Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Apple is the Death of Creativity

Alex Payne describes the iPad as a "Cynical" computing device - "This is why I say that the iPad is a cynical thing: Apple can’t – or won’t – conceive of a future for personal computing that is both elegant and open, usable and free."

It is one thing to keep anyone from programming on a phone; as Payne states, phone companies are notorious for putting the kaibosh on hardware openness. But why bother releasing a beautiful new portable computing device on which applications may only be distributed via Apple, the hardware manufacturer? I remember when Apple actually stood for creativity... A pretty case design is a poor replacement for artistic/engineering freedom.

I understand that many people don't want to deal with the guts of their computers, but what they don't understand is that these guts and tweakable options are how people learn to use computers in a creative way. I used to shudder of a world in which microsoft controlled the distribution of software, but their philosophy pales in comparison to the evilness of what Apple seems to want for the future.

Hello World

It is an honor and pleasure to contribute to A/The Wilderness of/for Machines. It has been my blogging "rock" for several months now. I expect it to surpass as the premiere male-interest internet blog by 2017.

Does anyone want to work on the crunchholdoh video product with me? I think we're probably open to any kind of video/audio contributions. Hard copies will only be available via VHS.


Tribulation 99

This is the first 1:49 of Craig Baldwin's found-footage film Tribulation 99, a sci-fi retelling of the CIA's interventions in South America in which aliens infest Earth's inner core and bring about the End Times. I saw it yesterday for the first time in my video class and I'm pretty sure it's the only work of art I've been exposed to in a long time that I really wish I created.

Ripped Straight from the Fake Headlines... you wish.

Party Animal: Behind Ke$ha's Big Debut

Pop's newest bad girl nearly attended a prestigious college and says she wants to sound like Arcade Fire

Click here to see the mind numbing video!

What was your life like right before you became a pop star?
I was going to go to Barnard, so I came up to New York and studied comparative religion and psychology and stuff for three months, but that all went out the window. I loved math and I was way into studying the Cold War, so after high school, I would sneak in the college classes and listen, but then one day [hitmakers] Max Martin and Dr. Luke called me, and they were like, "Hey, be a pop star." "Yeah, OK, let's do this."

You had a demo floating around?
Yeah, it was like trip-hop, it was so bad. At the end of one track I was just jacking off, making an ass of myself, and they were like, "Oh my God, she's borderline retarded," so they thought it was funny.

Why did you go to L.A.?
Luke and Max were there. At the same time, I don't know who my birth father is, so this guy called me and was like, "Hey, I think I'm your birth father, I'll buy you a plane ticket." So I get off the plane and meet this guy. Have you ever seen The 40-Year-Old Virgin? You know that video game chair? He had one, and he played it all the time. I was like, "There's no way that half of my DNA is made up of someone who has a video game chair."

But you stayed out west.
Well, I fell in love with this dude, he saved me from the father who is not my father, and I stayed for a few years. I just recently moved back to Nashville, finally. I think John Lennon said his stay in L.A. was the "lost weekend," and I absolutely agree with that.

Were you in Hollywood?
All over the place. There were times I'd live in my car and just crash with friends, because I was really broke for periods of time, then I'd live with the ex-boyfriend, then an apartment in Echo Park, then I was living in Laurel Canyon in this house with anywhere from seven to 10 roommates at any given point — musicians and artists, but mostly just douchebags.

You're anti-douchebag, but you lived in L.A. for four years.
I got the fuck out of there — you know what it is? I went there to accomplish something and live a part of my life out. I made it through, I made a record about it, but I'm so done. It's so gross. Then there was a morning when I woke up and said, "All right, I need to get out of here, the soul-sucking has begun."

... and that's just the first page. If she could only comprehend how amazing her last sentence was.

It's a crazy thought, but does this now make Britney wholesome again? I mean this Ke$ha is taking it to a whole new level whether she knows it or not, and let me just say that I definitively think she doesn't know it. THE SOUL-SUCKING HAS BEGUN.

