Sunday, June 26, 2005

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Leaving tomorrow

Well, Shawn and I discussed it last night and we decided that it would be best to hit the road Sunday. She's got a new cell phone to play with. I want to do laundry. And we need to pack up properly and to get some food to take with us. We wanted a lazy start to our vacation.

Speaking of lazy starts, it's a cloudy, chilly morning here in outer Monrovia. I'm inside looking at Cycloramas, which are panoramas painted on the inside of circular buildings. Pretty interesting stuff.

Speaking of leaving tomorrow, I was telling my neighbor that we were going away and that no one should be around except for my friend Kris, who is coming over to feed the cats. He said, "So if I see any unsavory characters, then I should come over with my Glock." After assuring him that the cops would be fine, he asked me to describe Kris. I did so and added, "Oh, and she's completely savory." He didn't get it. I hate to waste good lines like that on people who don't appreciate them. Which is why I'm printing it here.

But, do the curtains match the rug?

Morgaine at What She Said points out that the $8,000 spent on curtains at the Justice Department so that John Ashcroft would not have to view the sculpted breasts of the Spirit of Justice are now to be removed. I suspect that Mary Carey's recent popular visit to a GOP fundraiser had something to do with this (why isn't the Christian base upset about Mary Carey being in the GOP? Maybe they think that this porn star is a cocksucker for Christ? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it does seem to be a tad hypocritical for the party of moral values, as the GOP likes to project itself as, to suddenly embrace - or more - a porn star).

Morgaine, however, has a different take on this:

America suffers from what I like to call Infantile Mammary Obsession. We didn't get enough as babies, so we don't know how to act like adults. See, Nature has Her reasons. Babies are intended to suckle at a soft, warm tit, not gnaw on a hard glass or plastic bottle with a cold, rubber nipple.

You can see where this is heading. It's an amusing thought, if only she were parodying America's obsession with the obsessed Freud. However, Morgaine goes on to say:

When you have a couple of generations of babies growing up without mother's milk, you get all kinds of bizarre behaviors. Men start restaurants like Hooters, and become obsessed with breast size. They spend money on pictures of breasts, give women money to show their breasts, have a freaking seizure if a woman dares to *gasp - breastfeed in public? How DARE she do what Nature intends? What "God" and Gerber hath replaced, let no man have to remember! (He can't have it - it's mine, it's mine, it's mine!)

Again, it's an amusing thought. However, it's off the mark. Men (and women!) have been obsessed with breasts long before Gerber (which was an amusing way of putting it - Morgaine's writing was quite good). A friend of mine, Archie, recently suggested that men have to get over sexualizing a baby feeding organ. It's a similar point to what Morgaine is suggesting. They're both wrong. Men and women have been sexualizing breasts because, and here's the shocker, breasts are not merely milk bottles, but they are also sexual organs. Like the whole of the human, they serve more than one purpose. Breasts feel good and they love to be felt. Some people (men have breasts, too, ya know) like their breasts caressed, pulled one, twisted, nibbled, sucked, and fucked. Some people even get them pierced to, in part, increase stimulation. That sounds to me like it's a bit more complicated than soft warm baby bottles.

While I'm happy to see the curtains at the Justice Department come down (hell, who would've thought that curtains could cost $8,000 anyways?!!?), I think it's safe to say that the reason they went up in the first place is John Ashcroft's Puritanical Christian background and it's obsession with and fear of sexuality. We needn't go further than that. We also don't need to oversimplify human nature in order to make political points.

