Monday, 30 April 2007

Lift Not The Painted Veil

I'm just to angry to say anything logical at the moment.

The crux case centres on a woman called Nishal, a 26-year-old Moroccan immigrant to Germany with two kids and a psychotic husband. Since their wedding night, this husband beat the hell out of her. She crawled to the police covered in wounds, and they ordered the husband to stay away from her. He refused. He terrorised her with death threats.

So Nishal went to the courts to request an early divorce, hoping that once they were no longer married he would leave her alone. A judge who believed in the rights of women would find it very easy to make a judgement: you're free from this man, case dismissed.

But Judge Christa Datz-Winter followed the logic of multiculturalism instead. She said she would not grant an early divorce because - despite the police documentation of extreme violence and continued threats - there was no "unreasonable hardship" here.

Why? Because the woman, as a Muslim, should have "expected" it, the judge explained. She read out passages from the Koran to show that Muslim husbands have the "right to use corporal punishment". Look at Sura 4, verse 34, she said to Nishal, where the Koran says he can hammer you. That's your culture. Goodbye, and enjoy your beatings.

I know the writing style is biased and aggressive, and that I need a bigger, clearer picture of what's happening -- was the German judge using this as an example, an extreme method of getting fellow law-makers in Germany and the EU to recognise the complete and utter madness that is fundamentalist Muslim (or any religious...) Dogma in regards to woman's lack-of-rights? Or does this judge not care? Does she perhaps hate Muslim's, so she's willing to have them suffer? What's going on?

Maybe after stuff like, oh I don't know, Baden-Baden for instance, the Germans are now hyper sensitive to accommodating other religious views and integrating them into contemporary German culture. But how far down can a country sink, compromising their own concept of human rights, in order to suit the archaic views of an immigrating populous?

I'm supposed to be finishing a sketchbook. I'm too angry to breath.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

J0 man(ga).

This is for my mother.

By Mckenzee,j0. Props.


I <3 comix -- when I was younger and I lived in a country where they have bookstores that are open past 5pm, I used to be a manga hobo, which was awesome. I'd lunk around, reading Ramna1/2 and Clamp titles and every Sandman ever. It was great; I learned a lot from comics graphic novels. I was never into Marvel or DC, sadly, mostly because I thought they were, well, kinda lame. I didn't like the traditional comic style, or rather, the T&A club. Don't get me wrong, I love a fine lookin' woman as much as the next Humanoid, but, meh. Didn't too much.

Of course now, I have a soft spot for some X-men, or whatever which I keep a small stash off.

Mostly I am cheap, and cannot afford more comics.


What was I going to talk about here?

I'm sure I had some witty remark about a womens place in life. I'd of been a women placed in life for twenty-one years in 12 days or something, and so far the only problems I've found are with people who are Assholes. Sexism goes both ways, people.

But wait: boys are stupid. Let's throw rocks at them.


Thursday, 26 April 2007

Commune with the Dead


I recently picked up Bright Eyes' new album Cassadaga.

Let's have a moments of silence to bask in it's goodness.


Okay sweet. It's named after a place in central Florida, a spiritualists commune - filled with mediums and psychics and mystics. A place of vortex maybe? I heard (herd) rumours. I have a very faint memory of when I lived in Florida as a kid, speaking to someone or overhearing the term vortex in relation to the landscape, and it being a faintly metaphysical thing of some sort. Energy portal. I was convinced if I stood on one I'd be sent to another world.

In the Seneca language Cassadaga means 'water beneath the rocks'. Hadn't we just been speaking about Navajo? People forget the water beneath the rocks. Until they're thirsty

Sometimes I wonder about Conor Oberst - he's from Omaha Nebraska (a haunting state in my eyes...) - and sometimes I wonder about who he is. I know he's a singer, of brilliant talent - but that's it. He embodies a sense of American sadness which I think is rare; a crumbling piece of paper, an old Indian treaty, muddy water in the Mississippi, dusty ground outside a Dairy Queen, scent of cotton in August, flat lands, marsh lands, wide open space and a sky that'll fall.

People say he's emo. I find that an alien concept -- he's not emo, he's emotional. Dead people. The obviousness for a bottle or any escape in an absurd, false, plastic landscape we build for ourselves. Forgetting about the dirt, thinking about how to market a land. Market an idea. Can you really blame anybody intelligent for being at all depressed?

We built our own reality, only to realise it was a prison.
(Postmodern isolation baby.)

Susette LaFlesche Tibbles was from the Omaha tribe. Her name was Inshata-Theumba. Bright Eyes.

It all makes sense to me now.


Bright Eyes - Four Winds

It's poetry.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Zombie (Media) Hunter

On New Old Media.

