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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Any good fortune teller (or, if you prefer, charlatan) practices the art of Universally Applicable Advice. You know, gems like “Be alert for opportunity,” which is ALWAYS a good idea, or “You will meet someone new in the coming year,” a prediction that is nearly water-tight for anyone at all. I often suspect primary care physicians of the same practice: “Walk more. Eat more vegetables.”

So, let me offer my own New Year’s nugget of Universally Applicable Advice: Kill yourself.

Really. I just committed Twitter suicide and it felt GREAT. I’m seriously considering Facebook suicide as well. Last night, I spent an unecessary 3 hours at my desk, long after everyone else in the office had gone home, cruising a succession of increasingly-depraved websites, only to stumble home in the rain feeling soul-dead and empty. Screw THAT. If I’m going to be hungover, it’s damn well going to be from actual, physical revelry. That’s MY New Year’s resolution! This morning I arose with a powerful and righteous conviction that TODAY is the day to make a change. No more checking Severina’s readership stats in the morning before leaving the house. NO MORE staying at work after hours to update my Fetlife profile. I am putting my virtual selves before the virtual firing squad, because they have slowly and insidiously seized too much territory in my consciousness. Anti-revolutionary factions must be purged.

Join me, friends. Kill your virtual self – at least ONE of them – and meet me out in the bracing cold of the Real World. I look forward to seeing you there in the New Year. XO!

And now, a few handy tools to aid you:

First, the ingenious Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, which will quickly and completely extinguish your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace accounts:

http://suicidemachine.org/

Next, Write Room software that simulates the archaic, uncluttered, distraction-free interface of DOS, just a blinking green cursor on a black screen, so you can work on the next great 21st century novel in peace:

http://www.hogbaysoftware.com/products/writeroom

Finally, the Suicide Booth in Second Life, which will vaporize your persona into a fine red mist:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Tiretta/131/210/58

Happy hunting!

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The United States is one of only 12 countries in the world that restricts the free movement of HIV-positive people across its borders. For the last 22 years, HIV-positive people have been banned from traveling to the United States. (And it’s not just discriminatory against positive people, it’s also racist: the selection process takes place during the visa application process, so it unfairly targets people from countries with visa requirements, and, of course, those countries include the whole continent of Africa.)

But no more! The HIV travel ban has been lifted, effective January 4, 2010. So, some good news happens sometimes! Sorry, that’s about all the enthusiasm I can muster for the Obama administration these days. (For my beloved policy wonk types, there is source material below. For those who would like to read a touching human-interest story, click through the photo above to read a piece from the Gotham Gazette.)

Here’s the CDC guidance page describing the policy change:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/laws_regs/fed_reg/remove-hiv/final-rule-hiv.htm

Here’s the Federal Register final rule:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2009-11-02/pdf/E9-26337.pdf

And here’s an immigration attorney’s analysis of the effects the rule change:
http://www.visalawyerblog.com/2009/11/the_hiv_travel_ban_is_now_lift.html

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Written on the back of this drawing, by a young Sudanese girl:

“It is very kind of you to send food. But this is Africa and we are used to being hungry. What I ask is that you please take the guns away from the people who are killing us.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology

File under “Ya learn something new every day”: Agnotology, I learned this afternoon, is the study of the cultural production of doubt or ignorance. As all cynical (read: observant) citizens know, massive quantities of money and effort are spent on obscuring, occluding, and misrepresenting events and facts. As a result, American political ‘dialogue’ no longer resembles a debate or a conversation. It’s collusion in mass brainwashing, the consensual production of complicity, and the dissemination of useful delusions.

So agnotology is the study of how this collusion is manufactured. I want to do a graduate degree in THAT – it’d be like an anti-marketing degree. Dismantling public relations. Antipaganda. If you feel you would qualify for a tenure-track position, please contact me. Our university will be accepting its first students within the next decade or so. If it’s not too late.

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So, a cranky undercover cop drew his gun on a crowd of snowballers in Washington DC. Apparently, his personal vehicle had been caught in the crossfire. Of snowballs. He was quickly and effectively shamed when the crowd began chanting, “Don’t bring a gun to a snowball fight!”

Just as the first shoe thrown at Bush Jr. inspired an avalanche of shoes tossed at effigies and public offices, let these humble snowballs unleash a calvacade of imitators. Let the snowballs reign! Let the fun-missiles fly! Grouchy authority figurines should be taught that squashing spontaneous carnivalesque eruptions of cheery mayhem is NOT within their purview.

Baller for life. What what.

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