Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Priests in Labcoats.


A Supreme Court judge in Pennsylvania has just banned the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in high school biology classes in one school board. It was the most thorough analysis of the notion of "Intelligent Design" ever conducted and the judge concluded that the movement could not be considered that of scientific exploration. He also expressed (extremely obvious, "what the fuck, are you retarded?" obvious) concern that "Intelligent Design" is nothing more than the book of genesis retold in a modern scientific tone and in a manner which eliminates the name of God from it's explanaton as a way of passing it off as an all encompassing, equality based theory.

Proponents of the movement (yeah, people still buy this shit) have suggested that the theory is on par with and worthy of just as much consideration as more prominent, scientific theories (like the big bang! theory). The judge in this case said that the theory couldn't be taught in classes because it goes against the very nature and purpose of scientific inquiry.

It seems ridiculous that there's anyone out there who can even utter notions of creationism in the same bated breath as science...

the story itself is embedded in theological rhetoric and an insanely complicated number of biblical interpretations, historical and personal alterations, and translations which mean entirely different things to different cultures, races and Christian sects... hell... any two people who speak slightly different languages get two narrowly distorted versions of the original story. The story is, at best, a fucking parable...one which was conceived of thousands and thousands of years ago.

BUT!!! What I really don't get is how the ID book is even written...how do they mask a biblical fairytale as a credible scientific (let alone, biological) theory? I've just completed a Psychology course discussing theories and cases regarding ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS. It was a scientific study of theoretical and cultural interpretations of social and physiological expressions of various phenomena which are far more complex and harder to swallow than this half-assed notion of "Intelligent Design". But, the one thing I took from this course was the simple fact that no theory can be accepted by the credible scientific community (and i'm not talking about priests in labcoats) without a fantastically large quantity of data to back up the claims....I wonder what research the proponents of this Intelligent Design theory have regarding the phenomena they describe in their "textbook". I don't think a scientist is allowed to say, "well when i was 6 the pastor at my church, we called him pastor ted...his name was ron... but he liked ted, told me that god talked to this old bearded man on a hill 3000 years ago and explained that he created earth in 6 days...and partied on the seventh". IT'S NOT FUCKING POSSIBLE...

PLUS! No university is going to accept a student if they come into REAL scientific studies with it planted in the back of their brain that "Intelligent Design" is an appropriate theory.

...also....in closing........i doubt that there was a single sober person writing the bible....Stropharia Cubensis (or SHROOMS) grows heavily in areas thought to be where Christianity originated...there are also theories (ones with more credibility than ID) that suggest that it wasn't bread that jesus was passing around at the last supper...it was magic mushrooms......

well played pennsylvania supreme court, well played!

just for the record...

i think i'll post again later today.

but i've been reading kos and redstate today and feeling rather bitter about the state of the political discourse.

so i just thought i'd say, briefly, for the record - this goes out to you, osama bin laden and ayman al-zawahiri or whatever the fuck your name is, and you, george bush, and you, NSA computers who are likely reading this site along with everything else published on the internet.

I don't give a flying fuck about terrorism.

I've cared more about the contents of my stools than I care about terrorism. the question of who I'm going to buy buds from over the next two weeks is far more pressing than anything to do with dumbass brown fanatics who feel like blowing shit up.

now, all I ask is why politicians won't espouse this viewpoint. in the immortal words of bill hicks, where's my fucking commercial? apparently, my voice was not heard. let me repeat.

Terrorism does not fucking matter, in the least.

Got it?

all this crap that Bush is spewing about how he needs to violate your civil liberties in order to defend freedom yada yada and so on, is retarded. let me get this straight. America has managed to keep its civil liberties intact through:

- a Civil War (well; posse comitatus notwithstanding.)
- two World wars (except for that pesky internment camp thing)
- a Holocaust
- countless Presidential assassinations
- the threat of nuclear annihilation by a foreign state having several thousand warheads
- Joseph McCarthy
- and any number of other things I forgot

yet for some reason, a handful of brown guys with box cutters gives this stupid yahoo licence to piss all over your bill of rights?

