The Archive

How Capitalism Killed How Capitalism Killed the Internet

October-November 2003

October '01
Beard and Grimace not included.
Photography by Uncle Ben.

I hate you all.

Dennis Kucinich Vote for Frodo.
What's New
Stream of Consciousness
My Personal Life

What's New



That's right, I'm back, and a site called "How Capitalism Killed the Internet" is now selling T-shirts. So I figured, what the hell, as long as I'm selling out I may as well go all the way and rename my page accordingly. Welcome to the new URL, and thanks so much to Terra for hosting.

New Stream and Life, plus of course I've restructured the site dramatically: the Archive and Site Features (now including KateStory XII!) now have their own index pages, producing noticeable shrinkage in the contents bar on the left. Pity; I was proud of its mammoth proportions. But hey, now they have wacky commentary and a flagrant overuse of the word "ruminations".

Finally replaced the Nader button in said contents bar with the latest candidate I'm backing, Dennis Kucinich. Because I'm a goddamn hippie. Also, because he has my full support in his quest to throw the One Ring into the fires of Orodruin and put an end to the menace and tyranny of Sauron.

Fuck Gator and Its Fucking Spyware.


Title actually has nothing to do with the update, but considering Gator is once again proving itself a collection of epic-scale slimeballs, I felt it made a nice title. I hope the goddamn parasites sue me. Spyware spyware spyware spyware spyware, Gator will install fucking spyware on your machine. It's software that spies on you. Not fucking rocket science, guys. You spyware-vending fucks.

Anyway. That's not, as I said, what the update's about. The update's about two other things. Biggest news: KateStory XIII is taking off. Having just gone over XII to put on the site, I'd been itching for a new one, and Stef, on seeing it, concurred...and when I realized today was, by coincidence, the ninth anniversary of the very first chapter, well, it became inevitable.

On another topic, my good friend Brad is running for Mayor of Tempe. See, Brad recently became a polisci major, and then it occurred to him that he's distantly related to William Henry Harrison, the most worthless President ever. (That's "zero worth", not "negative worth", because I'd rather have Harrison than Bush any day.) Anyway, Brad decided, in the family tradition, to register as a Whig. This in and of itself is a bit odd considering Brad's a hardcore liberal and the Whigs were hardcore conservatives, but not such a mystery considering that George Bush belongs to the same party as Abraham Lincoln and Joe Lieberman belongs to the same party as Franklin D Roosevelt.

Anyway, Brad attempted to register Whig, but the party, of course, no longer exists. So he went down to Tempe City Hall, founded the party with himself as chairman and treasurer, and got himself a petition to run for mayor.

He's my fucking hero.



Twice a year, every cable channel in Arizona jumps an hour ahead or an hour back. This is because Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time. So now I'm watching last night's Democratic Debate on PBS instead of Futurama. Good to see these guys talk now and again, but really, my mind was pretty much made up after the first one I saw.

More to the point, though -- I find Daylight Savings Time stupid and archaic.

Doing the Rocky thing again -- Lord this is a busy week. That is, in fact, why they call it Hell Week.

Anyway...looks like the URL is finally up. Think I'll wear the T-shirt again tomorrow to celebrate...and to advertise.

Pasteurized Process Cheese Food


As a college student, I eat a lot of sandwiches. And on a recent trip to Sam's Club, I made a discovery:

"Hey...this pepper-jack is cheaper than this provolone!"

That really should've aroused my suspicions. Pepper-jack is never cheaper than provolone.

After the first terrible turkey sandwich, and noting that the cheese was terrible and did not melt when put in a toaster oven, I found myself thinking, Well...maybe this isn't jack. Maybe it's some other kind of cheese. So I checked the label.

It doesn't even say what kind of cheese it is. Because it is not, in fact, actual cheese. It is, apparently, Pasteurized Process Cheese Food.

Thinking about maybe palming it off on somebody with less discriminating tastes. Also, it might not be terrible on nachos. If I could get it to melt.

One more show night. I'm gonna miss doing Rocky. Except the underwear, corset, and heels. They suck.

New Life. Also added ID's to the subheadings of the Features page, but no update to its actual content.

"Thad's a Blogger!"


The above is a quote from my good friend, Michael Crusoe. I'm a bit afraid of the term, honestly, but it should help me on my rise to superstardom.

