The Null Device
Own-horn-blowing: I have just been told that an article about my Postmodernism Generator will run in the Weekend Australian this Saturday.
Those painfully earnest types in PETA are at it again; the latest step in their crusade to abolish meat consumption throughout the world (or at least the human race) is a letter to the warden in an Indiana prison, urging him to make convicted Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh's final meals vegetarian, and suggesting that consumption of meat might cause violence.
Un-Australian Activities: Seemingly infiltrated by subversive pro-drug elements, the Australian Medical Association has expressed doubts over John Howard's sacking of pro-reform members of his drug war council, replacing them with neo-Reaganite zero-tolerance warriors. The bleeding-heart comsymps in the AMA (who probably smoked pot in university too) made the claim that "zero tolerance types of proposals don't work", instead suggesting "drug education" programs (a known Communist code word for legalization by stealth).
Tonight I went to see Harry He Is Here To Help (or Harry, Un Ami Qui Vous Veut Du Bien), at the Kino. Quite an enjoyable psychological thriller, and somewhat unpredictable in places; just when you think that the laws of Hollywood psychopathology predict what is going to happen next, something unexpected happens.
The US state of New Hampshire is planning to tax movies and video games to compensate victims of sexual assault. The rationale is that movies and video games objectify women, and thus the tax is fitting. Seems like a bit of a stretch; also, I wonder whether it will be applied across the board, or whether Tetris and romantic comedies will be exempted whilst Tomb Raider and Arnie-blowing-shit-up movies get slugged. And while they're at it, why not tax rap-metal CDs? You'd think that Eminem going on about raping his mother and strangling his wife would be more worrisome than Lara Croft's polygonised breasts, wouldn't you? (via Lev)
Astroturf: Having learned the lesson of guerilla-marketed low-budget films like The Blair Witch Project, Hollywood studios have taken to creating fake fan sites, hiring freelance consultants to create deliberately rough, crudely designed "fan" sites to hype their projects. The end results are indistinguishable from the real thing; or are they?
Intriguing rumour of the day: The Church of Scientology's alleged mini-Echelon facility hooked into US ISP Earthlink, for keeping an eye out for Clams gone bad. Or so a Slashdot poster alleges.
Is ambient the "classical music of the future"? One Mark Prendergast claims so in a new book titled The Ambient Century.
Steve Albini dishes the dirt on records he has worked on; c. 1991. (via RobotWisdom)
Ah yes, Graham, I remember that Paul Lekakis song as well. And Male Stripper, by Man To Man feat. Man Parrish. (Should I be worried that I remember that in such detail? Oddly enough, I never did find out who exactly Man Parrish was, or why he was being featured.) I remember The 80s in fragments; I didn't hear Fade To Grey or Blue Monday first time around (though I still might have the 7" of Blue Monday '88, purchased in 1988, somewhere), though I do remember hearing Bizarre Love Triangle and some Italian disco number with lyrics like "let's go to the beach, and we can have a good time" (or something to that effect) playing from some teenaged girl's bedroom when dragged along somewhere with my parents. I somehow get the feeling that she looked like Molly Ringwald, or at least should have.
Baudrillard sez: the Gulf War never happened. Though I think that's just him being his usual solipsistic self. (via Lev)