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The Insidious Soliloquy of Cicero Hood
17 Reasons!
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18th-Mar-2010 01:08 pm - On The Air 2-5pm Eastern
(That's 11am - 2pm Pacific to you left-coasters!)

Tune in and allow me to pleasure your earholes.

10th-Nov-2009 01:17 am - Weekly playlist: 3-6 a.m. 11/08/09
The setlist from Saturday night/Sunday morning's WXYC show is up now, over here.

Lots of new, cool stuff. Check some of these albums out if you haven't, especially White Mice, the Resonant Hole compilation, and The XX. Oh, and the new Harvey Milk live album rocks my little world.

Other things that rock my little world: finding To Damascus in the station library. I'd forgotten all about that band, but I used to really dig on them, once upon a time. Their stuff held up better than most Hollywood bands of the time.
13th-Sep-2009 10:06 pm - 9/12 Setlist
The setlist from my Saturday night/Sunday morning show can be found here. Comments, questions welcome.
6th-Sep-2009 12:31 pm - Any Raleigh friends left in town?
Anyone left here that's not at Dragon Con? Was anyone planning on doing anything this evening or tomorrow? It'd be kinda nice to see people, but Trish and I are pretty broke so we're more in a go-for-coffee or hang-out-at-your-place (or our place) and have a beer or three kinda thing. Backyard grilling of brats and wings totally optional. Basically, we're open to pretty much anything right now except clubbing and going out for a big meal.

Gimme a hollar!
2nd-Aug-2009 03:15 pm - Newer pics
Courtesy of my friends Lee and Erin, taken at 80's night at Flex 7/31/09 (images behind the cut):Collapse )
(This was originally written as a commentary on a friend's post, which is friends-locked. I have reprinted it here, with limited editing, to make it available for friends to read and comment on.)

I'm sensing a touch of bitterness on this subject (the lack of manned, American space missions). We went to the moon! C'mon, man, that was pretty cool. So, why is it that Americans feel like we were somehow entitled to more?

Tom Wolfe wrote an Op-Ed contribution in Saturday's New York Times in which he bemoans the lack of "philosophers" in NASA (the one exception he cites, of all people, is Werner von Braun). The essay's clear implication is that had we but had men of vision in NASA (and endless money, but Wolfe's generation never shied away from borrowing from future ones) we might not have Taco Bells at the foot of Mons Olympia by now, but we'd sure at least have our space cowboys out there, doing... well, something. That's not the important part. Making space safe for aging prose writers to retire to, perhaps.

Wolfe was a strong and clear voice for that most self-entitled of all American generations. If we wanted to go to the moon, to Mars, and beyond, then who the hell were these tiny, petty, unambitious men who would deny us this?

The reality is, of course, that Earth is far stickier than people would like, particularly baby boomers with their fading dreams of our manifest destiny in the stars. The safety issues involved in flying a manned Mars mission are staggering, let alone the logistics of a two to three year supply of food, water, fuel and spare parts. The idea that we can somehow rush the technology with the sheer power of positive thinking is spectacularly flawed (it is a telling thing that Wolfe was an outspoken supporter of George W. Bush's presidency).

The importance of manned missions seems to be central to the complaints of Wolfe and his crowd. "'Why not send robots?'" is a common refrain," he writes. He then answers this with a quote from Werner von Braun about the power of the human brain as being far greater and more efficient than a computer - a fair point when von Braun made the statement. In his day, the computer in the phone in your pocket would have filled a room, your laptop an office building.

Ah, but what of the lack of vision? The dream of accomplishment? Sadly, more bellyaching. We've built orbital probes that can peer into the sun, satellites that read the movements of the Earth's plates, and telescopes that peer to the edge of the universe. But Wolfe's ilk can't get past the fact that we don't have cowboys on Mars. Who exactly has the problem with lack of vision here?

