28/06/2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Kid Reflux's Summer Mix 2010.3


music is so bloody beautiful,
more than any other form of art; it connects souls,
instantaneously. when someone sings to you, right,
you understand everything about them;
you're best friends for a minute.
it throws into relief the inherent beauty in the world around you that you'd've overlooked.

people put music in the most important parts of their lives
- their weddings, funerals, intercourses. even suicides are set to music
(it's not that music soundtracks these; it's us making the music video for them).
it's played in lifts and shopping centres because it makes the people there feel better.

it is a current that runs under society.
doesnt it say something about humans that 99% of our songs are about love (or lack thereof)?

it's the only thing in the world other than a person that can wrap itself around you.




A: "The street people agree"


1. [something noodly and raw] - genus: Tim Kinsella
2. Gig Intro - Hot Club
3. Bonded By Blood - Hot Club
4. I Wrote A Song For You Called "Welcome To The Jungle" - Hot Club
5. Dream Operator - Talking Heads
6. Liberation Conversation - Marlena Shaw
7. Spoonful - Howlin Wolf
8. [cut!] [damn, was really big; boingy track]
9. [cut] Waterfalls - TLC
10. [some subtle tenor sax] - too trad for 'Trane, so Getz?
-->
[jarring cut] -->
11. [fuck... some soaring, busy indierock] - ?
12. Just Like A Drummer - Wave Pictures
13. Bye Bye Bubble Belly - Wave Pictures
--> 3s of WP's "Softly" -->
14. [cut] Stop Dat - Dizzee
15. I Luv U - Dizzee
16. [impressive cut] [what LCD Soundsystem wanted to be]
--> 5s of addictive lo-fi pop --|


B - "Time put aside to fuck"


17. --> continues, still dunno.
18. Breaking Away - Ratatat
19. Colouring of Pigeons - The Knife
20. Another Hollow Line - The Young Knives
21. An Inscription At Salonae - Mountain Goats
22. Onions - Mountain Goats
23. Song For A Friend - Mountain Goats
24. Going To Georgia - MoGos
25. Party and Bullshit (Ratatat [teeth-shaking guitar] Remix) - B.I.G
26. Matching Houses - Zen Baseballbat
--> "2s of After Laughter (Comes Tears)" -->
27. [some demented falsetto biz] - Wild Beasts?
--> clip of Fearne Cotton, socratic irony -->
28.
Grapevine - Slits
--> clip of N-Dubz cheese, palate cleanser for -->
29. Lose My Breath - Destiny's Child
[violent cut]


---Rassafrackin invisible jukebox shite rassafrackin masochism rassafrackin I do love a challenge though. Observation on memory: Resolution counts. It's a lot harder to identify these half-remembered things on tapes - listening back on mp3 to, say, Howlin' Wolf, you hear the cracks and the slides and the man where on cassette there is only the choked roar.


---First four are a linked set, a stick poked into two bits ("emo" and "indie") of the damp rockery, "alternative music". (The underbelly is where too many good things crawl, or at least the rocks are never overturned.) First is a demo cut which must be Tim Kinsella (it's not on "Analphabetothology", so I'm outmaneouvred). It's exactly the kind of thing which made confused people in 2004 google "emo" again, and get no good answers again.

Next three together is like an overview of Hot Club de Paris' inventive breadth - you got their filthy little acappella opening riff; their burbling, almost J-pop riff energy ("An Ice Cube cover"); their quiet, earnest, literary nocturne.

---It frightens me how well the last HCdP track feeds into "Dream Operator"; it could be the same song's next movement. Finding links like these are the hardest bits in mixtaping - you have to split music at the joints and reassemble flows that could have been written that way. (Well, they have been; by you.) The more different the two artists, the more perfect the payoff.


"But he doesn't recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn't know why
Three letters to his final resting place
Y'all don't hear me"

Yeah, RnB's so vacuous and consumerist, innit?


---Thought (10) was Charlie Parker at first, but, on playing (impatiently) through a coupla albums, soon realised that the man never recorded anything anywhere near as gentle or sincere as this; boy played like an ass.




"From the earth to the street
to the bridge in the east
where the green man wears a hat
the sun came up like a pack of orange spaniels
through the window over the ledge
under the curtains on their bellies
creeping and bending
and in your hands I sleep just like a drummer..."


---I don't understand all the hostility that folk have for the Wave Pictures. Most of the pieces I see on them do these massive qualifying bits, begrudge liking them; mention David's quiet spitefulness. I dunno; I reckon it's closer to artful stream of consciousness (i.e. composing honesty about the contents of our heads at any given moment) than pop often gets.

---Dizzee's dervish brutality...

---I want more of whatever (16) is - a smart, cello-riffed club collage ("They called me black man...")

---In all fairness: Ratatat have a properly lovely custom organ and bass sound. It's kinda inspiring - feels like being embraced after walking home with someone.
In all unfairness: all their songs are the same.

---Both The Knife and Fever Ray confuse me - despite being glacial and sinister, they rarely fail to make me feel better about the world. Maybe the musicbox at the side of my crib was broken.


"Under over through
Donkey peacock goose
A strange scene it is
Every thing in flames
A strange scene it is
Under over through

Erasmus grab a spoon
Europe hides wool"


--- James probably knows the Young Knives from schooldays; that's probably what he spent his "youth" doing, meeting and advising every band within Cheap Day Return of Crewe, as well as losing a bidding war for Jet's UK contract (only way to explain his bizarre, contrarian bitterness for the seminal Oz-rock masters).

Isn't it?


