Archive for June, 2009

Tristan’s Metier

June 24, 2009

Two excerpts from a Glenn O’Brien interview with Kraftwerk from 1977.

When did you start the group?

RH: We started playing together in ’68 with different people. Then we set up our studio in 1970. So Kraftwerk was founded in 1970. We’ve played with different combinations of people, but for the last three years we’ve been playing with the two drummers we have now: Karl and Wolfgang.

Do they use regular drums at all?

RH: No, it’s all electronic. We have invented some special electronic drum system and patented them. We had regular drums with amplification and echo machines.

FLORIAN SCHNEIDER: But they were not sensitive enough. They were too loud. Too noisy.

RH: Now we can make all kinds of volume changes. And also the attitude of the player is a non-physical one. Our drummers don’t sweat. So they are like us. They are not subhumans doing the dirty work. They are like computer programmers.

* * * * *

Would you like your music to be beamed to other solar systems?

RH: Of course. So far we’ve been beaming ourselves around the world. When we wrote the song ‘Autobahn’ we were beaming ourselves into American car radios. Dreams come true.

You don’t have moral ideas. Do you have political ideas?

RH: We strongly believe in anarchy and self rule.

When did you start the group?

RH: We started playing together in ’68 with different people. Then we set up our studio in 1970. So Kraftwerk was founded in 1970. We’ve played with different combinations of people, but for the last three years we’ve been playing with the two drummers we have now: Karl and Wolfgang.

Do they use regular drums at all?

RH: No, it’s all electronic. We have invented some special electronic drum system and patented them. We had regular drums with amplification and echo machines.

FLORIAN SCHNEIDER: But they were not sensitive enough. They were too loud. Too noisy.

RH: Now we can make all kinds of volume changes. And also the attitude of the player is a non-physical one. Our drummers don’t sweat. So they are like us. They are not subhumans doing the dirty work. They are like computer programmers.

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The Tab

June 22, 2009

Lest we forget:

June 22 (Reuters) – Following are security developments in Iraq at 1100 GMT on Monday.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed two Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint in east Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen opened fire on policemen in central Mosul, killing two, police said.

MOSUL – Police found a body with bullet wounds to the head and chest in central Mosul, police said.

BAGHDAD – A parked car bomb in central Baghdad’s Karrada district killed five people, police said.

FALLUJA – A suicide bomber detonated himself outside the Falluja municipal council building, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five, police said.

KHANAQIN – A roadside bomb killed three soldiers near the town of Khanaqin, 140 km (100 miles) northeast of Baghdad, the army said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb went off near a police patrol, killing three civilians and wounding 12 others near al-Hamza Square in Baghdad’s northeastern district of Sadr City, police said. The victims were all students in a passing mini-bus.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded three people in Baghdad’s eastern Habibiya district, police said.

Never Wanted to Be One

June 21, 2009

Father

Fragile State

June 19, 2009

Because we don’t have blog turbo that let’s you upload video ($60/yr?!) we will not be able to follow through on my morning dream to post heart-softening clips from a certain body of water near Dickenson’s County Store… and instead must continue posting about wretched things such as imperial sociological experiments in Afghanistan.

In today’s WPost there’s a solid piece on USAID projex in Afghanistan (by the author of the celebrated book that’s being remade into a movie that’s given a title stolen from Eat My Mind’s space page and no longer just about dorm rooms anymore, starring, of course, Will Hunting). The newspiece focuses on the agriculture sector in Afghanistan and several funky blunders (aka “war bloopers”) by the previous administration. Given the avowed goal of rebuilding the Afghan state, it is strange how much the Bush Dudes completely bypassed the government. Instead of working with the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture to “build capacity” (as the development heads say) they set up expensive worthless development projects through private contractors, who, leaning heavily on some flat-earth free enterprise textbook, determined Afghanistan had a comparative advantage in pomegranates & almonds & such and tried to convince farmers to take on these crops because markets in Dubai were totally trying to buy snacks. For example, etc. Bush Dudes, as Lewis Lapham once said, were utopian anarchists. In this case, Utopian–in that they carried some hyper-abstracted political theory about the harmonizing function markets in society–and Anarchic–in that, through their actions/priorities, they sought to render government agencies irrelevant. (Despite spending almost $8billion on agriculture initiatives, when the current minister of agriculture assumed the post he was shocked to find his office without phone, internet, or staff.) What is wildstyle is that this tack was somewhat novel and a departure from the prevailing imperialist state-building orthodoxy. I mean, if you want to be a 21st century neo-colonialist there are playbooks you can pull off the shelf. And that way, when you fail, no one in Washington will give you a hard time. But these guys…      [Snap, need to get the weekend started–will continue da rant on Monday]

Human Potential / Potentially Human (Remix)

June 17, 2009

Of course the flipside to “Be a Fascist to a Fascist” is “Show Compassion to Robocop (He’s a human too (sometimes))”

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A backer of Mir Hossein Mousavi helps evacuate an injured riot-police officer during riots in Tehran on June 13, 2009. (Olivier Laban-Mattei / AFP / Getty Images) More pictures

Mmm mmm mmm for the [sight] of it ($hoop)

June 12, 2009

“A new study finds that the mere sight of money warps judgment. In several experiments, researchers asked people to identify as many words as possible from a set of random letters – as in the games Scrabble or Boggle – and voluntarily score themselves. They were offered several dollars each time they reached a certain score. However, for some of the people, the researchers had put thousands of dollars in cash on tables in the middle of the room. For those people, the rate of cheating was much higher.”

Gino, F. & Pierce, L., “The Abundance Effect: Unethical Behavior in the Presence of Wealth,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (forthcoming).

Good dinner party joke

June 11, 2009

Did you hear about the white supremacists on a rampage in D.C.?

Yeah, they’re blocking the nomination of Robert Groves to head the Census Bureau because they’re worried he won’t under-represent minorities in urban areas!

rejoinder style

June 11, 2009

Shortly after assuming the English throne in 1603 King James summoned the nation’s religious leaders to discuss all things theological.

In the discussion on baptism, the Bishop of Peterborough then made a fool of himself. Apropos of nothing much, he said that he knew of one case in which an ancient father had baptized with sand instead of water. ‘Whereto his Majesty answered pleasantly, “A turd for the Argument. He might as well have pissed on them, for that had been more liker to water than sand.”’ The bishop’s reputation never recovered.

A turd for the Argument. Ah yes, from time to time we all have endured conversational contributions such as this. Always on the receiving end, assuredly. Now comes an appropriate expression to put rogue bishops & freethinkers back in their place.

Great Seal of Massachusetts

June 3, 2009

Alerted to the existence of this funny thing by N. Chomsky, by way of Bookforum:

Fried Green

June 2, 2009