Sunday, December 11, 2011


i saw the best minds of my generation seduced by
advertising, distracted aloof oblivious,
serving clients in chic offices in the afternoon
after the next big project,
accessorized hipsters apathetic to the world outside
their little insulated bubbles refusing to see the bigger context,
who amused and sarcastic and ego-driven and narcissistic sat
up laughing in the artificial dinge of
fashionable bars floating through gentrified parts of the city
contemplating salaries,
who bared their brains for career within agencies and
saw lifestyle brands reaching target audiences successful,
who passed through startups with sexy cool eye wear
dreaming of fame attending exclusive social functions
among the celebrities of tomorrow,
who graduated with honors from the academies for cleverness;
publishing novel ideas on their edgy personal blogs,
who conformed upwardly mobile in tasteful denim,
untouched by distant horrors reduced to sound bytes and choosing
to ignore their removed complicity in it all...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Manufacturing Consent

just in case you have not read or seen it. like me.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Killing Hope

Killing Hope: US Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War II.

by William Blum

Table of Contents

1. China - 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Tse-tung just paranoid?
2. Italy - 1947-1948: Free elections, Hollywood style
3. Greece - 1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state
4. The Philippines - 1940s and 1950s: America's oldest colony
5. Korea - 1945-1953: Was it all that it appeared to be?
6. Albania - 1949-1953: The proper English spy
7. Eastern Europe - 1948-1956: Operation Splinter Factor
8. Germany - 1950s: Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism
9. Iran - 1953: Making it safe for the King of Kings
10. Guatemala - 1953-1954: While the world watched
11. Costa Rica - Mid-1950s: Trying to topple an ally - Part 1
12. Syria - 1956-1957: Purchasing a new government
13. Middle East - 1957-1958: The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America
14. Indonesia - 1957-1958: War and pornography
15. Western Europe - 1950s and 1960s: Fronts within fronts within fronts
16. British Guiana - 1953-1964: The CIA's international labor mafia
17. Soviet Union - Late 1940s to 1960s: From spy planes to book publishing
18. Italy - 1950s to 1970s: Supporting the Cardinal's orphans and techno-fascism
19. Vietnam - 1950-1973: The Hearts and Minds Circus
20. Cambodia - 1955-1973: Prince Sihanouk walks the high-wire of neutralism
21. Laos - 1957-1973: L'Armée Clandestine
22. Haiti - 1959-1963: The Marines land, again
23. Guatemala - 1960: One good coup deserves another
24. France/Algeria - 1960s: L'état, c'est la CIA
25. Ecuador - 1960-1963: A text book of dirty tricks
26. The Congo - 1960-1964: The assassination of Patrice Lumumba
27. Brazil - 1961-1964: Introducing the marvelous new world of death squads
28. Peru - 1960-1965: Fort Bragg moves to the jungle
29. Dominican Republic - 1960-1966: Saving democracy from communism by getting rid of democracy
30. Cuba - 1959 to 1980s: The unforgivable revolution
31. Indonesia - 1965: Liquidating President Sukarno … and 500,000 others
East Timor - 1975: And 200,000 more
32. Ghana - 1966: Kwame Nkrumah steps out of line
33. Uruguay - 1964-1970: Torture -- as American as apple pie
34. Chile - 1964-1973: A hammer and sickle stamped on your child's forehead
35. Greece - 1964-1974: "Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution," said
the President of the United States
36. Bolivia - 1964-1975: Tracking down Che Guevara in the land of coup d'etat
37. Guatemala - 1962 to 1980s: A less publicized "final solution"
38. Costa Rica - 1970-1971: Trying to topple an ally -- Part 2
39. Iraq - 1972-1975: Covert action should not be confused with missionary work
40. Australia - 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust
41. Angola - 1975 to 1980s: The Great Powers Poker Game
42. Zaire - 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven
43. Jamaica - 1976-1980: Kissinger's ultimatum
44. Seychelles - 1979-1981: Yet another area of great strategic importance
45. Grenada - 1979-1984: Lying -- one of the few growth industries in Washington
46. Morocco - 1983: A video nasty
47. Suriname - 1982-1984: Once again, the Cuban bogeyman
48. Libya - 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan meets his match
49. Nicaragua - 1981-1990: Destabilization in slow motion
50. Panama - 1969-1991: Double-crossing our drug supplier
51. Bulgaria 1990/Albania 1991: Teaching communists what democracy is all about
52. Iraq - 1990-1991: Desert holocaust
53. Afghanistan - 1979-1992: America's Jihad
54. El Salvador - 1980-1994: Human rights, Washington style
55. Haiti - 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?
56. The American Empire - 1992 to present

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Tree of Life

Before seeing The Tree of Life i had no idea that the lives of rich white people can be so deeply moving in such profoundly cliche ways. i had no idea that their privileged private tragedies are connected with the suffering of like, DINOSAURS from the TURN OF THE LAST ICE AGE. Coupled with amazing use of stock footage, whispering, and befuddled story arc, this is truly a masterpiece in sophomoric pretension and pure, grade A+ horse shit.

To drive the point home, the film's inclusion of a few scenes showing the disenfranchised, blacks, and mexicans provided a silent background for the drama of our upper class main characters to unfold. All of this makes it all too clear that the lives of the underclass is filled with common place misery and garden variety pain, nothing remotely similar or even comparable to the intensely poetic, exalted, noble, transcendent and COSMIC suffering of the rich, set to an ethereal and elegiac soundtrack of Mahler's soprano solos, ECM favorites like Górecki and Tavener, and emotive pieces from the top 40 Classical cannon. So deep... BBBAAARRRFFF

While i always like to see more abstraction in films, and in some ways this one can be said to be pushing the envelope, it ends up as nothing more than a garishly sentimental bourgeois product just like the suburban setting it takes place in. Hallmark™ Surrealism at its finest.

i can't believe how many otherwise (seemingly) non-stupid people are praising this rubbish.