---John Darnielle is on this tape. John Darnielle is a punishing master, for the completist fan. John Darnielle was made to be listened to on tape. In fact, my (crappy) speakers are a bit too good for this service. (Grab some free MoGos stuff, including "An Inscription" here. I love his apathy; "oh, just have it then.")


"The most remarkable thing about you standing in the doorway
is that it's you and that you are standing in the doorway"


---Never did get much of Zen Baseballbat, despite prompting from my UKDIY subconscious.


---Properly surprising how well Destiny's Child handle getting slammed against the Slits; if you were to decide which was the more ferocious expression of female vitality...


Overall character? No idea. I know it's one mix rather'n two sides, but that's yer lot.




It was a grim day. Grey and stuff.

And some wanker was determined to play an absolute torrent of shit. It began with a busted/mcfly collaboration of 'build me up buttercup' (why does that exist?!?! who suggested it? why did they agree? how did they think it was suitable for release? so many questions) and just trawled on from there really. Then the opening chords of 'sweet home alabama' came on and i just got up and stormed out in the way that girls do in the common room when they want everyone to know they're upset about something.

I could take no more.

It's not that getting decent music played on the common room is even that bad once you manage it. I remember i once got Owls on the common room stereo and when i looked round and saw the subdued faces craving some mariah pissing carey i went back to voluntarily withdraw my cd (popularity is very important to me) but some people actually ask me to turn it up!

I was so happy.

People do want to try new things, deep down. It's making the jump and accepting that listening to the latest lostprophets album again and again is terminally dull and there's a whole sea of stuff beyond them and razorlight that you're not exploring - that's the hard part. People are adventurous in so many aspects of their lives but often so conservative about music.

Let's bring it up to pace before all we listen to is 'lift music'-
music for the sake of music,
music you put on just because you think
music should be on, anonymous and
lifeless.

27/06/2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Kid Reflux's Summer Mix 2010.2




In other good news, heard some people calling the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a riot grrrl band.

********************************************************************

Side A: 'Prepare To Lose Your Dignity'

(envoi, 'Act 1: Clarksonomics')


1. Call Me Mr Demolition Man - Hot Club de Paris
[Radio 1 skit]
2. My Eyes Adored You - [eek. lowkey soul...Betty Everett?]
3. Movies Of Myself - Rufus W
4. I Love You Like A Madman - Wave Pictures
5. [cut to] Boss Hoss - Sonics
6. [cut to] Breaking Up - Ronettes
7. [Why Don't You Leave Me Alone? - some pop-grrl...Raincoats backed by Ian Dury?]
--> [20secs of some exemplar 60s popchorus]

Act 2: Dachshund

8. Beeper - The Count & Sinden
9. - [some really smart 8bitsy electrons]
10. Un bel di vedremo - Puccini & Callas
11. Do Your Thing - Basement Jaxx
12. Hellebore - Safetyword
13. A Clean Break - Talking Heads
[cut]



Act 1 plays very nicely into what's become my comfort zone of late [souly/guitary/lyrically reflective], dunno about yours.

Callas really is stranded here (even if the plot of Madame Butterfly hadn't already made her so); stuck between some electro niceness and the mighty JAXX.

"He will call "Butterfly" from the distance
I without answering
Stay hidden
A little to tease him,
A little so as to not die."


Side B: 'As I Ride To Victory'


Act 3: Spaceshuttle full o cum (set controls for the heart of the cum)

14. 22 Two's - Jay-Z
15. Ch-Ching - Lady Sovereign
16. [some boy/girl back-and-fore grime]
17. [cut] [some heavy busy club with Clangers melody. Instrumental but grunts]
18. We Are Prostitutes - Cool World
19. [cut] [some nice beatsy hang-drum stuff]
20. [cut] HEARTBEATS - The Knife (Hot Chip remix!?)
21. [some rounded mindtrap]


Act 4: Fragment (Consider Revising)

22. Wrestlers - Hot Chip
23. Something Good 08 - Utah Saints
24. Crips - Ratatat
25. We Share Our Mother's Health ([heavy] Remix) - Knife
26. [cut] [womp!]
--> [some weird Daft Punk-sampling]
27. [cut] What's It Gonna Be? (dubstepped) - HTwo0
28. [violent cut] You're Wonderin Now - Specials
[out]


Talk about hip-hop's theatricality; MCs make the world much more interesting than it is in the course of trying to be "real." Like here (17.); Mariah Davis reads off a line setting up Jay-Z as "freestylin" his following flawless, muscular flow. It's so blatantly bullshit that it's charming. As is her social exhortation to the fadeout... (Nerd note: she sounds a lot like AZ, who opened up Illmatic.)

A good, if obvious, point from the Guardian;

"The press stopped calling Dizzee a rapper after that [Glastonbury]; he was now a pop star. But what had really changed was not Dizzee but people's taste."

Which is just a reminder that "pop" is the most mutable and inclusive (though basically unexperimental) of the bullshit familienähnlichkeiten categories we call "genres". Purists can and do cry "co-option!" and "dilution!", but there's no stopping it, and nor should you aim to (unless, I dunno, you fundamentally hate most people.)

When "jazz-pop" or "punk-pop" or "grime-pop" gets on the go, you can scream about its aesthetic inferiority to the source musics as much as you like - and you might even be right - but a thing's being shit has rarely ever been reason enough to kill it. Unless you want to start thinking in terms of distracting from that which is really important in life as a crime, which is I think, a disease.


NB: This Glee thing is interesting in at least one way; it is pop-pop, the 'dilution', if you like, of something already a pure solvent.



26/06/2010

Things You Can't Do In China

(Including now, if even you could before, "read this blog.")


