Archive | December 4, 2013

Spate Of Frightening Clown Stalking Continues In United Kingdom

clownThe Guardian on the new candy-colored face of random street terror in the decaying metropolis:

A police force has told members of the public to ignore people dressed as clowns if they meet them in the street, after spate of reports of terrifying sightings.

Norfolk police received a report from a member of the public alarmed by a clown sighting in Gaywood, near King’s Lynn, on Tuesday evening. The suspect was described as wearing a “full clown outfit” with a red suit and red hair.

The following evening the force received a similar report after two clowns were spotted near a skate park in the town. These people wore “Halloween-type” clown masks. In both cases, the callers reported being alarmed and being chased a short way up the road. It follows recent reports of the circus characters scaring people in Northampton.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

On Consumer Choice And The Quest For Meaning

666girlsVia The New Inquiry Rob Horning warns that attempting to express our identities has become a zero-sum game:

Consumerism is sustained by the ideology that freedom of choice is the only relevant freedom; it implies that society has mastered scarcity and that accumulating things is the primary universal human good, that which allows us to understand and relate to the motives of others.

Choosing among things, in a consumer society, is what allows us to feel autonomous (no one tells us how we must spend our money) and express, or even discover, our unique individuality — which is proposed as the purpose of life. If we can experience ourselves as original, our lives will not have been spent in vain. We will have brought something new to human history; we will have been meaningful. (This is opposed to older notions of being “true” to one’s station or to God’s plan.)

The quest for originality collides with the capitalist economic imperative of growth.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Google Is Now Pouring Money Into Far-Right Wing Organizations

google earthPR Watch notes that Google’s political activities don’t necessarily match up with the views held by its workers:

Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.

Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.

In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.

What Google considers “substantial” is not explained — no dollar amounts are given — but the language suggests significant investments from Google and, with a stock value of $330 billion, Google has considerably deep pockets.

Read the rest
Continue Reading