Gaga Nazis

From Kraken by China Mieville:
Most wizards of chaos would bore you arseless about how the chaos they tapped was emancipation, that their nonlinear conjuring was the antithesis of the straight-lined bordering mindset that led, they insisted, to Birchenau, blah fucking blah. But it was always a sleight of politics to stress only that aspect of the far right. There was another, somewhat repressed but no less faithful and faithfully fascist tradition: the decadent baroque.

Among the fascist sects, the most flamboyant, eager as Strasserites to reclaim what they insisted was the true for of a deviated movement, where the Chaos Nazies. The creaking black leather of the SS, they insisted to the tiny few who would listen, and not run or kill them on sight, were a cowards pornography, a prissy corruption of tradition.

Look instead, they said, to the rage in the east. Look to the autonomous terror-cell-structure of Operation Werewolf. Look to the sybarite orgies in Berlin, that were not corruption but culmination. Look to the holiest date in their calendar: Kristallnacht, all those chaos scintillas on stone. Nazism, they insisted, was excess, not prig-restraint, not that superego gusset bureaucrats had chosen.

Their symbol was the eight-pointed chaos star altered to make a Moorcock weep, its diagonal arms belt fylfot, a swastika that pointed in all directions. What is "Law", they said, what is Chaos's nemesis bu the Torah? What is Law but Jewish Law, which is Jewishness itself, and so what is Chaos but the renunciation of that filthy Torah-Bolshevist code? What was best in humanity but the will and rage and indulgence, do what thou wilt the autopoeiesis of the Ubermensch? And so, endlessly, on.

They were provacateurs, of course, and a ludicrously tiny group, but notorious even among the wicked for occasional acts of unbelievable, artistic cruelty, restoring the true spirit of their prophets. Sure the Final Solution was efficient, they insisted, but it was soulless. "The problem with Auschwitz", they insisted, "is that is was the wrong sort of 'camp'!" Their hoped-for Chaos Fuhrer, they thought, might achieve a sufficiently artistic genocide.


  • Current Music
    Dum Dum Girls - O Mein M

Telepathic Object Delusion

I'm going to elaborate this. This has got to be a pretty well-established philosophical mindfuck of absolutely no consequence whatsoever.
Any object around you could be a telepathic mind. Since this telepathy is its only sense organ, it experiences what you do vicariously and has no way of knowing it's not you. More accurately, you have no way of recognizing your remote-percieving self in your environment and may never even encounter yourself. In fact, you may be an object reading the mind of another mind-reading object, or anything else along that chain. Better, you could be any arbitrarily defined body along the stream. You could be another person, with that person's perceptions transmitted elsewhere. If there was data leakage, you may be able to recognize your vessel or medium.
You know what? This is feeling kind of Deleuzian. What I'm curious about is whether anyone has developed this as a particular paranoid schizophrenic delusion (deleuzian delusion. hee). Like they decided they were a particular thing and got very protective of it. This delusion could be a kind of holistic karma, although I don't think you have any ethical obligations toward mindreading objects. Since it's still necessarily your specific body making whatever consciousness is, that's the only relevant presence. Still, something could be phreaking you and storing your memories. And freaking you, if you're so inclined.
For example, I suspect that I am actually the Wellbutrin I just started taking.


Dreamed that there was one song the Builders and the Butchers performed (probably this one) during which they incited a large wave to come onto a small beach. I asked Ryan Sollee about this and he called it "erogating", and said that Tom Waits was the best erogator.

If you know me you know that tidal waves not only appear over and over in my dreams but that their symbolism has become incorporated into the dreams. I was lucid enough in this to control the wave, or at least not consider avoiding it a problem, preferring to discuss its artistic motivations.
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed


Two nights ago I responded to a request by NY Cares for New York City's Department of Homeless Services's (DHS) annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE). In groups of 2-6 we were to go out and count the number of homeless in the city, section by section, in the middle of the night.
The DHS has been operating these surveys for 7 years, and the outcome has mostly been to provide the Mayor's office with an indicator of "progress" in clearing more and more people from the streets every year. Bloomberg has come under scruitiny for supporting housing trends that price out low-income residents, combining recently with the recession to create more homeless in the city than ever before. In response, the city government can point to the efforts of the DHS, their outreach and shelters. They are responsible for the ads on the subway featuring picturesque (white, clearly models) vagrants, and discouraging commuters from feeding the animals giving panhandlers money.
Before I slip into it too far, I'll refrain from a Village Leftist kneejerk criticality, and look at the function of the volunteers and how this survey may benefit the underclass.
I signed up to work in Queens but wasn't assigned a location there so went to DHS's office in the Financial district and was assigned to group 23 with three other new volunteers. Our group, in the usual redundant committee manner, appointed the eldest member, who had a hybrid car from the city motor pool, as team leader. The DHS had an hour to inform a room full of warm sleepy do-gooders how to treat who we encountered and administer the one-page housing survey, with surprisingly little resistance created by stupidity on both sides. The most problematic parts of the distributed instruction book concerned the rare instances when we encountered someone who needed medical attention or wanted to go to a shelter. There were vans to call when we met the latter.
We were told to follow the letter of the survey itself, although it became more conversationalized in good practice. This was a few questions about whether we could ask, and what kind of place the subject lived in, followed by, if we judged them homeless, demographics like age, sex, ethnicity, and location. Our mostly didn't notice the conditionality of the second set of observations. The most important question was, of course, #6: "Do you think this person is homeless?" I may get a bit Foucault here and note how emphatically the entire event approached the creation of a distinct "homeless" category, and required the volunteers to construct that class. We were to apply the survey to everyone we met, in the hopes of encountering someone who broke type, but this only reinforced the distinction. During the training hour, it was, whether the volunteers realized it or not, the responsibility of determining homelessness on sight, regardless of what the subject said, that volunteers had the most trouble with. We were to base this on stereotypical signs of vagrancy: "disheveled appearance", a cart full of belongings. My great aunt would have been judged homeless, 7 years ago. The example we ran through in training was of someone who "stayed with a friend" but who was supposed to clearly fit in the homeless category. We did run into someone like this, who may have previously been in rehab or jail or simply priced out, and I felt the interviewer led his answers toward not being homeless, in assumption.
We had two 2-3 block areas to walk on a predetermined path, and were to talk to everyone we encountered who wasn't clearly working or asleep. For the first time this year, some groups were assigned police escorts, and we were one. I don't know what about this area made it the recipient of this experiment. The cops were the youngest of the group, and cute, but their presence probably hindered our accuracy as well as our confidence.
Decoys were supposedly stationed in each area. If they were supposed to tell us they were decoys, we encountered none. Our area was a Lower East Side sub-bridge residential wasteland, too windy and open and probably full of available couches for good urban camping, but low-traffic enough that we found at least five more places we'd expect people to be sleeping than we found such people. In fact, we only found one clearly homeless, in a grocery loading dock with several other pallets that indicated that on other nights he had company. The cops spotted his cart parked outside, and we were all so excited to have found him that we probably disturbed his sleep. Although I was to fill out the form, I felt enough of us had already ogled him that I left it to others to enter a physical description.
We interviewed nine others, on the street at 1 am, who lived nearby or were waliing. Their answers were confidential, but about half didn't have the time to answer any questions at all, which was easier. We did interrupt a cab-based dispute and almost accidentally interviewed a cabbie. Some were glad to chat local government, this being the LES. One, who had been caught by another group earlier, noted that it was "a weird night - a lot of regular people but not a lot of homeless people". It was wet and warm for January. I felt I saw more people sleeping in the subways than usual, coming home.
I suspect that the call for volunteers made the survey event known to the city's homeless even more than in previous years, even if just as a rumor. I suspect many of them broke routine, sought public or private shelter, or stayed mobile that night, simply out of a paranoia about conspicuousness. Many may be very conscious that not being counted means Bloomberg can claim DHS's outreach and shelters a success, or that funding for DHS, and the nosy outreach program with its anti-panhandling message, would be reduced.
I can't judge whether DHS is good or bad for the homeless, because they are not a consistent category for whom the same strategy works as a whole. I believe it is very good for those who do often need shelter, regardless of the violence that sometimes occurs in the shelters (and would probably happen anyway). I don't think the ads have significantly discouraged panhandling's supply side. (By the way, those guys with the sandwiches are scam artists.) Unlike DHS, I don't think the city's goal should be to get everyone living in public (or in ATMs or on the subway, etc.) into an apartment with a job. There is simply nowhere for that money to come from. Naturally, getting those with mental health problems into care is important, and they're doing well reducing starvation or death from exposure. But the opportunity to choose against one's supposed interests is also important. A program that has the best interests of the homeless in mind would not discourage squatters (the DHS is mostly silent on this issue), although at present I'm pretty sure there isn't a huge squatting movement, likely because private property owners are preventing it.
While I know that everyone working for the DHS, and the volunteers, mean well, I don't think they realized how much their efforts this year led to undercounting. I'm not a sociologist or a statistician - please provide input if you are. I also don't know whether the undercounting will be celebrated by the city or mean budget cuts for DHS or both. If the latter, Operation Scare Off the Homeless, with this year's increased publicity, budget, and workforce, probably did more harm than good, despite goodly intentions of census-like objectivity. Because I like information, I hope I'm wrong.

2009 Song Mix (for you!)

My narrative medium is the mix!
I have divided it into three parts for download frustration (and also because they're about CD length)(and to minimize damage if I have to take anything down). Each has a bit of art. The art dividers are the download links. Songs with links are to videos, when the video improves the song even more. 8tracks mixes (also imbedded below)1, 2, 3. Naturally, you will pick and choose amongst them, so I've tried to cluster by genre and mood, somewhat.


1 Bad Romance Lady GaGa The Fame Monster 4:57
2 Fixin To Thrill Dragonette Fixin To Thrill 4:08
3 I Feel Cream Peaches I Feel Cream 4:33
4 Actor Out Of Work St. Vincent Actor 2:15
5 Turn It on Franz Ferdinand Tonight Franz Ferdinand 2:21
6 Games For Days Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper 3:57
7 1901 Phoenix Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 3:18
8 Sweetheart Micachu Jewellery 0:53
9 Michael Telepathe Dance Mother 4:15
10 All The Kings Men Wild Beasts Two Dancers 4:00
11 Little Secrets Passion Pit Manners 3:59 (their videos are making me like them even better)
12 Zero Yeah Yeah Yeahs It's Blitz! 4:26
13 Glass Bat For Lashes Two Suns 4:33
14 Hell Tegan & Sara Sainthood 3:25 (Amanda Palmer Karaoke Verite)
15 Idiot Heart Sunset Rubdown Dragonslayer 6:09
16 Psychic City YACHT See Mystery Lights 5:09
17 New In Town Little Boots Hands 3:19
18 Summertime Clothes Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion 4:32
19 Daylight Outro Mix Matt & Kim Grand 3:11
20 Moonson Delorean Ayrton Senna EP 3:45

21 M Telefon Tel Aviv Immolate Yourself 3:42
22 Tricky Tricky Röyksopp Junior 5:59
23 The Fear Lily Allen It's Not Me, It's You 3:26
24 Dominos The Big Pink A Brief History Of Love 3:46
25 One Day The Juan MacLean The Future Will Come 4:17
26 Bulletproof La Roux 3:27
27 2012 Gossip Music For Men 3:50
28 Break Up Girls! The Raveonettes In And Out Of Control 4:00
29 The End Vivian Girls Everything Goes Wrong 3:16
30 Hot Song Talk Normal Sugarland 4:06
31 Wet Hair Japandroids Post-Nothing (Promo) 3:12
32 So Bored Wavves Wavvves 3:14
33 The Turn Around The Oh Sees Help 1:03
34 Keep Me In Dark The Fiery Furnaces I'm Going Away 4:04
35 Shelter The xx xx 4:30
36 Stillness Is the Move The Dirty Projectors Bitte Orca 5:14
37 Real Live Flesh Tune-Yards Bird-Brains 3:33

