Archive for October, 2013
"Lapdance Landscape" [mp3 removed -- tune is now on Bandcamp]
This started out as an industrial throbber done live with the modular synth (making use of every oscillator-type module and lots of envelopes), but then a wistful tune was added. The latter is the Massive (wavetable) softsynth, starting from a blank preset and building up a chord (0-2-7 -- what is that?) with some modulation and effects. The only canned sounds were some hihats but even those got effects.
ceremonious bows to samantha, pretzel
will this table work in feedly, is the question
The New York Times famously hasn't apologized for its role in promoting the Iraq War, except for the standard "we were wrong in the way so many others were wrong" manner. And there are various ways not to apologize. One is for your chief White House correspondent to write a book analyzing the "complicated" and (yes) "Shakespearean" relationship between Bush Jr and Cheney in an ethical vacuum verging on open admiration.
Recently PBS discussed that book and invited me to be on the show via webcam for the perspective of someone outside "the usual DC circle jerk," as Gwen Ifill put it in her invitation to me. Excerpts from the transcript follow.
GWEN IFILL: And now to a look at a complicated partnership between President George W. Bush and his vice president, a relationship that shaped more than a decade's worth of war and politics.
TM (via webcam): To the detriment of all of us.
GWEN IFILL: That's the focus of a new book, "Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House," by Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times.
Judy Woodruff talked to him recently.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Peter Baker, thank you for joining us.
PETER BAKER, The New York Times: Thanks for having me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: An exhaustively reported book, a wonderful read. Congratulations.
PETER BAKER: Thank you. I appreciate that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you write that Vice President Cheney wasn't the puppet master, President Bush wasn't the pawn. And if that wasn't their relationship, then what was it?
PETER BAKER: It was much more complicated than that.
TM (via webcam): Yadda yadda yadda. Let's move on.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And you do write, though, in the first term in particular, the vice president very influential with the president. But I want to -- specifically about the Iraq war.
PETER BAKER: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How much of that was the president and how much of that was the vice president? Would it have happened if it hadn't been for the vice president...
PETER BAKER: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... and the secretary of defense?
PETER BAKER: I mean, that's the great question. Right?
TM (via webcam): You mean in the sense of who contributed more to the debacle?
PETER BAKER: In July of 2002, seven, eight months before the actual invasion began, Cheney and Rumsfeld went the president and said, you need to go ahead and attack Iraq now, because there's a chemical weapons facility in Northern Iraq, and Bush said no.
So there were moments where Bush kind of resisted the train and said, no, we are going to do it my way.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And yet -- and yet there were also moments when President Bush was going around the world making sure everybody was comfortable long after the vice president was absolutely certain this was the right thing to do.
PETER BAKER: Yes, yes.
TM (via webcam): Except it was the wrong thing to do.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What -- why did President Bush grow to be less dependent on the vice president?
PETER BAKER: Right.
The evolution of their relationship is really fascinating. It's really almost Shakespearian,
TM (via webcam): Let's just end this right here. Gwen? OK to cut to commercial?
"Gearloose Dub" [3.9 MB .mp3]
Same production method as "Riveter II" and "Post-Prefab" (fragmentary recordings of modular synth made into sample maps played in Reaktor Krypt, "manicured" into uniform loops in Cubase, arranged in Octatrack, then recorded "live" from a single Octatrack song -- here with no added beats). "Robot Jox (Ethnic Forgery)" is similar but arranged purely in Cubase instead of using the Octatrack.
Absurd, arranged hunks of sound, electro classical noise, irritatingly perky. Mostly I like the textures, where Krypt snatches up grains and cobbles them into crazy, unpredictable configurations.
gracious nods to pretzel and FAUXreal
Ian Welsh on the failure of the progressive blogosphere. A couple of stalwarts who folded their blogging tents in the early Obama years, Matt Stoller and Jerome Armstrong, add their thoughts in the comments.
The reason is simple: we could not elect enough of our people. We could not instill sufficient fear. We could not defeat incumbents. We did not produce juice. Clark and Dean didn’t win the 2004 Presidential nomination. Dean was taken out in a particularly nasty fashion (via the manufactured Dean Scream.)
But, I view the clincher happening a bit later, with Bill Halter’s loss in the 2010 Democratic primary in Arkansas. That is when it really ended. The whole Labor-Netroots coalition, Accountability Now, the blogs went all-in big (still barely united) and MoveOn and PCCC. Over $10 million to defeat a BlueDog that gave us this crappy corporate ACA debacle. But Obama did all he could behind to the scenes to defeat Halter.
After Lieberman won, and I remember that moment very well, it was all downhill. Clinton and Obama realized they didn’t need the netroots, and openly smacked us around with the retroactive immunity policy lie.
Facebook also happened around the tail end of the Bush years, siphoning a lot of audience share from the blogosphere's "sidebar network" of indie publishers. Initially Facebook was seen as a place to organize politically but that became a joke when all the privacy stuff started to come out. Now you can't even run pictures of an anti-GMO protest.
The article's thesis is "entrepreneurs are the new labor" and while we needn't shed a tear for the fallen strivers who will never be the bad bosses of tomorrow, it helps to have a diagram.
Re: the New Museum's plunge into incubation madness, one might ask: where does an art museum fit in this scheme? And do artists count as "true hustlers"? OK, let's not go there.
pic from unicorngirl's twitter
An earlier post on the return of the dotcom era was light on specifics; some have been added in the form of links. (See also below.) And the conclusion was fortified:
Dot Com Two is happening at the same moment as austerity and widespread social misery post-financial-crash. To paper or pixel over the disparity between VC-funded haves and non-VC-funded have nots, you have Silicon Valley types claiming that "apps" will take the place of basic governmental functions to ameliorate social conditions. Naivete the first time around is now just cynicism.
What remains is the harder work of walking the reader through some of the latest mobile-and-Facebook-based ventures in search of useful life experience. This will not be pleasant so it's being put off. You can check the links yourselves: please shoot me an email if, overall, you think you think the latest dotcom boomlet represents a positive social development.
In the meantime, here is a startups guide, a NYC startups guide (if they get the page working will read it in Firefox eventually), and a post about NYC startup fun.
The New Museum is catching the fever with some kind of incubator cube farm for artistes in what is surely the last "rambling, rough-hewn" space on Bowery (hat tip Ryz). And the line about apps taking the place of governmental functions is from a craptastic New Yorker story about Bay Area whizkids (via saranrapjs): "We now expect social entrepreneurs to solve problems that government used to solve."
"Post-Prefab" [4.4 MB .mp3]
Same production method as "Riveter II" -- this is less songlike and more about absurd, arranged hunks of sound.