Friday, April 20, 2007

How did I miss this one?

The news these days is, of course, all about Virginia Tech. And rightfully so. I've got mixed feelings about the whole thing. I am horrified by all the carnage, but I also wish someone had tried harder to reach this kid. He should have been in a hospital being treated instead of at college gunning down his fellow students. And don't get me started about the fact that he LEGALLY purchased TWO handguns. Let us not forget, however, that guns don't kill people, people do; especially crazy people. But my guess is that the guns certainly help.

Anyway, I didn't start writing today to talk about Virginia Tech or guns or crazy people (well, maybe a little about the last one). It's just that the massacre story is eating up so much of the news cycle that I missed something that has much more sinister implications for this country's future than the admittedly horrible deaths of 33 people. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the ban on late-term abortions first passed into law back in 2003. It's no surprise that the two justices that GW has appointed in the intervening period were part of the majority: Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy.

Make no mistake. This is the beginning of a run at Roe vs. Wade.

As Justice Ginsberg states in her assenting opinion, this action "cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away a right declared again and again by this court". The support of this bill lays the ground work for the argument that if some abortions are illegal, ipso facto, so are all abortions.

The most ominous thing about the situation is that the Court now teeters on the edge of being predominantly conservative. The only thing preventing the downfall of Roe vs. Wade is Justice Kennedy's swing vote. And that could be a crap shoot. His support of the late term ban is in keeping with his previous decisions (Stenberg vs. Carhart). However, he has also historically supported the pro-abortion interpretation of the Fourteenth amendment's Due Process clause (the essential basis of the Roe vs. Wade argument). So if Kennedy sticks to his guns and remains middle of the road, things might not change. However, if he succumbs to pressure from the conservatives...

Start buying stock in coat hanger companies.

Dumbya is, of course, pleased as punch. According to Fearless Leader, the decision "represents a commitment to building a Culture of Life in America. [It] affirms that the Constitution does not stand in the way of the People's representatives enacting laws reflecting the compassion and humanity of America."

I am a compassionate person, George, but I firmly believe in a woman's right to choose. The federal government has no business interfering in the most personal decision an individual can make. Thinking otherwise is a rather radical departure for a federalist like you, is it not? Then again, your religious ideology has always outweighed your politics, so this comes as no surprise. I cannot wait for the next 20 months to pass, after which you will be blessedly gone. But who knows how badly you will have fucked up this country and the rest of the world by then. I suspect that you will leave a pretty rancid legacy behind.

Pursuing life, liberty, and early deafness via:

Klangstabil - Straftat Gegen Das Leben
(Neubauten meets Kraftwerk)

4 Strings - Mainline
(primo vocal trance)

Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache
(and your eardrums)

Various - Headfloat Trax
(tasties from The Sales Department and Torsion)

Lena - Alchemy Of Fingers And Dark
(with remixes from Austere and The Mystifying Oracle)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

See no, hear no, say no

I can't say that I'm at all surprised that Don Imus got pulled because of his "nappy-headed hos" comment. After all, he's had it coming for years. I personally don't agree with his firing. He's just another idiot with stupid opinions; the world is full of them. Don't like what he has to say? Don't listen to his show.


His termination is already starting to open the floodgates. In a move that no doubt has the foundering PMRC licking their fang-filled chops, many "community leaders" (yes, Sharpton and the usual suspects) are turning their focus on rap music. While there have been rumblings about this for quite some time, it seems that the Imus controversy has given this movement an ideal focal point. What better pitch than "See, we're not just picking on the White Guy. We need to clean up our own backyard"?

Guess what? You don't.

Again. Don't like what rap has to say? Don't listen to rap. This is first amendment shit, kids. It was bad enough that we let Tipper and Friends mar our CD covers with little white stickers (although, in retrospect, this may have been a good thing; turns out this tends to increase sales of a CD, not reduce them). I'm just afraid that this is going to lead to more outright censorship.

