View current page
...more recent posts
Excerpt from recent post by Juan Cole:
Iraq is an Oil War in the mind of politicians like Dick Cheney. It was necessary to deny it to China and other rivals thirty to fifty years in the future. It was necessary to open its vast petroleum fields up for exploration and cast aside anti-American Baath socialism.("3 Boxes" GIF by Jack Masters or Kasey Kite returning soon.)
Likewise, the religious rigidity of the Pushtun peoples of Helmand province is not the real reason for the US insistence on occupying Afghanistan. It is the vast Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan gas fields that Cheney has his eye on. It was the US hope to use a pipeline from Turkmenistan to supply Pakistan and India, and so forestall a deal by those two countries with Iran. The inability of the Bush administration to calm things down in Afghanistan sufficiently for anyone to dream of putting in such a pipeline and having it avoid routine sabotage has made it likely that Iran will break out of the Bush boycott toward the East.
Hunger for future rights to petroleum and positioning the US to remain a superpower in a world of hydrocarbon scarcity is also driving the campaign to get up a war against Iran. Why can Pakistan have a nuclear weapon, and that is all right, but Iran cannot? Pakistan has very little petroleum. Iran has a lot, and maybe 750 trillion cubic feet of gas in the southwest. If it gets a bomb, regime change becomes impossible, and if Iran wants to tie its supplies up in proprietary contracts with China and India, locking out the United States, it will be able to do so.
Continued heavy dependence on gas and oil therefore not only turns the world into a hothouse, with rising seas, ever more destructive hurricanes, and possibly disastrous shifts in the ocean currents, but it also drives the United States to more and more wars.
And, note that the wars are not even successful in allowing a practical oil grab of the sort Cheney and Lee Raymond dreamed of.
Indeed, you could now, in retrospect, turn their whole argument around on them. US militarism cannot secure petroleum and gas supplies from places such as Iraq, because the pipelines are so easily sabotaged and local nationalisms and religious activism make it impossible for people to accept that kind of US hegemony.
Since the Pentagon cannot practically speaking hope to safeguard US petroleum supplies from the Gulf, national security requires a massive and rapid research and development program of green energy. A lot of green technology, especially solar, would come down in price rapidly if enough government money were thrown at it. We need to press Congress on this, and maybe Californians can craft some of their famous referendum items. That would be one way to promote a new generation of electric cars.
Green energy-- wind, thermal, solar, maybe ultimately fusion, etc.-- is what would allow the US to retain its autonomy and independence into the next century, and what would allow it to avoid losing more cities the way Bush and Cheney lost New Orleans. Oil and War will, in contrast, ruin us all.
by pupsintrouble, from an idea suggested by jmb. The ascending, Renaissance altarpiece-meets-celebrity-shrine feel of this amuses--also the bad Photoshop gradients, European film poster source, doubling of Maude, pious Geraldo, tabloid explosions, fetishized Jag-hearse, gratuitous gleams... It's funny on many levels.
A DVD version of my YouTube drawing demo. The quality of the photo is lousy, but quality is sort of not the point here.
Last night I dreamed I rented a car and took it out on the highway. I pulled over on the shoulder, got out, and stood by a wire mesh fence perpendicular to the road. A woman was standing on the other side of it. She had also parked on the shoulder and was talking incessantly into a cell phone. I started banging/strumming the wire mesh, which made interesting, peculiarly resonant noises. I got really absorbed in it. I wondered if the woman could hear them but she seemed oblivious. I walked back to the highway and saw a cop car pulling onto it after stopping where ours were. I looked for my rental car and couldn't find it anywhere--it had been stolen while I was standing there.
image via Kasey Kite
Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker explains the shifting dynamics behind our hating al Qaeda-promoting countries and helping Shiites to reversing that depending on whether the country or ethnic group in question likes or hates the current purveyor of absolute evil, Iran. Saudi Prince Bandar (aka "Bandar Bush") is once again actively involved with American foreign policy making, you might be interested to know. It's good to understand what's going on as we prepare to launch a war (just a little one--air and sea) against the Iranians. What--you think President Cheney won't do it? You think Congress will stop it? Ha ha ha ha.
Impeach, ASAP. Then impeach Congress.
