“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Greedy Engineering- GE to Transfer Top Aviation Technology to the Chinese

We have heard this lie before:

"For the most part, Western aviation executives say the Chinese are simply too far behind in both civilian and military airplane technology to cause any real fears anytime soon — although it does put pressure on Boeing and Airbus to continue to innovate and stay technologically ahead of China"…


G.E. to Share Jet Technology With China in New Joint Venture

As China strives for leadership in the world’s most advanced industries, it sees commercial jetliners — planes that may someday challenge the best from Boeing and Airbus — as a top prize.

And no Western company has been more aggressive in helping China pursue that dream than one of the aviation industry’s biggest suppliers of jet engines and airplane technology, General Electric.

On Friday, during the visit of the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, to the United States, G.E. plans to sign a joint-venture agreement in commercial aviation that shows the tricky risk-and-reward calculations American corporations must increasingly make in their pursuit of lucrative markets in China.

G.E., in the partnership with a state-owned Chinese company, will be sharing its most sophisticated airplane electronics, including some of the same technology used in Boeing’s new state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner.

For G.E., the pact is a chance to build upon an already well-established business in China, where the company has booming sales of jet engines, mainly to Chinese airlines that are now buying Boeing and Airbus planes. But doing business in China often requires Western multinationals like G.E. to share technology and trade secrets that might eventually enable Chinese companies to beat them at their own game — by making the same products cheaper, if not better.

The other risk is that Western technologies could help China play catch-up in military aviation — a concern underscored last week when the Chinese military demonstrated a prototype of its version of the Pentagon’s stealth fighter, even though the plane could be a decade away from production.

The first customer for the G.E. joint venture will be the Chinese company building a new airliner, the C919, that is meant to be China’s first entry in competition with Boeing and Airbus.

For the most part, Western aviation executives say the Chinese are simply too far behind in both civilian and military airplane technology to cause any real fears anytime soon — although it does put pressure on Boeing and Airbus to continue to innovate and stay technologically ahead of China.

G.E., which said it had briefed the commerce, defense and state departments on details of the deal, acknowledges that pairing up with a Chinese firm is a delicate dance. But because the commercial aircraft market in China is expected to generate sales of more than $400 billion over the next two decades, it is not a party the company is willing to miss.

Eventually, G.E. executives say, China will become a potent player in the commercial jetliner market, and the company wants to be a major supplier to the emerging Chinese producers.

“They are committed for the long term and they have every probability of being successful,” said John G. Rice, vice chairman of G.E. “We can participate in that or sit on the sidelines. We’re not about sitting on the sidelines.”

Mr. Rice also said that the Chinese joint venture partner — the aerospace design and equipment manufacturer Aviation Industry Corporation of China, or Avic — has supplied G.E. with some parts for jet engines for years. And he said he had personally known Avic’s president for a decade.

“This venture is a strategic move that we made after some thought and consideration, with a company we know,” Mr. Rice said. “This isn’t something we were forced into” by the Chinese government.

G.E.’s new joint venture in Shanghai will focus on avionics — the electronics for communications, navigation, cockpit displays and controls. G.E. will be contributing its leading-edge avionics technology — a high-performance core computer system that operates as the avionics brain of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.

The joint venture has a ready customer in the C919’s builder, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, which is also a government-owned enterprise. The plane will be a single-aisle airliner, carrying up to 200 passengers, intended to compete with Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s. Although the Chinese hope to begin deliveries in 2016, analysts say the schedule may well slip.

With or without the C919, the Chinese market for commercial airliners is already huge and growing fast — a big market for G.E. jet engines and other systems, as well as Boeing and Airbus planes. But if the C919 grabs any significant slice of that market, it would represent a new, expanded opportunity for G.E. The company has already been chosen to supply engines for the Chinese plane, through its long-standing partnership with Snecma of France. Though the world’s largest producer of jet engines, G.E. has trailed other suppliers of avionics in overall sales, behind Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and Thales, all of whom competed for the C919 business.

Several other American companies have also been chosen as suppliers for the C919 aircraft, providing power generators, fuel tanks, hydraulic controls, brakes, tires and other gear. The roster of United States suppliers includes Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, Hamilton Sundstrand, Parker Aerospace, Eaton Corporation and Kidde Aerospace.

In fact, the corporate competition for contracts on the C919 became a “frenzy,” said Mark Howes, president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific. The Chinese government, he said, had made it clear to Western companies that they should be “willing to share technology and know-how.”

