Monthly Archives: August 2006

Shine Media


Shine Media:

Orange Life – Latest Issue
Summer 2006: Space for Ourselves
Features:
Revolutionary Tourism
When Nepal does appear in our newspapers and on TV, it’s usually to show Himalayan landscapes and Sherpas, complete with references to Shangri-La (the earthly paradise found in a lost Tibetan valley, imagined in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon). Recent political turmoil in Nepal has however brought other images to the forefront: strikes and curfews, the King forced to reopen parliament, a new prime minister, protests in the streets. But in either case, the representation of Nepal raises questions about our perceptions of faraway places, filtered through the lens of our media-driven preconceptions.”

- a commissioned piece in the Canadian mag “Orange Life” I did ages back – for some reason I have had a lot of trouble trying to get copies delivered. If they did not seem so nice (Canadians!) I’d be thinking they were deserving of a visit from some tough Mountie type who’d go round their place and duff em up with his sharp hat.

What are those things for?

I was asked just recently about the purpose/function/mechanics of those ‘subscribe to this’ lines that appear at the bottom of the page here, and on the sidebar in my main “diary thing” (called Trinketization where you can also subscribe via email through feedblitz). So, what these are, are basic RSS feeds and the like that let you track new posts rather than having to recall the urls – as explained conveniently – via mainstream press articles – by Jon on Posthegemony: “For more on RSS, see ‘The Really Simple Future of the Web’ and ‘RSS Feed’ from the BBC, ‘Fine-Tuning Your Filter for Online Information’ from The New York Times, or ‘Reboot’ from The Guardian. RSS Info has a list of suggested RSS readers.”
So, now you know. Thanks Jon.
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Dub at the Movies.

“Music is a weapon of mass destruction” – ADF

Cinema and sound sync/mix technology seems to come and go in leaps and loops. Where once the screen image required accompaniment by a live performer at a piano, today, such a ‘throw back’ to the old black and white days of immediately present live sound is rare, even nostalgic. A calculated and curious staging renews our appreciation of the artifice of sync sound, although the piano is electric and the ‘live’ now requires mixing desks, digital precision, planned sequencing and programmed synthesisers. It requires all this, at least, in the case of performances over film by the drum and bass outfit Asian Dub Foundation (ADF includes John Pandit, a speaker at the RampArts discussion below). Always innovative, of late ADF have been filling cinema halls with new audiences for old films. I am impressed by this revival of a past format, and thinking about how this technology is used perhaps helps our understanding of the pursuit of innovative modes of political activism.

ADF screen movies with intent. For several years they had used the 1995 Kassowitz film La Haine as a vehicle for a cinema-music experiment, where the story of three youths caught up in suburban unrest (which is itself largely off screen), in the suburbs of Paris, is presented in performance with a new live ADF soundtrack. This film has particular relevance given events in the Paris suburbs in November 2005 (discussed here), but I do not want to focus upon representation and the repetition ‘in the real’ of the events ‘in the film’. Rather, I am more interested here in the scene of the screening of a French film replayed in Britain, a film which itself is very much alert to the politics of representation, to the reverberation of screens, such that when shown in the UK it is meant to evoke parallels and differences in terms of race, suburban alienation, and the politics of the imagination, especially with regard to thinking about technology and terror.

La Haine begins with a Molotov cocktail, set across the background of a shot of the planet as seen from space. The incendiary device is falling, and spinning as it falls, towards the earth as pictured from afar. A voice recounts a story of someone who fell from a tall building, and as he passed each floor on the way down, he said aloud: ‘So far, so good, so far, so good’. Ash and Sanjay Sharma wrote perceptively on this film, suggesting that this ‘anxious repetition of assurance’ might be dubbed ‘the inner voice of liberal democracy’ (in TCS, vol 17, no 3, 2000). The Sharma brothers link this reassurance to the critical scene of the journalists visiting the suburbs only to be confronted as intruders by the youth, chased with their television cameras back to the safer boulevards. When the three youth themselves are stranded in the centre of the city, caught without tickets to the metro, they see reports from the ‘riots’ on a public multi-screen, and learn of the death of one of their comrades.

