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i.am.alive.with.pleasure.



in space nobody can hear your ringtone.



Updated: 2014-10-06T19:50:34.056-04:00

 



a quick one.

2007-11-21T15:06:46.997-05:00

...about filesharing. I'm for it, to a degree. I have several gigabytes of music on my hard-drive, and I would say I'm passionate about music. I also buy CDs, T-shirts, patches and pins, and go to shows regularly. I consider music to be 'shareware', I download albums, and if they begin to reverberate emotionally with me, I'll go and buy the album.If I bother to learn parts of the lyrics, I'll buy it.If I create a long-term memory that somehow includes that music, I'll buy it.If I feel a vibration, somewhere in my chest, around sternum-level, or if it feels in one blessed moment that my sinus cavities have turned into cathedrals, then that for me is an emotional connection, and I'll buy your album.Erm, disclaimer.By 'buy', I actually mean I'll put it on a short list to buy when I actually have disposable income. Sorry. Also, if I'm living out of a backpack on somebody's couch, I might just procrastinate before I commit to lugging the tangible copy of your song around on my back. Sorry.Now, I also play music. And I also record music, and that becomes little mp3 files that slowly dribble around teh interwubs. We've given our music away for free mostly. And the whole 'making a living at it' is something that we don't discuss with seriousness.So how would I feel about filesharing if I was poor old gene simmons?I doubt I would feel differently about it.For me, the purpose of music is a tool, to promote community cohesion. My background is punk. In my self-aggrandizing daydreams, I look forward to the day that my music has an audience that is consistent, believes some of the same things that I do, and participates with us in larger projects. Also, it would be cool if there was enough to fill a basement, and they danced. In the daytime, we build our bikes or teach each other strange and wonderful things. We get dirty. At night, we feed ourselves and play music to each other. I know their names, they know mine. We can agree or argue, but never doubt our abilities or intentions. Like I said, it's a daydream, but there have been worse ways to live, no?Notice how some parts of that daydream are as problematic as the model of music as 'commodity.' As participants in a community that I in some small way define, I expect a certain amount of common interest and participation. I also assume that they would feel compelled to buy a tangible form of the music, rather than to take advantage of the free copies floating around in ether. They, like me, would create an idea of community based on the free-floating and utterly unrealistic poetry of culture. They would commit to participation in said community partly in terms of buying. Music as definer of community, and music as mere commodity. These two conceptions of music are in conflict, though not always mutually exclusive. After all, we do live in a world with price tags on everything, and I don't think it's purely a commercial act to buy an album or patch, any more than it's a capitalist act to offer your couch to a musician on tour. I don't think turning your back on all forms of tangible music makes you more 'pure' in an anti-consumerist sense. But there always exists a tension, because culture is in some ways a poor substitute for true community, and needlessly divisive, and can quickly become distracting. I've long since given up thinking that the totality of 'punk' can maintain this semblance of community. They may go to the same shows as I do, may dance to the same words and music, and while for me those words ask questions of the world that demand answers, I might quickly find that for them, those words are a distraction and mean nothing. Or I may play a show, and find that for the audience, the songs were about finding 'pure chakrahs' or that 'masons control the world.' Or that it was a distraction from getting drunk and high. Poof! Back to reality, back to work. Is it because the consumerist mentality has infiltrated so deeply, that it's difficult for people to really involve themselves in music and culture as anything more than a commodity? Or is it because the punk mentality has [...]



this may be of interest...

2007-09-05T23:12:59.186-04:00

...to punkers and lovers of 'zines.

Archives of Maximumrocknroll, Heartattack, Suburban Voice, etc.!

There goes my free time...

enjoy



culpability.

2007-08-27T02:04:36.055-04:00

I thought this was good.

Gee, now that the blog has become the default form for most info on the web, what with comment boxes and Digg buttons everywhere, I have new ways of getting myself enraged. For example, I know all I have to do is find an article or opinion piece on Iraq, scroll down to read messages, and there'll be some meathead there spouting the same old crap. I really think somebody is paying these guys.

But wait-

All I want to do is ask how in the hell they expect to be forgiven. But for what? Obviously they're not the ones fighting. They pay taxes, yes. Most Americans do. And what's clear is that public opinion does not matter to those in power. Even overwhelming opposition causes them no obstacles, because Americans are beset by ideas of futility.

