Thursday, July 31, 2003
A Time For Fear and K-punk delirial/derailed.
When I was 9 an early experiment with DIY connected me briefly to the mains electricity supply. The energy poured through. It was exhilarating. Wonderful. But reluctantly I knew it had to stop or else I'd die.
Breathe deeply. In. Out. Forget the world. Forget the farawayvisions in the corner of the room. Forget the people around you. There's no one here. Forget the future. Forget the past. How did you get here? It doesn't matter. Where will you go? It doesn't matter. Breathe.
Your diaphragmatic and intercostal muscles contract, the negative pressure draws the air outside through your mouth, down your windpipe and into your lungs. Oxygen is absorbed by the tiny capillaries in your alveoli. Bound with iron (haemoglobin), it voyages through your body before its metabolized with organic compounds - traded for energy and carbon dioxide.
The carbon dioxide is traded for fresh oxygen at the border of the lungs. The carbon was once part of you. And now its being pushed up your windpipe, expelled into the big wide world. Diffusing into the atmosphere.
Breathe. You are connected to the outside world whether you like it or not. You can't cut yourself off. Make yourself invincible. Disengage. The only way would be stop breathing.
I can't tell you anything about the divine or the inhuman or even AFL.
I just remember the electricity.
I'm still breathing.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
What exactly does inhuman mean? And if music can awaken the inhuman within us then how can it be inhuman if it's part of us already?
You've caught me at a bad time, so why don't you piss off
Currently caning this on my headphones whilst I receive emails with "God Bless American" signatures.
It's partly coz the music is both forlorn and cheerful. But mainly coz Barney Sumner has truly absymal voice that with any other backing would drive you to rip your ears off. But it works here.
In much the same way that Ian Brown's off-key warbling complemented John Squire's string vest guitar.
Monday, July 28, 2003
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
Agree with K-punk on this one. An ironic approach to culture means never having to say you love something. Never making yourself vulnerable to the critical judgements of others. Never taking a gamble. Flatlined.
I kinda have issues with The Carpenters at the moment (see below). But I think ABBA are great. Dancing Queen and Gimme Gimme Gimme are ProgDisco. Their ambition was incredible - and more incredibly on occasion they pulled it off.
When I was a child, I was brought up in the Evangelical Christian Church. The Divine was a weekly occurence (speaking in tongues, healing, exorcisms, prophecy) along with Grandstand and Sunday Roasts. It took be quite a while to realise that human beings made the divine rather than the other way round. And then I was cast out of the Garden. I tried other gates, other ways in - but could find only one: music. Music is my last contact with the divine, with a god who is already dead. And the divine only makes sense if you give yourself to it utterly, abjectly. It might be ABBA, or Human Resources, or Donna Summer, or The Pixies or even the fcking Birdie Song. It doesn't matter.
You got to lose it to use it.
No Recuperation, Only Feedback
Most of this paper strikes me as irrelevant however the following is quite interesting:
"The very desire of Ubiquitous computing to become embedded or pervasive technology serves to render space and time invisible; it quite simply seeks to go anywhere and be everywhere. But theories of everyday life as flow and transduction suggest that Ubicomp cannot actually be anywhere and everywhere, it must be somewhere and sometime"
Will consider and respond.
Am I alone in finding Stelarc bloody annoying?
"Look, look - I have shoved a DVD player up my arse. Marvel at my post-humanity!!!"
A Jim Rose Circus Side Show for the academic lecture arts circuit, most of his posturing misses the point. Our bodies and the everyday life we experience through them are being reconfigured by technology. But this technological transformation is incremental and mundane - the drama is absent.
How you make these changes visible? How do you make the undramatic involving?
I am not convinced by Stelarc's answer but do not have a counter-suggestion of my own.
Just received a press release about this event:
"Thomas A. Stewart, the all powerful editor of the Harvard Business Review and one of the world’s 50 most influential management thinkers as voted by The Financial Times"
All powerful, eh? Well at least I can stop worrying about world poverty now, Tom be praised!
Somebody needs to have the "hyperbole" function disabled on their word processor.
Friday, July 25, 2003
The character and fate of Sisypheus are similar to Loki. In both cases, their punishment is eternal and somehow circular. But then, they'd been very naughty boys. And we can't have people pulling tricks and getting away with them, can we.
On Wednesday, I took a late lunch and contemplated leaving Australia, never to return. To backpack and learn Spanish in South America may be. Or possibly a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. Anything but continue my Sisyphean office routine.
That's not going happen. Maybe I feel better today.
K-punk reaches out with an undead claw...
