The Null Device


US dollar has gains in value against the Euro and Australian peso. The Bush economic miracle shines through, and liberals scurry away looking for something else to snivel about. Or maybe not.

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I've started looking around Wikipedia (after seeing it mentioned in David Gerard's LiveJournal a few million times). It's certainly got a wealth of information about musical genres, mentioning everything from shoegazing to Cantopop to rhythm and blues (which has nothing to do with what's currently known as "R&B") to No Wave to twee pop. There's also extensive material on heavy metal (someone there must be really into it), including this encyclopædic overview, pieces on all the subgenres of it, and even a piece on the heavy-metal umlaut. Not to mention non-music-related topics such as this useful overview of Situationism.

Mind you, some of the information is a bit dubious, such as the bit in the Britpop entry which talks about ""shoegazing" bands such as Ride, Stereolab or Oasis".

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Someone has put together a Wesley Willis tribute album. Titled, Loved Like A Milkshake, it consists of downloadable MP3s of covers of classic Willis songs, including "Rock N Roll McDonalds", "Cut The Mullet" and "The Chicken Cow", by a number of artists, none of whom I've heard of (though the first one has bagpipes). I haven't downloaded any of them yet, so I can't tell you whether or not they whip the racehorse's ass. (via MeFi)

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Is US foreign policy strongly influenced by a fundamentalist belief in Satan? (via FmH)

Ellis argues, you can't understand contemporary American politics without understanding the importance of profound spiritual faith, and specifically belief in Absolute Evil. "An experience-centered believer," he says, "is going to think and vote different ways from someone who -- like me, being a Lutheran -- checks the precedents and reads the Bible and thinks for a while before making a decision."
So when our born-again president refers to Osama bin Laden as "the Evil One," he is not dealing in metaphor or analogy, even assuming he is capable of such things. Rather he is addressing his co-religionists in a not-so-secret code. "That makes perfect sense to a born-again believer," Ellis says. "Evil, like God, is One. So you can say, and believe in, an 'Axis of Evil,' because you know that the person who is giving the orders to bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and the leader of Iran and the leader of North Korea is, of course, Satan."

The thought that such atavistic, aggressively anti-intellectual beliefs may be governing the world's largest nuclear arsenal is not a comfortable one.

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