Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This Is Halloween

You may have noticed yesterday that Fosco wasn't quite in the Halloween spirit. Well, last night he realized why: he had forgotten to get out his Nightmare Before Christmas figurines!

In the background, we have Oogie Boogie's Boys and in front (and sadly out-of-scale), there is Jack Skellington driving a toy car.

Other Halloween news: if you hate the trend among women of dressing sexily and pretending that's a costume, then you should listen to this song by the delightful Jill Sobule (remember when she started the whole lesbian fad when she kissed a girl?). The name of Jill's new song is "Women Whose Halloween Costume Is Just That They're Slutty" and I'm glad someone (besides Fosco) noticed this.

In fact, just last week, Fosco's sister was telling him about one of her classmates. The classmate is a very intelligent and ambitious young woman who knows her literary theory cold (and who is not afraid to make this clear in class). She's a self-assured (maybe even arrogant) and well-educated young woman. And yet, she told my sister that she always dresses up for Halloween as one of two things: a Playboy bunny or Tinkerbell. Now Fosco would never deny that intelligent women cannot be sexy (or should not be sexy), but he is uncomfortable with these women choosing to dress as caricatures of sexual availability. Doesn't this seem like a problem?

Little Earthquakes

It's the morning after Fosco's first earthquake and he still has plenty of ways to use rock music lyrics to refer to last night's quake. Here are some random quake-related notes:

  • The surprisingly tabloid-y San Jose Mercury News exists exactly for this kind of thing. Here's the front page for today:

    Hmmm. That's subtle. Oh, by the way, did anyone hear how big the earthquake was? Anyone?

  • Yes, we all felt it. But how long did it last? Fosco Lives! hosted a good-natured debate. Official estimates this morning placed the duration at 30 seconds. [N.B., that thread marks the inaugural comment from Fosco's boyfriend Oz.]

  • As you may have gathered from the smaller headlines on the Mercury News front page above, this was the strongest quake in the Bay Area since the devastating 1989 Loma Prieta quake. As you can see from the map below, that quake was epicentered near Santa Cruz:

    The Loma Prieta brings back some bad, bad memories for folks around Santa Cruz, as that disaster leveled one out of every three buildings on Pacific Ave (the downtown shopping district).

    Even so, you have to love the attitude of the Santa Cruz Trader Joe's manager last night (as per the Santa Cruz Sentinel):
    At Trader Joe’s on Front Street, manager Steve Keenan hopped on the intercom to announce that “Santa Cruz rocks!”
    I love Trader Joe's.

  • You have to love the personal interviews from the San Francisco Chronicle:
    Guitarist A.J. Flores was at his San Jose home playing with his band when the quake hit. A lamp and guitar fell over amid the shaking.

    "Yeah, man, we thought we were really rocking out," Flores said, adding that the musicians quickly realized it was an earthquake and not their Metallica cover song that caused the ruckus.
    Classic. Personally, I once mistook an F5 tornado for a particularly rousing cover of "Enter Sandman." Too bad it killed my grandma.

    Or is this one my favorite?
    A clerk at Kwik and Convenient in Milpitas, who said his name is Suki Suki, said not much was damaged - except his psyche.
    You have to feel for Suki Suki. I think we're all praying for the health of his delicate psyche.

  • Fosco's sister, Maggie Tulliver, is still making fun of Fosco this morning for being both pedantic and patronizing. It all happened last night when Maggie was expressing her concern over how close a 5.6 quake is to a 6.9 Loma Prieta-grade quake. Fosco offered a brief lesson on earthquake magnitude beginning with the phrase: "Remember that the Richter scale is a logarithmic scale..." Maggie did not "remember" this fact and thought the statement was a bit condescending. Sorry, Maggie--sometimes Fosco just can't NOT be an academic.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Earthquake Brings All the Boys to the Yard

Fosco just felt his first earthquake! A 5.6 one centered to the NNE of San Jose. See?

It was short, but it was a bit upsetting. Don't believe me? Just ask this commenter...

"And I, Fosco, the Pumpkin King!"