But the G.E. avionics joint venture, analysts say, appears to be the deepest relationship yet and involves sharing the most confidential technology. And G.E.’s partner, Avic, also supplies China’s military aircraft and weapons systems.

G.E. executives would not comment on the details of the joint venture. But a person involved in the talks said the 50-50 venture is for 50 years. G.E., the person said, is putting in technology and start-up capital of $200 million. Avic will initially contribute $700 million, the person said, including the cost of a new research and development lab already under construction.

To address American government security concerns, the joint venture in Shanghai will occupy separate offices and be equipped with computer systems that cannot pass data to computers in Avic’s military division, G.E. executives say. And anyone working in the joint venture must wait two years before they can work on military projects at Avic, they added.

While Boeing and Airbus would probably rather not see their suppliers help the Chinese so much, both those companies must also constantly balance the risks and rewards of operating in China.

Boeing has subcontracted parts work to China for many years, and it is expanding a joint venture in Tianjin that makes parts with composite materials for several of its planes. And Airbus has built a factory that assembles A320s in the same city.

Boeing has “opted to accept the reality of both partnering and competing with China,” Boeing’s chief executive, W. James McNerney Jr., said in a speech last year.

Indeed, China’s push into the commercial aircraft industry will probably increase exports from American aviation equipment manufacturers for years to come, according to industry analysts. Whether China succeeds or fails, the state-owned companies will keep investing, generating sales for the suppliers.

The real concern lies further head, according to a study of China’s strategy included in a report published in November by a bipartisan Congressional advisory group, the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

The group concluded that China’s huge state subsidies for its own industry, its requirements that foreign companies provide technology and know-how to gain access to the Chinese market, along with the close ties between its commercial and military aviation sectors all raise concerns and “bear watching.”

The big aviation equipment makers say that, by now, they are experienced at grappling with matters of technology transfer in China. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kent L. Statler, an executive vice president for commercial aviation at Rockwell Collins, observes that his employees often ask whether the company is trading its future for immediate sales in China.

“I think you’re na├»ve if you don’t take into account that you could be standing up a future competitor,” Mr. Statler said. Any company in a global business is in a race, he added, and staying ahead is the only defense. “At the end of the day, our technologies and processes have to continue to improve,” Mr. Statler said. “It comes down to who can innovate faster.”


  1. Best not to worry, Obama will have it under control:

    Obama to dine privately with China's president

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011; 5:35 AM
    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama hosts a private dinner Tuesday evening for Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo jihn-tow) at the White House.

    They'll eat in the Old Family Dining Room roughly 24 hours before an official, black-tie White House state dinner. This is probably Hu's last trip to Washington as China's president.

    Before this evening's private dinner, Obama sits down in the Oval Office with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The earlier part of the president's day will be taken up by briefings and meetings with advisers.

  2. In return, they will sell us their highspeed rail technology and finance our HSR too.

  3. Who does this help? GE Stockholders.

    Who does it hurt? Everyone else in the whole damned world.

    Suicidal, and idiotic.

  4. They should be denied an export license.

  5. Good luck wit dat.

    Clinton - Loral

    Obama - Boeing/GE

    What is it with these Dems?

  6. What is it with their union supporters?

  7. "To address American government security concerns, the joint venture in Shanghai will occupy separate offices and be equipped with computer systems that cannot pass data to computers in Avic’s military division, G.E. executives say. And anyone working in the joint venture must wait two years before they can work on military projects at Avic, they added."

    Either these guys are the dumbest bastards on the planet, or they think that we're dumber than plankton.

    The PLA owns the damned company. What a bunch of treasonous dopes.

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  9. There is a chance that Roosevelt might have lost out for the Democratic nomination in 1936 to Huey Long. Long was assassinated late in 1935, before the primary campaigning was in full swing. Long, who was Governor, then Senator in Louisiana, was in his early forties, and had made a national name for himself with his populist policies. He was as near to being a Socialist as any major American politician has ever come, but he had gained immense popularity amongst the dispossessed in many populous states. Roosevelt's policies were widely regarded as hogwash in 1936. The policies of the disgraced Hoover before he was voted out of office were more efficacious than Roosevelt's New Deal, and Roosevelt was struggling. The momentum was with Long in the run-up to the 1936 election, and Roosevelt probably would not have survived. Whether Long would have been elected President is another matter.

