The Null Device
Also on the New Year Honours list: Peter Molyneaux, creator of Populous, Black and White and Fable and pioneer of the "God-game" genre, gets an OBE. According to comments in the Slashdot thread, he is not the first computer game designer honoured with an OBE; for one, the designer of Creatures got one a while ago.
While one member of the KLF, Jimmy Cauty, is now busying himself with selling terrorism-inspired art to Londoners (sort of like a more literal-minded SCHWA), the other chap, Bill Drummond, is now involved with a project called Penkiln Burn. This is a catalogue of conceptual art-related jobs proposed and/or undertaken. The jobs in question include returning a work of art to its origins, selling sledgehammers to explore their destructive potential, throwing provocative propositions into the ideosphere, protest through silence or withdrawal of art, an outsider band and a meditation on the finite number of haircuts left in your life. Oh, and if you live on a line between Belfast and Nottingham, Bill Drummond will make soup for you.
In France, Islam is the new Marxism; the disaffected, who once turned to Communism as an ideology of resistance are now embracing Islam. Most of them are immigrants from a Muslim background, but some are converts rejecting traditional European culture. (via FmH)
Like communism, it represents for many of its devoted adherents a transnational ideology tilting toward an eventual utopian vision, in this case of a vast, if not global, caliphate governed according to sharia, the legal code based on the Koran.
A utopian ideal based on the 9th-century Arab Empire (whose day-to-day code of laws shari'a was), and being essentially an enlightened feudal kingdom? I'm skeptical as to how broad its appeal could be in this age. Then again, "dictatorship of the proletariat" didn't exactly sound like a winning proposition either.
Anyway, according to the article, most political Islamists in France are not isolationist radicals, but seek to engage within the existing system, which suggests that political Islam may assimilate into mainstream French politics much as Communism did.