It's almost Halloween (although honestly, in Santa Cruz everyday is Halloween). What are Fosco's plans for the big night? Well, he did Pacific Ave. last year and was appropriately appalled. How to top that this year? Too bad the Castro is out...

And what to do for a costume? Fosco has no good idea. It's hard to be brilliantly creative at interpreting literature and understanding theory (like Fosco?) and to have energy left over to think of a great Halloween costume. Could I just staple a bunch of student papers to my clothes and go as "lack of argument"? Just a joke. Sorta.

Speaking of costumes, check out this student I saw today in lecture. He's the Witch-king of Angmar (N.B.: that's why I hate Wikipedia).

He told me that he made the helmet in metal shop. Doesn't it rock? And what a great idea to wear a scary costume to "Gothic Literature" class!

Compare to the real Witch-king:

Not a bad likeness, huh?

So when it comes down to it: Fosco has no plans and no costume. Why does Halloween feel like so much pressure this year? Is Fosco too lazy even to have fun?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Smells Like Teen Idiocy

Fosco doesn't know any teenagers. He does know a few tweens and can already foresee the day ahead those sweet little girls will stop licking the lead paint off their Bratz dolls to become brilliant young adults. And what's in store for these future teenagers?

From an article in the New York Times:

[Halpern] was surprised to uncover studies demonstrating that 31 percent of American teenagers had the honest expectation that they would one day be famous and that 80 percent thought of themselves as truly important. (The figure from the same study conducted in the 1950s was 12 percent.)
From an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle:
But most of all, [an Oakland public school teacher] simply observes his students, year to year, noting all the obvious evidence of teens' decreasing abilities when confronted with even the most basic intellectual tasks, from understanding simple history to working through moderately complex ideas to even (in a couple of recent examples that particularly distressed him) being able to define the words "agriculture," or even "democracy." Not a single student could do it.

Obviously, Paris Hilton is the model here: someone important and famous with less than a fifth-grade education. But can we allow this continue? Are there enough ultra lounges in our country to handle all of these future VIPs? And what of our nation's supply of precious, precious cocaine? I foresee shortages. And what of our teen boys? How will they become famous with no vagina to flash to the paparazzi?

In other news, all teenagers (including the poor and disadvantaged) of (supposedly) Third-World Venezuela are provided with free orchestral instruments and musical training. Where would you rather live?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Foscovian Update: Still Here, Still Queer.

It's been over a week since Fosco last blogged (did anyone win the betting pool?). But that doesn't mean that Fosco hasn't been thinking, Dear Reader. He's been thinking up a mess o' somethin'! And what thoughts have been rattling around in his gigantic gourdic cranium?

  • Just like my third grade teacher always said, California seems to be the likely location of the coming apocalypse (although I think she meant it more eschatologically--and no, that doesn't mean what you think it means). And while all those insatiable wildfires were nowhere near Fosco's beloved Bay Area last week, the local media didn't lose an opportunity to remind us Northern(ish) CA residents that our doom is imminent, whether from a nearly overdue "tectonic time bomb" or our own giant flaming holocaust. The End is near! Whee! Even so, I'd rather die in a flaming crack in the earth than from getting lung cancer in a casino boat while losing my social security check in the slots.

    But seriously, if you want to read about the SoCal fire experience, check out my friend Ted's blog.

  • Hey, did you hear that Dumbledore is gay? Fosco had known this for years, ever since he was fellated by the wizard in a Minneapolis airport mensroom. Even so, Fosco isn't quite sure what to feel about this whole story. To some extent, he'd rather let his friend Ted do the blog work for him (thanks again, Ted. At this rate, Fosco Lives! will eventually just be one big hyperlink to your blog). Fosco would like to raise two questions about the story that seem worth considering:
    1. Does a gay Dumbledore make up for Rowling's repulsively heteronormative epilogue to the seventh book ("Seventeen Years Later..."), in which everyone is happily married (heterosexually) with kids?
    2. What is the status of an extra-textual author's statement about a character? Could Dr. Seuss (from beyond the grave) tell us that the Lorax is gay? Would we have to believe that?
    These are the problems that a gay Dumbledore raises for me.

