Saturday, April 30, 2011
THIS IMPLAUSIBLE DOLT COULD ACTUALLY BECOME THE LEADER OF A SUPERPOWER WITH CONTROL OF A NUCLEAR ARSENAL.
My friends in the US know why I came home. I think they sensed the madness of the wind before I did.
"Since the election of Barack Obama, the Republican Party has proved that one of its central intellectual arguments was right all along. It has long claimed that evolution is a myth believed in only by whiny liberals – and it turns out it was on to something. Every six months, the party venerates a new hero, and each time it is somebody further back on the evolutionary scale. Sarah Palin told cheering rallies that her message to the world was: "We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way!" – but that wasn't enough. So the party found Michele Bachmann, who said darkly it was an "interesting coincidence" that swine flu only breaks out under Democratic presidents, claims the message of The Lion King is "I'm better at what I do because I'm gay", and argues "there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows carbon dioxide is a harmful gas." That wasn't enough. I half-expected the next contender to be a lung-fish draped in the Stars and Stripes. But it wasn't anything so sophisticated. Enter stage (far) right Donald Trump, the bewigged billionaire who has filled America with phallic symbols and plastered his name across more surfaces than the average Central Asian dictator. CNN's polling suggests he is the most popular candidate among Republican voters. It's not hard to see why. Trump is every trend in Republican politics over the past 35 years taken to its logical conclusion. He is the Republican id, finally entirely unleashed from all restraint and all reality.” (Click here for the rest)
Click here for Buddy Holly
The secret word is Unthinkable
Posted by Mick at 4/30/2011 06:41:00 AM
Friday, April 29, 2011
UK Steve alerted me to this crucial story in the hope that it wouldn’t be swamped by the tedious royal nuptials. Needless to say, rightwing commentators have their red, white, and blue knickers in a twist that The Man of Steel has moved to truth, justice, and the humanitarian way. Here’s a typical example…
“Since the 1930′s, DC comics were oozing with American patriotism in the Cold War era, where it was vital to rally young minds to the American cause. Well, the times have changed and the elite’s agenda too. Today, it is about the elimination of national boundaries and a world government. It is about a New World Order.
Despite being an alien, Superman has long been seen as a symbol of “truth, justice, and the American way”. But in the latest issue of Action Comics which hit newsstands on April 27, 2011, said he intends to renounce his U.S. citizenship in a speech before the United Nations. The symbolic implications of this gesture truly define at the direction where the “Agenda” is heading. Despite very literally being an alien immigrant, Superman has long been seen as a patriotic symbol of “truth, justice, and the American way,” from his embrace of traditional American ideals to the iconic red and blue of his costume. What it means to stand for the “American way” is an increasingly complicated thing, however, both in the real world and in superhero comics, whose storylines have increasingly seemed to mirror current events and deal with moral and political complexities rather than simple black and white morality.
The key scene takes place in “The Incident,” a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war. Superman replies that it was foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day — and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective. From a “realistic” standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government. While this wouldn’t be this first time a profoundly American comic book icon disassociated himself from his national identity — remember when Captain America became Nomad? — this could be a very significant turning point for Superman if its implications carry over into other storylines.” (Click here for more)
Click here for Laurie Anderson
The secret word is Bird (or is it Plane?)
Posted by Mick at 4/29/2011 09:12:00 AM
I thought I had problems with Blogger, but our whacky Uncle Bill – who has been dead for 14 years – is being put on trial for corrupting Turkish morality. (Which triggers the germs of a number of really offensive jokes.)
“The Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into Burroughs’ novel The Soft Machine, which was recently translated and published by Sel Publishing House in January. Tukey’s English Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review reports: The court referred to a report written by the Prime Ministry’s Council for Protecting Minors from Explicit Publications that accused the novel, The Soft Machine, of “incompliance with moral norms” and “hurting people’s moral feelings.” Sel Publishing issued a press release that included parts of their testimony in the court. “It is impossible to understand the insistence in sending books written and published for adults to councils that specialize in minors. If we consider things from this perspective, then dozens of such reports could be written about TV channels, newscasts and thousands of books,” read the testimony given by the publishing house. The testimony also argued that the Prime Ministry’s council had no credentials in literature, aesthetics or translation, thus causing what the representatives of the publishing house called a “freakish” decision by the council. The council also accused the novel of “lacking unity in its subject matter,” “incompliance with narrative unity,” for “using slang and colloquial terms” and “the application of a fragmented narrative style,” while claiming that Burroughs’s book contained unrealistic interpretations that were neither personal nor objective by giving examples from the lifestyles of historical and mythological figures. None of the above, argued the publishing house, constitutes a criminal act. The council went further and said, “The book does not constitute a literary piece of work in its current condition,” adding it would add nothing new to the reader’s reservoir of knowledge, and argued the book developed “attitudes that were permissive to crime by concentrating on the banal, vulgar and weak attributes of humanity.” (Click here for more)
Click here to have your mind read.