The Pledge of Allegiance

Heh, earlier this week it was flag burning and now it is the Pledge of, "Allegiance". I've been having a minor tussle with the people at In a very good post about the flag burning amendment, Matsu confused the Pledge of Allegiance with which we grew up (with or without the "under God" clause), as being instigated for the aftermath of the Civil War. (S)he wrote:

A pledge was required for all, but aimed at the Red States - those that tried to secede from the Union and the purpose of the pledge was to get the Red States to declare they were part of an indivisible union. Their seats in Congress depended on it. Their right to vote depended on it. The Red States had to renounce their allegiance to the Confederacy and to come back into the Union by forswearing other flags - like the Stars and Bars. They had to give up the idea of slavery. This is the purpose of the pledge. It went,

I pledge allegiance to the flag and the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

As I pointed out in comments that I had a minor quibble with this. Not only is this a misquote of the original Pledge, it is also not the history that I grew up with regarding our Pledge of Allegiance. True, some soldiers and legislators may have been required to give some sort of pledge. However, the Pledge of Allegiance we grew up with was written in 1892, after the Civil War was well over. The Pledge we know today did contain the phrase, "one nation, indivisible" as an acknowledgment of the Civil War, however one should not confuse it as being of the Civil War times. Some history on the creation of the pledge is here, here, and here. (If you don't wish to read the links, basically the Pledge was tied to A) the school flag pole movement and B) the 400th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Americas. It was written by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy).

As I noted, this was a "minor quibble". The overall point of Matsu's post was valid and I was just setting the history record straight, so as to not confuse other readers. Matsu would not let it go at that and took issue with my comment. She wrote:

The pledge was formalized then, but its roots go back and language is built upon swearing allegiance and this was demanded by the Union.

cf. "Outlaw Josey Wales."

WTF??!?? She's quoting a fictional book/movie as her source of history on this issue? If that is what posits as legitimate rhetorical discourse, then Matsu should go spend some time in school. Later, Matsu amended her comments with this line:

I stand by my statement in the broad sense of the mentality of the era that could produce such pledges.

Yes, but not THIS pledge, which was my point which was my "minor quibble". Really, I wasn't attacking anyone, but rather setting the historical record straight. Media Girl also entered the discussion by quoting Amendment XIV of the Constitution, Section 3 (look it up). This section states that if, prior to the Civil War a person had held office and pledged to uphold the Constitution, then had committed treason by aiding the Confederacy, said person could not hold office unless 2/3 of both houses of Congress removed "such disability". Basically, if you lied before, then why should we believe you now. In practice, this may have meant taking a pledge or proving your allegiance in some way so that Congress would override such a "disability". However, there is nothing in the amendment that specifically states that nor is it limited to the Civil War nor is there any sort of language that such a Pledge would take.

Hey, folks, c'mon. I don't disagree that some sort of pledge might have been required under some circumstances. However, if you're going to post about history and politics, get the facts checked. And, if as sometimes happens, it's suggested that you're wrong, then don't get defensive and offensive. Check your facts and put together a cogent argument. However, quoting a fictional work of art or an irrelevant historical document do not constitute fact checking.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

Before I get to the Random Friday 10, let's have a bitch against Nike. In order to promote itself to the skateboard community, Nike has decided to rip off Dischord Records and the band Minor Threat. In their ad supporting Nike's "Major Threat" 2005 East Coast Tour they completely ripped off the cover art from Minor Threat's self titled 1984 album. Fuck them! Minor Threat and Dischord Records are anti-corporate punk groups. Presumably, Nike thought that this would win them some street cred with the skateboarding kids coming to the tour. Also presumably, Nike works very hard at protecting it's own copyrights as well as fully supporting obscenely long copyright protections. Nike should withdraw the campaign AND pay damages to the band and record label. Reportedly, neither the label nor the band are happy.

Now, on to your Random Friday 10:

1) Tom Waits - Dead and Lovely

From his latest album, which is probably the best effort Waits has ever produced. My Frank friend flew in from Michigan last October to treat me to Waits' concert in Seattle. It was a gift for my 40th birthday. I'm forever grateful to Frank for that as it is the only time I've seen Waits perform and Marc Ribot was the guitar player and Brain was percussionist on this tour. Frank, I'll either get you laid or incredibly drunk next time we're together. Hm, it might take both, actually. *playful smirk*

2) Lloyd Cole - My Alibi

In America, Lloyd Cole has been criminally overlooked. His songwriting is consistently top notch. His work easily ranks amongst the best we've been listening to for over 20 years. This is from his latest album, "Music In A Foreign Language". It's highly recommended. A fairly mellow record on which Lloyd plays all of the instruments. Why do I insist on calling him Lloyd? Ask me in person one day and I'll tell you about the first time I saw him in concert and I stared at him a little too long to be considered subtle.