  • Fosco was planning to spend most of this month in a blissful Jimmy Eat World coma. See, they're one of Fosco's favorite bands and the last three albums have been amazing. The previous release, Futures, obsessed me for several months. Plus, the first single ("Big Casino") from the new disc was the soundtrack to Fosco's September (because it rawks). But here's the thing: the new disc is TERRIBLE. With the exception of "Big Casino," there is no song on the disc that this Jimmy Eat World diehard fan ever wants to hear again. Fosco is sad.

    So what has filled the musical void in Fosco's month? Things have been a bit weird, to tell you the truth:
    • Radiohead's In Rainbows, which upon first listen sounded inaccessible and boring, but really gains by repetition. And I'm not just saying that because I paid £5 for it. Good tracks: "Reckoner," "All I Need," and "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi."
    • a short but excellent Bach chorale: "Heilig, heilig" (BWV 325). Bach is usually too boring for me, but I like the calm this month.
    • a trance track: Agnelli and Nelson's "Wear that Dress." Trance is great for driving and paper-writing. Really!
    • "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," The Smiths. I could revive a different Smiths song every month and be happy. Well, actually, sad. I wear black because that's how I feel inside.
    • Bruce Springsteen, Magic. I've mentioned this one before.
    • an amazing work by my blogpal John Mackey called "Kingfishers Catch Fire." It is seriously one of the most amazing compositions I've heard this year. The CD comes from Japan, so it might be easier to hear it streaming on his website (under "Works" on the main page). The first movement is gorgeous, but the second movement knocks it out of the park. I've been listening to it a lot in my car.

  • Has anyone else noticed that the New Yorker section "The Critics" has become the Harvard Faculty Lounge? I suspect that it's the influence of longtime New Yorker contributor (and Harvard English prof) Luke Menand. In addition to reviews by Menand, Fosco has recently run across reviews by Professor of History Jill Lepore, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History Niall Ferguson, and the (oddly-titled) Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism James Woods James Wood. Their ambition has lead them beyond traditional academic publishing and I, for one, welcome our new Harvard overlords.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Can't Get There (At All)

The ultimate California Adventure (at least today) appears to be driving. Fosco found all of these stories in his evening read-through of Santa Cruz and San Francisco newspapers:

If you're planning to drive in CA this evening, well... just don't.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Still Feeling Weird...

Last Friday, Fosco found himself in a situation that he never would have imagined: watching gay bareback porn in the presence of one of the most famous and distinguished faculty at UCSC. It was part of an extraordinary talk by an absolutely brilliant guest professor.

Let me assure you that as fascinating and enjoyable as gay porn is, it is surprisingly unpleasant to watch the creation of a devil's dick from the semen of seventy-three men while in a room with 25 of your academic colleagues (including The Haraway). Eek. Just... eek.

Academia is such a hoot sometimes!

[N.B.: there is no accompanying picture to this post that would make any amount of sense.]


The always entertaining and intelligent Todd responds to Fosco's adoration of a color photocopy of Al Gore:

In related news, my mom tells me that one of her friends hates Al Gore (and refuses to believe in Global Climate Change) because (somehow) he once increased phone bill taxes by five dollars. Even if he actually did this (which is questionable--it just doesn't sound right), is that a good reason to deny climate change? Ah, the logic of the Midwest...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Large Picture of Al Gore Wins Medal!

Norwegian Peace Expert Ole Bollen shows off the centerfold to the newest issue of Tiger Beat.

Fosco has the same pinup and he kisses it every night before bed. Isn't Al dreamy?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Week That Was

What's new, Pussycat? Whoa-a-whoa-a-whoa.

Lots of titbits over the past week. And what's the best way to deal with titbits? The unordered list!

Things worth considering:

  • Canadian Thanksgiving. Fosco had another delicious Canadian Thanksgiving dinner with the amazing Michael and Laurel, just like last year. This year, there was a remarkable pumpkin cheesecake and Fosco's boyfriend Oz was able to join us for the holiday. Sadly, there are no clearly Canadian (giggle) traditions for Thanksgiving--not even curling! But maybe that's not a bad thing, considering that in Fosco's family, holiday traditions generally mean "arguing about religion" or "being diabetic."

