Monday, January 28, 2008

Doo Dah Redux Number 2 Senor Groucho

Ok, 6:45pm. Change of plan. I'm letting serendipity take over. I find a good bit and I'm gonna slap a title on it and upload. Expect wild swings of coming and going. This is a bad work flow but I've got to hunker down and face the unthinkable, cleaning the fridge.


First up is Senor Groucho, the Sax Man. You try blowing a sax and toting your own float. Is he really blowing? Does it matter? Dude had to pull his own float down Raymond onto Colorado Blvd and then up Fair Oaks. Yowser!
***
Well it has been a little more than a week since my last post. I'm editing as fast as I can. I'm looking for my footage of folks pelting the Pope with tortillas.

Water Gun Baptizing Elvis

I don't support pelting anybody with tortillas but there are a lot of Ex - C's that saw an opportunity and took it.

Now this guy, I dunno cause a bit of a fuss. It might have been the water gun he was packing or something about that lip action he had going on. Be back soon.

For more info on the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade visit http://www.pasadenadoodahparade.info

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Things You Can See In L.A. If You Look

The local weather folks told us that Saturday night was going to be bad so there was a mad dash to stock up on the non-essentials. Me, I bought a drill. I've always wanted one and if I'm going to be stuck at home I might as well be productive.

Truth is, I'm scared to use it. But I have my goggles and screws and a closet that needs help. Anyway I trudge my groceries and my drill up the block and I see it, snow. On the mountain.

LASnowMoutain

Where it belongs, far, far away from me. I don't want to shovel anything. But is is pretty. It was 60 degrees where I was standing. Sunny. Not a drop in sight. That came later and early Sunday morning.

Folks had cabin fever so people were rushing to get things done. There wasn't time to look up to see what I saw. One of those smell the roses moments. This is for them.

Oh, and one more thing. Hydroplaning is bad. If you are driving in the rain slow the f**k down because my local fire department has been working triple time peeling out dingbats out of their cars.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It Was A Doo Dah Kind of Day

We usually have the Doo Dah parade around Thanksgiving. It is a way of getting those lingering visitors out of the house and it won't cost you anything. But after 30 years it got predictable so in order to keep that from happening it was moved to January 20th. You have to do stuff like that when the parade has the word "occasional" in the title.

Something was missing. A bit of whimsy. Downright goofyness for the sake of being silly. Then again I do like watching men dance. It is so cool. Fellas, I'm telling you true you can't go completing wrong by dancing in front of a woman.


Now some of you are seriously uncoordinated but spastic can be kinda cute and at the very least you'd get a mercy hug or something. Mainly laughter but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

There are constants but this parade is not easy to pin down. It is a neighborhood meet up. A family outing on the cheap. A bit of satire. Flying tortillas. I got it, participatory perambulation. It will have to do cuz I'm whipped for original thought.

I'm culling those special moments from the parade and to start things off I present the Country Gentlemen (definitely not spastic), the Dead Robert Palmer Girls and the Bastard Sons of Lee Marvin. For more information about the parade visit http://www.pasadenadoodahparade.info

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

God Doesn't Need Creationism

However, certain types of Christians seem to need it. They think that you and by extension every school age child needs it too.

What got me starting thinking about this was Catherine Morgan's post about a proposal to teach evolution in Florida schools. I didn't know that it wasn't as national standard to include the teaching of evolution in K-12 schools.

I didn't know adults still had major issues with distinguishing between faith and science. It was far easier for me to dismiss believers and proponent of creationism as a device to introduce religion into American schools. My new fear that it is something more.

Vocabulary Gauntlet
  • From Conservapedia.com Creationism is the belief that the earth and universe and the various kinds of animals and plants was created by God or some other supreme being. Those that hold the views of Creationism are referred to as Creationists.
  • Oxford English Dictionary The belief that the universe and living creatures were created by God in accordance with the account given in the Old Testament.
  • True Origins.org creationism n. 1) general-the view that a creator brought the universe, its contents, and its inhabitants into being and into order from literally nothing (as opposed to the view that matter is either eternal or the result of a spontaneous self-creating process) 2) biblical-the view that the Creator is none other than the Creator-God whose nature and purpose in creation and history is revealed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (the Bible), including His initial acts of creation as indicated in a straightforward reading of the Creation Week account in Genesis and corroborated in the balance of the Bible; 3) scientific-the view that empirical science is fully capable of corroborating either or both general and biblical creationism viewpoints (described above), and which serves as the basis for scientific endeavors with that end in mind.
In each one of these definitions is a religious connotation of the beginning of life on Earth. It is a belief expressed as a proven fact derived from the Christian Bible. Therefore it seems to me to be a tenant of a specific religions belief in the origins on life on this planet.