Are the members of the Rutgers women's basketball team really nappy-headed hos? No. Do they see themselves as nappy-headed hos? I doubt it. Are women bitches because Snoop Dogg says so? No. Do women feel like bitches when they listen to Nellie? Not any that are worth mentioning. Feel degraded? Get some self confidence, dearie. Then again, I'm a white male, so what the fuck do I know? I do know that when Ice Cube calls me a racist idiot, I really don't care. Know why? Because I know I'm not a racist idiot.

Get the idea?

It isn't anyone's job to "protect" people from ideas. Don't like what someone has to say? Ignore them. If it REALLY bugs you, discuss it. Suppression only empowers something. Prohibition didn't work, did it? The more you make something "forbidden", the more it appeals to those who are easily swayed (i.e. the stupid people; i.e. most people). Moreover, it hardens the resolve of those whose message you’re suppressing. "We can't give into the Man" becomes the call of folks who might have just been casual supports of something. Suddenly they will do more than their level best to see that censorship won't succeed.

In short, when we tell people what they can and can't say, we stifle debate. How can we explain to people why their opinion is wrong (in our opinion...) when we can't hear their opinion in the first place? You call me cracker; you call me a faggot. Guess what? I don't care, but you can certainly try and explain to me why you think that way.

And when was the last time you actually paid attention to this?

PMRC top five easy listening hits:

Disciples Of Annihilation - New York City Speedcore
(I'll show you hard)

Edgey - Structures In Rust
(hammer the nail)

Godflesh - Songs Of Love And Hate
(render you asunder)

Godflesh - Love And Hate In Dub
(I an' I render dem asunder)

Ella Fitzgerald - Sings The Cole Porter Song Book
(nope, can't listen to this one either; songs may contain sexual innuendos)

For Tipper PS

My rant above has reminded me how much I value deep, meaningful music with insightful lyrics and heartfelt sentiments. That being said, I'd like to dedicate the following to Tipper Gore, Al Sharpton, and all the others who are kind enough to protect us from bad words, violent images and Janet Jackson's boob.

Disciples Of Annihilation - Brooklyn Mob


Friday, April 13, 2007

Wolf in chump's clothing

According to CNN, the staff of the World Bank is calling for President Paul Wolfowitz's resignation. And why is this, you may ask? What did this pillar of honesty and integrity, this quintessential neo-con moralist representative, do to deserve such treatment?

He promoted his girlfriend without askin' nobody.

Nice one, Paul.

Apparently this is one of the first things he did after being successfully nominated to the post by Senor Dumbya (much to the disappointment and chagrin of most of the WB's staff, BTW; after all, who enjoys it when a neo-Manifest Destiny, "America Right Or Wrong" beast like Wolfie is force fed to an organization devoted fighting global poverty?).

Sure, Paulie has apologized, but then excused his actions by saying that he was in "uncharted waters" and still new to the job.

That's a load of shit.

When it comes to stuff like this, being President of the World Bank is no different than being, for example, a Store Manager for Walmart. You can't just unilaterally promote someone you're boning, whether the bone-ee deserves the promo or not. Hell, if I'd been in his position, I'd have made triple sure that EVERYBODY was involved in the decision. I'd have been holding meetings with the goddamned janitor if I'd thought it would assure people that I wasn't practicing favoritism.

Still, Wolfowitz has never been one to operate within the rules. I guess he's a real "out of the box" thinker (or, in this case, an "all about her box" thinker…). But while it's a round about way to do it, I do hope this ends with him leaving. After all, I suspect things at the World Bank over the last two years or so have been more focused around Paul's role in the instigation of the war in Iraq and his bozo-buddy-ness with GDumbya than on actually combating poverty around the world. But I suspect that the conservative cavalry will soon come to his aid. Start looking for key members of the World Bank ethics committee to start disappearing mysteriously...

OK. Maybe not. But the neo-cons always manage to protect their own, don't they.

Unless you're name is Scooter.

