Some big shows viewed through the lens of Jay Procktor:
Everything you want in loud music – no stage, two drum kits in action, fearless repetition, stringed shredding, distorted vocals – from this Kurdish wedding band (with line dancing!). The human animal is a musical genius.
Via the astonishing and life-affirming Dream Beach music blog. (H/t johnnyshape)
A scale model of our solar system in twelve 500 page volumes printed-on-demand. On page 1 the Sun, on page 6,000 Pluto. The width of each page equals one million kilometres.
This film takes us through the first volume where we encounter the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and the Asteroid Belt.
via Laughing Squid
Originally posted Jan 27, 2012
Dr. Payne is the go-to guy on unemployment (see his latest post), but here’s a passing note with news that the US economy contracted last quarter, HMV is folding up in Britain, and Best Buy and Future Shop are shuttering 15 stores in Canada, shedding workers.
The US contraction is in good part thanks to military draw down. Military Keynesianism: awesome paradigm. Meanwhile, the stock market is riding high despite the raging unemployment, the 1% is more flush than ever, corporate profits have recovered, and more than 1 in 5 American kids lives in poverty. Nearly half of all black kids in Obama’s America are poor. No doubt the “liberal media” presents this juxtaposition constantly on the news ticker. (Btw, yuh think there’s any correlation between Chicago apartheid and the children catching bullets with their tummies on the south side every day, mayor Rahm? No? It’s just that the ammunition clips on sale are too generous? OK.)
There must be something rotten in the very core of a social system which increases its wealth without diminishing its misery – Paul Krugman, New York Times
What?! This from the guy who spent the nineties extolling the virtues of free trade? Ha. Of course not. The quote’s not from the NYT but the New York Daily Tribune. Karl Marx writing in 1859 (Marx had a high profile New York column from 1852 to 1861).
Layoffs at major retailers like HMV and Future Shop mean even fewer degrading, low-paying jobs for people, college-educated or otherwise, to shuffle between. As this video from UK grocer Ocado shows, shopping is being transformed by the internet and automated distribution centers. And those self-serve checkouts at Safeway have customers doing unwaged cashier work themselves.
Four-string, no-cymbals sludge-a-billy duo of Montreal Deja Voodoo put Viet Cong on their third album, Swamp of Love in 1986. They also ran Og Records which played an essential role in allowing Canadian indie music to flourish. A lifetime of kudos is owed them (and perhaps a couple of seats in our appointed senate).
In 1989, Peter Jackson, now of Lord of the Rings fame, released Meet the Feebles, his audaciously tasteless and utterly brilliant assault on the Muppet Show (and The Deer Hunter).
It occurred to me that these two works really did belong together and any liberties I may have taken are more than justified by the fact that there is a band wandering around New Zealand calling themselves Deja Voodoo.
As far as the “Shit (X demographic) Say” genre goes, “Shit Yogis Say” is a spot-on satire. The blonde-haired protagonist intones with perfect colon-cleansed haughtiness near-nonsensical aphorisms like “You know, carrot sticks are nature’s candy” or “Apples are nature’s toothbrush.” The eponymous “shit” is revealed through rapid cuts of the yogi on the yoga mat, after class, or in concerned conversation with a new yoga convert.
Most disappointing is this video is an ad for Lululemon. It’s not immediately apparent, since the amount of Lululemon product placement in the video actually approaches the amount of Lululemon product placed in your average yoga studio (except by eagerly Lululemon-ified yogis acting of their own accord). You could guess it was an amateur video until the last frames when the Lululemon logo appears.
Robots of Brixton
Brixton has degenerated into a disregarded area inhabited by London’s new robot workforce – robots built and designed to carry out all of the tasks which humans are no longer inclined to do. The mechanical population of Brixton has rocketed, resulting in unplanned, cheap and quick additions to the skyline.
The film follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment. When the Police invade the one space which the robots can call their own, the fierce and strained relationship between the two sides explodes into an outbreak of violence echoing that of 1981.
While spelunking the Intertubes the other day I stumbled across a particularly rich vein, the prodigious video offerings of one Potholer54. His clips debunking various crackpots and charlatans are thoroughly entertaining, and I intend to watch the Golden Crocoduck Awards closely in the future, but it is for his lengthy series on climate change that he deserves to be particularly commended. If you are interested in the subject and hunger for a discussion of it that is sane, measured, critical, grounded in the known facts and the established science, and armed with a keen awareness of the history of stormy debates that have so clouded the issue, then do as I did. Get a nice beverage, find a comfy chair and treat yourself to all 24 episodes, starting here:
If you only have time at the moment for a quick bitter laugh, jump ahead to the Monckton Bunkum episodes. Well-known to British audiences, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is something of a professional obfuscator of climate issues. Potholer54 is spot on when he likens Moncton’s followers to a gaggle of Basil Fawlty clones.
Monckton Bunkum Part 1 – Global cooling and melting ice
by Michelle Lovegrove Thomson on January 28, 2013
On Monday, January 28, 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Morgentaler that the federal government’s criminal law governing abortions was unconstitutional. It ruled that women should have control of their bodies. It was, and remains, a landmark victory for Canadian women.
The core of the case, which is often obscured by the hyperbole and essentialisms of moral and religious debates in pop culture, relates to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a woman’s right to live free of “cruel and unusual punishment”. Before 1988, women seeking an abortion had to have a committee-style approval of at least 2 doctors who deemed the procedure medically necessary (this unconstitutional process is still underway in New Brunswick). While the government argued that Morgentaler and two other doctors were breaking the law by performing abortions outside of hospitals and without sanctioned approval, the doctors argued:
- “they were not being allowed to follow their consciences under section 2 of the Charter” [2(a). Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of conscience and religion.]
- “were being prosecuted under laws that were too vague, which deprived them of fundamental justice”
- by denying women a safe and accessible abortion they were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, resulting in being forced to seek risky treatment, and being unable to procure necessary medical treatment [Charter 12. Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.]
The judges were asked to consider the following question, among others:
“Does section 251 [the abortion provision] of the Criminal Code of Canada infringe or deny the rights and freedoms guaranteed by sections 2(a), 7, 12, 15, 27 and 28 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?”
The judges decided 5-2 to strike down the abortion law in the Criminal Code as being unconstitutional. It breached a woman’s rights as outlined under the Charter.
A sample of the judges final statements:
“State interference with bodily integrity and serious state-imposed psychological stress, at least in the criminal law context, constitutes a breach of security of the person… Forcing a woman, by threat of criminal sanction, to carry a foetus to term unless she meets certain criteria unrelated to her own priorities and aspirations, is a profound interference with a woman’s body and thus an infringement of security of the person. A second breach of the right to security of the person occurs independently as a result of the delay in obtaining therapeutic abortions caused by the mandatory procedures of s. 251 which results in a higher probability of complications and greater risk.” –Judges Dickson (Chief Justice) and Lamer.
“Section 251 of the Criminal Code takes a personal and private decision away from the woman and gives it to a committee which bases its decision on “criteria entirely unrelated to [the pregnant woman's] own priorities and aspirations”.” –Judge Wilson
A full summary of the court proceedings can be found here.
Judy Rebick recounts her experiences as an activist in the 1970s and 80s in pursuit of abortion rights for women over at rabble.ca She includes an anecdote about escorting Morgentaler to the newly opened clinic in Toronto on Harbord (future site of the recently shuttered Toronto Women’s Bookstore) when he is attacked by a man wielding garden shears. Check out the news footage from CBC’s Digital Archive:
And a young Ian Hanomansing reports on the 1988 decision for CBC: