April 29, 2004

Cartoon Subversive

So a while back I posted the Doonesbury strips from 1971 featuring John Kerry. That post gets lots of hits. There also seem to be a sizable handful of people who are serving up those images off my server and directly onto their own sites. Increasingly these people seem to be quite conservative...

So I'm tired of these cartoons, and I'm thinking maybe I can replace them. Something a bit more subtle and subversive. Something that won't immediately offend these conservatives, but will make them laugh and then seep into their conscious. I want to infect them with a dose of reality, not hit them with a sledgehammer. Subtly subversive.

So I need some cartoons, any suggestions? 3 strips, regular funny pages dimensions... Holler if you've got em.

Posted by Abe at 06:22 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 28, 2004

Ghostface Forever

Ghostface concert, Roseland, NYC:

All of Staten Island was most certainly on the stage.

Live hip hop was definitively on the stage.

Rakim was not on stage.

Ghostface, he blessed the stage.

Slick Rick did not spend nearly enough time on stage.

Do not for a second think we are not grateful for every second he spent on stage.

Perhaps is Slick Rick wore less then his weight in gold onstage he would have had time to stick around for another song or two. Preferably Sun, but really any would work.

Slick Rick wears a rhinestone studded eyepatch on stage with the full assurance that he and only he can pull that shit off...

Not only was Raekwon onstage, but there appear to have been two of them onstage, what?

Raekwon the voice dominated the stage.

Raekwon the stage presence apparently has absolutely nothing to do with that voice.

ODB was physically on stage.

Mentally ODB was in a Coney Island crackhouse ceramic spark plug cap in hand.

I feel very sorry for whomever's job it was to get ODB on stage and make something resembling lyrics come out. I also suspect said job also includes excessive exposure to Depends.

As sorry as the above job may be it can't be as remotely bad as the job of the person at Rocafella entrusted in recouping whatever they have invested in ODB. This person was almost surely was not on stage.

DJ Kay Slay was not wanted on the stage, but was there anyhow.

DJ Cipher Sounds however was quite welcome on the stage.

Master Killa was not particularly wanted on the stage, but we are damn glad he gave us 3 minutes of his underrated presence.

RZA took about a minute and half to prove why he is the heart of the Wu and then got the hell of the stage.

Method Man was not on stage.

"Beatles", "No, No, No", "the Watch", "Summertime", and "Sun" all failed to emerge on the stage.

In short the absolutely only thing flawed about this show was that it failed to last about 5 more hours, or better yet forever. We would have stayed. Felt like it was just getting started...

Posted by Abe at 02:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 27, 2004

Rakim Arrested?

At the Ghostface show, and they're claiming Rakim got arrested. A set up for the show or truth? I'll know soon enough...

update: according to security, the FBI was waiting for him at the show and grabbed him as he arrived, damn. Hope it's not true...

update2: MTV says it was Suffolk County plainclothes officers doing the arresting.

Posted by Abe at 11:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 24, 2004

Basslines? We Don't Need No Stinking Basslines!

The hallmark of a 21st century musical genre might just be is its ability to incorporate every other genre, without losing its own unique cohesiveness. And if that's true, I'm watch for Baltimore house getting its 15 seconds of fame real soon.

First off I'll admit to doing more then just sleeping on this music. House music without bass is the hollywood pitch for the sound, and really can you think of anything worse sounding? As a basshead the concept is appalling...

Thankfully Baltimore house is neither house music nor is it completely bass free. What it lacks is basslines, but there is still plenty of bass punch in the kick drums. And while the tracks might be at a house tempo, they are breakbeat driven, free of house's insistent mechanical syncopation.

Somehow somewhere in Baltimore a set of producers, DJs and partiers have reached a collective realization that bass is a grounding force, and as such its can subtly undercut a dancefloor, even when acting as the main driving force for all that dancing.

Psytrance have long known this and have turned it into a philosophy making music designed to release partiers from the earth and leave them stuck in some astral plane hallucination for as long as possible. However the removal of the bassline is only the start of the psytrance equation, the driving force behind it all are acidic synths that sound like they go on forever and ever, music sans ricochet.