  • Can you deal with something funny? And disturbing? Very much of both? Then meet Old Greg:

    Trust me. This will haunt you all week. "I'm Old Greg."

  • How hot is it to see pictures of sexy Prince Harry nipple-licking his bud? The answer is "very." You have to love frat boys, even their cross-cultural equivalent.

  • I taught my first section of the quarter last Thursday, for a class called "The Gothic Imagination." It's very dark and it gives me a chance to pretend that I'm a goth kid. Fosco thought it might be funny to make Gothic section more gothic, ergo...
    Of course, unscented candles would have been more appropriate. This week, Fosco's going to wear eyeliner.

  • The Michelin Guide released its NYC restaurant ratings this week. Fosco is pleased to note that he had a meal this year at one of only three three-star restaurants in New York: Jean-Georges. And it was extraordinary (someday Fosco will tell you all about it). Also thrilling: the fact that Fosco has also eaten at Michelin one-star wd-50 (which is still a pretty impressive rating).

    And how can you not appreciate the demotion (to 0 stars) of Tom Colicchio's Craft? Apparently he's spending a bit too much time making celebrities of barely-competent line cooks. (Fosco may lose his Foodie Cred for admitting this, but he LOATHES "Top Chef.")

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Make 'em come up"

Fosco is generally pessimistic about new television series--particularly ones that begin in the Fall on a major network (it's usually the sneaky mid-season cable shows that end up being surprising). But, thanks to a badly-title good review in today's NYTimes, Fosco watched "Pushing Daisies" tonight. The show has been over for six minutes now and Fosco is still breathless with excitement. The show is AMAZING. It's the best thing Fosco has seen on TV in years. The review suggests the show owes a debt to Amelie, and I guess that's true (especially in some of the camera work). But the more apparent debt is to the incomparable Tim Burton: a technicolor world full of eccentricity and the constant threat of menace. Yet, at the same time, it's gentle and sweet. Fosco almost cried at one point tonight.

You need to watch this show.

[N.B.: Fosco apologizes for the semi-gratuitous Ween reference in the title of this post.]

I saw the best minds of my generation...

...censored by the FCC?

There's a great article in SFGate today about the potential for an obscenity fine for airing Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" on the radio. As noted in the article, there is particular irony in this, because

fifty years ago today, a San Francisco Municipal Court judge ruled that Allen Ginsberg's Beat-era poem "Howl" was not obscene. Yet today, a New York public broadcasting station decided not to air the poem, fearing that the Federal Communications Commission will find it indecent and crush the network with crippling fines.

And they aren't kidding about crippling:

WBAI program director Bernard White fears that the FCC will fine the station $325,000 for every one of Ginsberg's dirty-word bombs.

And what dirty-word bombs! Some samples:

  • "alcohol and cock and endless balls" (mmm, endless balls...)
  • "who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy" (wait, is he talking about my college roommate?)
  • "who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love" (oh god, who doesn't love sailors!)
  • "who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may"
  • "the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness" (must restrain self from making joke about "ultimate cunt.")
  • "The tongue and cock and hand and asshole holy!" (A-fuckin-men, brother.)

You get the point: the poem totally rawks. But there's another reason why this story is close to Fosco's heart. You see, Fosco once aired "Howl" on the public airwaves and got himself into a little trouble.

A number of years ago, Fosco programmed and hosted a twentieth-century classical music show on community radio station WTJU Charlottesville. One Wednesday evening (during drive-time, no less), Fosco aired a work by Lee Hyla which set a recording of Ginsberg reading "Howl" to music. Fosco didn't think about it until the Classical Director showed up at the station... Then, the next day, Fosco had to meet with the Station Manager in order to write up an incident report. By the end of the week, every member of the station had to undergo mandatory obscenity training. The Station Manager was nice enough not to tell everyone who had caused all of the fuss, so it was quite entertaining to listen to the classical and jazz staff speculate as to which rap/rock DJ had caused so much inconvenience for everyone. Luckily, no FCC complaint was ever filed and so there were no fines, etc. However, Fosco did feel simultaneously embarrassed and proud to be (probably) the first classical music DJ to run afoul of the FCC's obscenity policies.

