Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2006

Some InfoWeapons for the New Year

Hi, all:

We're going to a Bosnian restaurant (owned by, some dishes are Bosnian -- mostly Mediterranean) in Boston with some friends tonight; should be a blast!

I hope everyone had a good 2006 and will have a happy 2007!

These sources help set the stage for where we are now: still in full reaction against the expansion of rights and freedom that took place in the 50's-70's. Knowledge is power -- at least I'd like to think so. Anyway, some of you may be familiar with these; some not; some by name only; some may have read/seen all of it or some of it; whatever. It's being posted as an FYI by a non-expert; that's all!

Or: "Why Ford Is Being Hailed By Cheney For Pardoning Nixon."

So, for your reading pleasure, and to show how much info is out there:
Pentagon Papers.Church Committee on COINTELPRO (I have a 14-meg PDF of this if you want). Trilateral Commission report, The Crisis of Democracy, 1975. Dig Huntington's piece, and dig who was on the commission. T…

An American Triumph

Ah, it went off like a Texas execution, with all the PR timing we've come to admire and love from this administration. Just in time for coffee and Saturday morning cartoons on New Year's weekend, and to drown out, one can only assume it is hoped, the 3,000th ending of human lives we care about. We don't do body counts for unworthies.

A new beginning. My eyes mist.

1. An absolute miracle of propaganda; amazing what is left out: strong US support till 1991.

The first paragraphs of the lead "news" story aren't so great, either:

BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 — Saddam Hussein, the dictator who led Iraq through three decades of brutality, war and bombast before American forces chased him from his capital city and captured him in a filthy pit near his hometown, was hanged just before dawn today during the morning call to prayer. The final stages for Mr. Hussein, 69, came with terrible swiftness after he lost the appeal, five days ago, of his death sentence for the killings of 148 me…

Why we stand for immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq

THE U.S. occupation of Iraq has not liberated the Iraqi people, but has made life worse for most Iraqis. Tens of thousands of U.S. service people have been killed or maimed, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have lost their lives as a result of the U.S. invasion in 2003, the ongoing occupation, and the violence unleashed by them. Iraq's infrastructure has been destroyed, and U.S. plans for reconstruction abandoned. There is less electricity, less clean drinking water, and more unemployment today than before the U.S. invasion.All of the justifications initially provided by the U.S. for waging war on Iraq have been exposed as lies; the real reasons for the invasion — to control Iraq's oil reserves and to increase U.S. strategic influence in the region — now stand revealed.The Bush administration has insisted again and again that stability, democracy, and prosperity are around the next bend in the road. But with each day that the U.S. stays, the violence and lack of s…

First Things

[[[work in progress...Copyright 2006, Doug Tarnopol]]]

I. Preliminaries

Have you ever noticed?—
Those who privilege the Word
Drive language to conclusions
That are patently absurd?

Heirs of Petrarch
Have made stony rule
Of language’s domain
Thus rebuilding the School.

Jealous, no doubt—
And who can blame them?—
Of the sciences’ attainment
Of the disciplines’ diadem.

In a coup de force
By vanity spurred
They declare to the Thingers:
“First comes the Word!”

The flanking maneuver
Takes many a form:
“Episteme,” “paradigm,” “frame”—
Some referenceless norm.

The object dethroned
(Excepting grammatical)
The subject now grants
Things endless sabbatical.

Word and Thing now divorced
And custody granted
Solely to Word over
A World reenchanted.

No correspondence allowed
From Word’s sealed prison,
Thing languishes apart
Deemed unreal in Word’s vision

All this has occurred
In dreams discontented
While in reality, Things remain
Their realness undented.

But the arrogance of the Thingers!
It is all-too-well-known
How little they heed
How the…

A Winter's Tale

Dear friends,

What do I have in common with Marilyn Monroe?

You'll have to come to my production of The Winter's Tale to find out the answer to the question. However, here's a hint: ukulele. OK, fine, that's the full answer: Mar', as I like to call her, played the ukulele in Some Like It Hot and was Hollywood's premier sex symbol, and I also play the uke in The Winter's Tale.

Apart from the ukulele (which I've now been playing for a grand total of two months!), in the show I also play piano, sing, have written original music and, oh yeah, act, too.

The rest of the cast is quite excellent, as well, while the play itself deftly blends comic and tragic elements into one of the greatest Shakespeare ever wrote.

