Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"Extraterrestrial Route" in Puerto Rico

Reynaldo Rios, an elementary school teacher who says he's been communicating with alien visitors to this U.S. territory since he was a child, holds a pyramid while pictured standing in front of a sign reading, 'Extraterrestrial Route,' in Lajas, southwestern Puerto Rico, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005. Rios wants to build an alien landing strip, equipped with pyramids as control towers, on a nearby hilltop, in an area where many locals believe they have seen UFOs in the past. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

I miss my cousin. He could become very famous here in the US.
Source: Associated Press. Link here.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fight Club, September 11, and Project Mayhem

We have front row seats for this theater of mass destruction. The demolition committee of Project Mayhem wrapped the foundation columns of a dozen buildings with blasting gelatin. In two minutes, primary charges will blow base charges and a few square blocks will be reduced to smoldering rubble.

The last part of the movie Fight Club, made in 1999, shows several high-rises exploding and collapsing. Tyler Durden, the man behind this terrorist act and the leader of the Al-qaeda-like organization named Fight Club, describes his dream as follows:
In the world I see - you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.

Tyler Durden's ideal world reminds me of Mullah Muhammad Omar and his Emirate in Afghanistan. I can even imagine Omar writing the script. In the image I have from him in mind Omar seems to be a cool guy. He even calls the exploded area "Ground Zero" two years before it becomes fashionable:
[Tyler points a gun into the Narrator's mouth]
Narrator: [voiceover] People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden.
Tyler Durden: Three minutes. This is it - ground zero. Would you like to say a few words to mark the occasion?
Narrator: ...i... ann... iinn... ff... nnyin...
Narrator: [voiceover] With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.
[Tyler removes the gun from the Narrator's mouth]
Narrator: I can't think of anything.
Narrator: [voiceover] For a second I totally forgot about Tyler's whole controlled demolition thing and I wonder how clean that gun is.

That's exactly what I am thinking about as well. The gun is too clean. Either Bin Laden writes scripts for Hollywood, or Hollywood works for Al-Qaeda. Either way, this gun is too clean for a bunch of villagers in Afghanistan.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Contemplating Hell

Migrating from Iran to Los Angeles, it is difficult to compare the city to hell. Bertolt Brecht probably had the same feeling when he escaped Nazi Germany and moved to LA. But there is something here, in Los Angeles, that made him write this poem. Something that might be partly true.
* Contemplating Hell
Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London. I,
Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles,
Find, contemplating Hell, that is
Must be even more like Los Angeles.

Also in Hell,
I do not doubt it, there exist these opulent gardens
With flowers as large as trees, wilting, of course,
Very quickly, if they are not watered with very expensive water. And fruit markets
With great leaps of fruit, which nonetheless
Possess neither scent nor taste. And endless trains of autos,
Lighter than their own shadows, swifter than
Foolish thoughts, shimmering vehicles, in which
Rosy people, coming from nowhere, go nowhere.
And houses, designed for happiness, standing empty,
Even when inhabited.

Even the houses in Hell are not all ugly.
But concern about being thrown into the street
Consumes the inhabitants of the villas no less
Than the inhabitants of the barracks.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

There's no way like the American way

No comment.
* The photograph: "At the Time of the Louisville Flood", by Margaret Bourke-White, 1937.
© Margaret Bourke-White/Timepix.

* Also see the new cartoon by Steve Bell in Guardian.