The Null Device

2003/7/31

Python 2.3 is officially out, and brings with it lots of features. Generators are now a first-class part of the language (and not part of __future__), which allows a sort of lazy evaluation; Python can import modules from ZIP files; there is the enumerate() function, which allows you to iterate over a sequence's indices and values more efficiently, as well as Set and Boolean types; and there are a number of nifty new modules, such as a correct CSV handler, and more. Oh, and it's apparently 25% faster too.

functional programming programming python 2

Music/pop-culture guru Simon Reynolds claims that industrial music (in the original Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire sense, not the gothic-teen-angst-techno-metal sense seen today) was the second flowering of an authentic psychedelia (authentic as opposed to retro; see also: Dee-Lite, Lenny Kravitz, Sophie Lee and the Freaked-Out Flower Children), and the harsh, Dadaistic aesthetic was in some ways a direct progression from the psychedelic rock and acid happenings of the 1960s. (via FmH)

culture dystopia history industrial music journalism psychedelia simon reynolds 2

2003/7/30

Straight Pride Wear; where you can express your intolerance for alternative lifestyles in eXtreme skate-mook style that wouldn't look amiss at a skate ramp or the mosh pit at Big Day Out/a Limp Bizkit concert. The only thing they're missing is big yellow shorts with "Exit Only" written on the back. And it's not just about shaming the sodomites back into their closet, it's also about being a good all-American patriot, as the stars and stripes will attest. And the links to religious-right groups and the "pro-life-punk" movement pretty much confirm one's suspicions. (via MeFi)

I wonder when the Ku Klux Klan will follow the lead and bring out a line of "White Pride" streetwear for Aryan mooks.

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Focus groups at advance screenings of Gigli, a new gangster-themed Hollywood Romantic Comedy have demanded a new ending, in which both Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez die "in as brutal a manner as possible". Sounds good to me...

"The danger here is succumbing to what people in the business call 'option paralysis'--being caught with so many good ideas that you're not sure which one to use," Brest said. "Getting shot is fine, but what about an automobile fire in which Ben and Jennifer are shown perishing in a slow-motion montage, their newfound love discarded as they try desperately to claw their way past each other's melting bodies, while slowly roasting to death in their own fat? You'd be surprised at how many people came up with that one. Or having them crawl through a field of broken glass while a safely booted and gloved Christopher Walken casually advances on them with a spray bottle of acid and a pair of bolt-cutters? I must say, a part of me loves the idea of them chewing each other to death during a 14-minute dolly shot."

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Ever wonder how Madison (and various variant spellings) became the most popular girls' name in the US? The answer is on the $2 shelf at your video library. (via Anton Sherwood)

We're approaching the time when Madison is a little girl's name, Jennifer is a mum's name, Kate is a grandmother's name and there's no-one alive named Mary or Ethel. Though how did Mckenzie (or Makynzi or whatever) become the second most popular girls' name?

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The necktie is not only a serpentlike symbol of evil (or perhaps a relic of ancient symbolic sacrifices to the hangman god Odin, depending on whom you believe), it can also make you go blind.

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Tonight I saw Warp: Film For Music, a collection of music videos and short films set to music from infamous glitch label Warp (home of Aphex Twin, Autechre and such). It was a mixed bag; Chris Cunningham's videos were quite good (including the Squarepusher one set in a Japanese children's mental hospital and Aphex Twin's Come To Daddy)' the Autechre Gantz Graf one was oddly compelling, but some of the others were a bit formless. The fact that some of the video seemed a bit blurry and degraded, detracting from the quality of the animations, didn't help; then again, perhaps that was intentional and I'm just not open-minded enough to appreciate it. (Though perhaps the way the sound kept cutting out through one track (by Plaid, I think) was intentional also; if so, it was, in my naïvely conservative opinion, a bad artistic judgment.) The set finished with Aphex Twin's ghetto-fabulous Windowlicker video.

I wonder whether Chris Cunningham is still planning to make a film of Neuromancer. True, the story would seem to the uninitiated like a poor ripoff of The Matrix, but I'm sure it'd work on the arthouse circuit.

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