WHAT THE STATE SEZ YOU CAN'T DO




  1. Cross the The Great Firewall: Their infamous, systematic internet censorship, usually wrapped in moral rhetoric. So, no more living on Facebook, Twitter, myspace, youtube or blogspot...the Iron Curtain 2.0. source, source, source, them admitting it.

It's a real sophisticated project, though, by no means just a process of strong-arming search engines, controlling the router infrastructure, and forcing through crap filter software. (Which is so effective that official Communist Party propaganda sometimes gets blocked.)

Scopes text messages sent on China Mobile, too...

"The joke was censored on China Mobile most likely because it mentions Hu Jintao, which they have probably entered as a keyword for blocking. That implies an assumption by China Mobile that any Chinese person who mentions their president on mobile SMS is likely to have bad things to say..."




One smart conspiracy theory I've heard suggests that the site-blocking and social-engineering talk is an adjunct to a protectionist policy - an attempt to shut off foreign competition from the Chinese software industry. Doesn't take much of a leap to imagine that Beijing might want to control economic development. As with any country, they do like their national-champion few.

There are of course 'virtual-private-network' backdoors to all this, but I really don't feel like being that subversive just so's I can see your pokes.


Pun: phonetically, "Fei-si-bu-ke", semantically, "doomed to die"


  1. Worship in public: Falun Gong must be super fulfilling, since it's worth getting defamed and tortured over. Even feng shui too, til recently.


  2. Go to a shitty casino at the end of your night cos there's nowhere else open: Really: all formal gambling is prohibited. Source.


  3. Porn: "Protecting young Chinese from unhealthy content." The word that the Buro uses for it translates closest to "lewd", which is cute, I guess. Source, source


  4. Talk secession: Ah. None of my late-night pretentious/inconsequential political spraff, then. Source.




  5. Work out where you are: GPS mapping systems are banned for foreigners, to prevent "illegal surveying". Source.


  6. Watch foreign cartoons during primetime: "...Communist leaders are said to be frustrated that so many cartoons are foreign-made, especially after efforts to build up Chinese animation studios." Source.


  7. Watch Avatar...in 2D. What techy folk those officials are. Source. Better source.


  8. Have an orgy: The offence of "assembled pruriency" lands you up to 5 years inside. “China is not the United States; Chinese people have moral restrictions.” Ho ho. Source.




  9. Take your riot/orgy footage out with you, dur: Customs retain the right to seize any "Press items: rolls of film, photographs, phonograph disc, tape, video tape, laser video disc, laser audio disc, any computer storage medium and other items that are harmful to Chinese politics, economy, culture, and social morals."


  10. Play WoW, Half Life, Quake, C&C, The Sims 2..: "Minors should not be allowed to play online games that have PK content, that allow players to increase the power of their own online game characters by killing other players," Liu Shifa, head of the MOC's Internet Culture Division..." Source, Source

    The lists of films and books banned aren't anywhere near as long as I'd thought.


  11. Live as a gold farmer (virtual currency for real shit): Source


  12. Go to Tibet, dur.


  13. Go see Dylan. Source.


  14. Treasure hunting: There goes my Indiana Jones plan. Source.


  15. Call people a 洋鬼子 (white devil) or a 黑鬼子 (black devil): That is, commit hate speech.

    This list is obviously bigstyle Eurocentric, and, worse, tourist-centric - the title has an implicit "...that you can do over here" - but there's really not the room to talk about everything which you also can't do in the UK, like hate speech, or 'buy a gun'. I also can't dissect their human rights situation, which isn't so much a matter of "things one can't do" as "things the government can do to you". The suffrage rate is effectively 0%, lest we forget, with maybe the 5.6% of the population who are CCP members possessing a semblance of power. Report. Plea.

    I sound hectoring; well, it'll stand for now.


  16. Feed the ducks: Form of Littering; 600 rmb (£59) fine.



WHAT THE LEBENSFORM SEZ YOU OUGHTN'T DO

  • Don't accept compliments too easily: Get modest, or feign humility hard. Don't self-congratulate.

面子 - Mianzi, "face"


  • Never make someone lose face: Public embarrassment and failure is a massive deal. Pointing out someone's mistake in front of others or shouting at someone.

  • Get angry in public: premium placed on group harmony; cope privately, ffs.

  • Eye contact with strangers: Source.

  • Don't address people by their "first name" first: last name always comes first. (family over individual).

"礼貌要求互惠" (Courtesy demands reciprocity)

  • Don't drink alcohol without first offering a toast
  • Don't let someone else pay the bill without fighting for it
  • Don't come giftless:
  • Never accept food, drinks, or gifts without first refusing a few times
  • (Mianxi prevents doing anything that makes one appear greedy or eager)

  • Don't take the first "No, thank you" literally: Food or drinks automatically refused several times — even if they really feel hungry or thirsty.



  • Closet: Being gay seems to be at least tolerated. (Well, it's officially decriminalised and as of 2001! isn't a diagnosable mental illness anymore.) A (small) study had 40% of polled Chinese people calling it "completely wrong". Actually, this compares to 36% polled in 2001 in the UK who called it "always or mostly wrong" and 42% of Americans polled who would recriminalize it, so what the hell; the whole world's sick. Though Brokeback Mountain got banned...
  • Mock people walking their pet birds.


FOUR SOURCES OF NORMS

关系 - guanxi - "Connections" - fundamental social glue; just relationships between people, but also implies nepotism and so.


面子 - mianzi - "Face" - A great deal of adult public activity seems related to folk saving face. And you're not excused from it just cos you have a less sensitive sense of embarassment.

1) Diu-mian-zi: when one's errors or wrongs are exposed to people.
2) Gei-mian-zi: giving of face to others (showing respect).
3) Liu-mian-zi: credit for avoiding mistakes.
4) Jiang-mian-zi: when face gained via others, i.e. someone complementing you to an associate.

