since i dont post any interesting social phenomena on my site, and you are the
only person whose email address i have, here is my story:
last night at 20:30 a knock was heard on the door at quillian. upon looking through the front curtains it was ascertained that ‘crystalinia’, the neighbour kid, was indeed standing on the stoop. the door was opened a crack with only the occupants face, right shoulder, and right knee visible. ‘do you want to buy a ticket?’ ‘to what?’ ‘for a gift certificate to walmart.’ ‘how much?’ ‘$1.”stand by, the cats are trying to get out.’ the man stepped out the front door after fending off 2 to 4 eager kitties. ‘ok, all i have is a dollar.’ ‘ok, you need to write your name and address on this end and then rip it off and then you keep this end.’ ‘ok, let me get a pen.’ beginning to sense a dissatisfaction equal to more than being shook down for a dollar and feigning enthusiasm for free walmoney, the man decides to pose the query as to the charitable function of this transaction. he returns with his pen and banters with the lass. ‘what is this for anyway?’ ‘see on the ticket?’ (reads: mitchell family reunion)
‘this is for your family reunion?’ ‘yes, we are going to hawaii.’
moral: the sociological research aspect of this transaction was worth the $1 cash. but more valuable is the chuckle the man gets when he reads the rest of the ticket (reads: first prize: $100, second prize: $50) which shows that these people have to sell 150 tickets just to buy the prizes, not to mention the additional few thousand tickets to get their family’s ass to hawaii. ‘they are going to feel pretty foolish when they realize the futility of their plan. but then again, that girl did just stroll off carrying my dollar.’
prologue: when those kids on the offramp of glenwood from i20 have the audacity to tell you they are selling krispykremes so their basketball team can go to disneyworld, they arent fucking kidding!!! at least they didnt shill you out of some scratch at your own front door.
iugis labor ad iugis opus
the workgroup:// www.sisyphean.com
ft ground publications:// www.insidethecastle.org
~ back in georgia we find the same salads and soy nuts as are found in philadelphia; even our affiliates are consuming homogeneity in the form of over-roasted coffee. anyhow, here is a primer from the upcoming report on the picaresque journey of stereo m.archs. warning, contains spoilers! [jpg].
ps. jwuss, if you find this: word about th’espace has it that your choice of music is trite!
~ looks like 125 people were killed in one attack baghdad. we have mentioned repeatedly that someone voted for something there, like, sometime in the past. this means that the aforementioned 125 people did not really die, at least, not according to popular opinion ’round here, in washington, and on those tv things in your living room.
~ speaking of bombings, ‘that fat guy’ sharon says he is going to pull out of this month’s peace agreement like it is something uncommon for him.
~ in the interest of informing georgians of the content and meaning of the proposed amendments to the state constitution, we have swiped the following blockquote in entirety from the atlanta journal and constitution. we have done so to make amendment 2 less baffling for the voter and to point out the discrepancy between the question on the ballot for amendment 1 and the language in section B in the actual amendment – more to the point, the question on the ballot is about marriage, while in truth section b prohibits all types of union between two people (not limited to marriage):
This is the wording that will appear on the ballot:
“To define marriage as the union of man and woman. (Senate Resolution No. 595): Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that this state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman?”
If voters say yes, here’s what will be added to the constitution:
“Paragraph I. Recognition of marriage.
“(a) This state shall recognize as marriage only the union of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state.
“(b) No union between persons of the same sex shall be recognized by this state as entitled to the benefits of marriage. This state shall not give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state or jurisdiction respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other state or jurisdiction. The courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to any such relationship or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties’ respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such relationship.”
This is the wording that will appear on the ballot:
“To provide the Supreme Court jurisdiction to answer questions of law from federal courts. (House Resolution No. 68): Shall the Constitution be amended so as to provide that the Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction and authority to answer questions of law from any state appellate or federal district or appellate court?”
What it means:
The proposed amendment is aimed at improving efficiency in the federal court system.
The Georgia Constitution already allows the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to ask the Georgia Supreme Court to answer an unsettled question about state law that could have an important bearing on the outcome of a federal lawsuit. The proposed amendment expands that authority to the federal court judges in Georgia who sit one level below the federal appeals court.
The proposed amendment, backed by the State Bar of Georgia, would allow litigants in U.S. District Courts the opportunity to find the answer to an important state-law question long before their case is appealed to the 11th Circuit.
