The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'fringe'
Cultural phenomenon of the day: vegansexuality, or shunning sex with meat eaters because "their bodies are made up of animal carcasses":
"When you are vegan or vegetarian, you are very aware that when people eat a meaty diet, they are kind of a graveyard for animals," vegan Nichola Kriek told the Christchurch daily The Press.
Another said: "I would not want to be intimate with someone whose body is literally made up from the bodies of others who have died for their sustenance."
From a glossary of common polyamorist phrases, written by a professional dominatrix from Seattle:
Poly phrase: "So, which conventions do you like to attend, what kind of books do you like to read, what are your spiritual beliefs, and what is your ideal occupation?"(To which one could possibly add "what music are you into?", which would translate roughly as "1980s, EBM, ethereal or darkwave?")
English translation: "Which science fiction conventions do you like to attend, who is your favorite fantasy author, what form of neo-paganism do you ascribe do, and where in the computer industry would you like to work?"
After three decades, veteran American fringe publisher Loompanics is closing down, and is liquidating its entire catalogue at half price. Their works include from conspiratological alternative history, anarchism, atheism, Satanism, extremism, visionary/crackpot ideas, drug literature, criminal how-tos (for educational purposes only, of course), various 1960s-vintage utopianisms, and a lot of freaky shit; well-known titles published by Loompanics include the Principia Discordia and How To Disappear Completely.
Yesterday, blogging ambulanceman Tom Reynolds has had a break from rushing off to treat patients, and has instead taken to imitating God-King Emperor of All That Is Fucked-Up, Warren Ellis. He's got the hastily-written post-apocalyptic scifi story fragments (and not bad, either), pimping of new bands and music streaming, photos of Japanese English signage and links to body-modification sites. Probably needs more scary goth web-porn stars, though.
UbuWeb, archive of writings and MP3s by cultural figures from John Oswald to Robin Rimbaud (a.k.a. Scanner), and from Guy Debord to Francis E. Dec, have now given a home to the 365 Days outsider MP3 archive.
Regular Null Device reader Mike Stuchbery (who, presumably, is not related to the editor of The Australian) lays down the law to "Techno-Shamans, Sexual High Digital Priestesses, Psychonauts & Other Gibsonite Tossers".
The world isn't going to end. You aren't apocalyptic harbingers, here to save the world through your mescaline-fuelled LAN orgies or body modification performance art rave parties. You're not releasing 'digital, mental virii' into the population. You're not 'hacking the system'. You're not bringing forth 'the next stage of human evolution'.
A couple of years ago, you did a little too much Acid and Shrooms, caught way too much sun at an Earthcore or Burning Man and figured that you're a couple of rungs above the rest of us, that we're all fascist workdrones, steadily crunching Gaia's fruit into our combine harvester mouths, wanting another Hitler to assign us annihilation duties. Thus, you ran back to the safety of your college dorm or university campus and figured out a way to stay there as long as possible whilst expressing yourselves.
The Top 10 Outsider Videos; with Quicktime (bOING bOING):
Peace and Love the movie pitch
A brain-damaged hippie has decided to devote all his time and money into pitching a surreal cartoon/live-action musical/ Hollywood blockbuster about the powers of peace and love. He has a convoluted plot that involves love babies and sperm and magical lovemaking and the KKK and Vietnam and death and birth and its all done in this heavily marketable style that is so fucking insane you will never want to go near acid ever again.
HIGHLIGHT: He goes off on a tangent about a new chain of organic vegetarian restaurants called Peace and Love that will stem from the success of the movie and will compete with McDonalds.
Something for the outsider-art fans: a list of notable music by the mentally ill and eccentric, from Joe Meek to Syd Barrett to Wesley Willis:
T. Valentine, "Hello Lucille, Are You a Lesbian?"
If a bloodline could be traced from Wesley Willis, it would lead straight to this R&B catastrophe, who in 1982 dedicated this song to his wife after she came out of the closet. "I hate all lesbians," T. Valentine emotes with a pronounced lisp (hmmm).
