Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


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


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   same wonderful person as before
Sunday, May 4 1997

I'm thinking: a mosquito in the bush is worth about the same as one in my hand.


  slept until 2pm today. That's late for a Sunday. It's so nice not being hung over. I'm here at the University of Virginia's Cocke Hall working on the musings, getting email every now and then and occasionally attempting a response.

Maybe if you'd send your return email address I'd write back, Diana Welch. It's not an easy address to remember!

It smells vaguely of rotting vegetables here in this computer lab. At this point I'd prefer the greasy food smell of the Comet server room.

Meanwhile back at the Dynashack Monster Boy had had an interesting day. Firstly came the appearance of Joanna the Malvern Girl along with a contingent that included her brother. They were apparently hoping I would come by, but I was at Cocke Hall until past 7pm. So they sat around and watched another showing of Cool as Ice and smoked some of Joanna's pot. Then Persad came by. Monster Boy went with him back to Goth Central and smoked more pot and watched an animated movie. As I approached the Dynashack on my bike, I turned onto 12th Street and saw Monster Boy walking west on Wertland. It turns out he'd been locked out of my house, the closest thing to home he has in this town.

It's caused me to deliberately confront many of my insecurities by deliberately violating internal taboos when I write my musings.

ecause I was feeling satisfied from my accomplishments today, I fixed myself a glass of vodka and tea and sat around reading a print out of Diane Patterson's response to Todd Napolitano from early January. Ever since the Archipelago crisis, I've felt myself becoming an active (if not entirely serious) member of the Web's journal culture. Of late, I've even been exploring the other journal cultural storms of the past. The most interesting of these came as a result of an extremely pretentious and inciteful (yes, I mean inciteful) essay written and posted on the Web by Todd Napolitano, a "doctoral candidate at Temple University." In the essay, he basically dismissed online journals as weekend-craft "women's writing" and/or egotistical "graphomania." I recall reading the article back when it was first posted and actually feeling that, hidden in its needlessly dense and awkward prose, it had a few valid points to make. Most other journal-keepers, however, elevated Napolitano to the lofty position of Spokesman for All Things Evil. I think Napolitano's characterization of all written journals as inherently "fictive" has had a large impact on my writing style. It's caused me to deliberately confront many of my insecurities by deliberately violating internal taboos when I write my musings. In my opinion, this difference sets the musings apart from the Big Fun Glossary. By the way, the original Napolitano article is nowhere to be found, but much of its content can still be found in Diane's critique.

As I read, Monster Boy played Marilyn Manson on his stereo.

Evidently Monster Boy's experience earlier today at Theresa and Persad's Goth Central had been a pleasant one, because as he grew bored he wanted to return. That sounded like fun to me, so we both went.


heresa wanted to go get some vino. She was willing to do the driving, so all of us went. That means Monster Boy, Theresa, myself and Persad. While in the Barracks Road Super Fresh, Monster Boy and I raided the candy bin. I always hit the snack bars and food bins for free stuff whenever we go to the grocery store. It's become a Taurus Rising ritual. But I hear that the Aquarian Heroin addict was once arrested for raiding the Super Fresh salad bar.

Persad was tired and went to bed, and the rest of us ended up drinking vino and hanging out in the Dynashack living room watching a movie called Bad Taste. A group of Theresa's white male friends suddenly arrived. We'd seen one of them, a local drug dealer, in a car, and, knowing he had pot, had invited him over. It turns out that the others (three or boys, only one of whom I knew) were some people to whom the drug dealer intended to sell marijuana. Unfortunately, the drug deal went down in the Dynashack kitchen and Elizabeth walked in on it. Now it's important to note that neither I nor Elizabeth are anti-pot, or even anti-pot-capitalism, but no one wants strangers dealing drugs in their kitchen. She actually thought it was funny at the time, but on consideration felt uncomfortable with it. She spent most of the evening on the front porch with Franz the dreamy guy from Abundance House.