Li - "sacrifice". Craft of politeness.


客气 - keqi - "guest-behavior". Self-enforced cordiality and modesty.


There's really nothing particularly unfamiliar about any of the above, but consider how formally naming and arranging hierarchically something might point to its importance; Hyacinth Bucket with bells on?



"The laws implemented by the Chinese government may or may not have motives but the point is, people still need to follow the law. If you cannot handle the law then don't bother going to their country to prevent any untoward experience."

- :O (behold, the banality of evil)


"Unjust laws exist. Shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? ...But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?"

- Thoreau


24/06/2010

ALBUM REVIEW: Kid Reflux's Summer Mix 2010.1


A series of honorary every day i wake up, out of the darkness, into the light posts about some tapes what I got. If they had an order they don't now. No tracklists either, so what follows is more work than it looks. Audio to follow.

I know fine the joy of seeping into my music collection with someone else's ear in mind; when I'm mixtaping is probably when I love music most. But, Item: none of youse tell his mam that this is (some of) what he was getting up to in that 'Revision' month, alright?


A - 'Just Barely Enough To Believe In '

1. [some plainsong]
2. [cuts to] [More plainsong]
3. [cut] Crumb by Crumb - Rufus Wainwright
4. [violent cut] You Got The Love - Source (Candi Staton)
5. [cut] Can't Seem To Make You Mine - Ramones
--> 2s of "Teenage Kicks -->
6. [The Fandango Boys mocking the Bee Gees?]
7. [some light-stepping grime, 10s]
8. [this is classic, but I can't name it] - Benga?
--> 5s of techno-y rnb - Kanye? -->
9. Neon Lights - Kraftwerk
10. [cut] Rules & Regs - Rufus Wainwright
11. Words Of Expectation - The Fall
12. Dinner At Eight - Rufus Wainwright
13. Pogo - Alice
14. - [Honey Shop Screamers?]
15. [some incredibly beautiful mid-fi pop]
16. Martha - Rufus


Overall mood - characterization, if you like - is of someone trying to be romantic though let down much before. Overall composing is impatient - undressing someone while you're being undressed - with paceless jumps and "I'm bored with you; get out"-cuts, which emphasises the songs which are allowed to run all the way through; "they're respectable, I wouldn't touch them." Overall eclecticism goes without saying.

"I would like, deep down /At the bottom of my odour, lingering, my heart and soul /
To see the government wrecked / And my LPs roll"


The slamming of Gregorians against Rufus' very different grandeur works very well, though I don't know if I'd trace any influence across it. The change to Candi Staton is brutal, makes the song hit you deep past guard (as it probably hasn't before).

Rufus is the pedal note, the reference point, the observer of it, too. There's only the climax of "Rules and Regulations", which could easily have been infuriating - Mount Improbable! - but any bad feeling is absorbed into the much greater bad feeling of the Fall.

Just look at the sequence from 11-14, will you? Epic snot followed by yearning cabaret wrapped in a glitchy dream and all taken care of, finally, by [a garage demo equally Booker T and Half Man Half Biscuit.] It takes love to pull that off, more than I've got, more than you probably have. And none of the 2sec teases or attempts to disorient undo this.

"Doesn't everyone want to be someone else?"




B - 'Skip A Beat And Move With My Body'


18. Crap Kraft Dinner - Hot Chip
19. Slow - Kylie
20. [some instrumental reggae, no chance. Bass is bizarre...]
21. [Indistinct folk - backmasked strings?]
22. Go Long - Joanna Newsom
23. Love Sick - Dylan
24. --> Debaser - Pixies -->
25. [some lo-fi reggae]
26. Flat Beat (Acid Creators Remix) - Mr Oizo
27. [a mashup of two 80s funk things]
28. World's Greatest - Bonnie Prince Billy
29. Genesis 30:3 - Mountain Goats
30. [Stooges?]
[4secs hard pop break]



I was very nearly too young for cassettes, just as I was too young to understand what gravitas Strummer's headline should be read with and jee-ust old enough to gurn for Peel's. I was a hand-me-down sort, though, and so remember being passed down my brother's old tech even while CDs were pre-eminent. (Though he remained very attached to the Tao of Tape, mostly cause of the zine scene's dependency on it. Sorry; that is, the international-subversive-DIY-antica-antifa-band-mail circuit's deviance from technocratic norms.) Remember having Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" and the Dead Kennedys' "Fresh Fruit" and not much else. Probably the fucking Buffy soundtrack.


22/06/2010

Manlifesto


"your not a man if you dont agree with this"

- an idiot



Manlypoints are my way of pissing about with masculine ideals by 'analysing' action films. (Well, that's the post hoc of it, anyway.) The norms listed below are as cartoonish and unreal as the films are; I'm really not aiming for sociology. It is a science of testicles, bullets and beer.

That said: what more prevalent and glamorous source of roles is there, than pop culture? Whence values?




PROTOCOL



  1. Rugged Individualism: Take the protagonist of a film.



  2. Shallowness: For the first c.5min scene, give the character a score out of 25 for their appearance, demeanour, voice etc. and another out of 25 for what they're doing in it.



  3. Competition: Note and score the instances where they "are manly" (fulfill a normative masculine role) Points awarded scale to degree of manly Thing, but remember that numbers are fundamentally arbitrary.



  4. Of A Hierarchical Bent: Tot up, give summarizing bonus, carp like a seal.

    If you're nerdier than me, you'll also stopwatch their time onscreen and derive a Rate of Manly.



It makes for a good teamsport: intuitions/socializations differ, kills are disputed and so on. And apart from anything else, it's very easy to enjoy yourself when you are watching in this mode. Though, since it's a dissection without any aesthetic sense to it, it also ruins films. And what a waste it has been!



Note - Women can and have been 'pointed; Uma Thurman's Beatrix Kiddo in particular currently rests easily at 4th overall in the chart (this despite her performance in Vol.2). Sadly, she's an exception in mainstream cinema's willingness to represent the potential for stubbornness, coldness and small-mindedness - that is, manliness - among women.




1. THINGS WHAT EARN MANLYPOINTS


WILL/POWER



  • Violence.


  • being stoic, conceited, amoral, and reckless; aloof, stubborn, cruel, caustic, misanthropic, prejudiced, nihilistic, sociopathic, self-sufficient, haggard, independent, free: above all, individualism


  • being deep, self-sacrificing, moralistic, and dependable; patriotic, honourable, principled, protective, entitled, liked, trusted, "noble"; keeping a nuclear family: above all, paternalism


  • Authority (points for tangible signs of)


  • asserting dominance (winning things, leading things, fucking things)




PRAGMATISM



  • Knowledge, but only hard practical or for dominance


  • Anti-intellectualism; wilful stupidity; lack of curiosity


  • Criticism, harsher the better


  • General insensitivity, emotional and empathic


  • Grit


HEDONISM



  • Disrespect for authority


  • Food fetishism, especially meat


  • Muscle fetishism


  • Consumerism, conspicuous if possible


  • wit, or more likely cheesy one-liner puns


  • Innuendo, more crass the better


  • Being large, and some athleticism


  • Sex


  • Penis


  • Hair is tricky - golden mean


  • Big car / biker and things


  • Lifting the heavy thing


  • Defiant Underdog


  • Rock music, sometimes


  • Sports, within reason


  • Women In Refrigerators






2. THINGS WHAT LOSE MANLYPOINTS



  • The items of part 1. backwards, dur


  • "Telling women how you feel inside or worst crying (huge offence)"


  • Female friends


  • Appearing/being inferior


  • Cowardice


  • All manner of nerdishness


  • Remembering their name afterwards


  • Housework


  • Crying (-1 point/tear)


  • Accepting help in most situations, especially financial



The best bit is that it's uncovered a basic contradiction amidst all the absurdity and repressive bullshit (which is what our ideal for masculinity amounts to):


the asshole and the hero
the beast and the noble
vulgarity and suaveness
ignorance and elitism

Both are ideals, successful delusions of what males should be. Anti-heroes, those who save the day despite minimal effort, or indeed active evil, should thus be considered the way out, and the pinnacle of cinematic manliness. Saying that, we've 'pointed few antagonists so far.




The worst part is that there is already a thriving meme for "manpoints": a properly pathetic and oppressive subculture of men taking the activity seriously (see point 3 below). I probably shouldn't be surprised; it's only reflecting the general misogyny and cock-brained nonsense that political correctness just drove underground.

Note their endless (compensatory) rule-making, too!

Visual,
occupational,
emotional,
imaginative,
hygienic,
- even what fucking drinks they will permit themselves!

The regulation speaks to their fear, our fear of being disqualified from privilege by a stray pink shirt or tendresse. - Even "just for fun, you fascist! no less ironic than you, douche!"

("Patriarchy" is a bloody unhelpful term, full of counterproductive melodrama. It evokes a smoky room full of Bad Guys plotting in detail how to perpetuate symbolic and legal gender oppressions, when what it actually refers to is more innocuous and terrible than that.)

If you trace the lines in the sand hard enough, maybe the tide won't come in (and you won't come out.)

Note that all this does require me to swallow the heavyish claim that a joke is never just a joke.


"The Terminator never exfoliates, neither does John McClane and neither should you."



3. THINGS WHAT ARE NOT MANLYPOINTING


  • "The Bro Code"
    "If you are a woman reading this...I urge you to look at this document for what it is- a piece of fiction meant to entertain a broad audience though the prism of stereotypical gender differences. I mean, sometimes it really is like we're from different planets! Clearly, no real person would actually believe or adhere to the vulgar rules contained within."


Uh huh.



  • "menarebetterthanwomen.com": I really don't know what to say to this. An unremitting heap of poisonous shite. This bit's unintentionally droll as well as nauseating, though:

    "Women are banned from MenAreBetterThanWomen.com not only because they’re annoying as fuck and the logical knots that I, Dick Masterson, tie around the million viper-like heads of feminism would make their fragile little heads explode — and get glitter and donkey shit all over the place; but women are also banned because they’re fascists."



  • "Man Points" comes close to a system, but displays a pitiful, downright effeminate willingness to submit to rules. Note the successful facebook group, too. (See also the more measured sexist bullshit here.)



  • "Hall of Viking Manliness." Oh dear. This is what manlypoints would be if there was a coup conducted by Donald Rumsfeld and the band Manowar. Note the important linking of manliness to conservatism; leftism, of course, is effeminate.
"Kerry King is the lead guitarist for Slayer, the most ass-kicking manly band in the world. If you are thinking to yourself "How about Slipknot or Korn?" you are a nu-metal pussy... As you may have guessed, this shit is not for pussies, women, or anyone but real men. First of all, look at the fucking beast, tattoos everywhere, shaved head, pissed goatee, he is not there to impress little 16 year-old chicks and be interviewed by some brainless faggot (sorry, homosexual lover of men) on MTV, he lives to wail and rock hard."


  • The Bechdel Test: Neat little feminist turn attacking the slavishness of scriptwriters. None of the films above pass, I'm sure.



  • "IMFDB" Gun nerds discuss in detail what precise model and configuration of guns are used in films. In reality, pooterish obsession with kit and spec is indeed very male, but not in this box.


