Signal Wave

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Here's something I've been reading lately:

nightvale1.jpg

A friend of mine gave me this novel, and I was already a couple of chapters into it before I realized the novel wasn't just a novel. It's based on a massive series of podcasts, a live show, and well, just a lot of associated art. I probably would have been slightly intimidated by coming in to the story so late if I'd known, so it's just as well I didn't. After all, if I hadn't started reading it, I'd have missed passages like this:

Imagine teaching a fifteen-year-old how to drive a car with manual transmission. First, you have to press down the clutch. Then you have to whisper a secret into one of the cup holders. In Diane’s case, this was easy, as she was not a very social or public person, and most any mundane thing in her life could be a secret. In Josh’s case this was hard, because for teenagers most every mundane thing in their lives is a secret that they do not like sharing in front of their parents. Then, after the clutch and the secret, the driver has to grab the stick shift, which is a splintered wood stake wedged into the dashboard, and shake it until something happens—anything really—and then simultaneously type a series of code numbers into a keyboard on the steering wheel. All this while sunglasses-wearing agents from a vague yet menacing government agency sit in a heavily tinted black sedan across the street taking pictures (and occasionally waving). This is a lot of pressure on a first-time driver.

Freaking hilarious! And not unlike my first experience at learning to drive a stick shift (except that there were no glasses-wearing government agents watching. At least not that I know of.)

This is the first novel set in Nightvale. Welcome to Nightvale came out in 2015. It was written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, the same people who created the podcast. Here's a reassuring introductory video for those who, like me, are a bit intimidated by the scope of it all:

One thing that I find both hilariously appropriate and slightly creepy is that the book Welcome to Nightvale keeps getting unaccountably lost in my house. The book disappeared for days right after my mother read me the first chapter (it's great aloud). I knew I hadn't taken it out of the house, and my house isn't all that big. How could it have gone missing? I even looked in the yard and in the cars. Nope. I finally found it deep under the covers of my bed down near the bottom on the side I never sleep on. I shrugged and read a few more chapters, thinking Well good, I found it. But I looked for it just now when I started writing this OT. It is, once again, completely missing. And yes, I checked my bed from top to toe this time. No soap. I'd think the good neighbors were borrowing it, except that they probably already know the story, having dictated it to Fink and Cranor; it sounds like it.

I think I'll start listening to the podcast as well. I'll let you guys know what I think in a later OT.

I found another foreign period drama to watch. This is another one from China, set in the fifth century:

princess weiyoung.jpgThe Princess Weiyoung (Chinese: 锦绣未央) is a 2016 Chinese television series starring Tiffany Tang in the title role, alongside Luo Jin, Vanness Wu, Mao Xiaotong and Li Xinai. It is adapted from the novel The Poisonous Daughter (庶女有毒) by Qin Jian and is a fictionalized account of Emperor Wencheng of Northern Wei's reign and Empress Feng (Wencheng)'s regency.

I hope that this one has a better ending than The Rise of Phoenixes. If I watch another 70-episode series for nothing, I might swear off Chinese television for life!

Apparently, there's some controversy around the original novel The Poisonous Daughter:

The author of the source novel was involved in a plagiarism case, where it was alleged that she used a software to copy over hundreds of other works to create her own novel. An alliance formed by 12 writers, including famed wuxia novelist Woon Swee Oan, teamed up together to sue Qin Jian. According to Beijing News, a group of volunteers compared The Princess Weiyoung with more than 200 other novels. They found that out of 294 chapters, only nine chapters are original.

That's unfortunate, but I'm going to watch it anyway.

What I've been listening to lately, live and in person: an Afro-Cuban jazz band out of Jacksonville called LPT.

salsa-lpt_bw_hi_res (1).jpgsalsa2.jpg

These guys are the genuine article. Holy moly!

How are you all today?

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mimi's picture

It's so bad, I won't say anything about it. But well worth knowing about for all of you, imo..

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi

when any western European nation differs from the U.S. on any matter of policy. Basically it seems we're dragging the entire English-speaking world, France, Spain, Germany, and Sweden--at least--along with us. I don't know about Denmark and Norway. In Italy and Greece, the operations of late-stage capitalism are so brutal and brazen that I almost don't even think of their own governments and politicians as existing anymore.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
great, but what I read from that video seems to be something else than you do. Never mind. BDS started out in the US as support for the Palestinians and their territorial and equal civil rights, if I recall it correctly. Now it is bastardized in Germany for something very different.

Gosh, I must be dumb or something... God, have mercy with me.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi

As well as, sometimes, being a way of protesting against the insane, aggressive foreign policies advocated by the Israeli government in general and the Likkud party in particular, policies that are extremely dangerous to the world as a whole.