One shouldn't infer from my saying this that I don't believe we'll ever make it off this rock; in the words of Burroughs, we're all here to go, and I do believe we will someday go into space. But in the meantime, I do feel that it would be wisest to start treating this planet as though we weren't going anywhere just yet.
I've been getting some surprising reactions from folks regarding the whole California special election. Now, I'm going to say a few inflammatory things here (*gasp* Effie no! Not you!), so it's important that no one here thinks I'm talking about them specifically. I was originally going to write this as a response to feyandstrange but I didn't want to send the message that I thought all the things I'm about to say apply to her. My general opinion of humans is that they're generally gullible, selfish, and ignorant. That doesn't mean I think *you* are. That said...

There seems to be a disconnect among the American electorate in general, not just California. There's a false syllogism at play:

Thesis: People who don't do any work don't get much done.
Antithesis: The government doesn't seem to me to get much done.
Synthesis: Therefore, people in government don't do any work.

Like I said, this is not a strictly Californian problem. The fact that Californians can vote their emotions on stuff like this is, though.

It's funny, people seem to think that the California State Assembly didn't reach a budget because it's so easy that they couldn't be bothered. Actually, the truth is, it really *could* be that easy; all they need to do is slash the budget of all those wonderful social services agencies that lefties love so much. It would be a lot easier politically than trying to raise taxes, and it's frankly more sustainable into the future. Apparently, there are enough people in the Assembly think those programs are important enough to fight for that they refuse to give way and have the numbers to stand their ground. Similarly, those on the right are joined by enough people reasonably concerned about the thought of raising taxes during a recession that they aren't going to give way easily either. It's gonna be tough and messy, with political concessions forced on both sides. Whatever they end up with, unions will get involved, political futures will be flushed, and the world will keep on rolling. To call this process a thankless task would be the epitome of understatement.

But hey, what am I saying? Fuck 'em. They're being paid for results, not excuses, right? The tougher work they're doing, the more they deserve to be reminded of the utter scorn that their constituents feel toward them. Ask 'em to fix your busted streets, keep your parks and museums running, teach your apathetic kids, fight crime, keep your air and water clean (and clean it if it isn't), all while adhering to a state code made completely ridiculous from 30 years of dumb schmucks off the street getting to vote into law any hare-brained idea with a lawyer and 10,000 idiots' signatures behind it, and then for good measure, kick 'em good and hard in the ass when they fail to solve all your own damn problems in to the way you honestly never really expected them to.

A ballot measure against pay raises for all state officials based on a perception of the legislature performing poorly was fucking petty. Mind you, I'm not above being petty myself. Sometimes it feels pretty damn good. But let's do call a spade a spade, and not try to couch it in pathetic political rationalizations. Demagoguery rarely has a logical rationale behind it.

I'm not saying that I think the guys in California's government do deserve a raise. Honestly, it's not my call to make. I don't live in California, so I have no horse in this race, and I thank goodness for that. But I sure as hell know that the last person qualified to make that call is some cranky mouth breather whose only reason for even going to the polls at all that day is to take their frustrations out on someone just because he could.
11:22 <@toast> Results for Tuesday's special election posted on the California's secretary of state's website showed more than 60 percent of voters rejected
the five fiscal measures on the ballot.
11:22 <@toast> A sixth measure barring pay increases for state officials amid deficits was approved by about 74 percent of the voters.
11:22 <@toast> there's a nice fuck you
11:22 <@jb> *fall*, pushup, *explode up*
5th-Apr-2009 11:10 am - Sweet success
The conference went very well. I attended a couple of utterly useless seminars (more on those later), one decent one on stress and time management, and overall had a great time.

As for the competitions, I won first place in Microeconomics and placed second in Macroeconomics. This means I'm heading on to the nationals for both categories. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited.

Nationals are June 20-23. If any SoCal peeps in the LA/Anaheim area want to get together let me know and we'll work out dinner and some drinks or something.
20th-Mar-2009 12:42 pm - ZING OF THE DAY!
From Kung Fu Monkey by way of jason0x21:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."
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