Why get angry at someone who's powerless?

They have emotionally attached themselves to the destiny of a murderous occupation. That is a psychological construct, it isn't real. They overcome the truth of their powerlessness this way. Powerlessness is indeed a sickening feeling.

more later, I'm late for work...!



HA!

2007-08-23T00:53:18.088-04:00

Well, look who finally got caught with their hands in the cookie jar:
Undercover cops tried to incite violence in Montebello
youtube

I dunno, is all this Web 2.0 revolution crap finally paying off? When I caught this article on CBC, I was excited. For years they've pulled this stunt.

More likely, however, is that Canadians in general will respond with their characteristic passivity. I was a little disappointed to hear the 'estimated' protest numbers coming from the media. A safe calculation is to take their number and double it. Even so, not very compelling, considering that the SPP is something that presses a lot of nationalist buttons. You can count on Canadians being proud of not being American, and not much else. (Geeze, I'm sounding judgemental... it's because I've away for too long.)

Meanwhile, in Korea, the famous South Korean protester has been keeping a low profile. The media here is even more controlled than in my native land, and I was away during the last big anti-FTA demo. The good news there is that the Korean regime was able to extract some concessions from the Americans, due in no small part to the influence of the street. Still, I've been keeping my eyes open so I can participate in some activist tourism.

I've been pondering a long 'Korea vs. Canada' comparison, but I become all too aware that I probably don't understand either place very much. Every time I come across a 'cultural observation' in a tour guide or messageboard, it gets deflated once I encounter it myself. Countries are only people, fenced off, minding their own business. How do you translate that into thoughtful observations? You don't, obviously. You twist it into shitty stand-up comedy.





exhibit A.

2007-07-01T00:15:00.580-04:00

(image)

Now, I don't remember seeing goofy pictures like these in the newspaper when the Olympics are on. And yet: goofy faces. Crotch. It's immature to be amused by these. Or is it?

Humanity loves ourselves, and we love the myth of beauty through physical prowess. And it's pretty impressive to drive to drive your meat through the air half an inch higher than anyone else ever. And the natural result of this: funny exertion faces. I'd like to see funny exertion faces sculpted onto all the Greek porno sculptures in all the porno museums.

It stands to reason that pictures with funny exertion faces and crotch contact are censored from newspapers and magazines. Such a trivial thing, isn't it? But it makes all the difference in the world. We're still in love with beauty myths. Editors will say it's to maintain the dignity of 'our brave atheletes.' Dignity is one thing we can't afford anymore.






R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut

2007-04-12T07:20:54.028-04:00

Eerily, just as I was re-reading Breakfast of Champions.



"...can't happen here..." / 4am homesickness.

