Monday, October 31, 2005

La vie quotidienne.....Joyeux Halloween.....

Thanks to Fanfan's friend who saw some musicians playing in the Jardin de Tuilereis we were given a flyer to go see these Italians playing Russian/Eastern European type music (It reminded me of the music from Life is a Miracle).

They didn't speak any French and a little English. They announced all of their songs in Italian, and I, being spiritually Italian, screamed a bunch of random Italian words like "Mi piacce" (I don't know how to spell that, or if it's right) and "Grazie a mille!"

The group was called Gueippecourto.

As a side note, this is the only bar in Paris that I've found that has Duvel. If anyone else in Paris likes Belgian beers, go to this bar (which I don't remember the name of). It's number 6 Rue de Victoria, close to the Hotel de Ville.

I bought these guys CD, so I'll post the songs later. Until then, here are the videos (sorry they're a little dark):

Friday, October 28, 2005

Some sobering facts....

Click to watch Miniature Earth or We Were Humans

I don't know what the situation in the states is right now, but the word on the rue is that an announcement will be made in about 4 hours concerning a CIA leak investigation.

Regardless of who is indicted or not indicted, the real issue is that there is still a war that a lot of us don't believe in. True, there may be good that comes of it (a democratic Iraq) and no one will ever know if it would have come about otherwise, but the fact is that this war has made Americans less safe, billions of dollars are being poured out, and we have now lost 2,008 soldiers.

I say this again, as I've said before, this is not a partisan issue. Not just for what is happening in now, but for all other battles in the future, we have to realize that war is less and less efective. I'm not saying this because I am a "liberal", I'm saying it because I'm a person. My life is being put in danger by people that have the ability to go to war in my name.

I'm not saying we have to pull out right now. I'm saying we have to tame the people in charge of the "global struggle against violent extremism." We need to be reasonable.

To combat terrorism as we have been doing is like treating a broken arm with pain killers, which is say, sure, it will help some of the problems, but it in the long run it's not so great.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When satires attack.....

I'll be damned if this isn't interesting...

Whether you're liberal, conservative, or ....oh that's all there is, right?..... you have to admit this is a little bit freaky. It's an article from The Onion that was written before 9-11, at Bush's first inauguration.

Here are some quotes
"During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years."


Bush swore to do 'everything in [his] power' to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers."


"Continued Bush: 'John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state.'"


"On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession..."


"Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling..."

Talk amongst yourselves....

Democracy on the March!

Just four days ago, the United States gained more spaces in the World Press Freedom Ranking. The interntaional organization Reporters sans Frontières (known in English as Reporters without Frontiers and in American as Liberal Frogs Bitter About American Awesomeness, or LiFroBitABAA) gave America what it deserved: twenty more spots, taking it from a measely 24 spots to a rocking 44 spots!

Finally, that gives the US of A more spots than:

El Salvador
Cape Verde
South Africa
Bosnia and Herzegovina
South Korea
Hong Kong
Costa Rica

The B&G doesn't want to discriminate against people from, say, Mali (we're big fans of Rokia Traoré) or Bosnia and Herzegovina (some of us have visited, and you're very nice people), but you know America's wicked coolness deserves more spots than you.

Come on we're America.

We at The B&G have read up on this whole Democracy thing, and we realize that, essentially it came as a result of the spreading of information to the common man as a result of technological advances in printing between the 15th and 18th centuries that made the production of large amounts of written material cheaper and thusly more widespread. We recognize the distinct and inseperable connection between the press and democracy.

For instance, look at the origin of our name. Mr. Joseph Addison is one of the forerunners of modern journalism.

So, congratulations America on a job well done. Keep on moving up that chart. We'll show Denmark how it's done! We'll be that beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Fear not World! Fear not!

Oh crap...wait a minute...something's not right here.

Monday, October 24, 2005

La Vie Quotedienne....

Okay....I promise we're going to be getting some articles back up here soon. We've been real computer nerds lately, trying to get video up and working on the page.

For now, here's another day and another giant-puppet parade....

Click the videos to play...

We will be back soon to discuss the dynamics of ubiquitous nudity, the philosophy of drinking on the street, and much more......

Friday, October 21, 2005

La vie quotidienne parisienne...Is that a tower in your pants?

Click photo to play video....

It's something mystifying to many Americans, I think. I remember walking out of the metro in Rome and seeing the Coliseum, unlike any photo I had ever seen, with taxi cabs wizzing by and businessmen walking briskly while talking on cell phones.

Do they not even look at what they're passing by? I think, Do they realize that it's THE coliseum?

Now, here I am in Paris. At the very least, twice a day I pass by the Eiffel Tower, and less and less do I pay attention.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Finally, all of our electrons are in order...

I'm Posting these videos now, I'll write later. Finally, La Vie Quotidien can get started....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

And, low, the Lord said, "Let there be a server with photos and videos that all may enjoy. Let their minds fill up and overflow with the knowledge they may find therein."

Thank you, Lord.

Herein ends all of the overly sarcastic religious talk.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dear God, we're sorry......

Wow....this is a bit embarassing. Just after we published "Dinosaurs Ate My Dogma," almost all of the photos and videos failed.