Baltimore house has no use for leaving the earth, its only concerned with leaving behind the drudgery of the day to day. But they are quite content to stay within the room, thank you. The removal of the bassline only needs to unground the dancers enough to get their hands above their heads and their feet blurring a few inches in the air. While psytrance never wants to bounce unless perhaps it collides with some solar entity, Baltimore house shrapnels off every available surface. This is carnival music, manic beats and whistles, screams and shouts. Its party ya!

The absence of bassline it seems also makes the art of song splicing all that much easier. This music can have entire songs layered on top of it while still retaining its distinctiveness. Unlike most sample music, the splicing is not measured in bars, but in minutes. Throw the entirety of "Please Mr. Postman" on top of a Baltimore track and you've got a Baltimore classic. Repeat till everyone is sick of the sound... All that's missing is a <a href="Malcolm McLaren to hype it all.

Posted by Abe at 04:30 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

April 22, 2004

Spirit Tech

Religion, like Gibson's "the street", finds its own uses for technology. But does technology find its own uses for religion?

That's the question that comes to mind after reading this post/thread: [Purse Lip Square Jaw] Anne Galloway: Cultural logic and computing

Posted by Abe at 11:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 21, 2004

Gmail and the "Emergent" Power of the Internet Oligarchy

Another one bites the dust. Say good bye to Tim O'Reilly as a thinker, and say hello to another defender of the status quo.

First lets step back, there is a big picture here, we need to see it first. Back a decade or so ago, the internet was exploding, it wasn't quite new, but it was new to most people. It represented a break from the norms of society, a new way of communication, a new form of organization. It represented a potential for change, change for the better.

Riding this wave of change were a set of thinkers, people who understood the changes at work, and could express them in ways that people could understand. They became the voice of potential, leaders of possibility. One of them was Tim O'Reilly, publisher of the best computer books around.

Cut back to now. Things have changed, the internet is big now. The internet is big business now. Big dollars, big power. The big revolution in economics was a bust, the big revolution in communication is now just another aspect of the day to day. And what once seemed like a wide open space of possibility is now increasingly the domain of an oligarchy. AOL, Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon, Microsoft and few other large corporations control vast portions of the internet, a jostle with each other for even more control.

Flash back a decade ago again. The difference between corporation and user was miniscule then. Yahoo was a site made by users to help other users. A few years later Google rose up by making a search engine the way users wanted it, not the way the first wave internet corporations envisioned it. The people starting companies where the people using the space. When leaders like Tim O'Reilly spoke out, they represented the interests of both the users of the space, and the truly innovative companies starting out in it.

Slice back to today and its a different story. The internet has undergone a phase change. The difference between the companies and the users is no longer fluid, it is striated. Being a user with a good idea is no longer enough to start a company or get a job at Google. Companies no longer hire anyone who seems intelligent, you now must have the skill set to cross the threshold into employment with a big internet firm. The big companies, the oligarchs, are now in a position of power.

Tim O'Reilly runs his own little fiefdom as the best publisher of computer books around. He has wealth and power to defend, a reason to justify the status quo. And his recent essay on Google's new Gmail service makes this all too clear.

Gmail is an email service just launched by Google. Google is offering a "free" email service in exchange for the right to serve targeted text ads in each email message. A trade off that set off alarm bells with privacy activists everywhere. In order to serve targeted ads Google's computers need to scan everyone of the users' personal email messages. As danah boyd as puts it, it just feels icky.

In an essay titled The Fuss About Gmail and Privacy: Nine Reasons Why It's Bogus Tim O'Reilly attacks those troubled by Gmail, and does it in a way that shows where his priorities now lie.

While O'Reilly claims to have 9 reasons to rebute Gmails critics, he really only has three. Two are tactics beloved by those in power for centuries. The first is the "don't rock the boat, aka its always been this way". The second is "trust us, we are smarter then you". Both are equally noxious. The third tactic is newer, a product of the corporate market era, we'll call it the "no one is forcing you, you just won't have much choice".

"Don't rock the boat" says Tim O'Reilly, Gmail's filters are basically the same as AOL's or Hotmail's or Yahoo's. He's right too. There is a huge privacy issue with email. As in email is not really private. But people think it is. They don't want companies reading their mail, by machine or in person. And if they would rather not think of themselves as being datamined by some computer cluster. The truth is that the only thing standing between your email and the prying eyes of your email host's employee's is the host's privacy policy. You know that thing you've never read.

