The Deteriorata

Sorry, Desiderata fans – I could not resist. I first heard this listening to tapes of the National Lampoon Radio Hour:

Specifically, it is a spoof of San Francisco radio and television personality Les Crane’s spoken word recording of Desiderata. It was written by Tony Hendra and recorded by National Lampoon as part of their National Lampoon Radio Dinner album of 1972.

When I first heard it all I could think of was the fact that every other friggin’ dorm room at any given college had that annoying “Desiderata” poster. It became so ubiquitous and cliché that you almost wondered if it was issued to each student.

In retrospect, something such as the Desiderata can serve to cause smug, entitled, 18-year-old college freshman to be even more smug and entitled. Probably more fitting to give to one as a birthday or Christmas gift in that first year after college when still seeking gainful employment – to the one who is heading into their final week of unemployment benefits and getting ready to accept the job paying half of what the former paid – or to the soldier coming home from war.

For the smug, entitled, 18-year-old college freshman – The Deteriorata is much more appropriate:

(National Lampoon)

(You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. Deteriorata, Deteriorata)

Go placidly amidst the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and passive persons, unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself; and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys. Know what to kiss – and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted, that in the face of all irridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance.

(You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. Whether you can hear it or not, The universe is laughing behind your back.)

Remember the Pueblo. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate. Know yourself. If you need help, call the FBI. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those persons closest to you… That lemon on your left, for instance. Be assured that a walk through the seas of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love, therefore, it will stick to your face. Gracefully surrender the things of youth: the birds, clean air, tuna, Taiwan – and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people with hooks. For a good time, call 606-4311, ask for Ken. Take heart in the deepening gloom that your dog is finally getting enough cheese. And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee.

(You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. Whether you can hear it or not, The universe is laughing behind your back.)

Therefore, make peace with your god, whatever you perceive him to be: hairy thunderer or cosmic muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. GIVE UP!

(You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. Whether you can hear it or not, The universe is laughing behind your back.)


Forensics Fraud

These are a great series of articles from Reason Magazine. I subscribe to this magazine in print and I love getting each issue. One of the stories I have been keeping up with is the expose on forensics fraud created by two “forensics experts” who over the years, gained favorable reputation by prosecutors by always delivering what they wanted in terms of “expert testimony.” Their arrogance and lust for probably even a potential Court TV show led them to even manufacture evidence even to the point of getting too sloppy to destroy the evidence of their tampering.

“Indeed, and Without a Doubt”
How a Mississippi dentist may be sending innocent people to jail.
Radley Balko | August 2, 2007
One of the first pieces on Dr. Michael West.

CSI: Mississippi
A case study in expert testimony gone horribly wrong
Rodney Balko’s first peice on the Stephen Hayne story from November 2007.
President of Mississippi State Medical Association Denounces Dr. Hayne
Radley Balko | February 15, 2008, 12:03pm

The Bite-Marks Men
Mississippi’s criminal forensics disaster
Radley Balko | February 25, 2008

Dr. Steven Hayne Is Done
Radley Balko | August 4, 2008, 8:51pm

Hayne Sues
Radley Balko | November 7, 2008, 11:37am
The last bastion of a discredited hack: Sue for Defamation. Former Mississippi medical examiner Dr. Steven Hayne has filed a defamation suit against the Innocence Project.

Manufacturing Guilt?
Experts say this exclusive video shows a dental examiner creating the bite marks that put a man on death row.
Radley Balko | February 19, 2009

The National Academy of Sciences Slams Bite Mark Analysis
Radley Balko | February 28, 2009, 4:13pm

Michael West Responds
Radley Balko | March 1, 2009, 10:55am
The Tooth? You can’t handle the tooth!

More on Michael West’s Response
Radley Balko | March 4, 2009, 11:37pm

Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Hayne, West
Radley Balko | April 6, 2009, 1:11pm

Dr. Michael West Speaks Out, Says He Has “Lost Faith in the System”
Radley Balko | May 14, 2009, 11:31pm
Surreal. He has “lost faith” and the system. The system he helps to corrupt? Lost faith in how he can keep working knowing the baggage he now carries?

A Forensics Charlatan Gets Caught in the Act
Video from a defense attorney’s sting exposes Mississippi bite-mark “expert” Michael West.
Radley Balko | May 15, 2009

TV Story on Youtube