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30 April 2011

Fund Me, Semour

Can't Euro-Arteest types do anything anymore without state funding?
Mute magazine has had its grant from the Arts Council of England cut by 100 per cent as from 2012, one of over 200 "losers" in a latest round of funding cuts

29 April 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\04E

Shout out if you're underwhemled. NAB study rejects spectrum 'crisis'

The Hill (blog)
The White House, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the wireless industry have cited a spectrum crisis as a justification for policies that will repurpose TV airwaves for mobile broadband use.

According to NAB, the study shows "that insufficient analysis and reliance on faulty information in the formation of the FCC's National Broadband Plan has led to the overstated assumption of a nationwide spectrum 'crisis.'"

The author writes that the basis for the spectrum crisis language is "underwhelming,"

28 April 2011

News Digest from the Fake-Crisis Management Center, no. 2011\04D

Powerful asteroid whizzes past Earth

Brahmand Defence and Aerospace News:
LONDON (PTI): An asteroid as powerful as 15 atomic bombs has whizzed past the Earth from a distance 10 times that of the moon.
Hide the livestock, and count the silver!!!

27 April 2011

No Moo Shoo, Sherlock

Study: EU firms shut out of $1 trillion Chinese market
What WOULD we do without studies?
The report by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China on Wednesday (20 April) said "fragmented, inconsistent, and unevenly implemented" rules surrounding bidding processes were acting as de facto barriers to the firms.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you might notice that that is China’s M.O. It used to be Europe’s M.O., but they were undercut.

26 April 2011

Fables of the Deconstruction

It's a mashup, but it has the feeling of the time captured fairly well... and in living color.

25 April 2011

"Ich war Neunzehn"

"Ich war Neunzehn" (I was Nineteen), a DDR DEFA film production from 1968

Based on the biography of its director, Konrad Wolf, this film chronicles the closing days of the World War II through the eyes of a young German who is a Red Army translator with a front line propaganda team. He must deal with weary Wehrmacht officers, opportunistic politicians, frightened civilains, surviving political prisoners and apolitical intellectuals, as well as the pressures of battle. Wolf was the older son of one of DEFA's founders, as well as the brother of a head of East German Intelligence. Directed by Konrad Wolf; featuring Jaecki Schwarz, Wassili Liwanow, Alexej Ejboshenko, and Galina Polskich. East Germany, 1968, B&W, 115 minutes

23 April 2011

What Night is it, Kids? It’s Movie Night!

Peter Lorre is listed as a film director only once in his biography. It was a film he also played a lead role in. From 1950, here is part of „Der Verlorene”, or ”The Lost Ones”. The German language film doesn’t go long without visiting film noir style image framing and lighting, and the entire thing has a characteristic silence that brings out the characteristics of his voice, and the facial expressions of the cast.

Now if only he could find a way to work Sidney Greenstreet into it...

18 April 2011

A Legacy left behind by the Red Army: Soljanka

Of which there were very few good legacies, but like that evil genius Ripley’s love of Gulasch, mine is a weakness for Soljanka, a picante soup made popular among Eastern Germans by way of contact with their Soviet military comrades / douchebags / occupiers.

I have translated the recipe from the original Klingon, to which I’ve added my personal touches:

- 200 g /7-8 oz. of Yellow onion, finely chopped (avoid the vidalias or any new-fangled mild varieties)
- 100 g /3-1/2 oz. of unsliced bacon, cubed into small pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100 g /3-1/2 oz. of Tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of Paprika
- 2 medium sized pickles (dill or sour are best), “julienne” cut to the extent one can with a pickle
- 500 g of meat: sausage, leftovers, or trimmed tips of pork or ham (anything, really, even leftover chicken!)
- (Add a tbp. of butter, if the meats are all lean.)
- 1,5 liters/ 3 pints of Beef stock (powdered stock may also be used, but omit the salt if you do)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of capers

For decoration:

- Thin lemon wedges (thin sliced rings cut into triangles)
- Sour crème
- Dill


- Parsley
- A few sliced olives, or any other pickled favorites.
- Pepperoncini (one of my favorites)


Sauté the onions and bacon in the bottom of your soup pot, until the onions clarify. Do not let them brown.
Add all of the meats, pickles, and paprika for a few moments until they soften.
Then pour in the soup stock.
Add the lemon wedges to the stock, salt and pepper to taste.
Let it come to a boil, and then let it simmer for at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes.
Just prior to serving, add the capers, and all the optional faves, as well as the sour crème dollop right in the middle of the bowl.

Decorate with small lemon wedges an a small dollop of sour crème. Some prefer the sour crème “on the side”, or otherwise spoon out the amount they deem excessive prior to stirring it in. Some the dill reserved from preparation is also a good thing to drizzle on top.

Makes 4 servings, or 2 if served without any other dish. Serve with rye or black bread on the side, the gamiest smelling type that you can find.

This is one of the simpler recipes, prone to a more pickle dominated taste, but is easily tempered by using a little bit more bacon or sausage.

Clink on the photo for an excellent Ukranian Soljanka recipe, which has a much fresher taste, not masked as heavily by the tomato paste. It should take on the taste of creative variations more readily.

Fear of a Broadband Planet

Overbuild threat drove NBN decision
Prior to the global financial crisis, successive Australian governments had fielded various proposals to support a national broadband infrastructure built by the private sector. These had run into various problems both of funding and of regulation.

