December 5, 2013
(Deterioration and Maintenance of Pavements, by Derek Pearson. ICE Publishing. 2012.)
Every day we are walking or riding on a ticking time bomb and we don’t even know it. That’s right. Every sidewalk and road — every pavement of every type — is deteriorating beneath us. They want to swallow us up and destroy us. This is how civilization will end, not by nuclear war.
But we can forestall this doom, thanks to Deterioration and Maintenance of Pavements, by Derek Pearson. Mr. Pearson, a civil engineer, is the world’s leading authority on pavements.
The most important thing for a pavement is to have good drainage. Standing water is bad. It will eventually rot what’s underneath, like a sick brain rotting away with delusional figments of decay, and cops will not understand what is happening to you. They will shoot you with Tasers and you may die.
Some shoes are bad for pavements, especially stiletto heels, which have a high point load factor. These bitches are strutting along, thinking they’re so fucking high-class, and they’re breaking the sidewalk so that some poor guy in a wheelchair trips over and breaks his neck. On the other hand, there are also fake law suits involving Indians and Pakis. (“Oh! I slip and fall on broken sidewalk! City must pay me $10,000!”) Yes, we must wear shoes, but we should be more socially aware, just as we look after our hair with modern hair products. The public should be surveyed to determine their happiness with sidewalks. Bad sidewalk experiences can lead to psychopathic outbursts like the one in Davenport, Iowa, where this really ordinary guy who worked in an ice company went berserk and killed a bunch of people in McDonald’s, or somewhere. The police never understood that the answer was under their very feet! A sign that says “Use Other Sidewalk” may easily be misinterpreted as a slur against one’s ethnic or racial group. Some cities are waking up to this, so let us be like new cabbages seeking the Sun.
The synthesis of ideas and requirements of the architect and the engineer has not always been happy, due to the naturally extrovert nature of the architect and the introvert conservative nature of the engineer. Two minds presumably in synthesis for a common goal, or even notification of such, yet each spinning off into a different dimension, leaving behind threads of lost and forgotten moments to be swallowed up by the harsh mechanistic universe. This is a never-ending problem. Only God has the answer.
Returning to the issue of heavy point loading, it is somewhat alleviated if the woman is running, although it is hard to run in high heels. Interestingly, elephants have much lower point loading due to the size of their feet. It is okay for elephants to walk on sidewalks, and the sight may unlock new revelations in dead zombie minds such as you see at Bay and King in Toronto.
How did Rome get so big and powerful? Because they built good roads with good drainage. And they kept slaves busy maintaining them. We should do that with welfare bums today.
A good pavement must have good materials, such as bitumen (pronounced BITCH-u-men, and say it loud!) and tar. Bitumen and tar age from the moment that they are incorporated into the mix, due to oxidation, which hardens the binder and causes it to become progressively brittle, a dry clay face in the mirror that cracks and was a false memory of someone who never existed, a pompous vegetable exposing the ping-pong table of your mind pretending to be a Louis Quatorze luxury bidet suite. In pavement mixes, as a rule of thumb (wash your hands before you make the next customer’s milk shake, you lazy Greek bastard!), bitumen with a binder penetration of 20 is at the end of its useful life and to hell with it. Dogs and Filipinos are already pissing on it. Loss of binder efficiency, like arms and legs just falling off for no reason, and brittleness prevent the material from containing the stresses imposed by women with big breasts walking in tight traffic tugging cocks to explode them out of their zippers, leading to the development of micro-cracking. This process is most obvious on Bloor St. in front of Holt Renfrew, where it is exposed to sunlight (UV radiation) like the UV of a tanning bed licking a hot naked woman lying on her front, her ass well-oiled and screaming “Fuck me!”. The condition can be assessed during inspection of genitals by noting changes in the color of the so-called bituminous binder (more precisely referred to as gyrational muck), dripping from a hot snatch, from the initial black to a light grey; also vibrating the chippings will make them more prominently exposed and many will be plucked out and sucked violently by Yugoslavian hot dog vendors. If handled, pieces of the surface will probably disintegrate and individual stones can be dislodged due to loss of the adhesive properties in the binder. But who’s responsible? That evil prick Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun courts reporter! Fuck off and die, you garbage!
