch what your management company is up to, Trent, if you don't like what your record label is doing...because there's not much difference.

Posted by: Nobody | September 20, 2007 at 04:22 PM
Flowers in the Dustbin
Thursday, September 20, 2007
FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Flowers in the Dustbin"
Richard Termine
Prison letters. Snapshots of stoned families. Love notes addressed to Cookie Monster. These and other similarly loopy ephemera populate Found Magazine, the compilation of one man’s trash, another’s treasure that’s now on its fifth issue (and second book). Davy Rothbart, the founder (pun intended) whose voice you may recognize from many stories on “This American Life,” is making his annual cross-country show-and-tell tour with his brother and co-editor, Peter. They stop at Union Hall tonight and the UCB theater tomorrow. Davy is an essayist who dresses like a long-lost member of Rock Steady Crew. Peter is a musician who'll perform songs based on the magazine's discoveries ("Baddest Nissan in the Northwest"). Find yourself there.
“Passionate Peeping into Others’ Depths,” by Pamela LiCalzi O’Connell.
“A Friend in the Neighborhood,” by Davy Rothbart.
Passionate Peeping Into Others' Depths
ENGROSSING Jason Bitner, a creator of Found Magazine, sorts his mail.
Katrina Wittkamp for The New York Times
ENGROSSING Jason Bitner, a creator of Found Magazine, sorts his mail.


Published: November 28, 2004

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Pornography and Obscenity


Track news that interests you.

CURIOUS Faythe Levine saw a "vintage appeal" in shots of a woman in negligee.

Katrina Wittkamp for The New York Times
UNCENSORED The creators of Found have compiled an R-rated version.

IN a heap of trash on a Manhattan street you find the discarded diary of a young woman. It is titled "The Secret Me No One Knows About."

Put aside the matter of why you are poking through garbage. The diary proves to be a 120-page, X-rated chronicle of love and sex illustrated by the author, apparently an artist.

You read it; you keep it. Eventually you copy nine pages and send them, anonymously but with a note explaining their provenance, to Jason Bitner, who puts them in a drawer in his desk in his office in Chicago.

Mr. Bitner is a creator of Found Magazine, an annual publication that showcases personal detritus (mostly lost photographs and notes) in a style that has been described by critics as "punk-collagist." In the last four years, hundreds of people have sent Mr. Bitner and Davy Rothbart, the magazine's other founder, items that they have found on park benches, in abandoned houses, under Coke machines — wherever things are left behind. Some of the items were inappropriate for Found — namely the prurient Polaroids, smutty journals and raunchy drawings that Mr. Bitner secreted in his drawer. Now more than 125 of them, including the excerpt from that young woman's diary, have been collected in a new 80-page volume, Dirty Found No. 1, which went on sale last week at independent bookstores, Tower Records and

The appeal of Dirty Found is hard to define. Like much found culture, the publication offers readers an appealing mix of voyeurism and sociology — or possibly just voyeurism masked as sociology. Mr. Bitner said it provides "neat little insights into how we all deal with sex and sexuality, lust and anger, love."

"People seem to see it as a sort of mini-Kinsey Report," he said. "Or maybe it's more like the letters in Hustler. I don't know."

Mr. Bitner concedes, though, that Dirty Found is not particularly erotic. Few of the photographs depict sex acts; most show scantily clad or nude individuals in poor lighting (faces are obscured). The drawings are salacious and scatological doodles, many of which feature absurdly large genitals. The notes and journal entries tend toward B-grade erotica without benefit of a spell-checker. Fetishism is exemplified by a shot of a bound man receiving an enema. (Apparently there are 399 other — somewhat redundant — photos in this series, found discarded following an estate sale in Los Angeles.)

"The sophisticated sex browser will not be turned on by this," said Dr. Gloria G. Brame, an author, sex therapist and blogger based in Athens, Ga. "As a sexologist, I see its value as anthropological."

Faythe Levine, a Milwaukee artist and designer, is one of Found's "expert finders," or frequent contributors. Among her contributions to Dirty Found are three Polaroids of a woman posing in a red negligee and heels, which she found tucked in a used book. "I don't see these pictures as particularly erotic, it's true, although it certainly feels weird when you find bawdy stuff, like you are peeking into someone else's life," Ms. Levine said.

