The Null Device


This week's Cat and Girl is a particularly good one. As they say: it's funny because it's true.

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Bubblegum pop producer Pete Waterman (of Stock-Aitken- fame) has revealed that he lifted the structures of many of his songs from classical compositions. Kylie Minogue's I Should Be So Lucky is apparently based on Pachelbel's Canon in D, and Dead Or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) borrows from Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries, one of about 20 times Waterman has copied from Wagner. (I presume he refers to chord progressions and harmonies.) Waterman also has the extraordinary temerity to compare himself to The Beatles and Burt Bacharach.

And while we've brought up Kylie Minogue, the ubiquitous pop star has recently described herself as a drag queen caught in a woman's body. Funny; I once said almost the same thing about her.

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Via Graham and others, a very lucid critique of what's wrong with libertarianism. Or in particular, the market-fundamentalist, Ayn Rand-quoting, gun-toting, all-taxes-are-evil strain that's popular in the US. The argument there is pretty much the same one that shoots down Communism.

By the way, Russia is the answer to those testosterone-poisoned folks who think that guns will prevent oppression. The mafia will always outgun you.

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As promised, the video clip from the Love of Diagrams set at the Ninetynine CD launch on Saturday is online (6.5Mb AVI format; 30 seconds). It'll stay up for at least a week. (I can only keep 1 video clip up at a time in my Alphalink account, so the Ninetynine clip I put up earlier is gone.)

Hmmm.. perhaps it's time to expand this into a proper live-gig-video-of-the-week page?

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The Mollys, the awards given each year to the worst in Australian music by a cadre of urban hipster street-press types, are in. Withering invective ahoy!

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According to this ABC News piece, a family of Iraqi refugees detained in Papua New Guinea have named their newborn baby Philip Ruddock, after the immigration minister, undoubtedly condemning their son to a lifetime of playground beatings and ceaseless mockery. The story goes on to say that the family, who are still in detation, wrote a letter to Ruddock expressing their gratitude, and talks about the successful refugee policy; which all sounds like a propagandistic press release. I gather that Senator Alston's political purge of the ABC has been thoroughly successful then.


When the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra sent out a promotional CD recently, they were horrified to discover the song titles replaced by pornographic descriptions of sex acts. It appears that this occurred when some helpful volunteer uploaded their version of the track listing to commercial CD database Yes, the same which took a free, volunteer-collected database, fenced it off and locked out free clients, and which relies on unpaid submissions from users to build up its proprietary database. As they say, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Apparently the New Zealand police are looking into it, and various parties are crying "hacking" and looking for someone to prosecute. Is it a crime to volunteer incorrect data to

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