Sure, okay this is two days late -- practically ancient and totally sacrilege here on the world of the internet -- but occasionally I have deadlines in meatspace and skip these things over. Only I've been thinking about this one for a few hours (when I should be writing an introduction to my work that I'm giving in for assessment on the 1st.)

Distraction over.

The aforementioned top link, Scoble giving props to the (his?) 'Blogger and Podcaster' magazine, stuck me as odd. Okay, well not the actual link or post, but the phrase: I like this online format for displaying magazine contents.

Newsflash: Nobody Likes Magazine Formats.

Dead Tree Media gone Zombie Media.
I like how you combine two obsolete pieces of technology!

Seriously, for a minute homeslices, I thought it was some sort of post-post-modern joke --- hey internet people, who's virtual interactive landscape has rendered paper-print media obsolete, look at this flat object who's most cutting edge aspect is the talking advertisements!!! --- then I realised as Scoble lacks a sense of humour, that could not be the case.

Don't get me wrong ese, I grew up with magazines telling me all sorts of wonderful things -- National Geographic and i-D, weird hippie shit and American Girl -- a whole plethora of printed information.

Then I got the Internet when I was like 9, an that shit didn't matter any more. Here was a platform that gave me websites where I could flick back and forth between information as quickly and as deeply as I wanted to, never having to get caught up in 'flat' text as it were. Magazines slowly became a supplement. As time went by, and the range of information on the web became wider and wider, magazines became more and more as a sort of casual 'take a glance, find online' form of information dispersal.

The last magazine I bought was National Geographic in December of 2006 -- I bought it because it had something cool on Saturn (omg! its online? NO WAI!) and I was travelling from London to Paris for Xmas, and wanted to give my kid sisters the huge poster of the planets. It hangs in the pantry over the fish now, and it blew their minds, the consideration that Jupiter and Saturn are so fucking huge and that Pluto and Eris are such odd little dwarf planets -- we discussed definition of celestial objects and it was awesome. Thank you, printed media - because that is one thing you can do that my little 15" MacBook can't do -- challenge my spacial perceptions through different formatting of sizes, then get hung up on the wall to remind me all the time.

Or, can you?

This brings me around. While things like Scoble's abso-fucking-lutely absurd revamp of magazines for the web make me kinda wanna cry a little bit (so redundant, so unæsthetic...), things like Nikon's Universcale on the whole other hand, gives a very fine example of better (or maybe just a fresher, more interesting?) ways of displaying information.

This Easter when I was sitting with my sisters in France again, we were looking at the Universcale together and talking, again, about spatial relationships. We were totally digging how it, that is the flash presentation (artfully done!), didn't seem to need us at all in order to go through it's cycle of information dispersal, but at the same time when we did show up to pay attention, we could skip to and fro without any problems or difficulty.

Which to me illustrates a fine example as what we are as human beings in this vast, sprawling universe: tiny, irrelevant specks -- until we take action.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Word Nerd Fiiiiight!

Byron vs Southey
Oh Southey! Southey! cease thy varied song!
A bard may chant too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare!
A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear.
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkley ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
"God help thee," Southey, and thy readers too.

I like Byron. I picked up a abridged copy of selected poems earlier this afternoon, as something tangible for me to carry around and paw through while taking a coffee in this dreary ailing township where I live. This place makes Orange Massachusetts look like Rio. Anyway, I digress -- over my soggy bland tiramisu I stumbled across these lines, and it made me laugh and laugh and then reference Byron again to get more background information, then laugh and laugh and relate it stronger with current events.

History is just repeating;
Over and over and over and over - like a monkey with a miniature cymbal.

It was quoted of Southey by the literary critic (HAHAHA, wait let me rephrase that) strike, by another faintly embittered early 19th century writer, William Hazlitt, the following:
He wooed Liberty as a youthful lover, but it was perhaps more as a mistress than a bride; and he has since wedded with an elderly and not very reputable lady, called Legitimacy.

My casual research tells me Hazlitt was an pre-socialist before his time who never lost his revolutionary vigour and totally ripped a new one to Coleridge and Wordsworth and almost everyone else who got old, got famous, and got conservative. He hated conservatives; or at least, he hated the political U turn that people took. That's awesome, I can relate -- and oh snap he was sharp.

Just maybe not as sharp as Byron...

My point being as following: it is all terribly exciting in ones youth or later-life metamorphosis to attach themselves to a movement which is, for all extents and purposes, free: libertarianism from the establishment, shifting power through moving the people, grass roots and all that; stirring up the pot of social consensus. Only, if when the establishment begins to embrace you, and you start to, in Southey's case, sing the praises of Monarchy - or say, perhaps, in modern terms, oh, pimp the marketing tycoons - and you are left attempting to pass and enforce a code of moral judgement on your once fellow libertines for their written word... One will find that's what us youngsters call selling out.