~ more on amendment 1: georgiansagainstdiscrimination.com
~ an addendum to yesterday’s kerry vs. vietnam rant: perhaps if kerry’s braggadocio about serving in vietnam was tempered with some regret at the entire debacle which cost the lives of 58,000 americans and two million vietnamese, it would be easier to take. instead of talking like vietnam was a great opportunity for someone to demonstrate that he/she can be a bad ass, maybe he could simply state that, though the vietnam adventure proved to be a mistake, he served as honourably has he could while still trusting his government. it isn’t like he has to explain his slitting of sleeping women’s throats, like senator bob kerrey has done. kerry doesn’t have to say ‘i acted dishonourably’ or even ‘i didn’t kick ass’, but it would be helpful if he mentioned that the entire scene was regrettable and a shameful part of u.s. history – kind of like he did in the 1970’s. there must be some way for kerry to pretend to be as tough of a guy as bush pretends to be – without telling us that vietnam was a lot of fun.
~ for our confused, non-atlanta-based readers, ponce is not a thing, it is a place. it is short for ‘ponce de leon avenue’, which is a thoroughfare from midtown atlanta out to decatur and eventually stone mountain. ponce cuts through the upscale residential area of druid hills, which was laid out by frederick law olmstead of new york city’s central park fame. the stretch of ponce between briarcliff and decatur still contains the lush linear parks and the nationally registered homes that were built according to the plans of olmstead and his son, j.c.olmstead. the western stretch of ponce, between downtown and briarcliff, where ‘the incident’ occurred, is less pastoral; it is highly developed and congested and inhospitable to human life.
another feature of ponce is that it once served (and still does to some extent) as the unofficial dividing line between whites and blacks in eastern atlanta; the names of streets change as they cross ponce, so that whites and blacks would not have to live on the same street; briarcliff becomes moreland, monroe becomes boulevard, charles allen becomes jackson. you can also see this phenomenon in new york city at 110th street, in case you can’t make it to the south.
an incident on ponce: a narrative
subheading: what the confrontation teaches us about miscommunication and assumptions based on sloganeering in an election year, as told to us by a midtown cyclist.
“i have a surplus of stickers and i am running out of street signs and phone booths, so i decide to place one on the back of my bicycle helmet, as it travels a wider area than do the lamp posts and parking meters that usually get them. after it was cropped and strategically placed to cover the graphic of some type of demon’s face which the helmet manufacturer had placed there, i set out on bicycle to acquire some provisions for the next couple of days, namely cultured soy – provided it is on sale.
i only bike a quarter of a mile, from midtown to the red light at krispy kreme, before my first confrontation with the operator of an automobile. the passenger leans out the window and states, “get out of the road…[unintelligible]”. this declaration is so common and uninspired, i respond with an appropriately conventional hand gesture.
this is where things usually end; the driver would continue on to popeye’s or hardee’s for a fatty, high-sodium dinner from a bag, and i would bike down the path for split peas and elephant garlic. however, the gesture must have been too much for the pride of the driver, as she slams on the brakes and swerves in front of my bike, apparently wishing that i fall, perhaps receiving an injury. i have brakes on my bike, as well, however, so i sensibly arrest my forward motion towards the car. the car speeds away from me a second time.
my first thoughts as you haul ass away from our opening confrontation are about how interesting, though understandable, it is that you chose to sit next to me at the light on argonne for half a minute in silence, waiting until you were safely driving past me before offering your advice that i get off the road. then i contemplate what you could have said; your ranting went on until you were too distant for me to hear you, so it seemed to be more than the usual, ‘get the fuck out of the road’. were you mocking my pants? they are too heavy for cycling. is my helmet too bright? i confess that it is. remembering my helmet, i wonder if you were saying something about the sticker on the back. this couldn’t be, though, as the sticker has only been there for about one minute, surely not long enough to already receive attention. besides, there is nothing on the sticker that would inspire any perturbation in a fellow citizen, as far as i can imagine.
in addition to my musings on your motivation, i also have in mind some information about ponce which i believe that you do not share. seemingly unbeknownst to you is the fact that you will be stopped in traffic less than a mile up the road. i am not foretelling the future; i am reflecting the knowledge gained by traveling up and down ponce for almost 30 years. there is no possible way for a car to make it through the sequence of lights from charles allen to monroe without stopping at least once. combined with the traffic two gas stations and five fast food joints, you are headed into an automotive quagmire. at this time of day, it is almost certain that you will be stopped at both. in other words, i am going to catch up to you in a minute or so.