Richard Peterson, "New Young Fresh Fellows Theme" (PopLlama, 7-inch single)
You've probably seen the large-statured Peterson blowing his trumpet around town. Peterson, who could have played the lead in Sling Blade, has recorded four albums and this 1992 single, in which he wrote and arranged a new theme for YFF (which is musically brilliant), insisting in the lyrics that YFF should add Peterson to the fold.
An interesting WIRED article about E-Gold, an anonymous, gold-based online payment system which can be used to buy everything from EFF memberships to ammunition to cheap books and flag-burning kits (not to mention shares in pyramid schemes and online gambling). It has a related denomination called the E-Dinar, based on an Islamic gold standard defined in the Koran, and for all the anarcho-libertarian kudos it gets, it owes its existence to a radical Islamic sufi sect sworn to the cause of eliminating the evil of paper currency and destroying capitalism:
E-dinar's British COO, Yahya Cattanach, and his family share a communal condo with Castiñeira in the comfortable Jumeirah district of Dubai. The company's Spanish president, Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, is also the president of the Islamic Mint. And finally, uniting all three men - as well as e-dinar's Swiss CEO, Malaysian CFO, and German CTO - is one crucial biographical datum: All are high-placed members of the Murabitun movement, a modern, Western offshoot of Sufi Islam and possibly the only religious sect in history whose defining article of faith is a financial theory.
A global gold-backed Islamic currency may not be so far-fetched. Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohammad (best known for berating Australia for its racist commitment to pluralism and intolerance of "Asian values" and such, and denouncing currency trading as a Jewish plot to destroy the economies of Muslim nations) has proposed a global "Islamic trading block" based around the gold-backed "Islamic dinar", which would instantly make E-Gold the currency of a big chunk of the world.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League, the pressure group best known for releasing a list of "hate symbols" including the "peace" and "anarchy" symbols and the Wiccan five-pointed star, has warned that E-Gold is a terrorist tool; then again, aren't open 802.11 access points and MP3 sharing networks also a terrorist tool? Is anything not a terrorist tool these days? (via vigilant.tv)
The Skeptic's Dictionary, an encyclopædia of fringe beliefs, bizarre ideas and logical fallacies (and a few sensible ideas too). If you were wondering about therapeutic trepanation, the Hollow Earth theory, or identifying vinyl records by sight or that hundredth-monkey phenomenon the true believer in your life keeps citing to show how pitifully limited science is, and thus justify (Creationism/urine therapy/their telepathic poodle's past-life experiences), it's all here, along with the skinny on what's really going on.
Yes! Warren Ellis (the Transmetropolitan one, not the Dirty Three one) has a blog. It seems to be mostly a scrapbook of fringe news and scientific tidbits. (via bOING bOING)
Tonight at the Film Festival, I saw a documentary titled Love and Anarchy: The Wild Wild World of Jamie Leonarder. The subject of the documentary is a rather unusual person, who has lived the life of the outsider in every way. He worked in psychiatric hospitals, started a noise-rock band named The Mu-Mesons, most of whose members suffer from schizophrenia, associated with outsider artists, and more recently, ran a retro/lounge/exotica night named Sounds of Seduction in Sydney, and became a renowned collector and exhibitor of "psychotronic" cinema (i.e., all the indescribably weird stuff from prior decades, from low-budget monster movies to films from Christian groups on the evils of teenage dating to vintage sex-education films). Anyway, the documentary had some interesting thoughts on outsider art, including the assertion that outsider art is more original than art by trained or mentally normal artists (which makes sense).
2001: the consensus was that it was an awful year, an annus horribilis, mostly because of That Thing. But it was also an uncommonly weird year; the Fortean Times' Weirdness Index went off the scale, with everything from religious cults to frogfalls to weird creature sightings going up. Hail Eris!
Fringeoid mutant, hot-rod designer and underground artist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, best known for the "Rat Fink" character, has passed away. Roth was an inspiration to a generation of underground artists, including many of the contributors to the Book of the SubGenius.