3) Jerver 73 - Coated Brain (Dolly Parton vs Jungle Brothers)

One of many mash-ups that I've downloaded over time. This one works in that the sample is rather subtle - one wouldn't know it's the Jungle Brothers necessarily unless one were told. Dolly sounds good over the updated sound. I think it's about time someone gave her the remix treatment.

4) Habibe Koite - Komine (Live)

Heh, Frank was at this show as well. WOMAD North America didn't last long as a festival (thanks to the bastards at One Reel and King County), but it was a magical few years. For $70, attendees got to see 2.5 days of world music presented on 5 stages. Frank flew in for a couple of those years. Habibe Koite was on stage jamming (and I mean jamming - amazing stuff) when I found Frank under a tree sleeping. This was Sunday afternoon and he was exhausted - hell, we all were. By this point in the festival, I was walking around with barely a shirt on, no shoes, and very dirty and tired. I left Frank at his tree and went back to the creek behind the stage to smoke some pot. When I came back, Frank was just waking up. I introduced him to my acquaintance/friend, Sunshine, from B.C. Sunshine went her way and Frank just stared in disbelief. "How do you get to meet all of these girls?" I smiled, but was barely listening as I was trotting off to the front of the stage where Habibe's music was luring me into a trance.

5) Daude - Muito Quente

Daude has this album out on Real World Records. It was released last year, I believe. Terrific voice singing over club beats with electronic flavor from Brazil. It's an album that has grown on me with time. It was good out of the condom, but it's gotten better.

6) Asian Dub Foundation - Flyover

From their latest effort, Tank (out in 2005). Mixing drum and bass with reggae and dub.

7) The Style Council - A New Decade

Flashback! This track is from a never released CD. The band recorded a house music record that their label refused to release. Mick and Paul broke up the act at this point. When their inevitable box set came out, containing all of their official releases, it included the unreleased album as well. A delight to Council fans even if it did not capture them in top form.

8) The Killers - Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll

Glam is right in early Roxy Music glam era sound. On this track, at least, that's what The Killers bring. On others they bring a variety of styles, mostly ripped straight from the 80s. Think a lot of Duran Duran. Still, it's good stuff.

9) Marie Boine Persen - Come With Me To The Sacred Mountain (Live)

Persen is a Sami artist. I first heard her on one of the early Real World Records releases. Her voice is enchanting, sounding at times very much like a Native American's. Since that first purchase, I've spent a fair amount of time tracking down her work. She's branched out from the more traditional sound and now includes a variety of jazz instrumentation in her music. One album was a remix work that moved her voice front and center on the dance floor (it worked really well). This live album is one of the best finds. It features the modern jazz artists with traditional musicians in a heady, brilliant, lively, danceable sound.

10) Little Axe - All In The Same Boat

Little Axe is an odd project from the On-U Sound folks, Adrian Sherwood (producer) and Skip McDonald. Skip is the legendary bassist who played in the Sugarhill Records "House Band" on such classics as "White Lines" and "The Message". Working with Sherwood, McDonald went on to record with his band Tackhead, African Head Charge, Dub Syndicate, and with Bim Sherman. Little Axe was founded as an outlet for Skip's blues roots. On the 4 releases since 1992 (this is from the latest, Champagne and Grits) McDonald and Sherwood have created a 21st Century blues formula which draws heavily on the classic vocal tones and mixes them with dub, reggae, and more electronic pop stylings. They aren't the easiest records to find, but they are most rewarding. This latest one is easier to find since it's a recent release and had some help in distribution from Real World Records.

