The Null Device

2001/7/23

Some 80 years after being outlawed, some say as the result of a conspiracy of winemakers, absinthe is once again legal in France. And this is the real thing, so beloved of the likes of Baudelaire, Toulouse-Lautrec and Alfred Jarry, and not the allegedly inferior Czech variant. The first bottles are expected to appear on shelves by Christmas.

The memory of absinthe is remarkably green. People still tell the story of the day in 1901 when one of the biggest distilleries in town caught fire. Fearing an explosion, a quick-witted worker opened the vats. The river Doubs ran green for hours and the soldiers from the garrison rushed to the water's edge to lower their helmets and drink their fill.

I wonder whether they'll sell it over the Internet. (via Lev)

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2001/7/22

Beware the Frankenstein computer god mind reading satellites.

Besides tracking a person's every action and relaying the data to a computer screen on earth, amazing powers of satellites include reading a person's mind, monitoring conversations, manipulating electronic instruments and physically assaulting someone with a laser beam.

(And this from Pravda, the Russian state press organ, too. UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this IMPORTANT information is ENCOURAGED.)

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Did somebody spike the Judge's water cooler? This is the most amusingly-written legal ruling I've seen:

Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact-- complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words--to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins.

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The World Trade Organization has, one must admit, a bit of an image problem, especially amongst youngsters susceptible to the seductive underground brands of the anti-capitalist movement. So, to combat this, the WTO has commissioned a marketing campaign from yoof marketeers Y Not, to sell their vision of neo-liberal free trade to the kids under the brand of "Positive Anarchy". A leaked report floats a number of strategies, including beating the lefties at the merchandising game (gas masks and bandanas being relatively unexciting brands) and selling trendy teen clothing with the WTO brand, to getting comedians to take the piss out of the anti-capitalists and product-placing fake WTO-brand merchandise on Reality TV shows.

- Recruit model/spokespersons. Polling indicates that "Anti" has benefited significantly from association with high profile musicians/actors. (Note: 43% of teen girls identified U2 singer Bono as related to "Anti" "brand.") Through a third party, Y NOT, Inc. initially approached actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar and Tara Reid about serving as spokespersons for the WTO "brand," but made little headway. We have since been approached by a representative of Kevin Costner, but aren't convinced that he is "brand" appropriate.
Utilizing this strategy, the WTO "brand" would be replaced by a symbol or logo that teens consider more appealing. Note: in focus groups, 59% of teens reported that they would consider purchasing WTO product if associated with friendly talking frog.

As far as I know, this is not a parody, though it looks like one. (via Lev)

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