2007-02-13T23:29:54.853-05:00

...think again. The 'counter-insurgency' tactics never seem to change much; this reminds me a lot of the paramilitaries in Oaxaca, but it comes from my parents' generation, concealed in an obituary for an actor...who's afraid of Peter BoyleOn May 4, Ohio National Guardsmen shot four students at Kent State. On May 8, in a spring rain, students from colleges all over New York City gathered at Federal Hall on Wall Street to remember them and protest the Cambodia invasion. Suddenly, from every direction, 200 construction workers bore down on them. In their identical brown overalls, they looked like some sort of Storm Trooper battalion. They carried American flags, of the sort that topped off construction sites. They started berating the police: why weren’t there flags on the flag poles in front of Federal Hall? Had the hippies stolen them? (Actually, per federal regulations, flags were not flying due to inclement weather.) The hard hats then burst through the line of police, who didn’t seem particularly anxious to stop them. The hippies who didn’t manage to melt away were beaten mercilessly, some with building trade implements wrapped in American flags.This snippet of information came as a surprise to me, obviously. As much as I've liked to berate the hippies as being a revolution of narcissism, well, I guess there's a lot about that time I don't know.I always hated the opium-white remembrances of the 'sixties' from aging baby-boomers... 'those were magical times...' peace and love..... Oh Wait: This was a wise observation—wiser than Slater’s, or the makers of Joe, who fantasized the left-wing reaction to bourgeois alienation was purely innocent. It wasn’t. A perverse pleasure can be had in seeing the characters one identifies with depicted as enlightened apostles of peace and love, then watching as they are mowed down as the victims of sadistic know-nothings. Indeed, Pauline Kael came up with a label for this particular neurosis: “liberal masochism.” That explains why legions of countercultural youth flocked to see Joe—and stood up at the end, shrieking almost joyfully: “I’m going to shoot back, Joe!”Being in Korea has been like an unintended vacation from everything I know, except for food and sleep. I intended it to be a shock to my system, not because I was feeling tired or restless, but because my life was feeling too right, and too comfortable, and I had a horror of humming along content for another five years before realizing I had suddenly become too old to do anything new. I guess that sounds ridiculous from somebody in their twenties.Congruent to that is the fact that I had become too complacent about political action. As long as the social network of activists, anarchists and fellow-travellers was accessible, I could keep showing up to the parties and putting off any significant investments into projects... I could 'wait for the perfect project', the one that lacked any perceivable flaws whatsoever. In the meantime, I could get drunk with people I liked and respected. Now, sitting in an apartment away from all that, I realize that I don't just miss the people, I miss the struggle. Or rather, I don't just miss the people in the context of getting drunk and playing music, but also from the joys and agonies (and occasional drudgeries) of political activism. Yeah, drudgeries too, because 80% of folk war is peeling potatoes, just like any other kind of war. And we can't all be travelling musicians... no wait, scratch that... we can't all be travelling musicians all the time. Somebody's gotta tend to the gardens, and children, and stills.Don't get me wrong, I'm not exactly wasting my time here feeling sorry for myself... it's been a blast. Every couple of weeks, even now, I get a shot of utter joyful shock.... waitaminute... I'm-- me-- I'm in Korea right now! Holy shit! Most of the time, the kids wipe me out[...]



what he said.

2007-01-21T00:06:39.730-05:00

...yeah.
The failure of image management is no trivial matter. We might go so far as to say that this alone indicates the final failure of the Neo-Conservative project, which, after all, was supposed to be about generating popular images and myths. No image which the US military-industrial-entertainment complex has produced in the last half decade can compare even remotely with the TV pictures of the twin towers collapsing, which remain - by some distance - the most significant semiotic event of the century. Instead of countering 9/11, indeed, the images of US bombing raids on Afghanistan and Iraq seemed to belong to the same symbolic moment. Rather than some succesfully stage-managed US photograph, it is the improvised Snuff of Abu Ghraib which has come to represent the campaign in Iraq. Saddam's execution may have been intended as a moment of closure, but it signalled quite the opposite: the horrors continue. The images of Saddam being taunted by hooded figures horribly rhyme with the Abu Ghraib pictures.



"against america..."

2007-01-08T12:25:02.700-05:00

...ever notice that concepts that are fossilized are suddenly under more threat than dynamic ones?

For example, if you are opposed to the tenets of situationism, you are simply not a situationist. It is either a part of an identity that are you claim, or it isn't. But being 'anti-american'... is what exactly? What is its definition?

Racism is doubly tragic, for it is steeped in meaninglessness. Say what you will about fascism, at least it is an ethos. But to be a self-described anti-semite is to oppose a concept-- racial identity-- that is so utterly ossified, that it can only be identified by the barest of visual cues. Or, if you saw any of those Howard Stern skits where they goaded that klansman scumbag into trying to guess the 'famous jew', not even that. They are at war with a concept of a human being that they can't even pick out of a crowd.

It is a characteristic of all human identities, flawed or otherwise, that you either embrace your values, or you don't. It is the characteristic of all tyrannies that they be selected by default, that they be identified by their concrete fixtures and by their institutional signifiers, ie. big fuckin' ugly statues and bureaucracy buildings. It is the characteristic of all tyrannies that they only be defined by their absence. The Straussians craved war, because they believed it would give the lives of Americans meaning... and thus their meaning is death. Death of 'heroes' motivates a continuation of hostilities, concealing the pretexts for war. It this will suffice only because the living are exempt from 'hero' status. Similarly, the persecution of the 'anti' gives meaning to the home front, and that meaning is murder for its own sake.