ADF want the film to provoke discussion. They screen it for new audiences and it is discussed in detail on the interactive activist/fan website that is part of the ADF Education Foundation (ADFED), itself an activist oriented youth politics forum. Workshops organised by ADFED included one by Sonia Mehta in 2003 involving Ash Sharma on the development of ADFED as a music technology training provider working with visual media and exploring the politics of sound. Discussion within ADFED and on the ADF chat site is not uncritical. For example, the politics of screening action cinema as entertainment is measured against questions about the best ways to organise, and politicize, the music industry, organisations like Rich Mix (an arts centre and venue for music, cinema, performance and training with which ADFED is associated) and anti-racist campaigns. Concerns about street and police violence are aired and the testosterone-fuelled adventurism of the Paris uprisings are compared with events in the UK that echo those shown in La Haine. The film, as ADF intend, also articulates these concerns. The absence of women in the film is striking, but as the Sharma’s argue, the pathologizing of the suburbs is an old sociological, anthropological and Hollywood standard, where inner urban tradition demands alienation and decay, disaffection and lawlessness, reinforcing the racism, even as La Haine challenges these easy moves (TCS 17-3 2000:103)

In 2002 ADF initiated similar concert-screenings of another film, this time the revolutionary cinematic extravaganza of The Battle of Algiers, directed in 1964 by Gillo Pontecorvo (scenario Franco Solinas, music by Ennio Morricone, won the Golden Lion Venice 1966,). This film tells the story of the clandestine resistance movement against the French occupation of Algeria and works well when screened for new audiences with a live ADF soundtrack. Bringing a new audience to an old film, a part of the third cinema movement, quite often overlooked by drum and bass fans, carries a powerful allegorical charge at a time when issues of colonial occupation – Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon – are prominent in the media.

I am particularly interested in what a British Asian music activist outfit, with a record of anti-racist, anti-imperialist organising, can achieve with the technology of sound and film as propaganda device. What does this tell us about activism, media, and the intended audience for ADF’s experiments at the movies? Some will of course say that the ADF update track for Battle of Algiers is no improvement upon Morricone’s score; some will quibble about the sanctity of creative work in the age of digital reproduction; some might suggest that ADF cash in with a radical pose, presenting themselves as advocates of any and every left cause going. It is of course possible to discuss these matters, but I think these are the wrong questions.

It might be interestingly provocative to ask instead after the plausibility of ADF’s attempts to get the youth to question; to ‘meditate’ (not at all in the yogic sense) upon problems of politics, violence, resistance, and on alternate ways of viewing the world. Battle of Algiers, in Pontocorvo’s third cinema way, was already a moment of consciousness raising, which ADF now update according to their want. ADF are not sentimental, and they are never in denial about the culture industry as a sapping vortex of commercialisation, but their engagement with the media cannot be described simply as an issue of chains or noise. ADF would want to promote a revolutionary consciousness. I wonder if we can grant them the luxury of thinking so differently?

Perhaps what ADF have though is not just any kind of politics, nor any greater or lesser disguised evangelical mission, but a purpose and push towards a more fundamental form of thinking; the realisation that a limit to thinking, a narrowing, is a baleful consequence of an unexamined attachment to the silver screen. The jangling soundtrack ADF provides for La Haine or The Battle of Algiers is intended to in the face of so much dross on TV. ADF member John Pandit is often contemptuous of idle-talk as a substitute for the necessities of organising an alternative to capitalism, imperialism, racism, and in many ways I hear this resonating over and over in ADF’s politically motivated use of film.

Perhaps we can better understand something about what Battle of Algiers, as a film, achieves by listening to the ADF soundtrack. The event is never simply the cause of bringing about a critical anti-colonialist consciousness in the youth that are attracted to ADF performances. Ostensibly this would be one of the simple planned, even calculated, ends, but no-one would be so stupid as to think there is a one-to-one equivalence between planned intention and effect. Indeed, there is no simple or singular intention possible when an audience, by definition, comes from a wide range of possible contexts. There are plenty of debates about ethics and motivation, even inspiration, in the literature on propaganda, promotion and politics. ADFED itself is a broad ‘church’ (to again invoke an out of place chalice metaphor), open to many, and ADF have long pointed out their wide ‘consciousness raising’ orientation.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that film itself, with added live music, is by and by an automatic consciousness raising tool. One particular story drives this point home. In 2002 it was reported that Pontocorvo’s film was to be screened (with the original score) at the Pentagon as an instructional text for the generals of the low intensity warfare operations unit, with the intention of aiding the generals in their thinking about how to win the war in Iraq, and how to deal with a militant insurgency without losing the ‘battle for hearts and minds’, as the French so clearly did in Algeria. It seems the generals watched less than carefully. The point is not to suggest only that any text – film, event – can be turned to any politics whatsoever (though I am sometimes convinced that all things can be recuperated and co-opted to do service for capital) but that what is required to achieve a radical thinking is something more than the conventions of calculative thought that usually belong to technology, especially technology in the hands of the generals bombing Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq.