    There are only two 20th Century Presidents on this list, of which the best that can be said about Calvin Coolidge was that he was not Warren Harding and he seldom spoke even when spoken to. He had also departed before the Wall Street crash. Indeed, there are three 18th Century Presidents there, and James Madison and John Quincy Adams served early in the 19th Century. The whole exercise is a critical review of history textbooks.

    There are many who would not rate Ronald Reagan at the best President of the post-war era, let alone the all-time winner. Perhaps the limits of the ambition of this article ought to have been ordering the post-war Presidents, and assessing where, if at all, Franklin D Roosevelt would have fitted into that order.

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  11. …Carryover from prev. post.

  12. Go away, Bob.

    Somebody get this crazy old fool out of here.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Reagan tripled our national debt.

    By 2012 our deficit-to-GDP ratio will exceed that of Portugal.

  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  17. RWE: It boggles the mind how many scammers are out there that in the Internet has allowed to access us. Many if not most of these appear to come from countries where the elites have been robbing everyone else since forever. It’s kind of like the Tucson shooter situation; the only answer that preserves both your freedom and your property is to wear a bulletpoof vest – and to be able to shoot back. The question is: how do we shoot back?

    The only way to avoid being taken in is to understand that economics follows the same natural laws that everything else does. Contradictions do not exist. You cannot manufacture money (energy) from nothing. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. And while it is possible to use the concept of credit to pile up future earnings in a single point in time, allowing you to get “leverage” much like a tool and perhaps buy a large ticket item, this must not be construed to be a way to manufacture wealth from thin air. Even most of “socialist” Europe gets it, they are undergoing austerity measures to set the balances aright. Meanwhile the US deficit-to-GDP ratio is now in double digits and threatens to overtake Portugal. Individual Americans may have the proper mindset and see the economy as a Carnot heat engine, but the nation taken as a collective whole is stupid.

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  19. RWE: When I was in college most of the guys majoring in electrical engineering hated the basic engineering courses in thermodynamics. And one reason seemed to be that they objected to being told they were wrong if they thought they could do anything with enough cleverly assembled transistors and IC’s.

    There's a flaw built right into the heart of democracy. People naturally want "free" stuff and hate paying for it. Politicians who promise free stuff usually get elected, and politicians who suggest we ought to pay for it get trounced. Which reminds me of a James Carville quote:

    “I used to think that if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or as a .400 baseball hitter. But now I would like to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody."

  20. Perhaps, FDR's strongest opponent, as regards "The New Deal" was John Pierpont Morgan. When he wasn't fighting the New Deal Morgan was putting together $100 Million in loans to Benito Mussolini.

    During this time, when photos were circulating of NY Bankers lighting Cigars with $100.00 Bills, my father was getting up before dawn, and walking down to the Cypress swamp to cut trees for $0.25 a day. They would log cypress trees for Gideon Anderson Lumber Co. until dark, and then walk back home.

    Fruit growers, and dairies in California were destroying their crops because no one could afford to buy them. Contrary to popular belief many of these crops were given away to hungry people that could afford to come get them.

    My family got on its feet when the shipyards in California, and the Steel Mills in Il, and Ohio started getting Government contracts to produce ships, and tanks for the War effort in Europe. These were Union jobs, and marked the first time that some members of my family had ever made more than a few cents an hour.

    Some others were fortunate enough to get jobs with the TVA, and some went into the Service, including my Uncle who died on the W. Virgia on Dec 7, 1941.

  21. Folks, you can take all the "economic theory" you can carry, and stick it dead up your ass; but without the Democrats to keep them in control the Republican Bankers will, eventually, lock up all the money in a vault in NY City, and the country will end up broke, hungry, and without a job.

    It has happened all throughout history, and it isn't going to change just because some old, dead academics had a "theory" to the contrary.

  22. Now, before you start yelling (Doug-O) understand that I've never voted for a Democrat for President in my life.

    The Dems are just as bad, if not worse, than the Republicans in their own totalitarian way. The thing is, right now, the Dems are in the ascendancy, and the need is for some "Republican" pushback on the Dem's Communist agenda.

    None of this is easy. There is no "Silver Bullet," or "Perfect" Party. They will both bury you in their own special way given the chance. To "Stay Free" you have balance one off against the other. Good Luck.

  23. Keelie: Teresita, the truth is that my tribe can smell a Jew-hater even from about 7000 miles away. And our days of being intimidated by people who tell us that “some of my best friends are Jews – BUT…” are long gone. I hope the possible consequences of this new paradigm frighten you, as well they should.

    You can smell a Jew-hater. There's other professional victims who can smell a black-hater. The one thing I know for sure is that the professional victim class will never actually look for hard or cite evidence supporting the odor they allege, because they might accidentally undermine the psychological basis for their whine.

  24. "None of this political shit means a thing."

    You're right about that.

    It don't mean a thing.

    Not since you've fucked with things.

    If you actually spent any time fucking in the pleasanter sense, if you'd ever fucked at all, the world would be a finer place.

    Instead there's the rageful, despotic, and lowly substitute of fucking with someone, which you hope beyond hope will land your neutered, stupid, evil ass in a Paradise of Lovelovelove that, did it exist, would smell the putrid, corpsey, eternally corrupt psycho farmer coming from miles away and BAR THE FUCKING DOOR.

    BAR THE FUCKING DOOR, BOB! This world may be able to tolerate an abomination such as yourself. That's unfortunate. That's tragic.

    But mark my words. The one you dream of will not have you.

    Now THAT's limbo. Mother. Fucker.

    (This does undermine my "syphilitic brain" characterization. But I do like the phrase.)

  25. I saw how this ends.

    What did the tarot card say?

    You are a fool. One who comes up with grand schemes that do not work out. That fail.

    The tarot card was too kind.

    But fail is good enough for me.

  26. Come on, Trish; don't beat around the bush. Tell us what you really think.

    By the way, weren't you the one busily feeding the troll when I went to bed last night?

  27. "The one you dream of will not have you."

    ANY of you.

  28. "By the way, weren't you the one busily feeding the troll when I went to bed last night?"

    S/He's maybe a lot of things. Or one unspeakable thing. S/He's not that.

  29. 26% of China's installed electrical capaity is, now, Green Energy.

    They are expecting to have 480 Gigawatts of installed Green Energy by 2015 (that is a whole lot.)

  30. I saw how this ends.

    And Quirk was played by Steve McQueen.

    You go, Quirk!

  31. Either Trish has lost it and is talking to herself, or I am only getting half of what is being posted.

    Anyway, you guys lost me early yesterday.

    GE has been greedy for 20 plus years. No reason for them to stop now, or even be picky about who they want to be greedy with.

  32. Rufus: They are expecting to have 480 Gigawatts of installed Green Energy by 2015 (that is a whole lot.)

    That's nuts. More than the whole world? I don't buy it.

    China has 1.9% of the world's capacity of nuke power.

  33. Josh: Actually this is on-topic: when the rent-seekers drain all the real money out of the economy and buy 400-foot yachts, this effectively destroys the economy, the government becomes a fount of replacement funds that trickle upwards. And this is *stable*.

    Money no longer has an intrinsic value, it is merely a marker for something that does have value. With those pieces of paper, an oil sheik can go to America and get a triple bypass. But the surgeon and his expertise has intrinsic value and he's right here.

    The 777 assembly plant in Everett has intrinsic value. When we start selling $30 shoes to China and using the yuan to buy Chinese aircraft, that's when I'll get worried.

  34. "Either Trish has lost it and is talking to herself..."

    God knows I do talk to myself.

    Ever wonder who Bob's talking to?

  35. Half the time it is me, usually calling me an arse.

  36. "As President Hu Jintao of China visits Washington, U.S. companies want China to let its currency's value rise freely, to make U.S. goods cheaper overseas. They're also stressing other goals: Stopping the theft of intellectual property. And getting a fair chance to win government contracts.

    POINT OF CONTENTION: U.S. companies are bristling at a Chinese policy that limits Beijing's purchases of foreign products to those designed in China.

    OUTLOOK: No big breakthroughs are expected. U.S. companies hope the meetings will make it easier to reach long-term solutions to the major trade disputes dividing the world's two largest economies."

  37. Listen Hu, we owe you the 2T, ever heard of debtor's leverage?

  38. I remember when Trump busted out building the Taj in Atlantic City. He held a huge conference in one of the meeting rooms with all the chumps he owed money for building the place.

    In the back of the room were tables full of lawyers armed with contracts and hair clippers. Trump let them know who was daddy. Like sheep they accepted discounted five year bonds instead of cash.

    Obama should have had Trump in with him an Hu to hem and ha.

  39. That's actually a really good question, I think.

    Who is He Who Hasn't Been Banished talking to, if not himself?

    It's probably been a couple of years now since I said to the chihuahua, "Keep it up. You'll have only yourself to talk to."

    But that's what this site is.


    Ironic, the discussions of libertarianism and individual rights given this.

    There is no individual, though this is maybe the hardest thing to keep in mind.

    And if there is no individual, there is no family either.

  40. It is no worse than Congress and considerably less dangerous.

  41. He has not been banished because he is gaming the blogger system and has no shame or no sense.

    I can banish all , some or none. I cannot banish one.

  42. Such is the state of blogitation on google.

  43. "Paradise would smell the putrid, corpsey, eternally corrupt psycho farmer coming from miles away and

    You think that's bad:
    Wait 'til he starts cuming.

  44. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  45. yes, leave it up. Dup it about 15 times. In Fact, let's make it the next post headline.

  46. "It is no worse than Congress..."

    Oh, yes.

    Far, far, far worse. Unimaginably worse.

  47. "You think that's bad:
    Wait 'til he starts cuming."

    He hasn't already? Doesn't all the time?

    Isn't that part of the purpose of this site?

    Don't you walk in the door each day wading ankle-deep through bob's stale "spirit" to your preferred stool?

    Doesn't it drip from the ceiling and run down the window panes?

    Doesn't it plop into every drink and cover Melody's blue crush dress?

    Doesn't it run off of Quirk's antlers and the brim of Rat's Pancho Villa hat?

    The dead seed of a poet farmer.


  48. Even on that immaculate bowler.

  49. .

    After your 15 minute good bye speech you have been around more than I thought.

    So, I'm assuming you are still doing the last two horoscopes.

    Mel, I am metagrobolized.

    I thought we had a verbal contract, well at least, an understanding, a pact if you will based on your last post to me over at your blog.

    True I have been around more than I intended; but that was because of the perceived tenuousness of the EB. You know, just trying to get my share before it shuts down.

    Now, it appears that the bar won't be shut down but merely that a new, tighter dress code has been installed. Therefore, over the past few days I have been posting less. As a matter of fact most of my posts over that time have consisted of fatherly advice to a wayward and troubled waif. Noblesse oblige.

    But fear not my little bumble-head, as I withdraw to the cool darkness of the force, I will continue to watch over you as Obi-wan did for Luke.

    [Rat, can I get a legal ruling on that whole 'watching from the force' thing? I mean, there are no laws against that or anything is there?]

    Now, I got to start on Aquarius. Thanks a lot Grasshopper.


  50. I got your back. Don't worry it's almost done.

    Wait until you see the photo for this one.

  51. It's not as revealing but sexy as hell.

    But, yes you are right I did say I would do them. I forgot, I have a lot on my mind.

  52. Hello?

    Answer me so I know to finish.

  53. .

    Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)

    Dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) is a fairly common effect of severe trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.

    Also known as FUBR.


  54. "But fear not my little bumble-head, as I withdraw to the cool darkness of the force, I will continue to watch over you as Obi-wan did for Luke."

    At least someone looks after this little bumble-head.

  55. .

    You are the Chosen One, the Golden Child, the Apprentice.

    It's the least I can do.


  56. .

    However, I am still metagrobolized.


  57. Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)

    It came up way back when. When Habu had left the Bar, or so it seemed, and gone back to the BC to...well, to do what Habu does.

    It brought to mind then and on many occasions since The Mind of Billy Milligan.

    I read it in front of a fire one autumn a long time ago.

    Multiple personalities, yes.

    And yet unsurprisingly the strictly psychological no longer suffices.

    And it has occurred to me, too, that the multiple identities are simply a convenient way of hiding as well as a source of tortured amusement.

  58. The unmanned vehicles or battlefield robots will be able to conduct dangerous missions in hostile areas, clear minefields and extract wounded troops under fire.

    The vehicles include:

    * Pointer: an agile robot which can take over dirty, dull or dangerous jobs, such as forward observation and mine clearance.

    * Bearer: a modular platform which can carry a range of mission payloads, such as protected mobility, air defence and ambulance;

    * Wraith: a low signature scout vehicle;

    Within 5 Years

  59. "However, I am still metagrobolized."

    Sorry, but you know how it goes. It doesn't take much these days, eh?

    I have three identities on the Net.

  60. .

    Care to share?

    I only have one.

    By the way, do the othes have tattoos?


  61. If the bar cleanup initiative is still seriously in progress, here are two suggestions from a linear thinker:

    1. Consider the "double-delete" as outlined by Mikhail at his site. Method and outcomes are explained by Mikhail.

    2. Couple the "double-delete" with admonishment that continuing to engage the banished will result in those comments being d-d'ed as well. This has been presented and explained previously.

    I now return you to your normal programming.

  62. However, I don't use my identities as convenient way of hiding.

  63. Sorry, Quirk, it's just a world I don't care to share here.

  64. No tattoos, just a very elegant sexy photo. I think.

  65. .

    Sorry, Quirk, it's just a world I don't care to share here.

    Gee, sounds exciting.


  66. .

    So, all right.

    Cut to the chase. Are you going to do that scope or not?


  67. Yes, I'm doing it. It's almost done.

    I'll do Pisces, too.

  68. I must go now but not before parting with a good tune

  69. Yesterday, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced Australia had signed a landmark deal with Afghanistan which would see those Afghans whose asylum claims have failed be sent home.

    Under the agreement, Australia can automatically send home those who fail to convince authorities they are genuine refugees.

    The agreement is also aimed at helping the Afghan government cope with the return of the unsuccessful asylum seekers.

    Strike in Western Australia

  70. Labor’s split plunged the once-dominant party into disarray. Labor ruled Israel from its foundation in 1948 until 1977.


    Barak served as Labor’s last prime minister from 1999-2001, but was voted out after failing to finalize a peace deal with the Palestinians. His decision to join Netanyahu’s governing coalition in 2009 alienated many core Labor supporters.

    Newspaper commentators mostly lambasted Barak. Ari Shavit in the Haaretz daily described his move as an “ugly act” and Maariv’s Ofer Shelah said Barak was a “man of destruction” who “smashed the remnants of trust in the peace process and destroyed the Labor Party.”

    Cabinet Seats

  71. ...Maariv’s Ofer Shelah said Barak was a “man of destruction” who “smashed the remnants of trust in the peace process..."

    A step in the right direction. Good on him!

  72. Could we have double secret probation, too?

    "I saw an ivory cloth-top Thunderbird at a place that's not even on the map."

    Secret Geography.

    This place gives a whole new meaning to Black Site.

  73. And by we, I mean you.

    I am a mere spectator here.

    The spectated spectator.

    The day that I come across a case of Two Buck Chuck, I'll know that something's seriously up.

  74. This doesn't end like Shudder Island, does it?

    Or if it does, I don't want to be the Leo DiCaprio character.

    Speaking of which, do muses have rights or just responsibilities?

    Is there a union?

    Should a muse be living in a house with inadequate hot water and a problematic roof?

    When muses die, where do they go?

    Is there room service and a quiet beach?

  75. Oh, wait. That's right. Didn't Doug call him Leo DiCrapio?

    How old is Doug, anyway?

  76. DeCrapio was totally wrong for the Aviator, a role that screamed for someone with gravitas.

    He's a cute attraction for young ladies, I guess.

    I know all about this stuff. I'm an experienced casting director.

  77. Ben Afflict is another one that should be valet parking or pushing a broom.

  78. Afflict belongs in a role like the parking garage attendants in Ferris's Day Off.

  79. Um. Okay. He was really good in Catch Me If You Can.

    And in Shudder Island.

    And I am no young lady who gives much thought at all to idol matinees. Except for probably the old ones.

    You have a part to play, whatever age. You do it well, or not.

  80. "Ben Afflict..."

    Deserves a lifetime award from someone for that one scene in Goodwill Hunting.

    Which is the only movie I've ever seen alone.

    I was also the only one guffawing.

    Or. You know. As close as I would ever come in public.

  81. Which is the only movie I've ever seen alone. In a theater.

  82. You're never alone, hon. I'm always in your mind, remember?


  83. But that's wrong, Linear.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I've had to think about my long isolation and if there is ANY comfort, it's the idea that I can, indeed, be just me, myself, and I.

    Put yourself in my shoes: Isolated and yet having FFB traipse around in one's mind?

    Well. That is the definition of hell.

    It's why I'm still here. There's something external to it.

    But when I need to be myself, by myself, I can.

    If I can't do that, I will just constantly retreat and withdraw.

    Soul murder.

  84. I know someone who wanted to escape himself.

    I just want to be myself.

  85. It is what it is, toots.

    Good night.

  86. It's always capitalized, by the way.

    But thank you.

  87. I had an aunt by that nickname. Toots.

    Married to Uncle Sam.

  88. He was a WWI veretan, and always wore overalls.

    We'd sit in their armor-backed lawn chairs chairs on summer evenings. I'd occasionally go snooping around in his sheds.

    It was a sad, nice, quiet place.

  89. Oh my God. That was Aunt Tilly.

    Though I had an Aunt Toots, too.

    Short Bus will do that.