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11 November 2003

Rage Cookies

More courtesy of Jessica Zafra (she's very good!):
Rage Cookies

Ingredients:

10 kilos of all the resentment you've ever felt but never expressed towards your parents, grandparents, elder relatives, teachers, government officials, office superiors, role models, and authority figures who have betrayed you, lied to you, or failed to follow their own grand pronouncements, and in doing so destroyed your faith in the human race.

10 kilos of all the bitterness you've ever felt towards the people you were in love with who didn't love you back, who mocked you, toyed with your emotions, abandoned you on the darkest nights of your soul, and never appreciated your willingness to tear your guts at their bidding, and in doing so obliterated your belief in real love.

10 kilos of all the revulsion you feel towards a society that worships mediocrity, that rewards phoniness and cheap sentimentality because it appeals to the lowest common denominator, that eats its young and pukes them out, that condones corruption and greed, and scoffs at honesty and ethical behavior because No one gets rich being honest and ethical, and in doing so destroys itself.

10 liters bile

1 cup vinegar

Directions:

Throw everything into a large vat and mix thoroughly to form a batter. Knead the batter with your bare hands. Beat merciliessly until it is soft. Make dozens of fist-sized lumps, then shape then into the people you despise.

Bake in 2000 degrees of anger.

Excerpted from "Planet of the Twisted" - Jessica Zafra. Published by Anvil Publishing Inc.

04 November 2003

Where is Jessica Zafra?

I find it superbly interesting the way in which corporations attempt to transfer the burden of one of their most fundamental business risks to their customers and it appears I'm not the only one. Let me explain...

It was ridiculously early on a Sunday morning when I found myself trawling the web for someone by the name of Jessica Zafra. I had no idea who she was, or what she did, but I found the following excerpt in a Usenet post which came from something she penned entitled, "An Opinion On Piracy". The article rather nicely explains how I feel about the whole piracy deal and is reproduced, in part, below:
"Does anyone else find it funny that people who make
much more money than we do are appealing to us not
to deprive them of their income? You have the nerve
to charge me P450 for a CD that is being sold on the
street for P60 and you expect my sympathy?

The campaign against pirated software, CD's, VCD's,
audio and cassettes, would have us believe that
piracy is our problem. Really? How is shelling out
P100 for a disc that contains P50,000 worth of
software a problem for me? It would seem that the
pirates are doing me, and my shrinking wallet a big
favor. Why should it bother me that a movie which
has not yet opened in theatres is being
peddled on VCD on the streets for P90? I have no
fights with the pirates. They are selling me
information I might otherwise not have access to
because of prohibitive costs. Yes they are thieves
and thieves should be punished, but they are not
stealing from me. Oh sure, you can lecture me about
in the long run I will pay for buying bootleg but by
then I will have used the information for my
benefit.

So let me make a correction. Piracy is the problem
of the manufacturers - the software houses, record
companies, and motion picture companies - whom I
shall refer to from hereon as the corporations. By
telling us not to buy pirated materials "for the
good of everyone", corporations make it appear that
corporate interests and the public interest are the
same thing. This is unlaughably untrue. Corporations
makes noise about working in the public interest -
these noises are called public relations, PR - but
their duty is to their owners."
Everything wants to be free. If this wasn't the case, corporations wouldn't need to go to such extreme lengths to make it not so.

02 November 2003

Moodwatch - There are only two constants in this life; chaos and pandemonium.

and you open the door and you step inside - we're inside our hearts. now imagine your pain is a white ball of healing light. that's right, feel your pain, the pain itself, it's a white ball of healing light.

I don't think so.

this is your life. good to the last drop. doesn't get any better than this. this is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time. this isn't a seminar and this isn't a weekend retreat. where you are now you can't even imagine what the bottom will be like.

only after disaster can we be resurrected. it's only after you have lost everything that you are free to do anything.

nothing is static, everything is appalling, everything is falling apart.

this is your life. it doesn't get any better than this.
this is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.

you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. you are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. we are all a part of the same compost heap, we are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. you are not your bank account, you are not the clothes you wear. you are not the contents of your wallet. you are not your bowel cancer. you are not your Grande Latte. you are not the car you drive. you are not your fucking khakis.

you have to give up,
you have to give up.

you have to realize that someday you will die. until you know that, you are useless.

I say let me never be complete. I say may I never be content. I say deliver me from Swedish furniture! I say deliver me from clever art. I say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth. I say you have to give up. I say evolve, and let the chips fall where they may.

this is your life. it doesn't get any better than this.
this is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.

you have to give up.
you have to give up. (I want you to hit me as hard as you can)

welcome to fight club, if this is your first night, you have to fight.

-- dust brothers (featuring tyler durden), "What is Fight Club?"

Choice

When did I make the choices that I didn't know I'd made?

Black Gold

For those of you that didn't know before the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq that there might be some value in controlling the countries which hold the world's largest oil reserves, CNN reports, "World oil and gas 'running out'".

Basic supply and demand theory states the more scarce a resource, the greater its value - especially in times of increasing consumption. Oil fits this profile very nicely and America happens to be the single largest consumer of oil on the planet.

The countries with the largest oil reserves (measured in billions of barrels) are:

1 Saudi Arabia (265.3)
2 Iraq (115)
3 Kuwait (98.8)
4 Iran (96.4)
5 United Arab Emirates (62.8)
6 Russia (54.3)
7 Venezuela (47.6)
8 China (30.6)
9 Libya (30)
10 Mexico (26.9)

Source: Aneki

The largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is already on-side (Osama Bin Laden and the vast majority of the 911 hijackers are/were of Saudi origin but that's neither here, nor there), Iraq has the world's second largest oil reserves and Iran the fourth largest. Both Iran and Iraq, coincidentally, feature in George Bush's list of 'axis of evil' countries that he targeted in his State of the Union address in early 2002. The list was later expanded to include Cuba, Libya and Syria. One down...

Iraq had insisted on being paid for oil in Euros rather than dollars. Russia is thinking of switching oil trade from Dollars to Euros and, according to Youssef Ibrahim, managing director of the Strategic Energy Investment Group in Dubai and a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, "a number of countries within OPEC would prefer to trade in euros." Ibrahim maintains that this currency switch was one of the reasons that the US attacked Iraq and goes on to say, "There is a great political dimension to this. Slowly more power and muscle is moving from the United States to the EU, and that's mainly because of what happened in Iraq."

If the US was upset by Iraq's shift to the Euro, they're going to be more than mildly irritated should Russia and bunch of other OPEC countries wish to do the same. Given that it is oil trading in dollars that literally gives the US a license to print money, any further shifts by any of the major players is going to have serious repercussions on both the American economy and the balance of global power.