Vitriol
© 2002 by Andersen Silva (3-1-02)

We care a lot,
  About you people 'cos we're out to save the world...

This new talk about implants in humans for identification purposes is very, very disquieting. For all of Applied Digital Solutions' assurances to the contrary, this scheme does sound a lot like the Bible's 'Mark of the Beast.' Heh-heh... Seriously, though, this is the kind of thing that can start out with the most noble and benevolent goals, and get twisted and perverted into something much worse. Once people are used to the idea of getting a chip implanted under their skin, how hard do you think it would be to come up with chips that can be located via satellite, enabling the government (or Microsoft, or your choice of evil empires) to track you wherever you go? Or to create one which can stimulate your nervous system, so that the threat of pain is implied for actions not deemed acceptable? Paranoid? Yes, a little. But human experience indicates that we are capable of treating each other this way, and I see this as a slippery slope. I'm also afraid that the current security-overconscious federal government is going to approve it.

The Saudis have made an incredible proposal, and the Palestinians and other Arabs seem to be generally enthusiastic. The United States and Israel, typically, are hedging. Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces are battering refugee settlements. Disgusting. This may be the last, best hope for peace in the region; if the Saudi proposal is left to die, many Arabs will be able to convincingly argue that it seems that Israel doesn't want to negotiate, and it will be that much harder for both sides to come to the table again.

It occurred to me the other day that I can't think of any group of atheists that has engaged in large-scale violence and murder. Which is not to say that they're incapable of it... But, really, doesn't it seem that much of the world's violence (particularly recently, but certainly in the past as well) is inspired by religion? Jews and Muslims are killing each other in the Middle East, Muslims and Hindus are killing each other in India and Kashmir, Christians and Muslims are killing each other in Chechnya, and Afghanistan... and let's not forget the Christian-on-Christian violence still simmering in northern Ireland. Has every war in history been waged over religion? Of course not. But many of them have, and even when they haven't, often the opposed armies have been of different faiths, and that probably only intensified the conflict.

A few weeks ago, author Norman Mailer made some comments with which I heartily agree, about America's "almost obscene infatuation with itself." Since the horrible attacks of September 11th, people have pulled together, yes, but it almost seems that they've pulled together only to protect their own interests and to tell the rest of the world to back off. Mailer used the phrase "patriotic fever," but I'm afraid "nationalism" is more accurate, the same kind of nationalism we've seen in Serbia and the other former Macedonian republics, in people like Russia's Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Israel's Ariel Sharon, and in other regimes and people I will not mention. The attacks were wrong, despicably wrong, but they were a crime against all humanity, not just against the United States, and all humanity should be involved in wiping this scourge from the face of the earth. Americans, and the American government, need to keep in mind that we're not living on an isolated island away from everyone else. We are part of a global community, and we have to stop thinking of our nation exclusively. That's very closed-minded, and if you need an example of where this kind of narrow, snowballing nationalism can go, think about Germany in the 1930s.

I'm also perturbed by the U.S. sending forces, in various roles and guises, to Yemen, the Philippines, and Georgia (no, not that Georgia, nimrod). Obviously, the Bush administration sees itself and the nation as the world's supercop, but while the goal of wiping out terrorism is admirable, we're only going to upset and antagonize other nations by getting involved in everything that seems to be (or is) terrorist-related. This really does need to be a global effort, not dominated by any one party.

In other news, this Web site's look has been revamped, yet again. I get bored... Heh-heh. No, I think this new interface, which I've dubbed AS/2, will stick around a long while. I've also utilized it for the Not An Exit and Foogar.com Web sites, which you should check out, too. Foogar.com, for those who've been out of the loop, is a joint venture between my former Underground Giraffe collaborator Steve Augulis and me; it is not the Foogar that was to rise from UG's ashes, however, but a much grittier and meaner ball of earwax. Be warned...
  - A


