The Null Device


Never let it be said that the Australian government doesn't stand for anything. Its commitment to the Australian people's absolute right to life, for example, has moved it to prosecute people providing suicide information on the internet. I guess this means that will be blocked by Senator Alston's national firewall then.

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Crikey looks at the decline of "yoof" broadcaster JJJ; who seem to have all the sterility of commercial radio only without the market savvy; that and the fact that they're run by a bunch of old fogies who think they know what the kids like.

Furthermore, all during the dance music boom of the 90s, it was persistently in love with bad 3-chord 'indie' -- every two bit semi-tone flat nasally singing neo-punk thrash band from Kansas got a run (with their out of focus super-8 film clips wearing out the video machine's heads at Rage HQ) while plenty of excellent locals where overlooked because they didn't fit into the 'format'. They were just interested in the Chart Music that one might find at HMV, so while they had 'dance music' it was typically of the same type you find on other chart stations that would play that sort of thing. Finally dance music runs out of steam and JJJ decides it's time to cash in on that market -- but too late -- and still its moribund music policy changes glacially it appears.

(Ah yes; "JJJ" used to almost be a genre in the 1990s, signifying naff post-grunge yoof-rock, of the sort labels like Mushroom churned out by the bucketload. That and songs with drug references and the word "fuck" in them, because that's naughty and goes well with hormonal rebellion.)

Perhaps the best demonstration of this is a couple of years ago when new rock was at its unfortunate zenith, and JJJ responded by playing stock standard Triple M new rock, interposed with the odd wigger anthem and one particularly unfortunate track from the Bomb Funk MCs called 'Freestyler' and the occasional modern classic. The mixture was clearly calculated to offend each and every listener in some way. In some sets the mix was so inappropriate it was as if Classic FM ground to a halt half way through an opera and unleashed Eminem.

(via The Fix)

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Eliot of FmH is back, and has a raft of links about the present cock-up in Iraq, which is apparently not going as swimmingly as CNN and FauxNews would have you believe. (Of course, that could all be liberal lies, and the newly-liberated Iraqis could be welcoming Our Boys right now with a tickertape parade, though somehow I doubt it.)

So the war appears not to be about weapons of mass destruction, or indeed Saddam's complicity in 9/11; and if a LATimes piece is to be believed, it's not about making Iraq a democracy either, but rather about making the U.S. less of one:

Our opposition party has disappeared, corporate interests dictate public policy, and the feds may be rummaging through your e-mail.
If you don't earn enough to hit the jackpot on President Bush's proposed tax cuts, you're just going to have to fend for yourself. The whole idea is to train you to expect less and to feel patriotic about it.

And, via bOINGbOING, Dan Gillmor on why the liberties curtailed in the war may not return:

Even if America somehow persuades all Islamic radicals that we are a good and just society, there will still be some evil and deranged people who will try to wreck things and lives in spectacular ways. In other words, the ``war on terrorism'' can't possibly end.
Moreover, the architecture of tomorrow is being embedded with the tools of a surveillance society: ubiquitous cameras; the creation and linking of all manner of databases; insecure networks; and policies that invite abuse. They are being put into place by an unholy, if loose, alliance of government, private industry and just plain nosy regular folks.

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Apparently Adrien Brody, star of The Pianist, is a hip-hop producer, under the name A Ranger. (via Reenhead)

Brody used the keyboard to study the Chopin pieces he mimed in the film - and to compose a lot of his own music. "Adrien was really affected by the movie, so [the music he made is] interesting, dark, gloomy stuff," says Armstrong, who compares Brody's "Pianist"-era tracks to the rich, syrupy trip-hop of Britain's Portishead and Tricky.

That would be interesting to hear. I wonder if it's any good or if it's something like a trip-hop TOFOG.

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A Canadian journalist comments on the one-sided and gleefully lascivious coverage of the war in the US media:

Every station has its own war logo (Target Iraq, Attack on Iraq, Strike Against Iraq.) A more appropriate logo for CNN might be The Joy of War. With a CNN reporter describing an American tank rushing towards Baghdad Thursday night as the most lethal killing machine on earth, CNN anchor Aaron Brown could hardly conceal his excitement. Are you dazzled by what you see? he asked, turning to CNN in-house general Wesley Clark. Together the two men marveled at the American killing machines visible speeding across the sand.
Then there was Rumsfelds vow that setting oil fields on fire would be punished as a war crime. Those Iraqi barbarians! Clearly, its one thing to drop mega-bombs on people, quite another to do something really evil like destroy a perfectly good oil well. Lets not allow things to get out of control.


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