May 3, 2004

And so the rent became whiskey

* PacManhattan "is a large-scale urban game that utilizes the New York City grid to recreate the 1980's video game sensation Pac-Man. This analog version of Pac-man is being developed in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications graduate program, in order to explore what happens when games are removed from their 'little world' of tabletops, televisions and computers and placed in the larger "real world" of street corners, and cities.

"A player dressed as Pac-man will run around the Washington square park area of Manhattan while attempting to collect all of the virtual "dots" that run the length of the streets. Four players dressed as the ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde will attempt to catch Pac-man before all of the dots are collected.

"Using cell-phone contact, Wi-Fi internet connections, and custom software designed by the Pac-Manhattan team, Pac-man and the ghosts will be tracked from a central location and their progress will be broadcast over the internet for viewers from around the world." The next game is tentatively scheduled for Saturday May 8, 2004, at noon, Washington Square Park.

* Blumenthal on Bush's Fervent Falsehoods. excerpt:

"Perhaps the most important divide in the presidential campaign is between fact and fiction. There are, of course, other sharp distinctions based on region and religiosity, guns and gays, abstinence and abortion. But were the election to be decided on domestic concerns alone George W. Bush would be nearly certain to join the ranks of one-term presidents, like his father after the aura of the Gulf War evaporated.

"But one year after Bush's triumphant May Day landing in a flight suit on the deck of the USS Lincoln and appearance behind the White House-ordered sign 'Mission Accomplished,' his splendid little war has entered a Stalingrad-like phase of urban siege and house-to-house combat. By far, April has been the bloodiest month -- 122 U.S. soldiers killed, compared with 73 last April in the supposed last month of the war. The unending war has inspired among Bush's backers a rally-'round-the-flag effect, a redoubling of belief.

"They believe in the cause as articulated by Vice President Dick Cheney this past week in his speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., where Winston Churchill delivered his famous 'Iron Curtain' oration. 'You and I are living in such a time' of the 'gravest of threats,' said Cheney. Churchill stands as the model of leadership. 'And today we have such a leader in President George W. Bush.' Once again Cheney explains the motive for the Iraq war, implicitly conflating Saddam Hussein with al-Qaida and oblivious to the failure to discover WMD. 'His regime cultivated ties to terror,' he said, 'and had built, possessed, and used weapons of mass destruction.' And Saddam 'would still be in power,' he continued, coming to the point of his allegory, if John Kerry, cast as Neville Chamberlain, had had his way.
"The brazen smears about Kerry's wounds and medals, his voting record on military programs as a senator and his loyalty have been communicated by the Bush-Cheney campaign through an unprecedented estimated $50 million in TV and radio advertising in fewer than 60 days in 17 swing states. This storm of unremitting negativity has bolstered the faith of Bush supporters tested by recent events and has managed to maintain the contest at a draw.

"The attacks against Kerry have an internal logic consistent with the earlier falsehoods. They are a bodyguard of lies to protect the original ones that are the Praetorian Guard of Bush's presidency."

* 21 songs David Berman has been thinking about.


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