We're out of here tomorrow for camping and hiking through Central Oregon. I used to have a radio show on WORB at Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, MI. Every Friday night I'd spin tunes from 6 to 10:30 PM (or later, if I could get campus security to give me a break). Under the name of "Satan" I brought a free form show that highlight new releases from all genres that tickled my fancy and, inevitably, ended with a mix of dance music from around the world. It was the singular joy of my college experiences (well, that, and being the music director in charge of programming of that very station). I'm happy with this random selection (although, in my DJ mode, I'd fu(n)ck it up more), so I'll sign off for the night with my old sign off:

Peace, Love, and Pleasure, everyone.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

According to the Register, there's a story in the UK's The Sun about how the paper used a mole to breach security at an Indian firm processing credit card information. The weakest link is almost always the under paid or disgruntled employee. For all of the talk these days about driver's license and national ID card security, the hijackers who hit the World Trade Center in New York got their licenses by bribing a state employee. Nothing is going to stop that. The methods we're discussing employing today are costly and more than likely next to worthless to real criminals. It is a tradition in security to place burdens on the masses in the hopes of catching a few, but the problem is that the few don't follow the rules anyhow so they aren't likely to be caught up in the nets. Those who do follow the rules, then, are the ones who are punished. For instance, has Israel ever stopped terrorism? They may have prevented singular acts, but they will not cease the practice using their current methods - some of which the United States lauds and would like to employ.

Aaron Jasinski has a wonderful website that displays his art and accesses his music. This site works very well with IE, but sadly, not so well with Firefox. At least, that was my experience. Still, I enjoy his varied illustrations and paintings.

Allan Tannenbaum documented New York club life in the 1970s with his camera capturing the famous, the outrageous, and the downright sexy as it was defined in the era. Warning: sexually explicit photos are part of this set.

Julian Sanchez offers a reasoned look at smoking bans in restaurants and bars. He focuses on the recent activity to ban smoking in the D.C. area, but his logic applies to all such proposed or enacted bans. I am not nor have I ever been a smoker. However, I deplore these bans as a governmental attempt to infantilize it's citizens.

Flag burning amendment

I can't believe that we're still talking about this non-issue. To my mind, let's fire the fuckers who are wasting our tax dollars even discussing this bullshit - Democrat or Republican. I really don't care which.

"No one... I repeat, no one ever died for a flag. They may have died for freedom, which, by the way, includes... the freedom... to burn the fucking flag."
- Bill Hicks

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Silence of the Blog

I apologize for the lack of postings lately. A dear friend of mine was in town and, in addition to distraction, she needed some help with her life. Hopefully, I was able to provide some comfort.

Analise is someone that I met while working for Corbis. She was fairly shy when I first met her and a difficult person to get to know. Patience paid off and the rewards have been great (come to think of it, the same can be said for a couple of people from that place). A few years ago, Annie left Seattle and went to Maui to live. While this sounds exotic, dear reader, Annie grew up on Maui and her parents still live there, so it was more of a return home than chasing the island dream.

Before leaving for the island, Annie held a going away party at her home on Capitol Hill. It wasn't until this party that I realized how much Annie cherished our friendship. I cherished it as well, but really didn't understand until I spoke to Annie's other friends and they said things like, "Oh, you're Richard!" that this bond was shared. It's sad that this revelation was forthcoming on an occasion of departure.

At first, our email exchanges were frequent and lengthy. Time performed it's cleansing task, however, and before long the exchanges were less frequent. Annie was re-establishing life on the island and my life was moving on here as well. During some exchanges, certain knowledge about the writer's life was assumed to be shared with the reader, which made things confusing for said reader. Eventually, our emails tapered off to the point that nothing was exchanged for months. I began to worry a bit about Annie, for the last few exchanges indicated that something was amiss.