Please help us kick off the production with a strong first weekend!

Performance dates: November 4 - November 19

Location: Access Theatre, 380 Broadway, 4th Floor (two blocks south of Canal)

Tickets through SmartTix: or 212-868-4444

**Use the discount code &q…

By What Write

It’s an unnatural act
A deed quite untoward
Denying life, the prime fact,
And the business of living
To pummel a keyboard
And pretend one is giving

As though one’s best thoughts,
Than mere words far more nimble,
Could ever be caught
Or fill more than a thimble

As though it would matter,
Granting wisdom unequaled,
As though hordes would flock
To the art or its sequel.

Juvenal wrote
Out of frustration
So he claimed
After must gestation
Of frustration ingrained
Not only did he dote
On obsequious scriveners
And writers pretentious
But also on livers
Of modes ill-portentous.

Such savage indignation
Fires determination
Of many an ink-stained wrist-cramped wretch
But that life leaves so pained
Satiric inclination
Suggests one should stretch
For more joyous inspiration.

Others, like Orwell,
So he claimed
Wrote from a sense of injustice ingrained
As a desperate warning
Of dark future gathering
As a basic defense
From obsequious blathering

But as Orwell admitted
We toil and perspire
Above all for adulation
Imagined, desired

Though the…

Owed To Romans Earned, v.2


Beauty equals truth—
A judgment unknown
Where attacks are not critical
On paper alone.

To a gentle poet
From a gentler place
Comes this message proxy
With irregular pace
And hesitant rhyme
On heterodoxy
In a more brutal time
From those who would know it.


Running on the verge ill bodes
For poets dangling, like properties,
Whose owners want odes.

To whom much is given,
Should know when to seize—
Or what—and how avid—
Or risk being riven
When betrayed by a sneeze.

Poets, like a cat, tell lust
“Have no shame!”
The pet drones “Yes!”
But risks the blame.

To those loaned fame
Danger is rife
Not only to those
So brave or absurd
As to follow with deed
What had merely been word.

For history teaches
That support thus contracted
Is tacit and fragile.
To the furthest reaches
Of musings extracted,
Each facet must be agile
Lest the price be exacted.

Better to be sweet-toned
To patrons here present
With alexandrines well-honed
Over dormice and pheasant.

Better yet an epic,
Moral, patriotic—
And, dear Scheherazade,
Scorn the exotic…

Owed to Romans Earned

Running on the verge ill becomes
Poets dangling, like property.
To whom much is given,
Should know when to seize—or what—
And how avidly.

For history tells that such support
Is at best tacit—
From whom much is expected.

Juvenile satire can tell us little.
Or perhaps too much.

Better a martial epic—quick and
Or an oration that bends in awe
Of the power that gusts past us.

Sweet-toned to present patrons;
Hellish rulers past presented.

Or as careful as can be
A tightrope act
To avoid a black, lonely shore
Or crushed like a chick pea.

Copyright 2006

Introducing the Secaucast!

You asked for it. You waited impatiently. And now I unveil in all its vulgar glory, my new podcast -- the Secaucast!

I describe it as OddPod observations, not from New Jersey, starring myself (DJ name: ScottyJ) and a new guest co-host each week. The first episode features Dan on Draft, a future podcaster himself, soon to be known as Dan on Tap.

The show's definitely explicit and I hope you enjoy it!

Check it out:

My Name Is Rachel Corrie Comes to NYC...Finally

Donna and I will be there on Saturday, October 14th.

It's playing at the Minetta Lane Theatre from October 5 through (as of now) December 3.

Go here to order tickets; would be nice to see folks on 10/14, but try to make this play, anyway.

(For those who showed up to Demetri's Measure for Measure to find me absent, well, this vegetarian now knows not to go to a Brazilian meatfest meal...I got the sweats and slept for 13 hours. This should not repeat itself...though I hope I've built up some enzymatic wherewithal for our delayed honeymoon in Italy, two weeks away!)

On the hysterical "controversy":

I have actually read the play. No, it's not the Oresteia or Hamlet, but it is a moving and complex look at the workings of one young woman's mind, based wholly on her own writings. I imagine it will be an interesting play to see, and I of course am sympathetic to not only the politics Corrie represented but also the courage it apparently takes to put on this play in th…

Get on the Bus

(© 2006, Scott A. Josephson. All rights reserved.)