Posted by Mick at 4/29/2011 09:04:00 AM
And I also don’t like it. Sean Penn at least ought to know better. As with drugs, the problems of transactional sex are created by illegality and social and religious repression. In an ideal world, the interaction between sex worker and client is no one else’s fucking business, as long as health and privacy basics are observed. On a more personal level, I’ve spent my life hearing twisted and judgmental assholes telling me what “real men” do and don’t do – and then watched them react violently when their supposed machismo was challenged.
Posted by Mick at 4/29/2011 08:58:00 AM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Click here for the pdf file.
And here’s a glowing review by Glen Young...
“They used to say of Graham Greene that his books evoked an atmosphere of grim seediness. You could almost taste the grit, the gloom, the decay. They called it Greene-land, and it was instantly recognizable. Perhaps it is invidious to compare Mick Farren with Graham Greene (though I will not say to whom) but certainly Farren’s characters live and move through a Greene-land of the future where culture is decayed, morality is egocentric and people are only tools to use. Happy is the man who can say, “Screw you Jack. I’m alright.“
The book opens cinematographically with a close up of a hotel; half-swallowed by the jungle. Gradually the viewpoint pulls backward and more detail slowly appears in the picture. A riverbank, a broken dock, an overgrown clearing. Hot and humid; the back end of nowhere. Phaid is a gambling man, stranded in a torrid zone without the price of the long ride back to civilization. And so the plot begins. An old and classic one. Homer called it an Odyssey, and it was old even when he pinched it from the Babylonians. We have a quest, a mighty journey with adventure all the way.
We travel with Phaid as he lies, cheats and steals his way along the slow and rocky path back to the good life (for there must be good life somewhere). It’s a struggle. Farren’s villains are right bastards and so are his heroes. Even the bright light of Revolution is dimmed by self-seekers trying (and succeeding) to milk the idealism for a fast buck. If you want to sum up this odyssey, consider it as an exercise in applied cynicism. (Even the Androids have off days.)
Like Greene before him, Farren has a genius for evoking atmosphere and character. You will not like or admire the people in the book (I hope you don’t anyway), but you will admire the skill with which Farren manipulates them throughout the course of this long and absorbing tale.” – Glen Young
The secret word is Literate
Posted by Mick at 4/28/2011 12:44:00 PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Royal wedding earmuffs? Right. It figures. I wasn’t foolish enough to think it would go away, but I hoped I could either rise above it or simply burrow beneath and, but now it streams from my English TV in a endless stream of red, white, and blue lumpen tabloid patriotism. An early plan was avoid the goddamned wedding by spending the afternoon rehearsing the music, but when we tried to book a studio we found that other bands with the same idea had beaten us to it, and every room in the eight room facility was booked. I suppose I could turn off the TV, but that in itself would seem a denial of my electronic rights. But I’m not saying anything about protest. I really don’t want to be on yet another list of undesirables.
Click here for (what else) the Sex Pistols
Poly Styrene -- RIP
The secret word is Nuptial
Posted by Mick at 4/27/2011 10:00:00 AM
I lifted this from a wonderful, recently discovered site called Gravy Holocaust. Finn take note.
“This is a cat begging for money in Minsk, Belarus. He stays on one place with a note that reads “need money for meat and fish, bless you”. He doesn’t leave his place and protects the money. His owner, an old woman, was found nearby. She said that she had rescued the cat from the streets, but at that time she had already owned 6 cats and couldn’t feed them all, so she decided to let the cat earn money for itself.”
Posted by Mick at 4/27/2011 09:54:00 AM
“William Savory was a pioneering audio engineer who recorded jazz legends in the 1930s. During his lifetime, William Savory kept these recordings largely to himself. He refused to reveal how many recordings he had and what performances they contained. He let only a very few of his recordings be heard by a small number of acquaintances. Over time, the Savory collection became a tantalizing enigma to jazz connoisseurs who yearned for access to its treasures. The mystery ended last summer. Six years after Savory passed away, his collection was acquired by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. And jazz experts were stunned. The extent and quality of the Savory collection was beyond anything they had imagined. “I figured there was maybe 50 to 100 unreleased recordings,” says Loren Schoenberg, the museum’s executive director. “I expected to see one box. Instead, I saw dozens of boxes. The Savory collection comprised about a thousand discs of the greatest performers of all time. And all of this was unknown music. It was immediately clear this was a treasure trove.” It would be nice to make these recordings available, but it will probably never happen. “The potential copyright liability that could attach to redistribution of these recordings is so large—and, more importantly, so uncertain—that there may never be a public distribution of the recordings,” wrote David G. Post, a law professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, on the Volokh Conspiracy blog. “Tracking down all the parties who may have a copyright interest in these performances, and therefore an entitlement to royalty payments (or to enjoining their distribution), is a monumental—and quite possibly an impossible—task.” (Click here for the whole story)
Click here for Billie
Posted by Mick at 4/27/2011 09:48:00 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Older readers will remember how, in the 1950s, Pat Boone was the anti-Elvis. He sanitized the fuck out of Little Richard songs and peddled wholesomeness like it was bad dope. When his white-bread shtick ran out of road, he hit the born-again trail exploiting faith-based gullibility, with just one short and ill-starred venture into metal (see below). He now has a syndicated column. In this one he explains why the demented right have such a grip on US media.
