Sunday, May 21st

Fight The Future: athenaverse vs. myspace

I got a myspace account last fall because I wanted to know what it was all about. It's like live journal except totally corporatized. With live journal, there is no advertising, no sponsorship except by the people who actually subscribe. I have had a free account for 5 years and they have never bugged me to upgrade. With myspace, it seems to be a horrible combination of super-targeted corporate marketing
provided by a shadowy arm of News Corp. that is ready to turn over you in at the drop of the hat to the authorities. In fact, myspace seems to be a lot like the live journal straw man that vealpen railed against. Unfortunately, since there are so many myspace users and it is such an effective tool for consumers who want to consume and the producers that are gleefully harvesting the consumer information users dangle so they can attract the attention of other myspace users who might want to have sex with them.

I have been thinking about the athenaverse in the light of recent internet developments. The athenaverse has served many purposes over the years, but I have always considered it as a safe data haven that provides services to a select group of users. In the future, encryption and the right to privacy on the internet will become a serious issue. The athenaverse has been around since the "internet gold rush" era when there was hardly any internet regulations or taxes or codes of conduct. Between the internet restiction laws that they are considering in Washington and the internet police in China, it is not looking good for the future. Millions of my generation are busy trolling for booty online and watching "American Idol," pacific consumers who willingly trade in their freedom in the name of fighting terrorism.

I am faced with a choice: do I continue to waste my time online or will I spend it fighting the good fight? I do have a lot to say, and this is my place where I can say it. I was never really interested in talking about my personal life in front of the world. I'd rather fight the future like Locke and Demosthenes.

santo26 on 05.21.06 @ 02:28 PM PST [link] [11 Comments]

Tuesday, May 16th

Music: Robet Earl Keen
Mood: doing laundry
So what is going on here? That's what I'd like to know.
santo26 on 05.16.06 @ 11:56 PM PST [link] [9 Comments]

Chow Daddy Has A Posse

Music: Folk Implosion
Mood: amused
Just so you know, I want to broaden the scope of my postings here on the Athenaverse. In that spirit, I invite you to check out and download Chow Daddy. Sometimes you Google the randomest things, and that is how I discovered that Chow Daddy lives. Chow Daddy was a PSA produced in the mid-late '80s and shown in the Boston area. While the intent was to encourage the young viewers of "Mighty Mouse" and "G.I. Joe" to eat school lunches, the effect was to indoctrinate a generation of Boston kids to fall down in heaps of laughter anytime someone says "Pizzzza...Spaaaghetti...Burrgerrs...Deserrrt."

Many thanks to ~aclopezjr for having the foresight to tape the commercials on Channel 56 one afternoon 20 years ago.

So where do I get a Chow Daddy T-shirt???

santo26 on 05.16.06 @ 11:15 AM PST [link] [No Comments]

Saturday, May 13th

Hollywood Ministry

Music: Social Distortion
Mood: good
This morning, the St. Vincent de Paul group that I belong to put on a lunch for the homeless in our neighborhood. This is only the second one that we have done, and we are getting better at it. Our church is in the middle of Hollywood.

If you told me seven months ago that I would be feeding the homeless in Hollywood I'd've...I don't know what i would have thought. I started going back to (Catholic) church seven months ago after not going for a long time. It has been a great experience and a great way to meet the people in your community.

I met a guy who was on leave from the Navy who used to come to the church when he was growing up. He has been to Iraq three times. I asked him if he thinks they are doing good over there and he said yes. He says the troops don't like the politicians and the media and how they only focus on the negative and the never report on how they are building roads and schools. He said that after World War II, Japan didn't get better right away, and that you can't expect things to get rebuilt overnight. But they are making progress.

It was pretty crazy to here this from a sailor in front of a church in the middle of Hollywood but I guess the truth is the truth no matter where you are.

santo26 on 05.13.06 @ 07:36 PM PST [link] [No Comments]

Friday, May 12th

An Independent Voter

Music: Tarbox Ramblers
Mood: shocked but not surprised
So I have been reading an article about Bush nominating the NSA General who oversaw massive wipretapping to be the head of the CIA in the same week that Congress is passing bills that would change network neutrality and ban libraries and schools from using instant communication software and myspace -esque sites? Who can support the guy after this? Not me, I never really did except on two issues: freeing Iraq from Saddam Hussein and Afghanistan from al-Qaeda (sp? who cares?), and going to Mars. You see, this whole Iraq thing, people, we're gonna have to deal with it now, and suggestions are encouraged, but you see, we can't go back, the die was cast when we invaded their country in 1991 with the blessing and help of the entire free world. Like Mr. Pink said in Reservoir Dogs "I didn't create this situation (Bush), I'm dealing with it!"

Did anyone ever doubt that a surveillance program like this has existed and has done so since 1952, but the technology has gotten better, where do yo think all your tax money goes to? The whole thing is, why did the CIA director abruptly quit, then Bush, facing opposition from all sides, is admitting that Carnivore exists, and yes, just like I thought, they are recording my thoughts. You know that time you spent 15 minutes on the phone that one time? Yeah, you know, that one. Well, Uncle Sam knows too, unless you have Qwest (excuse me, where do I sign up?). Why is Bush nominating the General who was the head of this whole program to head the CIA, which has always acted as a counterweight to the Armed Forces. But then again, the CIA was the one that started the whole business in Iran with the Shah, which led to the rise of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni and the Hostage crisis, the Iran-Iraq War, Desert Storm, Operation Desert Fox, and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Whatever is going on is so sinister-looking that I have to register my lack of support for the President. One party controls Congress, and it has amassed a humungous debt and is trying to pass Internet and Immigration bills in the dead of the night with the full complicity of the media that is too busy obsessing over Lindsay Lohan and American Idol instead of the hard news. They call it hard news because it is so hard, so sobering. Yes, they taped your votes to American Idol! Doesn't that make you angry? Do you even care anymore as long as your TV is big enough?

So right now I am registered as an Independent. I believe that George Washington was right, there shouldn't be political parties, or at least permanent ones. Permanent ones lead to politicians acting like lords over their Congressional District fiefdoms, above their constituents as surely as any baron was above his subjects. Why should I support any one party? If you are voting the party line, you are having a lot of faith in the beliefs of some nebulous media creation called your political party. I believe in voting for the best person for each individual post regardless of party affiliation. If you vote for a party, you are not voting for the individual. There is nothing in the Delcaration Of Independence or the Constitution about political parties. There were none to begin with. George Washington was a...? So why should I care about them now?
santo26 on 05.12.06 @ 12:22 AM PST [link] [No Comments]

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