The Null Device

2002/10/5

Blogging, it has been claimed, was born on September 11, 2001, in a burst of grief and resolute patriotism. Now blogs have gone to war. The US Army unit responsible for the America's Army game has now launched an actual real-life warblog. Not one of those chickenhawk letters-column warblogs, but one written by "Scorpion", a pseudonymous US soldier based in 'stan, describing military life there. As you might expect from a recruitment tool, it's heavily vetted, and has a somewhat Spielbergesque sentimentality about it.

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2002/10/4

Why Hipsters Suck. Heh. (via If Then Else)

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Word up, y'all! In an attempt to grab the lucrative black-identified-white-kids demographic, CNN plan to start using hip-hop phrases in headlines.

"In an effort to be sure we are as cutting-edge as possible with our on-screen persona, please refer to this slang dictionary when looking for just the right phrase," reads an internal Headline News memo obtained by the Daily News. "Please use this guide to help all you homeys and honeys add a new flava to your tickers and dekos."

Hmmm... middle-aged white people spouting hip-hop lingo on air; should make for some amusing sample material if nothing else. (via Plastic)

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Just heard this on Far And Wide: Neil Halstead is coming to Melbourne, and playing a gig at the Evelyn in early December. I'll probably go to see that, even though it's infinitesimally unlikely to go into the sort of luscious, immersive wall of noise that was Slowdive, instead staying firmly in AM-radio easy-listening territory.

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Who says childhood dreams never come true? A Belgian man is about to marry his former primary school teacher, on whom he had a crush on when he was six -- 36 years ago. (via New World Disorder)

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Conspiracy theory of the day: is the Bush administration drawing up plans to put Prozac in the water supply to head off the mass protests that are inevitable when Bush steals wins his second term and continues screwing things up? (via New World Disorder)

They noted that since the election of George Bush, the use of Prozac has increased by 30% and it was the opinion of this board of Department of Defense psychologists that if Bush has another term in office, it could lead to mass depression in the United States, wherein suicide and homicide rates could continue to rise.
There is also a memorandum from the FBI, expressing concerns about this -- that if Bush is allowed a second term in office, there could be not only an economic depression but also a mass psychological depression in the United States.

And then there's the connection between financial statistics and violent crime:

There's another reason why the Department of Defense wants to put Prozac in the water supply. The Department of Justice has begun to notice a very disquieting correlation - a rapid and tremendous increase in violent crime over the last six months. These include murders, kidnapping, rapes, and assaults, and this has occurred in correspondence with the time when people get their IRA and 4o1(K) statements.

Of course, they could just legalise marijuana and encourage everybody to toke up. It's remarkably useful for making people passive and docile, increasing snack food consumption (thus patriotically boosting the profits of companies like RJ Reynolds and Mars) -- and it has that countercultural cachet of rebellion and underground culture which will make some of those most prone to oppose The Man self-medicate into compliance. (The Netherlands, where cannabis is all but legal, has had surprisingly nonviolent international football matches, some believe due to the effects of all the hooligans taking advantage of the local ganja bars and getting mellow.)

Though, of course, it won't happen; the War On Drugs fundamentalists in the Republican party (and US government as a whole) are too committed to their ideology. Though it could be achieved surreptitiously; for example preventing the police from arresting cannabis growers, or even having the CIA start funneling high-grade skunk to the suburbs (as they allegedly did with crack cocaine in the inner cities). That would have the advantage of not risking diluting marijuana's underground cachet.

At the same time, synthetic cannabinol-based medications without the fundie-scaring image of Marihuana ("The weed with roots in Hell!"), and a milder buzz, could be developed and put on the market, all profits going to Republican-donating drug/food companies. Perhaps a genetically-engineered THC-bearing tobacco strain could be developed to get around the ban, ending up in "extreme cigz" for pierced, wallet-chained mooks.

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