So yeah its true that what Gmail is doing is not really anymore intrusive then what other internet email companies are doing when they filter spam. Its just that Google, with their legendary lack of subtle social skills, has made an already existing problem far more visible and apparent to the end user. In a way we should be thankful for them for bring issues to forefront. Most internet users have no clue just how much information they are depositing into databases of Google, Amazon, Yahoo and the other big internet players. And somewhere down the line people are going to wake up in shock, with the realization of just how much these corporations know about them and their personal habits. Just because a problem has been ignored doesn't mean its not a problem...

Enter the second line of defense, "trust Google, they are smart". Never mind that the early reports indicate that their spam filters are crap. Google indeed was quite innovative when they revolutionized the world of search engines at the get go. They also where a couple of PhD students plus a handful of employees. Now they are a multibillion dollar business about to go public. Innovation comes a bit differently in environments like that. Google's second big innovation came in the area of ads. Notice a shift in priorities? They've gone from innovative ways to help users, to innovative ways to help advertisers. So when they innovate are they going to innovate in a way to make your email better for you? or for their business?

The final argument O'Reilly makes is perhaps the most insidious, the "no one is forcing you" defense. This one really merits a whole essay, as its lodged deep into the mythos of the "free" market. The fact is that no market is ever "free". And while no one forces you do ever buy a product, firms have tremendous power over the shape and form of the markets they operate in. Google is an internet powerhouse and by entering the email market it will shape that market. If Gmail succeeds it will transform the dynamics of online email in a big way. And they are pushing the market towards a space of targeted ads and deep datamining. Is this a good thing? Well we don't quite know yet, but I'm watching this space with the utmost of caution.

Posted by Abe at 01:38 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack


ARPANET is the network that evolved into the internet. A piece of history I thought no longer existed except in documentation. Yet every once in a while I get hits from either .arpa or .arpanet IP addresses.

Anyone know who or what might be connected to these domains in this day and age???

Posted by Abe at 11:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 19, 2004

American Dynamics, public beta

Politics, yeah I talk about that shit too much. Or maybe I don't talk about it enough... In any case I'm taking all the blatantly political stuff off of this here site and moving it to American Dynamics. Expect that site to have a bunch more politics then this one did, as the filters are coming off... There will be a lot of stuff on the intersection of design, marketing and politics, which doesn't get much coverage anywhere. That plus the stories the usual absurdities of power that blanket the world today.

And yeah its not quite done yet, but its done enough to post. Done enough for critique. Let me know what you think, it'll be a constantly evolving space...

Posted by Abe at 04:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Just in Case You are Worried

If Tupac is ever coming back to life, tomorrow is the deadline...

Posted by Abe at 04:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2004

John Kerry, President (Behind the Logo)

Presidential campaign logos may not be where design meets innovation, but it is where design meets power. While the campaign designs will flood around American's visual periphery over the next 6 months, they rarely receive any overt attention.


The logo above is officially for the "John Kerry for President Inc." organization. But you might notice a couple things missing. The "Inc." gets dropped for obvious reasons, but more interesting is the missing "for". The design team made a very conscious decision that the logo should read "John Kerry, President" not "John Kerry for President".

Its a subtle shift, but a tellingly important one. The goal is the get the reader/viewer to envision Kerry as actually being the President. To shift the publics mental image from wannabe to the real thing. When you think John Kerry they want you to think he's pretty much president already, that his credibility is already established, he can do the job.

Howard Dean actually used this same tactic in his speeches, although not in his atrocious design materials. A statement like "As president I will..." carries far more force then "If I become president I would..." Its a candidates job to convince people they are capable of the job, and it damn sure helps is a tiny part of people's minds is thinking they already are president...

Its even better if people start thinking of you as their favorite president though and John Kerry was born into the fortunate situation of having the initials JFK. Kerry has used this to his advantage for years, frequently allowing himself to be presented as John F Kerry. But in running for president he's deemphasized the "F", presenting himself as just "John Kerry". I suspect it was a conscious decision by his team, worried about charges of exploiting a dead legend. I also expect they are planning for the JFK angle to get pushed unofficially, by people "unaffiliated" with the official campaign...