Pity Atrios and Luskin appear to have reached an amicable resolution; I was quite looking forward to Luskin Is a Stalker Day. Because it's always been my dream to get sued for something stupid, thereby making me rich and famous.

On that note, Gator is changing its name to Claria. Fuck Claria and its fucking spyware.

I Decided I'd Open My Hitchhiker's Guide to a Random Passage and Choose the First Thing I See As a Title, So Here Goes:
From the opposite direction came a larger black spiderlike object. It zapped past them.


Zeldafreak holds the Guide logoGood news for geeks everywhere: his legacy lives on. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film has legs (Ananova), and, even more impressively, the original radio cast (less the rather nontrivial Peter Jones, alas) reunites for new adaptations of the last three books -- also including an old recording of Adams himself as Agrajag (BBC). I'm wondering exactly how they intend to begin Book 3 from the ending of the original radio series, as, if I recall my Salmon of Doubt correctly, that little logical impossibility is exactly what kept Adams himself from continuing the radio show. Looks as if they might just re-adapt Restaurant from the book version. Any way you slice it, I have high hopes; apparently Dirk Maggs, the person doing the adaptation, was hand-picked by Adams before his death.

It's a hell of a time to be a Douglas Adams fan. And if I had a "What Music I'm Listening To" box, it'd be The Eagles' Journey of the Sorcerer.

Of course, you've surely already read all this on Slashdot. Hey, look, a new avatar on the Features page!

Sad Geek, Happy Geek


Kicking around with permalinks, because all the cool kids have permalinks. But since I'm an idiot, I'm doing them all ass-backwards, starting with the oldest archive pages first. Four down and fourteen to go. Nobody said raw HTML'd be easy.

So it's official: Saruman's cut from Return of the King. I'm doing my very best to give Peter Jackson the benefit of the doubt, but I must admit to having the urge to just smack him upside the head and ask him what the hell he was thinking. Other lengthy rants on the subject are available all over the Web from better geeks than I. Which is rather my opinion of Matrix Revolutions.

To redeem my geekiness, I spent part of the afternoon watching the Kasparov vs. X3D Fritz, and it was pretty cool. I had to get to class before the game was over, but from what I've read I caught the best part: Kasparov took 20 minutes to figure out his next move, and then Fritz responded in seconds.

Watchin' the Clouds Go By


New Stream, and the archive's got permalinks up through September '00.

Permalinks, Done.


I tried for awhile to come up with some actual content for this update, but it's just not gonna happen. As a consolation prize, note that the permalinks are complete throughout the archive.

The Gatrix Has You


Spent the afternoon throwing together The Gatrix, my own personal vision of Microsoft's Matrix spoof from Comdex done in the style of Holy Trinity Adventures.

Corresponding link and avatar on Features.



A brief Stream chronicling what I've been doing instead of my homework these past couple days, and the ever-present joy of emulation. (Remember, kids, emulation is perfectly legal if your POS2 breaks and you're using the disc you yourself paid for. There's not a goddamn thing Sony can do about it...except, y'know, maybe make hardware that doesn't break all the time, but what are the odds of that?)

Stream of Consciousness


Selling Out


I've been through a lot of website moves over the years -- first, my page at Prodigy, which later moved to Dragonfire, and then this page, which went from Crosswinds to TWU to NAU. But now I have a more permanent URL, and I intend to stay here for the foreseeable future.

Corporate sellout -- a dear old friend of mine once called me that. I think she'd just outgrown her militant lesbian phase and needed something else to be self-righteous about.

It's a good thing she's never going to read this, because she'd force-feed me my own kidneys for saying that.

Anyway. Hawking cheesy merchandise. I know guys in the engineering building who'll totally buy that first T-shirt, and I have more coming. (Want to advise me on my ideas? Discuss it on the Pyoko Boards. But read the Newbie Guide first so I don't have to force-feed you your own kidneys. ...It's much less fun than it sounds and I've lost my enthusiasm for it.) Anyway, at a $4 profit a shirt (which seems rather generous to such a starving college boy as myself), that'll pay off my domain purchase for the next two years once I've sold 6 or so. After that, I figure the next $20 or so I make should go to Terra for graciously hosting my site, and after that, well...if I get that far I'll be quite surprised.

