The British Government is continuing to try to coerce its population into a national ID registry, and a leaked document proves it. The British government has been notorious in the past few years for creating more and more of a surveillance state, and this is no exception. The website that is hosting the document is asking the world to mirror the file, so I am doing my part as a world citizen.
I stopped listening to the Mountain Goats a bit ago. Maybe a year or so. It was a tough call to stop listening to a band that was, for all intents and purposes, my favorite band, but it was something I decided I had to do. John Darnielle has a way of taking the helm of the beautiful, glorious ship I call my inner psyche, and I always trust him with that position, despite the fact that occasionally the Sirens run us aground. It was those moorings on bare rocks that forced me to cut the Mountain Goats out of my music diet.
I've heard bits and pieces of the new album, but largely in a passive way that leaves me virtually impressionless, so I have nothing to say about that. However, the first Mountain Goats music video (that I'm aware of) has been produced, and that is a thing of excitement.
There is always the fear that a music video will ruin a good song, a good band even. Interpol is a sad example of a band that has made too many bad music videos despite being such a good band, and on one or two occasions a video has temporarily RUINED a song of theirs for me. But fear not, friends, because we can relish in what is an ingenious, masterful, entertaining, and ultimately true-to-the-music video.
To quote Marc Hogan of Pitchfork:
"Director Ace Norton's... impressive video for Heretic Pride opener "Sax Rohmer #1" manages to reaffirm the prominent role Darnielle's detail-packed storytelling plays in his records, while at the same time creating a visually arresting, technically deft take on the old "here's a band miming their song" format."
Well said. And while I'm fairly sure I can count at least two cuts (thereby negating what Hogan goes on to call a "one-take" video), I can't say I mind. For the first time in a while, I'm excited about the Mountain Goats. And once again, John Darnielle's shrill, semi-sweet voice trills in my head words that manage to stand strong underneath the huge emotional fervor that they bear. Mark another tick on the board; In My Opinion, this video is sensational.
Other recent "one-take" videos of note by Feist, which also seem to capture the magic and passion of the songs and the voice of the woman singing them. Note the diegetic sound in the beginnings of each, as well as the diegetic clapping sounds in the first two:
In My Opinion, this is an exciting photo series that is both a tongue-in-cheek commentary on our belief system (in terms of the belief of religious events in the bible as being true events, and in terms of our insistence on all photography being believable, honest accounts of true events) and a fantastic display of photoshop prowess and technique.
This might be a little half-baked, so bear with me.
I was on the train today, reading "Wastelands," a collection of short stories about life after the apocalypse. I've been reading it for a while now.
And as I was reading, a thought occurred to me. If the government knew that something was coming, something big and unavoidable, something that maybe only a select few might be able to escape due to vast economic resources, only to live a miserable existence after survival, there's no way they'd tell the public. Think about it: You have a massive social organism. To warn it of its impending demise would most likely invoke chaos, or at the very least confusion and a lack of willingness to go about daily life.
To tell the world, for instance, that an asteroid is coming and when it hits Earth, everyone will die, would accomplish absolutely nothing. No, it would be much wiser to simply let everyone go about their daily lives, as if nothing were wrong. Yes, there would be a few moments of gripping panic as the asteroid loomed in the sky, blotting out the sun, but what's a minute or two of confused panic as opposed to a year of stocking up on church visits and going slowly insane?
In My Opinion, it's best if the scientists keep their mouths shut and let me live out my miserable existence in blissful ignorance. No?
Sometimes in a relationship you wake up one morning and the person you're dating (or, gasp, married to) is all smiley and kisses you and says, "I love you." You return the favor, probably, because you're nice and you really like this person, and it was a pleasant way to wake up. And then you go about your day. Sometimes, even though you woke up so nicely, and nothing more has transpired between you, later on that person will be pissed off at you. If that happens, there's a chance it's because you forgot that that day was your anniversary, and you blew it by not acknowledging it. The reason the OTHER person didn't say anything was that they were testing you to see if you actually REMEMBERED that it was your anniversary, and somehow that makes them not accountable for not saying it to YOU.