I beg of you, don't be like me, and call yourself 'anti-capitalist' for years and years. Be something. The Marxians can't even agree on a solid definition of capitalism, and I would argue that the history of colonialism is not evidence of capitalism, but of its absence, and the existence of something much worse. (see also: communism)

The institutions of the future will resemble the spaces in which punk bands rehearse: they will exist for moments that will be glamorized for decades, and they will collapse into confusion and infighting. This is the way of nature; for in the time that they were right and justified, they existed. And when their reason for existence was forgotten, they ceased to exist. No greater glory can occur. And when their glory is recalled and properly understood, another generation will take on the responsibility. These are the shabby institutions of humanity. All else are concrete walls that do carve the synapses of coerced existence.

We must be the ones that say yes...



'Common Sense' is to be distinguished from ideas shared by most

2007-01-02T08:47:58.366-05:00

Something you've already read, probably: digital maoism. Snip:It's not hard to see why the fallacy of collectivism has become so popular in big organizations: If the principle is correct, then individuals should not be required to take on risks or responsibilities. We live in times of tremendous uncertainties coupled with infinite liability phobia, and we must function within institutions that are loyal to no executive, much less to any lower level member. Every individual who is afraid to say the wrong thing within his or her organization is safer when hiding behind a wiki or some other Meta aggregation ritual. I've participated in a number of elite, well-paid wikis and Meta-surveys lately and have had a chance to observe the results. I have even been part of a wiki about wikis. What I've seen is a loss of insight and subtlety, a disregard for the nuances of considered opinions, and an increased tendency to enshrine the official or normative beliefs of an organization. Why isn't everyone screaming about the recent epidemic of inappropriate uses of the collective? It seems to me the reason is that bad old ideas look confusingly fresh when they are packaged as technology. When I came across this essay when it was first written, I dismissed as yet another smear piece on Wikipedia, which seemed to be very fashionable. A second reading has revealed it to be a lot more thoughtful and nuanced than I thought.I think it's important to distinguish between varying shades of aggregator: you've got on one hand experiments like fark and indymedia, that rise and fall with the strength of the personalities behind them. Even then, an unspoken consensus seems to emerge according to 'traditions' of humour or commentary. On the other hand, you have emergent forms of aggregators, based not on commentary but on constant evaluation. For example, Amazon, which begun offering only reviews of books. Then, it was necessary to review the reviews, and the reviewers themselves. Most 'aggregators' now conceal actual human words behind another link, leaving only an aggregate numerical evaluation. It's an important distinction, if only for aesthetic reasons: one form of aggregation celebrates the conflict that characterizes our shrivelled commons, while the other conceals it and integrates it into a sleek facade.When you see the context in which something was written and you know who the author was beyond just a name, you learn so much more than when you find the same text placed in the anonymous, faux-authoritative, anti-contextual brew of the Wikipedia. The question isn't just one of authentication and accountability, though those are important, but something more subtle. A voice should be sensed as a whole. You have to have a chance to sense personality in order for language to have its full meaning. Personal Web pages do that, as do journals and books. Even Britannica has an editorial voice, which some people have criticized as being vaguely too "Dead White Men."Really? The faux-authoritative voice of 'dead white men', proven to be just as (sometimes more) counter-factual on average than wikipedia, is somehow more infused with authorial voice, and thus meaning, and thus objectivity? I mean, it's been awhile since I picked up the Britannica, but... I do not recall there being much of an authorial voice. Or context.Objectivity is a term that is noticeably absent from 'Digital Maoism', even though it lies at the crux of the argument: the author is arguing against the postmodernist idea of the Death of the Author, and arguing that a human voice is necessary to maintain a semblance of objectivity. In some ways, that[...]



vvvvvvvvvvvv.....

2006-12-25T11:58:59.346-05:00

...let's see if this thing will turn over. cough, sputter... got some ideas to talk about, but not much time and I'm outta practice. Oh yeah, happy solstice everyone. Here's to new beginnings.

Speaking of which: America is insolvent.
Y'all are going to love this: my little brother is majoring in business and economics, two aspects of human devolution that I consider wholly irrational, and indeed psychopathic. So it's a good thing he's learning them in school! ;) It takes determination to be able to learn to see that mass hallucination, that 'invisible hand', that perfect alibi of all crimes: 'it's just business.' Jail a man and he'll break out eventually. Starve and tell him it's just business: he will wait to die before he will steal his life back. Sometimes he won't, but usually he will.
*ahem*.. so anyway, my brother and I have interesting conversations... he keeps me on my toes, and I, him. So far noone's thrown the knockout rhetorical punch.

