The Null Device

2005/10/27

The BBC looks inside the world of pirate radio stations:

"These stations don't just play music - they keep communities informed as to what's going on," says Lynx who now appears on Newstyle, a station with a community licence. "Pirate radio is not just about this protest, it gives platforms to local talent, helps create local events and communicates what is going on. They're not doing anything different to legal stations."
"We know that station owners charge DJs for slots on their stations and some are turning over more than £5,000 in untaxed income a week. Many raids on pirate stations have uncovered links to drugs," says a spokesman for Ofcom. "We've had pirate stations playing a particular song as code to local gangs, telling them drugs are available for collection."
But many pirate stations build an audience on strident views. One south London station is notorious for its presenters' uncharitable views of white people; rather ironically, its signal very often cuts across that fortress of Middle England, BBC Radio Four.

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2005/10/26

In an attempt to cash in on the lucrative Christian-fundamentalist market, Murdoch's 20th Century Fox studio has announced a film adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost. It's not going to be in Aramaic, but for most audiences, 17th-century English in iambic pentameter would undoubtedly be as much of a a party-killer.

The whole project raises some interesting questions. Are they going to aim it squarely at cultural-separatist Christians in the US red states, or put Mason Serif on the posters and try to sell it to goths and Neil Gaiman fans and such? If the former, would they keep Milton's representation of Lucifer or edit it to make it less sympathetic? And what other decisions would be taken to encompass the moral and aesthetic values of contemporary American Christian-conservative culture. I imagine the production design could end up looking very Franklin Mint.

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An inquest into the suicide of two young people in Sydney blows the lid off the Goth subculture threatening your children. Goths, who are recognisable by piercings and a liking for Marilyn Manson and Korn, are into magic and the occult and given to self-harm and even suicide pacts:

Late yesterday, a school friend - a member of a Goth clique at the South Coast high school the girl attended - told the inquest her friend had been into white magic, Wicca, not the dark magic she said some Goths followed.
I wonder what the serious Wiccans make of teenage angstpuppies appropriating their religion as a badge of hormonal alienation.
She said while some "heavy Goths" were into self-harm and talked of suicide, it was only once - on the night her friend ran away and came to stay at her house - that she mentioned suicide.
I think I've witnessed the "heavy Goth" phenomenon. They'd be the ones hanging around shopping centres in size-XXXL Marilyn Manson/Cradle of Filth T-shirts, pale flesh bulging out from fishnet tops.

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