We would like to apologize for any misconception--we want You to remember we still believe in You--and we would like to kindly ask for our server back....

Thanks and have a wonderful day.

The Bow and Grimace

Dinosaurs ate my Dogma: A Disclaimer on Religion

This is just a little disclaimer to go along with the temporal lobe visions article and the 21st century spontaneous generation article. The disclaimer is that we here at The Bow and Grimace aren't atheists, and we aren't hostile to an idea of God, whether it be Christian, Islamic, or Zoroastrian.

On top of that, we don't believe that science is contrary to religion, which is the point from which most of our sardonic language concerning religion is found. If there is a God that created the universe, then the closest study of Him should be science, and the laws of nature should be our model for religion. It’s easy to see how so many laws of religion correlate with laws of nature (that includes human nature). There is a distinct order/organization of things, and that’s why breaking that harmony by smiting, coveting, etc. is bad.

We are cleary, though, doubters of specific doctrines—such as Christianity, but so were some of Jesus’ disciples and members of his family. Again, keep in mind we are not CONTRE these doctrines, though we may have a specific distaste for the way some people choose to translate the fundamental texts of these denominations.

Here are some important questions:

  • Either we have the idea of the word "just" completely wrong, or God is not just, no?
    • How is it just to create a race, to give them the "choice" to follow you, but condemn them to hell for not being your disciples? Is that really a choice? Who would actually choose hell?
    • Why aren't we all given an equal chance to understand the demands of God in the first place?
      • Why is it that two people can read the same text and extrapolate two completely different meanings from the texts?
  • Many would say we just don’t have faith, but can someone be convinced to truly have faith in something he doesn’t believe in? (Which, by the way, is what you believe if you believe if you want to use government to make laws prohibiting things forbidden in your religion).

We also acknowledge that most people don’t even choose their religion. On the other hand, they are born into it. How many Christians really studied other religions before making the rational choice of, “That sounds good. I’ll have that”? Or how many Saudis (in a country where conversion to Christianity, or any other religion, is punishable by death) choose to be Muslim? It is this fact that lead to the quote, “I contend that we are all atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

Those just being the tip of the iceberg, we must also clarify that we are also completely against the idea that religions are bad and/or corrupt. Whether good is done in the name of Jesus, Yahweh, Bono, or chemical chance, it is still good. We believe that the image as presented by the media of religion (all of them) and the people who participate therein is not an accurate portrait. Take for example the Vietnamese soldier Sen. McCain spoke of recently.

We believe in God, but if anything we believe there is truth in almost every religion’s teachings. If one looks at the big picture, they’re not all that different. The point is always the same.

We believe in God, we just don’t know what to call him.

Bill Hicks always sums it up best. Note, however, we're not as bitter as Bill Hicks. In fact, we hope that nobody is as bitter as Bill Hicks. Just listen to his talk about dinosaurs (VERY explicit and offensive, yet funny, content).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A comforting new addition...this is NOT a partisan issue...

You will see at the right, a handsome new counter that shows, 24 hours a day, the mounting costs of the war in Iraq (part of the "global struggle against the enemies of freedom"). We know there's so many freedom-lovers out there that are going to think that we're just another group of peace junkies out for another hit, but I encourage everyone to go to the National Priorities Project website and see for yourselves. There, one will find a wealth of interactive comparison tools where he/she can see how that money, otherwise spent, could have been used: pre-school, kid's health, public education, college scholarships, public housing, world hunger, AIDS epidemic, and world immunizations. Not to mention, one can see in real time how much money is being spent locally in most cities in the US. Being from one of the poorest states in the US with an education system that annually ranks as one of the worst in the country, our two American correspondants are particularly peeved.

We encourage all of you to check this out. More so, post this code to your site for a counter. Furthermore, if you want, they'll set up an LED sign on the main street of your neighborhood, if you so choose.

We hope that people reading this, don't see this as a partisan issue. This war is a mess. It's disgusting, and it's dangerous. On top of that our military budget is ludicrous. All the peace-junkies and all God's Christian soldiers should do what they can to end this.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Liberty Sandwich: Freedom fries wasn't the first idotic and useless name change the United States has ever had.

I find this terribly interesting. Many will remember when France refused to support the US invasion of Iraq and the ridiculous name change that ensued, "freedom fries" being the most well known (along with the lesser known freedom doors, freedom kissing, freedom tickler, freedom language, etc.). People seem to think that changing the name of a food is going to detract from the credibility of a movement or a country.

Anyhow, this was not the first time Americans had faught fire with foolishness. During World War I, the American spirit triumphed once again over another more menacing enemy by renaming sauerkraut --> Liberty Cabbage, Hamburger --> Liberty Sandwich, and German measels --> Liberty measles.

I don't mention this just to be cute; I mention it because it illustrates a very interesting phenomenon. I have both my girlfriend and another good Swedish friend of mine on seperate occasions question my use of certain words:
  • The first was over a year ago, I was speaking with my friend Anna about cinema, and I said, "I love that film." Anna chuckled to herself when I said it. When I asked her why, she said, "I just think it's interesting how much you love everything. In Swedish, we hesitate to say we 'love' something and reserve it only for occassions when the feeling is powerful." I paused. She wasn't being condescending, just mentioning how she felt about it. She then asked, "What do you say when you really love something?"

