Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Jihad The Musical

I didn't think there was anyway I was going to like "I Wanna Be Like Osama" from Jihad The Musical. Well, it's no "Springtime for Hitler," but it's actually pretty funny. Judge for yourself. Jihad The Musical will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Guess who didn't go to Iraq

Thursday, July 26, 2007


To repeat an experiment, here's the journey I just took through Wikipedia (God bless Google's Web History):

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Good Kind of Shit

Went to the gym for the first time in about 2 months. I feel like shit. The good kind of shit.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

I woke up rested and refreshed at 8am for the first time in about 20 years. For too long the early morning angles of the sun have meant the hideous hideous end of long night's journey into day. Just going outside before noon gives me a headache and the terrible feeling that I've stayed up all night. I got some breakfast and felt much better.

I've been Out for the past few days. "Out" means I don't turn on my computer or my phone. It's really delightful. I listened to public radio, made myself pasta, and read a book. The book, which you must read if you haven't already, is Neuromancer by William Gibson. Just tell me when your birthday is and I'll get it for you.

Prior to going Out, I followed my own advice and watched all 21.3 gigabytes of Lexx. It's not something I recommend. Watching 21.3 gigabytes of anything, I mean, but Lexx especially. It took a little more than a weekend. It hurt so good.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Letter to a Senator

My letter to MN Senator Norm Coleman:

Dear Senator Coleman,
The last time I wrote a Senator was in the third grade. We brought our cursive skills to bear on such major inquiries as, "Is being a Senator fun?" and, "Do you have any pets?" As I enter my senior year in college, I'm afraid I couldn't write you a letter in cursive even if I had the envelope to mail it. My inquiry, however, is no less critical.

I just read the President's executive order of 17 July, entitled, "Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" (available online at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070717-3.html). Senator, this thing scares me to death. I could site the nebulous criteria by which all of a person's property may be seized, such as, "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq," or, "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq." I could point to the arbitrary process by which such seizures are adjudicated: "any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense [...]". I could note that the Secretaries of State and Defense need only be engaged in "consultation" and not in "agreement." I could decry the lack of any compensation or recourse for the seizure of some or all personal property. I could call foul over this Administration's many assertions that voicers of objection to this war, including some of your co-workers, are "aiding and abetting the enemy" and could then be "determined", by extension, to be "threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq."

Thankfully none of that is necessary. I'm spared the many citations that the above arguments would require. Good thing too, because I hate doing bibliographies. No, the only reference I need is cited easily enough. A simple parenthetical citation, the kind I've been doing since the third grade, is all I require: "[No person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." (US Const., amend. V).

Norm, this Executive Order is as unconstitutional as they come. You're my elected official. You're my voice and hands in federal government. Say something. Do something. For the love of private property, please make this the fastest Executive Order to crash and burn in history of Executive Orders which quickly crashed and burned. Please, Senator. I love my country, I love my constitution, and I love my stuff. Don't let Bush take them all.

Warmest Regards,
Scott Peterson
Apple Valley, MN by way of New York, NY

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Other Love of My Life

Overheard. If you don't read Overheard in NY, then you missed this little gem:

Four-year-old boy: Mommy, why don't nobody look at each other on the train?
Mother: 'Cause they ugly.

--G train
I actually Laughed Out Loud when I read that. If you're at my website right now, look over to the right, under "My Feeds," the one called "Blog Posts I Like" is a feed of my shared items from Google Reader (here's the feed URL if you're getting this through a reader). I usually only share Overheard posts. If you're not up for the full Overheard feed, you can subscribe to that and get the cream of the crop. "Scott's Select." If you don't know how to subscribe to a feed, go to reader.google.com and figure it out. You'll be glad you did. As a reminder, when subscribing to my blog, use the "My Blog" feed in the list to the right. It's just better.

Notice of Love

I would like it known that I love Dianne Keaton. She is wonderful and funny and awesome and great and for these reasons and many others, I love her.

I also recently came into possession of one pair of "Free Rollerblades." This is a totally cool development. I think I might Rollerblade around my fucking pool. What a life. Now I just need Dianne Keaton to join in the fun.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Words of Wisdom

Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
Today's Words of Wisdom come to us from Hermann Göring, the third heighest ranking officer in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, during his trial in Nuremberg. Hermann killed himself with potassium cyanide the night before he was due to hang. Thanks for the Wisdom, Herm!

How to Rot Your Brain

I need to take my mind off of coding for a while so I'm gonna talk to you about TV. And by "talk to you about TV," I mean, "tell you what TV to watch." And by "what TV to watch," I mean, "what torrents to download." If you don't know what "torrents" are, see my last post, or consult the Intertubes.

Before I became hideous with age, I used to watch TV. From 1997 to 2002, I watched the Sci Fi Channel almost exclusively (my interest in Sci Fi dates back to a happenstance in my very early youth, but that's another story for another post). Now for a little cable network history.

In 1998 the Sci Fi Channel fell under the ownership of Barry Diller (early head honcho at the Fox network; he now owns Ask, the Internet search engine nobody uses). With new management and a new budget, the network was relaunched in March of '99. The relaunch constituted a significant shift in programing towards original productions (the channel had hitherto produced very little original serial fiction; Mission Genesis (a.k.a Deepwater Black) and Welcome to Paradox were two early - and short-lived - shows). The relaunch was also marked by a complete brand overhaul. The volume of Sci Fi programing to which I was tuning in at that time, coupled with my impressionable age, has left me with an incredibly strong emotional attachment to the Sci Fi 1999-2002 brand. It is still the strongest of any brand for me. I imagine it will be for the rest of my life. It was also a really creative and well-executed brand (the rebrand was handled by a guy who went on to co-found Psyop, the design house that did the Happiness Factory Coke commercial).

But back to the shows. The channel went on to produce/run a number of fantastic shows (and some not-so-fantastic ones). Here, in brief, are the best of the Aught's, the acquisitions of which will give you something to do with the high-speed Internet connection that you're not otherwise abusing to its full potential:

  • Farscape. Classic. Only bother with the first 3 seasons. Oh god, this show is key.
  • Lexx. Very weird. Emphasis on the "very" and on the "weird." Funny, sexy, creative, and worth a watch. You can skip the 3rd season if you want (counting the four 2-hour movies as season 1). There's a torrent out there with 21 gigs of all the Lexx goodness to be had.
  • Firefly. If you haven't yet fallen prey to Firefly's awesomeness, I recommend you offer yourself now. There are only 13 episodes, plus the movie Serenity (which is just OK).
  • Battlestar Galactica. Stop giving me that look. Yes, you have to watch Battlestar. I'm sorry, I'll admit no excuses. Then you can tell all your friends how entirely they need to watch Battlestar Galactica. Won't it be wonderful? Emphasis on the "yes, it will be wonderful."
Come back when you've watched all of those and we can move on to Great Comedies That Only Lasted Three Seasons. I won't give too much away but to say that one of them rhythms with Shmarrested Shmevelopment. See you then!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Let's all go to the moives (or let's all have the movies come to us)

Movies in New York City are $11. Unless you live in London, that's a lot. I've recently made a habit of watching a movie almost every night before I go to bed. Since I only have four DVDs on my bookshelf, that means I need to get new flicks unless I'm really up for another helping of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I could do Netflix, but it takes way too long and costs way too much money (more than zero). In order to get movies at the speed and price necessary to satiate my appetite, I download films via bittorrent. I start a download in the morning and it's usually ready by the evening; just in time for a nighttime showing. I've watched so many torrented movies this summer, it's hard to keep track (I delete the files as soon as I watch them to make room for more), but here's a partial list of movies I've downloaded recently along with a short thought on the experience:

  • The Boys From Brazil - I was pleasantly surprised to see Uta Hagan in this.
  • Soilent Green - It's people!
  • Planet Earth (miniseries, the BBC version) - David Attenborough is so much better than Sigourney Weaver. So much!
  • Ed Wood - John Depp's my man.
  • Jesus Camp - Scaaaaaary.
  • Manhattan - My favorite Woodey Allen film
  • Robin Williams: Live at the Met - This is from the late 80's, I think. He's so coked up.
  • Being John Malkovich - I've been an Charlie Kaufman fan since Adaptation. This film reaffirmed my appreciation of his talents. It's an incredible work.
  • The Last King of Scotland - I took a look at this right after seeing Frost vs. Nixon. Both are by the same writer. He also wrote The Queen.
  • The Queen - And I'm not a huge fan of his writing.
  • Babel - Pleasantly surprised.
  • Venus - I loved this film.
  • Little Children - I really loved this film.
  • SiCKO - In the words of Alex Lindsey, "His films are great, as long as you know that everything he says is lies." Actually, I hear this one is pretty accurate. It's a great movie either way.
  • Game Over: Kasparov and The Machine - Way boringer than I was hoping.
  • Spiderman 3 - Terrible. Simply terrible.
  • Shortbus - As I blogged, most uplifting movie I've seen in a very long time. Great soundtrack.
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch - Finally saw this. Great music, great show.
  • Annie Hall - I love Diane Keaton. God, I love Diane Keaton.
Here are the films I've finished downloading and have yet to watch (I'm doing a Woody Allen study):
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Bananas
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Love and Death
  • Manhattan Murder Mystery
  • Pirates 3
  • Play It Again Sam
  • Sleeper
Despite the obscene ticket prices, there are some summer movies I just can't resist seeing in the theater. Here are some movies for which I've recently sloughed over eleven bucks to enjoy in NYC:
  • Factory Girl - Movie: Meh. Guy Pearce: Oh my dear lord! He was positively incredible. I didn't know it was him until the credits.
  • Notes on a Scandal - Bill Nighy is my Lord and Savior.
  • 300 - SPARTA!
  • Grindhouse - As I blogged, the best cinematic experience I've ever had. Still true.
  • Eagle vs. Shark - Meh.
  • Black Sheep - New Zealand zombie sheep. What more could you possibly want? This movie and I also have a history.
  • Ratatouille - My third favorite Pixar film after Toy Story and Monster's Inc. The short, Lifted, is my favorite Pixar short.
  • Transformers - Lots of transforming. I'd loved it. On a side note, I saw the most frightening trailer I've ever seen for a movie set in New York, filmed on DV, with no title. It comes out in January.
And to top it all off, I watched The Shining on DVD last night at Bailey's.

Happy Fourth!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The most uplifting movie I've seen in a long time

Shortbus. See this film.