Archive for November, 2016
Have been surprised by the extreme vehemence of Hillary voters among peers, friends, and former friends, over her election loss.
Weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, and if you don't share their pain, they get really personal and ugly. They come after you about who you are, what you are wearing, what you eat, etc.
What is driving this? Is it love of Hillary? A complete phony who had to spend hours with "the two most experienced debate prep specialists in Democratic politics" to go a few rounds with... Donald Trump?
Or is it fear of Trump? Sorry, but anyone who lived through eight years of Reagan can tell you there is no difference in the "empty suit," "not qualified for office," cranky man department. The Republicans spent decades burnishing the reputation of that animatronic doll but he was the Trump of 1980. And no one got upset about Carter's loss the way Hillary supporters are bleeding from every orifice. No one cursed John Anderson voters for "giving us Reagan." Well, maybe a few did, but nothing like this.
What is going on here? Hillary voters aren't interested in why anyone voted against her but perhaps they could do some self-analysis and explain why this election is such an emotional moment for them, as opposed to any other election where the "lesser evil" candidate lost.
Update: See this July 2016 Corey Robin post on the precedentedness of Trump (my word, in response to widespread claims that Trump's positions were unprecedented among conservative politicians). "It should be possible to talk about the very real and undeniable dangers of Trump without ignoring or reinventing the insanity of American history," Robin writes, offering a quick summary of wacky statements from Goldwater and Reagan.
Note the company isn't saying its product purifies water. The language is so calculatedly obscure it makes you suspect the opposite.
ProporNot sounds like a Ryder Ripps concept website -- is it propaganda or not? Click here.
In fact it appears to be the work of disgruntled Clinton supporters -- bitter-enders or dead-enders (as Rumsfeld called Iraqis who kept fighting after the US liberated them).
ProporNot publishes a ridiculous list of purportedly Putin-influenced US websites, which were supposedly scientifically studied (perhaps using Ada?) by someone -- we don't know who because it's anonymous -- looking for dissemination of obvious Kremlin memes, such as "Hillary Clinton $225,000 speaking fee" or "Hillary Clinton public and private position."
This garbage was then approvingly cited by the Amazon Washington Post and Clinton flunky Neera Tanden as "evidence" that Russians are back to their dirty old cold war tricks, and no one can be trusted.
If you've been reading any of these sites because the Amazon Washington Post, Conde Nast Reddit, and eBay Intercept aren't 100% reliable, you will laugh at who made it onto the list.
There's the libertarian lewrockwell.com and antiwar.com rubbing shoulders with the left-wing counterpunch.org and truth-out.org, and the left-leaning financial website Naked Capitalism alongside the right-leaning financial website David Stockman's Contra Corner. This ideologically diverse group can't all be Putin stooges, can they?
The main attribute these sites seem to have had in common was skepticism about the Clintons' need to return to power.
"Stretched and Unstretched" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]
Same basic instrumentation as "Machine Song Throwdown," except the arrangement is done in Ardour (Linux version) rather than in the beatboxes. Also, the vocal sample is from an earlier tune, "Antimatter Park": yrs truly saying the words "external hard drive" (perhaps the least sexy thing anyone could utter), "creatively mangled," as they say in music software advertising-speak.
Not sure if this qualifies as a dark pattern -- will have to consult my Sales Engineer.
The website Lateral Addition, edited by Eric Laska, specializes in sound art works. An entry that stuck in my head is "Popular Songs A," a cassette tape by NY artist Christopher Knowles. As writer Lauren DiGiulio explains it,
...in “Popular Songs A,” Knowles introduces a series of short excerpts from Billboard’s Top 20 songs of fourteen different years from 1957 to 1971. The songs are recorded from the Top 20 countdown series on WCBS-FM, an oldies radio station in New York City that offered a programmed countdown of classic hits in the early 1980s. He made this work on fourteen different days throughout the winter and spring of 1984, and each of the recordings is comprised of songs that were popular on the same day of the referenced year. This temporal layering, in which we hear Knowles in 1984 introducing songs from the previous decades, creates a folding effect that draws sonic connections across moments in mid-twentieth century popular music. Here, Knowles takes us on a tour of this formative period in music history, showing us the differences between the smooth soul lyricism of the late ‘50s, the funk-rock beats of the ‘60s, and the psychedelic poetry of the early ‘70s as we hear cropped excerpts of “Pretty Girls Everywhere” by Eugene Church & the Fellows from 1958, “Dance to the Music” by Sly & the Family Stone from 1968, and “Toast and Marmalade for Tea” by Tin Tin from 1971. As listeners, we are invited to tune in to the soundtrack of Knowles’s everyday world, and to shift effortlessly with him across these carefully measured distances.
The song snippets are no more than a few seconds each and punctuated by generous amounts of crackling tape noise. What stays with you, however, are Knowles' amateurish yet incantatory introductions to each group of songs. He is speaking into his cassette recorder in 1984 as if he had an actual audience, which he does, now, 32 years later. Here's an example of one of his spiels, that I transcribed, delivered in an accent that my Southern-born ears can't place to any particular NY borough:
Well now, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for listening to the popular songs of 1965, 19 years ago today. So, Wednesday, March thirty-first, 1965, 19 years ago today. So thank you very much for listening to the popular songs of 1965, 19 years ago today. So Wednesday March thirty-first, 1965, 19 years ago today, so thank you very much for enjoining it [sic]. [Tape noise] So, that was 1965. [Tape pause] Well, now, ladies and gentlemen, now you listen to the popular songs of 1962, 22 years ago today. So, Sunday, April first, 1962, 22 years ago today. So now listen to the popular songs of 1962, 22 years ago today. So, Sunday, April first, 1962, 22 years ago today. So now, you listen up!
These Beckett-like intros, and the time folding effect of listening in 2016 to a crunchy tape made in 1984 of aggressively-spliced musical madeleines from 1957-1971, put the "art" into this sound experiment.
The pristine integrity of the building's concrete expanse has been marred by this sign announcing... red label something. It's almost as if the owners of the structure don't respect the architects or their vision of functional materialism.
"Machine Song Throwdown" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]
Elektron stopped making its Machinedrum so I found one used. It can be connected via MIDI to an Octatrack to expand the number of available tracks. That's what happens here. All the sounds are either one device or the other, except the videogame-y riff, which was done with the SIDguts module and Doepfer A-154/155 sequencer (and then further sliced up in the Octatrack). The BPM is 141, so the machine song goes by so quickly its mongrelization of different moods and motifs isn't as apparent as it would be at a slower rate. It's a PoMo ThrowDo.
Some beats on the Machinedrum were "found" (i.e., left in ROM by the previous owner). I tweaked them quite a bit, but, hat tip to GYS.
Trump, while campaigning, said a few refreshing things about national defense (out of one side of his mouth, at least) but then, once elected, wasted no time reviving ghouls from the Bush era for key posts. Among the names floated: Woolsey! Bolton! and now the man Democrats were instructed at one point not to call General Betray-us. In announcing the latter pick (for defense secretary), Clinton hagiographer Joe Conason illustrates the maxim "history is written by the loser." Conason willfully misunderstands Trump's "Crooked Hillary" epithet as applicable to security clearances and wades into a useless comparison of whether Clinton or Betray-us was more security-minded. "Crooked Hillary" wasn't aimed at abuse of security classifications, but rather the Clintons selling themselves for cash to unscrupulous businessmen and unsavory world leaders, via their Foundation. Voters understood this even if Conason doesn't.