ADF use technology to make us think, not simply consume. In this, they are, I feel, an advance insofar as they do more than simply offer a critical note against colonialism, revealing some of the truths about colonial history; rather, revealing plus an activism that militates for critical thinking. It is no accident that ADF called an earlier EP Militant Science. They explain:

“Whatever anyone says about ADF’s so called ‘political’ lyrics, no one would have taken any notice if it wasn’t for ADF’s sound and its inherent energy: ragga-jungle propulsion, indo-dub basslines, distorted sitar-like guitars and samples of more ‘traditional’ Asian sounds” http://www.asiandubfoundation.com/adf_home_fs.htm

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Attributed to Jean-Luc Godard:


“Tracking shots are a question of morality.”

[on Los Angeles] “It’s a big garage.”

“There is no point in having sharp images when you’ve fuzzy ideas.”

“Every edit is a lie.”

“Up to now — since shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution — most movie makers have been assuming that they know how to make movies. Just like a bad writer doesn’t ask himself if he’s really capable of writing a novel — he thinks he knows. If movie makers were building airplanes, there would be an accident every time one took off. But in the movies, these accidents are called Oscars.”

“What I want above all is to destroy the idea of culture. Culture is an alibi of imperialism. There is a Ministry of War. There is a Ministry of Culture. Therefore, culture is war.”

“In a house there is the top floor and there is the cellar. The underground filmmakers live in the same house as Hollywood, but they work in the cellar. It’s up to them if they like to live in the dark. The Hollywood filmmakers are more intelligent, because they have that sunny top floor.”

“All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.”

Speaking at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival about filmmaker Michael Moore: “Post-war filmmakers gave us the documentary, Rob Reiner gave us the mockumentary and Moore initiated a third genre, the crockumentary.”

“It’s over. There was a time maybe when cinema could have improved society, but that time was missed”

“In the beginning I believed in Cannes, but now it’s just for publicity. People come to Cannes just to advertise their films, not with a particular message. But the advantage is that if you go to the festival, you get so much press coverage in three days that it advertises the film for the rest of the year”
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17-8. RampArt and Sly – secret omnipresence of resistance.


I insist I’m a legitimate scientist
paid by the government with your finances

- Cookbook DIY

Last night I caught the tube to Shadwell and walked to the corner of Rampart and Sly Streets (hmmm, significant street names – Ramparts was a 60s magazine of some importance, Sly – well, that’s clear enough – a the end of the street there’s a great sweet shop…). So, I arrived at the corner to find Aki Nawaz slumped in a broken office chair beside a dumpster and a pile of crushed cardboard boxes. ‘Welcome to my office’, he greets me. We sit and chat about the mad media responses to his new album “All is War”; we run through recent events in the horror that is Lebanon; approve the resistance of Hezbollah; and consider the possibility that bruiser John Reid is going gung-ho in his new home secretary job because, like an earlier blind incumbent, he is jockeying for position as a possible future leader of the Labour Party, so acting tough is what he thinks will get him noticed in the tabloids. We talk about how the tabloids make public opinion nowadays and its mainly a way of scaring people into silence, apathy and into nothing but the joys of shopping. Then a Green Party representative comes over and asks Aki what instrument he plays in the band (I only wish Aki had replied, ‘Hi, my name’s Pink’).

Home Secretary Reid, believe it or not, is a former CPGBer (old version) and perhaps best noticed for calling Jeremy Paxman a West London Wanker (henceforth W-L-W) – well, Reid has his chances I guess, so why not be gung-ho at a time when the Deputy PM John Presscaught is invisible and war criminal Bliar is off hiding out in some Caribbean terror training camp after paving the way for the IDF to make pavement out of Southern Beirut. A airport carry on luggage scare and the arrest of a bunch of teenagers is a great service to the no-hoper piggy pollies that need the cover (but gung ho is a funny expression; a mix of Bruce Lee and Ho Chi Minh springs to mind, so I best stop using it, because Reid has long ago left the Left behind, and I am told, anyway, that gung-ho was taken up by the US Marines but was originally the abbreviation for a Chinese Communist organisation, so using it to refer to the Labour Party is far too uncanny… I digress, see here and also contrast the film, and laugh out loud).

