There is a clear difference between a fact and a factoid. Sometimes that difference becomes clearest in a live fact check and binders full of women. Good health is merely the slowest possible onset of death. Nostalgia clearly isn’t as good now as it used to be. The word “vodka” comes from the Slavic word for “water,” which makes a kind of sense. Whatever happened to Nancy Drew?

There is a correlation between losing sleep and losing memories. It’s humorous for me to think that Ronald Reagan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” An owl is an owl is an owl. “High and tight,” “shuck and jive,” “bread and circuses,” and “smoke and mirrors” are all examples of Siamese Twins.

I would like to stand on a beach at night, yelling obscenities into the coming tides. Pictures from here, here, here, here, and here. Is it possible that we’ll find thriving distant life in Alpha Centauri or the ancient remnants of extinguished life on Mars?

Is/was yesterday real, or did we just dream it up?

Brad Bird and Damond Lindelof are doing a movie together, maybe featuring aliens, but shhhh, it’s all a secret. Johnny Depp wants to publish a book about Bob Dylan, which seems totally unnecessary. If young J. G. Ballard looked like Christian Bale, does that mean that Christian Bale will eventually look like old J. G. Ballard? The Wire as a list with no name. Sometimes I feel like I am losing touch with the things really matter, or should really matter. Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell sequel won the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Oscar Wilde’s last words were, “Either that wallpaper goes – or I do!” There as no September 3 through September 13 in 1752. Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. Doppelgänger is still a really cool word. Everything is fine and…

That said, bananas are berries but strawberries are not.


The Ides.

Today is the day you were warned about.

Honestly, I just like saying: “Beware!” And telling people to beware various things. Like, “Beware those calories!” Or, “Beware Justin Bieber!”

Recently on Counterforce:

We’ve been comparing things, things like the manic pixie dream girl vs. the amazing girl, Heroes vs. Battlestar Galactica, and Kirsten Dunst vs. Kate Hudson.

We’ve got plenty of our favorite news items and lots of mad linkage to share with you.

And we celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

We’ve been watching – what else is new? – this brand new and final season of Lost: “Dr. Linus,” “Sundown,” The Lighthouse,” “The Substitute,” and “What Kate Does.”

And, in doing so, we’ve been trying to get inside the minds of characters like Jack and Sayid. But perhaps they’ve been getting into our brains instead?

Speaking of television: Nip/Tuck finally ended, but the singularity still looms on the horizon (and perhaps on cable TV as well).

Oh, and the Oscars came and went again. We talked about afterward and talked about it quite a bit during the ceremony.

I read Tao Lin’s first collection of stories and then talked a little about short stories in general for your amusement.

The lovely Karen Gillan as a soothsayer of sorts in Doctor Who.

People tend to believe that God believes what they believe, we learned, and then we watched a bit of Chris Marker’s documentary about Andrei Tarkovsky.

Conrad talks about two of his favorite things: Prince and Kevin Smith (but more so Prince than Kevin Smith, he assures me).

from here.

Oh, and my iphone is apparently waiting to me, amidst the sea of pornography, sex pills, and mortgage help that the internet is just dying to offer me.

And our very own Maria Diaz, who’s been rocking it at SXSW this past weekend, got herself wifed up for the purposes of partying and let me DJ the party, and you were cordially invited to the event.

Fun fact about The Ides: It’s the 15th day of the month, but only in March, May, July, and October. In every other month, it’s the 13th of the month. The Roman calendar is really so weird.

All this talk of soothsaying and foretelling has me thinking… Here at Counterforce, when we’re not complaining about shit, we’re typically just slicing up bits of our subconscious, things that we like from all over the place, and sharing them with you. Sometimes it’s planned, and sometimes it happens on a deadly whim, but I wonder… Perhaps we should be planning and sharing what we’re planning more beforehand, teasing you a bit… Hmm. Maybe, right?

Or, more dangerously, just throwing out random things at the start of a month, or any time period, and then talking about them at some point, in some way. Maybe the topics are user generated, or just things the author knows nothing about but have always been abstractly interested in, I don’t know. And then they go off and learn something about that topic, or maybe they don’t. But they find an angle and attack it. Maybe it’s predictive blogging, maybe it’s something else.

OR! And this, this right here, is insane, but let me start earlier… at work, sometimes, when we’re bored, my co-workers and I will play a game, a silly, stupid game that we call “The Wikipedia game.” We generate a large group of topics and subjects, then you pick two randomly. You go to one of those topic/subject’s wikipedia pages, and utilizing only links on that page, you have to, in five clicks or seven clicks (or whatever) or less, you have to arrive at the second topic you picked. Think “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” but more infotastic and time wasting. Mind you, I”m just talking out loud here, so maybe this is lame, but what if blogging was like that? 

The elements of film.

I’ve mentioned both Andrei Tarkovsky and Chris Marker and my admiration for the work of both filmmakers before, so I have to say, it was pretty exciting for me to find some clips online from Marker’s documentary about Tarkovsky, One Day In The Life Of Andrei Arsenevich. Here’s one:

Marker filmed the documentary based around the filming of Tarkovsky’s last film, the Ingmar Bergman-approved The Sacrifice, and it actually includes death bed interviews with the Russian director as he was in the final stages of his battle with lung cancer (which he most likely contracted while filming Stalker several years earlier in and around Chernobyl.

