Thursday, September 27, 2007


now playing: nightmares on wax - damn



now playing: autechre - chatter


Friday, September 21, 2007

the residents

I'm a little troubled by this film clip.
Which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Here's my experience of watching the film clip for The Third Reich and Roll by The Residents.
Perhaps you could watch it first before reading my post. Could compare our experiences.
Anyway, my first reaction was one of amusement. This is great! Funny drill-like go karts and strange warped-trumpet-wailing-voice over an absurd fanfare.
Then my humour went through the roof with the absurdity of the paper-clad KKK guys tapping their percussion out of time to the pseudo tribal beats wrung through a delay, dancing maniacally like a poorly animated Bananas in Pajamas stop motion nightmare. All over the top of a poorly rendered land of a thousand dances tune.
Classic! But disturbing. And this powerful symbol of racism
being both ridiculed but also paraded for my entertainment was also troubling. The KKK are real and have murder thousands and thousands of African Americans. Not necessarily something to make light of. But such funny presentation.
And when the storm trooper broke onto the seeming pagan ritual at the end, I hoped it would kill the Klansmen and then itself. But it only zapped one and then the clip changed scene so I felt a little bit frustrated.
The frustration continued as the symbol of the nazi swastika was revealed beneath the arch and then reappeared on the TV after it was destroyed by the giant steaks. I wanted to see it completely destroyed. And what of the further subjugation of another Klansman by a guitar weilding avatar, riding him off the stage? Why? But then Hitler was seen to preside over it all, unchallenged, just after a TV bearing a swastika and a guitar moved to the forefront of the stage, underpinned by detuned 50s surf rock.
What are they saying? That rock and roll is racist? That it's completely subverted its black heritage? Why is Hitler the last thing we see? Are they saying that modern popular music is totalitarian? That it's trying to destroy all other genres? I wanted to see more obvious denigration of the racist elements depicted even as I was enjoying seeing them portrayed so humorously. Presented as entertaining symbols. Perhaps there can be no greater indictment than to ridicule them in this way?
That's what I'd like to think but it's easy to make light of things that haven't directly assaulted me.
Fuck it. I like it anyway!
Does that make me a bad man?


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Makhno Cat



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

dead eyes opened

Er, yes. This is another youtube post.
But an interesting one.
Below are three film clips from Severed Heads.
The first one is the original Dead Eyes Opened from 1983. It's really lo-fi and great. I like the dancers.

The second one is the original film clip from the 1994 reopened version of dead eyes opened. Apparently the ABC didn't approve of this version because it featured nudity and stroboscopic effects. How things change. But my sieve-like memory prefers the version I saw early one morning on Rage thirteen years ago.

The final clip below came out two years ago and was screened at an Australian sound-arts festival called Liquid Architecture. The track is called December 13. Gosh, it's all round pretty.

Eleven years separate each of the film clips successively. A lot can happen in eleven years.
Tom Ellard, who is Severed Heads, makes his own film clips too.
Pretty talented.
It gets better because he's updated his website with free new stuff to download (Op3) and clips ranging from the amazing (lives of the saints) to the funny ha ha (turd polish suite) live glitch clips.
Really pretty talented.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

chomsky and foucault - power and justice

Below are two youtube clips of a discussion between Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault aired on Dutch television in 1971.
I find this event amazing for three reasons:
1) I like a lot of what Chomsky and Foucault have to say for varying reasons and I don't see the two great thinkers (and doers) as diametrically opposed. But moreso, the fact that they tete-a-tete'd suggests that
presumably they held some level of respect or regard for each other. Who would've thunk it?;
2) It was 1971 and post-structuralism was fairly new on the political/philosophical scene so it must have been fairly well-respected to have warranted such a meeting of minds. I'm kind of surprised;
3) I don't believe that a debate of similar calibre would be aired on TV in Australia today (or ever). It was called Human Nature: Power and Justice! Not very Australian... Whatever that means. I'm thinking those Euros really like their philosophy. Kudos, Europe.
Anyway, I don't agree with Foucault's political cynicism. I'm something more of a Delueze and Guattari (D+G) fan and although they roughly accorded with Foucault's understanding of the historical contingency of ideas and actions (ie. non-essentialism) they were able to do so without Foucault's political pessimism. Perhaps the use of the word pessimism is a bit harsh here but D+G understood the importance of acting politically on all levels of existence (ref A Thousand Plateux), so they don't inherently see political action as being about reforming power relations (and discourse) alone. For them, the tendency for fascism to overwhelm political engagement is a consequence of existence itself, so it becomes important to beware the micro-fascist proclivities within oneself that threaten otherwise de/re-territorialising (revolutionary) praxis. Foucault was an activist, having said that.
Regardless, clearly Foucault thought that micro-fascisms inevitably undermine such praxis as they would serve to re-institute similar discourses (ways of thinking and doing) in the name of the new. I can understand this kind of thinking. Just look at Communist Russia et al or Howard's response to possible paedophilia in Indigenous communities. But that's not the point. The point for D+G is that difference ultimately disrupts everything and inevitably creates new forms out of existing forms, so that society, politics, everything, is constantly undergoing change. And radical political praxis is a possible and occasional part of this. The potential for it in Western societies may not be particularly strong right now, but it remains a possibility nonetheless. All that's required are the right prevailing conditions. I want to be a part of that tradition. And from an anarchist perspective in particular. With post-structural pretensions...
On the flipside, I can't agree with Chomsky's optimism about human nature and the pursuit of human excellence. I think this kind of Modernist thinking is a bit fanciful and potentially opens itself to fascism far too readily - with all the best intentions in Chomsky's instance, of course. And of course, it relies on the notion of some kind of essential human being, which doesn't seem to exist.
So, I sit somewhere between Foucault and Chomsky and I reckon D+G occupy that space quite comfortably.
For what it's worth.
And I haven't even mentioned power and justice at all...
Finally, I've included a clip of Ali G interviewing Chomsky about linguistics.
I wonder what kind of pain Ali G could have caused Foucault if he were still around and had
dropped enough pretentiousness in his old age to speak English.

nwplyng: ryuichi sakamoto - reversing

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

won't somebody please wake him up out of his delusions of grandeur?

Thanks be to Sean who showed this to me.
Love the wipes.
now playing: pole - schoner land

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