Anyway, politics by tabloid. Aki has himself been noticed in the tabloids quite a bit of late – The Sun called him a ‘suicide rapper’ and the Guardian had a go – as I have mentioned already. The event at Ramparts – a social centre in Shadwell – is to discuss the controversy, and to host the premiere screening of the video for ‘Cookbook DIY’ (lyrics here; download track here). The evening kicks off in somewhat desultory manner with a half hour video on the history of Fun-da-mental that presses various key buttons – ‘Tribal Revolution’, ‘Dog Tribe’, ‘GoDevil’ clips and plenty of send-up footage of a lame Australian TV interviewer who pretty much can’t cope with Aki asking if Australian Aboriginals had rights and land back yet – ‘what are you doing about it?’ ‘Nothing.’. Point.

Slowly the RampArts social centre fills up, and people take their seats to find a gift FDM cd – its not about the sales – and Ken Fero, co-director of Injustice – kicks off proceedings by introducing Aki, John Pandit and the guy from the GP, noting that two other guest speakers were still on their way. Aki starts speaking about how democracy is a weapon that kills, that there is a silencing that is as much blame, that the leader in Downing St needs to be put on a donkey and paraded through the city, and that he can’t understand why there is nobody doing anything. He is really angry. The youth in Britain are angry, There are people being killed in thousands and everyone seems to be going on and on as if there was nothing they could do. They tried to protest against the gulf war, but were ignored and since then, nothing. Why, he says, aren’t people out there burning down town halls and the like? (This last comment almost an aside, but it will become more and more the hot topic of the night). The Green Party representative speaks next, about free speech – frankly, the usual routines– thank-you Shahrar Ali, invited by the organisers Red Pepper. Then Natasha Atlas arrives – her music is also released under Aki’s Nation Records imprint – and she talks of her Syrian partner, the troubles musicians have getting visas in Europe, her anger and frustration at the war, and she apologises for being emotional. In fact it’s the most passionate thing I’ve heard her say ever, and not at all prima donne-esque. Great. Then the final late speaker walks in, Louise Christian, human rights lawyer(and she reminds us the event is organised by Rod Popper…). She speaks in favour of free speech and against the new additions to the terror laws, that will criminalise anyone who speaks in favour of – glorifies, encourages – acts of terror. The intent of criminality is to be assumed even if they did not inspire anyone to act, even if they were vague about whether they really intended people to go out and – Louise looks over to Aki – say people should go and blow up buildings. She says she does not think these laws will ever be tested, that they are like clause 28 – crime of encouraging homosexuality – or the incitement to racial hatred law – a kind of public relations gesture. She says we should not get paranoid, that at least in this country we can have debates like this – there has been no debate as yet, but restlessness in the audience suggests one might start soon – and debate is something we have to cherish, because – here’s the clincher – they don’t have it in Turkey, Burma or North Korea (double take – wha??? axis of evil redux).

Cmde John Pandit from ADF speaks next. Quietly pointing out the need to organise and to do so on new creative ways, to make a new set of alliances. To do the work required to build a movement that is not just protest marches that go from A to B (this will also become a refrain, the issue of how the Stop the War coalition does all it can to minimize confrontations and have us all hide out in Hyde Park provokes considerable agitation). And its important, he emphasizes, not to fall for the self-censorship that means that so many musicians who do have media visibility say nothing.

The first question is from the reporter from the Daily Star, Neil Chandler – he told me his column appears in the Sunday edition. I might even buy it as his question was ok, and in a short exchange with the reporter from the Morning Star (and representative of the STW coalition) Neil seemed by far the more credible. But it is the Daily Star, so no high hopes eh. In any case, in response to questions the point was made forcefully by Aki that the issue was British foreign policy. A simple persuasive argument he offers runs: we put up with years and years of racism and it did not mean any young people felt the need to strap on bomb belts and jackets and blow the trains; we endured years and years unemployment and it did not mean anyone went out to bomb buildings [well, Baader Meinhof excluded, but …]; but now the nightly news footage of innocents killed one after the other in their hundreds and no-one wants to discuss it, no-one listens, no debate, no significant movement to defend Muslims; no defence of mosques from attack; no way the STW coalition was going to deliver on its promise that ‘if Blair goes to war we will stop the whole country’, despite 2 million marching in February 2002…the problem is foreign policy. Change that and its over.