granted, i am pedaling so hard to make it past the light at taco bell that i almost pass you. i know you are at the light in front of church’s chicken, so i break an important rule of mine by moving onto the sidewalk in order to be able to pass the truck to your rear and pull beside you. as mentioned, i am pedaling furiously, so i when i skid to a halt when i see the car tag and the scrunchy in the blonde hair of the driver, i visibly lose my balance. though it was only a little wobble, i concede this fact. the embarrassment from this sign of weakness leads to a moment of confusion as to what i should do next.
as i approach the car, i see that you, the driver, are laughing, and that you, the passenger, have your arms crossed and are staring at the dashboard. the fact that you are not mocking me as i walk to the car door restores the confidence that was shaken by my uncertain dismount moments ago. i am even able to overlook your creepy resemblance to tony shaloub. the fact that you can not turn to face me on even terms has established my superiority in this small scale war of morals.
typically, in a case like this, one says something like ‘what did you say?’ or ‘are you talking to me?’. however, i do not think that i will find a repeat of your position to be enlightening, and i already am confident that you were talking to me. while you still do not acknowledge that i am standing by your car, i open the conversation by twice punching your window as hard as i can, causing the skin on my ring finger’s knuckle to split open. i notice that this must have happened on the second punch, as there is no blood on your window.
in order to impress upon you that i am not a mindless force of violence – that i can also articulate my thoughts verbally – i lay out a set of ideas by bellowing “that’s right!” in your direction. i push my bike forward, and manage a remarkable figure eight in order to make a second approach towards your car. upon my return, i see that you have opened the passenger door while you talk to the driver, probably asking her for permission to exit the vehicle. i figure that she is not listening, however, as she has driven over the curb in order to chase me along the sidewalk in front of domino’s pizza.
this is an interesting strategy; not only is it illegal to drive along the sidewalk, but one can imagine that this infraction carries ramifications that would pale in comparison to those of intentionally driving a car into a bicyclist in front of hundreds of other motorists and a few odd pedestrians. whether you lose your nerve or gain your senses is unknown, as before you can collide with me, i ride between a telephone pole and another car, stranding you behind me.
i reckon that this will be the end of it, as i leave you while i cross the intersection at boulevard. in the middle of the intersection, however, you manage to catch up with me; while i admit this impressive, i am less impressed that you are shouting at me with your windows rolled up – i know you people need that air conditioning in a hotlanta august! – which makes it impossible to hear what you are saying.
when we reach the shell station, i see that you are slowing, perhaps intending to exit your car and bring about an escalation of intensity to the confrontation. i assume that this next phase will have a more physical orientation than the previous, and, despite my demonstration of power in front of domino’s, i have a distaste for violence between men, especially when one of them is me.
as you slow, i suspect that the traffic behind you will not suffer your putting your car in park in the middle of ponce. i stop on the sidewalk, then, anticipating that you will be forced to follow the flow of the rest of the cagers down to midtown place and out to clarkston and decatur or perhaps even snellville.
now, the previously mentioned sticker on my helmet says ‘bush lied’. on the face of it, this is a simple statement; it may open up discussion, but no one can disagree with it. granted, one may not know exactly which lies to which the sticker refers. it could be about a broad, nuanced lie, such as bush’s statement that he is a ‘compassionate conservative’, even though cutting the pay and benefits for wounded soldiers and veterans is not compassionate; running up a $500,000,000,000 deficit – after starting with a surplus – is not conservative. it could be about a vague, smoky lie, such as implying that saddam hussein and osama bin laden were working together because a yemeni went to iraq in the past 10 years. or, and this is most likely, it could be about a solid, indisputable lie, such as stating that there is an imminent threat which iraq poses to the united states – a threat of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons – when the fact is none of these weapons exist.
which lie to which the sticker was calling attention is irrelevant to politics. “facts are stubborn things”, as president john adams, a federalist, taught us; they are not something that are mutable or adjustable. one can discard them or ignore them, but you can not twist them into something they are not.
the fact is that george w bush has lied to americans. he said that weapons exist; we all know that they do not exist. that’s all there is to it; there is no place between these two facts into which one can place politics. liberals and conservatives alike must accept that these two statements are facts. it follows, then, that by pointing out that a ‘conservative’ bush lied by stating something existed when it did not does not make one a ‘liberal’; any conservative can understand that he lied. they can downplay it, tell us to forget it, or explain it away, but they still have to accept that it happened. therefore, a liberal and conservative alike are able to say ‘bush lied’.