9/11 was a tragedy, yeah. but it was a DROP IN THE FUCKING BUCKET compared to the vast array of avoidable deaths each year.

so, let it go. i hate the fact that the framework of political discourse won't allow anyone to CALL IT LIKE IT IS and out the Bush administration on the fact that terrorism DOES NOT MATTER and is nothing more than a CONTRIVED ENEMY so that the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX has a reason to sell their guns.


good. glad that's out there. oh yeah, and go see syriana.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Barking Dog Wandering Aimlessly into the Next Year.

here's the toe-tapping, gravy train raping hotlist for the year of our lord (bill gates) 2005:

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
Everyone's favourite anti-drug addicted, Danielson Famile raping, god-stomping hotcake takes everyone's least favourite American state and turns it into a playground of disturbingly epic proportions. Stevens treats the albums included in his seemingly impossible 50 States Project like absurdly dense research papers, leaving us with a sense that America can still be a worthy cultural menace (in the most polite manner possible). You laugh, you cry, you cringe (one has to admit that some of the lyrics are a bit lazy and a bit contrived) but you'll never be able to separate yourself from the onslaught of this mini-composer's boundless ambition. Keep in mind, this is the second of fifty states Stevens intends to create albums on, he's got a lot of work ahead.
I remember buying this album in the summer, listening to it four times through before getting home, and i think i peed myself a little. When I showed Ali the record for the first time, he sat and listened to it straight-through, jaw-dropped (that never happens...ali hates me). It defines a year filled with confusion, arrogance and society's unrelenting interest in the fucking 1980s (don't you get it yet...the killers fucking suck), half-assed, trendy-cock rock (franz ferdinand are so boring) and bloc party ("awww honey look...a black man singing lame dance punk"). Stevens plays upwards of 30 instruments on the album, and has managed to develop one of the most intoxicatingly original blends of seminal folk, jazz, orchestral art rock and dirty rotten punk (see "The Man of Metropolis Steals our Hearts"). Who can listen to "James Wayne Gacy Jr." without quivering as the last line proves to be Stevens' admission that even he sometimes wants to brutally murder and decapitate (lovingly) 27 people, "look beneath the floorbloards for the secrets i have hid", that's some sick shit.
This album could truly prove to be one of the most important ever recorded, but my bet is that Mr. Stevens is going to further blow our minds on the next 47 states (i think he'll peak upon recording Texas).
Deerhoof - The Runners Four
One of the dirtiest, weirdest and loudest avant-dropout/disco/noisepop/punk/funk/jam bands of all time makes a further leap to the top of the crunk pile, and possibly the charts as well. On The Runners Four, da 'hoof get poppy, write some love songs and continue fading away into avant-treachery; their noisescapes have never sounded so appropriate. This is math rock for people who love the beach boys, and pop rock for people who like sonic youth. It's a fascinating display of what happens when an off-the-boat asian chick squeals about god-knows-what over the art rock of a few horny american motherfuckers.....it's brilliant, it's refreshing, and "O'Malley, Former Underdog" might be the best song of all-time ever.................might.
Observatory - S/T
Mathew Workman takes 9 years to do everything. Finally he spent 9 years on something interesting and worthwhile....FINALLY. It's noisy...it may make your eyes and ears bleed, and you'll surely only listen to it after killing a kitten........but goddam is it good.
Akron/Family - S/T
Former Devendra Banhart labelmates take their master's concept of playful and sloppy folk rock to its most epic conclusion. If Radiohead fucked Mutations era Beck in the asshole with the left hand of Sonic Youth, while eating a Modest Mouse and listening to The Weakerthans, this is probably what they'd create....the bastard son of everything you're supposed to hate about folk/rock......but for some reason......can't.
Eels - Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
Dr. Mark Oliver Everett tries desperately to make further sense of his traumatic adult life. On Electro-Shock Blues E. dealt directly with suicides, cancer and other ailments which destroyed his family. On Blinking Lights, E. offers us 33 near perfect songs, all of which prove the point that there's still a fucking life to be lived (so get off the pot hippie!).