But it's being decried as anti-Semitic now, because the powerful have decided to use anti-bigotry rhetoric to protect their policies. Basically the way it works is that, as long as there are some people of minority race or ethnicity who want the same things that, say, Dick Cheney wants, we put those people on TV and have them say that objecting to Dick Cheney's preferred policies is racist or anti-Semitic. The same thing's been done to Jeremy Corbyn, because he dared to disagree publicly (in a rather moderate way, I think) with some of the preferred policies of Cheney, Bush, the Clintons and the rest of the homicidal war-mongering crew over here.

Just wait. Soon wanting peace at all will be called anti-Semitic and a threat to Israel's existence.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
but how can you say that's a good thing? It isn't. The legislation is bad, if not a coup-like legislation, when it is calling the BDS movement being anti-semitic. And that is how I understood the TRN video as saying it as well.

I understood your comment as you thinking the legislation is being something positive. I may have gotten you wrong. In that case I apologize for the confusion.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi

Maybe we're just talking past each other?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

too confused about everything and also tired of it. I think I just misunderstand your words.
My bad. Let's move on to something else. Please.

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mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

....As well as, sometimes, being a way of protesting against the insane, aggressive foreign policies advocated by the Israeli government in general and the Likkud party in particular.

May be someone would like to pick up that video and post it and discuss what it really means.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi

The commentators said the legislation criminalized BDS--that in fact, Germany was the first nation to criminalize BDS (though I think there have been some attempts to criminalize it here).

Not sure what I'm missing here, but perhaps others can address it.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi

Palestinians is particularly poisonous. Netanyahu is trying to identify BDS with Nazism, when in fact, ironically, there are plenty of neo-Nazis today, in the Ukraine for instance, who like Israel quite a lot--which makes Israel's government closer to Nazis than the BDS movement is.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

mimi's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
others than you and me.

I like to have other interpretations.

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Lookout's picture

I hope you've recovered from your NY trip, and are settling back in after that adventure, CStMS.

I've not read a novel since "The Overstory" which I finished a couple of weeks back.

We've been watching One Planet on netflix
http://www.hddocumentary.com/netflix-our-planet-2019-1of8-one-planet/
We don't binge. Just an episode every few days.

We also worked our way through the new Les Mis...
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/les-miserables/

Our weather finally turned hot with 90's due all week.

Hope you all have a great Sunday!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

When are you coming down? I'd like to drive up to White Springs and say hi, if that's OK.

It's the 26th, right?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Maybe I'll see you?

2019 FLORIDA FOLK FESTIVAL @ WHITE SPRINGS, FLORIDA

Thursday, May 23
6-9 PM Heritage Stage Potluck (bring dish, utensils, drinks, SFCSO check)
7-9 PM Contra Dance w/Andy Kane & LB & Friends

Friday, May 24
11:30 AM Will McLean Stage Upsala
12:00 PM Jam Tent Old Time Fiddle Tunes with Jarrod Ridgway
2:30 PM Will McLean Stage Lloyd Baldwin & Friends

Saturday, May 25
10:30 AM Old Marble Stage Lloyd Baldwin & Friends
1:30 PM River Gazebo Stage Upsala
4:00 PM Workshop II Florida Fiddle Tunes with Lloyd Baldwin
7:00-9:00 PM Heritage Stage Contra Dance w/Andy Kane & LB & Friends

Sunday, May 26
11:00 AM Old Marble Stage Upsala
11:30 AM Paw Paw Stage Lloyd Baldwin & Friends
9:30 PM Heritage Stage Contra Dance w/ Andy Kane & Upsala

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

I'll let you know soon.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Lookout

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

The Aspie Corner's picture

Then again, the folks behind The Last Samurai referred to it as 'Historywood'.

The Princess Weiyoung (Chinese: 锦绣未央) is a 2016 Chinese television series starring Tiffany Tang in the title role, alongside Luo Jin, Vanness Wu, Mao Xiaotong and Li Xinai. It is adapted from the novel The Poisonous Daughter (庶女有毒) by Qin Jian and is a fictionalized account of Emperor Wencheng of Northern Wei's reign and Empress Feng (Wencheng)'s regency.

Alternate fictional timeline, perhaps? Having read Three Kingdoms, Wei was taken down from within by the Sima family who founded the Jin dynasty after forcing the last Wei emperor to abdicate. The Jin kingdom would come out on top, but their empire didn't last long either.

