Archive for July, 2016
Rolling Stone decided in its wisdom to deactivate the RSS feed for Matt Taibbi's essays. You know, because of progress and the web being Facebook now, whatever.
Taibbi's employers support the Clintons, so he has to write more gently when he criticizes the improper Democratic National Committee tactics that helped doom the Sanders campaign before Sanders self-doomed. Sadly, Taibbi also seems to have accepted the Clinton disinformation about the leaked DNC emails being a "Russian hack," which they then bizarrely tied to Trump. The proof for the Russian connection is weak but the media ran with it, successfully deflecting the story from the awfulness of the DNC emails. Taibbi at least attempts to walk readers through what was sleazy about the DNC's fundraising practices.
"Piano Exercise 1" [5 MB .mp3]
Have been listening to Carl Orff's Klavier-übung and got inspired to make some "exercises." Having a human player for this would be appreciated -- MIDI doesn't handle loud and soft velocity (dynamics) very well so this version is mostly loud.
you know, The GIF, with cate blanchett and keanu reeves
they make GIFs but then are faced with a terrible choice
there were hidden frames in that GIF
russian hackers were involved
played by katie holmes and greg kinnear
There's much sneering on the interwebs about naive Sanders supporters believing they could ever have free college. It's still a good idea, though, eminently affordable by siphoning off a fraction of US military spending or insisting that top earners actually pay their taxes. The sneerers also had a heyday with crying Sanders supporters at the DNC convention last night. Again, how are they supposed to feel when their guy rolls over at the crucial moment, or worse, plays them for suckers. It was a sad occasion.
hat tip goblin
hat tip maxlabor
Good English translations of books by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky are starting to become available; I recommend their science-fiction-cum-medieval-swashbuckler Hard to Be a God. Star Trek fans will immediately recognize this as a "prime directive" story ("We must not interfere in this primitive society, however dysfunctional") but Hard to Be a God was published in the Soviet Union in '64, two years before Trek's five year mission. Moreover, the observers walking around on this feudal planet, wearing mini-cams disguised as jewelry, are Communist utopians, not Federation would-be-colonialists. The observers see themselves as historians, nothing more. Plotwise, let's just say this particular planet's habit of torturing and killing its intellectuals sorely tests our protagonist's restraint. The antagonist, Don Reba, was originally named Rebia, an anagram for a certain Stalinist henchman; the Strugatskys changed it because it was a little too obvious.
Iain M. Banks wrote a similar tale 35 years later, Inversions, with two competing notions of how to go native. Also recommended.
Not necessarily recommended is the 2013 film version of Hard to Be a God, directed by Aleksei German (who died that year). The film mixes Tarkovskian aesthetics with Ubu Roi-ish perversity in a depiction of a completely degraded anti-culture. It's stylistically fascinating but incoherent; the science fiction aspects are subtle to the point of non-existence. For example, the characters are constantly mugging for the camera disguised as a jewel on the protagonist's forehead (which is never explained), yet he is in half the shots, being filmed by we-know-not-what. The book mentions helicopters whisking our agents around the planet; these are not seen in the movie, which is all horses and mud puddles -- like an extended version of the "Bring Out Your Dead" sequence in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
People are talking about LA writer and art world mainstay Dennis Cooper losing his blog -- presumably for risqué content even though Google has been hosting it for 14 years. We don't really know what happened yet; apparently Google didn't know he had a notable rep and gave him their standard passive-aggressive "down the memory hole" treatment, which includes not talking to the account-holder.
My glib response earlier this week:
tommoody: @photos (i) he's a dope for not having a backup, (ii) he must have run afoul of some "community guideline" BS for blogger, (iii) this was obviously going to be a problem as soon as Google bought blogger (i.e., 15 years ago)
"Root Rot" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]
More self-bricolage with leftover loops. New piano, bass, and percussion parts were retrofitted around a "bit rot" beat.
"Two Shakes" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]
Made with some leftover loops from earlier tracks plus two shakers.