Inhuman Swill : April 2003

I'm a high roller, baby

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Check us out:

http://www.perspectives-iff.org/sponsors.asp

True, it wasn't a cash donation, but still, I've never been such a high-rolling charity donor before.

(Oh, yeah, and this is a worthy cause you SoCal-ers should consider supporting.)

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You can't buy more than one MetroCard at MetroCard vending machines in the same day using the same credit card.

It's not that they tell you so explicitly, but if you try to buy a second MetroCard before the day is out, you get a mysterious "Temporarily unable to process payment" message.

Now, what's the point of this? To save us from our own excess?

This limitation is particularly vexing if you're, say, trying to purchase MetroCards for a group of folks, say, out-of-town visitors.

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Iraq 'n' roll

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My brother Tim is on his way to Iraq now. His unit flew out from Fort Lewis this morning and expect to end up somewhere not far south of Baghdad.

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Today's fortune

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Sesame kitten for lunch today. This was in my fortune cookie:

  • Your co-workers take pleasure in your great sense of creativity.
Somehow I'm not convinced.
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Fortunes

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I walked over to Macy's on my lunch break to buy a new wallet, which I've needed to do for some time. Back at the office, I was transferring the contents from old wallet to new when I discovered a little cache of slips from fortune cookies. Here they are, combined with a handful of others that were littering my desk:

  • Unexpected romantic and financial gifts surprise and delight you!
  • Speak only well of people and you need never whisper.
  • A seeming unlikelihood should be taken seriously.
  • Record your history so others may benefit from it.
  • Your skill will accomplish what the force of many cannot.
  • Your [sic] are going to get fucked tonight.
  • A setback does not mean that you have failed.
  • You are a talented storyteller.
  • Your kindness is sure to be repaid.
  • The truth will surface on its own.
Of those ten, three were sitting on my desktop, and one was affixed to my monitor with the sticker from a banana. Another was a gag fortune from a party. I'm sure you'll have no trouble picking that one out.
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Lehi goes to Africa

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Self-proclaimed prophet Mr. Embaye Melekin of Eritrea has written to enlist me in his campaign to spread the news that the Book of Mormon, far from being American scripture, is actually a record of African origin. As he says at his web site:

I was compiling this book to be published, but the Lord said to me, "You shall not make profit out of my words," and hence, was instructed to release it to the public and without any compensation. That is precisely what I am doing now. I urge everyone of you to read it with understanding. If you have never been shocked in your lifetime, I promise you that you will this time, when you finish reading my compilation of the Book of Mormon. And if you have any doubts about yourself, please read the Abyssinian Book (BoM). It is a book that will uplift your spirit and would bring closer to your God and Redeemer.

The Book of Mormon was compiled around the Buri Peninsula, Matara and Adi KeyiH. The people of Akeleguzay are the primary beneficiaries of the book. They are the closest link to the Book of Mormon. So also, the Moroni Hamassiens, the MensA and Maryas and other tribes in Eritrea, as well as Ethiopians and the rest of Africa and the black race in general. It is the most wonderful book you will ever read in your lifetime. I promise you that. If you have never read any book before, this is the one you should never miss. Because, if you don’t know the content of this book, you might as well consider yourself a dead person. You should not consider yourself a living being if you don’t read this book and understand it. [read all]

Frankly, I think that encouraging someone who has never read a book before to start with the Book of Mormon is a good way to ensure that that person will never read another book. But maybe that's just me.

More provocatively, Melekin asserts that remnants of Book of Mormon stories can be found today in the folklore of the peoples of Akeleguzay, and he has made extensive annotations to the book's text to support his contention. However, I was unable to plow through his writings far enough to determine how the heck this African record is supposed to have ended up in Joseph Smith's hands. You see, Joseph was an unwitting agent of God who was destined to misinterpret the scripture he brought forth—though why his translation is trustworthy if his interpretation isn't, I also can't determine.

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The Rogers Sisters

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Dear friends in the UK and/or EU:

Please go see my friend Miyuki's band The Rogers Sisters on their upcoming European tour. They start in Sweden on April 23rd, then finish up at The Spitz in London on May 8th. Oh, yeah, and on May 7th they're doing John Peel's show.

This is one cool band. Speed surf punk as only a band from Brooklyn can do it.

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From the Times of London:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5944-648517,00.html

As appalling as his story is (if you take it at face value, that is), I smiled at the Iraqi doctor's obvious and sweet schoolboy crush on young Pfc Lynch. Maybe we should be staffing our military entirely with fresh-faced blonde cuties. It might bring the Arab world to its knees—well, one knee, anyway, with a bouquet of flowers extended.

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Wired and wireless

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I haven't gotten nearly enough sleep this week, and I'm exhausted. Work has been nuts with the launch and debugging of our new web site, and last night I was up until 3:30 am finishing a spec for a site I'll be building freelance and gratis, and getting ready for this trip to Philadelphia.

As I was walking out the door at 5:45 am this morning (yes, do the math!), I noticed a Federal Express letter waiting for me in the vestibule. I opened it on the Amtrak to Philly and discovered page proofs for "The Day Pietro Coppino Spoke to the Mountain," which I now know now is tentatively scheduled to appear in the August issue of Realms of Fantasy. That means end of May or beginning of June, since RoF is a bimonthly.

By the way, I'm finally field-testing my new Centrino laptop. Yes, I'm writing this from a Starbuck's in Philadelphia—18th and Market, to be exact. I've had way too much caffeine today, which I suppose makes me wired and wireless at the same time. But damn, this wireless stuff is cool. I could easily get to liking this.

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A tragedy in the East Village last night:

Bouncer killed in brawl over city's smoking ban A brawl broke out after the bouncer, 32-year-old Dana Blake, told two brothers that they were not permitted to smoke in the bar, Guernica on Avenue B. Blake tried to eject them, but one of the brothers pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the stomach, police said. [read all]
Actually, I think it's disingenuous to blame the death directly on the smoking ban, as the victim's brother is quoted as saying in the article. I mean, the perpetrators apparently had a knife and were stupid or hateful or drunk enough to be willing to use it, smoking ban or no. They might have been disorderly enough that they would have been ejected from the club in any event. And who knows exactly how the series of events escalated?

But it's going to be hard not to associate the ban with this murder—a fallacy I'm sure we're going to hear frequently in the coming weeks.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

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William Shunn

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