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Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


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Like my brownhouse:
   brownstones overflown by helicopters
Tuesday, September 10 2002

setting: Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York

I wonder if those assholes who sent the helicopters circling overhead just above the brownstones all day today really think I'm convinced that something is being done to prevent anniversary terrorism. Okay, maybe they know better than to think I'm convinced, but honestly, what person in this city could be so deluded as to imagine that circling helicopters are going to have any effect on a terrorist busy carrying out his nefarious plans? Like everything else related to the "war" on "terrorism," the helicopters are a symbolic gesture, picked in this case because they generate a relatively large amount of noise for a relatively small cost. Jet fighters, though plenty noisy, are far more expensive. I'm thinking perhaps New York should reassure us with jackhammers and leaf blowers instead of ineffectual overhead military hardware. Everybody knows that sidewalks cleared of leaves are about as likely to be used by terrorists as brownstones overflown by helicopters.
Meanwhile, the color-coded threat status was bumped up a notch to "orange" from wherever it had been before. This presumably means that we are more likely to be attacked by evil-doers now than we were yesterday. I'll be very curious to know when that color-coded status falls back down a notch. When it does, will it even be mentioned in the news? As news items go, the change of threat color seems particularly manufactured. It's several times less authentic than, say, the superstar created by American Idol. The Bush administration has pulled so many Orwellian stunts in the past year that if a terrorist incident were to happen today, my first suspicion would be that John Ashcroft was pulling a Kristallnacht. He was born a few decades too late to become a genuine Nazi, but he's nonetheless found his niche in the wholly-owned corporate subsidiary that America is today.
On a completely unrelated note, does it seem to you that the FBI's website is a bit amateurish-looking? I mean, in the HTML, they actually set table borders to widths other than zero on their homepage. It's just a few animated GIFs short of an Angelfire site.

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