|||[ Monocular Times ]|||

We are living in monocular times: “the spectacular has become monocular. a narrow band of so-called entertainment pushes its way through the eye of a needle and expects us to accept global monoculture. one culture for all. one culture to bind us. one culture to blind us to lived experience.

we resist its baneful bronze eye. we replace monoculture with palimpsest and revel in its wild, untamed diversity. in place of sameness and seperation we assert difference and participation. where there are walls we desire spaces. and where there are spaces we desire access. and when we have access we can begin to play.

above all, we desire pleasure. and to the monoculture that seeks to commodify all that we desire, we respond that its leisure is not our pleasure.

this shit is.”


Radio host proclaims he has suicide video

Did the ‘Hell on Earth’ suicide come off as promised? The original plan was for a man with a terminal disease to commmit suicide onstage during the metal rockers’ Saturday evening concert in St. Petersburg. To avoid threatened interference by authorities, that plan was altered several weeks ago with the suicide to take place at a separate, undisclosed location and to be broadcast live on the web in conjunction with the band’s performance. But the website’s host shut it down before show time, supposedly because of the number of hits the site was getting. Now the band’s front man is noncommittal about whether the suicide actually occurred as planned, but a radio host who had been following the band in the leadup to the ‘event’ says he has been given a videotape of ‘something that looked crazy’ and appeared to show a man commmitting suicide. Yet the county’s emergency dispatchers and medical examiner’s office said there had been no calls about a suicide as of Sunday afternoon. —St Petersburg Times


Critics Say Execution Drug May Hide Suffering

“Just about every aspect of the death penalty provokes acrimonious debate, but this method of killing, by common consensus, is as humane as medicine can make it. People who have witnessed injection executions say the deaths appeared hauntingly serene, more evocative of the operating room than of the gallows.

But a growing number of legal and medical experts are warning that the apparent tranquillity of a lethal injection may be deceptive. They say the standard method of executing people in most states could lead to paralysis that masks intense distress, leaving a wide-awake inmate unable to speak or cry out as he slowly suffocates.” —NY Times


Everything Is Less Than Zero

[Elvis Costelo in Tony Bennett mode]I haven’t heard Elvis Costello’s new disc, North (“…the only record I’ve ever made that aspired to beauty as the prime objective”) yet and I am less likely to want to after reading this Guardian profile. I am classing myself among those who fail to appreciate the genre-bending for which others lavish admiration upon Costello. Yes, he is delving into every style of music except that at which he excels. I can’t decide whether he has left me far behind or vice versa. No, cancel that; yes I can. Costello’s hauteur about his critics —

“The latest furore is such bollocks. The truth is that every single time I do something different there’s a small – and totally untalented – chorus of people who jump up and down and make a fuss about it: ‘He’s betrayed himself.’

Five years later, the same people are kissing my arse about the same piece of work. My view is that they should go straight to the last page and mail in their apology now.”

— has me decided. Oh, and not only are those who give a critical drubbing to North untalented but they are biased, he insists, by their resentment of his ending his marriage with Cait O’Riordan and embarking on a relationship with Diana Krall (hmmm, from the punk to the torch singer, how fitting). Then there’s the matter of the celebrated 1979 racist slurs about Ray Charles, for which his apology (if that is what it was) was entirely unconvincing.

I’m pretty sure that, if I dropped $18 on the new disc, my reaction would be along the lines of the critic cited in the Guardian article who opined, “… this soporific pseudo-Sondheim sucks.” It is a painful point when you realize that you won’t waste your money on an artist whose every new release you once awaited with uncritical bated breath. I should have learned my lesson, oh, around five years ago already. I got nothing from his Brodsky Quartet collaboration or his Burt Bacharach. Costello’s raucous attack music has given me endless joy, and my kids and I have the Rhino re-releases of his classic discs with all the bonus material loaded into the car audio system as the constant. pumped-up, buoyant soundtrack to long rides. With endless undiminished pleasure from his back catalogue, I don’t have to think about the long slow slide of another cultural icon under the weight of his own pomposity.


3M: "The end of ugly repairs"

Scotch Transparent Duct Tape: “The latest solution for quick, easy home repairs will go unnoticed, and that’s the beauty of it. The most recent addition to the Scotch duct tape family is the development of the first-ever transparent duct tape.

Like all Scotch duct tapes, the new transparent duct tape is strong enough to tackle almost any repair project in or around the home, vehicle, boat or job site. The clear benefit is that this duct tape is transparent when applied, making repairs less noticeable. Scotch transparent duct tape also lasts six times longer than other heavy-duty duct tapes, based on accelerated weathering, providing peace of mind that the repair will last a long time.”

This is the ultimate contradiction in terms. I mean, part of the idea of repairs with duct tape (actually, I am more of a fan of gaffer’s tape) is the insouciance of that silvery utilitarian sheen which boldly proclaims ‘quick fix’. I don’t even use the colored duct tapes…