How is this science? How does this invalidate the teaching of evolution? Why is it incompatible with evolution?

Science, in my understanding, is the ability to question, gather evidence, come to a conclusion and reproduce the results. I certainly can ask the questions but contacting God for a definitive answer independent of the Bible hasn't worked out. If you can't produce "God" or his/her authorized representative (and things didn't work out so well the last time there was a visit) then where is my proof? Where is your proof?

My understanding is that this isn't about God, Evolution or even quantifying an alternative teaching of the beginning of planetary existence. It is about Christian recruitment and retention. It is about making the U.S. a "Christian Nation." And that has me extremely concerned.

Wrapping Creationism as a true tested series of verifiable facts is dishonest. It takes away from the actual tenants of the faith to wrap them in a wolf's clothing of science.

Rebecca at The Upside Down World in her blog post Teaching Creation Science or ID? A Formula for Putting Your Child's Christian Faith At Risk makes many excellent points but this is a good one to start with:

Their work is limited to analyzing the work of others to look for potential holes which might be able to be seen as supporting a creationist perspective. This is not science.). When creationist materials do refer to the work of mainstream scientists, conducting actual research, they almost uniformly misquote and misrepresent them. If you do not believe me, then take a weekend or two and do the research yourself. The internet is a wonderful tool.

Now, if you take the time to actually look at the methods used to source creationist materials, you should already be disturbed by the idea that these purportedly Christian groups who produce such materials indulge in such blatant dishonesty to sustain their ideas. An idea which is true should not depend on deception.

Monado from Science Notes points out not only is there a tendency to misrepresent what evolution science says but to attribute the teaching of evolution to a decline in moral values and behavior is a bit much:
Creationists are up to their old tricks, lying about Charles Darwin and distorting history to make it seem like slavery, genocide, and religious intolerance bloomed after (and because of) the theory of evolution. It’s not true. Clear evidence-from the god-sanctioned genocides in the bible to Martin Luther’s verbal vitriol against Jews and women to Hitler’s pious Christianity “doing God’s work”-gives creationists the lie.
I'm not writing this to undermine your belief system. I'm not against teaching Creationism by the way; there is a place for it in a religion class. Provided there is instruction on not just Christian beliefs but some Rastafarian and Judaism with a bunch of Atheism, Hindu, Dao and Wicca on the side.

I just don't like being mislead or lied to. Most people of faith and/or reason don't care for it either. Once again, is it a matter of faith or of science?

Additional Resources:

Beliefnet.com

Supporting Creationism

Answers In Genesis
Chatting With Charlie - Argument Against Evolution on GodTube
The Creation Museum
Conservapedia - Wikipedia with a Conservative view

Supporting Evolution

Allison Hoffman - History of Evolution vs. Creationism via YouTube
Scientific Thinking and The Scientific Method by Steven D. Schafersman at Freeinquire.com
The Darwin Report
Pharyngula - Is This Going To Be The Major Creationist Strategy?


CE Gena Haskett is a second class heathen who is also a Contributing Editor at Blogher

Trash & Text In Art - Armory Center for the Arts

There are days you get the feeling that you are missing something and you should not go home. I have been going home a lot lately so I had more than enough cabin fever to propel me on a walk around the back streets of Pasadena.

The front streets are filled with stores and restaurants that come and go so quickly in an upscale downscale sort of way. My wallet is too narrow of funds and my hips are too wide to shop in any of them. The back alleys and streets are where you find the great places to eat and window shop.



It is also the beginning of the disconnection zone. I'll explain that someday.

In the meantime, for the my Semenal contribution of the week, and this week had eight days not seven; this is a mash-up of my visit to two exhibits at the Amory Center for the Arts. One is what H.S. students managed to do with converting trash to art and the other is an exhibit that focuses on using word and written text incorporated into the art pieces.