"Watching videos of manly men compels me to assimilate their masculinity.
I am a guy.
I am a man."






  • Man Points.me Harmless. Glorifies the crashing stupidity of manliness. Don't get worked up, they're only children.



  • Body Counters count the number of living things which die in a film, which is all very well and boohoo ethical, but the approach lacks both the killer individualism of manlypoints and its disregard for pedantism.



  • This is much better, "researched" though it was by a professor of politics making a point about how the Rambo series / action films in general have grown more incontinent:

It highlights a number of key indicators for manliness, like: violence-as-the-only-solution; muscle fetishism; moral absolutism and apodixis; most films' willingness to emotionally manipulate us; and sex.




4. THINGS WHAT ARE DISAGREED ON



Ok, so this is thing is clearly a very silly mode of inquiry into reality. But that doesn't mean that we can't get fractious and pedantic about it, now does it?


CONTENTION No.1: Entering the military.

On this site, under my roof, this gains no manlypoints. Why:

1. It is a surrender of the self

While most drill sergeants are solid mid-score performers (hell, the very name of their rank is a +4!), you being made to lick their authority/shoes/scrote isn't. Independence is a key part of any manly ideology.

2. A man ought not be told when to kill

Military shit involves much that is morally and spiritually degrading, but the primary one is: Murder at the whistle. Good dog.

Oh? he was trying to kill you? Self-defence?
I can't imagine why he'd decide to self-defend from your selfdefense, or your trampling updown the carbonized skeleton of his way of life. Your death at his hands would have been similarly abhorrent. He would have earned as much contempt as you now do.

Being drafted is tricky - though I'd award conscientious objectors for their moral courage and nonconformism if I could get away with it. Since basically everyone in the league table are ex or current soldiers, there's no negative mod either; +24 -24, say.


CONTENTION No.2: Drugs

Mostly, no. Downers, again, loss of Self; Uppers...feminizing. Though coke seems to make folk do manly things.


CONTENTION No.3: Homosexuality

(♂) There's twice as many men, what the fuck do you think?
(♀) Mrnrhr.


CONTENTION No.4:
This.

Common objection is that counting your points, or kills, or whatever, is an unforgivable nerdism. However: by turning war into a game, they are trivialising the lives they are ending, making their assault nonchalant: manly.


CONTENTION No.5: Why is violence manly?

It is indirectly so: an act of violence is an active symptom of will. It is a demonstration and a reification of one's agency. As well as a connection between sentient organisms (and a more sincere interaction than most). Also, one reason people become pacifists is a well-developed sense of empathy, an unforgivable act of intersubjective delusion.

Please note, if you haven't already, that the above is repugnant Nietzschean bullshit. More to come.

"Rasczak: You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote?
Student: It's a reward. Something the federation gives you for doing federal service.
Rasczak: No. Something given has no basis in value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived."


CONTENTION No.6: Torture

Grng. Unresolved despite long drunken discourse (ethics in the way); ad hoc. Fuck Jack Bauer.


CONTENTION No.7:




"Bleeding is your skin crying and crying is for pussies."


CONTENTION No.8: LEONIDAS?!

He's in it for about 30mins and so doesn't score too much, quit whining.

18/06/2010

Mopup



BABY, I'M A REFORMIST

(to the tune of Against Me's "Baby I'm An Anarchist")





Through the best of times,
Through the worst of times,
Idealism's nasty death
Dyou remember '36?
We went our separate ways
You fought for Trotsky,
I for Azana.
You live in utopia,
I'm in Buckie.
You're a molotov splashing all eight passersby.

Baby, these whole irate look in our eyes -
What I'm trying to say is that:
You burn down buildings
While I'm trying to save some inside of them.
You hate the cops
For their fascist necessity.
You call it class war,
I call it neo-Kantian demands.

'Cause baby, you're an anarchist,
And I'm a spineless liberal.
We marched together for the eight-hour day
matched wits in a downtown vegan bar,
But when it came time to throw bricks
Through the corporate frontend,
You threw them all alone.
(Righteously lone)

I watched in awe at this thing that we built
Growing more and more ok.
While the statute was improving,
You screamed "Fascist!" at those
Who gave you the platform,
I'll go for the changes
That the parties are made to
On the back line of my ,
I BELIEVE IN THE BALLOT
I BELIEVE IN REFORM
Wait for a nonelephant nonjackass;
there are always outsiders to raise:
We're all hypocrites, just like patriots.
I thought you were really kidding
When you screamed "Property's theft!"
At the top of your lungs
At the voters en route
And the jury depute.
No, you'll crave our reproof
And rebel for kicks.

'Cause baby, I'm a reformist,
And you're a well-read extremist.
We marched together for civil progress
Forced old white men then to go sign it
But when you decide that propagand
ising of deed
Will help a fucking thing.

(I'll condemn.)


************************************************

WORDS I WOULD NOT OTHERWISE SAY

Disbelief makes me solemn;
you are a serious matter
I've no hope to solve.
(a paralysing sequent)

Your hands are absurdities
for they contradict my skin
and from them anything follows.

I can say the words but they're
empty names, real but not realised.

The delight is scalding.

**************************************************************************

'GLOBAL HUB'

Studiedly nothing

Smiling, we let our youth pass
And smiling did recline
Swivel chairs were not worth it
(Style over backbone by design).

There's a gamut, too
- Superlunary or syndicalist
Or Cistercian or something -
Where the cordon between degrees

Bleeds through, and unity can be
Noted if not attained.
Mind-bags and little else,
We probe behind glass

(Everyone's a scientist of their friends)
No need for much; a crossword, ice tea,
State-backed leisure,
less of your lip, poet,

Spuriously all things.