Some audience members were keen to point out that there were ongoing efforts to defeat Blair. Protests against airports and weapons manufacture, dealers, delivery, sabotage, various campaigns. There was some discussion of how music is important as a way of airing issues, that musicians are more than the soundtrack of a movement; that since the 60s Vietnam protests music could be something more than entertainment. But so often its not. I am of course reminded of Adorno saying that the debate was not yet over about art, and perhaps art still carried the ‘secret omnipresence of resistance’ in its hidden core. But this is not enough in a world of shopping. All this is admirable but it does not get to the question of just what kind of organisation is needed to defeat the imperialist foreign policy. The questions I ask have to do with this: the need for debate and action on all these points; on what sort of organisation is needed; on what sort of action is needed (someone heckles ‘but not blowing up buildings’); and on what sort of analysis is needed to support both organisation adequate to succeed, and the actions necessary. This does not get taken up; instead the chair notes there is always resistance, there will always be resistance. Another speaker asks a question about violence, naming Gandhi and the struggle against British colonialism. Aki makes the point that Gandhi was not alone, there was always a range of others involved, from Uddam Singh and Subhas Bose. Gandhi, it is insisted, wanted peace, not blowing up buildings – this is becoming the defining phrase, spiralling into architectural defence. Aki exasperated says ‘you lot care more about buildings than people’ – hands thrown up in the air. Everyone wants a say, a filmmaker is shouting from the back, the guy with the roving mike has gone outside to answer a phone call, with the mike still turned on. Chaos. So the movement shall be organised like this…

Dave Watts from FDM stands up. The discussion has dragged on and his frustration as clear as many. He starts by saying he understands why people want to be suicide bombers, he understands the frustration that would make someone want to go out and do it. You can imagine how this rubs up against the Gandhians. Dave says there has to be some understanding of where those who have tried to discuss have now ended up – ready to do violence and blow up buildings . But then he says he is a man of peace, a lover of peace, but he is angry and we have to fight for peace. The video clip we are about to see is called ‘Cookbook DIY’ and Dave explains its in three parts, that the person who in frustration because the is no other avenue for discussion, expression, action, has made a home bomb for 50 quid, is a small version of the guy who makes a dirty bomb, with materials bought on the black market, but neither are as obscene as the scientist who kisses his wife in the morning – Dave mimes a smooch, playing to the audience – who then goes off to work in a pentagon lab or some such to make a neutron bomb that kills all the people but leaves the buildings intact. Have a look at the video people … at which point, the screening:

And that is exactly what Cookbook DIY does. Just as it says on the tin. Do not mistake this for advocacy – its an analysis. This ‘suicide rap’ exposes the suicide scientist making the neutron bomb, the daisy-cutter, the cluster bombs and all those other armaments that the Lords of War – Blair, Reid, etc etc – threaten us with, under their terror laws, their terror regimes, the bombing runs and their surveillance systems. Their free speech that is no speech, their diplomacy and their democracy. Under the veneer of democracy, the bloodied hands of the piggy pollies; under the musical refrains, the resistance; under the cover of the Daily and the Morning Stars, another secret possibility. The global resistance, Zindabad!

Cookbook DIY lyrics:

I’m packed up ingredients stacked up my Laptop
Downloaded the military cookbook PDF
Elements everyday chemicals at my reach
Household bleach to extract the potassium
Chlorate Boiling on a hotplate with hate
recipe for disaster plastic bomb blaster
I mix up 5 parts wax to Vaseline
slowly … dissolve in gasoline
add to potassium in a large metal bowl
knead like dough so they bleed real slow
Gasoline evaporates… cool dry place
I’m strapped up cross my chest bomb belt attached
deeply satisfied with the plan I hatched
electrodes connected to a gas cooker lighter
switch in my hand the situation demands
self sacrifice hitting back at vice with a £50 price

I’m 31.. numb …but the hurt is gone
Gonna build a dirty bomb
us this privilege and education
My PHD will free me
Paid of the Ruskies for weapons grade Uranium
Taught myself skills from Pakistan Iran
upgraded its stage two of the plan
Rage… a thermo nuclear density gauge
stolen by the Chechens from a Base in Georgia
I get some cobalt 60 from a food irradiator
so easy to send the infidels to their creator
its takes a dirty mind to build a dirty bomb
The simplicity is numbing genius is dumbing
down the situation to a manageable level
to make the world impossible to live for these devils
a suitcase of semtex a mobile phone trigger
Blow them all to hell for a million dollar figure

I insist I’m a legitimate scientist
paid by the government with your finances
I got a private room in the Whitehouse suite
So I can develop according to presidential Brief
The megaton don Gulf war veteran
The foremost proponent of the neutron bomb
at the centre atomic surrounded on all sides
wrapped in layers of lithium deutaride
the bomb detonates causing lithium to fission into helium
tritium neutrons into Fission
The blast causes shockwaves that melt body fat
uniquely though it leaves the buildings intact
I made the 25 megaton daisy cutter
a great blast radius with very little clutter
There’s less radiation so you get a cleaner bomb
its your money people it cost a billion

- Nawaz/Watts.

