Friday, May 07, 2010
I woke up on Thursday morning, after just two hours sleep, to the sound of agricultural-strength garden impliments. I had typed to dawn on my very first roll with Renquist V, and had maybe written more than was good for me. The agricultural-strength garden implements didn’t sound like they were going to go away any time soon, and I figured my only options were homicide or television. I’m probably too old for murder, and the polls were closing in the UK, so I figured I’d check up on the Brown demise. A routinely annoying morning so far. And then the TV wired me into its cable world, where mobs appeared to be burning down Athens, and the NYSE was plunging to hell like a cut-cable elevator, accompanied by so much ill-informed morning media hysteria that it seemed close to a prologue for a remake of The Road Warrior. Which gave me pause.
Later the hysteria calmed down and the bizarre mini-crash was blamed on a typo, which, if believed, is a hell of a way to run a stock market, and, if not believed, is a hell of a lame cover story for some economic version of The China Syndrome. More disturbing, were the cable news hired heads, in full panic, fascist-xenophobe theorizing about how the only way to fix the global economy was to let Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal all fall apart and asset-stripped by the German and US banks. I felt ill. Massed weedwhackers screamed metal machine music. The lackeys superrich are insane, myopic and stupid and if we don’t turn the dogs on them they’ll kill us all.
Jeffrey Kaye has what seems to be a workable analysis on FireDog Lake
“The crisis in Greece and the European Union in general is exposing the deep flaws within the post-Soviet economic and political structure in Europe. The fires in Athens are a harbinger of a bigger crisis to come, one that Americans will have to pay attention to. But do not count on the U.S. press to honestly report what will happen, or the U.S. government to stand aside in neutrality. The Obama administration is pushing the Europeans and the IMF to get the bailout deal in place quickly, even as right-wing Republicans are screaming they will not support the U.S. paying its portion of the IMF bailout funds.The people of Greece seem determined they will not pay for the orgy of corruption and double-dealing that has left their economy in tatters. Whether it was Goldman Sachs playing funny with derivatives to help the Greek government to hide its debt, or German companies rushing to buy up newly privatized industries, or the wide-spread corruption of Greek politicians, they are saying something that American workers and middle class might be thinking, and that has some people afraid: "'let the plutocracy pay'...'Why should we, the little man, pay for this crisis?'” (Click here for more.)
Click here for the Internationale (you’ll feel a whole lot better – and there’s also a nice sheep in the video)
Image from Valerie
The secret word is Unleash
Posted by Mick at 5/07/2010 09:32:00 PM
Posted by Mick at 5/07/2010 09:09:00 PM
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Although not due for release until September 3rd (my birthday incidentally) Robert Rodriguez has put together a special trailer for his movie Machete as a special Cinco De Mayo message for the state of Arizona. (Click here, but you’re supposed to be 18 years-old) Thanks to HCB for the heads up.
But click here for a link that works. (Thanks to Valerie -- see comments)
Posted by Mick at 5/05/2010 06:22:00 PM
Our pal Faux Smoke sent us this story and pic of Chinese sweatshop workers slumped over their work stations from exhaustion. It comes from the London Daily Mail which calls the photo “an image that Microsoft won't want the world to see.” The mills may not be dark, but they’re still fucking satanic. Of course, the Daily Mail isn’t the most super-reliable of tabloids, but this would seem to be a fair indictment of routine capitalism (and whatever the hell China is) in action. Which leads us to one manifest conclusion. There’s an absolute ungency for one big, powerful, IWW-style global labor union. But they’ll kill a lot of us before they let that happen.
“Employed for gruelling 15-hour shifts, in appalling conditions and 86f heat, many fall asleep on their stations during their meagre ten-minute breaks. For as little as 34p an hour, the men and women work six or seven days a week, making computer mice and web cams for the American multinational computer company. This photo and others like it were smuggled out of the KYE Systems factory at Dongguan, China, as part of a three-year investigation by the National Labour Committee, a human rights organisation which campaigns for workers across the globe. The mostly female workers, aged 18 to 25, work from 7.45am to 10.55pm, sometimes with 1,000 workers crammed into one 105ft by 105ft room. They are not allowed to talk or listen to music, are forced to eat substandard meals from the factory cafeterias, have no bathroom breaks during their shifts and must clean the toilets as discipline, according to the NLC. The workers also sleep on site, in factory dormitories, with 14 workers to a room. They must buy their own mattresses and bedding, or else sleep on 28in-wide plywood boards. They 'shower' with a sponge and a bucket. And many of the workers, because they are young women, are regularly sexually harassed, the NLC claimed.” (Click here for more.)
Click here for Billy Bragg
The secret word is Organize
Posted by Mick at 5/05/2010 04:32:00 PM
Click here for Bob from the same aproximate time. Everyone was in love until punk showed.
Posted by Mick at 5/05/2010 04:19:00 PM
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
(Banksy on AZ.)
As the oil clogs the Gulf and a sea of troubles yet to be defined will, without doubt follow, plus all the other all too familiar problems still remain, a scramble is underway to the time-honored last resort of every authoritarian asshole probably since the Roman Empire. That’s right. Get hysterical all over the poor fucking immigrants.