38 People Got a Lotta Nerve Neko Case Middle Cyclone 2:34
39 The Forest Mirah (A)Spera 3:30
40 Avalanches Jordaan Mason And The Horse Museum Divorce Lawyers I Shaved My Head 2:18
41 Hands Like Roots The Builders And The Butchers Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well 2:18
42 See The Leaves The Flaming Lips Embryonic 4:24
43 Easy Thao with the Get Down Stay Down Know Better Learn Faster 3:37
44 Dog Days Are Over Florence And The Machine Lungs 4:16
45 The Wooden Chair Jenny Wilson Hardships! 3:15
46 Gimme Sympathy Metric Fantasies 3:55
47 Sylvia The Antlers Hospice 5:25
48 Triangle Walks Fever Ray Fever Ray 4:23 (really hard to pick a favorite song. This video looks like her live show.)
49 Bloody Palms Phantogram Eyelid Movies 3:32
50 Fake Out Bear In Heaven Beast Rest Forth Mouth 3:14
51 Trace A Line Au Revoir Simone Still Night, Still Light 3:58
52 On Rose Walk, Insomniac Why? Eskimo Snow 2:08
53 It's All Good Bob Dylan Together Through Life 5:28

Art and Astronomy

Posted to here originally (please follow)

An article I read about private funding for telescopes reminded me why I use space photography in my paintings. Both these disciplines have appealed to me for most of my life. They have similar positions of purity, or of transcendence, of a near-complete irrelevance to the mundane, the practical, and the necessary. In a way, they are the least humane human pursuits, which all the contradiction that entails. They therefore use similar justifications for their expenses, relying primarily on an appeal to aethetics, curiosity, and values about the search for truth.

There are, of course, both exceptions and loopholes. The best art engages directly with political, social, and economic interests, and part of the liberal and radical tendency of art is based on a goal of greater leisure and freedom to make useless objects. Astronomical research can be the source of better understanding of consistent and inconsistent physical laws, which has led to technological innovation. Most of the research that serves purely to disabuse society of superstition has been done. Monitoring for potentially disastrous comets or meteors is a not-insignificant part of astronomy, as is study of other planets to better understand where we're living.

But it's not those parts that interest me. It's the selling of what is superfluous even to a society based on the escalating transformation of wants into needs. Super-saturated, highly-manipulated photographs of interstellar gases are in one way a byproduct of billions invested in telescopes for better pure research, but in another way, they sell the research. By using them in paintings and digital sketches, I insert the efforts and investment of an entire industrial network, of what some might consider the loftiest achievements of "civilization". There's a sense of wonder there, and a sense of absurd amusement at the forgetting of wonder.

The sensation of a density of information, essentially indecipherable, behind an expensive image, is also why I consider all my work to be about knowledge, communication, and cybernetics. The final step, the work I do in nearly the least technologically entrenched medium that allows full color, involves the re-creation of signal from the noise remaining from an entirely different signal. Interstellar and intergalactic images are extremely lossy - as with any scientific measurement, entropy rules, and we only see a small part of the vast system we want to describe. Light from so far away is also light from far in the past - cosmology makes us recognize time's dimensionality. It's like archaeology in that much of the causality is lost. We're also looking at essentially a snapshot, since very little changes at that scale at biological speed. We haven't been observing long, nor may we be able to much longer, since it's possible astrophysical research itself was a cold war symptom. We can only observe from one angle, enforcing the primacy of two-dimensionality that I embrace with the abolition of ground. I replace space with space. Time becomes the uncertain palimpsest of historical process, the abstract unidentifiability of the original image. It's a discussion of re-interpretation, the use of one useless thing by another useless thing, and a celebration of affording any of it.
  • Current Music
    xx - Infinity


  • 15:15 'Are you traveling with someone?' 'no, I'm an adult.' sez full grown man. #
  • 23:26 The cats are fat and sassy, respectively. Those would be good breast names, as in "I'm feeling fat and sassy". #
  • 23:48 wants recommendations for books with antiheroines or identifiable villainesses. I can only think of a few. #
  • 01:27 likes making double entendres in which only the boring interpretation is true. Because using sex as a metaphor is like fucking your mother. #
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