Also – from “All is War” – check out ‘Bark Like a Dog’ – a Pistol-whip of a track that deserves to roar up the charts…

I cite

I’ve not met Jodi Dean, but I like her style – a little anxiety at an error on the last page of her new book I can surely understand (since my first book – Rumour - had an error on page two – gnnng). And I like the way you can have a little anxiety and still do self promotion (which is what this blog is about – see Trinketization for better-more-the same…)…

Anyway, her book comes out in two weeks – so I am pre-ordering as from what I heard of it in advance it looks good.

I cite August 09, 2006
[jodi writes:]
My advance copies of Zizek’s Politics arrived today.
Apparently, books will be in the warehouse in two weeks.

It’s weird. On the one hand, I’m happy to have the book out. On the other, I feel a kind of pit in my stomach, anxiety over the book’s appearing. Somehow, the appearance of this book makes me feel more exposed than I have with other books and articles. It may be that this sick feeling is linked to the difficulties during copyediting, a process that was more complicated than usual because I had to
make a bunch of alterations after Parallax View appeared.

The sick feeling was confirmed and heightened just now when I discovered that the last sentence of the book makes no sense (a word is missing or one word should be
changed), that there is a mistake in it. The mistake is, of course, mine. But I wish I had caught it. Or that one of the various copyeditors had. Oh god, this makes me feel so completely ill. I’m afraid of looking through it and finding more errors.”

Don’t look any further Jodi – you can’t change em now. It will be fine.

Fantasy.


Addiction confession. A kind of love story for our times. I’m hooked. Though I’m not sure I can convey exactly how extreme the pleasure of this summer transgression has been. Like blue bubbles of joy popping underwater but inside your brain. Embarrassing perhaps to admit the forbidden as guilty pleasure. The scandal that will face me after this. My very own first confession (Foucault shall be deployed). But there is something wholly addictive in the affirmation of the spirit – its so cheesy – but it is still worth more than the unavoidable feelings of despair – murderdeathkill – that confront us in the present state of the world (Lebanon etc.). A crazed fantasy at the end of the day, an escape from the real is always worth the compromise – when tomorrow’s guilt trip is the only possible plausible path – and frankly the innocent or not so innocent pleasures of capitulation to planned and artificial joys can be a kind of life affirmation. And that is always more now than avoiding or abstaining. Whoa! Celebration. There is no reason not to take it to the extreme and to celebrate life, love, performance and a degree of madness – wanker – that is not otherwise freely available today.

Whatever alternative or parallel lifestyle might be implied. Indulgence plus decadent abandon. The possibility of a life where the crap of terror-war can no longer dash my head: Afghanistan, Iraq, Labour Party, lying bastard piggy pollies, bureaucracy and a loveless commercialism – anything that offers the possibility that all that is evil might be ignored is worth the cost. I know it’s an abdication from the facts, I know it is a alibi, I know it is pseudo fabricated artificial phantasmagoria. But it is so much better than the waking world. I cannot always be here, coherent, serious (the struggle is grim). Gimme a break. Gimme indulgence. Why not make it compulsory – keep us all attached to the matrix feeder tube. Mainline – the only freedom we can achieve on TV.

What is it – without thinking I am happy to offer myself over to the extreme, extravagance, the excess, and the exuberance of a flaming madness… let me indulge… there is no recall, no backing out, once admitted one is a lifer, no remission, no rehab, no recovery, no remorse – in it to the grim bitter (sweet) finale. It is not as naïve as the West Wing (a fake democracy substituting for the real fake democracy) – no, a radical rethink, an observed decadence, scrupulous in the acute sense. Hot topic Hot topic. Vote now.

“he must be an angel” – of course I want Pete to win. Its been priceless – I am hooked on BB.

