Archive for November, 2010

25
Nov
10

Gerry Casale’s Oral History Of DEVO

In a turkey(monkey) coma this Thanksgiving? Snap out of it with these 1995 clips of DEVO’s Gerald V. Casale as he tells the story of five pilgrims from Akron, OH who sailed to Los Angeles in a Plymouth only to collide with a rock called the music industry.

Marvel at tales of Booji Boy, he who is old as the mountains but as yet unborn!  Learn of the earliest days of Art DEVO, of the Poot Man and his dairy intake, of janitor supply stores,  McDonald’s restaurant managers and other stanchions of Akronian society!

It’s a wiggly world full of strange pursuits and unkeyed chroma.  Light up a stogie (really?) with Gerry and reflect on a job well done.

22
Nov
10

Chalmers A. Johnson 1931-2010

Have closed libraries, unfixed potholes and darkened streets gotten your attention?  Wondering why the country’s come down with a nasty case of the declines?  Curious about how the abuses of runaway capitalism seem sharpened and deepened for everybody, yet somehow, business is actually booming for builders of fighter aircraft and submarines designed to combat the Soviet Union in 1978?

Chalmers Johnson was way ahead of you.  As a cold war Navy and CIA analyst, Johnson carried a spear for empire, then laid it down and began talking in great detail and clarity about the “military Keynesianism” he had served. His “Blowback” trilogy is absolutely essential reading that illustrates the hidden reality of the US’s unchallenged permanent war economy.   Johnson’s work reveals that far from being a cyclic ill, militarism is actually life’s blood to every corner the US economy. His trilogy is the categorical detailing of Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address warning concerning the military-industrial-congressional complex.

Hours ago, Chalmers Johnson passed away, and is already missed. While many who served US policy knew something about Eisenhower’s speech, far fewer acknowledged its ramifications and even fewer had the guts to talk about it.

13
Nov
10

LoseThos: When God Tells You To Build An OS, You Build An OS

For nerds only: A pretty fascinating software project called LoseThos is the seven-year full-time effort of a gentleman who

– decided that the world needed an entire operating system geared toward recreational programming

– built the OS, toolkit, just-in-time compilation, integrated data types and other rare features while leaving behind virtual memory, paging and networking

– claims to have been guided in building this OS by a man in the sky

– may well have been driven mad by guilt at the unpardonable sin of working for irredeemable, scumbag-owned, customer-gouging operation Ticketmaster in the 1990s

– according to Reddit posters, has been banned from various online fora due to excessive prostelyzation (of both the sky-man and OS design varieties)

– has somehow managed to make a text-based command-line user interface more dancey and distracting than a GUI

– during narration of his demo videos, uses a voice that falls somewhere between Jesse Ventura’s and Fozzie Bear’s

– uses his OS to make Aspergerian 8-bit-esque music that is somehow related to weird, blunt, epigrammatic lyrics that reference the sky-guy and himself in seemingly equal measure.  Oh wait, he doesn’t make that music.  God does.

– has provided nearly a morning’s worth of enjoyment and wonder.  Is his pioneering work boldly rewriting the assumptions of a computing world transformed by solid state storage, or is it the fevered labor of  a monomaniac whose notions of “can engineer” and “should engineer” are hopelessly intertwined? Either way, thanks, Mr. LoseThos.




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