Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Terra Naomi - Say It's Possible

A sea of possibilities. Seize the possibilities. A wave function is made up of many unlikely possibilities. It collapses on one probability. Keep remembering that this is not likely to be where the wave function collapses, but the sky can still show us a star, and maybe... Thank you Naomi.

MIMS in a Minute - Ring!

I'm reiterating something I already posted to my EE Times blog because something about this just bugs the shit out of me. Eric Nicoli of EMI Group gave a keynote speech at the CTIA Wireless Show March 28, talking about the use of cell phone promotional tools by musicians like Lily Allen and OK Go. When Nicoli talked about hip-hop artist MIMS, though, he said "the smart musicians think about ringtones and ringbacks before they think about albums and hit tunes." Has our attention deficit disorder gone wild? If I have to hear the three-second ringtone before I hear the musical source, I want no part of such a mobile revolution.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Soldier-Talk on CD

In 1979, Red Crayola released an album that was actually a collaboration of themselves and Cleveland's Pere Ubu, a strange political-experimental album that seemed to evoke images of Gen. Dozier being kidnapped by Red Brigades, etc. It's eerie. Since David Thomas does as much vocals as Mayo Thompson, it FEELS like a Pere Ubu album. Thanks to Drag City, Soldier-Talk is now available on CD. It only took 28 years....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Europe's New Colonization

Why are the Social Democrat, Christian Democrat, and Green parties in European nations united in wanting to expel U.S. missile-defense expansion from Europe? Why was Gen. Trey Obering's "Star Wars" tour of Europe in early March such a flop? Maybe because Europeans can see where the old Cold War military-base colonization is being replaced by a new generation of bases. Possible Star Wars radar and missile bases now are talked about for Poland, Czech Republic, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. In Germany, site of the Global Network's 2007 meeting, Stuttgart has had to live with the European Command for decades, and now is playing host to a separate U.S. African Command. In Darmstadt, a progressive college town, many of the signals-intelligence duties formerly undertaken by the Bad Aibling base near Munich are now being shifted to the August Euler airbase outside Darmstadt. It's no wonder Angela Merkl is finding common cause with the Greens for the first time. It's interesting to see that even the U.S. military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, saw fit to run an article on the Global Network's critiques.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fond Remembrance of Arab Strap - Speed-Date

For a band unfortunately dead and gone - call me a hopeless romantic, but this may be the best video of the last year or two.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Paddy's Trip to the Slammer in Colorado Springs

Apparently, it wasn't good enough for the Colorado Springs police to tear-gas a peaceful anti-war rally in February 2003. Four years later, they drag peace activists, who had gotten a permit to march in a Saturday St. Patrick's Day parade, out of the parade and arrest them. A friend in the peace community, a 65-year-old woman with a history of poor health, was dragged across the pavement and got serious skin wounds. I know that cops often get slagged with the moniker "Nazi dogs," but sometimes the description fits. Pictured with this post are the seven arrested that day.
Notice the orange "War No More" sign. Eric Verlo of the Justice and Peace Commission said in a Sunday speech that the cops tried to rip the sign apart. Folks wondered if maybe it was bad form to carry an orange sign in a St. Patrick's Day parade, but Eric said that, just as the British represented the imperial conquerors of the Irish, our nation had been serving as imperial conquerors of the Middle East in recent years.

Friday, March 9, 2007

An Eerie Silence

I'll be too busy in late March to post very often, but it doesn't seem as though there will be much cause for posting. There is a strange feeling of suspended motion in the world at large right now -- politically, culturally, economically -- as though folks were waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was ranting earlier about the fascination in mainstream media with celebrity drama, but there's an absence of weightier things to focus on. When the New York Times does a multicolumn color spread on the Bronx house fire, it certainly suggests that the world is in a funny slumber.

Don't get me wrong. With the exception of the Iraq-Afghanistan-Iran mess, there are fewer wars going on globally right now than in centuries, and I cherish that aspect of a global silence. Certainly part of the ennui is due to what Francis Fukuyama called "the end of history" -- as much as he got laughed at, there was an element of truth to his observation that economic globalization suppresses struggles.

But that doesn't fully answer the reasons for this silent season. With significant impacts on the horizon from global warming, and economic inequity growing daily, the world is teetering on the very precipice of a major tipping point. We may whistle our way through a lot of crisis seasons without global calamity, but right now, the world is collectively holding its breath. And paying undue attention to silly things. And waiting. And thinking to itself, "It's quiet out there -- yeah -- almost too quiet."

Sunday, March 4, 2007

"Delete Them, or We Will Delete You"

I am very empathetic to how tense the situation is in Afghanistan right now. Hell, I had a very good friend killed by the Taliban in early December. But there is simply no excuse for what Marines Special Forces did to journalists in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend. If you're not willing to totally come clean with the press around you, you give the impression of having something to hide. There's plenty of places to turn existing ire -- Musharraf, the ISI, and the entire government of Pakistan, for example. But don't fuck with the press, friends.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Ning, Noise, and the Social-Network Bunnyrabbit Problem

My boss Brian Fuller made me aware of the new meta-social-networking site,, which Marc Andreessen of Netscape started, since Brian did a piece on it in his Greeleys Ghost blog. I gave Ning a test drive and set up a vertical social network on experimental noise music, NoiseAnnoys.

On Saturday morning, the NY Times did an article on Ning, next-gen social networks, and Cisco Systems' desire to buy another site, The writer suggested such sites would be as common as Web pages soon. Isn't there a problem with user fatigue here? Social networking sites require a good deal of audience participation, and I think folks already are burned out on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, etc. We don't need these sites proliferating like bunny rabbits!