in other words, ‘bush lied’ is not a political statement. while it suggests that i, as the bearer of the sticker, feel betrayed by the president (on the other hand, all presidents except carter have lied, so is it betrayal when you get what you expect?), ‘bush lied’ in and of itself is not something that carries any ideological weight, apart, perhaps, from an ideology such as ‘lying is wrong’.
so, you can understand my surprise when i picked out the word ‘liberal’ from the angry tirade that was being spouted out of the driver side door as your car drove over the curb in front of the shell station. as proved above, ‘bush lied’ is not a liberal statement. if the sticker said something like ‘let us increase the tax burden on the rich so that we may increase spending for social programs such as the national endowment for the arts, veterans administration hospitals, and after school programs in impoverished inner cities and rural areas’ or, perhaps, ‘the gov’t should provide coverage for the 40 million working americans who do not have any health care’, or even ‘i believe that society as a whole benefits when every citizen is able to prosper; therefore our social contract should include a system by which no one is marginalized. that system could be called ‘government’.’ if that were the case, then i could see how you sussed out that i am a liberal. however, as i have not found a way to condense these statements into stickers that will fit onto a bicycle helmet, that could not have been your method for discerning my thoughts on the roles of citizens and government. perhaps you knew that i was biking to a co-op to purchase discounted cultured soy and quinoa? i don’t see how.
if i wanted to convey to you in a short, simple manner that these are the policies i would like to see implemented, i could have just put ‘liberal’ on the back of my helmet; however, this might give you some incorrect impressions, such as, that i am a proponent of gun control, when the actuality is that i support the repeal of all anti-gun laws – that includes ‘assault weapons’ – or that i am a communist, when the actuality i believe it is okay to sell something, such as design services for a fortress or wine cellar, without sponsorship by the state. it might be more accurate to use a sticker that says ‘progressive’, as my beliefs in structure are closer to a totality in line with that label, considering it is so open-ended as to be interpreted to represent ideologies of an opposed polarity. however, i think it unlikely that you understand the distinction between ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’; what’s worse is that you might think ‘progressive’ is an advertisement for auto insurance.
you should see now the futility of using simplistic labels such as ‘liberal’, as the beliefs that the supposed liberals might hold are not monolithic, and two people who are similarly opposed to one ideology might themselves have disagreements on others. such political shorthand might be useful when judging if one should hang up on a campaign donation solicitor, but it is not conducive to the type of discussion into which you apparently wanted to enter during rush hour on ponce.
another misconception that you may have, as you drive onto the sidewalk, apparently to block my path, so that you and your passenger can exit your automobile and deliver to me a beat down, is that a cyclist does not have greater range and maneuverability than a does a car mired in rush hour traffic. you doubtlessly learn this as you watch me make a u-turn in the gas station parking lot, and pedal against traffic to boulevard, a direction in which you find it impossible to travel. i wonder what your thoughts are as you see me stop at the top of the hill so that i may bemusedly glance back and watch you try to negotiate your car back onto the street, where you discover that your fellow motorists apparently have no wishes to allow this. before you are able to move, i am already on my way south to the co-op.
as i cross north avenue, i feel secure in the knowledge that you are going to be tied up in the mess from boulevard down to glen iris for the next 20 minutes, even though there is a creeping concern, as i struggle up the hill to freedom parkway, that you will appear from behind the kroger and pummel me at the instant that i reach the top, winded and cramped. in a moment, though, these thoughts are behind me as i turn onto the path and escape into the trees.
unfortunately, the cultured soy was not on sale.”
~ as mentioned in our testimonial concerning our switch to wordpress, we now offer the latest feature of the angry red planet, a section tentatively titled ‘tour of atlanta’, which will include site visits of important, overlooked, unappreciated, notorious, and misunderstood sites throughout the city. for the sake of irony, our own professed nihilism, or the post-modern qualification of ‘metro-‘, our first site is not in the city proper; it is about 20 miles from atlanta – stone mountain high school.
~ connoisseurs of irony should note that we ended up writing the code and database for the tour ourselves, thereby undermining the very impetus for making the switch to wordpress about which we devoted so much text and fury. the switch will not be totally futile, as we are considering adding a second log – or perhaps an addition to the current edition – for daily photos. for the past few years the daily photos have been incorporated as links from the text, but as the number of daily images has grown into the hundreds, perhaps they would be better appreciated on their own page. in the meantime, any response or feedback concerning the thumbnailing system we have implemented would be welcomed (re: speed, size).