Causologically, the modems of deterioration break down as follows:
a) rutting of field crews
b) bituminous insufficiency of waterway
c) jugular load-bearing eccentricity
d) the Spool effect on hypersensitive psychologists
e) histological layers of sub-formed amalgamics
Those countries that never paid off their war debts will get what’s coming to them when the roads crack under their feet and turn into Sumatra bread pudding, and there goes everyone’s children into the maws of death.
Distress data collection should follow a rectangular format and should be assigned to graduate students in philosophy, alcoholic Indians, and other hopeless types. Let the retro-gurney model slam into a Kamchatka convenience store and see if anyone hears the echo. Answer me that, you toad-suckers.
What the author is saying is not new knowledge, of course. Back in WW2, the U.S. Navy Seabees could take some captured island of stewed jungle shit and put down a firm landing strip in one day, and those Hellcats and Avengers would be up and at ’em in no time, blowing the shit out of the Japs. Our guys had know-how. These fucking graduate students wouldn’t know how long to boil a potato.
Constant impactions without awareness lead to deterioration not only of pavements but also the mind and soul. When you see a pothole, that’s our civilization. Unless something is done, it’ll sink all the way to the earth’s core. Take your mumbly-gumbly microphone out of my face and stop tapping my phone.
The equivalent standard axle (ESA) is the main universal measurement unit used by road engineers all around the world, and once everyone was on board we derived the fourth power law to make use of it. The main axle factor multipliers are:
traffic island — 2
Pakis — 2
Mexican low-riders — 1.5
gay pride parade — 1.5
elephants — 2.5
The channelization factor must be factored into the axle load and divided by the wear factor to determine how long it takes for a normal asphalt road to break as truck drivers become fatter due to a poor diet. Brazilian babes like to show off their butts with these bikini bottoms that are so minimal they call them “dental floss”, and that kind of ass never deteriorates no matter how often you bang into that back door with your giant plunger. If traffic circulates counter-clockwise around a rotary, the rotary will sink at the perimeter and people on the right side of the car will fall out first and may not be noticed as missing until the driver has finished his text messaging.
Before I forget, Derek Pearson, the author, is the only sibling in his family who turned out good. His brother Phil got into organized crime distributing counterfeit Gucci accessories, his sister Debbie was convicted of fraud for selling fake Viagra, and his other sister Nadine became a stripper and ended up fat and on welfare. But Derek followed a straight path and figured out how to understand roads and stuff. The book has good photos, tables, and equations, and it should be forced reading for white trash who wear baseball caps backwards and those snotty bitches who go to St. Joseph’s College in Toronto.
The hand-held penetrometer, which operates at two speeds and may be either battery-powered or plug-in, is favored by women. It may be used either on the outside or the inside of the pit. Crack depth investigation can be done by the operator’s friend.
Greece has the most road deaths in Europe per million population. Netherlands has the fewest. This is entirely an outcome of attitude, in like manner as slobs who run greasy spoons and whose kitchens are pure filth and they totally don’t give a shit because all they think about is getting the most money for the least amount of work, whereas conversely the Dutch are statistically the tallest men in Europe, which proves that they are both docile and systematic in their relationships with all surfaces in all directions.
Satan’s hordes are constantly trying to drag us into hell, and only science can save us. We want to be able to continue to walk and drive on good surfaces. The Book of Isaiah has much to say about this.
Roughness is measured by the roughometer, which calculates long and short wavelengths in pavement irregularities. This is the best way, not by feminist theory. Engineers use this to determine the probability of tires falling off a vehicle in normal use and the degree of dissatisfaction of passengers which may be manifested at critical points. (The scale only goes to 108 because nothing higher has ever been seen.) These events cannot be standardized and therefore must be classified as Mother Earth anger reactions, if not deliberate. Slope deviation is a new concept proposed by the Chinese and may or may not be valid for all scenarios. The International Roughness Index (IRI) was created by Maurice Strong, a friend of the Chinese, as a device to facilitate a world government. Witnesses have seen him create five gold spheres out of his forehead, which he can command to levitate and transmit signals to agents of the Illuminati. The Chinese collaboration in this phenomenon is well-documented as they wish to be the first to colonize the moon and Mars. If speed is increased steadily across any roughness measurement, at some point a collision must occur, regardless of dynamic tire load. Thanks to former Vice President Al Gore, operators are able to buy and sell “tire load credits” to allow vehicles to speed faster than they would otherwise be able to. Of course, this does not obviate any laws of physics or else it would be dumbly-bumbly down my fire escape and into a hot asphalt meat grinder straight out of a drive-in horror movie.