Last fall, I was cleaning out my Contacts list in Outlook - deleting email addresses that either are no longer applicable or ones where exchanges have not been made for years. I couldn't delete Annie's email, but rather decided to send her an email with a plea that she reply. She did and our exchanges began again. She tried to get me to call her, but I didn't do that because of the time difference as well as the cost that I would incur for such a long distance call (I knew we'd talk for hours).

The week before last I got an email from Annie requesting that I update her with my new contact info. It also had the subject line of "I'M HERE". Indeed, she was in Seattle, staying at her ex-husband's place (the one they shared before she left town, which was also before the divorce). To say that I was "giddy" would be an understatement. Would we like to meet? ARE YOU KIDDING?!!? We did meet - several days in a row. It seems that Annie's life on Maui had taken some sad twists. Her ex-husband had flown her out in order to give her some space where she could get away from things and clear her head. My job was to listen to her and catch up on the facts.

We spent a helluva lot of time together. Frankly, Shawn's a bit pissed at me for doing that, but I don't care. Shawn got out of school the week that Annie and I first got back together. Shawn had expectations about doing things together once she was out of school, which is reasonable, but she also booked 3 of the 5 weeknights for things to do that didn't include me (note: I spent the weekends with Shawn). The other conundrum is that I've listened for months about Shawn's concerns that I'm not getting out of the house and being social enough and then, when it happens, I find her a bit miffed because of the timing of the event. Ah, well, we'll get over it. For my part, I admit to being an oaf on some things, but on the other paw, I don't regret it either. Annie was in town for 2 weeks and Shawn has me not only for the summer (including a vacation for the next week and a half), but also for the foreseeable future.

Though Annie's tales of her life concerned me (or rather, "concern me" as I'm still worried about how things are going to work out, or not), it was a joy to see her. Apparently, it showed on my face as well. While drinking one night at the Bad Juju Lounge, Shawn and SophiaKitty met up with us after shopping. SophiaKitty asked me who was driving home - apparently thinking that I had had much to drink. The fact was that I was working on only my second beer in as many hours. More likely, the glow on my face was from the company I was keeping. On our last night out together, I was carded at the Bad Juju Lounge because someone there thought that I didn't look 25. Now, most people would be flattered by this, especially someone who is 40, but there's just no way that I don't look older than 25. Still, maybe Annie's presence had something to do with that?

Who knows? Annie and I said goodbye again yesterday. She flies back this morning to Maui and I wish her the best. I am concerned for my friend and I hope things work out for her there. If not, then she can always come back and look me up and I'll accept her with open arms. I know that she'd do the same for me if the circumstances required it. As with all such partings of special friends, there were mixed emotions when we said goodbye. I tried to put a few down in words the day before and left them for her as I knew that either the words would fail me when the time came or I'd be too embarrassed to say some of them (exposing myself so nakedly) or the situation would just feel too awkward.

So, dear reader, this is why there haven't been many postings lately. The blog will revive briefly this week. On Saturday, Shawn and I take off for holiday for a week and a half. We're going camping in Snoregon (Bend area). We'll also visit some of Shawn's skelatives and the trip will culminate with a celebration of the 60th birthdays of several family friends. It should be a good time. I'll be unwired during the holiday, but I'll be reading and writing the entire time away. I've got thoughts in my head and a revived interest. There are a couple of ideas that have been circulating for a month or two that need attention. Perhaps when I'm back, I'll have the room here to share them.

In the meantime, please, once again, accept my apologies, dear reader. And, if Annie happens to be reading this, know that the apology is both heartfelt and a formality because I don't regret any of the time together. Annie, I love you and want nothing more than your happiness. I miss you already. Let's not let time cleanse us so completely this go around.

Letter to Kansas: Another theory to consider

In an open letter to Kansas school board authorities, Bobby Henderson requests that they have another theory of the creation of the universe to consider alongside "Intelligent Design" and Evolution: that of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Most excellent, though Bobby could use a spell checker.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Week's Random Ten

1) Stan Ridgway - Can't Complain

I love Stan Ridgway's work from Wall of Voodoo through today. This is from one of his solo albums in the 90s.