~ john kerry needs to knock off that salute schtick right now. for one thing, it is against military protocol for any civilian – even the president – to salute active duty officers and enlisted men; this is not the primary reason he should cut it out of his campaign speeches, however. kerry seems to have gotten a big kick over how well that tacky ‘reporting for duty’ gimmick went over at the beginning of his nomination acceptance speech. since that time, we’ve seen numerous images of him repeating the move whenever he makes an appearance on his bus/train tour. the kerry talking points are that bush didn’t go to vietnam, and kerry volunteered to fight in vietnam; okay, that lesson has been learned by anyone who plans to vote this november. nevertheless, many of kerry’s ‘supporters’ are still sore over how the democratic party administration swindled the anti-war dean out of the nomination; also note the only other candidate who received delegate votes is the only other anti-war candidate, the honorable dennis kucinich. the new lesson is that the continued conjuring of militaristic imagery and sloganeering by the democratic candidate whose vague hints about his strategy for iraq suggest that his plan is indistinguishable from bush’s plan is a turn off for the idealistic supporters of the progressive former candidates whose tenuous loyalty to kerry is one of convenience, not affinity.
even the pedants at the angry red planet, recently troubled by the bedfellows whom ralph nader has chosen in his efforts to have his name on the ballots in certain states, from whom he has chosen to accept money, and who he has chosen to publish his latest book, hesitantly considered a concession that kerry is the last best hope for the united states. however, a bitter attack upon the angry red planet by fellow liberals and/or progressives over our announcement that we believe that dekalb county/metro atlanta would better be served by cathy woolard than by cynthia mckinney brought us to reevaluate the value of doctrine and our place within its confines; the result of this examination has been a new lease on the life of our nader votes. as far as john kerry goes, though, he still looks like a jackass to everyone who isn’t gung ho about the fiasco in iraq or in vietnam every time he salutes other civilians.
~ after five good years of eudora [w], we have made the switch to thunderbird [w]. we’ve only had it open for a day, and though it seems slow in sending mail – this perception is probably due to the progress window that pops up instead of running the background – thunderbird’s handling of multiple email accounts and identities is far superior to eudora’s abilities, which is why we made the switch in the first place. even so, we would like to see all the email accounts place the incoming mail in the same inbox whilst still using imap.
~ there are some new historical markers along the freedom parkway; thanks to the technological advancements of lexan and color printing, the viewer may now make better sense of the battle of atlanta through the use of maps, diagrams, and mention of contemporary landmarks. while we appreciate the classic design of the original historical markers, some readers might not always find it helpful to learn that, say, logan’s 15th a.c. was arrayed along a street, when the viewer is disoriented by new streets, new houses, and new hills. we entreat that the state places similar markers along the entrenchment lines that the northern invaders had placed through what is now midtown.
~ considering the lack of media coverage, most of you probably are ignorant of the existence of the democratic national convention. even so, the angry red planet congratulates dennis kucinich [w] for picking up 37 votes at the delegate roll call!
~ as if it were not surmised by the lack of updates, all of the angry red planet staff spent the holidays – well, one of them – in georgia again. with the slightest pretext, the trip was turned into a road trip, albeit one extremely limited in focus due to the extra care that needed to be given to one of the inhabitants of the ford ranger which was hired from a firm philadelphia – the ‘birthplace of freedom’, if nothing else – to serve as our transportation. upon the arrival to the outer rim of the settlements, the trip was immediately regretted. atlanta has become an unsightly behemoth; none of the aspects of the town of which we have memories from growing up there seem to have survived. the air is dirtier than any city we have seen, including l.a. and houston; comments on this are answered by ‘it’s because it hasn’t rained’, as though it is nature’s responsibility to clean up the air ruined by suvs idling in the 2nd longest commuting time in the nation. lake lanier’s shoreline is shrinking because there are too many people taking the water than the rivers can sustain; atlanta will soon learn that they can’t drain the water from someplace else like los angeles does, as the ‘someplaces’ are alabama, tennessee, and florida, some of whom already have engaged in litigation against atlanta. the most regrettable fact is that, as Atlanta follows the sprawling model of l.a., it does so without learning from any of the hot mistakes that were made. while it was amusing, even endearing, to see the nightmares of los angeles while living there, it is another thing altogether to see them come about in our hometown.
~ this new year’s eve is to begin by deciding whether or not the violence in ‘black hawk down’ is celebratory jingoism or a repulsive, anti-war display – or a way to line movie industry pockets(?). this shall be followed by a ‘terrorist-defying’ visit to times square for the ball-dropping, or a more traditional retirement to sleep before midnight.
~ happy new year!