She added, in reference to the woman's oversized curly hairdo, the bedroom's wood paneling and the multicolored bed quilt, "I think the photos have a kind of retro vintage appeal, a kitsch quality, and people are drawn to that."

Similarly, John Orth, a musician in Gainesville, Fla., and another expert finder, seems more interested in details in the images than in the images themselves. Mr. Orth contributed a series of semicomic line drawings of men in various tawdry sexual situations that he found scattered on Honore Street during a visit to Chicago.

"The sheer number of drawings made it a special find," he said. "They are drawn on paper from some kind of sales ledger, implying they were done at work. They have a sort of R. Crumb quality and seem so specific to a person. Most finds are so cryptic."

Mr. Bitner and his finders believe that if the images in Dirty Found draw you in, it is because they tease the imagination more than the libido. Each image, lacking a context, requires the reader to conjure one.

"When you look at these images as found objects you tend to look past the person" pictured, Mr. Orth said, and to focus instead on clues in the background. "It requires a much more dense reading. You start looking at things that are on the wall."

Dr. Brame, who is an expert on sadomasochistic and fetish sexuality, is skeptical about what she calls this "deconstructionist approach," and also about the entertainment value of Dirty Found. "It begs the question, who wants to look at what other poor miserable saps are doing?" she said. "People want the erotic fantasy. They want Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. This is grainy. It's for people who watch IFC."

"Maybe I'm too jaded," she added after a moment.

Dr. Brame did see scientific value in one particular find, a handwritten letter posted on a light pole on the side of a road in Worcester, Mass., from a 40-year-old male virgin desperately seeking his first sexual partner. She said it suggests a vastly underreported intimacy problem.

Professional sexologists generally seem to have difficulty getting into the spirit of Dirty Found. Dr. William A. Granzig, a professor and dean of clinical psychology at Maimonides University in North Miami Beach and the founder of the American Board of Sexology, said he is more interested in the people who find, and keep, bawdy trash, than in the reaction of potential readers to Dirty Found. "If you found a dirty letter nine years ago, why would you hold onto it? Is it a fetish object? That's my real question."

Fetish may be a strong word for what Mr. Bitner, the editor, describes as a form of "show and tell."

The prototypical dirty find may be Kat McCurry's. Over the course of a year Ms. McCurry found a series of cut-out photos of nude and underwear-clad bodies — sans heads — on a stretch of Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Ky. One linking factor is that many of the photo subjects wear oversize white panties.

"The film was processed in the late 70's and early 80's," Ms. McCurry wrote in a note accompanying her submission to Dirty Found. "Why did they appear in the late 90's?" she went on, referring to the cutouts. "Why the granny panties? So many questions."
Fashion Week in London:
Guests arriving Tuesday for a memorial service for the fashion editor Isabella Blow, who died in May.
More Flowers, Different Dustbins
But why should you let the recycling end there? Tonight, Anthology Film Archives lets you be the film curator in a series they call “Lost/Found/Dead: Choose Your Own Adventure.” The movie house’s professionals select — but don’t watch — recently donated or dumpster-dived reels; the audience is presented with the titles, and through a process of discussion, argument and democratic voting, you get to pick which will be screened. If you end up watching a double-projection of Ronald Reagan juxtaposed with a rat dissection — which is what happened the last time they tried this — well, you have only yourselves to blame.
For many, September signals the return to school. At Anthology it means yet another awe-inspiring weekend of orphan movies, found footage and cheap door prizes from America's foremost 16mm film collectors. From educational reels to medical atrocities, this year's installment promises nothing less than a total cinematic maelstrom.
The series kicks off with a stimulating installment of Anthology's UNESSENTIAL CINEMA series presented by Archivist Andrew Lampert. This special show will feature a generous selection of deranged detritus up from the darkest corners of our basement. Skip Elsheimer, the original A/V Geek, arrives with filmstrip projector in hand for an evening of films about nutrition, nourishment and not-so-subtle product placement. Those who have seen Skip's shows revere his unerring ability to discover the most delusional and delightful educational films ever foisted upon children. Stephen Parr, of Oddball Films and the San Francisco Media Archive, has threatened to bring a potent and confounding concoction of seedy and questionable clips from his celluloid reservoir. There is always a touch of class in Parr's trash and you never know what goods he will unveil. Greg Pierce, of Pittsburgh's Orgone Archive, one-ups his previous perilous programs with an evening's worth of medical footage that will be as easy on the eyes as it is possibly hard on the brain. Expect a pre-op/post-op parade of cuts, splices and almost incisions guaranteed to burn an impression onto your retinas.