The presence of water within the fabric of the pavement can be a damaging insidious glug-nut head-breaker, as it may contribute to the binder stripping from the aggregate, with associated loss of asphalt homogeneity. (Satan’s joy!) However, it has been proven that horse droppings help protect against this.
Drainage pipes must be protected from saboteurs by razor wire. No doubt, a prime target of terrorists would be the drainage systems that serve our highways. Therefore, watch for people doing strange things by the side of the road and report them on Facebook. The fluctuation of the water table, however, is beyond anyone’s control, as many migratory tribes discovered to their dismay in the Congo territorial wars.
Most people don’t know this, but asphalt must have some air voids in it or it’s no good. This is determined by the coefficient of linear expansion, which should be between .00002 and .00003 per degree Centigrade. Wallowing at the equator makes this impossible, which explains why there are no interstate highways in a jungle. The supervisor’s responsibility is to enforce the check list and beat recalcitrant apprentices for any non-observance. If the road goes up a mountain at a steep angle, it must have high skid resistance or everyone will slide down and die horribly. Most bus plunges result from too many air voids and no guard rails, plus drunk drivers. The Bus Plunge Index (BPI) in Pakistan has held steady in the range of 21 – 23 as long as records have been kept. This is too high. But the train system doesn’t go everywhere, so what are people supposed to do — throw cookies at some fake cardboard god and expect him to hold up everybody’s smelly ass? I don’t think so.
Deterioration and Maintenance of Pavements is one of the best books I have ever read. Readers will appreciate author Derek Pearson’s breezy style and his resolute optimism in the face of Satan’s war on our civilization. He also points out more than once that it takes money to do all these things properly, but you get what you pay for.
Copyright@ 2013 by Crad Kilodney. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminder: my French book, Villes Bigrement Exotiques, is still in print. Published by Le Dilettante (Paris).
October 15, 2013
(Beyond Aesthetics: Confrontations With Poststructuralism and Postmodernism, by Stuart Sim. University of Toronto Press. 1992.)
All you people with short attention spans who can’t read more than the first sentence of anything can fuck off and die. I curse you. This is the first of a series of Brainiac Book Reviews, which will be like beacons of brilliance in a brain-dead world. Sometimes I’ll be in a good mood, and sometimes not.
Everyone who’s left, we’re going to talk about this book. Or rather, I’ll talk and you shut up till I’m finished. You’re the reader, so you read my text. My text is also reading you, because I have super powers as a writer and intellectual. My words could kill a sheep under the right circumstances.
If you opened this book randomly and read a bit of it, you’d probably go, “What the fuck is this bullshit?” That’s why you need me to explain it to you in simple terms.
Let’s start with the front cover. It’s got a chair, a glass of wine on the floor, and either a window with a tree outside or a picture of a tree. Very tricky. But I figured it out. It’s a picture, not a window, because there’s no part of it you can open and close. Ha! What’s it all mean? Beats me.
You should always read the back cover because it tells you something about the book and the author. The book is about the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and somebody who isn’t French. It’s good to see the French getting into heavy egghead stuff, and probably they’re competing with the Germans. The Germans are pretty heavy, and you should read my series “Roots of German Philosophy”, elsewhere on this blog page. Personally, I think the French can duke it out with anyone, except in war. The back cover says, “Stuart Sim treats poststructuralism and postmodernism as forms of anti-aesthetics and contextualizes the movements within a longer-running tradition of anti-foundationalism and radical scepticism in Western philosophy.” I guess that’s okay. We’ll give it a try. Stuart Sim teaches English at the University of Sunderland, which is one of those small and not-very-good universities that they have a lot of in England.
