Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bitch Kitty Racing - My latest project

Bitch Kitty Racing is an online "lifestyle and entertainment" magazine. For the last month or two, I have been assisting in the ongoing maintenance and promotion of the site.

John Moroney invited me to join himself and his co-founder, Keith Bingman in their quest for world domination. Besides being involved in a cool project and building a loyal readership, I've been busy learning some technologies that I haven't gotten my hands dirty with previously, such as RSS(news) feeds, podcast creation, and distribution, and testing.

The site, itself, is powered by a light-weight, highly flexible Ruby on Rails content management system called Radiant. Now, while I don't consider myself a developer, by any stretch of the imagination; I see this as a good opportunity to collaborate on a cool project, and try to get up to date on some cutting edge web applications.
I'm hoping , as time goes on, to also pick up a bit of the ruby programming basics.

Keith is the driving force behind the site design and functionality. He is also actively involved in the developer community behind the Radiant application. At this moment, he is creating extensions to help us manage the images and comments coming soon to Bitch Kitty Racing. The first is especially relevant since Keith is also a pretty good photographer. You should take a look at his work, here:

John is the ringleader of the site and primary author of most of the content. He is also the star of the Bitch Kitty Racing TV podcasts. It's pretty funny, bizarre, and probably not safe for children, small woodland creatures, or work. We even made it onto ITunes with the series. Fun stuff.

Let's see...What else can I pimp while I am at it? I hadn't really intended to make this a Bitch Kitty Racing promotional weblog post; but....

Ah yes, we are also trying our hand at some band promotion with a local Seattle band, Hey Marseilles. Rumor has it that the big labels are looking at them, so we are enjoying promoting them while we can.
All in all, Bitch Kitty Racing has been keeping me very busy learning new skills.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Death of (another) philosopher

I'm sure that relatively few people will care about this passing.
I was just listening to podcast from the NPR program,Fresh Air, and discovered that the French post-modern philospher, Jean Baudrillard
(, had just recently died.

I can't say that I am sad, or disheartened. Rather, I am somewhat amused by his passing. He is yet another of my self-appointed intellectual mentors who has passed on.
Gone beyond, so to speak, the illusion, that is the life he had lived.

Call me what you will; but, I found his philosophy to be supremely influential upon my general worldview(along with Foucault, and Deleuze/Gauttari), and appreciate his contribution to the world, and human thought, in general.
I had always appreciated his willingness to tell the emperor(you, the reader) that not only did he(you) really have no clothes, but he wasn't even actually an emperor. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't consider Mssr. Baudrillard a nihilist. Far from it.
I actually consider him a comic, in a sense, perhaps in the most generous sense. He was a philosopher in the truest sense. But, in this day and age, philosphers are not needed by most people. So, instead, he, and his wrtings, were relegated to the backwaters of the media and inteligensia as the ramblings of an esoteric crank. Or, at worst, his messages were inscrutable, and thus irrelevant. I suppose that he might have appreciated the irony in that. I have a way with picking the winners...

For better or worse, I guess his most famous quote is from the film "The Matrix". It is the character Morpheus, played by Laurence Fishburn( whom I loved in Apocalyspse Now) that states to that dumbass initiate, Neo, "Welcome to the desert of the real."
He died on my mother's fifty-ninth birthday.

You will be missed, funnyman.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

T.S. Eliot - The Waste Land

I've found some audio files of T.S. Eliot reading his classic poem "The Waste Land."

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and educated at Harvard, Eliot lived most of his life in England. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The poem has five sections and has been split into four sound files:

The Waste Land is considered to be Eliot's masterpiece, rich in symbolic, literary, and historical references as the poem explores the struggles of a soul in despair.

Funny, this isn't how it sounds when I read it to myself...

For additional information and references, see Wikipedia::The Waste Land
N.B. These audio files were originally hosted at The site contains a large collection of media from the early days of the Internet rescued from digital oblivion. The HarperAudio section contains several dozen audio files of poems and excerpts from novels being read by their authors. Faulkner, Burgess, Hemingway, Thomas are just a few.
Even Shakespeare reading some of his sonnets!

Friday, January 12, 2007

RIP: Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007)

Today, I was saddened to learn that one of my favorite guerrilla ontologists, Robert Anton Wilson, had passed away, this week, on January 11th.

My first exposure to Mr. Wilson's ideas came through reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy which he co-authored with Robert Shea. I managed to stumble upon his work while in college, and found it to be a great balance against all of the "serious" and "deep" philosophical and ontological works I was digesting at the time. I found it to be an astounding compendium of ideas, both revelatory and fanciful, simultaneously conspiratorial, paranoid, and yet somehow playful and optimistic. His works were a welcome relief from the heaviness of German phenomenologists, and occult cranks.

However, it was his other books that helped change the way I think, philosophically, about a lot of things, particularly his 'non-fiction' writings like Cosmic Trigger and Prometheus Rising. Specifically, I credit Mr. Wilson with helping me to allow humor into my particular Weltangshauung, as well as providing some cognitive tools that allowed me to understand socially constructed belief systems, or reality tunnels, as he called them.

Here is one little factoid about Mr. Wilson, that I only learned about upon his recent passing:

"As a member of the Board of Advisors of the Fully Informed Jury Association, he worked to inform the public about jury nullification, the right of jurors to nullify a law they deem unjust."

R. A. Wilson's Home Page

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