RIP This Charming Mystery 2007-2008

On losing another amazing drummer, and barring some sort of miraculous intervention, we have discovered we don’t have the drive to keep going. Sad. But probably for the best, amidst the swirling chaos of my life at present. It would have been nice to play live a bit more, though.

I really enjoyed the music we made. Strangely, so did other people. And I am a way better guitarist and musician than when this project started.

If you head over to our myspace page, all six songs are now available for free download. I like the idea that the music can live on.

Just realised this means this is the first time since 2002 I haven’t been in a band! Weird.

bacteria to eat plastic

In honour of Buckminster Fuller’s quote, “whether or not it will be utopia or oblivion will be a touch and go relay race until the very end” we of the dancing moose have added two new post categories – utopia and oblivion. Not sure if I will go back and retrospectively categorise everything, but it will certainly be a helpful flag, and definitely seems uncannily apt.

But anyway. Here’s one for utopia.

What if we could make plastic biodegrade in a few months instead of a millenia?

Getting ordinary plastic bags to rot away like banana peels would be an environmental dream come true.

After all, we produce 500 billion a year worldwide and they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They take up space in landfills, litter our streets and parks, pollute the oceans and kill the animals that eat them.

Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster — in three months, he figures.

Yay harnessing bacteria. And teenagers asking questions.

the world in a handful of scattered sentences

Barack Obama will, and needs to, win the election to demonstrate to America that they can still be great. Electing a black president just forty years after segregation ended will help wash away the sour taste of Bush.

***

The new Indiana Jones movie is exactly like an Indiana Jones movie, only dumber. Still fun, though.

(Also: movies are the wrong medium for telling multi part stories, unless you plan them that way from the start, and even then, there are better mediums.)

***

Our spies in China report that all entertainment – ie TV other than news – was stopped for three days of mourning in the wake of the earthquake. Wow.

Fuckin' Lebowski

There is a certain moment when this somehow switches from the ridiculous to the sublime.

I swear I’m not going out of my way to find this stuff.

(from post-atomic)

Last night I dreamed of a burn. It was awesome, seeming to stretch across a random geography of dreams, including bush clad hills and appropriated shops. The lights in the sky were amazing, better than either of the aurora’s, and more psychedelic, though I only realised that on waking. It was just cool, wandering all over and encountering cool people doing cool stuff everywhere.

a quick dose of despair

juan cole provides robert greenwald ripping mccain a new arse.

meanwhile, over at cryptogon, there is too much disturbing shit to link to.

back, sort of

Housesitting was very productive. Mucho work on doco done. (Much, alas, remains to do.)

The Hasselhoff Experiment’s first gig in something like seven years was fricking legendary. I still ache.

Um. I go to continue being busy now. If the cat will let me move.

nar say a ting

Will be mostly offline for a few days while housesitting. If you want me, txt.

More on the Pentagon paid objective media military experts:

A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that “the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform” media military analysts “into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.” A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article — many identified as having ties to the defense industry — collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.

(via amsam)

And in breaking news, a movie about a revolutionary new technology for powering cars: blood.

(chur, our recently shorn brother sound-moose)

a momentary lapse of conformity

Since the entire function of the modern west is the consumption of media and the offering of our judgment upon it, I thought I would reclaim my solidarity with my fellow mensch, and give a run down of my recent media consumption, with opinions, thus proving I am not a terrorist. Or something.

Equilibrium

In the future, human emotion, and anything which might stir emotion (eg art), has been identified as the source of all evils, and thus eradicated through drugs that maintain equilibrium. Christian Bale is a fascist supercop who accidentally goes off his drugs, starts sympathising with the terrorists who believe in feeling, and all hell breaks loose. Sort of basic morality play, lacking a bit of depth. Lots of righteous slaughter.

Apocalypto

As a big budget on-location recreation of Mayan times, it’s pretty cool to stare at. I enjoyed the immersion. As a plot, it’s pretty mindless. Unfortunately the ending with its ur-text of “and then came the Christians to civilise these fucking savages, and not a moment too soon” really soured me.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Lies, smoke, mirrors, arrogance and greed. Wasn’t that aware of how much this tied into the California blackouts debacle and the rise of Governator Arnie. Fundamentally depressing account of human nature and the corruption and complicity of the capitalist system in screwing people over for money at all costs. Maybe nothing new, but interesting, though.

The Machinist

Tense, nervy and weird. Bale is indeed emaciated. Props for dedication, that man. And Jennifer Jason Leigh was totally unrecognizable. Enjoyable in an uncomfortable kind of way. Cute resolution, though kind of unsatisfying somehow.

And didn’t get around to watching Manderlay; despite being curious about what the hell would happen to that character after Dogville, I wasn’t feeling up to Von Triers particular brand of emotional rape.

Oh, and I went to see Iron Man on opening night, which was lots of mindless escapist fun, and seemed to manage walking both sides of the terrorism tightrope. And I seem to have completely f**ked up getting to anything at the Human Rights Film Fest so far.

what he said

Happy to echo our moose-brother morgue on this, as we are again of one mind: This Election is the Important One.

We have three years to start making serious changes to how human life operates. These changes cannot be made at the individual level, or even at the local level. The needed changes must happen through governmental structures. Only governments have the ability to make these changes happen.

[…]

Let’s be clear: unless we, the citizens of our various democracies, forcefully put climate change on the agenda for the governments that will lead us through the next few years, then the entire mode of human life will be pushed into catastrophic change. This is, incredibly, not hyperbole. The stakes actually are that big.

Doing nothing is an action no longer acceptable for adults.

Of course, we could invest in our neon city sound and light shows instead.

the street finds its own uses for things, part @#$#5645672

So yesterday I was gmailchatting to my man on the ground in China about the perspective/mood/headspace in the street there, as opposed to the rather surreal political generalizations of the corporate media, which is pretty fascinating, and among other things he sends me a link to an article about the battle between technology platforms, and their inherent participatory vs passive effects on the user, which I flick to my tech guy for an opinion, and he gets back to me later in the day with a hardware/development geek’s view on what is happening and most desirable.

Not sure this is going anywhere, exactly, as an anecdote, beyond generally noting that communications technology is really frickin cool, and enables us to figure shit out for ourselves, via resources we trust, rather than being spoon fed bullshit on the news. And that this is a Good Thing, granting us freedom, flexibility and power; and a source of Hope, something that can seem in short supply at times. More and more Buckminster Fuller seems ever more prescient with his observation “Whether it will be utopia or oblivion will be a touch and go relay race to the very end.” However, he didn’t anticipate, or at least mention, how nerve shatteringly tense being there was going to be…

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