Thursday, January 01, 2004


2004 and the 20th century recedes; Hiroshima, Treblinka, Eddie Cochran, Humphrey Bogart, and the Somme. But, to paraphrase the old song, "they just don't know what's going to replace it", although I figure there are some quite hellish agendas out there.

My take on 2003 is the cover story in this weeks LA CityBeat. As of this moment I don't have a lot more add, except...


I stumbled across a fine collection of 1940s and 50s soft-core pulp fiction paperback covers on a site called vintage sex. Sharing them by way of a New Year cyber-gift.

Wednesday, December 31, 2003


I have been watching the advertisements at the top of this page with some interest, and have noted that they change with the content of the posts. Since I’ve only been doing this for less than a month, it is hardly a perfect study, but once Star Trek was mentioned, the process started. It seems to take a couple of days to kick in, but, within 48 hours, there it was, a banner for online Trek DVDs. Then, after a dialogue with kaymo about AI, ads for robotic hard and software replaced Star Trek. My suspicion is that some devious, probably Google-driven robot scans for preset keywords and adjusts the advertising accordingly. This is, of course, the same technology as Carnivore that the NSA and Homeland Security use to catch terrorists. But we trust Google. Why? Because it’s Google. No better reason. A dear friend suggested I keep a list and see if my theory pans out over time. Ever the Instant Gratification Kid, however, I decided I would attempt to force the issue. So let’s post the following random list and see what happens...

John Wayne
The Simpsons
The Central Intelligence Agency
50 Cent
Universal Pictures

Tuesday, December 30, 2003


From the excellent fidicen, links to two first rate pieces by Renana Brooks on Bush, the character myth, cognitive dissonance, neo-con newspeak, and what to do about the emperors bloody clothes (see also Dec 5th.)...

Also a piece on the 9/11 Independent Commission on the seemingly disastrous cluster fuck that broke out between the FAA, NORAD, the Air Force, and Dick Cheney after four passenger planes were reported hijacked on the morning of September 11th, 2001...

Monday, December 29, 2003

FROM THE EMAIL (Quite amazing)

Hi Mick,
Thought you might like the very literal machine (AI?) translation of the Flirt piece (see Sunday 12/28) courtesy of Google Language Tools. At least it seems Gabba Gabba Hey is (for the most part) the same in any language! Really enjoying the riff btw, Doc40 is now a regular stop.
Cheers, Sid


Figure cult of the London underground sin from when it worked like usciere fo the UFO Club in 1967 and therefore leader of the Deviants anarchists (to when they recovery), Mick Farren worked like journalist for the NME for three years on ending of the Seventy. In particular, just during the outbreak of the punk rock. In the 1977 the Ramones arrived in United Kingdom in order to promote their Leave Home, and the British weekly magazine dedicated it cover to they and an enthusiastic article of Roy Carr. In appendix to that article there was the space for a piece of Farren, that it provocatively proposed a various reading of the sound ramones, and that, riletto today, in effects it offers to the cue for one various reading of punk American 1977. "When the Ramones has begun to record discs, people have endured them compare to you to the New York Dolls, the MC5 and the Who. This is one mistaken analysis. E' like comparing a cat to the uvaspina and saying that of she is descendant, solo because both are hairy!" Farren set up its controversy on a fundamental concept in order to comprise the sound of fratellini the Ramone. "the true masters of reference of the group of Queens are The To Libs, The Dovells, The Shangri-las, The Ronnettes, The Crystals, the Beatles". Just the riccioluto cantante/intellettuale he emphasized that, although the rough and dirty sound of the group, that that was to the base of the plan was the riscoperta one of melodia ultra the POP of the Fifty, the Spector sound and music from College of the end of years Fifty. It was alone the 77, and already Farren sputava in face to the public English its truth, that one of the difference between punk rock English and the that American. "the Ramones has taken the tradition of the baroque POP and they have reduced it to the bone? this is minimalismo in its higher and pure shape ". Today that cervelloni of The Wire and the post rockers of all the world they strive hard the spirit in order to define the concept of minimalismo in music, farren scovò it just in the attitude of a group therefore new but tradizionalista, a band that riproponeva the sounds of the vocal groups of the ' 50, the scarnificava, filled up it of chitarristici cutting guitars riff and introduced it with a primitivo "one two three four!". This shining reading, teorizzata, we insist, already in 1977, offers the cue in order to reflect on the difference between first vagiti punk rock Americans and that more mod and exactly "rock" of English, you define in way the much most elastic one than many it puts into effect them "expert" of rock and vanguards in matter of sonorous minimalismo, and it points out us how much is unjust to cite ramones when we speak about trash like Blink and the other rubbish punk from Mtv. Who writes never has not loved particularly the punk rock, but she found, seppur the sound of the Ramones young, entusiasmante, from the moment that truly seemed to listen to one brought up-to-date version of music from college of the 50 and of the surf movies. Farren was pushed still more in in its esuberante teorizzazione of a new minimalismo... "the Ramones uses often the phrase here the wanna, that it is the more important in the dictionary of the minimalista". Its conclusive words still today turn out convincing and entusiasmanti, therefore felt and various from the intellettualismo (to the money of the majors) of many experts of punk rock that today vaneggiano and scream their maldestre theories. "the world has need of the minimalismo of the ramones... is a band that it has distilled the moral, politics and the social philosophy in the Gabba phrase gabba hey... The world of it has need, hour ".

Sunday, December 28, 2003


I guess in a combination of Sunday angst, the aftermath of so-far wretched holidays, the art avoiding art, and a general sense of impending disaster, I looked myself up on a web search, maybe to convince me that I still existed. Among all of the on-line stores specializing in obscure books and records (and heaven only knows I have enough of them) I discovered this lovely review from Richie Underberger. Thanks Ritchie, you brightened a dreary day.

GIVE THE ANARCHIST A CIGARETTE, by Mick Farren (Pimlico). Though Mick Farren might not have been a hugely recognizable name to the rock public in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was very much in the middle of Britain in both the underground rock scene and the general counterculture. {-Give the Anarchist a Cigarette} is his memoir of his wild early years, covering his flailing (yet ultimately successful) attempts to be in a rock group in the mid-1960s; his years as lead singer of the shambling psychedelic band the Deviants; his work as a journalist on the British underground paper {~International Times}; and his edging closer to the mainstream in the 1970s as a writer for {~New Musical Express}. On its own steam, Farren's story is very interesting; he got almost as much an inside view of the British psychedelic scene, as a fan and performer, as anyone, and likewise was much involved in the political protest and social counterculture of the time with {-International Times} and other activities, such as the psychedelic {~UFO} club. What makes this a truly fine read, however, is that Farren is also an excellent and extremely witty writer, churning out story after story of madcap adventure (and quite a lot of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll) in the British hippie era. These rope in characters from the most famous rock stars and writers to obscure groupies and hangers-on, from Led Zeppelin, Joe Boyd, Barry Miles, and Germaine Greer on down. For those who are interested, here at last are thorough details on his erratic yet intriguing band the Deviants -- their recording sessions, their chaotic gigs, the weird rotating cast of musicians, their ignominious bust-up on their first American tour. More than that, though, this gives a great sense of the adrenaline rush and heartbreaking disappointments of the hippie era, as well as its hangover into the 1970s, ending with Farren's decision to leave Britain for the US at the end of the '70s. Fans of Farren's writing were waiting a long time for a comprehensive account of his experiences during this era, which had leaked out in bits and pieces of various of his writings, and when he did put it all together in this book, he delivered the goods in splendid fashion.

I also found, on a website called Flirt -- The Snob Way To Indie Culture, a quite extraordinary analysis by one Federico Ferrari of a comment I wrote about the Ramones way back in 1977, in which I expounded the theory of rock & roll minimalism and suggested The Ramones were direct descendants of the Phil Spector classics, but stripped to the bare essentials. I received a lot of rock-crit flack at the time, but was later vindicated when Spector himself attempted to produce the Ramones. I don't know if Mr Ferrari agrees with me because his essay is in Italian, but it looks damned impressive.


“Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas, hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandled feet.”

Perhaps it’s the holidays or maybe all those who voted for the clown are still in denial, but I haven’t seen too much adverse reaction to the news that Gov. Arnold has, under some obscure and almost forgotten law, invoked special emergency powers so he does not have to consult the legislature on aspects of state spending. My paranoia is also reasonably well know, but, in this case, I hardly think it’s paranoia to look a little askance when Austrians start helping themselves to dicatorial powers, especially Austrians nicknamed “The Terminator.”

Which neatly brings us to...

Before the this bog commenced, kaymo the science fiction novelist and I had been exchanging emails on the subject of AI and how if real artificial intelligence was developed, it might well consider, like HAL 9000, that humanity was redundant. The subject came up when the recent remake of Battlestar Galactica introduced the idea that the evil robot Cylons had originally been created by humans, but now we have moved on to Arnold and the Terminator trilogy.

Re T3

Caught this on Satellite t'other night. Struck me how the vision on this concept has darkened irretrievably to full black. T1 ended with the ominous dark note, the pregnant Sarah heading for Mexico and life waiting for the end. But it wasn't a guaranteed nuclear war etc. T2 was
the obverse, with the happy ending and the nuclear war averted. Full H'wood Happy Endings Mode. An uplifting vision for the Clinton era. T3 is back to T1 and more so, leaving John Connor and bride to be stuck in the deep shelter while the warheads rain down and the hellish future begins. Goodbye Happy Endings, Hello Republican world view.
What began as a warning against Reaganist "Star Wars" and the idea of AIs taking control of nukes and thereby of our future, passed through a secondary warning and a vision of that future averted and now ends with a gloomy shrug-- there's nothing we can do about it-- we can't stop ourselves from going down the automated, robot controlled missile system chute with the risk somewhere down there that we create true machine intelligence and it junks us. Seems like a grim analog of the political processes we've been through these past thirty years.