Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hip Ster

"Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster."

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization - Douglas Haddow / Adbusters

In this Adbusters essay Haddow argues Western culture has reached a point of self-obsessed aesthetic vacuum. He hits on some things that really turn me off about some of the scenes I happen across. I can't really say it's just hipsters, but I notice a tendency to plunder past movements without finding future meaning, and a phenomenal obsession with fashion and the self.

Escapism is fun, but this is a very lazy form that sucks meaning out of past icons.

It's not all innocent fun either, the obsession with the self is spoiling it of that. If it were innocent people could still wear a checkered scarf and have it mean something, someone could push a movement or style forward without it being adopted and sucked dry of meaning and sold back to the crowd hungry to experience the revolution.

It seems so noncommittal.

Back to the article though, it's Haddow's last statement that really gets me.


We are a lost generation, desperately clinging to anything that feels real, but too afraid to become it ourselves. We are a defeated generation, resigned to the hypocrisy of those before us, who once sang songs of rebellion and now sell them back to us. We are the last generation, a culmination of all previous things, destroyed by the vapidity that surrounds us. The hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture so detached and disconnected that it has stopped giving birth to anything new.

Haddow is both wrong and right here. They (we) are not a defeated generation, merely defeatist, committed to reinforcing the hipocrisy that came before in some vain pursuit of finding meaning without having to actually make any.

There are real people among this generation - the activists calling for change, the artists creating meaningful work, the journalists covering more than street fashion and afterpartys. The problem is that the aimless masses that grew up with participation points for just being there are killing it out there for the people killing it out there.


Where he's right is in saying our culture is so detached it's on the verge of collapse. I don't think we'll literally fall apart, but all meaning other than self-centered escape will dissapear.
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Blown Fuse

Over the course of the last month I've said it outright on air, I've alluded to it on the blog, and I've announced it from stages in The Yukon and Ottawa. Fuse is about to be extinguished.
A. Putz Via Radio3

If you haven't had the pelasure of tuning in to fuse you're missing out. It's hit the end of an amazing road, and there are only a few new shows left to be broadcast.

 The sessions page on radio 3 has a list of recorded fuse shows, but they're painfully out of order and unlabeled:


Don't worry though, each and every one is worth a listen, Especially the Abdominal/Faberge show.

The show on August 2nd is one I'm really excited for because I'm a big fan of The Sunparlour Players.


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Plasma Bullets

"We have discovered what makes the Northern Lights dance," declares UCLA physicist Vassilis Angelopoulos, principal investigator of the THEMIS mission."
NASA - Plasma Bullets Spark Northern Lights

Pretty freaking cool if you ask me.
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stupidity, Pain, and Sangria

I have what is most likely a herniated disc.
My lower-back hurts like a mofo, and I have a really not-cool-at-all pain running from there down my legs.
Sweet Apple Juice.

So I'm juicing the ibuprofen, stretching, and complaining a lot. The thing is though, I only have myself to blame on this one.
I lifted (dead lifted) the weight when I knew I'd had a little bit of a back-pain issue a few weeks ago and should be taking it easy. I smoked for a long time, and still occasionally smoke a bit here and there, which from what I've read is a contributing factor. And now I've got to take it easy when I was just starting to make actual measurable gains at the gym.

It's Crapsauce.

You know what isn't crapsauce?

SANGRIA


I've been drowning my sorrows in the stuff, which may not help the healing but I've got my reasons.

About six to eight weeks ago I started a batch of homemade wine. Last week when it came time to check alcohol content, and bottle it we had a little tasting. Lo and behold, it tasted pretty awful.

So now I've got 5 gallons of 14%ish barely-passable vin ordinaire to get through. And since cheap wine is the cornerstone of a good spanish fiesta I've embarked upon a drunken mission to discover the perfect blend.

Sangria
In order of quantity from most to least

  • Cheap red wine
  • Fruit
  • A little fruit juice
  • Some sort of spirit (whiskey, rum, gin, tripplesec, whatever)
  • A little cinnamon or nutmeg

Optional:
  • Simple syrup or honey to taste
  • little umbrella
  • Bullfighting
*All the tinto de verano stuff is pretty great too.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Design Won't Save the World

This is true.


Uploaded on June 28, 2008
by frank-c

Electrosux

Why does electronic music have to be so... um... terrible.
Exhibit A:

We Are Your Friends - Justice vs. Simian
...That totally sounds new and fresh and not like what you'd hear 3 years ago.

There are a tonne of great musicians and bands out there composing and playing great music in every genre / creating new sounds. But why, oh god why, does really basic disco-trash seem to rise to the top of the electro heap? Every time I read about the newest awesome electronic music it's either danceclub shite for toothgrinding teens or mashup danceclub shite for skinny-jeaned alt-twerps.

I'm searching for good electronic music in any and every style. I need to be convinced here, because so far I can't seem to find anyone actually composing.

Exhibit B:
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
...80's style clubber shite electro, how fucking innovative. Seriously, her live show was so terrible and full of the 2 groups of boppers listed above I nearly vomited.