Here is a late essay on the life and death of an economist, but it touches on something I hope to write about later (always later!)
The elevation to pre-eminence of an unholy but convenient alliance of technical and ideological imperatives has produced a disciplinary core in economics that is elaborate yet weightless. There has been no consensus on a project to understand the economic system in the large. On the contrary, there has been an implicit consensus that no such project will be contemplated.

The attack on Galbraith by his detractors highlights that he had broken the unspoken rules on the consensus. The attack also highlights how significant has been the ideological imperative in the economic discipline’s channeling of ‘credible’ academic research. Criticism of the prevailing socio-economic system is deemed unpalatable, and inhibition of criticism is enhanced by the maintenance of a project that declines to identify and understand the essential character of that system. The life’s work of Galbraith’s contemporary, Milton Friedman, who died in November 2006, is a testament to that vacuum (Jones 2006).

We seek out the safety of a ordered universe, and as such, we structure our knowledges into self-contained universes of abstraction that cease to pitch and buck with the tides of change. The structure of epistemology becomes its own universe, contemplation of that artificial becomes the end in itself. It's institutional insanity; when structured thought becomes unattached to reality, and mumbles to itself in corridors that might as well be an asylum. That's economics.

'kay, I think the motor's running. Now to clean up the dead links on the sidebar. Oh, linebreaks, R.I.P...



wiped clean.

2006-10-26T08:49:20.960-04:00

I'll keep it quick because I have about a million things to do.

I had to learn about the Jeju protest from Bombs and Shields. We get the Korea Herald sometimes in our staff room. Take a look at the online version.... nothing. I switch on cable (which I didn't ask for, and can't unsubscribe for) and channel surf... all I see is a brief scrolled message saying that the FTA talks have broken down over the usual divergence between toxic neo-liberal rhetoric and toxic corporatist deed. Not one image like this. Not one. It's a complete whitewash. On the teevee is all it's ever been: preachers, soaps, starcraft and anime.

Today I took the bus to Suwon to apply for my 'Alien Registration Card.' Between their town and ours is a gap of maybe fifty yards, and in those fifty there are slums and farms, piled right to the margins of the highway. I ask my co-worker about them, and she looks over them and tells about the gravestones on the hill. We get into a taxi and I flinch a little bit as American fighter jet scream overhead. The cabbie and my co-worker share a laugh at my naivete.

I wonder what the illiterates have been noticing about my country.



problems.

2006-10-18T21:40:51.803-04:00

(image)
IMG_0108
Originally uploaded by molly_chucker.
How do I wash my clothes



funny-ass picture, just because i can.

2006-10-03T20:54:38.716-04:00

Can you see the optical illusion?
(image)
The band is Career Suicide.



addicted to boredom.

2006-10-01T16:24:44.203-04:00

An essay that could have come straight from Crimethinc. canon, if such a thing wasn't a contradiction in terms:

The idea that people are addicted to boredom seems ridiculous, but let's consider it for a moment. Boredom is an unpleasant sensation that occurs when your mind is unoccupied. Supposedly, repetitive and predictable activities are boring, while novel and unpredictable events are exciting. Given this understanding of boredom, the way people act seems a little strange. Consider the phrase: "we are creatures of habit". We get up at the same time every day, go through the same rituals, go to work, do much the same thing at work as we did yesterday, come home and watch the same old television shows.

This behaviour doesn't sit well with the notion that people dislike boredom. One thing people genuinely dislike is sitting around doing absolutely nothing. This induces the unpleasant sensation that people think of as boredom. However, give them a mindless repetitive task to do, eg playing solitaire, watching television, or working on a checkout line, and they're content. Not necessarily happy, but not extremely uncomfortable either.


