The Null Device
It looks like there's a Nathan Barley DVD coming out in late September. (It's only Region 2, btw; I have no idea whether this series has made it outside of Britain.) I wonder what extras it will have.
Free raves have returned to the English countryside, driven by pill-poppers' disaffection with highly commercialised, expensive and increasingly London-centric superclubs. The "free parties" are secretively organised using disposable pre-paid mobile phones (as they are illegal under the Criminal Justice Act, which has not been repealed), are centred around hard house and trance, and are claimed to be more responsible than the raves of yesteryear; though locals and the authorities disagree, and are planning to step up prosecutions.
"You think it would be quite heavy but it's mellow and chilled. You don't see people passed out on the floor. You don't get stupid young girls who drink too much that you get in commercial clubs. They cause the trouble, they cause the fights. You get that in Lynn way too much."
"There were five or six police on duty in south Norfolk that night," he said. "They talked to people at the rave and decided they didn't want any confrontation and let it run its course. What I'd like to see is the organisers being arrested or their equipment confiscated so they can't do it again. If the police don't want confrontation, fair enough, but why not confiscate it at the end of the rave?"
Norfolk police are investigating a number of free party organisers with a view to prosecuting them. Supt Scully dismissed claims the organisers acted responsibly. "If you get 300 cars and 600 people gathering in a site of special scientific interest, how can you say you are being responsible?," he asked. "It's insulting to the local local communities to suggest that."
Mark Davis, the Marxist academic best known for his pre-apocalyptic critiques of Los Angeles, now turns his attention to Dubai, the surrealistically larger-than-life high-tech pleasuredome, built on what is effectively slave labour:
The hotel driver is waiting for you in a Rolls Royce Silver Seraph. Friends have recommended the Armani Hotel in the 160-story tower or the seven-star hotel with an atrium so huge that the Statue of Liberty would fit inside, but instead you have opted to fulfill a childhood fantasy. You always have wanted to be Captain Nemo in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Under his leadership, the coastal desert has become a huge circuit board into which the elite of transnational engineering firms and retail developers are invited to plug in high-tech clusters, entertainment zones, artificial islands, "cities within cities" -- whatever is the latest fad in urban capitalism. The same phantasmagoric but generic Lego blocks, of course, can be found in dozens of aspiring cities these days, but Sheik Mo has a distinctive and inviolable criterion: Everything must be "world class," by which he means number one in The Guinness Book of Records. Thus Dubai is building the world's largest theme park, the biggest mall, the highest building, and the first sunken hotel among other firsts.
(via bOING bOING)