Okay, so these Frenchmen are going to take us beyond aesthetics. And where will we end up, exactly? We’ll be looking around and saying, “Hey, what the fuck! We don’t got no fucking aesthetics! How are we supposed to make value judgments?” Is that good or bad? I don’t know. But you have to be brave to go there. Steve, who works in the warehouse, would say that it’s all shit, but he’s illiterate, so what are his value judgments worth anyway? We should at least try to go beyond aesthetics, just to show we made the effort. If it doesn’t work out, okay, whatever. We can come back. But you don’t know unless you try, right? This is what separates real people from unreal people.
The first chapter is called “The Limit of Philosophy?” It’s short, which helps. Lyotard is quoted as saying “I don’t give a damn.” I find that encouraging. The author, Stuart Sim, says, “The aim of this study is to maintain a sense of tension between the negative and positive readings of the two projects (poststructuralism/postmodernism and socialist/materialist critical theory).” I guess that’s the only way to find out which one is more fucked. This makes me think of those beggars who hold the door open for you at Burger King. They just want your money, and they’ll say anything socialist/materialist to get it. So I maintain the tension by doing the poststructuralist/postmodernist thing and telling them they don’t need money or food because it’s all in their mind.
Now let me say something about this Jacques Derrida fellow. He might be all right, although it’s hard to tell what the fuck he’s talking about, but everybody I ever met who is into him is a total wanker, and I wouldn’t trust their cooking either. Never eat food that has been prepared by a follower of Derrida. He might think that salmonella only happens to materialists and that if you deconstruct it, it can’t make you sick. As for Derrida himself, his main thing is “not quite philosophy on a path to nowhere.” So don’t pack a suitcase. You’re not going very far geographically, just beyond aesthetics. Professor Irwin Corey summed it up best, I think, when he said, “I feel more like I do now.”
In Chapter 2, we learn that poststructuralism is a philosophy of resistance. Down with totality! Derrida is edging toward Marxism of the Althusserian-structuralist variety, which is the worst kind because they never come right out and say they’re fucking Commies. “Any approval from that quarter for his oppositional, almost guerilla-like stance would be swiftly undercut, however, by recognition of the manifestly Nietzschean ‘eternal recurrence’, overtones of ‘interminability’.” I figured as much. So if you can use a bus transfer twice, do it, and fuck the Transit Commission. The bus isn’t worth $3 with all the rabble you get jammed in with who stink of garlic, and the drivers are way overpaid. The guys in the warehouse agree with me on this, but the foundationalist bosses don’t. Well, just wait till a fucking asteroid crashes into the earth and then see what good your foundationalist philosophy does you. The whole world will get deconstructed, and it’ll be postmodern, poststructural, post-industrial, and post-everything-else. Build an underground shelter and stock it with food. And have a gun. So I think maybe Derrida and his gang might be on the right track, even if the track stops at a station where the toilets don’t work. “The postmodernist philosopher’s task, as Lyotard sees it, is one of disruption.” Just don’t do that in court or you’ll get in trouble.
Chapter 3 is “Foundationalism and Antifoundationalism.” I’m going to be on the side of antifoundationalism for the time being because it has more syllables and sounds better. And I like to be against things, like high taxes on tobacco and alcohol, as well as all three levels of government. The author brings in Hume and Hegel. I wrote about Hegel in my series “Roots of German Philosophy”, so you know how I feel about him. I have no opinion whatsoever about Hume, although he’s probably a wimp, because I knew somebody else named Hume who was a wimp. The author tells us, “If radical scepticism almost inexorably moves down an antifoundational path, its negative critique leaving us with no fixed points of reference by which to construct systems of thought with any real sense of confidence, then dialectics and phenomenology, initially at least, seem to provide a resolution of the foundationalist dilemma.” But that’s if it moves that way. If it doesn’t, then what? Then I guess the foundationalists either have to resolve their dilemma another way or else just forget about it. If there’s no dilemma, they should be glad they got off easy this time. They just better not rely all the time on dialectics and phenomenology to bail them out, because I can say from experience that most of the time they’re useless. Take the Leafs, for instance. How far have they gotten in recent years with dialectics and phenomenology? Nowhere near a Stanley Cup, that’s for sure. They’re lucky if they make the playoffs. And they usually get beaten by the Bruins. This year they might do better, but we’ll just have to wait and see. (I don’t want to get e-mail on this. Don’t bother me.)
