zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

We love… word processing – old school style

As Ken MacLeod notes, “One of the major problems for writers is that the machine we use to write is connected to the biggest engine of distraction ever invented.”

But he suggests a mechanical alternative to our computers that might allow us to produce writing without any of the distractions of our computers (tweet feeds, updates from the Beijing streetscene, DC shenanigans, online poker, porn).

Something like this, if I read him correctly:

Remington No.5 Streamline Portable in Matte (1940s): This Remington portable from the 1940s continued the Streamline design with a few improvements. The streamline design exemplifies the values identified with modernity: mobility, speed, efficiency, luxury and hygiene. The sharp corners and transitions here are rounded off with everything given a sort of aerodynamic feel. (via

Filed under: Stuff,

Nerdware for nerds scared of full-chest tattoos

Come on – you know you want it…

“SWEDISH BIKINI WEREWOLF DESTRUCTION UNIT” – – Best t-shirts in the world.

Thx to Nicola Griffith – author of Ammonite – from bringing this to my attention.

Filed under: Stuff, ,

ELO member killed in freak hay bale accident


ELO’s Mike Edwards killed by hay bale in freak crash

An early member of 1970s British rock group ELO was killed in a “freak” accident when his van was crushed by a bale of hay, police said… (via BBC News.)

Filed under: Stuff

Unbelievable Neat: Tiny BBQ made from Altoids Sours tin

HOWTO: Tiny BBQ out of Altoids Sours tin: ” contributor vmspionage built a tiny BBQ grill out of an Altoids Sours tin and computer fan grates. My 4-year-old (and I) would love this for making s’mores, one bubbling, tooth-decaying marshmallow at a time. Altoids Sours BBQ Grill”


(via Boing Boing.)

Filed under: Stuff,

Nerdware: Must eat… t-shirts

“In Case of Zombies” – Violent, Zombies, Halloween T-shirt by Olly Moss.

Filed under: Stuff, , , ,

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck began rolling the streets of New York City in June 2009. Described by The Village Voice as “a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali” their menu combines traditional soft-serve ice cream with imaginative toppings such as wasabi pea dust, Nilla Wafers, Dulce de Leche, olive oil and sea salt, and other rotating offerings. These are dispensed the way ice cream should be — with humor and good cheer. read more

Filed under: Food, NYC

Very Cool: Cricket Trailer Showcases Space-Age Design

The Cricket Trailer, designed by NASA Architect Garrett Finney, is a mini mobile home inspired by the tight but efficient quarters of the NASA space station. Finney, who helped design the “habitation module” where the astronauts eat and sleep, took this knowledge and applied it to his cute little Cricket Trailer. Part VW Westfalia camper van and part trailer, the Cricket packs a lot of features into a tiny space and is super lightweight to allow for more efficient towing.

read all about it and see lots more pics at NASA Architect’s Cricket Trailer Showcases Space-Age Design | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Filed under: Stuff

Summer Movies in a Parallel Dimension

There seems to be a new toy in the house, but it isn’t in Andy’s bedroom. Buzz and Woody set out to investigate and make friends.  They almost catch up with the new toy in the living room one evening before finally making contact in mom’s bedroom. Buzz panics, thinking the new toy is either a robot spy or a tachyon missile, while Woody is sure the toy is meant for him, some sort of bucking bronco machine.  But mom’s new vibrator has plans of her own…

Coming this summer to theatres in a parallel dimension: Sex Toy Story


Filed under: Humor,


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I quite enjoy these pictures, but the dour, humorless leftist in me can’t help but raise some objections…

When PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was objecting to the meat industry, there was a real critical and subversive edge to their use of naked women to draw attention to the fact that the “meat industry” is in fact the slaughter of other creatures on a massive scale. Marking out sections of a woman’s body with the lines of the different cuts of meat had great rhetorical power. Those lines cut both ways: they drew attention to where those shrink-wrapped cuts of meat really come from (this or that area of the body of another living creature), while at the same time pointing to our objectification of women, our “meat market” attitude towards women.  So—at least potentially—those PETA anti meat eating ads simultaneously critiqued our unethical treatment of animals and our unethical treatment of women.

But as PETA ad campaigns have branched out to look at issues like spaying/neutering pets, the circus, and leather and fur, the double edge of that critique has been blunted. Now it sometimes feels perilously close to all those other advertising campaigns based on the premise that “sex sells”—using those attractive unclothed or semi-nude bodies to hook us. The fact that what they are selling might be something we see as good shouldn’t change our response to how this message is conveyed. If using objectifying images of women to sell cars or beer or whatever is wrong, then it is still wrong when those images are being used to “sell” the idea that our treatment of animals in the circus is bad.

A related issue is the use of porn stars such as Sasha Grey and Jenna Jameson as tools in the PETA marketing machine…  Back in the day, vegans and “people for the ethical treatment of animals” would have been natural allies with, or even the same people as, those attacking patriarchy in general and porn in particular. I think that the original feminist critique of porn got it wrong in all sorts of ways, but given the fact that women and girls are still routinely trafficked, around the world, and essentially sold into slavery as part of that other meat industry, the sex trade—an industry in which porn plays a role—we clearly need to spend a bit more time thinking about such old school feminist concerns as the objectification of women, attitudes towards sex and sexuality, the sex trade… and porn.  The PETA ads simply blow off all these issues in their concern to save the fluffy bunnies.

I am also a bit troubled by PETA’s call to spay/neuter our pets.  I think we should spay/neuter our pets. I also think that spaying/neutering is, when you get right down to it, “elective” (in the sense of not medically necessary) surgery performed on animals against their will in order to make it more convenient for us to have pets—literally cutting them to fit our lifestyle.

I don’t think there’s any easy way around it: if we are going to keep pets, particularly in built-up areas, then they really do need to be spayed/neutered. But it is something we do to them, which it seems unlikely they would choose, to make them fit into our world, our lives, our needs.  It may be that there is no way to reconcile a truly ethical treatment of animals with our desire to keep dogs and cats in our city apartments and suburban homes. If so, we should face that fact; we should at least be talking about it. But PETA gets its funding and support from animal lovers, and saying that pets are possibly simply unethical would cut into their base.

Finally, in keeping with journalistic standards of disclosure, I should say that I own pets, and the dogs and cats have always been spayed, own porn and consider myself a feminist, and recently started eating meat again but feel guilty about it… Make of all that what you will.

Filed under: Stuff, , , , ,

Real nerds hack/mod their t-shirts

Make Your Own Wordboner!.

Filed under: Stuff

Nerdware Strikes Again!

Just for you, Misha…

ThinkGeek :: Chuck Norris Destroyed the Periodic Table.

Filed under: Stuff, ,

Nerdware: Meat Popsicle Wrappers

An example of a nerdware company—indeed, nerdware nirvana, the Nordstroms of nerdware, Barney’s for brainiacs, Saks for syborgs—that’s not afraid to risk obscurity, figuring that anyone who has found their way to its cyber-shelves is either going to know exactly what movie is being referenced or will never admit to not knowing.

ThinkGeek :: Meat Popsicle.

(It’s The Fifth Element, in case you were wondering.)

Filed under: Stuff, , , ,



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



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