Click here if you really feel the need to blow the rest of you brains out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cramden's Response Re: Twilight

I have been thinking about this movie since we watched it and I'd like to add a few things. In addition to repackaging patriarchial-dominance-as-romance for a new generation, it's disturbing to see how eagerly readers who consider themselves "alternative" or somehow enlightened outside of societal norms latch on to the series. It's extremely popular among teens and infinitely more destructive than the girly books of only a few years ago, like "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" or "The Princess Diaries" for sure, but the fact that it has a place with adults outside of the mainstream is really curious. It's popular with young adults who hated "Traveling Pants" in middle school.

The first movie really places the emphasis on the danger of female sexuality and, in each instance, reiterates Bella's complete ignorance about it. Edward rescues Bella from some teenage boys/rapists, knowing, because he can read minds, what disgusting, terrible things they were going to do to her. Bella is not only powerless, she is clueless. Edward is constantly struggling with Bella's overwhelming smell, something she cannot sense or understand. Also, Edward finds himself attracted to her because, while he can read minds, Bella's appears to be empty. This concept is given no more explaination in the movie. It's not that she's more complicated than other people, or special. Her mind is empty, therefore she is attractive.

Less painfully obvious, however, is the heterosexism. From what I've read about the rest of the Twilight books and Meyer's other book, "The Host," heterosexism is not only a strong influence, it's the crux of her plots. Now that Bella has abandoned her two loving, attentive, responsible parents and her healthy friendships (something, I think, we were supposed to really sympathize with her over, as if it was a really hard, necessary choice) the suspense of the story lies in which lover she will choose: "devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful" Edward, who might kill her at any second, or cuddly, protective wolf-man Jacob, who is an American Indian and, therefore, magic. Family, education, personal growth or self-discovery, creativity, and friendships are no longer options in Bella's life now that she has fallen in love. When Bella does exercise agency, choosing to give herself over to a ruthless hunter who has captured her mother, it turns out to be a terrible mistake. Bella is severly beaten and injured in her childhood ballet studio before being rescued, at the last moment, by the Cullens. Edward even has to suck vampire venom out of her, forcing himself to "pull out" before he goes to far.

Also, in response to the question of why the Cullens are vegitarians, I think that's just more of Meyer's ignorant racial and class prejudice. The Cullens are ubermenchen, they could dominate us if they wanted to. But, just as Edward knows what's best for Bella, they know what is best for humans and restrain themselves. They go to high school, they go to prom, and parade themselves as lowly humans in some sort of benevolent gesture. Edward's adoptive father is a doctor, saving human lives while steeling himself against all the tempting blood everywhere. They're just Greek gods with some sort of self-torture complex. They could kill us, but they don't, they suffer our tempting smells. We should thank them.

Sorry to crash the boys club. I like this blog a lot.

Isn't that just adorable?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Beauty, that feline beauty that has us by the balls in America, is finished. To fathom the new reality it is first necessary to dismantle the drains, to lay open the gangrened ducts which compose the genito-urinary system that supplies the excreta of art."
-Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

Monday, January 25, 2010

Twilight of Cinema

So I watched Twilight last night.

Much has been said about Twilight, but I think I've got some good points here.

First of all, the story is basically Lolita disguised as Romeo and Juliet. The difference between Twilight and those aforementioned great works being that Twilight ends happily. (Actually I've heard that the book series ends in a pretty gross fucked-up way, but I'd like to just focus here on the adaptation of the first book, because that's all I know about.) I say Lolita because think about it: some old geezer (Edward is 99 years old, disguised as 17 and therefore damned to repeat high school over and over-- I would be brooding, too) woos and essentially kidnaps this girl who is very young, very boring, and apparently unbelievably beautiful. (I might as well note here that unlike Sue Lyon, star of Kubrick's Lolita, Kristen Stewart is actually pretty unfortunate-looking: she bears a strong resemblance to the guy from Re-Animator, and has kind of a similarly manic acting style as well.) So he takes her away from her family and friends and sort of bosses her around, all in the name of society will never accept our love and I have to protect you because you're a foolish young woman and I'm sophisticated. Only the movie seems to champion this possessive, overbearing attitude on the hero's part. Lolita is a powerful statement about how any form of tyranny can seem justified by beautiful enough rhetoric; Twilight is about the necessity of tyranny by a racially superior male over a really lame, helpless girl, and it is told in terrible, terrible, terrible prose.