17 April 2011

Beauty Feeling That There Might be Nothing to Live for

Unplacability in time is a theme often resorted to, as is the co-placement of contradictions: young and decayed, soft and rough. It asks itself when the missiles are coming.

16 April 2011

Screaming Schreck: Asteroid not Headed for Earth

Herald Sun: Scientists find asteroid with potential power of 15 atomic bombs.
Asteroid 2011GP59 passes just 3356000km from the Earth on April 9.
Did "the authorities" keep this from us? Is that tin foil hat really not working? The asteroid that didn't hit us will never really reveal "the truth" of it all.....

Right after publishing the item a week late, and not putting it in the past tense... You know you've got a serious evil genius on your hands.

An Empty World, Where you Highest Purpose is to be ‘Useful’

"There are no bigger donkeys than these workers.... Look at our "craftsmen"; Sad that world history should be be made with such people".
- From Carl Marx to Adolf Cluss in a letter dated 20 July, 1852

12 April 2011

The Golden age of Brit Flicks

Further to my weakness for UK mid-century fillums, from 1959, it's I'm Alright Jack

Help! Do Something Now of the World will run out of Internet!

To which I say "just go back to buying dirty magazines!"

What broadband crisis?
Limited interest in online information suggests a worrisome lack of curiosity, but it doesn't imply an infrastructure crisis, or justify the $7.2 billion proposal to expand broadband deployment.
By which they nmean to say, getting teh government into the business of selling internet service.

That "worrisome lack of curiosity" is the crushing sound of people not buying the call to fund a fake solution to a fake crisis.

10 April 2011

Compare and Contrast

"All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary world storm… these residual fragments of peoples always become fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character… [A general war will] wipe out all these petty hidebound nations, down to their very names. The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward."

- Friedrich Engels, "The Magyar Struggle," Neue Rheinische Zeitung, January 13, 1849

“As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,”
“There is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world, ...”

- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “The World without Zionism.”

06 April 2011

Look Ma, No Commies!

Spiegel Online has a gallery of before and after photos of buildings and places in the Former East Germany. Much as it is that the word “utopia” actually means nowhere, collectivism means “it’s no-ones’”.

05 April 2011

The Masses are not Revolting

Luís Afonso Assumpção of Porto, PT looks at those that call themselves “radical” in this world, and finds no radical novelty in their thinking, that there is something about them that has never changed, and that there is something akin to a personalization of drama in their actions , but also a consistent laziness and incapacity to deal with life’s challenges.
The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset wrote in the first half of the twentieth century (before the Second World War!) A fundamental study to understand what we call "modernity", or a personal description-my-"the intellectual decay as counterpoint to the material and scientific progress. "

It’s called "The Revolt of the Masses"
The edition I have in hand (Portuguese), on page 80 summarizes the fundamental thinking of the brilliant Spanish:

"Everything that follows (note: in the book) is a consequence or corollary of this radical structure could be summarized thus: the world organized by the nineteenth century, to automatically produce a new man, give him a formidable appetites, powerful tools of all kinds to meet them: economic, physical (hygiene, health, better than any time before), civil and technical (the tremendous rise in practical efficiency that the average man lacked in the past) . After introducing him all these powers in the nineteenth century but abandoned him at the same, the average man following his natural character, ended up looking inward. Thus, we find ourselves with a mass stronger that of any other time, but, unlike the traditional, tightly closed in and incapable of dealing with anything or anyone else - in short, restless. The things continue like this, Each day you will notice more across Europe - and, as a reflection in the world - that the masses are unable to leave and drive in any direction.

During difficult times that approach for our continent, it is possible that, seized by suddenly anxiety, we enough good will to deal with pressing matters in the direction of modesty.

But this willingness will fail because because the texture of the radical’s soul is inward and brooding. Because they lack the will and the instincts to deal with real problems in front of them, so they won’t. They will want to follow someone, but will not. They will want to hear other opinions, only to discover that they are deaf. "
In short, the reason they seem like losers, and always have, is because those who call themselves “radicals” are, especially when they do it from a position of attention seeking and do it in the same robotic way so many others have.

More Neo-Bauhaus

From a city that is philosophically more of a hybrid than it is European, Mediterranean, or Near Eastern, and might be one of the most substantive laboratories of Bauhaus and it’s many Near Distant there-afters. It’s present day Tel Aviv.

A new city, it was to make every effort to look into the future, not into the hard, class separated, hatred laden past, so the “new” style, a forward looking one, seemed a natural choice, despite the fascist use of modernism in Italy and Germany in a state-authoritarian and institutional role.

Old Reliable Spook Operations

An avid Shortwave radio listener reports:
A reliable source in the politburo informed me a few months ago that China Radio International's distribution of content on radio stations in Australia, United Kingdom, United States and Canada is not just way to have foreign listeners. My source informed me that since 2005/06 China's Ministry of State Security has been embedding messages into the Chinese programs. The messages are encoded in the audio. How the messages are encoded is unknown at this time.

03 April 2011

Some Things Could Never be Distant Enough

Note to self

Business idea: culturally inappropriate cookie molds. i.e. inconsequential shapes that are not obscene, incongruous words in obscure or dead languages, items received to be neither in bad taste, shock, or anything other than banal emptiness, etal.

Note to self: tear up and dispose of all notes to self.