“Ever wonder exactly why conservative TV and radio out-rate traditional and network media, sometimes 3 or 4 to 1? Why Fox News drowns CNN regularly, virtually at any and all times of the day? Why Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and a whole host of conservative talk-show hosts attract millions more listeners and viewers than any more liberal counterparts, no matter when or where they're on the air? Why conservative Web and blog sites like this one attract millions of readers and responders, while most of the more liberal ones scramble and compete for smaller audiences? Why Bill O'Reilly is a more trusted source for accurate news and reasoned viewpoints than any of the big network anchors? Why Glenn Beck has been tripling or quadrupling the ratings of a Chris Matthews or a Rachel Maddow, even though the latter have huge networks and lots of money to promote them? There is one simple reason: These programs and hosts resonate to the true feelings of a majority of Americans!"
And if that’s true, we’re fucking doomed.
Click here for Little Richard
The secret word is Credulity
Posted by Mick at 4/26/2011 12:34:00 PM
Our pal MrMR has sent us news of this latest advance in the cyber-police state.
"The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is currently engaged in a war of words and requests for information on a device used by the Michigan state police that can extract information from cellphones. The device, which has reportedly been in use since at least 2008, is apparently being used by the police during minor traffic violations. The device, called the Cellebrite UFED, has been tested by the Department of Justice which reported the device was capable of pulling all photos and video from an iPhone in under a minute and a half. Cellbrite says their devices also can extract, “existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags.” It can also extract your highly incriminating ringtones. These devices can also circumvent password protection, and are reported to work on over 3,000 cellphone models." (Click here for more)
Posted by Mick at 4/26/2011 12:26:00 PM
Monday, April 25, 2011
I love the way modern physics catches up with concepts that were once exclusive to science fiction and comic books. Here a story from io9…
“One of the crazier theories of physics is the idea of Vanishing Dimensions. It should, technically, be the idea of Appearing Dimensions, since it proposes that, as the universe aged and grew, it added more and more dimensions. What's more, the amount of dimensions we see depend on the amount of space we're studying. Large spaces have three or more dimensions, while smaller ones have two, or even one. Although the idea appears preposterous, it would explain a few things. For one thing, it might explain why the universe seems to be expanding at a higher and higher rate. Physics are baffled by the acceleration of this expansion, but if the universe is adding dimensions as it gets bigger and older, that may explain the change in expansion. It may it also explain why the mathematics of quantum mechanics and of relativity don't seem to work together. If relativity is generally applied to large spaces and large objects, while quantum mechanics applies to small spaces and small objects - they could be describing universes with different numbers of dimensions. The theory also points the the idea that the early universe was a point, that expanded into a one-dimensional line, that then expanded into a two-dimensional plane, and at last popped out the third dimension that we happily move through today. Although the theory could fill in some blanks for physics if it proves true - it is hard to prove true. A 'dimensionometer' has not yet been developed. How would anyone figure out if small pieces of the universe lack dimensions? Apparently, gravity can only work in three dimensions. There are plans (although they are only intermittently funded) to build gigantic telescopes that observe the gravity of the universe. Since gravity, like light, takes time to move through the universe, the farther out astronomers look, the farther back in time they see. Look far enough back, back to when the universe was one dimensional, and gravity should disappear. And the universe will officially become even weirder.”
The secret word is Pancake
Posted by Mick at 4/25/2011 08:45:00 AM
Back when I was a lad a piece of graffiti in the gents’ toilet at the Notting Hill Gate underground station read – “MY MOTHER MADE ME A HOMOSEXUAL!” Beneath the Freudian statement someone else had added – “IF I GAVE HER THE WOOL COULD SHE MAKE ME ONE?” Fanciful? Sure, but now a person called Croshame who will crochet Sid and Nancy for you…
“I was inspired to create a crocheted portrait of the events that possibly occurred in the Chelsea Hotel on October 12. 1978, where Sid Vicious was accused of killing then-girlfriend Nancy Spungen. This listing is for a CUSTOM Sid and Nancy set designed and crocheted by myself. The set will include an angry Sid, a dead Nancy, and the weapon -- a knife, wiped clean. Sid and Nancy are crocheted from acrylic, cotton and polyester novelty yarns, adorned with metal chains, faux leather, fishnet fabric and tiny spikes, then stuffed with polyfill; both measure about 11" long. The knife is made from tiny pieces of felt and measures about 2.5" long. Nancy lies in her little pool of blood on her very own, but Sid will stand only as long as he's propped up against something.” (Click here for more)
Click here for Something Else
Posted by Mick at 4/25/2011 08:29:00 AM
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Click here for Elvis (a symbolic boy king if ever there was one)
The secret word is Yolk
Posted by Mick at 4/24/2011 07:10:00 AM