Of course, Fosco still feels that "Howl," as art, should be exempt from all obscenity rules. Come on, people: grow up.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sexual Harassment Tuesday

Fosco doesn't know anything about the whole Isiah Thomas sexual harassment case, except that Thomas has figured out a great way to sound really guilty while proclaiming his innocence:

I want to say it as loud as I possibly can: I am innocent; I am very innocent.

Again, I don't know the facts of the case (except I'm pretty sure Isiah Thomas is not founder of Wendy's); however, I have to question the legal status of "very innocent." To me, "very innocent" sounds a lot like "guilty."

Because it's (apparently) sexual harassment Tuesday, take a moment to read Anita Hill's rebuttal to the repulsive Clarence Thomas's charges in his recent 60 Minutes interview. Let's just say that Thomas isn't even "very innocent." Justice Thomas was a liar in 1991 and is a liar still. He's an embarrassment to the Court and to our country. Can we please never let something like this happen again?

Look for the Union Label (on your midterms).

Did you know that Fosco is a member of the United Automobile Workers? Indeed! All UC teaching assistants are members of UAW Local 2865.

And good news! Yesterday, the UAW and UC reached an agreement on a new contract for teaching assistants, eliminating the need for a (very intellectual and extremely weird) strike by graduate students. Even better: the new contract includes the pleasant surprise of a 5% pay raise! That's one more nice dinner a month for Fosco and his boyfriend Oz. Or, more likely, four more books a month for Fosco.

On the other hand, Fosco is a little disappointed not to strike. He had already spent so much effort creating a sign concept:
See, it says "Fuck UC"! Isn't that cool? I've already had it silk-screened on 300 t-shirts.

And I had been working on some protest songs, including a version of Tesla's "Signs" that substitutes the name of UC President Dynes for the word "signs." It goes something like "Dynes, Dynes, President Dynes..." Well, that's as far as I got. But it was going to be killer.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Or do they accept sexual favors?

Fosco just purchased his copy of Radiohead's forthcoming album "In Rainbows." If you haven't heard, that's the album where you choose how much you want to pay. Yes! You order directly from Radiohead's website and, on the release date, you download the album--all for whatever price you choose.

Fosco decided to be classy and paid £5. Fosco thought this was about $8, but it turns out to be more like $10. Oh well.

Did I pay too much? Well, I have a plurality of company. More details on October 10.

New Philip Roth Novel Not Laugh-A-Minute Romp

Today's NY Times proves that there is nothing easier than writing a brief thematic description of a recent Philip Roth novel. Here's the teaser for their review:

Aging, mortality, loneliness, and loss. Wait--wasn't that his last novel? Or the one before that? Or one of the other ones?

Heck, I bet the Times didn't even have to read the novel to figure that one out.

Next week: "Richard Ford's new novel is a plain-spoken exploration of the disappointments of middle class American men." Oooh, can't wait to read that one. Hey, readers, write your own pre-reviews!

[N.B.: Fosco believes that Philip Roth is, without question, the greatest living American author.]

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The End of Summer: Picturebox Edition

Tomorrow is the first day of classes at the U (stupid quarter system, grrr...). So, for Fosco, today is the last day of summer (never mind that he's been reading phenomenology for an upcoming seminar for two days now). Ahhh, and what a summer it's been. It began, like all summers do, with good intentions, high expectations, and a large stack of must-read books. It ends, like all summers do, with regrets, recriminations, and dread. And so it goes...

What did Fosco actually do this summer?

Well, for one thing, he watched way too much television. A few of the shows were good, like House. One has to love Hugh Laurie, even if one hates most of the rest of the cast (especially the girl doctor and her Australian boyfriend). And despite the fact that every episode seems to end with a musical interlude in which all of the characters look pensive as they process the lessons they've learned, there are always a few laugh-out-loud lines. (N.B.: last night's season premiere was really well-written, even working in a knowing wink to lupus-loving fans of the show.) Also generally good: Monk (loved the Snoop Dogg guest appearance this summer), Psych (wacky and occasionally charming), and My Life on the D-List (Suck it, Jesus).

