Friday, December 28, 2007

February: Always a Good Month to Get Away

Why not Spain?

27·02·2008 Apolo, Barcelona, Spain

28·02·2008 Gruta 77, Madrid, Spain

29·02·2008 Centro Social Benissa, Alicante, Spain

01·03·2008 12 & Medio, Murcia, Spain

Yes. These are Mekons dates. Jordi, Pep: Take note!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Delightful Adjunct

The Christian Foundation were not amused to find that the message on their order of 5,000 "Spread The Love!" t-shirts had been undermined by the printers adding an erroneous letter "m" to the middle of the slogan.

Khmer Rouge Strippergram

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Subversive Commie Pothead Pussies of the World, Unite!

An American gent with the unlikely name of Hampton Sides explains his passion for footie in Best Life magazine.

Hang Them All: Let God Sort Them Out (Especially the Socks)

Time magazine reports on the split in the environmental movement over how to dry their clothes.

A simple piece of rope hangs between some environmentally friendly Americans and their neighbors. On one side stand those who have begun to see clothes dryers as wasteful consumers of energy (up to 6% of total electricity) and powerful emitters of carbon dioxide (up to a ton of CO2 per household every year). As an alternative, they are turning to clotheslines as part of what Alexander Lee, founder of the advocacy group Project Laundry List, calls "what-I-can-do environmentalism."

But on the other side are people who oppose air-drying laundry outside on aesthetic grounds. Increasingly, they have persuaded community and homeowners associations (HOAs) across the U.S. to ban outdoor clotheslines, which they say not only look unsightly but also lower surrounding property values. Those actions, in turn, have sparked a right-to-dry movement that is pressing for legislation to protect the choice to use clotheslines.

Surely by now someone has designed a rotary clothesline that generates electricity, if only to put an end to petty arguments like this one.

"Everyone Knows a Bloke Like Mickey . . ."

Yeah. The only bloke they ever decked.

The Guardian names it's ten most annoying people of 2007, and not a single mention of Jeremy Clarkson even in the Comments.

Who are YOUR most annoying arseholes of the year (present company excepted)?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Primavera Band Profile #738

Bonde do Role

Diplo defines the Brasilian Bonde De Role as:"Kids souting about drug son a loop of Smiths and some breakbeats".The band,formed by three foul-mouthed MC's from Curitiba,intends to revitalize Rio's funk with such unusual loans as showed in "Melo Do Tabaco",debut EP in whinch they mix unashamedly Hollywood soundtracks,AC/DC and M.I.A samples and parodies of the wirdest heavy-metal.After their tour supporting Cansei de Ser Sexy and Diplo, the Brazilians are working on their first album, to be published next summer.

The Next Step

In the Fall issue of New Perspectives Quarterly, Freeman Dyson draws attention to a "provocative and enlightening" article by biologist Carl Woese entitled "A New Biology for a New Century." Dyson uses Woese's article to explain why evolution was just a phase life was going through. Provocative indeed.

Both well worth a read.

Change of Manager Fails to Improve BlueNoses' Chances of Staying Up

Ceci N'est Pas Un Scrap

Two weeks after that celebrated affair, Picasso attended another legendary event, Tristan Tzara's Evening of the Bearded Heart at the Théâtre Michel. The night began peaceably enough with music by Stravinsky, Georges Auric, and Darius Milhaud, but it soon degenerated into a violent brawl between the Dadaists and the Surrealists, and the police had to intervene. Picasso thoroughly enjoyed that evening.

The rest is here.

Dickwatch #2

From the October 8 issue of Jet magazine:

Supermodel Naomi Campbell was among a group of speakers who talked recently about the shortage of opportunities for Blacks in fashion during "The Lack of Black Images in Fashion Today" panel discussion held at the Bryant Park Hotel in New York City.

Campbell spoke whole-heartedly of the challenges Blacks face in the industry. "The only time they care about Black models is in February [Black History Month]," she said.

She added, "Linda [Evangelista] and Christy [Turlington] would go to big designers and say, 'If you don't pick Naomi to be in your show, then I don't want to be in it.' That's how I got Prada and Helmut [Lang]."

Campbell also complained of not having a British Vogue cover. "I've never been on the cover of British Vogue and I've asked a million times and they've always refused me," the New York Daily News reported.

"They'll put the same White model for half the year--I swear like six times, but wouldn't put me on once in my own country. But I still want my British Vogue cover!"

However, the Daily News also reported that since 1987 Campbell has been on the cover of British Vogue eight times: twice with other models, once with Diddy and five times alone.

Don't sweat the small stuff, Naomi.

Dickwatch #1

Male genitalia evolve faster than any other physical trait in the animal world.

That explains so much.

Incidentally, anyone know where I can get a phalloblaster?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Death of Stockhausen: The Greatest Work of Art Since I Don't Know What

KarlHeinz Stockhausen is dead.

Stockhausen described the attacks of 9/11 as "the greatest work of art imaginable for the whole cosmos." According to a tape transcript from public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, he went on: "Minds achieving something in an act that we couldn't even dream of in music, people rehearsing like mad for 10 years, preparing fanatically for a concert, and then dying, just imagine what happened there. You have people who are that focused on a performance and then 5,000 people are dispatched to the afterlife, in a single moment. I couldn't do that. By comparison, we composers are nothing. Artists, too, sometimes try to go beyond the limits of what is feasible and conceivable, so that we wake up, so that we open ourselves to another world."

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Big A, Little A

Your surreal image of the week, courtesy of Darren.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Cheer

If you want to climb out of the Slough of Despond that descends upon most right-thinking people in the run-up to Christmas, you could do worse than peruse this little collection above, in which contributors to the Third Culture Web site offer reasons to be cheerful.

The contributors to the Third Culture site are predominantly male, and a large number of them appear to come from the physics/computing/artificial intelligence end of the spectrum, with the consequence that most of their reasons for optimism have a kind of naive, engineering-based justification: Problems like global warming/climate change, poverty, disease and so on can be solved with the straightforward application of technology. In that respect, they remind me of all those nerdy kids at school who read nothing but science-fiction novels, did A levels in Maths, Physics, and Chemistry, and ended up working in aerospace, defence, pharmaceuticals, or overseeing South African gold mines.

There are plenty of dissenting or more circumspect voices herein, however, and one or two female voices too: Lynn Margulis, Rebecca Goldstein, Diane Halpern, Helen Fisher, Esther Dyson. Nonetheless, to describe the contributors as "today's leading thinkers" is in itself rather optimistic, in my opinion. Most of the A.I. folk seem stuck in the Marvin Minsky download-your-brain-into-a-computer school of thinking. There are one or two social psychologists and anthropologists who get a look-in, but rather than the slightly repetitive promise that nanobots will save us, I would have liked to have heard from a more diverse range of thinkers. What does Michael Albert think we have to be optimistic about? What about Chris Knight and Camilla Power? How about Steve Keen, Frans de Waal, Gabriel Dover, Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Frank? Add your own. Make them up.

Having said all that and having entirely disillusioned you about the whole project, let me repeat, for what it's worth, that this is an enjoyable, uplifting book that will now and again offer some illuminating and original ways of looking at the world so as to keep that razor from your wrists at least until New Year.