I have been sick the past few days, taken ill by what did not strike me for the past year a half. For three days, I was nearly out of commission courtesy of the common cold.

Colds never came easy to me -- they usually required two full days without contact from the outside world. The biggest blow wasn't the mountain of Kleenex overflowing from shopping bags or minute garbage cans. It was the loss of my sense of smell. Food became so much less enjoyable and the task of consuming a meal, on top of a smoldering headache, aching body, constantly runny nose.

There is always the solace of Bob Barker -- The Price is Right remains the last vestige of the sick day. The 1980s are now retro relics, an almost unbelievable decade in light of the past 5 years. Just today, I still thought it was 2005. Blame it on the fog of medicine, our current administration, my inability to read a newspaper or tear myself away from being plugged-in.

Even on a per…

"The Wager," Part 5

(© 1998, 2006, Doug Tarnopol. All rights reserved.)

Parts 1-4 can be accessed here.


Henry came out of his section happy, as usual. He was glad he had talked his committee into letting him TA his second semester. Normally, you had to wait for your second year. Henry loved interacting with the students, and especially enjoyed drawing out the shy ones.

A couple of his students were waiting by the elevator. They asked him if he wanted to go the White Dog for the usual post-section beer. At that moment, a bent figure scurried out of the mail room and spied Henry. Henry groaned inwardly. He begged out of the weekly beer session, blaming work. The elevator carried the students away.

"Hello, Henry. Done with your urchins for the day?"

Randal P. Stoopgoul, professor of Russian Cultural Studies -- not Russian Literature. He insisted on the differentiation.

Stoopgoul had a deformity. His spine was so weak that even the relatively light weight of hi…

"The Wager," Part 4

(© 1998, 2006, Doug Tarnopol. All rights reserved.)

Dear Readers: It's been a while -- been busy! Here are links to the first three parts:


The Lord snapped to attention. "Yes? What were we talking about?"

"The Annunciation? Remember that little incident?"

"Sure. What about it?"

Frustration was driving Mephistopheles close to tears. He struggled to compose himself.

"I was asking what Zeus would have done in Your place."

The Lord assumed a haughty tone.

"Zeus? I can imagine, but I won't soil myself by stating it aloud."

"Allow me. He would have assumed the form of a bull, busted right in there, and fucked the shit out of her! And she would have enjoyed it!" Mephistopheles was exaggerating -- at least the last part -- in order to further goad the Lord.

Mephistopheles paused and added, almost to himself, "Until Hera found out about it and forced Zeus to tur…

Blowing Quantum Foam Bubbles...

Or: "How Not Thinking Hierarchically About Nature Will Get You In Trouble: Part n In A Seemingly Infinite Series."

Part n, as reported in our nation's greatest journal of fiction, The New York Times. (They do sometimes get things factually correct.)

Quantum indeterminancy at the ultramicroscopic level does not necessarily say jack squat about the existence (or not) of free will in one recently evolved species of primate -- let alone anything about the ability of that species' contingently evolved self-consciousness (an apparently unique event, at least in degree) to somehow reconstitute the universe at the quantum level, as this article righteously points out. Not that effects across levels of complexity are ruled out a priori, but they are often assumed a priori.

Reductionism is well-known; but its opposite (there must be a technical name for it) -- the a priori belief that the levels of greater (or greatest -- usually, the human mind) complexity somehow dominate the b…

Seder ("Order")

[Sorry about paragraph-spacing issues. Did the best I could; don't assume anything is meant by paragraph breaks.]

(Unpublished work © 1998 Douglas P. Tarnopol)
Seder (“Order”)To the Reader:Let the Reader be forewarned that what follows is a mere Satire, and, as such, the Reader has to expect a certain amount of Stereotyping and Caricature.In the hypersensitive Atmosphere of contemporary America—in which the Perception of the slightest spoken or written Affront to any Race, Ethnic Group, Nationality, Creed, Belief System, Life Style, Gender, Sex, Intersex, Age Group, Differently-Abled Non-Victim, Sexual Orientation, Class, or any other similarly arbitrary division of Humanity, is, regardless of Context, greeted with universal Excoriation by those whom, however tightly they may cling privately to the most despicable Hatreds, pine publicly for Civility in order to prevent the very Downtrodden (whom they so diligently defend from Insult while doing nothing to improve their actual Condit…