April 2004 - The real final Vitriol, Howard Stern, Dubya, etc.
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March 2004 - Dining out with my baby, Virtual PC, and the end of Vitriol... or is it?
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February 2004 - Two weeks between jobs, three new songs, grabbing Panther by the tail
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January 2004 - Ice skating with Gina, sushi at my sister's wedding, war-riding, the pink slip
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December 2003 - Moving pains, goin' places with Gina, Christmas bells
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November 2003 - The looong month of October, finding an apartment, Ozzy's gone
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October 2003 - I'm in love with her and I feel fine, Boston, the Dalai Lama, apartment for rent?
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September 2003 - Andy, happy? it could happen!, taking time off from work, Ringo Starr, "Discworld," the blackout
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August 2003 - (W)here (M)ight (D)ose WMDs be?, gay marriages and the people who fear them, '80s metal bands, Computer Man to the rescue, Philadelphia freedom
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July 2003 - Boondocks.net is back!, rudeness on public transportation and elsewhere, "Hole in the Wall"
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June 2003 - Science fiction movies, where is Boondocks.net?, still no weapons of misconstruction...
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May 2003 - How 'bout them weapons of mass distraction, huh?, Def Leppard, Michael Palin, another Silva, wireless networking, and a damned good raspberry margarita
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April 2003 - They're still French fries, dammit!, a new guitar for Andy, music-music-music
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March 2003 - The buildup for, and the protesting against, war
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February 2003 - The destruction of the Columbia, the National Day of Poetry Against the War, hard and soft atheism, Pete Townshend, and the gift shop
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January 2003 - Christmas loot, "Swingin'," more war talk
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December 2002 - The year in review, moving again?!?, moving world leaders around, too
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November 2002 - "Scarlet's Walk" and Tori's penguin, jackasses, and killing in the name of...
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October 2002 - Boston, Aimee Mann, and Palpatine/Bush
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September 2002 - George Darius Bush and George Xerxes Bush
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August 2002 - Movin' out of Paisan-town, and far away from the Regal Beagle
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July 2002 - Church and state: you gotta keep 'em separated, Dubya still doesn't want to play nice with the rest of the world, John Entwistle's gone
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June 2002 - Movin' on from town to town, Dave Barry and the Rock Bottom Remainders
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May 2002 - Science fiction movies everywhere!, jail time for virus creators, Dubya finally learns to pronounce 'occupation,' Andy gets a promotion?!?
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April 2002 - Terrorism on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, people who don't interact with me or the Web site, "For Dana" to be released on a compilation CD
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March 2002 - Chip implants, the children of God and the followers of Christ commit murder in His name, ultranationalism American style
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February 2002 - Dubya says, "These pretzels are making me- ack!" Sharon continues playing Napoleon, and... the return of Foogar?
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January 2002 - Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, and other Christmas-related items, stealin' cars, karaoke!
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December 2001 - George meets his sweet lord, terrorists EVERYwhere!, Tomb Raider II finished finally, and the Segway, finally!
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November 2001 - Anthrax (the band), WSOU rocks - but for how much longer? and a minute of silence?
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October 2001 - Osama bin Laden and anthrax and the women who love them
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September 2001 - Governments and armies and the assholes who love them, more misspellings, and a large lack of feedback
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August 2001 - Dubya's isolationism, the Macedonians and Albanians search for peace the Israeli/Palestinian way, 2004 Olympics in Beijing
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July 2001 - Not the Sexiest Geek Alive, war (what is it good for?), murdering citizens American-style
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June 2001 - A dead hitchhiker, the Taliban, and an independent Senator Jeffords
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May 2001 - Joey Ramone's dead, and "Joey Ramone's Dead"
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April 2001 - Brazil (not the Terry Gilliam film), Dubya and carbon dioxide, Yugoslavia begins coming to its senses, Israel and the Palestinians still haven't come to theirs...
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March 2001 - New look for the Web site, upcoming vacation in Brazil!, the pig-headed Taliban, "Hannibal"
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February 2001 - Tomb Raider II, Dubya plays with his new toys, nature plays with El Salvador and India, and the inevitable Chechnya and Israel/Palestinians references
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January 2001 - Snow, a new year/decade/century/millennium, screen resolutions
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December 2000 - The iBook, "The X-Files," the Grinch, the pathetic turn of events in the U.S. elections...
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November 2000 - Got the iBook! the Village Parade, trouble still brewin' in the Mideast, the upcoming U.S. elections...
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October 2000 - Andy turns 30, the Middle East, the anniversary of the invasion of Chechnya...
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September 2000 - A random act of kindness, Great Adventure, new music, new iBooks?
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August 2000 - Palestine and the Israelis, Milosevic, Speight, and breaking the speed of light!
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July 2000 - Israel & the Palestinians, the missile defense shield, and (who'da thunk it?) Chechnya
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June 2000 - Um, Chechnya again, gun-totin' Charlton Heston, misspellings, and xenophobes
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May 2000 - Communism on the last May Day of the twentieth century, and Andy's life ("Don't talk to me about life...")
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April 2000 - Hold on, it's more Chechnya rantin', and an appeal on behalf of a friend caught behind red tape
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March 2000 - Hey, hey, Pinochet, Russia and China won't go away, "The X-Files," the American presidential race, and a prelude to vacation
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February 2000 - Again with the Chechens, and Elián, Pinochet, mp3.com vs. the recording industry, and snow
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January 2000 - Made it through January 1st, Syria and Israel, public transportation, and, er, Chechnya
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December 1999 - Indonesia comes apart, Chechnya (no shit), Seattle's burning, 'n Happy Xmas
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November 1999 - Halloween, my bad knee, Russians? in Chechnya?!? Buchanan and the Reform Party, NIN
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October 1999 - Hurricane on the East Coast, earthquakes in Taiwan, Turkey, and Greece, and Apple Computers
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September 1999 - I'm not getting you down, am I? I'd hate to think I was getting you down...

- - - the Dark Ages (reprise) - - -

April 1999 - the return of Vitriol, Kosovo, a foreshadowing of the Russian invasion of Chechnya (!), and Libya

- - - the Dark Ages - - -

September-November 1995 - the Underground Press Conference, a co-worker bites the dust, Rabin really bites the dust, Remington Bond, Win95, and the Sex Pistols
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August 1995 - the death penalty, the V-chip and violence in pop culture, and "TV Nation"
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June 1995 - Oklahoma City, 'zines, "The X-Files" and "V.R.5"
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March 1995 - I'm sick!, the space program (ha), alt.zines, "Star Trek" and "Voyager"
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February 1995 - the very first Vitriol! Newt Gingrich, political correctness, media overkill, Howard Stern, the Apple goon squad?
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