2) Nostalgia '77 - Freedom

A recent release. Nostalgia 77 combines electronic dance music with elements of jazz. Fairly interesting work.

3) Poets of Rhythm - Strokin' the Grits

Downloaded from another site...good rap.

4) Ministry - Here We Go

Ah, once again, from the days Ministry hate to admit existed - thei pop dance days.

5) Lou Reed - Blind Rage

From Reed's album based on Edgar Allen Poe's life, The Raven.

6) Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man

Most people that I know like Leonard Cohen if they know his work at all.

7) Queen - Seaside Rendezvous

No apologies for liking Queen's early stuff - none.

8) Spiny Norman - Give Dizzee Your Soul

From a mashup project based on Fatboy Slim's work.

9) Gotan Project - El Capitalismo Foraneo

A remix by the band from their most recent work. Not in line with their usual tango oriented material.

10) Whitefield Brothers - Fifty Yards of Soul

Funk, baby. That's all you need to know.

Dickie's Quickies

Whew...much has gone on this week. In addition to working full time cranking out candles, I went to see Gang Gang Dance on Tuesday night. I won't go into details here, but it will suffice to say that an opening act was kicked out of the club, a protest by the main act ensued, cops were called in, but their services were not needed. Oh, and it seemed to be caused completely by an incompetent club manager who is a leering troll. I got in at 2AM from that show, was up by 6 and at work by 7 the next morning. Whoo hoo!

Friday afternoon and evening were spent with my friend Annie. Annie has been living on Maui, where she grew up, for the last 3 or so years. I have not seen her since she left. We lost touch and then, of Friday, we got back in touch. Her situation on Maui has been rather intense and so I did a lot of listening and holding her in my arms and trying to let her know that she's loved and trying to help her come to good decisions about her life. I don't know if I helped all that much, but it's always nice to see Annie no matter what the reason. She's special. That was another night home late - 1:40AM. At least I didn't have to be at work the next day and, luckily, Shawn was in a lazy mode yesterday as well. For instance, we eventually sought out brunch 12 hours after I got home. We did get some things done after that - I made a pizza for dinner while Shawn froze a flat of fresh, local strawberries that we picked up at the market. Today is more of a lazy day (Shawn finished school this week, so she's in gel mode). We're going to watch movies and relax. I've invited Annie by to see our house, if she has the time.

So here are some quick links of some amusing sites:

The Flaming Fire Illustrated Bible features artistic interpretations of several tales from the King James re-write (Is the Bible the first mash-up? Is it the first re-mix? Hmmm...)

WaterOne does some very cool art involving 3D interlocking letters and Haida art.

Richard May does fabulous illustrations that display a command of rich colors and graphic design.

One of the music blogs that I read, WomenFolk, has a compilation online to celebrate their one year anniversary promoting independent female songwriters. They also have downloadable cover art.

Armed Fetus Ornament - 'nuff said.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dickie's Securities

I suppose there's some solace in the fact that if your data is stolen from ChoicePoint, then it's almost always inaccurate. Too bad your social security number isn't inaccurate. Worse, too bad it's included.

100% of the eleven participants in the study discovered errors in background check reports provided by ChoicePoint. The majority of participants found errors in even the most basic biographical information: name, social security number, address and phone number (in 67% of Acxiom reports, 73% of ChoicePoint reports). Moreover, over 40% of participants did not receive their reports from Acxiom -- and the ones who did had to wait an average of three months from the time they requested their information until they received it.

Read the rest of the study here.

Dickie's Quickies

I got this link from a music blog that I read, Rummage Through Crevices. In the words of that blog:

one of the great one-stop link filter sites for all your middle-brow art, interesting music, retro-style archaeology, and general pop-culture needs.

