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March Thread

by Bjinse Mon Mar 4th, 2019 at 08:59:03 PM EST

Spring is the time of plans and threads

by generic on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 03:09:51 PM EST
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the amount that a Labour Party's report claimed Chris Grayling misadventures had cost British taxpayers. It is 2.7 billion pounds, not 2.7 million.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 04:05:18 PM EST
in addition to the more than a billion that Boris Johnston's idiocies cost London during his residency as Mayor.

But Tories are the party of business, so it's A-OK

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 04:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mark Hollis, the man behind the band Talk Talk, died last week

I would have simply given a link to my essay about Talk Talk, but there is one paragraph which embarrasses me, so I've re-written it, so here is a whole re-post;

Talk Talk : Elegy and Eulogy

 With any suddenly successful band, there is always the pressure of "how do we repeat that ?", a question that degenerates into the panic of "well, what do we do now, cos we can't repeat that ?".

It's the dilemma that faced Pink Floyd after "Dark side of the Moon" and RadioHead after "OK Computer". The former messed around with non-musical instruments for 18 months before they realised they were being silly and made Wish You were Here instead. Or you could do as RadioHead did; try to sabotage their careers with a series of increasingly, almost deliberately, rambling anti-statements which availed them nothing but continued platinum status. Eventually they gave up and made "In Rainbows". Their virulently anti-corporate worldview makes and retains their counter-culture hero status, even when the music hasn't always justified it.

But there are other paths.

Talk Talk were a fairly anonymous band who came out of the early 80s post-punk electro-pop era, where the cool sensibilities of David Sylvian/Japan melded with Kraftwerk-influenced rhythms. Duran Duran, Fashion & Depeche Mode were at the forefront of the movement, although an awful lot of pop music of the time nodded in the direction. There is little to say of the band's early career, for the simple reason that almost nothing stood out. Any person who could honestly say that they could foresee their subsequent success is either a liar, or blessed with gifts Nostradamus would have envied.

That future arrived when they released "The Colour of Spring" and moved themselves into a different world. Mixing children's choirs, over-driven rock slide guitar coupled with Hollis' downbeat proto-Sylvian "oh well, if I have to..." vocal style, it wasn't so much genre-busting as creating an entirely new set of musical expressions. The music world sat up and took notice; Tim Hollis, a major talent had arrived. I know it's a cliche, but this is genuinely an album that would grace any collection. Powerful, sensitive and in places desperately beautiful, this is the work of a thoroughbred hitting his stride.

And so to the difficult "follow that" album. It is genuinely interesting to play the post-OK computer albums of RadioHead alongside the Talk talk albums to find two groups of people wrestling with similar problems and coming to utterly different conclusions. RadioHead went outward, wrestling with a corporate culture that was as parasitic as it was financially rewarding. Talk talk went inward to conjure forth their demons. Such choices may denied them fame and fortune, but theirs was a prophet's virtuous path into the stony desert. Unlike RadioHead, they didn't so much reject commercialism so much as they were too unworldy to notice the riches that were offered them.

Yet they were not unappreciated; it was common to hear sentiments from other bands of the time saying things like "Every band loves Talk talk; to be out there, doing what they do and still be successful. It just gives you hope"

If there is a binding alchemy behind the band, it is that,-
"Perfection is attained in the nature of imperfection : The precisely wrong thing will be transcendent."

Even when the music becomes difficult, obscure and meandering, it's always webbed with gossamer-thin threads of golden inspiration, waiting to reward any listener willing to turn the cloth. There is a story that one recording session featuring  a children's choir created something so beautiful that all who heard it cried. Performers, writers, technicians; all were convinced that that day had brought forth something that would live beyond them. So the band were distraught to discover the next morning that Hollis had returned to the studio at daybreak to erase all of the tapes of the previous day's work. Such perfection, in his eyes, made the spirit lazy.

One can hear this attitude exemplified in the song "I believe in you", from the next album Spirit of Eden, where the melancholic beginning leads into a sustained organ chord that twists and writhes as if containing a demon. Only abyssal guilt and grief can form such a howl of despair. Tis fitting as the song is about the decent and eventual death of Hollis' own brother from heroin addiction.

You don't create such vapour through perfection. Such ambience needs more than care. No longer desperately beautiful the pain evoked is instead beautifully desperate.

And so to the final album, Laughing Stock. Now no longer making music as therapy, Hollis evokes the satisfied resolve of a man about to create artistic suicide. Just the titles of the songs tell you this is the story of the artist's evolving feelings about his career; from the promise of "Myrrhman", the success in "Ascension Day", the anti-climax of "After the flood", the hangover of "Taphead", and the hope of "New grass" and now "Rune II".

Typically obtuse, it begins with a minute of silence, although if you listen carefully you can hear the hum of amplifiers. When the guitar eventually breaks in it sounds late and hesitant,  seemingly setting a tone of uncertainty;-

    Place my chair at the backroom door
    Help me up
    I can't wait anymore

Yet this mood changes as the album continues, it evokes the feeling of a career that both disappointed yet illuminated; this was your time and yet time was never yours. At once waiting and invoking, both rite and mantra, the clash and discord, the beauty of the beast, the album is Hollis' almost shamanic journey towards inner resolution, he is making peace with this time of his life.

The final song's lyrics read;-

    Well, aren't you suspect
    In answer unread
    meander context
    so effortlessly blessed

and career-wise with that sign off, the Prophet smiled at his followers, stepped back from the dais, turned and, with a look of absolute confident bliss, stepped into empty air.

RIP Mark Hollis

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 06:22:33 PM EST
I Support Strong Women of Color Unless They Are Politically to My Left - McSweeney's Internet Tendency
The women of color I admire are strong. They see institutions, like ICE, that abuse and degrade women of color and think, "I can run them." They don't wait for a man's permission to profit off of war. They aren't afraid to get right up in President Trump's face and say, "Sir, I just voted for your milliary budget." They don't just take money from the NRA; they take it like a boss. I'm talking about strong women of color like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, the Koch brothers, the Mucinex Man. Yes, the Mucinex Man is a woman of color. Green is a color, and gender is fluid. Get with the times.
by generic on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 09:48:44 PM EST
by generic on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 at 03:40:16 PM EST
from what? Ants?

that said, dogs can be deceptive. Similar dogs to that are used to guard cattle from bears in Bulgaria. And they are unbridled ferocity, casual walkers give them a wide berth. Even at 400 metres, stay off the horizon.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 6th, 2019 at 06:52:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A border collie will kill a lamb if given half a chance. One step removed from wolves.
by asdf on Thu Mar 14th, 2019 at 06:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On Tuesday, the citizens of Toledo, Ohio, granted legal rights reserved for people to Lake Erie, the 9,940-square-mile body of water on which their city depends. According to Sigal Samuel at Vox, the passage of the controversial ballot measure marks the first time a natural resource has been granted legal status in the United States, though a precedent for doing so has been established by other countries in recent years.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Mar 7th, 2019 at 05:42:56 PM EST
To state the issue posed by this series as bluntly and precisely as possible: Netflix's Trotsky is the most explicitly and unrelentingly anti-Semitic film that has ever been presented to an American and international television audience. It is a frenzied incitement to Jew-hating. The inspiration for this production is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious Russian anti-Semitic forgery, produced in pre-1917 Russia, that claimed to document an international Jewish conspiracy to take over the world.

The portrayal of all Jewish characters in the movie, beginning with Trotsky, is based on malicious anti-Semitic stereotypes. They are blood-thirsty and self-promoting fanatics, devoid of human pity, contemptuous of the down-trodden masses, and insatiable in their lust for power. They are also obsessed with sex. The main male Jewish character, Trotsky, is denigrated in semi-pornographic scenes, a device of anti-Semitic defamation well-known from the propaganda of the Russian far-right and the Nazis.

The Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 are depicted as the outcome of a Jewish conspiracy, funded from abroad. The origin of the Revolution of 1905 is a criminal pact between Trotsky and Alexander Parvus, who obtains funds from the German government. The October Revolution in 1917, the most monumental social upheaval in history, is depicted as a "coup," orchestrated by Trotsky with the help of only two other well-known Bolshevik leaders who were also Jewish: Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev.

The real contest now is not between nationalism and international finance, but between both of these forces of reaction, on the one hand, and universal emancipation on the other. The historical Leon Trotsky is an emblem of this international struggle. But the Leon Trotsky of Netflix is an antisemitic libel.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 8th, 2019 at 07:31:05 PM EST
  • LAST YEAR reviewers at wsws.org called it "Russian television's Trotsky." Is wsws.org now shopping for an anti-semitic audience?
  • Did all Netflix employees sign a anti-semiticism oath in 2017?
  • Did Netflix corp buy N.American broadcast rights from PUTIN, the arch anti-semiticists?
  • Are any black actors harmed in the production? If so, it probably is anti-semitic propaganda.
  • Is Jewfolk, Inc an unregistered subsidiary of Netflix?
  • Who is collecting hate-mail for Netflix?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2019 at 11:59:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Netflix behaves just like a GAFA... They don't have morals, they have markets.
I have noticed that they make series for local markets, in function of what is fashionable / permitted.

I started watching one about an elite Turkish SWAT team... Taking out Kurdish terrorists who had taken schoolkids hostage. That sort of thing.

I watched the whole episode before turning away in disgust.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 05:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

neo-*, codpiece, tribe, taboo, *-icide, inverse taxation: I take a dim view of neologism.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Mar 9th, 2019 at 12:09:58 AM EST
by generic on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 10:17:20 AM EST
My daughter is... making out like a bandit as quartermaster of a Caribean pirate vessel. Equity is a major feature of her successful strategy. Long-running roleplaying game.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 05:18:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
American whaling ships had tremendous inequality of pay. No GINI coefficient is calculated in this article, but it is pretty bad.


by asdf on Thu Mar 14th, 2019 at 06:53:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]

by generic on Fri Mar 15th, 2019 at 01:35:15 PM EST

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