What Monster Boy, Theresa and I did amounted to a successful social manipulation. We, the people familiar with my house, had a bunch of boys hanging out with us in a circle, watching teevee. Since we were obviously having a good time, the boys felt they might be too. Being in a circle with known pot in our midst (the purchase having occurred in my house) essentially obliged the boys to share it with us. And the pot was good stuff, putting me in a jolly mood. I found myself laughing hysterically at Bad Taste, which was a wonderfully imaginative and hysterically funny movie. Here's the plot:

Their job is to capture humans, take them back to the space ship, cut them into pieces, and ship them back to the home planet, where human flesh is the latest fast food sensation.

he aliens have landed in New Zealand in a space ship that looks like a conventional Victorian house. With one exception, the aliens themselves resemble blue collar working men or lunatics escaped from the insane asylum. They have rounded shoulders and stupid faces and wear blue work shirts and blue jeans. Their communication is limited to unearthly squeals and grunts. They go about their business in a robotic daze, sort of like ants, singlemindedly pursuing their assignments. Their job is to capture humans, take them back to the space ship, cut them into pieces, and ship them back to the home planet, where human flesh is the latest fast food sensation. The aliens are not particularly bright and are easily fooled or outrun. But they are so peristent as they stalk their prey that they prove effective in their mission. A whole town has been picked clean of its inhabitants by the invaders, and a special (but very small) task force of humans has been sent to battle the aliens. It's relatively easy work for the task force; the aliens can be mowed down like mushrooms with a conventional machine gun, or they can be easily killed in hand to hand conbat. Their bodies are so fragile that it is possible to rip their heads (with attached and wriggling spinal column) right off of their bodies. The only smart alien is their leader, who looks, dresses and talks like a distinguished English nobleman. He apparently is a hauncho with the alien fast food corporation, and he's on Earth to see to it that the raw material (human flesh) gets harvested and shipped without delay. Along the way, numerous little subplots spin off of the main story line. One guy falls off a cliff and literally cracks his head open and spends the rest of the movie in delerium, trying to stuff his brains back through a loose chunk of his skull. Another guy is captured by the aliens and marinaded overnight in wooden keg with various spices (and an apple taped in his mouth). Yet another guy dons a work shirt and blue jeans and infiltrates the aliens only to have to partake of a disgusting ritual: the eating of neon-blue vomit produced by one of the aliens and considered a delicacy by the rest.

The movie is chock full of gory special effects. Heads are cut off at eye level, aliens are cut in half and continue living (and being nuisances) for a time, and one guy armed with a chain saw manages to fall blade-first through the top of an alien's head and emerge (covered with every sort of mutilated tissue imaginable) between the alien's legs. Brains turn up everywhere.

Interestingly, all the actors in the movie are white males, and the plot is barren of any sexual content.

The movie is obviously a parody of several famous space movies. For example, the incompetance and effortless mortality of the aliens versus the toughness of their leader reminds me of the Storm Troopers and Darth Vader of Star Wars. But their is something more subtle going on here than simple parody. The kind of alien this movie presents is unique. He isn't the whiz-bang super-smart weirdo. He's an ant, a somewhat retarded and clearly exploited blue collar worker who depends on his leader for guidance. Meanwhile, the leader cares only about the economic bottom line.

I loved the movie so much that, when it was done, I sincerely stated that it was the best movie I had ever seen. I still feel that way. I want to see it again. I urge all my readers to see it too. But don't fix yourself anything to eat first; you won't be wanting it.

Chance encounters that seem unusually brief are interpretted as slights.

fter Theresa went home, Monster Boy and I talked about how much fun we'd had. We'd forgotten (again) how much fun she is to hang out with. Monster Boy had feared that Theresa was angry with him, but tonight's experience had erased those fears. I explained my theory of social distance, that when one person stops associating with another, feelings of distrust build and feedback on each other in the minds of the friends, creating further isolation. Chance encounters that seem unusually brief are interpretted as slights. Soon bad gossip begins to flow, and can solidify the distance. But with just one successful period of socializing, all the bad energy can be made to disappear. You discover that the friend who you have distanced yourself from is the same wonderful person as before. And your friend will be feeling the same way. This time the feedback is positive. It build quickly, and combines with a feeling of nostalgia. You missed your friend. Not only is she still human, but all this time you've been needing what she can give you. This was how Monster Boy felt tonight. It was a good day for him and Theresa.

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