The Null Device
As a counterpoint to Everett True's today's-white-beardy-guy-music-is-just-noise-for-wasters argument, an insightful Pitchfork article placing noisy music on a spectrum between dreamy and alert, and speculating from there:
Popular indie rock has long had its own variety of noises to zone out to, and they're mostly washes of sound, not deep grooves or wailing solos. Feedback, reverb, echoes, repetitive loops, tape hiss, different textures of noise flowing over you. They split across a wide spectrum of feelings, too: there's a "bliss" end and a "confusion" one. Both feel stoned and hazy and encourage you to space out. But the bliss end is like a happy dream-- it wants to be gorgeous, angelic, ethereal-- and the confusion end is closer to a nightmare, cathartic and ugly.
Random Album Generator generates album covers by randomly mashing up found images and text. It occasionally hits on some serendipitous combinations:
After the embarrassment of the Labour government having to sack a drug policy advisor for making a scientific case against drug prohibition, the new Con-Dem government has moved to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again, by removing scientists from its drug control committee, and allowing the government to unilaterally decide which drugs to ban without interference from scientists who know nothing about public morality or political expediency. This, incidentally, completely discards the Liberal Democrats' platform, which promised an evidence-based drug policy centred around harm minimisation, though it has already been established that Liberal Democrat pledges made before the election are, to use a term from Australian politics, "non-core promises", so no great surprise there.
(To be fair, it could be a lot worse if the Tories had power in their own right; for one, the BBC is still standing, and the Tories' debt to News Corporation still unsettled in that regard, and there is the possibility of the electoral system being reformed. Nonetheless, the Liberal Democrats have either drank the Kool-Aid and turned into doctrinaire neo-Thatcherites or are being held hostage. Not surprisingly, they seem to be finished as a moderate, progressive third party; perhaps we can expect the old Social Democratic wing to fall off, joining that more moderate neo-Thatcherite party, Labour, with a few idealists going to the Greens, and the rump becoming the wet wing of the Tories.)
Under the new policy, scientific assessment of the danger of drugs will be replaced by a classification of drugs into two categories: "evil" and "non-evil", which relate to the spiritual and moral harm caused to the fabric of society as perceived by the readership of the Daily Mail. "Evil" drugs are those like cannabis, heroin, LSD and MDMA, whereas "non-evil" drugs include alcohol and tobacco. This is a scientific fact; there is no evidence for it, but it is a scientific fact.