petit mort pour rire

― in memoriam Cosmo of the Magnificent Sunrise        
February 26, 1994 ― January 6, 2006        

    Petit mort pour rire     A small death for giggles
Va vite, léger peigneur de comètes !
Les herbes au vent seront tes cheveux ;
De ton œil béant jailliront les feux
Follets, prisonniers dans les pauvres têtes…
Take off, agile currier of comets!
These weeds wind-swept will stand in for your fur;
Your gaping orbs will shoot forth will-
o-wisps, locked up inside the noggin of a cur…
Les fleurs de tombeau qu’on nomme Amourettes
Foisonneront plein ton rire terreux…
Et les myosotis, ces fleurs d’oubliettes…
The ornaments called lilies of the valley
Will burgeon over your terrestrial woof…
Emboldened mice that trace your hillside grounds…
Ne fais pas le lourd : cercueils de poètes
Pour les croque-morts sont de simples jeux,
Boîtes à violon qui sonnent le creux…
Ils te croiront mort ― Les bourgeois sont bêtes ―
Va vite, léger peigneur de comètes !
Let’s go, friend: the crate that shelters poets,
A worn-out plaything proffered for a proof,
A violin boxed up, its echo thrown aloof…
They think you dead ― mistaken for a goof ―
Take off, agile currier of comets!
    ― Tristan Corbière     ― traduced by MZ

man’s best friends 1

    Michael first met his best friend Cosmo on their birthday, February 26, 1994. Cosmo, a sixth generation Californian Japanese canine-American, was perched on the hand of his breeder alongside his litter mate. Erin had found the breeder in Riverside. It was her idea to give Michael for his birthday present the very kind of a dog that he regretfully acknowledged lacking in responding to her Usenet personal ad three years earlier.
    Michael knew the name before he met its bearer. Cosmo was to be named in honor of cosmic harmony celebrated by Socrates. He had to commemorate the political conviction of Michael’s father Isaak for rootless cosmopolitanism. A few weeks earlier, Michael and Erin saw a movie based on Ian McEwan’s novel The Cement Garden, whose adolescent protagonist fantasized about a heroic spaceman accompanied by his faithful dog Cosmo. Finally, the proposed name stood proxy for a Japanese euphemism for the male member, with which Michael’s prospective best friend had to be endowed in spades. In a word, it was overdetermined.


    Two weeks later, Erin advertised herself as “young and available in LA” on the Usenet newsgroup alt.sex.services. Continue reading man’s best friends 1

the loaded gun

    Whilst peacefully picketing the WebEx User Conference in front of the Westin St. Francis hotel in the Union Square on May 2, Michael Zeleny and his faithful dog Cosmo both have been detained for questioning and psychological evaluation by the San Francisco Police Department and San Francisco animal control, respectively. As of this writing, the tests came out negative for Zeleny, determined fit to be released on his own recognizance. Cosmo remains in custody pending the determination of charges against him.
    According to Sergeant Catanzaro of the San Francisco Police Department, this turn of events came about after the hotel management had broken into the locked trunk of Zeleny’s car to find an unloaded semiautomatic SKS rifle stored therein in compliance with the law. An unloaded and encased SIG P210 handgun that Zeleny had entrusted to the hotel management for safekeeping has been confiscated by the San Francisco Police Department. These actions are said to have been taken as a result of WebEx management requesting an all-purpose scrutiny of Zeleny.
    Prior to their demonstration, Zeleny had informed the San Francisco Police of independently witnessed and documented threats made against Zeleny’s and Cosmo’s lives in the names of Min Zhu and WebEx.
    The San Francisco authorities have evinced special concerns regarding the passenger compartment of Zeleny’s car containing a copy of the Deluxe Edition of Eminem’s album Encore, accompanied by photographs depicting the entertainer shooting assorted members of his nightclub audience with a toy handgun, then putting its muzzle to his head to produce a graphic mockup of a bang.


    The same authorities conspicuously chose to overlook the threat implicit in Zeleny’s possession of a penis, carried on his person loaded and encased in his clothing.
In contradistinction from the device presumably possessed by Min Zhu, Zeleny’s male member has never been accused of serving as the centerpiece implement of rape.
    Zeleny’s protest is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. on May 3.

lovers and fighters

    [WebEx ex-President and outgoing CTO Min Zhu] first sexually abused [his daughter Erin] in August 1988. […] Just as [Erin] was about to fall asleep, Min Zhu slipped into bed with [Erin]. Although a brilliant student, [Erin] was naive and innocent about sexual matters. [Erin] had studied biology and was aware of the biological aspects of reproduction, but she was unaware of the “practical” aspects of sexual matters. Min Zhu was wearing shorts and a tank top/t-shirt. [Erin] was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Min Zhu removed [Erin]’s clothes and began to touch her sexually. [Erin] verbally objected to his advances but Min Zhu merely stated that there was nothing wrong with what he was doing. Min Zhu proceeded to remove his clothes and forced [Erin]’s hand to touch him sexually. Min Zhu assured [Erin] that there was nothing wrong with [Erin] touching him in that way and that Min Zhu’s state of erection was normal. Min Zhu proceeded to turn on the lights, stating that he wanted to see [Erin] naked because he had never seen a virgin naked, since her mother was not a virgin when they were married. [Min Zhu] proceeded to place his hand between [Erin]’s legs and pronounced that the moisture in her vagina meant that her body was “being bad” and that she deserved to be punished. [Erin] attempted physically to refuse Min Zhu’s sexual advances. However, she was powerless to fight her father off. Min Zhu was approximately 39 years old, was a grown man in his prime, and was much larger and very much stronger than [Erin]. Min Zhu was approximately 5’11” tall and weighed approximately 160-170 pounds at that time. [Erin] was a fourteen-year-old girl, was only 5’4″ tall and weighed less 90 lbs. Min Zhu became more aggressive and mounted [Erin]. When [Erin] struggled, Min Zhu began choking and restraining [Erin] with a blanket. He threatened to kill her. [Erin] stopped fighting her father as she was physically overpowered and feared that she would be severely harmed physically. [Erin]’s fear was all the more pronounced in light of Min Zhu’s long history of domestic violence and lack of remorse or conscience. Min Zhu then proceeded to rape [Erin].
— Excerpted from the January 18, 2000 draft complaint by Erin Zhu, the daughter, rape victim, and hush money recipient of WebEx President and CTO Min Zhu, filed as an exhibit in Opposition to the Defendants’ Motion to Strike in Zeleny v. Zhu & WebEx, Santa Clara Superior Court Case Number CV-809286.