Chapter 4 is not too interesting. You can skip it. It’s called “Derrida and the Deconstruction of Metaphysics.” Now, as I said, I have nothing against Derrida personally. If he wants to deconstruct metaphysics, that’s his business, although I don’t see how that helps the world much. I’d rather go out on the street and deconstruct the heads of stupid Filipino boys who are always spitting. Do we really want to deconstruct metaphysics? How do you think the metaphysicians feel about that? They’d say it’s not very nice. Suppose somebody decided to deconstruct plumbing. What would happen? All the plumbers would be out of work, and there’d be so toilets or sinks. I’d rather see Derrida go after those OPSEU bastards — the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which is controlled by a cabal of militant lesbian bitches. They have their offices on Wellesley Street, and the door is always locked, and there’s a sign that says, “This is a scent-free building.” In other words, they don’t want men smelling like men and women smelling like women. They want to obliterate gender distinctions to maintain their power. One time I went to their front door and blew cigar smoke through the crack. That was cool! Anyway, at the end of the chapter we find out that “metaphysics shakes but does not fall,” which is good news for those who have to make a living from it.
Chapter 5 is better as it has violence. It’s called “Derrida as Critic.” The author quotes from Harold Bloom, who refers to “the violent truth of reading.” So reading should be violent. Just make sure you’ve paid for the book. And don’t get into a fight with an obnoxious tranny nigger in the library, or you’ll get thrown out like I did. Later we are told that, according to Derrida, this violence is the act of displacement, whereby we are wrenched away from contemplation of the text and its particular narrative sequence. So somebody tears the book out of your hands while you’re reading. But that hardly ever happens. Derrida should’ve watched NHL hocky. Then he’d know something about violence. People love it. On the other hand, they wouldn’t understand somebody taking a book away from somebody else. So this chapter is a bit weird.
Chapter 6 is called “Hartman, the Pun and Deconstructive Criticism.” This is supposed to be funny. Take this, for example: “Staying within the bounds of syntax may be a tacit admission by deconstructionists of an inescapable binary relationship within discourse — determinacy/indeterminacy.” I’m not sure which word is the pun (maybe “syntax” as “sin tax”), but it’s kind of funny, maybe slightly. Not as funny as this one, though: What’s a paradox? Answer: two doctors. Ha!
In Chapter 7 we get into “Lyotard and the Politics of Postmodernism.” Lyotard says, “Philosophy is the West’s madness,” which is the smartest thing anyone has said so far. This guy predicted that those slitty-eyed Chinese Commie bastards would be stealing our secrets by computer hacking. He also says, “The little narrative remains the quintessential form of imaginative invention.” He treats it as a subversive tactic in the war against the totalitarianism of metanarrative. Just like me! Like for instance, all this bullshit about native Indians being the victims of the white man is a typical bogus metanarrative. The little narratives (like mine) tell us about the drunken Indians you meet on the street. Lyotard would’ve loved my books, especially Excrement and Putrid Scum. Also, he was not a Commie, and he favored unionization of prostitutes. The author only seems to like Lyotard a little bit. I wish he would like him more. And I wish he would send me $100 for reviewing his book.
Chapter 8 is about “The Differend and Genres of Discourse.” It’s boring but short. Sim accuses Lyotard of having dark motives and not getting us past aesthetics, but I disagree because by this point I am way beyond aesthetics. And what dark motives? Sim doesn’t say. It think he’s jealous because Lyotard’s writing has “zing” and his doesn’t. Derrida has no “zing” either. I’ve got more than all of them put together. I’ve even gotten death threats. (Check out “Why It Is Okay To Kill Baby Seals”, elsewhere on this blog page.)
Chapter 9 is about “Svelteness and the War on Totality.” Okay, so you have to be in good shape so you can put on a skin-tight anti-foundationalist hero suit. Sim says, “Svelteness lies at the heart of Lyotard’s theory of agonistics.” Which reminds me: why are there no bondage magazines with extremely skinny models? Somebody should do something about that.