Back to the logo though. The main graphic element is a flag like thing hanging out between "John" and "Kerry". Looking just a bit like a ghost of an "F". We'll probably never know for sure, I suspect this was quite intentional. Your conscious reads "John Kerry" plus a flag logo, but the designers, they want your subconscious to read "JFK".

So will it work? I don't know, why don't you give JFK some cold, hard, cash and we'll find out in November.

Posted by Abe at 11:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 16, 2004

The Woodward Forecast?

Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack comes out next week and rumors have it being quite critical of the Bush administration. I'm not betting on it though, but we'll find out soon enough.

I am however quite interested in how the book leans for a different reason, forecasting. Woodward has come a long way from the renegade young report who was instrumental in uncovering the Watergate scandal. He is now the quintessential insider, as a reporter he has better access to the most powerful politicians then probably anyone. And that means he has a lot to lose.

When Woodward writes he needs to balance his journalistic instinct to uncover with his human instinct to protect the privileged access that gives him an advantage over all other reporters. And of course his personal friendships come into play too.

If Woodward comes out as highly critical of the Bush administration, he is in a sense placing a bet. A bet that they won't be in power by the end of the year. A bet that his privileged access to these individuals is not worth protecting, and perhaps better exchanged for access to the next round of fools with power...

Posted by Abe at 02:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

The New Union

My instincts have been screaming loud that unions are back en vogue. A consequence perhaps of Bush's 19th century economics? Have yet to find any hard evidence of a trend, but with MTV News' Gideon Yago saying things like: "all my friends are doing freelance labor that is not collectivized and they're being denied certain benefits because there's this cult of executives . . . " it looks a lot like a trend about to be realized.


Now of course its the 21st century so the first that happens is people sampling the graphics... The logo above is for the Boston Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 26, looks pretty good doesn't it? But issues like employment and exploitation hit at levels far more visceral then the visual. Which means labor in the streets, picket lines and scabs. For better or for worse, look out for it, or maybe make it happen.

Posted by Abe at 01:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Stated for Future Comment

The market does not generate capitalism, it is capital that generates the markets.

Posted by Abe at 02:36 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Searching for a New Power

A9, Amazon's Search Portal Goes Live

And I have to say I'm a bit scared. Amazon, like Google (which is actually powering A9) and Yahoo, is hinting that its real business might just be datamining. The front end services these companies offer to the masses are all used to collect vast amounts of information. Information on what people are buying, what they are interested in, and how they connect to one and other. Information with real value. Mass value. Perhaps even more valuable then obstinate business of Amazon, Yahoo and Google...

Even ignoring the potential value encoded in the hordes of data collected by these companies, its easy to see how the've embarked on this information guzzling path. All it takes is a few executives intoxicated by the information highs delivered by these database's. Hell if I worked for one of these companies I'd be one. "Give us more info" they cry. What is the relationship between people who search for search for lyrics online and actually buy CDs? Which zip code searches for porn the most and do they buy more videos or less? Just how much information can we extract from these fools anyway?

If information is power then we have met our new kings and they're thrones are the cubicle farms of Silicon Valley. And their websites are bringing in fresh data like Spanish galleons carrying new world gold. So what do we as subjects obtain in return?

update: John Battelle has an interview with Udi Manber the developer of A9. He seems like a person genuinely out to make a better search engine, although he never talks about his bosses motives. And then he makes a blatantly misleading statement "Our privacy policy is very clear on this subject -- we will never share this data with third parties." This not true at all, the policy actually states that among other entities A9 reserves the right to share the data in "Business Relationships with Third Parties We Do Not Control". Is that clear? No and it pretty much contradicts the won't share bit either. I remain hesitant on the real goals of this service...

Posted by Abe at 01:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 14, 2004

Can Anyone Here Play This Game?

Just tracked down the story of the Afghanistan war games I mentioned previously. The nasty:

The army brass, Dr Johnson said, "were intent on fighting a variation of a war against large tank armies on the central plains of somewhere". At one point, the Pentagon officers involved became so frustrated with their elusive opponents that they asked for the game organisers to have a friendly government's armoured battalion defect to the other side. "They did it to give someone to blast," Dr Johnson said. "Everyone went away feeling viscerally satisfied."

As a result, they missed the point. The terror organisation still had most of its cells in place, and a functioning financial network.