Some shows were occasionally worthwhile (but probably not worth watching during the school year): The Closer (intermittently funny, but why is Kyra Sedgwick's character so whiny?) and Bones (partially satisfies my post-Angel yearning for the smart-ass David Boreanaz, but why is the forensic anthropologist so annoying?).

Shows that I'm ashamed to have watched too much of this summer (please don't judge me): 30 Rock, Frasier and, worst of all, Everybody Loves Raymond. I'm not proud of any of this.

Show that I loved for two months and now loathe: Gilmore Girls. It's so weird, but after I watched almost all the episodes in a flurry this summer, I now can't stand this show. I even cried at the finale! But now I would rather go to the dentist than see an episode. Boy, is my TiVo confused...

And finally, you may be asking yourself: how did Fosco miss seeing the unanimous critical winner of the summer, Mad Men? I don't know. It looked a lot like Far From Heaven and I'd already seen that. I guess that's not much of an excuse.

I'm not sure what this is...

...but I love it.

Thanks, Todd, for this bizarre LOLtheorist pic (or whatever it is...):

Good luck falling asleep tonight, folks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bizarre Quote of the Week

The more I think about this quote, the less sense it makes to me. From the profile of director Michael Haneke in Sunday's (9/23) NYTimes Magazine:

The experience of watching "Funny Games" is not unlike watching snuff-porn clips late at night in your bedroom, only to have your mother or Jacques Lacan switch the light on periodically without the slightest warning.

What the hell is this sentence supposed to mean? First of all, how many readers of this sentence know what it's like to watch "snuff porn"? Is this sentence intended to be read by a Bret Easton Ellis character? Second, what does my mom have in common with Jacques Lacan? Would I really react the same if Lacan came into my bedroom as I would if my mom did? Huh?

And, now that we've parsed this sentence, do you have any idea about what feeling is being described here? I sure don't.

Plus: the "not unlike" construction is so obnoxious. You know what "not unlike" is? It's "like."

LOLtheorists: More, More, More!

I don't care about the threats of Mere (bring it on, Mere!): LOLtheorists will continue for the foreseeable future!

Todd has created some doozies this week. Here are three more from his fertile mind...

Here's Bertrand Russell:

I once had a boyfriend who told me that he'd never heard a convincing refutation of Ayn Rand's philosophy. Guess how long that relationship lasted (not long). So how much fun is this Ayn Rand picture?

And I've saved the best for last... I give you: Noam Chomsky.

It's filthy. It's funny. I LOVE it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Truths and a Lie: So Much Wrong

Two horrible truths about capitalism, plus a lie from Monday's craziest man.

  • According to today's Santa Cruz Sentinel, the SC housing market is going soft. The median home price is slipping a little. But wait, working people, don't get too excited. Home ownership is not yet in your future. That's because the median home price in Santa Cruz County is... wait for it... $770,000. Am I the only one who finds this repugnant?

  • My favorite article in the news today: a profile of George H.W. Bush's pool boy at His name is James Razsa, he gets paid $9 an hour, and he hates the people he works for. I think I love him.
    "If every American had to pool-boy for these people for a day, you'd have a revolution on your hands."
    That basically sums up lesson #1 of what Fosco wants to teach his students every quarter.

    My favorite James Razsa quote: "I look at the biggest middle finger in the world all day." This guy should have a commentary segment on YouTube.

  • I don't know if you heard... but the President of Iran or someone gave some sort of speech in NYC today. Mahmoud "Bruce" Ahmadinejad is insane, anti-Semitic, and misogynist. I bet he would really hate homosexuals. Luckily, he doesn't have to deal with any:
    "In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country.”

    The audience booed and hissed loudly. Some laughed, uncomfortably.

    “In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon,” Mr. Ahmadinejad continued, undeterred. “I do not know who has told you that we have it."
    No gays in Iran? How is that possible? Oh, I see now.

Theater Review Roundup

From today's San Jose Mercury News:

I can already see tomorrow's film review headline:
"The Sorrow and the Pity: Collaborators evil yet stylish."