This dense, hauntingly beautiful album lingers in the heart, fucks with the head and chews on the soul. Don't tell me you didn't nearly choke on your cola the first time you heard the lead single "Trouble with Dreams" (which was made into one of the most original and confusing music videos ever). Much like Illinois, Blinking Lights is chockful of instrumentation and arrangements which take a few listens to wrap one's head around, but the moment it clicks is one of the most important moments of your young, pathetic life...mine included.
Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow
Another phenomenally long record to hit up this violent list. It's Dylan goes electric for a new generation, and was instantly more accepted. You don't feel like Banhart has alienated fans from the past, or did this in a sick bid to push more units. It's a natural progression, it's a refreshing progression. The album features 20 or 30 of Devendra's closest and most freak-folk friendliest chums, each of them contributing to the albums familial vibe (of course, instead of eating a dry turkey dinner and complaining about the abscence of drunk uncle earl, this family takes acid and aligns the stars). "Santa Maria de Feira" makes your beg for the sun, "Heard Somebody Say" makes you beg for more and "Ancor" makes you wish it would never end.
Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth
It's true, the Malkman has yet to release a mediocre album...everything Pavement touched was pure fucking gold, and both prior solo releases were incessantly strong (did i want to use the word 'incessantly'?). Face The Truth is Stephen coming to grips with adulthood by acting as a child. It's deceptively simple title immediately rears you in...but surprises await. In making the album (which he did almost completely by himself in his basement) Stephen had a sign posted on his wall which read "KEEP IT STRANGE"....a notion he cleverly intermingled with some of his dreamiest/sunniest pop songs yet (see: "Post-Paint Boy...Pavement to the max!). Other songs, like "Kindling for The Master" and the album's opener "Pencil Rot" showcase the Malkster's (I get a nickel everytime i give him a new nickname...thanks matador) newfound knack for programming synthesizers and effectiphizing (i know...not a word) his slutty voice. It rocks, it talks, it EXPLODES! "Freeze the Saints" is the ballad of summer '05...it's the song that inspires you open up those old wounds...but instead of taking care of them...you fuck the crap out of them and leave them dead in a gutter (don't worry, i have no idea what that means either). And let's not forgot the grad school, self-obsessed genius of Stephen's lyrics...they haven't been dumbed down, you're just getting smarter.
Sample Lyric - "I'm here to sing a song/a song about privelege/the spikes you put on your feet when you were crawling and dancing/to the top of the human shit pile/shit pile!/ so now you've managed to elucidate something that was on all of their minds.
fucking buttah!
Of Montreal - The Sunlandic Twins
There is a song on this album called "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games"...enough said.
The Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers
From the moment the opening track "Punks in the Beerlight" kicks in one gets the sense that David Barman is finally ready to rock...biblical baby! ("ain't ya heard the news/adam and eve were jews/and i always loved ya to the max!"...what?). The Jews have always been the band that I credit for teaching Stephen Malkmus how to feel for the song, how to take it to the fucking head. Featuring a revolving door of distinct collaborators, including three members of Pavement (Malky, Steve West and Bob Nostanovich), Tanglewood sounds like Barman waking up from a winter hibernation, looking to fill an empty stomach (he of course filled it with sonic dynamite).
Iron and Wine - Woman King
Sam Beam knows he's probably going to become the biggest, most-pathetic waste of mainstream airwaves given a few years. This proclamation has been foreshadowed by the vile vomit he produced with Calexico subsequent to the release of Woman King. But here we find his potential reaching an artistic peak. This is delta blues baby, with a side of cornbread and sap. The percussion is sparse yet functions to suck you into the depths of hell...it's tribal, and it's genius. "Freedom Hangs Like Heaven" was exactly what a sad-sack country boy such as myself needed this summer, and is exactly what everyone needs. It's dense, it's fast and it's over before your Kraft Dinner...and tastes exponentially better, douche fuck.
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
Broken Social Scene
Weezer's Make Believe....boy did i get over this one fast...except the song 'Freak Me Out' is still gold.