"Within the contours of that particular game, the American forces and their allies simply weren't configured to deal with an enemy like the one we created," said Steven Metz, the head of the Army War College's regional strategy and planning department.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Wargame exposed gaping hole in Pentagon strategy

Now of course that was just a game, but somehow it all sounds vaguely familiar...

Posted by Abe at 01:07 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 13, 2004


So who thinks Bush actually wants to be president for another four years?

Really if I didn't have to live in the middle of this it'd actually be a classic tragedy. The man grows up with silver spoons for all orifices, fails at everything he does, and still ends up president. And is miserable at it. His advantages become his flaws, circle complete, he falls. Well, god willing he fails to win. Another tragedy of course cause as much as he'd rather not be president he desperately wants to win the popularity contest.

Posted by Abe at 11:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Condi Rice or the Incredible Hulk?

courtesy of Tom Ball in the Kos comments

Posted by Abe at 11:07 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Its 2004, Welcome to 19th Century America

I guess its ironic that "conservatives" never hide the fact that they want to roll back the clock and return America to some imaginary past era. But the way Bush administration is pulling us back to the 19th century damn sure ain't funny, nor is it particularly spoken of.

Much has been made of the Bush adminstration's mastery of media tactics, but what's left unsaid is that that mastery is about the only skill that distinguishes this administration from a government of robber barons. Take a look at the industries represented in the government and the picture emerges. Oil is a big one obviously, and defense as well. Railroads, metals, banking. This is a system of power rooted in 1800's with a mentality to match.

Back when the US first invaded Afghanistan, I read a bit about the regional wargames played by Pentagon in the years previous. Unfortunately I didn't archive the article, and have yet to track it down, so you'll need to rely upon my word (and memory) as to what it entailed.

Faced with a diffuse terrorist organization, spread out guerilla style across the mountains of central asia. The war gamers playing "red" the enemy were able to run circles around the generals. The pentagon planners had the advantage of overwhelming force and the latest weapons, but they proved worthless in the face of warriors capable of vanishing into mountains and blending with the local population.

Now beating a ranking general in wargames in the a particularly good political tactic and apparently "red" got beat in quite an unconventional manner. The generals forced the game organizers to make the "red" troops mass up over in Uzbekistan or someplace and fight like retards a traditional army. Finally the generals could blow them away and feel satisfied with their victory.

What's scary is just how this war game tactic has been actualized over the past few years. The first time was a lucky break for the US. Faced with the amorphous foe of Al Qaeda Bush and company where able to invade an actual country instead, and given the ties between the Taliban and Al Qaeda they actually were somewhat justified.

Now the country of Afghanistan, in as much as it actually existed as a cohesive whole, was a pretty easy target and easily broken. Which of course did nothing at all to solve the real threat of terrorism.

And Condi Rice's recent testimony is making it clear that the administration has never quite been able to conceptually grasp what terrorism is. It doesn't quite map to their 19th century mindstate of force and minerals. Rice repeated the mantra that the problems were all structural like her job depended on it. And in doing so she let the world know just how mentally unequipped she is to deal with
with terrorism. Did she ever see the videos of the twin towers collapsing, destroyed by a weakness in their own structure?

The terrorism of Al Qaeda is the antithesis of structure. It swarms through the rigid constructions of westernism, searching for points of weakness. Points where the very tensions of structure can be deftly turned against themselves. It's no coincidence that Bin Laden, born into a family of engineers, was obsessed with the World Trade Center, attacking it once in 1993 and again in 2001. He saw the weakness in the structure and knew he could topple it. And knowing that what are we supposed to make of Rice relentlessly screaming for more structure?

Its clear that Bush and co, need structure to attack, they can't quite comprehend the way terrorism and guerilla war is conducted. Instead they insist on Daily Kos || personifying the enemy, and reducing reality down to soundbites. Rumsfeld talks of a test of will, and he's right, this is administration trying to will into existence a reality to match their unrealizable philosophies.

Rumsfeld himself is a former RAND director and he seems determined to realize the RAND/Air Force dream of virtual wars, run by satellites, robots and statistics,
free of those dirty, fuzzy, unpredictable humans. Bush focuses instead on isolated leaders, dreaming they might have the potent control of their people he so desperately dreams he has over his. And the National Security Advisor frantically tries to will into this world a scenario where she some how can be unaccountable for the tragedy of 9-11 that ran straight into her job description, making it clear to all just how poorly she did her job.

