A Hyper Real ‘Event Horizon’ In NYC? How Close To The Other Side?

Physicists tell us there exist boundaries, barriers. Events from one side of a barrier can never affect a viewer, and similarly, those that cross that boundary are never observable again. This is why light is said to be incapable of escaping a black hole. Hence, Event Horizon the term.

Three simultaneous ‘pop culture’ events of the unreal, hyper -real and consensually fictitious blasted New York City yesterday with force of at least three TMZ-type megaton bombs. If ever we teetered on the edge of ‘crossing over’, this might be the night. And perhaps the City would earn the immortal tag “Ground Zero” yet again.

First, let’s savor the collusion — by fate, by design, by unfortunate circumstance, all irrelevant — among the Bush regime, our media, Neocons, Likudniks, Sunnis and Persians to impart meaning or significance to ‘President’ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If you’re reading here, you know this sham.

His post is ceremonial, without power to make or set policy. We even noticed Andrea Mitchell try to sneak that glimpse of reality in on a 30 second MSNBC ‘report’, showing that famous professional moxy. We also think she eye blinked out “Nor does he command the armed forces.” We’re not sure.

When a so-called moderate last held the presidential post, the same figures supra, dismissed any encouraging, moderate utterance by any Iranian President as irrelevant. Post is merely ceremonial, DOH!. Now, because this one pushes the ‘Israel’ button, he is a modern day “Corporal”.

Even beyond that, this Iranian works well as an AgitProp tool. Many benefit from his performances. He has the gift of allowing a vacant comedian like Leno to riff for 10 minutes calling him “I’a Moody Nut Job” to a jabbering audience day after day. If you want a canary in a coal mine, this is surely one. The AgitProp virus is definitely airborne and outside containment. No Democratic response meme to be found. Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad see his strings and handlers? Most likely. But he also looks to us like a man who enjoys a good ride.

Yesterday’s circus at Columbia and then at the UN adds — in musical terms — distortion and sustain — to the original, bogus chords. Truly a wall of sound. Any efforts to correct falsehoods or point out atonal anomalies will be drowned out by the larger noise, which itself becomes the ultimate “Fact”. The Noise is the reality.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad/Iran as Noise and Fact are approaching the Event Horizon, but their trajectories and velocities not locked in. Yet. We see and can act, if we choose.


And then there was the HALO 3 video game launch at midtown at 5th Avenue and elsewhere in Malls, Walmarts and strip malls across the continent. This one is actually a tougher call.

The Stiftung admires Bungie Studio on several levels, from being actual immersive fan to appreciation for technical design and business model aspects. That said, HALO 3 is now a pop event. Such events demand comment like any other, regardless of the ‘actual reality’ drowned out by the Noise. As with Columbia and the UN, HALO’s Noise becomes the Fact.

HALO 3 as the final installment in a future ‘war of civilzations’ is designed primarily to target the vital 17-32 mostly male core demographic. Microsoft needs their lock-in to make the 360 console profitable before Sony can try and salvage the PS3. On one level, we get a certain nostalgia watching it all. The unifying feel of ‘the HALO Nation’ drop reminded us of how major rock festivals and certain vinyl album releases brought our generation together back in the day. Such a mass unification of youth culture is perhaps no longer possible today. Too many fragmentary cultural touchstones, non-consensual realities, and distractions.

HALO 3 is perhaps the best simulacra of the real thing — black, white, hispanic or asian, all alike share enthusiasm and love of the game, its universe and their part in the HALO subculture. The real thing, of course, doesn’t exist anymore.

Celebration, man. Gonna snipe. Gonna frag. Smash talk. One prominent sign at a strip mall national chain video game store we checked out last night laid down the rules for gamers about the midnight launch details. And then the sign boldly proclaimed “Bring your whores!” Outside, around midnight, the key marketing demo obeyed, the older ones on cell phones or iPods, the younger doing skateboarding. More than a few girls (likely oblivious to their title bestowed inside the store) looked mostly bored, but dutiful.

The innocent fanboy enthusiasms (and begrudging female participation from what the Stiftung can observe over the years) also highlight another disparity. This ‘demo’ are same who ordinarily would be touched in some way by the alleged actual war the Nation is waging poorly. Yet, here all of them celebrating a Super Bowl day without irony. The sheer spectacle that Microsoft could shut down 5th Avenue for bogus ‘marines’ driving bogus ‘attack vehicles’ in a Cirque du Soleil parody bringing ecstasy.

Whether standing in line for 30 hours to pay $129 for the ‘Legendary Edition’ of the game (and you thought movie prices were steep), or blogging about it, or watching a marketing campaign that talked about mass human extinctions on a future battlefield, this is a Nation clearly on the other side of the Event Horizon. Our reality — that boys, men, girls and women their ages come home in wooden boxes or ruined for life still hidden from public view by Cheney et al. And not on the minds of these kids at all.

What would bring them back across the Horizon? Can it be done?


And then, on a much quieter level, last nite also saw the TV season debut of ‘Heroes’, still largely New York focused. This minor show’s seasonal debut perhaps the fission trigger to the TMZ-esque megaton events noted above. (The timing doesn’t work sequentially, but if you watch Heroes you understand why that doesn’t matter). NBC has burdened this niche, quaint geek-love show with the unenviable task of saving NBC’s cold, mediocre corporate existence by demanding it anchor new shows, spin offs, etc.