But as we all know, friendsters: the internet is serious business.

When I Was A Child I Believed My Father Was A Pirate

The first music I ever got off the internet was in either 1997 or 1998, I can't exactly remember, when I was either 11 or 12 -- the only way I can date it is very foggy -- isn't that sick -- but I know it was during my illustrious punk rock stage.

It was NOFX on a fan site, streaming Punk in Drublic, Heavy Petting Zoo and White Trash Two Heebs and a Bean on Real Audio or something like that. I was never able to skip over songs, so I had to wait patiently for it to buffer, and listen to the tracks over and over to get to my absolute favourite stupid songs.

I listened to it for months, oh yes, as one does -- only one day when I went there, it had been replaced with a notice that said they'd been given a C&D to take down all the music, as it was infringing copyrights. Then there was no more NOFX.

Well, until June 1st 1999.

It was a beautiful time to be alive.

If you like scummy California punk:
A NOFX collective
(where's your copyright God now?)
The 'Brews
Don't Call Me White

Shit I Get Worried About And Shit

Table Manners.

And oh man, I've just realised I've been putting my cutlery horizontally on my plate for years, believing it's the correct way to signify a finished meal. Oh how wrong I was! Oh the faux pas I've committed!

When I was quite little, little enough that when I'd take a bath it was advisable that an adult was near so that I didn't lay down in the bubbles face first in a fit of unobserved Ophelian hysteria (being a traditionalist I will note by that I mean rambling womb syndrome, not psychological stress), my father would sit by the door and read to me and have me recite back to him, the magnum opus of Emily Post.

I don't think I can accurately explain the levels of irony that are associated with my father reading me Emily Post -- explaining my father at this point is just too difficult -- but to me there was a special sort of interconnected agony and delight in having to be told and then to relay the correct way to cut an apple, or attend a formal luncheon.

Sometimes I wish I could look at the inside of my hippocampi and have a brain pixie describe to me why it is that it thought saving the concept of etiquette was So Damn Important.

Freud would have a field day.

(Lawn darts optional - three legged race mandatory)
(Although three legged race is more of Chomsky's kinda party)
(Colourless green ideas sleep furiously)
(The present Queen of France rides a unicorn)
(Three legged race)


LucidTV is the best web comic ever. All of them, best.

I often feel like this and if you take time to notice, I am currently fashionably ill.

Now will you excuse me? I have to assure myself that I know what fuckin' fork to eat my baby cow with and shit.

Friday, 20 April 2007

In Which I Steal Time

I am an awful eavesdropper. Like really bad.
Often times during workshops, 2nd and 3rd years from my course come in to talk to my lecturers, and I constantly find myself overhearing them discussing their projects.

Its like art espionage.

Somebody is undergoing a project which involves light levels in a wind tunnel that are adjusted via sound levels taken off analogue readings. My greedy mind soaks it all up. These are the kind of projects I like to think about. Sound, vision, interaction. Resonance of actions -- chaos theory -- me leaving a book by mistake in Waterloo, it gets picked up by a courier who gets so involved he forgets to send off a dossier to a translator in the City, causing a war to break out between two factions of Italian shoe makers. That kinda stuff.

I've been terribly ill lately, hence why I haven't been posting. Instead I've been playing games and going to classes obediently.

Stolen blog time -- back to focusing now. More information later.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Purposefully Idle


In France with La Famille - terribly tired, and filled with sugar.

Haven't been able to write a coherent sentence in days and days, and I blame it all on being constantly surrounded by other chattering humans who're typically demanding of my time and energy. Plus my own lack of purpose.

I tried to write about how I want to start making shoes, how when I was seventeen I worked for a video game company, and how recently I've had a bad haircut that makes me look like a German fighter pilot -- but nothing is flowin' from these typing (85 wpm) hands.

Oh wait; 45 minutes distracted by else blogs. I'm sorry baby, I was making fun of other peoples stupid hair.

Easter: A Japanese horror triptych interpreted as the cat-and-chipmunk archetypes.

Just a little sleepy.

In Other News:

I am totally considering rocking up to the Woman in Games conference in Newport, South Wales next week. Can I afford it? Hells no -- but if they'll consent to sell me a ticket on Tuesday, I'l be there on Thursday morning.

I may have to email them, to confirm if that's a possibility.
Otherwise I might not go at all.

What, me idle minded?


[EDIT: oh I could have it so much worse]