"It's true, what I was interested in, when I started the blog, was (re)covering the (lost) Futures of Pop - Partly a genealogical exercise"
Any escape into the past (e.g. a past where you are saddled with Joan Collins) implies the present can't that great. The lost futures are resuscitated as the present future ain't up to scratch?
Are the dead not being reanimated here (which is never pretty)?
The impact of alternative history doesn't lie in swerves in the grand narrative sweep of empires and war but in the unheimlich sensations induced when you realise that your everyday life is built on contingencies. In "High Castle" it's the little things (the I-Ching) that are important. If pop has alternative futures (and why the hell not?), then why should we be interested unless we can hum them on the bus?
Mark - all that said, I do read your blog and hope you continue it.
Friday, July 18, 2003
Monbiot sells out
George Monbiot is the Hugh Grant of the anti-globalisation movement. Noam Chomsky with a better hairdresser. An engaging public speaker with some ambitious ideas for the future of global democracy.
Oh and I got into a argument with someone from here and someone from here outside the event. Apparently everybody needs to join a union. Party like it's 1926!
Thursday, July 10, 2003
"She had a baby on your bathroom floor? You lived with her, didn't you notice she was pregnant?"
"Well, she didn't so how were we supposed to?"
Rich Americans discipline their kids
Western corporations outsource industrial production (and increasingly services) to countries with low labour costs and lax regulations. Why shouldn't Western families do the same with activities such as parenting?
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
"Don't dress in a manner which attracts attention to your body"
Camoflage possibly? Or maybe a disguise (e.g. animal costume)?
So easy mock.
Which is why I am doing so.
Let's keep these foreigners away at any cost.
Oh unless they're sponsored by multinational technology companies of course.
'Why did you come to the Blue Mountains if you suffer from vertigo?"
"I didn't think we'd go near the edges."
One of my flatmates said: "You listen to a lot of angry music."
And he was right. And I don't think it's helping my mood. So I went to "Dirt Cheap CDs" on Pitt Street (this is Australia, if a desert is great and sandy, it gets called the Great Sandy Desert) and bought a bumper 60-song pack of reggae and this.
"You should get involved with the Big Sister Big Brother programme. They're crying out for responsible male role models."
"When I become a responsible male, I'll let you know."
Saturday, July 05, 2003
"How do you find out about a person's character?"
"By slips of the tongue. What they say or don't say, I suppose."
"I disagree. Action reveals character. People lie all the time, especially to themselves."
"Well Denial is a good place to live. Its plains are rich and fertile."
"But treacherous. The plains are prone to flooding."
Question from audience: What do you think of frequent commercial use of your father's image in the West?
Che's Daughter (via translator): I hear that in Australia you use my father's image to sell ice cream. I am not happy about that. But some of those who wear Che's picture on a T-shirt must wonder who he was. And a few of those will read his words. And one or two may act of them. Recently, an Argentinian child was shown on a news broadcast, waving a flag of Che at a protest. When asked why he did this, he answered: 'Che's struggle is our struggle."
Thursday, July 03, 2003
Dayglo: what this Mirror article about David Beckham misses is the I-Ching reference. And there's a fascinating reference to Morse Code.
"Splitting Apart" - could this refer to Beck's effect on the opposition? Or on his move from his native country? Or maybe his marriage?
Or is it just that Michael Jordan had the same number?
The writing around Po (Earth below the Mountain) reminds me of The Tower.
Phrases to add to budget requests in the futile hope that they'll get approved:
- "Implementation will drive shareholder value"
- "Significant impact on both revenue and cost drivers"
- "You can use my children as little knife-throwing acrobats"
- "For God sake, do you know how many hours of my life I wasted on the 30 pages you've just consigned to the shredder? Do you? I'll never get them back... never...."
And therefore good.
NSW Forum where we were presented with a tag-team presentation by Sydney Catchment Authority and CSC Australia on Social Network Analysis. A fascinating technique that maps interactions between people.
The applications of this are potentially endless - and also disturbing. A fear for many is that people are talking behind their backs, or even worse, having a better time socially than them. SNA could provide empirical evidence to prove that, yes, you have no mates and nobody likes you.
Goodbye to Tim Kannegeiter who leaves Standards Australia for Fonterra across the Tasman. Where apparently he'll be doing everything.
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
A conversation at work triggered a memory of the following:
The trick, he said, was to ignore what other people said, whoever they might be, and just deal with the person in front of you, and what they said and did in the time you spent together. Otherwise, he said, you’d constantly be behaving as if the other person was an asshole, and only notice when they did asshole stuff. Since adopting this blatantly manipulative approach, twisting what well meaning people had told him about others, he said, he’d met much fewer assholes in the course of his work, and in the rest of his life.
As I recall, Mr Reynolds also has a damn fine meditation exercise involving Homer Simpson.