A great mp3 blog I've been following has been offering whole LPs for download as .rar files. The content is obscure prog and postpunk gems from the 70s, early 80s mostly. Obscure as in...extremely limited releases, cassettes, some major label product that hit the cut out bins six months after it came out. The blog offers extensive research notes, cover scans. It's a labor of love, but the Internet doesn't always appreciate love, and this recent post makes you say "ouch":
Till now i was laughing at all these offensive comments ,but i'm really tired of this situation.My purpose creating this blog was not to read offensive comments.Just silly romantic i just wanted to create somekind of community to spread music long forgotten and obscure.But it seems some assholes does not like that.Possibly i'm making their valuable items for sale cheapier, perhaps they didn't ever realise that music is not their property ,perhaps they are just silly jealeous.I don't know... But under these circumstances i started thinking of closing the blog down...this is not something decided...just a thought....i know ,they are possibly happy,possibly their purposes are achieved....but i do not intent to leave this blog take my whole life and make me nervous and upset...i started with good purposes....but ...i don't know...no posts for the next 2 days...i just wanna think and decide....A big thank to all supporters...at least i found some friends here... [...] ...sorry if i have forgotten some it's not done by purpose...i'm very upset right now to let myself think clearly...thank you all guysUpdate, Feb. 27:
After this real big amount of comments and deep thought i decided that it would not be fair by my side to close this blog down.So we keep on mutating!With 2 new contributors now and hope more to be added soon!And by next weekend everything will be on mediafire.I will try to keep my posts in a limit of 3 or 4 per day.For people complaining for mistakes:i track every single complain down and as soon as i got time all these will be fixed. I had ,due to family bussiness, not to be on my PC yesterday and today it was a very hard work to moderate this vast of comments.And big pleasure perhaps.Thank you all guys for your support and i'll try to do the best from my side.It's really amazing to get support from too many people you do not even know in person....We are a community:) A Mutated community...We keep on mutating!
Following up on some earlier posts about showing new media work in the gallery and digital non-sites, here's some recent writing on gallery friendly hardware set-ups, for art that absolutely has to be shown on a computer screen (as opposed to DVDs). Olia Lialina discusses the "Torch" brand of screen-with-built-in-computer here. I still have some questions about that device (photo above), asked in the spirit of being open source:
--The website says there is no hard drive for the slim computer--how is the data stored for a piece?Many of these same issues are raised and answered with respect to a Mac Mini or PC setup in this post Showing Video via Computers by artist Paul Slocum, who is also running a gallery. It's very thorough and helpful even though it makes me want to stick with just popping a DVD in a hundred dollar player and dealing as an artist with the compression artifacts. It's a lot to ask a harried gallerist to memorize this how-to and/or constantly go yourself to the space to see what's wrong with the computer. Especially for work that anyone in the world can see displayed perfectly well on the Internet, at home. But that's just me ducking responsibility--artists are obviously coping with these issues.
--Why do they have all the USB ports and such? It looks like an awful lot of computer just to run GIFs (or whatever programs are providing content for the screen). When I saw Lialina's work at Bryce Wolkowitz gallery I assumed it was some kind of flash memory built into the screen.
--Doesn't it have an operating system that has to boot up each time it's turned on, and then a program on the operating system to run the GIFs, all accessed by hooking a mouse and keyboard to the ports on the computer? Can it run without Windows XP, which Torch describes as "optional"? (Lialina says via email that hers was Linux and there was no boot screen. Linux--aiee!) [update--some answers to these qs below]
Update: Some late thoughts. That Torch Computer screen is elegant in person, very generic, and I like that they deliberately made it without a logo anywhere visible. I'd like to own a few (once I get my mundane practical questions answered), and I think it would be a good investment for galleries that show new media art on a regular basis to own a few. I would even like to see it be something that collectors buy. My questions are aimed at making some kind of "display lingua franca" that everyone is accustomed to using for certain types of work. As opposed to reinventing the wheel with every show or making the show be "about" what major corporation's hardware you are plugging. I believe that is what Lialina is proposing in her article.
Update 2: Paul learned the following from Torch: "19 inch LCD screen, 1280 X 1024 resolution, with built-in mini-ITX computer...with built-in 1GHz CPU, 256MB RAM. There are two versions of this. The Linux version comes with a flash memory of 1GB and operating software that reads a web page from a USB pendrive, also supplied, that is displayed on the screen without any visible indication that it is a browser. That is, there are no visible frames, scroll bars, menu bars, tool bars, etc. This version is priced at 595.00 pounds ($1169). The other version is supplied with a 40GB hard disk drive and Windows XP Home. This is priced at 665.00 pounds ($1307). All prices exclude shipment charges, duties and and taxes." (As Paul notes, shipping and taxes for the cheaper of these UK products could be $300-600 to the US. They are custom-made and take 4-8 weeks to prepare.)
Neg-Fi live at Union Pool in Brooklyn, last night. In the top photo Evelyne works the Neg-Box's sole lever; the bottom shows Ryan and Evelyne in characteristic stage posture for most of the songs, which are short metalloid guitar duets. Imagine a No New York-ish riff stripped down to a few bars, straight up, loud, for under two minutes. The riffs are all good--"Neg OK" and "NegButter" on their MySpace page give you the flavor if not the volume.