16/06/2010

booty recalled

two drag a chest.
inside, treasure rotting.
each prickles within rights.
wonders if the other peeks.
wonders if they know they do.
neither escapes. one doesn't want to.
they bear it. they've counted thirty paces.
dig new at two Xs.

12/06/2010

Says Who?

© 2009 Loretta Lux


Good metaphor:

"Her face lost a layer of worry"


Leads to (with increasing degrees of Worry, and decreasing degrees of Doubt):
THE STRATA OF ANXIETY

Astro: I may not exist.

Exosphere:
It is conceivable that all of my beliefs are falsely directed.

Thermosphere: What if David Icke was right?

Mesosphere: What if David Irving was right?

Stratosphere: What if Mohammed was right?

Troposphere: What if Nietzsche was right?

Aerosphere: Neofascism. Nukes. Climate chaos. Late-capitalist consensus. Polarization of wealth, elites, faith.

Thin air: I am fat and decaying.

1 bar: Eventually, I will give in to my ideological circumstances. (Want what the world wants me to want.)

Crust: Eventually, I am going to die.

Mantle: Eventually, I am going to be found out.

Core: Eventually, I will vote Conservative.





*********************************************************************

"they're treating us like animals; let's shit on their floor!"


**********************************************************************

How lovely is the phrase "You know what I'm like" in practice?

What it means is, I guess, the triple:
1) everyone else, roughly
2) my past selves, less roughly
3) a character, a rogue, a card, someone who is something more than just bundles of sense for you.


**********************************************************


"The composition of vast books is a laborious and impoverishing extravagance. To go on for five hundred pages developing an idea whose perfect oral exposition is possible in a few minutes! A better course of procedure is to pretend that these books already exist, and then to offer a resume, a commentary . . . More reasonable, more inept, more indolent, I have preferred to write notes upon imaginary books."
- Borges


*******************************************************************


James spends much time drawing out the meaning and microcosmic power from pop music. I like it very much too, but I won't dig in too far. If I did, it might start looking like fallacy-checking pop songs...

"If I was a rich girl,
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na,
Then I'd have all the money in the world,
If I was a wealthy girl."
(affirming the consequent.)


-this is fucking great, a coupla Polish concréte jazzists on a tight freakout.

- In the unlikely case that you're able to resist this, keep your unfortunate skill to yourself, eh?

-and this is *almost* good despite its concept: lumpen Brit hiphop crew 30KB in praise of meateating. They aim for homely Beta Band, but barely make it to Dan Le Sac.



***********************************************************************



"Selfpity lasted a matter of seconds in the open; then the bird of prey fell on it, tearing it, ripping it. The bird was the real world, a mercernary dispatched by his conscience, the angry voice of all the people in the world who were worse off than he was. Just common sense."
- Iain Banks, "The Bridge"


***********************************************************************

Thought on "sensitivity"


Compare this article about depression stats with this. They each take a similar tone - sensible levelling of things - but only one is a snarking mess.

And fundamentally I don't think it's a matter of one being actually researched, of one of them having a writing style and only one of them linking the issue to anything except self-righteousness.

Instead, it's the difference in the writers' sensitivities that makes only one of them lightly sickening. What is sensitivity? I dunno; probably "the ability to be affected", but not just emotionally; to comment, after all, requires hard insight, which after all requires sharp perspective.

We often speak about sensitivity as if it were a small act, or some kind of supererogation on us, but it's not. It is (ok, should be) instead the origin of all critical commentary. In fact, fuck it: it is what vitalizes all thought* that is worth anything.




* non-science.

10/06/2010

Dragged on an Outing



Have you ever really thought about Nirvana?

Well, no. Why would you have to? They're so overexposed they've become cultural white noise. It's far from easy for anyone born in the late C20th to delimn them, to separate them out from the whole.

Some questions in philosophy get called "truth-inapt" (that is, without a determinate reply, because the answer to them is not really a 'proposition'). The question of whether you like Nirvana is like this. You certainly can like them - and, boy, we seem to - but what good does it do you?


Notes from "Unplugged In New York" anyway:

- Cobain is actually a country singer. No, really - sure he's a mutant one, but the indelible praise sticks. Where Country's purpose is to glorify and dramatize the ordinary (and actively absurd) facets of Midwest America's experience, Nirvana demonize and delve under it instead. Often into things which are, too, ordinary, but unspoken, unspeakable. Another instance of the absolutely standard "dark side of bucolia" (American Beauty, .





- That said, don't let anyone try to tell you he was a genius lyricist or anything. There's also that pathetic thing they do ("In Bloom", "Smells Like") where they complain about the amount of people who will buy their music and about who will buy their music, i.e. booo rednex and jox. Here's a thought: Most people are misunderstood. An obsession with being "alternative" or more punk than whoever else can lead only one way; selling out of life, and did. The commercial / alternative distinction is ridiculous, based as it is in the idea of Authenticity.


This is a horrible idea of aesthetics:

But this is no more right, and this is maybe what killed the dumb bastard:


Some more caricature aesthetics graphs, cos they're fun:


- They really did prefigure/enable the mookish, solipsistic strain of rock which washed up on our eC21st shores, piteous and gagging. The fixation on Being Rejected and fantasising about a titanic, tragic romance stands.

"MOOK (n.) Male adolescent or young adult exhibiting an unpleasant, self-centered attitude, formed during a sheltered upbringing."


- But there's a feminist lilt to them that's not so often emphasised, probably because of the misogyny that 'Polly' et al represent (but don't endorse), as well as the general Metal air of the lyrics. But Cobain focalized women and belted against the horrible things that men do to them often. Nirvana owe far more to riot grrl than to the uniformly androcaucasian hardcore punk.