A couple years back UNESSENTIAL CINEMA presented a memorable evening called CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. Eleven films were pre-selected from Anthology's vast vaults of unknown, unscreened and unclasssifiable goodies. The hitch is that we only had time to watch eight of them. No information other than titles was given to our faithful audience who then had to decide, debate and vote on what we would screen. Totally incongruous, filled with chance turns and rife with bizarre associations, what followed was a frantic show loaded with hot debate, sharp comments and the overlapping double-projection of the Reagans with the dissection of a rat. Tonight, we return to this simple concept for yet another fateful test of our fragile democratic process in action. Reels will be chosen from recent donations, discoveries and dumpster dives. We can't really tell you what else to expect, which is why you will have to be here to learn more. This is how the game is played.
September 18, 2007, 11:45 pm
“I was born in 1953. Like the rest of my generation, I took the America I grew up in for granted – in fact, like many in my generation I railed against the very real injustices of our society, marched against the bombing of Cambodia, went door to door for liberal candidates. It’s only in retrospect that the political and economic environment of my youth stands revealed as a paradise lost, an exceptional episode in our nation’s history.”

That’s the opening paragraph of my new book, The Conscience of a Liberal. It’s a book about what has happened to the America I grew up in and why, a story that I argue revolves around the politics and economics of inequality.

I’ve given this New York Times blog the same name, because the politics and economics of inequality will, I expect, be central to many of the blog posts – although I also expect to be posting on a lot of other issues, from health care to high-speed Internet access, from productivity to poll analysis. Many of the posts will be supplements to my regular columns; I’ll be using this space to present the kind of information I can’t provide on the printed page – especially charts and tables, which are crucial to the way I think about most of the issues I write about.

In fact, let me start this blog off with a chart that’s central to how I think about the big picture, the underlying story of what’s really going on in this country. The chart shows the share of the richest 10 percent of the American population in total income – an indicator that closely tracks many other measures of economic inequality – over the past 90 years, as estimated by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. I’ve added labels indicating four key periods. These are:
The Long Gilded Age: Historians generally say that the Gilded Age gave way to the Progressive Era around 1900. In many important ways, though, the Gilded Age continued right through to the New Deal. As far as we can tell, income remained about as unequally distributed as it had been the late 19th century – or as it is today. Public policy did little to limit extremes of wealth and poverty, mainly because the political dominance of the elite remained intact; the politics of the era, in which working Americans were divided by racial, religious, and cultural issues, have recognizable parallels with modern politics.
The Great Compression: The middle-class society I grew up in didn’t evolve gradually or automatically. It was created, in a remarkably short period of time, by FDR and the New Deal. As the chart shows, income inequality declined drastically from the late 1930s to the mid 1940s, with the rich losing ground while working Americans saw unprecedented gains. Economic historians call what happened the Great Compression, and it’s a seminal episode in American history.

Middle class America: That’s the country I grew up in. It was a society without extremes of wealth or poverty, a society of broadly shared prosperity, partly because strong unions, a high minimum wage, and a progressive tax system helped limit inequality. It was also a society in which political bipartisanship meant something: in spite of all the turmoil of Vietnam and the civil rights movement, in spite of the sinister machinations of Nixon and his henchmen, it was an era in which Democrats and Republicans agreed on basic values and could cooperate across party lines.

The great divergence: Since the late 1970s the America I knew has unraveled. We’re no longer a middle-class society, in which the benefits of economic growth are widely shared: between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.

Most people assume that this rise in inequality was the result of impersonal forces, like technological change and globalization. But the great reduction of inequality that created middle-class America between 1935 and 1945 was driven by political change; I believe that politics has also played an important role in rising inequality since the 1970s. It’s important to know that no other advanced economy has seen a comparable surge in inequality – even the rising inequality of Thatcherite Britain was a faint echo of trends here.

