Saturday, September 25, 2010

Be Seeing You

Fantastic post here from a while back by good ol' Rob Horning of Marginal Utility on the deceptive cordiality of our public sector officials and how their personal manner ensures that nothing ever changes.

Choice quotes:

"I like these people, and that renders me untrustworthy. Abstractly, I think some of them should be replaced and perhaps disgraced. But having chatted so cordially, I’m far less likely to take up pitchforks against them."- Steve Waldman

"This strikes me as a basic and important point of how power functions. There are not really evil geniuses in government or elsewhere plotting to be cruel and relishing the misery of the little people—such people are rare sociopathic anomalies, even if capitalism as a system fosters incentives to developing a sociopathic subjectivity. Because they are situated within a bureaucracy, people in positions of power lose sight of the big picture and reconfigure their typically good intentions in terms of the limited scope of their job responsibilities "

"The degree to which the officials are not “cruel people” is the degree to which they can convince themselves that helping the “system” helps ordinary people. But to have any kind of critical perspective on society, you have to be able to recognize the status quo—the people who are already profiting from existing relations—as something that is not inherently worth defending in order to explore possible relations that might be more equitable, more just. The problem is that power invests us in the status quo and at the same time makes us feel moral only by preserving that status quo. To put that a different way, power is contingent on the ability to sell the status quo as necessary—to qualify for power within bureaucracy one must convincingly demonstrate that one has made that association of incumbent interests with the “good”.

"The alternative is a form of power that takes an explicitly revolutionary and “dangerous” form that typically threatens personal identity. One is no longer a collaborative and cooperative part of society but its enemy"

I can't help think of the BBC series The Prisoner and the village's aggravatingly pleasant authorities, whose emphasis on providing the inhabitants with non-stop leisure kept them obsequious and credulous. To those like number six who did seek change, the power to reform at a structural level was made to seem accessible, but always remained just beyond any one individual's grasp.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Accentuate the Positive

Guess the editors didn't like my original choices of media, shown below (from Sesame Street and The Singing Detective, respectively)

Anyway, looks like this article is generating a little bit of noise, which is nice. New editorial on why music reviews tend to be more positive (not a good or bad thing, merely an observation).

Read all about it on PopMatters

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Slow Technology

windy and carl + paulstretch (the effect used on the justin bieber slowed by 8x mix)= grouper. plus, bbc radiophonic or any classical music + paulstretch= leyland kirby. is this one effect the engine of hauntology?

Either way, this piece of software is fantastic! Should do for ambient music what auto-tune did for pop!