The Null Device
According to this piece (a response to the question of whether DJs were meant to be the rockstars of the new millennium), the age of rock stars is over:
In actuality the economics of the dance music scene make any kind of real rock star virtually impossible. rock stars were actually a product of the corporate hegemony that controlled the music industry before punk and disco made independent labels significant. you should read "the long tail," it's an essay or a Wired article or something, I don't recall, but the nub and the gist is that sites like Netflix and Amazon sell the usual mainstream crap that big physical stores sell, and in roughly proportionate quantity, but Netflix and Amazon both sell MUCH more material which comes from outside of the mainstream, in substream clusters essentially, than they do of the actual mainstream.
The DJ is actually a product of network economics as much as of postmodernism and technological change. the rock star is a product of industrial-revolution factory economics. that's the crucial difference. the economic mechanisms powering the distribution of music are no longer sufficiently hegemonic for true rock stars to exist.
Inappropriate LiveJournal user icon of the day. You can count on the furries taking two segments of a Disney animation, juxtaposing them and making something that's just wrong.
Momus has posted several extremely short stories he made up for telling at an art show:
Each time an ice skater completes a lap of the rink, he adds a decade to the faces in the crowd watching him. Guilty that he's killing many in the audience, he's relieved to discover that by skating backwards he can remove a decade from their ages. But many people still "die" by being taken back before the time of their birth.
A man follows a toothpaste trail to a small room in the red light district. In a room at the end of it he finds a woman surrounded by money. He asks why she's surrounded by money. She says "Pay me, and I'll tell you." He pays, and she says other curious fools like him have paid to learn the same thing. He goes off and starts a similar business, but makes less money at it.
A wild goose is flying in V formation with fellow geese, flying south over and away from Denmark. Surveying the land below, the goose longs to land, to peck at corn. It lags behind its comrades, and lands. The winter comes on fast, and the goose is buried by the snow.
A man buys an inflatable woman and takes her to a love hotel. He tries to make her sing karaoke with him by controlling the flow of air escaping from her. It's so exhausting blowing her up and squeezing the air out that he falls asleep without trying to have sex with her. The next day they go to the beach. The man uses the inflatable woman as a lilo, and floats with her around the coast to a temple. He tries to have the doll accepted as a new monk, but when she's having her hair shaved off she deflates.Brilliant.
Scans of a 1970s-vintage childrens' book on computers, in two editions: from 1971 and 1979. Full of fascinatingly anachronistic detail of core memory, punch cards, disk packs and COBOL and PL/1, along with illustrated with Look Around You-esque scenes of high technology circa the 1970s: collages of microprocessors and paper tape, scenes of smiling women in Mary Quant-esque dresses operating desk-sized data processing units and brown-suited men loading disks into washing-machine-sized drives and the like.
It also has the sort of low-level detail that childrens' books on computers would not contain in later decades; I can't imagine a recent children's book on computers (or, indeed, anything before a second-year university subject) going into error-correcting codes, opcodes or the magnetic encoding of binary data. Mind you, back then computers were simpler; the physical details of how data is stored wasn't hidden behind a high-level interface like ATAPI or USB Mass Storage and machine language wasn't an esoteric specialty confined to compiler writers, BIOS hackers and hardcore masochists. These days, being interested in things that are too low-level is at best quaint, and at worst casts suspicion on one as being a potential h4x0r/virus writer/DRM cracker/troublemaker; all the details of computers one is meant to know about are exposed at a higher, and much more user-friendly, level, so why would anyone delve deeper if they're not either one of a tiny number of specialists or up to no good?
(via bOING bOING)