    On January 19, 2000, I traveled to Palo Alto, California, to meet with Min Zhu and Susan Xu to discuss settlement of Erin Zhu’s claims. I met them at the Gordon Biersch restaurant in Palo Alto, California. Min Zhu opened our meeting by describing to me his experiences in China during the Cultural Revolution. He stated that he and his wife had been sent to a remote camp and had had to struggle very hard just to survive. He said that he had been in many fights. He then told me he had come to this country and succeeded in building a billion dollar corporation, but if he lost it, he would not be troubled, because he had already undergone such hardships that any such loss would be nothing in comparison to what he had already suffered. He said he looked forward to a new experience, fighting in the American court system, and it could not do anything to him that could compare to what he had already endured.
    During our meeting, Min Zhu expressed familiarity with the general subject matter of Erin Zhu’s claims, although I had not specified them at any point. He did not ask me about any details of Erin Zhu’s claims. He did not deny any of the allegations.
    During our meeting, Min Zhu described his difficulties in parenting Erin Zhu. He said she was irresponsible. He also told me that he believed Michael Zeleny was a bad influence on her. He also speculated that Michael Zeleny was responsible for Erin’s decision to press claims against her parents.
— Declaration of David W. Affeld in Opposition to Motions For Summary Judgment and Summary Adjudication By Defendants in Zeleny v. Zhu & WebEx, Santa Clara Superior Court Case Number CV-809286.

    The date: Tuesday, December 25, 2001.
    The time: between 19:15 and 19:35 PST.
    The action: An anonymous caller calls Michael’s AT&T mobile number 323-363-1860 seven times in a row. His caller ID is blocked. The calls are witnessed and overheard by Michael’s father Isaak Zelyony. The first six calls are wordless cackling. The last one proceeds as follows:

    Anonymous Caller with a heavy Chinese accent: You are a bad man.
    MZ: Say what?
    AC: You are a bad man.
    MZ: Really?
    AC: You have been warned.
    MZ: Uh huh.
    AC: You have been warned.
    AC hangs up.

    The date: Thursday, December 27, 2001.
    The time: 15:47 PST.
    The action: An anonymous caller with the same voice as before calls Michael at his home number, 323-876-8234 from a pay phone 310-216-4805.

    AC assays a sinister laugh, then hangs up and leaves it off the hook.

    The date: Friday, December 28, 2001.
    The time: 22:12 PST.
    The action: a private call to Michael’s home number, 323-876-8234. The caller ID is blocked.
AC cackles and hangs up.
    The time: 22:16 PST.
    The action: a call to 323-876-8234. The caller ID is blocked.

    AC cackles.
    MZ: Speak up, wuss.
    AC hangs up.
    The time: 22:17.
    The action: a call to 323-876-8234. The caller ID is blocked.
    AC cackles.
    MZ: What a lonely, sad job you must have.
    AC cackles.
    MZ: What a lonely, sad shithead you must be.
    AC hangs up.

    The time: 22:20 PST.
    The action: a call to 323-876-8234. The same voice as the first time.The caller ID is blocked.

    AC: You’re a dead man.
    MZ: Come and get me.
    AC: Soon. Very soon.
    AC hangs up.
    The time: 22:21 PST.
    The action: a call to 323-876-8234.The same voice as before. The caller ID is blocked.
    AC: Don’t fuck with WebEx.
    MZ scoffs.
    AC: Mr. Zhu will get you. This is your last warning.
    MZ snickers.
    AC hangs up.

    The date: Wednesday, January 2, 2002.
    The time: 18:45 PST.
    The action: An anonymous caller calls Michael’s AT&T mobile number, 323-363-1860. The same voice as before. The caller ID is blocked.

    AC: I see you aren’t taking this seriously. You had two dogs, right? Go home and see how many dogs you have now. Do you understand me?
    MZ: No, I don’t. Could you speak English?
    The exchange continues along these lines for three minutes, until the connection breaks.
    The time: 18:51 PST.
    The action: The same anonymous caller places another call to Michael’s mobile number. The caller ID is blocked again. The same voice as before. The caller is agitated. This call is witnessed and overheard by David W. Affeld.
    AC: You listen to me now. You have two dogs. Which dog you like best?
    MZ: I like you. I want you to be my dog.
    AC: You go home now, see you only have one dog. You understand now?
    MZ: No, I don’t. Could you speak English?
    AC: You only have one dog now. You take good care of one dog.
    MZ: I have no idea what you are talking about. Who is this?

    The exchange continues along these lines for three minutes, until AC hangs up.