Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The End

I have learned what I set out to learn from the blog. Now it is learned and done. The end.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Career Cavities: An Exploration (Sunday Essay 7)

Two things:

( 1 )
Some nights ago, I dreamt Kermit the Frog was the captain in the latest Star Trek show. It was more J J Abrams than Gene Roddenberry, (firefox has an entry for 'Roddenberry' in their spell check but not for 'firefox') and he was a tough-as-nails captain. All "Fire the torpedoes! Get out from underneath them, goddammit!" and then grover gets on the bridge and says "Hey guys! Let's sing a song while we're..." and kermit all slaps him in the face "this is no time to sing a song! We're up to our fucking shit in klingons! Now I'm the captain, you get the fuck back in engineering!" And then the screen shakes and everyone braces themselves. I was pretty happy about it at the time.

Having a classically absurd dream premise is a pleasant reminder that there is still sanity and order in the world.

( 2 )
Speaking of dreams, I had no idea answers.com added a dream interpreter to their thesaurus services:

http://www.answers.com/library/Dream+Symbols

I think it's pretty rad. Someone (me) should do what [linkify] has done, except rather than looking directly at Google, it looks at the dream symbols as linked above and provides an interpretation. I could make a dream interpreter, in essence, that takes a block of text where you describe a dream and turns it into a link-filled extravaganza.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

(Sunday Essay #6): Why no one on this green earth should ever trust Simon Fuller

Bill Gates had a plan. Bill Gates had a scheme. History will say that while he wrote QDOS at IBM, people scoffed at the idea of merchandising an OS, but he knew better. He had a vision.

It's better than that. Bill Gates was in a singular position to comment on the marketability of operating systems, and I'm willing to bet he prevaricated his analysis, deliberately making it look as though operating systems would never be sold for much money. I'm willing to bet that when he left, as he said "oh, and by the way, while I'm on my way out can you sell me those things that I said were worthless? The rights for OS distribution?" And because IBM is a huge corporate beast the person reviewing the request didn't know he was the one that had done the analysis, and said "sure, let's get something for nothing," and sold him the rights. I'm willing to bet that's the history they never tell of Bill Gates. He had a plan. He had a scheme. And he was in a singular position to pull it off.

Simon Fuller (creater of American Idol) has a plan. He has a scheme. But I'm wiling to bet he doesn't have all his cards in place yet for his big move. Here's how I see it:

Casinos hire a specific third party (a secret subsidiary of a coalition of casinos) to count the individual votes in American Idol and other call-to-vote shows. They can't offer gambling odds if there's any chance the show was rigged, and so they take the ability to cheat out of the hands of the show's producer, Simon Fuller, knowing full well he would place bets and rig the show in order to profit. However, for allowing them to monitor the voting and verify its authenticity, they give 19 Entertainment (Fuller's company) a cut of all the Idol-type shows' gambling profits.

Fuller rigs the show anyway. Even though the votes cast are authentic, he colludes with the guys at AT&T to increase the number of busy signals on the voting lines, therefore skewing the polls in favor of a specific candidate. In addition, the RIAA and other content management agencies Fuller works with contract with the casinos to bring their acts to Vegas stages in exchange for RIAA acing as a watchdog against AT&T and Fuller. The RIAA, however, was distracted with suing 12-year old girls using Napster, and failed to see the corruption that was right under their noses. Or more likely, they didn't care since the Casinos didn't have to know that their attention wasn't focused on the Fuller shows. So it's a weak alliance of the RIAA and the Casinos and a stronger alliance (though still breakable) between Fuller and AT&T.

Those shows (America's got Talent) that don't have a watchdog group, the Casino monitors directly and (as you'll notice) 100% of the talent goes directly to Vegas shows. So Fuller has to rig them by psychologically manipulating the competitors. Waking them up all hours, making auditions last far into the night, waiting in lines, forcing them to compete in front of different groups of people, the constant stress and tension, it allows them to be easily manipulated into collaborating with Fuller to throw shows in order that Fuller can take the casinos for as much cash as possible.

Fuller tolerates this painful alliance while he is building up cash; He's already a billionaire, but he's waiting until his wealth increases and their stock lowers to the point where the following headline can become reality:

IDOL'S FULLER BUYS CLEAR CHANNEL

Then, he will have a perfect vertically-integrated monopoly. Who harvests the talent from nothing? Fuller (on Idol and other shows) Who promotes and managest the artists? Fuller. Who owns the radio stations that pimp their music? Fuller. Who owns the shopping malls where the music is sold? Who owns the airports where they play the music, sell the music, and portray musicians as glamorous jetsetters? Who owns the movie theaters that play the movie crossovers starring the talents? Fuller, Fuller, Fuller.

That's his plan. That's his scheme. And nobody should trust him; hes a busy man with his fingers in a lot of pies right now, just waiting for the day he can pull them all out at once and gobble up the mincemeat that sticks so pleasantly to his fingers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Buncha prayers these guys saying

Davy Holmes once told me that punk music was his favorite kind of music because of the "joy" of it. After some more explaining, I finally got out of him exactly what the "joy" was. It was the fact that because it was all done on the first take by kids just fooling around with instruments, you could hear the enthusiasm with which they create their art. Ben folds used the fact that he recorded every take 27 times a day and he spent 16 hours in the studio remixing to his advantage - you can hear the broken, flat, emotionally scarred note in his voice, and that is the exact sound he is going for. But what cannot be abided (abidden?) is the same emotionally scarred, pained tone in every single band trying to outdo one another in an effort to make their music more appealing to the buyers. A person like Davy Holmes can only take so much of that, so he gravitates toward a genre of music and a lifestyle that doesn't believe in perfection as a goal; in fact, the more raw, the more corrupt, the better. Because those are the only people that take art seriously enough to enjoy every minute of it. Grafitti art, underground music, the so-called "high concept" artists, in many cases - they don't realize they're an ironic joke by people who enjoy them because they represent the wrecked nature of society, or if they realize, then they're in on the joke, too.

