The Null Device


Laugh now, but one day, the goths will be in charge:

"Most youth subcultures encourage people to drop out of school and do illegal things," she says. "Most goths are well educated, however. They hardly ever drop out and are often the best pupils. The subculture encourages interest in classical education, especially the arts. I'd say goths are more likely to make careers in web design, computer programming ... even journalism."
"Goths are like masons," I have been told. "They're everywhere." But rather than blaming some sinister conspiracy, let us look at the reasons people become goths in the first place. According to Choque Hosein, formerly of goth band Salvation but now running a record label, "Goths tend to be the weirdo intellectual kids who have started to view the world differently."
Though does goth still draw in the intellectual misfits as it did in the 1980s, or has it become sufficiently codified and rigid to be another mainstream, rewarding conformity in its own way? And does "viewing the world differently" involve any actual nonconformity, or merely constraining oneself to a gamut of black-clad clichés?

The freemasonry comparison, though, is quite apt; for a while, during the dot-com bubble of the 1990s, practically every rising startup was run mostly by goths; had the bubble not burst, one could imagine the world of IT, in a few decades' time, being controlled by a quasi-Masonic network of kinships formed in goth clubs, with passwords and shibboleths based on Sisters of Mercy/Nick Cave lyrics and quasi-self-mocking catchphrases; those who never did the hard yards at the Abyss or Slimelight or wherever before their hair started to fall out would probably have found themselves excluded from the market for lack of connections.

Though even if the goths never take over completely, they'll surely have much more hot, kinky, transgressive sex in the interim than the common colour-wearing, James Blunt/Britney Spears/Kaiser Chiefs/Yo La Tengo-listening multitudes. Or so a goth told me.

(via Boing Boing) culture goth 4

Recently, soul singer and celebrity Scientologist Isaac Hayes resigned from the cartoon South Park (in which he did the voice of the Chef) because he couldn't stomach its disrespect for religion. Curiously, Hayes had no problems with the show's repeated lampooning of Christianity, Judaism, the Catholic Church, the Mormons or other faiths, but only found it unconscionable to continue with the show after it turned its guns on Scientology.

The episode in question, which apparently also casts aspersions on Superclam Tom Cruise's sexuality (being gay is against Scientologist teachings, because L. Ron Hubbard wasn't gay, and as such, homosexuality is a defect caused by thetans or engrams or somesuch), has been dropped from US cable TV channel Comedy Central, apparently after Cruise threatened to refuse to promote an upcoming film of his, which is being released by Comedy Central owners Paramount/Viacom. To which the show's creators have issued a reply:

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"
That sound you can hear is the anguished, frenzied snapping of millions upon millions of enturbulated clams.

And some fans have launched a petition urging Comedy Central to reinstate the episode, and promising to boycott all of Cruise's films until this is done.

And it seems that the South Park people have found a new actor to play the Chef. I imagine that there were enough Barry White soundalikes on the talent market to find one who can do the job and doesn't have any religious objections to doing so.

And it seems that the South Park people have found a new actor to play the Chef. I imagine that there were enough Barry White soundalikes on the talent market to find one who can do the job and doesn't have any religious objections to doing so.

Update: If this post (thanks, Peter!) is correct, Hayes didn't quit South Park, but had been incapacitated by a stroke since mid-January, and hadn't issued any statements at all concerning South Park; which means that someone else spoke on his behalf. The plot thickens...

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Seemingly trying to outflank the Tories on the right and court the favour of the evangelical churches and wowsers, the Australian Labor Party has announced that it will institute ISP-level blocking of adult internet content should it win power. The policy, which will allow those who wish to access porn to sign a perverts' register and get access to a less-filtered version of the feed, originally belonged to Christian Fundamentalist party Family First, to whom Labor has been cozying up lately (such as, for example, by giving them preferences ahead of the Greens and Democrats in recent state elections).

Of course, the prospects of Labor winning power within the next decade or so aren't exactly promising. Though the prospect of two paternalist wowser parties trying to outdo each other's social conservatism isn't exactly appealing. Though, if anything, this is the first time in ages that the Liberal Party has lived up to its name as the more liberal end of the spectrum.

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