Saturday, April 03, 2004

Ian McEwan reaches the promised land: "According to a US Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection spokesman, the problem arose because he told officials he was being paid for his west coast lecture tour, but he did not have a visa for business visitors. McEwan was turned back and spent the night in a Vancouver hotel."
Music swappers win court victory: "The act of 'making available' is illegal under a World Intellectual Property Organization treaty that Canada has signed, 'however that treaty has not yet been implemented in Canada and therefore does not form part of Canadian copyright law,' said von Finckenstein."
here's the mixup/mashup master IDC's site, Pete
Big Baby: "'I think it reinforces the idea that the president cannot go it alone,' she said. 'The president should stand tall, walk in the room himself and answer the questions.' "
April Fools: "When semiotician cum novelist, Umberto Eco teamed (as director) with actor/producer Gerard Depardieu, to bring Perec's great Oulipian novel to the viewing public, he set out to create "a work of art like none that has been made before."
"...because," Eco said, picking up a baroque recorder from his desk, "that novel is like no book ever written." "
S/FJ: "Headline in that free downtown paper today: 'MURDERERS!' As opposed to who? As compared to when? Women? Children? Soldiers? A year ago? Yesterday? Is this going to be a regular feature? Murder Watch (tm)? Which murderers and murderees are we tracking? Would there, then, be a day when you couldn't run that headline? And would there, could there be a day when you didn't have a picture to go with it?"
Daily Kos: "I was angry that five soldiers -- the real heroes in my mind -- were killed the same day and got far lower billing in the newscasts. I was angry that 51 American soldiers paid the ultimate price for Bush's folly in Iraq in March alone. I was angry that these mercenaries make more in a day than our brave men and women in uniform make in an entire month. I was angry that the US is funding private armies, paying them $30,000 per soldier, per month, while the Bush administration tries to cut our soldiers' hazard pay. I was angry that these mercenaries would leave their wives and children behind to enter a war zone on their own volition. "
Iraq: The Secret Policeman's Other Ball
The privatisation of war: "The private sector is so firmly embedded in combat, occupation and peacekeeping duties that the phenomenon may have reached the point of no return: the US military would struggle to wage war without it. "
Britain's secret army in Iraq: "So many British security firms are cashing in on the violence in Iraq that armed private security men now outnumber most of the national army contingents in the country."

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

group show (including poet Lisa Robertson and named after her book) The Weather opens in Vancouver at the Charles H Scott tonight
Extraordinary Rendition: "While the nation focused on Richard Clarke's allegations last week, CIA director George Tenet let slip other revelations in his testimony to the 9-11 Commission, admissions that sharpen the contours of the shadowy intelligence practice called 'extraordinary rendition.'
The policy, codified in the late 1980s to allow U.S. law enforcement to apprehend wanted men in lawless states like Lebanon during its civil war, has emerged in recent years as one of America's key counterterrorism tools, and has now expanded in scope to include the transfer of terrorism suspects by U.S. intelligence agents to foreign countries for interrogation�and, say some insiders, torture prohibited inside this nation's borders. "

Monday, March 29, 2004

Niagara Falls freezes and stops, 1848
Frame Enlargements from Stan Brakhage films
Birdsong albums fly off the shelves
"Willows" abridged too far
"But the Disneyfication of "The Wind in the Willows" is more insidious. Because, as Evil Clones are wont to do, Disney's Toad has gone back to wipe out the original, replace it with himself and cover his tracks. Only those who know to poke around will discern the plunder, and by that time the real treasure may be long gone. When our library's vintage copies of "The Wind in the Willows" finally wear out, the Great Illustrated Classic, with its sturdy library binding will be all that's left. And the only hint of the desecration will be the ambiguous but friendly "adapted by" bit on the title page. We'll find Mole sick of cleaning. Toad flinging horrid little wagons. Mole sitting in his chair with a bubble of Badger over his head. Cleansed of "divine discontent and longing," bereft of "poetry of motion," with Mole never taking time out to smell Home, Little Portly neither lost nor found, and no Pan pipes to be forgotten by Rat or reader. Greatly diluted and poorly illustrated "classics" will be the literary legacy left to our children."

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Dictionary of the Scots Language Crivvens!
The Fight Against Shostakovich Revisionism: "What motivates these flat-earthers? It's hard to say without putting them on the couch, but what Taruskin, Fay and Brown have in common on their CVs is a halcyon student period in the old Soviet Union where life was spartan and Shostakovich was a secret language which no-one in the west had yet cracked. They cannot forgive Volkov for his unmasking, nor can they retract their own theories without looking like idiots. And so they flourish, these red-rimmed nostalgists, fighting a Cold War from tenured positions, heedless of the discredit that they heap on the indiscipline of musicology and on the reputation of the Soviet era's greatest hero, Dmitri Shostakovich."
No Rock&Roll Fun: "Julie Burchill believes that we're all children of Thatcher and McClaren, but this misses that they're actually one and the same: she came from a grocers, he came from a trouser shop; they built their position on the back of the working classes preaching the virtues of self-interest, while making sure they got more than their share of the spoils. And none of them have done anything decent since Jubilee Year."