Do not, i repeat, do NOT mention Andrei Tarkovskys' The Mirror in the same paragraph or page as this supreme idiocy.

Ehen hollywood tries to be artsy it makes me want to dig my eyes out with a rusty tea spoon. i knew we should have seen Transformers 3 instead.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

night in Merano

This part of northern italy used to be inhabited by the Ladin (hold the OBL jokes) people, before the arrival of Italians and Germans roughly 800 years ago. Through out the centuries the natives have become increasingly displaced and marginalized, politically, economically, physically: and ended up moving to the mountains to "wait for an age of eternal peace" after losing a final battle with Germanic tribes.

Only 2-300 years ago the main language in these parts was Ladin, a form of old Latin, before being over taken by Italian and German. The downfall of the Ladin people continued to WW2 times, when, at the possible lowest, they were reduced to nomadic "tinkerers" who moved from place to place with horse drawn carriages, making little wooden sculptures here and selling little gadgets there. Yet from the very bottom and outskirts of society, they have consistently produced amazing artists of all kinds: influential film makers, conceptual artists (one of Gilbert and George, etc.), and musicians (Giorgio Moroder, etc. -- Fun Fact: the Top Gun soundtrack was produced in these very mountains).

Today there are only about 30,000 Ladin speakers left; but they are doing quite well for themselves up in the Dolemite mountains with ski resorts and tourism.

there you go, something wikipedia can not tell you. thanks to Haimo Perkmann for imparting this bit of local history over Tyrolean dumplings (more like matzo balls) last night.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Perceptual Shift

badly recorded sweet and groovy little songs from 1950s Congo > self-important people behind laptops making serious "sound works" in front of spectacular video projections.

in terms of pure form, structure, mathematics, musical ideas, theory, and practice; in terms of performance art and ephemeral social sculpture weaved within the fabric of everyday life; in terms of dynamic engagement with audience -- in nearly every important way.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunday, January 02, 2011

israel-palestine revision

not that it matters at all to the world or anyone in any way shape or form what i think, but have just been given some historical information with which many others are no doubt familiar, but i was ignorant of before, that makes necessary a partial revision of my previous (almost entirely pro-palestine and against israel) position toward the entire ongoing conflict. namely, the proposal and rejection of the Partition of Palestine back in 1947:

In November 1947, the United Nations voted in favor of the partition of Palestine, proposing the creation of a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a UN-administered Jerusalem.[16] Partition was accepted by the Zionist leadership but rejected by Arab leaders, and a civil war began. Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948 and neighboring Arab states invaded the next day. Since then, Israel has fought a series of wars with neighboring Arab states,[17] and has occupied territories, including the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, beyond those delineated in the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

and then a friend clarifies a bit:

considering what happened in the war, why wasn't there a country carved out for the roma? it is the holocaust that got the world behind a jewish state perhaps, but the modern Jewish state was not born out of WW2. ... there are several books out there that can provide the history of zionism and the origins of the state of israel...

i don't think the majority of people in palestine in the 20s through 40s wanted jews to leave the region. there were obvious tensions (especially after the Balfour Declaration, where it became obvious to those in Palestine the intentions of creating a separate Jewish state), but no where near the anti-Semitism in the West. in fact, most colonial sources agree that tensions between Zionist immigrants and the local Christian and Muslim Arabs was BECAUSE of the Balfour Declaration and subsequent talk of a Jewish state, not just a homeland.

furthermore, being opposed to a jewish state is FAR different from wanting jews to leave. there had been Sephardic Jews in Palestine and North Africa for a long while. being opposed to a Jewish state is FAR different from racism. the imperialist powers had no right to legislate a Jewish state within the territory of the Palestinian people. i see no good reason why any right-thinking Palestinian in 1947 (or 1917 for that matter) would support the actions of the imperialist Western powers. even more so when this action is being forced on a former colony--in those early days of decolonialism and self-determination, no less. if you were a Palestinian in 1947, it would be supporting the colonial occupiers, the Western imperialists, to accept a Jewish state.

they carved Palestine into a homeland for the Jews--into a Palestinian state and a Jewish one. why? was this the ONLY solution to a history of Western pogroms against the Jews? and what right-thinking Palestinian would accept this answer? why should Jerusalem need to be a UN occupied city when the tension in Jerusalem really only started after Balfour and talk of a Jewish state?

living with the Jews? over the centuries, the Palestinians had gotten along better with the Jewish population than their European neighbors. living with them is one thing. a Jewish state is quite another.

there was plenty of anti-Jewish rhetoric before independence. plenty of Zionist rhetoric against the Arabs. attacks, murders, riots--all went both ways. it was not a peaceful time--the end of a colonial regime rarely is. it should be noted that British officers who were anti-Zionists have been condemned by history for being somewhat complicit in Arab riots and violence against Jews. this is deplorable, but i mention it to show the ultimate responsibility is certainly not Arab leaders, but the criminal colonial occupation by (mainly) Britain.

i think it is Historical Revisionism to begin blaming Arabs for the situation today because of a resistance to the 2 state solution in the 40s, resistance to a policy forced on them by decades of Western imperialism

read about the Balfour Declaration, the history of nonreligious Zionism, the British Mandate, all that shit. i think you will empathize even more with the Palestinians after reading it.