It's like LOLtheorists, but with boobies.

Recent Discovery: You can give the LOL treatment to anything, even dirtee pitchurz (NSFW, from Fleshbot).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

America's Most Panoptic Cities

Fosco mostly ignored that whole controversy over Google's Street View feature. But, you know what? Even though it's a little creepy, Street View is fun! San Francisco is almost totally covered by the feature, which allows you to enjoy sights like three homosexuals conversing outside of hip Castro pet supplies emporium Best in Show. In five years, we won't remember how we lived without it.

There are other, better Street View discoveries, which you can find here.

If you prefer your all-seeing eye to be in real-time (and backed up by the power of THE LAW), then Chicago is your city. There are live crime cams in Chicago, and the po-po are watching. Feel safe? But be warned, because public alcohol consumption is a serious offense in Chi-Town. From the SF Chronicle:

Earl Gardner lounged on the street near his home just west of downtown Chicago, a 24-ounce can of Crazy Stallion beer in his hand.

A mile away, police Officer Al Garbauski slid a computer mouse to maneuver a camera that was perched a block from Gardner. Zooming in tight, Garbauski saw malt liquor meet mouth and sent an officer to arrest Gardner for drinking in public.

And the best part? The existence of a malt liquor called Crazy Stallion. The second best part? the Crazy Stallion Bottle looks like Arizona Ice Tea. The bad part? The police are watching us.

Welcome to the urban panopticon.

If you hate LOLtheorists...

...this is not your lucky weekend.

Here's a new submission from Todd. I was wondering when someone would get to Freud.

As Todd notes: "wow, this is way more fun than it should be." I could not agree more.

Here's another one from Fosco, who is a big fan of Roland Barthes.

Giggle. He totally should have been a French film star.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

LOLtheorists: Refuses To Die!

Damn, this is fun! Fosco spent all last quarter with Marx, so how could he resist making this one?

I'm sorry kids--I just can't help myself.

Friday, September 21, 2007

LOLtheorists: Todd Strikes Again

LOLtheorists continues to spark creativity in some of you (hint: if you haven't tried one, see what you can do). Todd is rocking the Casbah. I'm glad we've finally gotten to Foucault, and this is a good one:

And at the risk of bending the rules of LOLtheorists, I can't help but add this additional Todd effort (especially since Kathy Griffin is a friend of this blog).

As far as I'm concerned, there is never a bad time to say: Suck it, Jesus. Kudos to Todd for his work!

LOLtheorists: Kung Fu Theorizing

kungfuramone, as I have learned from his blog, is a sharp and witty historian of the mid-20C philosophical Left in France. As such, he is the perfect person to provide us with an LOLtheorist riff on Sartre:

Thank you, KFR. I'm still giddy about this one.

LOLtheorists: The Power of Todd

Todd is one of my best friends ever. He's also a graphic designer. Neither of those facts is that relevant to his participation in the LOLtheorists thread. He sent these three submissions within hours of the original post. I love all three, and vacillate as to my favorite.




Actually, I think the Hobbes one is the most brilliant. More later!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hegel Can Has Cheezburger?

No doubt, Fosco is behind the curve on this one but he's had some laughs this week at a thing called LOLcats. You make an LOLcat by taking a picture of a cat and adding a cute caption (using misspelled words and grammatical errors--just like real cats would!) This whole phenomenon is explained in detail at I Can Has Cheezburger? And it's spreading: I give you LOLbees and, merciful god, LOLbrarians (oh Mere, what's wrong with your people?).

You probably can guess what's coming...

Fosco Lives! presents... LOLtheorists!

Let's begin (as one always should) with Nietzsche...

Make your own. Send them to foscolives |at|

Tall Buildings Make Me Hot

In order to increase the inevitable carnage from the almost-assuredly-
sometime-in-our-lifetime Hayward Earthquake
, the Powers-That-Be in San Francisco have decided the skyline needs another very tall building. Ergo, the Transbay Terminal of the future: a transportation hub with attached skyscraper. As we've learned in recent years from the MoMA and Carnegie Hall, a building ain't shit anymore if it don't got a tower attached to it. (Hmmm... I wonder if it's an accident that the same firm that built those two towers is building the Transbay...) I'm pretty sure there's an elementary school being built down the street from me in Santa Cruz that has a tower attached. "First Class Residential Living, Within Reach of the First Grade." Anyway...