For more information on what is going on at the Amory Center for the Arts please visit (and if you are in the area go visit - most of the time it is free) http://www.armoryarts.org

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Food Language and Multicultural Groceries

I’m in the supermarket in the checkout line. I forget to put the separator between my items and the older gentleman ahead of me. I’m locked on to a copy of the Reader’s Digest promising me I can de-clutter my living space this year.

Next thing I know my groceries are being loaded into the older gentleman’s cart. “I think we have a problem here, he’s got my groceries.”

“Didn’t you use the separator?” the clerk asked disapprovingly. “No I guess not." The first time in 40 some years of shopping that it happened mind you. Meanwhile, my gracious benefactor is trying to leave. We both explain that there has been a mistake. He doesn’t understand.

The bagger asks “Spanish?” “I pipe in with “Is it Farsi?” “Armenian” he says as he is still trying to leave. The clerk puts out an SOS for Habib as I attempt to extract my stuff from his basket.

Habib never shows up but it is cool. I reclaim my turkey sausages and assorted other goodies. After much confusion and a good deal of gesturing the clerk refunds his money and I pay my own way with the reproachful eyes of my fellow customers.



Language matters here in Los Angeles. Communities form and dissolve based on who you are and how you say it. It is a blessing and sometimes a tribulation but language gives all of us an opportunity to reach beyond what we know and see. Unless you don’t speak the other person’s lingo.

It is never too late so here are a few resources to resurrect that dormant language class or learn something new.

The Arabic Language Podclass is just what is says it is, you have the opportunity to download mp3 that contain Arabic speakers and poetry. This seems to be designed for folks who might be taking an Arabic class or are trying to increase their vocabulary. There is also an Arabic Wiki Language area that you can use as a resource.

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has oodles of tools, tutorials and mp3 files You can learn French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and you can download mp3 files to help you if you are just visiting. You can also follow BBC self-paced language instruction, for example Spanish or snag just enough to get you through a vacation.

I live in southern California. There are at least four Spanish language non-cable television stations, a bunch of radio stations and pound of publications. It is in my future best interest to re-activate my prior limited investment in my Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 classes. One way to do that is checking out Slow Spain Blog

There are far more resources but this will get you started. Bon Chance!


Friday, January 04, 2008

Sipping Inspiration - Mr. Saul Williams

It is raining. It is pouring in Los Angeles. A'int jack on Terrestrial TV even if there wasn't a writer's strike. My TV is silent but the images are from the Korean channel but I don't speak Korean. It is just on for company.



I'm finishing a few projects and I need a dose of a poetical kick in the pants with a visual chaser. Time to expand the boundaries with a little help from Actor/Poet/Musician Saul William along with DJ Krust in a little 6:10 ditty called Coded Language.

For more information on Saul Williams you can go to his official website or to his MySpace joint.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

How Do I Go Forward in This New Year?

My favorite day of this so-called holiday season is January 2nd. If it were up to me we'd just cut the months of December, January and February and head straight back to Spring and Summer.

That's right, no holidays, no Valentine's day and I a'int too crazy about Saint Pat's day so maybe we could knock off a bit of March as well. I was looking for a video representation of how I feel and I think this sums it up pretty well.



Yeah, I'm not proud of any resemblance to Dr. Smith. Once I get going through the year I'm fine and the closer to the warm times I feel I can do dang near anything. Or think I can.

As usual there are going to be some changes. Some for the good and some I can see are going to be life challenging.

I will say that life is not a dress rehearsal so if there is something that you want to do for the love of life get on with it. It is okay to incubate an idea but trust yourself to make it happen. Find folks that support your dream and do something while you can.

Why the shift from the negative to the positive? Well, a friend of mine wound up in the hospital with a possible heart attack. If that happens to me and I don't make it I want to know before I pass over that I did what I said I would do. That I made every effort to live the life I decided I wanted to experience.

So I may be internally screaming into the new year but on the other side I'm ready to go foward. I hope that you find reason to do the same.

For more information about Lost In Space or any of the Irwin Allen Productions like Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea or Land of the Giants visit http://www.iann.net.

For more information on Lost In Space visit the office site www.lostinspacetv.com