Sep 12, 2003 · 1 minute read
Finally finished Words and Music
. I'm not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. It's a rambling mess, seemingly lacking an editor or a proofreader ("thier"?), it never really fulfills on the promise of the murder mystery, and it's nothing more than a bunch of lists, with twenty page digressions on Kraftwerk and Simon Fuller, and a chapter that's comprised mostly of footnotes. It's laughably pretentious, in all the ways you'd expect from Paul Morley.
And yet...it's wonderful. It's everything music journalism should be: joyful and serious, critical and reverential, obscure and populist, descriptive and vague, Missy Elliot and John Cage, modern and nostalgic, obsessive and shallow, optimistic and despondent, entertaining and informing, digital and analogue, left and right, mysterious and clear.
I'm going to steal just about half of it. Plus, tomorrow, I'm listening to Metal Machine Music. Be afraid…
Sep 10, 2003 · 2 minute read
Yesterday, the RIAA acted swiftly to try and avert a public relations disaster, after it found itself suing a 12 year old girl from a New York housing project. The maximum penalty the girl could have faced was a fine of $150m (American copyright laws have the potential of fining $150,000 per infringement, and the girl had over 1,000 songs on her computer). Realising that this would lead to more questions being asked of their recent crusade, the RIAA quickly settled with the girl's family. The girl's mother will pay a $2,000 fine to the RIAA. Brianna Lahara, the girl in question, said this to reporters:
I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don't want to hurt the artists I love.
I don't know if the RIAA has been asked how much of this $2,000 will go to the artists. Wearing my British Cynic Hat (standard issue for all citizens), I guess that most, if not all of that sum will go into the pockets of the RIAA's lawyers.
Which brings us to another question: what is the RIAA going to do with all this money it's collecting? Will they give some to the artists, and if so, how are they going to divide it up? A simple tally of how many times the artists appears in people's shared lists (in which case, remove all your Phil Collins and Celine Dion MP3s now)? What happens if we're sharing bootlegs? Giving more cash to Orrin Hatch, so he can continue to make stupid statements? We need to know!
Oh, and while the record companies huff and puff, they're not adverse to using the file-sharing networks for their own purposes.
Sep 9, 2003 · 1 minute read
The first part of a series investigating the PATRIOT Act
. An important axiom for our times is buried within this article: Don't mess with librarians.
It also seems to contradict Ms. Comstock's assurances in last week's Nightline documentary. Although the agencies need a judge to get a secret warrant, the judge is powerless to refuse their request, as long as they've filled in the paperwork correctly. Which seems to get rid of some of those pesky checks and balances,
Sep 9, 2003 · 1 minute read
It's in 32V! 32V! 32V! 32V! Stop lying, corporate scum!
Sep 8, 2003 · 1 minute read
To Shut Up.
Sep 8, 2003 · 1 minute read
The Greatest Computer Game Review. Ever.
(In memory of YS, AP, Digi, and now Digiworld. *sniff*)
Sep 8, 2003 · 2 minute read
But then, I'm fairly sure that everybody reading this already knows that.
Still, you'd be surprised at the huge grin on my face after reading JLA/Avengers earlier this evening. Sure, superhero comics are a childish power fantasy, most likely responsible for holding back the acceptance of comics as an art form in the US and UK. And this book is probably the ultimate fan-fantasy, teaming up the two big teams from the DC (Batman, Superman, Flash, etc.) and Marvel (Spider-Man, Captain America, The Hulk, and so on) Universes.
But, for what it was, it managed to include everything that can make these things great. Stupid gigantic cosmic menace that wipes out inconsequential universes in the first few pages? Check. A silly quest to find important objects? Check. The two teams meet up, immediately distrust each other, and start fighting? Check, check, and check.
It contains everything you need in a good crossover, backed-up with the usual gorgeous art from George Perez.
And! Jokes! The Batman beats up the Punisher off-panel! Quicksilver looks forward to being worshipped as a super-speedster in the DC Universe! Hawkeye thinks that the JLA are a copy of the Squadron Supreme! Plastic Man! Lobo versus the Sh'iar!
(Of course, none of that makes sense to the majority of you, but trust me, it's amusing. Nod your heads and back away slowly...)
It's gloriously unashamed superheroics, casting aside the dead-end of the Authority and Dark Knight eras, and going back to crazy, goofy ideas. Can't wait for issue #2.
(Quick comic round-up: The Priest Curse strikes again, so The Crew will be ending with issue #7. Grr. Neil Gaiman's 1602 is intriguing, but I think it's definitely going to be a minor work. The Filth continues to get better. I'm thinking about selling all my Global Frequency issues on eBay, in the hope that some Ellis fan will appreciate them more than I did, and boy oh boy did Morrison pull a fast one on us, eh readers?)
I think this entry can only go downhill from here. Soon, I'll be explaining my love of the Five-Year Gap, why it was Straxus in Time Wars rather than Megatron, thinking about why Delight became Delirium, the identity of V (in both instances), and the significance of the different Key viruses in The Invisibles. So I'd best stop here, for all your sakes.
Sep 7, 2003 · 2 minute read
This is likely to be a patchy entry, but anyway…
Here we go!
First 9/11 mention. We took out Afganistan! Yay! 2/3 of known leaders captured (don't mention Osama).
And on to Iraq. Ah, it was a humane war. Good to know. And it's only since 9/11 that terrorists have been stopped? Er, okay, we won't mention the Irish and Basque groups, shall we.
Decent and Democratic society! Except women can't go out alone at night. But hey.
Okay, he's not actually said anything yet. And dances around the point that a Free and Democratic Iraq could conceivably elect a party that promises to institute Sharia law...
More foreign terrorists in Iraq. Is there any confirmation of this yet? They keep harping on about it, but I've never actually seen any evidence…
It's just Baghdad and Tikrit that are causing problems.
"A different kind of war"
"We will spend what is necessary" —
Okay, first WWII mention. Thankfully he avoids the Werwolf issue.
The Coalition is still on the offensive, apparently. But major combat operations are over. It's not a war. It's not.
We need help! 130,000 US troops in Iraq at the moment, 20,000 troops from other countries. Colin! Colin! Colin! He'll save us all, but we're still calling the shots, okay! But we were right, so suck it up and send us troops that we can order about.
Of course, the Governing Council is regarded as a joke by many Iraqis, but at least you're doing something.
Here comes the begging bowl 8-).
$87bn. Ow. And that's just for the next year. Colin gets to go to the other countries asking for money. He gets all the nice jobs.
More careful mingling of Iraq and 9/11.
Okay, that final pull away shot - very, very scary.
Incidentally, this is complete hearsay, but it sounds as if Donald Rumsfeld had a lucky escape yesterday…