So then I don't need to tell you how harmful that is to the thousands of impressionable young female fans. Alicia pointed out the most metaphorically objectionable scene in the movie: When Edward and Bella first make out, Edward says, "don't move," which is a phrase I think any girl who knows shit about shit would be terrified to hear someone seriously say in a romantic situation. Then the force of their dangerous sexual attraction for some reason literally repels Edward back several feet, sending him flying from the bed to the wall. Bella, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and panties, apologizes for it.

Maybe this has been remarked on somewhere else before, but the vampire characters in Twilight are not vampires. They are angular, baseball-playing Europeans with powers and desires that fit whatever needs to happen in the storyline. They can read minds, have super-strength, and can run real fast, as Edward repeatedly demonstrates, sometimes for no other apparent reason but to be hilarious. At one point he uses it to open the car door for Bella. When the sunlight hits them, they sparkle a little bit and that's all that happens. That's why they live in the Pacific Northwest where it always rains. I'm not kidding. Bella figures out that her new B.F. is a vampire in one of those most recent of lame montage archetypes, the Google search montage, with the camera panning over phrases like "superhuman strength" and "read minds" as Bella, whose mouth is always agape anyway, stares like a dead, Re-animator-lookin'-ass carp as she learns about myths from all over the world that sort of vaguely have to do with, I guess, violence.
The Cullen clan of vampires, however, are "vegetarians" that refuse to eat humans and only hunt like deer and stuff in the woods. Their relative vegetarianism parallels Bella's actual vegetarianism. The Cullens' enemies, however, roam around and have started killing local townsfolk, which is where Edward gets off "protecting" Bella all the time. This overt push for vegetarianism is the only sort of progressive message in the story, but it also doesn't make sense to me. I mean, why shouldn't the Cullens kill and eat humans? Really. They're higher than us on the food chain, they have every right to keep us on our toes. As long as they're not, like, factory-farming us, it's only fair. There would be nothing unnatural about it.
Which I guess is what's so stupid about Meyers' idea, so obviously untainted in conception by research, of Draculas anyway. If they were really the "ultimate killing machines," as Edward puts it at one point, and also really that hot, why wouldn't they have taken over the world by now?

Lastly, I decided I'm on "Team Jacob." Jacob, a local Native American played by a tan white guy who I guess is more important in the later parts of the story and turns out to be a werewolf or something in the next picture and has beef with the Cullens, seems like he's actually a pretty nice guy. He can at least hold a conversation with Bella, unlike Edward, who stutters and averts eye contact like a goddamn Asperger's patient every time he's not rescuing her.
Stay tuned for the New Moon post!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

somewhere in space, for all time

This other one is simply terrifying. Like, really scary.

Oh Shit

In the 1990’s Laurance Rockefeller became interested in paranormal phenomena, especially with UFOs and Extraterrestrial visitation. He funded scientific investigations and organized and funded a briefing document to record the best evidence (Open Minds journalist, Antonio Huneeus was a key contributor to this document). Rockefeller also conferred with the Clintons regarding the release of files by President Bill Clinton.

Researcher Grant Cameron, who runs the website, was able to retrieve documents through the Freedom of Information Act that showed Rockefeller was soliciting help form Hillary’s staff on drafting a document to President Bill Clinton in 1995. The title of the document was: Lifting Secrecy on Information About Extraterrestrial Intelligence as Part of the Current Classification Review.

In August of 1995 the Clintons made a trip to Rockefeller’s JY Ranch near Jackson’s Hole, Wyoming. Many speculate that UFOs and ETs must have been a subject of conversation during the visit. However, there has never been any proof of this, until now.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

"to emulate the company's real world stores in the real world..."


Also follow the link to the "Second Life Liberation Army." Post-Avatar is here dudes...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Greetings From Finland

So Jackie's friend Kate is studying Photography abroad in Finland and she made this video just the other day. I know it's not UFO's doing loopdie loo's over Santiago, Chile but it might shed some light on the paranormal activities taking place in the snow up there. Hide your children...

Friday, January 1, 2010

something for a new decade

A computer simulation shows how invisible dark matter coalesces in halos (shown in yellow). Photograph: Science Photo Library