    With that, I found myself at a loss for words, because my answer was, "Well, we just say, I really love that film or person. Then we spend time trying to convince the other person that we mean it."
  • The other instance was only last week when Fanfan asked me how she can be so sure that I love her if I love everything. I found myself stumbling awkwardly through a French explanation that I really loved her, and that the other things don't compare to her.
In both French and Chinese (as well as Swedish, I believe), the phrase I love you translates to "I like you." If that doesn't show the significance of the word "love," I don't know what does.

If you're wondering what the connection is to our obsession for renaming things by replacing certain words with "freedom" or "liberty," it's because we've denegrated the word by using constantly without any sense of gravity, largely as a consequence of the "Brand America" program. Let's look at the list of everyday words that have had their weight relegated by flippant use:
  • Evil
  • Freedom
  • Liberty
  • Terrorism
  • War
  • Democracy
The list goes on.

The point here is that naming a bird a fish only diminshes the swimming ability of the fish.

A History of History, By Robert Maguire

Covering the frontier
With pretty straight lines
Splitting open the terrain
With a fence and “no crossing” signs
Color inside the box
And give your people a name
Tell them your color’s fair
And your purpose the same

Old helmets
Propped in painted flower pots
Like lines from a prayer
Sewn into rope and tied into knots
The people sat quiet
Under the gallows at noon
The past swayed calm in the breeze
Singing, “see ya’ soon”

Promises from a souk
With its fingers crossed
Built a kingdom
Every day that it lost
An empire
Of swallowed motivation
For the listless and quiet,
One beautiful nation

A foreign addiction
Is a heroine for all
She feeds the poor
On the floor of a Berlin bathroom stall
Peddler and addict meet
On Dublin’s O’Connell St.
To feed the children
In Mazar-e Sharif

Liberty Enlightening the World
Took a new name
She realized the danger
Of Lady Lazarus’ claims
If the Colossus were to stand
For any certainty
A less proactive tag fits
Like the Statue of Liberty

Give her your tired
And your poor
For we the people
Haven’t the time anymore
And as for huddled masses’
Will to breath free
Give a man the breath
And he’ll stick his chest out for all to see

Times have changed
The winds have turned against US here
Now the tempest-tossed
Press their gale of inalienable fear
There’s smoke on the horizon
Of the dawn’s early light
From sea to shining sea
In the home of the brave, they’re ready to fight

This land is our land
Standing with clinched fists
We the people
Hold our breath for the next hit and miss
We’ve painted the Blue Ridge And the amber ways of grain
We’ve told them what’s fair
And expect the others not to do the same

A nation of refugees
Closed the door behind them
And colored in the frontier
Red, white and blue, with a solid black trim
Gave themselves a name
Called themselves “The Free”
And drew pretty straight lines
As far as the eye can see

Those wacky black people: The Human Development Report released the same time Katrina hits....

I’m not really happy about this, but I’m going to have to raise a really serious issue here. It was just yesterday that I was steam cleaning my beret and smoking a cigarette (that was a French joke, get it?) when the name Amartya Sen popped into my head. I don’t remember my stream of consciousness, but it went something like --> beret --> cigarette --> smoke --> Katrina --> oh CRAP! American democracy is in flames!

I promise I’m not prone to overreactions like this, but I just can’t shake this itching feeling that something’s very, very wrong. Wait! All of you who are thinking, that’s not anything new, please just wait. To me, this might just be an example of how horribly wrong things are.

The Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen popped into my head because one of the arguments—if not the argument—in his book Development as Freedom, which is essentially that famines don’t happen in democratic countries. Now, I know we don’t have a famine in the US right now, and I’m not saying that we’re not a democracy (that’s a topic for another article). My focus is on Sen’s reason for why democracies don’t experience famines: accountability.

Sen points out how in countries like South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Botswana over a period of about fifteen years there was an actual decrease in food production—a 58 percent decrease in the case of Singapore—yet there was no visible sign of increased hunger within those countries over that time. Next, he describes both Sudan and Burkina Faso’s increase in food production—a 29.4 percent increase for the latter—while both countries experienced significant mounting of hunger within their populations (176). A couple of pages later in another similar example he says, “Had the governments [of these countries] not failed to undertake timely action, they would have been under severe criticism and pressure from the opposition and would have gotten plenty of flak from newspapers” (179)

I hope this is becoming a little bit clearer. The key to efficient government—one which is constantly pressured in order to meet the needs of it’s population—is accountability. Yet, fast-forward about a month after Katrina—you know that disaster where the dispossessed pony judge blew his second chance and, seemingly, Bush’s mandate for putting his buddies in positions that aren’t “Ambassador to Monaco”—and Bush goes and nominates Harriet Miers. In spite of this, many people still consider criticism of governement policies to be "anti-American."

Let me clarify one point, people are going to think I'm exaggerating, and I'm not. I honestly believe that if we let our officials continue to wiggle-waggle all the time without being accountable, we will be in trouble. I don't think a lot of Americans realize just how much the outside world is watching, but they are. The Katrina coverage here in Europe was extensive. I heard an English reporter and a Dutch reporter both questioning, "How can this happen in the United States?" I saw images on the nightly news in France of hords of blacks living on a debris strewn stretch of highway, and the reporter said, "You see these images, and not knowing it's America, you would think it's Liberia."

