Friday, November 28, 2008

The Harder They Come is on TCM at 2300 tonight, click for a peek at the ambitious novelisation, done much later...

trees from Ghost World :: Photo Essay ::
"Little Mountain Housing Project (B.C.'s first publicly subsidized residential community when it was created in 1954) sits upon a six- hectare, 224-unit property bounded by Main Street on the east, Ontario St. on the west, and 33rd and 37th streets at the north and south.

While outcries greeted its '50s inception ("Socialist!" railed the naysayers) and protests are still ringing against recent evictions and relocations, a pall of inevitability has descended over the grounds, along with another spectre -- an aura of failed utopianism.

The once-ambitious government social project now is in the first stages of demolition and replacement. But when and with what is not yet clear. The aged complex -- both altruistic and yet anachronistically blessed in space and location -- does not encourage a convenient political position for either the left or right..."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the excellent photo book for which I wrote the text, To the Dogs is now available for holiday giving, as is my perfectly acceptable book of poems
The Age of Briggs & Stratton

How the media talks about torture and the rule of law - Glenn Greenwald
"...Walk into any criminal courtroom in the country where a convicted defendant is pleading for light or no punishment and that's exactly what you'll hear: "I've already been punished enough, Your Honor. My reputation has been ruined, my health is suffering, I lost my job. What more do you want to do to me?"

But -- when it comes to common criminals -- our political class rejects those pleas, turns a resolutely deaf ear to them. For those people, we continue to erect ever-harsher criminal sanctions, mandatory minimum sentencing schemes, and an increasingly merciless criminal justice system. As a result, we imprison more of our population than any other country on the planet. Even people who commit petty, harmless offenses -- corner drug dealing with other adults or even mere drug possession -- have the full weight of the criminal justice system smashing down upon them, thanks to our "tough-on-crime" political class. They go to prison, are separated from their families, are put into cages, permanently labeled "felons."

Yet the same political establishment that has created and continues to fuel this incomparably merciless justice system has made themselves exempt from the rule of law. When they flagrantly violate even the most consequential criminal prohibitions -- laws criminalizing torture, spying on American citizens, obstruction of justice -- it's only the shrill rabble (the "incendiary Democratic base") who would possibly believe that they should be held accountable and investigated, let alone prosecuted and imprisoned. All of the upstanding, responsible, Serious people understand that these aren't real "crimes." These are merely acts which "critics call illegal" -- or what Goldsmith calls "mistakes" or "act[ions] that seemed reasonable at the time but now seem inappropriate."

And besides, even if you want to get all technical about it and say that they "broke the law," everyone Serious knows that "criminal prosecutions" weren't created for high government officials. As Goldsmith so movingly points out, it's already bad enough that Good and Important People like John Yoo, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney and friends have suffered what Goldsmith describes as "severe criticism" and even "enormous reputational losses." Criticism and reputational damage! In the name of God, what more do you want to do to these people?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

& to mark the arrival of Bolano's 2666 over the manse's transom this very minute, an interview with stakhanovite translator Natasha Wimmer...