The Null Device
Australian politicians, led by the reactionary right, are planning the toughest music labelling laws in the western world, These laws will mandate labelling and prohibit the sales of music with offensive lyrics to minors. Which means we may wake up one morning and find the latest industriogothic rap-metal albums at the local Sanity replaced by their edited Wal-Mart versions, with songs dropped and rude words edited out, or just removed from mainstream outlets altogether. Then they can start PolyEster-style raids on places like Peril 305 which persist in stocking the hard-core fucked-up shit for the discerning 15-year-old Mansongoth.
The recording racket has a new weapon: a program named Media Tracker. It is a web-based system which imitates clients on Napster and IRC, monitors newsgroups and checks search engines, finding copyrighted sound files; it can allegedly identify individual machines and ISPs and send legal nastygrams. The strategy may be to bog down ISPs with demands and legal threats until they decide to pre-emptively block file sharing/auto-delete users' MP3s (as some ISPs already do), or ultimately install "indemnity filters" that block potential copyright violations preemptively. Remember, kids, if it's not in a RIAA-approved secure format, it's probably illegal; Just Say No.
Bush's faith-based action plan postponed. Out of all things, it's concern from the religious right that they won't be able to make converts with government money, and that some of the money will go to un-Christian groups like the Scientologists and -- shock, horror -- Islamic groups.
Napster complains about RIAA blacklists containing files that the companies don't actually own. Pretty much to be expected; did anyone think that an industry run by coke-snorting, whoremongering control freaks who pimp artists into the poorhouse as they line their own pockets wouldn't try to pull a fast one and sneak some other tracks onto the blacklist, just in case? It's a matter of covering your ass; naked greed is a sensible business practice in the recording racket business model, just like prosecuting people for copying albums that have been deleted for 10 years is.
With Mir about to crash and burn like it runs Windows 95, possibly bringing a metal-eating mutant space fungus back to destroy civilisation and punish Man for his hubris, Wired News has a piece about the night in 1979 when Skylab fell on a Western Australian town. Which I remember mostly from it being referred to in Dogs In Space.
Check out Graham's new font section. (Mac users, don't despair; there will be Mac versions soon.)
Octobullshit: Martin Amis looks at the surreal, distorted world of the US porn movie industry.
Chloe's guardians are gonzo. She recently shot a film out near their place, and her stepfather (while absenting himself from his stepdaughter's scenes) "was like a towel-boy". And Chloe's mother, for two years running now, has marched out of the AVN Awards, brandishing Chloe's Best Anal trophies above the heads of the crowd.
As I sampled some extreme productions on the VCR in my hotel room, I kept worrying about something. I kept worrying that I'd like it. Porno services the "polymorphous perverse": the near-infinite chaos of human desire. If you harbour a perversity, then sooner or later porno will identify it. You'd better hope that this doesn't happen while you're watching a film about a coprophagic pigfarmer - or an undertaker.
(The bit about the polymorphous perversity of human desire is quite true; a sampling of Disturbing Search Requests will attest to that.) (Via Hobbsblog)
And a doovy TGY8 to all.