OK, I'm subscribed, now. By the way, PCL LinkDump also has a compilation CD of tunes you can check out here. It's only up for another week of downloads, so grab them while you can.

When the Supreme Court ruled as they did yesterday on the medical marijuana case, I found myself agreeing with Clarence Thomas. In this case, I agree with a strict federalist interpretation.

'Rape Club' pulled from Aussie site

This is from The Age (registration required):

NSW Police are investigating whether an internet forum on a ninemsn website called "Rape Club'' has been discussing rapes that have actually occurred or ones that are fantasy.

Ninemsn shut down the chatroom yesterday after it was told about a 15-month long discussion involving 46 web users or "posters'', discussing rapes and pictures of rapes.

It closed a further four rape-related forums connected to its website later today, ninemsn spokeswoman Kate Beddoe said.

The forums closed were "No Rape No Glory'', "Whitepower/rape rock'',
"Ministry's Land of Rape and Honey'' and "Rape me'', Ms Beddoe said.

"We are going through a process of reviewing any material that's brought to our attention and taking it down as appropriate,'' she said.

But whether or not the rapes were real or fantasy is now a matter for investigation.

Sex crimes investigations manager, Detective Acting Chief Inspector Vivien Crawford today said police were able to track posters using technology.

"We are trying to establish if there has been a sexual assault that has taken place,'' Insp Crawford said.

"It is difficult in this area of adult pornography where fantasies about rape do occur.

"And they are not necessarily a crime . . . clearly just because people fantasise about a particular thing doesn't make it an act that we would be investigating.''

But NSW Rape Crisis Centre manager Karen Willis said she wanted rape fantasy internet discussions and websites outlawed as vilification of women.

Ms Willis said the chances all of the ninemsn posters were just fantasising about women was "pretty slim''.

"Someone who makes a career out of sexually assaulting women will often have started out fantasising and masturbating about it,'' she said.

"Then, as time goes on, their fantasies get more violent and they will get to the stage where they need to act out their fantasy.''

Professor of Criminology and Forensic Psychology at Bond University, Paul Wilson, said he was worried rape fantasy in Australia would link with actual rape.

Prof Wilson said in Japan, sex with violence in pornography, across all media, has been a common theme for many years, although the nation had very low rates of rape.

"There are a whole lot of cultural factors responsible for that,'' he said.

"Even though rape is not an uncommon fantasy among males, I'd be worried about western cultures which have high rates of rape, such as Australia, were rape fantasies a part of the media.

"I don't think that you can argue that just because they fantasise a lot about rape in Japan and have low rates of rape the same thing would happen in Australia.''

Rape scenes have been included in many classified movies shown in mainstream cinemas, despite classification guidelines that ban instruction or promotion of sexual behaviour or fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.

The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) regulates internet content and applies the same guidelines as used for films by the Office for Film and Literature Classification.

Ninemsn CEO Martin Hoffman today said in a statement ninemsn relied on its users obeying its code of conduct, with users, and the ABA, reporting offensive content and breaches of the code.

In the same statement, Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Coroneos said Australia had a strict Content Code of Practice for the internet industry.

But he added: "The sheer volume of ever-changing content on the internet makes it impossible for industry to monitor all content all the time.''

This is a difficult one. The article doesn't note, but females sometimes have rape fantasies as well. The site will be back up in some form at some point - that's the nature of the internet. It seems to me that, before pulling down the site, authorities should have found a legitimate crime that was committed. I'm not in favor of punishing all for the crime of one or two either. This one's tough for me personally because I abhor such fantasies and don't relate to them in the least.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dickie's Securities

The mother of all security thefts thus far: UPS lost data tapes containing personal information on 3.9 million Citigroup bank customers. The data contained included social security numbers. One can only hope the data was encrypted.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dickie's Quickies

Boing Boing has a thing going on with motivational posters. First, they link to this Dilbert strip mocking them. Then they link to this Alternative (and funny) Motivational Poster site. Of course, they forgot this classic site.