Anniversaries are a nice thing, though. They are a time for people to congratulate themselves, one another, or other people, for accomplishing something: spending time with someone else. Even if that someone else is themselves (after all, many languages refer to one's own birthday as an Anniversary). It is hard work to maintain a relationship for months, years, decades. Few make it work. For a new couple, there is nothing more interesting, surprising, confounding, and beautiful than the one-year anniversary.
Last night, I dug into the depths of my Gmail to make sure that all along, Gmail has been archiving my e-mails. And I went back to the very first e-mail I had. It was from Aki. Aki is the longest and, arguably, the only consistent reader of this blog. And I knew I'd started writing it around the time that she and I started spending time together. Which made me wonder... when did I start writing this blog?
Meaningful coincidences happen to me all the time, and so it was no surprise to me to discover that I'd chosen to determine the birthday of the 'copter on the eve of that very day. That's right. Today, January 23, 2008, is the one-year anniversary/birthday of the IMOCOPTER! And Aki, bless her, has been reading since DAY ONE!
So as gifts, first I offer this DeadChinchilla post. Back when I first told her about my blogging, Aki e-mailed me back after reading EVERY SINGLE POST, saying she'd fallen in love with this one.
Second, a beautiful new Feist music video that could afford the celebratory fireworks that the 'copter could not.
And last, a pretty little photo I snapped around Christmas, doctored for the occasion (you can click it to view and save the full-sized image).
So, Happy Anniversary Akiko, and Happy Anniversary IMOcopter! In My Opinion, you're both pretty great.
I mean that in both the sense that Media is Free and that we must Free Media!
Today, a quick post about free media:
First, a band called Tone has released it's album under a Creative Commons license. They receive royalties from radio play, and they get paid for concert performances. BUT THEIR ALBUM IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE. This is a breakthrough in the filesharing world, the new media world in which the record companies have been destabilized and people think that by making music available for free download, no one gets to make any money. This proves it doesn't have to be that way. You can download their album, which is the first ever CC-Licensed electronica album, here.
Second, the European Green Party has released an advertisement in support of free file sharing, something it would like to make a reality, and as a direct response to the horrible MPAA commercials called "You Wouldn't Steal a Car." Video embedded below, and link to their site here.
Why are people continuing to be Tased to death? Why do the police continue to use this tool?
If you haven't recently, visit Amnesty International. They are against Tasing, against Guantanamo, against lots of things. Amnesty International is a HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP. It is absurd that we actually have to have an organization responsible for looking out for the rights of human beings, considering anyone making any choices that Amnesty fights against IS HIM/HERSELF a human being.
Since a few months ago, I have slowly but surely been reading an advance copy of a book called Apocalypse. It's a collection of short stories about life in a post-apocalyptic landscape. Some of the contributing authors include Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing status) and Stephen King (who probably needs no introduction).
As a result, I've been thinking lots about the end of the world (an oxymoron in that most scenarios entail the human race continuing to live on, albeit in a more limited context). So, I thought I'd share this link that concisely lays out several end-of-life-as-we-know-it scenarios and some possible personal solutions (the solution to any of them being "bend over and kiss your ass goodbye."
I just found an amazing site called The Hood Internet. The mashups on this site are amazing - nothing short of it. You should browse around for yourself, find some hip-hoppers and indie rockers that you like that are butting heads. But I'll recommend the following song to get started right:
I agree with Win, of Arcade Fire, on every word. And not just because I like his music. This is, In My Opinion, our last chance to elect someone sane before we do so much damage to our country and the world that it takes the rest of our lives (time that we just plain don't have) to get them back.
That's the noise your lips make when you watch these videos. Afterwards, you probably will dookie a shooter. IMO - This guy needs his own show. Nay, his own country. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GET THIS MAN A COUNTRY TO RULE?!?!
This is really incredible. According to the original post, scientists still don't know what cause this reaction. It reminds me of the lizard dude in X-Men who can teleport short distances, or the image conjured in my mind by the spread of Ice-9 in Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Very neat.