Oh brother: “I’m cooking an egg for the very forst time, ah humm”.

nothing to read

The airlines have gone insane, banning cabin luggage: – mobile phones and cameras to be crushed in the hold; ban on all liquids (though you can take on personal medications – see pic); baby food to be tasted by mothers before being carried on board (better check their nappies too eh – for baby bombs!); spectacles to be taken out of cases (why – if they are high powered could they be used to focus the sun’s rays onto detonator touch paper?); and no newspapers or books (just in case you were planning on making a text bomb, or an origami gun?). This last restriction means I am island marooned – shipwrecked even – as the thought of crossing the atlantic without a book to read means the ‘terrorists’ have already won. So far 24 of these alleged plotters have been arrested by the OB, infiltrated (hmmm, not entrapped?) by the heroic paranoids that also brought us the shootings at Stockwell and Forest Gate – cos we all know they must be guilty and only a conspiricy theorist (101) would ask if its not just another cover for that other news story that was interrupting Blair’s Caribbean holiday. [note, not mediterranean holiday - he was warned off going there, cos someone else had some plans for scorching the region]…

Among other interesting responses in the last 24 hours, both Aki Nawaz from fun^da^mental and the dodgy archbish of cant have denounced Bush jr’s use of the phrase ‘islamic fascists’. Quite a strange conjunction – but there are fascists everywhere that should already have been exposed often enough (look in a mirror George). Should we not be a bit more circumspect and not rush too quickly to use the fash term – reserving it for special foes, like those who dispossess people of their land, homes and lives in a kind of programmed extermination… as has been infliced on people in, say, Lebenon… OK – Bataille, Adorno and Spivak on fascism and terror are gonna be the topics of my PhD seminar classes for next term (that’s so sure to be a help, eh!). At least Aki gets his point across – BBC news last night, and:

on the new album, which at last is available (download tracks 99p each)

Fun Da Mental
“All Is War” album

Exclusively and only from
Click below
http://www.fun-da-mental.co.uk/
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I am guessing though that you can’t take your Ipod on international flights either, since
music is a weapon of mass destruction. Right. We are living in heaven. New options needed.
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Riotinto in court strife


Of course picking on arms trader Spicer over Bougainville as I have done previously, perhaps overlooks the real gangsters in this scenario – the mining company, pretend ‘community friendly’, plunderer of Islands, destroyer of worlds – RioTinto Zinc. It was they that ripped the hole in the planet that was the Panguna mine on Bougainville, and their posting of 3.8 Billion in net income during the rise of copper prices this year only reminds us that its the legalised fat cats that sit in head office 6 St James Square London – and shareholders like Queen Lizzie and her nefarious gang – that were the real target of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army uprising and war throughout the 1990s. Austrailian military support and the PNGDF were just the front for the company’s interests.

Lawyers seem to be making a decent effort to corner some of the gangsters though. News from the US circuit court offers something to smirk about. Light up your fat-cat stodgies now! May they go the way of Enron. Thanks Vikki John, check Partizans.

“Islanders Win Court Appeal – Reuters August 7 2006.

By Steve James

NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Monday reinstated a human rights claim brought by Bougainville islanders in Papua New Guinea against international mining giant Rio Tinto Plc (RIO.L: Quote, Profile, Research).
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the case may be heard in the United States. A U.S. District Court had dismissed the suit, siding with the State Department that the case could not be heard in U.S. courts.
There was no immediate comment from Rio Tinto and a State Department official said it had no comment until it looked into the ruling.
The suit claims that London-based Rio Tinto conspired with the government of Papua New Guinea to quell civil resistance to an environmentally devastating copper mining operation, actions that led to the deaths of thousands.
The State Department argued the case could interfere with the peace process on Bougainville, which is the largest of the North Solomon islands and is part of Papua New Guinea, off the northeast coast of Australia.
The ruling remands the case to U.S. District Court in San Francisco, and says Rio Tinto could be held liable for actions by the PNG government if the company’s involvement is proven.
The suit was filed in 2000 and seeks to represent Bougainvilleans exposed to toxins resulting from the Panguna copper mine, people who lost property due to environmental contamination, and people injured or killed during the Bougainville conflict between 1989 and 1999.
Under the Alien Tort Claims Act, foreign nationals can bring suit in the United States against companies that violate international law. Rio Tinto’s subsidiary, U.S. Borax Inc., has headquarters in Los Angeles.
The Panguna mine and the political events that erupted since the mine was established are at the core of the case. Between 1969 and 1972, the Australian Colonial Administration leased land on the island to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL), a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. The suit claims that landowners unsuccessfully resisted intrusion onto their land, and many Bougainvilleans were forced to move or flee the island.
According to the suit, Rio Tinto destroyed villages, razed the rain forest, sliced off a hillside and established the world’s largest open-pit mine. The mine excavated 300,000 tons of ore and water every day between 1972 and 1988.
The suit alleges that Rio Tinto improperly dumped waste rock and tailings, emitting chemical and air pollutants. The waste destroyed local fish stock, it alleges.
The Bougainville people — especially children — began dying more frequently from upper respiratory infections, asthma and tuberculosis, the suit states.
According to the complaint, in 1990, villagers started an uprising which closed the mine, and in response, Rio Tinto and the Papua New Guinea government brought troops in to reopen it. The complaint alleges that Rio Tinto provided transport for the troops and played a role in instituting a military blockade of the island that lasted for almost 10 years.”
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Cross Words


