stAllio!'s way
Friday, January 30, 2004 
so there's a lot of buzz right now about fcc indecency fines. apparently bono used the f-word during a live broadcast of the golden globes & people flipped out that nbc wasn't punished because of bono's actions (although if bono had, say, taken a handgun & started shooting people, legally the gun manufacturer wouldn't be liable... so i'm not sure why nbc is liable for what bono says during a live awards show, but anyway)... congress is even proposing to ban curse words from broadcast altogether.

(not surprisingly, the fcc hearings on localism aren't getting nearly that much attention... clear channel gets coverage for naughty content, but not for being an oppressive monolithic entity.)

specifically, one proposed bill would outright ban the use of the following words:


it seems to me that, in light of all this controversy, right now would be the best time ever for some daring broadcaster to actually use all these supposedly indecent words on the air. not in just some salacious swearfest, but a serious, in-depth linguistic analysis of these words & their place in our culture. in a sense, that would be the ultimate "fuck you" to the prudes that be: a no-holds-barred real discussion that shows the function of these words, & how an unconstitutional prior restraint against them would not be in the public interest.

so far a few brave print/online periodicals have actually printed these words when discussing this story (like rolling stone), or at least the main word at the crux of the controversy, fuck (for example, forbes, the daily vanguard, & even reuters). but i haven't heard of any broadcasters who have the balls to really let loose & explore the issue (i would say you can't seriously discuss this kind of language if you're afraid to actually use the words in question).

now, some who discuss this story rightly bring up fcc v pacifica, the famous supreme court/george carlin "filthy words" case. this was the case where the supremes decided that the govt had the right to try to regulate what it called "indecent" programming & set up the "safe harbor" system. but so far, i haven't seen anyone mention why the pacifica station (was it wfmu?) broadcast the "filthy words" monolog in the first place: because they were doing a serious discussion of contemporary attitudes toward language. in the pacifica decision, the supremes said that they had the right to regulate so that kids couldn't hear that kind of content on the air (which i passionately disagree with, but let's ignore that)... but at the same time, the content wasn't "obscene" & banning that stuff outright would stifle free speech, quite different from protecting the public interest.

that was the whole point of the safe harbor to begin with! some overly uptight assholes might not like those words, but they are constituionally protected speech, therefore banning them would be a prior restraint, & prior restraint is unconstitutional.

there is no way such a ban could pass constitutional muster. so why are these congressman wasting everyone's time even discussing it? don't they have better things to worry about than f-bombs? like maybe real bombs?

so yeah. this is my challenge to some ballsy broadcaster out there. i want to hear a serious intellectual discussion of the linguistic function of these words, & contemporary attitudes toward them, on the air. in fact, if someone has a recording of the original broadcast that brought about the fcc v pacifica case, re-airing that show would be awesome.

please? pretty please with pussy on top? (wait, pussy isn't one of the potentially-banned words... i should say cunt instead...)

Thursday, January 29, 2004 
i just got interviewed... on soulseek! totally out of the blue. in case you hadn't noticed, the internet age is definitely upon us.

so yeah, i was just minding my own business on the internet when i got a message from a stranger on soulseek. i wasn't going to mention the person's username (for privacy's sake, even though they weren't sharing much & therefore probably aren't going to get sued by the RIAA) but i guess i don't know this person's gender, so i'll just call them Xenom instead of "them" or "hse" or "it"...

anyway, Xenom started off the chat with "i heard some of your tracks and they're great!"... not the first time i've gotten a comment from a stranger like that (not that it happens often, either), but it's always nice when it happens. but i was not expecting the next thing Xenom said:

[Xenom] i work for pulse! magazine would you care describing your creative process for our readers?

that was a first for me (at least the first time in a chat environment).

apparently pulse! is doing 'a small "unknown artists" article' so we chatted for a few minutes about my musical techniques, my upcoming true data 12", & so on. Xenom had never heard of databending before & seemed pretty intrigued by that, so assuming it wasn't all a scam, my guess is i'll make it in the article.

but i had never heard of Pulse! before, & before i got to ask if there was a website, Xenom had logged off. my google searches all seem to be leading me toward tower records... i guess it's a magazine tower puts out? i think i need to ask snuggle wtf it is, but if anyone here has any comments about pulse! i'd love to hear them (hell, Xenom might even be reading... hi there!)

okay, so chief us weapons inspector david kay, who was once such a bush lapdog that you'd think he had his mouth surgically attached to bush's foreskin, has conclusively stated that he doesn't think there are any WMDs in iraq. none. not a one. "we were all wrong" he says. of course big dick cheney won't acknowledge his mistake. he spouts the same old lies to npr & basically gets a pass from his interviewer. but that's hardly a surprise.

meanwhile, the so-called "hutton inquiry" has announced the conclusion that tony blair did not "sex up" intelligence claims & lambasts the bbc for announcing that he had. turns out i'm not the only one skeptical of the hutton conclusion: half of brits polled called it a "whitewash". i mean, if there are no weapons, what other conclusion can be reached other than that the evidence was sexed up? kay, still a faithful lapdog even when he's effectively calling the prez a liar, asserts that the intelligence community is to blame. which is funny, because i've seen that uncovered movie & there are so many pissed-off intelligence analysts in that movie that you'd think langley must've been a ghost town during the filming...
[edit: good old palast has some interesting things to say about this one]

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 
remember the ad from last yeat's super bowl stating that illegal drug use helped terrorists? i do; i thought it was one of the most offensive ads i'd ever seen. & another white house ad will appear on this year's super bowl. so if cbs can air that garbage, why can't they show the relatively innocuous ad from moveon? click the banner for more info:


Sunday, January 25, 2004 
my cd drives work!

i have no idea why it took so long to find this document. i'd already thought of flashing the bios but we hadn't tried it yet... but once i found a document basically saying that upgrading would fix my exact problem, i knew what had to be done.

the asus bios upgrade instructions were poorly written & poorly organized, but after a few rereadings i managed to figure it out. & now i can use my cd drives again!

i've been taking the opportunity to upgrade my other important software, so i think once i'm done with that i'll be better off for being forced into upgrading...

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