"Maybe I should have just stuck with the BJs in the office. Hell, it worked for Bill. Almost."

The World Bank did not finance the following:

Fat Jon The Ample Soul Physician - Lightweight Heavy
(downbeat blissout)

CocoRosie - Noah's Ark
(I don't know about the animals, but I want these two chicks with me when the flood comes)

Takeshi Muto - Expect More From A Past Life
(mutated glitch quirk fest)

Bounty Killer - 5th Element
(you naw gwon step to dis, bwoi)

The Acacia Strain - The Dead Walk
(better living through malicious wounding)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Up and running

Sometimes it's a magical thing.

Only a short while after writing about it, CDBaby has cranked out their catalog entry for Poems For Innogen, the latest release from Abstract Audio Systems. The samples are up, the picture is pretty, and the description is a perfect example of my sometimes self-absorbed, introspective bullshit (heh heh).

Seriously, folks; I'm proud of this one. It incorporates a lot of the stuff I like to hear myself (but sadly, no metal...) and every track is heartfelt in some way. I'm sure most people won't get it, as it combines some pretty disparate sounds, but then again, that's how my brain works. I think the pieces fit together well.

So please check it out. And maybe, if you're feeling adventurous, generous, and want to own something pretty exclusive (hell, there's only about 10 copies of the CD in existence right now), you might pick up a copy.

Today's WBMH top five:

Various - Rediscovered Blues
(Lightnin', Big Bill, Sonny and Brownie pull it from the sky)

Various - Radius Suck
(down, over, out)

Front Line Assembly - Millennium
(Leeb does metal)

Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
(whatcha speak, bwoi?)

Various - Terrordrome II
(no dress code, but no BPMs under 200 will be admitted)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The little mix that Santa Claus forgot

As a 100% bona fide music addict, I take great pleasure in throwing together mixes. The rewarding process of finding tracks that go well together brings me a great deal of pleasure and once I've completed one of these little assembly projects, I always love to give it to anyone who'll listen. So the fact that I haven't shared my latest creation with y'all is a testament to how hard work has been kicking my butt.


Several weeks ago, I found myself with some free time, so I snagged the opportunity to throw some hard trance and club music into my magic cauldron. Giving it a rigorous stirring, the resulting explosion of steam coalesced into DJ Abstract 19: The Synthetic Bliss Mix.

01 Laurie Anderson - Someone Else's Dream
02 Armin Van Buuren - Shivers
03 Carl B - Social Suicide
04 John 00 Fleming - Rasa Lila (Part 1)
05 4 Strings - Treasure Box
06 Reva - Quasar
07 Slusnik Luna & Peter Lowlan - Last Train To Transcentral
08 Bluescreen - Daybreak
09 Solid Globe - North Pole Vs. Sahara (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)
10 Up Above The World - Straight Up Caffeine
11 Jason Nevins - I'm In Heaven (Motivio Vocal Mix)

There are some majorly bangin' tracks on the mix. Starts of slow and a little spooky with a slice of vocal from Laurie A, but then plunges headlong into AVB and pretty much doesn't stop after that. It was especially fun to pull out a (relatively) golden oldie like "Straight Up Caffeine" and the parting track by Jason Nevins always brings a smile to my face. Of the billion and a half tracks that sample MJ's "Human Nature", this is definitely one of my faves. It's also a nice slow down after all that pounding four-on-the-floor.

Anyway, if anyone would like a copy, they can either email me and I'll send you one or you can head over to my website and snag a copy (cover and all) there. Either way, I hope everybody enjoys it.

Feel free to send money as well...

Carcrash (by funk):

Tom Waits - Bone Machine
(my gateway drug to the world of Waits)

The Mystifying Oracle - Quintessence
(one man Austere army)

White Zombie - Astro-Creep: 2000
(hottest bassist... ever)

The Bug - Killing Sound
(here come the hellsteppa)

William Orbit - Pieces In A Modern Style
(love ya, Arvo, but you can stick it)