So okay. The fact that I'm even contemplating selling some 11 T-shirts clearly shows I'm trying for a broader audience with this site than I've had in the past. Or that I'm hoping every single person who reads my site will buy a shirt. I'm still trying to figure out what the hell it is I have to offer to the Web that hasn't been done hundreds of times over, but I happen to know that something like an If Your Homework Doesn't Look Like This, Quit Your Bitching T-shirt is absolutely unique and pretty goddamn funny.

Anyway. This thing's called "Stream of Consciousness", so now I'm going to completely change the subject for no good reason.

So okay...I was at Target the other day and happened upon the Transformers Universe reissues, whereupon I picked myself up a purple Silverbolt. Awesome toy, and the repaint's actually grown on me. Apparently there's also a quarterly comic adaptation of the Universe saga, which sounds to me like, essentially, Avengers Forever with Transformers.

Moving on again...

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Yeah, it's all been said before in various places, but it bears repeating: the Law system sucks. "Hm, I have this mission where I have to fight monsters. ...And I'm not allowed to hit monsters. Swell. Well, I'll just walk around for a few days...and now I'm not allowed to use the Fight command. ...Look, guys, I have a two-fold assignment here: fight...monsters. Please permit me to fight some damn monsters!"

Other than that, the game is largely a fantastic engine wasted on long, boring, ridiculously easy battles. A lot of fun, but the idea of a game traditionally involves the possibility of losing. And not just losing because Marche got red-carded for using a Knight Sword.

Okay, next topic.

T-Shirts. Since I'm selling them now, I think it bears explaining just how much T-shirts are a way of life for me.

People smile when they see the Thundercat insignia. It's an instant way of bonding with people you've never met.

And last month when the FedEx guy woke me up, I was thrilled to find that my "I'm not even supposed to be here today" shirt had arrived, because I thought it fit the mood of my coming disciplinary meeting with the Ministry of Student Life perfectly. (The reason for the meeting, incidentally, is a bit of a complicated story but boils down to an incorrect setting in my Exim which resulted in the guys over at Information Technology Services getting an E-Mail per minute from me for several hours. And, more to the point, rather than call me up, they just turned my port off and left it up to me to spend the bulk of the following day trying to figure out what was wrong with my Internet connection.)

And when it came time for the first Rocky Horror cast meeting of the year, I tossed on the awesome tie-dye-esque Where the Wild Things Are shirt my brother picked up for me at a head shop, because I knew I'd be hearing "That is an awesome shirt" several times over the course of the afternoon.

T-shirts are a quick and easy way to be noticed, and to tell people something about yourself without need of any explanation. And while there's no way I'll be able to sell anything nearly as cool as that Where the Wild Things Are T-shirt as long as I'm working through a website that does screen prints, I can easily match the tone of "I'm not even supposed to be here today."

I'm proud of this stuff, and I wouldn't sell a shirt I wouldn't buy. I got mine in the mail and, aside from being a bit redder than I expected, it looks great. Looks like a quality printing process (though I haven't put it through the wash yet) and the fonts are fantastic (though if you look closely the left side of the "Q" is cut off -- one of these days I might get around to fixing that).

All right, that's enough waxing philosophical about T-shirts. If you like my T-shirts, buy some. And if you don't, suggest some you'd like. And if you're Richard M. Stallman and refuse to wear shirts with words on them because you find them undignified, then I'm afraid I can't help you. Also, I don't call it GNU/Linux, so you can kiss my ass.

It's a good thing he's never going to read this, because he'd force-feed me my own kidneys for saying that.


Music: The Talking Heads, This Must Be the Place


Just stood out in a field watching clouds blow over the half-moon. Feeling a bit wistful -- I get that way once in awhile. It's cold out, so much so that when I got back in the house I took my jeans off so I could warm up.

Just found out my good friend Jon is graduating in May -- I'd expected him to be here longer since he switched his major his sophomore year. The band's breaking up. And of course this hammered home just how close I am to leaving Flagstaff myself. If I'm lucky, I'll be out of here in December '04. Planning on the grad school thing, with UofA being my current primary consideration. I have friends there, and besides, I'm not going to ASU. Still have to take my GRE's.

I've never stayed in one place too long. Tend to average maybe five years, give or take. I was born in Tempe; when I was 3, Mom moved us to Florida; when I was 4, I moved back to Tempe. At 5, Mom moved us to Prescott; at 6, we moved back to Tempe. At 8, Mom moved us back to Prescott again; at 13, I moved back down to Tempe. And then, at 17, I moved up here to Flagstaff. And now it's looking like Tucson at 22.

