March 20th, 2008

If Iggy won't do it, maybe Tony Orlando...

From the King of Zembla blog, this want ad from the Federal Business Opportunities website:

Professional Celebrity Rock Music Band, sought for tour of Forward Operating Bases in Kuwait and Afghanistan. Musical repertoire should consist of Southern rock, pop rock, post-grunge, and hard rock. At least one member should be recognized as a professional celebrity. The Government will conduct a performance risk assessment based on the quality, relevancy, and recency of the Offeror's past performances as they relate to the probability of successful accomplishment of the required effort. Performers shall be wholesome and adhere to the standards of good taste; profanity, vulgarity, or connotations of sexual depravity and perversion will not be used. Female entertainers shall be displayed in ways not offensive to the host nation. Protective military equipment, such as Kevlar, body armor, and eye and ear protection, will be provided when the group is traveling on rotary or fixed-wing military aircraft. Any criminal conduct, unexcused tardiness, indecency or obscenity, drunkenness, use of narcotics or hallucinatory drugs, or damage to Government property will be grounds for termination of the contract.

I wonder how much the Gov is paying. If it's along the lines of what they pay for screws and widgets, the gig could be a windfall. Wonder if I should send them a demo? :)

I love this line: "Female entertainers shall be displayed in ways not offensive to the host nation." Displayed? Wow. And how is not going to offend the host nation that (in the case of Afghanistan) you're busy blowing up?

I can see that war band is likely going to be a career move for has been bands in the future.


Here's an essay of mine that appeared in the Summer 2000 issue of AMAZING and which has not since been reprinted. I hope it still offers some intriguing speculations, even if some of the topical references are a tad dated.


Confessions of an Art Junkie

I am an addict of vicarious experiences. Fully half my waking hours are devoted to either producing or consuming canned nuggets of simulated reality. Despite the intrinsic worth and fascination of my own personal life, lived minute-by-minute in realtime immediacy, I can't get enough of second-hand experiences, whether those of actual people or imaginary ones.

But there's no need for me to be ashamed of my addiction. I share this affliction with the whole human race. In fact, this inherent narcissistic/voyeuristic need to create and consume secondary experiences not actually lived out by the percipient is perhaps the defining mark of humanity or of any sentient race. We are ourselves only because we can become the stranger.
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Posted by Paul DiFi.

Live Journal Strike

For 24 hours, we will not post or comment to LJ. Not in our own journals, not in communities. Not publicly, privately, or under friends-lock.

Why? Because the new owners of LJ said they were going to listen to a user driven advisory board before making any changes, and didn't. They instead tried to take away all GLBT related interest groups, and were about to take away all free, ad free accounts as well and make LJ paid. Basic/free users help drive this site! And paid or not, our interests should not be dictated to us.

This is a protest that will have long-lasting effects, showing up forever in the daily posting statistics.

This is a protest that will not harm LJ in the long run, as leaving LJ might do.

This is a protest that will demonstrate the power of community, as all users unite to support Basic users and the concept of ad-free space.

This is a protest that will educate the new owners that LJ is driven by user-created content.

Content Strike Friday March 21, from midnight to midnight GMT

* We are holding the Content Strike because we want to demonstrate that LiveJournal is content-driven.
* We are holding the Content Strike because we want the new owners of LiveJournal to better understand the power and resolve of the LJ Community of Users.
* We are holding the Content Strike because all of us, Paid, Permanent and Plus users as well as Basic, want to demonstrate our solidarity as a Community of Users. We do not consider Basic users to be freeloaders, we consider them to be valuable content-providers and Friends.
* We are holding the Content Strike because we ache to do something to show our displeasure, and commenting on the news post -- even with cat macros -- just isn't powerful enough!


The strike has three terms:

1. Restore basic accounts for new account creation.
2. Inform users before any change to the site that affects how we use the site or demands on our resources.
3. Run change proposals by the Advisory Board and take their advice into account before implementation of any change.


The 24-hour strike will begin at the following times for the following locations:

Thursday, March 20, 2:00 PM -- Honolulu
Thursday, March 20, 4:00 PM -- Anchorage
Thursday, March 20, 5:00 PM -- San Francisco; Los Angeles -
Thursday, March 20, 6:00 PM -- Mexico City; Denver - Navajo Nations in AZ.
Thursday, March 20, 7:00 PM -- Chicago
Thursday, March 20, 8:00 PM -- Montreal; New York
Thursday, March 20, 9:00 PM -- Buenos Aires
Midnight -- London
Friday, March 21, 1:00 AM -- Paris
Friday, March 21, 2:00 AM -- Istanbul
Friday, March 21, 3:00 AM -- Moscow
Friday, March 21, 4:00 AM -- Dubai
Friday, March 21, 5:00 AM -- Islamabad
Friday, March 21, 6:00 AM -- Bangladesh
Friday, March 21, 7:00 AM -- Bangkok
Friday, March 21, 8:00 AM -- Singapore
Friday, March 21, 9:00 AM -- Tokyo
Friday, March 21, 10:00 AM -- Brisbane
Friday, March 21, 11:00 AM -- Sydney
Friday, March 21, 12 Noon -- Suva


How Can I Help?

DO post about this in your own LJ.
DO post and comment about it in appropriate communities.
DO remember that it's based on Greenwich Mean Time, which may not be your local time.
DO turn off LoudTwitter and your RSS feeds for 24 hours.

DON'T forget to get permission from community mods before making an off-topic post or comment about the strike.
DON'T be spammy with your posts or comments about the strike.
DON'T forget to turn your LoudTwitter and RSS feeds back on when the strike is over.
DON'T post anything on LJ from midnight to midnight March 21 (see above times for your actual start time)