As I read those words, I shit you not, I had a game of spider solitaire in progress. Oops. I read on:

...The increased levels of dopamine enabled humanity to function efficiently as farmers, but this came at a cost. High levels of dopamine significantly impairs the minds ability to think creatively. Worse yet, the dopamine is highly addictive. Recent research shows that almost by definition, addictive drugs are ones that raise dopamine levels. This explains why people object so strongly to having their routine distrurbed. It triggers exactly the same resentment that you observe in junkies when they are denied their fix. The more ritual dependent people become, the more easily they become irritated by upsets to their routine. In extreme cases people actually become angry when presented with a novel idea. They ridicule the person presenting the idea, but provide no arguments saying what is wrong with it.


In the text, there's a whole theory about dopamine being more prevalent in farmers than in hunters, and I don't know if I buy that. From what I gather, there's a whole lot of waiting involved in hunting and fishing. A larger influence on the human mind would probably be nomadic versus sedentary lifestyles. A significant portion of the world's population is now fixed, and there's no reason to believe that this state of affairs is unwanted. 'Unnatural' it may be, but should we define the 'proper' existence of humanity by its earliest form?

That's my only criticism of the text. We shouldn't romanticise the past, nor let it define the possible. But here's something I want to explore soon: majority opinion, or 'common sense.'



So...

2006-09-30T02:50:05.766-04:00

The news is that I found a job contract, and I'm leaving for a year to teach English. This is maybe not a big deal to some, for whom migration and travels are not a big deal. For me it feels like a big deal, probably because I have no idea what the future holds, and such things are always bigger and scarier when you dream them. But it's a good feeling, to be terrified... I wouldn't know. I'm only anxious at this point, and excited. The terror will probably happen before my first day in front of a class of children.

You can be there, to catch that feeling...

Alivewithpleasure. is going to continue to be a purely political, impersonal blog. Its irregular schedule will continue. I'm going to start another journal online to post pictures, daily minutae, and other stuff that will probably interest immediate friends and family but not the anarchoblogs community as a whole.

Another issue: at this point, I'm fairly certain that alivewithpleausure has been anonymous. The 'other' blog will certainly not be anonymous. So I'm a little hesitant to name it here. Probably nobody gives a shit. I haven't taken any steps to conceal my computer's IP address. I haven't gotten any hateful comments in a long time, and any security agency worth its largesse probably already knows that I pose no threat. But still...

That's partly why I haven't posted my band's webspace here.

Anyhoo, feel free to drop me a comment if you think i should just link the blog from here. If I know your email address, I'll be sending it anyways.

stay tuned, more to come very soon...



a helpful graphic.

2006-09-25T17:38:19.996-04:00

(image)
Confessions of an Economic Hitman is an excellent book, if you can get past Perkin's bluster... plus the introduction to the book is off-putting in its paranoia and inflated self-importance. But as soon as you dive into the body of the book you get embroiled in fascinating vignettes of exotic locations, and Perkins' own struggle towards self-awareness. Parts of the book dealing with Iran and the Middle East read like a real-life spy potboiler.



DISNIHIL
Clinging to!
Clinging To The Mast!!
CLINGING TO THE MAST OF A SINKING SHIP!!!


Fuck yeah, I just got the demo from these guys in the mail. Crusty, downtuned hardcore in the vein of Tragedy and Catharsis, and I really really dig some of the pirate-themed lyrics.

Big news coming this way soon. I'll keep ya posted... take care friends



the war on intent.