Chapter 10 is about “Baudrillard and the Politics of Simulation and Hyperreality.” Baudrillard has a lot to say about American culture. He thinks breakdancing is a form of useless self-absorption. But in a footnote he says, “Breakdancing can spur the postmodern consciousness to some of its wilder flights of fancy in the search for models of svelte behavior.” I don’t know about that. I always thought of it as something else the ghetto darkies could do with their bodies that didn’t involve work. Baudrillard is way more interesting than Derrida. He asks, “How far can we go in the extermination of meaning, how far can we go in the non-referential desert form without cracking up and, of course, still keep alive the esoteric charm of disappearance?” That makes me think of those two Parks Department workers in Winnipeg who were photographed sleeping on the grass. Did they think no one would notice or care? The union, of course, would protect them from being fired. I think Baudrillard is being ironic and that he would agree with me that the thing to do is grab the top people in the union and just kill them. He also thinks no one has a reason to live in New York because it’s so fucked up with people doing stupid, pointless things and taking them seriously. Now, he’s making value judgments here, but I’ll let him, just this once. “Everything he sees only confirms his belief in the death of aesthetics.” But was that before or after they cleaned up 42nd Street? I liked it better before, with all the porn shops I used to patronize. The street had a special smell. Not a nice smell, but special. And aesthetic. On the other hand, Baudrillard says that the really important realities are to be found in Manhattan and the Pacific coast. They’re fucked, of course, but in a postmodern way, and Baudrillard acknowledges this without making any value judgments because you can’t do that if you’re beyond aesthetics. Or else he sort of likes all the rottenness, the same way degenerate Goths like to drink blood. The concept is getting fuzzy here, but you should just roll with it.
Meanwhile, Lyotard says, “Nostalgia born of the immensity of the Texan hills and the sierras of New Mexico: gliding down the freeway, smash hits on the Chrysler stereo, heat wave.” Yeah, that’s nostalgia, all right. Now get ready for a real shocker: “Post-aesthetics is born in a catastrophic and violent break with authority, and it describes a world where art is dead, not only because its critical transcendence is gone, but because reality itself, entirely impregnated by an aesthetic which is inseparable from its own structure, has been confused with its own image.” I couldn’t have said it any better. For instance, look at live theatre in Toronto. What are the big shows? I Love Lucy, Cats, Les Miserables, The Wizard of Oz. Hey, get with it! This is 2013. Doesn’t anyone have any fresh ideas? Hell, no. Just play it safe with corny, old shows. Don’t even consider something daring like “Shakespeare For White Trash”, my brilliant series of Shakespeare rewrites. (Search the blog page.) On the other hand, there are some old shows that they should bring back on TV, but they’re afraid to — like Amos and Andy. Now there was a great show. Political correctness is the one big metanarrative that should be destroyed, and all the poststructuralists should attack it, and if a few innocent people get killed by mistake, I’m willing to look the other way. In this chapter we also learn that jogging is postmodern, but I think that’s only true if the joggers are wearing headphones.
The last chapter is “Limits, Beyonds, and Surface Radicalism.” The author seems to be saying that all this poststructuralism is okay to talk about, but it isn’t likely to change anything. But it will certainly continue to provide employment for academics who are either for it, against it, or are unwilling to say as long as they don’t have tenure yet.
In the back of the book is a very long list of books that the author has apparently read. Hey, man, if you have actually read 140 books on poststructuralism, I fear for your sanity. I think it’s okay to read a couple, but people should read a variety of things. A reading diet like this is bad for you. But there are a lot of academics like this author. I wish they’d get abducted by aliens, and then when the aliens did their mind-scan thing and absorbed all that stuff, they’d be so fucking confused they’d go back to Tau Ceti-4 and leave us alone.
Beyond Aesthetics was not the best book or the worst book I ever read, and I neither recommend it nor not-recommend it, as I’m afraid that either way I’d be in an argument that would go nowhere with some jerk I’d rather smack with a wet fish.
Copyright@ 2013 by Crad Kilodney. E-mail: email@example.com
Reminder: my French book, Villes Bigrement Exotiques, is still in print. Published by Le Dilettante (Paris). Destined to be a collector’s item, like all my other books.