Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nice to know people can still see through propaganda

An event that was supposed to drum up support for gutting such crucial parts of the safety net like social security ended up being an abysmal failure at the LA location (way to go fellow Angelinos!). Amazingly enough, the solutions offered up by the participants amounted to leaving social security alone and taxing the wealthy.

A regular comedian

recently became mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland and is now in the process of governing. His Best Party started out as a joke - a bit of political satire - that grew into something more. I wish him well.

It's a slow day, so what the heck....

Today's political karaoki for cheap entertainment value: post-Palin speech commentary caught inadvertently on video.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interesting take on American noise music

Noise music is modeled upon Pentecostalism, a movement born (again) in 1906 “designed to reproduce in contemporary time the church originally established on Pentecost, A.D. 30.”(vi) This reductionist approach was constitutional to the late-1970s No Wave scene (wherein American noise music became recognizable as such), whose bands abandoned canonical (blues) forms and “rearrang[ed] the basic building-blocks of music.”(vii)

Dispensing with constrictive protocols and hierarchical divisions between “conduit” and audience, both noise music and Pentecostalism are “drawn to the irrationality posited by the possibility of any, all and no meaning,”(viii) baptizing its participants in “the power of a spectacle that is physically oppressive”(ix) – volume for the former, the Holy Spirit for the latter. Further, both seek to return its participants to a pre-lingual, pre-subjective state via “abandonment of the priority given to consciousness, knowledge and the mediations of language… creat[ing] new affects and compounded emotions… for which there is no language.”(x)

nerdified link

Pop culture junkies like me love this stuff.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I realize this is all Kabuki theatre, but still...

what is it with Republicans and chickens?

When it comes to health care,

the US has a way to go before it truly catches up with the civilized world. Yes, those are harsh words, to be sure. However, the report paints a very, very grim picture offering some faint hope that the recent health insurance reform law will improve things. While a large portion of my fellow Americans have been gorging on Big Macs and distracting themselves with the latest nonsensical "reality" tv shows, our quality of life (however one might wish to measure it) has been steadily going down the toilet. This is what my kids get to inherit. No wonder I am irate.

What might have been

About three decades ago, our nation was at an energy crossroads. At the time we had a president who used his bully pulpit to advocate for more research in renewable forms of energy. He lost his re-election bid. His replacement sold the public on a false promise of unlimited cheap energy of the nonrenewable type. Three decades later, we can look back at that period in our history and ponder the lost opportunities. Here's a quote from the comments that aptly sums things up:
"We must face the prospect of changing our basic ways of living. This change will either be made on our own initiative in a planned way, or forced on us with chaos and suffering by the inexorable laws of nature."
—Jimmy Carter (1976)
It can be safely said that our basic ways of life will be changed largely by force now, rather than by our own initiative.

"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions."

Is the US a Fascist Police-State?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thank Monica Lewinsky

Had it not been for the scandal that resulted when Slick Willie's affair with Lewinsky was made public, social security may have been on the chopping block in the late 1990s (h/t naked capitalism). It's a shame that it took a tabloid-ready scandal to save social security when the facts themselves should have sufficed, as the article suggests quite aptly. As I was noting several years ago here when Bush II was manufacturing a social security "crisis", there is no crisis. Social security is doing just fine.

Musical Interlude: "Koteja (Oh Bolilla)"

Back in 1985, when Stewart Copeland released The Rhythmatist, the album probably only garnered the attention of percussion and worldbeat fans (of which I am on both counts). The tunes seem to hold up pretty nicely a quarter of a century later. If you dig on this, check out the rest of the album.