synthetic zero


March 18, 2006

In Portland again; it was a perfect day, including rain and sun and rain/sun - sun/rain, the ideal weather in my book. I love the smell, the way the sky looks, the people, the places, the energy, the quietness and loudness, the funky spontaneity. It's all still here and alive, people are still making things here, yet the world mostly overlooks this place --- as Arianna said to me tonight, that's both a good and a bad thing.

Visited with Khaela and met lots of people, some whom I knew before and some I hadn't known --- Amber Bell, the talented artist whom I blogged about seven years ago before I'd met any of the others, even before I'd met Khaela; Arianna, whom I've heard much about but never met, who makes graffiti art now and always manages to look elegantly beautiful, Melissa, whom I'd never met before, who makes site-specific installation art, she and I spoke for a while we were at the club; Susan, a director (I think?), whom I didn't really get to speak with much; Forest --- I had met him once in Holland I think while travelling with Sarah Brown; a college student and neighbor of Khaela's who came to dinner, she was interested in international studies and politics and has quick wit; and others whom I didn't really talk with as much. We had salmon and rice and talked about art and graffiti and birthday presents and I mentioned some of my weird ideas about time and space and mind and expression. I'm leaving Portland feeling I need to spend more time here. Thankfully I will be back in a week to spend several more days.

This morning the phrase went through my head: "the wall that dreams." I had to write it down because I wasn't just thinking those words, I really felt like I was imagining a real possibility, or even to some extent BEING it at that instant --- a wall that dreams, that somehow breathes out into a world and thus becomes partly alive. Aliveness is, perhaps, dreaming itself.

I have been feeling a bit giddy recently sort of like that feeling you have when you're falling in love.

March 2, 2006

Please check out the new disappearing zine, edited by the super-talented Melody Owen.

The spin in the press has been about wiretapping, as though that were the sin that the Bush Administration has committed --- but the real problem isn't wiretapping alone --- it is the fact that the Bush Administration believes that it can ignore not only Federal law but the courts themselves --- even the Supreme Court --- in its "unitary" interpretation of the law. This is one of the most dangerous challenges to the American way of life that has ever come up in history, and it has no justification in law, the constitution, or legal precedent. As this Findlaw article notes, James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers:

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
Separation of powers, as interpreted by the Bush Administration, seems to mean to them that the executive branch can do whatever the hell it wants, whenever it wants, as long as they think it is constitutional, free from interference by the other branches of government (i.e., they seem to interpret the phrase to mean, ludicrously, that they can operate "separately" from the other branches). But the clear meaning of the phrase is that no single branch shall have a monopoly on power --- in other words, that the powers of government are distributed among the branches (separated) and that each branch must defer to the other branches in certain areas. This is so obviously the fundamental bedrock ideal of our system of government that it is truly shocking that this Administration would be so foolhardy as to challenge it; it is an affront to the American way of life and a clear violation of the Constitution. What would happen if the Supreme Court declares the Administration's view unconstitiutional? The Administration, by its own logic, could simply ignore such a ruling: setting the stage for the breakdown of the American system of government and a constitutional crisis of historic proportions.

We are clearly witnessing the early stages of the end of the American era. It was a good run, but, sadly, this government seems to have decided to set the stage for the dismantling of the American system, which is leading us to lose power and will, if unchecked, lead to the decline and fall of American dominance in the world. It is unfortunate for us, but perhaps we deserve no better, as in many ways it was our own fault for electing this incompetent, violent, destructive and self-destructive, un-American crew.