Tarkovsky was a director who let the moving images of his stories dictate his filmmaking, and whose plots tended to drift into poetry and the hidden ghosts dancing through the fire and water motifs (which is more natural and not as annoying as, say, John Woo and the fucking doves) of his subconscious tended to wander about the landscapes he so expertly conveyed. I can see a lot of similarities, not just with Bergman, who Tarkovsky greatly admired, but also with filmmakers still operating today, like Béla Tarr. Of Tarkovsky, Bergman said, “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest [director], the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”

from Tarkovsky’s first feature, Ivan’s Childhood.

And Tarkovsky’s films have always looked to me as if they were filmed on location inside of dreams. They’re not always pretty, but they’re not exactly ugly either. They don’t conform. Time doesn’t always flow as you think it should. Things happen, whether you understand the reasons or not, and sometimes events can get away from you.

Meanwhile, I’m going to go put his book, Sculpting In Time, on my Christmas list.

For one time and one place.

Tonight’s movie:

Sans Soleil, by Chris Marker, who’d previously done the short film La Jetée, which served as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s excellent 12 Monkeys.

The film is an experiment take on the documentary and the travelogue as a ficticious filmmaker sends footage and letters back to a woman, who narrates/shares with us his thoughts. It moves from place to place, not really concerned with narrative, and spends some time in Japan, Iceland, Paris, and San Francisco, where it pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s amazing Vertigo, probably my favorite film ever.

The film deals a lot with the ideas of travel and loneliness and memory (“remembering is not the opposite of forgetting“) and the idea that our memories can be replaced with film as a document, amongst other things. This is one of those movies I put on when I want to relax and it never fails to do the trick.

The English version of the film opens with this quote from T. S. Eliot’s Ash Wednesday:

“Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place”

Marker’s an enigmatic and reclusive filmmaker, mostly sticking to the documentary form, and careful to never let himself become the subject of the story. He refuses to do interviews and when he’s asked for a picture of himself, he instead sends along a picture of his cat, Guillaume. But that’s another story for another time. I’ll leave you with live footage of Blonde Redhead performing their song “Ego Maniac Kid” in front of a project of Marker’s Battle Of Ten Million


There’s nothing cuter than retro-futurism. It’s just adorable.

And yet, it leaves me wondering about the simple things in life. Happiness. Love. Acceptance. Security. And also, where is my fucking jetpack?

I mean, seriously.

Granted, this “Not My Future!”/”Where’s my jetpack?” ennui has been around for a while, and sloganized (the sign of all things nearing what should be a healthy death in the pop culture eye), but it’s especially trying when James Bond had a jetpack of sorts back in 1965 and then had laser guns and bad Star Wars rip off fun back in 1979 (along with Dr. Holly Goodhead and future chucks).

A laser watch? 007 gets a laser watch. Come on, throw me a frickin’ bone here, man.

The other night I was reading an interesting big on a variant of the Fermi paradox, but dealing with time travel, and I really wished I had saved the link. The Fermi paradox, by the way, is contradiction of… Well, if there are aliens out there, higher civilizations, or at least something more advanced than class 1 or 2 civilization and capable of traveling between worlds, then why haven’t we been contacted them (and no, abducting wack jobs and cattle and anal probing the hell out of them is not “contact,” no matter how right it’s done). Essentially the same idea applies to time travel: If people could come back from the future, then why haven’t they?

Especially if you think about how a person from a few decades in the future could travel back with the common cold from their time period to now, when we don’t have those several decades worth of immunities, and do some serious damage.

Oh well. I guess that just leaves us angry time travelers, all stuck going forward only and at the same speed.

All right, you primates, listen up…

I’m from the future, man. And I’m high!

Come with me if you want to talk about groping and economic reform in hard times.

Oh well, I guess that for now… that’s all we have. The here and now:

And people who paint giant penises on top of their house.

The media’s just a bit fucked of late.

Speaking of which, after effectively accepting an honorary title of douchbaggery, Jim Cramer is now calling Jon Stewart and the Daily Show’s reporting on CNBC “naïve and misleading.”

“The Decider” is writing a book about decisions. Fantastic. At least he’s not getting any of that big time Clinton “Fuck You money.”

Bill O’Reilly is boycotting Sean Penn films. I apologize for even mentioning that. That’s not even news.

But in related news: Meghan McCain. What the hell?

Oh, and today is the day that SKYNET takes over! Er, I mean, Conficker. Whatever.

Oh, and yeah, today is April Fool’s Day:

This actually makes a certain kind of sense.

Talking porn and Hollywood with Alan Moore.

The secret fetish art of Joe Shuster, Superman’s co-creator.

Say hello to the days of the future past. Now say goodbye.

Now is the era of the end of excess. If you’ll excuse me, I’m just gonna go slip into my little time machine and go back in time (and maybe buy some Apple stock or something). Catch you in another time, another place.