Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Gary Cooper Is Dead

We’re not in a Frank Capra movie. Gary Cooper is not going to give Trump his comeuppance. He is not going to die of his own mania in a burning barn or find God and quit the race to become a missionary. He is not a grand conspiracy meant to sneak Hillary Clinton into the White House. Denial accomplishes nothing.

He’s not desperate and he’s not losing.

And retreating to the comfort of our curated peers on social media, where everybody knows Trump is a villain, gets us nowhere. We don’t need better or smarter or funnier or more marketable ways to call him a villain. We don’t need to split hairs on whether he’s a fascist or just an almost-fascist. We don’t need any more hyperbole soloing. That won’t change the mind of a single Trump supporter.
From Kaleb Horton's piece "On Donald Trump and Preying Upon Weakness".

Monday, November 09, 2015

Reduce Speed Now

Internet culture's ability to reexamine, remix, and reinterpret things is my favourite thing about it. Case in point: the Soundcloud account chipmunkson16speed, which plays cover versions from an old Chipmunks novelty record (a bit of internet research reveals that it's 1990's "Born To Rock") at 16 RPM rather than the correct 33 1⁄3 RPM. The results are surprising. Blondie's "Call Me" gains a distinctly doom metal feel:

Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth", meanwhile, is transformed into some sort of Neil Young/Beach Boys collaboration:

And while it's not as good as the others, Michael Jackson's "Bad" played this way is very Trent Reznor at the start:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bad Film Night No.1: Samurai Cop (1989)

You Have The Right To Remain Silent...Dead Silent.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Very Dangerous Drug for Young Men

This is why Joy Division can be a very dangerous drug for young men. They seem to be presenting The Truth (they present themselves as doing so). Their subject, after all, is depression. Not sadness or frustration, rock's standard downer states, but depression: depression: whose difference from mere sadness consists in its claim to have uncovered the (final, unvarnished) Truth about life and desire.

The depressive experiences himself as walled off from the lifeworld, so that his own frozen inner life - or inner death - overwhelms everything; at the same time, he experiences himself as evacuated, totally denuded, a shell: there is nothing except the inside, but the inside is empty.
The Aesthetes want the world promised by the sleeves and the sound, a pristine black and white realm unsullied by the grubby compromises and embarrassments of the everyday. The empiricists insist on just the opposite: on rooting the songs back in the quotidian at its least elevated and, most importantly, at its least serious. 'Ian was a laugh, the band were young lads who liked to get pissed, it was all a bit of fun that got out of hand...' It's important to hold onto both of these Joy Divisions - the Joy Division of Pure Art, and the Joy Division who were 'just a laff' - at once. For if the truth of Joy Division is that they were Lads, then Joy Division must be the truth of Laddism. And so it would appear: beneath all the red-nosed downer-fuelled jollity of the past two decades, mental illness has increased 70% amongst adolescents. Suicide remains one of the most common sources of death for young males.

- Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on depression, hauntology and lost futures (2014)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Friday, May 08, 2015


Technically (@HalaJaber)

Well, when you've run out of Toyota pickups... (Picture from the @HalaJaber Twitter account, and is apparently of an IS fighter in Libya).

Sunday, April 05, 2015

I'll Be There For You

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Three Megabytes of Hot RAM

From over at Design Interactions comes an intriguing look at the social network you could've had in the 1980s:

Teletext Social Network (620x496)

I can't work out whether this is something people are actually doing, or an art project. Maybe that's the point? Either way, the idea of colonising the abandoned analogue frequencies is cyberpunk in its truest spirit. I'm told that Walter Benjamin saw surrealism as finding a revolutionary potential in obsolete things, in modernity's detritus. This seems a good example. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Richard "Snakey Spine" Plantagenet

I first posted this on Facebook at the time, but given today's events it seems apposite again. Here's Jamie from over at Blood & Treasure on Richard III, from February 2013:
Half the country – and the twee half at that – seems to be getting in a tizzy about a man who, given the medieval level of state formation, was basically a fucking gangster; and what’s more a gangster among gangsters: the royals were all gangsters until Cromwell taught them a little circumspection. That little princes in the tower wet job should be a clue with Richard, but there seems to be a general feeling that it was dignified by being done as statecraft. Or maybe it's a Kray twins thing: 'they only murdered their own', etc

Sure, he was a lawgiver: so was Lucky Luciano. And sure, there was that time in 1215 when the underbosses ganged up on a weak capo and took a bunch of diabolical bleeding liberties. But Richard ‘Snakey Spine’ Plantagenet played the same role in Our Island Story as Jake ‘Greasy Thumb’ Guzick did in the history of Chicago. Under a car park is exactly the right place for him, at least in the absence of a flyover or a crocodile filled swamp. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015