In Britain, the Conservative Party are having a conference. So far they have called for a zero-tolerance drug policy, condemned the European Human Rights Act as going against "Anglo-Saxon common sense" and making it harder to discriminate against unmarried couples or evict travellers, and suggested that women doctors don't work as hard as men. Not a bad record.
Equal treatment: A school in Georgia (the southern US state, not the former Soviet republic) banned students from wearing shirts with the Confederate flag, as not to offend black students. After parents complained about their children being denied the right to express their white aryan identity, a latter-day Neville Chamberlain in the school administration decided to ban clothes of the FUBU brand, connected with hip-hop culture and popular with black youth, in the interests of appeasement. (via Unknown News)
A Californian English teacher gave his class an unusual assignment: pick out a victim and devise a plan to assassinate them and get away. Those who did not wish to do it were, instead, allowed to describe 8 to 10 motives for killing another person. The teacher is no longer employed by his school district. (via FollowMeHere)
Subcultural anthropology: My indie pop cred is a paltry 24% or so. Not surprisingly, as whilst I am somewhat of a record-collecting trainspotter, I've never been part of The Scene (unless you count lurking briefly on an indie-scene mailing list run by a UK-indie DJ cow-orker and being somewhat bemused by the 1960s Mod culture obsession there), partly because I don't see the point of spending several hours a week hanging around nightclubs and such (as opposed to actually going to see bands). (via Pearls)
Name prefix seen on Napster: "Nietzsche Educates Tyler Durden On The Fundamentals Of The Gnostik Swastika And The Zen SS". Not surprisingly, the tracks thus prefixed tend to be industrial/goth/electronic/experimental weirdness, of the Coil/Aphex Twin/Einstürzende Neubauten variety. (Or so my contacts in the Napster underworld tell me... um, that's right.)
Theoretical concept of the day: The Pet Name Markup Language, a way of globally referring to people with the mediation of computers:
Human types: Did you get that letter from <pn>HoneyBunny</pn>
Machine sends: Did you get that letter from <key>cap://...</key>?
Machine receives: Did you get that letter from <key>cap://...</key>?
Human reads: Did you get that letter from <pn>Ms. Jones</pn>?