*******************************************************************

"this song is weird, love song about eminem singed by dude, but neil is gay so it's understandible that he love guys"
- youtube
Hee.


*************************************************************


There comes a time in every boy's life. He'll start to awaken, broaden and wonder what it will take to be himself. This time is immediatedly waited upon by a time where his Da prints out Kipling's "If" and buys some soft porn.


**************************************************************

"I hate the epidemic of vilifying chavs that's everywhere right now [2007]. Chavs are good, let's face it. They're unpretentious, listen to goood music and are about 500 times better than the Ordinary Boys fans who write this shit [chavscum]. Inventing stereotypes so you can laugh at people and find something to smirk about is pure evil. No one can claim this is light-hearted fun. It is the middle class calling the working class scum and spreading hatred of them on the internet. It's completely fucking disgusting."

- James mk.1

***********************************************************


"There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well."
- Jane Austen's Elizabeth


*****************************************************************





"Free your ass and your mind will follow!"
- Hank von Helvete


Really interesting piece here blaming Jodie Foster for free-riding on publicly gay public figures' courage. There was a spate of press outings of closeted gay people in the 90s - not just from the habitually salacious tabloids, but upstanding magazines like Out. I'm missing something. I'm not libertarian by any stretch of the mind, but when did someone's sexuality become something that privacy didn't apply to?

I don't mean the pre-Stonewall sort of Outing, when it was an actually deadly smear ("sodomite!") but the public exposure of someone who hadn't identified themselves as gay. It's reported in the same register as the bastards espying their prey's pregnancies or weight gains. You might say that not being out, or taking the half-measure of letting it be known without actually saying so is hiding or being repressed, and many maybe are. But call it trying to live with dignity.

Gossip, or visibility rights struggle? All such personal exposé is undignified, whether it's OK! wedding photos or details of who one was talking to at that party-one-was-paid-to-go-to. I'd be interested to know of examples of cases in which someone was "outed" as straight; in which the reversal of the expectation about them was newsworthy? It is probably wrong that our uniform presumption is of someone's heterosexuality (even noting the 10:1 likelihood of it).

I don't think I'm just prudish when it comes to people reporting their tastes/exploits, though I'll not dignify them with the dumb attention they're often designed to attract.

We do, of course, gurn merrily when it's a pious Republican senator's hypocrisy shown up, rentboy style. But even there, do you not recoil from the malice? Politicians are fairer game than, say, actors, for some reason.

Let's grant that there is a duty (for public figures) in this homophobic moment: it doesn't follow that dragging people out is the right thing.
I suppose when it was the gay press (or rights activists, or rabid fans) they could imagine themselves liberators, surgeons on their subjects' repression. Or maybe it was more of a weird recruitment angle, trying to force the hate-sick world into normality one ass at a time. Or trying to fight invisibility. Spin magazine once tried to out Busta Rhymes, which I do concede would have been an amazing headline.



Obviously far worse than either is the US military's bullshit. "No inquisition so long as they don't act funny."


"I don't think it's any kind of secret within the music industry and within the fan base at large what my sexual preference is..... I was born with it. I don't like the word gay because I don't know what the word really means... I'm not your spokesperson, because I don't know what you're about... I do not flaunt my sexuality. I do not deny my sexuality. It is my sexuality. It is not the public's sexuality..."
- Bob Mould, more or less blackmailed Out in 1994




"It is every gay public figure's social responsibility to be out, to make life better for those without publicists and pilates teachers. Those who cry, "It's none of your business! Who cares who I sleep with?!" shirk their public duty, and deny the shame that keeps the closet door shut. Do straight people consider their orientation private?"
- Patrick Strudwick

Yes, I do. But of course my surroundings have made my 'outing' automatic, in a Gettier non-knowledge way.
Think about "closeted": denial, shame, being made to deceive. In a lot of the world, this is still what it is to be privately gay (as well as massive buckets of fear). But it also implies that 'real' homosexuality is essentially public, that it's an explicit essence that one must unleash on the world; it thus has a hangover of the old bigot's thinking, that one may know a gay person even by their non-sexual behaviour.
This creates a social role, and roles want filling, even if we have to distort ourselves to fit into them.

Public heterosexuality is made of absurd visual/behavioural stereotypes too (the most facile being that one where Straight Men are supposed to recoil from the sight of a penis; the most excellent being the loose restrictions on grooming). And iit can be source of glee that these overlap with homoerotic ideals so much. (How is a relationship with twice as many men in it supposed to be less manly?) But the straight "look" implies nothing like the Identity claim that homosexuality is bound up in.


"I was being made out to be a coward about it, rather than someone who felt like it really was a very private thing."
- Michael Stipe

Fuck, maybe not, maybe it is liberating. Bob Mould even djs house music nights these days, this instead of wailing goodly macho hardcore punk. Maybe he wouldn't have been able to swallow his irony enough if, y'know, the get-out-of-taste-free card (which is what it means to be camp (which obviously is what it means to be gay)) hadn't been pushed on him. But one day there must be a distinction between being repressed and being private.


"You cannot skip the tough part of a human rights struggle. I long for being gay to be nobody's business, to not matter, but we're a long way off. You either do your bit, and in the case of an A-list actor, that means blazing a trail for other performers, or you remain concealed, bleating about privacy."

I dunno. Maybe it is no big deal, maybe it should be treated the same as any other predicate that people want to hang their opinions off of. I'm obviously too naive for this discourse - I still don't really understand the David Laws situ. I'd thought I lived in a newer world than the one in which public figures still did this.