I'm not saying there isn't room for escapist fun-time party music, but why are so few groups out there pushing boundaries and finding success through innovation?

Probably for the same reason so few analogue bands are finding success through innovative composition, the path to success is paved with allowance-money.


and so I end my angry rant.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dell pulls through

To start with, I'm a converted user of mac and a reformed pc technician loving being able to carelessly abuse my computer without worrying about spyware or viruses. It's been amazingly stable other than the 2 dead internal hard drives, which kicked the bucket as a result of endless torrenting - serious, abusive, incessant, ridiculous torrenting.

I was very resistant to get my fiance anything other than another mac when her old pc was more than a little long in the tooth, but we bit the bullet and got her a dell.

why?

Well, honestly, it's pink.

I shit you not, pinkness was pretty much the deciding factor.

I've been furious with it a number of times, it failed to shut down out of the box, was kind of slow and crappy... All the normal pc bullshit I've been free of for the past three or so years.

It had gotten so bad that today I called dell tech support fully expecting the worst experience of my life.

But I was completely wrong. 

A knowledgable, patient, and curtious tech walked me through a few checks, then we started a remote desktop connection and within about 20 minutes he'd fixed the issue.

I was a little concerned because dell's crappy pc-chekup utility was giving me memory somthing-or-other errors, so he got me started on a diagnostic scan and set a callback appointment.

The scan came out all clean, and just as it was finishing I got a call back to check that everything was indeed working as it should.

I still hate vista, and believe pc-cillin is a pile of dogshit, but Dell rose a few rungs on my ladder of respect today.

Certainly a better experience than trying to call Apple for support on my mac - for that I go straight to the forums.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Minty Fresh

I was given a nice little bouquet of freshly cut mint today. I think it was said to be chocolate-mint, but all I can tell from the smell is that it’s amazing.

Not the mint I was given but it kinda looked like this and I enjoy the photo - Pregnant by Andreas Kollegger

I’m relatively new to mint in forms other than tea, gum, and toothpaste, but I’ve quickly become a huge fan of the stuff.

I’m growing spearmint, peppermint, and an unidentified slightly lemony smelling mint I rescued from the bargain-rack at garden works. I’ve had a much better time with it than with the basils I regularly murder, so I’ve been using it more and more in my food and drink.

Number one on the list is the almighty mojito, my summer drink of choice. So far I’ve stuck to the traditional lime and soda, but a lychee version is my next beveralogical challenge.

Baked minty apples are good too, wherein you core an apple, fill with butter, brown-sugar, and some chopped mint before baking until fucking delicious.

Minty spot prawns weren’t a huge success; I think those things should probably just be eaten clean.

A minty cucumber and yogurt salad sounds good, but has yet to undergo testing in the Royal Hopkanowski Culinary Centre of Excellence and Excess. Same goes for mint pesto, sounds good but unproven.

Anybody have good ideas for mint other than the julep? Please, help me out. Seriously, unless I find ways to consume the stuff without alcohol I’m bound for the corner of hastings and main.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Stuff

Spend 20 minutes on:
The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

I enjoy pretty much anything with a buy-less-shit message.
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

Where’s your food from?

This story from the CBC has me thinking about food again. OK, so pretty much everything makes me think about food, but reading about food probably tops the list.

Anyway, it reminded me to check out the Deconstructing Dinner podcast. Deconstructing Dinner is a great show out of Kootenay Co-Op Radio. I’m sure I’ve linked there before but what with summer hitting Canada and local food being readily available it’s a great time to revisit food issues.

Right now I’m listening to the podcast titled Coffee, The Earth, and the Future of Civilization. It’s pretty interesting and it will change the way you think about the perfect cup.

I’m a coffee addict. I don’t just enjoy a cup, I freely admit to being hooked.

With that I want to point you to the best Americano in Metro-Vancouver – found at JJ-Bean on Commercial. It’s a medium ¾ full cup of heaven made with as much love as can be squeezed out of in-house-roasted beans and baristas in skinny-jeans. Apart from the delicious tomatoes and veggies at the Trout Lake Farmers Market it’s probably the highlight of my Saturday mornings.

Sure Artigiano is fancy and Starbucks is convenient, but both are pretentious and should be avoided at all costs by people who favour flavour.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Mending Webs

Repairing spiderwebs - a fantastically creative bit of work by Nina Katchadourian.
Check it out:

Marketing Tips for Spiders
Cibachrome, 30 x 20 inches, 1998

An attempt to teach a spider how to advertise.

Sold!

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thirty Thousand Invaders!

30,000 escaped farmed salmon raise concerns in B.C
From the CBC

Whatever, it's oceanic multiculturalism. Think of them as immigrants and it's awesome instead of terrible, although you do have to ignore the belief that they'll spend lots of their time decimating remaining Pacific stocks.

How fucked is it that we call them salmon stocks and not simply salmon. I guess they really are thought of a nothing more than a commodity.

Sophia Michelle Roden Douglass



This little girls is amazing.
I spent the long weekend in Kelowna with her parents, and she got cranky a total of 3 times.
2 of those were because I insist on antagonizing children.

Awesome baby.