The Null Device


Playing dress-up in Daddy's opera house, and drinking his liquor, after we'd wrecked his Benz: An incisive piece about the casualties of the dot-com boom, finding time to party outrageously in their gentrified San Francisco playground in between the hardships of having to find jobs paying a mere $40,000 a year, while around them, homeless beggars and crackwhores scramble to subsist.

Homeless woman slobbers yaaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhh, and shakes her head, and slides along the curb. It's extraordinary. We're all standing here in line, knocking at the gates of heaven, while huge numbers of the underclass moan about the block. We're like people at a picnic, ignoring the bees. Seventh St., and up to Market-everywhere around here, beyond the boundaries of the shiny light we exude, you've got the walking dead: hustlers hanging around overlit storefronts, guys weaving with bottles.
"Shit, I got laid off at 85 thousand, and just got a new job for 40."
"That sucks."
Back in December of 1999, a prominent media critic wrote the following: "In the fifties and sixties, creative types all had a novel they were working on, and in the seventies and eighties, a screenplay. In the e-decade, you've got a business plan."

Oh, the humanity! (via Plastic)

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Tekeste Kahsay, an Eritrean man living in Sweden, was diagnosed with a liver disease, and prescribed a drug which saved his liver, but had one unforeseen side-effect: it turned his skin white, except for a dark patch on his face. This hasn't made him popular in Eritrea, as there white skin is considered to be a sign of leprosy.


Cool; someone is compiling a Slowdive tribute CD. Wonder what will end up on it; it could turn out to be interesting and experimental, or it could become a morass of mediocre middle-American alt-rock bands doing emo covers of Just For A Day and Souvlaki. Much like one Joy Division tribute compo I once bought. *cringe*


A fascinating piece on voodoo zombie drugs. Yes, they really do exist, and can really turn you into a zombie (if they don't kill you, that is).

The particularly heinous and voodoo twist delivered by tetradotoxin is that this apparently dead person is fully conscious. It is difficult to imagine being pronounced dead in a room full of grieving relatives and you are without the slightest ability to communicate. This is not to mention the pure terror of being buried alive without the ability to render understandable objection. If the victim survives burial or some other horrible fate, the return to the living occurs within a few hours to a few days.

(via Found)

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Yow! There's a new Human League album coming out. And it doesn't even look like they're going for the goth market, like so many former 80s synthpop stars (Marc Almond and Gary Numan come to mind).

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A new menace is threatening the impressionable youth of Malaysia; the menace of black metal, heavy-metal music with Satanic subtexts. It is not clear how Malaysian Black Metal differs from the Norwegian variant (presumably it'd be more anti-Islamic than anti-Christian, for one), or whether the menace is so far just headbangers getting down to imported Burzum CDs, but clerics say thay have found evidence of heavy metal fans being involved in Satanic activities. the Malaysian government, meanwhile, is taking firm steps to nip the problem in the bud, including ordering radio stations to play less heavy metal and requiring touring bands to submit videotapes before playing concerts. A committee of government-appointed clerics has called for a total ban on black metal music and associated imagery, and some schools have reportedly began strip-searching students for tattoos linked with the subculture.

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How to disappear completely: Fugitive embezzler Christopher Skase is dead; or so his doctor says, anyway. Expect sightings to begin any time now. Though I wonder how this will affect the release of upcoming film Let's Get Skase.