At the basest point this is an administration determined to maintain the 19th century belief that a small set of individuals can run the world based on raw power and minerals. And shockingly enough they've managed to take over America. Now as they blunder through Iraq, let Afghanistan fall to pieces and prepare for elections in the US we are about to learn just how much reality can retribute.

update: Finally found the article on the Afghanistan wargames referred to above, here is the juicy quote:

The army brass, Dr Johnson said, "were intent on fighting a variation of a war against large tank armies on the central plains of somewhere". At one point, the Pentagon officers involved became so frustrated with their elusive opponents that they asked for the game organisers to have a friendly government's armoured battalion defect to the other side. "They did it to give someone to blast," Dr Johnson said. "Everyone went away feeling viscerally satisfied."

As a result, they missed the point. The terror organisation still had most of its cells in place, and a functioning financial network.

Sound at all familiar?

Posted by Abe at 05:39 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 11, 2004

August 6, 2001


I should note I stole this idea completely from the brilliant Max Speak and merely redid it with a graphic designer's/propagandist's sensibility...

Posted by Abe at 08:23 PM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

April 09, 2004

The Sun's Kiss Scrumptious Son, It's Nutritious

So no, this is not a political blog, really. And tone is not always as dark as it is in Iraq. Its springtime and our friend the sun has been hanging around a little. Here is a gift of Ghostface's Sun.

Posted by Abe at 08:48 PM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

Your Government Would Rather You Not Look at These Pictures

and to be honest you probably don't want to look at these pictures either, cause they sure ain't pretty.

They are? Images from Aljazeera from inside the besieged city of Falluja. You can see them on their site, and I've also archived them below.

Posted by Abe at 08:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

So If You Vote For Bush He Will Take Away Your Porn...

And if Kerry knows what's good for him he'll hammer this home. He want's the "Nascar dads"? Imagine if in October every porn mag in America endorsed Kerry on the cover and warned that Bush wants to make them illegal...

[via Submunition]

Posted by Abe at 03:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Vacation Time!

Choice A:

This is Bush's 33rd visit to his ranch since becoming president. He has spent all or part of 233 days on his Texas ranch since taking office, according to a tally by CBS News. Adding his 78 visits to Camp David and his five visits to Kennebunkport, Maine, Bush has spent all or part of 500 days in office at one of his three retreats, or more than 40 percent of his presidency.

Choice B:

War-worn troopers heading home from Iraq got a chilling order from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld yesterday: Not So Fast!

Rumsfeld said G.I.s scheduled to rotate home after a year's hardscrabble duty in Iraq will now be held over for awhile, even after their replacements arrive, to give military commanders more combat punch to counter this week's savage uprising against the American occupation.


The first casualties of what Rumsfeld called "taking advantage of the overlap" were a few hundred soldiers from the Army's First Armored Division. Pentagon officials told the Daily News those troops were at Baghdad International Airport preparing to return to their home base in Germany this week when the plug was pulled.

"They were on the tarmac waiting for their plane when they were told to pick up their gear, head back to camp and get ready to go back into the field," the official said. "Can you imagine the effect on morale that had?"

Posted by Abe at 01:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 08, 2004


Hey, forgot to tell ya all we are now the proud hosts of jane dark's sugarhigh! Go enjoy please!

Posted by Abe at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Caught 20 minutes of Condi Rice's testimony to the 9-11 commision today. Her tactic is clearly to filibuster on and on about "structural" problems. A polite way to blame Clinton essentially.

But in truth she is right, there is a huge structural problem that lead to 9-11. And it's that Condoleezza Rice was the keystone of our national security apparatus.

Posted by Abe at 11:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Sorry for a lack of "daily" of late, its springtime in NY... That and I'm trying to restrain the amount of politics here and possibly move them to another location. A hard task and one I'm willing to admit to failure, unlike some. But yeah for now I'll try and keep it on the side of humor, dark as it may be.

So the worst aspect of the evolving disaster in Iraq is how much it resembles all of the fears of those of us who opposed the war over the past few years. Meanwhile the administration continues to try and will their own fantastical reality into existence, and even the NY Times is off the program while the BBC provides the visuals:


Posted by Abe at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 05, 2004

Oh My My My

Any time I read about politics nowadays I feel like I need an immediate deep cleansing. And as the presidential election progresses its going to get worse.