Gosh, and on a separate topic, this made me giggle this morning: Link to me of this Bible is going to get it!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Random Music list

OK, I missed the Friday posting. Work is kicking my ass. We got in a big order from Victoria's Secret with another one from them to start on the day the first one finishes plus a French firm is talking about placing a large order. All of which is very good news, but makes for a busy BD.

In any case, here's the random ten meme that I began a couple of weeks ago. The rules: Set your PC or portable music player to random and post the first ten tunes that appear. This week's set was pretty odd for me, but I'll own up to this stuff:

1) Doobie Brothers - South City Midnight Lady

Yea, I'm a Doobie Bros. fan, especially the earlier days. They were one of the first shows I saw in Michigan back in 1981(?) at what was then called Pine Knob Music Theater. As I recall one of the Beach Boys opened and was awful. The Doobies were fine, however, and I liked the pre-Michael McDonald numbers. So, this track comes from their first greatest hits collection.

2) David Bowie - Heroes

Title track from his classic late 70s album. Brian Eno, who has a new album out this week, did a great job producing this and even sings backing vocals.

3) Gosane - No Tears (from Tuxedomoon Reloaded)

No word on this other than it's a sort of goth take on the tune which I enjoy. Tuxedomoon have only grown in stature for me over the years. Archie introduced me to them with the original EP of this song. In the mid 80s, I saw them play in Detroit and was blown away. By then I was already a big fan and owned all of their releases that I could get my hands on. I've continued to follow them over the years and even toyed with seeing them in San Francisco a couple of months ago. I've also kept up on their solo projects. Their album from last year made it into my top 10.

4) Madness - Night Boat To Cairo

A classic. People may know this band from their 80s hit, "Our House" which even made it big here in the states. I prefer the earlier sound such as this one with it's ska roots.

5) Michelle Shocked - What Can I Say?

Finally, out of the old music, but with a mature artist. This is from her most recent release, BUT Michelle has a new album out in a couple of weeks. Actually, 3 new albums out. The girl's got ambitions. We're toying with seeing her new show at The Triple Door in July.

6) Sunshine Anderson - Heard It All Before (Ben Watt Lazy Dog Remix)

Dance music from former Everything But The Girl man, Ben Watt. This is from his Lazy Dog mix CD. Good stuff. For fans of EBTG, there might be some work from Tracey later this year.

7) William Onyeabor - Better Change Your Mind

I don't know much about this tune except that it's 70s, Afro-funk. And that's downright excellent.

8) Patti Smith - Trampin'

The title track from Ms. Smith's latest record. I put this album on a fair amount. It's one of the best rock albums in years. Trampin' is the mellow tune that ends the album. It's a cover of an old spiritual and features Smith's daughter on piano.

9) Pross Tournesol - Killer (from Booty Ze Kick)

Booty Ze Kick is a mash-up record of a French band. That's all I know except that I liked this tune enough to keep it.

10) Ben Harper with the Blind Boys From Alabama - There Will Be A Light

Great stuff. Buy it...and buy their damn live record, too.

Dickie's Securities

Or, this one should be called the "Your taxpayer money at work - or not" Or maybe it's the Bruce Schenier edition since I cribbed these stories from him.

What do you think the Department of Fatherland Security should be doing? Infiltrating terrorist networks? Pinpointing possible terrorists? Schneier reports that instead they are fighting copyright issues by chasing BitTorrent servers distributing illegal copies of Revenge of the Sith. Nice.

Feel safer yet? Probably, but the NY Times might make that feeling go away. Schneier reports that billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted by DFS because the equipment they have purchased to scan at airports and other places is either defective, too costly to run, or just never worked properly. But, hey, they are just implementing that program at the twin ports of LA and Long Beach!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Spybot 1.4 out now

The official release of Spybot 1.4 is out now. Enjoy!

Speaking of enjoying, take a look at the Gallery of the illustrations that I'm enjoying right now.