As antidote to morning fury at the endless hyperbolic spin of Bliarite apologetics for Israeli aggression, where he presents his alibi-making as a concern for peace – go figure, that old peace by war routine yet again – I was just reading about the Oulipo group in the new issue of the Compendium. Raymond Queneau’s 100,000,000 poems kind of disfigured the book when I cut the lines, but this is part of the fun – they do have some fine (mad) notions. Like rethinking the exquisite corpse idea of the surrealists – you know the game where you write a line of a poem then fold over the page and the next person writes the next line and so on, till the page is unfolded and you have a group surreal poem… well Oulipo have this subsequent game where you take a phrase, then add letters in a N+7 or N-7 way to get new meanings. So ‘Exquisite Corpse’ becomes ‘Expressionless Corporatism’. (n = noun plus 7 letters – but its not obeyed to the letter, so a bit of a scam). Anyway, the point of this, Oulipo says, well Jacques Jouet 1990 says, is to show that the surrealists already ‘subconsciously’ knew that their ideas were bankrupt and they were flogging a dead creativity as a part of the culture industry. This is as unfair as it is funny. Well, maybe its not all that clever, but I like the degree of bitchiness between the rival groups. Raymond Roussel, as lauded by Foucault in ‘Death adn the Labyrinth, was an Oulipo hero. Crossword compiler George Perec was another (elected 1967) – a guy who wrote a novel without the letter e ever being used, as promoted recently by Don Miller. Italo Calvino has affinities on a winters night with them too (elected 1970). So – how can I mix this in with my interests in music and reverse messages in rock and all that - so that I can talk about the message in the work of Fundamental… (new album download from 7 August)… yes – here I am trying to think my way into writing again, transmuting anger into lyrical ramblings on blogspot would probably a better waste of my time, but the urgency remains. Demo August 5th in London
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Japan sees manned moon station in 2030. 02/08/2006. ABC News Online


Japan sees manned moon station in 2030. 02/08/2006. ABC News Online:

“Last Update: Wednesday, August 2, 2006. 7:31pm (AEST)

Japan sees manned moon station in 2030

Japan’s space agency has set a goal of constructing a manned lunar base in 2030.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has revealed its ambition to an international conference in Tokyo this week but has not yet been allotted the budget for the ambitious project.
JAXA hopes to launch a satellite into lunar orbit next year, followed by an unmanned spacecraft that will land on the moon and a probe ship that will collect samples from the moon.
Under the plan, the astronauts will be sent to the moon by around 2020 so that they will start construction of the base to be completed by 2030.
Japan had earlier given 2025 as the target date for a lunar base.
‘The feasibility of the plan is unclear at this point as we need to gain understanding by the Government and the Japanese people on our plan, but technologically it would be possible in a few decades,’ Satoki Kurokawa, a spokesman for JAXA, said.
‘Exploring a frontier is always a mission of science. In addition, space programs have the potential to create cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the field of robotics.’
Japan’s space program has been on a rebound with a series of satellite launches after an embarrassment in 2003, when it had to abort a rocket carrying a spy satellite just 10 minutes after lift-off.
The United States is planning to put a person on the moon by 2015, the first since another American, Eugene Cernan, on December 11, 1972.
US President George W Bush has set the goal of a manned mission to Mars by 2020.
The European Space Agency plans a human flight to the moon in 2020 and China and India are preparing unmanned missions in the next two years”
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pic – George Melies – Voyage to the Moon 1902.
See also Federation Big Brother and to see what the place might be like, see the film by Ichikawa Kon

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