The Transbay winning design, as chosen today by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, is the not-exactly-iconic glass dildo designed by Kelly Clarkson Kelly Pelli Clarke Pelli. Seriously, I think I've identified the inspiration for this building:

Yes, that's right. The new Transbay Tower is based on a "personal massager" (and no, not all skyscrapers look like one. Would you ever put this in your vagina? Not on purpose, that's for sure. Eek.)

Of course, Pelli Clarke Pelli aren't terrible architects. They are responsible for the Petronas Towers (which actually might resemble another kind of sex toy). There's also something to be said for the pagoda-meets-prison ambiance of their Humanities and Social Sciences Building at UC Riverside (Go Highlanders!). But damn, for a building that is supposed to become the anchor of the SF skyline, the Transdildo isn't very inspired.

It might be argued that the most important part of the design is not the tower, but the public spaces at street level: the park, the terminal, the promenades. Well maybe, but aren't all those spaces just going to be covered with urine and feces?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Fosco Lives! Exclusive: Horowitz To Be Named UCSC Chancellor

The UC Regents will announce the appointment of a new UCSC chancellor tomorrow. Sources close to the Regents have revealed to Count Fosco that conservative agitator David Horowitz is the surprise choice to fill the vacancy opened by Denice Denton's suicide last summer.

Horowitz's appointment is particularly interesting given that he has recently called UCSC "the Worst School in America." His lengthy indictment of the humanities division UCSC can be read secondhand via the liberal Canadian Dimension (in good conscience, I just can't link directly to Horowitz's website). Horowitz expanded his critique of UCSC in an interview on FoxNews. Horowitz singles out noted professors Angela Davis, Bettina Aptheker, and Donna Haraway as particularly threatening.

Horowitz could not be reached for comment, but sources close to the Regents suggest to Fosco that Horowitz's tenure at UCSC is likely to marked by a return to traditional principles of academic freedom. Horowitz is expected to insist that students have the opportunity to learn the benefits of free and open markets. Additionally, Horowitz has publicly pledged to allow students freedom from professors with vaginas (one of the most dangerous threats to academic excellence).

Horowitz and his partner Jason will host an inaugural reception this weekend at the Chancellor's residence.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cotton Candy + Pig Feces

[Partial Transcript from the Santa Cruz County Fair Planning Meeting, March 2007]

Board Member #1: Does anyone have suggestions for the Fair's theme this year?
Board Member #2: We need a pun.
Board Member #3: Let's pun on a song about the U.S. Government failure in Vietnam and its subsequent betrayal of its veterans. That would be both funny and appropriate.
Board Members (all): Hooray!

Ergo, we have...

Clearly, this Fair is going to be full of cool rocking daddies.

As much as you might think the Fair sounds lame, don't judge until you hear about the musical entertainment. From the Palo Alto Daily News:

Just off the main promenade, through a pair of dark doors, are the twanging replies of Big Mama Sue and the Banjo Man. Red-cheeked kids walking in from the afternoon sun pause and peer at the duo's strange instruments: a metal kazoo, a gravy whisk grating on a washboard, a skinny-necked banjo. Something about these strange sounds has them on the verge of dancing.

Sue Kroninger of Santa Cruz and Andy Norbin of San Jose say they have been getting this sort of attention from kids since they started playing the fair 20 years ago - even though "Americana" music, as Kroninger calls it, is no longer in style.

"Kids don't hear this kind of stuff in the schools anymore," Kroninger said. "There's nothing produced about it."

Right, because kids just don't have any experience with improvised musical instruments now that the schools are encouraging experimentation with Moogs. Kids just never see anyone playing a kazoo now that they just use the "electric kazoo" function in Pro Tools. Sigh. The world is changing. I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.

Any plans for the weekend? Want to meet me at the SC County Fair?