On the political side, you might have expected rising inequality to produce a populist backlash. Instead, however, the era of rising inequality has also been the era of “movement conservatism,” the term both supporters and opponents use for the highly cohesive set of interlocking institutions that brought Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich to power, and reached its culmination, taking control of all three branches of the federal government, under George W. Bush. (Yes, Virginia, there is a vast right-wing conspiracy.)

Because of movement conservative political dominance, taxes on the rich have fallen, and the holes in the safety net have gotten bigger, even as inequality has soared. And the rise of movement conservatism is also at the heart of the bitter partisanship that characterizes politics today.

Why did this happen? Well, that’s a long story – in fact, I’ve written a whole book about it, and also about why I believe America is ready for a big change in direction.

For now, though, the important thing is to realize that the story of modern America is, in large part, the story of the fall and rise of inequality.
> > >

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


As Albert Camus once remarked,
"Those who write clearly have readers; those who write obscurely have commentators."

Put aside the conventions of punctuation and syntax.
Read that passage aloud a few times, letting the author's oh-so-cunning spacing dictate your breath
-- and savor something fine and true written at a moment when both qualities were in rather short supply.

there’s a big bucket of electrons here at luxxcorp and they are free,
and you are allowed to use as many as you want.


Fun Loving Criminals - Scooby Snacks

In Loving Service

Internet People!

If unsatisfied with my grading, hold for instructions to where to ship it (back) too, please. I'll re-post the auction and it can be shipped to the new winning bidder in one week. Upon the acknowledgment of receipt of said shipment via my feedback by the new winning bidder, refunds will be provided via PayPal or however you want to get refunded.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein

Re: Message from eBay Member Regarding the Invoice of institute_for_advanced_magazine_studies

OK. I believe I've mentioned to you, before, that I've been relying on my other ebay selling account, trans_global_comics_and_magazines, to make a living and pay for my purchases.
Well, I'll be remembering 9/11 for an additional reason other than the obvious one:
it was the day ebay pulled all my auctions, as well as all of my store inventory, and suspended my account for 2 weeks due to, of all things, key word spamming. I seem to vaguely remember being warned about it a couple of years ago. I'm allowed to list Buy it Now items and other such inventory, but I can list no auctions for 2 weeks. Plus they are not refunding the listing fees for around 300 such items. I dare not list any auctions in my institute_for_advanced_magazine_studies account for fear of being permanantly banned. I've been warned not to. Basically, I've been economically crippled.
I do have a plan, however. I'll load up my store with BIN bargains, but I have little hope of that being much of an income. My main thrust will be to use my ex-wife's ebay account to sell things I don't normally sell, like glassware and Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars, that won't tip off the ebay admins. I'll start posting those this Sunday.
Also, I could make some partial payments, if you wish. More as tokens of good faith than anything more substantial. But what with my electric and phone bill coming due, I'm afraid I can't pay you in total for around 2-3 weeks.
So, there you have it.
Sorry about all this. After I pay you everything I believe my bulk buying days will be finished. At least for this year.
I want to reassure you that I will, eventually, make good on all of my purchases. I was leveraged to the hilt, there, for a while, and managed to come through and pay you before.
I can, and will, do it again.
Louis James
We novices have quickly become hip to the style code. Helvetica is fine in print but not on-screen. Vice versa for Verdana. And only an uncool idiot would ever use Arial.
We novices have quickly become hip to the style code. Helvetica is fine in print but not on-screen. Vice versa for Verdana. And only an uncool idiot would ever use Arial.

Hey. Luxxcorp, here. From ebay. Y'know - romance comics
All my auctions were pulled. Plus my store inventory.
I guess I'm now at war with ebay.
I noticed you were the highest bidder on one of my auctions closing tonight.
Did you receive an email from ebay explaining why?


Louis James

animation, dj shadow, turntablism, music video, mixology




Find more photos like this on The Club of Mars

9 11 0007 emigre slideshow

9 11 0007 emigre slideshow (MOS)

2 PB, Outlaw Josey Wales +The Vengeance Trial, Eastwood




Tuesday, September 11, 2007 11:51 AM
Learned_Hand>emigre 9 11 0007
emigre birthday christmas gift party arty


emigre birthday christmas gift party arty valentines day



red xmass ribbon 'tec



Snapfish: Share:Invitation

Snapfish: Share:Invitation

Monday, September 17, 2007

true romantic detective