2006-09-17T16:04:42.620-04:00

Is the cynical manipulation of reality even fucking funny anymore? The Torture DebateAgain and again, the spectre of 'future attacks' is raised. Here's a quote:"If we capture bin Laden tomorrow and we have to hold his head under water to find out when the next attack is going to happen, we ought to be able to do it."-- Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of Homeland Security CommitteeOf course, what we've learned about the domestic aspect of the 'terror war' is that it has not focussed on defensive measures at all. More often than not, it has been necessary to manufacture threats in order to thwart them, or at least aid and abet lonely cranks until they can become scary enough to arrest. I'm thinking specifically of Toronto's own 17 suspects, whose only access to explosives was the police operation that set them up for prosecution, or the so-called 'liquid bombers' who didn't even possess passports when they were snatched up, as per a special request from the Americans.And then there's torture, whose only accepted capability is not to extract truth from prisoners, but to ensure the prisoner's complicity in a wholly manufactured truth. In other words, torture victims don't tell the truth, they only tell their interrogators what they think they want to hear. Can anyone remember the farcical 'confessions' of the Stalinist regime? The objective of torture and counter-terrorist efforts is not to thwart existing opponents, but to manufacture an adversary that can be beaten-- repeatedly, dramatically, and yet, never completely. Remember that apparently now empires... create their own reality. States have essentially set up their own cottage industry of terrorist threat in order to more conveniently wage war against it. And with the eventual normalizing of torture, the authorities will have even more power to create realities... through coerced confession. The actual threat posed by dissident groups is no longer important. Did the arrest of the 'liquid bombers' stop security forces from barring bottles of water from flights? No, it did not... it's almost as if the act itself is irrelevant. The intent is what is prosecuted and what is reacted against. The intent-- however vague and ill-defined, however constricted it is by the lack of resources-- is what exists outside of modern society's capacity for control. The intent to harm is taboo in our society, and the source of endless fascination. It’s unacceptable to think that there’s any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.And so, our modern notions of morality have developed loopholes of thought and understanding. What's implicit in Georgie's little diatribe here is that the intentions of America are good, a priori. The intent is benevolent. The violence which results is nothing but mechanical oversight. Abu Ghraib was an 'accident', for example. The grunts insist that they were ordered to humiliate prisoners, 'take the gloves off', so to speak. The generals insist that they had 'discipline problems.' Neither knew what the other was doing. When it suits them, institutions can become as senile as your grandmother. When we drop cluster bombs on a village, and a kid get's blown up stepping on a bomblet, there are literally millions of avenues through which to assign blame: the wind was off, the informant was corrupt, the pilot was asleep, the dispatcher was drinking nyquil, the bomb was defective, the map was out of date, the president was drunk. Any one of these will do, s[...]



failing the sandwich test.

2006-09-07T23:56:52.886-04:00

So...Here at I.am.alive.whatever. headquarters, we are preparing a masse emigration to greener pastures to South Korea, in order to teach the English language to kiddies. Now, I have heard a lot about English (capitalised, as per proper grammar instructions) being the parasite language of international hegemony, but keep in mind this-- English is one language where no one grammar rule makes an inch of sense of without a thesaurus full of exceptions. Vagueness and interbreeding composes 95%* of the English language. In fact, most things that strike us as hilarious in English won't make a lick of sense in any other language.For example, try to translate any standup routine into, say, German. Come on. I dare you. It won't work. Why? Most of the past tenses of German put the acting verb at the very end of the sentence. Result: a complete neutralisation of the suspense and irony that makes most jokes 'work' in English. I don't know if the same holds in Korean. I intend to find out. My point is this: if humour isn't the most anarchistic tendency in humanity's bandolier of rebellion, I don't want to be an anarchist. This blog's translocation was predicted by rob and krystal at loveescstacycrime and tiny stars respectively, and in a very complimentary fashion i must add. If you're wondering where I've been, here is the answer: I've been packing, and preparing to leave the continent. The band is on hiatus, but the blog is not. I foresee plenty of opportunities to blab my way out of boredom.Now, on to the story:One of my things is that I don't like supporting the drug trade. I'm sorry, I see drugs as the Ultimate Commodity. Crack, say, tears away all illusions of commodities' healing and redemptive power, laying bare the mechanics of capitalist pursuits. So if I see someone begging for change, my first thought is, "gee, I wonder if I should change professions", but the second thought is, "gee, I wonder if he's buying drugs with whatever money I can afford to throw him."I hope I won't get piled on as a class traitor if I'm writing this. Here it is guys: I don't like to give money if it's only entrenching a form of chemical oppression. To back me up: I must admit that I live with former and current panhandlers and junkies. I don't like it when people close to me fall off the wagon and find their actualization at the bottom of a syringe; why would I approve of it if it was a stranger?The approved (by me, and former panhandlers) form of 'handout' (ahem) is the 'sandwich test.' If a dude asking for money will instead accept a sandwich, then she or he is approved for meals, change, showers, sleepovers, etc. If not, then they are an asshole and they're probably buying crack.We probably have a crack dealer operating in the alleyway beside our co-operative. I pay attention to who enters the alley, and who exits, and how 'fucked up' they look before and after. So there's this dude outside our LCBO. (the place to buy liquor, for those outside of Ontario) Always asks me for change. For the first three months, no problem... I was on welfare, but whatever... share and share alike. One night: heyy... isn't that--? Yeah, it is. It's him. LCBO dude. Tonight, he failed the sandwich test. "Spare some change, sir?" "No, uh... hey, I got a sandwich! I made it today, but I wasn't hungry. Want it?" "Yah got change, though? Come on, come on! Spare some change!!"If you're keeping track, and you happen to be homeless, no disrespect. But keep this in mind, consider it a 'tip.' Always ALWAYS accept donations of food. If you refuse them, you look l[...]



