Slate, the online magazine of

Slate, the online magazine of the Bill Gates empire, continues to push the boundaries of international publishing. I’m not being snide at all.
They published the second part of non-US political cartoonists’ views of the US war on terrorism. The cartoons range in quality and levity but overall give a fascinating glimpse of where political cartoonists rest with regard to what is somehow considered by many non-Americans as an American war. (I wonder if, when the US invaded Normandy, Europeans drew cartoons depicting the war as one of Americans and Soviets. Didn’t the Taliban have something to do with all this?)

Web Reminiscing: I remember back

Web Reminiscing:
I remember back in 1992 or so when I saw the first Mosaic Web browser actually pull up text from the Internet. I had no real idea what the Internet was at the time, but I knew that what I was looking at was profound, that the implications for viewing information from anywhere at any time were immense. There were probably only two Web sites of any interest out there at the time. To give credit where credit is due, I first saw the Web at the University at Albany‘s very large and excellent library.
The commercial Internet is now about 6 years old. This is probably old hat for all you Web developers and designers out there but for the rest of you, you can find old browsers to download at a site called Evolt. Brilliant.
More importantly, if you don’t want to actually go ahead and download those old bits and bytes, you can always view current Web pages through a browser emulator. My favorite is at Deja Vu. Try, for instance, taking a look at (you must type in the http:// part) on the NCSA Mosaic 1.0 emulator. Click on the button at the bottom called Open and type in the full URL. Embarassing!

I can't tell if Dan

I can’t tell if Dan Zanes, former Del Fuegos guy, is a sham artist — or even an artist. But he seems to continue to make waves of some height by playing kiddie music. I like reading about him because it says more about the state of music, children, parenting, and child culture than anything else going.
No kidding: the former avant-hipster is actually playing interesting, cool music for kids and he brings the parents in with them. Very smart marketing and sales tactic: Ensure that the music is syrupy enough for children (or at least better than the Barney song) to appreciate yet cool enough for their parents who grew up with man-child Bob Dylan.
Rocket Sheep Beach is his new album and it’s getting rave reviews by both children and adults in black Gap clothing.

For the first time ever,

For the first time ever, I actually felt slightly guilty about buying a cup of Starbucks coffee, which I rarely do anyway. It must be that my wife and I are having a kid in the not-too-distant-future. Money, money, money. Last night was our first pre-natal instruction class.
I was amazed at how much I learned. There were so many classes in college and graduate school where, in two hours, I basically took in the fact that the walls were off-white. I’m not attempting to point my fierce naivite. But did you know that you don’t have to get to the hospital as soon as a woman feels contractions. I didn’t. In fact, one should wait until the contractions occur every five minutes for a full hour. And each contraction always lasts about one minute exactly; they occur from the top of the womb for the most part. I’m thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving.

News reports from London indicate

News reports from London indicate that U.S. and British Special Forces have Bin Laden corralled into 30 square miles.
Ironically, that seems to be about the size of Manhattan.
Here are a few more photographs from the tragedy at the World Trade Center. I took them last week.
1. WTC southside.
2. A shrine outside Trinity Church. A collective assemblage of flags that is truly beautiful.
3. I couldn’t help but take this photo. Beyond ironic = sublime?

Apologia: I promise not to

Apologia: I promise not to turn Deckchairs into a discussion of the World Trade Center and its loss. However:
I made my very first pilgrimage to the World Trade Center (anyone have suggestions for what to call it now) this morning. Although I can smell the remains of the site burning every day from my office, it was only today that I felt the need to pay my respects. It is a graveyard in my backyard and I humbly submit these words to you. I also unwittingly took a number of photographs, and I’ll put these up tonight for your perusal. In the meantime, look at this very amazing site — it features thousands of photos of beautiful New York City.
Everyone asks me how close you can get. Well, you can get close enough to realize that the Borders bookstore that you may have frequented is a burned out black shell and the wreckage of the towers above lay everywhere. The thing that surprised me most was the damage done to all of the businesses within 8 blocks of the WTC. So many stores, companies, vendors — all closed down for an indeterminate amount of time. It’s virtually a ghost town surrounding the entire area.
In other news, here’s a plug for a very nice art site. Worth your attention. There are not enough of these.

I feel very badly for

I feel very badly for all of the people killed in the recent plane crash. I was just remarking to a friend that, if not for September 11, the crash would be the biggest news item of the year – or close to it.
If you want to read a review of Godspeed You Black Emporor’s music, written in the harsh light of this year’s events, take a look at Yawp Magazine. My friend, Jeff, runs the site and it’s as cool as he is. I really love GYBE, a Canadian band that somehow kind of foresaw the crude mood we’re all in now. Their music is almost a medley of every beautiful sound ever recorded — a combination of very evolved orchestral compositions and pre-recorded conversations from the detritus of our airwaves. Very beautiful music for these days.
The pictures of the crash coming across my computer are Godawful. Take care.

The last time I was

The last time I was at the World Trade Center was sometime in July (I believe) when I went to see the studios of 15 artists at the Worldiews on the 92nd Floor. I walked throughout the space, feeling mildly giddy at being up so high.
Between bouts of staring out the windows, I looked at the art. Most of it was pretty tepid, but a few artists really stood out. I was mostly overwhelmed by the view, the clarity of blue sky meeting dark earth in Brooklyn, the reality of standing in the heavens.
One artist at Worldviews, Michael Richards, died in the tragedy. I remember his work and while I wasn’t moved then, I am now.
A lot of folks have recorded the tragedy in photographs. The ones at Ultraradio are pretty overwhelming. They closely approximate what I saw that day, and what many of us felt when we realized we were alive. The site allows the images to speak to that day without commentary — a rare gift.

Hello. If this is your

Hello. If this is your first time to Deckchairs on the Titanic, I’d like to welcome you here — a new feature at The Site at
Deckchairs is a Web log which I will periodically or even regularly update to discuss, shout out, or otherwise talk about various issues related to art and culture, the Web, politics, ideologies, news, technology, business, and maybe even myself.
I woke up this morning to the news of a new mayor in the City of New York, Mike Bloomberg. Although many people around me had predicted it, I figured that Bloomberg couldn’t win. But he did. New Yorkers cast their vote for a man with no political expertise and a lot of money and smarts (the political and party parallels to November 2000 are striking). The people have voted with the distinct hope is that he can tie all of the psychological, financial, economic, and ideological strings together again to make this city more whole. A lot of lives and livelihoods will rest in his hands. To say the least. I’ll say more later.
The name, Deckchairs on the Titanic, provided by blog extraordinaire and pal Victor Sparrow, hopefully speaks for itself. I hope Mike Bloomberg will do so as well.