After Magritte

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We sold our souls for $300.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Encyclopedia Brown Theory

We all remember the Encyclopedia Brown books. They kicked ass. The little mysteries that you would turn to page 73 to see how Encyclopedia Brown solved the case, with some help from his 12 year old Cleopatra Jones, Sally. I can’t wait for the Bassoon of Hope to be reading these. Of course, she will probably hate them and want to read Black Beauty 1,000 times.

Encyclopedia Brown solved all his mysteries the same way: someone would have some small lie in their statement, rendering everything else untrue – thus, he was the criminal.
"I was walking past the post office on Maple Street, when I saw the candy-store robber run away,” said Buggs Meany. “That is interesting,” retorts Encyclopedia Brown, “ Given that was at 3pm and Maple Street runs East-West and it was very sunny on Tuesday, there was no way you could see anything. Clearly, you shot JFK!! Take him away, Chief Brown."
Encyclopedia Brown theory is used at work all the time. I am not sure if this is a good thing, but it happens. You can’t foul up the little stuff. When you do, others question the accuracy of all your work. Similarly, there are no small lies. You are a liar or not.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

So, this is my 1 year blogiversary. It has been kinda fun. I wish I wrote better posts. I think I need to post only 1 time a week, but really give them more thought. I haven’t aggressively tried to get readers as the post quality has been poor. I will keep it up for a few months trying to post more thoughtful stuff and see how that goes. I have too many angry political rants that don’t bring much to the table. The best post was clearly The PA PA.

To celebrate, I went to Olga's Gallery and uploaded the picture to my profile. I also will upload a picture to this post. Welcome to the 21st century.

Holy crap !! it has been a year.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rain King

I almost named this blog Rain King. I like that song a lot.

That album was one of the last new albums I got into. And that was 13 years ago. I have never been huge into music. I was scarred in college with a roommate who listened to Belinda Carlisle and the other listened to one song on REM’s Green 100 times in a row.

Music is really powerful. It worms its way into your memory. I still remember how to take d/dx f(x)/g(x) from a little song we had to learn junior year in high school. Low-D-High Less Hi-D-Low draw the line then down below . . . , Music takes me to the place I was where that song was important. So if I hear Journey, I go back to a 7th grade dance. It is more powerful and visceral to hear the song than to try to remember or talk about those times. Rain King was a song from when I first moved out to SF and when life was nothing but new things and excitement. Youth.

I am kind of bummed that I was so into classic rock in high school and college. My memories are now tied to songs that are not even from the right time. It confuses things. As I have gotten older, there is no longer a soundtrack to my life. Rain King is the last song on the album. I don’t have these huge emotional moments that get tied to a song. Thank God. Could you imagine driving home from the hospital with your new baby and hearing Paris Hilton on the radio?

The other thing that killed music for me is Dog Train. This is a kid’s album by children’s author Sandra Boynton (she does cards too). Books are pretty good. She wrote a bunch of songs – most are pretty silly – and then got actual rock bands to make the album. It is pretty good. Much better than most kid’s CDs. But it is pretty good on its own. I like the song about the cows and the one about the depressed penguin.

This disturbs me. Music really works when you have an emotional connection. The artist captures your feelings better than you can. That can only happen when you can trust the artist. The feelings have to be real, not manufactured to make a few bucks. That is why Celine Dion blows. The songs on Dog Train sound like other rock songs. The singers sound vested, but the bands are clearly faking it. The words were written by the author of “Moo, Baa, La La La.” They are not cows on a space voyage. But the artists sound just like they do when they sing their stuff. It is like finding out your girlfriend fakes orgasms sometimes. I can't believe anything now.

The Killers are a hot band right now with a new album out. The reviewers are all confused by them. They are not sure if they are trying to be Bruce Springsteen doing Born to Run or mocking him. I am not sure that the Killers know either. How can I emotionally connect to a band who’s previous hit repeated “Somebody told me that you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend that I had in February of last year” 100000000000 times in 3 minutes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Things fall apart. The center cannot hold and everything devolves into chaos. While a scientific concept, you see it in literature and philosophy as well. Pynchon has a great story on it. Our attempts to create meaning out of life are an uphill fight, doomed to fail. The theater of the absurd - After Magritte, the play for which this blog is named for example - embraces entropy. Things don’t make sense. Order is unnatural.

However, I don’t believe in entropy. The last few links to this blog include:
  • A fight between an Ivy League school and a Jesuit school’s football teams.
  • A book by Dinesh D'Souza
  • A town encouraging everyone to own a gun
  • The social status apartment size conveys on NYC toddlers.
  • A teacher fired for taking her class to an art museum where there were nudes.
No, things are not getting more random. Things are just getting worse. Evil is winning. There may have been times where things got better, but now things are just getting worse. Some may argue that today we have I-pods and arthroscopic knee surgery and TiVO. Yes, technology is getting better. The scientists have done their part. But philosophy, religion and spirituality is not keeping up. What good is an I-pod when the #1 album is Money Maker by Ludicris?

One of the classic religion/philosophy questions is the problem of evil. How does an all powerful, all good God allow evil in the world? The explanation I got, as a Catholic, was that because we had free will, God let us do as we pleased. This world is just the previews anyway. The afterlife is what matters. The pain and difficulty of this world is small compared to what is to come. Thus, God can seem aloof, like a parent who lets a child struggle to put on her shoes. The struggle is good for them. This works well in a world of Entropy. God was the creative force that put everything together, but over time, without the hand of God intervening, things fall apart. What does it mean if things just get worse? What kind of world is it if the overriding principle is that evil is going to win?

Entropy is really about heat diffusing, getting colder. The temperatures are going up, not down.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Platonic Ideal College Football Game

The sound of me, laughing my ass off.

Division I sports is a joke.

After Magritte: Dog Bites Man

What is not funny, is how the sports media holds inself totally unaccountable for this. If Miami went 11-0, they would sing their praises to the heavens.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

More to Come

I really don't like Colin Powell.


The American people are clearly the stupidest people on earth.
Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two Articles

One is about young children in NYC and the social status conferred by the size of your parent’s apartments. We have parents moving to a bigger space so their children are not embarrassed when they entertain.

The second is about a teacher in Dallas who was fired for taking her students to an art museum where there were nudes.

A post apocalyptic Thunderdome is looking like a very attractive idea right now. Our country is horribly, horribly broken.


If I met the person who wrote this, I would pluck out his eyes and skull fuck him until dead. The WSJ will print anything on the editorial page. While a decent paper elsewhere, the editorial page of the WSJ is written by the soulless and the stupid. In other words Republicans. Those who put power over the protection of 16 year olds. Somehow, the douchebag who wrote this is trying to equate being gay with a 50 something year old Congressman IM’ing a 16 year old boy about his underwear. Somehow this is the liberals fault. Crap on a fucking stick.

The bankrupt ideology has run its course. You have nothing. Nothing. Your worldview is a heaping pile of shit on the side of the road. You and everything you stand for is a complete and total failure and everyone – even the electorate knows it. You are left with this. Sub literates desperately trying to salvage a dead movement through random attacks at various Boogeymen. If you weren’t so evil, I would almost pity you. It is over, thank God.

Well here is an equation for you. Republicans = Child Molesters.