D.I.Y. music... not just punk!

2006-08-31T19:58:45.990-04:00

I know you'll get a kick out of this.

In the years after World War II, Stalin attempted to extirpate every aspect of American culture from Soviet life. Jazz, which had been played publicly in the USSR as recently as the war years, was now officially regarded as decadent capitalist filth; to even speak of jazz during this period was a criminal act...

But the stilyagi managed not only to hear jazz, but to assemble collections of recordings too. How? They had turntables, but they certainly couldn't buy jazz records in record stores (there weren't any). They couldn't tape what they heard on the radio. Even assuming they could get access to a reel-to-reel recorder, where were they going to get enough blank tape? The solution was a piece of genius. A jazz-loving medical student realized that he could inscribe sound grooves on the surface of a medium that was actually plentiful in the Soviet Union: old X-ray plates.


The tenacity of these Do-It-Yourselfers humbles the hell outta me. Check it out:
(image)
I can imagine some hardcore kid being really enthusiastic about getting a 7" that looks like that.



Q: what distinguishes hardcore shows in Toronto?

2006-08-12T03:14:37.256-04:00

(listen to Cobra Noir)
recommended: track called 'eucharist.'

A: there is only one microphone at a venue, and it doesn't work!

talk to you soon...



1 Comments

2006-07-22T16:13:33.270-04:00

i suppose it was inevitable...

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) has claimed responsibility for three major arsons in the town of Guelph over the past two months and is suspected of sabotaging equipment at five construction sites in nearby Brantford during this past week alone.

If you've ever taken the greyhound to Guelph, you will notice that the so-called 'gated communities' have been gobbling up space at a prodigious rate. The city has literally been creeping south every year. It has never failed to stir bitterness in me, every time I see billboards with foxes on them, proclaiming 'heritage living', poised high over the churned mud and garbage. Guelph is also pretty unique, in that it has a viable urban core (unlike Hamilton, say) and a pretty vibrant community. Plenty of dedicated activists and good friends, suurounded by urban sprawl of the worst kind. Guelph kept Wal-mart out of city limits for over twelve years. That battle was just recently lost. And so direct action was probably inevitable.
I dearly hope whoever was responsible for the arsons is exercising every possible precaution against getting caught. Interesting times for a smallish town...



overheard at my house in the morning

2006-07-15T22:50:40.196-04:00

"...yeah he's notorious for having a horse-cock and he's got tattoos of flames on it."



Public Service Announcement

2006-06-26T14:57:57.000-04:00

For example, we all know that there were an alarming number of suicides in the human trials of pretty much every SSRI. This is generally explained away as being the natural behaviour pattern of depressed people, as though you couldn't get 100 depressives in one place for a few weeks without some of them topping themselves. Yet they'd managed to live their entire lives up to that point without killing themselves, so it's odd how their eventual suicides coincided with ingestion of a drug that is supposed to treat depression, and that the suicide rate among these "treated" depressives suddenly rose to 500 times the suicide rate for untreated depressives, in the space of six to eight weeks. The fact that in some of the test results these suicides were marked as having "dropped out" of the experiment - thus removing them from the final data - is odder still. And of course, in clinical drug trials you don't just use a group suffering from the ailment the drug is intended to treat (in this case depression), you also have a healthy volunteer group, who are there to test the toxicity of the new drug, rather than it's efficacy. There were also unexplained suicides in the healthy volunteer group. For one of the SSRIs, there were actually more suicides among the healthy volunteers than the depressed ones.

Bloody scary and fascinating read, a firsthand account of SSRI withdrawal...
Whoa! What with rain days, I just might have time to post tomorrow as well. I'm sure y'all are riveted to your seats.