Sometimes I miss Mom. I never liked Prescott, especially as a pissed-off teenager, but I do miss seeing her. I miss the music -- Mom plays piano (among a slew of other instruments) and sings, and the house was always full of music when I was a kid.

She used to play This Must Be the Place. It's one of my favorites, and it's always resonated with me. I'm just an animal lookin' for a home.

My parents are, as you would probably guess from this fact, Talking Heads fans. They took me to a concert when I was about 6 months old -- I have the vaguest hint of a recollection of it. Mom tells me it was outdoors, and it was raining; she recalls holding a jacket over my head right as they sang "Our mama protects us from the cold and the rain."

So here it is. I have another year here, but I'm already beginning to miss the place. I love Flagstaff (and don't care much for Tucson), it's just that the grad program for compsci here isn't so hot. And I like Tempe, but am not a fan of ASU. And sometimes you just have to move on.

Beginnings and endings. That was a favorite speech of my high school drama director; he'd often give his speech on beginnings and endings before a closing-night show, and always if it were the last show of the year.

I'm gonna miss these guys -- but hell, I'm just now getting back in touch with some of my old friends from high school (one of whom, in fact, goes to UofA), I still talk to Steve and see Brad all the time, so I think I'll keep in contact with my college buddies. That's one thing the Net's good for.

Still, after biking home at 2AM (an occasional behavior I'd highly recommend to everybody who can do so safely and comfortably), I found myself in a wistful enough mood to stand out in a field -- a field where we spun donuts a year ago when another good friend graduated -- watching the clouds go by.

Guess that this must be the place.




My POS2 has been dying a slow death for some three years now. Six months after I got it, the second controller slot no longer worked; about a year after I got it, it started flaking out on DVD playback. Another year later, it stopped playing Suikoden III properly -- the chief reason I never finished it. (I made it all the way to the final, all-108-stars chapter, but it just wasn't worth massaging the console for 10 minutes every time I wanted to fight a series of laughably easy battles.)

And as of this week, it's stopped playing my games entirely. Tuesday it took me ten minutes to get it to play Final Fantasy Tactics, and yesterday I decided I would have no more of its shenanigans. So I did what any reasonable person would: flipped over to a virtual console and typed emerge epsxe. ...Well, okay, I did what any reasonable person running Gentoo Linux would.

It took a bit of doing, but ePSXe now plays Tactics pretty damn well. There's some graphical discontinuity on the world map, and some sound problems (general lag plus a few sounds come out funny, such as the female death scream), but all in all, it works much better than my POS2 at this juncture.

Thanks to a DexDrive I purchased some years ago, I copied my memory card right to my hard drive -- not like I was going to restart a game I was some 30 hours into.

Then I spent much of the day banging my head against the wall trying to get my joystick to work. On a whim, I finally upgraded my kernel to the latest 2.6 test version, which fixed my joystick. It created a host of other problems too, but then I fixed those.

I have a high school buddy who says he knows how to fix a fucked-up POS2. I figure I'll drag mine home with me over Thanksgiving and give him a crack at it -- I mean, what's the worst that could possibly happen, he breaks it more?

All this leads to the fact that this generation of the console war has left me sliding slowly back to Nintendo's court. Those fuckers burned me badly with the 64, but the Cube certainly hasn't hurt me the way the POS2 has.

I'm really not keen on giving Sony any more of my money at this point. A $300 piece of hardware should last more than three years. Sure, the thought of buying another POS2 if the "dropping to $100" rumor bears fruit has crossed my mind, but I really don't want to reinforce these assholes for selling me a piece of shit by just quietly replacing it.

My Personal Life



Games: Finished Final Fantasy Tactics Advance; replaying the original.

Books: Read A Beautiful Mind (I was right -- Fellowship of the Ring deserved Best Adapted Screenplay) and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. Now into Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them in-between school shit.



Books: The Great Big Book of Tomorrow. Yeah, it's just a treasury of cartoons, but it's a treasury of the wordiest damn cartoons on the planet Earth, so it's worth mentioning.



Books: Dude, Where's My Country? Again, in-between books for my contemporary lit class.

Created 03.11.16
Uploaded 03.11.17
Last Updated 05.10.15