With people as demoralized as they are, I don't think it's too much to ask that we, the youth, make a stand that isn't punk music. What about me? I try hard at my art, but i don't kill myself over it. So what? I enjoy making it, every second of it, and I think you can feel that when you listen to my music.

What about you mr john? I get a feeling you see this in every second of your movie(s); that we are not a joke, we're earnest, but we have resolved to maintain our integrity even at the expense of quality because there is a segment of society that needs us, that has been craving what we do but had not found anyone to give it to them. We do not suspect we can make it on pure talent; but we are smart enough to see a need, to fill the gap between perfection at the expense of joy and joy at the expense of any quality whatsoever. We have a desire to fill that need, and we suspect that there is a market that will respond to us alone; not a big market, but one we know exists because we are a part of it.

Perhaps I make too bold a statement concerning your motivations. If so, please respond in the comments and set me straight.

I do not believe that an artist can change his aim. I think he is set that way in stone, and the goal of his art will always remain the same. Me, I'm aimed at listenable but never at the expense of my joy in creation, so that my art will always retain that liveliness that you can hear in so many first albums but none after. It means that you continue to hear the joy, and that's why people continue to contact me after years of non-communication begging for one or another of my tracks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whose is worse for wear

-----------------------------
whose is worse for wear

Whose is the vigil, there?
Whose gear is worse for wear?

Where have the trumpets gone?
Where has history malice borne?

What comes so naturally as a fist?
What blinds us in this violent tryst?

When can we be crowned in night?
When shall our blessed burdens light?

Why hath evil to us come?
Whyfore this terrored tome?

Who is the vigilant, here?
Who is worse for wear?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Isle of Syndicates (Sunday Essay #5)

The Isle of Syndicates

[[Author notes that he doesn't know why he got started writing these, but they kept coming and so he put them all in one place: here. Most follow a specific format, but you'll see later editions straying from that opinion.)

- 1 -
Your attempt to be stopped by a moving train
is fantastic!

- 2 -
Your ability to survive 15 Pelican attacks
is significant!

- 3 -
Your proximity to Murder Man makes
your death imminent!

- 4 -
Everything up is down, and that head
is spinning!

- 5 -
A warrior-specific font in which
is birthed the Mouths of Angels!

- 6 -
There is no hell deep enough
to purge the Iron Soul

- 7 -
Prognostication! Splendid!
I'll talk to you myself.

- 8 -
You know what will help, but
advice isn't followed.

- 9 -
Trains are passing through,
one chasing the other.

- 10 -
Courage is valued and scourged
equally on both sides.

- 11 -
Requests for aid are regarded thus:

- 12 -
So, too, is it thus: for a thousand marksmen cannot cheat
the sages!

- 13 -
forget the fat one, the sounds respective to their maker
do not so hastily end!

- 14 -
it's bad luck
to let your face
grow as a cheese

- 15 -
Experiencing slender format
a tone throughout the ages
ploughs into each furrow
the springtime seeds of wretchedness

- 16 -
When you are all the way down, you don't even know that up exists.
At first, when you start to come up for air, you reject it, preferring instead the strange new world of the sea.
Then, later, you accept it, knowing that you are enjoying yourself except for the while between dives.
Finally, you welcome it, since you know now that both experiences are satisfying and, perhaps, you have spent too much time on the other side.

- 17 -

Stewed is not proud,
a loud spellcheck
pouch of putrid flesh
pound of breath

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Barrington Runners (Laundromat!)

THE BARRINGTON RUNNERS
a night-time tale by helen mushroom

This is the way it used to be done. Out there, underneath the stars, the women would go down to the river when all the daytime predators were asleep – and wash their clothes. They weren’t much at first (the clothes, not the women), a fur here, some scraps of leaves woven together there, but they were our first clothes, and in the time before things could be repaired, the women came with intent to wash them and instead sometimes threw them into the river, going naked until some more suitable leaf or animal came along.

As time has gone by, we’ve expected a lot more from our clothes. At a time when tailors were plentiful, but expensive, and weavers did their painstaking work by hand, we expected our clothes to last us a lifetime. Children outgrowing clothes was less celebrated by our ancestors than by us: for us, 'tis a blessing to have a child that grows at all; for them, who knows why they kept on living. After all, the state of their clothes was horrible, much more so than in the ancient times.

Still, there was a time, (was it so long ago?) when there was nothing more human than smashing stinking rags on the rocks with a stick or a small stone, running naked screeching like banshees, back when delight or excitement was an impulse response to lurking danger, back when our instincts ruled us, keeping us one step ahead in a land that did not want or need us.

So when you see us, howling and running nude, throwing sticks at small mammals in an attempt to kill them for their precious fur, do not be alarmed. Think of it as a trip to the laundromat: we’re just socializing while we stick around somewhere washing our clothes before moving on to more inviting environs, same as you. Come tomorrow, we’re probably going to be your friend, your plumber, your lawyer, your pastor. You’ll never know which of us was there that night, which among all these seemingly well-integrated members of society. And maybe, just maybe, you'll realize that you’re among the very few that don’t participate, and the joke’s been on you for years.

I know you're reading this (you know who you are) and you should know: I mean it. Every word. I always told you never to trust anyone. Well, I'm telling you again. Don't trust anyone. Good night.

______________
This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Laundromat'.