Still, the legal case involving this work does sound fascinating. Here's an article on using algorithms for writing.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Aspie Corner

I don't know anything about Chinese medieval history either, but maybe they're talking about a different Wei?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

Does that make him Noh Wei?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Aspie Corner

Tuoba Jun (the future Emperor Wencheng) was only 12 when his grandfather was assassinated; in the series, the emperor is still alive and the guy is in his early thirties.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

You all are up bright and early!

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

Did my first 4 hour Judo work out yesterday. (Competition, followed by Kata class) Damn it's a lot of work. Totally worth it from a focus standpoint however, especially Kata, which is more like Tai Chi... with the addition of slamming your friend into the ground. Smile On the plus side, Kata works both left and right, so it's nice to be able to do at least half the moves while I wait for bone to solidify totally.

Overall, decided to tune out on politics again. Realized that my relationship with the MSM is abusive. They keep telling me I'm the problem and I no longer need to believe it. Had a few ups and downs the last week, but overall... not bad.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

That sounds like a good tired.

I zoned out on the treadmill and ended up walking for an hour rather than my customary 1/2 hour...after doing weights. Smile

Out of curiosity, is there any chance you might ever travel to the opposite coast?

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4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I don't want to take chances having to stay clean and sober in other states, or paying the extortionate costs to get a medical marijuana card. (Oregon law says you can't take it out of state, and I don't break that one. Last thing I need is a federal drug trafficking charge on my record.)

While I would love to see the rest of the country again, I don't believe I'll be leaving town anytime soon.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

I've been slowly cogitating on the idea of renting a house (perhaps a beach house) for a week or two. That would be expensive, so it would require a fair amount of saving and planning, but I never had a big 40th or 50th birthday celebration (actually my b-day celebrations have been kind of lackluster over the past couple years) and I really don't want to wait for my 60th birthday to throw a big party. I'm starting to feel people out to see if they could afford the time and money to travel to said beach house.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

Dealing with the news in a healthy way involves a balancing act, IMO; I try to make myself stick my head up once every 10-20 days to see if anything significant has changed and to catch up on the details of the general perfidy.

The problem is that most of the purveyors of data are corrupt and the data they hand out poisonous...

But unlike Snow White and the Wicked Witch, there ain't many sources of apples around. So I find that rationing the amount of exposure is the key. It's a difficult balancing act.

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4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal RL gets me to tune in to find out why the garbage is happening, I complain about the garbage, I get annoyed, and I tune out again.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Anja Geitz's picture

Raining again today and although it's a bit dreary, I've got no complaints. The garden has never looked better. In fact I'm getting some tomato seedlings today and look forward to planting them to use in a delicious bruschetta. Won't exactly be the same as the bruschetta I had in Rome, but it'll be pretty good.

image_196.jpg

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

https://thewire.in/diplomacy/german-parliament-criminalises-boycott-dive...

This news organization called The Wire is from India and is not to be confused with U.S. media using the name The Wire.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard
I would say I may have been a little confused when talking to CSTMS, but I got the TRN conversation right. Can't tell you how tired I am about all of it. I am ready to leave media and politics behind.

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lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
I respect anyone — Edward Snowden, Daniel Ellsberg, but also people here on c99 including you — who appear to have demonstrated they can stand up to and resist that pressure.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/18/truth-teller-pentagon-pape...

Here I agree with free-software guru Richard Stallman:

An interview with Daniel Ellsberg about his career as a whistleblower, starting from the crucial night when he heard President Johnson lie on TV about the fabricated “Gulf of Tonkin incident”. Ellsberg knew, from his job, that Johnson [knew] the incident was fictitious.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I now see the Cold War as, in part, a marketing campaign for the continual, massive subsidies to the aerospace industry.”

People sometimes ask me how I separate truth from lies. An important part is that I believe people like Ellsberg, and disbelieve whoever contradicts or disparages them. Likewise, I believe Edward Snowden and disbelieve whoever contradicts or disparages him.

In these areas, the pressure to lie is very strong. Ellsberg and Snowden have demonstrated they can resist it, while most people can’t.

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mimi's picture

@lotlizard
to link to stallman.org. I admired him in the past a lot. Seems to be such a long time ago.

In the mid nineties I was an admirer. His portrait hang in one of the biggest computer, software, tech stores in Rockville, MD, called Microcenter.

In 1994 I was pretty interested in all things open source software, Unix, Linux etx. I had my dreams back then and followed some Linux user groups. The guy who wrote the first open source shopping cart software helped me to run my own online website for books. Didn't last long. Besoz came along and destroyed everything.

Just a couple of days ago I tried to find similar Linux groups here. I might try them out.
I am so tired of my Windows laptop.

I think I am an oldtimer driving in a very old oldsmobile that hasn't been maintained properly.

Great to be reminded of Stallmann. Thanks.

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