Friday, December 09, 2005

how to talk to a conservative (if you must).

well, now that school is winding down, i took a break from readings at work to bait some young conservative.

which made me realize something. although i may take it as a given that conservatism in our day is little more than a rhetorical fallacy with the intention of perpetuating the ongoing subjugation of the polis by de facto corporate rule .............. there's a lot of people who don't even understand what the fuck i just said, let alone what's wrong with conservativism. please, regardless of your political affiliations, read this. it's a fairly concise synopsis of the genesis of conservativism. if you read it openly and consider the nature of the neo/paleoconservative movement (and aren't in business), i think that you'll never give conservatism a second thought ever again.

rather than rehash agre's wonderful piece, i thought i'd compile a brief little glossary. see, conservatism functions by co-opting language (thank you 204!) and altering its connotations, or exploiting its pre-existing connotations for nefarious goals. so when a conservative ideologue talks, they're not necessarily lying. what's happening is that they're selectively citing statistics and engaging in doublespeak - that is to say, repurposing facts and languages for their own purposes. liberals do this too, and often in the same ways. but either way, the meanings they attribute to the words they use don't correlate with the meanings assumed by the general public to do so. thus, when one is voting conservative, one is voting based on one's own conception of the conservative platform, which is essentially false.

as Agre notes, "Conservatism in every place and time is founded on deception. The deceptions of conservatism today are especially sophisticated, simply because culture today is sufficiently democratic that the myths of earlier times will no longer suffice." so, when a conservative says certain things, they actually mean different things to us. this is an attempt to translate some common conservative turns of phrase into the common vernacular.

freedom is the main one, so there'll be a few:
freedom: the freedom to internalize (on penalty of legal sanction) the values of the aristocracy.
freedom of the press: the freedom for my friends and associates in the business world to own all of the press.
free trade: the freedom of much larger corporations to get all the profit which might otherwise be accrued to smaller or foreign ones, and thereby consolidate the ranks of the aristocracy.
freedom of speech: the freedom to engage in blatant sophistry, misleading citation of facts, and ad hominem attacks, and then to pretend that you've made a logical argument. (sure, freedom of speech does entitle them to do this. it also entitles me to call those who do it rabid kitten-eating child-raping heroin-addicted cum-guzzling self-serving profit junkies without a soul or semblance of dignity. and please do note that i didn't claim that was a logical assertion.)
freedom in the Middle East: the freedom of the brown folks to submit wholeheartedly to the values of free trade, empty consumerism and American cultural hegemony.
freedom in school choice/health care/daycare/etc.: freedom for the aristocracy to develop their own, far better schools, hospitals, and daycare centres without having to benefit the proletarian masses and (god forbid!) maybe letting them get a share of the profits.

and here's some more grab-bag entries.

democracy: the ability of a populace to choose at will an elected dictator who will systematically institutionalize the interests of the corporate power structure.
traditional values: the rule of the common people by a quasi-hereditary aristocracy and the universal imposition of the economic, political, and moral values of that aristocracy by force of law.
economic growth: an increase in the amount of profit acquired by the aristocratic capitalist class (generally, the top 5% of all earners), regardless of the costs accrued to the working class and/or the vast majority of humanity.
culture of entitlement: the ridiculous claim that, perhaps by virtue of one's being born on this earth, one ought to be entitled at the very least to a free and equitable enjoyment of its resources, and the profit accrued from such. (digression: conservatives piqued at this claim, please note the Lockean proviso. 'as much and as good for others' ought to entitle people to a substistence-level stipend, regardless of your greed.)
Liberal waste: the usage of surplus income to benefit society as a whole, rather than the aristocracy.
Liberal corruption: cronyism and backdoor dealings which don't wholly benefit the aristocracy.
a strong military: a strong mercenary contingent to serve the global policy goals of the aristocracy where force is necessary, and not incidentally keep the global arms race running strongly and funding the military-industrial complex.
the war on terror:
the perpetuation of a constant militaristic devotion to aristocratic rule and the ideological construction of an enemy to justify an authoritarian state.


alright, that's about all i could stomach for the moment. and hey; for equal opportunity's sake, i'll throw out a few bits of liberal doublespeak that are equally nauseating. but i think anybody rational person will agree with me that the conservative ones are a bit more worrisome. and also note how much more, and more complicated writing i had to do for the conservative ones. this, i think, is one of the great strengths of the conservative movement: a vast majority of the population is far too stupid to even comprehend the explanations of the real conservative agenda, or read the material necessary to do so. haha. anyways:

support for the arts: a nice fat grant for my pet project.
public broadcasting: TV and radio stations that'll play all the lame shit nobody would watch on an advertiser-funded network.

and of course...

the aristocracy: people that are a fuckin' hell of a lot richer than i'll ever be.

Monday, December 05, 2005


my buddy matt made the funniest/stupidest little flash promotion for "ze bastard synthetics" on the effortless records site. matt runs the little label and helped me produce the record too........check it out if you'd like:


give it a few seconds to load up.....

Thursday, December 01, 2005

the bones of hips