[skip this and get to the news]
I don't normally
write too much about popular culture and stuff that normally gets covered in
mainstream places. That said, it's been a bumper month for spam and I'm amazed
that people who ordinarily possess a firm grip on reality are forwarding dubious
MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU
I've now received that email about the UK census about 20 times. If you've managed to avoid it (how? do tell!) - it's an email saying that the Census is coming 'round and wouldn't it be a laugh if we all put "Jedi" down as our religion. Which is fair enough, I'm all for short-circuiting the State's bureaucracy. It just seems a little short sighted to me. Obviously people are going to put whatever they like on the census form, but it seems to me that if you don't care particuarly about religion, then it's probably more in your interest to put your tick in the "none" box. That way the Church of England (and indeed, Xtianity in general) looks like the minority hobby that it is. Maybe that way the ludicrously titled "Moral Majority" will be made to look like the idiots they are the next time there is some moral panic about censorship or people following their naturally responsible hedonisitic natures. Maybe the enormous amount of property and priviledge afforded to the Church will also be questioned, as will the links with the Monarchy, etc.
But no, that isn't exciting as the email's claim that if "about 10,000 people" put "Jedi" in the box then that will become a legally recognised religion. Bollocks will it. Even if we ignore the fact that the Jedi faith isn't exactly laid down anywhere (looks like a mixture of taoism and xtianity to me) and lacks something of an infrastructure, the UK government doesn't as a matter of course recognise religions outside of the big faiths. Just ask your local Rasta about it - (in fact users of certain herbal infusions would have far more to gain by putting rastafarianism as their religion).
It may be a different
matter in New Zealand, where the email is said to have started (hence some of
the mails having the date of the census as August rather than April), but somehow
I doubt it.
The other email that's been doing the 'rounds since last time I updated the site is that one about emailing G.W. Bush about his refusal to see any sense in relation to environmental issues the Kyoto agreement, etc. The idea being that if thousands of people across the world email Dubya personally and appeal to his better nature, that he will somehow be shamed into mending his evil ways. The Whitehouse will turn into an organic commune, America will be become the New Eden and we'll all get as many veggie burgers as we can eat.
This again shows an alarming lack of critical thinking, and a large dollop of ignorance of how government works. How many of the US Electorate are plugging away at issues like these? Probably the same percentage as in every country. Not enough to get the current administration scared, that's for sure. Particularly if all they get is an identikit email which someone has sent by clicking a button on a web site or pressing their "forward" button.
And the climate change treaty is a load of old cobblers anyway, isn't it? So it's a totally useless campaign, this email stuff - in both method and aim. People I've sent snotty replies to about this, have come up with the response that "Well, it's better than doing nothing!" - it isn't. It's worse than doing nothing, because when you've done nothing you know that, you're not lulled into a false sense of security that by clicking a few buttons you have done your bit and can smugly go about your business.
Perhaps the only good thing to come out of this is the fact that all those emails caused the Whitehouse server to crash - which must have been annoying if nothing else. Like the only thing that will come out of the Jedis and their census returns is that a few bureaucrats will be annoyed. Which is fair enough, but it won't save us from eco-meltdown. It's trite, but the only thing that WILL stop that is establishing a world human community in which the interests of humanity (and other species) are prioritised over those of our rulers and their industry chums. Unfortunately there's no button to push for that.
Dancing About Architecture by the Out of Order Order.
We are pleased to welcome back Loki after a prolonged bout of caning. His Last Night A DJ looks at the role of DJ as specialist, and suggests some ways of livening things up at bit...
Our mp3 of the month is a bit of blazing breakbeat badness from the Grievous Angel Soundsystem.
Lots of nice reviews for you to check out - Stewart Home, Smile Magazine, Ambush Records, Pole live, and much more!
Some more anarchopunk links.
AAA wants list (can you help?)
After the office politics of last month's MAP piece on General Ludd, I have overhauled the text for Notes From Office Britain in the 2012 section and added some suitably corporate graphics.
No charts this month, because nobody sent any in - come on, people...
THERE'S NO "PLACE" LIKE HOME
Stewart Home's essay "The Psychogeography of Zeros and Ones" is now available as a free e-book. You basically download a PDF which can then be made into a nifty little booklet if you print it out. The text covers things like copyright on the internet and thankfully manages to avoid both Napster-phobia and "Information wants to be free" hippy-utopianism. Well worth checking out:
There is also a rather good essay about Stewart up at:
And don't forget our new review of his latest booklet.
FROM THE DESK OF ANONYMOUS:
"Ok, Some of you might 'know' this already, some of you might not care, etc.. BUT, a short & simple-minded anti-Pavlovian movie of mine entitled "Department of Failures" has been put on-line @: - http://www.sirius.com/~sstark/mkr/tac/failure.ram
SO, maybe you're at work, maybe you're bored, maybe you've got nothing better to do - it's 2:35 long. Be a witness & be reminded: if even (wo)man's best friend can be so easily manipulated, how 'bout your bad ole self, eh?! your eternal friend,
BOW DOWN TO THE EXIT SIGN
Those nasty Exit borstal boys (formerly involved with the infamous AAA Maya) have got a web site up. Still rather formative, but looks like good things will follow. Check their net radio show for now...