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Psychic annihilation – and bad coffee

It has just gone 3 in the morning and I am waiting a cab to take me to the airport – my own personal hell. Not only do I fear flying, I loathe airports – especially now that they are “targets”.
The feeling is one of dehumanisation and an instilling of claustrophobia. From cavernous check in halls, one is shuttled through a series of ever shrinking tubes – having ones possessions and clothing searched, poked and probed – until you are sat next to some fat stranger in the smallest tube of all – that then leaves the ground! The whole regime is, it seems, quite insane!
And then you get a rubber egg, some processed cheeze and a cracker – or a square of chicken on longer flights – and such awful, awful coffee!
Oh, I hate this hour of morning!

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To keep a mouth shut

I have been thrown around from waking to sleeping and so haven’t been able to read any further into The End of Faith but it has been turning in my mind and I am beginning to wish I’d been a little more measured in my initial outburst. Pitched against something like Straw Dogs this work could simply be seen as another work of faith, ironically. It does have an almost dogmatic insistence upon cultural change.
It also fails to register (so far as I have thus far read) the more animalistic influences on our predilection towards war and cruelty; territorialism, tribalism. Perhaps the sad truth is that it is more than faith that makes us bad animals!

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Fucked from Birth Part 3 :: "Mouth replaced – Tears removed"

As if the combined memories of Jon Benet Ramsey and Peter Sotos’s texts weren’t enough, those without shame continue to thrive, apparently – watch out for the overweight baby on the next linked page!
Come on – What chance? What fucking chance? What fucking chance do your children have?
Click the image to be taken to powder puff hell!

*Mouth Replaced
*Hair Replaced
*Tears removed
*Lashes added
*Stray hairs removed
*Eye liner added
*Eye shadow, lipstick, and blush added
*Facial powder added
*Brows shaped
*Skin blended
*Dark circles removed
*”Doll Eyes” added
*Background changed
*Shadows removed
*Photo angled, brightened, sharped

There is an extra charge for a
“total makeover.”

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Nocturne Radio

Just had a heart warming exchange with Jeremy from Nocturne Radio ( http://www.live365.com/stations/statik23 ) He has a few nice things happening over the next month or so – which I will leave him to announce 🙂

Also, he seems keen to do something with Human Greed, so, as ever, I am grateful – as I am to anyone who takes an interest.
Jeremy coughs up a lot of his own money to keep his show up and running so deserves at least a round of applause!
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Epistemological black holes… draining the light from our world

Sam Harris’s The End of Faith is that rarest of things – a well evidenced, highly informed and thoroughly researched piece of academic writing that is nonetheless emotionally charged, opinionated, uncompromising and unforgiving.
He is particularly strong on undermining the idea that religious moderates are any less damaging to this world than their more extreme brethren, or that acts of cruelty performed on behalf of or in the name of GOD can in any way continue to be marginalised as being the responsibility of the perpetrator alone – that his/her faith is somehow a thing apart from their dark actions.

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Collapse

DT recommended Collapse by Jared Diamond recently when we were hiding out off the west coast of Scotland. There was a degree of confusion in the recommendation because I had thought the book had been written by a female. It was only later that I realized I had confused Diamond with Jane Jacobs whose Dark Age Ahead, takes up from where Diamond’s Collapse left off.

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Art by perpetrator – from reportage to pornography

A compelling article in the UKs guardian newspaper elegantly charts the artist’s inadvertent glorifying of war, leading to the stepping aside of the modernists, and the immediacy of contemporary media which allows the perpetrators to become the new war artists. The mode being essentially exploitative, pornographic and, ironically, highly referential of previous centuries artists who claimed to react so strongly against the human folly and unimaginable horrors of war; like Goya, for instance. Goya’s compositions, it is claimed here (persuasively), actually act as an inspirational template for the lame exploitative works of torturers and tormentors armed with DigiCams.

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1862309,00.html

Excerpt – Look on protest sites and you can find still more atrocity pictures, reported to have been taken by American soldiers and sent to a pornography provider in return for free access to porn. Once again, anti-war campaigners don’t have any means to ensure that no one uses the images pornographically when circulated via a radical website. War photography has come full circle. From being a form of reportage it has become… what?

This is why art has stepped aside. What more to show? How can you make war art now without being sucked into the pornographic madness of these images?

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iPod Spears the Nostalgic Heart

I was a late converter to the iPod. The download generation is inherently lazy; there is no appreciation of the physical artefact, there is a distraction from the moment at hand – always.
But then, I now seem to increasingly NEED distraction from the moment at hand – on with the shades, in with the ear plugs – suddenly out of reach of the world – suddenly free to continue brooding.
One of the most significant impacts of song shuffling once you have a good 20GB of material in there is that you can be taken blind and speared by something that meant so much so long ago and had slipped your mind. This happened this evening when I was walking down The Mound when American Music Club’s Mom’s TV – from the Engine album – slowly unfolded into the earpieces. The years rolled away, and all critical faculties were suspended. How nice to hear such sharply focused song writing – before Mark Eitzel became dulled by alcoholic self pity and self absorption but close enough to disintegration to still be able to report back with authenticity, insight and emotional devastation.
The song, the piece of music, the well turned line set to melody – whether living in the memory or blasting through the headset ALWAYS has the power to change psychological state – immediately and completely. No dialogue, no discussion. A pure surge of memory, experience, emotional response and desire.

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A Small Step in the USA

I heard yesterday that Revolver are to undertake some distribution of PILGRIM in the States. The numbers being spoken off are pretty small – comically small actually – but it is a first toenail hold on this vast turf!
This is just the news I needed to hear after reading that The Wire had given the record a dismal review. Well, what the fuck does one expect when a “turd” of a reviews editor idiotically places it in some piss poor and stunningly inappropriate review section called “Outer Limits” and fields it with a bunch of noodling pseudo-academic drone and click merchants for a known and established appreciator of “noize” to review?

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Goodness, Mercy and the Canonmills Heron

I attended a funeral this morning. There seems to be an ever increasing number of these in my life – and looking at the age and condition of many of those in attendance there is going to be a lot more coming.
Such events, of course, pull one’s focus onto the shape, the arc of a life, always ending in the same unavoidable manner – regardless what fantastical stories about death not being the end are spun by preachers, funeral directors, and Nick Cave!
After the close of the service I decided to walk back through the city. I passed by old homes where I used to live, and contemplated my strong uncles and sharp tongued aunts withering and shrinking before me as they each closed in on the end. This drew on old reserves of arrogant strength as it allowed all religion to be viewed from the perspective of it being a crutch – a narrative support mechanism – for those approaching death. “Goodness and mercy all of my days and I will surely dwell in the house of the Lord.”
‘Where is the alternative brightness to the fallacy of faith” was where my thoughts were turning when I saw the Canonmills Heron standing still in the middle of the river. My heart leapt happily inside me.
Every Autumn my wife and I would see the Heron from our front room window that overlooked the river in the heart of the city. Every year we gave our salutations, expecting it never to last the winter and return. But every springtime, there it was – some years looking more poorly than others, but always there.
So many years (it feels like) have passed that I would never have thought it to still be alive – but there it was. And it was looking good, strong and sleek. Death has been cheated – and that kicks more than faith, or reason!