January 2005: Ghosts.Machines

When frat-ernatural student Josh Kaplan purchased, from the lesser “self realized” Michelle Tirado, tsunamirelief.com for $99 in the wake of the killer wave that decimated much of the Indian Ocean archipelago, little did he know he would get coverage for no story. A no story like the election re-count for a 1/5 mandate. For the sake of recounting ---Tirado had purchased the web site domain tsunamirelief.com hoping she could turn a profit, (via some ad-hoc link revenue scheme?) but, in what we can only assume was a taint of guilt informed by the very corporeal resurgence of some pre-Gilgamesh like god that plainly had moved over those polytheistic indian waters ---Tirado had a change of heart. God bless us all that in the face of crisis, a change of heart is inevitable. God bless us not once, but twice, as Kaplan, who promised to do the good work with the site when securing the purchase, also had a change of heart promptly placing tsunamirelief.com for sale on e-bay for a reported $50,000. Not the merest case of donor fatigue, young college student Kaplan, probably meant well, perchance, made promises of “going over there to help out” once he graduated. No doubt, if we were to set about spinning the wheel softer compassions, perhaps we could surmise Kapalan’s motive was a used, VHS copy of the The Beach. All reason aside, this not the first documented case of dough-main.ing. A vaporware and vapor-wise cottage industry manned by cryp-to-quip-tic prescients who live on the fringe, on the artless hope of cashing in big on one-simple-singular phrase. If you’re unemployed, have not considered your luck at this, our pick for 2005 is www.imitation-flavored-condoms.com as it is safe to say, when it’s not you getting fucked, you should not be so concerned with the taste, never mind the twice.

On the note of returned names, since last we’ve spoken, an archive image of the December semantikon.com home page demonstrates our first editorial, “Defining the Dialogue”, was tagged with the introduction:

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      Our sincere apologies for this occlusion of context as we were bereft with the loss of Jacques Derrida, and, as we go to press to make this correction, the very un-serious obituaries offered to Susan Sontag. Let it be said clearly, however deep the mass grave of ideals the newsprint artist have tried to lay these two in, we commemorate the loss of these great minds of contemporary cultural analysis with a keen awareness of their awesome legacies. With an understanding of what has yet to be told.

     Keeping with the tradition of naming things that move about the ether freely, Alberto Gonzales, nominee for attorney general of the united states is set to replace vegetable oil anointed first term Attorney General John Ashcroft. Gonzales, counsel to the president dating back to Bush’s days as governor of Texas, wrote controversial memorandums on the use of torture cited widely in the unfolding of the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal.

During confirmation hearings, Gonzales, seated in front of his publicly introduced family (who were asked to stand at the behest of a coaching Arlen Specter), was repeatedly asked, to no great affect, his position on torture. Gonzales, given proper introductions, but, without making a sound, is expected to be confirmed by the time this article appears in wide circulation, and the movie White Noise is released. White Noise, a ghost thriller premised to cash in on the neo-victorian fascination with ghost and angels promises, via the aid of dazzling audio technologies, we can hear things that move about the room that aren’t invited. Could not be heard before. Promises, beneath the veneer of everyday sounds, beneath the great symphony that is life, there are voices dying to be heard.

Lance Oditt
editor at semantikon dot com