Key writing talent departed the show from its debut last season. Verdict is still out but the debut left the Stiftung with, as the kids say, a distinct “Meh.”

Safely this this side of the Horizon for now. And in no danger of escape yet.


  1. A Random Quote says

    “We’re not in the middle east to bring sweetness and light to the whole world. That’s nonsense. We’re in the middle east because we and our European friends and our European non-friends depend on something that comes from the middle east, namely oil.”
    ~Midge Decter, 5/21/04
    KCRW, To The Point

    NB – Decter is not too witty, so the pun on light sweet crude oil (which is plentiful in Iraq) was probably unintentional. Her overlooking of oil-less Isreal may have been like Acheson forgetting to mention S. Korea. Hey – Doktor, what about democracy?

  2. Comment says

    Candidates have to learn to tell Russsert and his ilk when certain questions are trivia, inappropriate, and/or stupid. HRC came closest to that when she just waved away one of his stupid question – (which contained a loaded questionable premise). Candidates should feel free to mock the moderator when the moderator deserves it.

  3. Comment says

    Russert – to use the neocon argot – is objectively Republican. He injects all that useless trivia into debates about haircuts etc that have no place – Or quizing about bible verses – “What is your favorite Bible verse,” asks Russert. What an obnoxious question – Totally accepting the legitimacy of this contrive GOP wedge scheme – Only a bore would have a politically acceptable verse on hand – most of the Bible is to raw for political soundbites. One suspects that Russert is not very well read in Scripture and a clever candidate could have thrown that backat him.

  4. Comment says

    Broadly speaking – Newt is correct when he says these debates are worthless – One of Russert’s partners actually asked a question – that asked the candidates to respond to a question about a children’s story none of them had read – Think about how weird that is – To ask candidates about such things – Then Russert plays his out of context fake tough question etc

  5. Comment says

    We have not read or seen any of those IMs – but we imagine they are pretty bad – everything she writes has a whiff of undeserved affirmative action aboout it.
    re: tonight’s dem debate – Russert asked an inappropriate question rooted in his love for Rudy.

  6. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Crittendon should just STFU and churn out those unreadable Blueberry IMs for Arianna.

  7. A Random Quote says

    “The Roman crowd could at least acknowledge dignity and courage in those mauled for its entertainment. Can we not do at least as much for Barbara Amiel Black? What circle of hell is it to have every flaw, every unguarded remark, every long-ago lover, every forgotten school chum, every slight, every bitchy observation, thrown back at you in 12-point Times New Roman?”
    ~Danielle Crittenden
    National Post (Canada) 9/07

  8. Comment says

    Leave it Tweety to make Gee Dubs look good by comparison – No matter what Dubya’s motives may have been – it was wise and appropriate for him to mention Burma, for once, when he went to the UN. Just because Tweety runs a hollow show that focuses on trivia and replays ad Nauseum clips of HRC making unladylike jokes does not mean that Burma does not matter. He made the reporters uncomfortable because they felt they had to nod along and validate his foolish dismissal of Burma – Was Dubya being cynical? Ofcourse – but so what.

  9. Comment says

    When Brezhnev went to great the Columbia women (actually just Barnard back then), the women would pull him aside and tell him not buckle to Nixon and bourgeosie reactionary pressures – Then he would smile and pinch their bums. Later Nixon would denounce Brezhnev to reporters, but privately hail him to Ehlichman and Haldeman, for disrespecting those Ivy league punks.

  10. DrLeoStrauss says

    Brezhnev would have turned off his simultaneous translation earpiece and paid more attention to the Columbian Women’s Political Science Club representatives — love that picture with Jill St. John and Brezhnev circa Diamonds are Forever.

  11. Comment says

    Did you see Lee Bollinger go after the petty Tyrant yesterday – Tough guy! Do you think he would have had the guts to speak that way , on stage, to John Gotti or a real tough like Leonid Brezhnev?

  12. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Quote: James B. Comey on Oversight, Intelligence & This Regime

    It can be very, very hard to be a conscientious attorney working in the intelligence community, particularly for those whose work touches on counter-terrorism and war-fighting. It is not because we don’t work with great people. We do. We work with people who have dedicated their lives to protecting this great country and all it stands for.

    It can be hard, instead, because the stakes couldn’t be higher. Hard because we are likely to hear the words: “If we don’t do this, people will die.” You can all supply your own this: “If we don’t collect this type of information,” or “If we don’t use this technique,” or “If we don’t extend this authority.” It is extraordinarily difficult to be the attorney standing in front of the freight train that is the need for this. Because we don’t want people to die. . . .

    But it’s not that simple, although during crises, at times of great threat, it can surely seem that simple, certainly to the policy maker and operator, and even to the lawyer. We lawyers know — or should know — better than anyone, that it is not that simple. . . .

    It is the job of a good lawyer to say “yes.” It is as much the job of a good lawyer to say “no.” “No” is much, much harder. “No” must be spoken into a storm of crisis, with loud voices all around, with lives hanging in the balance. “No” is often the undoing of a career. And often, “no” must be spoken in competition with the voices of other lawyers who do not have the courage to echo it.

    For all those reasons, it takes far more than a sharp legal mind to say “no” when it matters most. It takes moral character. It takes an ability to see the future. It takes an appreciation of the damage that will flow from an unjustified “yes.” It takes an understanding that, in the long-run, intelligence under law is the only sustainable intelligence in this country. . . .

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