Thankfully though, we have music. And Ghostface featuring Raekwon, Slick Rick and the RZA in "The Sun" is essential nowadays. Apparently it was cut off "Bulletproof Wallets" cause they couldn't clear the sample. Freaking politics again. If that makes you mad go read Larry Lessig's new book, for free even. Then go download as much Ghostface detritus as you can find, to hold you over till April 20th when Pretty Toney drops.

Incidentally if Tupac is ever coming back to life it'll be on the 20th as well.

Meanwhile TV on the Radio just sounds better and better with each listen. Like it comes from place where beautiful guitar noise can save the world, and then it does. Go Kyp.

And then is a strangely similar, fuzzy woozy place, are the Freestyle Kingz of Houston Texas. Now the slowed down "screwed and chopped" beats of Houston are largely a gimmick, although results can occasionally be magical. What isn't a gimmick are the fuzzed out flows developed by the MCs. Flow is a pretty amorphous impossible to define term akin to "swing" or "funk" and really I have no clue what's going on with these freestyles. On one hand they sound like they are about to blur away into a buzzing dream state, but at the same time the bounce and ricochet angular to the beat. Simultaneously sharply on point and blurred beyond resolution...

Posted by Abe at 12:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Michael Teague(s?)

Update: The questions raised by this post apparently have been answered. There does not seem to be any connection between the men in question although as far as I can tell the possibility has not been conclusively dismissed. The original post is available for reference however, by following the link below.

One of the "contractors" killed in Fallujah Iraq was named Michael Teague. Perhaps coincidentally so was a former head of security for Aryan Nations. But they appear to be of similar age and in the same profession, could they be the same person? Kathryn Cramer has been trying to work it out. So far the results are inconclusive.

What isn't inconclusive is that her investigations have set off a small invasion of her site by wingnuts of questionable character. If you've got a minute maybe go a lend some support to her, ok?

Now if you've got some more time and some journalistic/private eye training, maybe you could help answer the real questions here, I for one would like to know the story...

Posted by Abe at 11:56 AM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

April 02, 2004

JFK 2004!

Beautiful Readers,

Ok, I know everyone has a flaw or two hidden somewhere. And while you, my readers are obviously exceedingly intelligent, charming and delightful, I am beginning to suspect you might be a touch cheap. Well at the least the American's among you?

Why? Well not nearly enough of you seem to be donating to Mr. JFK. He's running for president of the United States you know and one Mr George Bush has a hell of a lot more money in his pocket right now. So would you rather have an extra $50 in your pocket and four more years of Herr Bush, or do you think you'd be happier a small touch poorer in the now, with a brand spanking new JFK in the White House come next year?

So come along now, don't be shy, give the tall fella a few greenbacks, will you please.

all my love,

ps. if you donate with these links then you'll help turn Abstract Dynamics into its very own special interest group! A scary thought, but worry about that one later, ok?

Posted by Abe at 04:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 01, 2004

The New Repetition

While I was away did someone install a system in all NYC bars and clubs that just plays Vanity 6's "Nasty Boy", Laid Back's "White Horse" and Joan Jett's "I Love Rock-n-Roll" on endless repeat? This is worse then top 40 which at least has the poetic twist of using numbing repetition to both create and destroy all it touches. This is deliberately finding lost gems of a songs and recklessly destroying through overplay. Its some 1984 for override of history shit, strip mine the cutout bins until there is no music left...

Actually the real algorithm is a bit more complex then just the 3 songs, hence forth known as "the trio". With a bit of investigation I think I've uncovered most of it:

Play the trio
Play random Timbaland/Missy track
Play the trio
Play random crunk track
Play a "surprise" (this is the DJ equivalent of a guitar solo, enjoy it please)
Play random Prince/Michael Jackson hit
Play the trio
bonus for hipper locations only, play a random New Jack Swing hit, generally Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison", but if you're really lucky you might get Boyz II Men's "Motownphilly". Lucky until its been drilled into your head a million times, again.

In writing this it has become clear, the club DJ's are jealous of the wedding DJ's...

Posted by Abe at 10:55 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack