Eric Ohlsen and his three staffers hang out in their new office space on Southeast Morrison Street in Portland, looking like guys with high-tech startup dreams.
Electronic gear is scattered about and it doesn’t look as if anyone has worried too much about the decor. Rounded and pale, Ohlsen looks like he spends a lot of time inside staring at a computer screen.
Ohlsen is indeed a tech geek, but his focus is unearthing the hidden backgrounds of political candidates, not figuring out another smartphone app. He owns an opposition research firm, these days as much of a must-hire for campaigns as media consultants and pollsters. [...]
Ohlsen happens to work for Democrats, but opposition research is an ecumenical affair. While Ohlsen is working for the Oregon House Democratic caucus this year, Republicans hired an Oregon City private investigator named Scott Castleman. Financial disclosure reports show that both Castleman and Ohlsen are busy researching candidates involved in several House races.
Imagine how DeMarcus Blackwell felt when he was told that his son Chris had engaged in “sexual contact and/or sexual harassment” at school. School officials in Waco, Texas, said Chris rubbed his face in the chest of a female teachers’ aide.
Well, before you can imagine this father’s reaction, you need to know one other fact: His son was 4 years old when the “sexual” incident occurred.
What got Chris into trouble was giving the aide a hug. Only after DeMarcus strenuously complained did the school change the boy’s record from “sexual harassment” to “inappropriate physical contact.”
At least Chris wasn’t sent to jail, as were 13-year-old Cory Mashburn and 12-year-old Ryan Cornelison of McMinnville, Ore. The boys were charged with five counts of felony sex abuse in the first degree because of their conduct toward some 13-year-old girls at their middle school.
I am just testing this out, seeing as how I am going to be part of an ?ber-?lite troupe holding down the Technoccult fort while it’s baron heads off to Washington and Oregon for a couple weeks. And for the record, Oregon is my favourite U.S. state thus far.
So anyhow, for anyone interested in information management and communication, you may want to check out information aesthetics. Here we see an installation at NYU of 200-plus cable tv channels all being streamed together and arranged into a real-time mosaic representation of the persons that stand in front of it:?
I am not going to extrapolate on why I find this so cool, but trust in the fact that it is a sweet-ass mataphor for stuff. I remember a bit from Angel Tech, by Antero Alli, where he talks about the nature of the psychopath in people. That, in the West, people tend to be a culmination of approximately 22 per cent individual experience, that which shapes their own personal Gestalt, perspectives, and emotional responses to events. The remaining 78 per cent is dogma: social means, peers, culture and subculture, family, schooling, et cetera.
I have always liked this ratio. Though I cannot prove its accuracy, some days I tend to believe that this is true, and other days I find myself sympathising with Colin Wilson’s claim and research that only about 5 per cent of people are capable of any sort of psychotic achievement of seperating themselves from the dogma and achieving at least 51 per cent individual, out-voting the social means and taking beautiful responsibility for one’s own actions unto themself.
Over and out.
Drowning Ran is a Burning Man inspired camping trip this weekend in Oregon:
Drowning Rat is simply a camping trip in the rainy, miserable, cold woods of Oregon, happening the weekend after Mother’s Day. We make a rat (out of branches, last year) and do a little ritual, and drown the thing.
There’s also hot springs, whiskey, fire, pirate songs, feather boas, George Bush in the forest with a disco ball and the Golden Pee Pot. Eating feasts, and pies that appear to be covered in rat turds. It ain’t a festival. It’s in a regular campground, exact location TBD.