“Arizona's new get-tough immigration law has emboldened other state capitols to follow suit. Legislators in at least 10 states -- Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, and Maryland -- have called for laws that would mirror Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, according to the Progressive States Network and reporting by New America Media. First out of the gate to actually introduce a bill was South Carolina. Along with 20 co-sponsors, Rep. Eric Bedingfield, a Republican, introduced a bill April 29 that, like Arizona's, requires law enforcement officials to check individuals' immigration status. Some of the language in the South Carolina bill, which was posted on the legislature's website, is virtually identical to the most controversial portion of the Arizona measure signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer on April 23. The South Carolina bill reads: "When reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt must be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person." (Click here for more)
While, not to be outdone, the Democrats want a US national ID card.
“A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation's immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday. Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure. The proposal is one of the biggest differences between the newest immigration reform proposal and legislation crafted by late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment. It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases. "The cardholder's identity will be verified by matching the biometric identifier stored within the microprocessing chip on the card to the identifier provided by the cardholder that shall be read by the scanner used by the employer," states the Democratic legislative proposal. The American Civil Liberties Union, a civil liberties defender often aligned with the Democratic Party, wasted no time in blasting the plan. "Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives. Every worker in America will need a government permission slip in order to work.” (Click here for more)
Click here for Bob & Joanie
Click here for Ry Cooder
The secret word is Scapegoating
Posted by Mick at 5/04/2010 04:42:00 PM
Posted by Mick at 5/04/2010 04:16:00 PM
Monday, May 03, 2010
Our friend Kass (from whom we haven’t heard in a while) delivered this most distressing news…
“Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter. The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers. The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy. Potential causes range from parasites, such as the bloodsucking varroa mite, to viral and bacterial infections, pesticides and poor nutrition stemming from intensive farming methods. The disappearance of so many colonies has also been dubbed "Mary Celeste syndrome" due to the absence of dead bees in many of the empty hives.” (Click here for more)
The secret word is probably Monsanto
Phoebe Cresswell-Evans -- RIP
Posted by Mick at 5/03/2010 04:00:00 PM
Our pal Faux Smoke sent is this set of two images. You may be able to click on them and read the text, but sufice to say that the one on the left shows three neuron cells from a tiny slice of a mouse’s brain (not something of which we exactly approve) while the one on the right shows a computer simulation of the universe complete with galactic clusters, millions of stars and dark matter. FS says, “I just liked the image comparison, don't care about the quotes or the rest of it.” I kinda feel the same.
Click here for Bob
Posted by Mick at 5/03/2010 03:54:00 PM
Posted by Mick at 5/03/2010 03:38:00 PM
Sunday, May 02, 2010
That it was the Beltane morning-after made no difference. Her greeting was a typically hostile tossed gauntlet. “You know fiction’s dead, don’t you, old man?” The hotel bar was still officially closed but she had talked her way past the day manager and was already waiting for me. “I suppose, after last night, you want a Bloody Mary?” To which, in my imagination, I could only reply that what I really wanted was greasy food and a Coca Cola, but a drink certainly wouldn’t go amiss. Or maybe three.
Click here for Willie
The secret word is Tabasco
Posted by Mick at 5/02/2010 05:17:00 PM
The good news for those of you who like this kind of thing is that the novel currently designated Renquist V is now underway. Every day I write the book. But, needless to say, everyday I also debate with myself as to the prevailing degree of my comparative psychosis. Each time I prepare to hunch over the keyboard, I tremble at just how recklessly I am flying in the teeth of economic common sense. The Renquist Quartet, at best, has a cult following. And now I want to do a fifth book that takes it one or more steps beyond, into an extra dimension of string-theory, pan-galactic surrealism? Plus I am doing all this in the grim depths of a dying world economy, and when bright young people in cocktail lounges claim from the depths of their lipstick that fiction is just soooo dead. And all I can do is thank the lord I drink my whiskey clear.
I have uneasily to admit I start this work with no idea how it will be transmitted to the reader, but I believe I may keep those of you who are interested posted with dispatches from the process. I even debate posting the odd teasing excerpt. But teasing for what? All I know for sure is that the thousand year-old Victor Renquist must finally face his makers – and even his infinitely prolonged mortality – as the nephilim finally return to check on their planetary experiment after an absence of twelve thousand years. And the really neat contrivance will be, in the course of the writing, to pull out every trick I know and also invent a few more until – I profoundly hope – I have shaken down a high-energy, high-impact, rapid-fire, cunningly destructed style of fragmentation (with some fancy post-Uncle Bill fabricated language) which I hope will make reading more fun than crystal meth, but failing that, might just drive both of us crazy.
At times I ask myself why I don’t be done with all nosferatu fiction and just dig in and write a whole crypto-history of everything since the extraterrestrial genetic intervention around 10,000 BC – just when we were thawing out from the last major ice age – and descend via Baalbeck, the Dionysians, the Albigensian Cathars, the Shogunates, the Black Hand, Antarctic Nazis, MKULTRA, HAARP, and the Lizard Kings to the present and beyond. If I was to keep a straight face and pretend every fucking demented word of it was true, I’d be in the goddamned Graham Hancock business. But screw that. I mean, where would be the poetry? Where would be the bop that just won’t stop? And whence would go my artist’s soul? Then a small quiet voice suggests I could maybe do both and my whole body aches for a cigarette.
There may be more of this…
Posted by Mick at 5/02/2010 05:10:00 PM