When I thought about Sen the first time, I put down my beret and did a google search "Amartya Sen Katrina," and I'll be damned if I didn't find an article by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, author of Globalization and Its Discontents. He said:
The world has been horrified at America’s response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans. Four years after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, and with billions of dollars allegedly spent on “preparedness” for another emergency, America has shown the world that it was not prepared—even for an event that came with ample warning.

The difference between the tsunami in Asia last December and what is coming to be called the black tsunami in America—because it brought so much devastation to the poor, mostly black, people of Louisiana—is striking. The Asian disaster showed the ability of those affected to overcome long-standing rifts, as Aceh rebels put down their arms in common cause with the rest of Indonesia. By contrast, the disaster in New Orleans—and elsewhere along America’s Gulf Coast—exposed and aggravated such rifts.


I was in Thailand right after the tsunami, and I saw that country’s impressive response. The Thais flew consular and embassy officials to the affected areas, aware of the sense of helplessness among those stranded far from home. America kept foreign officials from coming to the aid of their nationals in New Orleans—embarrassed, perhaps, at what they would see.

America loses all credibility in the world when it doesn't practice what it preaches.

Here lies, dying, the poor, measly point of this article. Americans have to demand accountability from our government officials, because there is nothing to keep us from suffering the same fate as any other third world country…speaking of third world countries, did you know that in 1990 a black man in Harlem had less of a chance of living past 40 than men in Bangladesh? It’s true. More so, did you know that, ominously, the time that Katrina hit, the UN released it’s Human Development Report, in which the difference between races in the United States was one of the highlights, if that’s what you can call it? America ranks 10th on the HDR.

I hope more people are starting to see that this can be helped, and should be. As one analysis of Sen's work in regards to Katrina puts it:
However, contra Sen’s caution, his remarks are celebrated as proof from authority that liberal democracy can prevent all disasters. In extremis, the argument is even heard that a free press and an informed citizenry make technical early warning systems redundant. Transferred to the economic sphere, international assistance analysts have investigated how a private insurance market could supplement and even supplant state provision of famine relief and other emergency logistics. The default option becomes blithely optimistic neglect. What need for mass evacuation plans when most people have cars, can buy bus tickets, and are kept informed by commercial television news?

I’ll finish this rant here, but I'm going to give y'all some delicious links before I go:

The UN Human Developement Report

The World's report on the HDR

A terribly interesting flash program of the HDR results for all you ADHD people like me

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Revelation for the be expounded on later...

Have you ever wondered why people having near death experiences never see anything but "the light?"

In all of our prelimenary searches, we've found no accounts of biforcated tongues, fire, cold coffee, or even wet blankets. All accounts point to out-of-body experiences, bright lights, etc.

What's the importance of the question? (this isn't another question, it's just a rhetorical question so that we can explain why it's important) Well, the significance is that, if the light is heaven or purgatory or some other spiritual place, then that would mean that we are all going to heaven? If it's not spiritual, it has something to do with the temporal lobe in the brain.

We're not saying it does. We're just saying it might. We're not scientists, just amateurs.

Also, we're definitely not saying that the temporal lobe epilepsy might also explain religious encounters with God or giving birth to Jesus (this is not a reference to Mary, for, low, there were no gumshoes in the stable).

Pat Robertson's dinner prayer

Dear Lord, it's Pat. Thank you for this delicious dinner shake, moreover, thank you for the funds. Let it nourish my body and make me a good shephe...disciple [clears throat] for you.

Lord, I'm really sorry that I mislead that body-builder, and I promise I'll give him all the free shakes he wants if You get him to terminate the lawsuit. If not, could you help me convince him to assasinate Hugo Chavez?

Thanks so, talk to you later.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Breaking News: Paris was quite agreable at Sunset

Sunday evening in Paris, the chilling drizzle ended. A Taiwanese girl and an American boy sat on a bench on the upper-level terrace of the Centre George Pompidou, waiting. Inside, someone looked closesly at a Dali and a group waited nervously for a small, metal scultpure of a man sitting motionless to jerk forward and sound the bell. Everyone would jump and laugh awkwardly once it happened.

The American boy was hungry, and he asked the Taiwanese girl what they were going to eat for dinner. She said they had steak, and he almost exploded with elation.

"Je veux steak, epinards, fromage avec baguette," he said, and she smiled. "Et pommes de terre."

"Comme tu veux, monsieur," she said.

"Et chocolat," he added.

A cold breeze gave the American boy chills, and the Taiwanese girl rubbed his arms up and down to warm him up. He wished he had worn a jacket and not just his plain old, forest-green shirt that made him look like a lumberjack.

What would a lumber-jack be doing at a modern art museum anyway?

The American asked the Taiwanese girl if they had time for him to take pictures. She said, "oui." The walked out on the platform and he made a joke about her being scared of heights. She glared at him and wandered down to the end of the platform while he took these pictures:

Then, the girl came back, and the American boy said, "J'ai pris des bons photos, ma petite." She smirked at his mock-ego.

They stood and looked at the sun, which sent streams of light from behind the clouds like water that sprays from a dam that was slowly breaking down.

The American boy took another picture, and the Taiwanese girl rolled her eyes, letting the boy know that pictures are great but if you keep taking them you're not going to be able to appreciate what you're taking pictures of. The American boy put the camera back in his bag, but he still wanted to take pictures.

The left after a couple of hours. They didn't say anything about wars or countries or race, like they were used to. The American boy said, "Je veux un grand steak," realizing he didn't know how to say steak in French.

She understood, though.

“The Day No Days Fit,” By Robert Maguire

The incredible Hyde
In a red light District
Somewhere in Neverland

Bought two pairs of Sex
with a pogo stick

Met an angel
Who had bad reception
Just south
A faulty halo,
I believe,
Prayed for a new Messenger,
With a new message

White knuckled Reluctantly fell
Briefly Dreamt about precision
Was forced
To run naked
In the street that morning
Tintin Smelt a rat
Slid on ice
In a snow storm
In January
Being lost somewhere Near November IV
And saw D.E.A.T.H.
In the post office
Of a boot
Looked around
Regarded La dolce vita
Over a cup
Of espresso

Learned how to Speak
With my hands
Became quite evident
That words most order often
Not do be to need
To be understood
Unless you’re
Wearing a blindfold

Language is much more
A movement
Than a sound

Saw nothing but darkness
Under the City of Lights
And no one seemed to care

Discovered The satisfaction
In disproving
A stereotype
Laid down in the park
and watched them explode
like fireworks
making luminous willow tree branches
the light reflecting from eyes
of those who were,
until recently,
completely unknown to me
Woke up inside
a thirty year old morning
that had yellowed
like a dusty photograph
from a newspaper clipping
found in a box in the attic
that’s new
to whoever discovers it

stopped time
on the edge of the earth
looking back at the shadows
of the midnattssol
feeling the chill
of a Scandinavian summer

it all comes at once,
from sliding on marble streets
in the stalking rain
to the reign of self

to an Alchemist
coaxing with jazz
and vodka
the unsuspecting youth
and leaving them
to a trumpeter in the square
like the one near the ghost
at another time
and another place
balancing over the pavement
consumed by restful people in speeding cars

the fatigue
the hunger
for everything at once
the creation
the destruction
the inexpressible,
all-consuming passion
that curls ones toes in his shoes
that sends shivers
that are almost painful
the wanting to burst
into pieces
for want of showing some immense appreciation
some absurd self-sacrifice
for that one moment
the one where we sat
and felt truly comfortable

Nothing changes
Saint Mark
Still Keeps watch over

The pigeons
Who rob The jesters
The speed remains

the tracks still echo
with the thunder
of the profound weight and purpose
that he had when standing
above the ocean
with no one else for miles
he screamed
with all he had
“I am!
I am!
Let me show you!”
Only because he thought
There must be a reason
That today is the day no days would fit.

Intelligent Design: Spontaneous Generation for the Twenty-First Century

From the scientific powerhouse that brought us spontaneous generation (abiogenesis) and geocentric astronomy, religion has brought us the novel and revolutionary doctrine of intelligent design. After years of scientists ruling scientific research with an iron fist, God’s faithful have revolted and taken back what they believe was rightfully theirs: science.

I’m not going to go too deep into this, (1) for fear of getting caught repeating some of the clichéd criticisms of Intelligent Design—which is not to imply that Intelligent Design merits profound analysis (or even capital letters)—and (2) because I think evolution if trivial—I don’t care if we came from monkeys; we’re here now and we’ve got enough problems in the present to be worried about prehistory.

I must preface this by saying that I don’t oppose IntelDessin for any atheistic or agnostic reasons.

I believe in a God for exactly the same reason that IntelDessinists (Dessin being French for a sketch or drawing) believe that their concept should be taught in schools: that is the “first cause.” I personally can’t understand how something can come from nothing, so I believe that there is a higher creator.

I don’t, however, buy the other argument by IntelDessinists that the universe is too complex to just happen. I feel like that’s what one fruit fly said to the other in the laboratory, which is to say, (1) our time is so short on earth compared to the universe and (2) we are minuscule compared to the universe, so of course it seems huge and complex. Many people tend to look at the universe as follows:

1) The universe is remarkably complex

2) The possibilities that this system could happen by chance are like

a) a monkey with a type-writer accidentally writing Othello

b) a tornado building the Eiffel Tower

c) any other highly improbable (that’s to say “impossible”) scenario

However, I feel that it should be looked at as follows:

1) In the beginning there was a mass

2) Before that mass exploded, the possibilities were almost infinite

3) Each possibility as to what the result may be was infinitely improbable

4) The one that resulted was improbable, but not unlike the unlikelihood that every leaf has when it falls from a tree to settle in the spot that it does.

That said, I would like to present some simple, clear-cut reasons why IntelDessin should not be taught in science classes:

- There is no scientific debate around the world about IntelDessin, which is to say, if it was significant scientifically, then there would be talk in the international scientific community about it. Well, okay, so there’s talk, but it’s mostly, “Hey, have you heard what the Americans are thinking about teaching in their science classes?” More still, there are, I admit, some groups in the UK and Australia, trying to get intelligent design taught in schools, but they are unabashed creationists (unlike in the states, they try to mask it as science).

- I can meet the watchmaker. The idea I’ve already mentioned of the “first cause” is often explained using the analogy of the watchmaker. This analogy says:

§ A watch is complex

§ I don’t know who made the watch

§ But I believe there is a watchmaker

The flaw with this analogy is that, well, if you really wanted to you could meet the watchmaker, though you may not be able to talk to him or her (my guess is that he or she is in a factory in Korea or China). Contrarily, you cannot meet God (in a strict, empirical fashion).

- Where’s the Intelligent Falling argument? If we start teaching IntelDessin, we’re going to have to teach (1) that a higher being guides electrons as they circle neutrons and protons (2) that a greater power sucks material into black holes (3) that gravity is no more than the Intelligent Designer’s finger on our heads (4) etc. (5) etc. Because, while gravity and atomic structure are theories just like evolution, they are considered fact.

Here’s a scenario for how intelligent design should be taught in school:

A teacher finishes a lesson on evolution (which normally takes, what? One or two days?), and a student raises his hand.

The teacher calls on the student.

“I believe that there is a higher force that created the world and the universe. I think that he created humans and guides evolution,” says the student.
The teacher nods, “and?”

The student is quiet.

“That’s not the concern of evolution,” adds the teacher. “Evolution mentions nothing of how the world began. It only tries to decipher what happened afterwards.”


Creationism—that’s what IntelDessin is—and atheism—that’s not what science is—are debates for everyone to have outside of science class.


Go to onegoodmove to hear several interviews with Richard Dawkins, especially here (scroll to Sept. 18).

Pro-IntelDessin website

The National Academy of Sciences (United States) resources on evolution

The Tea bag Divisions: A Ten Minute Play by William R. Cathcart

(It takes place an a stage with a doctor in a white coat sitting in a rolling chair with a folder on a long horizontal desk in front of him. The desk will latter be turned up right for the judge to sit in behind in a bar stool. The patient is in his mid-twenties to early forties, he sits in a stationary chair. The play begins in mid conversation.)

Eliot (a patient): …and then, the other day- my dog was struck by lightening.

Dr. Hulme: Ohh, come now such things aren’t impossible.

Eliot (a patient): It was through the window.

Dr. Hulme: Was it open.

Eliot (a patient): Yes?

Dr. Hulme: What was your dog’s name?

Eliot (a patient): Navy. A window Dr. Hulme, a window, not a skylight or even a door- and the thing is, I think it was a mistake, that it was supposed to be me.

Dr. Hulme: A mistake, interesting. He was a good dog? (Eliot nods affirmatively and the Doctor pauses in a sudden and peculiar manner, staring distantly off in space. Then his gaze returns just as sudden. His voice serious and louder) Have you tried religion?

Eliot: Not really.

Dr. Hulme: Perhaps we should assign a higher power to your misgivings.

Eliot: A higher power?

Dr. Hulme: Yes, any will due- Do you enjoy warm tea? We’ve a great response lately to Taoism- And of course Zoroastrianism- Wait, Charles have you checked your Randometer?

Eliot: Not today.

Dr. Hulme: (He grabs Eliot’s wrist looking at his watch, pressing it’s buttons with his thumb) Ahh, see here, you had a nice little streak going in the early nineties, looks like you’ve been paying for that lately, but your due here for some eventual luck.

Eliot: When do you think that might be.

Dr. Hulme: There’s really know way to be sure. But... (he picks up a chart and manila folder and speaks while flipping through it)… going by this chart mailed to me by an anonymous- government- agency (he says this bobbing his head in a sing song voice like he’s said it a million time and like the patient knows what he’s talking about, and he then winks)… who’ve supposedly compromised God, that is after he was re-resurrected at the close of the post-modernism era- I’d say mid July.

Eliot: Mid July? (He looks confused) How exactly did they compromise him?

Dr. Hulme: It’s actually We, now to be secularly correct, not him, the United States Government won a very complicated kind of class action suit against God, which they filed back in the eighties. They sued We for being falsely monotheistic on grounds of the Trinity. It was real ugly, even got the pope to testify. They were gonna go after him on the whole Free Will dilemma, until they were discouraged by a series of minor earthquakes.

Eliot: You said Mid- July, Well What month is it now.

Dr. Hulme: Ahahh you’re having memory problems. (He reaches over and taps Eliot on the temple)

Eliot: Ouch

Dr. Hulme: Hmmm, (then shouting) Nurse, this man needs enema immediately and after that, a cat scan. (Two nurses male or female roll a stretcher in, grab him by him arms throw him face first onto the stretcher and tie down his arms, he is too confused to physically resist, but does so vocally,)

Eliot: (Shouting as they Roll him off) Dr. Hulme, please, tell me the month.

Dr. Hulme: (Shouting to Eliot being rolled off stage) Do I look like a calendar to you. (He then mumbles to himself as he takes off his white coat) Good question, good question. ( He is wearing a black tee shirt with the word October written across the front. He pulls a black robe and a grey wig out from under the desk and puts them on. Then he turns the desk upright pulls over a bar stool sits in the very high chair behind the desk and pulls out a gavel. Elliot is rushed back onto the stage and left in front of the judge, still tied down to the stretcher, on his stomach, his rear in angled slightly upward. He says nothing, there is an agreeable look on his face. The nurse approaches the bench)

Nurse: We’ve given him a 30ml dose of compliance, your honor, you have fifteen seconds.

Judge: Well done Ebert. (He says affectionately, then addresses Eliot judiciously.) What brings you to this courtroom, son.?

Eliot: I am here for enema, your honor.

Judge: Of course and so be it. Charles Pining Eliot you are sentenced to nine seconds of thoughtless silence.

Eliot: Precisely

Judge: 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.

Eliot: (Eliot looks around panicked) What time is it- Who am I.

Judge: Mr. Eliot you’ve just been received by psychological enema, do you have anything thing to say to your self.

Eliot: What?

Judge: Precisely. Your conscious self was just slaughtered for seven seconds

Eliot: Then why?

Judge: Because you were received by enema Mr. Eliot.

Eliot: Enema?

Judge: Yes, the eradication of the negligent erroneous mind association, the e.n.e.m.a. We had reason to believe that you weren’t keeping time Mr. Eliot, you were convicted on several counts of second person chronological negligence. (In a louder investigative tone) Mr. Eliot, what do you know about the year 1978, and the question why?

Eliot: Nothing your honor, I know nothing about that or anything else that is going on.

Judge: Mr. Eliot if you can not find it within your self to cooperate, this court will hold you to further contentment. 1978 and why just keep popping through your head, for absolutely no distinguishable reason, no TV commercial, catchy song, relevant birth date or definitive worldly disaster. Our mind police are working around the clock.

Eliot: Mind police? (a man and women dressed in black suits holding files and wearing sunglass walk from either side of the stage and stand next to the judge.)

Judge: We think it might be the answer to advertising, possibly even hair loss, obesity, and why suction cups fall off windows at unpredictable times, one random digit which always occurs in the mind.

Eliot: Wait, it was the year I lost my virginity, yes 1978, that was the year ha, haha haha.

Judge: (leaning down) To any sort of maternal figure?

Eliot: (emphatic) No.

Judge: Nonsense. (He turns to the female agent on his right) Officer Castration, what do have on Eliot’s virginity.

Officer Castration: Your Honor, we’ve checked our files, it appears that he never had virginity, nor is there any actual record of Mr. Eliot’s existence.

Judge: (to Officer Castration) Remarkable, call 1938- tell the Frenchmen he is correct. (He turns to Eliot.) I’m afraid there has been some sort of mistake. (He takes his wig off and climbs down.)

Eliot: What’s wrong, I don’t understand the problem Please tell me what is happening. (The doctor turns to him as he buttons his white coat.)

Dr. Hulme: Your subsistence Mr. Eliot. (The pulpit falls behind him back to its position as a desk; the female agent walks off stage. The doctor walks away from Eliot and sits down where he was at the beginning. Eliot turns to the audience and looks at them for three seconds as though they are a mirror. He looks back to the doctor with no idea what to expect. The doctor begins again in mid sentence just as the play began.) …accompanied with severe headaches and cold sweats. Tell me more about these visions, Mr. Elliot, are they discernable from reality?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"The Book of Nothing: Screamed from the Rooftops by a Motionless Man," By Robert Maguire

Chapter One; verses 1 through infinity: How to defy yourself without thinking, and how not to say everything with as many words as possible.

“Brothers and Sisters

Of the conglomeration

We are gathered here today

To glorify our station

To celebrate our united success

For the Almighty

And the individual deafness

Let us cry in your name

The necessity of understanding

Fill us with Grace-

Ful insulation

To protect us


From that serpent

Less that forked tongue be heard

“A hiss so wrong and unlearnéd

When unfurled

It snaps our veteran, Chinese, handicapped, obesely slim, black, white, red, and blue backs

like those of gingerbread men

“Time owes that tongue no dignity

And being limited and priceless

As she is

Give us the ability to forgo Time

Oh Secret god,

Allow us to exalt you above time

In the dust

Of our humming, lustful vibration

In shapeless determination

We will worship you

In our you-nified opposition to congregation

Our collective celebration of the individual

Together, we will sing a song

Of a million different keys

And together we will chant

It’s billions of different words

For the meaning is not those lines

So let us not abuse the clock

And fret over sacrilegious rhymes

Or the rhythmic panting in our shock

“Oh, closet god

Give us and forgive us our timorous choices

For it is only through you

That we will achieve the volume

The noises

To out shine their screams

With our blinding voices

“Those bigots and those racists

We will burn their crosses

In their churches

“We will be like colonial reverends

On the porches of plantation mansions

Who through a monologue

Of woven tobacco smoke

They deplore a King’s exploitation

And the foolish tongue with which he spoke

We will shout of his subjugation

His fetish for unlawful oppression

While we sigh in respectful toleration

Forgetting the workers

dying in the cotton fields

Of our double edged nation

“We will be conquistadors

Punching blades through

Mayan corpses

Using their fuel

To light our torches

Razing civilizations

Like old casinos

To make room to raise more

“We will be black, white, and clear

That you are our god

The god of paradox

The god of proxy

Providing an alternative

To any religion whose god

Would allow me to discredit it

For my feelings about those

It’s said to have saved

Henceforth, a religion will cease

To be a relationship to a perfect god

It will now be the sum of imperfection

Found in its slander

For I haven’t the time to make my own decisions

Primary sources are too outdated

Compared to our modern day postulations

We are middle-aged








With crazed benevolence

Inexact precision

And fair assertion

To unbalanced belief

You are our lop-sided god

Our Catch 22 apparition

Who can make us

Into anything we don’t need to be

Only because we don’t need to be

“We will be rapists of rapists

We will attack close-mindedness

With our minds shut

And our mouths open

We will write,

All of us,

A sermon

To end all sermons

Whose millions of words

Spoken at once

Will mute the opposition

With an explosion of violent joy

Without expressing a single thought

We will forever

Move left of right

We will change liberal

To reciprocal

And progressive

To aggressive unfurling

If only to stay as far right as possible

We will be slaves to liberty

Breaking the shackles of our inferiority

But later refurbishing it with a new disguise

We will bestow ourselves the ball and chain

Of our concrete lies

With a gift-shop fact-book brain

Let us be as Che in his hay day

Teaching all the little impoverished

Boys and girls

That revolutionaries

Are manifest in rejection

In all countries throughout all worlds

They are a rumbling volume to drown

The crying of the lost with cheering exhortation

Let us be the most illiterate scholars

On the earth

Our verboseness will stun the opposition

For far more than it’s worth

Let us be the progenitors

Of a politico-religious Illusion

We will worship the sound

Of what we say

In your name

And we will exalt the comfort in

The absolute truth of our validity

That you provide

And create networks of disconnections and anti-institutions

To preach the liturgy

For the church of latter day anti-preachers

Who will deliver the anti-sermon sermon

“We will be all of this

By forgetting it ever happened

By believing monument-side souvenir history

And Box Office documentary

“Omni-opulent temple master

Please help us forget

Our place in the world

To facilitate

The illusion of importance

The illusion of change

To expose the deplorable

To venerate the left


the abandoned,

Closet God, fill us with the volume

That will drown out

The voices of the unlearnéd

Allow us to impression

Others in your name

“Your name

Your name

“Almighty Sovereign

I must admit,

I missed it

You neglected to reveal

Before your noble servants

What you are called

“Are you Duplicity

Or the groping ubiquity

Of my individual

You must tell me

Your most noble servant

Is it in the name of fear that I preach

Fear of change

Fear of reality breach

Fear of being wrong

Or, I dread it may be a fear

“of something

which is far, far worse than nothing

which I’m beginning to think you may be

Shall I simply call you Me

In place of nothing

For I am the one who created you

“Me, you are my escape from action

“It’s not easier done than said

Stagnant water is full of life

Depending upon my point of view

Don’t choose to see things by those you find dead

Because surrounding and choking

The pulsing gills

Is a prosperous algae slime that thrives

In the water’s nature, still

“Me, you taught me how to speak

And not to listen

Me taught myself to sit

Instead of hike

Me congratulated myself when I regurgitated

A thousand poetic nothings in strike

“Me taught myself to group people

For my inability to comprehend

The individual beyond myself

“Diversity is good

Religion is automatically bad

Because I saw a Christian

Pass a sad, sad man on the street begging for food

Because I saw a Muslim in an airplane

With shifty eyes

And jumped every time he stood

Because I saw a Jewish man eat pork

At noon on a Saturday

All I see is shame in religion

I see the jagged edge in a church steeple

How could there be a god who’d save

Such reprehensible people

They say

Don’t judge

A book by it’s cover

A man by his beliefs or his color

A country by its government

A woman by which stereotype she fits

Or a politician by which fabrication the media knits

“Well, how shall I judge them?

“As I see it,

I don’t like the author of the book

So there’s no point in reading it

I don’t agree with the beliefs of men


regarding my beliefs

don’t fit

And these days

Colors are beliefs

All of which aren’t my own

So I don’t believe in you

Do you honestly think I could?

“Me taught myself

To bleed for fear of action

To develop sluggish satisfaction

Me moved myself to write the sermon

To end all sermons to end all sermons

Me, through me, wrote thousands

of tragic oppositions to what I myself believe to be truth

A primer decrying itself

To show that anyone can organize

1,305 words on a sheet of paper

a screen

or even on a wall with chalk

yet he may still say nothing

so let’s both shut up

and sit down

and talk”

He signed

and sat back down

watching the people

move throught the town

All is not lost in the Occident....

Just a quick note…

Fanfan showed me this last week, so I’ve seen it with mine own eyes. This is my gift to all Westerners who are worried about Asians’ superior mathematical skills. They may be stealing the top spot in technology advancement, they may be cloning dogs and streamlining stem cell research, they may be just plain old dominating (more and more), yet they are still fallible—very much so…

Taiwanese triangles apparently have 210 degrees:

NOTE: How fantastically Orientalist is it to say "they" are doing it and that "we" are scared? Said would not approve...